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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Brian Doyle: IMG The Rude Burl of Our Masks



One day when I was 12 years old and setting off on my newspaper route after school my mom said will you stop at the doctor's and pick up something... Continue »
  1. $13.27 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    Children and Other Wild Animals

    Brian Doyle 9780870717543

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Customer Comments

Jennmarie68 has commented on (215) products.

Kasey to the Rescue: The Remarkable Story of a Monkey and a Miracle by Ellen Rogers
Kasey to the Rescue: The Remarkable Story of a Monkey and a Miracle

Jennmarie68, April 24, 2012

So those of you that read my reviews regularly know that I am an animal lover, so this book is an automatic favorite of mine. While the monkey obviously was a huge part of the story there was so much more to this book.

This one was kind of in reverse for me emotionally, I normally cry at the end of a book - but this one had me crying right from the start. As Ellen makes her way to be with her son and she explains what happens, and what is going on in her mind I instantly began to tear up. I'm not a mother yet, so I can only imagine the rollercoaster that you go through emotionally when you find out your child has been seriously injured. The emotional connection was so strong for me with this book. It took me through fear, happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, joy, and contentment.

I did love Kasey, he was always getting into mischief! Once Kasey was introduced to the story there was always something going on. However this was more of a story of a family trying to learn to live new lives in the face of a tragedy then it was a story about a monkey. Kasey becomes an integral part of the new lifestyle that Ellen and her family take on but there was so much more that the family had to deal with to become what they are now.

This story is so touching. I really connected with Ellen and her family right from the beginning. I'd say that even if you aren't the animal lover that I am you would still enjoy this book so much!
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The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil Mcneil
The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club

Jennmarie68, April 19, 2012

I loved this book, and not just because I'm a knitter. Although that probably helped a little :-)

The knitting group that Jo starts meeting up with was awesome. I felt the camaraderie between the women, even though they were all so different. Much like the knitting group that I used to meet with every week. These women were there for each other no matter what, and were always willing to lend an ear and a hand. They added a bit of drama and quite a bit of comic relief to the story.

I also liked Jo, she was a strong women, and yet she had her weak points. I love characters like this, that are slightly "flawed". Since I know I'm no where near perfect it really helps me relate to them. What I liked most about this story is that despite everything Jo goes through she never gives up, even when she really wants to. She faces some tough situations and yet she keeps herself together for her children.

The small town that Jo moves her family to was also a good part of the story. I've never lived in a small town like this but the book describes this town exactly as I would picture a small town. The nosy neighbor, the really friendly neighbor, and the neighbors who are just good neighbors. Some of the neighbors even added a bit of comedy to the story.

This was just a very well written book and I loved it.
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The Kingdom Hall No More by Daniel J. Chamberlayne
The Kingdom Hall No More

Jennmarie68, April 18, 2012

Having Jehovah Witness family members and having attended meetings with them as a child I tend to connect with books about Witnesses as I know the subject matter. However I am not a Jehovah Witness but I feel to have a better understanding of religion you have to understand them all, whether you agree with their philosophy or not.

I did connect with Daniel in this story. I remember going to the meetings as a child and knew exactly what he was talking about. Which made it much easier for me to connect. Although, not having much experience attending other religious events as a child I would expect them to be similar from a child's perspective. But this story isn't so much about his attending meetings as a child as it is about his journey through life and the actions that led to his disfellowship.

His story is not unlike many others that I have read or heard about. Although his is filled with more famous people than the rest. It's amazing how many people who were influential in rap and hip-hop Chamberlayne has connected with in his life. I know they weren't the stars they are now when he met them, but I would have been so star-struck and he kept his cool. I know I wouldn't have been so cool about it.

My heart hurt for Chamberlayne as he talks about the dark times when he was shunned by his mother and most of his family and friends. As a child you tend to befriend the friends of your parents, and because his mother's friends were almost all witnesses most of his friends were witnesses. That would have been hard to deal with. And some of the tactics his mother takes to make him accept his life as a Jehovah Witness were just crazy to me. My parents and I disagreed many times about many things but I would never have been subjected to what his mother subjected him to. I was so sad.

The writing wasn't great, but the story and the things Chamberlayne went through (the good and the bad) were so compelling. I just wanted to keep reading to see what kind of craziness was going to happen next! I'd say it was well worth the read.
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Ghellow Road by T. H. Waters
Ghellow Road

Jennmarie68, April 15, 2012

I hate to start off saying this story is sad, because I know that's not the author's purpose. However there was so much to the story that was just sad. I cried a few times while reading it. There were quite a few high points in the story also, it's just that while I was reading this book I was in a mind frame that made me connect so much more with the sad stuff.

Despite the fact that it made me cry I do have to say that I really liked this book. It was very well written and I connected instantly with Theresa. I felt all the emotions she was experiencing throughout the book. Knowing that this was a biographical story absolutely gave me a more intimate connection to the story. But I do feel that even if it wasn't a true story I would still have had the same connections to the story. It was so well written that I could easily get lost in the story.

Whenever I read a true story, or a story based on the author's life I find myself wondering how the author can so freely open themselves up like that. There are some things that happen in this book that had they happened to me I don't know that I would be able to share them for the world to see. I think that takes an extreme amount of bravery and courage to just lay it all out there for the world to scrutinize. But I'm glad that there are people like T.H. Waters that will take us along with them through their lives. So in closing I just have to say thank you to T.H. Waters for allowing me to lose myself in the story of your life. It was emotional, captivating, and inspirational!
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The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Help

Jennmarie68, March 31, 2012

I have been wanting to get my hands on this book for quite a while. Then when the movie came out I really had to get a copy. I'd heard such great things about the book and couldn't wait to read it.

I did like the book. The story really makes you think. It amazed me how some of the people acted. I would get so mad at them, it doesn't matter to me that this was how things were, it still made me so angry sometimes. Even Skeeter who was trying to do such good was so idiotic sometimes. I just wanted to smack her. I liked Skeeter but she was so naive, even when she started to open her eyes to what was going on she still seemed to have no idea.

I loved Aibileen, she seemed like the kind of person you could talk to for five minuets and feel like you've been friends forever. And although Minny needed her butt kicked a few times I really liked her to. She was a no nonsense take it or leave it kind of person, and unfortunately for her many people chose to leave it.

This book made me cry, made me angry, made me happy, made me sad, made me laugh, and made me laugh so hard I cried. It was easy for me to get lost in the story, I could vividly see what was happening. What I think I liked the most was that not everyone got a happy ending. I love a feel-good story, but at some point it becomes so unbelievable that it almost feels like an insult. Real-life is hard and not everyone gets the happy ending all the time. That really was refreshing for me. It seems as if most of the "popular" books that I read all end with everyone getting exactly what they wanted.

Now that I've finally read the book I can't wait to see the movie! Hope they did at least a half-way decent job with it.
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