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Showing posts from March, 2018

Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride

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Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride tempted me to expand my reading time day after day as I read Sarah's story of coming to terms with who she was, her love story with Andy, and her unquenchable thirst for seeking equality and social justice not only for the Transgender Community but for all those who are disenfranchised. Her story made my heart ache for all those people who have resigned themselves to living identities that don't fit just to fit in in the world and to stay safe. McBride immerses the reader in her fears that living as her true self would diminish her possibilities for the career in government that intrigued her as well as her journey as she faced those fears and sought out opportunities to seek change within the government and society as a whole. Her hope for the future inspired me to remain hopeful even when things appear hopeless. Tomorrow Will Be Different is as much a love story as a story of the fights…

Fierce on the Page: Become the Writer You were to Be and Succeed on Your own Terms by Sage Cohen

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Fierce on the Page: Become the Writer You Were Meant to Be and Succeed on Your Own Terms by Sage Cohen gently, steadily, and apologetically pushes writers to recognize, embrace, and project their fierceness onto the page. Cohen offers short essays, stories, and anecdotal evidence of the techniques she describes for finding one's own inner fierceness. I opted to do the exercises in the book as well as read it and found they deepened the experience quite a bit. Most are simple writing exercises that take only a few minutes to do though a few are more intensive. All of the exercises are thought and/or emotion provoking, some more than others. I decided to treat the book like a class and do one chapter a day until I completed it. That worked well for me and gave me time to really digest each chapter before delving into the next. Sometimes I couldn't resist peeking ahead to see what was coming up. Cohen writes in a fiercely engaging way that feels vulnerable and strong at the same …

Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon (A Falcon Guide) by Adam Sawyer

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I've been using Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon (A Falcon Guide) by Adam Sawyer to find hiking trails leading to waterfalls for several years now. I really like this guide because it provides good directions to the trailheads as well good descriptions of the hikes and what to expect on the hikes. The maps of the trails are also quite nice providing a realistic idea of what the hike will entail. The photos are nicely done and add a bit of enticement for many of the hikes. The estimated time the hikes will take are fairly accurate though this does depend on one's fitness ability. I'm not sure how accurate the difficulty scale is because I think there's a large amount of subjectivity involved again. I found some of the easy hikes more difficult than I expected and some of the difficult hikes easier than I expected. Overall, though, this is my go-to guide when I'm searching for a hike, particularly because I love hikes that include waterfalls.


In the Beauty of the Lilies by John Updike

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In the Beauty of the Lilies by John Updike explores ideology and the intense effects of releasing beliefs as well as clinging to them. Updike drops the reader into the life of the Wilmot family and follows the family through four generations of belief and life demonstrating the strong effects of society on belief and belief on society. In the Beauty of the Lilies pulled me into the middle of the Wilmot family making me feel invested in their decisions even when I didn't particularly like a character in a given moment. His characters are deeply flawed individuals who also exhibit admirable qualities. There's a sense of watching human strength and human frailty battle each other in the internal workings of the characters as well as in their interactions with one another. Updike writes in a prose that feels like it inhabits his characters and their lives with page after page that strike the moods and attitudes of the character whose point of view is front and center. In the Beaut…

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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I'd heard about The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg from several different sources, always as a recommended book. I finally broke down and bought a copy and then put it in my to-read pile to get to eventually. I wish now I'd put it on the top of my to-read pile. It was that interesting and informative.  As I read about cues and routines and rewards, I felt my usual resistance rise up. I suppose I'm a skeptic at heart because I often feel the need to be convinced. Duhigg breaks down the studies he references with an ease that makes them read as easy as reading a novel making The Power of Habit a very approachable read. As I read, I began to think about my own habits. I  examined which habits are productive for me and which ones aren't. I realized it really isn't always that easy to see one's own cues, routines, or even the rewards without some deep examination. The Power of Habit pushed me to think about the role of ha…