book club

BOOK HUNGRY: hostile witness

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, blake leyers, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via phone. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month. click on their names above and enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

HOSTILE WITNESS by rebecca forster

what it’s about from amazon: 

When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her step-grandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California. But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more Josie realizes that politics, the law and family relationships have created a combustible and dangerous situation. When the horrible truth of the murder is uncovered could save Hannah Sheraton or destroy them both.

my opinion:

ick. ew. blerg. make it stop. do i have to keep reading? why did karla pick this? i can usually decipher why one of my gals picked a particular book, but this? this is not what i was expecting out of karla. why does everyone else in the world seem to be talking about this book too? thank goodness it was free. ugh. this is painful. do i have to keep reading?

i did finish the book, but very begrudgingly, or to give you a taste of what it felt like to read it: i picked up the book. i opened the cover. i sat down on the couch. i flipped to the page where i left off and i began to read again after i crossed my legs and leaned back against the cushions. i paused while reading, checked the time, checked all the things on the internet, fixed a snack of an apple and peanut butter, turned off the kitchen light, brought my snack back to the couch and then i read some more.

catch my drift? my whole drift? every single movement of my drift?

the details in this book were overkill. every single action was explained to ad nauseum and yet, there was little to no information about the characters and their motivations. what little there was, well, the characters were awful and not in the “they’re flawed” sort of way. in the “i could care less about them” kind of way. they weren’t relatable or understandable or funny or charming or smart. they were clueless in a way that felt manufactured by the author instead of because that’s the way some humans are.

the entire book was uneven. the pacing, the plotting, the characterization, the information dumps. UGH. basically, it felt like the author didn’t trust us as readers and the entire book was dumbed down as a result. i’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but i hated this book and if the only good that comes out of me reading it is that you don’t, well then, i’ll consider it a battle won.

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math has always thwarted me. ALWAYS. it rears its head in my everyday life (yes, as my father and all my math teachers said it would) but it often does so in ways i don’t expect. there are neverending amounts and combinations and formulas and numbers pop up in their sneaky-ninja-like ways and frankly, I CAN’T HANDLE ALL THE MATH ALL THE TIME.

i feel like a prime number in a world of composites.

and now, even the letters are conspiring against me, like this:

26 letters



at work

because we’re all so busy bringing home the bacon, we don’t often get a chance to see/experience/understand what our acquaintances, coworkers, friends, or family  members do from 9-5 (or however long it takes to get the job done).

ranging from author readings to rock concerts to educational seminars, i’ve had many opportunities recently to see professionals at work, to peek around the curtain, to learn what goes on behind the scenes or more importantly, within their minds.

the biggest cases i’ve seen recently have been (1) a coworker who spoke on a panel i happened to be in charge of where he put his fast thinking and worldly brain on display and (2) an acquaintance who, in person, is a humble, funny, generous, and kind person but at work is a total rock star.


to have the opportunity to see those at the top of their game in their element live and unfiltered but to know of the hard work, tenacity, and discipline it took to get there was a lesson i didn’t see coming. i mean, i was outside of a classroom! there wasn’t just one teacher and there wasn’t just one demonstration to illustrate the point. the two events weren’t even related or in the same week! holy learning curve!

fortunately, my mind made the connection (hard work, patience, practice, research, enthusiasm, and curiosity will lead you to the top whether you’re in the office or on stage or on the field or online) and i had a new wrinkle for my brain.

now if only i could answer the question of “what does your dad do [at work]?”

for the record, i usually say “something with numbers.”

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convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #19

i am still talking to strangers.

i was sitting at the bar with two fellows who are kind of coworkers, but kind of not. the details of that don’t matter here. the point is, we were having a meeting to discuss an upcoming event which we are planning. because we were at the bar and because it was a thursday night, we got off topic.

coworker 1: i used to have season tickets to the patriots. *proceeds to talk about the glory days, which were full of as much glory and gore as you’d expect of 25 guys with football tickets.*

me: i’ve only been to one game, but it was an awesome one. actually, it was [another “coworker”] who invited me. i was probably the eighth person he asked, but that means seven people before me said no and i got the green light. [two other coworkers] went with me. so fun!

bartender: now there’s a positive attitude.

me: well, it’s true. i’m just happy i got to go. it’s the only football game i’ve been to and it was a complete blast.

coworker 2: with the motley crew you went with, i’m sure it was nothing but trouble.

me: you have a point there, sir.

the meeting eventually got back on track after further discussions of the other boston area sports teams, but what struck me was the bartender’s interjection. it was a quiet night at the bar and the three of us were a very random and lively crew, but it never occurred to me that he was listening in and that he might be the one to initiate a conversation or that i might be the one labeled as the stranger.


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