Everyone knows who Joan Rivers was, so you either would read this knowing she'll be insulting everyone including herself or you'd stay away. It's writEveryone knows who Joan Rivers was, so you either would read this knowing she'll be insulting everyone including herself or you'd stay away. It's written in exactly the same style as her comedy routines and it's humorous, not a nonfiction diary of her life for 2013. She of course died in September, 2014 and it's bittersweet to read comments she makes about when she's gone--she was right that Valerie Harper would survive her!
There were times I was scratching my head trying to figure out why she was calling certain actresses fat, and she was twice as hard on herself. That had to be a tough life, having a husband commit suicide, the troubles with her daughter and then writing/performing so often and putting herself down.
This was a good length, because for me, a little Joan goes a long ways. I can't imagine now how she could stay on-air for her QVC shows without being beeped-out for every other word. ...more
Back in the '60s, the newspaper had "women's" pages, with Erma Bombeck columns, receipes, Hints from Heloise, coupons, etc. Everyone bought a weekly cBack in the '60s, the newspaper had "women's" pages, with Erma Bombeck columns, receipes, Hints from Heloise, coupons, etc. Everyone bought a weekly copy of Family Circle or Women's Day, and had a subscription to Good Housekeeping and McCalls.
This book reminded me of those days because it has a little bit of everything to embrace--dare I say it?--being a housewife. Scott encourages us to enjoy the moment of cleaning, organizing, cooking and arranging. Let's face it, the men aren't EVER going to look at the curtains and say, "you know, Saturday I'm just going to wash and iron them, look at the dust!"
Hey, that's a good reason to write a book.
But Scott keeps throwing in memories of a Madam Chic and I just don't get it. There's no je ne sais quoi about being organized and efficient. When the house is in order, bills paid, food available, clothes cleaned, etc of course le Madam will be relaxed (or uses her "free time" for huge gardens, quilting, volunteering, canning, taking care of older relations, etc.) Before Scott there was the Fly Lady and then the Sidetracked Sisters and before that Heloise. Doing chores on a weekly rotation isn't new. "This is how we wash the clothes, all on a Monday morning," as the nursery song goes.
The writing style's fine. I don't know why she put in pages of different types of tea or her beauty routine (really? Directions on how to give yourself a manicure?). It seemed like she was stretching the page count on small pages. I'll give her credit because she did have a diagram of folding towels, which I wish The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing would have done. Many of us in Northern Virginia live in townhouses as Scott does, but we don't refer to them as apartments.
What was new to me was the 10-item wardrobe, but she must have covered that in her previous book.
This is the first reading I've had of Mantel's work. I was going to read Wolf Hall last year, but I got involved watching all six seasons of The TudorThis is the first reading I've had of Mantel's work. I was going to read Wolf Hall last year, but I got involved watching all six seasons of The Tudors on TV, and really, how much Anne Boleyn can one person take? Even Henry had enough.
There were two stories here, out of ten, that I thought were fantastic because of a twist at the end. Beware of doctor's aides fluttering around in capes! However Mantel doesn't come out and say exactly what the situation is so the reader has to figure it out. When I did, I went back and could find several clues to support the real ending.
So when I didn't "get" the other stories, I wondered if it was because there was nothing to get, or I was too daft.
The usual Cindy complaint is here in the mystery of the cover.
I looked up the word Flibbertigibbet because I thought it referred to someone flighty, not all there, as Meg Ryan's character in Joe and the Volcano.I looked up the word Flibbertigibbet because I thought it referred to someone flighty, not all there, as Meg Ryan's character in Joe and the Volcano. But--"This word also has a historical use as a name for a fiend, devil or spirit." so Denfeld uses it correctly. I understood the horses (especially when running) and the grey men who live in the ashes.
The library sticker classifies this as "fantasy" and it is. It's a literary story, not a prison tale such as The Shawshank Redemption. It was a short read for me, but Denfeld covers some big ideas--I liked how she described how time doesn't exist in a prison. When you wonder what time it is, it's because you have to go to a job, or make dinner, or catch a bus. It's the things you do and in jail, especially solitary confinement, well, you don't do anything so time doesn't matter.
Deneld adds enough concrete background--the food, the jail itself, the new convicts--and makes a real story, but having it narrated by one convict who certainly is damaged and perhaps not a reliable narrator adds another dimension. ...more
OK, I'm going to be stingy with my rating here. It's a very good book, of a collection of letters between a New York writer and a bookstore in London.OK, I'm going to be stingy with my rating here. It's a very good book, of a collection of letters between a New York writer and a bookstore in London. Unlike novels with letters, these letters are very brief--usually no more than 4 paragraphs--and always contain some order and/or bookkeeping involved. The reader gets a sketchy outline of characters, but there's really no plot involved, just the passing of time (and lots of time in between letters, sometimes years). It's very charming and I'd like it even more if I knew half the books discussed, but let's face it, the work involved with writing this isn't *that* much. So 4 stars for content, but only 2.5 for effort, that type of thing.
Was I the only one who wondered if the prices quoted included shipping? And didn't everyone squirm when Helene mentioned having to have ALL her teeth capped? Can you imagine a bookstore (even with "antique" books) making enough to support a staff of 8? ...more
Talk about Jinx and Judy (the authors) cashing out--this book is pretty much a straight reprint from 1965 and except for a few footnotes, they didn'tTalk about Jinx and Judy (the authors) cashing out--this book is pretty much a straight reprint from 1965 and except for a few footnotes, they didn't change much. I'm betting the Mad Men craze helped. Interesting to read their editorial comments, but not so much for the recipes.
They could have done a before-and-after approach, especially for the different menus for the types of bachelors invited. Where before for a athlete you'd have "barbequed steak" (really grilled steak, and you'd give the steak to man to cook), what would you make for a geek now? Or a unemployed guy who still lives at home with his parents? Or for a baby daddy/divorcee when he brings his kids? They frowned on deserts for the most part :( but if I remember right the new The I Hate to Cook Book suggested Irish coffee as the perfect desert for all occasions.
A chapter on making Christmas gifts on the cheap because the girl bought skis is funny--now between student loans, rent, internet and phone bills, health care costs, etc who buys skis in their early 20's, much less has money for lift tickets? I wonder too, how many girls get invited to the theater in the first place to even think about having a dinner afterwards? ...more
This is a memoir, and to be honest, I think it's more a memoir of George, the son vs. Betty the mother. At one point he says his edi3.5 rounded down.
This is a memoir, and to be honest, I think it's more a memoir of George, the son vs. Betty the mother. At one point he says his editor says his written work is too "internal" and it sure is. All the action in the story pretty much takes place between his ears, when he's reminiscing, or wondering what Betty is remembering. If this were fiction, it would be amazing how he got into his characters' head.
To me, the saddest part is that being gay and in his 20's during the AIDS mass-hysteria decade George himself may have no one to take care of him the way he takes care of his mother.
At the time the story was written, the mother was 93 and still playing piano for church services! And she still practiced! What a strong woman. I would have liked more background on the mother, and maybe even a family tree for her relations. A map would have been good too. I kept forgetting that when Paris or Mexico is mentioned, it's referring to cities in Missouri.
The cover could have been better--the dog is such a minor character. I received an ARC and I hope the copy editor makes another run through it before final publication to take out all the extra words. ...more
There once were five ladies from Nanucket Who didn't want to kick the bucket. So they lived and had fun Had their days in the sun And told others not toThere once were five ladies from Nanucket Who didn't want to kick the bucket. So they lived and had fun Had their days in the sun And told others not to knock it.
How could anyone write a book about ladies from Nantucket and not do a limerick???
So, okay, all of us baby boomers are getting older and headed for retirement, and there's plenty of financial and physical advice and help. But there's not much out there about what to actually do, how to enjoy your sunset years even if you do have money and health.
Bonsee is a professional certified life coach and she uses these five women she meets during her summers in Nantucket as examples of "positive aging." They're great women. They're funny and happy and have hobbies, volunteer, don't whine and complain. They adjust and adapt.
Bonsee has an ending chapter where she wraps up all the different attributes these women have, but she misses one. They were this way when they were children, teens, married, young parents and middle aged. The question Bonsee doesn't answer is--if you're not plucky and cheery and positive at say, 24 and 42, how does it bode at 62 or 72? I can't imagine a grumpypants can change the day her first SS check gets deposited.
She has a good point, though, about aging positively. If you go into the dining hall of a nursing home, who do you want to talk to? The ones telling a joke or talking about their day. So they get more attention and it's a self fulfilling circle, where they attract happy people, who in turn make them happy and on and on.
If you come to my table in the nursing home we'll have limerick contests! Winner gets lime jello!
Cormac McCarthy is the writer, so you already know how dark this is--and having the cover on this paperback edition underscores that. Other reviewersCormac McCarthy is the writer, so you already know how dark this is--and having the cover on this paperback edition underscores that. Other reviewers here have compared this similar to the birth of Jesus and ooh! once I read their reviews I saw it too. Flocks of pigs vs. sheep, three "wise" men, poverty at every turn, no family around, a non-virgin birth but the mother still has a most childlike innocence around her that I kept expecting men to take advantage of her (similar to the daughter in As I Lay Dying. The brother certainly has inner darkness.
Probably not the best book to read in the depths of winter when outer darkness is all about. Quick read. ...more
From the back cover photo, I think the author looks like Lena Dunham. From the preview of the next HBO Girls episode, it looks like her character, HanFrom the back cover photo, I think the author looks like Lena Dunham. From the preview of the next HBO Girls episode, it looks like her character, Hannah, writes about her own life...and I didn't realize Watkins was doing that too in the short story, Ghosts, Cowboys about who her father was. (I didn't know until I was reading reviews.)
Many of the short stories here could have been lengthened for a novel--I liked the one best about the two brothers who were panning for gold. That had to take a lot of research (did bears and bulls really fight each other for show?) and I kept wondering, what happened to the girlfriend?
Watkins' writing is gritty--just as the state of Nevada that most of the stories take place. Wonder how she likes the Bucknell campus compared to that? ...more
When I read a nonfiction book like this it's hard to rate it, because I'm judging the content as well as the writing.
*edit* One good hint she says isWhen I read a nonfiction book like this it's hard to rate it, because I'm judging the content as well as the writing.
*edit* One good hint she says is not to put your seasonal clothes away. I live in Virginia, so putting away my "summer" clothes is only for about 10 weeks anyway.
Kondo's theory of "tidying up" isn't the "red up" they do in Pennsylvania. By tidying-up (which you only need to do once) Kondo wants people to toss out their clutter. Her clients throw out bags and bags of belongings. And sure enough, there's room for everything! and it's easy to clean! and your skin clears up! (not kidding) and you lose weight! (again, not kidding).
I've moved partially or wholly each summer for the past three years and her "tidying-up" sounds an awful lot like unloading a house to move into an apartment. You make hard decisions. It's when Thoreau wrote in Walden, about living deliberately.
Perhaps because she's younger, she spends a lot of pages describing how to tidy and store clothes, but nothing on other areas such as kitchen cupboards, linen closets, attics, garages, etc. She also shows her age when she tells people not to unload their stuff in their parents' house. One rule she has is to unload stuff and not show anyone, just toss it. Why? If someone can use it, why not? Especially if it has family history or is a good appliance or just donate it, why not?
Kondo also doesn't want anyone to buy items to stock up, such as underwear. "When you buy something, take off the tags and put it out," she urges. Well, when I find bras, panties, etc on sale, I'm going to stock up. She told a woman with 82 pair of stockings to toss them. Why not just stop buying them and use up the stock, instead of tossing them and then buying them again over time? (That's one reason why I wished she would have discussed kitchen cupboards, to see if she had the same philosophy there.) If I buy clothing out of season or I need to see if they match something else, I leave the tags on so I can return it. There's a reason why people do these things.
She really needed photos or pictures showing how to fold clothes and put them into drawers.
I'm surprised that her Japanese clients seem to have as much clutter as Americans.
Anyway, when she urges people to have nothing in their showers, and take shampoo, conditioner, and soap in with you--and then DRY your soap afterwards and put it away--that crossed the line for me. How do you dry a bar of soap?? ...more
This falls under the category of short stories are like potato chips, you keep reading until the bag is empty and you're licking the salt from your fiThis falls under the category of short stories are like potato chips, you keep reading until the bag is empty and you're licking the salt from your fingers. To be fair, most of the "stories" are really observations, but very smart and Dorothy Parker witty observations.
What makes me sad is that I bought this at the library overflow sale and that means there's probably no longer a copy available.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who agrees that Atwood has good bones, good cheekbones anyway.
A really short book and Atwood does the drawings herself! ...more
Here's another blogger that I've never heard of, and this book is updated! How behind am I?
This is a serious book of essays on (mostly) gender inequaHere's another blogger that I've never heard of, and this book is updated! How behind am I?
This is a serious book of essays on (mostly) gender inequality, but Solnit does a great job of showing how far we've come and remaining hopeful while describing all these terrible things women live through in a rape culture. Powerful words, right? But when she starts to describe things that every women just assumes (and has always assumed) for protection (such as not walking at night, or even shopping at night in case of being attacked in the parking lot), she's right.
Her essay on why gay marriage issues that used to be termed "same-sex marriage" and changed to "marriage equality" was very informative and explained clearly to me (unlike the man whom the book is named after!)
A really sweet little nugget to read around the holidays. I was a little disappointed in I Still Dream About You but this was written 6 years earlier.A really sweet little nugget to read around the holidays. I was a little disappointed in I Still Dream About You but this was written 6 years earlier. There's no snap or bite as with Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Very quick moving and the women certainly have more of a role than the men.
The Husband's Secret had a epilogue that wraps everything up and this one does too. I don't know if it was needed. The writer doesn't need to tell us *everything*.
This is a very short book--there's pages of recipes at the end. ...more