Tag Archives: bookclub

Yoga Pant Nation

Thoughts by Laurie Gelman, Henry Holt & Co. 2021, 256 pages

Challenge: Local bookclub pick for October

Genre/Theme: Mom Lit

Type/Source: Hardcover / Library

What It’s About: Jennifer, our main character, wears many hats and has a snarky attitude that makes it all come together. She is class mom to the fifth grade class with her youngest, baby sitter 3 days a week to her oldest daughter’s 2 year old, is trying to keep up with her parents, gets recruited to be the chair of the school fund-raising committee with a goal of $10,000, and is in training to be a spin class instructor at the local gym. She gets lots of curve balls thrown at her like one does as a premier family juggler of the sandwich generation. AND it’s set in a suburb of Kansas City.

Thoughts: It was fun. A VERY fast read. I don’t subscribe to her yoga pant love and I was thrown off by the many ‘ya’ drops in the dialogue, but minor quibbles. I would have gone with the yea or yeah spelling, myself.

And it has pie. She made six pumpkin pies for the Thanksgiving bake sale. I wouldn’t have made six and I don’t have an 1/8th nor 1/16th! going on that she does. Just another proof that the more you have to do, the more you get done.

Rating: Three or four slices of pie. Pumpkin and key lime.

“He just stuck his face in a key lime pie, and we called it a night.”


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The Wilder Life

Rambling Thoughts    The Wilder Life:  My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure, Riverhead Books 2011, ebook 352 pages

First off, I grudgingly rounded up to give this a 3 slice of pie rating.    Not that it isn’t ‘good’ and not that it wasn’t well-written or even interesting to some extent.   It’s just that I constantly questioned WHY I cared, IF I cared.   And I didn’t.   So, the fact that I didn’t just put it down and walk away to find something else to do is my FAITHFUL LOYALTY to my awesome book clubber gals and that it really was sort of almost engaging.  Yes, this was a book club selection.    I wanted to give it only a 2 slicer for ‘It’s OK’ but just not my cup of tea, but am giving it 3 slices because I do understand and would heartily recommend this to anyone who loves the Little House on the Prairie books and enjoys reading memoirs.   This would be perfect for such readers.

* \ 0 / *  CHEERS for book club selections when you do read things you wouldn’t normally select on your own!   That is the point of book clubs!    Discussion is tomorrow and I know it will be a fun and lively affair.   I even wish I had a sunbonnet I could wear, but alas – so sad – I do not.

I was less than mildly interested when this book was selected (and Ree!  you know I still love you!!) but I thought I would end up liking it more than I expected.   I was wrong.

I read most of the Little House books as a kid.   I don’t recall much, really.   I do think I was glad I wasn’t born in that era and didn’t have a father that uprooted me every so often to move and have to go to new schools and make new friends – WAIT!   I *DID* have such a father!   I moved every 5 years between Illinois and Kansas when I was a child but I actually enjoyed (soIsaynow) moving – I liked starting fresh in a new place.  I liked having penpals from my old neighborhoods.     Even as an adult, I joke that I would rather move than clean house.   (not really a joke.  I hate to clean.)

However, I am so glad I didn’t have to trudge along in a covered wagon, be scared of Indians, and have to use a privy.      I had zero wish to go back and live on any prairies – YUCK.    I count modern plumbing as one of my top 3 things I am most grateful for.

=====>>>   Let me stop/pause and point you to a positive review that actually tells you WHAT this book is about (since I’m just going to start typing even more at random after this:)    Amused By Books posted on this May 18, 2011.  <<<=====

And so I didn’t get Ms McClure’s obsession.   I thought it might be more an exploration of grief for losing her mother but she doesn’t really do more than touch on it.   I really felt something was missing.  I think I wasn’t quite convinced or she seemed to apologize and yet not – hey!  she gets a book deal of out it!! – for her obsessions.     And yet I never want to begrudge someone for a book deal – good for her.     I think I could be friends with Wendy, if our paths ever cross.    But I think I might be one of those friends who rolled my eyes and tuned her out a little if she every started yapping about Laura Ingalls Wilder at a party.     Makes me a bit of a Nellie, I suppose!

I read this on my iPad with the Kindle app.    I jotted a few pages and such:    At location 230…  huh?   I can’t find it.   I noted something on this page and now the note is not showing up and upon re-reading, I can’t find anything noteworthy.   Hmmmm.   Maybe the reference to DREAMING FASTER?     I kind of like that now.   Yep, that must have been it.

At location 268, “…suddenly, all the nows – mind, Laura’s, the world’s – aligned with each other and made a clear, bright conduitand then my mid sped up and down it, and then I came back to myself.   NOW I remembered.”

At location 391 and many more locations, I considered that her Chris was a hellava good guy.

At location 541 and  a few other places, I got VERY annoyed when the word ‘ajar’ was supposed to be two words:  ‘a jar’.   It’s a [space]  jar of molasses, not ajar of molasses.    Grrrrrrrrrr.    I can forgive once but I swear it was 3 or 4 times this happened.   Picky picky me.

I’m thinking I better stop.   I have a few other notes that are just more picky things. (Down to Kansas from Missouri anyone? How about OVER, straight west, unless you are north of St. Joe, maybe.)

However, on location 1252, I was shocked and amazed that the author would mention a tormentor from grade school by name! Even if I remembered the names of any mean girls from 3rd grade, I don’t think I would have the guts to print her name in a book. Yikes.

At location 2152, NEW WORD!   pulchritudinous – beauty.    Wow.    Not a very beautiful sounding word.

I don’t have the location marked but was anyone else curious about Almanzo’s sister?    There’s a brief mention that she was quite an impressive woman for her day.

I’ll stop now.   If you loved Little House on the Prairie and truly wish to make a pilgrimage to the interesting sites around the country that pay honor to the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder but don’t think you will really ever go out of your way to make the travels, just read this book.


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