Jenn’s Review of Confessions: A Memoir by Jodie Rhodes

I just finished a relatively quick read, Confessions: A Memoir by Jodie Rhodes. This was one of the free books I received from Ebookfling. Well, I must say I’m glad it was a freebie, because I’m pretty sure I would have been disappointed if I had paid for it. I’m not saying it didn’t have its redeeming qualities, but it did little to keep my attention.

I’m sure my less than stellar review of this book will have absolutely no impact, so I’d like to post it. I want to make sure I’m not only posting about the books that I love…and I’m only one opinion.

Whereas the book started with what seemed to be an interesting concept, I got lost in her retelling of her numerous jobs and failed relationships ~ mostly with married men. It got confusing, especially when she would jump back and forth in her timeline. I also found myself getting frustrated when she would forebode her failure/bad decisions before she told her stories. I found myself speed reading just to finish the book. I got bored.

I guess I should find it endearing that she offered up opportunities for fledgling writers to submit their work to her as an editor, but I found it misplaced.

I am disappointed that I didn’t fully enjoy the book. The author seems like a really smart, strong and savvy business women…although I looked back and there was not one passage that I highlighted. That to me is a sign of a really good book, knowing I walked away taking a little something with me. On to my next read…

Jenn’s Review of the Great Gatsby

The cover of the first edition of The Great Ga...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so glad that I reread The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald…and to think, this time I didn’t need Cliff Notes…and I chose to write about it vs. being forced to by my high school English teacher.

Whereas this book seemed to have a slow start for me, it wasn’t long before I was sucked into the characters’ strife. I remembered nothing of the plot from when I read it almost 20years ago, so I didn’t recognize that every single action taken by Gatsby was in a desperate attempt to win back the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan.

I found it quite sad. Gatsby had built up this tragic love affair in his mind and let it perpetuate over 5years. There must have been moments…when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams – not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.

Love was his motivation for his frantic climb up the rungs of the social ladder. Once he got to the top, countless strangers latched on to him and his new-found notoriety. They were just as eager to talk behind his back as they were to take advantage of his generosity…and free champagne.

F.Scott Fitzgerald was just as much an artist as he was an author. His elaborate vocabulary painted such a vivid picture that the reader feels they are in the midst of the story. I loved his description of Daisy…For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened – then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.

One can also palpate the critique of what he portrays as the financially privileged…with their shallowness and lack of social responsibility. They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…

I found the narrator, Nick, to be a little on the weak side. He didn’t seem to have much substance at all. I’d imagine that the author did that on purpose…maybe he didn’t want to overshadow the other main characters. He was just there to create that bridge between Gatsby and the Buchanans.

I’d recommend that anyone who read it in high school reread it. It’s amazing how much more perspective you gain with life experience. If you never read it, it’s worth crossing it off your “classic” bucket list.

What’s in your workout mix?

Feel Good, Inc.

Even though this blog is primary geared towards books, I welcome conversation about any kind of media, including movies and music. I know it’s not just reading that can affect our mind, our mood, and our souls.

The other day when I was working out, I started thinking about my workout mix on my Ipod. Why do I choose the songs that I choose? Generally, I choose upbeat songs that “pump me up”. I find myself quickening my pace and get just a little more energy to be able to push through my workout. However, if that same song consists of a repetitive beat…say towards the end, I feel my energy waning.

Going through my workout mix, I realize that I not only pick upbeat songs, but ones that evoke a fun memory or a good feeling. They are probably songs that you wouldn’t normally find on a workout mix, but they just make me feel good…and isn’t that what working out is all about?

ipod shuffle loja online leilao

 (Photo credit: sucelloleiloes)

Here are some of the songs in my workout mix, and why:

New Shoes by Paolo Nutini ~ I just love the beat…can’t sit still

Morning after Dark by Timbaland ~ Makes me want to go out and dance

It Feels so Good by Sonique ~ Reminds me of when I first moved to Florida and danced on the benches at our local bar

Alive by SR-71 ~ Reminds me of my “groupie days” when I was living near Baltimore (loved you guys!!!)

Beautiful Dream by Adam Ant ~ Great memories… and it makes me forget that I’m probably a sweaty mess when I’m working out 😉

Take your Momma Out by Scissor Sisters ~ Makes me want to play the air drums on the elliptical machine

Higher by Creed ~ Makes me want to drive 100 miles/hr on the California freeway

You’ve Got the Music in You by The New Radicals ~ Reminds me of my favorite traveling RN assignment in Phoenix, AZ

Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz – How can you not move to this beat?

Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool ~ Reminds me of dancing my #$% off in college!!

Well, I could go on but I will cease for now…because now I just want to go out dancing…or maybe I should just go work out ;-). What’s in your workout mix?

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