Book Review: Heal This Way Written by Little Monsters Photographed by Tracey B. Wilson

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My daughter loves Lady Gaga.  Well, any pop music in general.  She has no clue about politics, of what Lady Gaga’s lyrics mean, of what Lady Gaga wears.  She just likes the music.  The beats, the sounds.

I, on the other hand, am fascinated with Lady Gaga.  I am vaguely aware of this “social movement” surrounding her, but other than hearing “Poker Face” nonstop on the pop station in 2009, I really don’t know much about her.  I am not a “Little Monster”.

When I was approached to review this book, I saw it as a chance to review something I haven’t before.  A photography book.  About something I know nothing about.

This book was put together when thousands of Little Monsters were together for a series of Lady Gaga concerts that were abruptly cancelled due to an injury the Mother Monster suffered.  Her fans were photographed and wrote heart-wrenching get well letters to Lady Gaga that were turned into this book.

Here is the synopsis from amazon.com:

Lady Gaga’s biggest fans share their raw emotions about coming out, bullying, thoughts of suicide, and the need for acceptance, in this inspirational new book. Quotes and letters are accompanied by stunning Little Monster portraits that invite you into the soul. This beautiful, thought provoking and often humorous book is geared to LGBTQ youth, teens yearning to fit in, and fans of pop culture. Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters will inspire you to change the world. 

 
This book is rated PG-13 for raw emotional content and liberal use of f-bombs. 
 
Experience love and acceptance. Experience Heal This Way.  
 
A portion of all profits have been pledged to charities that promote equality and positive social change.  #SpreadLove
This is a beautiful book.  Absolutely stunning.  The layout is spectacular and eclectic.  I love the variety of photos used and the variety of subjects.  Little Monsters are so creative in expressing themselves and it shows.  I was highly impressed at their outfits, their hair and makeup.

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Beautiful

I loved how the photographer was able to coax this part of the models out into the open.  And photograph them.  And obtain their consent for publication. You can really tell that they were comfortable posing in a way they felt was truly representative of who they are a person.  They were having fun.  they were free to be who they are.  That is a tremendous talent.

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But apparently not everyone felt comfortable after the shoot.  This page made my heart hurt:

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I know nothing of art books, nothing of graphic artistry,  but as a complete novice, I really liked the lay out of the book.  I liked how the pictures were set up next to each other, the ratio of full page shots to quarter page shots etc.  I like which fonts were used, when the letters were typeset versus handwritten, etc.  Here is an example:

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I thought that was really cool.  The colors used were vibrant and appropriate.  Not garish or tacky.  The book didn’t scream at you.  It was apt.

What was most moving of all was the letters.  The personal missives to Lady Gaga from the Little Monsters themselves detailing what she meant to them.  Now, I’m one of those that tends to roll their eyes when someone talks about a celebrity in such personal terms.  But after actually Googling Lady Gaga and reading about the work she has done on behalf of the LGBTQ community, I truly understand how she has made such an impact.

This page in particular was touching:

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“You taught me how to be brave and that I should not really give a shit to what others think.”

That is so hard to do.  We are so conditioned to contain things, to hide things, to conform to what society perceives as “normal”.  To not rock the boat.

Even in my limited time on this planet, it is refreshing to see some of these sentiments changing.  To see that people are becoming more accepting.  To see a book like this being published.  To see that people aren’t scared to dress the way they want, to be photographed in this manner, telling their stories.  I can tell you that when I was in high school, so long ago (I graduated in 2000), people were still terrified of coming out.

This book is important.  Thank you to the brave Little Monsters who shared their stories and themselves and to Tracey B. Wilson for photographing them and putting the book together.  And for generously sharing the book with me.

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The Holocaust Comic book

Last Christmas (not this past Christmas), my husband bought me Maus by Art Spiegleman.  It took me until now to read it.

For as much reading as I do about history and WWII, I need to be in a specific state of mind to read about the holocaust.  Ever since I read “The Diary of Anne Frank” when I was in middle school, I have had an interest in this part of history.  But after a high school English class spent an entire semester on holocaust literature, with a subsequent visit to D.C. to visit the museum, it can be difficult to read about the camps, the mass murders and all that goes along with it.

I knew the concept of Maus, but wasn’t sure what I would find. For those uninformed, Maus is written by a man whose parents both survived the holocaust.  The majority of the author’s extended family (both sides) were murdered in the concentration camps.  The book is basically about the author’s relationship with his father and finding out about the past.

At the time the book is written, Mr. Spiegleman’s father is aging.  He has health issues, he doesn’t get along with his second wife (his first wife, and mother of the author, committed suicide when the author was 20).  The author starts interviewing his father, hearing the detailed story of how the elder Mr. Spiegleman survived.

And it is an amazing set of books.  There are two volumes and I read through both in one day.

I do find it difficult to read comic books. I am so used to plain text, and it is hard to concentrate with a page so busy.  But the images in this book help it along, and I think that was the intent.

The entire idea of the people as animals was incredible.  Jews are the mice (maus in German).  The Germans are cats. The Poles are pigs.  The visual presentation was stunning.  I was particularly struck by the way certain concepts were presented visually i.e. when his father is out in public and pretending to be a non-Jew, he wears a mask (since it’s in Poland, its a pig mask).  Little details like that help it hit home…this person is pretending to be something he’s not.  He has to wear a mask to go out in public because it is fatal if he does not.

And the story is a thriller.  The author’s parents managed to hide in various places until March of ’44.  It becomes a page turner when they have to go from house to house to hide.

As with all literature of this sort, it is terribly heart wrenching.  Made me tear up at times.

I appreciate the way these books presented the story in a visual way.  When I heard “holocaust comic book”, I wasn’t too keen on it.  But now that I have read it, I can see the value of this mode of presentation.  Many people aren’t very willing to read about this dark chapter in human history.  Many people aren’t willing to put the time in to read some of the books of this genre, because they are too long or they feel it might be too boring.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer could double as a free weight.  I literally had difficulty holding up the book when I was reading it.  Caused arm strain.  “Maus” on the other hand, consists of two small volumes, but they are packed with emotion.

Also presenting it as a “comic book” of sorts puts the information that is vital to share in a genre where it can be read by people who don’t normally read in general.  I see the benefit of using this format.  People should learn about this time period because remembering the past is the only way to prevent it from happening again.  This format makes this history lesson more accessible.

Maus will stay with me for a long time.  I recommend it to everyone.

Weeding the book collection

My dismantled library

In order to accommodate new (to us) furnishings, I was forced to part with my bookshelf. It was rickety and apparently IKEA furniture isn’t made to travel halfway across the continental United States.

Alas, I had to dismantle my toned down library (I have about 100+ more books in the closet), and I am conflicted as to what to do with them. As I was removing them from the shelves, several categories popped up.

My history books: namely U.S. Civil War, WWII, some Revolutionary War. Would I ever read them again? Possibly. Some I am definitely never parting with, i.e. Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPhereson, The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, all of my Stephen Ambrose. Could I at least part with some? The ones with intriguing titles like “The Things your History Teacher Never Taught You About the Civil War”? Maybe. Holocaust books? Never.

My spirituality books: there are some I actually haven’t read yet. Some my mom or friends have passed on to me that I haven’t had the chance or the interest to read recently. I have a ton of John Edward books, that I’m keeping (despite the fact that my husband hates him), plenty of books on reincarnation, dreams, etc. I could get rid of the more wackier ones.  Ones that are staying?  Journey of Souls/Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton, Many Lives, Many Masters by Michael Weiss and anything by those two men.

The classics: between my husband and myself, we have a nice collection of truly classic books. Some of them are in very nice hardback editions. I have saved some of the books I loved from my childhood. I have a beautiful copy of “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My husband has “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, and an absolutely incredible, gold gilded copy of “The Inferno” by Dante Aleghieri (with illustrations). These are staying put.

However, I can’t find my copy of “Now We Are Six” by A. A. Milne. He is the wonderful man behind “Winnie the Pooh”. I received it as a gift from a friend on my sixth birthday, and as my daughter is rapidly approaching that magical age, I wanted to give her my copy. I have moved several times in the past few years and I hope that I can find my copy. Or I hope I can order a new one.

Crime/thriller: a lot of James Patterson, some books we picked up here and there over the years. I am not parting with some of my books by Cyril Wecht M.D. I know its morbid, but he has a series of books about the cases he has consulted on over the years. He used to be the corner of Pittsburgh, PA, and he is just amazing with explaining pathology. That stays. The others I can part with.

Stephen King: I can never part with these. But I will make sure they are out of reach of my daughter so she doesn’t start reading “the master” at a young age like I did. I am permanently afraid of clowns. FOREVER.

Self-help:  I have a small collection of these types of books, “Toxic Parents” and “Toxic In-Laws” by Susan Forward among them.  I will keep those.  I think I am writing a post on these types of books soon.  I have some uncategorizable books that are in this vein that I could part with, but they are wonderful all the same “Why Do I Love These People?” by Po Bronson, and “Are You Wearing That?” by Deborah Tannen.  “Reviving Ophelia” by Mary Pipher I will keep, as I will have an adolescent girl in 7 years.

I guess this is self help, I bought “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker when I was really young.  I should have listened to every word printed in that book.  It has taken me until a few years ago to start using those cues and rely on my own intuition.  I will never part with that book, in fact I reread it from time to time so I can remind myself that I’m not paranoid, there is legitimate reasons that I was creeped out by that guy in the parking lot.

Political:  Wow.  I do have a copy of Ayn Rand “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead” but they are still in plastic.  I live in Texas, this state is painted red and I received some of my books as gifts.  My ideals have changed a bit politically in the last five years or so, since the right became so nutty and angry and more radical.  I do have some right wing books such as Glenn Beck(signed too) and Ann Coulter.  Those can go.  I’ll keep Stephen Colbert.  He’s dreamy 🙂

Comics/humor:  I found such gems as 3 different editions of Calvin and Hobbs.  Yay!! Definitely a keeper.  I found some Far Side collections. Came across the “Tasteless Jokes” book again.  This one will  be hiding on top of the fridge until my child is 18.  Why not just get rid of it?  It’s an integral part of my husband’s childhood, see my post here.

Professional:  I am a nurse, my husband has a degree in chemistry.  We have textbooks, manuals, dictionaries, books with titles such as “How We Die”. Kind of freaks people out.  But our friends who call with medical questions or to tutor their children in chemistry (or physics or math) are grateful for the information.  I think the medical and chem stuff with stay.  That shit is expensive!

Oddities:  I found my second grade yearbook.  I only posted the cover on FB and have already had pleas to not post the pics.  I will comply as I look like a chipmunk who was recently electrocuted and dressed  by the wardrobe department of “Little House on the Prairie”.

I found my husband’s freshman and sophomore yearbooks.  He went to an all boys Catholic school.  He looked like a bobble-head until his body caught up with the rest of him, sometime in college.

I found my daughter’s baby book.  I hate having to answer questions to her like “who is that strange man holding me?” “Honey, that is your biological father”.

And, finally, my awesome collection of the Babysitter’s Club books.  To keep or not to keep.  I loved them.  I can’t be sure my daughter would be so enthralled about a group of 13 year old girls who babysit in Connecticut in the 80s.

I’ll spend the next week sifting.  And just imagine.  I have 200+ books on the kindle.  If they were in print form, I’d be swimming in books!

Any thoughts on what to keep or take to the half priced book store?  What have you done with ever growing book collections?

 

From Fort Sumter to Appamatox

Ok.  More nerdy stuff.

At last count, I had over 25 “real” books and 15 “ebooks” on the U.S. Civil War.  I have all the standards, “Battle Cry of Freedom” by James McPhereson, I do have Shelby Foote, I even have a book or two by Bruce Cattone.  I have the fiction, “The Killer Angels” by Shaara.  I have ones with interesting titles “Confederates in the Attic” by Tony Horwitz.  I have the “Ghosts of Gettysburg” series up to #10 I think (by Mark Nesbitt).

The point being, I know a lot about the American Civil War.

I was drawn into this part of history by an awesome A.P. history teacher as a freshman in high school.  This teacher had a way of explaining events in history that would stick in your brain.  He drilled it in so successfully, that to this day I can recite some of his mantras:  “The emancipation proclamation freed no one” — due to the fact that it freed slaves in Confederate territory and not in the slave holding states of the Union, and held so many exceptions that only a small number of slaves of the millions were actually freed at the time it was issued.

I received the highest grade possible at the time on an A.P. U.S. History exam when I sat for it as a sophomore.

I have been to Gettysburg many times.  I feel drawn to the area for some reason.  I know some people say that they feel they were there in a past life.  I will leave that discussion for another post.  All I know is that I absolutely love being in Gettysburg and one of my regrets about moving south is that I can’t just pack it in and go to Gettysburg for the weekend.  Or Antietam.  Or make a longer trip of it and go to the battlefields in Virginia.

You can read about an area in a book all you want.  Even look at pictures in a book or online.  But until you are actually on the battlefield (if it hasn’t changed much in the last century and a half) you have no idea about lines of sight, the way the land offers concealment, how important the high ground was in an age without aviation (they were experimenting with balloons at the time).

My other fascination with the time period is linked directly to my profession.  Modern nursing in America is directly linked to this event in history.  Prior to the U.S. Civil War, nurses were usually male.  It was considered improper for women to bathe strange men and to care for them.  I read extensively on the subject and would love love love to go to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Fredrick, Maryland.

** going off on a tangent here ** I have this ongoing fantasy that we will magically hit the lottery or come into some money and I can plan this grand trip to the northeast, see my relatives, his relatives and hit civil war sites and D.C in between.  Sigh.  ** end of looney fantasy**

In another life, I did visit the National U.S. Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA, and they had an exhibit on nursing.  Wow.  They had no knowledge of germs at the time or contagion.  No sterile technique.  No idea of infection.  Pus was considered a good thing.  Treatments usually consisted of diet and nutrition.  Anesthesia was next to nonexistent.  The nurses worked nearly day and night and some actually died with their patients.  The nurse to patient ratio would make your eyes bulge out of your skull.  And yet Dorthea Dix felt it necessary in the beginning to put appearance and age restrictions on nurses because she didn’t want anything to seem “improper” between the patients and the nurses. Nurse candidates were preferably over thirty, married, and looked plain or homely.  These were the “officially sanctioned” nurses.  Many of the ones that didn’t fit this mold took it upon themselves to gather supplies and go on their own way toward the battlefield.  I could write an entire post on Civil War Nursing.  I think I might.

Back to the books.  “Battle Cry of Freedom” by James McPhereson is listed as one of my favorites for a reason. I feel it plainly discusses the U.S. Civil War without confusing the reader.  You don’t have to have a history degree to read this book.  “Confederates in the Attic” by Tony Horwitz looks at the phenomenon of the South, what I have recently experienced by living here in Texas.  The war is still being fought.  I know, right?  If you haven’t been here, then you just don’t know.  If you go up North (“North meaning above the Mason-Dixon line, if you know where that is), most people haven’t given a thought to the Civil War except about learning about it once in school, unless they have an active interest in it like I do.  Come down south, it is a different story.

** Another tangent, but this one is actually related to the topic** I was born in Texas, raised in Pittsburgh, and moved back to the South awhile ago.  If this were 150 years ago, I’d be screwed.  My husband is from the North as well.  My brother still lives up North.  I would be majorly, majorly screwed.  But families like mine existed back then.  People were seeking out their fortune  “out west” and the Civil War tore them apart.  They don’t call it a war of “brother against brother” if there wasn’t a reason.  My take on it?  I see both sides.  I truly understand that it wasn’t a war only FOR slavery.  Trust me, there wasn’t a white man in either army that was fighting for the future of a black man.  For the idea of their own destiny?  The right to live their life as they see fit?  Sure.  To fight to preserve their country intact?  Sure.  It was affecting the future of the North as well.  To let the Confederacy secede would mean economic ruin for the North.  And just imagine the millions of acts of unofficial warfare along the borders that would probably be continuing to this day.  Point is, I can see the arguments of both sides.  I actively read about both sides.  ** End tangent**

Back to the topic at hand.  Down here in the South, people proudly display the Confederate flag.  I’m neutral on the subject, although I know that the intent usually is racially motivated.  People claim that they fly it for historical reasons.  Well, I haven’t seen anyone fly any of the other Confederate flags that were tied to that period of time.  Fly the “Bonnie Blue Flag” and then I’ll accept your argument.

If you are flying it up North, then you are just an asshole.  Up in Pittsburgh, there was one of those who had a souped up monster truck and would fly a huge Confederate flag from the back of his truck and drive through black neighborhoods.  He wasn’t celebrating his history.  He was being a dick.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he took a few bullets for that one.

Now Texas isn’t considered “the deep South”, thank God.  We are a little west of that designation.  But Texas did have a role in the Civil War.  Fort Hood is named after a general in the Civil War who lost a limb at Gettysburg.  His unit fought at Devil’s Den.  Google it.  People in the South are damn proud of their ancestors who fought in that war.  I have a friend (from Kentucky) who still has the saddle his great great something or other wore when he rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest.  I’m not sure I would be proud of that one.

And people still hate the North and talk bad about Yankees.  I’m serious.  I’m ok because I was born here.  I tell them that I escaped as soon as I could and brought my husband with me.  But I feel bad for my husband.  People still give him a hard time because he talks funny and it is evident that he isn’t Southern.  People here are still pissed at a war they lost 150 years ago.

I love this time in history.  It just fascinates me because there is so much to it.  The birth of my profession, further constitutional issues (we should have stopped paying income tax a LONG time ago), cultural issues that continue to this day.  I just came across another news article about the naming of another monument in the honor of a Confederate spy in Arkansas who was hanged at the age of 17.  The public is questioning the naming of yet another public item in the name of this person as he was working to preserve slavery.

I promise more on all these issues.

End of nerdy post.

Spy vs. Spy

Ah…now we get into the really nerdy stuff.  I am a history buff and proud of it.  I am of the opinion that you have to know where you have been in order to know where you are going.  It is absolutely appalling that so many teenagers (and here I sound really old) and young adults have no clue what the older generations have sacrificed in order to provide them with the freedoms that they enjoy today.  Good Lord I sound like I just had dinner at Denny’s at 4 in the afternoon.

I do come from military people, both my grandfathers have served, one in WWII in the Navy in the Pacific, although he saw no action (it was in the very end of the war) and another in Korea and Vietnam.  That grandfather was career military.  More on that in another post.

This post is about espionage.  I am a huge fan of the true spy books by Ben Macintyre.  I started with Agent Zigzag. moved on to Operation Mincemeat and recently finished Double Cross.  These books, if written as fiction, would sound too dramatic or unbelievable.  But these books are extensively researched and are based upon recently declassified materials from the British wartime spy services (think MI:5, MI:6 as in James Bond).  Its fascinating to note the Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books, was a young officer during WWII and actually worked on Operation Mincemeat.

I love these books because of their authenticity.  I can actually point to a historical event, like the invasion of Sicily, and read about Operation Mincemeat and learn all about the minute details that went in to pulling off a deception plan of that magnitude.

The way they are written is extremely helpful as well.  Macintyre does an amazing job of keeping the reader’s attention and writing as though it is a novel, not a nonfiction book of spying and deception.  He could have spewed dry facts paragraph after paragraph.  Instead, he weaves an intricate story, builds tension and suspense page after page so that it does read like a good spy book.  The fact that it is all true makes it even that much better.

I also enjoy my U.S. Civil War history as well.  Before I had my Kindle, I read huge paperback books.  The Secret War for the Union:  The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War by Edwin C. Fishel is one of those books (760 pages). Its worth it though.  This book provides an overview of how both sides  developed intelligence systems and put them to use throughout the Civil War.  The author himself worked in the NSA and applied his intelligence minded brain to sort through previously unknown documents found in the National Archives.  These documents  illustrate that the Union had far superior intelligence gathering and processing capabilities, but the South utilized their intelligence information in a more effective manner.  Ultimately worth the read to anyone who is a true Civil War buff or who is interested in the history of espionage in the U.S.

I have yet to visit the Spy Museum in D.C.  It is on my bucket list.  I have yet to get in to any kind of spy books per se.  Maybe that is the next genre I tackle.

Does reading a romance novel featuring a James Bond like character count?

Kindle vs. Paper

Yes, I like romance books. That’s another post for another day..

Ahhh..the great debate.  Like paper or plastic.  I only received my Kindle two years ago as a Christmas present.  And I will not be able to jump to the Kindle Fire unless it is via Christmas or birthday present (hint hint).

Prior to the Kindle I used to roam a discount book store, or wait until I had some money saved up to splurge on books via Amazon.  I used to reread some of my books or raid my Dad’s book stash.  I know it sounds ridiculous, saving up money for books, but when you have a small child, their needs come first, and when you have the ability to devour 2-3 books a week, that costs money.

To date, I have reread the unabridged version of “The Stand” at least 10 times.  I have read every single book in my hardback/paperback collection at least twice.  Some three times.

Which is why I was eternally grateful for my Kindle.

The number one reason is the cost.  I can support my reading habit for free if needed.  And right now, it is needed.  I can browse the “Top 100 Free” list on Amazon and usually find some really good books from any genre for nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  And that can last me a long period of time.  And if the books I have chosen are really crappy…then no guilt…I didn’t pay a dime.

Additionally, when there are books or authors that I truly look forward to reading, the Kindle price is substantially less than buying the physical copy.  And if I can’t afford to get it when it first comes out, I can wait awhile for the price to come down.

The second reason the fact that I can book shop in my pjs.  From my Kindle.  Yes, I can shop online from my computer.  But there have been times, recently, when I haven’t had internet access via a computer.  I can buy books from my device.  From my bed.  I don’t have to get dressed and go to the store.  For someone with health issues, this is a major plus.

The third reason is the amount of space on the Kindle.  As you can see from my pic, I have a lot of books stashed on it right now.  If you glance at my pic of my bookshelf, there are a lot of books on it.  I have a huge tub of books in my closet.  And I live in a tiny apartment with a kid, my husband, my bonus son for the summer, and a cat.  If I physically purchased all of the books on my Kindle, I would need at least two more bookshelves.  And the other residents of my apartment would not be happy.

And lastly, and this might seem like a little thing, the Kindle is very lightweight.  I have a tendency to read very large books.  The physical copy of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by Shirer probably weighs more than my 5 year old.  For someone that has pain and fatigue issues, attempting to read this behemoth in bed requires a pulley system.  Not only could I have stored it much more easily on the Kindle, I could have saved myself some major arm strain and pain attempting to find a comfortable position while attempting to understand the un-understandable.

The drawbacks.  I realize that this post sounds like Amazon has paid me, but believe me, I give them way more of my money than I should.  And there are some drawbacks to the Kindle for me.  The primary one being that you cannot always share books with people.  That is one thing I have enjoyed with my Dad over the years.  When I tell him “Hey, I just read an awesome book”, I can’t just hand it to him or email him the link.  Most of the time lending is not enabled.

Also, as mine is of the special electronic ink, it is not back lit, and I don’t have a special case with a special light.  My case has a slot that a goose-necked external light can fit in.  And I constantly lose it when I am switching from nighttime reading to daytime reading.  I have yet to even try a Kindle Fire, so I’m not sure if this is rectified yet.

And of course, if “fill-in-the-blank” is elected and the world ends and the grid fails and the economy crashes (again) and the Martians invade or the zombies rise from their graves, I won’t be able to use my Kindle and I’ll be hunkered down with my same collection of paperback books.

Good thing I made sure they were damn good ones!

The last amazing book I read

The last few amazing books I read were about the undead.

I stumbled upon the entire zombie genre by accident.  My 10 year old bonus son (that is stepson, but I don’t like the whole “stepmother” or “stepson” thing) is obsessed with the horror genre.  I don’t necessarily think a child should be allowed to be obsessed with this genre, being that most of the movies and TV shows are rated R or MA, but he lives with his mom that is a completely different blog.

Either way, one of the summers he was visiting he brought the first season of  The Walking Dead DVD with him.  I was hooked.  I don’t do vampires, I have never seen Twilight, nor do I plan do.  But I like me some zombies.

Which brings me to the subject of this post.  Through Bookbloggers I found the amazing works of Stant Litore and The Zombie Bible series.  The books center around people featured in the Bible and adds in zombies as if zombies have always existed.  Litore’s main Bible characters usually are involved in attempting to stopping the undead.

I personally have never read the Bible, and growing up Catholic, wasn’t really exposed to the old testament at all.  And I don’t find it at all blasphemous to put saints in a story featuring zombies.  I was truly fascinated with the descriptions of the setting (ancient Jerusalem for “Death Has Come Up into Our Windows”  and ancient Rome for “What Our Eyes Have Witnessed”.  The writing is captivating in both novels.  It just enraptures the reader like a vine, winding its way around you and pulling you in to the story.   I devour the works from Stant Litore (devour..haha) sometimes in a day because I can’t put them down.  And there is often a deeper meaning to his works, more of a humanity perspective rather than a Christian perspective.

Having gone through his books with a new one coming out soon, but not soon enough, I saw that the book “World War Z” was a recommended book for zombie enthusiasts.   And I happened to notice that my dad had that exact book sitting around his house.

I read the entire thing in two days.  Wow.  The entire way it was written in short little snippets of information was just enough to keep a story flowing, but allowed the reader to fill in the blanks.  The way it gave you a glimpse of the zombie apocalypse, but not the entire story that you would get from a first person narrative was just ingenious.  The way it doesn’t exactly give the time frame, the author leaves this and other key elements to your imagination.  I was sad when it ended.

So now I am reading another book from Bookbloggers.  Due to my health issues, I haven’t been able to jump right in right away.  I’ll post my review on here as well as on amazon.

What Our Eyes Have WItnessed

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