This is a young adult novel centered around a group of teenagers working at an upscale restaurant where the real money is made in the after hours gameThis is a young adult novel centered around a group of teenagers working at an upscale restaurant where the real money is made in the after hours game of Tips played among the staff. It's a high stakes game based on dares that leaves the winner with a lot of money. Each of the characters has their own reason why they need the money and why they don't necessarily want to participate in the dares they are presented with.
Even for a YA book I found this novel to be pretty over the top ridiculous. Not to mention that the game itself didn't really make any sense to me. The dares never really seemed like that big of a deal for the most part, and it also never made any sense to me how the game would make anyone that much richer in the way the characters seemed to indicate it would. ...more
Rachel Held Evans found that while she still loved God and considered herself a Christian she couldn't abide with the Church that too often seemed toRachel Held Evans found that while she still loved God and considered herself a Christian she couldn't abide with the Church that too often seemed to be hypocrtical, hateful, and demeaning to women. Through a book framed around the seven sacraments of baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death she examines her own journey within the Church from leaving it to trying to find a way back in.
Evans is a wonderful writer and I found this book to be a wonderful exploration of her journey, one that I thing many liberal Christians faced with more conservative churches and upbringings may face. As someone who has very progressive views I really identified with a lot of her struggle. I'm lucky enough to have found a church that I love and focuses on the things I feel are most important that I can not get bogged down in the areas I might not completely agree with their views on. Evans does a really good job of talking about finding a church and community that is right enough for you because no church will ever hold 100% of your beliefs on everything. For anyone who feels alienated by the church but still feels called to it I highly recommend this book. ...more
Livy finds her best friend Julia dead in her apartment. Everyone else is convinced it was a suicide, but Livy becomes convinced that Julia was actuallLivy finds her best friend Julia dead in her apartment. Everyone else is convinced it was a suicide, but Livy becomes convinced that Julia was actually murdered and by the same person who murdered her sister many years before. Her quest to clear her friend's name and also catch her murderer alienates her from her family and leads her on a dangerous quest teaming up with the secret boyfriend she discovered Julia had.
I found this book rather clumsy. Characters are specifically set up to be red herrings in an obvious way while the actual killer sort of comes out of nowhere. I didn't find this a very well written mystery, which is a shame because I really enjoyed McKenzie's last book....more
I read this book for one of my book clubs. Chef Dan Barber looks at the future of eating and how we need to move on to the third plate, which focusesI read this book for one of my book clubs. Chef Dan Barber looks at the future of eating and how we need to move on to the third plate, which focuses more on vegetables with only a small bit of meat to support them in order to provide a healthier and more sustainable food ecosystem. Essentially it's a twist on the trend of books and restaurants based on farm-to-table dining. He visits various farms and farmers who are creating more sustainable agriculture in a way that is less limited than the idea of people shopping at farmers' markets, which seem to dominate in the farm-to-table discussions. Although I agree that we need a better, healthier, and more sustainable agricultural ecosystem I'm not sure his ideas are really any more capable of providing a real solution on a global or even country-wide scale than traditional farm-to-table plans are. It was an interesting read nonetheless though. If you enjoy books about this subject area or food writing in general I would recommend it. ...more
Alice Goffman turned a thesis into this book, so it is more academic in nature than not. She spent six years doing an ethnographic study of the "SixthAlice Goffman turned a thesis into this book, so it is more academic in nature than not. She spent six years doing an ethnographic study of the "Sixth Street Boys" in Philadelphia. Based on her time spent with them in their neighborhood she presents the ways that the war on drugs and policing methods have resulted in a population that is continually on the run. It was an interesting look at the cycle that keeps particularly inner-city African-American males caught in the legal system. It did seem at times that she went beyond being an ethnographic observer and got overly involved with the community in a way that blurred her objectivity. She spends a large portion at the end of the book turning away from the more academic reporting of her observations to relating her personal experiences and opinions. It makes it more accessible I suppose for the lay reader, but makes it less of an actual academic work. ...more
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan playing an electric set at the Newport Folk Festival, something that still lives on as a big moment in th2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan playing an electric set at the Newport Folk Festival, something that still lives on as a big moment in the festival's history and in the history of popular music. The book details Bob Dylan's history as well as talks about the nature of the Newport Folk Festival, how it had grown, his relationship to other artists, and what actually happened on that night and its legacy. Despite my interest in the subject, this book didn't really hold my attention. I think it wound up being more of a Dylan biography than I was expecting....more
My book club is currently doing a theme of books by non-American authors. I had heard a lot of really great things about Americanah, so when it was myMy book club is currently doing a theme of books by non-American authors. I had heard a lot of really great things about Americanah, so when it was my turn to host this is the book I chose. It turned out to be an excellent selection. Even though I'm the only one who managed to finish it before the meeting (it's long and our date got moved up) we still had ample content to talk about. The book is really rich in its examination of cultural experiences and the differences between African-Americans and non-American Blacks.
The book centers around Ifemelu and Obinze who fall in love in Nigeria but who then separate when she emigrates to America and he eventually winds up as an undocumented immigrant for a time in London. The book chronicles both of their experiences living in foreign countries under completely different circumstances. The book also includes blog posts written by Ifemelu chronicling the differences she sees between African-Americans and non-American Blacks. I found the blog posts to be one of the best parts of the book.
I was less enthused about the love story aspects of the book especially since that's what drove the ending of the story. I felt like the book had so much more important things to say that the love story just didn't seem to fit for me at least in the prominent position it was sometimes given. Overall though, this was a fantastic book and I definitely plan on going back and reading some of the author's other works....more
It's been one year since Sarah and Angus lost one of their twin daughters to a freak accident. They're still trying to pick up the pieces of the shattIt's been one year since Sarah and Angus lost one of their twin daughters to a freak accident. They're still trying to pick up the pieces of the shattered life and decide to move out to a remote Scottish island left to them by Angus' grandmother to help rebuild their family. The only problem is that now their surviving daughter Kirstie tells them that she's not actually Kirstie, she's really Lydia the daughter they thought had died. The story is told in the alternating perspectives of Sarah and Angus who both seem to have secrets and reasons to distrust each other. Meanwhile their daughter is becoming more and more disturbed.
I liked the premise of this book more than I liked the book itself. I just didn't really care for where the story went. It had some horror aspects to it, but it wasn't really a horror story. I wish it had been more realistic. ...more
Bianca has never been a fan of her womanizing classmate Wesley, and her hatred of him grows even more when he tells her that she's the Duff (designateBianca has never been a fan of her womanizing classmate Wesley, and her hatred of him grows even more when he tells her that she's the Duff (designated ugly fat friend) of her friend group. When things at home go downhill with her mother filing for divorce and her father starting to drink again after many years being sober, Bianca decides she needs a distraction and winds up making out with Wesley. Now it turns out that Wesley may not be the guy she thought he was. Could she actually be falling for the guy she hated so much?
I read this book after I saw that it was coming out as a movie. I still haven't seen the movie, but I would like to eventually. I think it could make a really good teen flick. I thought the book was a good teen love story as far as these things go....more