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I've got a treat for you, and I hope you love it (at least like it). I am writing! Yet, a lot of my writing is unavailable to the public sphere until going through publication processes! So, I am creating a FREE public story which YOU are able to read via Wattpad! Now, you can experience some more of my storytelling: http://my.w.tt/UiNb/4Do8PXvgkGFREE, enjoy!

Since I'm always reading: I'm adding books I'm done reading (from August 2017 on, with blurbs) in a list (which will be on Goodreads as well). Happy Reading!

Investing well in yourself is a smart idea. Now—investing smart is very important. I have an interest in stocks and Acorns is an investing avenue which helps invest some of my money well with smart investments. If you join with my link, you and I will receive five dollars ($5.00) in our Acorn accounts: https://www.acorns.com/invite/?code=4FHGXB! Let's reap the benefits together, enjoy!

You Are Not Broken: Stop "Should-ing" All Over Your Sex Life

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


You Are Not Broken: Stop "Should-ing" All Over Your Sex Life by Dr. KJ Casperson, MD, is about practically progressing toward a better sex life; better understanding one's sexual health (personally, generally, medically), better understanding parameters of sexual-societal connections, and better understanding navigating relationships especially in relation to one's sexual health. Browsing Amazon.com, I decide to buy then read the text because of discovering Dr. Casperson is a Urologist (which intrigues me because initially I think Urologists are only for men [and Gynecologists are for women] then learn Urologists can be for individuals with urinary systems [of which type of urinary system {a man's, a woman's, etc.} varies depending on the type of Urologist]). I like the text because it's straight forward and easy to navigate. Even as the text references other texts (a good amount of referential texts which I've come to read already), the text offers valuable insights toward pleasurable sex largely considering low desire as well as pre-post-menopausal situations in multiple ways (all curative, if you will). I enjoy the text, and I'm glad about have the text for referential purposes. I think this text can be very relationship friendly.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown is a true story majorly focusing on the development of rowing culture in Washington specifically (through the University of Washington) though nationally as well as internationally competitively (though philosophically, practically, as well as stylistically—to varying degrees—internationally as well). At a banquet, I remember first hearing of the book from one of my brother's college wrestling coaches (R.I.P.). I appreciate him, and I'm glad his last words to me are about "The Boys in the Boat." I really enjoy the story! Two Note sections (one specific and one more specific) of evidential support are toward the end of the book before an Index (I mention this due to being curious about the way the details of the story are put together and finding the Note sections answer my curiosity satisfactorily, one doing so more specifically than the other). I find the story and writing style very enjoyable as well as thoroughly lively! While reading the text, I literally think how making this a requirement for a team as a coach is necessary. I find the story enlightening due to variances of perspectives considering the times between, of, and surrounding World War I and World War II.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear introduces and reintroduces practical methods to develop effective habits in one's life in lieu of ineffective habits as well as identify both (effective and ineffective habits) through "his four-step model of habits—cue, craving, response, and reward—and the four laws of behavior change that evolve out of these steps." After coming across the book in-person so many times, I decide to buy then read the book. James Clear acknowledges "Leo Babauta, Charles Duhigg, Nir Eyal, and BJ Fogg" as individuals that "have each influenced [his] thoughts on habits in meaningful ways. Their work and ideas can be found sprinkled throughout this text" then encourages "to read their writing as well" while appreciating prior efforts of Behavioral Scientists like B.F. Skinner. 


I like the text, and I think the methods are sound toward assisting one toward living a life with more effective habits including aspects of personality(ies)—a part of a spectrum of a human being as a whole person. I think the text flows along very scientific routes somewhat dismissing wonderful outliers of a human spectrum that may flow along routes of the likes of Faith and Will, for examples. I think the text is effective in what it intends to share, in its form of how it shares toward practicality though I can never estimate humans to be so algorithmic alone. 


Reading the text, I consider the human soul, even if a human operates in somewhat of a mechanical fashion like an automaton—a human is a human, which I don't think the text doesn't acknowledge—considering the smorgasbord of life of which a human can and must reasonably acknowledge and observe. Even so, I feel like the additional chapters about business and parenting reflect how intricate details can become per situation especially with specificity in a particular area of life. Generally, with self-help type books, I like to advise reading as though taking salt to a fresh open wound (read with an aware, at least cautious, open reasonable mind). I'm glad to be done reading the text.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy on a Plant-based Diet

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy on a Plant-based Diet by Jack Norris, RD, and Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, is about Veganism through varying stages of one’s dietary exploration and maturity. I’m Vegan for the rest of my life (though only Vegan for about one year and a half so far), and I choose to be Vegan initially to lessen inflammation. After reading the text, I feel a lot more aware about Veganism through comparative and supportive data concerning health in relation to nutrients in regard to ingredients between differing diets. Now, I have a lot more reasons to be Vegan. Veganism is not superficial, and I find the guiding parameters in the text around becoming Vegan (starting from the womb) as very beneficial toward developing good eating habits well (though, ultimately, I think, my future romantic life partner [wife] and I will culture our child and/or children to discern well enough to make that type of decision personally, solo). I enjoy reading the book, and I like the way the book informs of Veganism.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine by Dr. Jen Gunter, MD, is a book heavily focusing on women's health via genitalia medically. Of all the books I've come to read so far about women's health via genitalia, this text contains the most medical advising pre-medical-professional visit though steadily advises that one must bring any concerns (preferably without assumption) to a medical professional for further understanding. The book offers a brief history about certain aspects of genitalia care developments necessarily though most of the book feels educational for a person trying to better understand language a medical professional might use in relation to diagnosing and recognizing symptoms alone (more locally to a person than with a medical professional though the text steadily advises to consult with a medical professional than self-diagnose). I like the text because of its medical approach. The author has preferential points (which the author acknowledges to a degree within the text) that are debatable against other texts (by other medical professionals) I've come to read concerning women's health via genitalia which is a good reminder to always consult with your own personal medical advisor in tandem with personal conditions as well as any resource(s) away from an informative text of the sort. I'm glad to have The Vagina Bible as a reference and resource for better understanding women's health via genitalia. I enjoy reading texts like this because I think it's important to be mindful of what I want to be with, so I may better care, so I will be a better romantic/romantic life partner to a cis woman, and I may be of some kind of assistance to any individual non-romantically with health inquiries about women's health via genitalia.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Piney the Lonesome Pine: A Holiday Classic

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Piney the Lonesome Pine: A Holiday Classic by Jane West Bakerink is an adventure story about a pine tree that learns to accept being the type of pine tree the pine tree is instead of comparing to other pine trees. During a trip to Barnes and Noble, I meet the author at the front door then decide on buying the book as a Christmas present after the author shares a synopsis of the story with me. I read the story myself as well as to the recipients (attentive to the story, even the trailer of the short film about Piney) and enjoy the story. I think it's a good book to discuss with and read to children because of messages about being and belonging (albeit through the lense of a pine tree). The illustrations are decent and resemble illustrations of the short film (if not directly from the short film). 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Who Was Rachel Carson?

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Who Was Rachel Carson? by Sarah Fabiny (Author), WHO HQ (Author), and Dede Putra (Illustrator) is a biography about Rachel Carson's life. I read the book (on the spot) deciding between which book to purchase to donate to one of the hospitals Barnes and Noble has a donation relationship with as a part of a Christmas program. I choose Who Was Rachel Carson? to purchase to donate. The text informs of Rachel Carson's upbringing toward being an environmentalist, an author, an integral member of a family, and a citizen with concerns as well as practical approaches (with her skillsets) about society. I learn about Rachel Carson for the first time reading this book, and I'm really glad about doing (learning and reading) so.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Adventures of YaYa: Soup Joumou Lakay Grann Pola

Hi, 


I hope all is progressing well.


The Adventures of YaYa: Soup Joumou Lakay Grann Pola by Angie Bell (author), Tico Armand (author), and Jerry Boursiquot AKA Bousiko (Illustrator) is a story appreciating a part of Haiti's cultural history through a walk with a young Haitian girl, YaYa, in a day with her family and friends in Haiti. I buy the book because of Dr. Mandeep Rai's, PhD, Travel Noire article on Haiti which offers an update on Haiti which I appreciate (especially since I learn about growth avenues in Haiti through the article). I appreciate the book as a Haitian and as a reader. The story appreciates and explores enrichening Haitian storytelling, a culturally-historically popular meal (Soup Joumou), Haitian independence, and traditional Haitian values. The illustrations are good and work well with the layout of the overall book. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Come As You Are (Revised and Updated): The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Come As You Are (Revised and Updated): The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Dr. Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., is about being proactive about one's sexual well-being. Reading a book of the sort is important and having information of the sort readily available referentially is important, to me, as well. The text offers methodologies to change, embrace, and/or enhance aspects of one's sexual well-being (alone and/or with a/ partner[s]). The text contains valuable information relevant for any engaging sexual well-being. The author implements anecdotal and research references supporting (without bias) being proactive about one's sexual well-being. I'm really glad about reading the book. The text delves practically within and beyond to each one's own concerning sexual well-being.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

This is How You Vagina: All About Your Vajayjay and Why You Probably Shouldn't Call it That

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


This is How You Vagina: All About Your Vajayjay and Why You Probably Shouldn't Call it That by Dr. Nicole E. Williams, M.D., is (for the most part) funny, insightful, and practical about aspects of health (particularly women's health) through the vulva historically to modernity with acknowledgements more research is necessary for certain aspects of women's health. I like to be mindful about my health (generally as a man and personally). I like to be mindful about health of women particularly because I want to be cognizant of my/future romantic/life partner's health (generally as a woman and personally to agreeable reasonable extents). Why accept bare minimums of women's health though expect maximum pleasures from a woman in lieu of assisting abundant-robust maximums of women's health to partner to maximums of pleasure together? I choose to learn better so I may assist abundant-robust maximums of health (generally, personally, particularly of men and women) to partner to maximums of pleasure and a better society at large. In the text, Dr. Nicole E. Williams, M.D., tends to advise one to visit one's doctor for consultation even after sharing practical sound advice. The (no jokes, serious, not to take lightly) final chapter in the book approaches stereotypes and tropes for individuals to be mindful of so as to self-protect and prevent harming others from individuals enacting/exhibiting inconsiderate ignorant harmful behaviors embracing/showcasing effects of harmful beliefs. I really like the book. I'm glad about reading the text and having another text of the sort available referentially.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Ten)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Ten) by Kintetsu Yamada begins by resolving one aspect of Asako's bullying trauma from childhood though acknowledges more situations of the like may occur to emphasize the importance of good communication and empathy in a relationship. The manga delves weightily into different experiences of family members of a marrying couple (Asako and Natori) meeting for the first time, defining family, how family may mean to an individual, defining marriage, aspects of marriage/marrying, and wedding planning. Relationships are easy, to me, and I have reservations about love as well as marriage. So, as the manga navigates Asako and Natori's journey preparing for marrying/wedding, I get queasy at times. Fan service is light.

 

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Eight)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Eight) by Kintetsu Yamada takes a veer toward highlighting and uplifting exercise and health after the one-year anniversary dinner. Asako becomes self-conscious after learning from Natori about a two-day work trip at a resort hotel with a private beach in Okinawa then starts exercising after conducting a body assessment (by a pinch of her stomach, reflecting on her consumption habits, and observing her weight on a scale, all comparatively to her lighter self) as well as research about exercising. The manga floats around Asako overcoming her insecurities, both Asako and Natori becoming more aware being in a relationship, and aspects of the relationship growing in the early stages between/from their (Asako and Natori) personalities. I like the focus on exercise and health. I like the series so far, and I really like that volume eight focuses on exercise and health directly (verbally) than indirectly like in prior volumes (i.e., Natori's mom poking at him about his body being different and showcasing habits that may contribute to one's health in a particular way with visual cues). Fan service is light though Asako makes an appearance in a bathing suit for the first time.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Instructions for Dancing

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon is a dramedy romance type novel about a girl, Evie, struggling with loving as well as trusting that receives a unique ability on her way attempting to recover from a discovery about one of her parents and the fallout of her parents. I randomly buy the book in Barnes and Noble as a part of a Buy One, Get One 50% off deal. The story mainly revolves around appreciating love, being present, dancing, and relationships. I find the story touching as well as easy to read, and I like the story telling style(s). 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne


The Penis Book: A Doctor's Complete Guide to the Penis—From Size to Function and Everything in Between

Hi, 


I hope all is progressing well.


The Penis Book: A Doctor's Complete Guide to the Penis—From Size to Function and Everything in Between by Dr. Aaron Spitz, M.D. is entertaining, informative, insightful, and practical regarding one's overall health particularly in connection to one's genital health. I'm really glad about reading the book: I find the text to be a good contribution to my ever-improving lifestyle. Being proactive about genital health is very important. After reading the text, I feel a lot more appreciative of and grateful for my behavioral health as well as my new understanding(s) of genital health, generally and personally. The text is thorough and a good checkpoint for learning of genital health especially as more contributions to the field of genital health progress (which may lead to an update to certain aspects of the information already present within the text).


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Six)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Six) by Kintetsu Yamada is about Asako and Natori becoming housemates, living together, and becoming more aware of each other, communicatively. The manga agitates aspects of being in a relationship in the world at large and equanimities of a relationship, prodding interesting macro-/micro-inspections of relationships. There is a small amount of fan service though more steamy scenes with no fan service (unless one considers facial throes of pleasure through sexual passion fan service, to each one's own). All in all, I like volume six, and I like the collection so far.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Five)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Five) by Kintetsu Yamada surrounds transitional points of Asako and Natori's relationship: mentorship in relation to obtaining a living space together, considerations of work schedules while living together (both work in the same company though in departments with different busy times i.e. Asako works in Accounting, a department that becomes very busy during the end of the fiscal year which is nigh for the company in the text), pacing in a relationship especially after her dad brings up a curious question of marriage (which Asako proceeds to answer in accordance with her feelings), considerations of a relationship/marriage (Asako's parents are in a marriage of 26 years, a subtle though heavy point set in the manga), meeting family members, and mindfulness in a relationship (both really like each other though are communicating honestly between each other to grow at a respectful pace together). I like volume five though there is minimal fan service.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume Five)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume Five) by Mikokuno Homare (Author) and StudioHIP-CATs (Illustrator) is the last book of the series (confirming as of 9/11/2022). Renta and Saki make an agreement, and the manga has a happy ending. There is plenty of fan service. I feel like volume five is mainly for fan service, and outcomes rounding out the series. One aspect of sex that does not come up in the series is safe sex which I find peculiar since the series's core topics are relatively sexual. All in all, I enjoy the series particularly the illustrations in volume five.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume Four)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume Four) by Mikokuno Homare (Author) and StudioHIP-CATs (Illustrator) has a lot of fan service, more aggressively-sexual themes are present, and Succubi culture is more present in the story than in prior volumes. As Renta and Saki continue exploring sexually, both discover a lot more of each other, together and personally. Otherwise, the manga focuses on introducing characters, giving faces to names and plot points, and gives a clearer picture of Succubi life from a more domineering-dominatrix (though in non-demeaning sexual ways, the collection so far only has nice Succubi) lenses (though generally as well).  


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon

Hi, 


I hope all is progressing well.


On a bus, in a discussion about life, an individual recommends Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon by Dr. Joe Dispenza, I find myself preparing to order the book near immediately after the individual gets off the bus. Normally, if a person asks me to recommend a book I recommend Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill first (which I think is sound for anyone with ambition) though I find Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon, a more scientific-wholesome approach to fulfillment in life, long term (life-term, if you will), more sensible as a first recommendation now (though both texts I mention in this sentence complement each other well). Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon magnifies a human being in tandem with meditative practices as well as scientific data to help one guide oneself holistically. Personally, I like the text, and I find the text defines well aspects of becoming an aware-intentional-wholesome individual evidentially.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne


Sweat and Soap (Volume Three)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Three) by Kintetsu Yamada focuses on Asako and Natori's relationship becoming more visible and intimate. More so than volume one and volume two, communication takes center stage, a central theme in connection with situating and normalizing parameters of/for a/ comfortable relationship(s). Volume three is very soft core and the fan service is very minimal though appealing concept wise especially in respect to varying settings. The translation notes at the end of the manga as well as bonus scenes and tidbits help round the story.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume Two)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume Two) by Mikokuno Homare (Author) and StudioHIP-CATs (Illustrator) is so good, sexy from the first page. Renta and Saki advance their relationship. Saki has needs she vocalizes, and Renta responds accordingly well! As a person really into safe sex (to the extent of ensuring STD/AIDS/HIV testing results from a consensual partner before penis in vagina sex, Fellatio, and/or any sexual activity that makes sense to have testing prior), I'm appreciating the innocent virgin play (you don't have to be a virgin for the sexual practices in the manga though). The story is getting hotter especially because Succubi have different dietary—health—needs, and there might be a new Succubus in the story! 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Ulysses: The Complete and Unabridged Text, as Corrected and Reset in 1961

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Ulysses by James Joyce is a text I come across in 2019 while helping one of my brothers pack to move. I find the text fantastically ecclesiastical, reverent to experience and individuality comically without delay or perturbance in writing as though James Joyce is freewriting with a lot in mind. The text is an excellent showcase of lyricism and poetic writing technique(s). The humour can be a bit like a crude public/private high school's students' group chat though sophisticatingly clever. I feel like James Joyce intends for me to learn about all worlds, particularly ideologically, intersecting his experiences, Dublin, and Ireland through his biblical-genealogical-parodical splay of critiquing—exploring—satiric, storytelling. As I delve into Ulysses, the more I find I am a part of an immense journey of language tumbling beyond with past and present, grappling—grasping—imagining a future, change. Before the very last section of the book, quite an interesting way to end the text perspective wise in connection with everything prior in the text, to me, I find myself acknowledging Ecclesiastes 3 as the perfect companion chapter for the entire book. All in all, I advise reading Ulysses as a collection of parts to dissect and analyze since the text offers so much to ponder.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume One)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well. 


While perusing manga in Barnes and Noble, my curiosity peaks at the title of one manga, Sweat and Soap, by Kintetsu Yamada, and I laugh after reading the blurb in the back of the manga. Scent can be a measure of attraction. I like the way Asako, the woman struggling with her perspiration and scent personally, interacts with Natori, the man that appreciates her scent. The manga so far covers interesting topics about romance: fetishes, attention one appreciates/wants and attention one doesn't appreciate/want (on bases of who and why), passions, coworkers dating, communication, scent, attraction, shopping for a bra, and sex amongst other points. I'm glad to be reading a physical manga, let alone a manga in general, again after so many years without doing so, and I'm likely going to read at least one volume a month until complete with the Sweat and Soap series. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott, a gift from an individual from Kansas I meet on a beach, is an interesting spiritual journey through the author's life toward becoming a more spiritual individual. The author shares perspectives therapeutically throughout the text; the text shows the author's honest admittances, acceptances, acknowledgements, and resolves of personal problems toward a better life, personally and generally. I like the text. No one really knows what another is going through, and I have a respect for completely fulfilling processes of taking personal responsibility of/for one's life, then moving toward a better life, as best as one may, necessarily. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sexual Soulmates: The Six Essentials for Connected Sex

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sexual Soulmates: The Six Essentials for Connected Sex by Susan Bratton is a text sharing approaches to intimacy that may help enliven, enhance, sustain, and/or revive one's sexualness/relationship toward a healthier sexual life—intimate parameters. I learn of Susan Bratton through a good podcast episode of 2 Squirrels In A Sock (as a healthy single heterosexual individual, unintentionally seemingly celibate at the time of this posting, that tends toward constantly self-improving, it's nice hearing women talk joyfully about sex in a fun-healthy way, makes the world seem rounder, makes me feel better inside knowing women that like—and are taking responsibility toward—good healthy sexual relationships are alive). I mindfully-unselfishly acknowledge myself, my responsibilities—my life. Hearing Susan Bratton acknowledging her reality, then choosing to learn, to make a change for better—instead of blaming, trying to control a situation to be right in a way that may only make the relationship worse—already being on the brink of divorce—she makes her way toward a better-happier reality. Good communication and good intimacy are of processes that can benefit each other. Not every relationship is worth fighting for, sometimes a relationship just has to end, and parting ways is best. Even so, I like the points in the text; I think Susan Bratton offers advice, in the text and podcast episode, worth heeding.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way by Lao Tzu (a version by Sam Torode on the basis of a translation by Dwight Goddard) is a moralistic-philosophical guide via the ways of Tao toward establishing a stabler society as well as stabler senses of being. The text of meditations is in a form of a chapter book of poetry. There are a lot of lines and pieces that stand out. Here are some poems from the text I recommend: "Immateriality," "Knowing," "Not Knowing," & "Sharp Tools." At the end of the text are excerpts of The Manual: A Philosopher's Guide to Life by Epictetus which are enlightening, in a different philosophical stylistic form than the Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way, though both offer important interesting points to ponder.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Creative Gene

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


I remember my oldest brother parking his car backward (front of the vehicle facing opposing traffic) on a one way street at night, us getting out of the car, walking to the trunk in a drizzle, him opening the nearly empty trunk then retrieving a bag to hand me with a vocal happy birthday, and me glad about having a birthday present, a Playstation game, Metal Gear Solid, my christening moment into the series.


Aside from my attraction to Naomi Hunter (especially since she looks like Nina/Anna Williams from Tekken—a resemblance of approachable, cool, intelligent, pretty, toughness—), Mei Ling, Nastasha Romanenko (mainly her voice), Metal Gear Solid (One) is so well put together between a phenomenal story, phenomenal gameplay, and voice acting. Metal Gear Solid (One) is a legendary stamp in gaming history. 


After completing the game, I remember searching for Hideo Kojima online, finding a Wikipedia page with no picture (though I remember the words being enough), and, at the time with different aspirations of being a video game designer (which I may be in a different sense in the long run of life), I recall Hideo Kojima being the second person I look up after Nobuou Uematsu (besides an entity like Square Enix—just to acknowledge, show appreciation in a way, mainly by reading about them/any project(s)). I will always have an appreciation for Metal Gear games I've come to play. Presently, I don't play video games as much as I work creatively, read, research, write, or watch movies though I have an appreciation for a good video game which is sound cause all one really has in such a temporary life are artifacts and memories until death, everything else seems complementary. So, when I find out about The Creative Gene, I decide to read it.


The Creative Gene by Hideo Kojima, translations by Nathan A. Collins, is a collection of publications from Hideo Kojima about his becoming and philosophy as a person and game designer. The book has creative, personal, and professional tidbits that combine as a message to creators and fans as well as a text that allows one to get a better idea of Hideo Kojima as a person as well as creator through his contextual relationship(s) with different forms of media. I like the text. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Mae Among the Stars

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


While about encouraging reading, I re-encounter two individuals which share with me books of their choosing for practical use in a culturally enrichening sense in a classroom. I'm glad about the chance to read both books; in reading order; the first book is Mae Among the Stars, writing by Roda Ahmed, illustrations by Stasia Burrington, and the second book is I Am Golden, writing by Eva Chen, illustrations by Sophie Diao. This review will focus on Mae Among the Stars. The text is about the becoming of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut into space. The text is very specific to Mae Jemison though proves valuable for any child/person that may face challenges along the way toward realizing and fulfilling personal-life goals/dreams. The illustrations are neat and depict the happenings of the story well. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (A Library of America Anthology)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


I'm glad to be done reading African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Pain (A Library of America Anthology), a collection of pieces by various writers with Kevin Young as the Editor, after buying the text about one and a half years ago. I really enjoy reading across vernaculars of cultures—individuals. The text is split into sections which I think helps with organization on a timeline. The variety of styles is wonderful and scales very well with the writings. I think the title of the anthology doesn't encapsulate that which the text offers completely. Though one may be able to find more African American Poetry within the same span of 250 years, the selections complete the volume well. I enjoy reading the anthology, and, must note, a text of the sort, really amplifies the importance of literacy.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Books of Enoch: The Angels, The Watchers and The Nephilim: (With Extensive Commentary on the Three Books of Enoch, the Fallen Angels, the Calendar of Enoch, and Daniel's Prophecy)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


The Books of Enoch: The Angels, The Watchers and The Nephilim: (With Extensive Commentary on the Three Books of Enoch, the Fallen Angels, the Calendar of Enoch, and Daniel's Prophecy) by Dr. Joseph B. Lumpkin are midrash, pseudepigrapha, and explorations of aspects of biblical stories as well as spiritual realms through varying religious/spiritual understandings contextually (Apocryphan, Gnostic, Christian, Jewish—). I buy the text in a bundle pack with another book, There Were Giants Upon the Earth: Gods, Demigods, and Human Ancestry: The Evidence of Alien DNA (Earth Chronicles), by Zecharia Sitchin (which is altogether quite different). The first book of Enoch is more apocalyptic. The second book of Enoch is more prophetic. The third book of Enoch is more adventurous, the most enjoyable for me to read. All in all, the texts carry adventurous, apocalyptic, and prophetic substances though to different degrees, of entertainment, if you will, and make traditional biblical characters a lot more interesting (like, are there really plot twists in the entire Jesus story? What's up with Cain and Abel's sister?). After reading these texts, I find I am receiving a lot more answers of questions from my childhood about the linearity of religious stories in the Bible. The third book of Enoch is way too entertaining for church, particularly in a traditional sense. Overall, I'm glad about reading the text.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne 

Collected Fictions

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I hope all is progressing well.


I learn about Jorge Luis Borges through a good conversation about books with a woman that ghosts me within ten hours of promising to read pieces by the author with me. Alas, her actions have no basis on the way I read the book, as enduring as I remember the process being for reasonably extensive pieces.

Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Burley, is a collection of writing pieces from Jorge Luis Borges. Here are the pieces I find interesting and help with better understanding the collection overall: "Man on Pink Corner," "The End," "The Library of Babel," "Death and the Compass," "Three Versions of Judas," "The Immortal," "The Aleph," "The Yellow Rose," "The Witness," "Juan Muraña," "The Disk," "The Book of Sand," "Blue Tigers," "The Gospel According to Mark," and "Deutsches Requiem." In the Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges constantly approaches clarifying the unclarifiable universe in a way that makes his writing more appealling. The author leaves no doubt about his being well-aware of stories as well as writing styles scaling decades, centuries, millenia—generations, in honorific senses, and prepares readers with inklings of information acknowledgins so, so as to, I think, better help the reader engage the pieces. There are some pieces that are more intellectual than others, more entertaining than others, more personal than others, more contemplative than others, and I think that adds to the variety in the author's consistency of styles which the author does not mind detailing. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

There Were Giants Upon the Earth: Gods, Demigods, and Human Ancestry: The Evidence of Alien DNA

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


There Were Giants Upon the Earth: Gods, Demigods, and Human Ancestry: The Evidence of Alien DNA by Zecharia Sitchin is a speculative observance of archaeological, geological, and literary developments exploring toward discovering answers for questions about human genetic formation, history, and identity. I literally run into a couple of individuals one night having a discussion about anthropology and publishing. One of the individuals recommends the text which actually reminds me of another text I remember wanting to read nearly a decade ago due to my curiosity of Biblical proportions. Reading There Were Giants Upon the Earth: Gods, Demigods, and Human Ancestry: The Evidence of Alien DNA makes aspects of the Bible rounder which I find interesting since after an edit or translation, an ancient/historical text can be quite different than an original version of the ancient/historical text—a source text. All in all, I find the text to be an interesting walk through of an anthropological perspective.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us

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I hope all is progressing well.


After lightly searching online through a search engine for different types of fetishes that might exist, I discover Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering. I find the book is a very insightful text covering a wide scope of fetishes through lenses attempting to understand a human's mind around ideas in relation to sex. The text is not a list of fetishes though more rewarding in that it provides very accurate understandings with historical references about developments of humans in relation to sexual development. I find the language dense though placable because I feel I'll be able to better regard another even more so than I already do now. The author does not seem to be pushing a sexual agenda at all beyond researching toward understanding, and seems to be fighting for the protection of children overall. I like the text. I think the text is worth reading. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Four Loves

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I hope all is progressing well.


The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis is very intriguing to me because of ways I notice love developing. I find C.S. Lewis exacts upon exactness of different loves in an extremely insightful tome. Growing up with an appreciation and devoutness for God, in religious and spiritual senses, I find makes reading the text more understandable in its totality, personally, especially with my background of researching, in some regards practically, other branches of spirituality beyond Christianity. Even so, C.S. Lewis seems to organize the text in a way that seems to acknowledge not all reading the text may have an extensive-good-thorough religious and/or spiritual background. His points concerning religion and/or spirituality connect to the sorts (religion and/or spirituality) of his defining which I find reasonably sensible. Usually, when a person asks me to recommend them a book, I know which one I will always recommend first. After reading The Four Loves, I feel like I have another book I may have to recommend first depending on a person's current point as well as choice direction personally, in and of that person's life. This is one of the most eye opening books I've come to read in my life. Now, I have a far better understanding of the four loves: Storge (Affection), Eros (Romantic), Philia (Friendship), and Agape (Charity). I think everyone needs to read, and understand this text in its totality. I think The Four Loves is a text one may find useful for life.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

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I hope all is progressing well.


Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics contains ten books about conditions of/discussing conditions of being good, and happy. This version of the text is a translation by Robert C. Bartlett and Susan D. Collins which includes an interpretive essay of ideas in the books (at the end of the book, overall). I don’t feel the interpretive essay is a necessary read though may be beneficial for argumentative points (if in agreeance or disagreeance with the author(s) of the interpretive essay—if a person is seeking to discuss/write about topics in the text particularly in relation to the essay's coverage). I think Aristotle offers sound perspectives concerning parameters of being/defining good, and happiness. I think Aristotle is positing arguments well while not setting absolutes, seemingly regarding/respecting potential for a different/new perspective for contemplative purposes at the least. I find the text to be enjoyable though grueling. Alas, I am glad about reading the text. I think the text offers contemplative-insightful-relevant perspectives concerning human development in relation to parameters of ideas of good, and happiness.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Critical Race Theory: An Introduction

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I hope all is progressing well.


Developments of academia's learning parameters interest me. In light of recent bills like H.B. No. 3979 (which seems to be protecting against extremist beliefs/behaviors that may be personal beyond curriculums which are inclusive of aspects of particular histories albeit not entire histories of particular histories (which may take a lot of time to include in a school day anyway)), I decide to learn more about Critical Race Theory. According to the "Glossary of Terms" in Critical Race Theory: An Introduction by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, the definition of Critical Race Theory is, "Progressive legal movement that seeks to transform the relationship among race, racism, and power." There are many branches to Critical Race Theory; Critical Race Theorists and Theories can vary so much: From my analysis of the text, I find Critical Race Theory is about critically thinking and theorizing about anything to do with race for analysis, creative/practical purposes, and research. Even as there is a definition of race in the "Glossary of Terms," race seems to be ambiguous, there is seemingly a limitless pathway of inquiry concerning further developments of ideas concerning race.


The text is a scan of different theories of/and theorists that shows different ways Critical Race Theory can branch which seems to include perspectives of the authors. I think the text is a good introduction to Critical Race Theory broadly though if any seek/teach beyond the introduction, the class name will most likely need to have/be a very specific name (which I think is important so as to not misdefine and obscure Critical Race Theory as a whole (which I think falls more in line with available college/university courses/course naming practices beyond a broad-general sense of a topic of discourse/learning anyway)). I'm glad about reading the text, I have a much clearer understanding of Critical Race Theory now.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Talented Tenth

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I hope all is progressing well.


The Talented Tenth by W.E.B. DuBois is an insightful-instructional piece communicating needs for human development and the integral role proper education holds toward properly stimulating humans toward being aware whole individuals fully supporting positive-social developments from within (as humans) throughout (toward and within societies). I buy the text as a part of a learning process for research purposes. W.E.B. DuBois deliberates conditions of humanity with distinct though very inclusive lenses observing African-American developments in conjunction with educational and societal parameters — all of which I consider very important toward further recognizing particular roots so as to better create/improve educational as well as societal parameters for capable-good individuals willing to succeed.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo (Second Edition)

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I hope all is progressing well.


Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo (Second Edition) by Plato is a philosophical journey of Socrates from periods of his trial in Athens through his death. I buy the book as a part of a bundle suggestion on Amazon. Pure curiosity. The text explores the importance of culturing, death, justice, learning, life, meaning, nurturing, and infinite opportunities of a soul through finite forms as well as many other fusions of cultural-literary-mathematical-philosophical equations. I really enjoy reading the text: there are about thirty-five dialogues altogether. Even so, I find within the five dialogues much relevant wisdom. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Showa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories (1929-1984)

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I hope all is progressing well.


The Showa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories is a collection of stories by varying authors concerning developments of Japan's land, social, and ideological scapes in the twentieth century. I think the stories work well together offering geographical, social, and ideological perspectives concerning Japan and individuals of Japanese descent-- Japanese culture. I like the anthology overall, and I think all the stories in the anthology are worth reading. Here are a few specific stories from the anthology I recommend: "Mating" by Kajii Motojirō, "Les Joues en Feu" by Hori Tatsuo, "Magic Lantern" by Dazai Osamu, "Moon Gems" by Ishikawa Jun, "Bad Company" by Yasuoka Shōtarō, "Stars" by Kojima Nobuo, "Still Life" by Shōno Junzō, "With Maya" by Shimao Toshio, "Under the Shadow of Mt. Bandai" by Inoue Yasushi, "Mulberry Child" by Minakami Tsutomu, "One Arm" by Kawabata Yasunari, "The Day Before"  by Endō Shūsaku, "Friends" by Abe Akira, "Platonic Love" by Kanai Mieko, "The Clever Rain Tree"  by Ōe Kenzaburō, and "The Immortal" by Nakagami Kenji.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne



The Fountainhead

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I hope all is progressing well.


The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is one of the most prolific texts I have come to read. This is an incredible-intricate story about becoming and being. I cry uncontrollably reading the last hundreds of pages. Both Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are excellent-extraordinary-insightful masterpieces: I highly recommend both texts. Ayn Rand is one of the greatest-truest writers I've come to experience, literature-wise, of all time.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Crucible

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I hope all is progressing well.


The Crucible is a play by Arthur Miller about communities developing and branching from around Salem, Massachusetts that agitates ideas about belief(s), faith(s), community, equity, gender, religion(s), and sexuality circa 1692. I remember wanting to read the play after watching Molly's Game (2018 -- a film I recall enjoying) -- though the text seems somewhat familiar, as though a re-read. I find the play to be a very intellectual piece. Arthur Miller seems to be interrogating ideas of different sects of the church especially between Catholicism and Protestantism. All of the characters in the play are so good and well set. I find the text to be a very enjoyable read.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Goody Two-Shoes

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I hope all is progressing well.


Goody Two-Shoes by John Newbery is mainly about an orphan girl's developments into a prominent woman through education, good deeds, and helpful people. The book highlights benefits of living and pursuing a good life. As much as it seems like a book for children, the content seems mature. I don't know if there are different versions of the story. I recommend looking around for as near to the original copy as one can purchase. My copy looks like it's a put together rough draft though is clear enough to read, to me. Now, I better understand the term Goody-Two-Shoes and find it to be more honorable than disrespectful. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne is one of two texts I recall telling two individuals I will read after their recommendations of the texts. The text is an in depth ironing of historical corrugations primarily concerning Comanches in relation to ideas of Manifest Destiny, western migrations (primarily about North America) in general, Indian tribal relations, advancing technologies, advancing economies, war -- geography, and aspects of Quanah's lineage as well as personal development amongst other points. I find the text to be insightful of historical-governmental-human relations especially of aspects of Native American culture beyond an elementary misunderstanding toward/of Thanksgiving (History.com -- Washington Post) in North America particularly between the span of the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. I find particular attention is necessary to follow the chronological management in the text since there is no distinct timeline of events as a companion to the text-- which I find overall, a splendid read.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners

Hi,

 

I hope all is progressing well.

 

In graduate school, I remember a professor of one class and a student of another class, referencing James Joyce during a time of my inquiring interests of Irish stories, I'm glad to be done reading Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a masterful work of prose. This coming of age story of Stephen Dedalus as an individual of Irish descent, a student, a religious observer/practitioner (as a member of the Catholic sodality), a son, a lover, an artist, a philosopher, a human -- is intellectually stimulating! The language is insightful about ideas of nationalism, religion/religiosity, socialism, individualism, English and Irish sentiments, tradition, legacy, and free thinking vs. group thinking between different types of believers with differing beliefs. Dubliners is a collection of good short stories about varying individuals of varying circumstances around Dublin/Ireland. Overall, James Joyce seems to show a great awareness, respect, and reverence of Irish culture as well as a logical-respectful subversion toward establishing greater parameters of living and life without prejudice beyond apprehension. In these stories, James Joyce seems to be encouraging literally escaping toward living a greater fulfilling life as he appreciates though antagonizes Escapism as well as nostalgia very well. His writing style is unique (new to me concerning grammar and punctuation usage) and full of wit. Even so, I find these stories are very-very enjoyable.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime

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I hope all is progressing well.


One day I decide to look around an adult shop and find a few books with interesting titles, one of them being, The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime by Mikaya Heart. The text is an exploration of sexuality pertaining to orgasms between facts, observations, and opinions. I think the text offers a lot of important points about orgasms, a lot of which I am encountering for the first time in such a light. I think the text offers a broadening perspective concerning sexuality in general, orgasms in particular, and offers a lot of references for further research as well as a questionnaire for further self-analyzation. I find the text to be enjoyable, insightful, and useful.

 

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne 

The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry, 1853--1955

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I hope all is progressing well.


The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry 1853—1955 by Andrew Gordon concerns the prewar, interwar, and postwar developments of cultural and employment systems within particular companies of the Heavy Industry in Japan between the middle of the 19th century and the middle  of the 20th century (a bit beyond the middle of the 20th century). The text delves into developments of relations between different types of workers nationally, and globally (part-time, full-time, temporary, managers, etc.) concerning wages, seniority, paternalism, unions, and skills. As much as the text focuses on developments of culture and labor relations in accordance with Japan—Tokugawa society, the Meiji order—there are stark connections, within these developments, to processes in accordance with government, industrialization, and nationalism branching from and within other nations. I am very glad about reading The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry 1853—1955. I find the text to be very insightful and relevant to understanding modern day labor relations.

 

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne 

The Old Man and the Sea

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I hope all is progressing well.

 

In a conversation about reading, someone refers me to The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. As I'm reading a few other books, I consider the text as a possible future read. The text doesn't come to mind again until I am watching a film, The Equalizer, which references the text many times with what some might consider spoilers and a bit of a book review by Robert McCall played by Denzel Washington. I decide to read the text sooner than later.


The Old Man and the Sea is about a fisherman, Santiago, fishing alone, with a lot of experience on the sea, that doesn't seem to be catching any fish. The text is like a reflection of Santiago's life, an appreciation and a longing for his youth, a different life, and a hope in a different lifestyle. Ernest Hemingway's illusive use of hope and skill through the old man's actively reflecting life is fascinating. I think the text is an appreciation of the human spirit -- human will -- human intelligence, deep, and enjoyable.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sons and Lovers

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I hope all is progressing well.

 

Walking into Barnes and Nobles, I spy tables full of books on sale. I peruse the books and select a reasonable collection to read. I'm more familiar with reading D.H. Lawrence's poetry than any other writing form from him. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence is an exploration of life and relationships in an infinite expanse. The novel is poetically reflective in flow and balances between different tethering planes of a human's personal existence. D.H. Lawrence presents very valid points concerning relationships and the presence of life's abundance. Sons and Lovers is a fitting title and well-worth analyzing after reading the story as well as throughout. I appreciate Sons and Lovers and find the text overall to be astounding.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sexual Happiness for Women: A Practical Approach

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I hope all is progressing well.


Sexual Happiness for Women: A Practical Approach is an insightful read. I think the text can be really useful for couples and can help an individual with seeking a suitable-ideal relationship. I'm glad about reading the text. Sexual Happiness for Women: A Practical Approach really engages important parameters of relationships and sexuality which can help anyone reading the text become more aware and grow.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths

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I hope all is progressing well.


Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Bernard Evslin is a collection of stories matching its self-explanatory title. Prior to reading the text, I'm not familiar with many of these tales hence the reason I'm glad about a conversation reminding me about this collection in my Google Play Books library which brings me to completing the reading. I find these Greek Myths to be laughable: I enjoy reading them. At the end of the book, there is a glossary of modern terms deriving from Greek Mythology which is a somewhat relevant-interesting appendix of tidbits.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

A Song of Fire and Ice: A Game of Thrones

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


A Game of Thrones is the first book of George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Fire and Ice. The book is about clans, families, tribes, and individuals vying to avenge, honor, live peaceably, rule, etc. according to life as is of their understanding in the realms of Westeros and Essos. I find the text to be an enjoyable fantastical read. Heads up: A Game of Thrones is very fleshy.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Common Sense and Other Writings

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I hope all is progressing well.


Common Sense and Other Writings by Thomas Paine is a collection of pieces well set together encouraging and enlightening toward the improvement of societies: the collection begins with Thomas Paine's article, "African Slavery in America." From thence, Thomas Paine's collection purports facts and ideas revealing enslavement under the facility of corrupt aristocracies, monarchies, governments, and any benefiting-supporting-extending parts of societies in connection to the corruption of the aforementioned parties. There are many correlative aspects to modernity in Thomas Paine's contexts which makes the collection a more insightful-relevant read. Reading this collection reminds me that the United States of America is somewhat of a young country.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Art & Wonder: An Illustrated Anthology of Visionary Poetry

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I hope all is progressing well.


Art & Wonder: An Illustrated Anthology of Visionary Poetry is an intriguing compilation of art and poetry selected by Kate Farrell. I like the format of the anthology which offers for a multifaceted appreciation. Here are some of the poems I appreciate: "The Child Is Introduced to the Cosmos at Birth" by an anonymous Omaha Indian, "The Song Turning Back Into Itself 7" by Al Young, "A Message from the Crane" by Pak Fu-Jin, "Sometimes" by Thomas McGrath, "Sailing to Byzantium" by William Butler Yeats, "Invisible Particles of Air" by Gustavo Adolf Bécquer, "Elevation" by Charles Baudelaire, "When, With You Asleep" by Juan Ramón Jiménez, "Sonnet XLIII" by William Shakespeare, "Emergence" by Robert Francis, "Day-Blind" by Chana Bloch, "An Altogether Different Language" by Anne Porter, " Vermeer" by Stephen Mitchell, "The Master" by Frederick Morgan, "A Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman, "Explosion" by Delmira Agustini, "The Secret Land" by Robert Graves, "The Paradise Within: Adam Speaks with the Angel" by John Milton (from Paradise Lost), and "However Far You Go" by Heraclitus (deep and exhilarating).


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Invisible Ink

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I hope all is progressing well.


Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald is an insightful book about building stories. I received the book as a gift when I was helping one of my brothers pack up to move. I think it's a great addition for teaching about story telling as well as for one seeking to create stories (especially if one hasn't been through rigorous course work, practices, and/or experiential learning processes concerning stories). The real kicker for me is Brian McDonald's hysterical screenplay, White Face, at the end of Invisible Ink: I've never seen the short film, but, I will when reasonably possible.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Map: Collected and Last Poems

Hi,

I hope all is progressing well.

Map is a collection of many poems written by Wisława Szymborska translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak. I actually set down a decent book of fiction to read this collection of poems which felt so necessary and good to read (the necessity to read Poetry I felt before the purchase, the good from the Poetry came while and after reading it). "In Broad Daylight," moved me in an alarming way; after reading the poem, I felt like how I might imagine both parties might feel in a situation where one person is shaking another person to ensure they're alive after a potentially disastrous situation and the person turns out to be so--alive. The poems in the collection vary well: here are a few other poems that stood out to me; "Map," "Hand," "At the Airport," "Confessions of a Reading Machine," "Identification," "The Old Professor," "List," "Return Baggage," "A Contribution to Statistics," "The Silence of Plants," and "The End and the Beginning."

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Hi,

I hope all is progressing well.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is an arguably interesting read (as one may say of near any text). After being recommended the book, I was sitting on a chair in a corner near the entrance inside Barnes and Nobles reading: I turned my head, saw the book, and shook my head (I was reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand at the time). I got into a discussion about The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck again: I was not going to read it (because of other books) then I read an article online with an interesting headline and arguable perspective which I find to be an excerpt from the text at the end of the article--so, I bought it. Why? Just to read more of the arguable perspective. I liked three points in the text which I'll vaguely mention as to not spoil the processes of the text for any potential reader: Onoda, Values, and Death.

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Medusa Enigma

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I hope all is progressing well.


The Medusa Enigma by Dr. Dino Panvini, M.D., is one of a few free books I got at the LA Times Book Festival. Dr. Panvini goes through a lot of drama getting into a really toxic relationship and chasing money. There's a lot more to the story concerning his experiences as a medical professional and his encouragement toward God. At the end of the story, I ask myself a few questions: 1.) What is he really happy about? 2.) What does the outcome mean for him now in comparison to before the drama? 3.) What has he learned from writing this story about himself?


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Seeds

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I hope all is progressing well.


Seeds by Emilie K. Hill is a book of poetry I've come by through a community group. I may re-iterate this point time-and-time again: expression is important--necessary-- and is available through many channels for the betterment of human social interactions and understandings. "You" and "Junk" are poems that stand out to me: the narrator is filtering emotional, mental, physical and spiritual clutters to make sense of moving forward in sensible order embracing remnants of attachments as propulsion. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Atlas Shrugged

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I hope all is progressing well.


I come about reading Atlas Shrugged perusing books at Barnes and Nobles: soon after, I find myself sitting with the immensity of the text, and, may now claim Atlas Shrugged as one of the greatest books I've come to read (yes, across all genres, and, no, not simply due to it's size). Ayn Rand's confidence in her writing makes the text more appealing especially in conjunction with her very-well-written-entertaining-intertwining-probing-intellectual-prowess pervasive. Reading the text will vary depending on one's reading experience and interest (which goes for any text(s) one reads).


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne



Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

Hi,

I hope all is progressing well.

 

This is a conversation and book that one must approach with intellectual maturity. Randall Kennedy does a decent job proposing many interesting points that none should overlook concerning developments of language and social relations. Humanity has come a long way, and there are more positive ways to continue growing. 

I read ------ by Randall Kennedy as a research process branching from conversations with individuals of African and non-African ethnicities curious of the term, using the term, and not willing to ever use the term. I am averse to using the term especially as a colloquial term though I am understanding of the usage of the term in particular styles of storytelling to emphasize particular points of developing cultures. I'm not a fan of the word (especially simply for the sake of using the word in lieu of more wholesome connecting terms like 'Bro'). Randall Kennedy identifies many aspects of racial-social developments concerning the term in insightful ways and I think anyone that uses the word should definitely read the text as well as anyone simply curious of the terminology.

Onward and Upward,
Kevin Dufresne

Becoming

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I hope all is progressing well.

Fire is the first word I intentionally use describing Michelle Obama’s Becoming when anyone asks me about it. I find Becoming to be an encouraging-enjoyable-enlightening-commendable-simple-to-read-text. Becoming explores and reveals well through Michelle Obama’s journeying the importance of choice, patience, truth, voice, and other areas of being in life that stake on human development toward positive progress.

Onward & Upward,
Kevin Dufresne

Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

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I hope all is progressing well.


Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm has sooo many stories and I greatly appreciate the compilation. I like the balance of reason and ridiculousness. Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales is full of bluster that all-in-all comes off as humorous (at least to me, in this particular translation/publication) with a fair dosage of satirical morality.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Black Girl Magic: A Poem

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I hope all is progressing well.


Black Girl Magic: A Poem by Mahogany L. Brown and Illustrated by Jess X. Snow first came off as a horror to me until I got through a few more pages. The sentiments are intended to realize and encourage women of color (specifically black?) feeling as Black Girl Magic: A Poem describes. The form of the illustrations are as intense as the forms of the words.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Laws of Human Nature

Hi,

 

I hope all is progressing well.

 

The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Green affirms through anecdotes many ways for one to improve their approaches to and understandings of varying angles of life so as to better appreciate living. Robert Green proposes sensible situations and advises accordingly (though as with any advising text, read with a keen-open mind). Ultimately, Robert Green proposes a blueprint resolving to spurn any reader to live mindfully.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Settle for More

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I hope all is progressing well.


Settle for More is a simple read advocating a life of working hard, smart, and being true to one's self in an aware manner from the perspective of Megyn Kelly. I bought her book because I remember scanning channels and initially thinking upon viewing her years ago, there's more to her. I'm glad about reading Settle for More and think there are important lessons within the text.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Between the World and Me

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I hope all is progressing well.


Ta-Nehisi Coates essentially writes a letter to his son (a response to his son's developing understanding of the world about him concerning Blackness though as a part of the world as well as an individual of the world) addressing circumstances of black bodies and black lives. His text really conveys emotions branching from his inner interrogations; he writes like a caring, careful, fearful, learning, and willing father working through a form of Post Traumatic Stress. Between the World and Me is an interesting-poetical perspective. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.

 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is really a practical showing of completing quality writing from start to finish. Stephen King offers sound advice which may really benefit anyone endeavoring to be a more successful writer (one may find a lot of his advice useful in other aspects of life exclusive/inclusive of writing as well). On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is actually a recommendation to me by a student majoring in Computer Science: it is nothing short of useful details and specificity (and I am grateful for the recommendation which I pursued with as much urgency as the fervor the recommending student--the book seemed life changing for her).


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

My Abandonment

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Initially, My Abandonment is as intriguing as the film inspired by it, Leave No Trace, then it becomes even more intriguing than the film (which is the reason for me reading the text). My Abandonment essentially feels like Poetry with a slab of Prose. One must read the text carefully to come away with a complete understanding: I become reminiscent of (a text I read in university) Annie Dillard's Holy the Firm as I come to the end of My Abandonment.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Opportunity

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Reading a book like Opportunity by Eben Pagan is good for individuals seeking to find a variety of reference points to even more knowledgeable-veritable sources. This edition of Opportunity became more of an editorial project for me than a simple read through. As Opportunity encourages readers towards embracing opportunities in and about their lives, it explains as well as delegates principles navigating Eben Pagan's optimal routes, from his understandings, for creating and managing life with opportunities and successes.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Song of God; Bhagavad-Gita

Hi,

 

I hope all is progressing well.

 

The Song of God; Bhagavad-Gita by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood is a thread discoursing spirituality, unity, and purposes of being. The progressing instances of the discoursing celebrates and praises the Most High, the culmination of all being, as well as aims to guide toward the Most High as well as completely being. The Song of God; Bhagavad-Gita is an enlightening discourse, a diagnosis and examination of spirituality and realms of being.

 

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Eat, Pray, Love

Hi,

I hope all is progressing well.

Eat, Pray, Love is a very warming book concerning the spiritual journey of Elizabeth Gilbert. She writes a very revealing-intimate story which may be self-empowering as well as entertaining. Eat, Pray, Love is a fun-simple read that may serve as a meditative encouragement and reason for one to situate their life instead of feeling trapped in it (whatever aspect of their life which is making them feel stuck).

Onward and Upward,
Kevin Dufresne

Another Shot: A Game Plan for Rebounding in Life

Hi,

I hope all is progressing well.

Another Shot: A Game Plan for Rebounding in Life tries encouraging individuals to continue to develop. Dave Martin uses a lot of Basketball metaphors and situations to uplift his ideas attempting to propel individuals into action. I received this text as a gift, and—from what I’m told—(from the gift giver) Dave Martin is someone to hear in person.

Onward and Upward,
Kevin Dufresne

 

Looking for Alaska

Hi,

I hope all is progressing well.

Looking for Alaska by John Green situates mystery well. Of all the available-exterior clues, the inner workings of the mind are not so apparent or calculable. Looking for Alaska is a fairly simple read that maintains lingering effects and presences well through the story.

Onward and Upward,
Kevin Dufresne

Where Things Come Back

Hi,

 

I hope all is progressing well.

 

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley is a pleasant and simple read. I really like the flowing story lines and the author's ability to make the overall story enjoyable and light. The processes of mystery and mystique complete the story. Where Things Come Back is a smooth story, and a fine leisure read.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons

Hi,

 

I hope all is progressing well.

 

Kevin Hart is hilarious! How much of a surprise is it to know that Kevin Hart -- that all successful comedians -- have to work to be funny? I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons is about Kevin Hart's journey into his present. You will find that the choice to laugh is his own, and I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons may serve by assisting one in understanding the control one has in their life, over one's own life which may help one to understand the potential impact one life may have on others. Choose wisely! 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


You ever listen to the Breakfast Club on 105.1 FM radio? They cover a variety of topics across a variety of guests every weekday morning. One member, Charlamagne, has a book covering his developmental processes toward becoming a successful-valuable individual along his career path. Don't let the title misguide you: this book may be useful for everyone. (Of course, the effect of any advice is dependent on an individual's circumstances and receptiveness--among other things.) Take a trip around Moncks Corner, South Carolina, to the Breakfast Club and beyond with Charlamagne in Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz with Joanne Gordon is about the reinvigorating and reexamination of Starbucks's culture through Howard Schultz's reflective return journey as an impassionate CEO—member—of the Starbucks community. During a visit to a Starbucks, an individual responds to a phrasing on my bookmark I remember (generally) choosing to use ever since about 2015 (without any motivation to other than appreciating the meaning of the words in regard to how I choose to live my life [especially from fall of 2015]) "onward and upward," by telling me of the irony of the individual's recognition of the phraseology in a Starbucks as the individual connotes the book from the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, with the phraseology. Curious, I decide to buy then read the book. Starbucks is not a franchise. The culture of Starbucks is more apparent to me now than ever before though I wonder of the consistency of the culture now (about decade after the book's initial publishing). Company cultures fascinate me. The text offers experiential lessons and perspectives which I think may be useful for any navigating coursing a company practically and theoretically. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel is a book about finances focusing on one's psychological approaches, being, and understanding(s) in relation to finances. The text offers information about finances that seems necessary as common knowledge especially for anyone considering finances, generally and personally. The text offers sound advice—in conjunction with supporting evidence from others individuals in history have come to for sound financial advice—that seemingly is timeless. While (really before explicitly) offering advice, the author is quick to acknowledge the idea of to each one's own before sharing aspects of his financial journey (with respect to his family, largely his spouse as a financial partner—toward the end of the book). I find the book posits finances in a way that encourages one to live the best life one reasonably may (especially financially) with respect to knowing when enough is enough and appreciating that which one already has or healthily obtains (especially against a rat race, keep up with the Joneses mentality). I like the text, and I am glad about reading the text. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Blackman's Guide to Understanding the Blackwoman

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


The Blackman's Guide to Understanding the Blackwoman by Shahrazad Ali is a book that can be easy to laugh at and/or/then slowly crawl into one's self about. I purchase the book after a conversation at a gym with a gentleman showing enthusiasm for the text. The title seems to only suit the text due to references of slavery though I feel anyone may be able to actually connect certain aspects of the author's observances to reality. I find the author is attempting to empower and protect families, heterosexual relationships, thinking for one's self responsibly especially in relation to romance, living healthy(ier) lifestyles conducive to good growth, and reasonably living in an ever changing world (at large) in which one must stand for good, not just agree with any and every passing development seeping in harmful ways toward future generations. I'm glad about reading the text. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Make Way for Ducklings

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey is about a couple (of ducks) trying to find a location to settle and start a family. During a visit for a regular STI test (negative), I find a section of the facility with children's books, so I read Make Way for Ducklings as I wait then finish reading it after my appointment. Testing for an STI is important; if you need more information about testing for an STI, here is a link: Where to get tested for STDs: Testing information and more (medicalnewstoday.com). Make Way for Ducklings primarily develops in Boston, and I'm glad about being able to read the text. The story depicts factors to consider when moving to an environment to raise a family especially highlighting education, security, technology, and traffic well. The text sets emphases on factors that might affect a couple of ducks and ducklings in ways important for anyone trying to find a location to settle and raise a family. I like the illustrations; the illustrative style accompanies the storytelling well (making the story more vivid which I think may be helpful for individuals literately benefiting from visual assistance while reading). 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Before Shackles and Chains

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Before Shackles and Chains by Reuben Laurore is a book in a genre similar to Zechariah Sitchin's texts. The text feels like an opinion on parts of history though seems to veer from its initial scope to be motivational for readers. I think capturing details of intricate histories are more possible in modernity due to accessible information especially in connection to Biblical tracings. Certain tracings through the text can be more thorough. Even so, the author seems to attempt an all-encompassing historical perusing with bits of data of topics with vast amounts of data available. History is history/herstory is herstory, I think modernity offers a lot of value in contrast to data which the book connects. I do not hold any racist or stereotypical sentiments in any part of my life nor am I implying the book or author does. The author is my cousin, and he shares the text with me over Thanksgiving. With all that, I think the author's book is light years away from his children's book Luke the World Traveler: Welcome to America! concept-wise (the concept for the children's book is quite brilliant). After reading Before Shackles and Chains, I feel like one must read the book with assisting data for a more well-rounding understanding.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

A Song of Fire and Ice: A Storm of Swords

Hi, 


I hope all is progressing well.


A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin is the third book in A Song of Fire and Ice series. There are a lot of characters in the series so far. The third book is full of familial reorganizations—legacies—albeit conniving ways and battles (more so than a war though all battles seemingly leading to or a part of a war). I really enjoy Jon Snow's character development (as I do most of the characters of which I feel have a fair balance of notable developments in this text—no one character's development weighs more than another to me) largely due to his relationships with wildlings which I find make the story much more interesting. The story is full of so many plot twists: I'm curious as to which directions characters' stories might flow. I'm no stranger to fantasy and/or fiction so the character development intrigues me most of the series so far. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne


E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Funko Pop!) (Little Golden Book)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Funko Pop!) (Little Golden Book) by Arie Kaplan (Author) and Chris Fennell (Illustrator) is a short fun version of E.T. which only captures highlights of the original full length story. I read the book (on the spot) deciding between which book to purchase to donate to one of the hospitals Barnes and Noble has a donation relationship with as a part of a Christmas program. I read the book though I pick another book to purchase to donate. I enjoy the E.T. story, and I like the illustrations: the pages are full and vibrant. The Funko Pop! designs really stand out: I recognize the Funko Pop! qualities of the characters as I'm about half way through the book then learn the text is a Funko Pop! variation of the original full length story afterward. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Values Compass: What 101 Countries Teach Us About Purpose, Life, and Leadership

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


The Values Compass: What 101 Countries Teach Us About Purpose, Life, and Leadership by Dr. Mandeep Rai, PhD, is a collection of essays about layers of values in connection to highlights of a distinct value of each culture the author experiences and shares of her travels. I buy the book because of the author's Travel Noire article on Haiti. I appreciate her input and grow curious about her knowledge base. Dr. Mandeep Rai, PhD, offers a positive outlook in her article about Haiti which is a style she carries throughout her reflective travel essays in The Values Compass: What 101 Countries Teach Us About Purpose, Life, and Leadership. Through the exploration of different cultures, the author shares culturally informative stories offering a more rounding perspective of a particular culture in relation to the author's experiential evaluation of a value the author connotates with a particular aspect of a culture. I like the evocative-thinking text. The short essay form is enough to carry the author's diary-like writing style well in a way that can be quick to read slowly (a decent book for an individual with a busy schedule). 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Gilgamesh

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Gilgamesh translated from the Sîn-Leqi-Unninnĩ Version by John Gardner and John Maier is an epic poem largely about nature vs. nurture through Enkidu and Gilgamesh's journeys respectively as well as together. The story is really good (even with only parts of it being available due to only certain parts of tablets being available). I find the translation makes the story a dark-deep-tragic-comedy of a bromance of immense heights that runs into ruin due to a jealous goddess unable to cope with the truth (which Gilgamesh explains as reason for him not being sexual with her), even in realization of the truth herself in multiple ways.  All the while, the story comments on destructive behaviors and characteristics branching from nature vs. nurture though heavily sets a gaze on nurturing beyond and within realms of space and time on every level of existence imaginable within the story. The accompanying notes containing cross-translation information between prior scholars, translators, translations, and supporting texts are very helpful to my interpretations of the story as a whole as well as between columns and tablets of the text. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Eleven)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Eleven) by Kintetsu Yamada is the final manga in the series! The manga resolves a lot in the series through niche moments in the end (Asako's childhood friend maturing to recognize a need for space between/for herself, the baby as well as the baby's father, work-life balance especially during busy times at work especially with a child in the mix, Asako acknowledging her maturity [albeit slow] with gratitude to her family as well as Natori, emotional-empathetic familial/collegial/social intricacies). I like the implementation of Japanese sentiments (food, clothing, terminology) throughout the series, and the illustrations in volume eleven are good, eye-popping frames (especially with the garbs). The manga ends the series on a good note, a happy ending for the series (though has subtle hints that things may go awry real quick [like the series does in subtle ways to engage potential realities of relationships] before returning to the happy ending path of the series). I'm glad about reading the Sweat and Soap series. Fan service in volume eleven is very light.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Nine)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Nine) by Kintetsu Yamada magnifies aspects of cohabitation mainly through a lense acknowledging a personal situation from a person's history which may be affecting the particular person in the present. Mysteries of Asako's childhood and traumatic history with bullying is center stage in volume nine especially because of Asako's response(s) to aspects of her traumatic history with bullying affecting her relationship with Natori. Volume nine has the most mature tone in comparison to prior volumes. Additionally, I like the cultural introduction (a trip to a festival with Japanese attire/sentiments) in the beginning of the manga, and I like the post portions of the manga. Fan service is light.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Seven)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Seven) by Kintetsu Yamada is mainly about Asako and Natori's developing relationship within about two months of living together, Asako meeting Natori's family for the first time, and different moments of maturity pertaining to each individually as well as their relationship to each other, together. The text delves into Natori's parents' take on Asako and Natori's future together philosophically indicating the importance of respecting one's house (rules, if you will, like a to each one's own concept) with a bit of parental advising toward living good and healthy. Concerning family, the series overall touches on family dynamics like siblings' feelings about siblings' significant others as well as siblings' feelings about siblings'/siblings' significant others' value(s). Fan service is moderately present throughout the text! I really like the illustrations of the series so far. 


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Prescription: Medicine: The Goodness of Planned Death

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Prescription: Medicine: The Goodness of Planned Death by Dr. Jack Kevorkian is about developing obitiatry in order to further human development(s) medically as well as Dr. Jack Kevorkian's efforts to get death row inmates to become organ donors, to become choice candidates for obitiatry especially members on the path of condemnation to a sure death sentence, and Dr. Jack Kevorkian's historical-social-medical-philosophical observations of human autonomy particularly concerning death and life especially in relation to the developing medical field. The author presents very sound economical and moral arguments. Recalling my reason for buying the text reminds me of the ambiguous joyful somberness of the nineties, I'm glad about having individuals engage with me—especially in my younger years—varying topics. Life is such a variety show. To be in fourth grade at a Christian school having a teacher answer my inquiries of euthanasia to then watch a classmate squeeze gerbils to watch the eyes pop unnaturally (or perhaps naturally, since it happens) slightly out of their heads before returning to normal in their heads. Life. My curiosity branches from encountering Dr. Jack Kevorkian while watching channels through a large wooden Zenith television, luxury furniture, in an aunt and uncle's living room. Suicide never looks as good as anything else optional on the other channels. Plus, coming from communities respecting religious laws via the Holy Bible, sacrifice is sacrosanct, and one must choose mindfully—wisely—that which one wants one's life to be about (which is always choosing good over evil whether one's life is hard or not because in the end all proves well with God, amen!). I buy the text to get a deeper perspective of the doctor's pursuits. Regarding the death penalty, Dr. Jack Kevorkian attempts to appreciate life in lieu of meaningless death against a societal mentality of revenge and violence by means of creating meaningful death to engage realms of infradeath as well as potentially save lives through organ donations of any subject to the death penalty with no way out. I'm glad about reading the text.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Beowulf (A New Verse Translation)

Hi, 


I hope all is progressing well.


The Beowulf translation by Seamus Heaney is a classic oral around-the-fire-type narrative of a Scandanavian warrior's/king's character, heroics—life. The text is a moralistic tale heavily revolving around good character. I like the story as well as the story telling style, and I don't find the narrative to be overly complex or lengthy. The glorious-grandiosity of—within—the text is quite entertaining, to me.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Happily Ever Afters

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant is a young adult romantic dramedy about a sixteen-year-old girl, Tessa Johnson, aspiring to be an author, struggling with anxiety due to her insecurities and impostor syndrome after getting into a creative school. I randomly buy the book in Barnes and Noble as a part of a Buy One, Get One 50% off deal. I enjoy the looseness of the story telling which seems to be Tessa's voice: I feel like I'm reading a diary and loose text messages an author is trying to make sense of completing publicly, in the form of a story, while the author is living the story. The text has social aspects rounding characters' experiences which approach acknowledging a human as a human and connecting socially in a diverse social world at large.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

A Song of Fire and Ice: A Clash of Kings

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin is the second book in A Song of Fire and Ice series. I like the introspection George R. R. Martin offers through the characters, and, even more so, the outrospection in relation to particular characters. For example, what an astounding character role Tyrion hosts! What I'm quite clearly noticing now in A Clash of Kings is the aggressiveness toward dismantling and manipulating of children (though set very clear in A Game of Thrones, the first book in A Song of Fire and Ice series) as means to an end or no end. What more of a poster child than Tyrion, to be like the PTSD representation of all children from/in a savage world—always a door, an eyeglass, a mirror to immoral characteristics. What an aware-well-rounding character Tyrion is! For so many to only see outward falsely and never inward honestly—as far as the author shares—sets Tyrion in a role most distinct to any other character. Tyrion is a conduit of truth about society he maneuvers, heavily revealing delusionality about him, ironically, not a product of his environment though so in a resourceful sense for his life—a peace of mind, in a world of individuals suffering from intoxications of coin, cunning, and narcissm. This is not a justification for Tyrion's behavior, just an appreciation for a character set so well in the text, quite unlike any other so far, in connection with major themes in the series so far like children, family, and succession. I like the way each chapter allows for one to focus on one particular character though more characters are always in a mix. The text has an appendix in the back which helps with returning to reading the text after a while to continue engaging the story sensibly. I like the book.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Vagina Book: An Owner's Manual for Taking Care of Your Down There

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


The Vagina Book: An Owner's Manual for Taking Care of Your Down There by The Thinx Inc. Team, Dr. Jenn Conti, MD, and Daiana Ruiz (Illustrator) is an insightful text about healthily approaching a vagina in relation to a broader spectrum of better health connecting to as well as branching from a woman. While browsing Barnes and Noble, I find the book in an art section before reserving the text then picking it up a day after the reservation expiration to find it, with the help of an employee, in a health section. I like reading a book of the sort because I think it's important to be cognizant of a woman's body/a body one might want to care more about, and I like to have a book of the sort in my library of books so a woman that decides to spend time with me may learn a bit of herself (if she doesn't already know information I may already/have available) especially/particularly when browsing my library of books. I find the text to be very informative of menstruation which I have a deeper respect for—through better understanding—now. I find certain aspects of the text can/need to be a lot clearer especially regarding human development as well as sexual communication boundaries. I think the style of the book overall between textures of the cover and pages, illustrations, and font styles makes the book like an adult-child-friendly book.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Four)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Four) by Kintetsu Yamada divulges, thematically, a girl/woman might not like/be able to like a boy/man a same reason or way a boy/man might like a girl/woman in an overall theme of there being no clear line of relational understanding that brings a couple together to stay together hence the importance of communication beyond visceral senses (though Asako and Natori never completely separate from the visceral). Dating after college, and work in relation to being in a relationship takes center stage in the text: the text offers a couple of interesting perspectives about work in relation to being in a relationship which I find shows different emphases a couple or an individual may put on work and/or a relationship. All in all, volume four explores the importance of communication, of even the tiniest detail, and ways good communication can really affect a relationship in a destressing way (whether a romantic relationship or not). There is almost no fan service in volume four which the author acknowledges with an abrupt teaser bonus chapter of Natori reminiscing about a sexual time with Asako.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume Three)

Hi, 


I hope all is progressing well.


Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume Three) by Mikokuno Homare (Author) and StudioHIP-CATs (Illustrator) is a very funny dramedy. The feeding rules of Succubi create an interconnecting open world of sexual possibilities which in the text leads to Succubi feuding. Between the sexualness in the story, there are short deep moments about Renta being a man seemingly only Succubi seem to like (which isn't surprising though is kind of ironic because of ways certain Succubi like him) though Saki's approaches are different than other Succubi's approaches (even while Saki abides by the Succubi's rules and is taking a new route to acclimating herself with Renta's body sexually). I really like volume three.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

The Feminine Mystique

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Whether anyone has a qualm with Playboy does not dismiss a fact that Playboy is one of the most groundbreaking editorials in history to ever cover topics, particularly taboo topics, even now relevant, and not so taboo in/to modernity (consider the times when Playboy starts publishing). 


How do you think I come to discover The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan? A Playboy interview between David Sheff and Betty Friedan in the September 1992 issue of Playboy. I'm a collector, and my pages aren't sticking together.


The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan explores being a woman, a purposeful human, living with goals and meaning, beyond being an American housewife as the standard of fulfillment for a woman's life. Through explorations of economic, social, political, feminine, and masculine—human—mystiques, Betty Friedan brings the importance of having goals and living with purpose to the forefront of humans being mindfully. In my lifetime so far, I've come to experience many, if not all, situations directly or indirectly within the text hence one reason I am patient with individuals in general though particularly women (largely due to not ever knowing a/ situation(s) a person may be coming from as well as acknowledging a person does not know the same of me—which is part of the reason for me apologizing to anyone I ever feel I may have hurt in my lifetime so far—if anyone feels deserving of an apology for a reason I'm not aware of—I'm sorry. I mention this in light of a discovery in my lifetime, a person can find/make offense from a completely good-kind-non-ill-action-or-non-ill-intention in the form of a gesture because that's a way a person chooses to be/respond for whatever reason. I never dismiss the potential of another side to a story and/or another story altogether). 


I live as fully as I may. Betty Friedan encourages living a self-actualizing-purposeful-full-life—to be/feel whole, human. In the text, the economic-social-political nuances of masculinity and femininity are relevant and sound with modern developmental parameters—likely for the perpetuity of time, even with advancing/additional technologies—each nuance to a different degree. The book focuses on American culture primarily though is culturally relevant globally, an aspect of a nuance may have a culturally different acknowledgement/meaning though resembles a situation in the text (Friedan expounds upon this point in the text). I think the topics of this book are very important, and that The Feminine Mystique is a book to reference for a lifetime.


I remember going to therapy twice. The first time to address in and grow through a professional setting to handle certain types of situations with a professional. Bringing up any situation in an unprofessional setting may leave one to get an/ unprofessional response(s) and an/ undesirable result(s). The second time I go to therapy really results in my understanding the necessity to move on one's own in the world beyond any trauma—without therapy though with good-proper efforts, direction, purpose, and self-care. After reading books about my experiences (that I go to therapy for) and writing about my experiences for analytical purposes, in reflection (more so clearer now though apparent before differently)—a different way of crying for help though seeking a/ resolve(s) (which I've a history of doing in myriad ways), I feel amazing—because of my self-culturing, like a continuation of my life, beyond any trauma(s) I've come to experience (a conversation for my future romantic life partner, and, God willing, our immediate family like our children, necessarily). At my current point in life, after doing all the necessary personal work (and I'm always finding a way to improve), I attest The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan has insights of which I feel to be useful for me (considering varying stages of my life so far) and may be relevant for anyone seeking to be more culturally aware of developmental parameters of a human being. I'm going to harp on certain important topics for the rest of my life like literacy, critical thinking, good sex, being a good person—to name a few. I'm beyond so much because of choice practical processes. I think reading a book of the sort can help one become more aware of certain developmental parameters though personal growth usually happens from actually making choice action in one's personal life.


As a single heterosexual man supportive of good women (especially of the autonomous-fit-intelligent-salacious type, to say the least), I think it's important for me to be as aware as possible especially as economic-political-social situations are developing, human minds need to be operating properly in order to secure a more sensible equilibrium particularly in relation to living standards without impeding on a human's rights especially concerning privacy. Even with improvement, purposeful growth and learning is always possible. As many more social nuances are ever present in modernity, mystiques are even more, varyingly—bringing more value to Betty Friedan's book, The Feminine Mystique.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Sweat and Soap (Volume Two)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Sweat and Soap (Volume Two) by Kintetsu Yamada definitely does not provide as much fan service as volume one though focuses on other aspects of getting to know different sides of a person in a relationship, in different social settings, slowly including external individuals more intimately. Indications of love making are seemingly present though more so private (like the bedroom scene with Natalie and Blake in Isn't It Romantic (2019) except without the replays—unless one keeps flipping the pages back and forth while using one's imagination—) which actually helps set emphasis on the other happenings pertaining to Asako and Kotaro's relationship, emotionally and socially. I like the character profiles and translation notes at the end of the manga. Concerning the end of the manga, volume two has a few more interesting tidbits than volume one.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume One)

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight (Volume 1) by Mikokuno Homare (Author) and StudioHIP-CATs (Illustrator) is the meet cute and introductory portion of Renta, a thirty-five-years-old virgin, and Saki, a twenty-year old Succubus, living together. This manga is full of fan service in line with this (so far) ironic-sweet story. After purchasing the manga from Barnes and Noble, tearing the plastic wrap, then reading the manga, I'm looking to finish reading the series. Renta and Saki are in a seemingly perfect situation though Renta is choosing to be considerate of Saki after discovering one of her reasons for not partaking in normal behaviour (for a Succubus). Both Renta and Saki seem to be very horny (and comically considerate of each other), and Saki is a nice Succubus which makes the fantasy the story is offering pleasanter.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne


Everyday Words and the Character of Prose in Nineteenth Century Britain

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Everyday Words and the Character of Prose in Nineteenth Century Britain by Jonathan Farina is an extensive exquisite delve into spherical understandings of certain common words of British print in the nineteenth century. The author is one of my graduate school professors. I remember enjoying his classes beyond his teaching style due to the topics, extending conversations, and my discoveries through choice research—all part of a wonderful graduate school experience. The text explores nineteenth century Britain through choice words (semantics through certain common words of British print in the nineteenth century), intricately analyzing language—derivations. The text is an intricately intellectual scholarly work with comedic tinges. I consider the text valuable beyond realms of English majors.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Nothing Personal

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Nothing Personal by James Baldwin is a collection of essays examining human experiences that may affect human characteristics as well as social dynamics. After an engagement of curiosity, standing in a line at an airport, recognizing James Baldwin’s face, the book becomes a gift to me from the prior owner of the text. The author dissects societal systems and systems of technology to identify ways in which certain parameters connect directly with humans’ physically and psychically particularly in relation to an American developmental experience though relevant in regard to any experience in relation to similar societal systems and systems of technology which the text references. I think the text is worth reading and thinking about in regard to modernity.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

You Are Not So Smart

Hi, 


I hope all is progressing well.


You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney is a recommendation from a discussion of a random though pleasant invitation. Reading the text, I feel like I am reviewing a more entertaining version of the information from an undergraduate PSYCH101 class due to the additional commentary between the explanations of psychological and marketing parameters in relation to social developments as well as sciences. The text seems to root itself within the psychological, marketing, and social which I think is important to understand while reading the text because there are outliers the text does not consider which limits the text, particularly, to the fields I afore mention. Even so, the text proves insightful and may help one navigate toward becoming a more mindful individual.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Hi,


I hope all is progressing well.


Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein is an exploration of the absoluteness of meaning and the meaningless through parameters of death and life, the existent and the non-existent via parameters of Philosophy (equations—logic—reason—). I feel like I am reading an assignment with a page limit by the end of the book because of the way the last few pages seem to summize the intentions and purposes of the text, for the reader (seemingly in case the jargon doesn't make clear, immediate, or much sense). I like the text and find Wittgenstein's examination of life like a philsophically intense motivational text urging the reader to be present and make one's life of one's own because only one can bring any meaning into one's life.


Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne