Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Literary Ladies Reading Challenge Check-in

Last week I mentioned that I'm taking part in a reading challenge. Today I'm revealing my list. The categories in bold are the ones I've read (only two so far) and I'll give my reviews on those in August's Show Us Your Books linkup.

  • A book by a non-US author - What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (currently reading)
  • A book recommended by a blogger (or instagrammer/you-tuber/goodreads-er) - Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell, recommended by Christina
  • A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more - Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  • A book with a kickass female character - W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton - I've owned this book since it came out but for some reason still haven't read it. But since I know going in that Kinsey Millhone is one kickass woman, I knew this would qualify.
  • A book that is (or will be) a movie or TV show) - Divergent by Veronica Roth - I started this a while back, didn't get very far, and set it aside.
  • A book with a one-word title - You by Caroline Kepnes - This has been on just about every blogger's list of must-reads so I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Favorites 7/17

Brilliant title, right? Here are some of my favorite things from the past week:

  • Saturday we went to Aaron's sister and brother-in-law's house for a fantastic party, complete with live band and fireworks.

Aaron and Cynthia dancing; Cynthia, Jim and Aaron

  • 11 hours of sleep Sunday night - and yes, that involved going to bed at 7:30!

  • Neighborhood Bastille Day party followed by karaoke send-off for a neighbor who is moving to Florida

That's What Friends Are For

  • The second season premiere of "Leah Remini: It's All Relative" (Wednesdays at 9 ET on TLC). You can have your Real Housewives, but this show cracks me up!

  • This silly girl

Once I turned on the hair dryer, she was outta there.

  • Facebook connections - Try to follow me here. Friends of ours from college who now live in Florida are currently in Iowa while their son is at the Lutheran Summer Music program. I realized that another friend of ours, who used to sing with us at church here in Columbus and now teaches in Indiana, is currently on staff at the summer program. In Iowa. I commented on FB about it to my college friends, who found my Columbus friend and introduced themselves. Then my Columbus friend (who, by the way wasn't even born when we were in college!) texted me about it. THAT is one of the reasons I actually love Facebook.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Talk

It's time for Show Us Your Books, the monthly linkup with Steph and Jana. I love this day, but unfortunately this month I'm not participating. I've only finished one book since the last post, though I'm close to finishing a second one, but I'm going to hold on to those until next month.

BUT, you'd best believe I'm checking out everyone else's book posts and you should, too. As I'm writing this, there are already 16 linkups, not including the hosts. There should be some great books to add to my list (not that I need more, but I'm always looking).

Life According to Steph

Also on the book front, in an effort to kick up my reading, I joined in on the Literary Ladies Summer Book Challenge. I'm not always great at challenges (see: every fitness challenge I've ever started) but if we're talking books, I can kick ass at that. I hope.

The challenge actually started June 21st and it goes until September 21st, but I just started last week. There are 10 categories and there are other rules, but really I'll be happy if I just get through the books I've chosen.

The categories are:

  1. A YA book 
  2. A book by a non-US author
  3. A book recommended by a blogger (or instagrammer/you-tuber/goodreads-er)
  4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more
  5. A book with a kickass female character
  6. A book that is (or will be) a movie or TV show)
  7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity, or a memoir
  8. A book with a one-word title
  9. A suspenseful book - mystery, thriller, book about revenge...
  10. A book about summer, or with Summer in the title, or in any way related to summer

Next Tuesday I'll have a "check-in" post in which I'll tell you my list and give an update as to how far I've gotten.

Until then, keep reading!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SCOTUS: We Know Drama

If you watch TNT half as much as I do, you understand the title reference. Boom.

Last Friday I was in the waiting room of a doctor's office and frantically hitting "refresh" on the SCOTUS website on my phone. Just before I was called back, I saw the ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges and felt like I let out a breath that I had been holding. I can't even imagine the feelings my gay and lesbian friends were experiencing.

I've written before about my feelings on same-sex marriage and I've given a lot of thought to whether or not I'd address it again now, but (obviously) I decided to go ahead and do it.

I'm no political scientist or constitutional expert, but here's what I believe. It sucks that this had to get to the Supreme Court. But it sucks even more when states' rights are given more weight than human rights. When any one group of law-abiding citizens, whether blacks, women, gays, Jews, Muslims, and on and on, are treated as second-class, we should all be outraged. And if the court has to step in to prevent that, well that's why we have a Supreme Court.

As for those who now fear that their religious freedoms are being trampled, I certainly hope that they're interviewing heterosexual couples and making sure that they are not engaging in any activities that also might go against one's religious convictions. Stop picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to follow.

Actually, I take that back. It's hypocritical of me. Because the parts of the Bible that I choose to follow are:

"Love your neighbor as yourself" ~ Mark 12:31


"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" ~ Luke 6:31

And believe me, I struggle with those. But the fact is that atheists get married all the time. Is anyone asking them if they believe in God before issuing a marriage license or baking a cake? Does the florist ask if either party committed adultery? Because, you know, stoning.

Part of my point in all of this is that it just makes me sad that as a country we're spending time, energy and money on fighting with each other instead of fixing things like education, Social Security, poverty, not to mention fighting groups like ISIS. The more we argue with each other, the more vulnerable we are to outside threats.

Which brings me to the issue of racism. The horrific events in Charleston two weeks ago sparked the conversation about the Confederate flag. Look, if retailers want to sell Confederate paraphernalia, have at it. But it's appalling to me that state flags and license plates still have that symbol. And I'm disgusted that Rev. Pinckney's casket had to pass by that flag at the state capitol.

Now come reports that up to seven black churches have burned since the Charleston massacre. I've heard some say that it's not really seven, and not all of them are arson. But seriously, isn't just one too many?

Just taking down the Confederate flag will not eradicate racism. But I think that flag is not just a symbol of racism; it's also a reminder of the divide and Civil War that our country went through 150 years ago. And while it's an important part of our history, I don't think that as a country we need that reminder on state symbols. Again, it's just more arguing with each other.

“Can we all get along?” ~ Rodney King