Reading Roundup: Yikes

It’s that time again.  That’s right, Reading Roundup!  Wha, wha!  So, in accordance with the current state of affairs in this world this post is dedicated to being negative.  These are the books I’ve wasted time on recently.  Will I be recommending them to anyone?  Spoiler: no.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Thank God I got this from the library because I’d be demanding my money back.  I thought this might be an enjoyable read for a long weekend what with its magic and lost manuscripts and forbidden love.  It might have been if I was really into descriptions of dusty manuscripts and libraries and wine and yoga and wine and tea and more wine.  If he’s a vampire and all he really likes is blood, why does he have so much wine?  And why does this author think we want to read about characters doing nothing but drinking wine and going to yoga and riding horses and hanging out in the library and drinking WINE?  Our main character is pretty chill for somebody who’s in immediate danger.  Is she in danger?  Yeah, I couldn’t really tell so I gave up.  Don’t waste your time and please don’t waste your money.

The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe

The title is ironic because depression isn’t hilarious.  Or is it?  Let me tell you what isn’t hilarious: this book.  If you’re looking for funny memoirs by people who suffer from mental illness, allow me to direct you to Carrie Fisher or Jenny Lawson.  While this book does have some good info about depression and it may help those “normies” out there understand our old friend “Clinny D” a little better, it just wasn’t that interesting.  He really lost me in the middle when he spent a lot of time on how his brother’s suicide affected him.  I’m sympathetic, but I just didn’t get how that really had to do with his depression.  All of his reactions sounded just like any person dealing with something that horrific.  I’ve seen BuzzFeed articles with tweets and Insta’s about depression that are way funnier than this book.  And if you’ve been there, you know you need a sense of humor to get through it.  A dark sense of humor, but a sense of humor, nonetheless.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

I usually love Lisa Jewell’s books and I bought this one thinking I’d like it too.  But it just didn’t cut it.  It was a strange book.  There was a family, but they didn’t live upstairs.  They lived locked in a house and they were a cult or trying to be a cult.  And a baby disappeared back then and now she’s an adult playing the violin on the street in France… or something?  Yeah, this book was just a mess.  It was really hard to follow and not very interesting.  I’m surprised I made it all the way through actually.  For a good time, see other Lisa Jewell books.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I’m puzzled as to why this is getting made into a TV series.  I know Big Little Lies is awesome and deserves an HBO series, but this book really isn’t thought-provoking or funny or even interesting.  The characters come together for what they think is a wellness retreat but actually it’s the experiment of a wacky Russian-Australian doctor who started to resemble The Brain from Animaniacs more than a legitimate villain.  Don’t think that was what Ms. Moriarty was going for.  I didn’t make it through this one.  Just watch Big Little Lies.  Trust me.

All right, you kids be safe and don’t watch the news.  See you next time and happy reading!

Social “Meania”

Media may keep us all connected, but it isn’t making a better world.  It isn’t making us more enlightened.  It’s just making us meaner.

The news since February has been bad.  And I don’t mean the events they’re reporting on, I mean the things that are said, the way they say it, and the way it’s skewed.  Everything is geared toward making you afraid of your environment, your federal and local governments, and your own neighbors.  To hear the news tell it, we’re all bad people.

And it isn’t just official news media.  All of us regular people are doing it to.  Whether it’s on your Facebook page, your Instagram, your Twitter, you can’t say anything at all without someone somewhere letting you know that you’re the problem.

YOU are a bad (or whatever insulting, demeaning word you want) person.  YOU are this country’s problem.  YOU are your neighbor’s problem.  YOU are responsible for the actions of everyone else.  There is no personal responsibility.  We are all just a lump sum of whatever people group we’ve been assigned to by the media and we are to be judged as such.

The ugly truth is we’ve made ourselves afraid.  The news may have started it, but now we’re all culpable in spreading the fear.  And we’ve got to stop.  Take a breath and stop talking.  There is no voice of reason right now, not yours not mine not theirs.

This rant doesn’t apply to one side of politics or the other, one news media outlet, or any one person or people group.  It applies to everyone.  Me, you, everybody.

We are all hypocrites in some way.  We are all flawed.  We’re all just people doing the best we can.  We all need to give ourselves a break and give everybody else a break.

If You’re Reading This…

If you’re reading this, I’m not going to rehash all the things that are going on in the world right now.  You already know.  You know too well.

I’m going to weigh in but only to say this: We will overcome.

I believe we will overcome because Our Savior has overcome the world.  We don’t have to be afraid.  There will always be adversity in this life, and this is just another one.  I reject the notion that this one thing is going to change how we as people have operated for centuries.  We’ll still go to sporting events and concerts and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other fans.  We’ll still shake hands with business associates and acquaintances.  We’ll still hug our friends and strangers.  Because we’re humans, and humans were created for community.  I reject the fear mongering and the rhetoric.  Listen to that still small voice.  What is He telling you?

This is aggression from the enemy and that aggression will not stand.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 NKJV