Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label culture. Show all posts

Monday, December 5, 2016

A very real book review




Good Reads
 it is …. I used to go to Amazon to look up a book that I had read, really enjoyed, and see what recommendations they suggested be explored: a new Author or a new genres.


Seriously, I would never have found my favorite author Michael Connelly if I hadn’t gone through this process.  Although I did this review for John Grisham which is self-explanatory as you read it as to the why.  


Without John Grisham I would never have picked up a David Baldacci (which I think I still have a book to the right on my sidebar as a book I recommended).


You’d almost think that I’m a legalese thriller genre fanatic.  Unless you’ve read Connelly or Lee Child for that matter.  In any of the genres you are rooting for someone, cheering someone on against very large obstacles.  They’re not always the little, downtrodden either.  


Victims of Unfairness
Maybe that is the common denominator that all the authors I enjoy share:  writing stories about overcoming failure, sadness, corruption, bad bosses, bad companies ::….. basically, so many of us deal with that every day, it is nice to read about someone else’s problems for a change?


I don’t think that is the reason.  However pact and simple an explanation it sounds.    It could be turned around as a perception that if you enjoy that sort of thing, you like to help people, you want to be optimistic?  How about trying that on for size?    


Similarly, I did go through a long phase of reading Steven Koontz paranormal physic benders.  Now I cringe when I pass one of his books or a suggestion or review that comes across my vision with his name on it.  Similarly to the memory still fresh of an 8-year-old Kelsey (now 22) cringing and gasping out loud: “no corn” after picking her up from the airport to return home from 2 weeks with Grandad and Grandma and corn on the cob every day.  


But there was a real reason I wrote the review.  I was trying to escape from all the BAD NEWS I’ve been hearing lately.  How many more people have lost their jobs at an alarming rate in the city and province where I live.  Rarely do my online and real world collide at such ferocious impact!  


If you’ve read more than one blog, and are not my mother (who may stop reading it AND talking to me after she sees her darling granddaughter’s reaction to her visit 14 years ago that I wrote and shared with the world, who could clearly pick her out from a Grandmothers lineup for 1000s of miles around!) … I have written before about causes I care about besides fashion, beauty, career, social media and writing .. on the milder side … to more serious meanderings about things that I care about.


I don’t believe that people want to read about anyone ranting about anything on social media.  If they are just waiting to pounce on a cause or a trending hashtag to join in with being HIP, that is their business.  That is the disappointing side of social media.


You cannot know, understand or have an opinion about anything based on 140 characters or less people!  OK, oops, that was a bit like a burp, sounding almost like a rant.  It is a very difficult exercise and mindset to stay the course on motivating, uplifting and inspiring stories when there are so many injections of rants.  I am trying VERY very hard NOT to be one of those people.  



Having a gratitude attitude is not as hard as it sounds.  Some days you have to dig deeper to find a seed of optimism.  However, if you hang on and scour everywhere to find something to be thankful about, you can surely find it.


So in a way to escape from what I live in every day, where I live, where the majority of my city earns an income directly or indirectly because of the oil industry, one cannot turn a blind eye or tune everything out when it crosses over into your chillax time.  





Our Canadian Prime Minister announced the approval of a couple of less controversial pipelines this past week.  It was about where I live, about people I care about:  my neighbors and community.  


The largest, resounding quote or sound bite came from a politician in Vancouver (who I cannot remember the name and don’t want to sidetrack writing to go sleuthing to fact check, so I will omit intentionally).  What was said was to the effect that after a lot of careful assessment, scientific input, community say, the pipelines have been carefully evaluated based on the risk, that the environment is very important, but so is putting people to work so that they can put food on their tables, not lose their homes, be able to afford to send their kids to school.  That had an amazing profound impact.  It was so true!


Taking care of our citizens is now.  Taking care of our world is now.  However, with all the protests, fear mongering, and I’m going to say “politic’ing” by Obama, there bodes a question:  what is more important?  Taking care of the future of our world and our indigenous people OR giving our communities back by helping people work who want to work to put food on their table, pay for the roof over their family’s heads?  People working for a living can afford to buy Christmas gifts to loved ones.  People who are unemployed or underemployed (working as a security guard when they are educated and experienced as an engineer) deserve to live their lives today.  


So this is more of a squeak.  A sounding board on what others may not be thinking or saying:  what about those people who live in fear of terrorism or losing their jobs, their homes?  Without people working, they cannot buy an appliance from the guy in Canada (I will pull and comment about that at another time) who sponsors and brings 50 Syrian families (not singular, as in persons, but families as in multiples) into Canada through his own philanthropist efforts, out of pocket expense.  It was a moving and inspirational story on CBC this past week.


The guy figured out that he was lucky and helping others was a way of saying thanks and giving back.  


Why don’t the rest of us just calm down, relax and sit back and think about it.  I was talking to a client this week who brought up the destruction on the BC coast from the oil spill from the EXXon disaster.  What people are NOT protesting is the fact that it was human error, not the boat, not the ship, and not a pipeline that caused the devastation.


Did you read about the rail car that went off the rails in Quebec carrying oil that exploded, devastated a community and killed too many.  One was too many.  





It makes me think more and more because I do read.  I do try to look from all the points of view.  I think of questions and I look for answers … until I reach a stalemate where you are damned if you take the stance against the loudest voices.   Those voices only job may be that, lending voice to protest.  They were pretty quiet on behalf of Quebec.  


Then again.  I haven’t heard the real reason for why the rail tanker exploded causing so much devastation.  Something tells me that it will be something similar to the person being hungover or drunk.  A grave human error.  That allows the company to have a person to point the finger at.  That allows protesters to protest about.


I’m not going to say it or will I?  How many of the people feel who lose their jobs out of fear mongering and from people joining a cause that is not done in deep rooted knowledge or belief but because they like to fight for a cause.  

Yes, the protesters may sleep peacefully tonight at long last.  They won.  That is like it always is.  A contest between winning and losing.  





Unfortunately, the victims in this win are the ones who have been losing all along:  losing their jobs, losing money to buy food, losing the ability to keep their homes, losing income to celebrate the Holidays, unable to afford to contribute this year for great causes like homelessness, joblessness.  Finding themselves among those they helped such a short time ago.


Here is my real book review today on Good Reads: 







I read this book when it first came out, as a devotee of John Grisham’s.  His writing resonated with me  by his realistic approach to story telling:  “believeability” in the way that the characters transcend from a character to a person, for that to happen is only possible when the reader is vested in the outcome.  


I apologize for not writing a review for John Grisham until now.  He certainly has earned it and deserves it even more.


Why?  If you have read thus far and care to ask?  I am a fan of John’s stories because more often than not, I can relate to them.  They make me wonder who I know that this could happen to?  Would I feel the same if I read it in the news or a friend or associate told this to me as a story, as in realistic, true story.


But I am writing this today is because, true to tradition, I have John Grisham’s latest novel:  “The Whistler” on my bedside table, anxiously waiting for me, who is binge reading my latest book that I had started to read before buying the Hard Cover over a week ago.  


Even more compelling is the reason for this review.  Weeding among the noise on Twitter, sorting through the loyal followers from the mutual admiration society, I noticed the Trending Tweet about the kibosh of the Dakota Pipeline Access from protests.  That is why I read:  to escape those crazy tweets that may be shared because it seems like the hip thing to do;  to try to censor and stifle my own reaction and thoughts.


My fingers were twitching …. so I reached deep inside to find something positive to say; which sometimes is difficult to do.  I wanted to rant back and call some “ninkomphoffs” (whatever the right spelling is) as in a tactful way of trying to say, if you have an opinion, at least be informed.


To the haven of John Grisham and Good Reads to see if I’m missing any glorious reads, like “Girl in the Train” not being discovered with out the nice coaxing by Good Reads.  Happy to note that I was on the “train” before the curve catapulted from must read into a must see movie.  That’s what sets me apart, perhaps.  I like to find a really undetected, undiscovered gem of an author or book and read it.  Where I am at fault, is not sharing an opinion about it.  I will try to change that.  In fact about 4 months ago I did create a blog, never actually writing yet, even so far as a Twitter handle because I don’t want to have a blog name that is not affiliated with a Twitter handle:  big author social media tip::  when you create a title for a book, ensure that you can secure a Twitter HANDLE and create a name first.  Then it will be so much easier to create an online presence.  


So, to cut to the chase, before I dash out to finish this blog on http://ift.tt/2foMtQv as it may be helpful to write to help authors on their social media marketing efforts, then repost it on my The Publisher blog ….. before kickstarting my reading review Blog :: @readingaficionado 


Reading this book called Gray Mountain opened my eyes to the plight of a community impacted by chopping off the tops of mountains to access highly profitable fossil fuels that pad the wallets of greedy corporations (that are run by executives, not real people).  Without reading this book, I would not have the depth to grasp the other side of the story:  when greed surpasses humanity.


That, in a nutshell, is what this book does.  It makes you realize that harm is caused to innocent children who are born in unfortunate surroundings.  No different if you are in the middle of wartorn Syria, or in the vicinity of progress like we saw in Rio to allow Brazil to host the past Summer Olympics, or to those in direct community of where a pipeline chugs along or where one is trying to be made.  


It sure sounds like a fantastic plot that neither Grisham or Baldacci can conjure without a piece of real life, real situations and characters imagined.




via Blogger http://ift.tt/2fYnTc1


A very real book review




Good Reads
 it is …. I used to go to Amazon to look up a book that I had read, really enjoyed, and see what recommendations they suggested be explored: a new Author or a new genres.


Seriously, I would never have found my favorite author Michael Connelly if I hadn’t gone through this process.  Although I did this review for John Grisham which is self-explanatory as you read it as to the why.  


Without John Grisham I would never have picked up a David Baldacci (which I think I still have a book to the right on my sidebar as a book I recommended).


You’d almost think that I’m a legalese thriller genre fanatic.  Unless you’ve read Connelly or Lee Child for that matter.  In any of the genres you are rooting for someone, cheering someone on against very large obstacles.  They’re not always the little, downtrodden either.  


Victims of Unfairness
Maybe that is the common denominator that all the authors I enjoy share:  writing stories about overcoming failure, sadness, corruption, bad bosses, bad companies ::….. basically, so many of us deal with that every day, it is nice to read about someone else’s problems for a change?


I don’t think that is the reason.  However pact and simple an explanation it sounds.    It could be turned around as a perception that if you enjoy that sort of thing, you like to help people, you want to be optimistic?  How about trying that on for size?    


Similarly, I did go through a long phase of reading Steven Koontz paranormal physic benders.  Now I cringe when I pass one of his books or a suggestion or review that comes across my vision with his name on it.  Similarly to the memory still fresh of an 8-year-old Kelsey (now 22) cringing and gasping out loud: “no corn” after picking her up from the airport to return home from 2 weeks with Grandad and Grandma and corn on the cob every day.  


But there was a real reason I wrote the review.  I was trying to escape from all the BAD NEWS I’ve been hearing lately.  How many more people have lost their jobs at an alarming rate in the city and province where I live.  Rarely do my online and real world collide at such ferocious impact!  


If you’ve read more than one blog, and are not my mother (who may stop reading it AND talking to me after she sees her darling granddaughter’s reaction to her visit 14 years ago that I wrote and shared with the world, who could clearly pick her out from a Grandmothers lineup for 1000s of miles around!) … I have written before about causes I care about besides fashion, beauty, career, social media and writing .. on the milder side … to more serious meanderings about things that I care about.


I don’t believe that people want to read about anyone ranting about anything on social media.  If they are just waiting to pounce on a cause or a trending hashtag to join in with being HIP, that is their business.  That is the disappointing side of social media.


You cannot know, understand or have an opinion about anything based on 140 characters or less people!  OK, oops, that was a bit like a burp, sounding almost like a rant.  It is a very difficult exercise and mindset to stay the course on motivating, uplifting and inspiring stories when there are so many injections of rants.  I am trying VERY very hard NOT to be one of those people.  



Having a gratitude attitude is not as hard as it sounds.  Some days you have to dig deeper to find a seed of optimism.  However, if you hang on and scour everywhere to find something to be thankful about, you can surely find it.


So in a way to escape from what I live in every day, where I live, where the majority of my city earns an income directly or indirectly because of the oil industry, one cannot turn a blind eye or tune everything out when it crosses over into your chillax time.  





Our Canadian Prime Minister announced the approval of a couple of less controversial pipelines this past week.  It was about where I live, about people I care about:  my neighbors and community.  


The largest, resounding quote or sound bite came from a politician in Vancouver (who I cannot remember the name and don’t want to sidetrack writing to go sleuthing to fact check, so I will omit intentionally).  What was said was to the effect that after a lot of careful assessment, scientific input, community say, the pipelines have been carefully evaluated based on the risk, that the environment is very important, but so is putting people to work so that they can put food on their tables, not lose their homes, be able to afford to send their kids to school.  That had an amazing profound impact.  It was so true!


Taking care of our citizens is now.  Taking care of our world is now.  However, with all the protests, fear mongering, and I’m going to say “politic’ing” by Obama, there bodes a question:  what is more important?  Taking care of the future of our world and our indigenous people OR giving our communities back by helping people work who want to work to put food on their table, pay for the roof over their family’s heads?  People working for a living can afford to buy Christmas gifts to loved ones.  People who are unemployed or underemployed (working as a security guard when they are educated and experienced as an engineer) deserve to live their lives today.  


So this is more of a squeak.  A sounding board on what others may not be thinking or saying:  what about those people who live in fear of terrorism or losing their jobs, their homes?  Without people working, they cannot buy an appliance from the guy in Canada (I will pull and comment about that at another time) who sponsors and brings 50 Syrian families (not singular, as in persons, but families as in multiples) into Canada through his own philanthropist efforts, out of pocket expense.  It was a moving and inspirational story on CBC this past week.


The guy figured out that he was lucky and helping others was a way of saying thanks and giving back.  


Why don’t the rest of us just calm down, relax and sit back and think about it.  I was talking to a client this week who brought up the destruction on the BC coast from the oil spill from the EXXon disaster.  What people are NOT protesting is the fact that it was human error, not the boat, not the ship, and not a pipeline that caused the devastation.


Did you read about the rail car that went off the rails in Quebec carrying oil that exploded, devastated a community and killed too many.  One was too many.  





It makes me think more and more because I do read.  I do try to look from all the points of view.  I think of questions and I look for answers … until I reach a stalemate where you are damned if you take the stance against the loudest voices.   Those voices only job may be that, lending voice to protest.  They were pretty quiet on behalf of Quebec.  


Then again.  I haven’t heard the real reason for why the rail tanker exploded causing so much devastation.  Something tells me that it will be something similar to the person being hungover or drunk.  A grave human error.  That allows the company to have a person to point the finger at.  That allows protesters to protest about.


I’m not going to say it or will I?  How many of the people feel who lose their jobs out of fear mongering and from people joining a cause that is not done in deep rooted knowledge or belief but because they like to fight for a cause.  

Yes, the protesters may sleep peacefully tonight at long last.  They won.  That is like it always is.  A contest between winning and losing.  





Unfortunately, the victims in this win are the ones who have been losing all along:  losing their jobs, losing money to buy food, losing the ability to keep their homes, losing income to celebrate the Holidays, unable to afford to contribute this year for great causes like homelessness, joblessness.  Finding themselves among those they helped such a short time ago.


Here is my real book review today on Good Reads: 







I read this book when it first came out, as a devotee of John Grisham’s.  His writing resonated with me  by his realistic approach to story telling:  “believeability” in the way that the characters transcend from a character to a person, for that to happen is only possible when the reader is vested in the outcome.  


I apologize for not writing a review for John Grisham until now.  He certainly has earned it and deserves it even more.


Why?  If you have read thus far and care to ask?  I am a fan of John’s stories because more often than not, I can relate to them.  They make me wonder who I know that this could happen to?  Would I feel the same if I read it in the news or a friend or associate told this to me as a story, as in realistic, true story.


But I am writing this today is because, true to tradition, I have John Grisham’s latest novel:  “The Whistler” on my bedside table, anxiously waiting for me, who is binge reading my latest book that I had started to read before buying the Hard Cover over a week ago.  


Even more compelling is the reason for this review.  Weeding among the noise on Twitter, sorting through the loyal followers from the mutual admiration society, I noticed the Trending Tweet about the kibosh of the Dakota Pipeline Access from protests.  That is why I read:  to escape those crazy tweets that may be shared because it seems like the hip thing to do;  to try to censor and stifle my own reaction and thoughts.


My fingers were twitching …. so I reached deep inside to find something positive to say; which sometimes is difficult to do.  I wanted to rant back and call some “ninkomphoffs” (whatever the right spelling is) as in a tactful way of trying to say, if you have an opinion, at least be informed.


To the haven of John Grisham and Good Reads to see if I’m missing any glorious reads, like “Girl in the Train” not being discovered with out the nice coaxing by Good Reads.  Happy to note that I was on the “train” before the curve catapulted from must read into a must see movie.  That’s what sets me apart, perhaps.  I like to find a really undetected, undiscovered gem of an author or book and read it.  Where I am at fault, is not sharing an opinion about it.  I will try to change that.  In fact about 4 months ago I did create a blog, never actually writing yet, even so far as a Twitter handle because I don’t want to have a blog name that is not affiliated with a Twitter handle:  big author social media tip::  when you create a title for a book, ensure that you can secure a Twitter HANDLE and create a name first.  Then it will be so much easier to create an online presence.  


So, to cut to the chase, before I dash out to finish this blog on http://ift.tt/2foMtQv as it may be helpful to write to help authors on their social media marketing efforts, then repost it on my The Publisher blog ….. before kickstarting my reading review Blog :: @readingaficionado 


Reading this book called Gray Mountain opened my eyes to the plight of a community impacted by chopping off the tops of mountains to access highly profitable fossil fuels that pad the wallets of greedy corporations (that are run by executives, not real people).  Without reading this book, I would not have the depth to grasp the other side of the story:  when greed surpasses humanity.


That, in a nutshell, is what this book does.  It makes you realize that harm is caused to innocent children who are born in unfortunate surroundings.  No different if you are in the middle of wartorn Syria, or in the vicinity of progress like we saw in Rio to allow Brazil to host the past Summer Olympics, or to those in direct community of where a pipeline chugs along or where one is trying to be made.  


It sure sounds like a fantastic plot that neither Grisham or Baldacci can conjure without a piece of real life, real situations and characters imagined.




via Blogger http://ift.tt/2fYnTc1


A very real book review




Good Reads
 it is …. I used to go to Amazon to look up a book that I had read, really enjoyed, and see what recommendations they suggested be explored: a new Author or a new genres.


Seriously, I would never have found my favorite author Michael Connelly if I hadn’t gone through this process.  Although I did this review for John Grisham which is self-explanatory as you read it as to the why.  


Without John Grisham I would never have picked up a David Baldacci (which I think I still have a book to the right on my sidebar as a book I recommended).


You’d almost think that I’m a legalese thriller genre fanatic.  Unless you’ve read Connelly or Lee Child for that matter.  In any of the genres you are rooting for someone, cheering someone on against very large obstacles.  They’re not always the little, downtrodden either.  


Victims of Unfairness
Maybe that is the common denominator that all the authors I enjoy share:  writing stories about overcoming failure, sadness, corruption, bad bosses, bad companies ::….. basically, so many of us deal with that every day, it is nice to read about someone else’s problems for a change?


I don’t think that is the reason.  However pact and simple an explanation it sounds.    It could be turned around as a perception that if you enjoy that sort of thing, you like to help people, you want to be optimistic?  How about trying that on for size?    


Similarly, I did go through a long phase of reading Steven Koontz paranormal physic benders.  Now I cringe when I pass one of his books or a suggestion or review that comes across my vision with his name on it.  Similarly to the memory still fresh of an 8-year-old Kelsey (now 22) cringing and gasping out loud: “no corn” after picking her up from the airport to return home from 2 weeks with Grandad and Grandma and corn on the cob every day.  


But there was a real reason I wrote the review.  I was trying to escape from all the BAD NEWS I’ve been hearing lately.  How many more people have lost their jobs at an alarming rate in the city and province where I live.  Rarely do my online and real world collide at such ferocious impact!  


If you’ve read more than one blog, and are not my mother (who may stop reading it AND talking to me after she sees her darling granddaughter’s reaction to her visit 14 years ago that I wrote and shared with the world, who could clearly pick her out from a Grandmothers lineup for 1000s of miles around!) … I have written before about causes I care about besides fashion, beauty, career, social media and writing .. on the milder side … to more serious meanderings about things that I care about.


I don’t believe that people want to read about anyone ranting about anything on social media.  If they are just waiting to pounce on a cause or a trending hashtag to join in with being HIP, that is their business.  That is the disappointing side of social media.


You cannot know, understand or have an opinion about anything based on 140 characters or less people!  OK, oops, that was a bit like a burp, sounding almost like a rant.  It is a very difficult exercise and mindset to stay the course on motivating, uplifting and inspiring stories when there are so many injections of rants.  I am trying VERY very hard NOT to be one of those people.  



Having a gratitude attitude is not as hard as it sounds.  Some days you have to dig deeper to find a seed of optimism.  However, if you hang on and scour everywhere to find something to be thankful about, you can surely find it.


So in a way to escape from what I live in every day, where I live, where the majority of my city earns an income directly or indirectly because of the oil industry, one cannot turn a blind eye or tune everything out when it crosses over into your chillax time.  





Our Canadian Prime Minister announced the approval of a couple of less controversial pipelines this past week.  It was about where I live, about people I care about:  my neighbors and community.  


The largest, resounding quote or sound bite came from a politician in Vancouver (who I cannot remember the name and don’t want to sidetrack writing to go sleuthing to fact check, so I will omit intentionally).  What was said was to the effect that after a lot of careful assessment, scientific input, community say, the pipelines have been carefully evaluated based on the risk, that the environment is very important, but so is putting people to work so that they can put food on their tables, not lose their homes, be able to afford to send their kids to school.  That had an amazing profound impact.  It was so true!


Taking care of our citizens is now.  Taking care of our world is now.  However, with all the protests, fear mongering, and I’m going to say “politic’ing” by Obama, there bodes a question:  what is more important?  Taking care of the future of our world and our indigenous people OR giving our communities back by helping people work who want to work to put food on their table, pay for the roof over their family’s heads?  People working for a living can afford to buy Christmas gifts to loved ones.  People who are unemployed or underemployed (working as a security guard when they are educated and experienced as an engineer) deserve to live their lives today.  


So this is more of a squeak.  A sounding board on what others may not be thinking or saying:  what about those people who live in fear of terrorism or losing their jobs, their homes?  Without people working, they cannot buy an appliance from the guy in Canada (I will pull and comment about that at another time) who sponsors and brings 50 Syrian families (not singular, as in persons, but families as in multiples) into Canada through his own philanthropist efforts, out of pocket expense.  It was a moving and inspirational story on CBC this past week.


The guy figured out that he was lucky and helping others was a way of saying thanks and giving back.  


Why don’t the rest of us just calm down, relax and sit back and think about it.  I was talking to a client this week who brought up the destruction on the BC coast from the oil spill from the EXXon disaster.  What people are NOT protesting is the fact that it was human error, not the boat, not the ship, and not a pipeline that caused the devastation.


Did you read about the rail car that went off the rails in Quebec carrying oil that exploded, devastated a community and killed too many.  One was too many.  





It makes me think more and more because I do read.  I do try to look from all the points of view.  I think of questions and I look for answers … until I reach a stalemate where you are damned if you take the stance against the loudest voices.   Those voices only job may be that, lending voice to protest.  They were pretty quiet on behalf of Quebec.  


Then again.  I haven’t heard the real reason for why the rail tanker exploded causing so much devastation.  Something tells me that it will be something similar to the person being hungover or drunk.  A grave human error.  That allows the company to have a person to point the finger at.  That allows protesters to protest about.


I’m not going to say it or will I?  How many of the people feel who lose their jobs out of fear mongering and from people joining a cause that is not done in deep rooted knowledge or belief but because they like to fight for a cause.  

Yes, the protesters may sleep peacefully tonight at long last.  They won.  That is like it always is.  A contest between winning and losing.  





Unfortunately, the victims in this win are the ones who have been losing all along:  losing their jobs, losing money to buy food, losing the ability to keep their homes, losing income to celebrate the Holidays, unable to afford to contribute this year for great causes like homelessness, joblessness.  Finding themselves among those they helped such a short time ago.


Here is my real book review today on Good Reads: 







I read this book when it first came out, as a devotee of John Grisham’s.  His writing resonated with me  by his realistic approach to story telling:  “believeability” in the way that the characters transcend from a character to a person, for that to happen is only possible when the reader is vested in the outcome.  


I apologize for not writing a review for John Grisham until now.  He certainly has earned it and deserves it even more.


Why?  If you have read thus far and care to ask?  I am a fan of John’s stories because more often than not, I can relate to them.  They make me wonder who I know that this could happen to?  Would I feel the same if I read it in the news or a friend or associate told this to me as a story, as in realistic, true story.


But I am writing this today is because, true to tradition, I have John Grisham’s latest novel:  “The Whistler” on my bedside table, anxiously waiting for me, who is binge reading my latest book that I had started to read before buying the Hard Cover over a week ago.  


Even more compelling is the reason for this review.  Weeding among the noise on Twitter, sorting through the loyal followers from the mutual admiration society, I noticed the Trending Tweet about the kibosh of the Dakota Pipeline Access from protests.  That is why I read:  to escape those crazy tweets that may be shared because it seems like the hip thing to do;  to try to censor and stifle my own reaction and thoughts.


My fingers were twitching …. so I reached deep inside to find something positive to say; which sometimes is difficult to do.  I wanted to rant back and call some “ninkomphoffs” (whatever the right spelling is) as in a tactful way of trying to say, if you have an opinion, at least be informed.


To the haven of John Grisham and Good Reads to see if I’m missing any glorious reads, like “Girl in the Train” not being discovered with out the nice coaxing by Good Reads.  Happy to note that I was on the “train” before the curve catapulted from must read into a must see movie.  That’s what sets me apart, perhaps.  I like to find a really undetected, undiscovered gem of an author or book and read it.  Where I am at fault, is not sharing an opinion about it.  I will try to change that.  In fact about 4 months ago I did create a blog, never actually writing yet, even so far as a Twitter handle because I don’t want to have a blog name that is not affiliated with a Twitter handle:  big author social media tip::  when you create a title for a book, ensure that you can secure a Twitter HANDLE and create a name first.  Then it will be so much easier to create an online presence.  


So, to cut to the chase, before I dash out to finish this blog on http://ift.tt/2foMtQv as it may be helpful to write to help authors on their social media marketing efforts, then repost it on my The Publisher blog ….. before kickstarting my reading review Blog :: @readingaficionado 


Reading this book called Gray Mountain opened my eyes to the plight of a community impacted by chopping off the tops of mountains to access highly profitable fossil fuels that pad the wallets of greedy corporations (that are run by executives, not real people).  Without reading this book, I would not have the depth to grasp the other side of the story:  when greed surpasses humanity.


That, in a nutshell, is what this book does.  It makes you realize that harm is caused to innocent children who are born in unfortunate surroundings.  No different if you are in the middle of wartorn Syria, or in the vicinity of progress like we saw in Rio to allow Brazil to host the past Summer Olympics, or to those in direct community of where a pipeline chugs along or where one is trying to be made.  


It sure sounds like a fantastic plot that neither Grisham or Baldacci can conjure without a piece of real life, real situations and characters imagined.




via Blogger http://ift.tt/2fYnTc1


Sunday, December 4, 2016

A very real book review




Good Reads
 it is .... I used to go to Amazon to look up a book that I had read, really enjoyed, and see what recommendations they suggested be explored: a new Author or a new genres.

Seriously, I would never have found my favorite author Michael Connelly if I hadn't gone through this process.  Although I did this review for John Grisham which is self-explanatory as you read it as to the why.  

Without John Grisham I would never have picked up a David Baldacci (which I think I still have a book to the right on my sidebar as a book I recommended).

You'd almost think that I'm a legalese thriller genre fanatic.  Unless you've read Connelly or Lee Child for that matter.  In any of the genres you are rooting for someone, cheering someone on against very large obstacles.  They're not always the little, downtrodden either.  

Victims of Unfairness
Maybe that is the common denominator that all the authors I enjoy share:  writing stories about overcoming failure, sadness, corruption, bad bosses, bad companies ::..... basically, so many of us deal with that every day, it is nice to read about someone else's problems for a change?

I don't think that is the reason.  However pact and simple an explanation it sounds.    It could be turned around as a perception that if you enjoy that sort of thing, you like to help people, you want to be optimistic?  How about trying that on for size?    

Similarly, I did go through a long phase of reading Steven Koontz paranormal physic benders.  Now I cringe when I pass one of his books or a suggestion or review that comes across my vision with his name on it.  Similarly to the memory still fresh of an 8-year-old Kelsey (now 22) cringing and gasping out loud: "no corn" after picking her up from the airport to return home from 2 weeks with Grandad and Grandma and corn on the cob every day.  

But there was a real reason I wrote the review.  I was trying to escape from all the BAD NEWS I've been hearing lately.  How many more people have lost their jobs at an alarming rate in the city and province where I live.  Rarely do my online and real world collide at such ferocious impact!  

If you've read more than one blog, and are not my mother (who may stop reading it AND talking to me after she sees her darling granddaughter's reaction to her visit 14 years ago that I wrote and shared with the world, who could clearly pick her out from a Grandmothers lineup for 1000s of miles around!) ... I have written before about causes I care about besides fashion, beauty, career, social media and writing .. on the milder side ... to more serious meanderings about things that I care about.

I don't believe that people want to read about anyone ranting about anything on social media.  If they are just waiting to pounce on a cause or a trending hashtag to join in with being HIP, that is their business.  That is the disappointing side of social media.

You cannot know, understand or have an opinion about anything based on 140 characters or less people!  OK, oops, that was a bit like a burp, sounding almost like a rant.  It is a very difficult exercise and mindset to stay the course on motivating, uplifting and inspiring stories when there are so many injections of rants.  I am trying VERY very hard NOT to be one of those people.  


Having a gratitude attitude is not as hard as it sounds.  Some days you have to dig deeper to find a seed of optimism.  However, if you hang on and scour everywhere to find something to be thankful about, you can surely find it.

So in a way to escape from what I live in every day, where I live, where the majority of my city earns an income directly or indirectly because of the oil industry, one cannot turn a blind eye or tune everything out when it crosses over into your chillax time.  



Our Canadian Prime Minister announced the approval of a couple of less controversial pipelines this past week.  It was about where I live, about people I care about:  my neighbors and community.  

The largest, resounding quote or sound bite came from a politician in Vancouver (who I cannot remember the name and don't want to sidetrack writing to go sleuthing to fact check, so I will omit intentionally).  What was said was to the effect that after a lot of careful assessment, scientific input, community say, the pipelines have been carefully evaluated based on the risk, that the environment is very important, but so is putting people to work so that they can put food on their tables, not lose their homes, be able to afford to send their kids to school.  That had an amazing profound impact.  It was so true!

Taking care of our citizens is now.  Taking care of our world is now.  However, with all the protests, fear mongering, and I'm going to say "politic'ing" by Obama, there bodes a question:  what is more important?  Taking care of the future of our world and our indigenous people OR giving our communities back by helping people work who want to work to put food on their table, pay for the roof over their family's heads?  People working for a living can afford to buy Christmas gifts to loved ones.  People who are unemployed or underemployed (working as a security guard when they are educated and experienced as an engineer) deserve to live their lives today.  

So this is more of a squeak.  A sounding board on what others may not be thinking or saying:  what about those people who live in fear of terrorism or losing their jobs, their homes?  Without people working, they cannot buy an appliance from the guy in Canada (I will pull and comment about that at another time) who sponsors and brings 50 Syrian families (not singular, as in persons, but families as in multiples) into Canada through his own philanthropist efforts, out of pocket expense.  It was a moving and inspirational story on CBC this past week.

The guy figured out that he was lucky and helping others was a way of saying thanks and giving back.  

Why don't the rest of us just calm down, relax and sit back and think about it.  I was talking to a client this week who brought up the destruction on the BC coast from the oil spill from the EXXon disaster.  What people are NOT protesting is the fact that it was human error, not the boat, not the ship, and not a pipeline that caused the devastation.

Did you read about the rail car that went off the rails in Quebec carrying oil that exploded, devastated a community and killed too many.  One was too many.  



It makes me think more and more because I do read.  I do try to look from all the points of view.  I think of questions and I look for answers ... until I reach a stalemate where you are damned if you take the stance against the loudest voices.   Those voices only job may be that, lending voice to protest.  They were pretty quiet on behalf of Quebec.  

Then again.  I haven't heard the real reason for why the rail tanker exploded causing so much devastation.  Something tells me that it will be something similar to the person being hungover or drunk.  A grave human error.  That allows the company to have a person to point the finger at.  That allows protesters to protest about.

I'm not going to say it or will I?  How many of the people feel who lose their jobs out of fear mongering and from people joining a cause that is not done in deep rooted knowledge or belief but because they like to fight for a cause.  

Yes, the protesters may sleep peacefully tonight at long last.  They won.  That is like it always is.  A contest between winning and losing.  



Unfortunately, the victims in this win are the ones who have been losing all along:  losing their jobs, losing money to buy food, losing the ability to keep their homes, losing income to celebrate the Holidays, unable to afford to contribute this year for great causes like homelessness, joblessness.  Finding themselves among those they helped such a short time ago.

Here is my real book review today on Good Reads: 




I read this book when it first came out, as a devotee of John Grisham's.  His writing resonated with me  by his realistic approach to story telling:  "believeability" in the way that the characters transcend from a character to a person, for that to happen is only possible when the reader is vested in the outcome.  

I apologize for not writing a review for John Grisham until now.  He certainly has earned it and deserves it even more.

Why?  If you have read thus far and care to ask?  I am a fan of John's stories because more often than not, I can relate to them.  They make me wonder who I know that this could happen to?  Would I feel the same if I read it in the news or a friend or associate told this to me as a story, as in realistic, true story.

But I am writing this today is because, true to tradition, I have John Grisham's latest novel:  "The Whistler" on my bedside table, anxiously waiting for me, who is binge reading my latest book that I had started to read before buying the Hard Cover over a week ago.  

Even more compelling is the reason for this review.  Weeding among the noise on Twitter, sorting through the loyal followers from the mutual admiration society, I noticed the Trending Tweet about the kibosh of the Dakota Pipeline Access from protests.  That is why I read:  to escape those crazy tweets that may be shared because it seems like the hip thing to do;  to try to censor and stifle my own reaction and thoughts.

My fingers were twitching .... so I reached deep inside to find something positive to say; which sometimes is difficult to do.  I wanted to rant back and call some "ninkomphoffs" (whatever the right spelling is) as in a tactful way of trying to say, if you have an opinion, at least be informed.

To the haven of John Grisham and Good Reads to see if I'm missing any glorious reads, like "Girl in the Train" not being discovered with out the nice coaxing by Good Reads.  Happy to note that I was on the "train" before the curve catapulted from must read into a must see movie.  That's what sets me apart, perhaps.  I like to find a really undetected, undiscovered gem of an author or book and read it.  Where I am at fault, is not sharing an opinion about it.  I will try to change that.  In fact about 4 months ago I did create a blog, never actually writing yet, even so far as a Twitter handle because I don't want to have a blog name that is not affiliated with a Twitter handle:  big author social media tip::  when you create a title for a book, ensure that you can secure a Twitter HANDLE and create a name first.  Then it will be so much easier to create an online presence.  

So, to cut to the chase, before I dash out to finish this blog on https://optioneerjm.blogspot.ca/ as it may be helpful to write to help authors on their social media marketing efforts, then repost it on my The Publisher blog ..... before kickstarting my reading review Blog :: @readingaficionado 

Reading this book called Gray Mountain opened my eyes to the plight of a community impacted by chopping off the tops of mountains to access highly profitable fossil fuels that pad the wallets of greedy corporations (that are run by executives, not real people).  Without reading this book, I would not have the depth to grasp the other side of the story:  when greed surpasses humanity.

That, in a nutshell, is what this book does.  It makes you realize that harm is caused to innocent children who are born in unfortunate surroundings.  No different if you are in the middle of wartorn Syria, or in the vicinity of progress like we saw in Rio to allow Brazil to host the past Summer Olympics, or to those in direct community of where a pipeline chugs along or where one is trying to be made.  

It sure sounds like a fantastic plot that neither Grisham or Baldacci can conjure without a piece of real life, real situations and characters imagined.



Monday, June 6, 2016

Parts be known: The Calgary Stampede UPDATE

UPDATE July 14 2016
Well a gal can try right?  It doesn't mean she'll be successful.  (The first or 100th time at least).

I didn't get a return call from anyone from ZeroPoint Media never mind Anthony Bordain's people.  It was a big leap of faith to even think the man himself would respond.  There are still takeaways to be learned from.



Never give up
It doesn't mean that I will give up trying new things to experience new adventures in life.  One must never stop trying new and experiment.  If you stop trying, you may as well curl up and read a good book, listen to beautiful music and move on.   Have the faith that "you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take" (Wayne Gretzky quote).



Forget disappointment
It doesn't mean that I won't still watch "Parts Unknown".  It may mean though that I won't be as much of a fan because I take to heart how others treat us.  Try not to take it personally is something I continue to work on. 


Lesson learnt
There are lessons to be learned in the chapters of our lives.  One will meet people on the way up the ladder of life and success.  One should be aware of how one treats others because that often can mean how quickly we may fall down.  Karma is an interesting perspective and humility is a brave characteristic to show whether you are sailing in good times or need others' support when you falter.  Be kind to others at all times and wear it like a beacon of light for others to be drawn to.



Remember the little people
because it is the relatively unknown persons who are your champions, cheerleaders and fans.  We may not always know who they are or acknowledge them.  Take every opportunity to treat others as you wish to be treated by remembering to:

Practice the Golden Rule
  
Anthony Bordain, Parts Unknown

Anthony Bordain
is my intellectual crush.  I've never identified anyone like that before.  Although, in actions, I probably have worshipped Steve Jobs story, rise (not his nasty personality part) :: but how he was an imagineer, and I would dub "mental energist (T) optioneerJM (c) or a closet fan of Guns N Roses' Axel Rose.  From the first time I caught glimpse of him in a 1980s grammy when the group stumbled on to the stage, pretty obviously incoherent, wasted, loaded.  On what?  I don't think I was understanding of the drug scene back then.  Nose started in the books, in the 80s, that is for sure.




Parts Unknown
what I was starting to say is that I just love "Parts Unknown".  And being a strong believer of the mode of you can't say you are a fan of something, without proving it, or dislike something that you are not prepared to try to fix.   I commented on Anthony Bordain's Facebook Page 



Guess what I did now? 
I have been watching Anthony Bordain on TV, long before he was on CNN.  Thru osmosis, from someone who is not a very big TV-water, "Parts Unknown" caught my attention.  Slowly I'll admit.  But you have to remember, I'm not a big show-watcher, except the nightly news (drilled into me by my parents), where no matter what you've been doing, where you've been.  You will either eat or cook dinner or relax post meal with the news.


Suggested accommodations:  The Azuridge Estate Hotel near Priddis


Comment on FACEBOOK:

You show a the world thru unique eyes. It could 

be war torn Lebanon, crumbling buildings, smoke in the far ground of 

billiowing bombs. Caught in a time warp mentality and sensitivity that 

 truly is a gift. So, is instinctively being curious by nature. One can only 

imagine  how the ideas to travel where, who to host you, how will it go? 

I could be taking a really big stretch here, probably not. Food is the one

 common denominator that we all have. You don't have to proclaim you

 are seeing global warming first hand (Leonardo DiCaprio did, causing

 himself embarrassment when filming his only Oscar performance, 

among many  great ones. I will forward a proposal to Anthony Bordain

 directly. With my Twitter handle as identification on the return address

 ~ you'll know I'm authentic.


InstaGram


anthonybourdain

Verified

anthonybourdain

 Enthusiast. Frequent flyer. Used to cook for a living.



This is the deal

I would love to host Anthony this summer for infamous Calgary Stampede.  Why infamous?  Because you may arrive innocent, but you leave infamous.  After all, there is a lot of food to be had in these here parts.  Think of "The Chuckwagon" restaurant southbound in a little hamlet south of here.  Or a Stampede Breakfast, always free, always hotcakes, sausages, orange juice before they turn into barbeques with a keg of beer, big side of beef, marinaded for forever, then slowly grilled so that the succulent juices don't escape without the feel of a fork.



Food critic
My first boss who was head of marketing for a really big, respectable museum, historically capturing the feel of the western pioneer's spirit (a must see), well he is now a pretty well known Food Critic.  The first time I heard him was a long while after I had worked under his arm, experimental entrepreneurialism at its core.  Never realizing that fast forward 20 years, solopreneurialship will be more of the norm than the expected.  




Well, I'd host a selected site by John, along with Anthony and we'll have a gay old time.  I hardly know how long it takes to run an episode of one of these so I'm going to have to predict.    I will have to set out an agenda, see if it meets the approval of Zero Point Zero, the parent creator of Anthony Bordain's "Parts Unknown".  Did they scoop him up from somewhere else or create his brand as he is known?

Zero Point Zero
Since they're the money men that is where I will start.  Befitting name on where I will begin.  Before lift off.

Lift off
Would be agreement by both Zero Point Zero and Anthony to fly to Canada, Calgary that is, to film a tribute to the west.  Nowhere more fitting than the biggest outdoor show on earth other worlds known as the biggest purse in rodeo.  




The lull 
I would imagine Anthony will fly through the night on Thursday, July 17th.  That will give him a chance to check into this amazing boutique B&B nestled in the rockies.  About 20 minutes to the border of Calgary, and about another 30 minutes to the Stampede Grounds ... for the week.   A lull before the storm.


After a long day
It will be dependent on how tired Anthony is.  One can only imagine the stamina it takes to travel AND appear upbeat all at the same time.  Often with a grizzled beard that bespeaks that parts is often what we leave unknown.  It take a lot to plan, travel and do a show I would imagine.




 We can have a glass of wine or a cognac nightcap after he checks in and is settled.  The host and hostess keenly sitting nearby with the munchies.  This will be a lovely respite and clear the palate for the onslaught of beer and calories to follow.  

We will review the bustling 4 days I've planned for him, make any changes, last minute thoughts.  It should be nice.  Relaxing.  Maybe he won't mind if my husband Rob comes for that.  They'd really get along.  Two guys shooting the gab on anything that appeals to them.




Day 1
We'll go to one of the restaurants I have in mind that sound like "Chuckwagon" first.  It will be a chance to get him to see the landscape.  The very one that caught the attention of the movie makers of The Reverent, in particular one Leo Dicaprio, maybe just decide to come up to join us :: where we will talk about:

* history of the area, in their own words: perception
* some facts about the city and citizens 
* review of what is actually climate change and Chinooks.  




Chinook winds are a unique phenomena to  Calgary and surrounding areas at the Foothills of the Rockie Mountains.







The first day could go on a bender when Leo shows up.  The township amazed, the media unaware, that there was something very cool happening :: Leo and Anthony meet and chat about the area, his experience filming locally, the people, his own discoveries.  I'd be the hostess, of course (comes with being a citizen and a social media enthusiast who came up with the idea first).  Tweeting and posting as it happens.  Not just promoting "Parts Unknown" but the western spirit captured by the annual "Calgary Stampede".





EXCEPT FROM CBC:  (click on link to read more) 
"I've never experienced something so first-hand that was so dramatic. You see the fragility of nature and how easily things can be completely transformed with just a few degrees difference. It's terrifying, and it's what people are talking about all over the world. And it's simply just going to get worse," said DiCaprio.


"We were in Calgary and the locals were saying, 'This has never happened in our province ever.' We would come and there would be eight feet of snow, and then all of a sudden a warm gust of wind would come."

Day 2
Up at the crack of dawn, we meet down south of Calgary at a traditional Stampede Breakfast.  Always free.  Usually hosted by the executives of very big oil companies.  Who will sit down with Anthony and myself to talk about the region, oil prices, recovery.  



Alberta's Premiere, Rachel Notley, serves up pancakes to a youngster.

I'm thinking the CEO of TransCanada Pipelines would be ideal.  After all, it is the one Canadian news item that registers across the border and with politicians and leaders like Obama, Clinton, and even The Donald stated they'd want a piece of the pie if the pipeline was finally approved.  Let Anthony ask his questions, while munching on the traditional breakfast piled high with pancakes, bacon and sausages.




Narrative
Anthony could include a side story with a narrative about what has happened to Fort McMurray and indirectly, the rest of the province of Alberta :: wildfires that evacuated 10s of thousands of two weeks from their homes.  The amazing spirit and resilience the province's people demonstrated.  Even newcomers to Canada from far and wide, talk about the hospitality they experienced first hand when they arrived here.  How it was a chance to repay in with kindness.   That story could take a good take a chunk about the Alberta people, their spirit, and how they bounce back as survivors.  


Kate and William take in the Western Hospitality at this annual event.

We'll take clips while shopping
because Anthony has to fade into anonymity by donning on some western style.  Where he witnessed executives looking just as comfortable in their jeans as they are in their suits for shareholders or investors. To the traditional Smith-Built hats where only the true believers in the western spirit shop there.  Then The Alberta Boot Company, a must for visiting dignitaries fit for future Kings (Prince William) and his Queen (what's her name? insert).  After measurements, Anthony will be bequeathed with the White Hatter, you got it from Smith-Built, ceremony which inducts Anthony as an honoree Calgarian. 


Excerpt from Visit Calgary:



The White Hat Ceremony is a long-standing tradition in Calgary, a symbol of the Western hospitality and good cheer we like to share with visiting guests. The white Smithbilt hat has been bestowed on numerous celebrities and dignitaries on their visits to our city since the 1950s, when Calgary's Mayor, Don MacKay, started the tradition.





MacKay was inspired by the white hat after traveling to Toronto with 250 excited Calgary fans to see the Stampeders compete in the 1948 Grey Cup (the Canadian Football League championship game). The exuberant group sported white cowboy hats, which soon became a hit with easterners, and presented a hat to Toronto's mayor as a way of saying 'thanks' for the city's hospitality. Years later, when he was mayor of Calgary, MacKay began distributing them to visiting dignitaries.

Smith Built Hats

A tradition, a mainstay since 1919.  Crafted western hats for visitors, dignitaries, citizens, tourists alike.



CNN Ratings
bringing human-interest ratings is something that I interpret is at the core of CNN.  Yes, they bring us knews, up to the minute, sometimes bungled among rumours, striving to be considered true journalism for today, as the traditional dynosaurs fade into the sunset.


This scenery is only an hour from Calgary

The evening dinner
After hotdogs, hotcakes, and hot women (I'm sure Anthony would notice), John will join us after our mid-late afternoon naps.  To escort us to his favorite restaurants.  The one he saves for the ones he wants to impress the most.  If it is in Banff, so be it, Anthony will get to see the beauty on our doorstep, mere 1.5 hours from Calgary.






The history, the art, the crafts, the treats (like fudge), Bernard Callebau chocolate, those things that delight tourists,  are famous from the region. 





Day 3
The midway experience.  The shows, the free stuff from the Coca Cola stage.  I'll ask our Calgary musical spiritual voice, Paul Brandt to take us to the midway,  the best food to snarf down, backed by the mini donuts.  Have a listen to the following clip from Paul Brandt's "Alberta Bound" to get into the mood:





Paul Brandt
We'll chat about some of the great talent in music that is coming out of Canada, and in particular, Country and Western music.  Where Keith Urban came to the dance hall where visitors two-stepped or local taught them how to dance it.  





We'll eat grub till we're so stuffed, only the Chuckwagon and the Grand Stand show could erase the unease  .... of gas.  Thankfully, the thunder of the cowboys, horses and chuckwagons drown out any escaped puff of air, or otherwise.












Day 4
We'll head back down to the Stampede grounds by 11 to take in the real rodeo action.  To watch broncing, bull busting, wheel barrel racing fun. After that, we'll head down to the Ranchman's, the unofficial biggest country and western dance hall in the world.  Still going strong, after decades.  We can chow down to some cow grits and chat with the owner's daughter, whom I know, met along my journey in sales.  This can easily turn into an all-nighter (1am at least) where Anthony learns how to two-step (hmm, we'll have to find out if that could be the Stampede Queen?)










Day 5
Depending on how Day 4 sounds or has gone, we can make this a 5-day excursion, rich with lots of spirit and traditions, long faded from many memories.  A day we spend with the spirits, hosted by the elders of any one of the indigenous nation who live close by.  Then the casinos, the typical tourist attraction.




We could eat at Chief Chunkee's.  Maybe if we juggle the schedules around, line the people up, we'll have an extra day and then stay overnight in Banff.  Maybe Anthony will invite my husband along?   Eating at this restaurant, they can talk about how well they are treated by their neighbours.  Where we have lived in harmony for years, helping each other.  Or share their plight, disappointments and human strife.



That's a wrap
A gal from Calgary can always dream, right?  Or nothing ventured, nothing gained.  

I'll keep you posted if anything does happen. You can count on that.