Company Town – a book response

Company Town

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Company Town is a book that reminded me of an Atwood style novel. A little challenging at first, but once the momentum gets going, very difficult to put down. The dystopian/futuristic theme is fascinating and creates great thought/discussion about issues of today as well. It reminded me also of the Hunger Games, which I didn’t read – but my girls did, and then insisted I watch the movies with them.

I read Company Town as part of my 50 Book Pledge, however I was drawn to it because it was also on Canada Reads for 2017. That said upon reading it, I wasn’t sure I’d ever recommend it as one of the books *everyone in Canada MUST READ today*.

I think there are some important themes addressed in the novel, but not as clearly as some others have done with them. I enjoyed this book and am thinking about which Atwood novel I should pick up next J

Kobo:

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Making a difference, one little thing at a time… according to Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”

The Tipping Point:

How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Since posting my 2017 Books Read list (read so far that is), I have finished nine more books.  I hope to give my response (not review), to the books, and how they have some impact on my life.

Most recently,

I finished the audio version of  The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell.

Malcolm is an author who was referenced in a couple of different podcasts I’ve been listening to. In The Tipping Point the author talks about how epidemics occur. He provides many examples of the multiple factors that have to accumulate before a difference is made thus reaching a Tipping Point that sets the epidemic in motion. It is an interesting perspective to consider.

What’s the difference?

I’m not sure if it was the topic, the stories or how at times the next story was well in hand before the connection became clear, or perhaps it is simply the soothing nature of the author’s voice, but I found myself losing my focus and missing bits & pieces of the book. That said I found myself interested in reading his other books to see what other insights the Malcolm Gladwell imparts. I am currently reading “Outliers” in ebook format.

Kobo:

*The above post contains affiliate links. TrishBlogs receives a small percentage of compensation for purchases made via these links.

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

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Book list for 2017… (Books read so far)

I used to document each  book I’ve read and responses to them. I’d like to get back to that. Once I get caught up, I may work backwards and share some of the responses I’ve had to books I’ve already read this year.

Self Portrait, Reading, Book

To start I’ll share my book list read so far in 2017:

 

The Right to Be Cold, Sheila Watt-Cloutier

The Elephants in My Backyard, Rajiv Surendra

The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

One Hour in Paris, Karyn L. Freedman

Quantum Night, Robert J. Sawyer

Fifteen Dogs, Andre Alexis

Better Than Before, Gretchen Reuben

The Postmistress, Sarah Blake

The Brightest Star in the Sky, Marian Keyes

The Art of People, Dave Kerpen

The Fibromyalgia Coach, Tami Stackelhouse

, Simon Sinek

Stones into Schools, Greg Morgtenson

Instant Mom, Nia Vardalos

Born a Crime, Trevor Noah

Why Men Lie, Linden MacIntyre

Take Back Your Life, Tami Stackelhouse

Punishment, Linden MacIntyre

Stolen Lives, Malika Oufkir

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

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Damn it, I’ve lost my focus and don’t know where to find it…

Today I’m doing one of those spinning in a million different directions things… I keep starting things, then suddenly realizing, I was in the middle of something else and I have no idea how I got where I am now.

I want to blog about a great book I read, then I realize I should blog about the progress I’ve made… I actually read a book, cover to cover in two days! In fact, I read two books, in four, two days each! I was sick, and I still managed to focus on my reading and stick with it!

I saw my doctor today to follow up and see if the meds are helping with the depression. It’s hard to make a very conclusive call since I was sick, very sick, for most of the time since I last saw him. However, he seems to think I’ve made some small improvements in spite of being sick, which likely means we’re on the right track. Perhaps the improvements would be more significant otherwise, so we’ll maintain the current plan and see what happens in 4 weeks.

It’s probably time to put Christmas away. It is January 7th. It’s just weird because usually I feel this overwhelming compulsion to tuck it all neatly back in it’s boxes and clear the clutter, by New Year’s day. It still feels mostly cozy to me. The tree is still up, although I feel silly about lighting it now… ah, one last time and then I’ll put the girlies to work deconstructing.

Tomorrow afternoon I hope to take the girlies skating on the Canada Games oval. Perhaps it will feel like winter for once, as I hear we’re expecting some snow this weekend! There’s been interesting talk about trying to keep the Oval permanently in Halifax, and I really hope we can make it happen. As long as we can ensure the greatest year-round use of the Commons, I think it would be a really fantastic use of the space. I mean, we once could count on skating on ponds and lakes throughout Nova Scotia all winter long… those days are long gone.

Yesterday, I almost questioned whether I’d lost some time somehow, perhaps slept through January, February and March…? I saw porpoises or dolphins, a small pod of 5-6, in the waters outside of Halifax Harbour. They should be gone south. Is it climate change effect? Or just a fluke? Or did I really miss winter? I would have loved for them to be whales. We weren’t close enough to get a good look, and unfortunately I’d left my camera at home not knowing I was even going to be leaving the office, but it’s even less likely they were whales than porpoises, right? I mean it’s unusual to see whales that close to shore anyway, let alone in winter in the Atlantic Ocean.

So you see, I can’t find my focus, my thoughts are scattered in the wind. Today, will be a day of small, short projects, because that appears to be enough of a challenge for my brain…

We must start to give a damn!

Considering sending this to our local paper(s) as a Letter to the Editor type piece.  I would value feedback to help me polish it up:

We must stop paying lip-service to caring and giving, like we all do. Sure we believe we live in a fantastic city, province, country and society where we all care about one another. But is this really true? Do you care about your neighbors? …regardless of whether they live the same lifestyle as you?

I’m not just talking the neighbors next-door to your stable home, but the neighbors you see when you walk/bike/drive down the street, the neighbors who work near you, the neighbors you see on a daily basis and look right through.

Do you care about the people who aren’t related to you? Do you care about those who practice different cultural traditions? Do you care about the people whose skin color is different? Whose native tongue is not the same? Do you care about the neighbors of varying abilities? Do you care about those who are unemployed? How about those struggling to get by on social assistance? Do you care about the homeless?

I want you to really think about this for a minute. We all say we care. We say we live in a society where no one should have to go without the basic necessities of life. Not all of us agree that society should look after one another. But we all seem to agree that we wouldn’t want our children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, grandparents, or even friends to go without.

Yet, still 1 in 10 children in Canada have lives that feel the direct impact of poverty.

There are a lot of groups out there lobbying government to provide better support to help eliminate poverty, to help children break the cycle and get a start in life. However, I maintain that until citizens as a whole understand and view poverty and those effected by it with compassion, until we all take a stand and say “ENOUGH!” governments will not do enough. I know it’s often difficult to believe, but our government can do very little if it is not the will of the people.

Why must we make it our will to eliminate poverty?

I recently read a memoir of a child of poverty, named Tiny. Her book “Criminal of Poverty” gives a very clear picture of how it is next to impossible to climb out of the depths of poverty when growing up homeless in America. The deeper the depths, the harder it is.

Not having lived it, I can only imagine. When I think back on times when I was struggling to make ends meet, and how stressful it was to not be able to pay the bills, I recall just how much of my energy was drained of me. To be without food, housing, healthcare, etc. could only leave me entirely without energy or time to do anything. Being consumed with thoughts of where the next meal is coming from, how I am going to keep a roof over my family’s head one more month, week, night… Then to further escalate that with additional requirements for those I care for, I can only fathom the despair I might feel.

It is a documented fact that poverty breeds health issues, in a BIG, BIG way. It is the number one determinant of health. We MUST find a way to end the cycle and make a better life for our next generations.

Just consider if that person you walk so quickly past while turning your other cheek were your daughter or son, mother or father… and that the stranger walking by not giving a damn were someone other than you. Would you not hope, that someone for just an instance would see your loved one as a human being with needs that they are simple unable to meet, for whatever reason that may have befallen them? Would you not be grateful to that stranger for offering your loved one a hand up? Even so much as a hot drink, a kind word, or perhaps something much much more substantial?

Next time you walk on by, remember the person you see right through, has loved ones who only want the best for them too.

A concerned citizen,

Trish McCourt, BSW, SWC

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