Saturday, September 23, 2017

Friday Reads: 9/22/2017

3:10:00 PM

FRIDAY READS: 9/22/2017

Somehow, some way, I actually got some reading done this week... I really shouldn't have gotten as much reading done as I did because I had a Genetics exam this week and I have two exams next week, but as it turns out I don't actually learn anything in my "Intro to Linear Algebra" class because my professor is a forgetful, old man, so instead of taking notes or studying for another class like I should, I read.

This week I got caught up on the "Lumberjanes" series which is hands down one of my favorite graphic novel series, right up there with "Giant Days". In addition to the graphic novels I read I started reading, "36 Questions that Changed my Mind About You".


I'm almost done with it and so far it's your typical YA contemporary. It is quippy and kind of slow-paced to be honest. I don't hate it but I don't love it. It's just eh. Nothing that makes it different. Probably will not write a review for it on here because I don't think writing a review for this is worth my time.

So what are you guys reading this weekend? Tell me everything down below in the comments.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"The Island of Dreams" by Gregory James Clark Blog Tour

8:30:00 AM
Book: The Island of Dreams

Author: Gregory James Clark

Synopsis: In 2107, twenty-four year-old Gary Loman is disillusioned with life. There are scant opportunities in the capitalist world that surrounds him. When he receives a prestigious invitation, Gary knows that the change he has been waiting for has finally arrived; it’s a ticket to fame and glory as a skater.

Leaving the old world behind, Gary embarks on a new adventure on The Island of Dreams, led by the world’s newest monarchy, where he is introduced to the woman who will become his wife and a wildly different social order, one which has evolved over the previous seventy years by virtue of a slow, quiet and largely unnoticed revolution. By 2107, however, The Island is poised to become one of the most powerful states in the world, acquiring, most notably, the territory of Kamchatka.

The Island Queen, Queen Katie of Kamchatka, with the help of her devoted Prime Minister and her faithful staff, then attempt to educate and train the 240 receivers of the distinguished Queen’s Ticket, both for their roles as skaters and within the Kamchatskiy organisation, for whom they will be working under a completely new concept in political economy, based on quality rather than profit motives, and which is replacing Marxism as the world’s rival to capitalism.

As Gary progresses on The Island, and as its Queen seeks out her new King, the world is on the brink of a breath-taking transformation.

Inspiration behind the book

In addition to wishing to create a skating-themed book, I have sought to produce a story which, like Torvill and Dean's routines, was innovative and unique in nature, following a Utopian story line. I drew on ideas from various sources including, notably, The Prisoner, with the first names of the actors and actresses being used as a simple naming formula for the Island's Founders. Other ideas stemmed from the study of political economy, coupled with a desire to create a new theory that could potentially result in a kinder and more efficient system in a plausible way.

I also wanted to introduce Quality Management, and particularly the work of W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran, and integrate this into the theory and story line. I very much wanted to find a way of bringing their work and teaching to the attention of a much wider audience, being of the opinion that it has been grossly undervalued.

To the best of my knowledge there has never been a story written that combines both the artistry of skating and scientific and political concepts such as the ones incorporated into this story line and I very much wanted to create something different that will appeal to a wide range of readers in all age groups.

There are many people who are eager to protest against capitalism, but seemingly very few who are willing to work to create a new and plausible alternative. Therefore, rather than protest I have opted to take the latter approach, forging a link between the concept of Utopia and that of Total Quality Management - both are never-ending journeys. The Island of Dreams is intended therefore to be a lot more than a simple story centred on ice skating - complex social, economic, political and scientific concepts are explored and connected.

About the Author
Born and raised in Lancashire, Gregory James Clark went on to graduate with a BSc Honours in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales followed by an MBA from Manchester Metropolitan University. In his professional life he has enjoyed working in the field of Quality Management and the design of programmes including; The Programme for Global Quality Promotion (PGQP) in Russia and the African Nations. Previous publications include Quality Matters: The Decade of Quality 1989 - 2000 (Spire City Publishing 2002) and Deming and Juran: Gift to the World (Spire City Publishing 2007). He is currently the editor of The Electron Newsletter for the Institution of Electronics. In his spare time he enjoys ice dancing, ballroom dancing, golf, chess and snooker and speaks numerous languages including; Dutch, German, Portuguese and Swedish. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Typical Day in My Life: Monday Sept. 11, 2017

9:00:00 AM


So I thought I would shake things up and take you through a typical day in my life. As most of you know, I am currently an undergrad student, studying Biology, Pre-Med in my junior year. I chose today because for the first time in weeks, I don't have a shit ton of extracurriculars going on after my classes are over, which is really really nice. Well, I hope you guys enjoy this post!

8:00 AM- Waking Up
It's a Monday morning so I have to wake up for my Genetics class. I wake up, get ready, make lunch, and eat breakfast (a peanut butter sandwich and cinnamon applesauce, nothing special). I put in my headphones and turn up my music, "Sirens" by Cher Lloyd coming on shuffle, before heading out for my 20 minute walk to class.

9:30 AM- Genetics
It's "early" in the morning and I'm sitting in my Genetics class. My professor is talking about chromosomes and mitosis, but clearly I'm not paying attention because I'm typing this post. It's okay though because everything she has taught in this class to date has either been review or stuff that I have went ahead and learned. It's only the third week of class yet we are behind a week and a half in the lectures. I'm ahead a week and a half compared to the syllabus, so I don't really have to worry about keeping up with the notes. We have our first exam next week, but I'm confident at myself.

side note: i actually hate fidget spinners, but this is sciency and hip, so why not include it

10:30 AM- Research
I can't talk much about my research because I'm not really allowed, but just know that I do research at the Cleveland Clinic and it deals with space mice and histological staining. My research is my job this school year, which let me tell you it's great not having to have a separate job and do research. In addition, the research I do is a part of my senior research capstone that I have to do to graduate with my B.S. It's really nice being able to hit three birds with this one stone.

3:20 PM- Human Anatomy
This is my favorite class of my day, possibly the entire week. Not that I particularly love the material, which I do like it because anatomy is fascinating, but because I have it with one of my best friends here, Tessa. I enjoy sitting the back of the lecture hall talking shit with Tessa and making snide comments. It's what we do best.

5:00PM- Dinner
I'm off the meal plan this year, so I have to cook for myself which isn't a big deal since I've been cooking for myself all summer. Only bummer is when I'm tired from classes, work, extracurriculars, etc. I don't feel like cooking. Fortunately, a lot of the events I go to have free food, so score! Today I made some homemade BBQ chicken nuggets and mashed sweet potatoes. Dinner was fun because I got to talk with my friend Tessa (who is also one my suite mates) and one of my other suite mates. We have some pretty Grade A conversations if I do say so myself.

6:30PM- Studying/Watching TV
These last few weeks I've been doing a Grade A job in keeping up with my notes/homework/studying, so I don't have to put too much time into it each day. I try to manage my time such that I do everything for the classes the day I have those classes. I'm really fortunate in that I have time to do quite a bit of my school stuff while I'm at research, so in the evenings I only needs to dedicate a couple of hours to whatever is left. So today I just have to do some light reviewing for my Genetics exam next week and some MCAT studying. As I'm studying, I'm watching "CSI:Miami". It's a good show to marathon in the background of doing actual stuff.

8:00 PM- Skype with my Dad/Buy a Plane Ticket!
So I skyped my Dad because I bought a plane ticket! I'm studying abroad this winter break in Costa Rica! I'm so excited. I am going with a biology class to conduct a study of my choice. I'm so pumped to see San Jose, La Selva Biological Station/Rain Forest, and all the other cool places we are going to. I'm actually going to get to see a volcano! I'm so incredibly thankful for this opportunity and I will for sure take lots of pictures so you guys can see the awesome shit I'm sure I'm going to witness.

9:00 PM- Procrastination
Finally, I should be studying or reviewing or doing anything productive, yet here I am, typing this blog post, watching "CSI:Miami", and really craving ice cream

I hope you guys enjoyed this post! I know it isn't at all bookish, but like I've said in recent posts, I'm branching out.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

TALKTIME #22: Writing Reviews is a Struggle

9:00:00 AM


      You would think with the title of my blog being "The Nerdgirl Review" reviewing would come easy. It used to be, it really was. But now reviewing is a struggle, and I think part of that has to do with me and part of that has to do with what I read.

      I used to really love reviewing books, hence making this blog. I loved talking about books. But now I find myself struggling to write reviews. I get asked to review a book, and I just don't feel motivated. Looking back at a lot of my most recent reviews, most of them I haven't liked. I've realized part of this comes from the fact that I don't really like what I'm reviewing. I don't hate it either though. It's just eh. Which got me thinking...

      My earlier reviews were all books I either really loved or really hated. Those are the reviews that had so much emotion from me, and that's because I had so much to say. With books that I don't necessarily hate or love, I don't really have that much to say. 

      Over the course of last year and this year I've been really struggling with finding books that I enjoy. My reading tastes have changed and so have I as I've gone through college, which is perfectly okay. Change is a good thing. But with this change, it's been harder to find books that I feel passionate enough to review. That being said...

      Some changes are coming to how and what I review so that I am not struggling anymore. From now on I plan on reviewing books that I actually have real emotions and thoughts on. So whether that is a book I really love or a book I hate, that's the type of stuff I want to review. There will be some exceptions of course when it comes to books I get sent for review because I feel obligated to write an honest review in exchange for a copy of that book. But outside of that, from now on I'm just reviewing what I feel is right to review. This may mean a decrease in the number of book reviews on this blog, and I'm sorry for that, but as I said in an earlier blog post, I am changing and so is this blog. I still want to pursue other stuff to put on this blog that I am passionate about. I might not be posting that often due to the demands of this school year, but when I do, it will be stuff I feel deserves to be talked about.

      Sorry for going off the deep end like that. But what about you guys? Have you been struggling with reviewing books? Do you review all the books you read? Tell me your thoughts in the comments down below.

My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?



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