J-Dub’s Review of Bad Jobs and Poor Decisions by JR Helton

Here is the backstory/set up Someone Took My Story Idea

Yep! Don’t think the story line was such a good idea for this guy either.  I stop short of going any further because this is a memoir so who am I to judge?  No one.  The correct answer is no one.

What was neat about this book was every time he mentioned an address or place, I could visualize the scene.  Threw me right back to my youth.  I know people like this or should say I did back in the day.  Some have grown up and out of that life while others are perpetually stuck in the 80s.  Made me sad overall and I guess with topics of bad jobs and poor decisions, I should not be surprised.

Not giving a rating.  Recommend that you give it a read if you’ve nothing better to do and/or you like to be sad. I for one am going back to pure d as in DELIGHTFUL fiction.  You guys need to remind me to stay away from non-fiction unless it is of the uplifting variety.

As always, more to come.



Someone Took My Story Idea

OK so not really but sort of, kind of, maybe?

I was going to post Tales from the Tree as in Dollar Tree and write some things about Lulu’s experience with a minimum wage stocking/cashier position. I never did more than one or two stories because quite frankly the tales were sad so very very sad.

I picked this particular book because:

  1. it’s based in Austin and I’m a native Texan
  2. the author’s last name is Helton and I know it’s very sweet individual who’s maiden name is Helton
  3. it takes place in the 80s and that’s the generation of my youth
  4. and the cover just caught my attention as I was quickly in and out of the library on my lunch break looking for yet another book to tide me over until the next book club selection.
  • I’d say it’s similar to Lulu’s situation … not the poor decision part but the bad job/being part of the working class.
  • AnyWho, I will update you guys once I finish. It’s small and I’ll probably be done by tomorrow. You know especially because I have a cut off time for turning off all electronics 30 minutes before bedtime. Yep I’m old and predictable and trying to get a yeti cup. Figure that one out. Lol 😆
  • As always, more to come.
  • J-Dub’s Review of We Were Mothers: A Novel by Katie Sise

    This book was my free selection for September.  Told in short alternating chapters by the central women characters of the story, this book had a very familiar pattern.  Almost like every book I am reading these days.  Makes we wonder about originality.  Or does this formula just work so let’s all copy it?

    Any Who.  This one is a bit different in that the story takes place over a weekend.  Makes for a very fast pace.  And you’d think there’d be no character development because of this pace but surprisingly there are a lot of details.  Perhaps written as clichés, they are all people one can relate too.  Without giving too much away, we have secrets kept for years, infidelity, abuse, teenage angst set against twins birthday party in an idyllic suburb and the aftermath of a seemingly random day.

    When the secrets are spilled there is proof yet again that one can never really know what anyone else is capable of doing for self preservation.  We all have our limits and lines we might cross.  Would you lie for someone?  How about steal?  Or kill?

    The ending was a bit unbelievable.  Seems like more people should have gone to jail. But in fiction anything is possible.  Not sure I’d read it again.  The story was interesting enough to have kept my attention until the end though.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

    As always, more to come.

    J-Dub’s Review of Stray: Memoir of a Runaway by Tanya Marquardt

    Happy #free96 – double of #free48!  I call it that because I took the Friday before the Labor day holiday as a vacation day.  I read and lounged and read some more.  I finished three books in four days.  The first one reviewed here.

    Up next is Stray: Memoir of a Runaway by Tanya Marquardt.  Now as you all know, my reviews are typically nebulous and vague.  Hey is that an oxymoron?  Nope!  The more vague, the more I lack specific description expanding until it is nebulous.  Like clouds floating away and hard to pin down. Ha!  All I know is I will not ruin an ending like I did with We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. One of my first reviews on Amazon.  I am surprised, they did not delete it but oh well.

    ANy Who!  IMO, you cannot rate a memoir.  Too personal and who am I to judge her life?  Now how the story is written maybe but content, uh no way.  For this one all I have to say is the poor girl experienced some horrific stuff.  I was shocked and saddened.  The story had no closure though.  It just ended with her starting her real life which sounds like she rebounded famously and is doing very well for herself.

    I am glad the Kindle book was a free selection of the month for August.  I would have been upset to pay for the pleasure (or not) of reading it.  Not my fave and no recommendation.

    As always, more to come.

    J-Dubs Review of The Child by Fiona Barton

    Five word storyline: Skeletal Remains of Baby Found.

    As I wrote earlier, this book was written in short alternating chapters that are titled by the lead females characters names. I was told the book started slow but packed a whammy ending. To me, it was never slow. And yes the ending was a shock. One B would’ve seen a mile coming. He just does that. He would make an excellent detective.

    Fast paced back and forth yet easy to stay caught up. This style is more common lately. With my short attention span/distracted mind I prefer this set up.

    I don’t want to spoil anything so I will stop here. A must read suspense IMO. I give it 4.84 out of 5 stars ✨

    As always more to come.

    Better Than I Thought

    I was told this book started slow.

    Short chapters named by the characters. I’m zipping through. I want to know more! Just can’t read fast enough.

    The ending is supposed to pack a whammy. I’m tempted to read the end. I did that occasionally. Back in the day. When I was an impulsive child. Trying to resist the urge.

    Back to it!

    As always more to come.

    J-Dub’s Parting Thoughts on Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon

    Okay!  Here goes nothing.  I got sucked into this crap by my need to understand the human condition.  I saw the trailer for the movie and was all I HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK FIRST!  But alas, I did not need anything of the sort.  In fact, reading this arm chair psychology did more harm than good.  One person’s opinion does not cover all bases.  I choose to disagree.

    Most of this book he is speaking like someone who is immune.  Making several declarative statements like the gospel truth.  I’ve come to a conclusion that understanding is elusive from the outside.  Unless you have walked a mile in my shoes then STFU!

    It took me a bit to get to this.  Here is an earlier review – Partial Review of Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon I did post one other review privately.  After re-reading, I have deemed the private post is not fit to share.

    Any Who.  Read if you have nothing better to do.  J-Dub’s rating 2 of 5 stars.

    As always, more to come.

    Book Club and Random Thoughts 8/28/18

    The selection of the month for September 2018 is the Child by Fiona Barton.

    We were told it starts out slow but the ending packs a whammy!  I couldn’t wait to get going and since I took the day off like a spoiled lady of leisure, I am already a 1/3 of the way through.  Yep!  I do not read books, I devour them.  Ah escapism at its’ best!!

    I took another day off today as a spoiled woman of leisure.  And I did have plans to finish my cleaning/organizing project today but those plans went awry.  I have really been slacking in the housekeeping department.  I do the bare minimum – wash dishes, take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, weekly laundry and that is it.  Oh wait!  I am back to making my bed every day!  Darn you Admiral.  You have tapped into my compulsiveness.  But the heavy stuff is continually put off for another day.

    And it is a scientific proven fact that messy/cluttered spaces lead to anxiety/depression.  Or is it that anxiety/depression exhibits itself by messy/cluttered spaces.  Which came first the chicken or the egg? And why did the duck  chicken cross the road?  Inquiring minds want to KNOW!   Or should we trust “they” whoever “they” are because “they” have said it is SO!

    Sometimes it is the little things you know.  I slept in this morning.  When I got up, I started cleaning in the southwest corner.  I did a top to bottom clean of only our bedroom.  Based boards, window sills, vacuumed, dusted all surfaces to include the ceiling fan.  Yuck.  But not yuck.  Ya know?  Feels good.  Then I got sucked into my reading.  Broke for lunch and to publish this post and later I might get back at it.

    Or not because there is always tomorrow or the next day or the day after that.    Until there isn’t and if there isn’t do we really care about the day before?  Deep stuff percolating in the brain today.  Deep stuff!

    Any Who,  Happy Tuesday one and all.  I hope your day is special.  If you are reading this, know you are loved!

    As always, more to come.

    Wait! There was a book?

    We are late to the Netflix game. Who knew how addictive television could be?

    Rhetorical. Uh Duh!  <ahem>

    We started binging Orange is the New Black this year. We had not been watching it lately because it’s not something to watch with your kiddo. But now that she’s back home … at her other home, we started up again.

    Season 6 just started in July.  We are on episode 3 of Season 4  and quickly catching up. In any case, today I found out Orange is the New Black was a book before it was a Netflix series. I’m definitely going to scope that out.

    As always more to come.

    Partial Review of Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon

    I’m on page 400 of 702 and that doesn’t include the Notes and Bibliography which puts this book at over 900 pages. Small print, single spaced and worth the effort. I’ve learned so much. I can’t wait to see the movie and wonder who they will showcase.

    Main lesson learned is one never knows what someone else is going through. How we choose to deal (or not) with our circumstances varies widely. One could say we’re never given more than we can handle but there is are entire section on filicide. Parents who snap/break. Unimaginable.

    I probably shouldn’t be reading this as I’m emotional as of late. But I’m drawn in. The human condition is fascinating. For now, I’ll close with a few quotes from my common place book:

    • … “post human future” in which we eliminate the variety within mankind.” ~ Francis Fukuyama
    • … his murderous crime “was inherited in his organism and came from ancestor” ~ Clarence Darrow
    • The attribution of responsibility to parents is often a function of ignorance, but it also reflects our anxious belief that we control our own destiny.
    • Parents are not powerful enough to cause disease.
    • “If we tolerate prejudice toward any group, we tolerate it toward all groups.” ~ Benjamin Jealous
    • … “that the light enters you at bandaged places.” ~ Rumi
    • “Though I have gathered statistics, I have relied primarily on anecdotes because numbers imply trends, while stories acknowledge chaos.”
    • This book’s conundrum is that most of the families described here have ended up grateful for experiences they would’ve done anything to avoid.

    I’m seriously considering going back to school. It’s never too late right? You betcha.

    As always, more to come.