Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

The only thing I took away from this book is:

Amy knits!

Ok, not really the only thing.... This is a book full of personal stories, funny bits and memories and some advice. I also took away that she loves Pema Chodron, as do I, and she seems to take her advice pretty seriously. Smart lady.

I'll admit to not really watching SNL while Amy was on and I've only caught a few episodes of Parks and Recreations. She seemed like an interesting person, as does Tina Fey (Bossypants), so I wanted to try out her book first. The same thing is happening now with Amy that happened with Tina: after reading the books, I want to watch their shows, their comedy, THEM. Thank goodness for Youtube and Netflix.

I don't have any great review of this book except it's a good one to read and just sit back and enjoy it!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell

This is why I get Cornwell's books from the library and why I quit buying them. I am a sucker.

I'm sincerely disappointed in the Scarpetta series now. I spend more time angry at Lucy and Benton and Marino, people who shouldn't even exist in the Scarpetta sphere. They do nothing but keep secrets, be evasive and annoying.

I miss the Scarpetta of old, I miss the medical examiner, I miss the forensics.

This one started off with a decent plot, a decent mystery. Then it just fell apart by pulling in characters (who I still don't care about) from the past. There was no wrap up. There was, I guess, supposed to be a showdown that literally took 1 page and then *poof* we're in the future with no resolution.

*waving white flag*

I give up.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

I think this was my first graphic novel this year. Discovered through Books on the Nightstand, episode 300, I am SO happy my little library had this.

I always find it difficult to review graphic novels, so I will just say the graphic portion is well done.

Now the meat of this book and why I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads:

I cried. I cried like a kid. Chast presents to us a memoir of her parents end-of-life portion of aging and it was heartbreaking. They were the same age, met as kids and married. They had one child, Roz, and lived well into their 90s together, completely dependent on one another and liking it that way. The novel details their decline and their transition from Brooklyn apartment to nursing home.

It is truly a great novel to read and might not affect everyone the way it did me. Reading this brought back many memories of my dad's decline with Parkinson's Disease. His dementia (much like Roz's father - oh, I felt her pain) that led to falls and finally a nursing home. Virtually everything in her book was very familiar as my dad passed away only 5 years ago.

So I cried.

And it was cathartic.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

I picked this book from my first postal book club and ...


I don't think I realized what I was picking!

The first story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, seems simple enough. Family goes on vacation (road trip!) and grandma is nervous about a killer on the loose. The writing is amazing, every word drops into a perfect place, and the story tugged me along until it beat me over the head. Dark, I tell ya. I was surprised at what I read and had to stop.

And then I went back....

The River was another that surprised me at the darkness at the end. Was anything sacred here?

No, not really. I kept on reading: through the strangers encroaching on innocent people and turning their worlds upside down, through women trying to survive on their own with devils on their shoulders shouting at them, through religion being brought up over and over and causing me to wonder if these people would be better off without it.

Dark turns and twisted paths. And, frankly, it all mimics the real world. The Displaced Person actually sounded like it could have come from some members of my family (deceased and/or no longer in touch with). The real world is dark and twisted and O'Connor sums it up quite amazingly in this book.