Categories
Book Reviews

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty Book Review

No matter how seemingly perfect a person’s life is, no one can ever tell what demons he or she is fighting within.

That is the premise of this lovely book which delves into analysing the complex social dynamics that form between parents who do a school-run.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal.

Categories
Book Reviews

Pieces of Her – Karin Slaughter Book Review

“Men can always reinvent themselves,” Laura said. “For women, once you’re a mother, you’re always a mother.”

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all?

Categories
Poetry

Antonia Pozzi – Modesty (1933)

If a word of mine
pleases you
and you tell me
even just with your eyes
I open wide
in a joyful smile –
but I tremble
like a young mother
who even blushes when
a passerby tells her
her little boy is handsome.

___
1 February 1933

http___www.liguria2000news.com_sito_wp-content_uploads_2015_06_Antonia-Pozzi-In December 2, 1938, Antonia Pozzi lay down in a field on the outskirts of Milan and swallowed poison. She died the following day, leaving behind diaries, notebooks and loose pages of poetry, documenting her twenty-six years of life. From these, her father Roberto Pozzi, a Milanese lawyer, selected and edited her first collection, publishing it as Parole the following year.

Categories
Romance Books

Dream a Little Dream – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Here’s another cute book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Still following the same formula where a cute redhead meets a grumpy older man and they get together – followed by a side plot where another 30-year old mousy virgin gets it on with the town single hot pastor. I knew what I was going to get and I still read it and found it quite entertaining.

“Ironic, isn’t it, what religion does to people?”
“I guess it’s more ironic what people do to to people.”

Categories
Book Reviews

Born a Crime – Trevor Noah Book Review

As a kid I understood that people were different colors, but in my head white and black and brown were like types of chocolate. Dad was the white chocolate, mom was the dark chocolate, and I was the milk chocolate. But we were all just chocolate.

This is the life story of comedian Trevor Noah as he looks back on his childhood growing up as a mix-race child in Apartheid- South Africa. He looks back at the most important person in his life, his mother, and how he shaped his life, his future, his true being despite her circumstances as a single mother living in a very traditional country and then as a victim of spousal domestic abuse that ends with a gunshot.

Categories
Stephen King

The Talisman * Stephen King

https_%2F%2Fvincentchongart.files.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F02%2Fthe-talisman.jpgThere are some books that stay with you for a very long time. This is one of them. Set in the universe of the Dark Tower and the Territories, Stephen King brings to life the epic journey of a young boy to save his mother. From one side of the States to the other. Hitchhiking through dangerous situation, meeting all kinds people and battling his own uncle. It’s the story of Jack and his mother, Queen of the B movies, Lily Cavanaugh.

PS: The story of Jack is continued in The Black House * Stephen King And Peter Straub

Categories
Book Reviews

A monster calls – Book Review

My mother passed away last year in a short month from an incurable disease that just stole her away. When I heard that the “A monster calls” movie came out, I wanted to go and see it but all my friends stopped me saying that the time is not right yet and the wound is too fresh. So I decided to wait a little and read the illustrated book instead.

I was never so right in a purchase and it made me cry still as I could see myself in the little boy and my mother in his. 

Categories
Book Reviews

The Good Girl * Fiona Neill Book Review

After a good book like Reconstructing Amelia  I was slightly disappointed by Fiona Neill’s take on teen drama in the Internet era and the dangers of posting compromising material about oneself online.
While Amelia’s story was more focused on the aftermath of bullying, Romy’s story is focused on the how and why’s and the family relationships around her.
It came off a bit patronizing at points with clear line on how children should be raised, using the Fairfields as a liberal-hippy-loving family with no boundaries as the “monsters” of the book. Romy’s mother, Ailsa, is the good headmistress moving to a new town where one of her first hurdles is to tackle the sensitive video of her daughter giving a blow-job to an unknown boy while wearing school clothes.
She is always concerned about how people perceive her – from the effect her sister’s relationship with one of the teachers might reflect upon her – to how this new scandal can destroy her career. She spends more hours at work rather than with her children and her relationship with her husband is under tremendous pressure from a previous affair of his and her father moving in for a while after the death of her mother.
So – there is a lot of drama going on and this is one of the possible reasons why Romy’s good-girl behaviour gets taken for granted and not supervised further.

The why of the story

Romy decides to give the neighbour’s boy a blow job to help him get over his Internet porn addiction in a science experiment to get him to form new neuronal pathways associated with “good sex”. She decides to perform oral sex on camera and then get him to view the video instead of online porn when the need arose.
She likes him and her flowering sexuality found this outlet and one more which is a lot like the scene from “American Beauty” – exposing herself in the window of her room for him to masturbate to.

The how of the story

Considering her home situation and her unsupervised status, she goes to a party where she discovers the fact that her boyfriend was still watching porn, decides to break up with him, gets consoled by his brother, gets kissed in full view of her friends and former lover and the next day the blow-job video is online.
This gets treated as revenge porn and while both are minors, only Romy’s face is visible. She is shunned at school and her parents are appalled and go and confront the next door neighbours.
It turns out that Romy’s younger brother uploaded the video to the website thinking it was a video of the inside of the cabin.

At this point I was ready to throw the book into the burn pile. Deux ex machina indeed.

The way that Romy talks with the child psychologist afterwards shows a very mature young mind and well aware of her own sanity and mental connection – the same girl that was curled into a ball hugging her pillow a few days earlier. They never tell you what happened to the girl that fell from the tree when witnessing the kiss and betrayal of her best friend or what happened to the brother. It felt like the last part of the book was merely plastered on after the author got bored of the medical explanations of how a teenage brain works like.

Good bits The book takes some psychological facts and embeds them in the book – as to why women feel the need to please the man in a patriarchal society and also about the judgement-making capabilities of a young adult.

Bad bits Besides the ending which was pretty awful, there is an accent on the relationship between the parents which goes south after the dad cheats. If you want to read better stories about cheating men and women, I recommend “Life before Man” by Margaret Atwood which is a pure dissection of both sides of the story.
I didn’t really think much of Ailsa and Harry. I found them both hypocritical, deceitful and weak. I found Ailsa’s sister Rachel and her father Adam pointless characters to fill in the lack of storyline. I liked Luke, Romy and Ben though and found them genuine and likeable. I felt for Romy especially after the whole sex tape scandal and I found Ben, the youngest child sweet, funny and endearing. I didn’t think very much of Jay and I found him a bit cowardly how he didn’t stand up for Romy.

Some parts of the story were very gripping and intriguing and it was well written. I like books about secrets and scandals but I always felt that there would be something more but there wasn’t. I just felt that the story was too jumbled with everybody’s secrets and dramas and it kept going off into different tangents. I was a bit disappointed especially as the blurb made it seem like a thriller. I felt that the writer should have either stuck with Ailsa’s story or Romy’s. I don’t really get why the story was only told through their eyes and not the other characters.

Second: the book is a slow burner – there is loads and loads of talking which does not contribute to the plot (padding). I picked it up and put it down a total of 27 times (I counted!) as I could not get myself pulled into the story for long enough before being distracted and my mind wondering someplace nicer.

Categories
Excerpts

Tips from Amy Poehler on How to be a good Mom and Wife

  • Make sure he’s grateful to be with you.
  • Your boobs won’t be as big as mine but you will be happy about that as you get older.
  • TheMomAlways tell people when they do a good job.
  • Always have a messy purse.
  • Guilt works.
  • You are the smartest and best.
  • Monty Python is funny.
  • Be nice to your brother.
  • Be a light sleeper, and every time your kid wakes you up, scream like you are being attacked.
  • Have fun dancing.
  • Have male friends.
  • Have more female friends.
  • Your female friends will outlast every man in your life.
  • Love your husband and don’t belittle him.
  • Love your kids and hope they do better than you did.
  • You don’t want to be the sexy mom.
  • Dye your hair constantly.
  • There’s not much we can do about our Irish eyebrows.
  • Postpartum depression, anxiety, and skin cancer run in our family.
  • Ask your kids how they are doing but sometimes ignore them when they say, “Not great.”
  • Love your work.
  • Study hard and know how to write and read well.
  • Memorize poems.
  • Be nice to teachers. Teachers don’t like kids who don’t like teachers.
  • Always bring wine.
  • A home-cooked meal isn’t so important.
  • TV in your bedroom is okay.
  • Follow sports and leave the room if you’re a jinx.
  • Be careful.
Categories
Poetry

Robert Frost * Home Burial Poem

“Home Burial” is one of Robert Frost’s longest poems, and it can also be considered one of his most emotionally disturbing ones. “Home Burial,” published in 1914, tells the story of a married couple fighting after their baby has died. It’s written mostly in dialogue, so it sounds like real people talking. But this is no ordinary conversation. It tackles the subjects of love, grief, and death, making readers think about each of those common topics in a new way.

He saw her from the bottom of the stairs
Before she saw him. She was starting down,
Looking back over her shoulder at some fear.
She took a doubtful step and then undid it
To raise herself and look again. He spoke
Advancing toward her: ‘What is it you see
From up there always — for I want to know.’
She turned and sank upon her skirts at that,
And her face changed from terrified to dull.
He said to gain time: ‘What is it you see?’
Mounting until she cowered under him.