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On how to read – or is paper obsolete?

I am an avid reader. Ever since I’ve learned how to read, I’ve haunted my local library and devoured most of the well-loved books that my father keeps in his study. Last year I read over 70 books. Some of them were ebooks, but the vast majority of them were good old paper versions. And I just listened to my first audiobook. So, what’s the best way to enjoy a good book? What are the pros and cons of each?

Paper Books

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2021 book reviews!

So as the year draws to an end, here are the books that I absolutely loved this year! I chose 3 novels and 3 non-fiction books – it was not easy as I read more than 50 books this year, and a lot of these were really good. So, without further ado, here they are:

Fiction

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires – Grady Hendrix

I thoroughly enjoyed this scary novel, told from the point of view of a desperate suburban housewife of the 90’s. Horror slowly creeps into her neighbourhood, and she will find unlikely allies to help save her family. It’s creepy, and at time really scary, while being original in both the storytelling and the choice of time period.

The Familiars – Stacey Halls

I really loved this story told by a woman, about women. A dark, oppressive atmosphere, the weight of expectations for women at the time, the looming shadow of witchcraft, and threats that are not what they seem. A really good story that reminded me of twisted fairy tales.

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

Last but definitely not least, my absolute favourite this year! A moving, clever and well-written novel about a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world, travelling around and bringing music and Shakespeare to people. Because, in their own words ‘Surviving is not enough’. I will not say more about it as I don’t want to spoil it. But I cannot recommend it enough!!

Bonus:

The Brass Queen, Elizabeth Chatsworth: a funny, quick-paced steampunk romance/adventure novel. Well done and highly enjoyable. The perfect quick read if you’re feeling a bit down!

The Only Good Indians, Stephen Graham Jones: truly scary, and strangely poetic at the same time. Jones makes you care deeply about these characters, who are flawed and lost and seem to have been doomed from the start, crushed between two worlds and belonging nowhere. You won’t put it down until you’re done!

The Wilderness Series, Sara Donati: if you like historical romances, it’s for you! I liked how the author tells this family’s story, and doesn’t shy away from difficult themes, especially the struggles of Native Americans and African Americans.

Non-fiction

The Sixth Extinction – Elizabeth Kolbert

This is probably my favorite this year. Elizabeth Kolbert is a gifted storyteller, and she manages to tell the truly horrifying tale of our times in a way that leaves you with a sense of deep urgency, but no despair. I especially like learning how scientifics learned about previous extinctions.

Less is More: How Degrowth will Save the World – Jason Hickel

Jason Hickel takes no prisonner in this one. It’s a brutally honest retelling of how we got there, what is to come, and what we can do about it. While it is a difficult read – Hickel doesn’t pretend it isn’t going to be extraordinary difficult to change our whole econmic system and our way of life – it’s also optimistic in some ways. There are solutions. Drastic, disruptive ones – to answer a dramatic issue. A must-read.

What is the Bible? – Rob Bell

I loved this book. It’s everything I would have liked to hear in church school when I was a kid. It reminds us of the importance of mythos in a world that has put logos at the forefront. It also enhances how rebellious and forward-thinking some passages are. Whether you believe or not, it’s an excellent read, well written and compelling. I will definitely read more from him.

Bonus:

The Day the World stops Shopping, JB McKinnon : a riveting ‘what if’ scenario, that doesn’t sugarcoat anything.

The Shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains, Nicholas Carr: a deep-dive into the effects of the Internet on our brains, both collectively and individually. Kinda worrying, but fascinating.

The Comfort Crisis, Michael Easter : an interesting take on the current western way of living, that mixes personnal experiences and science. It really makes you take a good look at how we live and why it might really not be good for us.

That’s all she wrote, folks! I wish you happy holidays, and a good start in 2022, wherever you are. Take good care of yourself, and don’t hesitate to share your 2021 fave books in the comments!

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Reconstructing Hell: Eternal Conscious Torment, Annihilationism, and the Hope of Possibility

Instrument of Mercy

There was a time in my life when I repeated the ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ a lot.

In my faith tradition,Hell is humankind’s default destination. Like a pre-existing medical condition,everyone is born damnedperthe doctrine of Original Sin. And the only way to reroute your one-way ticket from eternal damnation to eternal paradise is to make a public confession of faith in Jesus to become a Christian before you die.

Theologically, this view of Hell is referred to as “Eternal Conscious Torment.” And it’s pretty widespread.According to Pew Research,82% of Evangelical Protestants believe in a literal Hell(compared to 58% of all U.S. adults).

Growing up, it wasn’t uncommon to hear people at Christian summer camp or evangelism conferences share testimonies about how theythoughtthey had once been saved, but they were just “going through the motions.” And then they’d point…

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On faith

Ah, this one is tough. Not that I shy away from difficult conversations, but religion is… a minefield, to say the least. It touches to our histories, our families, our traditions, our personal experiences – good and bad – and just talking about it can change the sweetest person you know into a rabid dog. Like politics, it’s often painted in black and white. You’re either with us or against us and there’s no inbetween.

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What I learned when I accidentally deleted all my pictures

Yep, I’m not very good at technology. My old smartphone died, so I bought another one – a previously loved one that is only 3 years old and seems to be just what I need. I managed to tranfer all my data from the old one to the new one and was feeling pretty good about life in general and my amazing tech wizardry skills.

I Should stick to this kind of phone…
Photo de cheptu00e9 cormani sur Pexels.com

Until, of course, I messed up. Though this phone is made by the same brand as the old one, the layout is different and I got confused. I wanted to delete ONE picture and ended up deleting an entire album. Or something like 650 pictures, from 2014 to December 2020. Photos of my kids, my cat, my holidays, my projects. Damn. I don’t take a lot of pictures if I compare to some people, but it was still heartbreaking, precisely because I generally only take pictures of stuff I really want to remember.

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Uncategorized · writing

All things go

Your fists will never be enough

Bloodied knuckles and jumbled thoughts

You looked for something and lost yourself

But you were right there, you swear, you were there, standing

Everything’s too fast and you’re too slow now

Not quite old, not quite, just in that dark space inbetween

Where nothing makes much sense

Just one more fight, you think, one more fight and then you’ll rest

But there’s no rest to be had unless you’re dead, so one become two

And two never quite work out, and death seems somehow kinder

What was it they said? All things go, this shall pass too

Still you remain, lonely yet not alone, a hunched shadow

You remember what could have been, who you said you’ll become

But all things go, you know, all things go

13.01.2021

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On balance and the understated value of middle-ground

Don’t you get the feeling that everything is pretty extreme nowadays? We’re made to choose sides, in everything. You can’t be part of a group if you don’t agree with everything they do and say, you’re not a ‘real’ supporter if you’re moderate. It seems like social media has made such behaviours worse than ever (but it always existed – I remember pretty vividly my highschool years, when we were pressured by our peers to choose a type of music we liked, and to stick with it. I never could).

images
I’m a Libra, astrologists would probably tell me that’s why I like balance so much.

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On love, marriage and reality

Someone asked me recently if I could write down a few tips for a new couple – they asked this of several people who’d been married/in long-term relationships for a while (read: old(er) people like, well, me, apparently) and I thought I could make an article out of it.

Keep in mind that these tips are things that I’ve find useful in my own life and/or have observed in other couples that seem to do well. Also keep in mind that I’m a woman so those might be biased, but the husband nodded along in that quiet way of his when I told him what I’d written down, which means he agrees!

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Low-waste recipes and DIY · Non classé

Hits and misses of a low-waste life

Since we’ve been trying to reduce our waste, we’ve also tested lots of recipes and tips to lower our waste. Some of them were great and have become parts of our routine, and others, were, well, not so great. Keep in mind that it’s only our experience, and that you might end up loving what we hate and vice-versa!! The best way to know is to try and see what works for you!!

Hits and Misses of the Zero Waste Lifestyle
The amount of trash we produce is horrific, let’s face it. Photo by Bas Emmen on Unsplash

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