Monday, September 30, 2013

Orange is the New Black - Book Review

I just noticed that I never posted about what I read in August.... and I actually have no clue what I read (besides the book below) in September. Woops. I haven't meant to be so MIA here lately, but my current job is keeping me quite busy, but hopefully soon I will back and posting here more often. 

BookOrange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
AuthorPiper Kerman
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher/Publish DateSpiegel & Grau / December 2009
Source: Public Libraru
Pages: 298
Rating: 4.5/5
GoodReads  •  Amazon

Not sure exactly when I first heard about this book, but after watching, and really enjoying the Netflix miniseries based on this book, I had to read it.

Piper Kerman made some mistakes as a young twenty-something that come back to haunt her 10 years later. After being convicted of smuggling drug money, she is sentenced to 15 months at a federal correctional facility in Danbury, Conn.

In prison Kerman must learn the rules, both those from the officers and the informal rules set up by the inmates. She learns how to live peacefully, though not always successful, while in such close quarters to 1,000 women. Prison is such a unique situation, that they create their own cliques, guidelines, and traditions to help pass the time and not go crazy.

I appreciated Kerman's openness about her experience. The utterly ridiculous way of life in the prison, and how it does little to rehabilitate or prepare prisoners to live successful lives once they leave. As well as the surprisingly cheerful and heartfelt experiences and relationships she had with fellow inmates. She was able to connect and make deep friendships as she was open to the experience, and accepting of the mistakes she made that lead her there.

The book opens you eyes to the lives of the prisoners she meet, who it's easy for us to stereotype and make assumptions about.

If you have only watched the miniseries I recommend you read the book too, since there are some differences, and a few main plot points are not events that happened in her real life.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SF in Portland

A few weekends ago, over Labor Day Weekend, a couple of my best friends from San Francisco came to visit me. Honestly I think they came half to see me, and half to see Death Cab for Cutie in a special show performing Transatlanticism in it's entirety. I've been learning iMovie, so I put together a short video of the weekend festivities. Enjoy.

video

Saturday, September 14, 2013

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

never run out of books to read

The other day my friend pointed me to a really amazing new service that I think you fellow book lovers might be interested in. Oyster is like Netlflix for eBooks. It seems to be in invitation only stage, and only works with iPhone and iPod Touch, but hopefully soon they will include iPads, Nooks, and other e-readers.

"Oyster offers unlimited access to over 100,000 books for $9.95 a month, with new titles added all the time."

I am a huge fan of free, so will be sticking with the local library and the hard copy and ebooks they offer, but I am sure there are plenty of people who this will help encourage to read more.

PS: This is not a sponsored posted and I am not being compensated, just think this is a really awesome idea.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Book Review

BookEnder's Game
AuthorOrson Scott Card
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi 
Publisher/Publish DateTor Science Fiction / 1985
Source: Public Library
Pages: 324
Rating: 3.5/5
GoodReads  •  Amazon

I have been hearing so much about this book lately, probably since there is a movie of it coming out this year, I decided I better see what all the fuss about.

If you have been living in the woods like me, here is the premise of the story: Ender is the third child in a world that usually only allows two per family. After surviving two wars with "bugs," the world's focus is on creating an army that can defeat them for good, allowing humans to live in peace. All kids are monitored from birth to see if they have what it takes to go to battle school, and Ender is special and is chosen to go. 

Most of the book focuses on the tests and knowledge he learns at school. Orson Scott Card created a word that is twisted and focused on violence, and describes technology that isn't too far off than some of what we have today.

I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but I really enjoyed this, and maybe in this century some of what he writes doesn't seem so out of this world. This is a young adult book, and the characters are really young, but I think the topics are great for discussion and consideration for all ages.