Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit
I have made some really poor choices since joining the huge club of audiophiles. I've downloaded some real stinkers and mediocre titles that made me groan with regret within the first 3 chapters - then force myself to listen to the rest either because I wanted to punish myself or I wanted to hold out hope that it would get better if I just kept going. This book goes in the "win" column - fantastic flow and descriptive enough to really take hold of the imagination without going overboard. The last 4 chapters fell out of the groove a bit - but that doesn't cancel out the enjoyment I experienced listening to the rest. The language is sharp and shocking in some sections - which I really appreciate because it's real and I'm no stranger to sarcasm, satire, and cynical rants - I guffawed glee several times. Thank you Mary Karr - you freakin' rule
It's so wonderful to find myself agreeing with the masses and loving something that the "powers that be" found worthy of such a lofty honor as a Pulitzer Prize. So many times I've taken the bait of an "award winner" only to be bitterly disappointed in the end. There's something about the old-fashioned, whimsical yet heartbreaking truths in this memoir that really touched me in a way that few books ever have. I laughed, almost cried (that would take a miracle), and just lost myself in the world of the U.S. and Ireland in the early 20th century. The tragedy, the hardships, the triumphs are expressed in a way that made me truly care about the people - that rarely happens for me and I really love when a book can take me there. There are so many things to appreciate about this book - you just need to use your credit on it and see for yourself.
I read A Girl Called Zippy (or was that named Zippy) in actual book form before I downloaded this one so I had some idea of what to expect - I was not disappointed. It's hilarious and real - its the kind of book I would write if I had any talent. The characters are so odd yet endearing - the perfect cure for the "blah" book blues. Do yourself a favor and give it a shot :)
I have an interest in hoarding that I find hard to explain to myself, since I've never seen it in my own family (we're mainly drunkards) nor among my friends (more victims of bad taste rather than hoarders.) I suspect it may be a reflection of my own "everything in its place, and I mean EVERYTHING, do I have to do everything around here myself? Were you raised by wild pigs?" mentality.
But whatever the reason, since awareness of the disorder (and I do think it's a mental disorder with physical symptoms) surfaced in mainstream culture, I've been fascinated. I think I really want to know why someone would do this to themselves and their families.
Kimberly Rae Miller does not answer this question. Instead, she gives us an insider's look at what it is like to grow up in a hoard and to love the parents who "chose the stuff over me." I was really surprised by the strength of the love binding Kim and her parents, bonds that all the stuff in the world couldn't break (though there were times...)
I admit I was teary-eyed at several places in the narrative, which the author does very skillfully herself. At the end, I was pretty sure that Kim is as in the dark as most people who do not have the disorder are about why hoarders do the things that they do, but that she was lucky to come from the family she did nonetheless.