I have always been interested in fatalistic weather. Not impressively interested like those in What Stands in a Storm who are interested in it and theI have always been interested in fatalistic weather. Not impressively interested like those in What Stands in a Storm who are interested in it and then like study weather and become meteorologists and save lives, but passively interested. Interested in a way where I constantly make sure that things such as tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc., don't come anywhere near me and sometimes track them to make sure they stay far, FAR away. However, What Stands in a Storm is my first non-fiction book about a fatalistic weather event. And let me tell you, this book was simultaneously terrifying and heartbreaking.
Kim Cross made me feel as though I was right there in Tuscaloosa, experiencing the affects of the tornado (the fact that there was a massive thunderstorm and a tornado warning...in CT, while I was reading, certainly helped matters as well). She writes in such a visceral way that I ended up flinching and bursting into tears many times while reading this. Mainly because of all of the people who have lost their lives as well as the family of those people who somehow have to pick up the pieces and move on. But I also cried because of the fact that many people banded together to help those who were left destitute and homeless because of the tornado (and it's not something that I think would happen here in Ye Olde New England). This book just made me feel every single emotion.
I can write way more words to try to pad this review and make it longer. But there would be no point. What Stands in a Storm is a brilliant, fantastically written book that will make you cry many, many, many tears....more
God, I always feel like a jerk when I rate a memoir less than four stars. I feel like a double jerk when I rate it three stars not because it was a suGod, I always feel like a jerk when I rate a memoir less than four stars. I feel like a double jerk when I rate it three stars not because it was a substandard book, but mainly because it wasn't what I was expecting (and that has to do more with the marketing department than with the author herself). Here's the thing: Stir is being marketed for fans of Oliver Sacks (as well as tons of other people). And Oliver Sacks' books tend to stray towards more scientific (which makes sense considering he's a neurologist). So, I had assumed that Stir would be somewhat scientific, but it wasn't. Again, that's not a bad thing. But for someone who had assumed that it would be, not getting it led to some disappointment on my part.
My main issue with Stir was that I was less intrigued with the author's personal life than I should have been while reading a memoir. Don't get me wrong, I, of course, sympathized with all that she was going through. I just found myself wandering and not really engaged while the author was going on about her childhood and her relationship with her husband.
The food aspect of Stir was well-done. I kept looking at the recipes and thinking "I could totally make that", which of course is a lie since I can't cook worth a damn. It did make me want to head out to my local bakery, though, and pick up some sweets.
Overall, I thought that Stir was just okay. If you're looking for a more in-depth look into what caused the author's aneurysm or anything super detailed, then you shan't find it here. If you're looking for a memoir about recovery and food, then I recommend Stir....more
When it comes to memoirs, I've always been a bit hot and cold. In fact, recently, it takes an incredible memoir to actually make me feel something, paWhen it comes to memoirs, I've always been a bit hot and cold. In fact, recently, it takes an incredible memoir to actually make me feel something, particularly since a lot of the time they come across a teeny bit 'woe is me'. Due to this, I was surprised at how much I liked A Thousand Miles to Freedom. I found it to be highly informative and told with a breezy writing style.
The situation in North Korea wasn't one that I was particularly privy to. It only came to my radar after that whole The Interview/Sony drama and I was even more interested after I heard that some people were being arrested in North Korea for making a sign from The Hunger Games. I have to say that A Thousand Miles to Freedom was extremely eye-opening for me. I had no idea that the situation in North Korea (that has been spanning decades) was so precarious. This book definitely makes me want to check out even more books on North Korea to try to figure out how a this totalitarian society came to be.
Eunsun's journey in A Thousand Miles to Freedom was extremely heartbreaking, yet inspiring. She went through so much, but in the end persevered. I loved that her story was told in a matter of fact way as a lot of the times, memoirs tend to sensationalize certain events and that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth as the sensationalism is obvious from a mile away.
Overall, I really liked A Thousand Miles to Freedom. It was an incredibly quick read (would've read it faster if it hadn't been for life getting in the way instead of letting me just read) and while this is a story that's extremely upsetting, it didn't leave me feeling depressed and hopeless towards the end of it, the way a lot of other memoirs do. So, this is highly recommended....more
One of my more guiltier pleasures is my penchant for watching medical tv shows. I'm more than a little obsessed with them. So when The Real Doctor WilOne of my more guiltier pleasures is my penchant for watching medical tv shows. I'm more than a little obsessed with them. So when The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly appeared in my Amazon queue, I decided to check it out. I was slightly skeptical when I started reading this book. I figured a book about residency wouldn't be as captivating and tense as it is in the TV world and that it would be too bogged down with medicine and science that I feared I wouldn't understand since I'm not a doctor nor a med student. Fortunately for me, The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly was just as intriguing as watching an episode of ER.
The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly was a book that simultaneously made me chuckle and made my heart hurt. It also seemed to be a very real account of what I imagined an intern doctor would go through in his/her day to day life in a hospital (i.e. no George Clooney, though he makes me swoon). I was drawn to Matt McCarthy's portrayal of himself. It wasn't "woe is me" (which is one of my pet peeves when it comes to memoirs), but it also wasn't too lax. He seems to be slightly self-deprecating without being obnoxious and I liked that.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly. It was humorous, yet serious. And while some of the medical jargon did go over my head, I retained enough information to have a total geek moment while watching ER and yelling "Oh my God! I totally understand what Weaver and Greene are talking about!". And that's all I ever really wanted. Highly recommended to those who love medical shows....more
So, this book pretty much intrigued me due to its title. I've always been interested in how there's a negative connotation when it comes to women haviSo, this book pretty much intrigued me due to its title. I've always been interested in how there's a negative connotation when it comes to women having no desire to marry or wanting to live by themselves. I've pretty much resigned myself to being a spinster (some days I'm more okay with that than others) seeing as how I'm one of those people who likes having relationships, romantic and otherwise, but has absolutely no desire to settle down or be tied down. I had hoped that reading Spinster would somehow validate (I guess I'm having one of my 'not okay' moments with this) this decision for me. I'm not sure it completely did, but it was still a good read.
The good thing that Spinster had going for it was that it delved pretty deeply into the history of Bolick's "awakeners". I loved learning about all of the different feminist women writers that Bolick was influenced by. However, I do have to agree with the other reviewers and say that they weren't really "spinsters" when you take into account the traditional definition of the word. But Spinster really gave me a brief introduction to some women writers I hadn't heard of before and definitely made me more interested in picking up biographies on those that I have.
The not so great: I was less intrigued by the memoir aspect of Spinster. I just didn't really care about Bolick's past relationships, but oddly enough, I did want to hear more about her theories of spinsterhood. But I definitely didn't care about J or S or W or anybody else she was dating. Oh, and another thing, the amount of what people deem "SAT words" in this book were astounding. That's one thing that I found slightly pretentious. I get it. You know big words. Let's move on.
Anyway, for the most part, I did like Spinster. I do wish that it focused more on the historical aspect of it or on the actual spinsterhood of it. However, I still think this was a pretty good read and it did make me think and want to write a personal essay about my thoughts of spinsterhood, so kudos for that....more
So, this review is going to make me sound a bit like a jerk. But then again, any review that's somewhat criticalAnd let's cue the unpopular opinion...
So, this review is going to make me sound a bit like a jerk. But then again, any review that's somewhat critical of a memoir comes out kind of jerky anyway because if you're me, you start to think "who am I to judge this person's experience? At least, they've overcome their issues! At least, they've done something worthy with their lives!" And the Marshall family has. They've traveled around the world volunteering. That pretty much beats anything that I do this year. But my jerkiness behavior aside, I thought Wide Open World was okay, but I wasn't really enamored by it.
The Good: Oh, the yens I have for traveling are so immense! I'm dying to travel. I just don't have the time nor the funds to travel at the moment (hoping I can travel this summer, though). I love living vicariously through people (both fictional and otherwise) who have traveled and I love reading about new places and new cultures. So, the best part about Wide-Open World was learning a bit about places such as Thailand and Costa Rica, and India, etc. It made me want to put the book down, book a ticket, and just go off anywhere, responsibilities be damned! (I have no kids, so I can say that). While I did curb this desire somewhat, this book has done nothing to curb my thirst for travel and in fact, has exacerbated it. So, kudos for that.
And here comes the jerkiness: I kind of feel like this book should be titled Wide Open World: An Interesting Around the World Trip Done By A Very Bland Family. (And I feel like a jerk for saying that because I am probably the most non-interesting person you will ever meet). It's just I found myself bored by the Marshall's familial drama. It just wasn't as interesting to me. I wanted to see the family dance with more monkeys, or battle more snakes, or engage with the locals more. Instead, I was constantly brought back to the past where a bit of angst took place, and I was bored. Oh, and the author kind of failed in not making his daughter seemed like a spoiled brat...because she did. And I get that she's a teenager and that a lot of them are bratty, but I say this in every review I write of a book that has a bratty teenager in it: just because bratty teenagers exist, doesn't mean I want to read about them.
Another teeny (tiny) thing that bothered me about Wide Open World was the fact that I kept having this urge to create a time machine, go back to a time before this book was written, and hand the author a thesaurus with all of the synonyms for the word "beautiful" highlighted because he used it way too many times.
Overall, I did like Wide-Open World and despite the minor issues I have with it, I do still recommend it (kind of). I just wish I would have found the family more interesting than I did....more
I feel like I should add a disclaimer when it comes to Girl in the Dark: this isn't a book that's told in chronological order, but rather told in vignI feel like I should add a disclaimer when it comes to Girl in the Dark: this isn't a book that's told in chronological order, but rather told in vignettes that follow no type of order whatsoever. So, if you're one of those readers that is bothered by that, I'd say skip this book. I'm not usually into writing that goes back and forth and doesn't follow chronological order because it tends to seem scattershot. And it did seem scattershot in Girl in the Dark. However, I understand why the author wrote it in the way she did.
The Somewhat Good: Girl in the Dark was written in lyrical prose, which for the most part is a good thing since it kept me more engaged than I would have been if it was just told in a matter of fact way. However, at times I feel like she crossed the line from lyrical into pretty purple prose that seemed a little too flowery and came across (to me anyway) as not completely genuine. I do have to say, though, that her descriptions of what it is to not read the written word were spectacular and definitely hit home for a voracious reader such as myself.
The Okay: Despite the fact that Girl in the Dark is only a mere 257 pages (or at least my ARC copy is), it felt extremely long. I'm with those other reviewers (on Goodreads) that say that it would have made more of an impact on them (and me) had this been an essay or a magazine article. It just felt like every single one of its 257 pages. It didn't feel like a short read, even though it was.
Overall, despite the issues I had with Girl in the Dark, I still found it to be an enlightening read. It does give some insight into what it's like living with an unmanageable disease that has had very little research done on it and doesn't have a cure. I'd still recommend this book....more
This is the first book I've read on Joan of Arc. While I've always been interested in reading about her, I was kind of intimidated because there are sThis is the first book I've read on Joan of Arc. While I've always been interested in reading about her, I was kind of intimidated because there are so many books about her. I wanted to read a definitive biography...one that would allow me to get the gist of Joan without having to search out more. Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured, kind of fit the bill.
Was Joan of Arc a heretic? A saint? A schizophrenic? If you're looking for answers to these questions, obviously you won't find them. Everything in terms of whether or not Joan was actually hearing voices is up for speculation. In fact, you won't even find the author's opinions on this which I found quite refreshing. What you do get is a pretty straight forward account of Joan's life, as well as snippets of other authors' and filmmakers' interpretations of Joan. These interpretations help paint a full picture as to who Joan of Arc was and how others perceived her to be.
When it comes to the readability of this book, Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured passes. The beginning and the end of this book were tremendously engrossing. The middle I kind of slogged through, but I think that's just because at one point while reading, I was so busy with other things, that I wanted to read something that would go by faster.
Overall, I really like Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured. For a non-fiction book, it wasn't as dry a read as you would expect. It's also definitely got me interested in reading more in-depth books about Joan and her life....more
Well, hello there. And welcome to today's episode of "I really need to be more picky about my Netgalley requests". No, but seriously, I really do needWell, hello there. And welcome to today's episode of "I really need to be more picky about my Netgalley requests". No, but seriously, I really do need to be more picky because the ones that only sound mildly interesting...are starting to be not even that. And that was one of the reasons I didn't really like Patient Zero.
Seriously, how do you make a book about deadly epidemics boring?! I have no idea, but this book was immensely boring. Despite the fact that it was written in a breezy, matter of fact way, this book ended up being incredibly dry. The only part that wasn't boring was the Typhoid Mary case, but I think that has more to do with the fact that Typhoid Mary was endlessly interesting as opposed to the book itself being interesting.
I also felt like the information given in Patient Zero was very surface-level. I felt like I could have learned all of this from Wikipedia and still not have missed anything. There are no new insights, no new opinions. I think had this been written by someone who A.) actually had a medical degree of some sort or B.) had a history with y'know history than this book would have been more insightful and more deep. Instead we just have vague snippets of epidemics as opposed to semi-full case files of diseases.
However, my absolute main gripe with Patient Zero were the drawings that were in the book. I find all of these cases super sad because although we have found cures for some of these diseases, the truth is that tons of people still died for that to happen. And I'm sorry. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but I found all of those drawings lacking in taste. While the book itself didn't have a somber slant to it, it still wasn't humorous at all. So trying to add "humorous" pictures (which weren't funny at all) just seem to mock the cases it's supposed to be highlighting.
So, I didn't really like Patient Zero. I give it two stars solely to its showcase of the Typhoid Mary case, but other than that I say skip it and either read more in-depth books about different epidemics, or read about it on Wikipedia....more
As I'm getting older, I'm finding that my reading tastes are changing. Where before I used to solely devour mystery, chick-lit, and memoirs, now mostAs I'm getting older, I'm finding that my reading tastes are changing. Where before I used to solely devour mystery, chick-lit, and memoirs, now most of the time I read anything but these genres. I'm sure had I read Now I See You years ago, I would have loved it. However, reading it now, all I could think of was "Did you have to spend your entire childhood in a fundamentalist Mormon sect and be forced to be a perverted, older man's 10th wife? No? Then stop complaining!" (Mind you, I didn't have to go through this either, but I digress).
Maybe that's a tad bit unfair considering that what Kear goes through does seem traumatizing to me (especially since I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering what I would pick if I had to choose between being deaf or blind. I eventually just get so stressed out about it that I have to talk myself of a metaphorical ledge). However, it did sort of grate that all she pretty much did was complain about what was happening to her by being the opposite of proactive as it was happening to her. So, after a while, I ceased being wholly interested and then started to think "Man, this is one bloated book."
However, the parts where I wasn't finding Now I See You to be bloated, I did find to be genuinely funny. The author has some asshole-y thoughts. And seeing as how I also have asshole-y thoughts, I was kinda endeared by her sense of humor. And it truly did have some parts that were really interesting. Oh, and her grandmother kicked all types of awesome ass. So for that, I give it three stars....more
More often than not, I tend to feel like crap when I rate a memoir 3 stars or less especially when it's on a story that's incredibly powerful and courMore often than not, I tend to feel like crap when I rate a memoir 3 stars or less especially when it's on a story that's incredibly powerful and courageous. I think it took a lot of bravery for Securro to go after her rapist especially when so much time had passed, therefore sort of expecting that the chance of conviction was going to be slim due to lack of evidence. However, my 3 star rating has absolutely nothing to do with Securro's actual plight or whether or not she should have let bygones be bygones seeing as how the rapist first contacted her to apologize (I don't, by the way). My 3 star rating has to do with the actual writing.
Here's the thing that sort of soured the writing in Crash Into Me for me. I've read Alice Sebold's Lucky (another memoir about a college female being raped) and that book was so beautifully written that I started comparing (only) the writing in Crash Into Me to that of Lucky. And it just doesn't hold up. Lucky was written in a gritty, emotional way while Crash Into Me was written in a sort of breezy, matter of fact manner. Therefore, Lucky resonated more with me (seeing as how I tend to reread it at least once a year) and I found it more powerful.
Crash Into Me was an extremely courageous book written by an extremely courageous person. However, writing-wise it just left a lot to be desired....more
I first became aware of Sylvia Likens story after watching the film The Girl Next Door. Now that film is based on a novel that is based (loosely) on tI first became aware of Sylvia Likens story after watching the film The Girl Next Door. Now that film is based on a novel that is based (loosely) on this case. However, after reading both The Girl Next Door and Let's Go Play At the Adams (It is speculated that that book was also loosely based on this case) and what is written in the True Crime Library website about this case, I found that there was very little about this book that I didn't already know.
I found House of Evil to be very surface-level. It doesn't really dig deep. It is a semi-dry account of what happened to Sylvia Likens. That's not to say that I wanted more detail into her torture (trust me, when I say that the little that you get here is more than enough), but rather I wanted House of Evil to be just slightly more...passionate. I guess you can't really ask for that when the writer wasn't really involved in what happened to Likens while she was alive and only slightly involved in the trial. I just wanted something that was a little more in depth and not just cutting and pasting what happened in the trial.
Overall, I found House of Evil to be just okay. Nothing you read here, can't be found online, so I say if you want to know what happened to Sylvia Likens, read about it on the true crime library and skip the book....more
As someone who was born way after 1964, the little that I know about the Civil Rights Movement came from the fictional portrayals I've seen in the movAs someone who was born way after 1964, the little that I know about the Civil Rights Movement came from the fictional portrayals I've seen in the movies. So, after watching the film The Butler, I decided that I needed to branch out into non-fiction about the Civil Rights Movement. Freedom Summer did not disappoint.
Freedom Summer really gets into the nitty gritty of what really happened the summer of 1964 in Mississippi. It gives you every horrifying and gory detail. Reading this book was sort of like watching a train wreck. You're dying to look away, but you can't because you're so riveted. As a reader, Freedom Summer made me feel as though I was right there in Mississippi, watching these heart-wrenching events unfold. Yet, you're also shown how courageous these people were. Both the college students who went down there to help, as well as the locals who welcomed these students into their homes knowing that they were making themselves an even bigger target.
Overall, I highly recommend Freedom Summer. Despite the fact that there was so much detail woven into the book, it was still compulsively readable. Four stars....more
Apparently, I'm hard to impress when it comes to books written by female comedians. Comedians, of course, that are not Chelsea Handler. I find Jen KirApparently, I'm hard to impress when it comes to books written by female comedians. Comedians, of course, that are not Chelsea Handler. I find Jen Kirkman witty and hilarious in her interviews and especially at the round table in Chelsea Lately. However, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself...was barely funny.
I want a child. However, I am fully aware that other women don't feel the same way. I don't look at them like they're freaks though, cause different strokes for different folks and all... I could understand how Kirkman wouldn't want kids. However, I found that her listing the reasons why she didn't want kids and then going into a vignette that had nothing to do with that was a little repetitive...and again definitely not that funny.
Overall, I found I Can Barely Take Care of Myself to be completely blah and forgettable. I did have a couple of chuckling moments, but it certainly wasn't laugh out loud funny (nor was it completely unfunny as Tina Fey's Bossypants). So, I say skip it....more
I'm just going to preface this by writing: read In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving instead. I just felt like the Tuohy's story was mI'm just going to preface this by writing: read In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving instead. I just felt like the Tuohy's story was much more captivating with the fact that they completely took Michael Oher in...they clothed him, fed him, made sure he attended school and got good grades. Now, I'm not trying to diminish the good that Laura Schroff did because what she did for Maurice was pretty amazing as well. I guess I just can't get over the fact that she allowed her husband to disconnect her from Maurice. Not putting her foot down and telling her husband that Maurice was her friend (as she had claimed all the time before then) and that she was going to continue to see him and be a part of his life regardless of what he thought was a pretty shady move.
Overall, it was a pretty good story. However, it wasn't as heartwarming or as well-written as In a Heartbeat. So, reading that book and The Blind Side before reading An Invisible Thread made this book fall a bit flat for me....more
This is for the Mara Salvatrucha has one thing going for it. It's compulsively readable. Now, I for one adore non-fiction books, but I can see why somThis is for the Mara Salvatrucha has one thing going for it. It's compulsively readable. Now, I for one adore non-fiction books, but I can see why some people would find them a bit dry to read. I don't think any of those people would have trouble with This is for the Mara Salvatrucha because it does go at a really fast pace and the way it's written is like that of a fiction book, which it makes really easy to get into. On top of that, it's one of those books that can't really put down. When I wasn't reading it, all I could think about was going back to it and finishing it. However, when it comes to This is for the Mara Salvatrucha, the fact that you can't put it down is the only thing it has going for it.
I mentioned that This is for the Mara Salvatrucha is written like a novel which is why it made it so readable. However, the fact that it's written like a novel is one of the reasons I had issues with it. Here's the thing, the author of this book, continually writes what the main players in this book are thinking...whether they're dead or not. Which means that he couldn't have possibly known what they were thinking at any one given time...which means that he made it up...which is a big NO-NO in non-fiction.
Another disappointing thing about This is for the Mara Salvatrucha was that it's a very surface-level book. It doesn't dig deep into the Mara Salvatrucha at all. It's dealings with drugs, prostitution, murders...all of that was pretty much glossed over. This book wasn't as much about the Mara Salvatrucha as much as it was about Brenda Paz, a girl who happened to be involved with the Mara Salvatrucha. This isn't a bad thing, perse, if the book wasn't subtitled as "Inside the MS-13, America's Most Violent Gang". The book doesn't go inside the gang as much as the subtitle alluded to.
So, overall, I found This is for the Mara Salvatrucha to be a disappointing read. While it was a page-turner, it doesn't go very deep into what the book is supposed to be about: the Mara Salvatrucha. Plus, while adding stylish flair to your writing is all great and good, but if you're adding things that you don't have concrete proof happened and don't mention that it's speculative, than you lose a bit of credibility. So, two stars....more
The first word that comes to my mind when describing January First is “honest”. January First is just one very real and honest memoir about a father sThe first word that comes to my mind when describing January First is “honest”. January First is just one very real and honest memoir about a father struggling to deal with his daughter’s schizophrenia. It just has to be an honest book because the author of the book, Michael Schofield (the father of said daughter) comes off as a self-centered, judgmental, hypocritical jerk about 95% of the time. Luckily for him, despite his jerkiness, he comes off as a loving father 100% if the time, which is why the jerkiness didn’t dampen my “enjoyment” of the book.
It bears repeating that the dad is self-centered. He’s just so concerned with making excuses for Jani’s illness claiming that her issues are all caused by her genius, that he comes off as annoying most of the time. However, seeing as how denial seems to be the first step parents go through when it comes to problems plaguing their own kids, it was kind of understandable. What was most irritating about him, though, was the constant bashing of his wife’s character. It seems that while she was trying to do the best thing for BOTH her children, Michael Schofield was only concerned about Jani. Again, this is understandable except for the fact that he seemed to resent his wife for this fact. He claims that he’s the only one who’s there for Jani, unconditionally, but it seems to me that his wife did the admirable thing: trying to give adequate attention to BOTH children.
So, if I had so many issues with the author of January First, why did I give it four stars? Well, here’s the thing: this book is INTERESTING! This book is just incredibly compelling. But really it’s the actual idea behind this book that made it so intriguing, yet at the same time so horrifying. Schizophrenia is a terrifying mental illness in adults. Having a child go through all that is not only horrifying, it’s tremendously heartbreaking. And my heart goes out to Jani and her family who are trying to do what is best for her.
Overall, I think January First is an incredibly honest look into what it’s like to have a child with a mental illness. It does have its flaws: it isn’t wonderfully written and through the end it had this sort of novel poeticism into it that made me doubt whether or not things went quite that way. However, it was an extremely compelling read and you do feel for what the family is going through despite the selfishness the author seems to exhibit in the events in the book....more
So, Sam Halpern is crass, crude, blunt, a bit of a jerk…and I friggin’ LOVE that about him! Sure, he seems like a guy who’s never had a thought he didSo, Sam Halpern is crass, crude, blunt, a bit of a jerk…and I friggin’ LOVE that about him! Sure, he seems like a guy who’s never had a thought he didn’t feel the need to express, but most of his thoughts are hilarious in their bluntness, so that pretty much makes it okay in my book. If you’re going to be blunt, critical, and judgmental, at least be funny about it, otherwise, don’t even bother.
If you’re easily offended and/or don’t like vulgar language, don’t bother picking up Sh*t My Dad Says because you won’t appreciate it for the wonderful book it is. Sure, on the surface it seems just like a simple little book about a guy who has a jerk for a father, but if you dig a little deeper it’s about family, fathers and sons, and the love they have for one another…even if one of them is a bit of a jerk (but he’s hilarious so it’s okay). Highly recommended. ...more
F in Exams was pretty funny. Some of the answers made me laugh out loud, while others made me say "Well, that's just stupid", but more often than not,F in Exams was pretty funny. Some of the answers made me laugh out loud, while others made me say "Well, that's just stupid", but more often than not, it was the former rather than the latter. Sure, there are some answers that make you pause...and then make you wonder about the validity of these so-called "student answers", but it did entertain me. My favorite quotes were: "Why does Mark think his conclusion is right?" "Because Mark is a man." and "What is the probability of receiving a plate with cake on it at a party if there are six cupcakes distributed among nine plates?" "None, if my sister is invited, too." However, I did find that this book was entirely way too short to be anything but a library read, so I suggest getting it from there....more
Stumbling Along the Beat started off really strong. It was engaging and the author's voice seemed very genuine. It also seemed like it was going to beStumbling Along the Beat started off really strong. It was engaging and the author's voice seemed very genuine. It also seemed like it was going to be a great book about what it's really like for a woman on the police force. However, while the engaging part was something that was consistent throughout the entire book, the other two started drifting as the book went on.
The cases in Stumbling Along the Beat were always interesting. That was always what was most intriguing to me in the book. The author's tidbits about how she was treated like crap by the other men in her workforce were intriguing the first few times. However, she kept continuing to harp on this while mainly not doing much to fight it off. I can understand about not wanting to speak up because the author felt it would damage her career. What I could not understand was the continuous harping on not just the other men in the police force who treated her like crap, but also on every single little thing.
The author harped on fellow officers, the author harped on the police bunnies, she harped on the prosecutors, on the defense attorneys, on the social workers, on the judges, on how dangerous it was being a police officer (now correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this in the general job description? I'm sure it starts off with a "DANGER! You might get picked off if you do this!"),even on her husband in one instance (because he had the misfortune of always being right). It just went on and on. I'm not saying that some of those people didn't deserve the continious bitching because a lot of the time they did, but it's just after a while it ceases to be informative and starts coming off as whining. And then I start thinking, "My God, she thinks she's the only one with any moral compass in that police department she was working in", which then lead me to not feeling very sympathetic towards the author. That becomes a problem when this book banks on you being sympathetic towards her since it all comes out as "poor me."
The author does state that everyone in her department wasn't all bad; that there were some prosecutors and judges that weren't dirty, but she doesn't elaborate on these instances. She just continues droning on about the negative aspect of being a police officer. So, either these instances were a lie or she decided they weren't very important because they didn't paint her in the light of the martyr the way the other times did. I was then lead to the conclusion that she didn't really like being a police officer. Now, there isn't anything wrong with that, but if you don't like it, then own that you don't like it. Don't sit there and try to excuse why you're leaving the police force if all of the excuses are going to seem false. Just say, "I don't like it anymore".
By the end of Stumbling Along the Beat, I started getting so sick of the author's "poor me" attitude and of her general "I'm better than everyone else" attitude, that I was desperately wanting the book to end. So, two stars solely because the cases that the author metioned were interesting. However, everything else in the book was grating. I say, don't even bother. ...more