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Search tags: sad-but-true
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review 2017-11-21 17:34
The 13th Gift ★☆☆☆☆
The 13th Gift: A True Story About a Christmas Miracle - Joanne Smith

 

Ugh. Within about 5 minutes of listening to this audio, I could only wail Nooooooooooooooooooooo. I didn’t expect much from this one, so the bar was set pretty low. I expected a bit of light Christmas glurge, a memoir about a family dealing with the loss of a loved one, who found their Christmas spirit when their friends/neighbors/whatever got together to leave anonymous gifts to remind them of The Meaning of Christmas. Sounds like the perfect story to get you into the season, if you go into it without a cynical heart. I was even willing to overlook the amateur quality of the audio narration, because it’s a memoir read by the author. But I simply could not overlook its pushing my biggest button with respect to writing style, the dreaded First-Person-Present-Tense, further committing the egregious sin of mixing past tense inner monologue directly in with the present tense narration of story events. No. Nope. No way.

 

DNF at 5%. Ordinarily I wouldn’t rate a book after less than 20 minutes of audio time, but FPPT always gets a 1 star from me unless the writing and story are so fantastic that I don’t even notice it enough to be annoyed by it.  

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library, read by the author.

 

I was attempting to read this for The 16 Tasks of The Festive Season, square 4: Book themes for     Thanksgiving Day:  Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.  –OR– Books with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover. I don’t have any other books lined up for this task, so I might have to use my other Light Joker for it.

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review 2017-11-14 22:08
All At Sea
All at Sea: A Memoir - Decca Aitkenhead

This book is a step-by-step in how not to behave like an adult. This woman did nothing a rational grown up would, and so I had no ability to connect with her. She left her marriage, which is fine, but she left it for a coke dealing crack smoker. And then she wants you to believe that being a dealer is boring and not all that dangerous. They play house, have 2 children and never marry (because marriage is only a piece of paper). And then it turns out he's still married to another woman. When he dies, she seems genuinely shocked she has a nightmare of logistics on her hands. Yes, honey, that's what happens when you don't marry a man but instead just intertwine your lives. His will left everything to his legal wife.

 

Plus, most of this book was just circling the drain of her constant sorrow. With pretty words. Lots and lots of pretty words. Over 200 pages, and there wasn't much substance. Just "my love died and my life is over and my kids are out of control". She had a down-her-nose view of anyone of faith, she wouldn't let the kids call her Mum, and she epitomized the idea you can be educated and still be dumb.

 

I'm proud of myself for finishing this.

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review 2017-11-12 14:14
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian ★★★☆☆
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie,Ellen Forney

I had heard so much about this book that I’ve really been looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect with it. I understand that it’s semi-autobiographical, so it must be an accurate portrayal of a 14-year-old boy’s thoughts and concerns. And teenage boys are a little bit gross. So maybe that’s why I was a bit put off by it – the MC’s relationships with and reactions to the female characters are definitely off-putting, no matter how realistic, and the humor, while perhaps accurate to the 14-year-old protagonist, is also juvenile. But the story itself is both funny and sad, that of a boy living on the “rez” and dealing with the fallout of asking to transfer to a town school where he will be the only non-white student. The book doesn’t pull punches in portraying alcoholism, violence, bullying, tribalism, and racism. It’s a lot to pack into a relatively short book. But the ending contains a redeeming message of hope, too, which helps to rescue a story that threatens to sink under the weight of these heavy themes.

 

Hardcover version. I read this book for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 11: December 21st-22nd. Soyal (December 21st) is the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and the Hopi (Hopitu Shinumu), The Peaceful Ones, also known as the Hopi Indians. It is held on the shortest day of the year to ceremonially bring the sun back from its long winter slumber. Book themes for Soyal: Read a book set in the American Southwest / the Four Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), –OR– a book that has a Native American protagonist. This book fits the square, as the main character is Native American.

 

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text 2017-11-11 04:16
16 Festive Tasks: Sq 11 Dec 21st-22nd: Soyal
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie,Ellen Forney

 

Soyal (December 21st) is the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and the Hopi (Hopitu Shinumu), The Peaceful Ones, also known as the Hopi Indians. It is held on the shortest day of the year to ceremonially bring the sun back from its long winter slumber. 

Book themes for Soyal: Read a book set in the American Southwest / the Four Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), –OR– a book that has a Native American protagonist.

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review 2017-11-06 15:56
Footprints in Oklahoma
Footprints in the Dew, Damon "Chub" Anderson and the unsolved Mullendore Murder - Dale R. Lewis

I loved this book! It was a great look at another crime in northeastern Oklahoma and a great local read companion to "Killers of the Flower Moon."
This is truly the story of Chub Anderson, outlaw and roughneck, and his wild life. The whole book centers around the E.C. Mulledore III's murder in 1970. However, there is so much more to Chub's life and your drawn into this wild ride of guns, drugs, hiding from the cops, and eventually Chub's last days.
Recommend for true crime buffs and Oklahoma history readers.

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