Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Sunday Post #324

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The Sunday Post is a chance to recap the past week, talk about next week, tell you what I’m reading, and share news. It’s hosted by The Caffeinated Book ReviewerReaderbuzz, and Book Date.

The Sunday Post #324

Public Service Announcement

If you have a WordPress blog, and I haven't commented on it in the past few weeks, I'm sorry! I've randomly been getting "nonce validation failed" errors when I comment on WordPress blogs. I have no idea why. I promise I don't hate you. WordPress hates me.

On The Blog Recently

In My Reading Life

Last week, I read a philosophy book. It was complicated.

The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer is a hard book to review because it's dry af to read and probably only relevant to people like me who are tempted to start their own cult. Or, maybe it's relevant if you want to avoid my cult. I don't know.

The True Believer is a philosophy book from the 1940s. It talks about how mass movements start and what keeps them going. The author mostly focuses on Nazis in Germany and Communists in Russia because those were the largest mass movements of his time, but he also discusses religious conversion and how governments get overthrown.

The author has some interesting observations about how mass movements are all the same at their core. They all make vague promises about the future and attract frustrated people who want to change their lives. The movement gives people a sense of community and an enemy to blame for their problems. The frustrated people tend to bounce around to different movements because they can't find anything that cures their frustration.

My biggest issue with the book is right in the title. It's called "Thoughts" on mass movements. I really wish the author had backed up his thoughts with more evidence. I feel like he dismissed or ignored anything that didn't fit into his thesis. I wanted him to stop talking about Nazi and Communists and focus on movements that rocked the boat in less dramatic ways. I don't think this book is nuanced enough.

The book is also hard to review because it might have given me a midlife crisis. The author talks about frustrated creatives. These are people who feel a desperate drive to be creative but don't have the ability to create anything worthwhile.

Um . . . hi, that's me. I'm the frustrated creative.

Frustrated creatives tend to get caught up in mass movements because they're trying to fill a void in their life. They want to fill it with creative projects, but they can't create, so they try cults instead.

Dang. I was hoping the void would go away if I ignored it for enough years. This dude is saying I'll never lose the desire to be creative? I want that desire to die! It does nothing but cause angst.

Anyway, I don't know what to think about this book. I spent the whole thing wavering between bored, intrigued, and skeptical. Then I had a mental breakdown. Maybe that's the sign of a successful philosophy textbook?

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy last week:

  1. January was a fabulous reading month. I read 10 books and loved almost all of them.
  2. I tried a new takeout hamburger restaurant. It was excellent.
  3. 5,000 Pinterest followers!
  4. I've now been on my long-term book buying ban for 6 months. I've gotten a few books as gifts, but it's been 6 months since I bought one. I still have 66 unread books on my shelf.
  5. I made my first Instagram Reel. It's the kind of Reel I'd skip over if it showed up in my feed, but I tried. I have succeeded in creating highly skippable content. Observe my creation ⇩.

Follow For More Highly Skippable Content

Take care of yourselves and be kind to each other. See you around the blogosphere!



  1. The none thing is some sort of verification error. When I get it, I just go into WP reader and comment. It's not worth the struggle to keep trying. I have heard logging out and logging back in sometimes works, but I think it's a lie. You are not your own hype-person, huh? --> The kind of reel I would skip over. I love finding new places to eat, and yeah for liking almost all the books you read. That's the goal

  2. I enjoyed the mini-reviews in your Instagram post. I feel like, at age 60, I finally found my path to a creative life. It helped to go through a visual art phase for a couple of years where I fully accepted that nearly everything that I produce sucks, but it's fun to produce. Now, I can accept the same thing about a project that's more important to me, writing a novel. The book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert helped me get here. Also, I've wanted to write a novel since I was 8. I'm at the point of "if not now, then when?" and "now or never."

  3. I often have the same problem when commenting on some Wordpress blogs. It's really frustrating because I feel bad but I don't have a Wordpress account, so I'm not sure there's anything I can do about it!

  4. I'm wondering why you decided to read A True Believer.

    As long as I don't let myself berate myself too much for how awful everything I create is, I'm happy to make things.

    Your Instagram reel told me everything about the books you read that I wanted to know. I think it's great you tried it.

  5. I haven't been able to read a whole lot this last week but I vow to read more, it's a life saver sometimes.

  6. Too bad the mass movements book wasn't more evidence-based, but since 2016 and the election of you-know-who, I have thought quite a bit about mass movements, cults, etc. Maybe you could join a cult (or start your own) specifically for frustrated creatives? The goal could be just creating: knitting, writing, painting, and more!

  7. Forgive me, but I laughed so hard reading your review of that book, starting with when it gave you a midlife crisis. I am a frustrated creative as well so, see you when we meet up in a cult some day.

    Mmmm a new hamburger place!!!!! That reminds me I still need to try Freddy's steak burgers and shakes down in Batesville some Saturday when I'm not snowed or iced in.

  8. I'm not sure what's going on with WP, but I know people have had problems with not being able to post on mine blog (you have to click on the individual article to be able to post) or my post doesn't get picked up in feeds... As for Eric Hoffer's book, "The True Believer," it was one of the most influential books I read in college. I do remember it being in that literature which dealt with the rise of totalitarianism, both fascists and communists. Maybe I should reread it. I have wondered about it when Bernie Sanders supports flipped to supporting Trump, and he wrote about those on the extreme are likely to go to the opposite extreme and avoid the middle.

  9. January was a great reading month for me too. I have had trouble with commenting for some blogs, not errors but I think I go to their spam. I check my spam every so often to make sure people aren't getting locked out that are my regular friends.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  10. You should be proud of your IG reel - I haven't made/found/wanted the time to try to figure out how to do those, so you deserve credit for beginning! And I really liked the mini reviews - great way to give a bite-sized evaluation. When you share one after you've been doing it for a year, we'll all be pleased at the change! :) Looks like a good reading month for you.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

  11. A new hamburger place! I just went to a place called Hobo's Tavern and has a burger called a Norseman. Hmm. It was okay. yours was probably superior.

  12. I'm glad you had such a great reading month in January. That IG reel is cool!

  13. Hey, I just did my first reel too! (If I knew how to share it here, I would...but its own my IG account @webofstories It's the only one there...). I'm impressed with your book buying ban. I really should do that, and yet I just keep buying books... Have a great week! - Melinda @ A Web of Stories

  14. I don't know, that looks like a pretty good reel to me! I don't have the patience to learn how (or the time), so I admire you for tackling it. And that looks like a really good reading month!

  15. You are inspiring me to get started on my own reel journey (one I have been putting off for too long)... and 5000 on Pinterest is a cool achievement!!
    My Sunday post is here

  16. A lot of people have been getting that message when they try to comment on my blog. It must be a wordpress issue. I try not to buy books unless they are from a book sale.

  17. I don't do Instagram being a not very visual person. I enjoyed your reel and liked your mini reviews. And I'd join your cult if you start one if I can do it from my couch. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  18. You had a great week! Enjoy your upcoming reads, and thanks for sharing.

  19. Wow, no books bought in 6 months. That's amazing! My TBR list is a lot longer than yours, unfortunately, and I still can't bring myself to go on a book ban.

    Hope you enjoy reading this week.

    My It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post.

  20. sorry you have these issues with wordpress, I hope you find the solution soon. did you check in the wordpress help section if others were having the same problem?

  21. People have been having problems commenting on my blog for a long time. I think I finally fixed that problem, but I disconnected my blog from whatever bot sent out new posts to email subscribers! Sigh. I'm too sick to try and figure it out this week. Maybe next week! I'm a frustrated creative, too!
    I've got to go to bed but I'll try the reel tomorrow. I loved Cloud Cuckoo Land and hope you did too! I mostly don't watch videos online, but the damn Facebook ones keep popping up in my feed to tempt me.

  22. The nonce verification error was the bane of my blogging existence until Sam pointed me to the WPreader through my account. I don't even know why, but it lets me comment on all of the blogs I was getting the nonce error on.

  23. That's a long time to go without buying books! Great job! And what a pain with that WP error. This is another reason why I use Disqus.