I should note that I had no idea who either of these women were when I found this at the library. I can see from the information here that Reichl is a...moreI should note that I had no idea who either of these women were when I found this at the library. I can see from the information here that Reichl is apparently a best selling author. I had no clue. This caught my eye because it was a slim book and that's it. I needed something short to read right then. When I saw it was a memoir and the photo of Reichl as a little girl with her Mother caught my eye I decided to give it a shot. I don't regret it - it's a decent book. I would say that only people who know - or know of at least - Reichl would probably seek it out. I guess what I'm trying to say is if you don't have an invested interest in either Reichl or her Mother there isn't much for you. They did have a Mother/Daughter relationship quite different than mine. In fact, at times it seemed like the elder Reichl was borderline a bad Mother IMO. I say borderline because there are other factors that went with each little situation. It's a fast book, 110 pages all told I think, so it's not much to get through even if you didn't like it. If you're a fan of Reichl's I'd guess it would be a better read than for someone like me who just happened to find it.(less)
I'll get to my own thoughts in a minute but I'd like to try to explain something if I may. I understand not everyone uses "foul" language. I acknowled...moreI'll get to my own thoughts in a minute but I'd like to try to explain something if I may. I understand not everyone uses "foul" language. I acknowledge anyone's right not to use it. And at the same time, I think it's decent to expect the same amount of respect back. As far as I know (can imagine) this wasn't shoved in anyone's face. People picked it up, on their own, and read it. Because they were curious at the very least. Now, you'll never hear or read me tearing someone down for a rating or review that disagrees with mine. That kind of thing actually disgusts me. But I do want to just try to get some people to understand something here. Just because someone thinks (or says to themselves) 'fuck' when thinking of their child(ren) - that doesn't make them a bad parent. It doesn't mean they're saying it around their child(ren) or that they're going to murder them in their sleep. Let me tell everyone something - there is no better Mother on this entire earth than me. I love and respect my Mom with all my heart and even she isn't better than me - we're equal in that regard. I'm that good of a Mom ya'll. Seriously. I'm, like, way up the ladder on that list. (It might be the only one but damn it, it's the most important I say.) (And, just in case anyone thinks I'm 'tooting my own horn' - which is an expression I HATE - ask anyone who knows me and Julia and they'll tell you.) Anyway, I've thought, 'God, why won't this kid go the fuck to sleep?!' or 'Go the fuck to sleep already!!!!!' before. And guess what? I'm still the best Mother in the world. So, if your getting all high and mighty in your review or comment you're right lying or you need to relax. (IMO, and please don't take that wrong, I'm not trying to be mean.) Because after all, it's a word people. Just a word. Remember? "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." Let's take a lesson from those darling little kids we all love so much. There are children being abused, molested, raped and killed in this world. There are children without homes and food and clothing and education. There are terrorists who are, right at this very second as your reading this, plotting to drive this country into the ground. How can we justify sitting around, complaining, worrying, about the word 'fuck'. Any word? I certainly can't.
Okay, so my thoughts on the book. I'll be 100% honest as I like to be in my reviews and thoughts. (On most things.) When I first saw the title I laughed out loud (another expression I HATE. Thanks 'lol'!) Then, very quickly I started wondering (borderline assuming I'll admit), that the author was probably going to use the language for the shock value. (Another thing I hate, but please, believe me, I don't hate all that much. It's just a lot coming out right here.) I'd make a smiley face but it won't look right because of the ending parenthesis. :( Anyway, I added it to my to-read list and figured that, much like any book I don't already own, I'd forget about it until I actually saw it again. Then I heard who the narrator was and knew I had to at least check it out. So, off I go to my library website. (Can't shell out the bucks if the book sucks of if the author was leaning on the shock value, right?) And..... no audio. But of course I didn't look that close so I just ordered it and it came. In print. And it's still funny. And it's no for shock value. That's always so obvious IMO. I think Mansbach did a really good job with it personally. Listen, the how-to book that was/is on amazon about how to molest little boys? Not funny. This? Funny. Now that I know what it's like I will buy a copy. And I might also use it as a shower present now and then. Oh, one more thing. I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, (keep throwing those 'evers' out for like the next year say any "bad" curse word in front of my own Mom. Not that she's an angel or whatever - it's a respect thing. But I knew she'd appreciate the humor here so I handed it to her. And she did. Well, first she gasped. Then she stared at me with big doe eyes and a horrified expression and asked me if I had read it to Julia. After she got over the mini-heart attack from me answering, 'Yes, why?', she laughed her Grandmom butt off. And trust me, if my Mom/Julia's Oma, can laugh at this - you should think about it also.(less)
I should have reviewed this when I quit the book but instead I waited so long so I may forget some of what I wanted to say. I do remember this though,...moreI should have reviewed this when I quit the book but instead I waited so long so I may forget some of what I wanted to say. I do remember this though, Lamott borderline disgusts me. If she bothered me just a smidgen more I'd be thoroughly disgusted with her person. When you pick up this book you tend to think it's about her son's first year of life right? You know, the whole "Journal of My Son's First Year" in the title and all. Well... no. It's a hidden agenda for her political rants. And that pisses me off. If that's what she wanted to write about, alone or with snippets about her son and/or home life then fine, but give some warning. Her political and other ranting is a huge part of the book no matter how she tries to slide it in with readers none the wiser. The other big thing that pisses me off here is that she's not funny. Plain and simple./ I can laugh because of someone I don't like so it's not that. She just is not funny. I'm still clueless as to why she - or anyone else for that matter - thought she was important enough to write this. Who the hell is she? Granted, this can be said about a great many books today but that fact doesn't diminish it here. She's so not funny that she has to make jokes that the average person would roll their eyes out. Where these glowing reviews are coming from are beyond me. I think the majority of them are from people who agree with her political view (notice the singular use there if you will) and just want to buddy up. But I have a problem with that. If someone writes a book that I think sucks I'm not going to rate it highly and review it with glowing accolades because I may happen to agree with the author on some idea. And vice versa as well. I'm guessing not everyone feels the same though after reading some of the reviews and reading in between the lines. Oh, well. Oh, by the way, in case you didn't get it the first 200 times around, her son Sam is really fucking beautiful. My daughter is beautiful also but you don't see me publishing a book with over 100 pages of me saying "Julia is so beautiful!" Wtf. In ending I can't believe I let this hunk of shit sit in my house for so long. If no one orders it on PBS in a matter of days I'm really going to throw it in the trash. That way no one else falls victim to her stupid rants.
3.5 - I'm kind of stuck between three and four stars because as with any book of essay's some will be more enjoyable than others. I don't have adoptio...more3.5 - I'm kind of stuck between three and four stars because as with any book of essay's some will be more enjoyable than others. I don't have adoption affecting my life directly but it's always been a subject I'm interested in. I would have said, before starting this, that I expected to be more ineterested in the adopted daughters' stories. It was exactly the opposite and I was much more into the adoptive mothers' stories. The birth mothers' stories came in a close second for me. The stories will take you through a wide range of emotions, as can be expected. Some of them pissed me off, some made me feel an astounding amount of sympathy and some were just plain weird. In Robyn Flatley's My Son for instance, as she tells of her son finding her and them meeting after 26 years. As they were walking and talking one night she told him she feels "dizzy, like I'm in love with you." No real problem yet right? Words can be taken a great many ways. Okay. Soooo, the son replies, "You know, this is confusing for both of us. I will never make love with you; it's against my beliefs." Well shit. There goes that huh? Am I missing something? Is this normal in this world we live in? Is it normal for Flatley to feel "cheated" and to want to have "him inside me"? (pg. 49 - all of it). "Son" and "have him inside me" should never, ever, ever, ever go in the same sentence. I don't mean to nitpick here but how seriously am I supposed to take an essay by a "mother" who complains about her husband and that the "only help he gave me was to watch them at night when I went out with friends.". "Them" being the children. Really? Could no normal people be found to write for this? That's not fair, there are some normal people included here but damn the abnormal really almost cancel the normals out. Sheila Rule's was not a good one for me. I don't like anyone to make too big an issue out of race. IMO it's only serving to keep racism and the like alive. There's little reason for it IMO. If we all want to be equal then we'll have to be just that - equal. Screaming out about race and always distinguishing does nothing at all. Well, nothing positive. Something similiar can be said for the essay(s) by KKai Jackson and Catherine E. McKinley. Race, race, race, race, race, and did I mention I'm mixed? You got to love this one though - the black part of their heritage is being embraced while the white part is to be hidden. It's to be pitied. It's to be ignored. It brings the question of what exactly would be said if this were the other way around in 2011 to mind? One can guess. Something like this, with the last few examples, makes me think the person(s) have nothing intelligent to say. Nothing worthy that I need to listen to. So, in the end, while I did read the full stories by each, I took them with a grain of salt. I wouldn't read any again any more than I would read an essay by a KKK member. I guess it comes down to what you have with any anthology or compilation - some you'll like, some you won't. Some you'll agree with, some you won't. I can say this, it's interesting and I'll continue to read more about the subject with an emphasis on adoptive and birth mothers. I think I'll probably shy away from adoptive daughters for the most part right now. I almost forgot by Shay Youngblood's essay's - both of them - are worth mentioning. There is obvious racial distinction there but it's with a purpose. That purpose makes all the difference to me. Besides that, the talent is there and the story is there. Youngblood's two essay's are among the best in the book. (less)