Here is a recap of the books that I read in February:
My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag…by Jolie Kerr
I heard an interview of Jolie Kerr on NPR talking about this book and she was pretty funny and some of her cleaning tips were good and I made a mental note to request this book. Well, I forgot about it and just recently was reminded about it and picked it up from the Library. Jolie has a blog/website that answers all issues related to getting things clean. She decided to write a book based on what she gets asked all of the time. There are no holds barred for her and she even goes over some of the gross requests, like the title of her book.
I hate cleaning and I’m not really good at it (I don’t know what I’m supposed to be using). Kerr gives some great advice and I’ve already purchased a couple of items that I didn’t know about. I found a lot of her tips helpful, especially when it came to laundry. I learned that OxiClean is probably her favorite cleaning tool for stains. Pine-Sol is also a good stain remover, who knew? Here is a list of the chapters that she goes over and ways to clean these places/things:
2-Floors, ceilings, walls, & other immovable objects
4-Lady “tools” (brush, curling iron, make-up supplies, etc)
8-Things that you can’t ask Martha (mostly related to bodily fluids)
Her writing is funny, but sometimes I found that she was trying too hard to be funny and it was kind of annoying. If you are a cleaning novice or have some cleaning experience like myself then this book would probably be good for you. If you are clean freak then I am sure that you already know most of these tricks and tips. I think that I’m going to buy a used copy of this book because it would be nice to reference back when I have a cleaning question!
I would rate this book 4 stars.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls by Anton DiSclafani
Thea Atwell, a young teenage girl from Florida is sent, by her parents, to a girls’ riding camp in Yonahlossee in North Carolina for some transgression that happened with her, which is a mystery to the reader. The novel takes place during the great depression so the only girls at this camp are girls that come from wealthy families, including Thea. Thea does not want to be at this camp, but over time she starts to like it, the girls, and she falls for the head master.
Through the course of the book we are slowly clued in to why Thea was sent to this camp. I don’t want to put any spoilers, but I was really disturbed by why she was sent. Not revealing too much of the secret too soon I thought was good on the writer’s part because it made me want to keep reading to figure out what happened (I was able to figure it out before it was completely revealed). The writing was easy to read and it was a fast read, but I only thought that the book was so-so. I also thought for awhile that this book was written by a man (I’ve never associated Anton being a girl’s name) and I thought that it was very weird that a man was writing about young girls at a riding camp. Once I figured out that it was actually a woman writing this it made a little more sense. To me, Thea wasn’t a hugely likeable character and the story didn’t captivate me.
I would rate this book 3 stars.
A Kiss Before You Go by Danny Gregory
This book is Danny Gregory’s illustrated memoir (in a diary type format) of his wife’s first accident (horrible), then her death (another horrible thing) and his year after her death coping with her being gone. It was a beautiful tribute to his wife and what the grief process does and can look like for someone that has lost their spouse. I enjoyed the drawings and the words that accompanied the drawings. A lot of what he said I saw in how my mom was and still is with the death of my dad. The book is a very fast read (30 minutes) because it is mostly drawings.
I would rate the book 4 stars.
How To Be Both by Ali Smith
I read a couple of synopses of this book and it sounded really intriguing to me, but once I got the book I couldn’t remember what it was about and I was kind of confused with what was going on. I think that it does help to know what this book is about before you read it. This book is two novels in one and they are connected. One of the novels is called “camera” and the other is called “eyes.” When they published the book they did two versions, one with camera being first and eyes second and vice versa. So, you may get a book and read it in a different order than someone else and I imagine that will change your view of the book? The order of the book that I got was camera first and eyes second. It felt like this was the right order to read them in, but it would be interesting to get the viewpoint of someone else who read eyes first. Anyway, in camera George (a girl whose real name is Georgia and this caused me quite some confusion because I was thinking that it was a transgender kid…) is the narrator and George is reflecting back on her time with her mother who has recently passed away. The book goes back and forth from the past to the present. One of the storylines in this book is that George’s mother was obsessed with this painting that was semi-recently discovered and they would go and visit this painting. Once George’s mother has died she goes and visits this painting more often. The second book, eyes, is about the painter who painted the painting that George’s mother loved and the one that George now visits. The painter, Francescho, was a young girl when she lost her mother. Her dad thought that the only way that the girl could continue on and be successful and have opportunities in life was to become a boy (dress and act like one). The girl does this and changes her name and ends up living her life as a man. The story goes from present day to the 1460s when Francescho was alive.
The book was a very interesting one and so different from anything that I have read before. The writing was really well done. I did find myself getting confused at some points and having to re-read things. There was also a lot that was left open and I wanted to know more about certain characters. It was a quick read for me.
I would rate the book 3.5 stars.
My reading “shelf” for March
March is going to probably be a big reading month. I had put all of these books on hold at the library and like it always happens a lot of the books become available at the same time. I don’t know if I will be able to get through them all, but if I have to return them I’ll have to wait for another month or two to get them.
- The Brother’s K by David James Duncan (I was reading this book last month and then had to return it to the library because it is a long one and my time was up. I just got it again and hopefully I can finish it!).
I’ve joined a new book club where I live, so I will also have that book to read and at the end of the month my other book club will pick a book. I don’t know if I will be able to get to those in March.