“Not Cool”—A Review

9780804138550Behind every awful, dangerous decision lurks one evil beast: THE COOL.

Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War On You, by Greg Gutfeld, discusses issues of everyday life and the choices most people make, in order to fit in with society.  …From what we wear and what we eat to what we smoke and who we poke, pop culture is crafted and manipulated by the cool and, to Greg Gutfeld, that’s Not Cool.

In this book, you’ll read about how the cool want to enslave all.  The cool try to convince you that:

1. If you don’t agree with them, no one will like you.

2. If you don’t follow them, you will miss out on life.

3. If you don’t listen to them, you will die a lonely loser.

Gutfeld, however, shows the reader that it’s cool to just be ourselves, to not change who we are just to be accepted by those who’d never give us the time of day.  He shows the reader the ideal of cool—building businesses, protecting freedom at home and abroad, taking responsibility for your actions, and letting others live their own lives as they please.  One of the lines I’ve kept in mind is: “It is a mistake to worry about how others view you.  ‘Other people’ are like images created in your mind.  It’s only your desire to appease or please or impress them that makes them meaningful.”

I’m happy to have had the opportunity to read this book.  There really is no harm in being ourselves and going after what we want—and being passionate about it, of course.  After my reading this book, I’ve realized that I’m not part of the cool and I’m definitely okay with it.  Read on to find out what I mean.

About the author: Greg Gutfeld is the cohost of The Five and Red Eye on the Fox News Channel.  He also is the author of The Bible of Unspeakable Truths and The Joy of Hate.

FTC Disclosure: I received the book from Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.


Commencement Speech by Jonathan Franzen

Commencement Speech by Jonathan Franzen

Good afternoon, bloggers.  I just read Jonathan Franzen’s commencement speech, from 2011, on the many alternatives to love that people constantly seek.  He makes a lot of great points on what many people are willing to do to be liked.  Feel free to check it out.

“Dear So-and-So…”

I admit that I—including many—have become addicted to social networking.  In the beginning, I wasn’t all for the idea of creating an account.  Well, it’s been about two years since I’ve had an active Facebook account and I have to say that it does have its benefits on many occasions.  Of course, it has its cons—we all know that.

As I’ve said, there are many pros to the site.  I like when people share ideas, talk about their accomplishments, post a nice picture, share an article, etc.  It’s nice to see some positive ideas out there.

The cons, on the other hand, list too many examples to name.  Perhaps I’m exaggerating.  Anyhow, the most common statuses talk about the person’s boredom.  There also is the “I’m-hungry” status, including the “I’m-so-pissed” status.  They say these things, yet they don’t say what the real problem is.  Another fact is that many feel obligated to post their locations.  Why?  Who knows, really?  So a friend checked in at a local Starbucks.  Is something happening at Starbucks?  It doesn’t say.  I guess we’ll never know.  The list goes on.  Sadly, Facebook has become a personal journal.  Then, again, it isn’t so personal.

Regardless of the negative statuses, however, people have a right to post whatever they’d like as long as they’re not violating the site’s Code of Conduct.  What can we do, right?

Now let’s move on to the main part that’s been on my mind.  It may sound silly—I don’t know—but I’ve stumbled upon quite a few statuses where Facebook users have posted their rants, which usually start with “Dear so-and-so…”, which are angry, imaginary letters to a company or a random person who may have wronged them.  I can’t help finding these to be funny, sometimes, and I’ll think, “If you’re angry with this particular company, why not write to or call the company instead of Facebook?”  And the random people who have wronged the Facebook users are never identified.

Hey, I understand.  People want to rant or vent on occasions.  It’s normal.  However, some things are better off in private messages amongst close friends.  I know the routines won’t change, but that’s just my idea.  What do you think, fellow bloggers?

41U+FNaI1FL__SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_A couple months back, while browsing around a local bookstore, I happened to stumble upon a book, entitled “Desirable Daughters,” by Bharati Mukherjee.  The storyline caught my attention, so I finally got around to reading the entire book.  It is a fictional story of the main character–and narrator–Tara Chatterjee.  Tara is in her mid-thirties, divorced from her husband from an arranged marriage, and residing in San Francisco with her only son.  Although she is adjusted to her current life in California, Tara continues to struggle with moving on from past traditions of her life in India that she’d left behind.

Tara fears that she and her son are in danger when a young man, named Christopher Dey, comes into her life, claiming to be the estranged son of one of her sisters.  Because there is no relevant evidence to prove it, Tara considers different sources, but comes up empty-handed.  Her sisters are of no help, leaving Tara in fear for her and her son’s life.  Eventually, she turns to her ex-husband for comfort, all the while trying to get answers from her sisters.

Although this book is very well-written, in my opinion, the story was a little too detailed.  Tara’s narration was decent, with a bit of humor, as well.  However, the character development could have been better.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t really grasp the ending of the story, either.

I’m not suggesting that you not read it.  In fact, I recommend that you read it because of the storyline.  As I’ve mentioned, it is well-written.  However, the story should have focused more on the plot.

I Was Hoping for More

Good afternoon, bloggers.  Some of you may have come across one of my previous posts, “My Similarity to Bella Swan.”  Yes, I was mainly pointing out how she and I are a bit alike, which I found quite humorous.  Also, I was curious about the “Twilight” saga, so I started reading it.  The first book, as I’ve mentioned, wasn’t too bad.  However, I was hoping for a little more scenes with the antagonists.  Yes, it is a love story, but I needed a little more.

“New Moon” was just okay.  Indeed, it was sad that Edward parted from Bella for her own safety, which drove her to the solace of her werewolf friend, Jacob Black.  Break-ups suck, after all.  Much like the ending of the previous book, “New Moon” had an okay ending.  The antagonists–the Volturi–were a bit convincing, but their scene wasn’t long enough.  All it pointed out was Bella’s promise of immortality within one year–which Edward was opposed to–or she’d suffer the consequences.  After all, vampires weren’t allowed to expose their identities to humans.  Humans had to join them or die, if they’d figure them out.

As for “Eclipse,” I have to admit that that one was a little better.  Edward and Bella were back together, but the rivalry between the Cullens and the werewolf treaty continued.  Eventually, the Cullens were able to come to a truce with Jacob and his treaty, since human lives were at stake due to random murders.  I started to like where it was going, especially because this book let the reader get to know the characters more and understand where they all came from before their immortalities.

Last, but not least, is “Breaking Dawn.”  There were wedding bells for Edward and Bella.  Then came the honeymoon…followed by an unexpected pregnancy.  Let’s make a long story short.  Bella finally got what she wanted, to be an immortal vampire with her husband, Edward.  A permanent truce was made between the Cullen family and Jacob’s treaty.  I must say that the ending to this book left me disappointed, though.  Assuming that Edward’s and Bella’s half-human/half-immortal child posed a threat to their kind, the Volturi plotted to attack the Cullens for their supposed crime.  I thought, “Yes, there’s finally going to be a fight.”  It was going to be the Cullens and the treaty, fighting against the most powerful vampire clan…but it didn’t happen.  Looks like Carlisle and Esme got what they’d hoped for…peace among their kind.

I suppose that that was the idea behind the story, though.  Not only is it a love story, it is about family, sacrifice, and survival.  Honestly, I felt bad for Jacob.  Although he came to a truce with the vampires and became a part of the family, he still loved Bella, regardless of her choice.  Also, throughout my reading the books, I wondered what was going to happen to Charlie, Bella’s dad.  Sure, he took part in the wedding.  He became a grandpa, as well.  Although it could put Charlie in danger, would Bella ever tell him about her new life?  Was her act selfish in any way?  To Bella, however, her decision was worth it.

This blog isn’t to bash the books.  Other readers enjoy them and the saga did become successful, so good work to Stephanie Meyer.  I just wanted a little more, that’s all.

Review of “The Greening”

“What if a book could answer all your deepest questions…if you were willing to risk everything?”

In “The Greening,” by Margaret Coles, the main character, Joanna, is a Fleet Street journalist who happens to stumble upon the journal of a mysterious woman, named Anna Leigh.  The journal entries are mainly a confessional of her own encounters with Julian of Norwich.  Julian of Norwich was a woman from the mid-fourteenth century who devoted her life to prayer for the community.  Anna’s entries mention that Julian recorded all the messages she’d received from visions of the crucifixion.

Joanna is immediately astonished by Julian’s and Anna’s quests to find the answers that will lead to peace and happiness.  As she is drawn to the journal entries, Joanna wonders if one would have to endure pain and suffering in order to achieve happiness and peace, as she, too, struggles to find her own happiness.  She believes that the only way to know would be to find Anna.  However, Anna isn’t anywhere to be found.

Meanwhile, Joanna struggles with a choice she has to make while she is caught up in getting a story that involves an exposed government scandal where someone she loves may be involved.

To be honest, I am neither spiritual, nor am I religious.  However, I did enjoy reading this book.  The story had quite a few sad moments and I had to keep reading in order to find out if the main character would be able to make peace with her own conflicts during her quest for happiness.  Indeed, I would recommend this book.

FTC Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post.  I received the book from Hay House for review purposes.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my experience.  8d0ea256d06b4618b6af09a120855f98