I'm a librarian, and I read Fifty Shades of Grey out of professional curiosity. It created such a buzz (my mother wanted us to reCloser to 3.5 stars.
I'm a librarian, and I read Fifty Shades of Grey out of professional curiosity. It created such a buzz (my mother wanted us to read it simultaneously!), that I needed to know for myself how it was. This year, a fellow librarian noted that she steers her patrons who are interested in the Grey series to this series instead. I'm pleased to say that's a wise decision, and am happy to have learned about it. The writing for The Boss is decent, the sex scenes are solidly good and not eye-rolling, and the dialogue is generally not cringe-worthy.
That said, after reading about 50 pages, I then skimmed to the end. Mostly stopping on the sex bits, but also catching up to the plot as well. And yes, there is a plot! Heck, there's even a cliff-hangerish ending, and if I was at all into the fashion industry (the main characters work at a fashion magazine), or wanted a decent BDSM title, I'd keep reading the series.
As it is, there's other stuff I'd rather read, but now you know--read THIS, not that other stuff....more
This book provides well-written, mostly logical and sensible advice on how to help your teenagers during high school, as well as how to prep3.5 stars.
This book provides well-written, mostly logical and sensible advice on how to help your teenagers during high school, as well as how to prepare them for the world beyond. Some chapters I skipped entirely or largely skimmed, mostly because they were irrelevant. I didn't agree with some of Deurlein's discussion about social media, particularly Facebook. For example, it's trivial for your kids to make it so that you, their parent, cannot see their posts. Sure, if possible, parents should monitor their kids Facebook (and other social media sites). However, unless the kid is making public posts on FB, or one of their friends has shared it and made it public, it isn't as easily searchable as this book may lead you to believe. Try it with your own posts!
I like how Deurlein explains alternate paths post high-school that parents could offer to their kids and help guide their way. Yet most of the advice felt aimed toward teens that were already likely to listen and respond to parents' suggestions. For one example, the dialogue between a dad and his daughter that had tried pot. I appreciate the information and the tone, but if your teen furiously guards most information from you, no matter how trivial, this situation is not likely to happen. This is just to explain why my rating is not higher.
Still, I found some good take-a-ways. Teach your kids about finance! The chapter explaining which kids should take AP courses and why is timely and helpful for me, along with some other tidbits scattered throughout. Worth a read, if you're parenting teens....more
In this installment, a friend is semi-forced upon Kenji, which lead to me learning what a "Gilbert" is (thanks, AA). Beyond that, this volume featuredIn this installment, a friend is semi-forced upon Kenji, which lead to me learning what a "Gilbert" is (thanks, AA). Beyond that, this volume featured the most laugh-out-loud situations for me in the entire series! Particularly tickling were the interactions between Kenji and the grocery store clerk, whom he respects as a worker but feels 'owns' him on the weekly specials. Hahaha, this amuses me even now.
In addition, the relationship between Shiro and Kenji deepens a tad, and I appreciate how Kenji's parents react about him and Shiro.
Maybe closer to 3.5 stars, but it motivated me enough to dump more of my junk that I bumped it to four stars.
What I didn't like:
* Kondo repeats the saMaybe closer to 3.5 stars, but it motivated me enough to dump more of my junk that I bumped it to four stars.
What I didn't like:
* Kondo repeats the same information too much, along with sharing too many similar stories. But hey, if she only mentioned the process once, and it efficiently, she'd not have a book. She'd have an article in some magazine.
* Her continual mention of how many *trash* bags her clients have dumped. Do people really have that much crap that must be thrown out instead of given away (or sold, if you have the energy for that)? No mention is made of donating items to charity or to friends, though one of her clients now looks forward to trash/recycling pickup day with glee.
What I liked:
* The basic premise that we all have way too much stuff, and it affects other aspects of our lives as well. I've seen Hoarders, none of those people ever seem happy. Kondo is hard-core about how to get rid of things, but I can see how her method works, without people backsliding.
* Speaking of her method, while it's difficult to not feel silly thanking your items for their service to you, or whatever they did for you, it also made me feel better about dumping some things. I like the whole "does it spark joy for you?" approach, though certainly there are plenty of things that don't spark joy for me that I must keep because I need them. Another reviewer mentioned an interview suit, and yeah, that's a perfect example.
I used to have a much more iron grip on my possessions than I do now. I went through my first big book purge about 10 years ago, and still remember how good it all felt. Over the years I've learned how to purge my things pretty well, but I could still use some help. The KonMari Method has given me the little push I needed to tweak my purging (or 'tidying') and pare down even more, all the while feeling good about it.
The hokeyness of this method will turn many people off, but if you're ready to get rid of stuff, I'd recommend at least skimming through the book to get the basic idea. While I don't think this will be "life-changing" for me, nor do I think that my tummy will slim down as my possessions exit my life, I'm still thankful for this book, and will be returning it to the library with joy in my heart.
Peanut's premise and annoying main character are the main reason for my lower score. Plus, a good graphic novel doesn't take me long to fin2.5 stars.
Peanut's premise and annoying main character are the main reason for my lower score. Plus, a good graphic novel doesn't take me long to finish; once I start I like to dive in and get through it. This one I kept putting down and picking up, repeatedly. I won't even bother suggesting my high school freshman son read it.
Oh yeah, the premise. Sadie changes schools, and uses the opportunity to reinvent herself to her peers...as someone who has a deadly peanut allergy. So she spends the entire book lying to nearly everyone, and then trying to get the nerve to tell them, being unable to do so, and beating herself up over it. It's weak, and Sadie really got up my nose.
Otherwise, the artwork is nice. While I normally prefer color, the artist's decision to only utilize selective coloring worked; Sadie always dons a red top. The rest feels very accurate to a high school atmosphere....more
Rutabaga wields a spatula instead of a sword, yet an adventurous spirit still burns in him, leading him to join up with brave fighters, hunting monsteRutabaga wields a spatula instead of a sword, yet an adventurous spirit still burns in him, leading him to join up with brave fighters, hunting monsters and meeting others. Some recipes are illustrated, with fantasy-type ingredients that could be substituted for modern-world ones fairly easily. Plus, the author includes some recipes at the back of the book so you too can GET COOKING (Rutabaga's war cry)!
Oh, how I loved this book! It exudes charm, it caused me to giggle, and it made me smile lots. It's cute and quirky, with brightly colored, vibrant and expressive artwork to match. My 14 year old son thought it was okay, though it "shows too much cooking for my tastes". He's also a tad out of the age group for this, maybe, even though he's heavily into Dungeons & Dragons, another group that may enjoy this title.
Worth your time, and it won't even take much of that!
The food and relationship goodness continues in Volume 4. Shiro takes another turn at cooking, and we get to see Kenji's thoughts about this, which IThe food and relationship goodness continues in Volume 4. Shiro takes another turn at cooking, and we get to see Kenji's thoughts about this, which I find highly entertaining. Kenji continues to explore his thoughts about being openly (or not) gay, and what long-term relationships entail. The cooking segments seemed especially accessible in this volume, though that may just be me getting used to them. Good stuff!...more
I wanted to like this, I expected to like it (just as many others apparently have), but it fell very flat for me. Part of it may be from my lack of faI wanted to like this, I expected to like it (just as many others apparently have), but it fell very flat for me. Part of it may be from my lack of familiarity with the characters and authors that Ortberg references in the text. The ones I did recall were also not so funny to me, however. Part of it may be that it's just one of those books you need to be in a certain mood to enjoy, and that mood passed me by. Whichever the case, this just was not for me....more
The cartoons are mostly commentary and brief opinion pieces, which I didn't find humorous. Maybe they were funny (funnier?) when originally published, I don't know. I did like them more as the (very large, quite heavy) book progressed. My favorites were the ones with an autobiographical slant, similar to the book I mentioned above.
For fans, you'll love it. For others, your mileage may vary....more
A sweet story about Astrid, a girl on the cusp of entering middle school, who discovers a passion for roller derby. Deeper than that, we lea4.5 stars!
A sweet story about Astrid, a girl on the cusp of entering middle school, who discovers a passion for roller derby. Deeper than that, we learn about her relationships with her best friend, her mom, her enemy, and her new friends. The ups and downs and drama of tween girl friendship reminded me of when I was in 6th grade, though I was never a good skater, and hadn't heard of Roller Derby. There's some humor in Roller Girl, along with a (predictable) happy ending.
I loved the colorful detailed artwork. I loved how Astrid finds her way and matures a bit. I loved how authentic the story felt. As a bonus, I didn't realize until the end that the author is a bad-ass skater with the Rose City Rollers. So very cool.
2.5 stars, which is pretty high for me to give a book I didn't finish. I stopped in the middle of Chapter 32, after listening to 6 hours and 45 minute2.5 stars, which is pretty high for me to give a book I didn't finish. I stopped in the middle of Chapter 32, after listening to 6 hours and 45 minutes, which is about halfway.
The beginning I found more compelling, where the author spoke about Portsmouth Ohio (Dreamland). Then his focus alternated between big pharma and the over-prescribing of OxyContin and the increasing use of black tar heroin, and the problems associated with that. These topics do relate, and it seems Quinones heavily researched this subject (his website offers up links).
Still, it felt repetitive, and I began to lose interest. I didn't get to know the people involved to the point that I cared about what they were doing, or how things turned out. The narrator did a decent job, but he wasn't great, which only solidified my opinion.
I finally decided to stop when, after 3 weeks of listening, I checked my progress. I felt certain I must be getting near the end. Nope, still 7ish hours to go.
If the subject matters intrigues you, I suggest reading it instead of listening to it. I suspect this is a good read to a great many people, it just didn't work for me....more
Volume 3 offers more of the same endearing mixture of food preparation and eating with a middle-aged gay couple living their lives. Shiro interacts moVolume 3 offers more of the same endearing mixture of food preparation and eating with a middle-aged gay couple living their lives. Shiro interacts more with his parents and deals with some deep issues related to them. My favorite chapter equates Shiro's grocery shopping on a budget and Kenji's securing of a hairstylist client to big game hunting.
Very entertaining, amusing, and filled with wondrous food descriptions. My only complaint is Shiro's reason for staying with Kenji, but hey, it's in character....more
I started this one on my couch. As the weather warmed up, I took advantage of having a day off work to finish it outside, and no one but my son saw myI started this one on my couch. As the weather warmed up, I took advantage of having a day off work to finish it outside, and no one but my son saw my tears at the end.
I found it difficult to put down, but if you have a bit of time, you won't need to do so. Just go all the way through, enjoying the drawings that perfectly illustrate the anguish of David Smith, the main character. He experiences the highest highs and the lowest lows, and McCloud knows how to execute this both pictorially and through text, and the more challenging part, the marriage of the two.
David has made a deal with the devil, granting him the power to create any art imaginable with his hands, but only for 200 days. A lot happens in that time, and I was completely sucked in. The ending is indeed sad, but satisfying....more
Growing up in Raleigh, NC, I became a fan of college basketball towards the end of my elementary school career. My team of choice was the UNC TarheelsGrowing up in Raleigh, NC, I became a fan of college basketball towards the end of my elementary school career. My team of choice was the UNC Tarheels, and I adored Michael Jordan. He kept me glued to my tiny televison, cheering on my favorite team.
Bull on Parade barely touches on Jordan's college career, but that's not why I didn't particularly care for this title. The author jumps around in his telling of Jordan's life to the point of confusion. I had difficulty following what was happening and what Santiago was trying to express. I feel the book generally lacks cohesion and a connected flow.
Where it does shine is in the game depictions. Many moments from some important NBA matches were illustrated, and Santiago nailed the feel of attending a high profile, exciting pro basketball match-up....more
Five spooky stories, all involving the woods, are told in a graphic format. The artwork is suitably creepy, with the colors relying heavily on red, blFive spooky stories, all involving the woods, are told in a graphic format. The artwork is suitably creepy, with the colors relying heavily on red, black, and grey. Brighter colors are represented in places that are proper to the story, and the art perfectly complements the narrative. My nearly 14-year old son didn't like this one, but it's no fault of the author; he simply doesn't care for horror stories. To me, it felt like campfire stories brought to life. Well done!...more
Weird, confusing, hopeful and terribly bleak, all at the same time. Very well drawn characters, setting, and even chat bubbles (though I would have loWeird, confusing, hopeful and terribly bleak, all at the same time. Very well drawn characters, setting, and even chat bubbles (though I would have loved to see color). I liked the journey, getting to know the whacked characters and see their adventures, but the ending took it down for me a bit. It felt like things should have gone differently....more
Volume 2 continues to delight and entertain, though I enjoyed the first one a bit more. Maybe it was the initial novelty of it. I'm glad the humorousVolume 2 continues to delight and entertain, though I enjoyed the first one a bit more. Maybe it was the initial novelty of it. I'm glad the humorous and/or informative asides are back, as well as the cooking sounds. Who knew just reading the sounds that food makes could bring on a hunger attack? Again the recipes tantalize, but I don't enjoy cooking enough to seek out the ingredients and give them a try. I'm content to just read about them, and appreciate the food artwork.
In this volume, we gain a bit more insight into the main character's backstory. Some of Shiro's work is explored, but not as much as before. Similarly, less family issues are discussed. I felt like there was more food shopping, pondering, cooking, and eating going on.