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review 2019-03-15 23:49
I'm not the audience for this one
New Kid - Jerry Craft

New Kid by Jerry Craft is a middle grade graphic novel that tells the story of a boy named Jordan who has (against his will) been enrolled in a prestigious private school in the upscale (and predominantly white) neighborhood of Riverdale. While he didn't necessarily feel like he fit in among his peers at his old school in Washington Heights he really feels like the outsider at this school being one of only 3 students of color. (There's a lot of mixing up of names by the teachers + bullying by peers.) In classic 'rebellious preteen' fashion he feels that the world (i.e. good ol' mom) is set on ruining his life because she won't let him go to art school instead of this place where it seems like everyone is either rich, white, or both. To help him sort through his frustrations and rage he takes to working on a sketchbook detailing his experiences. [A/N:These comics are interspersed throughout the book.] New Kid is a coming of age story about classism, racism, and finding out where you truly belong. 


Honesty compels me to tell you that I didn't necessarily love this book because of its predictability and slow moving pace. However, this book wasn't written with me in mind as its audience and therefore I think for the young person who is feeling 'other' and beaten down by circumstances out of their control this could be quite an important book. I liked the illustrative style particularly how it worked so well with the sprinkling of Jordan's comics with their very different artistic approach so no complaints on that front. For me it's a 4/10 but in terms of readability for that audience I'd say 8/10.


Source: Amazon


An example of Craft's style. [Source: iTunes]



What's Up Next: Remember? Remember? by Charles Beaumont


What I'm Currently Reading: ElfQuest Archives Volume 4 by Wendy & Richard Pini

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2019-03-02 20:17
The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder by Carolyn Murnick
The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder - Carolyn Murnick

Date Published: August 1, 2017

Format: Print

Source: Library

Date Read: February 24-28, 2019



A gripping memoir of friendship with a tragic twist—two childhood best friends diverge as young adults, one woman is brutally murdered and the other is determined to uncover the truth about her wild and seductive friend.

As girls growing up in rural New Jersey in the late 1980s, Ashley and Carolyn had everything in common: two outsiders who loved spending afternoons exploring the woods. Only when the girls attended different high schools did they begin to grow apart. While Carolyn struggled to fit in, Ashley quickly became a hot girl: popular, extroverted, and sexually precocious.

After high school, Carolyn entered college in New York City and Ashley ended up in Los Angeles, where she quit school to work as a stripper and an escort, dating actors and older men, and experimenting with drugs. The last time Ashley visited New York, Carolyn was shocked by how the two friends had grown apart. One year later, Ashley was stabbed to death at age twenty-two in her Hollywood home.

The man who may have murdered Ashley—an alleged serial killer—now faces trial in Los Angeles. Carolyn Murnick traveled across the country to cover the case and learn more about her magnetic and tragic friend. Part coming-of-age story, part true-crime mystery, The Hot One is a behind-the-scenes look at the drama of a trial and the poignancy of searching for the truth about a friend’s truly horrifying murder.




What the ever-loving fuck did I read? Oh, it's a true crime alright... and it's also about a murder. The real true crime? The level of New York City naval-gazing insecurities combined equally with the New York City level of smugness and intellectual curiorisity made me hate the author. 


Carolyn and Ashley were friends from fourth grade until the end of sixth or seventh grade. They were inseparable; many sleepovers, much playdates. One such memory of a sleepover involved the two girls, at one of the girl's homes alone, deciding to take Playboy-esque pictures of each other in the shower. That was in the introduction...and it went down from there.


Ashley moved away sometime in junior high and Carolyn went to boarding school that she barely passed and graduated from. Ashley moved to California and became more interested in boys and sex and living the glamourous life. As they went into their young adult years, Carolyn sucked at college and sucked worse at relationships and Ashley became a sex worker and party girl. This is all circa 1998-2000, so it sounds about right. Ashley came to visit Carolyn in New York City once for a weekend sometime in 1998 and it went badly, mostly because Ashley wanted to party like New Yorkers do and Carolyn was obscenely jealous of Ashley pulling all the guys attention wherever they went, including Carolyn's regular hook up guy and his roommate that she also lusted after but never made a move on. Ashley ended up sleeping with the roommate and Carolyn just decided to ghost Ashley from then on after Ashley went back to California.


I swear Carolyn and Lena Dunham went to the same writing MFA program. This is a silly and gross rip off of Girls.


Then Ashley was murdered in her home, sometime after having sex with her landlord and before her date with the actor Ashton Kutcher. No you read that right. They, Ashley and Kutcher, were supposed to go to a Grammy viewing party. When she didn't answer the door, Kutcher left. Carolyn, who hadn't had contact with Ashley since July 1998, was grief stricken by the announcement...and also wildly obsessive about all the damn details and players involved. 


Did I mention that Carolyn was an online editor for New York magazine and seemed to have a shit ton of time on her hands to do all her creepy "investigating"? Did I mention that Ashley's murder from here on out is all in relation to Carolyn - her growing into adulthood, her sexual activities, her very being -  and not about Ashley or the murderer. Also, did I mention that Carolyn has vivid and bizarre fantasies/day dreams about the random people and throws her thoughts and intentions onto them in her head without any clue that this person was thinking or feeling that way?


No it is nothing but naval gazing and reading the autopsy - and lots of trips to California for different pre-trial court dates with the guy arrested for a series of killings, including Ashley's. By the way, the actual trial hasn't even happened yet in the real world. This book is just Carolyn stalking Ashley after her death. The book ends with Carolyn, after visiting the dog park that is directly across the street from the house Ashley was renting and was killed in. And in another bizarre fantasy scenario in her head, Carolyn can picture the murder watching Ashley shower from his perch in the dog park. 


Honestly, What the ever-loving fuck did I read?

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text 2019-03-01 11:13
February 2019 Reading Wrap Up
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America - Beth Macy
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century - Jessica Bruder
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection - Jacob Silverman
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger - Rebecca Traister
Corva: The Perfect Bride - Merry Farmer
Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond - Sonia Shah
The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder - Carolyn Murnick

Yay for Snakes and Ladders for getting me back into reading mojo. My TBR went to crap and for the second month in a row, I DNF'ed a book from my Science reading list. Luckily, I impulsively downloaded an audiobook from my wishlist on RB Digital that I did finished. I didn't even get to my Nixon reading list, so I am doubling up in March. Right now, I just can't with fiction (or most fiction) and just gorging myself on non-fiction from a variety of disciplines. 


In somewhat reading related news, I got into grad school this month and started building my Wordpress blog (there is nothing there yet, but when it is ready, I will drop a link). I deleted my Blogger account and blog as I wanted to move away from Google. I am not wanting to make money off my blog, just want a place for my book and craft stuff that is not at the mercy of the big tech-media companies or small sites that might go poof in the night (*side eye* BL *cough*). 




BL/GR: 21/75

Nixon Reading List: 0

Science Reading List: 1

Non-Fiction Physical Shelf: 0


5 stars: 

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy (audiobook)


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder


4.5 - 4 stars:

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman


Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger by Rebecca Traister


3.5 - 3 stars:

Corva: The Perfect Bride (The Brides of Paradise Ranch #1) by Merry Farmer


Pandemic: Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond Sonia Shah (audiobook)


1 star

The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder by Carolyn Murnick




Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs Mysteries #1) by Jacqueline Winspear

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman






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review 2019-02-10 21:20
Devotions: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship and Sacrifice
Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice - Adam Makos

I started this one with the audiobook which I borrowed from my library. For those of you who complain about audios that are performed, this is the audiobook for you. Hoffman's narration was technical and dry with zero emoting at all. It was incredibly difficult for me to listen to. I found my mind often wondering and having to rewind several times, and even then I couldn't keep my attention on the story for very long.


I got to about 75% and gave up, switching over to the paperback. I spent most of yesterday skim-reading the first 340 pages to pick up all the stuff I missed while listening, and finished up the last few chapters last night and this morning and looked at the various photos and maps that the audio obviously doesn't have. The writing flowed much better once I was reading it.


The Korean War is known as the Forgotten War, or as the veterans of that war call it, the Forgotten Victory. Many of them were already veterans from WWII, and many others had been too young to fight in WWII but were now fighting in this war. I didn't know much about the Korean War before going into this, so it was interesting to learn more about it, what forces were involved, what the stakes were and all that. 


This war also started just a few years after Pres. Truman desegregated the military, but there was still Jim Crow in the south, and segregation laws throughout much of the US, including D.C. and California. The book gives some accounts of the early lives of Tom Hudner, a white man from a wealthy New England family, and Jesse Brown, the navy's first black officer, from a poor sharecropper family in Mississippi. They would become friends once they both got assigned to the U.S.S. Leyte. It also focuses on a number of the other pilots in their squadron, and how they all bonded in their first year together.


Once the book gets to North Korea and the battles that took place there in the first year of the war, up to the battle of Chosin, it includes accounts of the Marines that the pilots of Squadron 32 helped to defend. There's also an account about a third of the way into the book of their stay in Cannes where many of them met a young Elizabeth Taylor, and I felt that part was rather meandering and didn't really amount to much.


Makos doesn't stray into dramatics. He reports the facts and relays them in an approachable manner. He interviewed many of the men he portrays here, as well as their friends and family, and even went to North Korea to interview veterans there when Hudner returned there years later, which is true dedication. The writing is simple but not unmoving when it needs to be. 

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review 2019-02-04 03:43
Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is an excellent book about the friendship between a young boy and girl. They become close through an imaginary land that they created together. The story is best for students that are in 4th and 5th grade to read. The heartwarming novel is a unique way to explore the concept of loss and grief with students. The book is a beautiful piece for students to reflect on in their daily journals. 


Lexile: 810L 

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