Saturday, September 21, 2019

Sunday Synopsis

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anderson paints an extremely realistic view of high school from the young protagonist's point of view. The main character is depressed. She was at an end-of-summer party which became rather wild, and she was sexually assaulted. She called 911, and as a result, many of her friends were arrested. Now she is an outcast. And she hasn't spoken about her rape. The book is about her journey to "find her voice" again. The author's use of literary devices, figurative language, and symbolism that a young adult can relate to creates a well-written novel. There is a touch of humor, mostly in the narrator's descriptions of events in the school cafeteria or biology class, and this keeps the novel from getting too "heavy" due to the subject matter. I highly recommend this book.

P. S.  I didn't plan to have two books in a row that were about rape, although one was fiction and one was not.  They were also both set in Syracuse. 

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy for some randomness.

It's been an emotional week!  I've finally come to the decision I have struggled with since last year.  I'm going to retire from teaching.  I don't have peace of mind yet, though, because I haven't decided when.  I could finish out the school year, but we're only five weeks in, and the way things are at school, I doubt I can't handle 31 more weeks of this environment.  So, that leaves me with staying until December, or not.  Because of events in the past week, I'm leaning toward sooner.  But I don't think my husband wants me to retire any time before December.  It's not as if I will need their recommendation for a future job since I will be retiring, not resigning.  So... I'm still undecided in a way.

My husband and I are going to be grandparents!  I'm so excited!  His oldest daughter sent us the ultrasound picture.  We couldn't be happier!  So, we had some good news amidst the drama at work.
Image Credit
Have you ever heard of a thief stealing, of all things, a toilet?  Well, it's not an ordinary toilet.  It's an 18 Karat gold toilet worth over five million dollars.  Reuters reports that it was on display as "art" at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Osforshire, England, not far from where my daughter lived during her "study abroad" semester.  It was apparently a fully functioning toilet, and the thieves caused significant damage to the home of the Duke of Marlborough.  NOW I've heard everything!
Blenheim Palace

So let's get to this...

Tee hee!
If you're old enough... you remember!  LOL!

I may already have posted this, but it's funny!

Have a great week!

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Sunday Synopsis

LuckyLucky by Alice Sebold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! I was not expecting this! My son was assigned to read this book for a class in victimology. I thought, "Oh, I've read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I want to read that, too." Little did I know that it was a memoir about the time she was raped when she was a freshman in college at Syracuse and how it shaped both the good and bad things in her life.

The first chapter of the book is shocking! Sebold didn't hold back any detail when writing about her brutal rape. I don't want to spoil anything for future readers, but she was a strong woman then and still is. She did some things years later that surprised me! I would say the book is not only about her experience, it's also about family dynamics that also shaped her to be who she is. And it's about friendships, guilt, bravery, and fear.

It's not for the timid, however. It's explicit. It's raw. And it's gritty. I gave it four stars!

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Monday, September 09, 2019

Random Tuesday

Linking up with Stacy.

I'm still trying to decide when to retire.  My salary will be cut by 1/3 when I do, but I'm considering December.  Strongly.  I still have my retail job which will make up for some of it, but not all of it.  I will also not be paying rent for an apartment for my son when he finishes school in December.  That will help! I just don't know if it will be enough.  Teaching ELA in my district sucks all the fun and life out of teaching.  I'm way past burned out. 

I'm still liking my retail job although it does kind of suck when I have to work both jobs in the same day.  I guess I could look for a different job that pays a bit more, but I looked before I got this one.  All the "entry level" jobs require 3-5 years experience.  How's that entry level?  And you have to know specific programs that I am sure I could learn easily, but I'm not currently proficient in using because we don't use them in education.  I suppose I could also start tutoring.  What do tutors earn per hour in your area?  Any other tips or suggestions?

It's still just as hot here in Texas as it was in August, if not, hotter!  96 degrees two days ago.  93 today.  Fall supposedly begins September 22.  But not for Texas!  LOL

And now...

So true!


As an English teacher, this is my favorite cartoon today!
Have a good week!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Sunday Synopsis

The Plea (Eddie Flynn, #2)The Plea by Steve Cavanagh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have finally found another author of crime thrillers that can keep me happily turning pages in my book. Steven Cavanagh may not be quite as good as John Grisham was in the early days, but he is way better than the last few Grisham's I read. This is the second book in this series, but you don't have to read them in order.

Eddie Flynn is an attorney, but he used to be a con man, so he seems to have some tricks up his sleeves. A rogue FBI agent asks Flynn to represent billionaire David Child who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend. Flynn needs to get him to admit guilt and take a plea so the FBI can uncover a money laundering scheme using an algorithm Child created. If he refuses, or fails to get Child to take a plea, they will implicate Flynn's ex-wife in the scheme. Basically, Flynn is being blackmailed .

The problem is... Flynn is convinced David Child is innocent, and he won't put an innocent man in jail. But can he prove it without causing harm to Child or his ex-wife, not to mention himself.?

This kept me on the edge of my seat. There were several twists and turns, and it was difficult to put it down. Cavanagh writes a compelling legal thriller with realistic characters, so much so that I've already ordered the first book in the series. I have no idea how I started with the second one, but I believe these books can be read as stand-alone novels, too, similar to Michael Connelly's books.

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