Tag #53: OMG That Song Book Tag

OMG That Song Book Tag - YouTube

Image Credit: YouTube

The Book Nut did another awesome book tag!

Here’s the link to their original post:


The Basics:

For each question I will be giving both song and book that go with the question. They don’t have to go together, but sometimes they may.

Let us begin!


My Jam: A song you have to listen to no matter how many times you’ve heard it and a book that you’ll never get sick of…

Song: I agree with The Book Nut – “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy. I almost instantly recognize it when it comes on the radio or a streaming playlist. And then I sing along. Badly, but I sing along every single time.

Book: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I re-read it every year.

Throwback: A song that reminds you of the cringeiest time in your life and a book you read that you would wouldn’t like if you read it now…

Song: “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada. It was one of my ex-boyfriend’s favorite songs. Considering we were together from 2006-2010, I listened to it A LOT. I can hardly listen to it now.

Book: Ugh. I agree with The Book Nut again – Allegiant by Veronica Roth takes the cake!

Replay: A recent song that you have on repeat and a recent favorite book…

Song: I think The Book Nut and I are on the same wavelength. I love “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. The whole soundtrack is great, but I love the message in this particular song.

Book: The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware.

Gets Me: A song that is literally me and a book that is me in book form…

Song: “Mine” by Taylor Swift. It describes my feelings for my husband almost perfectly. I knew I wanted to incorporate this song into our wedding, somehow. I ended up singing it to him during our rehearsal dinner, complete with our bridal party holding handmade posters that spelled out “You are the best thing that’s ever been mine.”

Book: Ugh. This one. So unbelievably difficult.

If I had to pick just one, I’d pick Amelia’s Notebook, by Marissa Moss. I devoured these books as a kid. Amelia reminded me of me – She even looked like me. Totally 90s. Plus, it inspired me to keep journaling and writing, off and on, for years.

WUT: A weird song that you liked anyways and a unique book that stuck out to you for some reason…

Song: “Gangnam Style” by Psy. I love it!

Book: Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide, by Patrice Banks. I wanted to buy this book right after listening to her interview on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast. It’s packed full of information, true stories, and inspiration! As a woman, I sincerely appreciate her dedication to teaching women about their cars (and men, too) and making everyone feel more confident.

Let’s Go: Pick your best pump up song and a book that inspires you…

Song: “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars.

Book: Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, by Lilly Ledbetter. I love memoirs. But, this one was eye-opening to me. It will stay on my bookshelf forever.

Chill: Your best chill or relaxing song and a book you’d curl up with on a rainy day…

Song: “Someone Like You” by Adele. Her voice is so soothing!

Book: Anything by John Grisham.

Addicting: A guilty pleasure song and a light, trashy read you can’t help but love…

Song: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley.

Book: I hate to call any type of book trashy. But, guilty pleasure? Definitely Nicholas Sparks.

Nostalgia: A throwback song you look back on fondly and a book you read and loved when you were young…

Song: “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. I spent many a time in front of my mirrored closet doors with my hairbrush as a microphone.

Book: The entire Baby-Sitters Club and Baby-Sitters Little Sister series, by Ann M. Martin. I read and re-read them between the library and my own collection.

 


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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Awesome Authors #15: Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card

Image Credit: AZ Quotes

I was first introduced to Orson Scott Card when I was entering high school. We were assigned to read Ender’s Game, something that I initially dreaded!

Born in Richland, Washington, in August 1951, he is the third of six children. He is a great-great-grandson of Brigham Young. His older brother, Arlen Card, is a notable composer and arranger. Card was raised in Santa Clara, California; Mesa, Arizona; and Orem, Utah. Raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church, or Mormon church) church, Card was a missionary in Brazil, and graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU). He also attended the University of Utah, and spent a year at the University of Notre Dame in a Ph.D program.

Card started primarily as a poet. While a theater major, he began doctoring scripts, and eventually wrote his own one-act and full-length plays. Several were produced by faculty directors at BYU. He delved into fiction writing, and his earliest stories evolved into The Worthing Saga.

He was an associate editor at the Ensign, and moved to Salt Lake City. He currently teaches English at Southern Virginia University. In addition to writing under his given name, Card has written under multiple pseudonyms.

He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine. They have had five children, all named after authors their parents have admired: Michael Geoffrey (Geoffrey Chaucer), Emily Janice (Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson), Charles Benjamin (Charles Dickens), Zina Margaret (Margaret Mitchell), and Erin Louisa (Louisa May Alcott). Charles had cerebral palsy, and passed away just after his 17th birthday. Erin died the day she was born.

He has been awarded the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award multiple times, and has been the only author to win both science fiction’s top U.S. prizes in consecutive years. He was also recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) in 2008 with their Margaret A. Edwards Award, in which a writer and a particular body of work is recognized for “significant and lasting contributions to young adult literature.”


Ender’s Game (1985)

Cover shows a futuristic aeroplane landing on a lighted runway.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

This is one of the best science fiction books that I have ever read. Although it was assigned reading, I ended up re-reading it while still in high school. The movie adaptation (2013) was also very well done.

For someone who used to be a huge sci-fi skeptic, this is the book that turned it around for me.

Speaker for the Dead (1986)

Speaker dead cover.jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

This is one book that has been on my radar, but have yet to read.

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus (1996)

OSCpastwatch.jpg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

I’ve always been fascinated by alternate histories. This one looks interesting.


What about you? Have you read any of Orson Scott Card’s books or work?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #52: Disney Song Book Tag

The Book Nut is awesome!

Here’s the link to their original post:


Part of Your World – What book world would you change yourself for so you could be a part of that world? 

 Harry Potter. I like to think that Hermione would be my best friend.



Let It Go – What book did you not want to finish because you loved it so much?

 Wow. This is a hard one! I think it was either The Notebook or Nights in Rodanthe, from Nicholas Sparks.

Beauty and the Beast – What book do you think is/will be timeless? 

Since I already answered Harry Potter, my next answer would be The Hunger Games.

So This is Love – What book were you hesitant to read at first but ended up loving?

Probably Divergent. I was skeptical at first, but I really enjoyed it.

Friend Like Me – Which character would you like to be your best friend?

Hermione Granger.

Reflection – What book really made you think/changed the way you viewed things?

I have to agree with The Book Nut here – Looking for Alaska by John Green. It was assigned reading for my Young Adult Literature class during my last semester of college, and it changed me. I’ve adored Green and his books ever since.

Colors of the Wind – Who do you tag?

I tag anyone!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #51: Book Blogger Test Tag

Image Credit

Image Credit: Early Bookish Birds

I was looking for some ideas for a few books tags, and I found The Book Nut. They’ve done so many!

Here’s the link to their original post:


The Rules:

You must answer all of these questions truthfully and once you’ve completed this tag, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer the questions next.


What are your top three book pet hates?
Coverage changes, broken spines, and missing dust jackets.

Describe your perfect reading spot.
A comfortable chair or chaise lounge on a screened porch.

Tell us three book confessions.
I have more unread than read books on my shelf, I love organizing my books by author and publication year, and I’ve never read more than one book at a time.

When was the last time you cried at a book?
Prez: A Story of Love.

How many books are on your bedside table?
Ten. I need to put the six read ones back on my bookshelf.

What is your favorite snack whist you’re reading?
Nothing.

Name three books you’d recommend to everyone.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Show us a picture of your favorite shelf on your bookcase.
I don’t have a current picture, but I love my John Grisham shelf.

Write how much books mean to you in 3 words.
Reading is relaxing.

What’s your biggest reading secret?
I haven’t read many of Jane Austen’s works.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Hot Topic #26: North Korea

North Korea Quote

Image Credit: Wilson Center

Unless you’ve been living under the rock, it feels like North Korea has been in the news every single day.

I wanted to use this post to walk through several things: A brief history, news articles and documentaries, China’s concerns. and what the media is NOT reporting.


North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan in 1910. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided into two zones. The north was occupied by the Soviet Union, and the south was occupied by the United States. Attempts at reunification failed. In 1948, separate governments were formed – The socialist Democratic People’s Reublic of Korea to the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea to the south. An invasion by the north led to the Korean War, from 1950-1953. The Korean Armistice Agreement brought a ceasefire, but no peace treaty.

The North Korean army is the fourth largest in the world. With 1.21 million active duty personnel, it is only behind China, the United States, and India. Its population is estimated, in 2016 numbers, to be over 25 million people. The country shares land borders with China and Russia.

The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a strip of land, 160 miles long and about 2.5 miles wide. It separates the two countries. It was established in 1953 by an agreement between North Korea, China, and the United Nations.

The country functions as a highly centralized, one-party state. They are governed by the Ten Principles for the Establishment of a Monolithic Ideological System. The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) dominates all North Korean politics, and has an estimated three million members.

Kim Jong-un is the current Supreme Leader, or Suryeong, of Korea. He is part of the Kim dynasty, which has ruled North Korea since 1948.


Aside from general media coverage, there have been several interesting documentaries made about North Korea.

Al and I watched The Propaganda Game several years ago. I think we watched it through Netflix. It was incredibly compelling, eye-opening, and frustrating. I was so angry after we watched it.

In addition, multiple movies have featured North Korea, including The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Die Another Day (2002), Stealth (2005), Salt (2010), Red Dawn (2012), The Interview (2014), and Northern Limit Line (2015).


Over the years, concerns have arisen regarding the Kim dynasty, their treatment of their citizens, and nuclear weapons.

More recently, although North Korea has announced their intent to fully denuclearize, there are significant concerns from the Chinese government. North Korea has been blowing up and destroying some of their nuclear weapon facilities, and China has been very concerned about the radiation dust, and other environmental hazards. But, of course, the media here in the United States isn’t talking about that. But, they should be.

There’s a lot about China and North Korea that hasn’t been reported in the United States. It’s infuriating, really. I learned about investigative journalism early on in my education at Longwood. But, the current reporting has a certain strategy and angle. Not that any of that is an excuse. It’s crappy reporting, crappy journalism. I also believe there is a culture of fear now. Especially since Donald Trump is the President of the United States.


For more information, check out the links below. As always, I try to gather my news sources from a variety of United States and international news organizations.

 


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #74: The “New Science of Psychedelics”

The New Science of Psychedelics

Image Credit: NPR

Many of you know that I enjoy listening to podcasts. One that I listen to regularly is NPR’s Fresh Air podcast.

This week, Terry Gross interviewed Michael Pollan, a world-renowned author. His books have typically focused on food and agriculture.

However, his new book, titled How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, discusses the history of psychedelics, and the “new” uses of them to help treat anxiety, depression, and helping cancer patients face their mortality.

There have been two phases of clinical trials up until now, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved Phase III, which is “testing of drug on patients to assess efficacy, effectiveness and safety.”

In researching for the book, Pollan himself became a “reluctant psychonaut” with LSD and psilocybin (magic mushroom) to see if these effects were real.

I won’t tell you Pollan’s results, but it’s a really interesting process. I recommend listening to the podcast version of the show, as it’s an extended edition, where Pollan and Gross discuss the history of psychedelics, which is so fascinating to learn. It’s amazing to learn how LSD was first synthesized, and how it has had a turbulent history. Pollan also discusses psilocybin to an extent, which is another interesting part of the story.

For me, I was definitely more than a little skeptical. I’ve never used any drugs or psychedelics in my life. I’ve seen counselors and therapists.

However, Pollan lessened my skepticism a bit during his interview with Gross. One of his interview subjects was a woman who had survived ovarian cancer. She was absolutely terrified of it recurring, and she was paralyzed with fear. She found a guide, a therapist who administered small doses of one of these psychedelics, and helped her along her trip. She discovered this “black mass” underneath her rib cage during the trip, and originally though it was her cancer. The guide helped her understand that it wasn’t cancer, but in reality it was her fear and anxiety. During the trip, she commanded the black mass to leave her body, and it did.

When Pollan’s fact-checker called to verify her account right before the book’s publication, Pollan’s original words were something to the effect of “this black mass was significantly reduced after her experiences with psychedelics.”

The woman corrected the fact-checker over the phone and said, “No, it wasn’t ‘significantly reduced.’ It was extinguished.”

Again, some of my skepticism remains, but as someone who has a diagnosed anxiety disorder (GAD), hearing the woman’s story gave me hope. I truly believe these psychedelics helped her.


For more information, check out the following links:


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #123: Home Improvement, Part 3

Home Improvement - MoneySpace

Image Credit: MoneySpace

Time for another Home Improvement update!

If you’re interested, here are the links to my previous Home Improvement posts:


Master Bedroom

I don’t have a current photo to share, but we finally got rid of the old curtain rods and ugly brown fabric! We have proper blinds now, like the rest of the house. Woohoo!


Living Room

This is an older photo, but we took down the old brackets above the big picture window. We went to Lowe’s and picked out fancy silver curtain rods, and coordinating / complementary curtains. The pattern is so pretty!

Since this photo was taken, Al bought two more panels so we close the curtains if we want to.


Lady Lounge

Nearly complete!!

I took this photo on April 12th.

Al’s dad was delivering the custom doll cabinet and wardrobe, so I needed to clear the space!

Delivery day: April 14th. It’s so beautiful!

On the left, Stephanie is the American Girl doll I’ve had since I was nine years old. She’s 20 now! And Molly was my dream doll. I bought her in 2013.

All six dolls! Left to right: Stephanie (American Girl of Today), Molly (Historical, 1944), Kit (Historical, 1934), Autumn (American Girl of Today), Chrissa (Girl of the Year, 2009), and Z (Contemporary Character, 2017).

The double-sided shoe rack still has room!

One Saturday, I was feeling super stressed and anxious about a lot of things. I went into my Lady Lounge, picked a different outfit for each doll, and re-dressed them. When I was done, I felt so much calmer and relaxed.

Molly is wearing the American Girl of Today Play Outfit from 1998. Kit is wearing the Beachside Outfit, first released in 2003.

Stephanie is wearing one of my all-time favorites, the Earth Day Outfit, which was released in 1996.

Autumn is wearing the Birthday Outfit from 1998. Chrissa is sporting the Picnic Outfit from 1998. Z is wearing one of her own outfits, Z’s Sightseeing Outfit from 2017.


Have you made any home improvements recently? I’d love to hear about it!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂