Tag Archive | suspense

Book recommendations! 📚💜 (Mostly suspense/horror) 😱

Book recommendations!!! 😍📚

(Screencap of my Kindle App – I did not read that black book in the middle, called “Asexuality,” that says “read;” I accidentally skipped to the end and it recorded it as read. And for some reason it won’t let me delete it off of downloads. I’m going to read it but later and I don’t want it showing up here now but can’t get it off.)

This is something I posted on FB last week! 😁

List of books I read in August! All on Kindle! I prefer e-books because I can carry them around more easily, carry multiple ones without it being heavy, can’t lose them, and can read in the dark/falling asleep, my favorite! Also can click a word to see a definition or quickly copy & paste into search box. Then when it’s through, I can easily put it away instead of having to carry it around if I’m out. And they take up less physical space. I travel for work a lot and read when I’m out and about. I can use the highlight function and copy and paste quotes/excerpts. I find e-books much more convenient all the way around.

I love reading but don’t always keep track of the books I read or how often. This month, I decided to list the ones I read. I read various kinds of books, fiction suspense/thriller/mystery, educational, personal development, science fiction, cute romantic love stories, best friend novels…. sometimes I read more suspense, sometimes more educational, sometimes more personal development,….but overall, the ones I seem to read and favor most are fiction suspense/horror/mystery/thriller. I don’t like true criminal stuff unless it’s fictionalized and loosely based on true events.

I love all of these and recommend them all to people who like these kind!

Here is a list with just the titles then I listed them again with descriptions!

1.) The Perfect Son -fiction – horror/suspense
2.) The Moonlight Child – fiction – suspense/mystery
3.) The Best Of Friends – fiction – suspense/mystery/psychological
4.) A Little Book of Ace by Clara Dehlin – educational book on asexuality
5.) One By One “A gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.”

I’m currently reading a thriller called “Victim Of A Delusional Mind” about a young woman abducted by a disturbed person. I may have it complete before August is through. After that, I’m going to read “Layla,” a paranormal thriller. I may read the “Haunting” one here after that.

I think the two books here I found most to be page turners are “One By One” & “The Best of Friends.” Couldn’t put them down!

1.) The Perfect Son -fiction – horror/suspense

DESCRIPTION
“‘Mrs. Cass, we were hoping your son could answer a few questions about the girl who disappeared last night…’

Erika Cass has a perfect family and a perfect life. Until the evening when two detectives show up at her front door.

A high school girl has vanished from Erika’s quiet suburban neighborhood. The police suspect the worst–murder. And Erika’s teenage son, Liam, was the last person to see the girl alive.

Erika has always sensed something dark and disturbed in her seemingly perfect older child. She wants to believe he’s innocent, but as the evidence mounts, she can’t deny the truth–Liam may have done the unthinkable.

Now she must ask herself:

How far will she go to protect her son?”

I don’t like the characters but the book is excellent!

2.) The Moonlight Child – fiction – suspense/mystery
TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️ This one involves child abuse. We don’t know until we begin reading it. I thought it was going to be a paranormal thriller.

DESCRIPTION
“A gripping and emotional novel that will leave you wondering about the neighbors next door…

On a cold January night, Sharon Lemke heads outside to see a lunar eclipse when she notices something odd at the house behind her backyard. Through her neighbor’s kitchen window, she sees what appears to be a little girl washing dishes late at night. But the Fleming family doesn’t have a child that age, and even if they did, why would she be doing housework at this late hour?

It would be easy for Sharon to just let this go, but when eighteen-year-old Niki, a former foster child, comes to live with Sharon, she notices suspicious activity at the Flemings’ house as well. When calling social services doesn’t result in swift action, the two decide to investigate on their own.”

Very likable characters (not all of them, but the protagonists).

3.) The Best Of Friends – fiction – suspense/mystery/psychological

TRIGGER WARNING ⚠️ – involves gun violence

DESCRIPTION
“An unthinkable tragedy forever changes a group of teens and turns family against family in this edge-of-your-seat thriller that begs to be read in one sitting.

Best friends Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani endure every parent’s nightmare when a tragic accident befalls their teenage boys, leaving one dead, another in a coma, and a third too traumatized to speak.

Reeling from the worst night of their lives, the three mothers plunge into a desperate investigation of the bizarre incident. How could something so horrible happen in their wealthy Southern California suburb?

They soon discover that the accident was just the beginning, and troubling discoveries lead to chilling questions: Do they really know their children? Do they even know each other? As more secrets surface, a fog of doubt and suspicion threatens to poison their families, their friendships, and the whole community.

With the illusion of happiness and safety long gone, these women must now confront the hazards of heartbreak, the consequences of jealousy, and the dangers of living double lives.”

This totally is a book that tempts us to read all in one sitting. I did not want to put it away! In my opinion, none of the characters are likable but the book is definitely great!

4.) A Little Book of Ace by Clara Dehlin – educational book on asexuality

DESCRIPTION
“Learn more about asexuality in this easily digestible book, filled with illustrations, metaphors, definitions, and spaces for your own personal reflections. In a world that isn’t always kind to marginalized communities, it is important to continually educate yourself to better understand others’ experiences. Whether you are hoping to show up better for someone you love, explore your own identity, learn something new, or anything in between, this book will provide you with an understanding of what it means to be asexual.”

Short, easy to understand, and very informative. It seems directed at young people; it’s written with a tone and way that appeals to asexual children(yep, they exist!), but I recommend it for any age.

5.) One by One – “A gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming.”

DESCRIPTION:

“One by one, they will get what they deserve…

A night spent sleeping on dirt and leaves is not how Claire Matchett expected to spend her vacation.

She thought this would be a break from the stresses of work and raising her young children.  A chance to repair her damaged marriage.  A week of hiking and hot tubs with two other couple friends.  It sounded like heaven.

Then Claire’s minivan breaks down on a lonely dirt road. With no cell reception, the group has no choice but to hike the rest of the way to their hotel. But it turns out the woods aren’t as easy to navigate as they thought.

Hours later, they are lost. Hopelessly lost. 

And as they navigate deeper into the woods, the members of their party are struck down mysteriously one by one. Has a wild animal been hunting them? Or is the hunter one of them?

But as more time passes, one thing becomes clear:

Only one of them will return home alive.”

All great books! 📚

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! 💜

Xoxo Kim 😍❤️

Princess – a short fictional story I don’t recommend…

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“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

Unless you want to be scarred for life like I am. Lol j/k but it’s seriously twisted! 

Recently I read a short story on BlackBerry Kindle like 47 pages and it’s another kind of insanity. An insanity you don’t even want to think about.

It sucked me right in and reading it was thoroughly entertaining but then it just got insane. At the end I had one of those “DAFUQ DID I JUST READ?!?!?!” moments. 

I’m going to write about it here, including the end so if you would prefer to read the short story before reading this then you know to click it off.

But like I said, unless you want to be traumatized forever, don’t. Lol

It’s a psychological thriller and in the reviews it is said to be dark and deeply disturbing. And it is!

It’s BEYOND disturbing.

It starts out with a mother helping her teenage daughter get ready for her prom, fixing her hair in front of a mirror in her bedroom, and her date is late showing up. The daughter is concerned that he’s standing her up and going with another person.

Her mother gets furious at this and spins the chair around that her daughter is in and yells in her daughter’s face that she is second to no one and the boy is probably just experiencing car trouble. Then in a split second the mother is back to her sweet self again smiling cheerfully at her daughter telling her that she’s the most beautiful girl in the whole county and everyone always knew it. That to me is a red flag right there that the mom may have some kind of issues going on getting furious in a split second to the point of screaming loudly in her daughter’s face then just as soon puts on a sweet smile and goes back to fixing her hair like nothing.
And the way she seems kind of obsessed with her daughter being “the most beautiful girl according to everyone.” It’s just weird.

The story switches scenes to where the girl’s dad is in a shopping mall. The wife is horrible to her husband and controlling and sent him out to find their daughter’s date or he would have to suffer her wrath.

So here the father is searching for a teenage boy to take to his daughter. I was confused at this point because the daughter seems to know her date, Josh, but it seems as if the dad is looking around for a random boy to take back.

Here, that’s exactly the case. Her father is looking for a random teenage boy to abduct! 

And call him Josh. Even though he’s not Josh.

The dad gets the boy in a parking lot, drugs him with a needle and takes him home, forces him to dress in a tuxedo before going into the house.

The scene switches back to home where the daughter is getting ready for her prom. They live on a secluded farm in the middle of nowhere and don’t know anyone.

The mom answers the phone and is 
relieved to hear that “Josh” just had “car trouble” and is on his way to pick up their little girl for the prom.

Here, the “daughter” is a mannequin! With a wig! Wtf?!  And the mom switches roles. First she’s the mom and the daughter is the mannequin. Then the mom takes on the role of the daughter and the mannequin becomes the mom!

The mom put on the wig and became the daughter and was conversing with the mannequin who is now the mom.

Then the dad came home with the abducted boy who they call Josh. The boy is utterly confused (as am I at this point..)as the dad tells him to wear the tux, answer to Josh, and do whatever his “daughter” (who is really his wife) says. The dad says he’s not explaining anything to just do as he says because he has a gun and will use it if the boy resists.

The “girl” walks down the stairs calling for Josh and she’s wearing a dirty pink dress that is too small. She’s clearly not a teenage girl but a middle aged woman. At first the boy thinks it’s a twisted joke and smiles then quickly realizes it’s a nightmare of reality.

The “prom” takes place in the basement of the house and there’s no other guests. Just the abducted boy and the husband and wife who is pretending to be the daughter. The husband and wife act as if there are other kids there though but they focus mostly only on “Josh.” They have punch and music and decorations and dancing. They pretend there’s a room full of kids and talk on a microphone to the audience.

The boy begins crying because he’s so scared but the woman/girl assumes/acts like he’s just so happy and moved over the whole prom thing.

The husband is relieved at this because if the boy doesn’t cooperate, the husband will suffer his wife’s abuse for him not doing a good job.

Then they go into a small room and the girl/woman shows her date a photo album and in all the photos is a mother and real daughter. The mother in the photos with the real daughter is clearly the woman now pretending to be a teenage girl. The photos are mostly of them at beauty contests.

The little girl who is the real daughter wins the beauty contests every year, she’s holding a trophy in every photo. But soon she comes to look very much like her mom (the lady now pretending to be the daughter) who is considered less than pretty and overweight.

So she starts getting second, third, last, then no winning place. The mom is obsessed with beauty and being/looking perfect. She tries to force this on her daughter. The woman pretending to be the teenager tells her “prom date” about how her mom was obsessed with physical beauty always trying to force her to live up to impossible standards, claiming that the judges of the contests were just jealous or something.

Then she puts the photo album away and forces the abducted boy to engage in sexual activity with her. He doesn’t want to but the dad has a gun and threatens him. 

So here’s a husband forcing a teenage boy to get it on with his wife! Who is pretending to be a teenage girl! Can you say, TWISTED?!

Something in the punch made it so the boy can be aroused enough to get it up even though he doesn’t want to.

Then they go outside and have some thing where they are elected prom queen and king.

Throughout the story the dad keeps reassuring the boy when he asks, that he will be let go and can go home at the end.

It’s a lie. They are planning on killing the boy.

It’s clear throughout the story that the husband is distressed over this whole situation and doesn’t want to participate but feels he has little say in it; his wife is emotionally abusive and forces him to do stuff.

It also becomes clear that this whole “prom” thing happens every year where the dad reluctantly goes and abducts a random boy, brings him home, he’s forced to engage in a “prom” and sexual things with the wife, then they kill him without anyone ever knowing.

Since they live in the middle of nowhere they’re less likely to get found out. No one ever thinks to look for the missing boys there.

I kind of guessed the end but got a couple things wrong. I thought it would turn out that years ago their real daughter was killed on prom night, I thought maybe a car crash going to the prom. And that the mom got so messed up over it she does this shit every year.

That’s kind of what happened but not quite.

At the end the boy wants an explanation since he’s going to be killed anyway.

So the husband tells him. 

Spoiler alert….
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.
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Five years ago on prom night his real teenage daughter was supposed to go to the prom with a popular boy named Josh. His daughter was unpopular and horribly bullied for her physical appearance and body weight. So when a popular boy asked her out it came as a shock but the girl was thrilled. She got all ready on prom night and Josh never showed up. So when she called him, he laughed at her and said all insults about her, said it was all a joke, that he would never go out with her, he was going with someone else.

She was devastated. Her mom showed no compassion and said it was all her daughter’s fault for not being good enough, for not being pretty, for being second to other girls.

So the girl ran outside and her dad went to run after her but his wife demanded him not to and said let their daughter think about what the mother said, that it will do her good or something. The dad reluctantly listened to his wife as he always does. Then later he found that his daughter hanged herself off the rafter things outside. He had to cut her lifeless body off the thing and watch her fall to the ground getting her pink dress all dirty. The pink dress the mom wears now for this freak show.

Then every year after that the mom set this up.

As the dad is telling the boy how his wife destroyed their daughter, he’s crying and says he misses his daughter terribly and how his wife couldn’t even show her some sympathy after her ordeal with the boy on the phone. He doesn’t even know why he goes along with this every year. He suspects it may have something to do with his own feelings of inadequacy that no one would ever want him, that he will always be alone. Years ago he always felt like that and was relieved that the girl who became his wife, wanted him forever. So he always did everything she told him to out of fear of losing her and being forever alone.

At the very end, the boy promises he won’t tell if the dad let’s him go, he says out of respect for his daughter he’ll keep it quiet. The dad is holding a gun to the boy.

Then the husband gets up, goes inside to the wife where she’s still pretending to be the daughter. And he tells her he misses their daughter so much. The wife looks confused since right now in her twisted head she is the daughter.

Then he points the gun at her and blows her away then does away with himself.

The end.

Bizarre ass shit, isn’t it?!

It’s sad and tragic and bizarre. 
The whole thing.

Not an uplifting read.

And some things you just can’t unread.

No matter how desperately you want to.

Lol

My heart breaks for that poor girl who died, feeling as if that was the only way out, like she was worthless and not good enough. My heart breaks for the dad who lost his little girl who he loved. He was wrong for killing the innocent boys he killed all those years and for killing his wife. But his anguish for his tragic loss is clear. It’s only fiction but it’s still sad. And unfortunately, stuff like this really happens(suicide, bullying, abuse…hopefully not the prom thing as well).
 
I believe the wife knew exactly what she was doing. That’s why she had to get a mannequin and keep making it a point to reverse roles, switching wigs and all. She knew to keep switching and to have to get a physical figure in place of a mother/daughter. She knew to relentlessly criticize her husband if he did not do exactly what she wanted. She knew to keep the thing a secret so she wouldn’t be in trouble.

While mental illness and feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, being verbally/emotionally abused are not the person’s fault and no one can just make them go away, when a person struggles with these things, that person has a choice. A choice to seek help, to overcome, get better, pro-act. The man couldn’t help it that his wife was abusive to him and that he had low self-esteem but that is no justification for abducting people, drugging them, and aiding in sexually assaulting them.

It’s not the wife’s fault that she had unhealthy views about body image but it’s no justification for forcing her own standards on her daughter, emotionally torturing her ’til she killed herself. The woman could have worked on herself to shift her views to more positive ones. She was projecting her own insecurity onto her innocent daughter. She could have chosen love over the abuse and bitterness. It’s not her fault she felt the need to have a fake prom every year, maybe she had some kind of mental illness(???) but she could have got professional help or worked on herself with self-help techniques to help this. So it wouldn’t have all ended in tragedy. There may be real people out there somewhere with something like this, people who dress up mannequins and pretend they are real for whatever reason. If that’s just a hobby for fun it’s ok even if people think it’s strange, but if it’s the result of serious emotional problems I think they deserve some compassionate motivation to seek help of some kind and deserve some sort of understanding. This is just a horror story but maybe there’s real people with these sorts of disorders or something. And if there are, it doesn’t mean they’re all dangerous like the people in the story.

And the poor daughter. She was emotionally abused her whole life by her peers and her mother. But suicide isn’t the answer. It’s a tragic, senseless choice. There’s always hope. 
Being bullied, humiliated, abused, depressed and suicidal is not a choice but acting on it by killing herself is. 
She could have worked on herself to realize her worth and know it’s never dependent upon her physical appearance, her body weight, or what her mom or anyone else says or thinks of her.
There’s always hope. Where there’s life, there’s hope. There’s always a way.

None of these people took responsibility for themselves. They let other people, unhealthy views, situations control them into doing tragic and twisted things. I think this is a great reminder to take responsibility. No situation or other person has the power if we don’t let them. We have the power over ourselves. 

I think this story isn’t meant to be thought provoking like this. It’s probably just supposed to be dark, twisted, insane, disturbing, thrilling. And that’s ok! Some people are into that kind of thing. I like some stuff like that too. But I still found some insights in the story that serve as great reminders. I’m happy I read it. Lol

We must know we have choices. Not realizing we have a choice can be almost as bad as really not having one but it’s not quite as bad as really not having a choice. We can learn we have a choice, be reminded, realize, see the light.

I think the only character in this story who really had no choice is the boy who was abducted. He had a gun held to him so basically he had no choice if he wanted to not be killed or threatened. 
But he has a choice how to handle the situation and his attitude, and reaction when it’s over.

People who have a choice but don’t yet realize it or are scared and act/think like victims deserve compassion but also deserve to be firmly reminded that it’s all up to them to change their lives and selves. Depressed people, homeless people, unhappy people, financially struggling people, suicidal people, addicted people, ones in abusive environments, ones letting a situation or other people dominate them, people working dead-end, life draining jobs…they all have choices. Positive, healthy choices. They don’t always know they have choices but they do, even if right now the only choice is something as simple as working on their attitude or taking small steps to get out of the situation. Small but significant steps.
Maybe they don’t always know what decision to make but they can seek guidance along the way.
Not everyone has a choice to change something significantly right this very minute. 
Not everyone is making conscious or intentional choices to get where they are.

But we can all make the decision to plan to change, our attitude or situation or both. Starting now. In small steps. Small steps are still significant.
And then we can work on that. For some it will definitely be more difficult than others.
Some people have more obstacles and disadvantages than others.
But we all have this life and twenty-four hours each day to do something. Something. Anything.
No matter how hard it is, people can change for the better. Even if it takes longer than desired. Even if it takes a lot of work. Even if it’s painful and seemingly impossible. 

We can’t help how we grew up, the people we have been surrounded with, the things they do or say, disabilities or illnesses, job losses or rejections….but we can always make the choice to do something to better ourselves and our situations.
Even if that choice for now is just meditating upon or planning to live up to a positive philosophy of life, quote or affirmation.

Even if that decision is planning in our heads to develop certain positive qualities we don’t yet have or strengthen ones we do have.
Even if that decision is to make a phone call, send an e-mail, walking into a building to ask for help.
 Many people feel that it’s cold and callous to say that certain struggling people have choices, that it’s not true, that it’s not being compassionate but none of this is true. It is being compassionate to help empower people to know they can get better, can take action, responsibility for their own lives.
To help people know that we are all dependent in some ways and can be independent in some ways if we really work for it.
There’s a healthy balance of gentle compassion and firm reminders of taking responsibility.
 
Some people really are cold and not understanding and and do criticize people in a toxic way when they have a choice but act like they don’t. But that’s not what I’m promoting.
We can be firm in reminders but still compassionate and loving and express deep empathy. 
The choice to do nothing is still a choice.
Sometimes we can find ourselves in places we are unsure how we got there.  It’s like we just ended up there with no say of our own.
But often it’s because of choices we have been making all along. Not always but often. Choices to do nothing, to settle, to take no action, to give in, to succumb to limiting beliefs. Choices to let other people and situations drag us down.
I have found myself in situations I was so sure I had no say in, no control over, I was a “victim” of sorts. But I later realized the roles I had in situations and what I can do now to begin getting out of it. If we realize we made choices that contributed to unpleasant situations then we can be empowered knowing that means we have the ability to make new choices that contribute to more positive situations.
If you make choices that contribute to unpleasant things then you can make choices that lead to positive things. 
 And it’s true we don’t always have choices for everything.
But whether or not we had control all along, right now the choice is ours.

Xoxo Kim

3:00AM

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“Let’s cherish every moment we have been giving; the time is passing by…” ~ Kool & the Gang

Hello,  My name is Henry Bins and I have Henry Bins. Lol jk That’s an inside joke to myself. ;-D

I read a fiction book called “3:00AM” about a man named Henry Bins and he has a very rare sleep disorder which was named after him because he is one of three people in the world to have it and he was the first to be diagnosed.

He says “My name is Henry Bins and I have Henry Bins!” lol

It’s like a mixture of comedy, suspense, thriller, adventure, drama, love, mystery…I guess you can say. I love it!

The disorder causes him to sleep 23 out of 24 hours a day. It’s beyond his control. He wakes up every morning at 3:00am then just drops wherever he is at 4:00am and goes to sleep.

He had this disorder his whole life. It’s no walk in the park for him but he learned to live with it. He learned to adjust and cherish every moment he has awake.

His mom left him and his dad when he was a child and his dad brought him up and loves him unconditionally. He always wanted Henry to be as normal as possible and he made sure he was educated and well socialized. He would teach him reading and writing and he would bring children to their house at 3:00 am to play with Henry. Henry is about 36 years old in the novel, I think, and he’s as “normal” as can be.

He uses the Internet and goes out running and listens to music. But every single minute, literally, has to be planned out so he can get the most out of his life and be home safely in bed before he drops.

It’s also a murder mystery, this book. One morning just before 4:00 he was in his bedroom and he heard a woman scream like she was being murdered. Because she was being murdered. 

They live near Washington D.C.

He looked out his window at her house across the street and saw Connor Sullivan,  44th president of the United States, walking out and the president looked up and saw Henry! Then Henry dropped to the floor asleep. And woke up all stiff and injured. He doesn’t drift off to sleep around 4:00am, he will literally drop and sleep with absolutely no control. He already ended up in an emergency room occasionally because of dropping to sleep and being injured when he was out places too late.

He learned to make sure he’s in bed right before 4:00am.

There’s no known cure for this (fictional) disorder.

Because of knowing his time is limited, he carefully plans to make the most of literally every single minute he’s awake. He is mindful of all the ways he can have fun, of all the beauty around him. He cherishes each and every moment he’s awake. He knows at 4:00am he will be asleep until the next day. He had a few girlfriends at different points but it never worked out because they couldn’t handle his disorder. He says the only thing worse than being or having Henry Bins is being in love with Henry Bins. 

He plays video games, listens to music, runs for fun, reads books, checks out online dating websites, plays cards with his dad, has a stock business, a cat, and is generally happy. He pretty much has a full life. He sometimes wonders what it would be like if he did not have this disorder. He wonders if he would be married with kids but he knows he can’t be wasting minutes sulking or wondering “what if…???”

Henry says:

“I force myself to stay in the moment. I don’t have time for the past or the future. My life is the present. For many years I played the what if game. What if I had a normal life? Where would I be? Would I be married? Would I have kids? But then twenty or thirty minutes would be gone. Wasted. Thinking about things that I can’t change. That are unchangeable.”

See how this can apply to most of us to some extent? Who doesn’t at least once think “What if….?” We may think what if we were different or our lives were somehow different…what if we made a different choice, weren’t struggling with things beyond our control, looked different, were married or married to someone else, chose to go to school instead of certain jobs, did not have to put up with certain people, had more money…..

But all we have is now and what we currently are. It’s good to work to better ourselves but not fret or obsess over what we can’t change, what could have or should have been, or negatively compare our lives to others. 

He doesn’t have much but what he does have is enough. He has one hour each day and he knows how to make the most of it.

Henry wakes up and he says, about the green numbers on his electronic clock,

“The glowing green embers also tell me it’s 3:01am. 
One minute gone.” 

Three minutes later after going online and checking his accounts, he says:

“3:04. 
Four minutes gone.”

There is a profound revelation here.

“One minute gone.”

“Two minutes gone.”

“Three minutes gone…”

(he doesn’t count down like this throughout the entire book – that may be kind of annoying lol)

Henry, because of his disorder, only has a limited amount of time so he knows not to waste any of it at all. 

Every single moment is important and worthy of being embraced. 

For every minute he must decide what he wants to do that minute, what is worth it. Does he want to read, listen to a song, play a video game, masturbate(lol he decides that at this moment it isn’t worth it)…? Each minute he does something he doesn’t really care to do is a minute wasted, a minute he can never have back. 

But guess what?! It’s not because of his sleep disorder that he only has a limited amount of time! This is true for all of us! His case is just more dramatic than most of ours but none of us has an unlimited supply of minutes awake!

One day, just like Henry Bins, we will drop except we won’t get back up again.

Henry was forced to realize this because of his condition. We are not usually forced by life circumstances to realize this to the depth that Henry is. Some people diagnosed with terminal illnesses or ones who have a near death experience see this much more deeply than probably the average person.

In some ways, his disorder allows him to even live more fully than a person without a disorder like this. What we may see as life hindering actually sets him free. To live more deeply, more completely, more sweetly than the rest.

He says

“…I spend a perfect minute watching a trawler sucked downstream by the sweeping black current. I used to wonder what it would look like during the light of day, how the water would look under a burning sun and puffy white clouds, but day didn’t exist in my world. Only night. Only darkness.”

I love this statement for a couple of reasons. It shows how much many people take for granted. The simple beauty we too often overlook.  The beauty of day and night. It shows us how we have access to mundane things we overlook everyday that some people long to have and never do. Like daylight. Some people are always in the dark. 
The next morning you wake up to the light of day, look around you and pretend you are Henry Bins finally seeing the light of day. Look with new eyes like you have never seen beauty in the sun. Isn’t it lovely?
 This statement also shows acceptance. He can’t have day where he lives in his position and he just cherishes what he does have.

He knows it’s not wise to spend his moments being concerned over stuff he can’t do much about currently. 

“The corpse of the woman continuously creeps into my thoughts as I run, but each time I am able to ward it off with a tight squeeze of my eyes and a gaze up at the starry sky. This is my time. Not hers.”

Sometimes we have to practice self-care and not put too much time and energy into other people’s problems and stuff we can’t change. This is especially poignant when we realize our time is limited. I think we all, or most of us,  grow up with the knowledge we won’t be around forever. But knowing and realizing/feeling it are two different concepts. Once we feel it to a certain depth, we may be more motivated to change our ways to live in the present moment mindfully, with gratitude.

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Since Henry’s time is especially limited, he checks his cell phone a lot for the minute. He has to so he can get back home safely and plan out how much of each thing he would like to engage in.

Since he lives near a murder scene, he is questioned by detectives. 

The one detective wonders why he almost  constantly checks his phone. She says,

“What’s one minute to the next at three in the morning?”

Henry is infuriated.

This detective does not know of Henry’s condition and he doesn’t care to explain it to her. 

Also, he made a big mistake and he does have something to hide.

He says to the reader,

“Those minutes are my life, I nearly scream. Those minutes that you take so much for granted because you get a thousand of them each day are priceless to me. Your life is measured by title, wealth, and status. My life is measured in grains of sand, trickling from one teardrop to the other.
My nostrils flare when I’m angry and I wonder if Ray feels a small gust of wind. Taking a calm breath, I ponder telling her that I’m Henry Bins and I have Henry Bins. I don’t.” 

(Ingrid Ray is the homicide detective – it’s cute because Henry and her have a little crush on each other! Lol)

At one point Henry says,

“It’s like Christmas, each minute a beautifully wrapped gift just waiting to be opened. Should I allow myself an extra minute in the shower? Could I read three more pages of my book? Run another quarter mile? Watch a YouTube video? Watch the swimming pool scene from Wild Things, twice?”

Isn’t this beautiful? Each minute of his life is a beautiful gift. Each minute itself. Every minute to him is full of wonder and possibility. If only we would all think this way quite often! 

After reading this novel I noticed a change in me even without trying. I came to have an even deeper appreciation for my minutes and became even more mindful after just reading this book once. Then I began to apply the concept consciously and intentionally even more than I used to, the concept that each minute is a gift. A perfect gift. A minute is brief, fleeting. But it’s something. And every minute matters. 

Have you ever wasted minutes? I sure have. Have you ever waited for a bus or train and just keep anxiously looking up the street as if it will make it appear or keep looking at your watch? Or keep thinking where in the hell is this bus or train? Or have you ever waited somewhere for someone to pick you up to go somewhere and when it’s nearing the hour the person should be coming for you, you don’t just sit and be peaceful, instead you feel like just getting it over with and like there’s no point in starting anything like reading or watching a movie or anything because you will be leaving soon, in just a matter of minutes?

But even five minutes is enough to be some kind of productive. One minute is.  You can read a few pages of a book, meditate, write in a journal, a draft for a blog post… If you’re waiting for a bus I don’t think I would recommend deep meditation or maybe not reading and definitely not listening to music with earphones. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings for safety purposes. I do read and listen to music while out and about, occasionally, but I don’t recommend it to others. But you can take in the scene around you or think more productive thoughts than “when is this bus coming?!” or “let’s get this over with!!!”

Those few minutes are minutes that will be lost forever. Let us cherish them completely.

I try not to waste any minute now. The thing that really got this concept to sink in is in the beginning with the “one minute gone…two minutes gone…” That’s so true. For all of us.

I’m not Henry Bins and I don’t have Henry Bins. Lol 
But just like Henry Bins, I do not have a limitless supply of minutes. I can fall asleep at 4:00am and never wake up.

It’s not likely but not impossible. I’m sure I will live to be old, old, old and hopefully indefinite life extension will be a reality and we will all live much longer. But we all have something in common with Henry Bins. 
Each minute is a gift.

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I was careful not to give away any big spoilers. This is a murder mystery but with a deeper message. I strongly recommend it. 
I made it seem really cheesy and sappy here(I’m really into cheese and sap…) but it’s really not. The sappiness is all mine. Lol It’s a fascinating work of fiction both about a murder mystery and a very rare (fictional) disorder and how the man copes and lives with it. But it also has this deeper message. 

This reminds of of a teacher I had in high school, Dr. Zhender. He always told us in every class that no amount of time is too short. 
We can learn something of value in just a few short minutes. At the end of class instead of letting us talk or stand by the door, he would make us sit and watch part of a movie for the last five or ten minutes insisting that we never waste a minute.

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And it reminds me of a professor I had in college for Sociology. Professor Grasmuck. She did the same exact thing. In college when we have an exam we can leave whenever we turn our paper in and when class ends early we often are allowed to leave. If it only takes us ten minutes to complete an exam, we can leave or if a lecture ends early, but never in her class. She made us sit there and told us to read or something or listen to her music. At the end of every class she made us listen to music saying it would do us good. If a student tried to walk out, she would yell “sit back down now!” as if we were children! Lol But I liked it; to me it seemed like an act of caring and I missed high school when we were under the authority of the teachers. In college that’s not how it is. Professor Grasmuck was always very sweet and friendly, very caring and passionate. I have always loved that about her, how moved she would be over the stuff she was teaching us, she really feels it. She was always deeply touched over injustices and the misfortunes of others and how they would help each other.  She just did not want any time wasted in her class. She wanted us to learn and take in all the music and information we could in her class. Every minute counted. Every minute counts. 

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Dr. Z, Henry Bins, & Professor Grasmuck know that every minute is a gift and a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow and cherish.

This is a great lesson to us all!

😀

Xoxo Kim

Anybody can beat anybody on any given day

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I recently read a novel by Morton Reed called, “Proof of Innocence,” which is a legal suspense thriller. It takes place in California, U.S.A. In the early 90’s and is about a young boy who is accused of attempting to kill his severely abusive father while his father was in bed sleeping.

While I found this book to be very enjoyable in various ways, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone as it depicts horrific violence in graphic detail.

Serious domestic violence /abuse, extreme child & spousal abuse, horrific sexual violence.

At some points I wanted to put the book down and quit reading .

Some parts are deeply disturbing.

I have experienced domestic abuse and while it’s not nearly as bad as the abuse carried out by the character in the book, I can still relate in so many ways, especially to the emotional abuse, extreme anger outbursts, horrific threats…

It’s terrifying. And painful.

But there are many insights and valuable lessons conveyed in this book.

Some themes are:

❤ Risking it all for love (platonic & romantic)
❤ Hopelessness & restored hope
❤ Deep friendship
❤ How one life can impact another and how one person can suddenly, unexpectedly walk into another person's life and change it for the better.
❤ Redemption
❤ Justice and what it is to be just
❤ Self exploration
❤ Trusting others
❤ Never giving up on people even when they are difficult
❤ Emotional scars and learning to live happily with them
❤ Insecurity & confidence
❤ Seeing humanity & potential even in very troubled people/criminals
❤ The benefits of psychotherapy
❤ Morality

&

Some lessons I find to be valuable which are conveyed throughout the book are:

❤ We should learn to trust ourselves and when we learn that, it won't matter so much what others do, say, or think about us. If people fail us, deceive us, or try to rip us off, we will have ourselves to fall back on and survive no matter what. We can learn to be strong, capable, and competent.
❤ Mistakes often say nothing about who the person is. Even great people make mistakes.
❤ Not all people who are considered by society to be lost causes, losers, or failures, are bad people.
❤ The past doesn't have to imprison us.
❤ Sharing our stories of pain can truly help us

My favorite character in the book is a confident defense attorney who tries to get the boy accused of attempted murder, to be found not guilty.

In the book, there is a flash back to the day this lawyer cross examined a police officer/detective in a courtroom.

Most of the details are not relevant to my post so I will not go into them too much but will provide a brief description.

This defense attorney, a strong, confident woman is cross examining a police officer and asking him questions regarding a confession.

This officer is being questioned as to whether a confession provided by an arrested person was really completely voluntary or coerced by police.

He assures the lawyer that the police did no such coercion and that the arrested person did in fact confess voluntarily.

But the officer is frustrated, forgetful, contradicts himself, and is awkward in this moment, among other things.

He is uncomfortable with her questioning and it really shows. As soon as she dismisses him, he runs out of the courtroom, quickly.

She later contacts him and has this to say:

“I wanted to let you know that, like you, I was just doing my job. Also, like you, I’m very good at it. On that day you weren’t so hot. Someday I won’t be so hot, either. It’s like the tennis pros say: ‘ anybody can beat anybody on any given day.'”

I love this and it’s so true. Each one of us will have occasions of winning, being our best, coming out on top, and owning it but then we’ll also have those occasions of falling, losing, seemingly failing, not being our best. It’s great to show compassion, forgiveness, understanding, love, and gentleness to ourselves and each other.

This lawyer is kind enough to reach out and empower the humiliated man and offer him friendship as opposed to smugly rubbing it in his face like she could have, like often does happen in cases where one person gets his/her ass handed to her/him by another.

Sooner or later, you ‘ll get your second wind.

I think we can all benefit by being like this brilliant and loving character.

She is a retired criminal defense attorney who mostly worked for more of a hobby than a career. She never cared for money and was very selective of the cases she took on, only taking on ones she truly felt compelled to work at.

Unlike many of the other defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and other law people, she truly cares for her clients and people in general. She warmly embraces those that the rest of society brands as “losers” & “lost causes.” She sees potential and humanity in seriously troubled people.

She retired because of burnout. She got too involved in her cases & the people.

In the book she is described as a beauty. A tall, slender, African American woman with long, lovely legs. Her reputation is that she is not one to be messed with, she’s confident, strong, knows her stuff.

She’s a tough broad but with a soft heart. Truly compassionate and caring about people in general. She’s financially well off, dresses expensively, has a large expensive house decorated impressively, drives an expensive car but she’s not arrogant. She has a bit of an alcoholic drinking problem that she’s not ready to abandon.

I am so inspired by so many parts of this book even though I’m so put off by other parts.

The author is not condoning the horrors in his book,, in fact he conveys the wrongness of it.

If you like legal thrillers/suspense/mysteries and don’t mind gore & graphic details of horrible violence then this may be for you.

If not, I wouldn’t read it.

I love novels about perseverance, happiness, Redemption, heartache, hope, and healing, learning to live again, love & life…and this book does display this.

I love the insights & the lessons throughout it.

But the violence & horror isn’t my cup of tea.

Xoxo Kim ❤
k