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.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Very Painful

I waited a long time on the holds list for Hazel Wood, the first in a series.  But wow, this was really not for me at all.  I just really didn't like it at all.  This is one of the books that my goodreads group has read this year for Newbery consideration and there are so many that are not in audio format so I try to listen to the ones that are.  For that reason I really tried to stick it out.  But man, I just couldn't find anything enjoyable about this.  I am so sorry! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Last Days

The Last Days of Night was a really good.  It was quick and easy to read, not at all like I thought it would be.  I don't know what made me think this, but I thought it would be a "literary" read.  But man I just got right into it!
And the thing is, it is historical fiction, so I did learn a lot, too, because while I was reading it, I researched the "real stories" behind the events and people.  Plus, the author gives a good recap of what was real and what was fiction at the end of the book and also online.
I just found out that this is going to become a movie!
The only thing I guess that has me wondering is that in this book Westinghouse is not a good dude.  And from what I have read about him, in real life, he was a good dude.
Edison is a jerk in the book and from everything I have read about him, he was a jerk in real life. 
Telsa seems like a good dude in real life and in the book, too.
Graham Moore is a very easy to read author and this is one great book! 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Life is Complicated

Just Under the Clouds is one of those books that reminds me that life is not easy.  This is a very real book in that Cora doesn't just have one complication in her life, she has many.  Like we all do.  As if being a middle schooler isn't hard enough when one's family is stable and intact, Cora is dealing with the death of her father, her family's homelessness, her mom's issues and her sister's exceptional abilities.  Each one of these topics is handled so beautifully and so well.  This was an amazing book.  It is Melissa Sarno's first and I can't wait until her next. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Many Reasons

There are many unfair reasons why I didn't like Invisible Girls:  a memoir.

For one, I immediately thought of Kate Bowler when I read this book.  Two young women of faith, hit hard with horrible cancer.  The thing is, Sarah Thebarge is no Kate Bowler, but that isn't fair because Kate Bowler is matchless.

It also isn't fair that even though Thebarge says that she has escaped from Christian fundamentalism, she is still too fundamentalist for me.

But I think there are other reasons why I didn't like the book that are valid.  I found Thebarge to be more of a white savior figure than anything else.  I also found some of her decisions regarding her interaction with Hadhi's family to be super judgy and ridiculous.  For one, the tv show depicting domestic violence, the one that she didn't want Hadhi's kids to see?  Pretty much ignoring the whole truth that these kids have seen this and worse violence in real life.  And then, she is pleased when Hadhi turns the tv to Spongebob Squarepants.  Um.  Okay.

This just wasn't my thing.  I have incredible sympathy for Thebarge and for all of the trials that she has gone through with her horrible disease.  Don't get me wrong.  And I also think that what she did with and for Hadhi and her children was quite commendable and far more than I could ever do.  And it is clear that she is God's hands and feet in this world.  I just think that her editors did her an injustice.  I don't think that someone who has such a giving heart meant to come across like she did-- a white savior and full of "pat myself on the back" moments and ugh, that ending- I think that a better editor would have helped her share her heart in maybe a way more like the person she seems to be.

They say that actions speak louder than words, right?  And Thebarge's actions are just wow, I admire her so much and it makes me want to be that kind of person, but the words with which she told her story, they fell short.  And that's too bad.

Sadly too, she is misguided in that she attends a church which does NOT  understand that God cares THAT we love, not WHOM we love.  It is one of those churches where the pastor believes that what body parts one has should determine whether or not love is Godly.

As for Ms. Thebarge, she can follow James Dobson on that issue.  I will follow Jesus Christ.

I can't recommend this book.


Titles

The Whore's Child and Other Stories by Richard Russo has a really intriguing title and I admit, that is what drew me to it.  It's a book of short stories and I enjoyed all of them and recommend the whole book, but the first one, which happens to be the title of the book, was my favorite.  This guy is really talented. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Bumpy Ride

Turbulence is the #46 in the Stone series and for me, it just didn't hold my interest.  I have been loving Stone a lot lately, but I think it was just too much international intrigue for me.  I was VERY excited to hear some news about Holly Barker's future though!  So I look forward to #47 and I hope that we get to see Peter and Ben and not Felicity and Lance!

Yeah....

Zen and Gone really didn't do it for me.
At all.
I know it has gotten rave reviews but wow, there was really nothing that drew me into this book.  I had to struggle to finish.  Ugh.   I am so sorry!  I hate writing that!  I know that Ms. France has to be talented and I don't fault her writing at all, but the story was just so not me.
I do want to read Signs of You though because her writing was really good.  I do hope that a different person narrates it though.  To me the narrator's voice sounded SO much younger than Essa was supposed to be. 
Also I think I hated this book so much because of the mother.  The mother was just awful, awful, awful.  And I just don't think I could get past that.  So the one star isn't a reflection upon the quality of the book, just my feeling on how it made me feel. 

My Heart and Other Black Holes was good book.  And the only thing I didn't care for was that the ending seemed really rushed.  I totally get what happened and why it happened and how Aysel came to feel as she did, but I just wish Warga would have taken a little more time getting there.  I know that is not very like me!  I prefer a short book.  I think it really says a lot about how much I liked this book, given that I would want it to be even longer!