I had heard that this wasn't one of Sedaris' better books, but it was one of the only ones we had available in the library on audio. So, I tried it, a...moreI had heard that this wasn't one of Sedaris' better books, but it was one of the only ones we had available in the library on audio. So, I tried it, and thought it was mostly just average. I definitely prefer his autobiographical stories to the others. It is worth listening to just to hear the "You Can't Kill the Rooster" story about his brother. That one is hilarious. In fact, my recommendation is to skip the rest of it and just read or listen to that one story.(less)
Another childhood favorite that I recently reread. I have also listened to the Ramona series on audio, which I highly recommend. Stockard Channing is...moreAnother childhood favorite that I recently reread. I have also listened to the Ramona series on audio, which I highly recommend. Stockard Channing is the narrator and she really brings the characters to life. I am amazed at how she manages to do so many character voices; each one is distinct and credible. If you love this series, you must listen to Stockard Channing read it.
Highlights from Ramona and Her Mother include the trip to the hair salon, making slacks for Ella Funt, Ramona wearing her new pajamas to school, and Willa Jean running through the Quimby house throwing Kleenex everywhere while yelling, "It's mine!" Classic.
Favorite quotes from the book:
"Willa Jean was carried away by the joy of wasting Kleenex."
"I don't bring up my daughters to be twerps" (Mrs. Quimby in response to Ramona asking her if she was a twerp. Beezus had just said to her 'Well, goody goody for you, you little twerp!'"(less)
Entertaining as usual- except for "The Rat/Thing" which I found rather disturbing. Favorite stories include "Debby's Requirements", "Telemarketing Rev...moreEntertaining as usual- except for "The Rat/Thing" which I found rather disturbing. Favorite stories include "Debby's Requirements", "Telemarketing Revenge", "My Last First Date", "Ass Burger", "I'm Gonna Live Forever", "Total Turnaround".
"Unconditional love. That's what this is. I love him, as is, fully. I've had to stop arm wrestling with the facts. Why me? Didn't I already have a big love once? And lost it? So why should I get it again? I've had to stop trying to look for cracks and flaws to prove that it's not as good as it seems. Because it's as good as it seems. Even when we fight, we fight inside the container of good.
Somehow, through a flip of the coin, I ended up here. Feeling like somebody at the top of the heart-lung transplant recipient list. Damaged but invigorated and fucking lucky.”
"I hate news and information and anything that threatens to puncture the bubble of oblivion in which I live.”
"“I think…Have I given up anything by living with another person? Has there been a trade-off?
Always, there is a trade-off. And the answer comes to me instantly. I have given up a certain degree of freedom. The ability to plow through my life with utter disregard for the thoughts and feelings of other people. I can no longer read a magazine and throw it on the floor.
In exchange, I get unlimited access to the one person I have met in my life whom I automatically felt was out of my league. My favorite human being, the single person I cherish above all others. This is the person I get to share the oxygen in the room with .
And for this, I will happily scrub the toilet.”
"But then, look at me. My brain is incorrectly formed, and I'm shaped like a tube. Plus, I'm an alcoholic, a "survivor" of childhood sexual abuse, was raised in a cult and have no education. So, really, if you think about it, the only thing that separates me from the guy with the stinky foot and no teeth is a book deal and some cologne.”
“Not all gay men send me penis pictures. But no straight men do. And to date, no woman has sent me a picture of her vaginal canal. 'I know it's a little stretched out, but I've had four kids. What do you expect? LOL.”
"Lately, I am receiving numerous calls each night from telemarketers. They're calling with the frequent urgency of dumped boyfriends. At this point, I cannot help but wonder, is the entire telemarketing industry one big, jilted, clingy gay guy?”
"After Olestra (may cause anal leakage), people are a tad suspicious about products that do things that are too good to be true in the natural world. I tell this to the account people, and they say, "But it comes from trees!" To which I reply, "Yes and so does napalm and rubber cement. But that doesn't mean I'm going to spread them on my English muffin.”
"Six hours later, when I returned, I was greeted at the door- and this before it was even opened -by the overpowering smell of vinegar. What were my neighbors thinking? That a douche-obsessed woman with a gigantic, three-foot vagina lived next door?”
"Paul, all I know is that this is the third time we've talked tonight, you're saying 'fuck' to me, I'm a guy, and your penis has been mentioned numerous times. Jesus, you're acting like you're some teenager. Work through this shit with a shrink, man. I don't care if you're gay.' Here again, I achieved silence. But not for long. The breathing became heavy and then, 'What the fuck kind of game are you playing?' 'It's no game, man. You want to close a sale? I want to see your penis. It's a fair exchange if you ask me.' He hung up again, and I reached for my perfectly spicy, scratch-your-throat-like-a-cat-claw-hot Blenheim ginger ale and took a long swallow. This particular credit card company has not called me again. And, to my delight, AT&T never called me again after I asked one of their friendly Southern females if by any chance she happened to be a male-to-female transsexual, and if so, what vaginal depth her surgeon had managed to attain for her. 'Four inches is pretty common,' I told her. 'But if you dilate religiously, you can probably achieve five.' I even got the phrase 'self-lubricating' out before she hung up on me.” (less)
While this book wasn't as scary as I expected it to be, it was a very well-crafted ghost/haunted house story. It was certainly not without creepiness,...moreWhile this book wasn't as scary as I expected it to be, it was a very well-crafted ghost/haunted house story. It was certainly not without creepiness, too. The creepy parts don't really start until 120 or so pages into the novel. I have to admit that since I was reading that part alone at night, I got a little jumpy.
There is some great symbolism in this novel. I loved the parallels drawn between the various sisterly relationships. This would be an excellent novel to delve more deeply into. Kind of makes me wish I was a Lit major in college again.
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”
"She had taken to wondering lately, during these swift-counted years, what had been done with all those wasted summer days; how could she have spent them so wantonly? I am foolish, she told herself early every summer, I am very foolish; I am grown up now and know the values of things. Nothing is ever really wasted, she believed sensibly, even one's childhood, and then each year, one summer morning, the warm wind would come down the city street where she walked and she would be touched with the little cold thought: I have let more time go by.” (less)
I never read this as a kid, which is strange because I was a Judy Blume fan and read many of her other books. I like that the book is about a girl who...moreI never read this as a kid, which is strange because I was a Judy Blume fan and read many of her other books. I like that the book is about a girl who is searching for God and a religion with which to identify while she is also going through the physical and mental changes of a tween. It gives it more depth than the typical 'girl going through puberty' book. I thought it did seem a bit dated at times, but I imagine it was pretty cutting edge when it was published.
Great quote from the book re: sex education "“Why do they wait until sixth grade when you already know everything?” (less)
Very disappointing after reading "Mystic River". I don't know if I will try any others from this series, although I did enjoy the movie "Gone Baby Gon...moreVery disappointing after reading "Mystic River". I don't know if I will try any others from this series, although I did enjoy the movie "Gone Baby Gone".(less)
Thumbs up for being the most original financial book I have read. While I don't agree with everything he says, he makes some excellent and courageous...moreThumbs up for being the most original financial book I have read. While I don't agree with everything he says, he makes some excellent and courageous arguments.(less)