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Friday, December 23, 2011

Temperance Review


by Cathy Malkasian

genre: graphic novel

I'm not sure where to even begin with this one.  In fact, I'm not even sure how I feel about it.  It's not that I didn't like it.  I did, on a certain level.  This book delves into weighty subject matter such as blind faith, mental abuse, physical abuse and traumatic memory loss.  However, none of these subjects felt particularly dealt with to completion in the story.  Toward the end of the book, the story seemed to fall apart into jagged pieces which I had a difficult time reconciling into the story-line up to that point.

At face value, the book is full of beautiful illustrations.  I appreciate the detail of the artwork and the style of drawing.  But the story itself seemed heavy on narrative which is rather odd in a graphic novel.  Additionally, there were too many fantasy elements which were left unexplained and that felt distracting to me.  In the end I thought the author pulled those into a sort of mythological explanation of opposing seasons (winter/summer, autumn/spring).  But given the deeper subjects of the story, this resolution felt far too simple and rather anti-climactic.

So, I'm on the fence with this one.  How did you feel about it?  What did you think the final message was?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Move Little Train, Move

Ok, so Temperance review this week.  I'll plan for Thursday.  Has anyone started reading You Lost Me There?  I have it but haven't picked it up yet.  I'm anxious to start.

See you back here on Thursday.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sh*t My Dad Says Review and Discussion

Sh*t My Dad Says

by Justin Halpern

genre: memoir, humor

Justin Halpern's father is a bottomless well of in-your-face wise but crass quotes.  I expected to be humored, possibly to the point of laughing out loud.  I hadn't expected to laugh through the entire book or that I would actually like his dad.

As a character in life, this guy likely ticks off people left and right simply due to his uncouth manner and lack of social filter.  That said, if you listen long enough you'll hear that he's not a scary flippant but a softy with a side of common sense.  His devotion to his children and to people in dire straits shows up often enough to make him lovable.

As for the writing in the book, it has a folksy feel to it, only this folksy includes a lot of swearing.  Anyone who gets offended by foul language should not read this book, but then the title should have warned you off in the first place.  Format wise I liked how he would tell a little anecdotal story at the beginning of each chapter and then end the chapter with straight up quotes from his dad.  I get the feeling only the good stuff was put in, as in, his dad might have acted worse on occasions but we're getting the publishable version.  That said, if you were writing a humorous book about your dad, wouldn't you write it that way?

The best thing about this book is plainly explained by its title.  I cried laughing and often interrupted my husband's reading to share quotes that were cracking me up.  I believe every good reading regimen needs light and fun books thrown in to the mix.  This fits that bill in spades.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where have you been?

You might well ask that of me.  Around, I'll tell you.  But, the good news is, it is time to start moving on the club again!  Therefore, tomorrow will be the Sh*t My Dad Says review and discussion and we are reading Temperance and hopefully will be able to do a review and discussion by next week or the week after depending on your readiness.  How cool is that?

Which also means, we should do a book opening next week, that way you have time to put your requests in to your local library for the next book.  I'd say Tuesday would be a good day.

So, in summary:

  • Sh*t My Dad Says official review and discussion Friday, December 9th
  • Start reading Temperance right now, no I mean this minute! (not really)
  • Opening of Book 4 on Tuesday, December 13th
See you back tomorrow.

P.S. Kevin Spacey posted a comment on The Big Short with some questions he had about the book.  I'm going to get my book out and dig into it again to see if I can answer (though I'm just no financial guru).  If anyone else out there that has read the book can answer his questions - please chime in.  Thanks