What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Rated D for Disturbing!

You All Grow Up and Leave Me was super disturbing. Piper Weiss is complicated!  And she admits that.  I love her relationship with her mom, though.  And her willingness to admit that she knows her mom loves her and she loves her mom.  I think that is cool.
This is the story of Gary Wilensky.  And Weiss's raw and real feelings about him and who she was in his life and who she maybe wanted to be.
I do think that Weiss is harder on herself than she needs to be.  But that is what makes this book so well done.  She is very real and honest and willing to share.

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Radium Girls:  The Dark Story of America's Shining Women was graphic and hard to read in many places.  These women, how they suffered.  But their deaths and pain were not in vain.  What a story.  So very tragic.  And greed.  The love of money truly is the root of all evil.  You can read more about them here.

Mark 9:42

Everything Happens for a Reason:  And Other Lies I've Loved was an incredible, beautiful and heart-breaking.  I had heard Kate Bowler on Fresh Air and read the book right away.  This is a must-read.  What a brave, incredible woman of God.  It's lies like "Everything happens for a reason.," that have caused many to stumble.  And that is very sad.
But what a testimony this is.  Kate Bowler is truly God's voice in this world. 

The Shame of a Nation

Hitler's American Model:  The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law was an eye-opening, but sadly, unsurprising book.  That's not a criticism of the book, it is a criticism of our country.  I used to be such a patriot.  I used to get upset with people who bough foreign cars.  I quoted Schurz constantly, "“My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”   I sang this song at karaoke and to myself as well.  And then I grew up.  After reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, I started to question everything.  And then the election of 2016 happened and everything changed.  And I am ashamed.  And I am sad. 

Friday, April 20, 2018


I remember what I was doing at age 15 and after reading Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom:  My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March, I am even more in awe of Lynda Blackmon Lowery.  And even more ashamed of our country.  But yet Ms. Lowery has written a book of hope and love as she tells what she saw and heard and went through when she was on the road to Montgomery.  In face of Bloody Sunday, I am just blown away that she can write with such grace and kindness.  What a beautiful woman she must be.  We are reading this for my nonfiction book group with adults and will talk about it on Tuesday.  The other women in the group all lived through this time and I am anxious to hear what they remember. 


do I take a star away from a book, rather than add one.  But the thing about Shutter is, I had completely forgotten about it.  That's not to say it is a bad book.  It's not.  It was just okay for me. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Jewell Parker Rhodes should have won the Newbery for Towers Falling.  She should win it next year for Ghost Boys.  This book is incredible.  JPR is one of the most talented writers to which I have ever been exposed.  Incredible.  Moving, honest, sadly "ripped from the headlines."  Creative, sad, hopeful.  Real. 

David, David, David

my roommate Nancy would say, when David Letterman would make a smart/edgy remark, which was often.  We loved watching Letterman.  It was sad to see him retire.  I liked this book.  I didn't like how little was mentioned of Joan, but maybe David and Joan really didn't have much to do with one another, so that is my bad.  Letterman:  the Last Giant of Late Night was good but it wasn't awesome.  And I just think Mr. Letterman deserves awesome.