Thursday, September 17, 2009

But I did really like this one.

Seedfolks (Joanna Colter Books) Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is so short but so FULL.

View all my reviews >>

The Harshest Review I've Ever Written

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen">Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by">Julie Powell

My rating:">1 of 5 stars

If this book had actually been about 365 days and 524 recipes, I would have liked this book. If it had actually been about themes connecting the lives of Julia Child and Julie Powell, I would have loved this book.

As it was, the only parts I really wanted to read were the very few and far between snatches of Julia Child. However, the author's views on other people (shared through the lens of her cynicism, her blame, and her hypocrisy) make me distrustful of her lens focused on Julia and Paul Child.

Everything else is littered with unfunny self-absorption, self-pity (not to be confused with self-deprecating humor--there isn't any) and characters who are not interesting and certainly not noteworthy.

On the positive side, I now want to read Julia's own words, thanks to Cody and what I've heard of the movie (that just HAS to be better than this book.)

The softie in me thinks that my critique is too harsh because:
1. She lost me in the beginning when she doesn't call for help when she sees a woman wack her own head on concrete. I don't care if you're in New York, you DO SOMETHING.
2. She's so scattered. For example, sometimes she attempts french recipes without really reading them--which is fine, but don't write a book with a pragmatic title: it's false-advertising.
3. She alienated me with her very poor handling of truly important moments. The making of omelettes-not important. Your attitude toward comforting families who lost loved ones September 11th-important.
4. She aligns her own "journey" with that of Julia Child and it felt false and forced. But I could have forgiven her that had I not wanted to stop spending time with her altogether.">View all my reviews >>

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn

Luke didn't finish his dinner the other night. He ate everything except his salad. I didn't make him finish it because he said he was full. But then he wanted a treat. Our conversation went like this:
C: I think you're too full for a treat.
L: No, I'm not.
C: If you're too full for lettuce, you're too full for a treat.
L: But only the lettuce parts of my stomach are full.
Yesterday I asked Luke to watch Pete and KEEP HIM SAFE while I took a quick shower. I put the baby gate up and got ready for the day. When I came out, both boys were at the kitchen table, heads bent over in concentration. On the table, there was a full cup of milk, with straw, and a 2-Liter bottle of raspberry soda.
Luke stood up with a sharp knife in his hand, and said, "I'm sorry I got this knife out."
Turns out, he had also retrieved a sharp pair of scissors. He wanted to mix the milk and raspberry drink together to see what it would taste like. He wasn't strong enough to unscrew the top, so he had gathered tools to do the job.

Pete still wacks people on the head and pulls hair and bites and yells and he also screams and pounds on the door of the dressing room when I won't let him out to go walk around Target by himself (making another baby in the dressing room cry.)
As we walked through Target yesterday, Pete was yelling (not crying, just yelling) and everytime Luke would get close enough, Pete would try to pull his hair. Luke was a pretty good sport. He just copied me and kept telling Petey, "You're dangerous."
The other thing we say to Pete is, "Stop hittin' your money-maker!" Because he hits himself in the head to be funny.

Oh yeah, he also has a fake cry that we love. He cries and half-smiles and then looks out of the side of his eyes to see if I'm watching and if it's working. It's not, but it's entertaining.

This is Luke at swim lessons this summer. He didn't want to jump off the diving board. I knelt down beside him and gave him a stirring peptalk. "I believe in you!" ("@%^&! I was eloquent!" Name that movie for a date with me.)

Anyway, I was eloquent and he was unmoved.

Then I said, "I'll buy you an ice cream cone if you jump off that diving board." He didn't even hesitate or have to think it over.

Me & Luke at the Silent Wings Museum.

Huck Finn--I mean--Pete. After black beans.

I am in love.