Scratch one off the Bookish Bucket List!

I realize I have a ton of content on here. A million pages. A long bio. And nearly a thousand blog posts. But one of the things that gets little attention is my Bookish Bucket List. I first came up with the list about two years ago in an effort to show y’all the book-related things I’d like to accomplish, and also to track them as I do so. During my trip to DC I was able to scratch one off the list!

If you watched my four videos from the trip then you likely know which one I’m talking about. If not, VISIT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. It was one of the most anticipated places I wanted to visit.

Guys, I can’t do it any justice here. It is simply beyond any expectations you may have. Stunning. Breathtaking. Beautiful. Magnificent. You can insert any word to describe it and it’ll be inadequate. I was sad to have to leave there, genuinely sad. It doesn’t matter if you have any interest in books or reading or literature or even American history, this is a place you must experience.

My Bookish Bucket List is just a little bit shorter after my visit to the Library of Congress in Washington DC. It is so much more than a library. It’s a landmark. It’s one of the many landmarks we have.

Have you ever visited the Library of Congress? What’d you think!?

Also, give me a follow on Instagram if you’re interested in seeing pictures from my trip. I only have about 950 of them. 🙄

This is the iconic Reading Room. I took this picture.
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Is This Right?

We have a running joke at the store about James Patterson whenever the person running the mystery or paperback sections gets a little mouthy. That we’ll buy ALL the James Patterson. It’s funny because it basically happens already.

But summer is our busiest time of the year and now we’ve hit a snag. We’re low on Patterson! Ha! In our daily meetings we’ve been told to buy more Patterson (and a few other authors) because we’re very low on his books. Welp. Some things you just don’t expect to hear.

But to my knowledge, Janet Evanovich and John Grisham are still crowding our shelves. *sigh*

Saturday Selects: Christina Grimmie

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month outside the general bookish theme of the blog. This will actually be my second of the month because of current events.

Christina Grimmie was well known on YouTube, and later on NBC’s “The Voice”. She was 22-years-old. Just a few hours before her show in her hometown of Orlando she posted a video on Twitter inviting her fans to attend.

But unfortunately it would be the final performance of her life. A man approached her after the show during a meet and greet and opened fire. She was struck three times before her brother tackled the shooter. The shooter then committed suicide. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but died a few hours later.

Her death will receive attention because she’s a known celebrity, but her story is a common one in today’s America. Young people in cities like Chicago, Detroit, NYC, LA, and more are victims of gun violence every single day in this country. But nothing has been done to combat it in recent months and years on a federal level. I imagine her death will spark another conversation about gun violence, but unfortunately I don’t see any real change coming about on a national level.

This all comes back to what YOU want. Do you want to keep reading stories like this one in the future? Or do you want to enact some change?

The shooter’s identity has not been released publicly, but he was said to have two handguns, lots of ammo, and a knife on him during the shooting.

We can tweet and post and continue talking about gun violence but if we continue to vote the same NRA-backed members of Congress into office, then you can be assured nothing will be done.

This man clearly had no business with a gun in his possession, but I bet it’ll come out in the coming days that both guns were purchased legally. And that’s simply unacceptable. It’s well beyond the time to demand real change, but we always need more people making the demand.

Also, I’d like to note the venue had no metal detectors and security was not armed. This venue can hold 1200 people. I think metal detectors will be installed very soon, and I believe Christina Grimmie’s family will ultimately file suit for not doing enough to protect the young singer.

My only hope is that more people decide that enough is enough and refuse to accept the ongoing gun violence as the new normal.

Rest in peace, Christina.

22-years-old is too young to die, but there is no appropriate age to become a victim of gun violence. ALL victims of gun violence are too young to die.

Rotten Tomatoes for Books?

Rotten Tomatoes is a review aggregate site that compiles TV and movie reviews into one page. The reviews are all written by professional critics of various publications. And now Lit Hub is trying to do the same with books.

They’ve recently launched Book Marks to do the same. I think it’s an okay idea, but I’m not sure it’s necessary at this point. Or even wanted. I know these aren’t “professionals”, but do we really need more than Amazon and Goodreads? I personally don’t read reviews whether they’re written by a reader or a critic, but I’m just not sure about this.

The site will assign books a letter grade based on the reviews for the title, which sounds exactly like the Tomatometer.

Also, as of right now the book blogging community isn’t among those eligible to submit a review to the site. Hopefully that changes as time goes by.

Do you think a book review aggregate site is something we need?

James Patterson’s BookShots Update

I told y’all about Patterson’s plan to write these short books to be priced below $5 and aimed to be read in just a couple of hours. I think the first ones released this week and the reviews have not been kind. I won’t be buying these but I’ve gathered people don’t like the format. The first one stars Alex Cross, Patterson’s flagship character, but the book simply has no ending. At least that’s what I’ve read. Which leads me to believe there will be a continuation of the story in a future BookShot or one of his novels. But no one wants to read a book with no ending.

Thoughts?

Top Five Wednesday: Character Names

Today’s Top Five Wednesday topic is character names. Pretty self-explanatory. Let’s begin!

Katniss Everdeen

I love how unique the name is. And I hope to one day meet a girl named after Katniss. I’d tell her the person she’s named after is strong, independent, brave, and the Girl on Fire. Then she’d probably say duhh and walk away. Bleh.

Hieronymous Bosch

I’ve told y’all about Harry Bosch more times than I can remember. He’s named after the painter you may have heard of. I’m just glad Michael Connelly let’s us call him Harry.

Spenser

Another unique name. He’s named after the poet you may have heard of. But what really makes his name special is that his last name is never given during his series of books. He’s simply Spenser.

Hermione Granger

I mean, come on.

Master Chief

Technically his name is John-117 and he’s originally from a video game series before any book was ever written, BUT who doesn’t know Master Chief at this point? Seriously, who!? He’s the soldier we all secretly want to be. Leading entire armies and defeating monstrous enemies. Is that not your dream job?

Those are my five favorite character names! Tell me some of yours!

An Oddity

It seems so trivial to write about books after what I’ve written about on here during the last week. But here I am.

Something I find rather odd is how books, movies, and music by or about celebrities sell extremely well immediately following their death. I don’t see why this always seems to happen. I mean, shouldn’t you already own that stuff if you’re that much of a fan?

It just makes me wonder.  It makes me wonder if people really have any interest in these people or if they’re just trying to fit in with what everyone else is doing. Prime examples from recent memory are Harper Lee, David Bowie, Prince, and now Muhammad Ali.

Obviously people can do whatever they like, but at least be genuine. Eh. Maybe everyone is genuine and I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Have you ever rushed to the store to buy a singer’s music, an actor’s movies, or an author’s books immediately after their death? I haven’t.

D-Day

Today is the 72nd anniversary of the Allied invasion of German-held France. It remains the largest amphibious invasion in recorded history.

Today is a day that should remind us that freedom is not free. More than 150,000 men and women from various Allied countries helped achieve victory on D-Day and in the days and months after.

The Allied casualties suffered were astronomical with most estimates putting the figure at a minimum of 10,000 soldiers. But the invasion was the result of months of planning and any delay would likely prolong the war in the European theater.

Some might argue that there had to be a better way to invade western Europe than to put so many at risk by storming the beaches of France, and I have a response to those who may think that. In 1944 Germany was on the defensive. Italy had been invaded. The Russians were pushing them further west. The opportunity to invade France was likely as ideal as it would ever be.

D-Day was a definitive turning point in the worst war the world has ever known, and the men and women who took part have earned our undying respect and gratitude for taking the fight to evil and coming out victorious.

June 6, 1944 is forever etched into my memory.

My lone hope is that I never have to live during a time in which such an event must happen again. We’re all human, and as of right now this is the only planet we have. More time spent helping people would better serve the human race rather than killing them.

Saturday Selects: Ali

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write on the first Saturday of each month to discuss something outside the general bookish theme of the blog. Today’s topic is Muhammad Ali.

He died last night, which I’d been expecting for a few days. Too many vague statements about his health situation. There’s been an outpouring of support in the hours since the news broke. Many people have been praising Ali the boxer while others praise Ali the humanitarian.

But for me it all comes down to one thing. The boxing doesn’t matter and the humanitarian efforts only came after his career was over. I’ve looked up to him for neither. But I’ve looked up to him for speaking out against war and the military draft. He gave millions of people a voice by standing up and sticking to his beliefs. He did something that we now take for granted. Imagine if every person who spoke out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was suddenly unable to find work for more than three years. That would leave us with no presidential candidates left.

Ali has been great on several fronts, but what I appreciate the most is his unrelenting resolve to stand up for what he believed in. We could all take a page from him in that regard.

Rest easy, champ.

Come to DC With Me: Day 4

You’ve now reached the end of my little series documenting my trip to Washington DC. The trip came to an end much too soon, and I can’t wait to go back. But the final day was another busy one for us. We finished visiting the monuments and memorials on the National Mall. We visited the Holocaust Museum. We finished the trip with the National Archives and the Newseum. The best part of this final video is that I give my thoughts on the entire trip as we’re driving to the airport. These are my thoughts just as I was thinking them.

Now watch! And thanks for visiting DC with me! Back to normal programming tomorrow.