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EricaO

EricaO

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Frackistan: The Promise and Peril of America’s Energy Revolution
Russell Gold
Savaging the Dark
Christopher Conlon
The End-of-Life Handbook: A Compassionate Guide to Connecting with and Caring for a Dying Loved One
David B. Feldman, S. Andrew Lasher, Ira Byock
Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life
Maggie Callanan
A Better Way of Dying: How to Make the Best Choices at the End of Life
Jeanne Fitzpatrick, Eileen M. Fitzpatrick, William H. Colby, William Colby
Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness
Joanne Lynn, Janice Lynn Schuster, Joan Harrold
Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
S.
Doug Dorst, J.J. Abrams
Dances in Two Worlds: A Writer-Artist's Backstory
Thordis Simonsen
Tigers in Red Weather
Liza Klaussmann, Katherine Kellgren

Empire Girls

Empire Girls - Suzanne Hayes, Loretta Nyhan, Suzanne Palmieri This is the third book this year that I expected to love, should have loved, but then didn't. As with [b:The Museum of Extraordinary Things|18144053|The Museum of Extraordinary Things|Alice Hoffman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1392575125s/18144053.jpg|25491380], I had high hopes for this one. I mean, look at that cover! And it's about sisters! Sisters who have to find the brother they JUST found out existed after their father died and left them a letter saying, "Oh, by the way, girls, you have a brother. He lives in NYC. You should go find him." AND this takes place in the '20's! What is NOT to love?

I'll tell you what is not to love: Mira's need to get quick reads out fast. I've never been friends with this imprint, nor with Harlequin in general. I'm bothered by their willingness to sacrifice quality for the sake of a quick buck. I think that's why I was so surprised by [b:I'll Be Seeing You|16160079|I'll Be Seeing You|Suzanne Hayes|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1363049845s/16160079.jpg|18341426] - it was much better crafted than what I've come to expect from Mira.

This one, though, this was more along the lines of "Hit these marks and then get it on the shelves" which is unfortunate.

Here's what worked for me:
-The title page is gorgeous. I must have looked at it for a solid five minutes. It just struck me.
-The idea behind the story is awfully compelling.
-There are some honest, strong moments of self-realization in both Ivy and Rose.

But I kept getting hung up on so many other things.
-I never believed Rose and Ivy were sisters. They didn't feel related at all. I could have believed they were sisters-in-law...like maybe Ivy had been married to the brother instead of being his sister and maybe he'd left her and she went to find Rose for help and they didn't get along and this story was the result? I don't know but I never bought their relationship. None of the complexities or depths that you find in a love/hate sister relationship were there.
-The timeline. Everything happened so quickly that there was no buildup. Instalove, instacareer, instaacceptance, instaeverything. I couldn't see any character growth because there was no time for growth.
-Too many characters. This winds up being a plot-driven story though it should be character-driven. However, many of the characters are weak and most of them are unreliable so it's easier to focus on the end goal of the tale rather than the moments and people. Too often, the sisters seemed interchangeable which made their difficult sisterly relationship even harder to believe. Nell's personality shifted from chapter to chapter. I couldn't really grasp Sonny, Lawrence, Claudia, the rest of the Empire Girls, or even Cat who was probably the most fleshed-out. That just left the storyline and, in this case, it wasn't strong enough to carry my attention or affection.

While this was a disappointment to me because I'd had such high hopes, I can't say it's not worth reading. It really is an ok story; there are some lovely passages and pretty moments. If you're a skimming reader and not prone to break things down, this is a fast read. It's a good airplane or beach book and will have its own audience. I just can't be part of that group this time around.

iZombie, Vol. 1: Dead to the World

iZombie, Vol. 1: Dead to the World - Chris Roberson, Mike Allred For some reason, people often assume I loooove zombies.
I don't. I hate them. I think they're stupid.
I'm not a fan of [b:The Walking Dead, Compendium 1|6465707|The Walking Dead, Compendium 1|Robert Kirkman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1372552170s/6465707.jpg|6656179], I've never liked shamblers, plus, zombies are booooring. And yet, I am always given zombie-related things. I own zombie movies, I have zombie-themed shirts, people post zombie jokes on my FB wall.
But I hate zombies. I think they're stupid.

Then these books came across my desk - I've got 1-4 right here next to me. I've flipped through the first one and I see the writing is pretty not-good but here's the thing: Gwen, the zombie, she's not stupid. She doesn't shamble along with rotty bits falling off and while none of that is enough to make me care about this one way or another, here's what is: Gwen looks like Debbie Harry. Based on absolutely nothing at all, I have loved Debbie Harry (actually, I think I have loved her look, as I know relatively little about her) since I was probably six years old. Anything Debbie Harry tugs on the sentimental string of my heart so now I want to read these books, poorly-written, tritely-illustrated (I'm getting so tired of perfect bodies on everyone, everywhere. Ugh. So not representative of the world) as it may be.

July 15:
Ok. I read this last night because all my other books are pissing me off and I thought I needed something light and quick and these were sitting there so I read this volume right then and there.

It's cute, I like it. It's light-hearted and fun and while it has its problems (trying too hard to hit the diversity mark, trying too hard to make each female character Very. Different. From. The. Others. And come on - all the women except for Dixie The Old Waitress has a perfect body. Granted, we're not talking superhero-like physiques with the massive boobs, the tiny waists, boy-like hips, and the athletic legs, but still - they're all perfectly-shaped women and I'm growing to hate that so much. I don't even know why; it's just become tiresome), it's enjoyable. It reminds me a little bit of old Scooby Doo, actually.

The Silver Star

The Silver Star - Jeannette Walls Oh, this started out so well. I was mesmerized for the first two or three CDs. We've got the tough older sister watching out for the thoughtful younger sister because the mom can't really do the mothering thing. We've got a trip cross-country to see a barely-known uncle. We've got smart moves and new towns and a big, bad villian!
And then it all fell apart.
I hate feeling preached-at, I absolutely hate it. I felt preached-at for a good quarter of this book. It was like little 12-year-old Bean went from a kid who is pretty much being cared for by her clever, capable older sister to this wise sage who is the only person able to see the ALL the truths in the tiny town but there's no bridge between the two. She's just kid one day and wisewoman the next. She has thoughts about racism, she has thoughts about justice, she has thoughts about [b:To Kill a Mockingbird|2657|To Kill a Mockingbird|Harper Lee|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1361975680s/2657.jpg|3275794], and all these thoughts are much older and more profound than what hers should have been. There was no prior indication that we've got an old soul/wisdom of the ages child on our hands until she starts spouting and spewing and telling the reader what is right and what is wrong, only doing so in her supposed child's tender and unaware voice.
I wasn't convinced.
I also wasn't convinced by her sister. She started out so well and then just sort of fell apart and turned into nothing, an empty space.
The mom was the standard I-came-from-a-small-town-and-now-I'm-going-to-be-famous fare. She seems to be bi-polar, probably manic-depressive and not so much bi-polar II, but only a fictional version. She can't get her shit together and she's focused solely on herself though claiming to love her children above all, yet she's still a loveable scamp.
Uncle Tinsley. Weak.
Aunt Al was the biggest disappointment, though. There was so much potential for her to be the foil to the girls' wayward mother and instead, she merely represents the hardworking mom who busts butt to keep her family going. So, opposite Bean's mom, yes, but not complementary. She wasn't as strong as she was supposed to have been, she didn't help guide these kids whom she'd taken on as family. She cooked eggs and worked nights and encouraged her son to steal food because those farmers don't use it all, anyway. She kept quiet when she should have spoken up and she couldn't be relied upon in Bean's time of need because she doesn't like to give advice (worst reason to not confide in an adult. I rolled my eyes)

So I loved the first couple of discs and I liked the last chapter. Everything else seemed to have derailed into something I didn't enjoy and now I see why I was the first of my friends to read this book.

Because It Is My Blood (Audio)

Because It Is My Blood (Audio) - Gabrielle Zevin This book, it did not make me happy. In fact, it did the opposite - it made me mad. Also, irritated.

If I heard right, though, Anya only has two years left to live so at least there will be an end. Hopefully.

I did enjoy the time in Mexico, specifically, the cacao. I would have liked more of that. Yet, I grew to hate the stupid machete so maybe less of Mexico would have been better? Man, that machete...ugh.

I continue to wonder about the purpose of Mouse. She's going to have to swoop in and save the day in the next book or else all her scenes have been fairly pointless. I continue to wonder why Anya goes to Juvie another 168 times but we never learn anymore about the place or the politics therein. I continue to wonder why Anya keeps narrowly missing real tragedy yet ends up in a better place each time she comes out of her "I just narrowly missed tragedy" situation.

I have a lot more I'd like to complain about, but why bother? I'm left with the same feelings I had when I finished the middle Divergent book only there was no amazing upswing at the end of this story to pique my interest. I will only listen to the third book because I suspect there will be a revealing of the Motivations of Yuji Ono and since that's the only thing holding my interest...and now that I really think about it, even that might not be enough, because I don't know how much more of the pro-chocolate crap I can stand.


This is not one of those crossover stories that has appeal to me.

Edgar Gets Ready for Bed: A BabyLit First Steps Picture Book: A BabyLit First Steps Picture Book

Edgar Gets Ready for Bed: A BabyLit First Steps Picture Book: A BabyLit First Steps Picture Book - Ron Stucki, Jennifer Adams Edgar is a contrary little crow. Raven. It's hard to tell, really. Anyhow, he won't finish his vegetables, crying "Nevermore!" He chases his little sister around the house with a scarecrow and he draws on the walls (specifically a beating heart, a one-eyed cat, and a sad guy about to be sliced open, all above the crumbling house of blocks with the letters u, s, h, e, and r facing forward).

These are his normal, daily antics so you can only imagine what happens when he's forced to take a bath, put on pajamas (yes, he wears adorable pajamas that match the endpapers of the book and are also reminiscent of the Haunted Mansion wallpaper) and get ready for bed.

Of course this is not a new story. Every parent who has a child that doesn't like to go to bed lives this story on a regular basis. Every babysitter, every older sibling, anybody who has had to deal with the "I'm not tired" excuse will recognize this tale and probably cringe a bit. But it's fun and for fans of Poe, it's even more fun, worlds better than [b:Mrs. Poe|16130398|Mrs. Poe|Lynn Cullen|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1378705735s/16130398.jpg|21955711]

I Wish I Had a Pet

I Wish I Had a Pet - Maggie Rudy This may be the cutest book I have ever seen in my wholeentire life.
My eyes were practically bleeding because of the adorableness being shoved in them.

So the story, it is not a story. It is a practical guide for young pet-owning-hopefuls to help with responsibly choosing a pet. It's something every person who has never had a pet should consider before taking the plunge. Good advice, all around.

The illustrations are stopped stop-motion animation (that's not a thing, don't go looking it up); they look like extras from "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" (the movie), all felty and modely. Little felty, modely mice illustrate the advice on each page. The pets-in-consideration are bugs and birds, mostly bugs. It is absolutely delightful.
The baby being scared by the fierce cockroach killed me dead. I giggled out loud. It's surprising that these images don't move and don't make a sound because they look as if they should. That will creep some readers out but for me, it was 100% charming.

I love this book and will buy a copy just to have even though I already have pets and I don't have any children in the house who will be asking for pets. I will own this just so I can have the cutness nearby at all times.

Tico and the Golden Wings

Tico and the Golden Wings - Leo Lionni This story is about a wingless bird whose friends have to care for him because he can't fend for himself. What nice friends!
Or are they?
When Tico's dreams come true in the form of a lovely pair of golden wings, Tico's friends reveal themselves for who they really are: Jerks. Now that he doesn't depend on them, now that his wings are shiny and beautiful, now that he has found happiness in flight, the friends decide Tico is uppity and feels superior to them, despite him having neither said nor implied any such belief. As a result, they abandon him, leaving him confused.
Tico's friends are serious jerks.
However, this offers Tico the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson: When you come into good fortune, share it with those who are less fortunate. That does not include former friends who will no longer speak to you. It does, however, include hardworking individuals who are doing the best they can and just need a leg up...like the puppeteer and the lost fisherman.
Yay, good lessons! You get a star!
Even better (for Tico, not for me. I am a petty, vengeful person), Tico learns the lesson of forgiveness (a second star!) because every time he gives away a golden feather to help someone in need, the feather is replaced by a normal feather and soon, his wings are black just like the wings of all the other birds. In the end, he goes home and is accepted by all his jerk friends who exclaim, "Oh goody! You look just like us so now we can be friends again!" and he is excited that all he ever needed to have friends was either a disability to make others feel superior and useful in relation OR conformity to make others feel like they belong. In his heart of hearts, however, he is pleased to know that everyone is different, even if they look the same. He keeps this secret to himself for fear of losing his newly re-found jerk friends.

Safari Honeymoon

Safari Honeymoon - Jesse Jacobs I like to think I'd be like the wife in this story - accepting of unfamiliar, new environments. The thing is, though, if I started petting wild jungle creatures, they'd kill me. I know this. I sometimes try anyway, but the main reason I don't run after wildlife is because it will not turn out like this story. You don't just become one with your hostile environment because you want to.

Who am I kidding? I'd totally chase the forest monkeys. They're super neat.

Also, I was really sad about Winston.

The thing that kept me from really loving this is that I'm getting tired of this type of illustration. Is there a name for this art style? Adventure Time Drawring? I don't know but it doesn't charm me anymore; it's become invasive. It's everywhere. I know I had that problem with [b:Ant Colony|17978256|Ant Colony|Michael DeForge|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1372677632s/17978256.jpg|25206771], too. I'm ready for a new style of edgey, offbeat, cartoonish-but-not-cartoony art.

I think I'm going to consider this a Return to Paradise fable. I mean, that could be way off base, but it's what I'm going to take away. Because I can.
The husband and wife leave the city behind to enjoy their honeymoon and they're typical first-world white people. He's running around killing things for sport, he's all gluttonous, he's used to power and money and importance. She follows along because it's what is expected. But then there's the guide who is both encouraging their behaviors and teaching them about their new environment, acting as a bridge from Ye Olde Eville Lyfe into the place where "Everything, at some point, is reduced to its most primitive state", a new Adam & Eve lifestyle, only, really, in this case, it's way more Eve & Adam.
The forest monkeys can represent angels and I think this Return to Paradise fable all works out really well.

Savaging the Dark

Savaging the Dark - Christopher Conlon This is my new Lunchtime Reading book. I haven't read a book at lunch for a really long time. However, I'm feeling uncomfortable in my body lately and since I don't really do diets or exercise, I'm going to kill my appetite by reading horrifying books during my main eating times.
Because, dude, this thing is going to give me nightmares. It starts out with a dirty foot being tongue washed.
I hate feet. Here's a total aside that sort of relates: I remember riding the bus home from middle school one afternoon. We'd just stopped at the high school to pick up those kids and a discussion on the grosses part of the body started. Some fellow (but younger) middle schooler piped up that the butt was the ugliest part of the body, which got a huge laugh and some mockery from the big kids. When it was my turn to give input, I said, "Feet." Everyone looked at me like I had said something so unrelated to the topic at hand that maybe I should go sit up in the front. Obviously, feet have grossed me out for a really long time. I handle it much better now than I did in my youth, but still. No. Feet. Ugh. Not my friends.

That's why the first chapter caught me, like a train catches a cow on the tracks. It ran me over instead of throwing me aside, though.
I had to skim a lot of this book when I cataloged it because, at the time, there wasn't much info to be found regarding the contents. When I was done, I had a general idea of the plot and it's one that intrigues me - a female teacher having sex and probably even being in (some form of) love with her really young student - because I can't wrap my mind around it. But it was the first chapter in which this scrawny eleven-year-old is tied to a bed in a motel and the adult in there with him washes his feet in order to earn the kid's trust (yeah, crazy. That's kind of the point) and realizes the way to show the kid full-on trustworthiness to to LICK THE DIRTY FOOT CLEAN?? Dude, have you ever seen/smelled a boychild's foot? Unsanitary! Horrific! The rank smell is even mentioned and yet...ugh. Ok. To quote the tribe of vapid white girls, "I can't even."

And that is why I am reading this book during my lunch breaks. I don't know if I'm going to make it through in tact but kudos to me for jumping way outside my psychological comfort zone. And probably losing about ten pounds as I starve to death every day.

Desperately Ever After

Desperately Ever After - Laura Kenyon Here's what I want from this:
http://dinagoldstein.com/fallen-princesses/
PLUS
https://screen.yahoo.com/disney-housewives-000000627.html

All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1)

All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) - Ilyana Kadushin, Gabrielle Zevin I liked this well enough and I'll listen to the next book.

I enjoyed Anya's stubbornness and paranoia, I liked her devotion to family and duty, I didn't always get her motivation.
Who is she talking to, anyway? As a narrator, I mean.

I like the original cover (with the sideview of the girl's head; she's got a great haircut) far more than this one (the list and the melting chocolate heart)

I have a really hard time believing chocolate could be outlawed. I'm pretty sure there would be riots. Unless Future America has lost its obsession with the stuff.

All in all, it was fun to listen to and I'm interested to see where this mob princess goes next.

Betty Crocker Living with Cancer Cookbook

Betty Crocker Living with Cancer Cookbook - Kris Ghosh Much like [b:What to Eat During Cancer Treatment: 100 Great-Tasting, Family-Friendly Recipes to Help You Cope|6649705|What to Eat During Cancer Treatment 100 Great-Tasting, Family-Friendly Recipes to Help You Cope|Jeanne Besser|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328742275s/6649705.jpg|6844276], this cookbook is broken down into cancer-treatment reaction sections. I think there are only four or five sections in this book, instead of the seven, or so, listed in the aforementioned book, but it's still helpful.

My mom has liked the foods from this book the best; she reacts to them well and she is more likely to say she enjoyed the meals made from these recipes. It makes sense; her first cookbook was a Betty Crocker cookbook and that's how she cooks: Crocker Style.

These are quick and easy recipes, a lot of them call for prepackaged ingredients so they're great for people who have little time, little kitchen know-how, or who feel like crap because they're going through chemo.

Personally, I don't like this one as well as What to Eat During Cancer but since the foods from this cookbook are more palatable to my Mom and she's the one we're caring for, it gets four stars.

What to Eat During Cancer Treatment: 100 Great-Tasting, Family-Friendly Recipes to Help You Cope

What to Eat During Cancer Treatment: 100 Great-Tasting, Family-Friendly Recipes to Help You Cope - Jeanne Besser, Kristina Ratley, Sheri Knecht, Michele Szafranski This has been an incredibly helpful resource.

Most cookbooks are broken down by meal, i.e. breakfast, snacks, salads, lunches, dinners, sauces, desserts, etc. This one is broken down by chemo reaction, i.e. constipation, mouth sores, taste alteration (meaning everything tastes weird or has no flavor at all), diarrhea, etc. The recipes in each section are also keyed for other sections so the fruit smoothie is good for relieving constipation but it is also helpful for tight throats and flavorlessness.

All the foods we've made from this book, so far, have been easy, low on ingredients, and can be tweaked for different dietary needs. Also, the recipes are all for 4-6 people which is great because we are able to keep half of each dish and give the other half to my parents and since Mom eats like a bird right now (meaning she eats very little, not that she's pecking at millet or worms), there's enough for her for two or three days and enough for Dad for one meal and then he can eat all the other leftovers in the fridge, brought by kindhearted people who make giant batches of stuff.

Of all the cancer cookbooks I've checked-out, this is my favorite. I'm going to keep it checked-out, too, for as long as I can. I don't want to buy it, though...it's not something I want to keep because I don't think I'll be able to eat these foods again after this is all said and done. Thank god for libraries.

1980s Bumper Activity Book: 52 Grown-Up Projects that Look Back to the Future

1980s Bumper Activity Book: 52 Grown-Up Projects that Look Back to the Future - Mel Elliott Bwahahahaha!
Ok, I didn't exactly take this seriously but that doesn't make it any less radical than it is. Also, it is wicked. And awesome.

There are 4 paper dolls you can make - Magnum PI (ok, Tom Sellek complete with fuzzy legs, arms, and chest, though the chest is way less fuzzy than you'd expect. Also this is drawn-on fuzz, not flocking though you could totally add the flocking yourself), no, you know what? I'm going to share the ToC (comments in parentheses are mine, not part of ToC):

1. Colour in '80s toys
2. Post-it note mural (8 bit Space Invaders! Thank god for colorful Post-its)
3. Colour in a VW Golf GTI (um, my brother still has one)
4. Magnum P.I. paper doll
5. Fancy dress costume (WTF? 99 Red Balloons for 2 people, 50 on one person, 49 on the other??)
6. 3-D paper Deloreon (I will probably make this because I can and it's cool. I mean RAD. It's rad)
7. Daniel-san headband
8. Micro cross-stitch Super Mario
9. Colour in Arnold from "Diff'rent Strokes"
10. Mega yummy Pacman cake
11. Slogan t'shirt
12. Print your skinny tie (yes, you read that correctly)
13. Easy guitar, Shaky!
14. Colour in "Risky Business"
15. '80s pop collage
16. LEGO protest picture (you have to use the old colors and bricks, not this newfandangled crap)
17. '80s commemorative plate
18. Eightify your shades and Mallet's mallet
19. Painting-by-numbers: Ferris Bueller (anyone?)
20. Band t-shirts
21. Pong duvet cover
22. Temporary tattoos (including one of Pat Benatar's face because why the hell not?)
23. Madonna wall stencil (oddly, this looks incredibly contemporary)
24. Draw like an Etch-A-Sketch! (I already do, thanks!)
25. Lamborghini wall stencil
26. Make a skinny tie (which should come before printing said tie in chapter 12 but doesn't)
27. Hard recorder: theme from "Fall Guy"
28. Wham! glove puppets
29. Stop-motion animation
30. Alexis Carrington paper doll
31. Colour in Run DMC & Aerosmith
32. More temporary tattoos
33. Tote bag transfer
34. 3-D paper yuppie toy (guess what it is! Guess! Guess! <--that's not a clue, btw. It's not something by Guess. I really want you to try to suss out what the yuppie toy is)
35. '80s dinner party (um...no. Or dinner parties were vastly different in the '80s over in LondonTown)
36. Debbie Gibson paper doll
37. Colour in Neighbors (if you haven't figured it out already, this is not an American publication. It's from England. You figure this out much more quickly when you see the top hits of the charts at the bottom of each activity. I was all, "Who the HELL is THAT band? That never made it to the charts here!" However, this is probably the first really Britishy activity. Thank god for PBS or else I'd have no idea what this was all about)(ok, I would now but I wouldn't have prior to the set being released in America on DVD...or showing up on Netflix. Oh, and also if I didn't have English friends)(good grief, moving on)
38. Sequinned top
39. Guess the hair game! (Limahl is in this! OH. MY. GAWD, who remembers that pretty, pretty boy?)
40. Paper Pet Shop Boys
41. Draw your own 3-D picture
42. Make your own 3-D glasses (well done, putting these two items in order this time)
43. Finger-knit a snood (why? why is this an 80's thing? This seems way more 70's, doesn't it? I don't remember finger knitting anything except my hair and that was accidental)
44. Stitchin' by numbers
46. Michael J. Fox paper doll
47. Cassette greetings card
48. Slogan t-shirt: "Jim didn't fix it for me" (and this one is unfamiliar. British?)
49. Pop-up Valentine's card
50. Painting-by-numbers: Debbie Harry (my favorite activity in the book)
51: Colour in "Yes we know it's Christmas!"
52: End of the decade quiz
--The history bit
--What to buy, where to buy it
--Guess the hair game answers
--End of decade quiz answers
--Dedication's what you need
--About Mel

That pretty much sums up the book.

It is delightful, hilarious to oldsters like me, probably a wet-dream come true for hipster, and high recommended for rainy day crafts or for 80's themed parties.

Nobrow 9: It's Oh So Quiet

Nobrow 9: It's Oh So Quiet - Alex Spiro, Sam Arthur Ahh, this is one of those books that makes me feel lacking in intellect.

In my line of work, we called these "Flip books" and "Stories without words" and this book is both of those but this is not a book for little childrens, though most Flip books and Stories without words are for that very audience. No, this is a book for deep-thinking adults (or adults stoned out of their minds) [maybe both]

One half is a collection of illustrated stories, each one contained in several panels that last a few pages. Remember, there is no text (because it is OH SO QUIET!) You have to figure out what's going on by looking at the flow of pictures. Your one clue: Shhhh.
It's like a riddle, a test to see how quick you are, how broad your mind can be, etc.

My mind, it's not that quick nor that broad. I got about half of these tales, was able to suss out what was going on, got something out of them. Most are not complete stories but more slice-of-life (incredibly brief) centered on a single moment or very small, silent space in time. There's often no beginning or end, it's just that one snapshot of panels on a few pages. This is not the case with all the stories; some are complete in that there is a conclusion of sorts, but for the most part, it's all HERE! CATCH!
I think?
Who knows. I probably misunderstood the entire thing.

Then you flip the book upside and backward and you've got a whole 'nuther set of stories. These are single-picture tales. Sometimes the picture takes up one page, sometimes it's across the spread. I was much more comfortable with these. Some are doodles, some are entire narratives, and some evoke feelings. I got most of them, or, at least, I reacted to them and felt I understood what was going on.

The colors are muted (quiet?) mixtures of magenta, cyan, and yellow...which, I guess means it's full-color. But it's not colorful color. I don't know art and I don't know graphics and I don't understand ink so I'm sure there's a term for this that if I just knew what it was, I could say, "It's rendered in X medium with Y colors" and you'd all be, "Mmmm. Yes. I understand" and I would be sucessful in conveying my thoughts. But that is not the case and I'm describing what I saw the best I can.

Because I'm like a little kid who doesn't know anything when it comes to this kind of stuff. All I know is I liked some of the stories, I understood some of the stories, and I was puzzled by the rest.
I should probably also mention, I have never heard of NoBrow so that might be adding to my confusion. Though, you know what? Something like Nobrow, which is lower than lowbrow, yes?, should totally appeal to me, right?

All the Birds, Singing

All the Birds, Singing - Evie Wyld I was zipping along with this book, tension building, mysteries abounding and then suddenly! I got caught up on Lloyd.
I know why he was there but I don't think I ever understood why he stayed and that kept buzzing around in the back of my mind. Why is he still there? Why?

I liked that Jake's present and past were intermixed but as a listener, I was confused by this because it took awhile to figure out which span of time I was in when they changed, as there were no immediate cues.

The reader was really good with both the Aussies and the Brits, as well as the birds. I liked her. But she also may have made it a little more difficult for me to understand what was going on; I may have followed better had I been reading the words.

The environments were well-described without wasting tons of description. Dry, bleak, deserty areas and cold, rainy, green spots. Seasides and interiors.

I loved that a question would be raised - scars on Jake's back? How'd they get there? Who is this Otto and why is she with him? What about the best friend? and then were slowly answered in a backward fashion. Her story had to keep rewinding to get there.
What a shitty life she's lead. What a different person she is in her farmhouse with her sheep on her little island in the sea. She's tough and she's paranoid and she might be having a mental breakdown.
At the same time, she might be having an attack of the Hooge Poomah.
For a while, I wondered if Lloyd was going to turn out to be a werewolf.
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I just kept guessing, running back and forth between logic and supernatural, from vengeful characters from Jake's past to creepy creatures from the briny depths.

And then there was the ending. I was all wrapped up in the present, in the past, not in Lloyd because I don't understand why he was still there, but in everything else and it ended. All done.
I was surprised.

If I had to take a stab at it for my English teacher, I would say the last two bits, present and far past...or the beginning of the whole story? They are two opposite points, these sections, and if I were forced to say something about it, I would say that they mirrored each other. She felt safe back before all the hell happened to her, safe with her family, with the familiarity of where she was, where nothing would ever change...until it did. That was probably the last time she felt like that. And at the touch of another's hand while staring down the sheep-shredding beast, maybe Jake once again felt safe, felt part of something, felt not-alone.
And maybe I am 100% full of crap.
Maybe Lloyd really was a werewolf.