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The Stranger by Albert Camus - my review, analysis and overall summary

In keeping with my plan to write up a review for every book I read, the most recent book in my bookshelf is The Stranger, by Albert Camus. This a short story, written in 1942. The year is important. In fact, it may be the only important part of this book. There is no reason to beat around the bush, I did not like  The Stranger . It's only saving grace was it's brevity. It felt great to finish an entire book while waiting at the doctor's office. One book - one waiting period. Excellent. But that is where my praise for the book ends. If you were to visit goodreads.com or even Amazon, you would find nearly all 4 and 5 star reviews. Most people regard this book as a classic.  And every once in a while you will find a 1 star review, similar to what I am about to write. Basically, this story is boring. It is boring, boring, boring. Almost nothing happens. Yes, there is a murder. But the murder is boring. The trial is boring. People are generally enthralled with the main character
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How to remove yellow red foxing stains brown spots from books and paper

Old books hold useful knowledge, but they also hold mold, stains, and dust. As we have been building our own library, it's been very exciting to add books from hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately, many of these books come with issues. In general, I always smell any book I plan to purchase. Unless it is exceedingly special or rare, I will not buy a moldy book. Damaged covers can be removed and replaced. Moldy pages....ugh In the last 2 years, thousands of books have come in and out of my home. In that time, I have learned to do a little maintenance on old books. Not a lot, and I am by no means an expert, but I have been able to improve the quality, at home, and for very little cost. How to deodorize books and remove cigarette smoke odor Stinky books are such a tragedy. Most of the book odors are from being left in basements or humid environments. Books need to be stored in temperature and humidity controlled environments out of direct sun. A typical bedroom, office, or living room

Howard Gardner: Theory on Multiple Intelligences & Book Summary

It took having children for me to understand that people think differently than I do. And it took having multiple children for me to realize that much of those differences are part of the person's innate structure - coming with them from the beginning. Perhaps, I am just a slow learner - more likely, I lacked interpersonal intelligence. In 1983, Howard Gardner proposed a theory of multiple intelligences. In essence, he surmised that IQ was not the only intelligence. IQ just so happens to be one of the best predictors of economic success in our current culture, but there is more than one way to play this game of life.  As promised before, I am outlining all of the books I am reading on this site as a way to keep notes and share the information with the world at large. I just finished reading Gardner's Multiple Intelligences .  This is a book I started and stopped multiple times. The underlining premise is good. I like the information he gives, but the entire book (in my opinion

A lesson from Derek Sivers - and why I will now summarize every book I read

When I was a young adult, I moved quite frequently. After the second or third move, I decided to never own another book. Yes, I would buy them and read them - and then be rid of them. Moving books is a heavy operation, and I stupidly packed them all in one large box, making it extra unbearable. This went on for years. I read at least 30 books a year and as I read them, I take notes. I have been filling notebooks with illegible scribbles from various books, then losing them along the way. It's been a bad cycle.  Then I heard Derek Sivers talking on a podcast (I think with Tim Ferris) and was in awe. This guy sounded so full of life. And he had such a "just go with it attitude" that I liked. So I decided to look him up. He can be found here:  https://sive.rs/ I read his intro page and what he was up to - but then I discovered his book reviews . OH....MY....GOD. At the time of my discovery, he had about 200 book summaries on this site. Basically, he read a great book, rated

Women of the world - What is it like to be "treated like a lady?"

What do you know about other couples? Are they happy? Do they feel like their significant other is a true partner to them? Facebook and Instagram would have us believe that everyone is living the dream: in their jobs, their travels, their relationships. But it's not true. My closest friends are all very open and honest people. I know all the things they don't put on Facebook - and some of their stories are heartbreakingly tragic. But the reverse is also true. If I were to ask my neighbors, acquaintances and some relatives, they would tell me they are happily married. HAPPILY married, yet I have seen so much evidence to the contrary. One particular woman has been abusing her husband for the past 45 years. She claims they have a happy marriage. SHE has a happy dictatorship. Though she's not really happy. She is on mega doses of antidepressants. Such a high dose that she has tremors and other side effects. And even on the meds, she claims to be suicidal. Sounds like happiness

Getting free from an abusive relationship, red flags to look for and books to help

It's hard to understand how an otherwise intelligent woman finds herself in an abusive relationship. Even more puzzling is why she chooses to stay - often for years. If you haven't been in an abusive partnership, then you can't be expected to understand the nuance involved in the abuser/victim dynamic or the strings that keep the victim in place.  But there are highly qualified psychologists that have put it into words that even the non-abused can understand. Dr. Lundy Bankroft is the authority on partner abuse. He wrote the book " Why does he do that ?" and it is extremely helpful for those who have been abused and those that want to understand. Yes, it says HE. Most abusers are men, but not all. I have witnessed many female abusers, and they are just as bad as the men.  But you eventually have to pick a pronoun and move forward if you want to write something cohesive. The book, Why does he do that? is extremely informative. It gives a comprehensive summary of th

Concentration: The Secret of Success by Dr. Julia Seton and calling into question the history of women's rights

History is not dead. In fact, it repeats and recycles itself many times over. I didn't discover this fact until I started reading old books. The way history was taught to us  (American children of the 80s and 90s) was almost guaranteed to keep us as far away from history books as possible. And that's a shame. Old books hold old wisdom. And old books connect us to the "strangers" of the past who, invariably, were exactly as we are now. History is not just names and dates and major events. Shame on the educators who dumb us down in this way.  I encourage you to look up old books on interesting topics. You may be surprised at the people you meet in those stories. You may find something old that is now new.  Today, we are going to discuss a very old book - Concentration: The Secret of Success by Dr. Julia Seton. First published in 1909, it is rare to find this book in original hardcover. I was fortunate to find it at a garage sale and set straight into reading it. The bo