Soft porn of the strictly heterosexual variety. Not ok for book club. The ending is disappointing because it never resolves the scheherazade frame talSoft porn of the strictly heterosexual variety. Not ok for book club. The ending is disappointing because it never resolves the scheherazade frame tale....more
Ugh. I can't believe I finished it, but I did, probably because it was an Amazon freebie and none of my library holds came in while I was working on tUgh. I can't believe I finished it, but I did, probably because it was an Amazon freebie and none of my library holds came in while I was working on this one.
Basic plot: a family marred by tragedy in the early 1970s has to come to terms with it and its aftereffects in the late 1990s.
I grew up in a family where there was a fair amount of dysfunction and mental illness and secret-keeping and married into a family that makes my family seem normal by comparison, but I just did not understand the Tangle family at all. The mother was absolutely toxic and angry and delusional, and all of that was before she became addled with dementia. The central character is absolutely neurotic and panicked (and must have the world's keenest sense of smell), and one of her sisters is a complete twat and the other is a complete flake. And everyone walks on eggshells all the time, but they seem to have different internal definitions of what the eggshells are, so they're always kicking each other under the table or shushing each other or changing the subject in conversation.
Reading this book was very stressful. Part of it was the way the characters communicated with each other, part of it was the fact that there is no action in the book until almost the halfway point (seriously, the first half of the book is: Someone gets mad at someone, someone gets in trouble, mom makes up some ridiculous tall tale, Ginger panics about something, mom makes horrible food, Ginger freaks out about something, Mimi tattles, the father has an episode of dyspepsia, mom puts on more makeup), and part of it was the writing style of the author. In places the prose was tumbly or uneven, where the author used a lot of words and didn't describe anything, or where she used way too few words to describe a scene. There were places where it seemed like she tried to cram a lot of action or emotion in a half page, which messed up the pacing and was very ineffective. Also, near the end she tried to throw in a Big Suspenseful Scene and it didn't work at all. It was just plain weird and didn't fit the rest of the book, which was a lot of talk and very little action. ...more
I read this one as part of the local book club, and I have no idea who suggested it.
2 stars is being generous. It had enough suspense eventually thatI read this one as part of the local book club, and I have no idea who suggested it.
2 stars is being generous. It had enough suspense eventually that I wanted to see if the Big Bad ever gets his comeuppance (view spoiler)[HELL NO, this is England (hide spoiler)].
The characters were flat and two dimensional. This book was, like Girl on the Train, narrated from the perspectives of three different British people. The author did not vary them stylistically or personality-wise at all, to the point that in order to figure out who was talking you had to read about the events. To me, this is a big problem with first-person novels. The central character, Summer, is boring, not introspective or interesting at all. The other two voices are her Mary-Sue perfect boyfriend, and Clover/Colin, the kidnapper, and they're both complete caricatures. The boyfriend is the true-love knight in shining armor who searches for his girl from the date she goes missing (late July 2010) until she's found in March 2011, which is apparently a few days after February 29, 2011 (so this is possibly an Alice-in-Wonderland universe). I guess he doesn't work or have any responsibilities, and Summer's family is A-OK with him sleeping in her bed for all those months. Clover/Colin is some sort of mashup of Ariel Castro, Norman Bates, and John Wayne Gacy. And he is obsessively clean and uses hairspray.
So there were a handful of suspenseful moments, a few women who seemed to just drop dead from minor puncture wounds without spraying blood or struggling much (really, after ONE stab in the gut with a penknife, is someone going to be fatally wounded and dead within 15 seconds?), and a really unsatisfying climax, told from the least interesting character's perspective: (view spoiler)[ Lily/Summer's. And she conveniently gets a head injury during it, so that she doesn't actually SEE anything that happens, and just wakes up a day or two later in the hospital. It would have been much more interesting from the perspective of Clover, rather than just "Clover comes down here like a weirdo, tries to kill us, but I fight back, and then everything goes black. Two days later, i wake up in the hospital." (hide spoiler)]
Descriptions are really weak though. I don't know what anyone looked like, other than that Summer is a green-eyed blonde. In fact, I think I was more than 10% of the way through the book before learning that she was 16 at the time of the abduction. Also, there's no mentioning how everyone avoids getting pregnant (though if Clover is as OCD as I think he was probably using condoms). Or why they never simply refused to clean up a murder scene. Was he really going to kill all four of them for not mopping up the blood of a dead prostitute? ...more
More like a 2.5 stars, because I felt like there were things that were missing or that there were areas where the author could have clarified more butMore like a 2.5 stars, because I felt like there were things that were missing or that there were areas where the author could have clarified more but didn't (could you name some of the diploma mills, please? Are degrees from religious schools viewed with the same respect as those from non-religious schools? Whose accreditation matters most?)
Anyway. You're not going to be able to dining-room-table your kid to a BA, if you're curious. This book is mainly about how to take CLEP and AP tests to get college credit for some classes, and why you should avoid community college. You do have to research the guidelines for each college you want to go to (since you will ultimately have to enroll in a legitimate school, either for brick-and-mortar or online classes), because some schools don't accept CLEP scores (like my alma mater) or limit the number of AP credits or out-of-house transfer credits.
Author is opposed to community college because of the mature content and the immature students (including possible paroled felons) and the real likelihood that community college classes are often less rigorous than home-taught classes (a theory I've been dying to test for months).
In sum, you're probably not going to get a 4-year-degree out of the homeschool (at least not without a program like College Plus) but depending on where you want to get a four-year-degree, it might save you a great deal of money and a fair bit of time in the long run....more
Ouch. Punctuation and capitalization are terrible, and most of the prose borders on nonsensical. I got this copy for free, but am somewhat terrified tOuch. Punctuation and capitalization are terrible, and most of the prose borders on nonsensical. I got this copy for free, but am somewhat terrified that the author is a homeschooling parent. It is also possible that the author is about 12-years-old, and a near-certainty that English (or American English) is NOT his first language.
A few quotes:
"Since parents have a deep comprehending of their child, they could plan the learning program to pique the child's interest. It is additionally potential to intersperse challenging tasks with fun activities."
"Many parents them selves have unsatisfied memories of their own public school experience that motivates them to opt for homeschooling when it comes to their own children."
"If you take an additional essential factor into consideration, homeschooling costs might efficient triple."
Um. Yeah. At least it only took about 20 minutes to read. That's about the only good thing I can say about it....more
I read this a few months ago, then read it again today, because honestly, it didn't stick with me at all. The most useful part is the second appendixI read this a few months ago, then read it again today, because honestly, it didn't stick with me at all. The most useful part is the second appendix where she describes some of the different educational philosophies and methods.
If you've ever read her blog, this book is really similar in tone and length of articles. Non-judgmental. Concise. ...more
Short. Snacky. Not encouraging like Jen Hatmaker but ok. Reads like a lot of blog posts stuck together. Probably more helpful for new homeschoolers thShort. Snacky. Not encouraging like Jen Hatmaker but ok. Reads like a lot of blog posts stuck together. Probably more helpful for new homeschoolers than those who have been at it for awhile....more
First impression of this book: The author has an annoying habit of randomly italicizing some of the words (or possibly it's the format translation) buFirst impression of this book: The author has an annoying habit of randomly italicizing some of the words (or possibly it's the format translation) but it is annoying and distracting and precarious because I keep mentally emphasizing the italicized words but the impact points they create often don't make sense. Oh hey, later she moves on to strikeouts. Awesome.
Anyway, this is allegedly a fake memoir, but it reads more like a low-wage testimonial. It's a lengthy collection of tales of our protagonist, who got a master's in graphic design but was unable to find any work in her field, so she worked on yachts and at the Gap and ended up settling as a cleaning lady for a couple of below-board operations, eking out $12.00/hr (no idea why that's hyperlinked), but no overtime or travel time. She put up with this abuse for a good long time, because she had no better options, but ultimately decided to become a freelance cleaner. It seems like she makes a comparable to slightly better wage, but she's still doing this job.
Author seems to blame a lot of other people for her problems, like discriminating against her because of her age/weight/ethnicity/citizen status. This book is full of swearing and racism and stereotypes, which I didn't mind, but might explain a bit of the author's narrator's problems in getting hired elsewhere.
She does raise a lot of valid issues (importing third-world workers to work for a pittance, people who work while illegally receiving welfare, the idea of a living wage... which is different in NYC than in Metro Atlanta, for example), but a lot of it seems to be buried in endless anecdotes. She argues for a living wage for workers, but if I went from paying $12/hr to say, $17/hr for a housecleaner, how would I know that the person was even competent? A lot of her co-workers would superficially clean or sweep dirt under rugs or use the same rag on all the surfaces, and some would destroy counters or floors with the wrong cleaning reagent. Why not?
What she is trying to say is that while there are low-information or illegal workers who take a pittance because it's under the table, there are also people with degrees in useless fields who are facing the same problems of low-wage work. They're easily exploited by fly-by-night employers or employers that are too big to fail or too small to reprimand (author reported her employer to the Department of Labor Standards for unpaid wages in 2011 and the case is still pending in late 2014), and workers who dare to assert their rights are retaliated against or effectively blacklisted in some industries or banned from certain properties (interesting that this is still going on a century after The Jungle was published). She found that her co-workers who ostensibly agreed with her in regards to their exploitation were unwilling to challenge the boss for their grievances.
She calls out liberals for doing fuck-all about this problem besides being total hypocrites. She calls out conservatives too. I can't really suss out her political position. She seems to be anti-welfare but not really libertarian, because she also wants government regulation against bad businesses and forcing up the wages. She also notes that there is a lack of innovation or creativity of people in the creative fields who have to clean houses or otherwise bust their butts to make $25K/year, and that when people are only paid minimum wage or are trapped in dead-end positions, they're not interested in excelling in their jobs....more
I won an autographed copy of this book in a First Reads drawing.
This is a bunch of vignettes (I think they're too brief to be short stories) illustratI won an autographed copy of this book in a First Reads drawing.
This is a bunch of vignettes (I think they're too brief to be short stories) illustrating human emotions. Dark emotions, mainly. I don't remember any jubilation or happiness. Some of them are better written than others; a couple are downright confusing. The clearest one is Salt River Bottoms. The author has a good grasp of imagery in his writing....more
Yet another blog-to-book fail. This one suffers in that it's not interesting to the reader, and she tries to be "edgy" by tossing in a few expletives.Yet another blog-to-book fail. This one suffers in that it's not interesting to the reader, and she tries to be "edgy" by tossing in a few expletives. Has any blogger written a decent book? Author says "get rid of stuff, do one thing at a time, and do less stuff. And read my blog. Here's the link." It's probably only 25 pages or so if it were printed, so it's quick. Less eloquent and more arrogant than many other self-help books with the same message....more
This book is terrible, but it's funny too if you look at it from a satirical perspective. The best discussion of it I've read to date was at slacktiviThis book is terrible, but it's funny too if you look at it from a satirical perspective. The best discussion of it I've read to date was at slacktivist (now findable at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktiv... ), though I don't know if he ever finished the book. It just has an incredible fixation on logistics without really considering the societal impact of the sudden disappearance of *all* children and all of the "Good" Christians. Like, no riots or anarchy or anything. Just a day or two of delayed flights.
I've been a practicing Christian for 30+ years and I'd never heard of the Rapture until I read this book....more
This book is short. The author makes clear that it is in magazine-type format (ie, several short, standalone chapters) which makes it easy to read wheThis book is short. The author makes clear that it is in magazine-type format (ie, several short, standalone chapters) which makes it easy to read when faced with frequent interruptions. This was helpful. At the ends of some of the chapters she includes links to various blog posts or web resources to delve further into given topics. I especially liked the Jennifer Fulwiler essay about following the example of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity and not overscheduling.
I like how she doesn't come across as judgmental, in stark contrast to 99% of other parenting/domesticity books I've read, and I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this book. I learned a few new tips on meal planning, time management, and giving myself some grace and space when I feel like I'm failing as a mother. ...more
I got this as a free ebook, and it was surprisingly thorough compared to many free ebooks. Author describes how to teach your children the basics of pI got this as a free ebook, and it was surprisingly thorough compared to many free ebooks. Author describes how to teach your children the basics of preschool and even kindergarten while at home. Includes the subject areas of letter recognition/pre-reading, math concepts and number recognition, shapes/colors, art, music, movement, and basic life skills. She writes with the assumption that a reader will likely send their children to kindergarten or first grade at a school, hence the title. Shows the structure of how to schedule your school day and make lesson plans. Points out that a lot of what children learn at home doesn't have to be divorced from normal daily activities (use chores to teach certain lessons like sorting or matching, for example).
Book was also faith-independent; if the author was of a particular faith it did not resonate to the point of distraction in this book (no fixation on bible verses or proverbs or catechism or anything of that sort). ...more
Some scenes in here I've never seen in any movie version, like debtors happy that Scrooge no longer holds their note. Also, is Tiny Tim's corpse lyingSome scenes in here I've never seen in any movie version, like debtors happy that Scrooge no longer holds their note. Also, is Tiny Tim's corpse lying upstairs in his house?...more