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, September 12, 2014

One Death, Many Stories

Maya Angelou
Walter Dean Myers
and now, Joan Rivers.
I had just written about Joan Rivers after reading Diary of a Mad Diva. I have said before, September is cruelest month.
A lot of people didn't like Joan Rivers.  And even I wrote some cruel stuff about her, as I reread my review of Diary of a Mad Diva.  I am angry at myself for quoting some web comment somewhere that "Joan River's day has come and gone."  As I think back, I was copping out, just trying to be "hip" and "now" and well, the truth is, I didn't even know about River's In Bed with Joan, and I had never watched Melissa and Joan:  Joan Knows Best?  Because I am not hip, now or anything of the sort.  Come on, I am a librarian.  That should tell you everything.  I was kidding myself.
I knew the old Joan Rivers.  I had read The Life and Times and Heidi Ambromovitz and Enter Talking when I was in junior high and high school and Still Talking in college.  But I didn't know anything about the glorious later years of Ms. River's career.  I only knew that she was part of growing up, an influence during my formative years.  In these days following her death, I have read everything I can about her.  My dear friend, Mrs. Pintar and I have been mourning together.  Jane Velez-Mitchell said this, "You know, she spoke these truths that other people preferred to sugar coat. One of a kind. She did so much for all women who are in-front of the camera. I probably benefited myself from the fact that she was a trail blazer. All women who are in any way shape of form performers benefited from this woman breaking the glass ceiling with her -- ovaries. She had the ovaries to tell the truth."
Of course I will never be a famous performer.  And sermons are CERTAINLY not performances.  I am not saying that at all.  But at the same time, they are done in front of a group of people and it is a very, very humbling and daunting task.  To take the most important, precious words in the history of the world and try to convey to a group of people what God has led you to say...well it is hard to describe.
And in the other things that I do, storytime or storytelling or stand up. Those are performances in their own way.  So yeah, I benefited greatly from Joan Rivers.
When she died I wondered how the world would react.  She was always under fire for many of her comments.  I wondered if that would be her legacy.  As far as I can tell, she wasn't.  I am sure if I looked, I could find articles dwelling on the controversial aspects of her life, but you know, I won't.  I did look to see if Westboro Baptist had anything to say and they did, so I figure she was pretty effective in doing the right and good things while she was here on earth.
Does this have anything to do with One Death, Nine Stories?  Yes I think so.  Any time a person leaves this earthly life, it is going to impact more than just that one person.  I hope anyway.  Here was have a young man, Kevin, a recent high school graduate who kills himself.   The book consists of different people, a sister, a good friend, a former friend, a total stranger.
The book is a collection of short stories, popular authors taking a different chapter and a different POV.  I listened to the book, so I couldn't easily go back and know who was writing what, but now that I have looked at who wrote what, and I am not surprised that the stories I enjoyed the most are by authors I really enjoy.  Marina Budhos and Rita Williams-Garcia had stories that were five star worthy, but I didn't enjoy the other stories as much.
It just seemed a little chopped up to me.  But hey...look at how much the book made me think? So...that is a good thing.

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