Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich – Goodreads book review

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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in AmericaNickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really love this book, although I’m not sure why considering just how depressing it is. I think perhaps just because of that. Ehrenreich truly tells it like it is, and there’s none of the sugarcoating of economic abuse and exploitation that you get with even supposedly impartial media like the BBC and UK liberal press these days. Also I’m into it just because I love memoir beyond any reasonable point and every detail of Ehrehreich’s wilfully grim and dispiriting experiences is fascinating to me.

There is a temptation, as a reader, to keep second-guessing her choices, and the choices of her more truly blue/pink collar colleagues. To think and hope, wishfully, deludedly, that given the same circumstances one would do better, would rise above somehow and bootstrap one’s way up. It’s perhaps the same ‘blame the victim’ mentality associated with rape, bullying or whistleblowers – it feels so much safer to convince yourself that the system works, the target slipped up and was at fault somehow, and it could never happen to you. But it ain’t so, bud.

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Image – DustinGinetz.Photography on Flickr, public domain.

‘The Little Grey Men’ by B.B. – Goodreads book review

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The Little Grey MenThe Little Grey Men by B.B.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very gentle, sedate fantasy adventure, with just a few moments of high excitement. I give it four stars for the quality of the writing, although I usually like fantasy novels with more of the fantasy equivalent of car chases, explosions and alien invasions. The characterization is good enough that one does suffer along with the gnomes, lots of angst hoping for their safe journey and eventual reunion. If you invest the effort into really getting into the book then I think it pays off, although it might take a bit of doing.

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Image – Bernard Spragg. NZ on Flickr, public domain.

Oiseau supérieure?

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I’ve begun another poem – about weddings, and matrimony, and men – and that’s all right.  Except I just got a little way in, three lines or so.  Then I thought, “Ooh, I haven’t watched this week’s ep of iZombie, yet.  Hmmm…”

So pursuing the poem was put on hold.  Of course, halfway through the episode, I had a stray thought about the poem.  Followed by another, and another, then a complete epiphany about the direction it should take, then a whole slew of verses alighting full-formed in the old addle-pated cranium.

But I held on, strong-minded, determined.  It was a jolly fine episode, you see.  And anyway, if I just mentally repeated these lines that had come to mind – gold, pure gold – then it wouldn’t be a problem.  Would it?

My eye, it wouldn’t.  Can I remember any of it now?  Can I cobblers.  Gosh darn.

I’ve posted up the beginning on Wattpad, anyhow, here.  Perhaps if I put my skull in a bag and give it a good old shake, perhaps…

 

P.S. That isn’t moi up above.  I don’t normally write in a state of undress.  ( Well, maybe on Christmas Day, drinking before lunch.)

Also I’m not a nineteenth-century French top bird.  Oiseau supérieure?

 

Image – Wilbouchewitch, Nageotte, no known copyright restrictions.

 

 

What I’m reading today – Goodreads update

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‘Alex Ankarr is on page 60 of 544’

Immersed in ‘The Truth About Weena’, an H.G. Wells ‘The Time Machine’ homage and extension by David J. Lake. A bicycle made for two!

 

What I’m reading today

Made a little more progress on The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF, edited by Mike Ashley.  Finished ‘Walk to the Full Moon’ by Sean McMullen – wonderfully witty, the central joke regarding the Rhuun hunt is especially hilarious. Deft, sharp, charming and a little melancholy, a love story after a certain fashion, with much less head-scratching befuddlement than most time-travel tales.

The Charioteer by Mary Renault – book review

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The CharioteerThe Charioteer by Mary Renault

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a classic, but don’t even think about reading it if you’ve run out of sertraline or just failed your uni exams. It’s not a happy bunny read is what I’m saying.

A re-read usually produces a reaction of either depression or scepticism in me. The depression is easily explained, because this book is depressing as hell. And the scepticism is along the lines of ‘eeeeehhh, you’re going to do R a favour and stick around, L? Really? um, lucky lucky Ralph…’

I dunno. Renault’s preferences and character judgements are clearly legible between the lines, and I don’t agree with them.

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Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack by M.E. Kerr – book review

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Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack! by M.E. Kerr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book. I adore Dinky, for declining to be brainwashed and cooperative like a good little robot. And also for her name. And Natalia, for… well, it’s hard to say. She’s certainly a sweetie, but a bit too willing to collude in her own oppression. It’s difficult not to have a certain affection for her, though. Tucker OTOH is just annoying, and John too.

I can’t believe Kerr is the same author who wrote When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, though. Wow.*
*Well, she isn’t, that’s all. On checking, that was all just in my head, which explains a lot! It did seem an odd conjunction of styles and subjects.

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