From the title, you'd think this is a book about books. From the back, you'd think it's a grief memoir. Since I was expecting a book about books, andFrom the title, you'd think this is a book about books. From the back, you'd think it's a grief memoir. Since I was expecting a book about books, and not a grief memoir (frankly, if you want to write your own memoir, go ahead. It's fine by me. But forcing your personal life on thousands of people is unnecessary and has always seemed to me rather self-centered), this book left me enormously disappointed. It's really a grief memoir that happens to mention books.
For one thing, the author didn't make me laugh, cry, sigh, or wince. I don't think my expression changed once during this entire book - unless I was yawning. And I yawned a lot. The death of Sankovitch's sister was obviously traumatic, and I'm very sorry for her and her family. But a terrible experience is significantly deadened when you're a) reading about people you've never met and b) wondering where on earth the editors were; why didn't they notice how poor this writing is? This is not a book I was that interested in reading, and would certainly not have bought; luckily, I received it through Goodreads giveaways, and didn't have to. But it was an enormous waste of time.
For one thing, about a third of the way through the book Sankovitch breaks off her story to reminisce about the hard times her parents had during WWII. This was interesting; in fact, it was my favorite part of the book. It was the only part of the book that didn't bore me. But Sankovitch fails to connect it with the rest of her memoir; she's bragging about her family's troubles without giving a reason for putting it into her book. She talks more about herself and her own relationship with her sister, Anne-Marie, than she does about Anne-Marie. She gives detailed descriptions of her home life, her personality quirks and traits, and a description of the eponymous "purple chair" which takes nearly a page and a half. She didn't hold my attention, nor did she keep me interested.
There have been some good grief memoirs (Meghan O'Rourke's The Long Goodbye is a prime example) which manage to make one family's grief universal. The characters are likable, the author is likable, the lesson learned is subtle and it makes sense. Sankovitch knocked me over with the force of her "lesson." She batters the reader in the face with it, then retreats into giving away nearly the entire plot of a few books, but utterly ignoring some others.
This is not a book I'll read again. It was too boring, the author was too irritating, and the writing was too mediocre. In fact, I'm a little bewildered how I managed to finish......more
Gratuitously obscene, poorly written and not worth it at all. Thank God I got it through Goodreads giveaways and didn't actually buy the thing. I loatGratuitously obscene, poorly written and not worth it at all. Thank God I got it through Goodreads giveaways and didn't actually buy the thing. I loathed this book and would never, ever recommend it to anyone, even if they were dying for want of reading. I'd rather give them Twilight than this book.
P.S. What on earth is a raspberry puff, anyway?...more
While this book is not actually bad - in fact, of its kind, it's really quite good - I have to admit to not enjoying it. Frankly, I'm just not that inWhile this book is not actually bad - in fact, of its kind, it's really quite good - I have to admit to not enjoying it. Frankly, I'm just not that interested in other people's grief. O'Rourke claims that it's really a study of all grief and that's why we should read it, but really it's about her family, her loss, her mother, her sadness. It is written quite well, contrary to my first review; I returned to it and liked it more than I had....more
This is a fine but not excellent book. It's sometimes very unbelievable - for example, the characters are supposed to be in 8th grade, but the boys inThis is a fine but not excellent book. It's sometimes very unbelievable - for example, the characters are supposed to be in 8th grade, but the boys in the very beginning act more like 3rd graders and the main character reads American Girl, a magazine aimed more at 5th than 8th graders.
Nevertheless, this is an engrossing read. It's short enough that the ending feels a bit abrupt, but the plot (mostly) holds up and the humor is funny enough to keep readers smiling.
The only detractor is the horrible self-publishing job. There are numerous terrible typos, including one where an entire line is moved down from the one above it, and all of the pictures are straight from WordArt. The picture on the back is enlarged so much that it's very pixillated. With a better publishing job, I'd be much happier reading the book. The font is annoying and childish.
It might seem shallow to spend more time talking about a book's appearance than its content ("don't judge a book by its cover," yes, I know) but this book deserves it. It's really annoying.
Other than the shabby publishing job, I'd recommend it. I'm glad I didn't buy it - it came through Goodreads giveaways - but it's a good library book....more
After I received the book through Goodreads giveaways, I expected this book to be pretty good, but not great. As it happens, it was pretty bad, but noAfter I received the book through Goodreads giveaways, I expected this book to be pretty good, but not great. As it happens, it was pretty bad, but not horrible.
The writing was not especially bad, but it was unconvincing most of the time - much like the plot, which was one long cliche beginning to end. The characters were all slightly irritating, and Sheila, the main character, was a whiny little girl at the beginning and at the end was only slightly less whiny and not so little. I couldn't sympathize with her and I didn't like her at all.
I would recommend this to only people who really, really like reading historical fiction about WWII. And are willing to put up with a lot of irritation before the book's finally done....more