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review 2017-06-24 13:51
Boring!
The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Child... The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood - Richard Blanco

Had this book for a few years now and finally got around to reading it. It seemed timely plus it has been popping up on a couple of LGBT reading lists recently. I don't know much about him (other than he's an inaugural poet and is the first Latino and openly gay one) but it seemed like reading about the childhood of a boy whose family left Cuba to move to Florida sounded like an intriguing story.

 

Basically it's a bunch of stories of his childhood. His family, what it's like in school, navigating things like Thanksgiving, wanting to participate in "American" culture, etc. Some of it is really funny (he drops the Thanksgiving turkey as he's trying to bring it home from the store and the family later suffers from food poisoning after the dinner) but most of it is...not really compelling. 

 

It just seems like a retelling of doing X, Y, Z. I wasn't necessarily looking for a compelling, moving saga about what it's like growing up in a place where you don't look like a lot of the other people or necessarily speak the language, etc. And while I don't have much in common with him I just didn't feel his story was really interesting in any way. I haven't read any of his other work so I don't know if that has anything to do with it but it just felt very blah.

 

Maybe it just wasn't for me. Other people seemed to think it got better in the latter parts of the book but it felt the same overall. I regret buying it (as I can see it's available at my library) but maybe it would work if you're a fan or have a similar background to his.

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review 2017-06-20 01:25
Christmas Wishes
Christmas Wishes - Debbie Macomber

I've had this book on my shelf because one of the stories, Christmas Letters, was part of the Blossom Street Series by Debbie Macomber. I've read it before but it had been so long I couldn't remember it and I am rereading the series starting from the beginning. I thought Christmas Letters was the better story of the two in this book and enjoyed the humor in it. The other story, Rainy Day Kisses was okay but I am not big on romance stories.

 

Mainly, I needed something light to read because I've been feeling bad and today I had another optical migraine so that made reading difficult.  I had to look up the audiobook so I could listen for a while until it passed.  I switched back and forth between reading and listening and actually realized I enjoyed the audiobooks.  This book consists of two stories and the audiobooks are separate.  I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook for Christmas Letters read by Renée Raudman.  She made it much more entertaining with her different voices.  I really felt like I was listening to different people speaking to each other.  The first time I read that book I remember that I didn't especially like it but I really couldn't remember it, which is why I was going to read it again.  I didn't want to skip anything as I reread the Blossom Street Series.  Well, the first time I only read to Hannah's List and never finished that book.  This time I plan to finish it and read the rest of the books in the series.  As I listened to the audiobook for Christmas Letters I started to remember some details but she made it so much funnier.  I will definitely look for more audiobooks read by her.  

 

Christmas Letters is about Kathleen O'Connor, usually called K.O. by her friends, who is currently working as a medical transcriptionist while looking for a job as a publicist. She also writes Christmas letters for people to make a little extra money on the side. She has recently been infuriated by her sister's decision to follow the parenting advice found in a book called The Free Child by Dr. Wynn Jeffries.  Her twin nieces have evolved into terrors and now, her sister has decided to follow his advice to "bury Santa under the sleigh" and isn't planning to have a Christmas tree or Santa this Christmas. K.O. is appalled and when she realizes he lives in her building decides to confront him. She also has an interesting older neighbor who has been taking classes at the community Center and recently took one on unleashing her psychic abilities.  While getting ready to scoop up her cats "business" in the kitty litter she saw the future for K.O.  Specifically, she saw love in her future and decided to set her up.  

 

The other story in this book, Rainy Day Kisses was, eh.  That's my review. for it  Eh.

 

 

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review 2017-06-15 23:48
Granpa, tell me about when you were little
Boy: Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

What a great biographic piece. Dahl is an excellent story teller, and puts that to use: he doesn't waste pages in the minutia, or get scared of leaving swathes of time undressed, but picks the bits he wants to tell about his early life, because they are important, interesting, colorful, defining. It turns into a very entertaining read.

It paints a picture of a time. I was impressed by his mother courage and strength (and humor, and mettle, and pragmatism... she comes across as one awesome lady), horrified by much of the sadism involved in his education, and somewhat enlightened on the reasons for his often irreverent characters.

I laughed a lot. There is humor inside every part, from the comfort of hindsight, fondness of remembrance, matter-of-fact way harrowing or ridiculous situations are described, or dry irony.

I plain loved it.

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quote 2017-06-15 23:18
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
Boy: Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

Boy - Roald Dahl

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text 2017-05-21 18:09
Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 176 pages.
Boy: Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

Lol. Thwaites’s dad deserves a prize for story-telling. One of those plus the sweets shop and we have The Witches and Charlie's germ. And here enters Trunchbull too. Or maybe the Twits (real-life ick!). This is precious.

 

Aaaannd... The other half of the Twits/Trunchbull. Not so precious. Jesus

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