Posts Tagged ‘book review’

Dear Rita,

Many years ago I read your book Rubyfruit Jungle with great pleasure. It’s not every writer that can make a lesbian Bildungsroman a light-hearted and fun read. Also, if you had never written anything except the title of your first book of poetry, you would have earned my respect, because The Hand that Cradles the Rock is an awesome title for a book of feminist poems.

True, I haven’t followed your later books, largely because most of them were co-authored by your cat, and I am allergic to books which feature animals as either authors or protagonists (or both). So whenever I saw “Murder, She Meowed” or “Claws and Effect” at the library I did nothing except wish you and Sneaky Pie well and move on.

All that changed the other day. I went to the library to pick up R. Crumb’s bizarre rendition of Genesis, which I had put on hold, and happened to see one of your books: The Hounds and the Fury. A quick glance told me it was a murder mystery involving foxhounds and foxhunting, which is exactly the sort of book I always think I’ll like, so I got it.


Ms. Brown, as someone who has written (according to Wikipedia), some 38 full-length novels, I would have assumed that you had mastered that whole “show, don’t tell thing”. I seem to have been wrong. Not only does this book begin with a detailed description of each character – and why are there so many of them, anyway? – including the foxhounds, the horses, and a variety of wildlife – but peppered through the book are explainy explainy boring statements like this:

Freddie wanted to be like Sister, but she was too concerned with her effect on others. Beautiful as she was, this made her vulnerable. She needed praise to feel feminine, to feel good. Sister woke up in he morning feeling good.

How ’bout something like this instead?

Freddie turned to Jason. “Oh Doctor,” she said, “tell me more about your work.”

Jason smiled down at Freddie, making her heart race with anticipation. Funny, she didn’t even like him much, but his smile made her feel warm. “Well, Freddie, how much do you know about medicine?”

“Oh, not much,” said Freddie, a smile blazing across her perfect face. “I mean, my father was a doctor – but I never took much interest.” Freddie kept her eyes locked on the doctor’s, and her two years of pre-med to herself.

I wrote that last bit, by the way. Yes, it’s horribly cliched and stupid, but at least it gets across the idea that “Freddie is insecure and gets male attention by belittling herself” without a boring descriptive paragraph.

Even when you do actually show a character doing something, you immediately follow up by telling us what that shows about the character. Like this:

“Are you alright?”
“Fine. Tired. […] Sam was in the hospital.” He held back he small detail that Sam had been shot. He was tired and didn’t feel like indulging in speculation with people who weren’t close.

Yes, thank you for pointing out the Gray didn’t tell Iffy that Sam was in the hospital. I would never, ever have noticed that in a million years if you hadn’t pointed it out. No, actually I would have, and I would have thought “Huh, that’s odd. Maybe Gray doesn’t trust Iffy. Maybe he suspects Iffy. Hmm…” and it may have added a modicum of interest to the plot.

There are a lot of other unlikeable things about this book – the constant defense of riches and privilege, the ham-handed and unrealistic race relations, the way you keep sticking references to saints’ days in the middle of things, the fact that you not only anthropomorphized all the animals but made them capable of conversing with each other. (OK, if they could talk, I can see how foxes and dogs would communicate, being closely related species, but why the fuck would an owl be able to talk to a horse? They’re wildly different animals with very different lifeways – horses are domesticated pack mammals, and owls are pair-bonding predatory birds – not to mention cognitive abilities. Both horses and owls are pretty dumb, true, but dumb in different ways: prey dumb and predator dumb, bird dumb and mammal dumb, big dumb and small dumb.)

Also the gender essentialism is pretty disturbing, considering your involvement in the feminist movement. I’m talking about statements like this:

“Once a man takes a position publicly, he rarely backs down or seeks a comprimise. It’s a particular failing of the gender…with great effort, especially from friends, most women can be brought around to seek a comprimise.”

Or like this:

Sybil appreciated Shaker’s thoughtfulness. Her marriage, a disaster, had left her a single mother. She liked her sons to be around real men, and Shaker was about as real as it got.

Never mind that feminists have been trying since the seventies to deconstruct the stifling confines of gender roles, to free us all from the idea that there are sets of behaviours and actions that you must adopt if you want to be a “real man” or a “real woman”. You want your gameskeeper character to be a Real Man, so you make Pathetic Single Mom use him to heteronormatize her sons.

(To be clear, if these two characters – Sister and Sybil, respectively – had said/thought these things as a demonstration of their subtle sexism and hidebound gender essentialism, that would have been fine. If a non-feminist writer had written that, it would have merited an eye-roll or two. But coming from the mouths/brains of the two most sympathetic/lionized characters in a book by an ostensibly feminist writer it makes me think, “What the fuck?”)

Speaking of characters, why, again, are there so many of them? By page 200 I was still flipping back to the list at the beginning to check who Betty was again, and what her relationship to Crawford was. And you do realize that the three private school girls could have been rolled into one? That what they’re there for – to show that Sister is a hip old lady who loves young people – could have been distilled down to a couple of sentences in the middle of the hunt.

But I digress. I read all sorts of awful books, and I could have forgiven all this – it still might have been an enjoyalble read – if it hadn’t been for the egregious Mary Sue that you put at the centre of your book.

I’m sure you intended Sister (Jane Arnold) to be an earthy, fierce, inspiring older woman, full of life and vigour and still sexy in her seventies. You certainly make a point of telling us how fantastic she is on every other page. Sister is perfect. Sister can do no wrong. Sister has a primeval instinct for horses and hounds. She knows everything and can both turn a young man’s head AND beat him up.

Unfortunately, as you have written her, Sister is unbelievable and annoying. I’d like to see her actually interacting with someone without them flattering her. I’d like to see her make a mistake or have a weakness or do something to hurt someone. Because then she’d seem like a human being instead of a slightly older and heterosexual embodiment of Rita Mae Brown’s superego.

I have two possible theories for how this horrible excuse for a book came to be:

1)You have complete and utter contempt for your audience. I’m guessing your publisher’s demographic research has revealed your audience to be privileged but unintelligent women aged 50-75, so you tailored your book perfectly to them, being careful to explain everything clearly so they wouldn’t miss out.
2)You have lost your touch and now write self-absorbed bilge.

I lean towards 2) but the facts could support either case. By the way, the denouement comes totally out of nowhere and there really are NO clues (other than Iffy’s hair not falling out) pointing to who the murderer ends up being. Lazy plotting.

On the plus side, you do say lots of nice things about hounds, which I appreciated, being the owner of two Beagle/Bassets. If my dog Madeline could read I’m sure she would have enjoyed it.


Read Full Post »

I can’t remember *where* exactly I read about Kevin Roose’s book, The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University. I can’t remember when exactly I reserved at the library.  But I must have done so – I’m guessing sometime in July, at the peak of my Quiverfull obsession – because a week or so ago I got an email from the Toronto Public Library telling me it was waiting for me at my nearest branch.

On a side note, the fact that Kevin Roose is about eight years younger than I am and has not only written but actually published a book makes me green with envy.  At least he doesn’t have his own Wikipedia entry yet.  Anyway, his book is an unusual and enjoyable mix of undercover reportage, spiritual exploration, and Bildungsroman.

Kevin Roose, the son of extremely liberal, not-really-religious-but-spiritual Quakers and a student at Brown University, decides to spend a semester undercover at Liberty University, Jerry Falwell’s vanity college.  His family (including his two lesbian aunts) are worried about his safety and his sanity, but he perserveres in his project to “bridge the Bible gap” between the world he lives in and the world of intense Protestant Wingnut Christianity he’s stumbled upon.  He suffers the predictable culture shock, learns the ropes, makes friends, dates a bit, and comes to a few conclusions: that evangelical Christians are a) not as evil as he thought, really just ordinary people, and b) just as evil as he thought, and he can’t wrap his head around it.

Sounds like a contradiction, I know.  But it isn’t.

What Roose stubs his toe on a bit is the much-vaunted banality of evil.  His fellow students at Liberty routinely display hypocracy and homophobia, and espouse with varying levels of whole-heartedness the noxious tenets of extreme right-wing American Christianity.   But they’re such nice people, such normal people.  Even though he knows that the Liberty students are the kinds of people who become anti-abortion zealots, Dominionist home-schooling enthusiasts, and Republican politicians – the kinds of people who cause pain and suffering to people like his aunts Tina and Teresa – he can’t condemn them as monsters, so he can’t really condemn them at all:

All in all, the Liberty students I’ve met are a lot more socially adjusted than I expected.  They’re not rabid, frothing fundamentalists who spend their days sewing Hillary Clinton voodoo dolls and penning angry missives to the ACLU.  Maybe I’m getting a skewed sample, but the ones I’ve met have been funny, articulate, and decidedly non-crazy….In fact, I suspect a lot of my hallmates at Liberty could fit in perfectly well at a secular college.

Of course, Liberty students depart from the mainstream in fairly obvious ways.  Politically, for example, your average secular student is somewhere left of center, whereas you average Dorm 22 resident is somewhere to the right of Alan Keyes.

Yes!  THAT IS THE POINT, Kevin.  Extremists of all kinds are usually normal people in most respects.  It’s the one that they’re not normal in – not part of the rational spectrum – that defines them as extremists.  It seems like Roose went to Liberty expecting to meet with a race of aliens, then found himself among humans.  Just humans whose values differed radically from his own.  So he sort of completely misses the point.

Or perhaps not.  A subplot running through the book is Roose’s deteriorating relationship with his 29-year old and extremely – even by Liberty standards – homophobic roommate, Henry:

Whenever he went on a vituperative, unprovoked rant against homosexuals or feminists or Al Sharpton, I was forced to step back and remember: oh, right…this is Liberty University.  It was a constant reality check.  I felt the same emotions when talking to Henry that I feel whenever I see footage of Dr. Falwell’s 9/11 remarks or when I hear my hallmates condemning non-Christians to hell.  It’s my reaction to a certain kind of arrogance I’ve seen among Liberty students – and religious fundamentalists of all ages – who claim to have all the answers.

What Roose writes around but never quite gets at is that all humans are capable of being assholes, of causing pain to others, of being complete insensitive jerks.  The trick is to create a social frame in which assholishness is not acceptable.  Roose’s fellow students are, intrinsically speaking, probably no better or worse than other college students (Henry, perhaps, is an exception to this rule).  But they live in a cultural milieu that encourages and rewards intolerance and bigotry, so most of them end up being intolerant bigots.

In spite of this irritating failure to connect, this is an engaging and entertaining book, even if you keep wanting to yell at the protagonist: “YOU HAVEN’T FIGURED THIS OUT YET????  DON’T YOU HAVE A CRAZY RACIST UNCLE?”  It’s written in a vaguely bloggy, confessional style that gets grating at times but keeps the tale firmly on the level of one young man’s personal experience, which is just what it is.  As well as marvelling at his fellow students’ worldviews, gleaning bible knowledge, and trying to stop masturbating, Roose shows us the world of Liberty as a superficially benevolent totalitarianism, with Falwell taking the place of Stalin and The Liberty Way (the student handbook that outlines the rules and punishments for infractions, ranging from demerit points or “reprimands” and fines to expulsion) of The Little Red Book.

Kevin Roose spent three months at Liberty University to build a bridge between his America and Jerry Falwell’s.  Did he succeed?  I don’t know.  Seeing Liberty University through his eyes hasn’t changed my opinion of it or those who work and study there – I still think it’s a dangerously poor excuse for a university and those who are associated with it have my sympathy.  However, getting that sense of immersion gave me some more perspective on just how easy it is to get sucked into your environment; how hard it is to resist a pervasive and totalitarian culture; how human it is to go along with the stream, especially when going along with the stream makes you better than everyone and guarantees you eternal life.

In short – ha! – a nice counterpoint to Quiverfull, and just as sympathetically written.

Read Full Post »

Last year I read an excerpt from this book (“Jesus made me puke” – Taibbi’s account of his bizarre weekend at a John Hagee-sponsored retreat) and thought, “No way.  This can’t be real.  Nobody is casting out ‘the demon of the intellect’* and exhorting believers to vomit.”   But like all good skeptics I suspended judgement until further evidence arose; i.e., I put in a hold at the library and waited my turn to read the whole thing.

My first impression of The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religionwas, “This is a book that needs to be made into a movie.”  Preferably starring Matt Daimon as the cynical and disillusioned Taibbi, sinking deeper and deeper and losing more and more of himself in the anti-rational countercultures he explores.  Although this is a non-fiction book, there is a definite story arc.  Taibbi goes undercover in John Hagee’s church.  He infiltrates the 9/11 Truth movement.  He exposes and explains the dirty horse-trading of Congress.  But what really emerges from the book is a portrait of himself, trying to understand his own country.

The picture he creates is that of a seeker seeking the essence of a culture of seekers.  As a member of Cornerstone Church, he evangelizes at the mall.  He’s nervous and expects people to reject him.  Instead:

…the lamer my religious come-on was, the more people would respond to me.  I could scarecely even start my rap with half of these people before they started reading back to me the transcripts from their latest group therapy sessions.  It was like none of these people had ever had a friend before.

Which suggests that the reason Americans fall for these collections of patent untruths (the version of Christianity sold by Hagee and his fellow hucksters, 9/11 and other conspiracy theories, the idea that their government works for them rather than the corporations that pay them) is that they are hungry for meaning, for a central story that they can build their lives around.  More than anything Taibbi shows the underlying unity behind seemingly opposed groups and ideas: the members of his bible study group and the 9/11 truth meet-up group display the same level of immaturity, gullibility, and group-think.  The pathology is not in the surface details, it’s in the method that brings people to these things:

Here I have a confession to make.  It’s not something that’s easy to explain, but here goes.  After two days of nearly constant religious instruction, songs, worship, and praise – two days that for me meant an unending regimen of forced and fake responses – a funny thing started to happen to my head.  There is a transformational quality in these external demonstrations of faith and belief.  The more you shout out praising the Lord, singing along to those awful acoustic tunes, telling people how blessed you feel and so on, the more a sort of mechanical Christian skin starts to grow all over your real self.  Even if you’re a degenerate Rolling Stone reporter inwardly chuckling and busting on the whole scene – even if you’re intellectually enraged by the ignorance and arrogant prejudice (…) – outwardly you’re swaying to the gospel and singing and praising and acting the part, and those outward ministrations assume a kind of sincerity in themselves…At any given moment, which one is the real you?

Everyone wants something to belong to, to believe in, to rely on.  Unfortunately the things that America is turning to – Evangelical Christianity, conspiracy theories, and Ron Paul – are such egregious bullshit that they just pull you farther down into despair and alienation.  Matt Taibbi is a smart, funny writer with a sharp eye for bullshit and critical thinking skills beyond the level of the average American, and he ends the book more cynical (if possible) and disillusioned than before.

Anyway, in spite of the somewhat depressing conclusion, this is a very funny and human book.  If I could do voices I’d like to do a dramatic reading of his imagined conversation between Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Irv Kristol (planning the 9/11 attack) and put it in my podcast.  I was going to include an excerpt here, but it’s too funny to take any one bit out, and I don’t want to type out the whole thing.  It’s one of the best take-downs of the 9/11 conspiracy out there, exposing it in all its ridiculousness.

So go buy it.  Or get it from the library.  Anyway, read it.

* p. 80

Read Full Post »


I finally got my hands on a copy of

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

by Kathryn Joyce, an investigation into the variety of religious groups who believe that women should a) be subordinate and submissive to men, b) stay out of public life, and c) have as many children as God wants them to.

Curiously enough, God always seems to want them to have one child every 18 months or so from the beginning of their sex lives until menopause or death, whichever comes first.  Now I wonder why that is…

This is a very well-researched, well-written, and sympathetic book.  Joyce doesn’t condemn or mock the women she writes about, but lets them speak for themselves.  Their own words are more than enough to condemn them – Nancy Campbell, for example, of Above Rubies magazine says:

“I don’t dislike the people [Muslims],” she says, but she is worried “since they want to kill all Jews and all Christians and wipe us off the face of the earth, and they want world domination and nothing less…So you see what happens when the Christian church refuses to have children.  That starts filling the earth, instead of what we’re meant to be filling the earth with: a godly seed.”

Putting aside the irony of a Dominionist Christian objecting to anyone wanting world domination, the cluelessness and shallow racism of this passage just jump out.

To me the most disturbing picture to emerge from Quiverfull wasn’t the huge families.  Some people will always choose to have big broods of children, and this isn’t always bad – my father, for example, is the eleventh of twelve – and even if the Quiverfullers get their way and contraception and abortion are banned, people will still find a way to limit their family sizes just like they’ve always done.  It wasn’t even the soul-crushing vision of submissive wifehood pushed by activists like Martha Peace.  Even though that’s pretty bad, as Joyce writes:

…As a lifestyle, being a submissive wife…involves redefining love so that it is not a feeling but a choice that women make day after day.  Beyond being an immature, lust-based emotion that can never truly be satisfied, the idea of a love based on feelings, romance, and attraction, says Peace, is a secular deceit.  Feelings-based love, Peace writes derisively, is like the proverbial pony children always hope for and never receive on Christmas morning…a biblical love is “unconditional” in the sense that it binds a woman to her husband forever, “even if the other person never changes,” and requires her to continue showing him love as a responsibility to God.

By the way, doesn’t this passage remind you  of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex? I’m thinking specifically of the exploration of bourgeois French arranged marriage.  I don’t have a copy on hand, but I recall her quoting a respectable matron, the mother of many children, as admonishing her daughter who didn’t want to marry a man she didn’t love: “My dear, it’s the MAN who loves, not the woman.”

No, what I find the most chilling is the vision of the world promoted by the patriarchs and their female collaborators: one in which individual humans are reduced to cogs in a machine, where one’s individual happiness is subordinate to the needs of the family, the church, the will of God.  If they get their way, we will all be sacrificed to the made-up desires of an imaginary being.  That human beings are capable of turning their backs on all the joyful things about life, to cut off the development of their natural capacities and mold themselves into automatons, and to demand that everyone else do the same, all over nothing – over a complete mirage – is really depressing when you think about it.  What is the point of life if everyone on earth is miserable?

I like being alive.  I like breathing and sleeping and having sex and eating ice cream and exercising and lying in the sun and reading and writing and crying and feeling.  I don’t want to be turned into a laundry-doing, husband-submitting, baby-making machine.  I want to contribute to the world through music and writing, through being a friend and a dog owner and an entertainer.  When I have children, I want to have only as many as I can responsibly care for and have a close and loving relationship with.  (No matter what you say, I don’t see how this is possible – for purely practical if not emotional reasons – if you have 18 of them.)  While Joyce’s book gave me a new understanding of (and more sympathy for) its proponents, it has made me heartily reject the Quiverfull philosophy.

Anyway, it’s a really good and awfully scary book.  I highly recommend it.

Read Full Post »

On BoingBoing the other day, Cory Doctorow reviewed an awesome-sounding book – a version of Pride and Prejudice skillfully rewritten to take place in a Regency England overrun by zombies.  In interests of full disclosure, I have not read this book, and I HAVE read the original Pride and Prejudice more times than I care to admit.  Here’s Cory’s take on this new version:

The execution is flawless, often hilarious, and just plain clever.

So, what’s the problem? Well, the problem is Jane Austen.

Can’t stand her.

Never successfully read Pride and Prejudice. Bored to tears by it. I’m not proud of the fact. Plenty of smart people have the utmost respect for the book, and I’m perfectly willing to stipulate that the problem is with me, not with Austen.

But P&P&Z has just too much Austen and not enough zombies.(…)…I couldn’t finish it. But I expect if you were the kind of person who loves both Austen and zombies, this book would just plain knock your socks off.

Now, I have the highest respect for Cory Doctorow.  I love his blog, read it daily, and am always interested by his take on civil liberties, digital media, and the trials of being an artist in the internet age.  But I have a question for him: does he hate Fiddler on the Roof?

That’s not as irrelevant a question as it sounds.  Fiddler on the Roof and Pride and Prejudice have exactly the same plot: family with five daughters, two of them marry well, one marries spectacularly badly, family faces disaster but comes through OK in the end.  The disasters are different, of course – in Pride and Prejudice it’s the social disgrace caused by Lydia’s elopement, in Fiddler on the Roof it’s the more menacing pogrom and imminent death.  Other than these details, the fact that one is a book and one a Broadway musical, and the cultural background, there’s only one other major difference.

Pride and Prejudice is told from the point of view of one of the daughters.  Fiddler is told from the point of view of the father.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this.  Perhaps it’s Austen’s writing style that turns Cory off, though her clear, spare, and witty prose has been praised to the skies by other writers.  But there’s a reason why Harry Potter is the centre of the books that bear his name and not Hermione.  There’s a reason why books with female protagonists tend to get shuttled to the chick-lit ghetto no matter how well they are executed.  There’s a reason why female authors use initials instead of first names half the time.  It’s that the female voice is othered.  It’s made “special”, an exception.  My mother, who is a children’s librarian, has observed that little boys won’t read books about girls, but little girls have no problem reading about boys.   So, is it possible that the female perspective of Pride and Prejudice, full of the biases and concerns of an early nineteenth century woman, make it unreadable for this 21st century man?

I am not trying to imply that Cory Doctorow is a misogynist or anything.  I have absolutely no reason to believe so, and just off the top of my head I can remember him positively reviewing at least one book with a female protagonist.  (Though it was a dystopian sci-fi novel, so a bit closer to his own genre than a two-hundred-year-old comedy of manners.)  My point is that we’re all part of this culture and we can’t switch it off when we read.

Also that I am totally buying the zombie book and giving it to my sister for her birthday.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book ever since I heard Steve interviewed on a podcast. I have a generally low opinion of self-help and it sounded like the delicious take down of the Dr. Phils of this world that I’d been waiting for. So, having recently paid off my library fines, I got hold of a copy and read it the other day.

Well, I’m glad I didn’t buy my own copy.

There’s lots of good stuff in SHAM, particularly his deconstruction of the twelve-step method, his expose of the ridiculousness of high-priced motivational speakers, and his analysis of the horrific Dr. Laura Schlessinger. (As someone who was forced to listen to her show daily at a summer job I had in high school, I was delighted to learn that she was a bed-hopping twice-divorced unqualified harpy, just as I’d always suspected.) But Salerno consistently overreaches in his conclusions – SHAM (the Self-Help and Actualization Movement) isn’t just a waste of time, it’s responsible for the so-called breakdown of American society. What’s more, he constantly brings the book around to tired Republican social conservative talking points – “People get divorced too easily these days!” “Kids don’t learn anything in school!” “School shootings used to be unthinkable!” (Maybe, but they still happened.) He also supports his thesis with a number of dubious experts, such as:

– David Blankenhorn, professional hand-wringer about divorce and same-sex marriage;

– Sally Satel, a psychiatrist who works for the American Enterprise Institute; she advocates forced medication for the mentally ill and thinks people should be allowed to sell their kidneys;

– the late M. Scott Peck, a Christian therapist who cheated on his wife with women he met at spiritual seminars, was such a successful father that two of his children were not on speaking terms at the end of his life, and used to perform exorcisms

– Myrna Blyth, who, upon retiring from the radical feminist environment of editing Ladies’ Home Journal, denounced women’s magazines as a liberal cabal to indoctrinate American women into being feminists or – GASP! – Democrats.


Even worse, Salerno supports his conclusions not with data but with anecdotes; he repeats over and over that America is suffering due to the dire social forces unleashed by SHAM, but he never specifies exactly how. Yeah, divorce rates are up since 1960. Who’s getting divorced and why? Can SHAM actually be shown to have anything to do with it? What is it really doing to people, anyway? Instead of providing data (which MUST exist) on the causes and effects of divorce, we get some words of wisdom from David Blankenhorn.  Teaching styles have changed since nuns dispensed whacks with rulers for wrong answers.  But instead of data on the success of different approaches in education, we get sardonic accounts of kids in Portland, Oregan keeping “feelings journals” and hand-wringing about the “feminization” of little boys. (In general, Salerno’s criticisms of education seem very much out of date.  Standardized testing and Skinnerian rote learning seem to be much greater forces in American schools today than touchy-feely hippy stuff.)

In the end, Salerno is guilty of just what he accuses self-help gurus of doing: selling an untested and unproven bill of goods.

…in any meaningful empirical sense, there is almost no evidence – at all – for the utility of self-help, either in theory or in practice.

True.  But there’s no empirical evidence – at least not in this book – of the egregious harm Salerno claims SHAM is doing to us.

What you’re left with is some delicious anti-Dr. Laura and Dr. Phil gossip, some embarrassing facts about Tony Robbins, and some discredited Republican talking points. A definite disappointment.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: