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 🙂

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 🙂

Tag #50: This or That Book Tag

I wasn’t tagged for this one, but if you’ve read the blog lately, I love doing book tags.

When I saw Jenna’s new post, the author of the lovely Bookmark Your Thoughts, come across my email, I was definitely intrigued.

Here’s the link to her post:


Reading on the bed or the couch?

At the moment, it’s my bed. I try really hard to read for at least 30 minutes every night before going to sleep. Reading is one of the only things that really relaxes me.

Male main character or female main character?

Like others, I used to be immediately drawn to female main characters.

Now, I’m finding myself seeking out more male main characters. It’s a different perspective. Plus, I tend to discover different authors this way, too.

Sweet snacks or salty snacks when you’re reading?

Neither. I don’t eat while I read.

I have enough trouble multitasking in general!

Occasionally, I have a beverage by my side, but I’m always afraid I’ll spill it.

Trilogies or quartets?

Trilogies.

However, I’m currently reading more stand-alone books, and I love the idea of duologies, too.

First person POV or third person POV?

First person.

I honestly can’t remember the last book I read with third person POV.

Reading at night or in the morning?

I read at night.

The only times that I’ve read in the morning were for, (a) Bible studies; (b) on vacation at the beach; or (c) traveling where I wasn’t the driver.

Libraries or bookstores?

Toughest. Question. Ever.

Given that I’ve drastically cut my spending habits recently, I think a library sounds amazing right now.

Books that make you laugh or cry?

It depends. I have been known to stop reading a book before finishing it, and change to a completely new one if the mood is too sad.

At the moment, I lean toward books that make me laugh.

Black book covers or white book covers?

Black covers.

White covers are easy to stain or scuff.

Character driven or plot driven?

Definitely character driven.

While I certainly appreciate a good plot, the characters make it or break it for me.


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #61: “Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide”

Girls Auto Clinic - Amazon

Image Credit: Amazon

I first heard about this book when Patrice Banks was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast!

Here’s the link from the NPR archives:


I wanted to buy this book the minute I saw the podcast episode in my library.

I’m a bit biased, I think. Being the only child, my dad made sure that I was comfortable around cars from a very early age. Since he was an engineer, he wanted me to be as confident as possible with math and science, and anything related to it. Cars are complicated, don’t get me wrong, but being naturally curious, I learned quickly.

My dad taught me how to change the oil in our Volvo station wagon before I entered middle school. I also learned the essence of a gas and maintenance log, checking tire pressures, and having an emergency kit ready to go.

I also learned that my parents keep their cars for as long as possible. Our family only had/went through five cars by the time I graduated from college in 2011.

  • White Volvo 240 station wagon, 1988-2016
  • Gold/beige Saturn SL sedan, early 1990s
  • Forest green Volvo S70 sedan, 1998-2011
  • Gold/beige Ford Ranger truck, 2005-present
  • Gold/beige Toyota Camry sedan, 2010-present

The only new cars my parents ever purchased, in my lifetime, were the Volvo station wagon, and possibly the Saturn sedan. Everything else was/has been used. I learned how to drive stick on the Ford Ranger when I was in high school, although the Saturn sedan was also a manual transmission. The Camry is my baby, whom I call “Sandy.”


I really appreciate Banks writing this type of guide. It’s important for everyone to know the basics about the car you drive, but especially women. Banks has said this book arose out of her own experiences, and shame, with being incredibly intimidated by mechanics, car repairs, dealerships, and more.

Although I was fortunate to have a wonderful dad who taught me many things about cars early on, I know many women aren’t so lucky. Even some men I know aren’t handy with their cars, and trust their mechanics to fix whatever is wrong.

Banks does a great job with breaking a car down into its basic components, and making everything less intimidating right off the bat. She founded Girls Auto Clinic as a series of workshops, where women were encouraged to bring their cars and be prepared to get their hands dirty. She’s learned from her mistakes, and tries hard to educate others. When she was younger, Banks found she was getting a new car every three-four years, dropping a ton of extra money on repairs because she was ignoring or was intimidated by routine maintenance, and zoning out when mechanics were explaining the work that was being done.

She encourages, implores women (and men) to learn the basics first, then to become very intimate with your vehicle, and to continue a similar relationship with every vehicle after that. Once you’re armed with knowledge, everything becomes easier.

Here are a few basics Banks encourages everyone to learn:

  • How to pop and raise your vehicle’s hood
  • What the lights on your dashboard or instrument panel mean
  • How to check your tire pressure
  • How to add air to your tires
  • How to measure your tire tread
  • How to check your fluids under the hood
  • How to change a tire
  • Finding and keeping a great PCT

Banks doesn’t encourage the common driver to change their own oil, although Al and I do that with our own cars. We know how, and the amount of money spent is a little less than the traditional oil change services.

The biggest tip to keep in mind: Beware of cheap car services. Oil changes aren’t normally $5.00 flat. Your car is a big part of your life – Don’t automatically spring for something cheap to save money.


Now that I’ve read the book, I plan to keep this in my glove box. It’s chock-full of valuable tips, tricks, diagrams, and recommendations.

I hope that she expands the Girls Auto Clinic across the country, too. It’s a valuable organization that empowers women in a male-dominated profession.

For more information, check out https://girlsautoclinic.com/.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂