Time to Play Catch-Up

My last post was at the end of August. Yipes. I can make a lot of excuses (my daughter turned one, and I threw a huge shindig; holidays and houseguests; lots of baby time, not as much me time), but the truth of the matter is this: I just haven’t felt like wasting my time writing reviews of mediocre books.

So, I’ve made an executive decision. I will not write reviews of mediocre books. I have a massive stack of to-be-reviewed books, and I have pared it down to four: two books that you should read and two books that you might think you should read but you absolutely should not read. The rest? They are going straight to Little Free Libraries around town without being reviewed. Done and done.

To celebrate the new year, I’m giving myself a clean desk. And I’m giving you these four reviews! Continue reading


The Two Sides of Semple

3730554This One Is Mine
Maria Semple
© 2008
289 pages (hardcover)

Last week, Dr. Timothy Jay, “a psychologist and expert in swearing,” appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, talking about how kids “suck up swear words” like vacuum cleaners. Here is the transcript.

Dr. Jay isn’t lobbying for parents to wash their kids’ mouths out with soap; he doesn’t think that parents should make certain words taboo. Instead, he suggests that it is a parent’s job to teach a kid the nuances of the language (for example, it’s appropriate to say certain things only in certain places, like “in the house or in the backyard”) and “to teach them how to manage their emotions, and the language is just part of that.” Viewing certain words as “bad language” or “dirty words” prevents acknowledgement of their beneficial uses (“their use in humor, their use in bonding, their use as relief from pain or venting frustration”). Continue reading

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Maria Semple
© 2012

After reading The Round HouseI was in the mood for some fluff reading.


Mmmmm, fluff.

Everyone has a different definition of fluff.  For me, there is acceptable fluff and unacceptable fluff.  Acceptable fluff is fun, not super “thinky,” and easily digestible.  Unacceptable fluff is poorly written, trite, or just plain dumb.

Acceptable fluff includes: Continue reading