Sunday, June 25, 2017

"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood or OH MY! NO! THIS SHIT IS REAL!!!

Edition I Read:

Written by: Margaret Atwood

Published by: Fawcett Crest

395 pages

Genre: Dystopian fiction

Themes: Fertility, Women's Rights, Politics, Religion
My Feelings on the Book: 

This book takes place in a potential future within American society where women have most of their rights taken away from them. They are not even allowed to work and make money in this future. Their reproductive rights are also taken away. This information is not spoiler information either because this is information you discover within the first few pages of the book. The book centers around the character named Offred.

Offred is a Handmaid, which is a female placed within a house of an individual in authority power that has a wife that is barren. The Handmaid is to try to reproduce with the male through a ceremony that the barren wife is involved in. This all through me for a bit of a loop because it reminded me so much of the issues that women are actually currently facing with their reproductive rights currently. Other people making the decisions on what they can or cannot do with their bodies. This book is very rooted into that particular mindset. What made it scarier for me is that this book was first published in 1985, so there was no way that this author could know that this is where we would end up. This potential future seems way too close for comfortability.

The story discusses various aspects of what she has to deal with within this society. It also discusses in brief spurts her life before this society was formed and how she misses certain aspects of that reality. She discusses missing smoking, friends, family, and so many other things that have been stripped away from her simply for the betterment of some people in society. 

The book is very "real" in spots and made me cringe. I wanted to stop it a few times because I kept crying because it hit home too much right now. I can see this all coming to pass and that scared the crap out of me. I kept reading though because it felt like one of the most important reads of my life. It felt so important that when I finished it I immediately told my partner that he had to read it as well. He had read dystopian fiction before, so he did not have the same reaction as I did. It was something that harrowed me greatly. I felt punched in the gut after reading it. This could very well become our reality. 

I did not pick up another book for a couple weeks after reading this book. I let this book simmer within me. I let it be processed more than any other book that I have ever read. I wanted to understand it, but also feel it in a way that I have not permitted myself with other books. I still feel at a loss for how to explain the feelings that came from this particular read. It moved me for more than any other book has. It made me want to utilize my voice that I have not utilized yet. It helped awaken something inside of me, but I need to find a way to keep that thing awakened. I do not know what to call this thing either, maybe madness, maybe hope, maybe not wanting this future that I see possibly formulating around me. Yes, I utilized the world hope with this dire book. The reason I can use that word is because we are not there yet. We are removed from it enough still that maybe we can change the course of history, so I hold onto hope that the reality within "The Handmaid's Tale" never comes to fruition, but I feel that others must read this book to understand a possibility. A true possibility for our future if we do not learn to allow others to exist, simply exist.

Central Theme:

Women's rights and specifically reproductive rights are at the center of this particular book. This runs throughout this book and helps focus us on the plight that Offred finds herself in. If we are able to draw comparisons we know that this is currently happening in our society as well. In American society right now Women's reproductive rights is a hot bed issue with legislators deciding if abortion should still be legal or not. Right-wing individuals have been slowly trying to chip away at the funding of the organization "Planned Parenthood" to try to help end abortions in American society. This is one reason that some of this book is truly scary. The heart of it feels like we are starting to see some of this occur. Most of this book feels like you can see these small little things that they had to do in society to get this new way of existing set-up and it feels like they are doing it currently in our society in many ways. This is why this is truly a horror book, in my opinion. While we have not taken jobs away from women or siphoned all the money out of their bank accounts there are elements, like the defunding of Planned Parenthood, that are taking place in our society. It is this reality that we can feel as a reader that makes this read very poignant for the current time period and one I would highly recommend others to read right now.

Who I Would Recommend & Not Recommend This Book To:

If you are an individual that wants to feel a bit of a chill on your back while you are reading then this is a perfect book to read. It will hit you hard and you will cringe as you start understanding the elements of society that changed America into this society presented in the book. I would also recommend this to individuals that want a book that has a bit of a social issue contained within it, which is that of Women's rights, as discussed previously. It also would be a great book for a small women's book club that wants to discuss various aspects of society that are currently happening. I would recommend this to right-wing and left-wing individuals to see the world through different lenses. You get the aristocracy perspective that can help those in the left-wing viewpoint to see why others may hold onto this view and for the right-wing viewpoint you can see why people may want to have the rights over their own body.  I cannot recommend this book enough to a multitude of types of people. Everyone can walk away from this book with something that touches them in their own way. 

I would not recommend this to someone that has had a lot happen to themselves in life. If you are dealing with a lot of personal issues then this may not be the correct book for you right now because it will bring up a lot of stuff for anyone dealing with pain. It also would not be a good book for an individual that is still reeling from the American election. This book will scare you perhaps too much, even though that may not be an entirely bad thing.
Where You Can Purchase "The Handmaid's Tale" 
for your own collection:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gurl!!! Finish it!!! or This be what I do in my free time...

Every Wednesday I am going to update where I am at with reading or watching things. This is just a nice little feature for myself partially to have a record of stuff I have started, finished, read, watched, and all that business. I will also include a little bit of why I am reading it or watching that particular thing. Also it will help keep ME on track because I stop reading or watching stuff way too much, so this will help me hold tight to sticking with one darn thing. Anyone reading this also can hold me accountable on what I have been reading and if never moves to "Last Finished" or "Recently Finished" you can be like GURL!!! FINISH IT. 

Last Finished: On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony

I literally finished this book today. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, since it was a book that was placed before me by my partner. Often I do not find myself enjoying books that are in the fantasy or sci-fi genre, which this book is in both, but this had me hooked. Characterization is on point, settings are done well, and almost every single aspect of it was done well. There are moments that I am taken out of the story simply because it incorporates the future with magic, so hearing about dragons right after you heard about a car was weird. Overall though it was a good read.

Currently Reading: Bearing an Hourglass by Piers Anthony and The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

After finishing "On a Pale Horse" and enjoying it so much I am immediately going into the next book, which for anyone that knows me knows this is a feat because I do not go immediately into series like this. I am a one and then take some time and then go to the next after reading other books for awhile. Largely because I easily get oversaturated. I am, however, looking forward to reading this next book in the "Incarnations of Immortality" series by Piers Anthony. This book focuses on Chronos (Time), which will be interesting since I always feel like I have so little of it. I am keeping "The Witching Hour" on here though I have not made any progress past the first fifty pages so far because I have become so focused on the Piers Anthony books. I am promising myself that I will return to this one though after I finish the third book in the Anthony series.

Currently Watching: "Steven Universe" on Hulu

I pretty much keep up-to-date on this show through Hulu, which means I am always a season or so behind everyone else. I do not mind this though because I still enjoy watching it regardless. My partner and I have about 8 episodes left in season 3. My favorite characters are Peridot and Lapis, which I think are two of the more popular characters on the show anyways. I will review the season after I am finished. I may go back and review the first two seasons at some point as well. 

Recently Finished: "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" Season 3 and "Dear White People" season 1

I finished "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" around Friday of this last week. It is one of those shows that I tend to binge-watch when it comes out, which is weird since I hate to binge-watch anything. Seems like I have the same issue I have with books about marathoning a series with television shows as well. I tend to not to want to get through them that quickly, sometimes taking a lot longer than probably they even aired, but everytime Kimmy premieres it never takes me long to get through all the episodes. This is largely because the show has a certain charm and positivity to it even through all the crap that is being portrayed. It makes me laugh and feel good, which is what I need in my life. I am thankful that I have already seen that it was renewed for a fourth season, especially since the third season felt a little anti-climatic at the end. I do not feel though that this is a show about exciting cliffhanger finales, but instead is focused on just being a damn good show! 

Last week at some point I also finished "Dear White People" which was a bit of a more socially conscious show with a message to tell the audience. It wants us to understand different aspects of life that POC have to deal with on a regular basis. It is handled in a funny manner at times and in a very real in your face matter at others. It balances between these two elements perfectly. I wish there was something I could say to get more people to watch this show, but I know that it has been heavily criticized for being racist itself. It is NOT. It is an important show about an important part of society. This group is facing real issues, racial issues, in our society and this focuses so masterfully on them and shows us the humanity under the people that are often pushed to the side in society. If I could force people to watch any show it would be this one. It is needed and the conversation it stirs is so vital. I cannot express that enough.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Currently Reading/Watching Feature and Update or doing my own darn thing now

Every Wednesday I am going to update where I am at with reading or watching things. This is just a nice little feature for myself partially to have a record of stuff I have started, finished, read, watched, and all that business. I will also include a little bit of why I am reading it or watching that particular thing. Also it will help keep ME on track because I stop reading or watching stuff way too much, so this will help me hold tight to sticking with one darn thing. Anyone reading this also can hold me accountable on what I have been reading and if never moves to "Last Finished" or "Recently Finished" you can be like GURL!!! FINISH IT. 

Currently Reading: On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony and The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

The Piers Anthony book is because I sorta forced my partner to read "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, so I was told that I had to read this. I started "The Witching Hour" because I have never read an Anne Rice book ever, in my entire 36 years of existence on this planet. This book is massive, so I bet it will be on my currently reading list for a bit. I am going to try though to finish this massive tome and when I do I am going to feel like I have accomplished my entire reading life, yes I may retire (kidding obvs). So far neither of these two books are bothering me on any substantial level, so nothing bad to report yet, but I am only roughly 50 pages into both of them thus there is a lot of room for potential crappage or goodness. 

Last Finished: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I won't go into too much details about this one because I intend to review it eventually on here after I start the Hulu series. 

Currently Watching: "Dear White People" on Netflix

I had heard of the controversy surrounding the trailer for this particular Netflix series, so I wanted to watch the first episode. That is all I intended to watch at the time, but I am now about halfway through the ten episode first season and finding myself intrigued by the overall message it is stating. I will go more into that once I finish it though.

Recently Finished: Almost done with KIMMY SCHMIDT????

I do not think I have actually finished a series in awhile. That is one of the reasons I want to start actually paying attention to my viewing habits ya'll because seriously I get about 3/4 done with a series and I go OH SOMETHING ELSE and never finish the darn thing I was already watching. The closest I always get is when the next season of Kimmy Schmidt comes out. I always marathon that and finish it way too quickly. There is just something about that bubbly effervescent personality that gets me to tune in every single time it drops.

Monday, June 12, 2017

One Year Ago Today...

While the library is returning, which is a happy moment, we are taking a moment to reflect and have a moment of silence for the tragedy that occurred last year. We will never forget the atrocity that was this act and we will never forget those killed that were simply trying to enjoy a night out with friends and family. You live forever in our hearts and we are still sad you are all gone.

List of the dead

The names and ages of the victims killed were confirmed by the City of Orlando after their next of kin had been notified.
  • Stanley Almodovar III, age 23
  • Amanda Alvear, 25
  • Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
  • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33
  • Antonio D. Brown, 30
  • Darryl R. Burt II, 29
  • Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24
  • Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
  • Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
  • Luis D. Conde, 39
  • Cory J. Connell, 21
  • Tevin E. Crosby, 25
  • Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50
  • Deonka D. Drayton, 32
  • Mercedez M. Flores, 26
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
  • Juan R. Guerrero, 22
  • Paul T. Henry, 41
  • Frank Hernandez, 27
  • Miguel A. Honorato, 30
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
  • Jason B. Josaphat, 19
  • Eddie J. Justice, 30
  • Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25
  • Christopher A. Leinonen, 32
  • Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49
  • Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35
  • Akyra Monet Murray, 18
  • Kimberly Morris, 37
  • Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27
  • Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20
  • Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25
  • Eric I. Ortiz-Rivera, 36
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
  • Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25
  • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
  • Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
  • Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24
  • Xavier E. Serrano Rosado, 35
  • Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25
  • Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
  • Shane E. Tomlinson, 33
  • Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22
  • Luis D. Wilson-Leon, 37
  • Jerald A. Wright, 31
-taken from

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Tease...

In The Librarian’s Book of Lists (Chicago: ALA, 2010), George Eberhart offers this definition: 

"A library is a collection of resources in a variety of formats that is (1) organized by information professionals or other experts who (2) provide convenient physical, digital, bibliographic, or intellectual access and (3) offer targeted services and programs (4) with the mission of educating, informing, or entertaining a variety of audiences (5) and the goal of stimulating individual learning and advancing society as a whole." (p.1)

This definition is in turn compiled from:

(1) Heartsill Young, ed., The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science (ALA, 1983)
(2) Robert S. Martin, "Libraries and Learners in the Twenty-First Century," Cora Paul Bomar Lecture, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, April 5, 2003.
(3) Deanna B. Marcum, "Research Questions for the Digital Era Library," Library Trends 51 (Spring 2003): 636-651.