Chutes and Ladders and Tetris and Aggravation

An average work day is like playing Chutes and Ladders or Tetris or Aggravation. That’s how I explain adulthood to my kids.

In Chutes and Ladders, you start out at the bottom of the board and roll the dice. Some spots have ladders that shoot you up higher on the board. Others have slides that shoot you back down the board. There is one very disheartening long slide near the end that makes every player groan when they land on it. The whole point of the game is to get to the end or top of the board.

In Tetris, you work with shapes arranging and organizing them to clear the screen. You must prepare for what comes next and you must never let yourself get backed up cause things just pile up and bury you and you lose.

The one game I find most like adult life in work mode is Aggravation and the title says it all. Basically, the rules are you leave home and you gotta make it around the board to return to safety at home. You can get messed with by other players and some spots can move you faster to home.

Ok, so Chutes and Ladders in adult work life…imagine you got a project that requires input or teamwork from multiple departments. You go to Department A to discuss a form that needs to be filled out. You go back to your desk to fill out the form. Now, you go to points B,C, and D to get supervisor signatures for the form. Some coworkers will move you up their ladder, others may make you wait or disapprove so you gotta go down a “slide” to redo the form. So, you get the form filled out and approved but then it’s gotta go to E,F,G,and H to get paid and G is the long slide that perhaps loses the paperwork and sends you back sliding all the way down to step A. But fortunately, you scanned a copy to yourself of the fully signed and approved form so you shoot back up a big ladder again to Department G to present a paper copy of the scan. How to manuever work processes…that is the lesson Chutes and Ladders teaches you. Always back up your work.

Tetris is like that TV episode of I Love Lucy in the chocolate factory working the line. You gotta pace yourself right at work. Steadily push projects and goals along and make to do lists to remind yourself as you juggle multiple tasks. Like Tetris, everything has to be done in order and pre-planned and executed well or you could get jammed up and then be putting in the overtime pedaling like hell to fix the logjam or Tetris jam. Also, remember that the reward for good work is more work. That’s how you can also get in trouble when a supervisor speeds up delivery time expectations or amount of product to complete based on observation of your work achievement. Work smarter, not harder. Don’t give too much and don’t give too little. You gotta keep some fuel in reserves. Old Chinese proverb is you want something done, you give it to a busy man. Less inertia according to physics laws of motion. However, too much motion can cause lack of control so the busy man rolls too fast and goes over the cliff so to speak. Not too much, not too little….temperance especially in work.

Aggravation is a very aggravating game. You leave home to go to work and you put in your shift hours so you can return safely to your home place. But on your commute, your car breaks down. You get it up and running but you’re late to work and you get noticed. So you work quietly and hard but then an email notifies you a project is changed or a coworker needs assistance on something or a family member texts they need you to help them go to their doc appointment. You move forward on several meetings but you forgot to do this or that and now you got it on your action agenda. Etc. Etc. You get the gist of it….a lot of effort and energy expended for one day’s sunrise and sunset to make it home finally for dinner and TV.

It’s like a horse race where you gotta get going right outta the gate, make one hard and heavy lap around, try not to stumble, and then when it’s over, you can rest. Or a car race….and watch out for that slipstream guy.

In the series, Squidgame…the games are based on childhood activities. From Monopoly to Clue to Sorry to Mastermind…there’s a lot to be learned about adult business life from old games. It could make an interesting semester business course for college students….how to apply the things we learn from childhood games to adult life.


Have you ever watched a documentary on lions in the wild? How does this relate to human life?

Watch the role of the lioness.

Female lions in a pride have a certain social order that follows three basic rules. The lioness that is the lion’s favorite generally exhibits superiority in 3 traits:

1. She hunts and secures the best food.

2. She grooms herself well.

3. She is visually appealing.

I would argue after 44 years of life on this planet that these 3 rules in that specific order apply to female humans as well. We think we are evolved beyond the behaviors of beast but simplify everything and we are the same.

Prove me wrong.

A woman is generally valued in society by her ability to hunt and gather resources in the form of making money, gathering groceries, and providing for a home. Now many women possess a remarkable ability to bring in resources such as money or to nicely take care of and maintain a home but women are still weighed and valued on the traditional aspect of providing a fine dining experience through tasty food. Simply put, cooking skills are top.

If you don’t believe me, consider the way your aunt who made a fantastic homemade meringue and chocolate pie for the family reunion will look down her nose at your contribution to the family potluck of wheat thins and a plate of sliced cheese. Women in family reunions who bring the best dishes are always held in high regard. Consider a movie like Bad Moms where a woman of substantial good qualities like beautiful physical appearance and career is put in her place and snubbed for bringing a package of store bought cookies to the bake sale. Or consider the moment in Mr. and Mrs. Smith when the gorgeous deadly female hunter who checks the boxes in all categories like appearance, career, and impeccable home care and decoration is still frowned upon for her inability to cook peas.

In the 50s, they said the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. That still applies today. I cannot tell you over the years how many career women I have witnessed over the years chastised for a cooking or baking flaw.

Why do I write this? I noticed a reddit forum recently where a young woman asked older women for one piece of advice. I read through the comments and realized that some of the comments although perhaps well intentioned were faulty and counterproductive to the future success of these young women. And I hate to admit it, but some of these comments are even intentionally misleading for leading a young woman down the wrong path is a surefire way to remove her competition. Yes, I said what I said and I meant it. Some older women use a sweet facade and genteel manner to give bad advice on purpose. Consider the story of Snow White and the Queen, our very first Disney movie and a story told and retold in countless versions. The Queen wanted to stay on top. Her beauty was fading and so she used cunning to mislead Snow White.

Consider some of these comments paraphrased that I read in the comments section and how they stand against the 3 basic principles for female superiority in the animal kingdom:

1. It is not necessary for you to shave for a man. (Disagrees with Rule 2 about grooming behavior.) How many women you know that don’t shave areas of their body that don’t at least get kidded, teased, mocked, or made fun of?

2. You do not owe any man your beauty. (Disagrees with Rule 3) Although I wish this wasn’t true, consider the popularity of gossip magazines that poke fun at celebrity women for their looks or the multi-billion dollar beauty and fashion industries. How many of these women telling younger women this are out there shopping for age defying toiletries or going under the knife?

3. Focus on your career and not on these soft feminine qualities. I’ve been working for 27 years and what I can tell you is that hunting for money to bring home to your family is not enough. The women who excel are a combination of tough in their careers but also soft at home. Some women don’t know how to shut off the valve on the manager work related behavior at home and I see alot of unhappy later in life career women that have a series of unfortunate relationships behind them. And I hate to say it but this fact applies….while the cat’s away the mouse will play. When you are a career woman, you have little time and lotsa money. When you are a stay at home woman, you have lotsa time but little money. How do other women therefore, find this money? Remember you are building up your empire of gold with your man on top but you have little time to guard the gold or watch your man and he becomes a prime target for gold diggers who have nothing but time. And he’ll say something like you are not providing the attention he needs. And that is how alot of career women like the woman in Diary of a Mad Black Woman end up quite unhappy.

Gold is an interesting thing. You acquire it and work hard for it and endure great ordeals for it and stack it up and you think it will be a means to an end. For most of us, that end is love and affection. So you distribute it around to those you love and in so doing attract the envy of others. Some of these others will even result to sabotage. If you don’t believe me, study the history of Mansa Musa….the richest man to ever walk the earth. He was the ruler of the Malian Empire in West Africa. He had a huge abundance of resources including gold and silver mines. During the Middle Ages he traveled to Mecca and distributed gold and silver all along the route perhaps out of piety or wanting the love and affection of those he met on his journey. Stories of his vast empire and resources and spectacular distribution of wealth traveled from the Middle East far and wide into Eastern and Western Europe. It wasn’t long before adventurers and explorers were coming to this Malian Empire to see the resources and not long after that…..well….the slave trade began and exploitation/colonization of Western Africa.


Greed and envy will lead humans to do awful things to each other.

Only the good die young. I don’t listen to the advice often of older women. I did in my youth and was sorely played. I had to unlearn some things. Remember, if someone has made it to survival within the pack or pride into their older years, it has not been without some bending the rules or maybe even cunning, manipulation, and deception along the way. You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain.

Now you may as a younger woman, say perhaps I as an older woman cannot be trusted either and to some degree you are right for no one does anything without some self-interest. And what do I want? What is my selfish motivation? Well, one is I want you to follow my blog or like my article…that is the obvious reason.

The other is simply good old-fashioned revenge. For what better way to out a villain that did you wrong in your youth by giving your testimony of truth?

And perhaps, if I can prevent one woman from the follies of my own naive and innocent past ruined….it will make me feel better about myself. But no good deed goes unpunished and I am certain that this inflammatory article will be diminished and denigrated. But that is often what villains will do about spoken truth. They diminish and belittle the social value of the truth teller. When a person enters the CIA, they learn white is black and black is white. This world is topsy turvy. What is viewed as good is often times bad and what is viewed as bad is often times good. Things are not as they appear. You will find that out too later…if you live long enough. But by then you will be old and the younger folks won’t listen much to your advice…and that I suppose is as it should be.

Be a Wingman – Napalm in the Morning

“You never know what battles people are facing. Be kind.” – anonymous

You ever watch the movie, Apocalypse Now? There’s a scene in the movie where the soldiers on the ground are taking heavy fire down by the river. It’s chaos. There’s yelling and gunshots everywhere and the commander gets on the coms and radios back to someone and pretty soon the scene shifts to some bomber planes off in the distance just moving in on the scene and they light up the enemy’s encampment with a huge wall of fire. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

In life, we have a pivotal moment.

We can see a friend in need taking a beating from life and we can choose to do one of 2 things: we can come in hot and heavy for them and bring the heat or we can choose to be silent.

“Evil thrives when good men do nothing.”

You never know what battles a person may be facing in their life. In the TV show, Unbelievable, we see someone named Marie who was assaulted and chooses to tell the truth of what happened to her. She is then hit by doubt from police officers, doubt and mistrust from those closest to her, and begins to falter in life through failed jobs and failed opportunities and through internal sadness and depression.

You see, there are 2 parts to trauma.

First there is the initial battle we face in life. There is the first shock to our senses and our system. But the second shock and a shock I would argue is actually worse than death, is betrayal.

What is betrayal?

Betrayal is when we are taking heavy fire and we radio back on the coms for help and no one comes to our aid. We are not believed. We are ignored. We are told to be silent. We cannot speak our truth. We are isolated. We are mistreated. We are told to just keep going as if the betrayal wasn’t a giant knife wound straight to our heart making us question everything about our existence and our value to others and our trust.

The second level of trauma is a fate far worse than death because nothing breaks like a heart. It will take years upon years to heal this second part for the individual.

Go watch The Passion of Christ. Watch the moment, the worst moment in the movie.

It is the most sorrowful one.

It is not the actual death on the cross. It is not the scourging at the pillar. It is not the walk towards the end.

It is when Peter denies Jesus three times.

Jesus is standing before the tribunal. He finally speaks his truth knowing full well it will lead to a very painful death. Immediately, the crowd bears down on him, yelling and slandering and smacking him around till he falls to the ground. But it is not the crowd that has Jesus’ attention in that moment.

It is Peter.

Jesus takes the hits and the hits keep coming. He is bloodied and bruised and on his knees when Peter, remaining silent, hides a bit in the corner and people approach Peter not once but 3 times and say, “Aren’t you his closest friend?”

Peter gets scared. He doesn’t want the crowd to turn on him.

He says no. He is fearful.

On the third no, that is the sorrowful moment. Jesus is knocked to his knees, we think by the pummels of the crowd, but no, by the betrayal of a person he loved. He turns so slightly and looks Peter right in the eye, even as he continues to take the hits and that is the saddest part in the whole movie.

JF Kennedy’s wife was interviewed once. They asked her, “What is the best trait a woman can have as a wife?” The First Lady’s answer was loyalty. Now, think about that for a moment. Think about all the stories about JFK and Marilyn Monroe and all that and yet that still was the answer…..loyalty.

If that wasn’t the definition of a wingman, I don’t know what else is.

Sometimes we can get hurt, really hurt, by our friends and family. They can do god awful things to us. But, to come in hot, to bring the heat, to lay down a row of napalm on their life’s enemies whether physical or mental, there is no nobler thing for a soul to do on this planet.

Be a coward. Be silent. Be in the corner.

Or bring the heat.

It’s your choice really.

Me, I’d prefer to try to be a wingman. When I go to my maker and I’m asked what did I do, I can reply with all honesty, I did my best when the moment came. I went to bat for my friend, despite our differences, despite our internal arguments, etc. When the moment came, I did not shirk my responsibility to them.

We all make mistakes. We all have times in our life when we could have been better to others. But to have awareness and to not lend aid, that is a nearly unforgivable offense to another’s soul. You may not be able to do much. But if you can do even a little, it is far better than doing nothing at all.

For remember, your friend is not watching the crowd, they are watching you. When we go out on a limb, when we speak our truth out loud, we are more vulnerable in that moment than any other time. And to betray someone in their darkest hour is a far worse act than the brutality of enemies and villains.

What do we love about the story of the Red Baron? He was a dogfighter. Think of a dog. What is the best trait of a dog. Loyalty. Devotion. He’d drop outta the sky, outta the clouds, and start gunning the tail end of some bad guy blazing up and trailing his friends in the sky….one of the best wingmen that ever lived. To be a wingman is to have honor.

My grandfather died an honorable death. He was surrounded by friends and family and the military came to pay him tribute at the funeral. You see, my grandfather was the very definition of a wingman himself. At Wendling Air Station during WWII, his job was a mechanic chief to bomber planes. They’d fly out during the day on their bombing raids over Europe and at night, he and his crew would repair their planes all night long, refueling, and fixing bullet holes in the sides of the plane.

That’s what a friend does. It may not be the best job. It’s more like being Samwise than Frodo. But without Samwise, where would Frodo be?

I started donating monthly to St. Jude’s. Its a place where kids battle cancer. They sent me a letter and asked me to send 1 kid a holiday card. This Saturday, my husband and I were working up Christmas gift list and budgets. I asked him for 50 bucks to send some more cards to St. Jude’s.

You see, years ago…I was really sick and in a hospital. A friend sent me a card. In the card were just a few messages of hope and some biblical quotes. To this day…I remember, “We can do all things through our creator who strengthens us.” And I remember “For I know the plans for you…to give you a future and a hope.”

Sometimes being a friend is not really the napalm. It’s the little things that keep us going in life’s battles. Being someone’s wingman in a clutch moment…it’s a very good thing to be.

Canadian Geese

I live near the Canada border.  The other day, a family of Canadian geese were in my yard.

Baby geese chasing Momma.

I have the good fortune of having a Momma bear and her cubs as my neighbors.

I call her Dolly.

Today, I saw a post trending on Facebook about Margaret Mead and the first sign of civilized humanity.  It was good:

“Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.
But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.”

We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.”

Alot of animals do this too.  I’ve been sick with Covid and my 2 dogs refuse to leave my side. 

They slept by me all day. 

But geese, now Canadian geese, are special too. 

The V formation

Canadian geese fly south for the winter. It’s a long haul in a v formation in the sky.

1. They stick together.

2. The strongest takes the lead at first.

3. When the strongest gets tired, it falls back to the back of the group to regain strength protected from the winds by the others.

4. They rotate the front leaders and take turns with the youngest and weakest protected at the back.

5. If a goose gets hurt, shot, or falls out…2 geese volunteer to leave the group too to follow the goose down and stay with the goose until it gains strength again or passes on.

6. The geese honk alot to each other in v formation either for communication, comraderie, or encouragement.

Animals are more like humans than it seems sometimes.

Yesterday, I learned Rudyard Kipling wrote the Jungle Book while living in Vermont. Remember Mowgli? Maybe his book about the connection between man and nature had a lot to do with living here among these animals…the black bears and geese and deer here.

Anyway, I haven’t seen Dolly the bear and her baby cubs in a while. She showed up the day my son returned home from Guam. Coincidence? Maybe.

She does kinda remind me of Baloo living the bear necessities out here in Vermont. In the Jungle Book, the animals take Mowgli in and teach him how to survive and protect him. They remind me of Dolly, my Canadian geese family, and my own little “wolf pack,” my pups. We humans have a lot to learn from animals and nature too. This whole time living at this mountain cabin for a year, I thought I was letting the animals enter our domain, the fields and forests nearby, but no, it’s the other way around here. They have allowed me to be here and are beginning to trust me more. Just this morning, I saw 2 deer by my bird feeders so close to the house. I even set out a bowl of peanuts in shells for the ravens.

Something about living here in Vermont is changing me. I am becoming gentler, calmer, and healing.

And it has everything to do with the animals.

Salmon Run

He was a preacher.
They’d checked him into the nursing home.
He was wheelchair-bound.
He had dementia and required a lot of medical attention.
So his wife checked him into the home.
She came to visit him every day
but noticed his smile and his light was fading.
One day, he said he wished he could go home.
So, it was decided. They planned together to make the trip.
One last trip together
to the place he was born.
He wanted to see the ocean tide.
to hold her hand and sit on the sand.
One last time.
She sold the house, sold all the possessions.
She bought an old van.
She took out the couches and made him a bed.
She made it wheelchair accessible.
She stocked up the van with everything they would need.
Her eye sight was bad.
Her hearing even worse.
She worried they wouldn’t make it.
There would be dangers up and down the road.
They had to cross 10 states to get there.
Plus his health was failing fast.
Nevertheless, they sat together and mapped out the route carefully.
He waited for the day.
On the day he left, I saw him sitting outside in the wheelchair.
He had got up early and waited two hours in advance to be picked up. He was smiling.
It was their final salmon run upstream – against the current, against the odds,
and they were doing it together.
No matter what.

Protected by a Gang Leader

I rented Candyman. The 2021 movie tells the urban legend of a Southside region of Chicago that had project buildings built in the 1940s that by the 1980s and 1990s had become notoriously dangerous as gang and drug trade territory. Cabrini Green has an amazing history related to Irish and Italian gangs and then African American and Latino gangs later. It was originally referred to as Little Hell.

I was visiting my older sister who lived near the Lake just east of Cabrini Green and near the University of Chicago I think. She lived in a posh high-rise overlooking the waterfront. I brought my roommate Amy with me. We must have been about 19 or 20 and it must have been around the summer of 1998.

On our trip, Amy and I got all dressed up fancy to go shopping downtown and at the Navy Pier. We were Midwest girls from Kansas and we wanted to shop at all the expensive shops we didn’t have back home. We dressed up fashionably with heels and brand-name purses and our nicest clothes and by afternoon that day, we were loaded up with shopping bags. We caught a bus headed to my sister’s street on the Southside. We were tourists and so we stopped and checked with the bus driver to make sure we were on the right bus. She just looked at us and nodded but looked a little surprised.

The bus headed first west quite a ways and we got worried we were on the wrong bus. Then it turned south and we breathed a sigh of relief. But as we stayed on the bus together with all our stuff, we headed into worse and worse looking neighborhoods. We kinda got quiet and looked out the windows.

There were metals bars on the few shops in the neighborhood we were approaching. There were only a few people out in the streets and few cars and no taxis. A lot of the people we saw were wearing puffed up jackets even though it was warm that day. The churches were gated with high fences and the windows were barred too. Meanwhile, the big high rise houses looked pretty rough. Concrete jungle with lots of graffiti and some of the buildings were all boarded up with dark stairwells. I remember there didn’t seem to be a lot of kids around playing outside.

We got off the bus on the street corner of my sister’s street but it clearly was not in a good neighborhood. We didn’t really know where we were but we quickly reasoned that if we headed east we’d eventually come to the lake.

We crossed the street in our heels and fancy clothes with all our shopping bags. A man came out of the barred up convenient store across from us and quickly headed down the road south. We kept our heads down and our eyes on the ground, trying not to trip as we tried to pick up our pace. We didn’t speak to each other much but we knew instinctively not to stop much and not to talk to anyone and just keep moving towards the lake.

We made it maybe two blocks.

A large 1970s style grey Lincoln town car with lowered suspension and tinted windows quickly pulled right alongside us. We looked at each other quickly and kept walking, a little scared honestly at this point.

The Lincoln followed slowly behind us by the side of curb.

We didn’t stop to talk to them and they never lowered the windows. But whoever it was followed close behind us as we headed down the road for at least 8 blocks while wearing heels and laden down with shopping bags and purses.

We were afraid of the person or people in the car but in hindsight, the person or people whoever they were became an unlikely guardian. We were safe for 8 blocks in an area of the city where a lot of drive by shootings and rapes and murders sometimes occurred. That year around 704 people lost their lives in Chicago to murder.

On the 8th block, as we neared what looked like nicer houses and restaurants and some university area, the grey Lincoln silently pulled away from us. We could see them quickly turn right and head back into the neighborhood. Whoever, it was, they seemed to have protected us and probably had some clout or some money in the neighborhood, maybe even a gang leader or something.

We never learned who they were.

Another five or so blocks and we made it to the lake and to my sister’s high-rise. When we got to her apartment, we told her what happened and she looked at us in shock. “You were in Cabrini Green,” she said surprised.

“What is that?” we asked, having never been to Chicago before.

“It’s a bad area of town. Even the taxis don’t go down there.”

You can see what Cabrini Green looked like in the 1992 movie Candyman and then in this more recent version. I’ve traveled to the Middle East and to other places where I felt uncomfortable but no place ever worried me as much as that long walk that day.

In the late 1990s, a lot of those project buildings were tore down and in recent decades much revitalization of the area has been done. It now is a pretty nice region to live and I think they even renamed it to something like the Parkland or something like that.

I guess I owe a debt of gratitude to the occupants of that grey Lincoln car with the tinted windows that day. I am 44 years old today thankfully. I’ve been lucky like that, to come across unlikely protectors and guardians here and there. I was pretty young and very naive and stupid that day. I thank God they were there, whoever they were.

Diabetic Herbal Tea

I made a video about the benefits of dandelion, cinnamon, rosemary, and peppermint in an herbal tea for Type 2 diabetics. Unfortunately my phone broke the video up into 3 sections. It’s still good information so I posted it here.

The Short Reading List

I signed up for the Penguin House reading prompts. They suggested to put a small list of books together to read. It took me a good hour searching through Amazon for about 10 books I might try. These are the ones I selected:

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing (by Delia Owens) – I think it was the setting of this story that interested me…the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have an affinity for Ocracoke Island.
  2. The Screwtape Letters (by C.S. Lewis) – An old boss recommended this book to me. I didn’t really like that boss but what the heck, I’ll try the book. Don’t judge a book by a bad boss. If it’s anything like The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – I’ll dig it although I must admit that Edward’s turkish delight did not live up to Lewis’ hype. Ick.
  3. The House on Mango Street (by Sandra Cisneros) – yum, mangoes…enough said.
  4. Flowers for Algernon (by Daniel Keyes) – I actually read this as a kid and absolutely loved it. Just want to reread it.
  5. Watership Downs (by Richard Adams) – My mom told me this was one of her favorites, an animal story, and I love animals.
  6. Love in the Time of Cholera (by Gabriel Garcia Marquez) – We’re in a pandemic. Why not read about another one? I think I saw this in a movie once. I seem to recall it was very sad. Something about unrequited love and come on, everybody has someone from their past they are curious about looking up on Facebook now….except now you find out he’s balding and got a pot belly.
  7. The Name of the Rose (by Umberto Eco) – ok, I loved this movie with Sean Connery as a kid. I mean who wouldn’t love a medieval monastery murder mystery with a priest detective? Oh, by the way, another absolutely awesome book in a similar vein but set in Japan with samurais is The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. Great book.
  8. Murder and Mayhem in Southeast Kansas (by Larry Wood) – ok, I’ll be honest, my friend from the Writer’s Guild wrote I’m curious. Plus, the cover has the Dalton Gang from Coffeyville on it and I am certain the book talks about the Benders.
  9. Milk and Honey (by Rupi Kaur) – it’s poetry. I like poems. Plus….way, way easier to read.
  10. When Wolves become Birds (By Alise Versalla) – ok, ok, another poetry book. Hey, to be fair, there’s a lot of reading on this list and I wanted to finish easy. Plus the title kinda intrigued me.