The #WomensMarch

An idea started by just a handful of women after the election of Donald Trump turned into something far greater than anyone could have imagined.

Citizens across the country marched yesterday in defiance of Donald Trump. It was an unprecedented moment in American history. One I’m glad I was here to see. There’s never been this level of opposition to an incoming President in history.

One of my favorite moments of the day came when Senator Kamala Harris made it very clear that women’s issues are the same issues we discuss and debate all the time. The most incredible thing I saw yesterday was in LA. Organizers there expected 80k people to take part in their march. 750k people showed up!

Some try to deligitimize the concerns of women, but yesterday showed me what can happen when people don’t just talk about coming together but actually do it. I’m immensely proud to be American, yesterday was no exception.

I chose not to pick and choose which images of marches around the world to show you because my guess is you’ve seen them. A simple search on Twitter or Google will show you all you need to see.

I’ll get back to talking about books tomorrow. I could not pass up the opportunity to discuss the events of yesterday.

Places in Books

Do you read stories mostly set in one city? I don’t. If I had to guess I’d say I’ve read the most books set in Boston. Followed closely by Los Angeles. They could be switched. I’ve also read books set in Chicago, Michigan, New York, Atlanta, and Alaska that I know off the top of my head.

This isn’t about where the books you read take place. I’m wondering if you’ve ever read a book set someplace you’ve never been and wanted to visit after your reading. I pretty much want to go everywhere imaginable. But no books are the reason for that. I’ve just been stuck in one place the last (almost) 24 years.

Ever read a book and felt the need to book a trip shortly thereafter?

JetBlue and Random House Partnering up to Give Away 100k Books

Yep, you read that right. When I first heard the news I thought the two companies were an odd match for something like this. But I soon realized that book programs don’t have to be limited to non-profits or bookstores or libraries. Any company can come up something. And then I also realized that JetBlue has been involved with getting books into the hands of children for years with their Soar With Reading Program.

But this year they’re changing it up a bit. They’re adding a #BookBattle to the mix. The battle is between five cities and the public is asked to vote online to decide which of the five cities should be given 100k books for children in need. I think that’s pretty great. The five cities are New York City, Detroit, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and Houston. I don’t know how long the voting period will be open, but I do know it’s open right now. So if you don’t live in any of the five cities, then the choice you should make when considering which city to vote for is obvious, right? Houston! Duhh. Bring those books here! Please.

You can visit the Soar With Reading website here.

Also, JetBlue installed three book vending machines to dispense free books throughout the city of Washington D.C. this year. How cool are they? Have you heard of this program before?

Little Free Libraries Have Come Under Fire

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On this day in 2014 I published 100 WordPress Followers!.


This is a joke. No other words to describe what’s happening in a few cities across America. But first, let me explain to you what Little Free Libraries are. Usually someone puts them outside their home, but they can be anywhere. They’re small structures full of books. And anyone can walk up and take one out on the premise that they will put one back in. It’s literally a little library. I only know about them because I backed a Kickstarter project for some back in 2013.

Well recently in cities all over America people have decided to complain about the Little Free Library in their area. And local leaders and politicians are not handling these “complaints” with any common sense whatsoever. In Los Angeles and Shrevepoet politicians are ordering for some of these wonderful little libraries to be taken down. Because they violate city codes.

I have nothing against city codes and ordinances because in most cases they serve a valid purpose, but I don’t think anyone writing said codes ever meant for them to be used to take down these Little Free Libraries. This is absurd. I just read story after story of people coming together around their neighborhood Little Free Library. They stop and discuss books they’ve read. They make sure to put quality books back in. They get to know their neighbors for the first time. But most importantly, they’re reading! And some ignorant people want to complain and get these taken down? Come on. Seriously.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Little Free Libraries, but the people who feel the need to complain about them are doing no one any good at all.

PS: I’ve read about some local lawmakers trying to give Little Free Libraries an exception to city codes. Go them!

Photo Credit: Purewow

Which Characters Would you Follow into Battle?

I’ve been thinking of this post for a few weeks now. I think I may have been watching a Narnia movie when I came up with it. Pretty sure. Anyway, I want you to do something for me. Get off your phone or computer or whatever for just a minute. Now think of some books with ridiculous battle sequences. They don’t even have to be actual battles. Maybe a particular character or two or ten is embarking on an unknown journey and knows a fight’s ahead. Or maybe a character has been told not to examine something further. A battle can be any sort of conflict for this. Now let me tell you who I’d follow into battle or stand with against the worst of odds.

Katniss Everdeen

There are way too many reasons for my eagerness to stand with Katniss through anything for me to list them all here. Like she said in Mockingjay Part 1, she never asked for any of what’s happened to her. If I have to give at least one reason why I’d stand with her, then that’s it. Because she starts off fighting just to stay alive, and for her family. But eventually she embraces who she is and what she has come to represent and fights for so much more than just those immediately around her. She’s the mockingjay. And she’s ready to fight for me. I’d be ready to fight for her.

Albus Dumbledore

Don’t tell me I can’t say him if I haven’t read all the books yet. My reasoning for choosing him is because I don’t think he’d ever hesitate to help someone, especially a student in need. But eventually he’s going to find himself in a position in which he can’t get by on his own. And I’d want to be there. So someone could help him for once.

Elvis Cole

Y’all probably don’t know him as well as the first two selections, but I’ve talked about him a number of times in the past on here. He’s an LA private eye. I would want to be right there next to him as he faces impossible odds because that’s what he always finds himself doing. I’m sure some of you don’t even read detective fiction, but this guy doesn’t just think of his clients as a means to make money. His clients are people in need. And they’ve gone to him for help. And he never lets them down. He refuses to.

Master Chief

John-117 is more than the last of the Spartans left. He’s more than a super soldier. He’s more than a guy in fancy armor. He’s hope. Mankind is on the brink of total annihilation, but it’d be impossible to give up if you get one look at him. Knowing that he’s ready to fight to the death. Knowing that he will never give up. Knowing that he still believes the war can be won. No. He doesn’t make me want to go into shelter and hope that he’ll eventually come through and save humanity. Seeing him makes me want to suit up and grab an assault rifle to stand with him. To fight alongside him. Even knowing the war may never be won.

So those are the four characters I would follow into battle! What about you? Which characters would you stand with?

Amazon Studios Greenlights ‘Bosch’

Photo Credit: LA Times

I have two posts that talk about one of my all-time favorite detective series. I think you may want to read them both before continuing on with this post. The first was titled Bosch Pilot and was written all the way back at the start of February. The pilot was being made available for free for one month in order to gauge public interest. The second post was written just two weeks ago. It was titled What’s that one Series of Books You Won’t Forget? If you’ve read that post then you know that Bosch is high up on my list of favorite series, but if you haven’t then go read it. Right now. I tell you about him!

Bosch

Let me tell you a little about how we got to this point. Several years ago, Michael Connelly sold the rights of the first three books of his Harry Bosch series to Paramount. Long story short, not a single movie was ever made and the rights eventually reverted back to him after a lengthy legal dispute. This happened very recently. Then Amazon came into the picture and produced a pilot episode that would be made available for free for one month and then the ultimate decision would be made regarding a full season. The reaction to the pilot was overwhelmingly positive. (I watched the first day it was available) It was announced a few days ago that the series had been greenlit for a first season of ten episodes. The first season will pull from The Concrete BlondeCity of Bones, and Echo Park; which are #’s 3, 8, and 12 in the series. Titus Welliver is cast as Harry Bosch. And he’s phenomenal.

The Detective

I figure if you’ve read this far without going back and reading the other two posts then you probably won’t do so. That’s fine. Harry Bosch works as a detective for the LAPD. He joins the force after being a tunnel rat in Vietnam. The series begins in the early 90s and we read as Bosch ages in real time. I’ve never read a series written this way and I thoroughly enjoy it.

Have you ever seen those cop shows that always have that one male or female who doesn’t care about the risks associated with throwing his or herself fully into a particular case? I mean, they might get hurt or there could be consequences from the higher ups within the department or they could flatly accuse the wrong person and have to revert back to square one. Now you know who I’m talking about. You see, that person is Harry Bosch. He’s the guy who might face lawsuits every couple of years because he went out and killed someone in the line of duty that may seem questionable on the surface. He’s the guy who faces suspensions without pay nearly every year because of how he handles cases. He’s the guy who simply doesn’t give a damn about departmental politicking. He cares about justice. He always acts out in a manner that he believes is right. Detective work is in his blood, and that’s why he can’t step away from the department even though he’s had ample opportunity to do so.

Even if you haven’t read a single book in the series, this show will be worth watching an episode or two or all ten. I know it.

Click here to visit Michael Connelly’s website for more info about the show and the books.

Click here to read an article in the LA Times about the show.