One Minute Book Review: Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Dad Is Fat

Summary:

This is a collection of humorous essays about Jim Gaffigan’s life as a father, husband, and shepherd of 5 kids.

What I Liked About It:

I’ll be honest. For the first eighty pages I was worried that it was going to be one of those books that was kind of sweet. Then around page eighty Jim Gaffigan had me snorting in bed as I quietly tried to read this book next to my sleeping husband. Which was what I was expecting, since watching his standup always makes me laugh. He kept it up until the last. . . oh, ten pages, when he wrapped it up in a sweet and heartwarming way. So if I really wanted to summarize this book, I’d say: hilarious and heartwarming. Love how much he loves his family!

What I Didn’t Like About It:

Nothing! Loved it all around.

The Verdict:

You’re going to like this if you have kids. If you don’t, you may not be able to appreciate it as well, but I’d at least give it a try, because I really enjoyed it.

One Minute Book Review: Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles, #4)

Summary:

Ethan has always wanted to leave Gatlin, but he never imagined that he would have to leave everyone he loves and cares for behind. So since the terrifying events of the Eighteenth Moon, Ethan has only one goal: to get home to Gatlin.

Back home Lena awaits his messages, doing whatever she has to to get him back.

Will they succeed?

What I Liked About It:
I’m going to be honest, after the events of Beautiful Chaos, I expected something spectacular. Because that was what they set me up for. Not to say that this wasn’t good, I would probably put it at the level of Beautiful Darkness. But with Beautiful Chaos knocking my socks off, I expected a little bit more with this one, and I think it could have delivered. However, I did once again enjoy the “Southerness” of it all, and also the extra dimension to a few characters that could definitely have used it.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
After all is said and done, there are definitely some characters that could have been fleshed out more. They were such an important part of things, particularly the Sisters. I mean, I got an impression of who they were, but with this being the last book in the series, it’s not usual to introduce an idea here that you can’t flesh out. I felt that not everything was tied up, and that bothers me. It was an unsatisfying conclusion to the series, and some things were wrapped up too neatly.

The Verdict:
Let’s face it, if you’re at the point where you’re looking to read this book, it’s because you’ve already made a commitment and read the other three. So I would say read it for that reason. But note that I was disappointed by the payoff. . .

One Minute Book Review: Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

BeautifulChaos2011book

 

Summary:

Lena and Ethan have made it home, but things aren’t the same. Gatlin has gone apocalyptic with endless heat, swarms of locust-like grasshoppers, and it alls seems to be the result of Lena’s Claiming. Even the Casters seem to be experiencing the Chaos as their powers start misfiring in dangerous ways. Even scarier, Ethan is starting to lose pieces of himself and his memories. And the only key to stopping all this may be Ethan himself.

What I Liked About It:

The authors really seem to have hit their stride with this one, and even though I saw the answer coming, I didn’t expect it to end the way it did. I’m going to stop there before I reveal too much.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

This is one of those times where I can’t find anything to not like!

The Verdict:

GO READ IT ALREADY! No, seriously, I enjoyed it that much.

One Minute Book Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful_darkness_book_2ndSummary:

Ethan Wate used to think that no place could be as boring as Gatlin, until Caster Lena Duchannes came along. With her as his guide, Ethan discovered a secret Gatlin he never knew was there, one full of hidden perils. But he’d always felt that he could face all of that as long as Lena was by his side.

But following the tragic loss of someone close to her, Lena starts pulling away from Ethan, keeping secrets and excluding her from her world. This time Ethan will have to follow Lena herself deeper into her world, one that holds countless perils for a mortal. Will they survive this, and more importantly, will their relationship survive Lena’s new secrets?

What I Liked About It:

This book was a little more otherworldly, and the authors did a great job of refining their world a little more. Even more so, they really added those elements that any southerner, or person living in the south, will recognize. The elderly with their quirks and secrets feature heavily in this one, and I love that, as well as an expansion on the intricate family tale that began in Beautiful Creatures, and even better, meshing the Ravenwoods and Wates together even further.

What I Didn’t Like About It:

This one was a little bit predictable. I definitely knew what was coming before it came, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this book.

The Verdict:

I would recommend this book because it does contain an important piece of information that you will need going further. The writing was good, and the “southerness” of this book was still apparent, and definitely worth the time you spend reading it.

Who Am I?

You know, I didn’t think that at 31 I’d still be asking that question. But then again, don’t the 30s seem like the perfect time in life to actually answer that question? I think during your twenties you’re still too idealistic to answer that question realistically. I think that the 20s are also a time of exploring your limits. I’m coming to learn that the 30s seem to involve understanding that I am able to set the limits. At least as far as what I allow other people to do to me, and whether or not I allow others to get to me.

I feel like the past few months in particular have been groundbreaking for me internally. I’ve discovered that there are things that no longer bother me, or even cross my mind at all. And then there are things I thought I had “outgrown” which seemed more important to me than I thought. Things I had thought were a phase years ago.

Let’s face it, folks. Our personalities are always in flux, especially as young people. I feel like the 30s are my time that I’m sorting myself out. Like I’m taking everything I learned in my teens and twenties out and am sorting through it all. Sometimes I’m completely surprised with the kind of stuff that seems to kind of spill out.

There are some constants though. I’m definitely still a reader, which is a good thing, otherwise the name of this blog would be very awkward indeed. Also, I’m not sure what I would do if I had to rethink the part of my identity that I would label “book nerd”. Being a “book nerd” has made me some excellent friends and probably catalyzed all the other parts of my personality.

I find the one aspect of myself I think about a lot is my belief and faith in things greater than myself. Which I think should be saved for another blog entry, since that one is so big that I’m still discovering things about myself.

I also find that my identity as a writer is being dredged up and rethought, reworked.

I find that a lot of things I took for granted about myself as a teenager, the things that I kind of “forgot” or abandoned as a college student, are all rushing back. Somehow, sometimes, I feel like I was a much truer version of myself in my early teens than in my twenties. Or even the person I was in my late teens. Which I think makes sense, because during my early teens I didn’t have very many outside influences. I formed my own opinion of who I was during those early years, and stuck with it, because there was no one to tell me those things were stupid. In fact, during those years I always found someone who felt the same way I did.

Is it weird to be ready to go back to that? I feel like there’s a lot of me to rediscover. A lot of me that I hid that I’m ready to uncover, so that I can move on and feel like. . . well, myself.

I’m Still Here!

So, I’m still here, albeit it busy and more busy.

I am reading – I’m about done with the Caster Chronicles series – but I find myself suffering the desire to talk about more than books, and I’m trying to decide if this is the right place for all that. You see, when I created this blog, I envisioned book reviews and book talks. But I’m more than that, and of course other things happen in my life, and I want to talk about them… I’m just not sure where to do that…

So while I figure all that out, bear with me… Also bear with me as I work to put up more book reviews, cuz seriously, I’ve definitely got books I want to share with you!