What If… by Shirley MacLaine
Shirley likes to ask questions about life. What if this and what if that? She sees the world as possibly a play in which we are the actors. Who are we putting the show on for? Maybe aliens? Maybe ourselves. What if we acted this way? What if we treated each other in this manner? What if war was just for profit? Shirley has a whole lot of questions about life.
What I liked
I do not know a whole lot about Shirley. I read this book anyway. It’s a short book of Shirley’s questions about life and her thoughts on a few things. I like that Shirley is one of those people who are open-minded, meaning, that she doesn’t necessarily take things at face value. Maybe there is something more to this question or this aspect of life and it’s completely different from what we ever expected.
My ex took “open-minded” to mean doing drugs. For real, when I told him he needed to be more open-minded about things in life, he said, “So I should do drugs?” I’m not really sure where that comes into play. I guess in a way being open-minded could mean doing drugs and being open to whatever you may or may not experience while doing drugs, but I look at the phrase “open-minded” to mean that you question things before you. Is this really the way things are or are we looking at this entirely wrong? That’s how we should be at life. Always consider that things may not be the way you think they are. Shirley is very good at this, I think.
What I didn’t like
Some of this is a little too “woo” for me. Are we the only life in the universe? Probably not. It’s self-centered to believe that we are. There’s an entire universe out there. We cannot assume there isn’t bacteria, fungus, animals, or other thinking beings somewhere out there in the vastness of space. Do I believe there are little green men flying around? How about people getting abducted by aliens? I don’t really have evidence to get behind any of that. On the other hand, I don’t have evidence not to get behind any of that. I’m adult enough to admit that I don’t have all the answers to everything, but I’m leaning towards a “No” on the little green men.
Shirley seems to believe these things. It’s her life and she can believe whatever she wants to, but it’s just a little too strange for me.
Shirley, I also have a lot of questions about life.
What is a question about life that you don’t have the answer to?
Do you ever think about all the questions you don’t have answers to?
Perishable by Dirk Jamison
Dirk had a difficult and non-traditional growing up experience. His family first lived in one area, where his father was a construction worker, who frequently got fired. Then they moved to Mammoth, California where his father decided to dumpster dive for their food, literally. He even made the kids go along. Why buy food from the store when people were throwing it out?
Their mother didn’t like it. Dirk’s sister was as mean as a snake, constantly doing awful things to Dirk. Their father didn’t set a good example, leading by example by kicking the family dog for biting someone when she was pregnant(the dog was pregnant), and also telling the kids that the dog had cancer. Their father sold their house right out from under them and would up and leave multiple times throughout the marriage.
Their mother finally moved the family to Oregon to be near her Mormon family where Dirk received some structure in his life, but the shadow of his father was always there. His parents got divorced, for the third time it seemed, and Dirk went on with life. His father moved to California.
What I liked
I liked this book as a memoir and I feel like the story was told well.
What I didn’t like
Good Lord this is sad. Look, if someone doesn’t have enough money and lives on the streets, eating out of the dumpster is one thing, probably a necessary thing, but if someone had the ability to work, but they were just too lazy to work and they’re going dumpster diving to feed their family, that’s wrong. The family deserves better, plus there are people less fortunate than this person, by way of not being able to get a job that need that food the grocery store just threw out.
Why the Hell would you kick a pregnant dog?
What in the world was wrong with Dirk’s mother that she didn’t get her children out of this mess. I can point at depression and low self-esteem right off the bat, but sometimes you got to woman up and do what you have to do, which includes getting any children you might have out of a crappy situation. I can see that the situation was mentally abusive, Dirk’s mother was also a victim of this, which is probably why she let her husband make all the decisions and just went along with it, but it doesn’t help that she was probably taught, growing up, as a Mormon woman, to let the man of the house have the final say. I feel bad for everyone involved in this situation.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, get out, especially if you have kids, end of story.
If you were in Dirk’s mother’s position, could you have left with your children?
Do you think you would have gotten into a relationship with someone like Dirk’s father in the first place?
One Hundred Days of Rain by Carellin Brooks
The main character of this book is going through a tough time and a lot of rain. It seems to rain endlessly. There also seem to be endless problems that have to be fixed. She is getting divorced from her wife, but things aren’t going so well. There are accusations. There are custody fights. There are bad apartments. There are disagreements with the court, and lawyers, and the son’s father and each day, it rains.
What I liked
I like the constancy of the rain in this book. It’s really the only constant in the main character’s life during this period. A whole bunch of things are changing, but the rain is constant and that’s kind of a comfort to know that at least the rain is the same.
What I didn’t like
So the main character in this book has a wife, but she also has a lover, and there’s also the child’s father somewhere in the mess of this whole thing. The lover has been around for like nine years. I don’t know how long the marriage was. Maybe, just maybe, all of this mess is why the divorce is happening. The main character isn’t the one wanting to get divorced, from what I gather, but when you have a wife and a lover on the side and it doesn’t seem to matter that you have the lover, why would you want to get divorced? That’s not how I feel about the situation, but that kind of seems like what is going on.
Part of me thinks all these people are being awful to the main character and part of me kind of thinks she deserves it. Generally, people are not ok with being married to you and you having a lover, some people are, most people aren’t. I’m not ok with it, so there’s probably a whole lot of personal bias, on my part, against the main character of this book.
This book also made me infinitely glad that I did not have any children with the my ex-husband. I don’t want to imagine what kind of nightmare that would have been.
It’s rains all the time and terrible things happen to me.
If you were going through a terrible time in your life, would you find consistent weather comforting at all?
First opinions–how do you feel about the main character?