Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sunday Post: Spring Flowers & Reading Books That Clash With My Personal Beliefs

New to My Shelves: 

Pinkalicious: and Aqua, the Mini-Mermaid by Victoria Kann
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex
(bookstore purchases)

The Littlest Bunny in California by Lily Jacobs and Robert Dunn
Trolls (A Little Golden Book) adapted by Mary Man-Kong and illustrated by Priscilla Wong
(from the Easter Bunny)

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
(bookstore purchase)

What I Am Reading: I am in the middle of A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison at the moment, a cozy mystery featuring antique dealer Kate Stanford who stumbles upon a long dead body--one that was possibly murdered. I am enjoying it so far.

What I Am Watching: The Voice is now in the live voting round stage. Not that it matters given I live on the West Coast and usually watch the show a day late. I am starting to pick out favorites as the performers are narrowed down. I am also keeping up with The Designated Survivor.

I have started watching Supernatural again. I cannot remember where my husband and I left off on the show, but it's been long enough I thought maybe I would start over with season one. I had forgotten how much I liked the show. As a family, we have sometimes been turning on Star Trek: The Next Generation to watch. I was quite fond of the show when it first came out, I remember. It's been fun to re-visit it, even as campy as it seems now. I was never a fan of the original series with William Shatner, admittedly, but I did enjoy the spin-offs that came later.

Movie wise, we recently re-watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Rogue One, and Trolls. All of which we enjoyed just as much the second time around. We also finally got to see the movie Moana. I was really impressed with it. Have you seen any of these?

What's Going On Off the Blog: Did those of you who celebrate Easter have a nice one? It turned out to be a whirlwind weekend for us. Mouse had soccer. This Easter Bunny had a lot of catching up to do to make sure everything was ready. There was the obligatory egg hunt, and then we spent the day binge watching the movies the Easter Bunny had given us in our Easter baskets. My husband and Mouse put together an island for our kitchen. I think it turned out pretty well. We are going to look for little baskets to put in the side cubbies for storage.

Our new island

Parker is responding to the new medication, thankfully. I took him to see the doctor Friday, and he has gained half a pound.  He is not completely out of the woods, and we are still not sure of the cause of his recent decline--only the symptoms. We will go back in another month to check on his progress.

Parker and Gracie are Troll fans

After soccer today, we visited the nursery to look for a couple plants for Mouse to finish her garden project for Girl Scouts, and to celebrate Earth Day. She even made a friend at the nursery, the two girls swapping bug stories and something about lizards doing push-ups (because we watched a little one do just that). Mouse is looking forward to releasing the ladybugs we bought on my rose bushes tonight.


End of Class - Parachute Time 

"I really want this plant, Mom!"

My rose bushes

Did you hear about the murder-suicide that occurred in San Bernardino the week before last? It was such a tragedy. Not only was a teacher shot to death by her estranged husband, but a child as well. Thank goodness the other injured child will be okay. Even though it was an isolated incident, many of the schools in the area, including my daughter's, have been re-evaluating their visitor and security practices. The lunch on the lawn event scheduled at my daughter's school this past week was even cancelled as a result. I cannot begin to describe the fear that went through my heart when I first heard there had been a shooting at a local elementary school. My heart goes out to the family who lost their son and to the family of the teacher who was also killed. Such senseless deaths.

It was quite a busy week at work. We had our mandatory all agency meeting, which is always a scheduling nightmare since my particular office has to be staffed 24/7. It is impossible for everyone to go, but we do what we can to get as many people there as possible. The guest speakers this time around were Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix from the Forgiveness Project. In 1995, Mr. Khamisa's son was murdered by a 14 year old gang member, the grandson of Mr. Felix. The two men came together to form the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, named after the murder victim. The goal of the organization is to stop teen violence. Both Mr. Khamisa and Mr. Felix's story is a powerful one. Instead of becoming angry and bitter over the death of his son, Mr. Khamisa found it in his heart to forgive the murderer and is working toward making the society that created such a young killer a safer place.

This past week our Girl Scout troop went to a ceramic craft and paint store and painted Daisy jewelry boxes. We hope to pick them up this next week. The girls had a great time. It just so happens the craft store is right across from the local independent bookstore, which of course we had to stop in to visit before heading home.

Mouse's school is having a fundraiser read-a-thon from now until the beginning of May. She's excited about participating. We set up her fundraiser page together, and she asked when she can have her own computer. I have no plans to participate in the upcoming Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon which is scheduled for April 29th, although it is tempting. The timing is never ideal, but I may try to fit in as much reading as possible. Will you be participating?

This weekend is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, but we are unable to go. I am really sad about that. I was not able to go last year either.

My mom's dog, visiting over Spring Break

Around the Blogosphere:
The Week Before Last In Reading Mews:

Tell me about what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? How was your week? Do you have anything planned for this coming week?


Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

Would you stop reading a book if an element of the plot strongly clashed with your personal beliefs, or would you continue reading until you finished the book?

One of the reasons I read is to be able to experience and explore worlds and ideas outside of my own limited sphere. I think it is important to venture outside of one's own comfort zone now and then. My way isn't always the right way--and especially not always the only way. And I like to understand where others are coming from, particularly when it comes to choices made, actions taken, and even beliefs that differ from my own. I like to read books that make me think, and sometimes reading books that question or challenge my beliefs is a good thing--whether it opens my mind to new ideas and ways of looking at things or solidifies my own position. I am also fascinated by human behavior (one of the reasons I got a degree in psychology and social work). I am a strong believer in being able to see multiple sides of an issue--even when you stand on one side or another. Problems are rarely solved if you cannot or are unwilling to take into account factors outside of your own life experiences and views. Even so, I have my limits when it comes to books.

Much depends on how the author presents the topic in question. If a novel is compelling enough, and I am invested in the lives of the characters, I do not necessarily have to agree with the choices made or even always the outcome to enjoy a book. For me, it isn't about whether I agree or not, but rather how it impacts the character and how that character reacts or evolves over the course of the book. I do not necessarily have to like the characters in books I read--as long as they are well-crafted and something about them draws me to their story. Sometimes the staying power in a book is the beautiful writing or an especially intriguing setting.

I do not like it when an author pushes their beliefs on me. Preach at me, and I will likely want to set the books aside. For instance, while I find religion of all kinds fascinating in a general sense, I tend to shy away from books that are too heavy in favor of any particular one. The same can go for politics. I do not like books that bash or disrespect other people's beliefs, including my own. But if an author is respectful and open to presenting all sides, I am more likely to continue reading the book even when it may conflict with my own beliefs.

Two instances pop immediately to mind when I think of books in which my personal beliefs got in the way and had me questioning whether I could finish them. One involved dog fighting (Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones) and the other involved the rape of a woman by the main character (Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson). In the first, the actions were normalized, and just a fact of life--but something I had trouble getting past because of my own strong personal views. In the second, well, I did not feel the character's behavior was adequately addressed, and was glossed over. I continued with both books, and feel they were worthwhile reads in the end, but my enjoyment was definitely impacted in a negative way.

On the other hand, I have also read books that have come up against some of my rather strong personal beliefs which I really liked, even as uncomfortable as they sometimes made me feel. They were compelling stories, well-written, and I was intrigued by the evolution of the characters with the turn of each page. Sometimes much to my surprise. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, for example. Humbert being a despicable and disgusting narrator of the story. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd is another, in which the main character commits adultery (I have a strong bias against cheaters). Or even Jeff Lindsay's Dexter Morgan crime fiction series, Dexter being a serial killer with a bit of a moral compass, which I enjoy despite my strong feelings about his criminal activities no matter what the intention.

Then there is Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn, which deals with the topic of human trafficking in all its ugliness. While the author and I likely share the same opinion of human trafficking, some of her characters made choices that went very much against what I believe to be right. And I think that was part of the point. It was a difficult read, but so worth it. Reality is not always pretty and while some people may choose to only read books that skirt around or avoid reality all together (and there is nothing wrong with this--I like/need to read books for pure escape often myself!), I believe books like Dennis-Benn's bring much needed attention to subject matters that need to be addressed in our society today.

I generally only decide not to finish a book when I am completely and utterly bored with it or the writing is so bad I cannot get passed it. It's rare it has anything to do with challenging any strong opinion I have. There are certain books I may avoid reading at all because they support a topic or person I feel strongly opposed to--or even just carry certain elements that I do not like to read about--but that is an entirely different discussion for another day . . . 

What about you? Would you stop reading a book that challenged or went against any strong beliefs you may hold?

I hope you all have a great week! Happy Reading!

The Sunday Post is hosted by the wonderful Kimba, the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, and gives us all a chance to recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. 

 © 2017, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I remember seeing the Honeychurch books around, they do look like good cozies. I haven't seen Moana yet or Fantastic Beasts, but heard both were good! And nice island!!

    So sorry to hear about that shooting, that's just awful. To lose your life so senselessly like that. Schools around here have been taking precautions too, like putting in extra security doors. Sad they have to do that.

    Oh I saw the next Genevieve Cogman book The Lost Plot over at amazon. It's book four I think? And I agree with you books and personal beliefs. I like to get other viewpoints too and am not easily offended, but there are limits, especially if they're pushing a particular viewpoint hard.

    1. Greg - This is my first of the Honeychurch books, and if it is anything to go by, it will not be my last. I am really enjoying it. I hope you get a chance to see Fantastic Beasts (and Moana). I would like to get your take on it. You always have such good insight to offer.

      Thank you. The shooting was such a shock. The estranged husband evidently just walked into the school, told the office staff he had something for the teacher and they let him back through to the classroom where he opened fire on the teacher, killing her and another student, injuring another and then killing himself. I am sure it was awful for everyone there and those impacted.

      I had heard Cogman had another book coming out in the series. I read a recent review of the one I just finished in which it was described as a transition book--and I can definitely see that . . . Yes, Lost Plot will be number four.

      I'd like to think I am not easily offended either, but, as you said, there are limits.

      Thank you for stopping by, Greg. I hope you have a great rest of the weekend!

  2. I haven't read either of the books you mentioned, and think the subjects would be too hard for me.

    1. Vicki - They definitely put some of us outside our comfort zone.

  3. You have had a busy time of it - how horrible about the shooting. What a world we live in that schools are now targets...
    As regards your question - I will read books where the political standpoint is in opposition to my beliefs, but I couldn't get through Lolita - I found his descriptions of her stomach-churning.
    I hope you have a good week - I loved your new kitchen island - very impressive! My Sunday Post -

    1. Sarah - It's awful that schools have become so frequently places of violence here in the U.S. What does that say about our society?

      I don't especially enjoy political books of any kind, to be honest. Even when they agree with my views.

      I think the kitchen island will come in handy. :-)

      Thanks for visiting, Sarah!

  4. Gosh your kitties are so adorable <3
    Also, a good discussion question. Actually, my answer is pretty much like yours - I also read to expand my views and to experience something I may have never pondered. So even if I don't agree with a book, I almost always read on. It's boredom that will make me stop reading (although I DNF only very rarely). And sometimes, even if I disagree with it, later it turns around and changes the perspective, or reveals something new.
    A very nice discussion bit in this post. I should begin writing things like that too. A very engaging read :)

    1. Evelina - Thank you! They are very affectionate on top of being adorable. :-)

      I don't DNF often either, to be honest. I find that too with the books I read that I might disagree with--that it rarely lasts through the entire book.

      Thanks for visiting, Evelina!

  5. I agree with you about the way the author presents the issue being more important. If the story turns out to be a vehicle for the author to persuade me to think a certain way, then I'm more likely to dislike the book/not finish (though that isn't very often). If the story is well-written, then I find that I don't really care.

    After all, one of the reasons I read is to learn more about the world, not to find that it agrees with me.

    1. Eustacia - Yes, exactly! I think you said it better than I did. :-)

      I hope you have a great week! Thank you for visiting.

  6. It can be really tough to read books that clash with your beliefs... sometimes I can do it to broaden my mind, and sometimes I can't. Lolita I couldn't stomach. Dexter I enjoyed the series to a certain extent, but haven't tried the books yet. I have Salvage the Bones on my shelf, wondering how that one will go.

    1. Jeane - I like the Dexter books better than the television show, although I did like the television show too. It went in a completely direction as the series though.

      Thanks for visiting, Jeane!

  7. I know how you felt when that shooting occurred because our son was a student at Virginia Tech when they had the shooting there. I was panicked until I finally got hold of him.

    Your kitchen island looks great!

    1. Kathy - It was frightening--and then a relief when I heard it wasn't my daughter's school. I can't even imagine the fear you felt knowing your son was at Virginia Tech at the time of that shooting. We think of our schools as safe places and then they turn out not to be. It's very scary.

      Thank you for visiting, Kathy!

  8. I was so sad to hear about the murder suicide. As a teacher, it made me realize how vulnerable we all are. I mean, this is a person who was permitted to be at the school. His appearance wouldn't have raised any of the typical red flags. How do you protect yourself from that?!? Its crazy.
    I can't read books where dogs are hurt or die. I just can't do it. Its too sad!
    Your new island is beautiful! I love it!
    Have a great week!
    Samantha The Book Disciple

    1. Samantha - It really is scary to think about. It's easy to look back and think of what could have, maybe even should have, been done differently, but how can one really know something like this would happen?

      I do not like to read books in which animals are hurt or die either. It's why I won't read Marley and Me. It's too hard.

      We are still trying to figure out what to put the cupboards and drawers of the island now that we have the exta space. :-) It'll definitely go to good use.

      I hope you have a great week too. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I am hoping my daughter will join me for Dewey...She loves to read but doesn't do it enough. I also think it would make her a better reader if she spent at least part of the day with me reading.

    I hope you have an amazing week! The Island is gorgeous! Happy Reading! ox

    1. Michelle - I think it would be a lot of fun if your daughter can join you for Dewey! I think it would be fun. :-) Hopefully my daughter will be interested when she's a bit older. Then we could make it a family event!

      I hope you have a great week too. Thanks for visiting!

  10. I'm surprised you guys have soccer on easter weekend. Our league always takes that week off. Your cats are cute!

    1. Jennifer - Thank you! They are well loved and definitely spoiled. :-)

      I imagine it varies from league to league. Sunday's soccer classes were cancelled for Easter but not the day before.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  11. Love your new island - it looks like it was always meant to be there!

    1. Lisa - I think it's a good fit for our kitchen. :-) I would like to have had a more permanent one installed, and maybe someday that will be possible. In the meantime, this one will do the job we need it too.

      Thanks for visiting, Lisa!

  12. Interesting thoughts on reading books that take us out of our comfort zones. Like you, I do enjoy being inside the skin of a person with controversial beliefs or actions. Also, a side effect of going into psychology and social work!

    Preaching doesn't set well with me, either.

    So sad about the shooting...I am really frightened that these events keep happening, with no sign of them stopping any time soon.

    I know that the perpetrators are usually caught up in their own rage and not thinking about the consequences. But surely more security is in order in the places where these events happen. Just sayin'.

    I love your kitchen island...I've always wanted one, ever since I enjoyed one in a house I had in the 60s.

    My version nowadays is a little bar cart pushed up against a tiny counter. LOL.

    Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

    1. Laurel-Rain - I think you are right--it seems to come naturally to those of us who chose to go into such fields.

      It is frightening these things keep happening. I wish there was an easy way to stop it. We expect our schools to be safe places, and yet they aren't--at least not as they once were. I do know that security measures do help. We had three separate legitimate school shooting plots within a two week period thwarted in my county recently. While it's good the kids were caught in time, it makes you wonder what we as a society is doing wrong that so many of our kids are even considering taking actions like those. There are a lot of theories out there, but no real answers.

      I've been wanting a kitchen island for awhile now--we certainly have the kitchen for it. We can't afford to have one built in so this was the next best thing for us.

      I hope you have a great week, Laurel-Rain. Thank you for stopping by!

  13. Glad your cat is responding to treatment. Hope Parker continues to improve.

    I just watched Moana this past week. I thought it was cute. I also liked Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I still need to watch Rogue One. I have it checked out from the library and might watch it tonight. I enjoyed Star Trek: The Next Generation. I loved that series as a teen and I think there are still episodes I haven't seen. I never card for the original series either.

    Glad you had a nice Easter and that Mouse made a new friend. Your flowers look so lovely and cheerful. Spring is such a nice time of year! I love when everything is blooming :)

    It is so sad whenever you hear of school shootings. It is just terrible. Good that your daughter's school is reevaluating policies in response to make it a safer place.

    Because I am in two book discussion groups, I sometimes have to read books I don't like and occasionally things I don't agree with. I like reading stories from different perspectives but it is hard to read about a character I don't like. When I read Small Great Things, I hated reading the chapters from the racist's point of view. I also struggled when reading a book from a rapist's point of view in a recent contemporary novel. In both cases I understood why the authors included those characters' opinions. I think when it comes to religion I enjoy reading books from other faiths. What I don't like is books that disparage a person's faith. I'd struggle with reading books from a different political view, especially nonfiction from some of the inflammatory authors out there.

    Hope you have a great week!

    1. Christina - Thank you! I am so relieved Parker is responding to the medication too. He wasn't too happy about this past week's vet visit, but it was worth going just to get some good news.

      I admit my expectations for Moana were quite low, and so I was pleasantly surprised. I just love anything having to do with J.K. Rowling's fantasy world. I hope you get a chance to see Rogue One and like it when you do!

      I am sure I haven't seen all the episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation either. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about the original series!

      It can be hard when you don't like a character. I generally am able to get past that, but not all the time. Sometimes it can really hurt my enjoyment of a book. I haven't read Small Great Things. I can see how the racist's point of view would make you angry. I think it would be too.

      I hope you have a great time in Mexico, Christina! Thanks for visiting!

  14. TNG is my favorite series and we have been re-watching it as well. :)

    Jane Steele looks like a fun read because I love Jane Eyre. Have fun reading it!

    Hope you have a great week. ~Aleen

    1. Aleen - How cool that you are re-watching it too! I'm glad to see it's on Netflix. Hopefully it will stay there until I can watch all the available seasons.

      I love Jane Eyre too. I have heard mixed reviews about Jane Steele, but I'm hopeful.

      I hope you have a great week too. Thanks for visiting!

  15. HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY!!!!!! Yeah, I missed Earth Day..... I never found out. But I DID find out about WBD!!! Hope you're all enjoying a GREAT reading day!! It's been raining over here, and hubs and I both have colds. Our condo is VERY cozy today! After I get off the computer, I'll plunge headfirst into a book!! Lol.

    Oh, DYNAMITE POST, Wendy!! As usual!! LOTS of GREAT stuff going on, I see!! <3 <3 :) :)

    The books Mouse got look so CUTE!! I KNOW she'll LOVE them!

    Oh, and you got "Jane Steele"! I've been wondering whether I'll be brave enough to read that one....maybe I'll get the Kindle version, if it's not too expensive. Lol.

    As you must have noticed, I rarely comment on what you watch. I do have to say that I have yet to see "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them"...can you believe it? As for "Trolls", I had never even heard of it. Gotta check that out! And I have to say that I DID see "Rogue One" (hubby and I went to a movie theater), but didn't like it, except for the FABULOUS space battles! But I was expecting the female MC to kick MORE butt than she actually did. AND she wasn't a pilot, which I had also expected.... :(

    And for "Star Trek"....everyone has their own taste, and that's just great! I for one am a DIEHARD TOS TREKKIE!! Yup, I MUCH prefer the original series. I know that Kirk got a bit obnoxious at times, what with practically having a woman on every planet, lol. But I still thought he was SEXY. And I also thought Spock was sexy (with lower case letters, lol). It was those ears....sigh.... LOL.

    I'm SO glad you guys had such a nice Easter!! I went to church with my folks (hubs is Jewish, and celebrated Passover with his), and did not go on any egg hunt.... :( If I had kids, I DEFINITELY would have organized one! And I have no nieces or nephews, either.... :( :( Well, it was a quiet day, but very nice.

    what a BEAUTIFUL island you now have in your kitchen! And Mouse helped Daddy put it together? AWESOME!! Those parent-and-child projects can be SO much fun, and they also make for treasured memories!!

    I'm SO happy to hear that Parker is responding to his new medication, and has even gained weight!! YAAAAAAAY!!! And he SURE is a pretty cat!! I know how I would feel if I were lucky enough to own a horsey, and HE (I've always wanted a black stallion, lol) got sick!! HUGS TO PARKER!!! <3 <3 <3


    1. Maria - You didn't know it was Earth Day on Saturday and I didn't know it was World Book Day on Sunday. I did know it was St. Jordi day, at least, so I suppose that's something. :-)

      I am sorry to hear you and your husband are sick. I hope you both are feeling better soon. We've mostly been combating allergies, an ongoing problem this time of year, I'm afraid.

      I've read mixed reviews of Jane Steele--so read at your own risk, I guess! LOL

      I'm sorry you didn't like Rogue One. I thought it was even better than The Force Awakens. I knew what to expect going in though, thanks to my husband who is a big Star Wars fan. And yeah, I'm afraid I can't get past Kirk's obnoxiousness and womanizing behavior on the original show. He is one of my least favorite Star Trek characters. Of course, I am not a fan of playboy characters to begin with, even in books. I do really like the newer movies with the younger original Star Trek cast though.

      Thank you. We are quite pleased with the kitchen island. Mouse wants to sit at the "bar" area all the time now. Just as I knew she would. :-) Any excuse to sit on tall chairs!

      I am so relieved Parker is doing a bit better. We're cautiously optimistic at this point.

  16. Well, you know me! I like to comment on pretty much your ENTIRE Sunday post! Lol.

    I'm glad that you guys had a nice Earth Day, too! As I mentioned in my previous comment, I missed it entirely.... :( I just didn't remember when it was, would you believe?

    How cute that Mouse made a new friend at the nursery, and that she was looking forward to releasing the ladybugs! And, BTW, your rose bushes are GORGEOUS!!!! <3 <3 <3

    The next part of your Sunday Post post made me very sad.... I know I heard something in the news about this, but it was only in passing, so I wasn't aware of the details. Whenever something like this happens, I feel SO MAD at the government for not enforcing THE STRICTEST background checks for those who want to purchase guns!! WHY is it SO easy to buy a gun?! Heck, it's much harder to get a driver's license! My heart and prayers go out to the families affected by that crazy guy.... Thanks for letting us all know about the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. I will be looking into it!

    Sorry your work week was a bit hectic. Hope this week will be better!

    Painting those jewelry boxes must have been a LOT of fun! Sure wish I could find something like that to participate in with a group of friends!

    It's so AWESOME that you and Mouse are participating in this fundraiser read-a-thon! And now she wants her own computer? WAY TO GO, MOUSE!! <3 <3

    I wish I could participate in Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon, but I know I won't be able to, what with being such a slow reader.... :(

    (TO BE CONTINUED.... :) )

    1. Maria - Mouse can make friends just about everywhere. She definitely didn't inherit that from me. :-)

      My roses are doing well, considering. I am terrible with plants and flowers so it is not because of my attention! Thank goodness roses are hardy plants.

      I hope you will check out the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. The father's story is quite inspiring and the work he and the killer's grandfather are doing is admirable.

      We have a lot of fun with the Girl Scouts--but there do seem to be so many activities! I will be glad when summer comes and we slow down some.

      Participating in Dewey's readathon isn't about speed. There's no contest to read a certain number of books. I think my favorite part is the way everyone comes together to support one another. There are cheerleaders and participants can participate for the entire time, just part of the time, post on social media or their blog, or not at all. It's very losoe and a great community activity. Who ever said reading was a solitary hobby never met book bloggers. :-)

  17. And now on to your Book Blogger Hop answer! Well, I LOVED it!! Your answer is very insightful and thorough, Wendy! Your opening sentences say it all: "One of the reasons I read is to be able to experience and explore worlds and ideas outside of my own limited sphere. I think it is important to venture outside of one's own comfort zone now and then." I TOTALLY agree!! I know I should be doing more diverse reading myself. For instance, I have yet to read a book by an Indian (from India) author, or an African one, for that matter. It is indeed very important to see how other cultures and ethnic groups view the world.

    Like you, I like to read books that make me think. Even YA fiction can do this, although at first glance, it might appear to be all about "high school angst", and nothing else. But thankfully, this is not the case at all! I've read some very thought-provoking YA fiction.

    Human behavior is fascinating to me, too, which is why I LOVE to read psychology books! At one time, I even thought of majoring in the subject, in college, but then decided not to. Back then, I thought the only jobs in this field were counseling jobs, which I believe I'd be MUCH too sensitive for. Of course, later on, I learned that there were other types of jobs available. By then, though, it was too late to switch majors. Lol.

    Although I'm not at all "a dog person", I would never want to read a book with the theme of dog fighting, either. UGH.

    Infidelity, as you know from my own BBH post, is a HOT BUTTON issue for me, so I can't stand books dealing with it AT ALL.

    As for "Lolita", I've never read it, but I DID read the plot summary on Wikipedia, and was totally disgusted by it! So of course I will NEVER even skim through this book. Reading the plot summary was MORE than enough! Pedophilia is such a HORRIBLE subject, I wouldn't be able to read ANY books dealing with it, unless, of course, they were nonfiction books that proposed ways of protecting innocent children from these sexual predators.

    As for human trafficking, I would also be unable to handle this.... the fact that such a thing exists, in this day and age, is just UNBELIEVABLE. Again, I might tackle a nonfiction book on ways to pressure governments to crack down on this.

    I realize that there's a place in this world for novels that deal with sensitive, painful subjects like the ones mentioned in your BBH answer, but I sure don't want to read them! These books do raise awareness of these horrible things, which is good. I can be aware of them through other means, though -- such as an Internet article -- and donate to organizations that combat these evils. Reading novels on these subjects is just too much of a painful thing for me to take.... :(

    Thanks so much for sharing all of your news, bookish and non-bookish!! Thanks as well for commenting on my own BBH post!! And...once more, HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY!!!! We can NEVER have TOO MANY books!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!! HUGS TO YOU & MOUSE!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

    1. Love ALL of your replies, Maria. :)


    2. Maria - I have enjoyed the books set in and by Indian authors that I have read as well as some from different African countries. I hope you do get a chance to explore both of those areas.

      I agree you can learn about and stay on top of relevant events in today's society by means other than reading fiction. I think fiction offers a depth and humanness that often is lacking in the usual media sources. I suppose you can find that in television and movies as well, of course. I like those mediums as ways of taking in stories as well. But as a book lover and reader, I will always argue the value of reading over watching. :-)

      Thank you for stopping by, Maria!

  18. I want to read that cozy series your reading! It looks really good. Hope you have a great week!

    Week in Review

    1. Stormi - I am really enjoying the Honeychurch Hall mystery. It's my first in the series, but definitely will not be my last. Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Love the island.

    BEAUTIFUL answer to the Blog Hop.

    Hope you had a good weekend.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

    1. Elizabeth - It's a good fit for our kitchen. :-) Thank you for your kind words, Elizabeth. I hope you have a great week!

  20. Love the island, Wendy. I always wish I've one of those but space is always the issue here (as in many houses here. Spaces are getting smaller due to limited land.)

    It's hard to read books that clash with our personal beliefs but it's always interesting to hear from another perspective and sometimes, learning new things along the way.

    Hope you've a great week, Wendy! :)

    1. Melody - Thank you! I am quite happy with the island so far. I agree, I think it can be interesting--and important--to hear different perspectives.

      I hope you have a great week too. Thanks for visiting!

  21. Sometimes a well-written book can have an impact that I would not expect, making me look at a different perspective. On the other hand, many books sensationalize and make titillating a topic that is repulsive. A lot of my choice on continuing to read will depend on whether the book seems to be pandering to the sensational or seriously examining a topic. Sometimes, I can't continue because the content is too disturbing, regardless of the quality of the writing. I like being challenged to look deeper, to examine what leads to certain events, but it is important to examine the author's intent as well.

    1. Jenclair - You raise a good point, and I agree. Author's intent--how the material is presented--is important to me as well in whether I can swallow something better than others.
      Thanks for stopping by, Jenclair!

  22. Love that island! They did a good job! And I did enjoy all of those movies except Trolls...that was a bit much for me! lol

    1. Melissa - Thank you! We like it too. Now just to find little baskets for the cubbies on the sides. My husband thought Trolls was much darker than he expected. I think I was most taken with the music.

  23. My Easter was very low-key. Honestly, it was just another Sunday like all the others when the man is working weekends. I had planned on doing something for the dogs (like baking treats), but I have beyond zero motivation these days. Did I hear you right? They made that island? It looks fantastic! The roses are gorgeous! Mouse's project and y'all's gardening sounds like a dream. You should record Mouse releasing the ladybugs! I didn't hear about that incident. It must have been very isolated, but just today a man in Dallas shot and killed his boss and then himself. And I will say that I have discussed many times with coworkers how easy it would be for something like that to happen in our school. Anyone could walk right in the front of the building and go anywhere at all, free reign, and no one would be the wiser. It is a different world we live in today.

    1. Charlie - Low-key is the best way to celebrate Easter in my opinion. :-) If it weren't for my daughter, our Easter would have pretty much been the same. It's not a big deal holiday for us the way Christmas is.

      Well, they put the island together. It came in various parts. So, kind of. :-)

      Hopefully Mouse's flowers will flourish this time around. We've tried planting flowers before to no avail. My roses are the only ones that seem to really do well.

      That is awful about the man in Dallas who committed murder-suicide. It's so tragic.

      Thank you for visiting, Charlie. I hope you have a great week.

  24. I love your new island. It fits into your kitchen perfect and with the little baskets you are planning it really has a lot of storage. I am so sorry to hear about the murder suicide in your area. It is so sad how often these kind of things happen anymore. It is good that the schools are taking safety so seriously. Love all of your pictures. Have a great week!

    1. Carole - Thank you! It's nice to have it there, although I'm still getting used to it. I think the cats are confused. My one cat loves sitting on the chairs. My other is too weak to jump up, poor guy.

      I wish something could be done to stop all these senseless shootings. I hate that even our schools are not safe anymore.

      Thanks for stopping by, Carole!

  25. Gosh - I am so far behind in seasons of the Voice! Oops :( I also REALLY need to watch Rogue 1

    The kitchen island looks awesome!!!


    1. Di - I haven't seen every season of The Voice. I came into the show late and have skipped a season or two in between since I began watching. I think this is the fourth or fifth season I have watched.

      I hope you like Rogue One when you see it!

      We are really liking having the island. We still haven't figured out what we'll use the new storage space for, but I'm sure we'll figure it out soon. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by, Di!

  26. Great blog hop answer and I totally agree with you. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog hop!

    1. Katiria - Thank you! I probably rambled a bit more than I should have. :-)

  27. I’m so glad you mentioned Fantastic Beasts ‘cause I wasn’t aware it was available on DVD  And your island looks beautiful! Nice to hear Parker’s doing a bit better, and love seeing the pics of the kids. Love that they’re doing a Readathon for a fundraiser :D

    I give you a lot of credit reading such broad subject matter even when you’re not really enjoying it. Over the past couple of years I’ve found it much easier to put a book down that I’m not enjoying, regardless of the reason, simply because life’s too short and there are way too many books to read that I would enjoy. I won’t read books that go against my grain in important ways. In my eyes, my belief system can’t be challenged in a way that would change it and I don’t want to spend my time having it challenged by what I read. It happens enough in life! Lol Anyway, you’ve got a LOT going on. So do I. It’s keeping me from reading! :-\

    1. Donna Marie - Fantastic Beasts was a must have for our DVD library. :-) Parker's been lagging a bit more the last couple of days, but he's eating. I'm so paranoid where he is concerned, given his health issues. He's probably thinking, "Back off, Mom! Everyone has good and bad days."

      My daughter may not be the top reader in the school or at the top of the heap for all the kindergarten classes in terms of fundraising, but she and I are determined she'll be at the top for kindergarten readers at her school. :-) That's our goal anyway. Haha. The readathon ends the first of May.

      I am fairly good at picking out books I know I will like. And I really enjoy reading books that draw out my emotions, strong ones included. I also get enjoyment out of books that make me think. They may not have a chance of changing my mind, but I like to see things from varying perspectives. It's a necessary skill in my line of work and has crossed over to all parts of my life, including my reading.

      For me, not enjoying a book means I'm bored with it. Not that I find it challenging or about a difficult (for me) subject. And I won't continue on with a book I am bored with. So, I'm with you there. I get so little reading time as it is, I don't want to waste it on books I am not enjoying. If it's a book club pick, like the two examples I gave where my enjoyment was affected negatively, well, then I am more likely to give the books more of a chance than I might otherwise. In both of those cases, I did find enough to enjoy in both books to want to continue--even though my rating was more okay than good. Neither was awful. (It's the reason I don't often rate books below 2--which is okay on my scale. It is very rare I finish a book I would rate 1--and I don't rate books I don't finish.) More than you wanted to know, I'm sure. :-)

      Thank you for visiting! I hope you find some down time to read soon.

    2. I hope your Readathon goals are met! And no, not more than I'd want to know. It's ALl interesting! :) And thanks...I hope I find some down time too :)

  28. We had a mass shooting here at our city civic center, and at one point they thought there was was a second shooter and the high school two blocks away, where my son attended, was locked down. He had all AP and IB ckasses where you had to put your phone in a bucket at the beginning of each class, so he woukd just leave his phone in his locker every morning and I couldn't reach him to know if he was okay. It was absolute terror for me for about four hours. I feel awful the kids now have to have lockdown drills. Having that idea that someone might enter the school to harm them in their little heads makes me sick.

    The island turned out fabulously. Your husband and daughter mske a great team. I really miss going to soccer games. I was even trying to convince the two girls I babysit that they should play so I could go and watch them, ha ha, but I will just have to be happy going to their dance recitals. I hope you are hwving a wonderful week. :)

    1. I am so sorry about the mass shooting at your city's civic center. Events like that put everyone on high alert, but it's especially scary when you cannot reach your loved ones who might have been nearby--like your son. I would have been a wreck in your shoes!

      My daughter mentioned having a lock down drill at her school a few months ago. I wish I had been in the classroom to hear how they explained that to the kindergarteners. When I was growing up, we had earthquake and air raid drills. So, I definitely was not a stranger to drills. There's just something about lock downs though that chills the heart, isn't there?

      Mouse enjoys playing soccer quite a bit, although sometimes there are tears about having to leave the house to go. *sigh*

      I hope you have a great week too! Thanks for stopping by.

    2. It's horrible about the shooting. Dear God. And I'm assuming people were killed. God bless everyone involved :(


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