I hope you’ve had a great and productive week and are ready to head into the weekend. I’ve been a busy bee this week, working on kitchens and the furniture pieces that I’ve picked up recently, so I’m looking forward to sharing all of it with you soon! Let’s get rolling with this week’s Friday 5+1 (5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don’t). This post contains some affiliate links.
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African
If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know I’m a huge fan of Audible, and listen to loads of audio books while I work (as if I read a physical book, I usually fall asleep, and it’s a luxury I don’t afford myself during the day). I recently listened to “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah, and all I can say is that if you choose to read it, listen to it, because Trevor Noah’s narration is fantastic.
I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed hearing his story in his words – especially since he speaks multiple languages – a key to many situations he encountered and navigated through during his life. It’s an insightful look at his life, living during apartheid, in South Africa. He’s half white/half black, which literally, was a crime at that time. A really interesting and insightful look into his life, and that of South Africa, and how he was perceived, given his mixed race. There are parts of this book that literally had me laughing out loud in my car, listening to him.
The Glass Castle
“The Glass Castle” is another book that I recently finished, by recommendation of my dad, as we’ve been sharing books that we’ve read and enjoyed. Here’s a summary from Amazon –
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
It can be maddening to read, when you witness the choices these parents make, but at the same time, you see how they were raised, and how that impacts their choices and parenting. It’s complex and fascinating all at once.
The Girl Before
One more book, and I’ll shut up, I promise. “The Girl Before” is one that kept popping up in my “Books you might like” list, so I finally bit the bullet and listened to it. I think I’ve been reading too many stories of life struggles, because this is another one, albeit fiction, and not a memoir. Regardless, it’s based upon scenarios that probably do happen in real life, no matter how terrifying they are to contemplate.
A summary –
In this powerful psychological suspense debut, when a woman’s life is shattered, she is faced with a devastating question: What if everything she thought was normal and good and true . . . wasn’t?
Clara Lawson is torn from her life in an instant. Without warning, her home is invaded by armed men, and she finds herself separated from her beloved husband and daughters. The last thing her husband yells to her is to say nothing.
In chapters that alternate between past and present, the novel slowly unpeels the layers of Clara’s fractured life. We see her growing up, raised with her sisters by the stern Mama and Papa G, becoming a poised and educated young woman, falling desperately in love with the forbidden son of her adoptive parents. We see her now, sequestered in an institution, questioned by men and women who call her a different name—Diana—and who accuse her husband of unspeakable crimes. As recollections of her past collide with new revelations, Clara must question everything she thought she knew, to come to terms with the truth of her history and to summon the strength to navigate her future.
I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a story that is hard to contemplate in terms of real-life possibilities, but interesting to look into the mind of a woman whose life isn’t what she thought it was.
I spotted these Drinking Buddies drink markers at Target, and thought they were too funny not to share. My days of bachelorette parties are long gone, but I just might have to find an excuse to buy and use these things.
They are more to choose from if you’re in the market – take a look at some of the fun options here.
A friend of mine told me about Voxer, and I’m a new fan. At first I didn’t quite understand the appeal, but now that I’ve been using it, I love it! Basically, you can record a message to a friend (or a group of friends), that they can listen to and then respond to at their leisure. I don’t think I’m doing it justice, really. It’s almost like voice texting, for lack of a better word. Sending a message to a friend, without having to call her and leave a message. You can send a message to your husband to ask a question, remind him of an appointment, or schedule your date night for the weekend, all at the push of a button. Does that make any sense at all? Try it and see if you like it. You can also text and send photos and videos if you like, but I love the voice portion of it the most. It’s like a walkie talkie. 🙂
My +1 for the week – My mom being suspended from Facebook for “impersonating”
I know, WHAT?!? Yes, my 70+ year-old mother was kicked off of Facebook for supposedly impersonating someone else. Give me a break! Pretty sad that someone can hack your account and then accuse you of impersonating. How about checking into how her account has been hacked several times, and figure that out, ok Facebook?
Never mind that it’s nearly impossible to figure out how to resolve this mess! Anyone else experience this? It’s a first for me!
Have a great weekend friends!
Cassie BustamanteMarch 24, 2017 at 7:22 am
kelly and i were laughing at drinking buddies last weekend in a shop in charleston!!! and i read the glass castle and loved it- check out half broke horses, too! it was great as well.
JennyMarch 24, 2017 at 7:10 pm
I’m going to have to find a reason to buy and use those drinking buddies – they’re too funny not to put them to use. Several people have now recommended Half Broke Horses, so I’m going to have to add it to my list!
Calypso in the CountryMarch 24, 2017 at 8:55 am
Those drinking buddies are TOO funny! Thanks for the book recommendations. I am always looking for great books to read. Sorry to hear of your mom’s facebook problem…very strange. Enjoy your weekend!
AliJMarch 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm
I work at the University of Chicago in the graduate school for social work and last Saturday we welcomed Trevor Noah to do a reading of his book. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend due to another commitment but all of my co-workers that volunteered for the event said he is just the nicest person – he took the time to talk with them and posed for pictures when asked.
Also work related, we had the students read the Jeannette Walls book and staff did as well. Wow what a book! It inspired me to read Half Broke Horses so that I could have a better understanding of the family dynamics. I highly recommend that book as well if you have not already read it.
JennyMarch 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm
Half Broke Horses seems to be another one that I need to add to my list! After listening to Trevor Noah’s book, I can imagine that he would be very down to earth guy – he certainly came from humble beginnings. What a bummer to miss him!
TaraMarch 24, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Those drink markers are a hoot! Might have to buy some for our porch this summer. Loved the Glass Castle and her other one, Half Broke Horses. Glass Castle was a book club pick and it made for a wonderful discussion, except it felt like gossiping since we were discussing real people. One of my favorite books is “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese. I read it about 6 or 7 years ago and the characters have stayed with me.
JennyMarch 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm
I’m going to have to give Half Broke Horses a read too – adding it and Cutting for Stone to my wish list! Thanks for the recommendations!
RosieMarch 24, 2017 at 4:03 pm
I look forward to your Friday 5 + 1 every week. You keep me interested in all the books, I don’t think I would have listened or read. Keep up the good work.
Facebook huh??? Unbelievable !!!!!!!!!!!! I would write them an email….
edithMarch 24, 2017 at 6:59 pm
The Glass Castle was one of my most favorite books of all time!