Friday, May 14, 2010

What's Not to Like?

*looks around*

I think I need to blog.

*flips through the mail*

Graduation announcements.
Georgia Tech.
University of South Florida.
University of North Carolina.
Kennesaw Mountain High School.

More graduates. Darn.

Just more people out loose in the world without classes to go to and in front of me in line at the Chick-Fil-a.


David and I just got back from visiting our friends in Florida. This was one of those great trips -- easy drive down and back (I-75 only had thirty miles of construction instead of hundred and thirty), beautiful weather -- low humidity -- highs in the lower 80s, and of course, a golden retriever. Life doesn't get much better than the beach -- unless it's the beach with the USC men's beach volleyball team.


I had David and a kite.
All is good.

What's not to like?


I have read many books in the last week or two. The beach allows that.

*shakes sand from book bag*

Here is the list of what I have read:

Schooled -- Anisha La Khani
Letters from Point Clear by Dennis McFarland
Nothing to Declare -- Mary Morris
The Book of Lost Things -- John Connolly
One Foot in Eden -- Ron Rash
The Believers - Zoe Heller

Of those books, only the last one was a library one -- the others had been loaned to me.

Schooled -- simply written but fictional book [based on experience] about being a tutor to the privately schooled upper class in New York City. Bottom line -- they are all cheaters -- including the tutors.
The English teacher protagonist of the novel couldn't make ends meet with her private school teacher salary {surprise, surprise}, so she joined the ranks of the unethical and sank into the cesspool of greed -- as a tutor who did the work for the students she was tutoring -- sometimes at 200 dollars an hour. Not only was what she did stupid, but she came across shallow and naive. Ya think? I can't remember being 23, so I don't know how deep my waters flowed, but she was totally buffaloed about designer stuff - [a New York thing, I guess] --- purses, clothes, shoes, and eight dollar lattes. I can't imagine paying 1200 dollars for a Chanel clutch, but then again, I don't have 1200 dollars for a purse. In fact, I don't have 1200 dollars.

Letters from Point Clear -- Southern unchurched debutante marries preacher -- family all a flutter - family intervention. ...funny moments but mostly predictable and unrealistic.

Nothing to Declare -- young woman travels to Latin America by herself and lives for two years ... takes twenty hour bus rides around cliff roads --- has amazing luck with befriending the locals... and at one point rides horseback fifty miles deep into the jungle with a guide she just met. She paid him 10 dollars. I'm thinking she's never watched CNN.
The guide uses a machete to cut back the growth as well as hack in two a large snake. Whole story made me wanna bathe and drink bottled water. Yo, the girl was so whacked.

The Book of Lost Things --- during WW2, 12 year old boy mourns the death of his mother and his father's new family -- complete with baby brother --- when the books on his shelf begin to whisper to him, the boy escapes into his imagination and into a world of myth, folklore, and fairy tales. Graphic and violent, the heroes and monsters met by this twelve-year old meld together in a story that was a little like a bedtime story on crack.

One Foot in Eden --- my nephew read this book in his college freshman English class and handed it over for my opinion.

Me: Great pacing to this story -- high interest. How did your classmates like it?
Nephew: They didn't.
Me: Why? It had sex, witches, cussing, violence, a flood, and a fire -- what's not to like?
Nephew: Reading. It's college.
Me: Oh.

Rash's first novel -- this tale told of a small South Carolina town whose way of life changes when a big company's has a need for their land. Told from five points of view, the story covers a twenty year time period beginning in the early 1950s. Good read -- but I don't know if it was literature. The students should have loved it. My nephew did, and he doesn't like much.


The Believers --- a dysfunctional, and radically liberal New York family has to work together when lawyer dad succumbs to a stroke during a high profile trial -- the crazy family -- pot-smoking, foul mouth mom; two daughters, the oldest trying to be an Orthodox Jew, the other unhappy and preoccupied with her obesity; and the adopted son -- constantly rehabbing from one thing or another -- come together to deal with "dear old" dad's coma and their inability to agree on anything. In the midst of this tragedy, daddy's "other" family shows up and throws all of them into the blender of WTH????? The problem with it all is --none of the characters are likable, which just might be the author's intent. Heh. There are some funny scenes, some hilarious conversations, but at one point or another, they all needed to be pushed off a cliff.

Speaking of pushing someone off a cliff, what have you guys been doing?


  1. Jealous of all this reading! The end of the school year allows for none of that!

  2. Reading your blog is a little like reading cliff's notes in high school. We have been busy with house guests. Nothing we love more than having house guests. I have the book you suggested by Karen Zacharias, Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide? ('cause I need more room for my plasma tv). It is great so far. Thanks.

  3. Have you read any of Jodi Picoult's books?