[717]: Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

Waking Gods
by Sylvain Neuvel


Ten years after the end of Sleeping Giants, Themis finds herself in the company of one of her kind. The giant robot appeared in London; dauntingly unmoving and ominously observing. If the scientists, led by Dr. Rose Franklin, concluded that Themis was left behind to protect mankind, this visitor immediately proved it was there for a wholly different reason. After it pulverized the greater part of London, Earth Defense Corps scrambles to find a way to defeat what’s coming. Especially when they appear almost simultaneously in densely populated cities all over the world.

Easily one of my favorite reads in 2017, y’all. I don’t know what to say. It was just as riveting as Sleeping Giants, if not more so. The narrative style remained consistent and though it may seem a bit verbose at times, it was far from dry. Suffused with light humor and an uncannily matter-of-fact style of story-telling, Neuvel once again presents a Sci-Fi story “for the masses”.

If you haven’t read Sleeping Giants, I should tell you that the books are written in an interview format; a dialogue of sorts between characters and an unknown interviewer. It’s how we become acquainted with the characters; get a first-hand account of the nuances of the story, and how we discover all the mysteries of the alien robots that once roamed the Earth. The author was a fan of the epistolary style of writing even at a tender age when he first read Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The story of how his debut novel exploded is actually quite spectacular. From not being able to find a publisher to having a few film companies on a bidding war for the film rights in a span of a month, his’ was a Cinderella story for the ages.

In this installment, we find out that the unearthing of Themis was a summoning of sorts and have more or less gave credence to what we’ve known about Themis’ role as the humankind’s protectors. Themis mightily stood against the aggressors for a price. As in any epic battles, there were victories and losses. The weapons these robots unleashed were catastrophic and somewhat of a learning lesson for Themis’ minders.

Waking Gods was an exhilarating installment. The author is not a fan of cliff changers and unneccessary prolonging the series for devious reasons. He answers all the questions and ends a book in a way that doesn’t leave his readers sleepless for nights on end. In fact, he presented us with a batch of new questions in Waking Gods, answered them and gave us a closure of sorts. As for what’s coming in the third book, let’s just say we’re headed to the final frontier. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

On the Night Table [48]: Slowly

 


I can’t even remember the last time I made a trip to the bookstore, y’all. To tell you the truth, don’t miss it that much. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped being a book nerd. I’ve been going through my shelves and reading whatever I want. I don’t know what’s going on but the books I’ve requested from a few publishers hasn’t arrived. It’s been weeks now! Not that I’m not enjoying the careless ways with which I picked my reads but I’m wondering why none of the books are getting to my mailbox. Perhaps I keep missing out since requests are on a first come, first serve basis? Things that make you go…WTF.

R   E   A   D   L A S T   W   E   E   K

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files, #2
Published: April 4th, 2017
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Bruh. This series is so awesome. If you haven’t read Sleeping Giants yet, I suggest you remedy that, stat. You know I’m not a fan of Sci-Fi but man, Mssr. Neuvel converted me. I haven’t written a review but I might re-read it again before writing one. Yes. Again. Because I read this twice already!

 

 

A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau, #1
Published: October 25th, 2005
Rating 3 out of 3 Stars

I wanted to get my curiousity out of the way so I decided to give this one a whirl. Unfortunately, I’m one and done. I don’t think I’ll continue. This was a long read and there’s not much action to speak of. The family of vamps is interesting, though. But not interesting enough to incite the desire to continue.

 

 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Published: October 22nd, 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Another long, arduous read but so worth it. The young Theo tugged at my heartstrings. The adolescent Theo had me pulling my hair. The man that Theo had become did not learn from the mistakes of his past. Annoyed as I was, The Goldfinch is worth all the accolades it had gotten since publication.

 

 

I don’t have much going on this week blogging-wise. I’ve been so obsessed with thrifting lately that I’ve spent most of my weekends dragging my husband to thrift shops and flea markets. I’m thinking about doing a weekly post of my vintage finds, actually. I don’t know if you guys will go for that. Let me know! In the meantime, here’s a sample of what I’ve picked up on my thrifting adventures.

 

 

 

I’m not gonna lie, my house has seen some chaotic changes lately but I’ve finally picked a theme which is a mix of bohemian chic and mid-century modern. I’m enjoying finding some pretty cool vintage pieces. So much so that I’m thinking about opening up an online store to sell my finds. I’ll see how it goes.

Thanks so much for reading, everyone! Have a great week.

Waiting on Wednesday [14]: May Releases

It’s going to be a great month for book releases – which means bad news for my wallet. These are just some of the books that are coming out this month that I want to get. Let me know which of these will be worth breaking the budget for!


A Court of Wings and Ruin
by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 2nd

Be honest, y’all. How many of you have already read this? Or made a special trip to the bookstore yesterday just to pick up a copy? For the first time in a long time, I might just be able to complete a freaking series.

 

 

 

The Boy on the Bridge
by M.R. Carey
Release date: May 2nd

I had the chance to watch The Girl with All the Gifts a month or so ago and have enjoyed it. I also read the book when it came out. This boy seems to have come out of nowhere to the delight of Melanie’s fans. I’m dying to get my hands on a copy if only to see if it will be just as scary.

 

 

Sons of Ares
by Pierce Brown
Release Date: May 10th

If I knew how to insert a GIF, I would have Stephen Colbert reaching out and begging you to give it to me.

From Goodreads: See how a forbidden love will set the course of events for the future and lead to the formation of the formidable Sons of Ares! 

 

 

The Names They Gave Us
by Emery Lord
Release Date: May 16th

I don’t remember ever reading her recent book but I do remember feeling a little disillusioned with the one before that. I’ve become wary of her books since but I’ve already seen a couple of great reviews from trusted friends so giving her another chance. Wish me luck.

 

 

In a Perfect World
by Trish Doller
Release Date: May 23rd

I used to be a big fan but Where the Stars Still Shine, though I enjoyed it, left a not-so-pleasant feeling afterwards. She forced me to like an otherwise unlikable character. So now I’m wary. I didn’t even bother picking up the book before this one. We’ll see what happens.

 

 

Lord of Shadows
by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: May 23rd

Yassssss.

This tops the list of books I need to get this month. Shut it, haters. Readers gonna read.

 

 

 

Rich People Problems
by Kevin Kwan
Release Date: May 23rd

I swear to God, if Astrid and Charlie didn’t get back together in this installment, heads will fucking roll. I’m excited and anxious in equal measure, y’all. This family tends to drive me to drink and going by the synopsis, it sounds like same old, same old. Gah.

 

 

When Dimples Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
Release Date: May 30th

Blessed are thou who have read thee; for thou may know the greatness of thee.

[716]: Blood Vow by JR Ward

Blood Vow
by JR Ward


I’m writing this review after a second reading and it’s not because the book was THAT good. It’s the opposite, actually. There are times when books are just not meaty enough to leave a remarkable impression regardless of whether or not one had an enjoyable time reading it. And that’s exactly how I felt about this one. I can’t say it was bad but more like status quo, you know? More of the same. Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.

One of the reasons why this didn’t leave a lasting impression is that it felt more like a continuation of The Beast instead of a story that focuses on the next trainee, Axwell. I mean, there are other subplots that vied for my attention, too, of course, but this series was supposed to drum up lovin’ feelings fans had of the BDB series. Unfortunately, JR Ward just can’t help herself. After all these years of reading Ms. Ward’s books, I should be used to it by now, right? The fact that she chooses to not have a focal character in every book she writes has become her M.O. since the beginning of time. So I shouldn’t expect any less.

Because I was more invested in reading about Rhage & Mary’s journey towards parenthood, Axwell and Elise’s story took a back seat. The definitive crux of my problem with this book lies in my disappointment stated above. That it was an extension of The Beast rather than a thorough introspection of Axwell’s storyline.

In any rate, I still enjoyed it. Axwell came from a poor family with no prospects whatsoever (besides enrolling in the BDB Training program, that is). He’s virtually an orphan since he lost his father to the raids. His mother had long since abandoned them before then. He’s carried a guilt with him for ignoring his father’s call on the night he was killed. He’s angry at himself and at the world – more particularly to the members of the Glymera. His mother took off to become the mistress of one of those people so he doesn’t really have a good opinion about them. (You can practically smell the romantic twist from a mile away, don’t you?) He ended up being employed by one as a personal security detail. And yes, you guessed it, to Elise – whose life has gotten even more restrictive since the murder of her cousin.

As for Mary & Rhage, if you’re following the series, you’d know that they were in the process of adopting a girl whose mother just recently died. Bitty has seen the worst kind of abuse at the hands of her father. It took Bit a while to get used to being loved and cared for. She was very wary at first but soon warmed up to the idea that she, too, deserves some good in her life. But all the physical abuse her body has suffered also left her with some permanent damage that if not treated might leave her invalid after her transition. Reading about the way Havers tried to correct the break in her bones had my eyes smarting in tears. Bit was allergic to any kind of anesthetics, so you can just imagine the torture this kid went through. We also learn that the uncle she was talking about was not imaginary at all which had Mary and Rhage going crazy for the uncertainty of losing Bitty.

 Verdict

I have a complicated relationship with JR Ward’s books. Yet no matter how I complain, I end up going back to her year in and year out. It’s like being in a bad relationship sometimes. No matter how bad it gets, I’m the weak one who keeps giving the bastard the second chance.

Life Lately


Hey, all!

Am I glad to be writing a post again! It’s been soooo long. I’m sorry for the disappearing act once again. The Spring cleaning that I’ve started a couple of weeks back turned into little projects that kept me away from my blogging duties. But I’m back now and hoping to sustain this little burst of momentum that will keep me on track for the next few months. Lol. At some point, I’ll try and share with you what I’ve been doing on my break. But for now, I have an April recap of sorts.

April By the Numbers

All in all, I read 18 books in April and a good amount of romance novels. I started the Dark Carpathia series by Christine Feehan but after the first book, I don’t know if I should continue. Maybe I’ll give it another go and then make my decision from there. I read the Wedding Belles series by Lauren Layne. And have only managed to read one non-fiction for the month (Alter Egos by Mark Landler). I finally read a book that’s been on my wishlist since the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, The Improbability of Love started out great and petered out into a huge disappointment. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett was ho-hum awesome. Easily my favourite read of the month. Here’s the rest of the list:

  • Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham 4/5 stars
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 5/5 Stars
  • The Chosen by JR Ward 4/5 Stars
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson 1/5 Stars
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston 3/5 Stars
  • The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild 3/5 Stars
  • Alter Egos by Mark Landler 3/5 Stars
  • Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward 4/5 Stars
  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett 5/5 Stars
  • The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winaker 5 /5 Stars
  • Mr. President by Katy Evans 3/5 Stars
  • Commander in Chief by Katy Evans 3/5 Stars
  • Time Was by Nora Roberts 3/5 Stars
  • Times Change by Nora Roberts 3/5 Stars
  • To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars
  • Dark Prince by Christine Feehan 3/5 Stars
  • For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars
  • To Love and To Cherish by Lauren Layne 3/5 Stars

A barrage of 3-star-ratings, as you can see. I did have a couple of 5-star-reads, though, so that more than makes up for what would otherwise have been an unremarkable reading month.

That’s been my April. How was yours?

The Curious Mind of a Scientist: Melodie Winawer


P.S.A I know it’s been a while, folks. But bear with me for just a few more days. Today, Melodie Winawer shares her inspiration for her debut novel, The Scribe of Siena. I absolutely loved this novel and reading about what inspired her to write this book only takes it a bit further. You can read my 5-star review here. 


My ideas for writing creep up on me—sometimes I wonder whether they come from me at all. When I started Scribe I hadn’t even been planning to write a novel. That isn’t entirely true—I’d been thinking about writing a novel for more than thirty years. What made me decide to write this novel at that particular moment? We’d just sold our house and bought a new house but it needed renovations so we moved into my mom’s apartment with our three kids. I was between books—not reading anything, and missing the feeling of being in an absorbing story, at the same time as being in a limbo of life stages too, between homes. During those few strange months where I was longing to be absorbed in a deep, compelling imaginary world, it came to me that I wanted to MAKE my own story, not READ one. So that’s what I did.

There were actually two inspirations at the heart of The Scribe of Siena. One was the history—or mystery— of Siena’s exceptional devastation and failure to recover from the Plague of 1348. The other beginning was more personal.

In addition to being a writer, I’m a neuroscientist and neurologist. The way I do scientific research goes something like this: I come up with a question I don’t know the answer to. If I don’t find an answer in easily accessible sources, I look harder. If I still don’t know the answer, I ask colleagues with special expertise. If no one knows the answer, or even better, if I find disagreement or controversy, that’s when I know I’ve found my next research project. That happened with The Scribe of Siena. The minute I started thinking and reading about Siena, I encountered an unanswered question. I learned that Siena had fared particularly badly in the great Plague of the 1340s—worse than many other Tuscan cities, Florence in particular. And I realized that a single clear answer didn’t exist to explain Siena’s decline during and after the Plague, a decline that eventually led to Siena’s loss of independence and subservience to Florentine rule under the Medici regime decades later. To make things more interesting, Florence was Siena’s arch-enemy for centuries, and in the 1340s a plot backed by Florentine nobles to overthrow Siena’s government had been attempted but failed.   Together, these details gave me that hair-raising moment, the moment I know so well from science.   I’d found my unanswered question—and that became the heart of the story. Or at least one of the hearts.

When I was in medical school, I helped take care of a 32-year-old neurologist who came for treatment of a breast lump. Medical students usually have more time to listen to patients than full-fledged doctors, and we talked for hours. Her breast biopsy was benign, but a colonoscopy showed a mass that was likely colon cancer. She was terrified and I was terrified for her. I was scheduled to assist in the operating room the next day, but I was not ready. I was afraid I couldn’t marshal the appropriate remove to allow my hands to do what they needed to do in the O.R. I’d grown too close.

I had to figure out how to get control of this empathy, rein it in enough so I could give my patient, who had begun to feel like my friend, the support she needed, without losing myself. For my new friend, the outcome was good; the cancer was removed. But that experience left me more aware of the danger, the far edge of empathy, uncontrolled. How far could it go–the ability to feel what someone else is feeling? Could it extend to the written word, or even to words written hundreds of years ago? Or blur the boundaries not only between self and other but between two times?

My experience of a physician’s empathy and its dangers led me to create my protagonist Beatrice. For Beatrice, a neurosurgeon who enjoys the great privilege of working inside patients’ brains with her hands, empathy—and its consequences—come unbidden, and unravel her orderly life. I set the book in Siena because I love the city and its history, and could imagine spending years thinking and writing about it. Siena is simultaneously modern and medieval, a city where the past and present coexist. So it became the perfect place for me to set this story of a woman who, at first against her will, and then by desire, loses her place in time.


Thank you so much, Melodie. I’m especially delighted to learn about Melodie’s seemingly enhanced empathic ability and where it came from. In my experience, a genuinely sympathetic doctor is one that I’ll always come back to. And I suppose being too involved in your patient’s well-being is one of the hazards of the job. That’s one of the things I loved about Beatrice. Besides the fact that she’s eternally curious, resourceful, and tenacious. 

Your love for the city of Siena shone through with every careful description of the medieval culture, food, and the overall mise en scène captured in your novel. Definitely on the ever-growing bucket list!

FIND MELODIE HERE:

Twitter | Website | Timeless Tour | Facebook

[715]: The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer

A sensory overload that shows the dark romanticism of the medieval past.


The Scribe of Siena
by Melodie Winawer

Debut novelist Melodie Winawer takes us to 14th century Italy right on the cusp of the Black Plague contagion.

A neurosurgeon in the contemporary time, Beatrice Trovato never knew what was lying in wait for her when she came to Italy. Having just lost her brother unexpectedly, the decision to honour his legacy by continuing on with his work was something she inherited.  He was on the verge of discovering the genesis of the Black Plague. And because it was a blight in the history of Siena, local historians didn’t take too well on Beatrice’s intrusion. But she persevered. Especially when she discovered the journal written by a local artist from hundreds of years ago.  The journal that will transport her to the year before the spread of the Black Plague.

Set in the backdrop of a period in history ripe with conspiracy and political intrigue, The Scribe of Siena is a languid tale of time travel, medical mystery, romance, and murder. Melodie Winawer is a scholar at heart – and it shows with every delicate and intricate detail. Though at times verbose, the writing showed intelligence and industrious research. I, for one, was caught almost immediately by page one. Through her words, I felt like Beatrice seeing Italy in a way that she’s never seen before. She tasted foods that are, in a lot of ways, culinary magic in their simple, most organic form. And the way she showed how art was preserved all through these years made me want to pack a bag and book the next flight to any countries that were cradles of civilization.

Beatrice is an incredible character. She was resourceful and clever; persistent and untiring. I love her passion in medicine and in helping people. I also love her relationship with her brother who became her father figure when they both lost their parents. It was sadly cut short, but readers can tell how big of a role he played in her life. She also seems to have a knack for adapting to any situations in which she was forced. To find herself in medieval Italy and not break down in tears of desperation was admirable to me. Some may find this unbelievable but I thought Melodie has done such a great job in character development that I was convinced Beatrice was such a person who effectively compartmentalized emotions and situations that help her deal with any trauma in a calm manner. (It’s the neurosurgeon in her, I think.)

Beatrice also has this uncanny and very pronounced emphatic ability. It’s almost like a sixth sense that enabled her to detect any grave diseases in her patients that technology is, otherwise,  unable to detect. A great mystery and mysticism that only enhanced my admiration for her.

Gabrielle, on the other hand, dealt with his own grief the only way an artist know how. (He lost his wife while giving birth to their stillborn son.) He threw himself in his work and never lost faith in the Divine (as evidenced by his work). Their romance was gentle and tentative on the whole. Part of this is Beatrice’s uncertainty with her future or very distant past, as it were.

This book didn’t incite boredom. I was captivated, intrigued and for an entire weekend, completely immersed. I was curious right along with Beatrice to see a place from a different perspective. Apologies for this supremely long winded gushing. But if you’ve not the time to read this review in its entirety, then there are only two words that you need to know: READ THIS.

Read this for the romance.

Read this for a peek at a period in Italian history unlike anything you’ve read before.

Read this for Beatrice – who is easily one of the coolest, bad-ass chick I’ve read in a while.

Whichever reason you picked for trying this book on for size, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.

On the Night Table [47]: Some Leftovers


The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius | The Rising by Bairbre Tóibín | Exit West by Mohsin Hamid | The Only Child by Andrew Pyper


I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. The nice weather that I was looking forward to on Friday didn’t happen but we did have a warm Saturday at least. I was able to do a lot of indoor work so the backyard Spring cleaning was postponed until next weekend.

I did a lot of projects inside the house which included revamping my living room to make it cozier. If you remember, last year, I embraced the minimalist style of home decorating so I had very limited decorations and uniformly subdued colours. Lately, though, I’ve been finding that the beauty in the eclectic mixing of colours, patterns, and textures. One of these days, I might just have to show you what I did. I took great delight in unearthing a bunch of my old home decors packed in boxes in the basement. Oddly enough, they worked splendidly well with what I was trying to achieve. Anyway, enough about that. Let me give you an update of my reading week.

This week’s pile.

I have been trying to get to a couple of books on my pile this week since they’ve been on my night table for weeks now. Sadly, I have not been getting too many for review books as of late – which is all right, I guess. I have plenty enough to read. And I really want to get rid of these so I can tackle some Net Galley books that have been sitting in my Kindle for years.

Last week.

Well, I read quite a few books last week. I managed to read 5 – it was a long weekend, after all.

The Improbability of Love started out good but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. Alex, Approximately was so awesome. Easily one of my favourite reads this year! Geekerella was fun. Mister Moneybags was a hoot. Alter Egos was interesting but I ended up raging after everything is said and done.

That was my week. How was yours?

Timeless Tour Discussion Questions

Hello. As you know, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of Simon & Schuster Canada’s Timeless Tour endeavor. It features three books depicting stories from three time periods. As a fan of Historical Fiction, this was a great experience for me as it allowed me to see three stories from different eras. So today, I’d like to share with you what I’ve thought so far.


What was your favorite historical time period among the Timeless Tour reads? Did you know anything about this period before you began reading the book?

As a creature of comfort, it would be easy for me to dream about living in Versailles where excess was rampant and decadence was the norm. But I supposed living it up in that time period would depend on the hierarchy of my social status. There’s also that language barrier thing that limits my knowledge to French numerals and days of the week. So I don’t think living in that time period would work out so well for me. 

In Promises to Keep, I was shown the idyllic lives of the Acadian people in the East Coast during the 17th century. It offered a bountiful farmland and an abundant sea. It shows a life that left most of its inhabitant cocooned in contentful simplicity. That is until the English invaded and ruined the party. What happened next was immeasurable hardship and loss for the Acadian people. Resilient though, as they may be, I can’t say the same for myself.

Now, who wouldn’t want to live in historic Siena, Italy? The entire country is on my bucket list so it would be easy to assume that I’d pick the 15th century to time travel to, right? Besides the fact that I wouldn’t know the first thing about living life in medieval times (that creature of comfort thing is very inconvenient), this is the Black Plague period, y’all. Where people died in the thousands! So no, I wouldn’t want to go back to this era only to suffer the same fate.

So I’m faced with a conundrum. If given the choice, which era can I truly find myself living in? Well, since all three presents different challenges, I supposed I’d pick the one where I’ll be able to control my destiny and choose Versailles. I can learn a trade and work if my social caste falls below what’s considered bourgeois. And the language barrier thing is not really all that challenging. If it can be learned, I can handle it.

How did the historical events in each book influence the character’s choices and personalities?

The one thing that the heroines in all three books have in common is resilience. It would be easy to write off Jeanne (The Enemies of Versailles) as one who’ve used the basest form of feminine power to influence her stature in life, but regardless of the method, she did what she could to change things with nary a thought to propriety. Don’t get me wrong, she realized that she was being used by the dubious and powerful Du Barry but in turn, she found a way to use this to her advantage.

Amongst the three, Amelie, perhaps was a person who characterized resilience and strength in the most obvious way possible. The incredible struggle she and her family went through during the Expulsion of the Acadians didn’t lessen her resolve to hope, to believe, and to live. And though at times she seemed like she’d reached the end of her rope, this girl just kept strengthening her resolve until she found renewed courage.

Beatrice, on the other hand, was propelled by the love of her brother who had become her father since they were orphaned when he was only 17 years old. She was also very intelligent (neurosurgeon) and very brave for continuing her brother’s quest despite having the odds stacked against her. She found a way to delay her grief if only to fulfill her brother’s legacy. Finding herself in the 13th century with no means to get back to the present didn’t faze her. She worked with what she knew and used her intelligence to survive.

If you could invite one of the Timeless Tour leading ladies (Beatrice, Jeanne, or Amelie) to dinner, who would you choose and why?

I feel like Beatrice would have a lot of stories to tell. Besides the fact that she knows a great deal about the human brain, her stint in the Middle Ages must’ve given her a different perspective about the world in general. Even though she’s a Scientist first and foremost, I can tell she’s a thinker as a whole. And the lady never stopped learning. She’s very intuitive, curious, and completely adaptable.

The Scribe of Siena starts in the present before Beatrice is transported back in time to 1347, whereas Promises to Keep and Enemies of Versailles are firmly rooted in one timeline. How did this change your reading experience?

I don’t think there’s no other way for this story to begin but at the present time. I mean, considering time travel is a key element to this novel, starting it in the past wouldn’t nearly have the same effect. I love this book. It’s perfect the way it is. 🙂

In the past, powerful women have been written out of textbooks. How do the protagonists of the Timeless Tour novels challenge the misconception that women in history were passive, submissive and dependent?

The women in the three novels were all resourceful and resilient creatures. They found ways to overcome obstacles even while restrained by the ties that bind them. Jeanne used her beauty to change her station in life; Amelie stood up to the soldiers that were holding her family hostage. With each loss she suffered, she picked herself up because she had a family who was dependent on her. Beatrice’s quest to continue her brother’s work was met with resistance from the local scholars who seemed to have their own agendas working in the background. Not to mention, her courage shown when she was transported to the Middle Ages. So time and time again, these women exuded strength, fierceness, and audacity unheard of the time period which they belong.


Thank you for joining me today and I’m sorry this took a bit long. I wanted you to see the fierceness of these women with whom I had the pleasure of reading. 

The Comment Section


Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

(From A Psalm of Life, Henry Wordsworth Longfellow)

This is Longfellow basically telling y’all that life is short so don’t waste it. Yesterday, I found myself engaging in a debate on social media again. Sometimes, I get by with a shrug of my shoulder and move on. But there are times when I let it get to me. Yesterday was the latter. Which sucks because it ruins my day completely. Do you remember when you started caring about politics? I was thinking about that on Sunday when I was strolling the aisles of the grocery store. I remember going to Arizona with my hubby years ago and engaging with the service car driver about American politics. Fortunately for me, we shared the same opinions. Her son was serving in the military and was gay. (I was surprised when she shared this to me as well). Her family was happy that President Barrack Obama was pursuing the elimination of “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” rule. I don’t really remember how we got started talking about politics, to be honest. Anyway, just a great example of why we shouldn’t readily dismiss a person because of their political opinions. You don’t know who’s behind the keyboard or their motivation as to why they voted one way or another.

I think it was Lin-Manuel who said as a reminder to “not get stuck in the comment section of your daily life”. And the worst way to do that is to waste a beautiful day in a war of words with some unknown person hundreds of miles away from you.