I had not read anything by Laurie Notaro so I was unfamiliar with her style when I checked this out from our digital library. I just liked the name ofI had not read anything by Laurie Notaro so I was unfamiliar with her style when I checked this out from our digital library. I just liked the name of the book - yes, judging it by it's cover. A quick read, it took just two nights to finish this slight book of essays - granted there were two I skimmed - I can only do so much gross humor.
When I started thinking about reviewing this, I got nervous. We live in a time when authors regularly troll their online reviews. I am sure they have Google alerts set up for every time their name is mentioned. Or they just haunt Amazon and GoodReads waiting to see how many stars people give their tomes. And while thinking of that I started to feel guilty for all the 2 stars I haven given books over the years.
Really guilty. I laid in bed on Christmas and thought about the books I rated poorly. A 2 star books means "it was OK", not exactly a glowing review. I tend to put 3 stars, "I liked it", rather then the dreaded 1 or 2. When I think about liking a book it is mostly due to the mood I am when I am reading it. Sure, there are books I just stopped reading - those awful Twilight books - but usually it is just that the book didn't fit my particular mood. The writing might just be fine, it might have a decent plot, but I might just not be that into it. Kind of like a boy I dated in junior high - he was really nice, but I just wasn't into him. It wasn't his fault at all and he is happily married now so I know he wasn't damaged or flawed to much.
It used to be easy to review books. I could just tell a friend that the book was crap and move on. Now though, with online reviewing you are not just telling your besties you are telling the whole wide world - and the author. They KNOW you thought their book was "just OK". They know that you weren't swooning about it to your book club. They know that you thought the plot was stiff and the characters even more so. And then they hate you. I am sure of that. No, I am not overreacting. If you spent months or years creating something and then some stupid person who has never spent months or years doing anything told the whole world that what they were doing was crap, well, you would hate them.
I don't know. Maybe authors have developed some super skin that they didn't have in the past. Maybe they can handle their horrid readers reviews. Maybe they aren't looking - although I know they are (don't deny it Ms. Notaro, you are reading this to find out what I thought of your book.) My only conclusion is that if I am honest to myself, the random group of people who read my blog, and the authors who stalk their reviews - I have to be kind, but fair. I have to share my real feelings -and yet pray that they are all realizing that I may just have been in a crappy mood when I read their prose. Hell, I hope you think that when you read mine.
As for, It Looked Different on the Model - seriously laugh out loud funny. My husband thought I was bonkers for laughing silently while reading. And Ms. Notaro, please never stop taking Ambien....more
I don't think I gave this all I could, but when you have to read the reviews to even know where on the planet the story takes place you know you are iI don't think I gave this all I could, but when you have to read the reviews to even know where on the planet the story takes place you know you are in for a tough read....more
The first few chapters of this book I didn't think I was going to be able to finish. Seriously, heroin. Really? I have known people addicted to heroinThe first few chapters of this book I didn't think I was going to be able to finish. Seriously, heroin. Really? I have known people addicted to heroin and I am sure that it is something that people wanting to self-destruct do, but this seemed the most far reaching of ideas.
I digress, her mom dies, she sleeps around - a lot, she divorces -see the sleeping around, she meets a guy who hooks her up with heroin - again I'm a bit incredulous, she shoots her mom's horse and sometime in there she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
Now, that is why I picked up the darn book in the first place.
Hiking the PCT is something I have always imagined myself doing. It is in my far off fantasy life. It is what I want to do when I have 3 extra months - and money to cover them. It is a dream.
So, reading a first hand, albeit 20 year break, look at what it takes a solo woman hiker to do the trail is what drew me in and kept me reading. Her memory, journals and letters to past PCT hikers brings the entire experience alive. It is fresh, it is grueling, and it is a rock this world for women adventure. Great fun to live vicariously through Cheryl... despite the heroin thing.
She is just about my age, I think, and walked it in her early 20's - when the trail was fairly new - and I am so glad that she took the time to share her adventure. She is triumphant and we get to experience a little of that with her....more