the walking writer

I never really feel comfortable writing an entire review for a book that I didn’t finish. I’m sure a few that I quit may have had some redeeming element in the end, but I just couldn’t stand to read them long enough to find out. So instead of dedicated reviews, here’s a few books that I tried to read recently but just couldn’t finish. I don’t make it a habit to give up on books, but I also refuse to waste my time on a novel that I’m suffering to read.

1. “The Casual Vacancy”
Like many other Harry Potter fans, I really wanted to read whatever J.K. Rowling wrote next. I eagerly read the reviews after the book’s release and was pretty disappointed. No, the harsh language and very adult story lines didn’t trouble me. To me, the book just sounded like one depressing story with nothing to enjoy, not even bits of dark humor or one character who isn’t completely horrible. So, I didn’t bother to pick the book up until it was available at my local library as an e-book. I tried to read it, I really did. I think I made it through about half the book before I gave up. Due to the fact that the book was written by Rowling, I think plenty of people wanted to like the book and kept reading with the hope that it would improve. We all know that life just sucks sometimes and things aren’t always happy, so we certainly don’t expect every book we read to be full of rainbows and unicorns. Unfortunately, this book had absolutely nothing positive to offer, not even the slightest hint of hope to leave you with a shadow of a smile.

2. “The Night Circus”
“The Night Circus” is a wildly popular book and is set to become a film. Due to the positive press about this book, I picked it up eagerly. While the book does have pretty language and an interesting premise, I felt that nothing really happened in the book. I kept waiting for something to happen and was disappointed. Frustrated, I checked some reviews online to see if the book ever really picks up. The answer I found resulted in me returning the book without finishing it.

3. Serena (P.S.)”
Reading a few reviews of this novel probably would have stopped me from ever picking this book up. Although this book has been out for a number of years, it has surged in popularity due to the upcoming release of a movie version. After reading about the film, I thought the book sounded like a good idea. However, the dreadful cruelty that occurs in the first pages of the book pushed me to check out some reviews before I continued. Once I learned there was still plenty of more cruelty to come, with some of it directed at animals, I decided to abandon the book.

4. “Cat on the Edge”
This book started out with some intriguing elements. Basically, it’s a mystery novel starring a talking cat who has the intelligence of a human. Yeah, once you get past that, you might think you’re ready for anything the book might throw at you. However, I think I started losing interest when the main cat called his owner to let him know he was fine. It was just a little too weird for me.

5. “Divergent”
“Divergent” is another insanely popular young adult novel that is set to become a movie. The book features a pretty boring world that is split into five factions representing various human characteristics. That particular aspect borrowed a little too much from “Harry Potter” for my tastes. Supposedly, these factions are responsible for peace in the world, though it’s never really explained how this works. The main character of the book, Beatrice, is a pretty unlikeable character who only gets more annoying when she leaves her family behind to join the “cool” faction.

It’s never fun to put down a book after already investing some time (and potentially money) in it. Fortunately, there’s always something even better to read out there.

My former church excommunicated one of its members today. Excommunicated, in this case, means this individual can no longer call herself a member of the church. What was the great crime that caused this result? Simply put, Kate Kelly was excommunicated because she wanted women to have the same rights within the church as the men enjoy.

On the surface, it seems a little odd to me that I care at all about this as I no longer believe in any religion. However, I can understand the pain all too well that many of Kelly’s supporters are feeling tonight. I felt a similar pain one day, many years ago, when I realized that the church wasn’t what I thought. It’s easy for me to take myself back some years ago when I was still a member and think about how I would have reacted upon reading this news. I think I would have been shocked to realize that this supposedly loving and open church was shutting its doors so cruelly to such a faithful member.

As of today, I no longer have any belief that the church will someday become a more open and tolerant place. This fact saddens me as both my husband and I still have many family members left in the church. I hope, however, that more people will see the church in a new and honest light after this event. Perhaps some members who struggle to fit in the church will begin their own journey to happiness that comes from believing in yourself and your fellow humans instead of religion.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been out for more than a year now, but I finally picked it up only a couple of months ago. If you’re new to the franchise, you might be unsure of what to do each time you play. I’ve compiled a few essential tips I discovered when I first started playing. If you want to keep discovering stuff completely on your own without any help, I suggest skipping this post.

  • Check the beach every day. Sometimes, you’ll find a lost sailor asleep on the beach. You can also find lost items that must be returned to the owner.
  • Use the left and right buttons on the d-pad to quickly cycle through your tools. When I started playing, I thought I had to keep going to the menu to equip a different item. This will save you a lot of time.
  • You can use the up button on the d-pad to make objects, such as trees and buildings, temporarily disappear from view. This is useful for finding dig spots and playing some of the mini-games on the island.
  • Keep buying stuff every day in the stores on Main Street. To unlock certain future stores and upgraded versions of current stores, you have to spend a certain amount of money.
  • Storage is fairly problematic in this game, especially if you like to hold onto a lot of stuff. When you unlock the second floor of the museum, you can start storing extra stuff there. Most of the items in the game can be purchased again through through the catalog in the Nooklings store. Items that you can’t purchase again through the catalog include rare items like fossils, fortune cookie items, holiday items and so on.

My final suggestion to new players is to avoid the urge to time travel. Time travel in this game means adjusting your 3DS’ clock forward to move through the game faster. Yes, it’s tempting to want to see what your expanded house looks like or to participate in one of the game’s special events, but you’ll quickly run out of content this way. In addition, there are some negative consequences to this; your villages may move out and your town will probably be full of weeds. If you do limit yourself to playing the game in real time and only in small 30 minute periods, you’ll probably find yourself playing this game consistently for a very long time.