Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of The Institute by Stephen King ~ 7/23/21

Another hardback book from the library. I love my extra special every 3rd Saturday treat. I get the same sense of calm walking into a library that I get walking into church. Different sensations resulting in the same outcome which is ohm, ohm, ohm.

My Goodreads review was short and sweet with zero spoilers … A horror filled adventure. Made me root for the kids to prevail. End left open to a sequel. Yes please.

I got three short quotes for my commonplace book:

He was touched and surprised – not for the first time – by the ordinary kindness and generosity of ordinary folks, especially those without much to spare.

Great events turn on small hinges.

He prayed for the highly hypothetical higher power to bless the man who had called him outlaw and thrown that brown bag into the boxcar.

The Institute by Stephen King

Definitely a recommended read.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: The Vanishing Half by by Brit Bennett ~ 7/16/21

Here is my Goodreads review:

Realistic story spanning the decades. Who are we supposed to be? In pretending or following expectations of others, do we lose ourselves? Does being your true self, bring loneliness? How far would you go to hide your identity?

These are questions I asked as I read this story. Very thought provoking. Definitely a recommended read.

Since it was a hardback, not my Kindle, I have no highlights. Don’t think the SA Public Library would appreciate me marking up their things. I have a common place book but I didn’t write down anything. I was sure I had but oh well. Next time, I’ll take better notes.

As always, more to come.

Off Cycle Book Club & Plumbers Pants Combo ~ 7/11/21

I went to the library yesterday and scored two replacement books: Bunny by Mona Awad and The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg. I started with Bunny mainly because the book blurb on the dust jacket said the story made a reviewer cackle while nodding in terrifying agreement. Sounded to be right up my alley. But and it’s a big butt, this book is not for me.

I was very sure I’d enjoy it since I ❤ dark and twisted. Why? Well because dark and twisted is not my typical life said no one ever. I read to escape and needed that after the week I had. If you really stop to think, all life is atypical … what a cluster. Not all day, everyday, all the time but often enough … the weight of the world is heavy. But I digress.

I used to be of the “if you break it, you bought it” philosophy. Mixing metaphors here but what I mean is that I finished every book I ever opened … to the bitter end … no matter what. Well y’all, that’s not me any longer. No sir/ no ma’am. No way / no how. Time is a precious commodity. Sadly I stopped reading Bunny about a chapter into Part Two. I plan to check out more from Mona Awad though. See if “it’s not you, it’s me”.

Now for a pantser. LOL. I’m still chuckling. Dropped off the weekly groceries at B’s parents. Where his mom informs us she has to go to the store to get PoPo new clothes since he has lost so much weight. 40 lbs gone since the fall and hospital stay, now back home but still in PT. We told her we’d go. She herself has zero business driving. If she insists, we’ll take her or we can help her order online like last time.

She is resistant. Wants to shop old school. To a degree, I get that but he won’t be going along to try on anyway. Convenience is important at this phase of their lives. She’s prattling about sizes and how he never wears his pants at the right spot. Telling him how he needs to wear pants around his waist not below his belly (which has become non-existent). The convo went something like this:

“Mom, they’ll deliver right to your door”

PoPo not hearing B continues “I’ve tried wearing my pants over my belly button. Five minutes later they drop. To where they’re meant to be.

“No one wants to see your crack”, MoMo says.

“Well maybe they do” PoPo retorts. “I’m a plumber okay. I like being a plumber“.

By this time I’m snort laughing.

Lulu a bit confused asks “PoPo what does being plumber mean?”

I snort some more.

Probably not PC but it’s funny y’all. Don’t ya think? Stereotypical of course. And just so ya know, I have an affinity for plumbers and anyone who works a trade. B has done quite well for himself and for us that way.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of The Darkest Flower by Kristin Wright ~ 7/9/21

My Goodreads Review:

Title – Who spiked the PTA smoothie?

Told in alternating chapters titled by attorney, then client we learn of the depravity of some people and the loopholes of the legal system. Is justice served on a technicality? What are the depths a woman will go for the love of her child? To find out more, read this book.

Then here are a couple of my highlights. Kindle is pretty sweet with its’ built in common place book tracking.

You can be two people: shining and perfect on the outside, and any damn way you want on the inside.

When she read, she went off somewhere else completely and I had to call her from another dimension.

Kristin Wright

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Wertz Garvin

My Goodreads Review

Title: ReconciliationRoad Trip

I loved the humanity of the story. Life and relationships. Having a tribe. Knowing who to count on when the chips are down. A recommended read.

I had 17 highlights; here are the top three:

  • That is what true survival was, keeping the heart beating while continuing to feel everything.
  • Being the only person taking care of the world is hard work.
  • My mother had a way of simultaneously talking to me as both a child and an adult. It could be harsh sometimes, but there was a stickiness to her lessons

I resemble those remarks. Might be way I liked and was comforted while reading it.

As always more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of The Son of Mr. Suleman by Eric Jerome Dickey ~ 6/18/21

I have not finished this book yet but I am stopping to share the goodness with you guys. Forget about me not rating with stars. This book is a five star rating if I ever saw one. Heck even more than five stars. This book is an awe inspiring galaxy!!! Can you tell I’m excited? I have so much to learn from this and learning is FUN!

I’m not sure if my enthusiasm is due to the fact that I checked this book out from the library. Yep a real (as opposed to fake) hard back novel. Or maybe my effervesce comes from the author (may he Rest in Peace) being my age mate. In my cohort so to speak. Despite some fairly significant differences, I feel like Mr. Dickey knows me and I know him. His words are like a warm blanket despite the gritty and raw content. How can something be both? I’ve no idea but as I read I continue to experience a full range of emotions.

I keep a common place book as I read. What’s a common place book you ask? Well it’s jots of lines that speak to me. I might get a dozen or so lines per novel but I already have three pages at about 1/2 way through. The characters are rich and relatable. I told the kids I felt like I was part of the conversation with Pi and his family. I could hang out with him and his neighbors Moses Ford aka Mo Fo and his wife Pocahontas aka Pokey. The fact that the author uses slang from my southern roots is yet another draw. And being set in our present time makes everything more real like this truly could be happening. Fictional yes but based in part on a slice of his life.

I may or may not write more later once I’m done. I feel a bit guilty like this is not my story to tell. I understand that I will never understand but I stand. I very much want to be an ally. Not only in word but in deed.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of The Speed of Light By Elissa Grosell Dickey ~ 6/11/21

Here is my review from Good Reads: Felt like three stories in one. Romance with human condition and headline news. All the characters are sympathetic and relatable. Good stories if somewhat unbelievable ‘too good to be true’ ending.

This one quote from the book is me in a nutshell: “she knows damn well that telling me not to worry is like telling me not to breathe” Ha!

Going with my unstructured rating, this is a recommended read. If you do and would like to discuss, comments are open.

As always more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of “Every Last Secret” by A.R. Torre

Title from Goodreads: Revenge is a dish best served cold

Two couples embroiled in a dance that leads to no good. Relationships are a tough nut to crack. The heart wants what the heart wants despite the potential ramifications. Eventually I found this story to be unrealistic. But that’s okay. Fiction should blur the lines.

I read this book in one day and had no highlights. That should say something huh? Or maybe not because I gave it a decent amount of stars which I never mention here since I have turned the leaf. Ratings are way too subjective in my opinion. My new method is to recommend or not recommend. This book is definitely recommended especially seeing it was such a quick read.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review … 5/21/21

On tap for today is The Club King: My Rise, Reign, and Fall in New York Nightlife by Peter Gatien. The following is my Goodreads review:

Title of Review: Driven

What a great story of the life of a soul driven to create. A man with many flaws that you can’t help but like anyway. I’d love to have experienced the culture of clubs but I was born too late.

Yep, no spoiler and not much to go by. That’s my kind of review. Haha!

This is a memoir. Very personal and hard to rate with stars but definitely a recommended read. I’ll include some highlights from the book itself. One of the perks of Kindle. Yes I’m old school and prefer actual paperback/hardback but since the Rona my library visits have stopped. Plus I have the handy dandy “free” monthly Prime reader selection. Let’s just say this carrot and stick gal loves a bargain.

  • An imbalance of brain salts, a large sector of the populace can’t cope with regular nine-to-fives
  • Lighty always put it a different way: “I gained my MBA in hell.” His “streets to the suites” saga would become the stuff of legend, and his self-made journey got a big boost at Tunnel
  • If parents hate a type of music, it’s almost a guarantee their children will like it.
  • Could my life get any better? When the gods hear a line like that from the lips of a mortal, the Greek concept of hubris kicks in. I was blissfully unaware that a series of unconnected events was coming together just then, ready to shatter my life in ways I could hardly imagine.

Check out the book if you’re so inclined. Happy Friday folks! Hope it’s a good one.

As always, more to come.

Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of “Her Final Words” by Brianna Labuskes ~ 5/14/21

I titled my Goodreads review Twists & Turns. The following is my review:

Simple and straightforward confession but things aren’t always as they seem. Kept me guessing until the very end. Relatable characters. Well written. Definitely recommended read.

No spoilers but here are a few lines from the book that I highlighted …

  • Just because someone isn’t lying,” Dr. Ali said, each word slow and weighted, “doesn’t mean that they’re telling the truth.
  • Just because I recognize the humanity in my opponent’s argument doesn’t mean I agree with the thinking.
  • War did that to you, created bonds that surpassed something as meaningless as conversation.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

As always, more to come.