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text 2019-10-01 14:00
October 2019 Reading List
The Final Days - Bob Woodward,Carl Bernstein
Lab Girl - Hope Jahren
#IMomSoHard - Kristin Hensley
Connections in Death - J.D. Robb
Vendetta in Death - J.D. Robb
Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist - Franchesca Ramsey
Jane Doe: A Novel - Victoria Helen Stone
Copycat Killing - Sofie Kelly
A Very Mummy Holiday (Tourist Trap Mysteries #11) - Lynn Cahoon
A Colony in a Nation - Chris Hayes

New month, fresh start. 

 

Going back to my Nixon Reading List and reading The Final Days by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, which is their follow up to All the President's Men. Although I think this was a good reading project for me, the timing may be off considering....the state of the union so to speak.

 

NEA Big Reads for Wichita is Lab Girl by Hope Jahren; my real life book club is reading it as our leader/host is on the board that votes every year. There is a few events happening both on base library and my local branch that I hope to get to attend.

 

#IMOMSOHARD - man I love Kristin and Jen since I first saw their videos on FB. They are hilarious and real and I really want to see their show when they come to Tulsa next February....hint, hint Santa! Rather than doing non-stop toxic positivity, these ladies come straight out of the gate about the less than awesome things (deaths in family for example) or gross (adventures in toilet training), and motherhood with humor and grace. They are my inspirational mom friends.

 

I am still working through Connections in Death and I picked up Vendetta in Death since it was on the library's shelf, just calling my name. Seriously, brand new JD Robb title just sitting on the new release shelf with nary a waiting list - perplexed I was. I hope to be all caught up on the series by the time November comes around. I can't believe #50 will be published in February.

 

I need a palette cleanser in between the Eve Dallas books, so I picked up at the library Well, That Escalated Quickly by Franchesca Ramsey. I've listened to a number of podcast episodes with her and she seems funny and smart. 

 

I wanted something a little dark for this time of year and I am determined to get to Victoria Helen Stone's Jane Doe. I wanted something magical realism/cozy mystery, so Copycat Killing. And by the end of the month, the next novella in the Tourist Trap mystery series A Very Mummy Holiday will be on my NOOK and I can join the gang in South Cove for another round.

 

Finally, I picked up from the library Chris Hayes' A Colony in a Nation from my non-fiction wish-list. For those not in the US, Hayes is a tv host on MSNBC and former editor/writer for The Nation. Honestly, he is a little heavy on his love for a certain senator from a New England state, but he generally does do a good job of reporting and Ta-Nehisi Coates blurbed the book. I trust Coates enough to give the book a try.

 

 

 

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text 2019-09-26 19:43
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

Date Published: May 9, 2017

Format: Print

Source: Library

Date Read: September 6-9, 2019

 

Blurb

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

_______________________________________________________________________

Review:

 

This was going along fine and then that ending made me want to throw the book against the wall. I HATE last minute, last page plot twists, and this one is especially sucked because it made me feel I had wasted my time reading this book.

 

Eleanor Oliophant had a traumatic childhood, one that the reader gets glimpses of over the course of the story. As the book opens, Eleanor is an almost thirty year old account receiveable office drone living a very regimented and lonely life in Glasgow (Eleanor herself is a native of England, and yes this is a real divide). She does not get along with her co-workers and has no outside social life; she is visited every six months by a social worker who does the very bare minimum in keeping up with Eleanor and her health status. And then Eleanor meets THE ROCKER, which takes up the first half of the book. She doesn't actually say a word to the musician, but he becomes her whole life - Eminiem's "Stan" has more chill than Eleanor. Eleanor decides on making herself over - cue movie montage of getting her nails and hair done at a salon, an embarrassing visit to the waxer, etc. At the same time, she befriends another worker at her company, Raymond.

 

Then her world falls apart when she realizes THE ROCKER and her will never suit, will never meet, will never be the UBER COUPLE she built up in her mind. Luckily, Raymond is there to help her after she tries to drink herself to death (along with trying pills and drain cleaner). Raymond convinces her to seek help. Along the way Raymond helps her also figure out what happened that night.

 

I really liked Raymond and Eleanor. Eleanor, as an outsider, had some amazing observations on society and how "normal" people go about acting socially. This is a quiet book, full of slice of life of a childhood abuse survivor as she becomes a real thriving adult and not just a survivor. With that said, that one plot twist just irked me to the point that I took a star off. 

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review 2017-08-14 22:16
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel - Colson Whitehead

I found this to be a painful read especially at this time.  Cora's journey from slavery to escaping it and being recaptured is told through her eyes, with short vignettes through the eyes of others whose lives intersected hers.  I do not understand why there is so much hate based on skin color.  While I hesitated to pick it up, once I did I was compelled to finish it.  The words are powerful as are the actions of many on the question of slavery and life after slavery.

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review 2015-07-02 22:57
THE SECRET DIARY OF LIZZIE BENNET BY:BERNIE SU
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: A Novel - 'Kate Rorick','Bernie Su'

 

 

    I am pleasantly surprised by this book. I honestly had some reservations at the beginning, I wasn't sure just how well a modernization of a classic like Pride and Prejudice would translate. I have to say that I believe it came across quite well. The only thing I had trouble picturing in a modern setting was the mother still trying to marry off all her daughters to wealthy bachelors, because that was (in her mind) the best they could possibly hope for. That ideal felt too antiquated to belong in this time period, in my humble opinion.

 

 

   Other than that I thought  most everything else, including the main themes of the original story, shone through brilliantly. I must admit though that after I devoured this book, I then went and watched the YouTube videos that it was based off, and I thought those were fabulous. I might be slightly biased there though, just for the fact that I actually got my daughter to watch them with me and she really liked them too....she even asked to borrow the book when I was finished!

 

(yeah this was a huge victory, she's 12 and a total busy body who has a really hard time getting/staying interested in anything book related. *Insert devastating sad face* So yeah, total win for team mom!)

 

   I think that's probably the best part about this story, it bridges a gap between generations. I mean obviously I would love to see youngsters picking up the Jane Austen original, but quite frankly I don't think a lot of them are. So this was a really genius way to bring a classic story to a new demographic. And who knows, maybe this new group of enthusiasts for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries will be so taken with the story that they'll want to pick up Pride and Prejudice and see where it all came from.

 

   

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review 2015-05-11 20:32
THE ACCIDENTAL HERO BY: MATT MYKLUSCH
The Accidental Hero - Matt Myklusch

 

   The Accidental Hero was, I think, one of those fun books for any age! It is geared towards middle grade age, but I had no problem getting interested and staying such throughout the whole story. Actually I found a couple of the references, in particular the thoughtful pokes at standardized testing and whatnot, to be rather sophisticated. 

 

   I enjoyed the non stop action, and really liked watching the characters develop from beginning to end. I really dug the whole Imagine Nation (extra points for the awesome word play).

 

It was such a unique place that I really look forward to seeing more of!  The School of Thought sounded like a pretty rad place to be, with all the growing superhero/supervillains attending. I mean who wouldn't want to go to superhero school, really?! 

 

    Jack was an easy character to like and root for. He was kind, brave, and just trying to figure things out and do the right thing. I have to say I was honestly surprised with the twist at the end and I really enjoyed that! It was an interesting way to go with the story and it really guaranteed that I'll be continuing on with this series. I believe fans of Percy Jackson or Harry Potter type books will enjoy this story as well. 

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