You Deserve a Drink–Mamrie Hart

*Note: This was written early January 2018.*

After a dark and gloomy beginning to the year (reading Slaughterhouse Five) I figured it was time to start a book that was guaranteed lightheartedness. 

Mamrie is a well-known Youtuber who makes drinks on her channel (called You Deserve a Drink) that are fun and themed and sound delicious. 

This book isn’t just about drinks, although each chapter starts with a drink that goes with the theme of the chapter.

She makes me laugh and makes me want to infuse tea with liquor! 

This was a fun a read and I liked her stories. But given that she’s such a big personality in her Youtube channel, I expected more silliness, I liked that it wasn’t but I also wish that it had more big laughs? You know? 

Constant vigilance!

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Slaughterhouse-Five–Kurt Vonnegut

I’m notorious for not liking classics at this point, yes? 

This one also joins the 3-star club. 

I’m also notorious for just blindly walking into a book instead of reading the dust jacket. 

Let me tell you what I thought this book was about.

Based off the title alone I thought this was about five people who survived some sort of grisly event in a slaughterhouse. My mind immediately thought: Holocaust. Because this just LOOKS like a book my friend would suggest and he always suggests Holocaust books to me because he likes to devastate my soul at least once a year. 

All I remember from this book is that I get a twitch from the sentence “So it goes.” now. 

What is this book actually about? 

The Holocaust. And the Dresden bombings. And so, so much more. Like alien abductions. 

The timeline goes back and forth and up and down and the main character Billy has PTSD and he gets married and has kids and travels back in time and yes. That’s the book. 

I read this back in January 2018 because I wanted to start the year off with a classic. I didn’t fully believe this was going to be about something so dreary. I’m always getting tricked into reading about the Holocaust. 

Even by me.

Go figure I start the year off with an event I hate reading in books because I’ve visited the Dachau concentration camp and my soul wants to throw up every time I think about it. 

And the books title is because it’s about POWs being held in a slaughterhouse…labeled ‘Slaughterhouse Five’. 

So I wasn’t totally off. 

Constant vigilance.

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Will Grayson/Will Grayson–John Green & David Levithan

I have this problem with writing my reviews since…well since I started this blog because I like to read books en masse. When I’m on a roll I’m on a roll and want to keep jumping stories like a time traveler with A.D.D. 

Gimme a T.A.R.D.I.S. and call me The Doctor. 

So sometimes this thing happens where I read all the books and don’t write all the reviews…for years. 

It’s a terrible habit. Yet here we are again. 

Now, I love John Green. Most of his books I’ve read have at least four stars. Five if he made me cry like a little bitch. 

This one has the mysterious number ‘three’ in the star section. 

What does that MEAN Past Alli?! WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! 

I remember liking the way that this was written because the writers were each in charge of a Will Grayson, so I really liked that collaboration. They should do more.

This book is about two Will Graysons who meet by chance and their story. I remember the friend called Tiny who was way into making a musical because he was utterly fabulous. 

That’s all I’ve got today. 

Constant vigilance.

 

Tranny–Laura Jane Grace

It is essential that everyone reads this book. 

If you have transgender friends and want to know more about their struggle of identity: read this book.

If you don’t know anyone who is trans but want to know more about that side of the universe: read this book.

If you like autobiographies: Read this book.

If you like music: Read this book.

If you like Against Me! : Read this book.

If you don’t know who the hell Against Me! is then, you got it: Read this book. 

If you are human and want to human better: Read this book. 

I literally just want to Oprah the hell out of people and go around handing this out. 

Because honest to God: This book is so well written, so poignant for our time, and so touching and honest and brutal, and watching the journey Laura Jane Grace has taken is so raw and beautiful and *mindblown emoji*. 

Now, I’ve never fully listened to Against Me! (at the time and I listened throughout the book as the music was suggested or mentioned by the author and now I am a fan), my friend (who has been a fan for awhile) read this book and it spoke so hard to his soul that if he was a violent man he would’ve thrown it at me and told me to read it. 

Instead he forked it over after adamantly stressing how amazing this book is and then whispered “Goooooo reeeeeeead.” in my ear. 

Okay, he didn’t do that last part. Well, not in my ear anyway, I am a violent person and would’ve punched him for being creepy. 

Anyway. 

I cannot imagine the life and struggle and guilt and relief and stress and secrecy and then finally openness it takes to be a transgender person. They go through so fucking much that I,  as a CIS woman, will never have to go through or fully understand or be able to gage on any sort of yard stick. 

But I can take my white privilege and my CIS privilege and quite frankly, my Canadian privilege, and do better about stepping into someone else’s shoes. I can take the time and see what’s up with other genders and beyond.

I can check in on my fellow humans. 

Because that’s all we all are. A bunch of meat sacks running around trying to figure shit out. 

Laura Jane Grace (and I will continue to use her full name here because she fucking EARNED it.) is a beautiful writer, musician, and human. This book is now a part of my heart and I need it to be a part of others hearts too. 

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Constant vigilance!

Body Positive Power–Megan Jayne Crabbe

I took my sweet time reading this book. I’d say about six months just because I wanted those lessons she was teaching in her book to really sink in. 

Now, I can’t remember word for word what she said, but the feeling of this book really resonates with me even still and I find it has changed my line of thinking.

When I start to talk to myself in a way that I wouldn’t have originally thought of as self deprecating or harmful I catch myself now. 

Why am I bullying myself? You can’t hate yourself into a body you love. 

Which was a big point in her book. 

You can’t be cruel and think you’ll end up happy. You can’t bash yourself and think that’s a form of self love because it’ll get you to a place where you love the end result of all your “hard work”.

But I don’t want my hard work to be a result of me bashing myself or constantly pulling at my body angry that it can’t be different just because I’m willing it to be so.

This is MY body. No one else has this body, so it’s important that I treat her with respect. 

And fuck am I ever happier about that. 

When my brain goes “Ugh. New stretch marks. Way to go fat ass.” I stop that in its tracks and think “So what?”. 

“So what?” is my new key phrase to body positivity. 

So what if I’ve gained weight to the point of new stretch marks. I learned to love the last ones, these new ones can be loved just the same. 

So what if I’ve gained weight at all? That just shows I appreciate food and relaxation. I know I’m not actually a lazy person, I do things ALL the time. I work hard, so I deserve the relaxation and comfort that comes from eating and laying down. 

So what if I eat a bag of chips in one sitting? I was fucking hungry to the point of inhaling it. I obviously NEEDED food.

I’m learning to listen to my body more. Not intuitive eat as a way of dieting. I will no longer diet. I’m done with that. (Hell yeah!) I will listen to my body on what foods it agrees with and which foods it craves. (And sometimes that craving is a goddamn apple! Who knew!!!) 

I want to get back to a place where I move my body for the joy of moving my body. Like when you’re a kid and you run because you love that feeling of being free and the wind whipping through your hair. 

And so what if I get winded halfway down the driveway. I can be breathless for the joy of it! 

I don’t want to punish my body into a body worth having. I want to enjoy the body I have because it was worth having all along. 

All the shapes and sizes I have been get a colossal “So what?”. 

So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli isn’t too concerned about what size of pant she is wearing.

So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli doesn’t want to give anymore energy or wasteful thought tangents on where her body SHOULD be. Instead living in the body I have now and being grateful that I am who I am and no one else is like me. 

So what if someone else bashes their body? Not only will I not internalize it to the point of thinking “Does that person think I’m fat and hideous because they think THEY are fat and hideous?” I will stop THEM in their tracks and tell them to stop talking to my friend like that. 

This book is so fucking important for all communities. It’s not only about body positivity and how Megan got to where she is, it’s about facts and figures and LGBTQ etc things, it’s about able bodied people (which is everyone. We all have bodies that are able to do stuff.) and it’s about how we value self worth. 

It’s so important. 

And so what if I don’t look like the girls in the magazines? 

We’ve risen up so much the girls in the magazines have come out to say “Me either.” 

Fuck I love this book. 

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The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo–Amy Schumer

Two for two on surprise book back to back. First Kris Jenner, and now Amy Schumer. 

So I originally intended to read this book and get it off my shelf because I kept seeing the cover and being like ‘UGH. Amy Schumer! Stop fucking staring at me.” 

But what I ended up with was a well written book about her life and I came to actually respect and life her as a person.

Who knew? 

I’ve never really liked her stage show, I don’t know why. I think sometimes I think it’s enough with the vagina jokes. (Guess I have to be in the mood for that.) 

I’m not a prude when it comes to hilarious and gross and out there jokes, sometimes she gets a really good laugh from me.

But I was thinking that I was about to read a book that read like her comedy sketches go: Over the top and trying too hard.

What I got was slap in the face with the reality of who she is. 

Which is that she’s not just her onstage persona. Whaaaat?! That happens?! She can be quiet and reserved? Who knew. (Sarcasm guys. I know that people aren’t always what they seem or portray to people on stage.) 

This book has ended with me feeling for Amy Schumer and hoping that she has a great life and career and can actually DO something about gun control.

She’s great. And I wasn’t expecting to like this book, but she got me.

She really got me. 

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Oh Hey 2019.

Hey there sports fans! Happy New Year! …-ish? I’m late. I know.

Do you remember me? It’s been two months since you’ve seen hide or hair of me on here!

As expected after November all Hell broke loose. Christmas season is a busy one for me and I had a lot of stuff that needed to get looked after instead of concentrating on posting anything.

Blah blah blah who cares now right?

It’s a New Year and no “New Me” shenanigans will be happening here!

I’m the same old inconsistent me! Ha!

Let me catch you up on all the fun things I’ve been doing for two months:

I moved my shop to a new instagram account (@derangedlibrarianshop) and my shop did well this holiday season! I always appreciate the business I get over the entire year and I hope to grow WAY more this year! (Although this winter is killing my hands with dryness and I really need it to stop it so I can actually MAKE all the things. That would be real great.)

Let’s see…what else? I’ve read a crap ton of books. Especially lately because I started a book club on Instagram as well! (@derangedbookclub if you want to join up!)

We pick a new book every month. We started with ‘A Simple Favor’ for December and January people could pick from three books after the vote. (I read all of them so I’m going to talk about all three on the next Instagram Live I do.)

The choices are: ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama, “This Will Only Hurt a Little’ by Busy Phillipps, and “We Are Going to Need More Wine’ by Gabrielle Union.

So if you want to see more of me then track me down on Instagram! I spend most of my online time there now!

I really think that’s it. Haha. Whoops. I mean, work, family time, life happened, but it’s not pertinent to this. I’m really happy about this book club business and thinking that I’ll finally use that to relay into a Youtube Channel.

Anywho! This week I’m going to try to post a book review every day because I’m still like two years behind! Ridiculous.

Hope y’all are having a great New Year already!

Constant vigilance!

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