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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

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan  Cain Everyone's all, "Oh! You HAVE to read this book!" and while I usually balk when told what to do, another person recently told me I needed to read this book and I take her advice seriously, so I will read this damned book.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things: A Novel

The Museum of Extraordinary Things: A Novel - Alice Hoffman What just happened?

I think I'm turning into a monster, a horrible monster who hates everything and everyone and lives on dissatisfaction and bitterness.

How in the world could I not have loved this book? I mean, look at the title! The cover! The synopsis! It's full of promise and I was lured in by the tantalizing story of a girl who grows up alongside her father's museum of oddities and assortments and is, herself, abnormal and is trying to come to terms with her perceived place in the changing world.

But that's not what this book is about.

It's about finding out who you are and learning to love yourself, flaws and all, despite what you've heard or have been lead to believe.
No, wait...it's a snapshot of everything that went on in NYC in the spring of 1911 and the impact those events had upon the city's inhabitants.
No, wait...it's about equality and fairness for workers who make the rich richer.
No, wait...it's about love and trust winning over evil and debasement (and also the basement)
No, wait...it's about feminism and the horrors of using women in all the terrible ways they are used - as workers who die in fires, as possessions to be burned in the face with acid, as sexual objects, as mythological creatures to be tamed and conquered, as non-humans - and how that's wrong and must be changed.
No, wait...it's about animal cruelty and how that's wrong and must be changed.
No, wait...it's about redemption.
No, wait...it's a murder mystery. Who is running around killing people and sewing their lips shut. And why?
No, wait...it's about the Dreamland Amusement Park on Coney Island and how big business kills the mom and pop stores in small communities.
No, wait...it's about fire and disaster.
No, wait...just what in hell IS this book about?
I have no idea because it was all over the place. I never felt like I knew what I was supposed to be focused on.
Add to that a whole slew of boring characters or interesting characters that were used as props and didn't really get to do much in the story as well as multiple perspectives (There's Coralie first-person followed by Coralie third-person then...crap, I've already forgotten the guy's name. Ezekial? He went by Eddie, I think. Ok, so then there's Eddie first-person followd by Eddie third person and they bounce back and forth between each other. Why? Why have first-person narration and then move to third person? Is that to show that each narrator is not to be trusted but if we back off and look at the bigger picture, we'll get a better idea of what's happening? Why are we inside the head and then kicked out? That did not help me to understand the story any better.
I couldn't get a hold on Coralie. I couldn't tell if she was a neglected child who raised herself on books so lived in a tiny world of her own making while also existing among her father's hired "wonders" and so was sort of meek and dreamy OR if she was secretly strong in her core but was just waiting for the right time to strike out on her own and become the person she'd always wanted to be OR something entirely different that I didn't even notice because I just could not figure out this character.
Eddie. He's supposed to be a bitter little jerk who grows up into a bigger jerk and he has these issues with his father which make him renounce his religion and become all shaven-headed, Americanized, street rat turned cynical photographer but really? He's pretty flat and dull and isn't a bad boy with a heart of gold and isn't all that tormented and he winds up making amends for all the wrong-thinking he's had because he finds true love and that gives him a purpose in life. Or something. I'm not sure; I think I missed the point of his story. Oh, dogs. He rescues dogs. And takes pictures of dead people and criminals and he knows how to find the lost. Well, except for himself. He's lost but other people have to keep guiding him to his path. Or...something.

There are fish in the story. Two of them. A trout in a bucket that probably meant something that I do not have the ability to grasp, though it reminded me a lot of Big Fish. There's also a giant, dead bass.
There is a missing girl and a dead body and they turn out to be the same person, though the reader knows that well in advance. Her lips are sewn shut.
There's a hermit and his wolf.
There's a livery man who is a former convict and he loves little birds. There are two fathers, one who let his son go because that is what is best for the son and one who clutches his daughter tightly and misuses her for his own fame and fortune and strange river monster delusions.
There are rich people, one who loses his pocketwatch to a worker's child and his sister who becomes a civil rights crusader.
There are two destructive and horrifying fires, one that's glossed over because we all learned about it in our high school history books and the other that is sensationalized to the point that I felt my emotions were being manipulated and that pissed me off.
There's a tortoise and some birds.
There are "freaks" who perform both at the museum and at the amusement park down the road.

There's a lot of stuff going on and a lot of players in the story and none of it came together for me. Instead of feeling enchanted, enlightened, and delighted, I felt irritated, manipulated, and stabby and that is just not how I expected to feel while listening to this book.

Viva Jacquelina!: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away

Viva Jacquelina!: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away - L.A. Meyer, Katherine Kellgren Yes.
Of course she did.
Of course she was.
Of course.

Yeah, I get it - this series is designed to give a broad overview of world history for a specific time period, to make it interesting, maybe enough so that Jacky's adventures will act as a springboard for further scholarly research amongst students. That's great!
Also, I understand that these books are designed to mimic, in story and tone, not in volume, the serialized stories in newspapers and the sensational dimestore novels that were over-the-top and ridiculous but fun.

My knowledge doesn't make any of this easier to swallow.
Granted, I'm an old lady and have different expectations of stories. But, come on, this series should have ended a few books back. 12 volumes? Really? What the hell else can she possibly do/have done to her/be/[insert verb here]?

The reader continues to carry on bravely, though I imagine even she's getting tired of voicing all these different people. She's aces with accents but Spain and Roma tripped her up and that's probably because no one should be expected to represent every nationality of the globe from the 1800's. Good lord!
She deserves tons of stars but this isn't about her. It's about the story and this story made me roll my eyes so hard I got a migraine. Well, almost.

One bit stood out: I was highly amused by the bullfrog and the peepers, especially as read by Katy Kellgren. And that was about it.

Yes, I'm going to finish this series. Yes, it will try my patience. But there are only two books left and there's no reason for me to not soldier on. Maybe, just maybe, a shark will eat Bloody Jack and I can have a satisfying rest of my life afterward.

Birth Control Is Sinful in the Christian Marriages and Also Robbing God of Priesthood Children!!

Birth Control Is Sinful in the Christian Marriages and Also Robbing God of Priesthood Children!! - Eliyzabeth Yanne Strong-Anderson I really REALLY want the blurb to be read aloud by a professional reader-alouder.
I imagine it would sound a lot like this:
http://youtu.be/Mcn1Q9fWahM

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip - George Saunders, Lane Smith I cataloged this when it came out. The record we imported had very little information so I was forced to read the book to find out what it was about.
I bought a copy that very same day.
This is my go-to "I need some giggles" book.
I love the mortified goats.
I love the horrid neighbors.
I love the persistent gappers.

Pretty much, I love this book. I would marry it if I were not already married.

A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2)

A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2) - Louise Penny, Ralph Cosham Pretty much, I was bored by the beginning, entertained through the middle, and found the end to be tied-up quickly and hastily and not-really with a whole lot of sense.

This time, though, I sussed the whole thing out pretty quickly, which is always fun for me. I wasn't put off the trail by the many other paths thrown at me. Yay, I'm becoming so clever.

Questions I have:
-Is there always going to be a suspicious rookie (as in, the rookie has suspicions not that the rookie is acting suspiciously) who is too eager to please?
-Why do we have to have Agent Nichol? I mean, yes, I see that she's now part of the bigger, darker, uglier story but I can't stand her and I hate how she's always just kind of left there at the end, like a lump. A lump that would probably benefit from being poked with a stick only there's are no sticks in the vicinity so she just sits there. She's lump, she's lump, she's lump...
I don't care why she's a self-righteous, entitled sociopath and I don't care about her dad. I don't care about anything regarding her and having to hear about her makes me stabby.
-Why is Gamache still in this business if he is so often wrong and is sort of just bumbling along, not doing any actual detective work other than talking to people? He doesn't watch nearly enough American crime shows. There's supposed to be stuff sent to labs and DNA and everything else, not instinct-based deductive work gleaned from sitting on benches watching people. Like a stalker.

And now we have a betrayal coming up, a bigger, darker, uglier story running through these stories.

Still. I love the little town and its quirky inhabitants. And mom is making me read these so I will keep going. I'm still waiting for the duck.

The Troupe

The Troupe - Robert Jackson Bennett Ok, Shayne, you were right.
I really liked this book.

Yes, there were entire passages that I could have red-penned to death because they were ridiculous and made me roll my eyes and sigh with irritation but those were few and far between.

I think this is what I wanted [b:Winter's Tale|12967|Winter's Tale|Mark Helprin|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1399135618s/12967.jpg|1965767] to be. Actually, I know this is what I wanted that book to be.

It's a whimsical tale about the world succumbing to darkness and those who are tasked with keeping said darkness at bay. And failing. For reasons.

There's myth, magic, and music but it's woven in as part of life, as every day sort of ocurrences even though there's no myth, magic, nor music happening outside the Troupe. Well, a little bit, but only as far as other mystical beings are concerned. Pretty much, the rest of the world seems to be unaware that this is going on around them but those who are aware think it's no big thing.

I wasn't satisfied with the ending. It felt rushed and like it was put together in a dream where it all made a beatiful and deep sort of sense but that all falls apart when you wake up and really think about it. While that feeling meshes well with the overall story, it didn't satisfy me, the reader.

Regardless, this is a fun romp through partial myth, through on-the-road performing life, through creation and the potential end thereof.

I'd like to write a better review but I can't get the words out and this is going to be as good as it gets.

The Witch of Belladonna Bay

The Witch of Belladonna Bay - Suzanne Palmieri Now with a review!
____________________
Original thoughts:
I cannot wait for this to come out in real-time. I need to read the end product before I give any stars, though, because I need to see how it really looks on paper before I give my final thoughts. I can tell you, though, it will be 4 or 5 stars.

At this point, I can recommend this story to those who love Scout from [b:To Kill a Mockingbird|2657|To Kill a Mockingbird|Harper Lee|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1361975680s/2657.jpg|3275794], readers who liked the ambience of [b:The Secret Life of Bees|37435|The Secret Life of Bees|Sue Monk Kidd|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1333819031s/37435.jpg|3275013] even though this is nothing like that, really, except for the folks with problems who live in the south and love the land around them, and, as with [b:The Witch of Little Italy|13548909|The Witch of Little Italy|Suzanne Palmieri|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337638217s/13548909.jpg|19114523], fans of [a:Sarah Addison Allen|566874|Sarah Addison Allen|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1372537232p2/566874.jpg] and [a:Adriana Trigiani|9219|Adriana Trigiani|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1332376218p2/9219.jpg].
____________________

Review:
First, I feel I would be remiss if I did not provide a disclaimer.
Here is my disclaimer: http://006point7ekgo.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/promises-tears-and-magic/

Now onto the good stuff!

Honestly, this entire book seemed new and different in print form. My brain is so weird sometimes. However, the new difference let me read this all over again with fresh eyeballs, which was pretty fun for me. I stayed up way too late several nights to get in just one more chapter. Again, silly, since I totally knew how this ended, but that's how much I enjoyed the story.

Part of my love for this book comes from that protective gene so many of us have. I love this book like I love kids who have been part of my life for years. They're not my kids but they're partly my responsibility because I know them and love them. That's what I feel toward this book - it's not mine, but I'm still protective of it. Isn't that the definition of "fangirl"?

At any rate, this by no means makes the book meritless. Suzanne is a master of the moment - she can describe a place in time, complete with surroundings, characters, emotions, and turn it into a shining diamond, something you want to look at then re-examine so you can see and re-see each faceted, framed instant. She writes some seriously beautiful words and creates some heartbreakingly delightful characters.

I adore Byrd. I have loved her since the first time I read her. She's just a little mess of wonderful and snottiness, of sweet, spicy, and sour. She's a handful, a brat, a wild little thing, and she's made of all the best childhood memories. She is, hands-down, my favorite part of this entire story.

My favorite chapter? Chapter 21. For me, this chapter with the ghosts and the letter from Stella, it's like a twist tie. It's not really part of the story until that moment and then it winds around and holds everything together. I want you to know that I HATED Stella until this chapter happened. Afterward, well, I'll accept those Amores now that there's one I like.

There's a strong underlying mother/daughter theme woven throughout. This speaks to me because, like many daughters, I have had issues with my mother and I understand the longing to be a beloved child. Part of this theme shows up in an aunt/niece relationship which is also meaningful to me because of my strong relationships with both of my nieces. To me, this was all bittersweet and delicious.

So with all this gushing, you'd think there's be five stars up there, right?
Well, not quite.

I had two problems with this book, one that Suzanne is probably tired of hearing about and the other that re-manifested while reading this published, printed, real-life version.

First: Naomi.
I have always had a problem with Naomi. I know why she's there, her story is important in that it gives another side to what we wouldn't get from Wyn's or Byrd's perspectives. However, she never seemed to fit in. Her parts kick me out of the narrative and I wind up feeling I'm reading something entirely different.
Funny aside: After this went to publication, Suzanne told me (this is not verbatim), "Oh, I figured out how to fix the problem with Naomi" and I was all, "HOW? She's IMPOSSIBLE!" and she told me and I said, "Riiiight. Yes! That is exactly what would have fixed the whole thing." Unfortunately, it was too late and Naomi got to stay and she continues to irk me.

Second: The Mystery.
Specifically the Carter/Paddy part of The Mystery. I followed everything else except for how those two play into it; they create more suspicion in my mind, more questions, more "Wait, no...that doesn't make sense because..." Chapter 29 is my least favorite; to me, it seemed like a weak link, a glossed-over explanation but one that isn't satisfying. I mean, I know what it means and where it's going but it didn't convince me, didn't give me the feeling of "Yes. This is exactly right and everything just fell into place. Mystery solved!"
I don't have a lot of scribbles in my Book of Manuscript Notes during that part so I don't know what I felt the first few times I looked at it but Carter/Paddy felt weak and wobbly this time around.

Two minor things but they're enough to keep that fifth star at bay.

These are issues that may not bother other readers. If none of that sounds troublesome to you and you love light mysteries cushioned in tales of families, ghosts, addiction, unhealthy relationships, coming home, finding oneself, and some soft romance (not soft-core "romance", just soft romance) I strongly suggest reading this, perhaps during summer vacation while lying in a hammock under some trees.

Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera - To Be Announced, Edith Grossman, Gabriel García Márquez I don't know why I haven't read Marquez before now. I started listening to this book the day he died and it made me feel like I killed him even though that's not even possible because that is not how things work in the real world.
And yet...

So this is my first Marquez work and I have no others with which to compare/contrast. I'm blank-slating it, here.
Also, I probably misunderstood almost all of it because sometimes I get the wrong message.
Here's what I got out of this story:

It's subtly hilarious. You wouldn't think something could be both subtle and hilarious but, to me, this story was - I sniggered and giggled and did wry-smiling a lot while this book played in my car.
I got the feeling that men who don't actually do any sort of hard work for a living were being mocked. Maybe they weren't, but there didn't seem to be a lot of respect for either the good doctor or for Florentino.
And women...it seemed women who followed convention were screwed but women who flipped the bird to society were free and happy (until their husbands killed them or they were raped down by the docks and, perversely (and pissing-offingly, actually) were sometimes still happy) though shunned by the more upstanding folk. But it's better to be shunned by the stiffs than it is to BE one of the stiffs, yes?
I had so many deep thoughts while listening to this, so many realizations, so many profound epiphanies. I felt like these characters were shining examples of real people, of real jacked-up but not-remarkable people that maybe we know or maybe we sometimes are. In fact, I could relate to Fermina Daza so completely that sometimes I thought she was me. I always knew how she'd respond to her situations - from the time she was a silly but calculating teenager to the time she was doddering along all rheumy-eyed and widowed. I knew her that well.
Then I forgot it all because I had to catalog books and stalk authors or I had to make dinner and do some laundry and try to fit everything in before bedtime. This is a loss for me because it is not often that something clicks in my head and makes me feel like having introspection and puzzling out truths for relevance and answers and super-shiny mind sparkles. It happened with this book and I didn't write a damn thing down and now I feel sad.
I suck sometimes.

You know what also sucks sometimes?
Endings.
The one in this book is what made me drop a star.

I so badly wanted Fermina to not do exactly what she did; I needed her to do the opposite because while it may have seemed she was looking for simple contentment at the end of life, I felt she was merely settling, too afraid to be alone. She made the exact same decision I would have made and I wanted her to be stronger than I am. She wasn't. I was sad and I flicked that fifth star away.

How the Light Gets In

How the Light Gets In - Louise Penny When I first saw this title, I laughed internally and thought unto myself, "Ahh, again with the Leonard Cohen. I wonder if that's what this quote is?"
I'm listening to the second book in this series. Clara, the artiste, has that very quote on her studio wall. So...there we go.

Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1)

Still Life  - Ralph Cosham, Louise Penny Cozy mysteries typically aren't my thing but I have nothing against them, either. My mom loves this series and wanted me to read it so we can discuss it, thus, I am and we will.

This is the first book in the series and this tiny, charming Quebecois town (I kept thinking it was British even though Montreal is mentioned ten-million times and most everyone has a French name) has great potential. It's full of quirky characters (Mom's favorite is crabby, old Ruth. Apparently, she gets a duck later on) a B&B, bucolic scenery, and the like.

The story was fine. There were a few things that stood out and seemed illogical (like walking into a freshly-painted and wallpapered room that had been shut up for five days yet there was no scent? I don't think so) and I felt a little bit jerked around at finding whodunnit since we were lead one direction than another and then the one who did it wasn't really all that satisfying. But that's ok, these stories don't have to fit together perfectly. At least there were clues along the way, unlike some books that are all "HA HA! You never guessed it was THIS PERSON!" and you're all, "I didn't even know that person existed until just this very minute..."

We did not find out, though, what became of Yvette Nichol, the self-involved, delusional brat who somehow made it onto the police force. It seemed there should have been some resolution there. And what is it with the crazy women who live in their own little worlds? And whose names start with Y? Odd.

This book was entertaining and I'm glad I listened to it at work. I look forward to discussing it with my mom, though I know she really wants me to hurry up and get to the book that has a duck.

Blue Skies, No Candy

Blue Skies, No Candy - Gael Greene This was my read-privately-be-shocked-giggle-alot-then-pass-to-friends book. It was on my mom's bookshelf though I don't know why since she was not a romance reader. But she had it, I read it, I was deliciously scandalized (because I was 11-ish) and so I had to bring it to school to trade to the other girls who brought similar books for the exact same reason.
This was our DIY sex-ed. We flagged the sexy parts of our books, then passed them around for abridged reading under the the desks during class. We were little reading rebels.

I have no idea what the book was about. Food and sex. And sex. And sex. And I think a fight. And then food and sex and food.

I never want to read this again because I don't want my magical little bubble of this being the dirtiest-and-most-fun book on earth to be shattered. I don't want to read and understand the actual story. I want this to be my own personal I-was-a-bad-girl Food and Sex book for all of my eternity!

When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women

When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women - Farnoosh Torabi The title is a tad misleading. This is less a book full of advice for women about successfully managing their finances when they are the ones in control of said finances and more about how to keep (or get) a man when the woman makes more money in the relationship. Yes, there are tips regarding wise investments and money management but mostly, it's about carefully navigating the emotional turbulence that could arise if you, the woman, has a larger income than your partner, the man.

The ten rules are pretty subjective. They are aimed at women who feel it is their responsibility to not only manage the vast amounts of money they are bringing in but also their partners' hurt egos. In one way, this makes sense because it is obviously the woman's fault that she is making more money than her man, ergo, it is her responsibility to perform damage control. But in all other ways, this is bull because it is not the woman's job to make sure her husband feels loved, comforted, and needed to make up for him not being the main provider of household income. You know whose job that is? The couple's.

In fact, most of this book could probably be rewritten from that perspective - the couple's - and it would probably be more enlightening.
So instead of "Face the Facts": "The most dangerous feeling we can have toward our partner is resentment and wondering if we're better off without him" perhaps a better rule would be: "Face the Facts": "If who makes what amount of money has become an issue, you should probably seek help from a professional. Lower earning person: Remember that your partner is not making more money to spite you or to make you feel impotent and useless. If you have such feelings, they are your feelings and were not handed to you by her (unless she's been all "I make more money and that makes you worthless," in which case, you're probably with the wrong person). As they are your feelings, it is your responsibility to manage them and not start fights or slide into being a kept person. Higher earning person: Remember, sometimes people value themselves on their earnings and if you are earning more, you may be perceived as having higher value, either by you or by your partner. Maybe by both. Guess what? You don't have higher value, not beyond what shows up on your W2. You are still responsible for your half of the relationship. You don't get to make more of the decisions because you make more of the money. You aren't superior in any way. You're making this money to afford your lifestyle and your relationship should be a driving force in that lifestyle. You answer to your relationship, it doesn't answer to your money. Get that straight now or just stop with the relationship because you being all 1% in your household isn't going to work for anyone."

If a debt compromise in which he pays off his debt while you take care of all other household expenses works for both of you, then great. That wouldn't fly in my house. I understand percentages so he gets to pay his debt AND some of the household expenses and I pay my debt and the rest of the household expenses because we need to take responsibility for what we brought into the marriage as well as what we created afterward. That might not work for everyone, though. Some couples put all their money in one big account and everything comes back out of that account. You have to figure out what's going to work best for you, your partner, and your relationship.

Then there's the question of "What if he wants to support his ailing parents financially and you are the chief breadwinner?"
Isn't the answer: "Help as much as you can afford to help"? Because they're YOUR FAMILY.
Unless, of course, they're horrible people and are trying to mooch off you, in which case you should ignore their phone calls and hope the old people police pick them up and put them back in the old people home where they belong. Seriously, though, that is a horrible question. You being chief breadwinner should have little or no bearing how supporting ailing parents will work.

There are pre-nups and post-nups and advice on protecting your money which is great if that's the kind of relationship you have or if you're going into a new relationship and bringing lots of your own assets. There is advice on how to "cater to the male brain" (yes, the name of that rule is offputting from the get-go), some of which is doled out by relationship expert Marni Battista who tells her breadwinning clients "to play up their 'sexy alpha female' or to 'fit in the feminine' in their relationships so that, in turn, men can feel masculine and take the money thing off the table." You know what? Eff you, lady. I hope my speed reading caused me to miss something profound in that chapter...something along the lines of Eff you, lady.
Thank goodness that is later followed up with "Do what works for you, period" in which the most valuable advice in this entire book comes forward: "...do what works for you as a couple."

YES. Exactly. That is how you figure out most issues in your relationship.

I've been the top earner in my last few relationships and am so in my marriage. In some cases it was rough (which is why those are past relationships) but the thing is, it doesn't have to be. If you're starting a relationship and you make more money, you find out if that's an issue when you get involved. Hopefully, it's not. If it is, try to work it out. If you can't, this is probably not going to be the most respectful, healthy relationship and you can choose to accept that or move on. If your income changes while you're already in a relationship, that you might have a little more work to do but, again, the relationship should come first and the personal incomes exist to support the relationship and home and lifestyle that surrounds it.
Of course, I could be way off base, here. I'm pretty much making this up as I go along because it's my gut reaction to some of these Ten Rules.

I didn't one-star this book because it does actually offer some pieces of great advice. It's just that it's delivered in a way that puts the onus of fixing income-based relationship problems on the woman and I'm not sure that's the right way to face this issue. I'm making it sound far more sexist than it is but there's still enough of the "You, highly-paid female, YOU must ease the tension in your relationship by helping your lower-paid male companion get past this problem that you created with all your money and benefits and social recognition while also protecting YOUR assets" that it grates.
However, I know this IS an issue, one that plagues couples, worries single women, and is upsetting our societal balance. It's good to be aware this problem exists (whether or not it should exist is a whole different conversation) so books like this help raise awareness so that conversations can happen. However, I think it would have been more effective had it been aimed toward couples, not specifically at women who happen to be rolling in the dough.

Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice

Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice - Mike Maihack Adorable!

This starts out all Indiana Jones (and goes back to Indiana Jones a couple of times) then jumps back to Ancient Egypt then forwards to [b:Ender's Game|375802|Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)|Orson Scott Card|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388177928s/375802.jpg|2422333] while maybe being a bit like [b:The Search for WondLa|7327327|The Search for WondLa (WondLa, #1)|Tony DiTerlizzi|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1361401746s/7327327.jpg|8944726] and it all centers on Cleopatra VII, fifteen-year-old prophesized savior of the galaxy.
And why is the galaxy in trouble this time?
Because the Xerx have captured and locked all the electronic data in existence. They have all the information and economies are collapsing, entire worlds have lost their histories and cultures, and there are only small sectors of the universe that remain non-invaded, primarily because someone realized that relying on The Cloud isn't always going to cut it, so wrote stuff down.
I can't tell you how that makes me grin with gleeful wickedness.

Also: Lots of cats.

I enjoyed this and hope the rest of the series remains as upbeat, adventurous, zazzy, and cute.

The Stranger

The Stranger - Stuart Gilbert, Albert Camus I read this in French, beetches!
It was really hard to trudge through but it really did make a whole lot more sense.

Ant Colony

Ant Colony - Michael DeForge This is like a really dark, adult episode of Adventure Time only with black ants, red ants, bees, spiders, and limousine centipedes.

The illustrations are somewhat creepy, the black ants are not cute like real black ants but look more like mutated little NoFaces from "Spirited Away." The red ants look a little more like ants in that they have big ol' mandibles and giant eyes.
The spiders are freaky with their big open-mothed '30's-cartoonish dog heads and their legs-into-bodies-to-mate ways. It all borders on creepy-dreamish and it was weirdly compelling; I couldn't stop reading/looking.

In a way, it's comforting to think that even an orderly, peaceful black ant colony has all the same problems as a disorderly, disgruntled human society, down to the disturbing and unpleasant yet highly-resilient sociopath and hopless ever afters.