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MrsJoseph: Books, Life & Wine

I’m currently on the run from the Amazon Empire. The Empire recently used it’s planet sized money to destroy devour my previous safehouse: Goodreads.


I read a lot. Have a bit of a tendency to review as well. So…this is mostly a book review site. Unless its not. But I’m not taking review requests.


Cause sometimes I’ll write about whatever I feel like, book or no.


Things I [currently] like:


So, I’ll talk about that stuff. Unless I don’t.


That “life” part in the site title is all about flexibility, lol.

Currently reading

Mistborn: The Final Empire
Brandon Sanderson
Starting Strength, 3rd edition
Mark Rippetoe
Amanda Quick
Progress: 25 %
Reblogged from Lornographic Material:
Stay classy, my friends.
Stay classy, my friends.

Review: Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson

Apples Should Be Red - Penny Watson

This was absolutely adorable!


Beverly Anderson (Bev) and Tom Jenkins have known and disliked each other for quite some time. Complete opposites, they typically only see each other for the holidays since their children are married. Bev thinks Tom is horrible, rude and crude while Tom thinks Bev is a “snooty-ass bitch.” Both widowers, circumstances have thrown Bev and Tom together at Tom’s house for the week prior to Thanksgiving.


During their week together, Bev learns to loosen up and stop trying to be “perfect” while Tom learns to show his vulnerable side.


Apples Should Be Red is an adorable book about two people who fall in love just when they needed to the most. This romantic comedy gets most of it’s laughs from Tom. Tom is what Bev thought he was: rude, crude and “raw”: he speaks his mind and is rather funny in a rough-edged way. The things that Tom thinks/says are quite funny. Bev, on the other hand, is the “straight man:” rather repressed and anal retentive – her character spends quite a bit of time worrying or dissolving into tears.


I felt the relationship that grew between Tom and Bev was just so cute – although they are close to complete opposites, they really seemed to balance each other in a very positive way. I had a smile on my face throughout the majority of this read.


There’s not really much else to say about this short novella – the characters are engaging and the story flows well. To be honest, I had very few complaints: Bev and Tom went from severe dislike to lust to sex to a relationship rather quickly. The ending also bothered me somewhat – I felt that Tom’s reaction was true to character but Bev’s reactions were rather underwhelming and did not ring true. The ending was a little to nice and easy but was still so cute that I enjoyed it.

Source: http://bookslifewine.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/apples-should-be-red

2014 Book Purchases: April

I always start the draft for these monthly book purchase updates at the beginning of the month. It gives me a chance to look back over the previous month and encourage myself to do better.


I already feel that I’ve spent too much money on books this month – Sad, aren’t I? :)


I’m going to have to try harder. But I’m nervous about April because it is my birth month. I always find a way to indulge myself in April…


01-May-2014 Update: Yaaaay! I managed not to go over my $20 budget!!! :-D



Wind-Gone-MadBook: Wind Gone Mad
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Cost: $2.99
Format: Paperback
Date Purchased: 02-Apr-2014
Notes: Shits & Giggles, plus that cover! O_o



The Phoenix EndangeredBook: The Phoenix Endangered (The Enduring Flame #2)
Author: Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
Cost: $4.50
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 02-Apr-2014
Notes: Second in a series



Magic's PawnBook: Magic’s Pawn (The Last Herald Mage #1)
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Cost: $3.00
Format: MMPB
Date Purchased: 02-Apr-2014
Notes: Replacement for ruined copy



The Felig ChroniclesBook: The Felig Chronicles (The Felig Chronicles #1)
Author: P.J. Dean
Cost: $4.99
Format: ePub Ebook
Date Purchased: 04-Apr-2014
Notes: First in a series. Putting my money where my mouth is, POC characters and NTM author



April 2014 Totals:
Total Books Purchased: 4
Total Amount Spent: $15.48
Malazan Books Purchased: 0
(M) Amount Spent: $0
(O) Amount Spent: $15.48
Potential Sales Abandoned: 0
Money Saved (Lost Sales): $0.00
April Budget Available (not including Malazan purchases): $4.52

Source: http://bookslifewine.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/2014-book-buys-april

Article: My wife was murdered by a 'monster' – but most perpetrators of violence are normal men

I read this today and it really touched me. 


From: My wife was murdered by a 'monster' – but most perpetrators of violence are normal men




While the vast majority of men abhor violence against women, those dissenting male voices are rarely heard in our public discourse outside of the "monster-rapist" narrative. Indeed, the agency of male perpetrators disappears from the discussion, discouraging male involvement and even knowledge of the prevalence and diversity of male violence against women. Even the term "violence against women" sounds like a standalone force of nature, with no subject, whereas "men’s violence against women" is used far less frequently.




One of the most dangerous things about the media saturation which followed this crime was that Bayley is in fact the archetypal monster. Bayley feeds into a commonly held social myth that most men who commit rape are like him – violent strangers who stalk their victims and strike at the opportune moment. It gives a disproportionate focus to the rarest of rapes, ignoring the catalogue of non-consensual sex happening on a daily basis everywhere on the planet. It validates a limitation of the freedom of women, by persisting with an obsession with a victim’s movements rather than the vile actions of the perpetrator, while simultaneously creating a "canary down the mine" scenario.


Men who may feel uncomfortable by a peer’s behaviour towards women may absolve themselves from interfering with male group norms, or breaking ranks with the boys, by normalising that conduct in relation to "the rapist". In other words, he can justify his friend’s behaviour by comparison – “he may be a ___, but he’s not Adrian Bayley.”


The monster myth allows us to see public infractions on women’s sovereignty as minor, because the man committing the infraction is not a monster like Bayley. We see instances of this occur in bars, when men become furious and verbally abusive when women decline their attention. We see it on the street as groups of men shout comments, grab, grope and intimidate women, with friends either ignoring or getting involved in the activity. We see it in male peer groups, where rape-jokes and disrespectful attitudes towards women go uncontested.




Where men’s violence against women is normalised in our society, we often we compartmentalise it to fit our view of the victim. If a prostitute is raped or beaten, we may consider it an awful occupational hazard "given her line of work." We rarely think "she didn’t get beaten – somebody (ie a man) beat her". Her line of work is dangerous, but mainly because there are men who want to hurt women. If a husband batters his wife, we often unthinkingly put it down to socio-economic factors or alcohol and drugs, rather than how men and boys are taught and socialised to be men and view women.


I wonder at what stage we will stop being shocked by how normal a rapist seemed. Many years ago, two female friends confided in me about past abuses that happened in their lives, both of which had been perpetrated by "normal guys". As I attempted to console them, I mentally comforted myself by reducing it to some as yet undetected mental illnesses in these men. The cognitive shift is easy to do when we are not knowingly surrounded by men who commit these crimes, but then we men rarely need to fear such an attack.


The idea of the lurking monster is no doubt a useful myth, one we can use to defuse any fear of the women we love being hurt, without the need to examine ourselves or our male-dominated society. It is also an excuse to implement a set of rules on women on "how not to get raped", which is a strange cocktail of naiveté and cynicism. It is naive because it views rapists as a monolithic group of thigh-rubbing predators with a checklist rather than the bloke you just passed in the office, pub or gym, and cynical because these rules allow us to classify victims. If the victim was wearing X or drinking Y, well then of course the monster is going to attack – didn’t she read the rules?




Many comments on Facebook pages and memorial sites set up in honour of Jill often expressed a wish for Bayley to be raped in prison, presumably at the arbitrary whim of other incarcerated men. Putting aside the fact that wishing rape on somebody is the perhaps last thing we do before exiting civilisation entirely, there is a point that these avengers may have missed – somebody has to do the raping. Vengeance by rape implies that rape is a suitable punishment for certain crimes. In other words, rape is fine as long as it’s used in the service of retributive justice. Indeed, we would be essentially cheering on the rapist who rapes Bayley, for ensuring that justice is done. Or, if we find this rapist just as abhorrent as Bayley, we’ll need another rapist to rape him, to avenge the rape he committed, and this would go on and on in an infinite loop. In essence, this "rape as retribution" argument invokes the need for far too many rapists.


For people like Bayley, rape is punishment – it’s how he exerts his dominance, and exhibits his deep misogyny through sexual humiliation. If we as a society then ask for Bayley to be raped as punishment, are we not cementing the validity of this mindset?




What would make this tragedy even more tragic would be if we were to separate what happened to Jill from cases of violence against women where the victim knew, had a sexual past with, talked to the perpetrator in a bar, or went home with him. It would be tragic if we did not recognise that Bayley’s previous crimes were against prostitutes, and that the social normalisation of violence against a woman of a certain profession and our inability to deal with or talk about these issues, socially and legally, resulted in untold horror for those victims, and led to the brutal murder of my wife.


Since Jill died, I wake up every day and read a quote by Maya Angelou – “history, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” Male self-examination requires this courage, and we cannot end the pattern of men’s violence against women without consciously breaking our silence.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/18/my-wife-was-murdered-by-a-monster-but-most-perpetrators-of-violence-are-normal-guys

[REBLOG] Smarter: Swap your search engine.

Reblogged from 1984:

I want to show you something.


No, don't brush this off like most of you usually do; you can't afford not to pay attention anymore.


I'm going to show you why you don't want to use most search engines and then I'm going to give you better options.

Ready? Start reading.


Book Collecting

photo bibliophile.jpg

2014 Book Purchases: March


Welp, February was a total bust – I went over my budget by $50+!


I hope that I’ll exhibit more impulse control throughout March. *fingers crossed*


I’ve decided (11-Mar-2014) that it would be in my best interest to just allow all purchases of the Malazan series. My OCD will not be ok until I own the first 10 books…at least. So while I will count the Malazan purchases in the total amount spent in a month, I will NOT count the Malazan purchases towards my monthly $20 per month book budget limit. Cause I’ve already busted that bubble.


I have given some consideration into upping my book budget by $10.00 a month in order to get a handle on going overbudget. But…that’s almost like cheating (or Fed. Gov’t style math). The truth is – I need to get a handle on my spending by not buying so many books! :( So, I have decided to give it another month at $20.00.

Reaper's GaleBook: Reaper’s Gale
Author: Steven Erikson
Cost: $15.54
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 03-Mar-2014
Notes: 7th in series (5/10)
The RookBook: The Rook (The Checquy Files #1)
Author: Daniel O’Malley
Cost: $7.82
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 09-Mar-2014
Notes: It’s been on the wishlist for some time… First in a series
The Wizard of OzBook: The Wizard Of Oz
Author: L. Frank Baum
Cost: $3.54
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 08-Mar-2014
Notes: For April buddy read

The Witches TrilogyBook: The Witches Trilogy (Discworld #3, 6, 12)
Author: Terry Pratchett
Cost: $7.53
Format: Hardback Omnibus
Date Purchased: 21-Mar-2014
Notes: DiscWorld Collection
Lean InBook: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Cost: $6.49
Format: Kindle eBook
Date Purchased: 27-Mar-2014
Notes: Gift
IllusionBook: Illusion
Author: Paula Volsky
Cost: $1.00
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 31-Mar-2014
Notes: I’ve been looking for this book forever!
The Handmaid's TaleBook: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Cost: $1.00
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 31-Mar-2014
Solstice WoodBook: Solstice Wood (Winter Rose, #2)
Author: Patricia A. McKillip
Cost: $1.00
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 31-Mar-2014
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective AgencyBook: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)
Author: Douglas Adams
Cost: $1.00
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 31-Mar-2014
Notes: First in a series
Cally's WarBook: Cally’s War (Posleen War: Cally’s War #1)
Author: John Ringo & Julie Cochrane
Cost: $1.00
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 31-Mar-2014
Notes: First in a series
Honor of the ClanBook: Honor Of The Clan (Posleen War: Cally’s War #3)
Author: John Ringo & Julie Cochrane
Cost: $1.00
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 31-Mar-2014
Notes: 3rd in a series


March 2014 Totals:
Total Books Purchased: 11
Total Amount Spent: $46.92
Malazan Books Purchased: 1
(M) Amount Spent: $15.54
(O) Amount Spent: $31.38
Potential Sales Abandoned: 0
Money Saved (Lost Sales): $0.00
March Budget Available (not including Malazan purchases): Over Budget! by -(11.38)

Source: http://bookslifewine.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/2014-book-buys-march

[REBLOG] Bookish Pin-Up Art

I don't know about you people, but I have always been a huge fan of pinup art. I do enjoy the art in form of photography but always prefer drawn or painted versions of the sexiness. 


I have again collected multiple pictures from various sources to give us some Wednesday eye candy. Enjoy the art, enjoy the views. 

















Reblogged from want a real life adventure? come to Australia we have spiders bigger than your hand. :

[REBLOG] Great piece by Ceilidh at Bibliodaze: "Say No to James Frey: Why I'm Boycotting Full Fathom Five"

Reblogged from TezMillerOz:

[REBLOG] Help a student out?

Reblogged from Krazykiwi @ Kiwitopia:

I know this is not book related, but I thought I'd throw it out there :) 


My writing partner and would deeply appreciate any responses to our initial survey for our bachelor thesis. So if you are 

  • An expatriate, of any kind and 
  • Employed, or previously employed while overseas and
  • Can spare me about 10 minutes to fill it in


This link http://goo.gl/AZaTvM will take you to our google docs survey page. 


Please feel free to reblog this, or pass it on to anyone you know who might be in a helpful mood. All responses are anonymous, any contact info provided is optional and will be divorced from the data, and the original data collection will be available only to my partner and I.  


We're only asking for any contact info at all because we need to do some follow-up interviews, but given the quite real privacy concerns around here, I can say we already have enough contacts sorted for that part, so it's fine to NOT provide any identifying information at all.

Quiz: Can You Tell These YA Stories Apart? Take the quiz and post your results!

I scored 14/54 - "Adult"  :D





Perhaps you have noticed that YA movies, like those in any other genre, have certain shared similarities. Perhaps you have made yourself an expert in these tropes. You can tell the one with the sorting hat from the one with the sorting ceremony; you know which werewolf is up to no good and which can be trusted. But can you tell them all apart? Prove it, with Vulture's extremely angsty but ultimately rewarding YA story quiz! For each question, please click as many as apply.

Source: http://www.vulture.com/2014/03/quiz-can-you-tell-these-ya-franchises-apart.html

This Is Not a Barbie Doll. This Is an Actual Human Being [Human Barbie]

The following is an excerpt from a GQ I just read.  I can admit to being both completely horrified and completely transfixed while reading this.  I've seen photos of this young lady before but I always attributed her looks to a combination of Photoshop, makeup and corsets.


But.  My God.  What does this say about us and the current standards of beauty??  And I can't help but to think that this is what we subject our little girls to with barbie dolls...





Well, Valeria exists, all right. She is seated in the back of the restaurant in her classic pose, preternaturally upright, head cocked. By her side sits sidekick Olga "Dominika" Oleynik, one of Lukyanova's several doll-like apostles. I walk through the restaurant, which is vaguely porny, like everything else in Odessa, and Barbie gets closer and realer with every step. Her brand-new hair extensions, the color of Chardonnay, hang straight down, reaching her nonexistent hips. Her mouth is frozen in a vacant half-smile; the teeth are small and almost translucent. She's holding a handbag shaped like a lantern. A one-eyed smiling-skull pin perches on her sky blue top, pushed to the side by the veritable shelf of silicone around which her whole body seems arranged. In the flesh—the little of it that she hasn't whittled away with what she says is exercise and diet—Valeria looks almost exactly like Barbie. There might be some Loretta Lux-style postproduction to her photos, sure, but it's not crucial. This is live. This is happening.



"Hello," she says in Russian, remaining perfectly still. Her mouth, like in a cheap cartoon, is the only part of her that moves. The eyes, the staring eyes, are the scariest. Part of what I'm seeing is an optical effect brought about by makeup (there is essentially an eye drawn around each eye), but even after I make the mental correction for it, Valeria's eyes remain chillingly large. The Internet rumor mill claims she has had her eyelids trimmed to achieve this look, which seems unlikely and sounds nightmarish. Evolution has taught us to think of big eyes as beautiful—it's a so-called neotenous feature, implying youth—but tweak that delicate scale just a little and you've got a wraith, or an insect. A living Barbie is automatically an Uncanny Valley Girl. Her beauty, though I hesitate to use the term, is pitched at the exact precipice where the male gaze curdles in on itself. Her features are the features we men playfully ascribe to ideal women; it's how we draw them in manga and comics and video games. Except we don't expect them to comply with this oppressive fantasy so fully. As a result, she almost throws our idea of a supervixen back in our face.




We order food, in a manner of speaking. Kamasutra being an Indian restaurant, there are the usual three chutneys on the table—mint, tamarind, and chile. Valeria gets a carrot juice, then proceeds to upend all three chutneys into it, swirl the result with her straw, and drink. This gag-inducing mix, she explains, is her dinner; she is on an all-liquid diet these days. I don't quite know where to go from there...



Source: http://www.gq.com/women/photos/201404/valeria-lukyanova-human-barbie-doll?currentPage=1

[REBLOG] Into the Jungle

Reblogged from Gurglings of a Putrid Stream:

The Jungle BookOur blog read this month is The First Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Everyone is welcome to join.

This time it will be a little different, since all those interested in doing so can also watch and review the movie. Bookstooge will post links here to free digital copies of the movie. You can post your reviews separately or together or you can combine them into one review of both. It's up to you.

All reviews should be posted on May 1. On April 30, I will post a blog entry that will serve as our Central Station for discussion. Once your review has been posted, go to this entry and post a link to it. Then start discussing everyone else's review(s). And don't worry: along about April 20 or so, I will post a reminder.

The last blog read was a lot of fun. Don't miss out!

The 14 Stages of Book Addiction from Buzzfeed!!

Reblogged from Ned Hayes Writing:

1. You buy a book you’ve heard a lot of buzz about and figure you’ll just try it out.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

2. You’re a few pages in thinking “I mean, I don’t really see what all the fuss is about.”

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

3. Fifty pages in and now you need to know what happens. You NEED to know.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction
Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com

4. You look forward to even a few minutes of downtime because that is precious reading time.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

5. Sleep is no longer important since these late hours in the night are when no one disturbs you and asks “what are you reading??” as if holding a book in front of your face is not enough of a ‘please do not disturb’ sign.


The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

6. An internal conflict starts to develop as part of you wants to know how the story ends and the other part of you can’t bare the thought of life without this book.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

7. You become unhealthily attached to the main characters, especially if the narrator is in love with the novel equivalent to your prince charming.

You become unhealthily attached to the main characters, especially if the narrator is in love with the novel equivalent to your prince charming.

8. You think you might love a character more than you love your actual boyfriend.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction
Disney / Via tumblr.com

He just gets you in a way that can’t be explained to the mentally stable

9. You start to become the book’s biggest marketing tool as you preach about the literary masterpiece to your friends.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

“Oh my god you have to read this book! NO LIKE YOU HAVE TO!”

10. Reality is no longer of importance. Your taxes can wait, the main characters are in danger!!

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

11. If something tragic happens to the main character or your book boyfriend, you cry for your loss and because literally no one around you cares about your mental anguish.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction
BBC / Via giphy.com

12. You finish the book and your heart aches as you say goodbye to those characters forever.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

13. Walking into a bookstore afterwards is like being thrown back into the dating world after getting dumped.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

14. You find a flaw in every book you pick up and realize you’re just not ready to get back out there.

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction
Fox / Via giphy.com


The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction
The CW / Via giphy.com


The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction

*repeat stages 1 through 14*

The 14 Stages Of Book Addiction


Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kalialicia/the-14-stages-of-book-addiction-f9n7