Monthly Archives: August 2020

Five Reasons to Shop at an Independent Bookstore

There was a time, not too long ago, that every town and city had at least one bookstore to call their own. But that time has long since passed, thanks to the Amazons and Barnes and Nobles of the world.

Yesterday was Independent Bookstore Day.

Below are the reasons to shop at an independent bookstore.

  • You support the community, in addition to the specific store. The rate of success for small businesses (pre-Covid-19) are disheartening at best. Within ten years of opening, 70% of them will close. These days, who knows how many will be able to keep their doors open?
  • It is an opportunity to get out of the house. As much as I appreciate the convenience of ordering online, there is no joy in that. Over the last few years, I have gotten together with friends for several bookstore crawls. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day than books, friends, and a good walk.
  • Many of these stores highlight local authors and stories that add flavors to the story of the area.
  • There are more than books to be found within their walls. Some stores have opened small cafes, others host events and classes.
  • They are gathering places. Not just for the purpose of the product that will be purchased, but for the opportunity to meet and connect with other bibliophiles.

Two of my favorite bookstores in New York City are Books Are Magic and Strand Bookstore.

Readers, do you have a preferred independent bookstore near you? Feel free to share them on the comments below.

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What’s Your Favorite Black Panther Moment? — Annlyel Online

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the news. Chadwick Boseman, after battling colon cancer for four years, has tragically passed at the young age of 43. To commemorate his most iconic role as Black Panther I’m making him the topic of this week’s Who’s Your Favorite? Enjoy! Black Panther’s Reveal Captain America: Civil War was […]

What’s Your Favorite Black Panther Moment? — Annlyel Online

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RIP Chadwick Boseman

To say that cancer is cruel is an understatement. It steals lives when one is otherwise perfectly healthy, taking away what should be years, if not decades of life, love, and experiences.

Actor Chadwick Boseman died from colon cancer earlier today. He was 43.

He was best known for playing real life heroes (Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013) and James Brown in Get on Up (2014)) and fictional superheroes (T’Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel Avengers franchise).

My heart hurts. Tears are welling up in my eyes. He was one of the actors who could jump from genre to genre, from character to character. The transition was seamless. His future as an performer was full of possibilities.

But cancer had other plans.

May his memory be a blessing and may he live forever on the silver screen.

Z”L

P.S. The fact that he was constantly working throughout the four years of his battle with cancer tells me at least everything I need to know about who the man was.

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Filed under History, Movies, Music

Mr. Malcolm’s List Book Review

The world of dating and romance can sometimes be cutthroat.

Mr. Malcolm’s List, written by Suzanne Allain was originally published in 2009 and re-published this year. Jeremy Malcolm is the younger son of an Earl in Regency Era England. Handsome and wealthy, he is considered to be the ideal husband. Though he is ready to marry, he will not marry just anyone.

To throw off any woman who would marry him for less than honest reasons, Jeremy compiles a list which contains the qualities that his future wife must have. Rumors of this list and it’s contents have spread. Julia Thistlewaite is one of the many women who has tried and failed to become Mrs. Malcolm.

Angry at being rejected, she invites her old school friend, Selina Dalton to spend some time with her in London. Selina reluctantly agrees to join Julia on her plan of revenge. When Jeremy starts to judge Selina based on this list, she decide to judge him back based on her own version of the perfect husband.

I loved this book and I think my fellow Jane Austen fans will as well. Mr. Malcolm was created in the image of Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), creating a love/hate relationship with the reader. I appreciated the satire, the humor, the charm, and the reverence for the era.

I recommend it.

P.S. I recommend that you watch the short film that came out last year based on the book. It is the perfect companion to it’s literary predecessor.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Do You Want a President Who Embraces Conspiracy Theories? I Don’t

One of the things that I have observed as I have voted over the last twenty years, is that the closer a Presidential election gets, the more intense it becomes.

In any other election year with any other Republican Presidential candidate, the fringe group QAnon would be dismissed for their completely out there conspiracies. But, because you know who has openly embraced this group, they have gained a new following and their theories are considered to be legit by some Americans.

His reasons for this welcome are purely egotistical.

“I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,”

What is worse is that some Republicans running for Congress have not only not run on these ideas, but they have made inroads to winning their election.

I hate giving this group oxygen and attention. But this is the only way to stop them. We cannot let them win. We cannot give them an air of political respectability and a foothold in Washington D.C.

We MUST vote in November. We MUST vote for the Democrat ticket and ensure that these people go back to the dark fringes of the internet they belong. If we don’t, then the United States as we know it to be may cease to exist.

#BidenHarris2020

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Flashback Friday: My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding (2012-2016)

There has been a fascination by those in the majority about those who are in the minority. This fascination has, for better or worse, become a gold mine for reality television producers.

My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding aired on TLC from 2012-2016. This reality show told the story of the marriage ceremonies of Romani Americans (otherwise known as Gypsies).

This program is trash, there is no other way to put it. I will freely admit that I am completely uneducated on this segment of American society. However, regardless of how much knowledge the viewer has of Romani-Americans, it comes off as the typical brain drain over-dramatic reality program.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Television, TV Review

All in the Family Character Review: Gloria Stivic

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series All in the FamilyRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Ideally, when we marry, the family we are born into and raised by will get along with our new spouse and their family. But that is not always the case. On All in the Family, Gloria Stivic (Sally Struthers) is the only child of Archie and Edith Bunker (the late Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton). Married to Michael “Meathead” Stivic (Rob Reiner), Gloria is the peace maker between her liberal husband and her conservative father who refers to her as “little girl”.

During the first few years of their marriage, Gloria supports her husband while he attends college. Working at a department store, she only has a high school education, which does not help during arguments with Mike. After Mike receives his degree, they move into the house next door to her parents and welcome their son into the world.

Unafraid to speak her mind, Gloria can verbally tussle with her father as no one else can. As a young woman in the 1970’s, she speaks for the feminists of that generation, who were just starting to ramp up the fight for equality.

After they move to California, Gloria and Mike’s marriage falls apart. She eventually returns to New York as a single mother, working in a veterinarians office.

To sum it up: It’s a tough place to be in, torn between between the person you married and the family who you have known your entire life. But Gloria is somehow able to figure out how to walk that very thin tightrope without ruining her relationship with her parents and her husband.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, New York City, Television

The NBA Strike is More Than a Night Off

Whether we know it or not, we often look to celebrities as examples of how to behave or not behave.

Since May, when George Floyd was murdered, protests have exploded all over the country. Across Hollywood and the sports world, celebrities have stepped up in the name of justice and equality.

With the shooting of Jacob Blake last weekend, America was again reminded that police still single out Americans of color. In response, several NBA teams have chosen to strike. Jared Kusher, sticking his nose in where it did not belong, claimed that they were “taking the night off“.

The full quote is as follows:

“The NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.”

While it is true that they will still earn their salaries, this strike is not about money. It is about racial inequity and violence that still exists in the United States. These players are using their platform to take a stand and send a message.

Not that Kushner or anyone around him would be able to understand that message.

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Filed under National News, Politics

Throwback Thursday: Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

In the world of beauty competitions, the ultimate goal is to win. For some contestants and their handlers, that means resorting to tactics that break a few rules.

In the 1999 movie, Drop Dead Gorgeous, a small town in Minnesota is preparing for their annual beauty pageant. Gladys Leeman (Kirstie Alley) is the matriarch of the wealthiest family in town. She will do anything (and I mean anything) to ensure that her daughter Becky (Denise Richards) comes out on top.

But Becky has a rival in Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst), whose mother Annette (Ellen Barkin), is equally as eager to see her daughter take the crown. Before the winner is announced there will be some roadblocks along the way. One of which maybe a dead body.

It’s not quite a satire, but it has elements of the genre. What I remember about the movie is that is both entertaining and a treatise of how we treat young women. If all they learn is that their looks are the most important thing in life, what will their expectations be for the rest of their lives?

I recommend it.

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Kyle Rittenhouse is Everything That is Wrong with America

In 2020, we may believe that we have come a long way. Women and minorities are no longer second class citizens. True equality is not yet achieved, but we are on the way.

Then a kid with an AR-15 shoots into a crowd protesting against police violence. Two people were killed and one was injured.

The kid’s name is Kyle Rittenhouse. Somehow, he was able to get his hands on one of the deadliest weapons one can use. Instead of arresting him, local police defended him. Upon further research, it was discovered that his now deleted social media accounts history were chock full of white supremacy related information.

This kid is everything that is wrong with America. A white person (i.e. male) shoots into a crowd with an AR-15 who has extreme right views is given a free pass to get away with whatever he wishes to. But an innocent black man like Jacob Blake is shot in the back point blank by white police officers. According to news reports from earlier today, Mr. Blake is paralyzed.

We need to do better. We must do better. If we don’t, our children and grandchildren will continue on the same hamster wheel that we are on now.

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