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Monday, April 16, 2018

Black Lies Matter: Why Lies Matter to the Race Grievance Industry - Taleeb Starkes

Violence against blacks, especially by police officers, has recently come to the forefront of the social concern and the media. One of the best known organizations is the "Black Lives Matter" movement that has taken the forefront in protests and speaking out against such violence.

Starkes takes issue with the presentation that the, as he calls, "Race Greivance Industry" gives to the public. After defining this industry, he goes on to take issue with #BlackLivesMatter, and he goes on to analyze the reactive #BlueLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter.

He analyzes what he calls the Hypocritical, Not Hypocratic Oath that he sees these people take that end up hurting those they are meaning to help. He talks about the case of ...Freddie Gray and how it represents the movement. Starkes takes particular issue with The Congressional Black Caucus and how politicians often don't actually have their constituents' best interest in mind. The final chapter Land of the Brave, Home of the Offended ties it all together.

Starkes uses statistics, reports, and history to support his point of view on these many topics. There is a bibliography in the back for those who would like to research further. I enjoyed reading this person's point of view, and would read more books by this author.

Books by the Author:
The Un-Civil War: BLACKS vs NIGGERS: Confronting the Subculture Within the African-American Community

Friday, April 13, 2018

Milk and Honey - Rupi Kaur

This intense book of poetry and prose is broken up into four parts, titled: The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, The Healing. I found that I personally related to many pieces within each section. While reading others, I found myself associating them with the stories I had heard from my sisters in sacred circles of women's groups.

Kaur's writing is sometimes organized and poetic, while at other times it is chaotic and messy, reflecting her own life and all of ours.

If you are the kind of person who feels intensely, I recommend this book. For whatever your situation, this will help you know that you are not alone and you are feeling what so many other women do.

Monday, April 9, 2018

11/22/63 - Stephen King

Jake Epping, a High School English teacher, lives his boring life with little change in his daily routine. He grades papers, grabs a burger from time to time from his favorite local shop, and enjoys quiet nights at home. His hum-drum life is interrupted, however, the day he reads the essay of Harry Dunning, who somehow survived a brutal attack by hammer. His life is sent into further disarray when the owner of the burger joint recruits him to finish a mission he couldn't finish himself: prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Perhaps spurred on by the possibility of saving Harry Dunning from his horrible fate, Jake agrees to leap into the past and finish the mission of saving John F. Kennedy and possibly saving the world from its current condition. Having to spend so long in the past Jake has an opportunity to live a brand new life, one that is more satisfying than his own.

Jake is an every day man that many readers can relate to with his hum-drum life. The opportunity to become a hero is a goal that many people aspire to complete. During Jake's journey through the past, he must live an every day life and find creative ways to keep himself afloat financially, while also setting up what he needs to complete his mission. The challenge of keeping a hidden life causes stress and confusion with colleagues and loved ones. The unexpected outcome when he achieves several of his goals during his journeys are fascinating.

This was very different from many of King's works, and I enjoyed it a lot. I'd recommend it for those who enjoy time-travel stories and anybody looking for something different.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Mr. Robot: Red Wheelbarrow - by Sam Esmail,‎ Courtney Looney

I listened to the audiobook version of this book before taking a look at the hardcopy. The narrator of the audiobook version did a great job of changing voices between Elliot and his companion. The way the narrator breaks to explain the illustrations and how she explains them is well-done, as well. For those who enjoy the Mr. Robot television series, it might be a novelty to see a hardcopy of Elliot's journal from Season 2. Otherwise it doesn't add any insight into Elliot, any of the other characters, or the plot.

Television Series:
Mr. Robot - Season 1
Mr. Robot - Season 2

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

A young sheep herder knows he is destined for more than just watching sheep when he has a strange dream. After consulting with a gypsy, he decides its time to seek his fortune. Along the way he meets a cast of characters who will both help and hinder him in their own ways. Each disaster changes to opportunity until he finally finds his treasure in an unexpected place.

I originally read this back in 2010 upon the recommendation of several friends. I revisited it this year since it was picked by my book club. I thought reading it a second time may soften my feelings toward it, but I have the same feelings about it as I did before. The obvious allegory is just plain painful to read. There's no subtlety to it at all. I expected a lesson about defining your own treasure, especially after he meets with the bandits who chide him, but instead it turns out to be a physical thing.

Ultimately I still don't understand the appeal of this piece, but I know that many of the people I know found it inspirational and useful for their lives. In that manner it remains on my recommended reading list, when people are lost and seeking a new way.

Recommended Reads:
The Ant God - Kelton Drew Earl
Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Friday, March 30, 2018

Self-Mastery and Fate with the Cycles of Life - H. Spencer Lewis

According to Lewis life is split into many different cycles from birth to death and into rebirth. Lewis explains that a large part of our lives are effected by our birth date, whose individual cycles effects how our lives unfold, including aspects like health, sex, love, and business.

Each year of person's year can be split into seven segments in accordance with ones birthdate that can be used to advance an individual's goals, and he similarly posits that the day is split into seven periods that can be utilized for the same purpose. Not only does he explain how these cycles work, he also explains how one can use them to ones own advantage with a few specific examples in each chapter.

At first this system seemed complicated, but after initially charting ones seven phases it's a matter of memorizing the periods of time and their meanings. Actually dissecting the periods can be a bit tricky, but I found an app that will do the division for you if you give it your birthdate. This is an interesting system, but in the end I felt like it was like many other astrological divination systems; although, a bit more useful since it gives guidance for what types of life goals to work on during each phase.

Related Apps:
Life Cycles

Monday, March 26, 2018

What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples - Manly P. Hall

In this short booklet of just over 20 pages, Hall hopes to clarify Mystery Schools and what comes along with it. The first chapter titled A Warning to Esoterists defines ten guidelines by which a seeker may identify a legitimate Mystery School. The Coming of the Mystery Schools identifies four different 'classes' or groups of people, defined by how they live their lives. Further, it adds how these schools came about and how to follow them. The final chapter, The Mystery Schools, sets to define the three tiers of seekers and how they work: student, disciple, and initiate. It also sets forth their guidelines by which seekers should live their lives.

Although short, this essay is useful for seekers to help define their purpose and discover a school that fits the criteria.

More by the Author:
The Secret Teachings of All the Ages
Lectures on Ancient Philosophy