Belle Weather: Mostly Sunny with a Chance of Scattered Hissy Fits

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Today's book was suggested by Danielle, Sara, and Jen who chose today's book based on it's cover (I totally respect that, I pick books for the same reason quite often).

Today's book, "Rivenbark’s observations of modern life can be downright hilarious. Readers will laugh out loud over her commentary on status mothers and all the odd obsessions of modern life. Plus the South truly is a different country than the rest of the U.S., and Rivenbark is the perfect guide to the southern point of view in her descriptions of sweet tea and not-so-sweet bubbas."

Today's book was written by the same author that wrote We're Just Like You Only Prettier, which is a book I read a couple of weeks ago: I wasn't crazy about that book so I didn't have high expectations about this one - although I am always willing to give an author a second chance - everyone can have an off day or an off book. But as it turns out I don't find any of Rivenbark's books funny. There's a quote on the back of the book that compares the author to David Sedaris and so I feel the need to warn you dear readers, the author of that quote is sadly mistaken. The nicest things I can think of to say about her books are that the covers are interesting, and the books weren't the worst ones I've ever read in my life (of course that's not saying much since I've already admitted to having read Danielle Steel novels).

Maybe I'm still in childhood mode from yesterday's entry, or maybe I was just desperately grasping at straws since the book didn't provide me with anything particularly amusing to write about, but reading this book made me feel like I was eight years old. From the several references to Little House on the Prairie and how sad it is that Mary has an attractive husband that she can't even see (I personally never found him to be attractive, but hey whatever floats your boat), to the mention of Lemon Pledge (otherwise known as "the smell of my childhood"), to the chapter about classroom assessment tests (anyone who went to public school in northern Indiana in the 80's knows what that means: watered down juice and peanut butter cookies). But my favorite childhood mention was the slumber party. Ahh that takes me back to my all-time favorite slumber party when my parents took us up to the grocery store they own and let us play Supermarket Sweep, which was a game show that I absolutely loved. Here's a clip for those who want to take a trip down memory lane: Birthday presents, my own personal game of Supermarket Sweep, and a giant chocolate chip cookie the size of a pizza (my Mom's slumber party speciality) - it doesn't get any better than that. Actually I think the reason why today's book made me feel like I was eight is because I always feel that way lately when I'm reading a book I'm not enjoying that much. If I wasn't writing this blog I would have stopped, but I know I can't because that would be cheating so I force myself to finish while thinking stupid teacher, making me finish this stupid assignment. Of course it's hard to work up to a really strong sense of anger when I'm the one who is really forcing myself to read this boring book - but why split hairs.

The rest of the book was filled with "isn't it cute how tacky and lazy I am" stories. Now I enjoy a good "my family is so tacky" story or a "hey everyone, look at my bad qualities" story now and then. I've even been known to tell a few on the blog (okay more than a few), but there's a limit to how often you can tell one of those stories before it starts to grate on people's nerves. I think it's best to confine stories that make everyone involved look bad to no more than once every couple of chapters (or blog entries in my case), and not tell them on EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE. Personally I prefer a book that has a good mix of the good and the bad, or the normal and the embarrassing. The author of today's book doesn't subscribe to that theory, and instead seems to paint her life as one never-ending tacky moment where everyone involved acts as lazy and mean as possible. I personally find that approach a little one-sided because I find it hard to believe that any one's life is so bad that there aren't occasional pleasant moments to write about.

So I definitely wouldn't recommend today's book. But I would recommend you watch Supermarket Sweep if it ever airs on televisions again (Why or why doesn't the Game Show Network air this show?)