Jul 2, 2015

I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson book review

I Thought You Were DeadI Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After reading the first chapter of I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson, I was ready to put it down and write a single word review of "crap."  Not one to give up so easily on a book, I decided to give it a quick scan to see if maybe I might have been to harsh....which, it appears I was.  I proceeded finish reading the whole book.

Basically the book is a coming-of-age novel....of a middle aged man.  The main character, Paul, deals with aging, the stroke of his father, his relationships with his brother and father, his failed marriage, his potential new love interest, his drinking and, finally, his dog, Stella. 

Though I believe that the author, Pete Nelson, wrote this with sincerity and the story seems well rounded and thought out...it reads like something you would shop around Hollywood.  I never became fully immersed in the lives of the characters, it seemed like it was following a formula and, overall, it felt very superficial.   Like a watered down version of Silver Linings Playbook. Sad..but there you have it.

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Jun 21, 2015

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Books were an integral part of my childhood.  Raised in a television free home, I spent most of my time reading.  Not just for entertainment...books were how I learned about people, the world, right and wrong, good and evil.  I loved myths and fairy tales. Books such as Aesop's Fables, the Brothers Grimm, the Chronicles of Narnia, Pippi Longstocking, the Wizard of Oz and Winnie the Pooh (just to name a VERY few) helped shape the "grown-up" me.  I would have loved Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.

Mixing fantasy with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, tells the story of Minli, a young Chinese girl. She lives in a poor village underneath a stark mountain and every day her mother expresses her discontent. Inspired by her fathers stories, Minli sets out to find the Old Man of the Moon to ask him how to change their fortune. Along her journey she meets many different characters who help her and hears many new stories. The structure is great....lots of little stories within the main tale.  Weaving fables and folklore into a new and original tale. At first I thought it a bit simple..then I began reading through the eyes of a child and I was very impressed.  Grace Lin has crafted a wonderful, beautifully written tale.

As a children's book..I highly recommend Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

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Feb 22, 2015

review of How To Grow Up by Michelle Tea

How to Grow UpHow to Grow Up by Michelle Tea

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of How to Grow Up by Michelle Tea as Goodreads Giveaway.  I haven't read a lot of memoirs to date, but I couldn't resist this one after reading the blurb on the back. 

"As an aspiring young writer in San Francisco, Michelle Tea lived in a scuzzy communal house; she drank, smoked, snorted anything she got her hands on; she toiled for the minimum wage; and she dated men and women, and sometimes both at once. But between hangovers and dead-end jobs, she scrawled in notebooks and organized dive bar poetry readings, working to make her literary dreams real."

Yes, it sounded eerily similar to my younger years.  The difference being that I'm not a writer.

Though Michelle Tea is a popular, well known author is many circles, I had yet to read any of her work.  I was happily surprised by her writing - it was easy to read, not boring, descriptive and drew me right into her life.  She seemed to be honest and intelligent.  And, yes, I saw myself in her.  We had similar experiences, styles, attitudes and perceptions. 

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book.  I think that she has some great advice/life lessons on everything from relationships (with others and with yourself) to living.  There are a few ideals of hers that I do not share - but it would be creepy if I agreed wholeheartedly with someone on EVERYTHING.  The only criticism that I have is that, at times, she comes across a bit conceited.

All in all, a very enjoyable read.  Funny, embarrassingly real, honest and sincere. To top it - I also picked up some great insight about my own life.

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