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.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

ER Stories...

People of the ER is another book by Dr. Philip Allen Green.  I really, really loved the first one I read by him, and this one was the same way.  I just found every one of the short stories to be so well written and so different and interesting.  Sometimes short story collections are hard to write about because they can be uneven.  Even when it is a collection by the same author, but this wasn't the case with this book or Meet Cute, so maybe that bodes well for all of the short story collections that 2018 will bring my way!  Lots of great sermon illustrations in here, too! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

One Wish

Man.  As You Wish was really, really good!  I really loved this book.  Eldon describes himself as a jerk in the book and his friends and ex-girlfriend even make mention of his self-centered nature, but I have to say that I didn't find him to be an unlikable guy at all. 
The whole book takes place in Madison where there is a Wishing Cave and everyone gets one wish when they turn 18.  Eldon is about to turn 18 and has no idea what his wish should be and is even suspicious that the whole wish thing is a bad thing and only leads to ruin.  Indeed, in the examples he shares, one can totally see why he would draw this conclusion!  Can you imagine a town like this? 
I mean, I have often lamented the fact that teens are supposed to know what they want to do when they are 18 and graduating high school and heading to careers or college or military service.  And 18 seems so young.  Can you imagine getting to (having to) make a wish that could impact your whole future.  And indeed, it IS their whole future.  People don't leave Madison.  They stay in town and live out their lives before them, some of whom have had their wishes impact their lives in HUGE ways.  So much to think about here.
I was surprised that Chelsea Sedoti also wrote The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett which I really didn't like very much at all, mostly because I found the main character so awful.  But I really, really, really liked this book so much! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Some people find the word "cute" to be demeaning, but since Meet Cute is actually titled Meet CUTE, I figure it is okay to say that the book is cute!  And wow, it is.  So many short stories but ALL were excellent.  And such diversity in the stories.  Not just in that some people love people with different body parts, etc., but there is some fantasy here, some sci fi,  and they are REALLY great!  What a super book!

One of the Best I've Read in a Long Time!

Unbound was really, really good!  I mean, typical Stone, of course!  But I found it to move really quickly.  Dino and Herbie (or Herbert as we call him now that he is all grown up and has a real job) aren't in it, but Peter and Ben are a wee bit and Teddy Fay and Ed Eagle.  Which makes me think that I should start to read those!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Whatever After for Older?

The Wishing Spell is the first book in the Land of Stories series and it has been around for a while, but I am finally getting to it and glad that I did.    Chris Colfer  is the author and he is a guy of many talents.  I have never seen Glee, but I know it was very popular.   I just realized he wrote Stranger than Fanfiction which I really loved!  I guess I am not surprised that I really enjoyed this one as well and look forward to reading the next

Midnight is the Magical Time!

There is a lot of superstition/tradition around midnight.  I mean, around the concept or the time of midnight.  That's not to say that there isn't a lot of superstition/tradition about everything around the time of midnight.  It's just not what I am talking about here.
I am talking about little things you hear about 12:00am.  Especially midnight on January 1.  In Spain, for example, there is the tradition of eating 12 grapes at the strike of 12 so that you will have good luck for the next 12 months.  And if you kiss someone a midnight on January 1 you will be with them all year and your love with grow and all of that jazz. 
Together at Midnight takes place in the time between Christmas and New Year's and midnight on NYE figures in prominently.
I only gave this one 3 stars not because there was anything wrong with it, but just because it didn't ever grab me or stick with me.  But it was okay! 

When is a Ship Not a Ship?

When it's a FRIENDSHIPReal Friends was such a good book.  It reminds me of how much I love reading graphic novels.  Shannon Hale wrote about her own life and LeUyen Pham made it look fantastic.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Rain and Ethan

One of the many things I appreciated about Rules of Rain was Rain's explanation of her name and her brother's name.  Her father named Ethan.  Normal name.  And her mom named her, Rain.
Her mom was a hippie-type and her dad was Mr. Normal.  Well, my name is Ingrid Gaynell.  And my brother is Robert Paul.  And well.   That has always bugged me!  Not just that my name is so terrible, but that my brother's is so NORMAL!
The other thing I appreciated about this book was the brother-sister love and relationship.  And also the proof that no one is all good or all bad.  (thinking about the parents here)
This was a good book, not just about families who have members with exceptional abilities, but also about the pressures that we put on ourselves, how we define ourselves, that kind of thing.  I loved Ethan and Hope, too.