J-Dub’s Review of Little Black Lies by Sarah Bolton¬†

Book Club

This fictional story is a nice departure from the heart wrenching true life dramas I have been favoring lately.  Still the theme is gritty and dark … human psyche stuff.  Just what are we humans capable of?  

As always, no spoilers here.  The story unfolds everything in the jacket description sans the person that done it.  From the beginning there is no guesswork.  Or so one believes.  Makes me question for the millionth time if we ever really know anyone. Rhetorical but no.  I don’t even know what I’m capable of myself. 

The same events which occurred over a five day period from October 31 to November 4, 1994 are repeated in three parts from the point of view of the main characters Catrin, Callum and Rachel.  Set to the backdrop of the Falkland Islands during a solar eclipse no less.  Coincidentally in real life we’ll have a solar eclipse tomorrow 8/21/17. 

Good character development and nice pace makes this mystery an easy read.  You’re engaged and guessing until the very end.  And then just when you think you’ve got it, you’re stunned. 

I rate this 4.92 stars ‚ú® out of 5.  Definitely a recommended read.  This book is my local branch library’s August book club selection.   I plan to attend and I’m excited about participating ūüėä 

As always more to come. 

Quotes of the Day ~ 8/18/17 ~

Book Club

Taken from Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

  • Love needs no words. ¬†It does not depend on memories, or mementos or proof. ¬†It runs deep as a heartbeat. ¬†It is ever present as a pulse.
  • People don’t come into our lives by accident. ¬†

Jill aka J-Dub or Jilly Willy or Chili or Spoonie adds:

I believe this with all MY heart ‚̧ ¬†to my family by fate, removing any steps and to my friends who are like family (you know who you are) much love today and always. ¬†Keep on Smiling! ūüôā


As always more to come.

Quotes of the Day ~ 8/17/17 ~

Book Club

Taken from Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

I learned that you need not be born into a family to be loved by one.

Life is not unlike cinema.  Each scene has its own music, and the music is created for the scene, woven to it in ways we do not understand.  

No matter how much we love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.

Quotes of the Day ~ 8/16/17 ~

Book Club

Taken from Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

I shush my mind, because your mind can ruin you if you let it.

What the mind don’t remember, the heart still knows. ¬†Love, the strongest thang of all. ¬†Stronger than all the rest.

They decided they gon’ carry it to they graves. ¬†I guess. ¬†But secrets ain’t a healthy thang … no matter how old they is. ¬†Sometimes the oldest secrets is worst of all.

Go on, take yo grandmother to see Miss May.  The heart still know.

Quotes of the Day ~ 8/15/17 ~

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Taken from Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Mama has always been in charge of the world, and she’s determined not to abdicate now! (ha! that is me – J-Dub. ¬†I am just like mama)

… Gran always felt like it might’ve been better if he hadn’t run across his birth records … to tell the truth, she may have wished his adoptive parents had destroyed them …

Secrets have a way of coming out.  Just so you know, it may make things worse not better.

He never wanted to take the chance of altering someone else’s history that way. (People finder Trent aka Stevie)

As always, more to come.

Quotes of the Day ~ 8/14/17 ~

Book Club

Taken from Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

but the night is an imposter.  It is not soft.  It does not forgive.

Shantyboat kids take to their entertainment where they can find it. ¬†When you’re born on a river, you take to it as natural as drawing a breath. ¬†For river rats like us, the water’s a home, a safe place.

Even the Depression can’t starve the river … the river’s got her own magic. ¬†She takes care of her people. ¬†Always will.

As always, more to come.

J-Dubs Book Review of Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Book Club

I needed to take a break from the real life dramas I have been reading lately.  Emotionally I was spent, crying my eyes out to where tears blurred the pages.  Ugly crying too, not just a little boo-hoo and a sniffle.  A cathartic release for sure but at what cost?  Rhetorical question.

My recent selection Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is historical fiction to ease me into a change of scenery.   Here we have the real life drama I crave along with fantastic story telling and vivid characters.  Just like the Law and Order ripped from the headlines episodes, the historical piece is a composite of real life events vs. a documentary.  We learn about Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, information is taken from research and woven into the story of the fictional Foss Family.

No spoilers here, just high level summary:  The story is told in alternating chapters Memphis in 1939 told by Rill Foss and Aiken, SC present day told by Avery Stafford.  The ‘flashback’ methodology seems to have become a predominant hook in the books I have read lately.  In this story, the flow works nicely.

Fate brings the Foss Family into connection with the Tennesee Children’s Home Society and lives of multiple generations are forever altered.  Age old questions of nuture vs. nature, family bloodline vs. family by choice, and secrets hidden vs. secrets exposed are explored.  Add politics, Alzheimer’s, adoption and elder care scandals into the mix for a vibrant story with lots of feels.  All and all a very good story, that made me cry only once.  The little sniffle cry at almost the very end.  You’ll just have to read this book and see if that same part gets to you too.

Overall rating 4.68 out of 5 stars.  

One of these days I will sit down and work on my rating methodology which is all over the map.  A recommended read for sure.  I will quote from the book to my blog over the next few days.  That may become my book review hook ūüôā

As always, more to come. In this case, that more is Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton.  Getting ready for 8/30/17 book club y’all.  So excited, I just can’t wait!!


J-Dubs Review of According to a Source by Abby Stern

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I semi-reviewed the book here.  Now I will finish.

The premise is good. ¬†And I really tried to like it. ¬†But unfortunately the story fell flat for me. ¬†Actually, the premise might be a bit overused. ¬†I’d cast Anne Hathaway as Ella-Bella in this kind of wanna be Devil Wears Prada. ¬†Toss in a mom with cancer, bad breakup find love again and polar opposite sister dynamic and you got more sameness.

I do give props for the masking of celebrity names. Story is a spoof after all. Clever but who couldn’t guess that Not so Innocent Oversexualized Pop Star is supposed to be like Britney Spears or that Former Boy Bander¬†Turned Solo Artist Turned Actor is supposed to be like Justin Timberlake. ¬†Recently Divorced British B List Comedian sounds like Russell Brand. ¬†Oh and Aging Iconic NY Italian actor could be Robert De Niro. ¬†I still want to figure out who Foreign Born Supernatural Superstar is … in one scene he complains about hating his show … being 26 and playing a teenager. ¬†Hmmm. ¬†Luke Perry? ¬†Jason Priestly? ¬†Could be??

In this story, faux Britney has cancer too (explains why she shaved her head) and takes chemo along side Ella-Bella’s mother. I don’t now … I guess it’s just a gimmick … let’s throw everything and the kitchen sink in and see what sticks.

Whenever I read I have a notebook where I write lines that speak to me. ¬†I also keep a dictionary by my side. ¬†Habits. ¬†I’ve got my rituals. ¬†For this book, I have only one line – Ella talking about Ethan her boyfriend of four years.

“He was the 1st guy I felt liked me for the real me – not the best version of yourself that you pretend to be the 1st few times you’re getting to know someone”

We should all be so lucky to have that. But then she didn’t. ¬†Oh but wait a minute. ¬†She does again.

I originally said 3.78 out of 5 stars. ¬†That was overly generous and based on hype. ¬†New recommendation: Read it or not … lol

Gearing Up For My Life Of Solitude 

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Just kidding.  I’ve got Big B to keep me company but we’ve never been one of those joined at the hip couples. Instead he goes his way and I go mine but always we’re each other’s safe place to land.  Like homing pigeons, we’ll find our way back.   

I’m sure we’ll ease back into our empty nest.  In fact, this time I’m happy. I remember what it’s like (3.5 months is really not that long ago). I’m going to embrace our time.  We’ve put the kids first for so long.  About time for a little selfishness.  

Once a month I get my book reviews from People magazine as I get my roots done. Then I add the books I like to my holds at the library.  I’ve not used my eReader in what seems like forever and I’m thinking I might just give it up.  

There’s just something about holding a book and turning the pages.  I can’t even describe what it does for me.  Like an elixir, a medication, a natural high,  a balm.   Free therapy.  Tactile.  Synapses firing.  Escapism at its finest. 

Well today I returned three books in exchange for two more.  Here is one: 

This is the next book club feature.  Who knew the Schafer public library had book club?   No idea how I missed it.  August 30, you’ll know where to find me.  I hope the regulars aren’t all snooty ūüėā

As always more to come.  

Five Random Things That Really Excite Me

Book Club, Life, Notes From Therapy, TV, Movies and Music

Sooooo … ¬†how many of you clicked this post just because of the title? ¬†I really want to know. ¬†Well that and this is another shameless plug for interaction. ¬†C’mon, talk to me people! ¬†Go ahead, make my day! ¬†Clint would approve.

This is a wild ride so strap yourself in. ¬†All links are working. ¬†Click them for full effect. ¬†I hear ya, now you’re saying oh fiddle dee dee. ¬†She is so NOT funny. ¬†Good thing she’s an Advisor instead of a comedienne.

But and it’s a BIG butt, I purposely craft my titles to drawn you in. I usually write my stream of consciousness ramble first then I attempt to title cleverly … as my hook.

Five Random Things That Really Excite Me:

  1. I finally downloaded the Calm app that I’ve heard so much about. ¬†In actuality I guess this app should soothe me not excite me. ¬†I’ve briefly looked and it appears to be pay for service. ¬†Ugh, I’m getting excited ¬†again. ¬†Bullshit to pay for calm. ¬†Calm should be fucking free! But alas I guess someone’s got to make a living somehow. ¬†Might just delete the mofo app and stay perpetually irritated. ¬†ūüėā
  2. They … as in those Hollywood types have adapted The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. ¬†Movie due out 8/11. ¬†Mini rabbit hole. ¬†Two dear women from work retire that day. ¬†8/11 is my new favorite day. ¬†Happy for them. ¬†Wishing I was the one retiring. ¬†¬†Anyhoo, Hip hip hurrah!!! ¬† I read the book almost a year ago and loved it …¬†here is my quick review¬†. ¬†A story of perseverance amidst mental illness of both parents. I wonder how they’ll treat the family land portion of her story. ¬†Woody Harrelson is perfectly cast as the patriarch. He might not even have to stretch to play the role. Did I tell ya? I’ve got a thing for bad boys. They too¬†excite me ūüėā
  3. We’re putting an offer on a home away from home. ¬†Leap of faith. ¬†What’s the worse that can happen? ¬†Don’t answer that. ¬†This my friends is a good thing. ¬†Despite me giving up all that I hold dear for the one person who matters most. ¬†I’d live under a bridge with my Billy Bob. ¬†I already have crappy internet and wild animals anyway. ¬†Why not next level that sH!t? ¬† I’ll be fine as long as I have my books. ¬†Wonder if drones will deliver 25 miles outside of Rockspringsūüėā. Now that’s exciting right??? ¬†J-Dub and B squared become mountain folk. ¬†I become all Katniss in Hunger Games and harvest what I eat with bow and arrow. ¬†Oh who the hell I am kidding? ¬†I will keep an apartment in the city. ¬†Which city is TBD!! ¬†EXCITING!!!!
  4. I got my Ancestry DNA kit results yesterday.  No big surprise.  This is moi:
    Europe Р93%, West Asia Р4%,  Africa 2% and less than 1% Pacific Islander
    61% Europe West (Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Slovania, Czech Republic, Italy)
    17% – Ireland
    6% – Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark)
    5% – Greece
    2% – Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal)
    < 1% Finland/Northwest Russia
     < 1%Europe East
    ¬†What to make of these results is a post for another day. ¬†I did find 443 DNA 4th cousins or closer. ¬†Exciting! Right ?!?!? ¬†I might just send them a message and ask if I am the skeleton in their hypothetical closets. Boo! or Surprise! or Honey I’m home ūüôā
  5. And last but certainly not least … the most exciting piece … CBT was the bomb diggity today. ¬†I’ve got a plan. ¬†And I’m working the plan. ¬†I am giving up control that I never really had in the first place. ¬†God will take care of me. ¬†I hear He has a soft spot for fools. ¬†I feel the weight of the world lifting up, up and away. ¬†And if I had magical powers, peace would be the experience happening to all of you.

As always, more to come.