Really a 2 star book, but I'll give her an extra for the crappy, horrible, no-good, very bad year in which she wrote about. However, it was choppy, pr...moreReally a 2 star book, but I'll give her an extra for the crappy, horrible, no-good, very bad year in which she wrote about. However, it was choppy, pretentious, and frankly, a bit boring. (Ie, quoting Freud...how very antiquated and droll!). I'm not an ogre. Rich people can write about grief and loss. Yet, they probably should care to add a sliver of self-awareness to that account when publishing it for the masses.(less)
I thank Ms Horan for conjuring up the ghost of Mamah Borthwick Cheney, and giving her an (imagined) voice. Living close to Falling Water, I am drawn t...moreI thank Ms Horan for conjuring up the ghost of Mamah Borthwick Cheney, and giving her an (imagined) voice. Living close to Falling Water, I am drawn to it and the life of FLW. But of course he did not view matters of love and sex in a conventional matter! How interesting to learn about Mamah's purported influence on him and of feminism in the turn of the century in this way. Sad that many issues are so little changed with respect to motherhood and fulfillment of self as a woman...always sacrifices to be made that men never must face.
I must dock points for the odd and suddenly tragic ending. It confused me greatly as the tone of the book shifted horrifically. Granted I have not done any research to see if these events were somehow historically accurate, but yet, it dampened the novel for me.(less)
Again...wish we could give 1/2 stars as I'd give it a 4.5 for sure. (I only save 5 stars for my very favorite, most transformative books.) Anyhow, I a...moreAgain...wish we could give 1/2 stars as I'd give it a 4.5 for sure. (I only save 5 stars for my very favorite, most transformative books.) Anyhow, I adored Rosie Schaap and found myself wishing I could just hang out with her in real life. I love her quirky, and wonderful, outlook on life and the others surrounding her. I love that from a very young age, she was going to find her own way in this world, and did so with such humor and humility. I adored her bit about a woman entering a bar solo as one of the last transgressions to surpass, and her role in breaking through it. I found myself thinking, "yeah! Why can't we enter a bar and have a drink and read a book (ala Hemingway) without suspect aspersions being cast upon us!?!) Ms Schaap is not a tourist of life, but a true traveler that seeks to know the world through her own independent lens. She convinced me of the way in which a bar can offer true community, as much as a church can, if not more sometimes. The chapters about her time as a Deadhead in CA, in Dublin, Ireland, and the time in NYC during 9/11 were my favorites. This is a great, light read! I will look for more from her in the future as I am sure she has many more adventures to go! ;)(less)
Set in SanFrancisco in the relatively near future of 2027, the world has succumbed to new threats of viral infections due to a century-long zeal of ri...moreSet in SanFrancisco in the relatively near future of 2027, the world has succumbed to new threats of viral infections due to a century-long zeal of ridding our environment of bacteria via over-sterilization. A large bio-engineering firm figures a way to introduce parasites into the human body as a way to combat this as well as to rid ourselves of all sorts of ailments and medical problems. The human race is hooked. But, as our protagonist soon discovers, science messing with nature has great costs. Science fiction with an element of the zombie apolocolypse, this is a great yarn. It could have used a bit of editing as many parts droned on with excessive detail. I can see the movie making in progress, though!(less)
I ingested this book in one sitting. To say it was a bit of bibliotherapy for me is to put it lightly. It was also a heaping dose of tough love. My so...moreI ingested this book in one sitting. To say it was a bit of bibliotherapy for me is to put it lightly. It was also a heaping dose of tough love. My son is 13 years old and was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum at the age of 6. Though, I didn't have to endure a totally clueless society as did Ms LaSalle; I have felt the sting of a world that marches around with little colored ribbons attached to their lapels for any disease, syndrome, or affliction that they can physically see. For those, they will adapt, reach out, and bend. But, when the challenge is one that pits you against others, however, by seeming rudeness, total social isolation ensues, brought on by your own self just as much as by others, (yes, even me, his own mother.) I have read countless books, articles and journals about Aspergers syndrome, always with "how do I get to the bottom of my son" in mind. I thank Ms LaSalle for her stark, bold-faced honesty. Tough love indeed is how I read the story. For this is the first one that I read as "not how to fix him but how to fix YOU, his mother. I can identify with her disappointments, her humiliations, (especially with those public gastrointestinal upsets). I wish I could say that I did not, but I do. I can follow a string of therapies, interventions, and diets throughout his life where I felt I have relentlessly tried to "help him fit into his world." Not that I haven't appreciated his strengths, but I remained focused on the deficits and just how are we going to fix that? "Yes he has the IQ and ability to hold his own in any conversation with the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, but he can't tie his own damn shoes!" I will heed the warning in her and Ben's journey, particularly with it's tragic episodes in the jail and psych wards, and stop seeing only my son's possible potential, but see him as he is right now, here, today. Of course, we are lucky that we live in a world more advanced in knowledge than the one Ben grew up in and Ethan and I benefit everyday from those very therapies, interventions, and diets and will continue to benefit from them. Yet, I saw a glimmer of their story in myself where by constantly trying to change him, I am hurting him. Through their story, I hope I can live more in the present with my son and revel in his whole self.
Thank you, Ben and thank you, Barbara, for sharing your story with me.(less)
I so wanted to like this book; I really did. I just could not get into it. I loved the concept and his political commentary on emerging distopian aspe...moreI so wanted to like this book; I really did. I just could not get into it. I loved the concept and his political commentary on emerging distopian aspects of our developing culture with technology and erosion of civil liberties. Yet, I was truly bored and somewhat despising of most of the characters. Not that I need to "like" all characters in a novel; these just left me bored and cold. I find it a chore to labor through the pages, so I quit the book. The reviews are amazing and I will revisit it at another time to see if I can glean insight at a later date.(less)
The whole project for a year amongst New Yorkers schtick is wearing thin. Though I did glean some useful tips, her book felt like reading an extended...moreThe whole project for a year amongst New Yorkers schtick is wearing thin. Though I did glean some useful tips, her book felt like reading an extended version of Real Simple magazine and one that used too heavily on comments from her blog. Still, I liked her as a "character" and her earnest attempt to find bliss through everyday life, instead of jetting off to Bali as some other authors have done.(less)
Some I related to, some I did not. Nevertheless, I think the concept is amazing of putting these essays of modern womanhood at home together. I think...moreSome I related to, some I did not. Nevertheless, I think the concept is amazing of putting these essays of modern womanhood at home together. I think motherhood is the last bastion of feminism these days. So, I love to read others perspectives on how they are or are not managing the whole thing!(less)
A quick, easy, and engaging read. This book is well-written. This is a story of Dr. Paul Iverson, who is dealing with the loss of his beloved wife who...moreA quick, easy, and engaging read. This book is well-written. This is a story of Dr. Paul Iverson, who is dealing with the loss of his beloved wife who tragically fell to her death. He ponders whether this was truly accidental, as determined at the time. The sole witness to the tragedy was their dog, Lorelai, who becomes a principle character in the tale. Here the story delves into the absurd, where Dr. Iverson attempts to teach Lorelai to speak so that she can explain what truly happened. The tale vacillates between the present and his attempts to unravel the mystery via weird science, and their past as a couple, where we get the chance to get to know his wife, Lexy, as a character. I was struck by the depth of emotion in dealing with grief and loss, living with someone with depression, and of course, love. These were the parts that were so beautifully written and wonderfully explored. However, the story touched upon animal cruelty in a gut-wrenching manner and was difficult to read. Furthermore, I am not sure it added anything to the story. In fact, these several chapters did not allow me to suspend my disbelief; I found them implausible. Overall a great book! As an added bonus, I love the authors interview at the end of the book along with her reading list suggestions.(less)