Tag Archive | ocd

3 reviews : TMI, Don’t Touch Me, Gravity

I mentioned in my August recap that my August reading had been kind of “meh”; this is mostly due (but not entirely, of course), to 3 of the 4 books I borrowed from the library. Let’s just say I’m glad I borrowed, not bought these books! So to spare the pain of writing many not-so-positive reviews, I decided to rip the band-aid off at once.

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TMI by Sarah Quigley
Pages : 302
Genre : YA, Fiction
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about : Becca has a tendency to overshare, a fact she always knew but never cared to change. When her over-sharing drives her boyfriend away, Becca decides she needs to stop saying everything that crosses her mind; instead, she starts an anonymous blog where she can say as much as she wants without getting in trouble.

My thoughts : TMI was a cute story and there’s not much more I can say about it. I enjoyed it enough, but I felt it wasn’t really memorable. I expected Becca’s blog to be about gossips and episodes of her life, but instead it was more about putting her daydreaming in words. Her blog was the least interesting part of the book for me, but the author did managed to make Becca entertaining and likable enough. Also, I felt the book really was directed to a younger crowd than the YA fiction I usually enjoy, so I can’t really blame the book or the author for my lack of excitement.

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Here’s the Deal, Don’t Touch Me by Howie Mandel
Pages : 218
Genre : Non fiction, Memoir,
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about : Howie Mandel, comic and host of Deal or no Deal, shares about his struggles with ADD and OCD.

My thoughts : Prior to reading this book, I didn’t know about Mandel’s brand of humor or about his career, really. He was just this guy I saw once in a while in a publicity for his show. I went into this book only interested in learning about how he dealt with his OCD (he’s a germaphobe) and how this affected his life. Sadly, this book was mostly a huge apology to friends and family for the troubles his disorders caused. He shares what happened, but we don’t really get to know what were the consequences, what he did to fix it, etc. Also, I didn’t get his sense of humor, so most of his jokes fell flat for me.

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Gravity by Leanne Lieberman
Pages : 239
Genre : YA, GLBT, Fiction
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about : Elli is an orthodox Jew, but she also has a thing for girls. It’s the summer, it’s the eighties, and Elli is spending a month at her grand-mother’s house by the lake. There she falls for a girl like no other, and her life will never be the same.

My thoughts : I don’t even know where to start with this one. First of all, Elli had the most boring summer I have ever read in a YA novel, so boring that I almost stopped reading many times (so boring, she loses track of time herself). Fortunately, the pace gets better when her month at the lake is over, but the books doesn’t improve much. I guess the author had a great idea, but very poorly executed. Her views on being a lesbian or an orthodox Jew seemed stereotyped to me, and borderline offensive when it came to explaining how it was to be a Jew. Now, I’m not going to write a defense for being a Jew or not and all that, but her view felt limited and therefore, not respectful. Plus, there were so many inconsistencies (her parents are strict, but still let her spend a month with her grand-mother, who’s everything but orthodox?) that it drove me crazy. Also, the numerous references to “breasts” and how they were “squeezed” in a too tight shirt felt a bit ridiculous. Of course, if you’re into girls you’ll be into their physical attributes, but I do wish there’s more to it than that. Sigh.

Review : The Pleasure of my Company

The Pleasure of my Company by Steve Martin
Pages : 163
Genre : Fiction
Stand Alone
My Rating :

From Goodreads :

Daniel Pecan Cambridge, 30, 35, 38, or 27, depending on how he feels that day, is a young man whose life is rich and full, provided he never leaves his Santa Monica apartment. After all, outside there are 8-inch-high curbs and there’s always the horrible chance he might see a gas station attendant wearing a blue hat. So, except for the occasional trip to the Rite Aid to admire the California girl Zandy and to buy earplugs because they’re on sale, he stays home a lot. And a good thing too, or he would have never been falsely implicated in a murder, never almost seduced Philip, never done the impossible task of jogging around the block with Brian, never ironed his pillows, and he might never have won the Most Average American essay contest.

The Pleasure of my Company was my second experience of Steve Martin’s writing, and once more I really enjoyed it. Despite the beginning being a little slow, I thought this was a quick and entertaining read and easily finished it in one sitting.

What I enjoyed the most was how Martin writes Daniel’s voice with humor, without turning him in derision. He gives us a good understanding of Daniel’s obsessive compulsive behavior without being pessimistic or mocking. It’s the kind a narration that makes you smile, maybe even laugh a little – I know I did! And as someone who deals with obsessive compulsive habits in life (not to Daniel’s degree though!), I thought this portrait of weird habits was very realistically drawn.

I enjoyed this one a tiny bit more than Shopgirl, I have to say. It was a lighter read, but also more subtly written. This being said, the narration was a bit repetitive due to Daniel’s condition, and I think this might prevent some readers from enjoying the novel completely.

Here’s hoping we’ll see more of Steve Martin’s fiction in the feature!

BTT + What’s on your desk?

what_s_on_your_desk_wednesday_err_thursdayToday I was tagged by Biblioaddict, with the famous “What’s on Your Desk Wednesday?” (hosted by Alternative read) I think it’s such a fun idea and I’ve had so much fun watching other people’s desks that I was happy to oblige.

Grab a camera and take a photo of your desk! Or anywhere you stack your books/TBR pile. And no tidying!
Tag at least 5 people!

Or, if you’re digital camera-less, you can:
List at least 5 BOOKISH things on your desk (I’m thinking your TBR pile or books you haven’t shelved…)
List at least 5 NON BOOK things. (I’m thinking some of some of the more unusual items on your desk/table?)
Tag at least 5 people to do the same.

Come back and leave your link, so we can come and visit your blog. Or add your answers in the comments.

This week’s Booking through Thursday is about unread books :

Give me the list or take a picture of all the books you have stacked on your bedside table, hidden under the bed or standing in your shelf – the books you have not read, but keep meaning to. The books that begin to weigh on your mind. The books that make you cover your ears in conversation and say, ‘No! Don’t give me another book to read! I can’t finish the ones I have!’ “

In my case, it’s perfect since my TBR pile IS on my desk!

The proof :

TBRPILE_july2009

Yes, those are almost all books to be read! And yes, there is a pile hiding behind my second screen of which you can only see the top of, under the photos on the wall. (My main screen is hidden by the books). Now you know, I wasn’t joking when I said I am building a wall of books around my desk!

There is also another pile that you can’t see, against the wall, in the same rown as the pile with the yeti plushie : it is as high as the pile with the Hello Kitty on top!

The ones that are not “To be read” are in a pile behind the glass of water : those are to be reviewed (so basically, my “To be read pile” doesn’t get smaller, it just moves around my desk). And behind the “to be reviewed” pile, there is… another pile of books to be read! Although, in my defense, those are mainly photography books, knitting books and my huge Oxford Classical Dictionary. Look here, I even took another picture!

TBRPILE_july2009)2

The piles have no particular order : mainly, I just try to build them so they don’t fall on my head. But, I’m a little obsessive compulsive, and I have a few specifications : books of the same series must be together, but books of the same color cannot be side to side! Also, I cannot have a smaller book under a larger one (even if the difference is the smallest one). Oh, and the most important : each pile must have an even number of books (I don’t like odd numbers…) It’s not really something I think about a lot, it’s just something I do. Okay, now can laugh at me all you want! 🙂 I live really well with my little quirks 😉

If you look at my desk, you can find out a few more things about me :

  • I keep an old nametag from my last retail job, to remind myself why I am going back to university. When the pressure is too hard, a single glance at that memento and I’m back on tracks!
  • I used to be a Hello Kitty collector. Now I only buy a few special items from time to time, like this leather one made for MAC cosmetics (love!)
  • I love plushies, too, especially if they are unusual animals! Like my yeti plushie, sitting on a pile of books (see first picture)

As for the books to be read, I am not going to make a complete list; but, I have part of it listed here, on the Paper Brick Wall page.

bearofborrowedbook

Finally, I present you Omgr, also known as the “Bear of Borrowed Books”. Under his arm are the books I borrowed and that are to be read, and on his lap the books that are read and/or read to be returned. You should also know, that Omgr is wearing an old sweather of mine!

My main objective now is to clean my bookshelf so I can : a) put more books in it and b)take a picture of it and share it!

I really didn’t plan on a post this long! I hope that by now, you didn’t fall asleep (or you will wake up with “YTREWQ” stamped on your forehead!)

NOTE : I didn’t tag anyone, because I can’t remember who did it or not! If you haven’t yet and would like too, do it and leave me the link! 🙂

Review : Addition

Addition by Toni Jordan
Pages : 258
Genre : chick lit, psychology
My Rating : 4/5

I picked up Addition by australian author Toni Jordan for many reasons; the colorful cover reminded me of the upcoming spring, I was in the mood for a light read and the back cover’s descriptions seemed like something I would enjoy. Happily for me, I can say I haven’t been disappointed.

Description taken from the author’s website :

Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts. 

The letters in her name (19). The steps she takes every morning to the local café (920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she’ll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs to keep an eye on how they’re doing.

Seamus Joseph O’Reilly (also a 19, with the sexiest hands Grace has ever seen) thinks she might be better off without the counting. If she could hold down a job, say. Or open her kitchen cupboards without conducting an inventory, or make a sandwich containing an unknown number of sprouts.

Grace’s problem is that Seamus doesn’t count. 
Her other problem is…he does.

Addition is a short read, and Grace was easy to get attached to. Her counting doesn’t get in the way of her sense of humor, and I enjoyed watching her fall in love. While she tells her life through numbers, the reader gets a sense of how controlled is her existence, from the time she wakes up to what she cooks up for dinner. We get to see through her eyes, and while her perception is mostly different, she is also very aware that “counting” isn’t something “normal.”

The story isn’t an in-depth observation of mental illness and its consequences, but it does focus more on Grace’s mental condition than on her romance with Seamus. The author talks with insight of healing and treatment, the text being the occasion to pop up some good questions; does Grace need to be treated and changed? Or does she only needs to learn how to live the way she is?

In short, this was a book I enjoyed; a 258 pages  “chick lit” with an out of the ordinary lead character.