Monthly Archives: June 2011
I’ve really been off the radar for a few days and still need to continue my dentist and bucket list pieces. Truthfully though, I just felt like, screw it, I’ll get to it when I get to it. I have been feeling a little guilty for neglecting my blog though, so I have decided to do a little something that I have been planning for some time.
1. You work for a salary, not for someone who knows or even cares about your worth. Get the job done and you get paid. Appreciation of you as an individual is what friends and family is for.
2. Get over it. No really, this is the most important thing anyone can learn. Sometimes, we just need to get over it and move on. There comes a time when we have to accept the things we can’t change. Make that your truth for the day.
3. You’re a screw up. Everyone is. It’s kind of part of being human, and it’s okay.
4. Words are really powerful, and can never be taken back. Regret is one of the worst things a person can live with.
5. Nothing on earth is broken beyond repair. Unless it’s a Ming vase or something.
6. Respect is earned, but everyone deserves to be treated with respect; regardless.
7. Hope is tenacious, whenever you think you’ve lost it, you surprise yourself by finding yourself still hoping, even if your world has crashed and burned.
8. Have faith, whatever that may mean to you as an individual. Have faith in yourself, in your god, in your husband, wife or child. Have it, and hold on to it. Some days all you have is your faith, and that’s okay too.
9. When you watch a movie or read a book, live it. What’s the point otherwise.
10. Learn when to shut up. There’s usually signs. (Note to self…repeat this mantra five times every day)
Not ever having done a real book review before, it always felt like something I really needed to do, being a couch critic and all. When I finally finished Coffee at Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter, I knew that it was time to try my hand at it. In a real pen to paper kind of way.
This will be the most unconventional, unprofessional book review you’ll ever see, but what the heck, this is me, I kinda do things differently, and this is how I feel…
I want to do the story justice, without revealing too much of the plot, but I find that to do that, my focus will have to be less on the overall storyline, and more on the individual parts of the book and what they meant to me as reader.
The story captivates you immediately with its opening line: “I went jogging on the morning that I died” and you go “Huh?” So off course you want to know how the hell that’s going to work, is this the end before the beginning kind of thing? I read Chapter 1 in a sneak preview before the book launch, and found that I couldn’t wait for the rest. When I eventually got to read the whole book, I couldn’t put the bloody thing down. I was reading it off the laptop in the car (sadly it has only been released on E-Book so far) because I couldn’t wait to get home, which turned out to be a good idea because we were driving up and down for almost forty minutes! I didn’t cook, didn’t clean, and didn’t do anything except simply devouring the story.
I must confess that I am kind of an obsessive reader; I usually have to finish the book as soon as possible. I’m sure it’s some kind of instant gratification thing, so if you have more self discipline, I’m sure you could take it easierJ.
You meet a group of teenagers, ten or so years later, and discover the dynamic of their group. Reading it really resonated with me because I could totally relate, having lived in a similar small town. The characters are rich in detail, interesting and they felt so real to me, that their loss felt like my own. The book is well written, flows well and isn’t written in that stuffy archaic tone which so many writers use to prove they are as good as they want to be. It also has the added bonus of having excellent grammar with sufficient slang to make it authentic. But then, that’s not what you want to hear, is it? You want to know what I loved and what I hated about the book? So here it is:
The conversational writing style; I didn’t read the book; I was part of the conversation.
Phillip; he doesn’t really have his own story, and yet you learn so much more through that. The fact that you see so little from his perspective is the reason that you get to love him so much. There is that deep love and peace about him that feels so painfully real.
Sarah; A lot of writers want to make their sweet character all about the sugar, but her flaws are what makes her so special and unique. I love her because Phillip does, okay?
I love the authenticity of each character, how the writing style changes so subtly that you don’t realize it, simply to suit the voice, to suit the personality of each individual. Many writers make the mistake of keeping the same style, and whilst most readers don’t notice such small things, as a writer it has left me breathless in awe, and a little envious.
I love the Roald Dahl feel of the ending, without saying anything, the author says it all.
I love the shameless way with which real issues are mentioned. So many people are too afraid to offend when putting pen to paper. My opinion is that it’s better to offend than hide the truth, and Nadine Rose Larter was able to state the facts the way they are, racism and sexism, without relying on that to build a story. It’s simply mentioned in passing, the way it would be in real life. It’s a reality, not a constant violent atrocity. Too many writers rely on the evil of those actions to snag their reader. I love that she didn’t need to.
I love that there is magic in the book. Well, the suggestion of it at least, not like super sparks and glowy things, but real magic, in the sense of dew drops on caper leaves. The kind that leaves you misty eyed with hope.
I love that the book had me howling with laughter one minute and sobbing the next (my husband was starting to think I had bipolar lol)
Truth to tell, I can’t honestly say I hated anything about it. Some parts I felt could say more and others less, but then that is the problem of reading a book instead of writing it. You want to know more, because you feel it will prove a point, or feed that craving, but sometimes that’s the point, isn’t it?
All in all, this is the best book I’ve read in some time, and haven’t cried for a fictional character like this since Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows (The characters were my friends through seven books okay, and now some of them die?!)
Well, do yourself a favour and buy a copy. You won’t regret it. This story will stay with me for a very long time, in that real, I was there kind of way. I always say that humanity needs the words that lead you to Cairo and back, because seeing pictures isn’t the same as being there. Well my friends, this was Cairo, and I was there. Don’t look at the pictures, buy the book here
Wisdom teeth, what purpose do they serve other than growing into awkward spots they were never meant to be in, cracking your other beautiful and healthy teeth to smithereens or turning a straight smile into a disturbing sideway staircase. Yes, I had problems with my wisdom teeth. If you didn’t, shut up and go away, I hate you.
For some background, I believe it’s best if you understand how I feel about dentists. I have the firm belief anyone that looks that closely into another person’s mouth with a drill in their hands has issues. Serious ones that need years and years of counseling. With someone that really know their stuff. That being said, you can understand that when my wisdom teeth starting giving problems, my first reaction was not to find the first dentist to fix it. It was to suck up the pain and wait until the tooth came out by itself. Thus the path to everlasting pain and despair began.
Two years after the initial symptoms, in absolute desperation, I make an appointment with my dentist. (to clear things up, I’m kind of obsessed about clean teeth in the scary kind of way – to avoid the chair off course)
He x-rayed my mouth and jaw and told me that it would require a specialist to extract these wisdoms due to the angle it was growing in my mouth. (My wisdom teeth had decided that the closest fresh air should be obtainable through my ears) He gave me a referral and pointed me to Tygerberg Dental Clinic. I shuddered my first day there. A government facility where you rock up at 06h00 in the morning, so you can stand in a line, locked out of the building in the freezing cold for two hours, just so you can be one of the 76 lucky people to see the dentist. You scribble your name onto the sheet and get a number, if you’re really lucky, you rocked up at 05h00, which means you should be one of the first 25 to be called.
The screening process off course has you sitting on uncomfortable plastic coated chairs with all manner of germ infested folk (I’m not a germaphobe, some of these people were just that dirty) and frantic moms whose desperate bid to hold onto their suddenly rabid two year olds happens to take place over your lap, shoes, shoulders, handbag and right where you were going to put your foot in your feverish dash to escape, leaving you sprawled and at the mercy of any number of excitable germs.
If you’re lucky, a kindly old man might help you up while the rest of the people stare at you as if you are insane (the frantic mom never noticed because she’s running down the passage screaming for the rabid toddler’s return)
Once you’ve been in “Sifting” for approximately 3 hours, and the dentist on duty can’t assist with your particular problem, he may send you for x-rays (in my case…again)
Things only mildly improve in the waiting area of X-Rays. Now you wait with less people, but there is only approximately 20 seats, which has been filled with everyone and their family by the time you get there, so you are left to stand for about an hour, because the old lady that has just arrived really should sit down in the recently vacant seat, and so it goes, until finally, whatever sense of charity you may have had at the beginning of the day, is forced through a set of clenched teeth by sheer will alone.
Another two hours spent here has a nurse stuffing very sharp little plates into your gums on the sides and telling you in a matronly little voice to please bite down as hard as you can. And you go ??????!!!!
Barely having survived the Tygerberg Slice and Dice Massacre (Texas, watch out!) you get sent up to the specialist office to… wait for it… make an appointment! I will continue the story of the first appointment for my right sided wisdoms at another time, and let you decide for yourself whether it’s probably better to just get false teeth or whether you should go ahead and try to keep your own.