Archive: August 2018

tweets for 2018-08-30

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Sixteen Little Peedee Things

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

2015-07-05 - Peedee & Rennie Out to Sea - 0056 [flickr]

Peedee,

I’ve been missing you so very much the past year plus. You were some dog, you know that? Things have been terrible, and I could use your stupid silly grin and lolling pink tongue more than ever. Not to mention an extra-soft shoulder to cry on, assuming your antics didn’t do the trick.

Also, I think you would have made a great therapy dog/babysitter for old Magsy. What’s that, Peedee? Mags fell down a well!? Take me to her, boy.

Seriously, though, you were rad. I’ll never forget you, even if I live to be one hundred and twenty three (dog forbid).

Love,

Mom

2015-06-27 - Morning Walk at Smithville Lake - 0023 [flickr]

 

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-08-29

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-28

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Book Review: Sheets by Brenna Thummler (2018)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

A ghost story set in a laundromat. Cheeky!

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Ever since the death of her mother in a tragic swimming accident, highschooler Marjorie Glatt has been floating through life, much like a ghost: wispy, invisible, barely clinging to this plane of existence. With Mr. Glatt suffering from clinical depression, Marj is left to look after her younger brother Owen, and run the family laundromat after school, pretty much solo. As if that isn’t bad enough, the neighborhood baddie Nigel Saubertuck is gunning for the Glatt family property, so he can turn it into a five-start resort and yoga spa.

A ghost infestation – by a sweet if bumbling middle schooler named Wendell – brings things to a head. When Wendell’s antics threaten to cost Marjorie her home and livelihood, can he bring the denizens of his ghost town together to help a mortal damsel in distress?

Sheets is … kind of weird and expected, especially since I couldn’t always guess where the plot was headed. This was refreshing; less so was the artwork’s sometimes confusing nature. If I couldn’t anticipate the plot, I had even more trouble figuring out what transpired in certain panels. Even so, I mostly enjoyed the overall style of the art; the buildings, ghosts, and towns are quite charming. The people, on the other hand, kind of icked me out. There’s just something a little off about the faces.

Sheets is an unusual little story that’s great for fans of Houdini; people who like ghost stories of the friendly variety; and perhaps kids who are grieving the loss of a parent. Also misfits and outsiders of all stripes. (But save it for October, if you can: this is definitely a Halloween read!)

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-08-27

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-26

Monday, August 27th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-25

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-24

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-23

Friday, August 24th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-22

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-21

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Book Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (2018)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

“I felt it here,” I say.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewers program. Trigger warning for sexual harassment and assault, misogyny, child abuse, and homophobia.)

And I knew then what I’d known since my period came:
my body was trouble. I had to pray the trouble out
of the body God gave me. My body was the problem.
And I didn’t want any of those boys to be the ones to solve it.
I wanted to forget I had this body at all.

(“The Last Fifteen-Year-Old”)

Ms. Galiano asks about the themes and presentation style
but instead of raising my hand I press it against my heart
and will the chills on my arms to smooth out.

It was just a poem, Xiomara, I think.

But it felt more like a gift.

(“Spoken Word”)

Because so many of the poems tonight
felt a little like our own stories.
Like we saw and were seen.
And how crazy would it be
if I did that for someone else?

(“Invitation”)

Some people find novels written in verse gimmicky, but I adore them. I love poetry, but don’t always “get” it, which can be frustrating. (Or, to quote the Poet X: “I don’t always understand every line / but love the pictures being painted behind my eyelids.”) But the poems in verse novels are usually more straight forward and easier to grasp. Plus there’s something about the departure from more traditional narrative structures that just pulls me in. A novel written in verse is just what I need, every once in awhile. And The Poet X might be my favorite to date.

To say that fifteen-year-old Xiomara Batista lives in a strict Catholic household is an understatement. She and her twin, Xavier (but whom X mostly refers to as “Twin” in a way that’s super-endearing) were “miracle babies,” of a sort, born when their Dominican parents were already “old” and had given up on a family. Mami and Papi’s was an arranged marriage; Altagracia would have preferred to marry God instead of the philanderer she ended up with. But she looks at Xavier and Xiomara as her reward for the misery she’s endured.

Consequently, Mami projects all her dreams of extreme religiosity and life in the nunnery onto her children – her daughter especially. Xiomara’s life is strictly regulated, from who she can associate with (talking to guys is not allowed; forget about dating!) to what she can do with her time outside of school (homework, chores, and church good; social life bad). Punishment includes hours spent kneeling on grains of rice in front of her mother’s altar to the Virgin Mary – or a slap across the face. (There’s actually worse, but giving it away would involve spoiling the plot.)

As tall and formidable as Xavier is small and scrawny, Xiomara has always settled conflicts with her fists, much to her mother’s disapproval. As she grows older, Xiomara’s discontent and disobedience only grow and swell. She challenges Father Sean as he espouses the Church’s more misogynist teachings. She falls far her lab partner, Aman, over a pair of shared earbuds at the smoke park. She commits her increasingly “treacherous” thoughts to paper. And then, when Xiomara joins the poetry club at school and eventually enters a slam contest, she commits the gravest sin of all (in Mami’s estimation, that is): she airs her family’s dirty laundry, in public.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-08-20

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-19

Monday, August 20th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-18

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-17

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-16

Friday, August 17th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-15

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

tweets for 2018-08-14

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018