Tag: friendship

May 20

‘Cause You Gotta Have Friends: Top Ten Tuesday

Friendship, Top Ten Tuesday 40

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

It’s time for our weekly list fix with the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish! This week the book blogosphere has been challenged to come up with our top ten books about friendship. D’awwwwww. Shall we?

friendship

1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. Was there ever such a pair as Ruth and Idgy? One of the greatest friendships in all of literature, truly.

2. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. Because Anne and Diana and accidental drunkenness are the stuff best friends are made of.

3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Friendship can be complicated, particularly when one of the besties is a spy during WWII. Sad. Poignant. Lovely. Read it. (review)

friendship1

4. Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. Because sometimes burlesque dancing hookers and cross-dressing highwheel bicycle enthusiasts are meant to be together. (review)

5. Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall. Friendship sprouts up in unexpected places. Being nice to people you hire to help around your house isn’t just good karma. It might just introduce you to your new best friend. (review)

6. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. When you go through foot binding together, there’s not much that can tear you apart. (review)

7. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. Nothing brings a group of friends together like a psychopath with her sights set on destroying everyone else’s happiness. Common enemies, FTW!

friendship2

8. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. I can’t think of a trio of pals more endearing than Harry, Ron, and Hermione. THEY are the three best friends that anybody could have.

9. Looking for Alaska by John Green. Pudge, the Colonel, Alaska, and their crew make for an odd bunch, but there’s a lot of love there. (review)

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This stone cold pack of weirdos reminds me of my high school pals. I can’t help it. It’s the quintessential book of my teenage years. (review)

friendship3What say you, bookworms? What are some of your favorite literary friendships?

 

Divider

May 12

He’s Got The Whole World in His Pants

Quote Books 24

Good Day, Bookworms!

This week I’m going to be traveling (the husband is going to be home though, take note, burglars!) to visit my BFF in Ohio. She’s just had a brand new little girl, and Crazy Aunt Katie can’t resist fresh baby. Her brother went and grew up on me (though at the ripe old age of 6 he’s now into Harry Potter, so yay!) In any case, I might be slow to respond to comments and/or with the social media. I trust you’ll forgive me.

wholeworldinhispantsWhen I was in middle school and my BFF and I were in the throes of our attached-at-the-hip-insane-giggle-fest stage, my parents acquired a book called He’s Got the Whole World in His Pants by Gavin Edwards. It’s a compilation of misheard song lyrics and we found it HYSTERICAL. The lyric that got us laughing harder than anything else? The lyrics for Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” They’re often misheard, but typically invoke the name of Tony Danza. This one though. This one.

Correct Lyric: “Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer.”

Misheard Lyric: “Hold my clothes and tie me down, Sir.” 

I’m not sure if it was the idea of nudity, bondage, or just the extreme politeness of the sentiment but it always sent us into uncontrollable laughter. I thought it might be fun to expose some of my and my nearest and dearest’s personally misheard lyrics. Shall we?

Jim is up first, my poor long-suffering husband. He’s a clean fellow, which helps to explain his latest lyric flub. While listening to Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors,” Jim heard:

Correct Lyric: “You and me and a pocketful of soul”

Jim’s Lyric: “You and me and  a pocketful of SOAP”

I can’t help but imagine a dude walking around in jeans foaming at the pockets with soap suds… Jim’s not alone in his lyrical incorrectness. I’ve made my share of bonehead lyric interpretations, and since we’re talking about my BFF here, I’m going to go with one of the songs that defined our grunge era teen angst, “Pepper” by the Butthole Surfers:

Correct Lyric: “They were all in love with dying”

Katie’s Lyric: “They were all in love with DIANE”

In my defense, the lyrics leading up to this point in the song list off a variety of people’s names and their escapades… I just thought they all had a thing for the illustrious Diane. It made sense to me. Of course, I also rationalized this gem from Cheryl Crow’s “Every Day Is a Winding Road“:

Correct Lyric: “I’ve been living on coffee and nicotine”

Katie’s Lyric: “I’ve been living on coffee and LUTEIN.”

At the time this song was popular, there was a commercial airing discussing the benefits of lutein, a vitamin that is supposed to promote eye health. I just ASSUMED Cheryl Crow was into vitamin supplements. Turns out she was a smoker. Still, at least I had a REASONS for thinking what I did within the context of the songs. My mom’s is perhaps more understandable, but infinitely funnier when considering the subject matter of the song, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising“:

Correct Lyric: “There’s a bad moon on the rise”

Mom’s Lyric: “There’s a BATHROOM on the RIGHT.”

Don’t go out tonight, folks. There may or may not be a bathroom on your right. You know how dangerous that can be. If you’re in the mood for some giggles circa 1996, track down a copy of He’s Got the Whole World in His Pants and have yourself yourself a giggle!

Have you got any misheard song lyrics you’d like to own up to? 

Divider

Jun 03

Kiss Me, Hardy: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Coming of Age, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Psychological, Women's Studies 34

Pssst!

Hey Bookworms. We’re being super secretive today because we’re talking about SPIES. This blog will self destruct in 15 seconds. Not really. I watched way too much Inspector Gadget as a kid. Anywho. I just finished reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and WOAH.

code_name_verity

We begin our tale with a young Scottish woman who has been arrested in Nazi occupied France. She’s totally a spy and had the bad luck to be arrested after looking the wrong way while attempting to cross the street. (Funny story- in London, the streets all have warnings written in BIG YELLOW LETTERS on the pavement telling tourist pedestrians which way to look. Quite thoughtful, really.) Our Scotswoman is being tortured and has agreed to write a detailed confession in order to stave off the torture and buy herself some time before she’s executed.

It is through this confession that we learn her story. Our spy, who we may as well call by her code name, Verity, was recruited for special operations thanks to her exceptional language skills. Verity’s success as a polyglot (speaking English, French, and German) and her fair hair and complexion make her an ideal candidate as a secret operative. A blonde, blue eyed girl could pass for a Nazi, and the best way to undermine an operation is to infiltrate it. (On a side note, are the Scottish especially gifted with languages, or am I getting erroneous impressions thanks to delicious fiction? I mean, Jamie from Outlander spoke like every language ever. And looked good doing it. Mmmmm… Jamie…)

Verity’s BFF is named Maddie. Maddie is a badass lady pilot. World War II opened up a lot of opportunities for women, as such an enormous chunk of the menfolk were fighting. Spies. Pilots. Rosie the Riveter. You know how it is. Sisters stepped up and proved themselves every bit as capable as men. It makes my inner feminist so proud! Maddie and Verity met while serving in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Few things bind a friendship like mortal terror, and few things bring on mortal terror the way air raids do. Being shot at from the air and the intense conversations you have when you think you’re about to die create some serious bonds.

I can’t get too much into the story without revealing spoilers, so I’m going to keep this short. It’s so good I don’t want to spoil it! I will tell you that it reveals a side of women’s history that is rarely explored. It makes you put yourself into impossible situations and wonder how you’d hold up. Could you hack it? Could you make the tough choices? Could you do the unthinkable for your friend? Intense. Awesome. Read it!

So, Bookworms. Tell me. Do you have what it takes to be a spy? Do you think you’d crack under torture? I’m sure I’d make a horrendous spy, and I wouldn’t last a minute without spilling all the beans. Better not apply for a job in the CIA. But what about YOU?!

Divider

May 06

The Best of Us, For the Rest of Us (Not to be confused with Festivus)

Chick Lit, Family, Friendship, Romance 36

Howdy Bookworms,

It’s a Monday, and let’s face it… I’d rather be on a beach. As luck would have it, I was offered a new title to review from Netgalley that is set in Jamaica. While visions of sand, surf, and fruity cocktails dance in your head, I’ll go ahead with my full disclosure statement. I may sound like a broken record, but here it goes again. I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen is about a group of friends from college who take a trip to Jamaica to celebrate one of their 35th birthdays. You know how every group of friends has that one internet billionaire who randomly calls his friends from 15 years ago and offers them free vacations? Oh you don’t? Yeah me neither. But. Let’s suspend disbelief for a moment and live in book land. If we can accept boy wizards and the occasional dragon, we can get down with the filthy rich.

bestofus

Dwight the billionaire and his wife Pauline decide to treat Dwight’s college buddies to a week long Jamaican vacation complete with private plane and fancy chef. Their motley crew of guests is comprised of 3 couples, or at least it’s supposed to be. First, there’s Tina, an overwhelmed stay at home mother of four young children and her overly macho husband Gio. Next we have Allie, Tina’s BFF. Allie is a social worker with two daughters and a seemingly flawless marriage to her easy going husband Ryan. Finally there’s Savannah. Savannah has recently split up from her two timing doctor husband Gary, but doesn’t want to reveal that to the group. Instead she claims Gary is working, and she prances around in very little clothing and hits on every male in the general  vicinity.

What follows during the week in tropical paradise puts all kinds of relationships to the test. Friendships, marriages, and the all important relationship between the really rich people and the help. Actually, it’s not at all about the help, but I’m still astounded by the lives of the rich and important. Who has this much money?! Seriously!

You're absolutely right. I DO have a penguin butler. I should simmer down on the wealth jealousy.

You’re absolutely right. I DO have a penguin butler. I should simmer down on the wealth jealousy. Alfred doesn’t approve of hypocrisy.

Okay guys. Honesty here. This book was not my favorite. It was a bit heavy on the melodrama for my tastes. I think part of my problem was a lack of connection with the characters, and that’s on me more than it is on the author. Of the four women in the novel, I didn’t see any representation of myself or my circumstances. I don’t  have kids, so it was difficult for me to relate to the plight of Tina, the SAHM. The way Allie chose to handle her personal demons isn’t an approach I would have taken- keeping secrets to “protect” people seems counter productive to me. Pauline was really uptight and came from old money, so she hid her feelings pretty well, which I ALSO don’t get because my heart is forever out on my sleeve. I’m a crier, okay?!  Savannah used her sexuality in a way that made me uncomfortable. I’m kind of a prude, and it bugged me that she was so open in her flirtations and was scantily clad all the time. It’s hard for me to connect with a book when I don’t empathize with the characters.

Also. Gio. I’m not sure what Pekkenan was going for, but he felt like a caricature to me. He’s Italian and super Catholic and has a breadwinner complex. Tina seems miserable as a stay at home mom, and it’s unclear to me whose decision it was that she stay home- it felt to me like Gio may have pushed that traditional ideal on her. (Don’t get me wrong- if you’re a SAHM and CHOSE that path for yourself, more power to you. I just got the feeling that Tina was kind of forced into it and that pissed me off.) He also gets competitive when faced with the massively wealthy Dwight and tries to childishly beat him at basketball and pinball. It’s hard to draw a clear line between cultural differences and flat out stereotypes, but Gio. I just don’t know about that guy. I LIKE flawed characters, but I just couldn’t get into this set of flaws.

HOWEVER. Just because I didn’t like this book, doesn’t mean you won’t. I would recommend this title to people who enjoy reading about marital strife, the complexities of friendship, drool worthy vacations and neatly packaged endings. If you’re a stay at home mom who is conflicted about her choices, you might just feel like Tina is your soul mate. Maybe you are an internet guru with an outlandish amount of money and would appreciate reading about your personal lifestyle in fictional form. I don’t know. Books are so often a matter of perspective. This didn’t suit mine, but it might just put the rum in your hurricane.

Bookworms, I must know. Do you feel the need to relate to and/or empathize with a character in order to enjoy a book, or are you able to appreciate it for its aesthetic virtues from a distance? I’m basically asking if I’m a giant jerk got not liking this book on shallow grounds. What are your thoughts?

Divider

Mar 14

The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened To Me… While I Wasn't There

Blogging, Friendship, Humor, Memoirs, Personal 39

How are all the Bookworms out there doing today?

Not so great? Well. I have something wonderful that will be sure to cheer you up. You’ve met my friend Chrissy before, haven’t you? In my more philosophical moments, I like to think that there’s a grand plan behind the way things work. There are people that are meant to be in your life, and it’s weird, because once you meet them, it feels like you’re already acquainted. I like to refer to Chrissy as my “butter churning sister from a past life,” because, you know, if we DID live lives before this one, we probably would have had to churn our own butter. I tell you this so you understand that she’s got a special place in my heart, and she had that WAY PRIOR to this story. (“Can’t Buy Me Love” and all that. The Beatles are always right.)

Remember once upon a time when I reviewed Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, otherwise known as The Great and Powerful Bloggess? If you need to take a break and catch up, I’ll wait. You’re back? Wonderful. Suffice it to say that I’m a fan. I mean, Beyonce the giant metal chicken? The traveling red dress? She is a thousand kinds of awesome plus whipped cream plus a wine slushie and an order of fried pickles on the side.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened was released in paperback recently (I own a Kindle copy of the original release) and to celebrate, The Great and Powerful Bloggess went on a book tour. One of the stops on the tour was in Chicagoland, which was fantastic news for Chrissy. It would have been great news for me too, but the event was on a Thursday. I had to work the following Friday, so making a 4 hour round trip journey wasn’t in the cards for me. Chrissy, of course, decided to go, and I was super excited for her and more than a tiny bit jealous. In fact, while she was waiting for the event to start, I did what anyone would do… I took a pathetic selfie and texted it to her so she’d feel guilty that I was missing out on the fun. Oh yeah. I’m THAT friend.

That's my best puppy dog face. I only bust it out for serious guilt trips... And the occasional foot massage.

That’s my best puppy dog face. I only bust it out for serious guilt trips… And the occasional foot massage.

I got home from a ho-hum day to find a surprise package on my doorstep. I was most pleased to see that the return address was from Chrissy. I assumed she’d located a package of deeply discounted penguin greeting cards, or perhaps a thrift store Harlequin romance novel. I was FLABBERGASTED and DELIGHTED and OVERJOYED to find an autographed copy of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (with bonus chapter!) Chrissy used a few moments of her precious Bloggess face time to get ME a birthday gift! (I’m about to turn 30. It’s… Well. It is what it is. Presents take the edge off.)

Now, Chrissy can tell you her version of this story (I highly recommend you click HERE to read it), but the gist of it is this: Chrissy showed the Bloggess my selfie. The Bloggess KNOWS I EXIST! AND! She thinks I’m cute! Just read the inscription!

Can you hear me squealing through the computer?! It's so LOUD!

Can you hear me squealing through the computer?! It’s so LOUD!

Chrissy also inscribed her own message, of course. She likes to prove me wrong, see? I don’t like to write in books I give as gifts just in case the recipient decides to pass it on to someone else one day. (I’m not saying this happened, but MAYBE, just MAYBE at some point in my life I was the owner of a pocket sized illustrated version of the Kama Sutra… And said pocket sized edition would have made an excellent saucy bachelorette party gift, but my re-gifting attempt was THWARTED by a personalized inscription…That COMPLETELY HYPOTHETICAL situation would be totally frustrating, right?) Chrissy’s inscription basically told me that I’d probably hang on to this book. She always has to win, you know?!

Isn’t that the sweetest?! Couldn’t this story have ended RIGHT THERE and been the best thing ever? It could have, but it DIDN’T! Because Jenny Lawson is so super fantastic, she posed for a picture with Chrissy, putting her arm around an invisible ME. And Chrissy, having somehow learned how to photoshop things in a surprisingly respectable manner made me THIS:

Just let the awesomeness sink in for a minute...

Just let the awesomeness sink in for a minute… And do not question why I’m wearing a bridesmaid dress to a book signing.

It’s like I was actually there, only better. It’s better because my friend cared enough about me to blather incoherently to a famous person on my behalf. It’s better because Jenny has an incredible sense of humor and went along with the shenanigans. It’s the BEST because now I have my favorite thing in the world (a book) written by one of the people I admire most (The Bloggess) from one of my favorite people in the universe (including, but not limited to, all potential past lives.) And that, Bookworms, is how a book can be more than just a book.

Anybody out there have a story about a book inscription they’d like to share? I know not everyone’s story will be so full of superlatives and SHOUTY CAPITALS, but I’d love to hear them. Tell me something good, Worms.

Divider

Nov 01

Words With Friends

Blogging, Friendship 10

Hello Bookworms! I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween last night. We got nearly 300 trick-or-treaters here at the Gingerbread House. So. Much. Fun!

Today I’ve done a guest post over at Quirky Chrissy. Chrissy is one of my real-life best friends. She started blogging a few months before I started up here at Words for Worms. This will be my second guest post for Chrissy, the first being the post that inspired me to join the blog bandwagon. If you don’t think I suck, you should thank Chrissy. If you DO think I suck, you should BLAME Chrissy.

So, we all know I write about books. I like words. And word games. So, my guest post is about Chrissy and her Scrabble prowess. That girl is a word ninja y’all. Check it out here!

Possibly the best photo ever taken of me, Chrissy, and Deb (our former roommate.) We were at our college fun mentor’s bachelorette party. Chrissy talks about our “Mama.”

Divider