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Hey Boo

“Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough”. ~Scout Finch~ To Kill a Mockingbird.

For those have never read this, this is the description from Goodreads: “Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos”. 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is definitely one of my all time favorite classics. It’s one of the few that I’ve re-read in my adult life. I recall reading this in high school and having to analyze every single thing! Although I appreciated my English teacher, sometimes I really hated analyzing every. single. thing. And of course like many books I had to read as an assignment in school, I did not appreciate it until I was older.

One of my favorite characters was Boo Radley, although you do not get to “see” him until the very end. In the beginning he’s often depicted as someone dangerous, and someone to be afraid of thanks to the rumors of the neighborhood. However, in the end he is discovered to be quite the opposite, and it is only because Scout, one of the main protagonists, follows her father’s advice and “stands in someone else’s shoes”.

Aside from all the other heavy topics throughout the novel, I feel like this is the most important. Being able to listen and understand someone else’s story and not always believing all the hearsay from other people. Sadly this still happens all the time. I see it in my daily life, in the news, at work, it seems to be an ongoing crisis. All you can do is try to be a decent human being and listen to others and do you best to understand them. Like Atticus Finch says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”.

I hope to teach my daughter the importance of listening, understanding, and compassion. And I hope I get the chance to read this with her when she’s older, and learning the ways of the world and life.

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Bookworm Beginnings

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Does anyone ever ask you how you became a bookworm? Do you remember what sparked the joy of reading for you? Was it a particular book? A relative? A teacher?

I grew up with books all over the house all the time. My dad was an avid reader. He had books from all kinds of genres, sci-fi, horror, comics, true crime, biographies and autobiographies, history and who knows what else.

My dad took my sister and I to libraries all the time! The librarians knew our names, waved and smiled when we walked in, and it was just a normal thing. I really miss those days. I know I’m not alone when I say that “library book smell” is a real thing and its the best.

Aside from frequent library trips, my sister and I got to go to author signings, Ray Bradbury and Clive Barker were the main ones I remember! At the time of course I was more into E.B. White, Shel Silverstein, and R.L. Stine (Fear Street!). However, I recall some of my earlier childhood author favorites included Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Maurice Sendak, and Dr. Seuss of course.

Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, even when my dad passed away, reading was something I still enjoyed. I recall doing an extra credit assignment in high school in which I had to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and write an essay. And I feel like that was the first book that really had an impact on me (I haven’t read it since and probably need to re-read). I was surprised how much I loved it!

I’m grateful my dad played such a huge influence on my love of reading and really embedded the importance of it to my sister and I. And I’m even grateful for the chance I had to do that one specific extra credit assignment. I’m sure if I read The Alchemist now it might mean something different to me, but that’s what’s so great about books. At different chapters of your life, you can relate to a book in so many ways. Sometimes they inspire you, make you cry, laugh, or just feel good.

“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too.”

Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan – Book Review

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Am I the only one who feels guilty abandoning a book midway?  I know there are many great novels that have a slow beginning and end up being amazing. For example, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah began a bit slow, but I ended up getting hooked at some point and now it is definitely one of my favorites!  As for Rainbirds, I was not feeling this book at all, I felt it dragged for a good while, but I was determined to finish it to see if by any chance the plot thickened or it had a surprise ending of some kind.

It begins with the main character, Ren, finding out about the death of his sister and him traveling to the city where she lived, Akakawa.  He meets with the police to provide any information he has, and also to collect her belongings and what not. To be honest, it was a pretty sad story as he goes through flashbacks of memories with his sister, and of course all the regrets he has of not spending more time with her and visiting her more often.  He also has very distant parents, zero close friends, and a girlfriend he totally abandons in Tokyo, because he doesn’t know how to deal with his emotions. I know I myself tend to live in a glass case of emotions, but this guy seemed like a robot! I kind of wanted to punch him in the face!

The other two characters during his time in Akakawa were meh.  One of them, Honda, a fellow school teacher, is the only one who Ren seems to connect with at some level, but only because he knew his sister. The other frequent character, “Seven Stars”, is a teen girl who annoyed the shit out of me the whole time with her dumb teenage angst.  I just can’t with lame teenagers! Although she did have somewhat of a traumatic childhood, I still can’t help but to want to slap her a majority of the time during the story (I swear I’m not a violent person! LOL).  SIDE NOTE – I’m dreading the day when my daughter goes through that teenage angst phase! I know we all have to have experiences and learn as we grow up, I just hope I don’t screw her up too bad!

In the end, Ren ends up discovering some pretty dark secrets about his past and his sister’s, but that was it, nothing else.  I suppose he learned he waited until it was too late to let his sister know he really cared for her and appreciated all she did for him when they were younger.  I just didn’t feel that sense of satisfaction when it ended and I hate that. This is the author’s first novel, and this is my first book review blog, so I don’t want to be a Judgy McJudgerson, but I’m hoping her writing will improve (along with mine:) and maybe her next novel will be better!

Thanks for checking out my first book review! 🙂 Stay Salty!

 

#SaltyBitchBookClub

Hello fellow bookworms, introverts, and salty bitches! I thought it would be fun to create a little space on ze internet where I can write about and review the books I read, because sometimes talking about it with your one best friend isn’t enough!

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not a speed reader and go through 3-4 books a month. How do people do that?! (I’m jealous!) I’m a regular person with a full-time job and I’m also a mother to a toddler which is another full-time job, so my reading time is maybe a couple of hours a week. I also have to make time to binge watch shows and movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, listen to podcasts, and you know, try and get some sleep! Which is my second favorite thing to do aside from reading 🙂

I’m in no way a professional book critic/reviewer, so bare with me and don’t be a Judgy McJudgerson as I bust out my rusty writing skills! And welcome to the Salty Bitch Book Club!

#ForeverMood