The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Passenger - Tainted Liberal Fiction

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz is yet another fiction book tainted with liberal narrative. Here is my review overall of the book: The first few chapters were well written, even though the character of "Tanya" has absolutely no likable traits at all. The book went completely downhill as soon as Tanya met "Blue" - but after meeting Blue - everything became totally preposterous. Here is a woman who is trying to become someone new - yet she always goes to bars and continues to email someone from her past. And tells secrets about herself to a woman she JUST met. Secrets that even her husband didn't know. Oh - and guess what, you won't know these secrets until almost 300 pages in. And then when you are told, you are literally told - but you'll have figured out the "big secret" long before that. She paints Tanya as a hero when she is nothing more than a cold blooded killer. Any reader who is halfway smart can see the "surprising" plot twist from a million miles away. So many cliches I don't even know where to begin. The poor daughter brought up by an, alcoholic, tramp mother. The rich evil business man with the evil kids who owns everything in town and cheats on his wife with the tramp. The character also makes excuses about her criminal ways - blaming the town she grew up in, and then blaming "Blue." - but just like liberal doctrine - never takes responsibility for her actions.   There are several political references and this book is tainted with progressive spin: The old guys in the bar complaining that the president is trying to take there guns and human rights away. Human rights? I've never head anyone complain about Obama taking "human rights" away. And then there is tthe White man "Prepper" with 3 names who lives in a cabin and has these books: Who Moved My Cheese (Popular in the business world), Guns N Ammo magazines, and the Anarchist Cookbook. The man has tons of fertilizer in his basement and a ton of guns. When "Tanya" calls the police to warn them, the police say that they can't investigate because it's the Prepper's Second Amendment Right to own guns. Thus, we have two well worn progressive/liberal narratives appearing in yet another work of "fiction" - The narrative that cops are stupid.  And that the second amendment is outdated/harmful.
 (but certainly, the main characters have no qualms using guns (or anything else for that matter) to kill people who they believe deserve to die.
Liberals have two opinions of cops: They are either too eager to investigate, or they ignore everything.
And then in the end, when Tanya (Nora) discovers her highschool lover is actually her brother (which any smart reader will have figured out from the beginning), she is not horrified that she's been having sex with him/was in love with him.
Another crappy fiction book littered with jabs at the Constitution, white men, and rich people. All cliche, no creativity.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

When A Doctor Is Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer

When Breath Becomes Air - Most Meaningful Book (so far) of 2016 - 

I don't know if Lucy, Paul's wife, will ever read this review, but I want her to know that Paul's remarkable journey has made me a better person for reading such a beautiful tale of life, love, family, friends and hope.
Lucy, you are just as brave as Paul. Your words brought me to tears - not tears so much of sadness but joy. Joy that a wife, a partner, a best-friend, has not only the courage to stay and be supportive and loving in good times as well as bad, but even afterwards, when I'm sure sometimes the weight of the past would seem heavy to most, you use that weight to propel you forward. To propel Paul's message and meaning forward.
By telling his story, Paul will perhaps touch more lives in a positive way than perhaps he ever would had he continued on this earthly plane. I am sure Cady will miss her father, but I have no doubts with such a strong mother and family, she is blessed. Indeed, anyone reading and understanding this book is blessed, and hopefully a bit stronger and wiser. THANK YOU.

For The Potential Readers of this book:
It it uplifting. It is beautiful. I read it in a day, bookmarked and highlighted many passages.
Two words kept coming up and standing out: striving and hope.
Striving is what makes our life meaningful and hope is what propels us forward.
Though not a religious book (and I'd describe myself as spiritual, not following a formal religion), I appreciated Paul's explanation of his religious growth and why, as a student of science he turned away from religion, only to realize it's because of science that, in an educated observation coupled with experience, religion is not just possible, but also probable.
Please don't get me wrong, this book is not about religion, rarely mentions it, but when he does, he does so in such a way, that it's concise, to the point, and is non-confrontational.
My only criticism, and I hate to mention any, but for me, the only thing that took away from the book was the foreword by Abraham Verghese. A reader can skip this and miss nothing. The foreword seemed to be more about Verghese than Paul, and I was frustrated by it, worried it might be a preview of things to come (a bit elitist, a bit superior, a bit cold). However, as soon as I started to read the Prologue, I was entranced with Paul, his journey, his insights, his courage, his love, his humility, his intelligence, his love for family, indeed, for life.
This really is not a book so much about cancer as it is about how to live life with courage, with meaning, and with joy.
Most meaningful book I've read all year.