Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review: Coming Clean: A Memoir

Coming Clean: A Memoir
Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book about the author's upbringing living with hoarder parents. I guess we all have things that our parents do that drive us crazy repeatedly, but in this case, she literally has to live with their filth ongoing. It was also interesting from the standpoint that I'm a mix of minimalism and cluttered, so I could understand where her dad was coming from in feeling somewhat soothed by having his information surrounding him. The difference is that I eventually have a point at which I cannot tolerate it any more and will completely clean everything and I cannot stand for shared spaces, such as the kitchen and living room to have clutter. It's also interesting to hear how someone can be frustrated and loving to their parents at the same time. Her parents seem to take their lifestyle just as a thing that's somehow happened to them and don't seem to notice they've created this lifestyle. In fact, it doesn't seem like the dad even realizes there's anything wrong with it. Regardless of whether you grew up in a spotless house like mine, or a completely messy house like the author's there are themes that will likely strike a chord with you.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Review: The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not sure why I've been reading books about death, but somehow I've been finding myself reading about 2 things: women who are left single while pregnant and those who are left single by their husband's death. I suppose this could show a fear of abandonment, but since I'm already single, it seems an odd trend to say the least. "The Year of Magical Thinking" is along the lines of widowhood, not pregnancy. It's about Joan Didion's year following her husband's death.

While I've never had anyone really close to me die, I can still understand some of the obsession she goes through in this process after losing someone. She begins methodically going over every last moment and every conversation looking for a way to change the reality that has already happened. If she could just understand how her husband died of a heart attack, perhaps she could prevent it-never mind the fact that it's already happened.

She also goes through the pain of trying to move on, but feeling guilty if she is enjoying herself. It's a natural feeling, and yet, does her not enjoying life bring her deceased husband any closer to feeling joy once again?

If you've ever wondered what it's like to lose someone after a long marriage, this is probably one of the few books that tries to show exactly the things being thought without trying to give a happy ending or a false sense of everything happens for the best. This isn't to say it's a depressing book-it wasn't. It was a fast read that gives a glimpse into the odd way we try to deal with death, even when we act like everything is as it always was.

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