I liked the Humans of New York so I was curious about this title. By the third vignette I was hooked! Snippets of folks lives as they describe their reI liked the Humans of New York so I was curious about this title. By the third vignette I was hooked! Snippets of folks lives as they describe their relationship to the place where they would call themselves a 'regular'. It made me ponder my habits and what I could do to foster community in my little neighborhood. ...more
Maryann recommended this so I sought it out. I read it in one gulp. Jessie has had a rough time lately. The adored only child of an adoring couple, tiMaryann recommended this so I sought it out. I read it in one gulp. Jessie has had a rough time lately. The adored only child of an adoring couple, tight with her best friend Scarlet, she is in the top of her class academically when her mom is diagnosed with cancer. After a lengthy illness Mom passes leaving Dad cratered and Jessie grieving. Six hundred and eighty eight days (if someone were counting) after Mom’s death, dad elopes with a woman from his online grieving group. Yep, instead of going to a pharmacist’s convention as he had told Jessie he was attending he went to Hawaii to marry Rachel a wealthy producer in LA. So with no notice Jessie and Dad pack the two cars, sell the house in Chicago and head to LA to live with Rachel and her flamboyant son Theo.
Jessie is plopped from her Chicago suburban school not into a California public school but an elite private academy where the kids can expect to go to an Ivy or perhaps slum it at Stanford. Her former credits frankly just don’t count here.
With Dad and Rachel distracted trying to make a new life together and Theo holding her at more than an arm’s length, Jessie has to tread the perilous hallways of this new place alone. That is, alone until she receives an anonymous email from Somebody/Nobody (S/N) offering to guide her in this new land. Having already clashed with the local mean girls Jessie is wary of a prank but also desperate. Cautiously she engages in an online conversation with S/N. S/N seems to be a “he” but firmly refuses to identify. Jessie does make her way; she finds friends, a job, a study partner, a crush and a secret admirer as the weeks pass. She even tries going back to Chicago where she has to face that everyone (including herself) has moved on and that there is more in this big world than her own drama and that she has help to give as well as receive.
Told often in email and IM, this is a sweet story of people and families in transition an ultimately hopeful tale.
Three things: 1.Waffle has two meanings. 2.Puns are a way to bond. 3.Giving help feels as good as receiving it. ...more
Magical and dreamy. Beautiful illustrations exemplify the letter featured on the spread. Lots of white space that invite thoughtful time with each letMagical and dreamy. Beautiful illustrations exemplify the letter featured on the spread. Lots of white space that invite thoughtful time with each letter/sound. Coffee table candidate. Want to spend lots of time wandering these pages. ...more
When the Huffington Post and AARP had a contest for a 50,000 word memoir contest Bill Bonham got to work trimming his autobiography (by half)- the resWhen the Huffington Post and AARP had a contest for a 50,000 word memoir contest Bill Bonham got to work trimming his autobiography (by half)- the result is a wonderfully written snippet of Bill's life.
This is an account of Bill's year supervising the kitchen in a maximum security prison. I really enjoyed his take on the men he worked with in the early 70's and the various situations he found himself in. It's a quick read, each chapter is basically an anecdote of a notable event of that year from interviewing for the job to breaking up a fight in the kitchen. A number of the stories are thought provoking as Bill sorts through many issues that we still wrestle with involved with incarceration, rehabilitation and managing prison with society. Super interesting. ...more
Irvin Yalom’s Creatures of a Day was a delightful surprise. I read it in one gulp and could barely put it down, reading bits out loud to my roommate.Irvin Yalom’s Creatures of a Day was a delightful surprise. I read it in one gulp and could barely put it down, reading bits out loud to my roommate. In turns poignant, wise, challenging or hilarious.
These are vividly described vignettes from Dr. (“call me Irv”) Yalom’s counseling practice; really an eye and ear to the keyhole of his office as a number of his clients do the hard work of facing their crises. These are people from all walks of life and many different ages but when working with Irv it come down to coming to terms with mortality and loss- my words not his- I think Irv would coming to terms with death. The trust and love on these pages is wondrous and inspiring. So much to think about! I intend to read this again, probably more than once.
Certainly written for anyone, this is also a missive for therapists and I was fascinated by the professional remarks. Yolam warns with incidental comments about the nature of diagnoses as artifacts for insurance or communication among doctors and the potential of negative outcomes of diagnoses for patients. He comments on the importance of checking in with patients and eliciting questions, and really considering how views of death are related to the crisis. He notes the role of ‘standard’ procedure in learning to counsel and how adhering too closely can get in the way of insightful improvisation.
Above all Yolam strives to be present and as much as possible authentic- a noble practice. ...more
I liked this book a lot and was curious as to what folks were saying about this title so I glanced at some of the notes and am kinda surprised at howI liked this book a lot and was curious as to what folks were saying about this title so I glanced at some of the notes and am kinda surprised at how general the comments are. The characters in My Kind of Crazy are really likable and you root for them. Robin Reul somehow shows us a vulnerability in them that resonates. Hank is a senior and lives with his father in the aftermath of a car wreck that has killed Mom and Hank's brother Mickey. This is bad enough but Hank's dad is handling grief poorly and is a mean drunk that Hank has to deal with. Hank's solace is drawing; he has been writing and illustrating a comic for years but he shows no one. Drawing seems to make his dad angry and he tries to keep it on the down low. Rounding out the "family" is Monica, an exotic dancer that Dad met at Mo's Boobie Barn. This is a 'kind of crazy' element that could go sideways but in Reul's hands is kind of endearing. Some of the situations Hank finds himself in with Monica are the stuff of teen boy's dreams.
One night, after researching; yep researching how to make a memorable promposal Hank writes 'prom' in lit sparklers in the yard of the object of his fantasies, Amanda. The plan is to romantically call her name ....stuff gets fuzzy when the yard catches fire and Hank beats a hasty retreat passing fire engines on the street as he leaves. It's hilarious. When he returns to the scene to retrieve some evidence Peyton enters the saga. Peyton is a troubled soul who happens to like burning things, it's cathartic. She sees Hank as a kindred soul and befriends him.
This friendship sparks all kinds of revelations and growth in Hank as he deals with the cascading complications that surround him everywhere he turns. Ultimately decency, honesty and faithfulness win the day. A satisfying story about a good kid enduring hard times. ...more
An engrossing mystery set in the Hollows a rural place out off the interstate. Home to Eloise, Finley's grandmother and mentor. Eloise has worked forAn engrossing mystery set in the Hollows a rural place out off the interstate. Home to Eloise, Finley's grandmother and mentor. Eloise has worked for years with Jones Cooper P.I. to resolve old criminal cases- missing persons who somehow call to Eloise for resolution to the crimes they suffered. Eloise abilities surfaced during a car wreck that killed her husband and a daughter. Finley on the other hand was born with dreams, visions and sounds coming at her from places invisible to the rest of us. Her mother, Amanda is appalled and has put Finley through all types of therapies to straighten her out. Now in college Finley has had enough and has moved to the Hollows to live with Eloise and learn to live with her paranormal abilities. Vexed by visions and sounds when Eloise is called in on a case it is Finley who must help out. Her visions and listenings are part of the solution to a missing child case that Jones Cooper is asked to solve. A compelling tale of complex people who live lives of service to humanity while battling their own demons; atmospheric and complicated this is a story that doesn't just settle the problem, it comes to terms with it.
An endearing account of a girl who will make a most magnificent thing! The challenge is to persist, and oh she does. Trial after trial show that failuAn endearing account of a girl who will make a most magnificent thing! The challenge is to persist, and oh she does. Trial after trial show that failure and persistence just might be part of success. ...more
Loved. It. Sometimes a book is more than the sum of its parts; Words: a given. Sentences: check. Plot, conflict, resolution? yep. Cover? pages? of couLoved. It. Sometimes a book is more than the sum of its parts; Words: a given. Sentences: check. Plot, conflict, resolution? yep. Cover? pages? of course.
In Wonders of the Invisible World Chris Barzak has melded words into sentences that draw us hypnotically into Aidan's story in intimate but not presumptuous and mysterious but not frustrating prose. We eagerly follow Aidan page by page into a beautifully designed book as he unravels an otherworldly mystery of grudges that grow into curses, wishes both good and bad, perception limited and enhanced, promises, love, and above all- the creative power of story. ...more
A J Fikry is the curmudgeon of the world when the book opens. A grieving widower and the grumpy disgruntled owner of the almost failing Island Book StA J Fikry is the curmudgeon of the world when the book opens. A grieving widower and the grumpy disgruntled owner of the almost failing Island Book Store on tiny Alice Island. The story opens when a rare volume of Poe is taken from his home, with hopes of selling the valuable book and retiring out of the picture A.J. is nudged to figure out a way to make his business work. Enter Maya and Amelia; the two could hardly be more different but as A.J. finds a place for them in his heart and his life hope is kindled and A.J. again begins to thrive. Ms Zevin has crafted a story that shares so much of the life of those who live among published books to light. Authors, publishers, book store owners, readers and teachers mingle with camaraderie on these pages as this ultimately sweet and hopeful tale spins out before our eyes.