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Title ~ Becoming the Butlers
Author ~ Penny Jackson
Published ~ 13 June 2012
Pages ~ 117
My Rating ~ 4 bites
Fourteen-year-old Rachel Harris lives with her Professor dad and hippie mom in a NYC apartment until the day her mom runs off to
with the super, George
Vasquez. Rachel’s mediocre life is turned upside down and she decides she needs
to belong to a different family. A perfect family. She chooses the Spain , but is any
family ever perfect? Butlers
Very well-written this tale told from Rachel’s POV kept me interested and turning the pages if only to see what train wreck was around the corner. Rachel’s mom is definitely a flake and her dad is an alcoholic, but at least he holds down a job as a Math Professor at a local private school for the rich and privileged. However, how he handles
defection earns my disgust. He has a kid who needs him and he’s totally
selfish. Life after Elizabeth Elizabeth is up and down for
Rachel so she decides she’s going to become a since her classmates, Olive and Edwin
Butler, seem to be the model of family perfection. She tries, but never comes
close to succeeding in her quest. By the end she and her dad have survived and
appear to have learned a thing or two about how to be a family even if it is
just the two of them. All-in-all an enjoyable read. Butler
Title ~ Heaven on Earth
Author ~ Lilian Simmonds
Published ~ 11 July 2012
Pages ~ 11
My Rating ~ 5 bites
Against the advice of her family and friends
decides it’s time for her to live a long-held dream. She wants to learn how to
ski. So what if she’s 62? You only live once, right? Marion
This is a wonderful heartwarming short story about how you should follow your dreams and in fulfilling those dreams you just might find something you weren’t even looking for. I loved
though I did want to give her a little shake when it looked like she was just
going to give up. This story reminds me of something my mom said to me once
about a friend who wanted to go to nursing school, but she would be 56 by the
time she finished. My mom said, “Well, how old will you be if you don’t go to
school?” Ok, I don’t quite remember her exact age or chosen career, but you get the
point I’m making, right? Don’t let age stop you from doing new things or
following a dream. Marion
was physically fit and able to ski (no brittle bones or anything that would be
harmful to her health), so she had no reason not to give it her best shot. Fly,
Marion , fly!
*sigh* I miss skiing. All-in-all an awesome read. Marion
Title ~ Shrink on the Loose
Author ~ G.L. Zieman PhD
Published ~ 28 June 2012
Pages ~ 193
My Rating ~ 5 bites
Dr. Zieman has enjoyed an interesting and diversified career in psychology. Instead of the typical upscale office and couch setting he’s traveled far and wide, usually with nary a couch in sight.
I’m not usually a fan of non-fiction. It has to be something special to 1. catch my interest, 2. keep my interest and 3. make me actually finish it without skipping any parts. This book does all three. Dr. Z. writes an informative book about a field that mystifies the majority of us. Ok, maybe it’s just me. Despite a few classes way back in college (which I enjoyed, btw), it still mystifies me. The writing flows along, is easy to plow through and is not full of technical intraspecies jargon. In other words, I didn’t have to sit there scratching my head wondering what the hell he’s talking about. Easy to understand ~ check.
The chapters are well laid out and the anecdotes are as interesting as the writing is entertaining. I had heard about many of the problems in this book, but there were a few that took me by surprise. The treatment plans Dr. Z would implement were new to me also. The classes I had in college were basically intros, so there wasn’t much on how to treat the issues he mentions in the book. I loved how he had to think on-the-fly and how he listened and cared about the people he was helping. They weren’t just another file in his filing cabinet. Well, he didn’t really have a filing cabinet a lot of the time, but you’re picking up what I’m putting down, right? Interesting ~ check.
I mentioned Dr. Z.’s writing flows well and is easy to understand. The stories he tells are very diversified and he makes me care about the people in them. He has really done quite a bit in his field, most of it in a way that many would consider unorthodox and yet it worked. Sometimes I think the saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ needs to be erased from standard vocabulary. Just because something has been done one way for so long doesn’t mean another way won’t work better. Variety, after all, is the spice of life, is it not? All-in-all an excellent read.