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crabbygirl Locked account

crabbygirl@ramblingreaders.org

Joined 1 year, 5 months ago

when a book is really bad, I get through it knowing I'm going to enjoy the trashing

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Chloe Benjamin: The Immortalists 2 stars

seems written by committee

2 stars

this book is an example of what is wrong with publishing: the trend to write books by committee. there's some sort of checklist of identities, ethnicities, and social justice issues where the author keeps adding superfluous details until they've accrued enough checkmarks. at it's heart, this is a story of 4 siblings who are told the date of their deaths and how they react to this news. as one life comes to an end, the story moves - baton like - to the next sibling. and once you add all those required identities/ethnicities/issues, it makes for a wide but shallow story. many details of their past are brought up when it is convenient to explain a sibling's present behavior. And I think a better constructed novel would place those incidents in the correct chronology. The mother, watching death after death of her adult children, doesn't even merit a chapter? mind-boggling! …

Michael Crummey: Sweetland (Paperback, 2015, Liveright, Liveright Publishing Corporation) 4 stars

Review of 'Sweetland' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

his is why I go to bookclub - I enjoyed this book about disassembling a tiny newfoundland fishing village and it's stubborn patriarch. and I liked that it wasn't all 'henry david thoreau' (or even gary paulsen come to think of it) and the guy cannot survive alone, be it the weather, the weevils, the madness of having no human company. but going to bookclub made me realize that every tiny possible death that happened, did happen. and that he never made it off those rocks with his dead grandson in his arms.

Mindy Kaling: Is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns) (2011, Crown Archetype) 3 stars

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster …

Review of 'Is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns)' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

i read this one. often, when it's a comedy book, i'll get the audiobook instead. this one i read.
in comedy, delivery is everything. the written word just doesn't do it justice. i laughed out loud 2, maybe 3 times. but mostly it was a breezy, easy to read account of how this girl from 'the office' got to where she is. in that aspect - it was interesting: she's the writer for 'the office' and had a hit off-broadway show she wrote and starred in. it's nice to know that plain people who seem to make it big out of nowhere actually have a long path that took them there.

Sarah Ivens: No regrets (2009, Broadway Books) 1 star

Review of 'No regrets' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

yup, I'm too old for this title but I read it anyhow. or skimmed it because it was god awful. even the things that had turned out horribly for her - like getting a Brazilian - was still enthusiastically recommended. smacks of inexperienced youth that was programmed to follow any patriarchal, marketing technique. yuck. not to mention, she's a little full of herself and her youth to think these 101 things can only be done before 30 (ie: before the old, married, pregnant part). as my teen said, she made her journal entries be the goal: live my life or you'll be missing out. ppttttt.

Alice Munro: Who do you think you are? (1978, Macmillan of Canada) 4 stars

Interweaving stories tell of the evolving bond between practical, narrow-minded Flo and her stepdaughter Rose, …

Review of 'Who do you think you are?' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I was curious to re-read this book as an adult, or I mean precisely, an adult mother of teenage children. I remembered the stories being youth centered, meanwhile, they were not (did I only focus on the young one due to my age back then? or did I confuse it with Margaret Laurence books, like "bird in the house"?) And I remembered the mother/stepmother as hated by myself and the protagonist, but not so - rose has room in herself for much more layered emotions, including admiration and compassion. but the biggest surprise was finding, within it's pages, a story I had vividly remembered and retold many times in my life only to be NOT as I remembered. in my youth and innocence, I saw the protagonist as a victim of an action. with my matured viewpoint, I could see she had a more complicit role.

Sidney Jacobson: Anne Frank (2010, Hill and Wang) 3 stars

Review of 'Anne Frank' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

this was a good primer for someone who is going to read anne frank: diary of a young girl. it spans her entire life and so it covers alot of the political background of the time (even things that anne herself doesn't comment on in her diary). there are lots of asides that are labelled 'snapshots' and they do a good job of expaining world events or political movements in the context of her life. all in all, a great book that will emphasize - once again - that anne frank was not only a real person, but also a real talent that was lost when nazism spread across europe.

Amber Dusick: Parenting (2013, Harlequin) 3 stars

Dusick's stories about her Crappy Baby, Crappy Boy and her husband, Crappy Papa, will make …

Review of 'Parenting' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

got this one entirely because of the title. turns out it's another blogger cum author but I didn't take it too seriously, read it breezily like a blog, and had quite a few belly laughs over it. (note to self: never listen to a book on tape from a blogger turned author. their niche really is that small feeling of you-and-I. and books on tape are read as if to an audience)

Catherine Gildiner: Coming Ashore (2014, ECW Press) 3 stars

Review of 'Coming Ashore' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

the third and final memoir in her series. I still loved the first one the best, but the first half of this book was quite funny in its own right. interestingly enough, if you just read this one, you'd wonder why someone deigned her life worthy of a memoir - it's not terribly exciting or pressing - but I imagine there was a clamor for her first 2 books to continue.

Jon Kabat-Zinn: Wherever you go, there you are (2005, Hyperion) 3 stars

The time-honored national bestseller, updated with a new afterword, celebrating 10 years of influencing the …

Review of 'Wherever you go, there you are' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

still kicking around after 10 years of being published, this book was supposed to be a bible of sorts for meditation. too bad I'm not ready to actually start meditating yet. this book is really meant to be an aid as you start up your practice and contains lots of imagery (which I sort of hated) to help in the meditation process. I found him too goofy at times, too medical at others. and certain phrases he loves to use trigger me to think blah-blah-blah.