Sycamore Row – Book Club

Alright bibliophiles of the interwebs – what did you think of Mr. Grisham’s latest offering “Sycamore Row?”

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not a fan. I was interested in finding out what the outcome of the story would be, so there’s that, but his writing is just so…full of stereotypes. There’s always colorful white characters who flourish and the confused black people who need their guidance. I don’t know, maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this type of story. The struggling white lawyer, the poor black folks with a whole bunch of freeloading relatives and the sorry black daddy – over all of it. And he misspelled y’all! I thought maybe it was just one typo, but nope, the book repeatedly uses the spelling ya’ll. No. It is a contraction of you all – why did he have the apostrophe behind the a? I’m from California and I know that’s wrong!

So, yeah. I was annoyed the whole time I read the book. Jake got on my nerves. The only thing that saved him for me was the fact that I was picturing M.atthew McConaughey the whole time I was reading (yum!).

I also thought the reason Lettie Lang was left the bulk of Seth Hubbard’s money was kind of obvious. I was hoping for more of a twist.

Anyhoo, I won’t say any more than that right now. I thought the book was okay. If I was grading it, I’d give it a B minus.

Head on over to the comments and let’s get this conversation started. Did you like it? Love it? Thought it was just okay? Who was your favorite character? How was the story development for you? Do tell!

Book Club – Yellow Crocus

Please forgive my failure to post yesterday – work got in the way and then I had to leave early to pay a man $75 to “fix” my water heater by turning it up from A level hot to C level hot.  -_-

Okay, so where were we? Ah yes – our discussion of Yellow Crocus. The story of  Mattie – a slave woman, her children, and Paula Deen. I mean, the family for whom she worked.

I enjoyed this story, was reminded of how limited the rights of women during that time were – enslaved, free, or otherwise – and was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

That’s all I’m going to write for now – WordPress is tripping and underlining everything I type in red. My eyes can’t deal.

Head over to the comments and get to discussing.  I’ll be back!

Book Club and Randoms

A mish-mash of randoms that I never published…happy Monday!

  • Our next book will be The View From Here by Brian Keith Jackson.  This book is only available in the print version (boo!)  I think I ordered this book eons ago but didn’t read it.  If I can’t find it I’m going to order a used copy from Amazon.  Let’s set a discussion date of April 22.  If the books aren’t back in time or whatever, we can always change the date.  After The View…we’ll read The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Lawson Roby.  Cool?  Cool.
  • LG was in her first karate tournament last Saturday and now my kid realizes that she’s got to put in some practice and be a bit more focused.  All she was to do in the tournament was one kata (routine).  Well, my little chickadee forgot her kata so she lost her first match up.  She remembered it and beat the next girl…and then forgot it again.  So she didn’t win or place.  I think the competition was a great opportunity for her to see where she needs work.  I was a little disappointed that she got a participation trophy AND medal.  Come on now – one of the two would’ve been sufficient (and overkill.  participation awards?!?!)  And now I know that I’ve got to be prepared – to sit and wait.  We were there for 3.5 hours all for her to do one 60-second kata.  I’ll definitely take my tablet and get in some quality reading time next go ’round.
  • We had a dance party – for three – Saturday afternoon.  I guess we were all feeling silly, but we each picked a song – Play That Funky Music (LG), Let The Music Play (moi), and Walking in the Rain (Smoochy) and got our grooves on.  Talk about a good time.  Smoochy and I spent the rest of the weekend calling each other alley cat coat wearing, hush puppy shoe wearing crumbcakes.  If you do not get the Oran “Juice” Jones reference, I just feel sorry for you.  With your young self!  :)
  • Went to dinner with two friends Saturday night.  One of them spent a good portion of the time complaining about her dating life.  Well, here in blogland I’ve sworn off commenting about dating.  In my real life?  Not so much.  Ma’am – you are highly unlikely to meet anyone if you don’t broaden your horizons and get out there some.  I get not wanting to be in the clubs, but you can’t go to a museum,  a dance class, or a concert that doesn’t include S.ilk & J.agged E.dge?  Good luck with that.
  • My church is hosting a conference for young ladies and I signed up to volunteer.  They assigned me to the cooking demonstration booth.  Umm…no.  Cooking is not where my spiritual gifts lie.  I took a look at the available opportunities and am now signed up for the manicure booth.  Now you’re talking!  Think I’m going to buy 5 bottles of P.ure Ice and/or S.inful Colors to use that day.  Pretty sure the parents won’t be thrilled with me using my preferred dark, vampy shades.
  • Did I tell y’all my new eating plan?  Basically it’s me eating clean M-F and getting buck wild with my choices over the weekend.  Apparently moderation and I are not friends.
  • I buy our towels at Target. I recently bought myself a new set and just realized I grabbed the wrong ones – those cheap fluffy towels absorb not a thing. What a waste of money.  They’re pretty though…
  • Apparently the battery in my new car is not here for foolishness.  I didn’t close my door all the way Sunday.  Smoochy closed it behind me about an hour later.  When I hopped in that bad boy Sunday night to make a pharmacy run for LG – the car refused to start.  Thank God for neighbors with portable battery chargers :)
  • Speaking of my car – I love this thing!  I finally understand why people pay good money for leather seats and hands-free technology.  Word up!
  • I just learned that instead of selling my Durango for parts, Smoochy now wants to pay a couple of grand to have the transmission replaced and use it as our “spare” car.  I am so not a fan of this plan.
  • Chamomile is the most dull tea ever.  I really wish they’d stop including it in tea multi-packs.
  • I’ve started using this stuff on my face again and am already seeing results.  Makes me wonder why I ever stopped using it.  About to try the body version and see if I can get rid of these eczema scars.  My skin does not get along with the pollen in MS at all :(
  • Just finished reading “Water for Elephants” and really enjoyed it.  Pondering whether I should try and watch the movie or just enjoy the memories of the book.  Anyone seen the movie?  Any good?

I guess that’s it for now.  Have a great day – be blessed!

 

Book Club – The Racketeer

Good morning, good morning, good morning!

Well, what did y’all think of our latest read, John Gr.isham’s “The R.acketeer?”

I thought it was okay, nothing spectacular.  The first half of the book just plodded along and the second half wrapped everything up pretty neatly.  Too neatly really.  I know this was a work of fiction, but there didn’t seem to be any real impediments to the plan that Malcom Bannister and his friends pulled off and I was surprised at the lack of barriers in the story.  Additionally – and I’ve said this before – I like to have someone to root for (or against) in a story and I just didn’t find myself that vested in any character in the book one way or another.

This was the first Gr.isham book I’ve ever read and I was expecting more of a page-turning thriller.  Guess that just was not to be.

Anyhoo, go forth to the comments and let the discussion begin.  As always, I’ll jump in with my thoughts and opinions throughout the day.

If you weren’t able to join us for this read, I certainly hope you’ll consider joining us next go ’round.

 

What’s the Haps?

Since last we talked:

  • I’ve finished my church’s annual fast. This year’s was pretty challenging. Usually I just do the Daniel Fast (fruits, vegetables, water) for the whole 21 days. This year I stepped my game up and did 3 days of liquid only, 15 days of Daniel Fast, then 3 days of liquid only. Hoping that those things for which I prayed become reality in the very near future.
  • An added benefit of fasting? The inevitable weight loss. I’ve dropped almost 12 pounds. Now to lose my final 7 pounds and maintain….
  • I thought I’d go nuts once the fast was completed and go to town on some tasty delicious food. Nope. It’s Monday morning and all I’ve had since the fast ended yesterday morning? 3 bananas, a handful of almonds, and a cheese quesadilla. I may go wild and have a cup of coffee this morning.
  • I have completed AND submitted my application for the Doctorate in Healthcare Administration program. Prayers up!
  • Lovegirl has come to me worried that one of her breasts is bigger than the other. Ma’am. I’m not sure how one determines the subtle differences between flat and flatter….
  • My car died. And what a glorious death it was. Smoochy came home Thursday night, replaced a part Friday morning. Drove it around and it was all good. I went to turn the car on and all we heard was “THUNK! THUNK! BLZZZZT!” and white smoke poured forth from the tailpipe.  RIP ol’ girl – you served me well. People rip on Dodges, but that Durango was 11 years old with almost 200K miles on it – I can’t even be mad that she’s gone on to that great junkyard in the sky.
  • Speaking of Smoochy, he went to NOLA to hang out in all the Super Bowl glory. I am so glad he took a few days off to hang out with his friends and enjoy himself. It’s something he rarely does and I’m glad he took this opportunity to just chill.
  • Last night’s game? Pretty stanking good! Not the game I expected – the Ravens shut it down in the first half – but still a good game. Wish I’d bet Smoochy – I told him the Ravens were gonna win. Not that I was particularly vested either way – neither my Raiders or Steelers were on the field :)
  • Beyonce and DC did a nice job with the halftime show. I’m neither a Bey stan or hater. As long as she’s singing uptempo songs, I’m good. Once she starts with the ballads, I’m done.
  • Did I tell y’all my father is giving me his old car? Shipping a car from CA to MS isn’t the cheapest thing, but it beats 4 or 5 year of car notes. Thank you Jesus! And Baba :)
  • And I guess that’s all for now – my coworkers are starting to trickle in, interrupting my blog flow.
  • Happy Monday! And don’t forget we’re discussing Grisham’s “The Racketeer” next Monday – get to getting!

Everybody, Everybody Get Your Read On!

Drum roll please…our first book club book of 2013 is The Racketeer by John Grisham as suggested by TIH.

Let’s plan to discuss on Monday, February 11.  Cool?  Cool.

If there’s a book you’d like to read and discuss with the group, just let me know and we’ll put it in the rotation.  And by rotation I mean it’ll be our next book :)
Just remember, no Z.ane, etc.

Happy Monday and Happy Reading!

 

Book Club – The Story of Beautiful Girl

Well, what did y’all think of our latest read?

I thought it was okay.  I went into this book with no expectations, but still managed to be disappointed by the time I finished.  It was just so sad all around and the last 3 or 4 chapters were rushed – I thought the author could’ve done a better job with the way she “distributed” her story.  We got a lot of details in the beginning of the book and by the end, it seemed like she was tired of writing and wrapped it up as quickly as possible.

The book did give me pause when I realized that this fictionalized story could very well have happened.  The treatment of non-neuronormative (look at me being all PC) people has come a long way in this society though no doubt, there’s plenty of room for improvement in the way those with challenges are treated – both inside and outside of facilities and group homes.  And poor Homan – outside of his hearing loss, there was nothing wrong with him and yet he’d been institutionalized because no one took time to properly assess his status.

Anyhow, I borrowed a few questions from the guide at the back of the book.  Feel free to answer any/all of these or just let your thoughts flow free.  As always, I’ll be back throughout the course of the day to read y’alls comments and to add more of my own.

1.  What did you learn that you didn’t already know about the history of people with disabilities and the ways they were routinely treated by society?

2.  Martha’s former students provide her with support for the first several years of Julia’s life. Was there a teacher in your life who meant as much to you as Martha meant to her students?

3.  Why do you think Martha took on the incredible responsibility of raising another woman’s child instead of contacting proper authorities? What would you have done in her place?

4.  Homan is up against incredible odds in making his way in the world, especially once his uncle Blue dies. Discuss the way that race, impairment, illiteracy, and institutionalization play a part in how he interacts with the world and how the world reacts to him.

Anywho, let’s get into it – what did you think?

Backyard Boogie Oogie Oogie

This post has nothing to do with backyards or boogies.  But Mac 10 has been running through my head for the last few days so I thought I’d share!

“Straight from Inglewood and you know that it’s all good!”  Okay, moving along…

  • Our next book club read will be The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon.  We’ll discuss on Monday, October 22.
  • Remember those 8 pounds the doctor suggested I lose?  5 of them are gone!  Woo hoo and all that jazz!
  • Speaking of shedding excess poundage.  I got caught up y’all.  Caught up in all of the tweets and blog stories and feelings of success & exhilaration and so I have…drum-roll please…signed up for Couch to 5K.  It’s with the Y, so childcare is not an issue.  Starting next week, I’ll be running.  Have mercy.
  • There are two older women in my office who are, to put it bluntly, bitchy.  My friend who is the director of operations for the office wants to call a staff meeting to straighten them out.  Uh, how are you going to tell these women who are pushing 60 that they need to be kinder, gentler people?  Those old biddies are not trying to hear that!
  • My brother called me and told me he was bored with life in general.  I told him to concentrate on doing something for others and/or taking a class or two to explore something he’s interested in.  When I get bored like that I go back to school.  Or have a child.  How do you cope when you feel restless with your life?
  • If you think I’ve gone and purchased a dress for my brother’s wedding?  You’d be wrong.  Why am I playing like this wedding isn’t in three weeks?!?
  • I’ve been playing with eye makeup so I can get all glam for the wedding.  My eye makeup, when I wear it, is usually a brown shadow and a bit of mascara. This morning I went for a darker, more dramatic look.  LG told me I looked like I had a black eye.  Or was very tired.  #SmokeyEyeFail
  • Speaking of my pint-sized beauty adviser, that chick ran by me this morning and there I stood – in a cloud of funk!  Ma’am! What are you doing in the bathtub?  Or rather, what are you not doing?!? Tonight, I’m watching the festivities ’cause she is too old to be missing hot spots and smelling like onions and outdoors.

And that’s it!  Should be a nice, relaxing weekend.  LG wants to go to a dinosaur exhibit so I’m going to make that happen.  Hopefully I’ll remember to go buy a dress for the wedding, and the rest of the weekend will be spent in my armchair reading while Smoochy watches every football game in the U.S. of A.

Hope your weekend is absolutely wonderful ~ enjoy!!

 

Book Club – The Grace of Silence

So. Y’all had me really scared to read this book.  I was thinking it was going to be the most horrid of the horrid.  I liked it.

I am a sucker for memoirs.  I like to think it is because I’m nosy as all get out delightfully inquisitive and enjoy reading about other people’s journeys through this wonderful life.  Do I think this was the best written memoir I’ve ever read?  Nope.  Did that surprise me slightly?  Sure did.  I was expecting a different read from Michelle Norris, but now that I think about it, I’m not certain why.  Just because I enjoy her on NPR doesn’t mean that she’s automatically going to be a supremely gifted writer.  But I think that she did a good job and I don’t regret reading this book at all.

I’ll tell you what – her response to learning about her father’s one night in jail could’ve knocked me over with a feather.  I realize that I  have no right to tell anyone else how they should react to something, but come on lady.  Finding out your father was accidentally shot in the leg and spent a night in jail is not as worthy of collapsing on the floor in a heap and remaining paralyzed for 2 hours as oh say, finding out your father killed someone in a bar fight or something along those lines…I actually went back and read that part 2 3 times because I was certain that I’d missed something.  I had not.

My favorite quote from the book was:  “Blacks often feel the dispiriting burden of being perceived willy-nilly as representing an entire race.  The idea made my head hurt, and it still does if I dwell on it too much.”  Yes! Yes! Yes!

Anyhoo lovelies, I know many of you do not share my feelings about the book – head on over to the comments and let’s get this discussion rolling.

Any suggestions for our next book which I think will be the last one for 2012.  Unless y’all think we can read and discuss two more books in the midst of all the activity and bustle that the holidays bring?  Let me know!

Oops

Today is Monday, August 20.  According to my records we’re supposed to discuss “The Grace of Silence” today.  Um, I haven’t finished it.  And by finished, I mean I haven’t started it.  Let’s reconvene on Tuesday, September 4.  Cool?  Cool.

Speaking of oops, what is wrong with this man???  Apparently this man, who is running for Senate has opened his mouth and inserted not only his foot, but several other feet that were laying around nearby.  Genius – who opposes abortion no matter what – said that the female body “shuts down” to prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”

What in the what is he talking about??? Now let me say, I believe in a woman’s right to obtain a safe, legal abortion.  Whether or not anyone agrees with me is not the point.  I don’t care if one’s stance is that abortion should be illegal.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  But if you’re against abortion, just say “I am anti-abortion.”  Do not spout off b.s. scientific “facts” like a woman’s body shuts down to prevent pregnancy in cases of legitimate rape.  What quack-ass doctor told him that?  What the hell is legitimate rape?  I cannot fathom that there are people with normal levels of intelligence walking around – much less holding office – who believe such nonsense.  I really cannot.

Is this the Republican stance in a nutshell?  “So, let’s make abortion – in any case illegal.  Let’s force women to carry out unwanted pregnancies.  Let’s then deny them any sort of help – financial or medical – while they’re carrying these pregnancies to term.  And, to wrap it all up, let’s not provide any sort of services or support for the women or their children once they’re born.  Because that’s what God would have us do.”  Am I missing something?!?!?

Geez, it’s time for yet another news boycott.  I can’t handle hearing this madness day in and day out until November.