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Search tags: autobiography
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review 2018-09-24 10:01
She Wants It
She Wants It - Jill Soloway

[I received a copy of this book through the First To Read program, in exchange for an honest review.]

I had only watched the first season of “Transparent” before, but I guess I knew enough then to recognise the author’s name, and be interested in the book’s premise. As a word of warning, though, if you’re in the same case… uh, the book contains spoilers as to the next seasons. I wasn’t too happy about that, especially since I had been able to avoid them so far. Or maybe it was just unavoidable for starters?

It’s also different from what I had expected, that is to say, more of a memoir, and not exactly “essays” or more structured writing about feminism, being non-binary, questioning, and so on. As such, while it remained interesting, spoilers notwithstanding, it felt kind of disjointed in places, and at the end, I felt like it hadn’t gone in depth into anything.

The last part about Me Too and people coming out about Tambor was also… well, it played straight into the unfortunately usual “she came out about this and now the actor/the show is going to be ruined, we should’ve talked about this among ourselves only and seen where to go from there”. Soloway does acknowledge that it’s wrong, but it still felt like there was much more to say here, and it was brushed over. It’s not on the same level as powerful men paying women they have abused so that they keep silent, but the feeling remains somewhat similar nonetheless, like an afterthought, like something that was mentioned at the end only so that people wouldn’t dwell on it too much. I didn’t like that.

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review 2018-09-17 17:43
I Have So Many Comments
Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest - Jen Doll

This was a nope for me. I needed something to read to break up my Halloween reads and I was promised a hilarious send up of being a single girl/woman serial wedding guest. As someone who is that single friend at weddings I was ready for it. Weddings have been on my mind lately (you guys hear about that plantation wedding thing? Sigh) so I thought this would be a nice read in between horror. Too bad this book was not good.

 

Jen Doll's book bounces all over the place, but I can honestly say she sounds like a pain in the ass as awedding guest, girlfriend, and friend. You don't need enemies with her around. I have unfortunately met this type of girl at weddings before. It's like a bat signal goes up. You can always tell the one that is going to drink too much, get nasty, and or mad if people are not paying her any attention. I hard cringed reading this book.

 

Jen provides readers with details/memories of significant weddings in her life. She even goes into her parents (she wasn't present) and while providing details on the wedding, will intersperse that with details about the bride, groom, and wedding guests. I pretty much only liked hearing about her parents and was curious about her childhood since she mentions her family moving around a lot. I was also doubly curious about her growing up in the south.

 

She wrote for a lot of well known magazines like The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, The Village Voice, and others. So she can definitely write. That's not the problem.

 

I think the problem is that she made herself the anti-hero in her own story. You will probably come away with not liking her very much and or thinking she may have a problem with alcohol. She even gets into a fight with an ex-friend's husband at a wedding and he goes of course Jen is drinking again which to me shows that a lot of people think she drinks a lot. 

 

I think most of these stories center around Jen and how the weddings and people made her feel. I just don't know if she got or understood that unless you are the bride, you don't make a wedding about you. She revisits one awful wedding where she got drunk and hit friends of hers that were trying to take her back to her hotel room. I just cringed inside while reading. She claims to have blocked things out because she doesn't want to remember, but yeah I bet she does. God knows I remember every dumb ass thing I have done too. When you think she has finally learned her lesson, she goes to a wedding with a guy who sounds interesting/shows promise, and then flips out because he's not paying enough attention to her. I would have cursed her out and went about my day.

 

My rules for attending weddings:

 

1. Are you the bride? No. Then shut up and be helpful and make sure you don't cause drama. 


As someone who has been a maid of honor at a destination wedding (what a pain the ass that was) and was also in my brother's wedding I can tell you that I was thrilled when my last two friends who got married did not ask me to be a bridesmaid. I don't get hurt by it, and don't give two craps. That means I can chill all day til the ceremony, then make sure I bring something to snack on in the car on the way to the reception. And then I will smile, toast, take pictures, be helpful (once was in the bathroom for an hour untangling a friend's long ass train) and go back to my room and sleep away til the next day. 


I think without realizing it, that Jen's inability to put her friend's first caused some of them to not turn away from her, but towards the end of the book, she was just a guest and not in the wedding parties for some of the girls who were in wedding parties with her before. Frankly, I don't blame the brides, who wants that headache? 

 

The sections that made me die the most inside though was Jen going into her friend's Ginny's marriage and being mad that Ginny wouldn't leave her husband cause Jen didn't like him. It didn't sound abusive, it just sounded like the guy was kind of a dick. I just don't know why she was so overly involved in it. It just sounded like drama and she was feeding on it. Ginny gets brought up throughout this book, so you don't know what happened at first, but we eventually get there. And even after the friendship is broken, Jen can't help poking at it like a scab. I can see why the mutual friends were tired of it. 


I was hoping for more of a girl power book (being happy being single and attending weddings solo) and having some funny remembrances that occurred at weddings. This book was totally not what I though it was going to be. 

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review 2018-09-10 03:45
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen - Lucy Knisley

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley is a level Z on the Fountas and Pinnell reading level scale. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen is about Lucy Knisley’s love for food. She is the daughter of a chef and the book talks about specific memories she had while growing up that started her love of food. I like that each chapter is bookended with recipes that are family recipes and things of her own creation. This book is great because you could make some of the recipes for students to try in class, and encourage students to start cooking with their parents or cook on their own with adult supervision. 

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review 2018-09-10 03:19
Smile by Raina Telgemeir
Smile - Raina Telgemeier

Smile by Raina Telgemeir is a level T on the Fountas and Pinnell reading level scale. Smile is about Raina Telgemeir’s story of when she was in 6th grade and got her front two teeth knocked out when she was running and tripped and fell. 6th grade is already a really hard time, but not having your front two teeth is really tough. This story shows her struggles as a preteen and getting through not having her front two teeth. This would be great to read to students who are going through a hard time and having issues of confidence as a preteen. You could also tell students to write in their journal of something they don’t feel confident about and how they manage to get through that everyday. 

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review 2018-09-10 03:11
El Deafo by Cece Bell
El Deafo - Cece Bell

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a level X on the Fountas and Pinnell reading level scale. El Deafo is about a rabbit who is deaf and is going through struggles based on dealing with her difficulties. The story begins when she is four years old and is living a normal life, but when she contracts meningitis, the disease leaves her deaf. She has to start wearing a hearing aid and has to attend a special needs kindergarten class with other deaf students. When they move to Virginia, she is hoping to have a somewhat normal life, but has some issues with making friends. Then she has to get an even larger hearing device which makes her feel even more ostracized. To help boost her confidence, she creates a superhero named El Deafo who has super hearing. This helps her find a true friend in Martha, and gives her the courage to talk to her crush Mike who shows everyone in the neighborhood that her hearing aid is super cool. This book could be great to recommend to a student that has a hearing impairment. They can create their own superhero with a super power they wish they had and show them that they too have a “superpower” of their own. 

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