A Simple Thing: A Book Tour

I was contacted by TLC Book Tours to host a virtual tour stop for author Kathleen McCleary and her new novel, A Simple Thingin exchange for a copy of the book. Since I love to read, and so many of you do as well, I agreed. So without further ado, here we go!

I could give you the standard blurb on the back of the book but I generally skim over those when people post them on their blogs so instead, I’m going to jump right in and tell you what the book’s about, what I liked, what I didn’t, and wrap up with how you can find out more about the book or Kathleen.

The novel pivots around two women– Susannah and Betty. Susannah is in her forties, and is married to a geologist named Matt with whom she has two children. Quinn is your typical nerdy outcast in sixth grade and Katie is your typical rude wild child in eighth grade. Betty is in her late seventies, early eighties, is a widow, and has a son named Jim who has a wife named Fiona with whom he has two eighth grade twin boys– Hood and Baker.

Their lives are brought together when Katie gets herself involved with the wrong guy and does something pretty stupid. On top of that, Quinn is being incessantly bullied and Susannah is dealing with some personal demons stemming from her own early teen years. Her solution to fixing everything? Packing the kids and herself up and moving to Sounder Island– a tiny little island off the coast of Washington. It has no telephones, no electricity, and limited plumbing. Cell phone, internet and television connections vary according to the weather. In other words, they go off the grid while her husband stays behind working his new job.

And so the story is about their time on Sounder Island and the personal development they go through with Betty (Susannah’s landlord on Sounder) and her clan acting as a foil to Susannah.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s perfect summer reading as it’s easy and interesting enough to keep the pages briskly turning. It’s also pretty short which I appreciate. I thought many of the characters were fleshed out really well. Funny enough, the character I identified the most with was the problematic Katie. Another fantastic character, and my second favorite, was a Sounder Island long time resident named Barefoot.

It’s not that I didn’t like the main characters, I did, but McCleary does a good job of fleshing out some of the minor characters as well. Betty’s story is pretty fascinating and complex and works beautifully as a foil for Susannah who took some time for me to warm up to her. Unfortunately, not all supporting characters get the four-star treatment Katie and Barefoot did. Quinn remains pretty one-dimensional, Susannah’s husband remains an enigma to me, and one of the twins seems entirely unnecessary and forgotten.

This is definitely a character-driven book so if you’re more into things like the challenges of facing your fears, love in unconventional forms, mother-daughter relationships, and making  peace with your demons rather than the practical complexities of living off the grid, I’d highly recommend this book. The challenges of living off the grid become one of McCleary’s not very fleshed out supporting characters if that makes sense. It presents itself strongly right in the beginning and then pretty much fades into the background making occasional cameos here and there.

For me, that’s just fine. I’d much rather dwell on the WHY than the HOW anyways.

The study of mother-daughter relationships is interesting. It’s pretty much non-existent in Betty’s case but it is nicely examined in Susannah’s story. There was even a passage I read aloud to Teenager who is the same age as Katie and having issues with her feelings towards her mother. Is that a standard thing for Teen Daughters to go through? If so, I’m glad I will only have to experience it once, that’s for sure.

The book is sentimental and if you time it just right hormonally, you’re sure to whimper a few tears here and there (guess how I know). I think this is a great one for book clubs or just groups of friends to share. It’s definitely a nice read– a good escape if you will.

If you’d like to find out more about the author, Kathleen McCleary, I’ve got some great news for you. She will be discussing the novel, A Simple Thing, on Book Club Girl August 21st at 7:00 PM EST. That means you have enough time to get a hold of the book, read it, and ask her some great questions. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Hope you enjoyed my two cents on this one. What are you reading now?

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Review- 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

Oh this book. This book took me completely and utterly by surprise. For Christmas, a friend gave me 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess because she thought I’d like what she took to be the general theme of the book from the blurb in the back– this lady scales back in 7 aspects of her material life. Yeah I love that stuff.

What is not glaringly obvious from the main blurb in the back is that this book is written by a pastor’s wife who’s also a speaker on Christianity. You have to look at the fine print for that and then it’s like “How in the hell did I miss that?”

When I started the book, this was an unpleasant surprise. Holy bible quotes everywhere. Not to mention the fact that God, Jesus, Christ, Jesus Christ, Lord, Holy Spirit, etc. get mentioned about 5 times per page. Usually bible quotes combined with a zealous use of Jesus name drops is very much not a good thing for me. My hypocrisy senses start tingling and I usually back away as quickly as possible while trying to not draw attention to myself.

But this is a book, not a person, and there WAS the whole thing about cutting back the excess in the seven areas of her life: Food, Clothes, Spending, Media, Possessions, Waste, and Stress. And she even broke it down into monthly projects. Which I always am a sucker for. Always.

Oddly enough, this book was part of a rhyming event in my brain as I had lately been thinking about the Republicans and the huge conservative shove to strip down “entitlement” programs in favor of a smaller government and more money in their pockets in the form of lower taxes that they have somehow mixed up with a fervent “We love Jesus and the Bible and truly want to protect Christianity” message.

And I kept thinking about how damn hypocritical it felt to me because even though I don’t practice anymore, I sure as heck know all about “Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ” thanks to being raised by a really strict Catholic family and going through Catholic education from Kinder through High School. I’ve read the Bible thing those guys love front to back, inside out . Heck I even used to read the Bible out loud for the benefit of others as I was one of the lecterns at Church. And if there’s one thing I know about the Jesus that is in the Bible, it’s that he can’t possibly be the same Jesus the Republican candidates vow to love and protect to woo a bunch of Christian votes.

It turns out Jen Hatmaker apparently sees a lot of the glaring hypocrisies in American Christian churches today that I do. I can’t stand churches and I can’t stand the Christians that practice what I see as a Capitalism is Awesome form of Christianity. She is just way totally nicer about pointing them out than I am.

Let’s face it guys, Jesus was a dirty homeless hippie. You want to know the truth? Every time someone makes a derisive comment about “bleeding heart liberals” one image comes to mind:

If you really think the same dude who gave away free wine for his first miracle and later sat on a mountain giving away fish and bread all day would be against programs like Food Stamps or WIC, you’re wrong. If you think the same guy who made it a point to always seek out and include society’s shunned ones would be against extending this and other forms of assistance to as many people as possible, you’d also be wrong. If you really think the same guy who walked around healing lepers, restoring sight to the blind, and even raising people from the dead would be against free health care for everyone you’d be totally and completely wrong yet again. If you think the guy who talked about how awesome the Samaritan guy was for helping feed, shelter, and heal a total stranger no questions asked would want people to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps, well I’m pretty sure you’re in the totally wrong church.

You can imagine then why Jen Hatmaker turned my insides cold when she made the observation that, speaking on a personal finance level, you could interpret “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” into an equation where you live off 50% of your income and use the other 50% to love all of your neighbors.

I think it was around there that I started thinking, “Oh wow. She is a total Jesus Christ lover geek but she actually gets it. That’s… rare.”

Jen’s story is inspiring, moving, and interesting. Lots of people do projects where they eliminate this, that, and the other from their lives in big ways. But until Jen’s book, I was yet to read someone who took the experience and turned it into a movement to help those around her. De-cluttering is only half the battle. I missed the memo but I’m glad I got it this time.

Personally, I don’t think you need to be associated with a faith or a church or anything to look around you and do good for the world but I would likely be very interested in at least linking up with a church like Jen’s because it would give me an excellent way to lend a hand to the community. That moves me greatly.

Personally I found that my favorite thing about the book was the fact that I would read her experiences and think, “That is a brilliant idea. I want to do that for someone. How would I even start to do something like that?” Her book is a reflection and a call to action. A really loud, persistent one that somehow manages to remain humble and honest at the same time.

I strongly recommend the book even if you’re like me and things like churches and Jesus Christ give you the Hypocrisy Heebie Jeebies. Because I actually think Jen Hatmaker might be authentic. What she is teaching and what she is practicing makes more sense to me as an example of a true Christian than the classic modern representations of Christians today.

If you feel there is just TOO MUCH in your life– too much crap, too much stress, too much noise, too much madness, too much sadness, too much to deal with– grab this book. I think you’ll be moved.

By the way, the rhyming events continue. Last night, I caught this completely nauseating piece about Christian Louboutin at the Bal Harbor Shops. While I think many of his shoes are beautiful works of art, I can’t move past nausea thinking of the cost. I honestly wanted to weep when the woman so breezily admitted to owning about 100 pairs of the red-soled extravagances. Something is really messed up in our world. I’m glad there are people like the Hatmakers working to change things. I want to be one of them too but man is it scary.

P.S. What is a rhyming event? The term comes from this RadioLab podcast (omg I forgot to tell you about the Live Show of theirs I went to last week- future post) called “The Universe Knows My Name“. I like to think of them as dots waiting to be connected. Coincidences that can’t be so easily brushed away.

P.P.S. I keep thinking about this book every time I read another update from the many participants in Carla’s De-Cluttering Challenge for February. Rhyming event, rhyming event, rhyming event!

Quick Thoughts on The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The first book I finished in 2012 was John le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. Like so many books I’ve been reading, this one came into my hands thanks to Robert at 101books.

* * * * I gave it 4 out of 5 stars which on Goodreads indicates “Really Liked It”. On the whole emotional reaction side, I’d mark this one as 🙂 / 😦 because it’s pretty fun but does have it’s “Aw that sucks” moments.

This is my first John le Carre novel. And I don’t think it’s going to be my last. I’m not going to go le Carre crazy but I’m curious about Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: A George Smiley Novel because George Smiley was a very minor character in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold but just the tiny bit they threw in about him made me interested. And I hear there’s a movie? I won’t watch it but I do like to read the books that get the Hollyood touch.

One thing I have to say is this is a spy novel, not a mystery novel and I feel that’s important to differentiate. I was often confused reading this book, and flipped back looking for this or that here and there trying to figure out just what the heck Leamas was up to or what Control was thinking. But for me, that’s fun. At least when I’m reading a spy novel. I feel like I should be clueless. And I feel like I should have a bad feeling about this or that or the other only to be proven wrong then right then wrong then right again. Sometimes, I did feel like I was very much not “in” on a lot of what was going on but isn’t that the point of the spying experience? At least as far as Leamas, the main character, is concerned.

If you’re looking for a small and entertaining book that is also executed well and written nicely, this is definitely worth a library request. There’s nothing overly heavy in here which after some of the intense reading I was doing at the end of the year was much needed for me.

Right now, I’m reading I, Claudius From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius Born 10 B.C. Murdered and Deified A.D. 54 another one I got from Robert and one I’m enjoying muchly.  What are you reading? Finish anything recently you particularly enjoyed?

“Just Kids”: Hope & Inspiration for Today from Yesterday

I’m reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids and I’m fascinated. I honestly didn’t think I’d be too intrigued by her story but it’s drawn me in and held me captive. Yes, there’s sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll but, honestly, there’s way less of all three than I was expecting. What I am really taking away from this book are much more abstract concepts, stirrings in my gut, and tugging at my heart. Patti is really evoking a sense of her time and place. There is this need for feeling (the physical, emotional, mental act) that reverberates through her book like a gong being slammed. And it’s not just her, it’s her time (1960’s and 1970’s), her place (New York City).

This book is doing things to me. The people she writes about crave to feel things and to have others feel things. I’ve always looked at drugs and, at times, sex as an escape—a shutdown of bad feelings. And though there is a sense that such a thing was part of the reason these things were so rampant, it is nothing more than a part. There’s a desperation to feel more, more, more. Patti Smith’s personal experience with drug use is small. It was experimental and she voiced a preference to partake in drug use as an enhancement to her creativity versus a tool for navigating social scenes. But drug use wasn’t the only thing that led her to be creative. She didn’t have that crutch. She was creative before, during, and after a drug. She was creative without it and with it and more often than not, she went without.

The name-dropping is mind-blowing and yet it doesn’t feel like the name-dropping of today. In Patti’s stories, Robert Mapplethorpe, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Janis Joplin, Sam Shepard, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and so many others are touchable. They are not precious. They are not on pedestals. They’re dirty. They’re heartbroken. They’re working. They’re sweating. They’re grunting. They’re dying. They’re failing. They’re succeeding. They’re aging. They’re normal.

Today, you hear the names of famous people and for one, they’re famous for mostly wrong reasons, but also, there is a feeling that they live in a world apart—untouchable. The famous ones of today put themselves in crystal castles. They enclose themselves in expensive, dark vehicles. They hide in security-laden resorts. What are they afraid of? The people? Have they forgotten they’re as much us as we are them?

Patti’s people were addicted to living and feeling everything. And that’s missing today. There’s a rawness in Patti Smith’s stories that I don’t think is possible today. Yes, a lot of these people wrecked themselves– look back at that list and note how many are dead and gone. They wanted to elevate, elevate, elevate, and crashed and burned. They were disappointed in the numbness they saw around them and the preoccupations people had. They wanted to shake the world and say, “Wake Up!”

They’d be horrified today. They’d be smashing their heads into walls and all for naught. That’s what saddens me. In the 60s and 70s, very small but determined groups of people were able to shake the world. They were able to cause ripples with the equivalent of pebbles. And though we claim the world has gotten smaller with the evolution of technology, we’ve also created a much larger pond. The ripples of a pebble don’t get close to the shoreline.

It is fascinating to me that it is far easier today to truly tune out than it was during a time where drug abuse was rampant. It’s not just the glows of televisions, computers, and video game consoles. It’s the medications. It’s even the food. For their weed, we have Cartoon Network, FaceBook, Prozac, and Whoppers. For their LSD, we have Fox News, World of Warcraft, Xanax, and French Fries (extra large). For their speed, we have ESPN, Grand Theft Auto, Ritalin, and Coca Cola.

Please don’t mistake me as romanticizing the 60’s and 70’s. I think they must have been extremely difficult times to grow up in, and even harder times to be a grown up in (imagine being a parent or grandparent). I think there was conflict raging at all levels—micro to macro. Homes and governments alike were in turmoil. The lives Patti’s people led were truly difficult. They were often malnourished, plagued by disease, and surrounded by crime scenes.

And please don’t mistake me as dismissive of our present life and times. I haven’t given up on today or even tomorrow. I don’t think we’re living in a world completely inhabited by zombies. I have hope.

And maybe that’s where I find my kinship with Patti Smith. I haven’t even finished the book—I begin the last section today, but I sense something connecting there and it’s a hope.

I have a hope for beauty to return to our world—true, raw, glorious, unforgiving beauty. I have a hope it returns and resurrects our seemingly slumbering muses. I have a hope it stirs its way into paints, pencils and camera lenses. I have a hope it slinks into pens, keyboards, and typewriters. I have a hope it shimmies into pianos, guitars, and vocal chords. I have a hope it swells into fabric, metals, and leathers.

And more than anything, I hope it shakes us all and screams like a banshee—“WAKE THE FUCK UP!”

12/52: Treats of Rice Krispies

The end of the week usually brings a finished project for me to brag about but I’ve been lazy with the hook and yarn and so there isn’t one to show you. Really the one thing I did finish this week was reading Soulless. I wrote a quick little review on Goodreads I’ll just plop onto here for you book nerds.

I absolutely loved this. I can think of so many awesome women who would absolutely love this book. If you’re the type that actually read Twilight but found yourself wanting to absolutely THROTTLE Bella, this is the antidote. The writing style is CRISP and brisk and biting and sarcastic and just really fun. It’s a smart little book with sass. Lots of fun adventure and craziness. Excellent heroine, wish there were more of her stripe in younger fiction.

It’s another day where I’m feeling mentally rambly. I’m feeling a bit out of focus today wondering if I’m missing something. You know, I do love things and it’s quite difficult to try and figure out some sort of balance with spending while you’re hacking away at debt because really it just doesn’t feel appropriate to spend on any want while debt exists. It just bothers me on some weird level, but I also would like some things. In particular, my brain is set on outdoors. I want planters and I want a hammock. I want more rose bushes and fruit trees. I want wind chimes and hummingbird and butterfly plants. I want a dining table and chairs with an umbrella. Oh, wants. You bastards.

And that’s not even the half of it. I have to say Soulless got me thinking about pretty things like jewelry. I miss having jewelry.

Oh and going through all those photos reminds me how much artwork and blown up photos I have without frames.

I don’t like a lot of things but I guess I want more of the things I do like if that makes any sense. Just one more year of throwing everything at debt. Then another year of throwing almost everything at the emergency savings fund. My rational brain tells me that’s not that far away at all, but the rest of me is whining.

Ok so I made Rice Krispies Treats last night with the littlest ones. It went very well and we got crazy and mixed in Cocoa Krispies too for some black and white action. They came out SO yummy. I honestly don’t know how people can eat those pre-packaged ones. The real deal is so much yummier. They were also very easy to make and gave my arm a serious stirring workout. I’m definitely going to be serving up a batch at my Freedom is Sweet Dessert Party next weekend. Any other suggestions on what to make? I so wish I had heart-shaped molds because it’d be fun to make break-apart heart rice krispies. I’m also making brownies of course (with or without icing?). And chocolate chip cookies. Maybe I should make those pillow cookies again but this time from scratch. I’d love to make some molten lava cakes. Oh and French Toast Sticks. What’s your favorite dessert? No white chocolate suggestions please.

Happy Endings = False Advertising

Happily Ever After - Kinsale

“Happily Ever After” by Sonia Luna

Last night, I watched The Jane Austen Book Club while slightly drunk on Nyquil to work on the cape some more. I want to finish it this month. The only thing I can think of is watching a movie every night to keep me working on it. If I can just finish this one last tedious tentacle, I can get to the hat and finish.

But, the point of this post is not crocheting monster cape projects while watching chick flicks, it’s about Happy Endings. If you know me personally, you probably haven’t really gotten over the fact I admitted to watching The Jane Austen Book Clubwhich is so obviously a chick flick. You know I don’t do girly movies. You know I don’t do movies generally but scary movies, suspense movies, and girly movies are all pretty much not movies I’m into. I watched it because I decided to ignore the fact it was a girly movie and focused purely on the fact it was a movie about a book club. This worked rather well when I focused on the How to Make an American Quilt aspect of that movie and ignored the fact it was a girly girl drama. I was fifty-fifty on the Jane Austen part because I haven’t read Jane Austen since high school and I can’t remember if it was those books I absolutely hated or if those were by someone else. Judging from the movie, I think maybe I hated Jane Austen but I’m not entirely sure because even though the movie is supposed to be about a Jane Austen Book Club, it’s really about romantic relationships and happy endings and I still have no idea whether or not I want to read a Jane Austen book (or re-read for that matter).

As far as the existence of Happy Endings, there appear to be the same camps as there are revolving around God. Meaning, there is Camp I Believe (Gnostics), Camp I Don’t Believe (Atheists), and Camp There Really Isn’t Sufficient Evidence to Prove or Disprove Happy Endings So I Cannot Make a Satisfactory Conclusion on the Matter (Agnostics). I know this is super simplifying but, under medication I can’t muster much deeper conversation here. Apparently, when it comes to God and Happy Endings, I’m in the same Camp– There Really Isn’t Sufficient Evidence to Prove or Disprove Happy Endings So I Cannot Make a Satisfactory Conclusion on the Matter. This is why I’m not a fan of most Happy Ending-geared fictions. Besides, given my personal experiences, I’m leaning more to the Don’t Believe side of things. Can you blame me?

The thing about Happy Endings is they seem a) Conclusive and b) Exclusive. When these movies give you some romantic rocky place you can relate to, you’re right there with them the entire way—until the happy ending part. Because that part? Skipped you. Or maybe, Camp I Believe says, “Hasn’t happened to you yet.” And the real problem with Happy Endings is that they aren’t really Endings. They’re endings in a movie, sure, but most of the time Happy Endings are really Happy Beginnings in character relationships. You assume things stay that way because we grew up on fairy tales that told us so (all together now: “And they lived happily ever after”) but reality dictates all of these Happy Endings movies should have sequels at the very least, if not prequels and additional sequels. The most realistic love story I can think of in movies is the one we saw from start to finish across six movies—Darth Vader and Amidala. And we all know how that ended.

I watched the movie start to finish because it seemed full of promise. There were five females in completely different and entirely screwed up relationships, at least one of them was bound to end up unhappy and alone like me many of us, right? [SPOILER ALERT IF YOU CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF] The woman whose husband leaves her for another woman gets back together with him after he realizes what a huge mistake he’s made, reads Jane Austen, and apologizes with a letter. They’re making out when their young lesbian daughter walks in on them at the end. Speaking of the young lesbian, she goes from one passionate impromptu relationship to another and ends the movie young, single, and full of promise for The One. There’s the sophisticated Hard Older Woman who melts like butter in the hands of a young Jane Austen reading sci-fi nerd who is mysteriously wealthy and goofy and unlike anything you’ve ever experienced in your life because he’s not real. We have the young wife who is Old World to the core, in rebellion to her hippie mom, married to a complete jerk of a jock who suddenly turns into a softie when she begs him to read Austen and crying reads a couple of sentences out loud to him. He reads the whole book, “Persuasion” and their relationship is renewed as he is now officially romantic and passionate and must truly love her. Lastly, there’s the most interesting character who gets the least attention. She’s the Love Veteran. Detached enough to enjoy the game for what it is. She’s been married six times, enjoyed them all for what they were, and ends married a seventh to a handsome wealthy man she can’t understand (literally, he speaks Spanish) but it doesn’t matter because she’s got a huge rock on her finger and you imagine he’s got a huge rock in his pants because boy does she look satisfied with herself. And everyone is so happy for her, cheering her with a champagne toast in the end. Your seventh husband! How wonderful!

Each of these scenarios is so completely far-fetched, they’d be hard to deal with on an individual basis. Combined, it just comes this question of the viewer: “What’s wrong with you?” Also, “Why aren’t you forcing potential lovers/mates/husbands/boyfriends to read Jane Austen? She has magic powers!”All of these nutcase women are happy—every single one. So what is your problem? If these five looney bins can be happy winners in the game of love surely you must be broken. Or maybe, it’s ok. Because it’s fiction. And we just want to pretend these are the things that happen. I remember another stupid movie I watched called He’s Just Not That Into Youand one solid piece of advice in the movie—these stories are all about the exception. You are the rule, not the exception. Movies and stories are always about the exceptions because no one cares about the normal.

So, there’s nothing wrong with you—with us. The makers of these Happy Endings are just gigantic fantasizers and wishful thinkers. They are all members of Camp I Believe. You won’t find evidence against Happy Endings in movies (outside of Star Wars at least), but you don’t have to look there either. Look in the mirror, call your best friend, your sister, your mother, your aunt, your cousin, your brother’s ex-girlfriends, etc. You’ll likely find lots of Happy Beginnings, some Sad Endings, some Sad Endings that turned into other Happy Beginnings, some Happy Beginnings that look like they just make it to Happy Endings (then again, ask my grieving grandmother who’s still grieving the death of her husband of over fifty years and Happy Endings seem impossible) and mostly you’ll find lots of In-Betweens. Because as long as you’re living, there is no real ending—happy or otherwise.

I is for Isherwood

I think it’s worth mentioning I haven’t lost interest in my 26 in 2010 project despite the fact I should be wrapping up an “O” book this weekend and here I am posting an “I” review. Mostly I’ve had issues with the whole timing thing at the library. I don’t want to buy any books for this experiment but there are some books I really want to read and evidently, a lot of other people want to read those books too. Sometimes, the timing works, most of the time though it doesn’t. What this means is I haven’t only read nine books instead of the 14 I should have completed by now. I’ve actually read 13 although I feel like I read more than that and am simply forgetting what I’ve read already. No matter. What I’m doing is reading the books in whatever order they arrive instead of the calendar’s dictates. I write the review and when it’s time, I publish. The problem is technically, I am behind schedule by a couple of books and the books I’ve read have mostly been towards the end of the alphabet. But, I do promise to carry this whole project to fruition and plan on catching up big time in the next couple of weeks. I do need a suggestion for a “J” book because I just can’t find something fascinating. By a “J” book, I meant a book that is written by an author whose last name starts with a “J”. Extra points if you give me something from the, er, romantic (?) area which is a genre I haven’t really delved into much.

But really this post is about Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man which recently gave birth to a Tom Ford directed film. I haven’t seen the film but now that I’ve read the book I think maybe I will—with low expectations. I’m not saying the book is bad. It isn’t. It’s just extremely… light with an attempt to be taken serious which I guess is a great reflection of the main character. In this way, I found it very charming and I’m pretty sure I would absolutely love to know my very own eccentric George. This is the book summer reading’s all about—extremely light and short it goes beautifully with an ocean view. I am surprised someone decided this was film-worthy but then again, I really shouldn’t be considering toy lines and 80’s cartoons are modern movie inspirations. Again, I’m not dismissing it at all. The writing is smooth as the scotch George is fond of. And the characters are interesting. If anything, perhaps the book is just too short becoming a brief pleasant memory versus a deeply impactful encounter.

Right now I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. See? All out of order!