Books & Reviews 📚

Everything wrong with ‘The Secret Garden’

I’ve been reading more than I should lately, and although I should’ve already read 90-110 books given the calculation during a small reading slump I had to get over (thank God!), I’m glad to have read 78 books. 

Before I begin, I apologize for being M.I.A. I’ve been busy (and I use that word loosely) organizing, plotting, planning, and of course, resting. I needed this time for myself to also reflect and see how far I’ve come, and where I’m going to. In all my years of blogging, it feels as if this is the first time I’ve slowed down concerning posting, and also reading your blogs. I can’t promise that things will change soon (although I’ll like it very much to), but life happens, and unfortunately, I can’t press the bell for it to stop at my address just so I can get off. All I can do is hope to get back to a regular blogging schedule, one day.

The Secret Garden – The BookMarketNG

Image via The BookMarketNG

Okay, so this book. What’s the BIG deal about it? I couldn’t find any. When I was young, and I just started out reading, I was made to believe that I should appreciate every single book I read, and not criticize even if I don’t like the book. This book falls under such category, but it’s not even all that special or unique, and as much as I love reading books, I love that I can give my honest thoughts, opinions, and reviews, without sugarcoating it.

Here, in note-taking form, are the reasons why I dislike this so-call favorite classic: 

🔖 Dialect. I dislike reading books sprinkled throughout with local dialects. It’s a major turn off. Also, this book target group are children, so why not proper English dialogue usage? Plus, people are reading this book worldwide, so the dialect could’ve been toned down a bit. 

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GIF via Giphy

🔖 There’s a character in this story that I kind of liked. His name is Dickon. He speaks to animals, and plays on a pipe for his listening audience of animals. Piped Piper of Animals? He quite gave off Jack from Legend vibes. You know? That Tom Cruise film which is never mentioned by said actor, in which he’s king of the jungle and talks to animals? I guess Dickon was Ridley Scott’s favorite character as well.

🔖 Magic. I know there are people that believe in magic, but there’s no such thing as good magic. It’s not even magic, it’s God. Authors need to stop stealing what is God’s, and calling it magic. Call it what it is: a miracle. Nature is not made of magic for God is not a magician, but rather, a Creator and Designer. Colin (a spoiled, obnoxious character) got scientific about ‘why it gotta be magic’, so I got technical on ‘why it can’t be magic’.

🔖 A grown adult male bringing up, a man hitting his wife in front of children. Just, no! If that’s not wrong enough, here’s young Colin’s response: “She used the wrong Magic until she made him beat her. If she’d used the right Magic and had said something nice, perhaps he wouldn’t have got drunk as a lord and perhaps – perhaps he might have bought her a new bonnet.”

I’m sitting there, like, “What did this child just say?” Really? So, bad magic can make a man beat his wife, but good magic makes a man buys her nice things? CHILD! NO! There’s no such thing as good or bad magic, and a man shouldn’t beat up on his wife period. What drugs was this author taking when this dialogue was written? I’m sure Colin grew up to be a wife beater simply because his wife didn’t believe in “good magic”.

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GIF via Primo GIF

🔖 The Big Good Thing. No, just say God, you know you want to. Say His Name, praise Him, acknowledge the miracle He has done, and stop being a cowardly mouse that wants to fit in with the world. An adult mother talks like this? *Mocking voice* Th’ big good thing. So stupid.

🔖 Dickon’s mother (Susan Sowerby) is an ode to what people call “mother nature”… here, I roll my eyes. The names of many characters were downright annoying.

In almost every children classic I’ve read, the children are neglected by their parents… like Disney, and it’s downright annoying. Didn’t wonderful families existed in eras gone by? Why must the children be selfishly or emotionally neglected? Is that supposed to tug on our heartstrings to ask for sympathy for an annoying and rude character? There was also hints of racism, which was not necessary. I get that it was a different time, but this is no excuse. Authors – of all ethnicities – have a responsibility when they write and edit before the final product go out into the world.

When I was young, I’ll devour any book, and call it good. I now see through a different prism. While I appreciate an author’s “labor of love”, I won’t be sugarcoating words when it comes to discussing a book. I’ll call it out for what it is and stand by what I said.

** If not all, the majority of LPMB graphics are created using Canva; images via Pixabay. GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPMB are via Google Search (Right-click on the image for the source of origin if not credited.)

Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (September 2021): 

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, 
though we have rebelled against Him.  

Daniel 9:9 🙌
Football ⚽

I believe congratulations are in order!

“The happiness that I feel today cannot be described. I dreamt about this moment countless times. Since the last Copa América, it was clear that this group was very strong and motivated. Sometimes I had to lose a final, but I knew that this day would eventually come.

“I feel that God was saving this moment for me, against Brazil in the final and in their country.”

– Lionel Messi

F I N A L L Y! 

The wait is over!

Apart from Euro 2020, I’ve been following the Copa América for Argentina. I knew from the beginning that they’ll get it right this time after seeing them lose 3 Copa finals in 2007, 2015, and 2016. But last night, they got it right.

This is Argentina’s 15th Copa América title, the first one since 1993.

This is also Lionel Messi’s first major international trophy. He’s also the Top Scorer and Player of the Tournament. It took him 28 years to win a trophy with his beloved Argentina, but he never gave up. He had a great tournament:

Best Player of the Tournament ✔

Top Scorer of the Tournament ✔

Most Assists of the Tournament ✔

Another player that had a great tournament was Argentina’s goalie, Emi Martínez. He made 4 penalty saves (including 3 in the semis), 4 clean sheets (including one in the final), and he became the first Argentine goalie to win the Golden Glove since the award’s introduction. A pretty good year for the goalie if you ask me. Gloves I’m sure a lot of clubs are going to want to snap him up soon!

Overall, I’m truly happy to finally see Leo lift a trophy with Argentina.

Truly deserved, Argentina! The football world celebrates with you!

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Soccer Ball - Animation | Soccer ball, Animation design, Soccer

As for Euro 2020, I just watched the final between Italy and England, but everyone seemed to be enamored with a specific guest: Sir Tom Cruise. Yes, I said that with a pompous British accent.

Every inch the Hollywood star, Tom Cruise waved to the crowds as he took his seat at Wimbledon today

His reaction was priceless. And that’s the tea.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1414304578380566530

TC showed up to support England, and it was good to see him enjoy the game, but I rooted for Italy because from the beginning of the tournament I envisioned them in the final. My sister is still asking how I knew they were going to end up there. Well, two things really: their coach Roberto Mancini and they reminded me of Les Bleus 2018.

Special shoutout to the Player/Goalie of the Tournament, Gianluigi Donnarumma! It was a joy watching him guard the post.

This is their first win since 1968.

This is 34 games unbeaten.

𝗖𝗔𝗠𝗣𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗜 𝗗’𝗘𝗨𝗥𝗢𝗣𝗔!

Congrats Italy! This was truly deserved. The football world celebrates with you!

** If not all, the majority of LPMB graphics are created using Canva; images via Pixabay. GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPMB are via Google Search (Right-click on the image for the source of origin if not credited.)

Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (July 2021):  

And rend your heart, and not your garments, 
and turn unto the Lord your God: 
for he is gracious and merciful, 
slow to anger, 
and of great kindness, 
and repenteth him of the evil. 

Joel 2:13 💙
Books & Reviews 📚

How my reading fared in 2020…

Reading has always been un passe-temps préféré of mine, but lately, not so much.

At the beginning of 2020, I had one goal in mind: to read through my TBR. What started out as fun became tedious, and I just wasn’t up to the task by the time July rolled around, so it was only fair that I put reading on hold. The classics I wanted to read and get over were shoved aside, and the 20 books I chose to read by year-end were a disaster. To be honest, I had enough time to read and even do a read-a-thon marathon, but my heart wasn’t in it. However, I still managed to read 115 books before quitting, so from these books, I’ll choose my highs and lows.

5 Cups of Coffee

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Unfortunately, I did not rate any books five steaming cups. However, these books came close to a warming up 5:

Dancing the Dream by Michael Jackson – MJ certainly had a way with words. Although I can’t rate all of his poems 3, 4, or even 5 stars, I enjoyed the majority, especially the ones where he expressed his concerns for the earth, the treatment of animals, and love for his mother. This poetry collection is some of the best I’ve read. 

Moonwalk by Michael Jackson – In his words and thoughts. Sometimes they were jumbled, sometimes they didn’t make sense, but what else did I expect from MJ. If it’s one thing I came away with from both MJ book is the way he told stories. He would’ve been a terrific storyteller of books. 

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The Making of Port-Of-Spain by Michael Anthony is perhaps the best book I’ve read from a local author. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about my capital from eras gone by. When compared to the present, POS appears to have taken too many a facelift and there are current plans to put her through another one at present. 

Books I enjoyed

I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie by Roger Ebert. Actually, I liked, liked, liked this book. Ebert mixed no sugar in drinks to sugarcoat why he disliked the movies he thinks should be avoided at all cost. He reminds me of myself when it comes to talking about books.

Letters From Cuba by Ruth Behar – The story focuses on a young Jewish girl who leaves Poland to help her father make a new life for their family in Cuba. The format of this book was in letter writing, and it bought back fond memories of letter writing between my friends and me back then. The book is based on the author’s life, and if I do find the time, I’ll share my thoughts in another post.

All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez by James Patterson – JP has found his niche and that’s writing real-life crime stories. Although detailed, this book was well written. Although I’m no fan of the NFL, I knew Aaron, and that’s how big a deal he was. This man had a bright future ahead of him, yet, he threw it all away just to hang out with drug dealers and gang members until he eventually became a criminal himself. The Bible warns us about the company we keep (Proverbs 13:20) and had Aaron heed that warning, he would’ve been alive today. 

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Books I didn’t enjoy

Maybe Twinkle is funny on film – I can’t recall any of her movies as I write this – but she’s not funny in ink. In Mrs. Funnybones I found the humor to be stiff and forced – like most unfunny Bollywood films. The writing fell flat as it was amateur and unimpressive. I expected more from Mrs. Khanna given her so-call legendary funny status in India. Mrs. Funnybones is not very funny at all. 

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Another book I extremely disliked was Woman of God by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. The faith presented in this book was not a Biblically sound one, but rather, a mysticism one. The one I call ‘God is not a genie’ faith that was also presented in the “Christian” film War Room. This book was drawn out, boring, and HIGHLY offensive. The character wants us to believe that God whispers in her ears as Priscilla Shirer claims, and she even had a few choice words for God that can only be labeled as blasphemous. There was no character development and the writing was horrible. 

Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy is perhaps one of the BIGGEST overrated books I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. Too many characters, too many boring stories. There was one that reminded me of Tom (Cruise) and Katie (Holmes) due to the fact that the characters’ names were just that: Tom and Kate. The author seems to hate men, for they were mostly cast in a distasteful light. Or maybe it’s an Irish thing, for most Irish authors that I read love putting men down. Are Irish men that bad?

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Favorite Classic

Ah, my least favorite genre. Classics are supposed to withstand the test of time, but most of them are nothing special. Yet, I’ll try to polish off my classic TBR this year. I read a total of 21 classics last year, and if I had to choose a favorite, it’ll be Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Even though the story revolved around a so-call English gentleman, the French valet Jean Passepartout was the true hero. 

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Least Favorite Classic

That’s easy. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. I also disliked The Borrowers by Mary Norton. There is nothing right in stealing other people’s property and labeling it as borrowing. Definitely not a positive message for children.  

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I’ve come to the conclusion that most classics are just overhyped, boring books that don’t age like a vintage bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Top DNF

It’s hard to DNF a book…

…but in some cases, there is no choice left. I read a few books from James Patterson, and while I liked his true-crime books, I couldn’t say the same for The Chef. I love the concept of a cop who is also a food truck chef in New Orleans, but I couldn’t stand the protagonist, for he was an egomaniac and a homewrecker. Also, we get more descriptions of the food rather than the investigation.

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Another book I had to DNF was Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff. There was nothing funny to tee-hee about. There is nothing wrong with Christians being funny, but they must know their limit. Most authors – classic to modern – don’t think twice about mocking Christ. There are Christians that may say they’re not offended, but true Christians know not to mix matters when it comes to mocking our Lord and Savior. 

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My reading goal for 2021 is very simple: read better books. Although I’m currently on my 8th book for the month, it remains to be seen what I’ll actually call a good book, save the Bible.

** If not all, the majority of LPMB graphics are created using Canva; images via Pixabay. GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPMB are via Google Search (Right-click on the image for the source of origin if not credited.)

Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (January 2021):  

For if you remain silent at this time, 
relief and deliverance for the Jews will 
arise from another place, 
but you and your father’s family will perish. 
And who knows but that you have come to 
your royal position for such a time as this?” 

Esther 4:14 👑