5 Books On My TBR List

5 Books On My TBR List

Since your list will never end, why not add these?
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If you read a lot, you know the feeling of the ever-growing TBR (To-Be-Read) list. The unfortunate reality is that it will never end, and you will never be able to tell yourself you've read everything you want to read; that's why I've decided to share a few books on my list! Feel free to add them to yours. Since your list will never end, why not add these?

1. Monster by A. Lee Martinez

If there's one thing I love more than speculative fiction, it's speculative fiction that knows it's weird. "Monster" seems like one of these. The preface of this novel is the main character named Monster runs a pest control agency. He also has a girlfriend from hell. Literally. The other main character, Judy, works the night shift at the Food Plus Mart. Her life is fairly ordinary until she finds a yeti in the freezer aisle eating all the Rocky Road. The two characters meet, due to the fact that Monster's pest control agency doesn't catch bugs; they catch things like ogres, trolls, and dragons.

2. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

As a fan of young adult fiction, and an admirer of authors who can write historical fiction, I decided to pick up "These Shallow Graves" based on those two things. The story follows Jo Montfort's ordinary life of going to school and waiting to be married off to a rich bachelor until her father is found dead. The story goes: Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. Jo knows her father was far to smart to clean a loaded gun. She begins to uncover more and more about her father's death; she discovers there are secrets.

3. This One Summer by Jullian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

I'm a huge fan of graphic narrative, so picking up "This One Summer" has been on my list for a long time. The story follows an unforgettable summer at Awago Beach for Rose and Windy. Rose has been going to Awago Beach with her parents and best friend, Windy, for the summer since she was a little girl. This summer, Rose's parents won't stop fighting. Rose and Windy get tangled in a tragedy-in-the-making in the small town of Awago Beach. The summer is full of secrets and heartache, with Rose's only relief being Windy.

4. The Life and Death of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus

"The Life and Death of Zebulon Finch" has intimidated me by its brick-like size for at least a year now. By reinstating it on my list, it's my way of letting it know I am not afraid of it! This novel starts in 1896, when a 17-year-old gangster is gunned down by the shores of Lake Michigan. Mere moments after, Zebulon Finch is resurrected from the void. Not only is he resurrected; he continues to live as a 17-year-old for over a century.

5. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

After reading "When the Emperor was Devine" by Julie Otsuka in a class, I've been obsessed with her work. I happened to see "The Buddha in the Attic" while at the bookstore, and just had to buy it then and there. This novel tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Franciso as "picture brides" about a century ago. It follows the women on their journey across the sea, their arrival in San Fransisco, their first night as wives, and raising children who reject Japanese culture. The story will end at the arrival of war.

Cover Image Credit: Fredrik Rubensson on Flickr

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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4 Ways The Border Wall Could Affect The Environment

A lot of wildlife could be destroyed.

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The government shut down is caused because of lack of decision making between the government and Trump. I'm not saying I am for or against the wall. My main concern is the environment around it. Humans have already destroyed the environment in multiple ways.

1. It's already been proven border fences are bad for the environment.

The border already has some fenced off with barbed wire, steel, or chains. Just the construction itself to put fences up ruined a lot of the environment around it. One group of species that have been affected, in particular, is the Mexican gray wolf. Just in 2016, there were only 113 in the United States and about 3 dozen on the other side of the border. This already is leading toward their extinction.

2. There are many animals that could be affected and results could be deadly for them.

Some of the animals include mountain lions, Texas horned lizard, Plains blind snake, and Rio Grande chirping frog. About 346 species could lose access to their habitat. This could lead to the risk of extinction of these animals. Fencing and walls that have already been built have already cost North America their rare animals.

3. Animal migration patterns could be affected.

With a wall, many animals won't be able to migrate for season changes properly. Many animals won't be getting across to migrate. If they can't migrate, chances of getting the food, shelter, and mates they need are slim. For example, the Peninsular bighorn sheep migrates between California and Mexico and if the wall is built, that would end.

4. Flooding could occur.

Depending on how the wall is built, it may not allow for proper water flow. This means it could cause flooding in certain areas. Under the George W. Bush administration, 700 miles of fencing was put up. In southwest Arizona, 15 foot high wire mesh fence caused debris build up just during a short thunderstorm. The floods got up to 7 feet high in some areas.

Like I said, I won't say I am for or against the wall, but thinking about the animals and wildlife that it could destroy is what sparked my interest to research this. If the wall does happen, let's hope it is an eco-friendly one.

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