Book Excerpts: The Queen Gene by Jennifer Coburn

*****

The Queen Gene

” . . . “I need some time to digest everything you’ve said.”  I learned that dismissal years ago when a client said it to me.  At the time, I thought it was a polite way of letting me know that my complex concept needed time to be broken down and properly appreciated.  Now I know it’s a nice way of saying, This conversation is over. . . .”

Who knew one could learn actual life skills from a light, fun read?  I’m Definitely remembering this one.  I learned from a very wise therapist once that just because someone else wants to have a certain conversation Does Not mean that I am required to have that conversation.  This is a polite way to say “I am not having this conversation with you.”  Nice.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

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Book Excerpts: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

*****

The Marriage Plot

” . . . What made Madeleine sit up in bed was something closer to the reason she reads books in the first place and had always loved them.  Here is a sign that she wasn’t alone.  Here was an articulation of what she had been so far mutely feeling.  In bed on a Friday night, wearing sweatpants, her hair tied back, her glasses smudged, and eating peanut butter from the jar, Madeleine was in a state of extreme solitude. . . .”

I like that idea – extreme solitude, and yet not alone.

” . . . ‘Of or related to Leonard Bankhead (American, born 1959), characterized by excessive introspection or worry.  Gloomy, depressive.  See basket case.‘ . . .
Hannaesque,” Leonard said. “Stubborn.  Given to ironclad positions.”
“Hannarian,” Madeleine said.  “Dangerous.  Not to be messed with.”
“I stand warned.” . . .

” . . . Grief was physiological, a disturbance of the blood. . . .”

Yes.  I have no insightful commentary, just yes, so yes!

” . . . A bruised ego reflected its own image. . . .”

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Book Excerpts: Tales from the Crib by Jennifer Coburn

*****

Tales from the crib

” . . . I hated this trite platitude people shot out when they were uncomfortable with another person’s mourning. . . .”

I run into this a lot in the context of having cancer.  People say stupid things trying to get Me to be positive because They are uncomfortable.  Newsflash – My Cancer is Not about how you feel, and if I’m having a bad day with it (totally justifiable and permissible because having cancer sucks!) get over Yourself about me not being happy about having cancer.

” . . . Why was it impossible or people to accept that humans had room for completely conflicting emotions, and one did not detract from the other in the slightest?. . . .”

Now, I don’t know if this makes perfect sense to me because I’m a Gemini, or if all people feel that way sometimes, but um – duh!

” . . . I understand that when someone says, “Oh, don’t feel sad,” they really are trying to help.  But telling me not to feel what I’m already feeling is not at all helpful.”

In fact, being told that one’s reality is not true is one of the truly crazy-making things someone can do to another.

” . . . I always hated when Aunt Rita completely negated my feelings by telling me how much worse off she was at my age. . . .”

Yeah, I think this one’s related to my first quote (and reaction thereto) from this book.  It amazes me how often my experiences are discounted by people saying “someone else has it worse.”  Well, yes, I’m absolutely sure someone does.  But I wasn’t talking about them.  I was talking about me.  Really, what does someone else’s experiences have to do with my current one.  I shouldn’t be less than perfectly-ecstatic at all times because someone else is going through something You decide to judge as worse?  By that measure whoever you hold up to me doesn’t get to feel badly either because someone certainly has it worse than them.  So does one person in the whole world have the right to be less than perfectly ecstatic?  Who is that person?  Who gets to decide who that is?

Oh, and by the same token, if someone else has it ‘worse’ than me, then certainly someone else also has it better.  Hell, I can name a dozen off the top of my head.  For christ’s sake, some days I could look at Anybody who doesn’t have cancer and say they have it better than me.   So, by that token, please take Your discomfort out of my realm of being – compared to those who have it ‘better,’ I have a perfect right to be less than completely-ecstatic.

Yeah, this one instantly and pretty much completely pisses me off.

” . . . For the rest of the weekend, we quietly walked around Ann Arbor taking inventory of what was old and what was new.  What had changed and what had stayed the same.  Very few things were in just one column, least of all us. . . .”

There’s that simultaneous dichotomy again, which speaks to me so.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Book Excerpts: Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn

*****

Reinventing Mona

” . . . I ended up having to put Hot Slut on my spam blocker, which is the electronic version of a restraining order. . . .”

Clever.  I like it!

” . . . What’s useless is sitting around wondering what might have been, because what might have been is what is.  The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but grass is basically grass. . . .”

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

Book Excerpts: One Mountain Away by Emilie Richards

[Originally posted as a page on Sunday October 29, 2012; transferred to a standard post on Thursday, January 3, 2013]

One Mountain Away

” . . .

I’ll admit I began this journal reluctantly.  A therapist on my cancer treatment team recommended I keep one.  She told me to look back at what I’ve done, what I’ve gained, what I’ve lost.  I was supposed to find ways to say hello and ways to say goodbye.

. . .

Marriage demands a level of intimacy that permanently changes us.

. . .

… the eleventh commandment – Thou Shalt Not Be Thine Own Worst Enemy.

. . .

Optimism wasn’t the same as denial.

. . .

The way we nurture and protect our memories of people who lived before us.  The good they did?  Like those seeds of your grandmother’s, it doesn’t die.  It’s passed from person to person.  It lives on in other forms, in other places, but the essence of what it was at the beginning never changes.

. . .

Life had a way of separating people, of barging in on relationships and insisting there was no time for friendship.

. . .

She said she discovered the only way to help anybody was to walk beside them, not to judge, not to advise, but simply to be there.  She said women have always understood that offering consolation or a listening ear is what really matters, not how much money you throw at a problem — although that can help — but simply being there.”

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved.

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Book Excerpts: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

[Originally posted as a page on Thursday November 8, 2012, transferred to a standard post on Thursday January 3, 2013.]

Guernsey Cover

“. . .Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.  How delightful if that were true. . .”

Yes, it would be, wouldn’t it?  I’d like to think it actually Is true.

Book Excerpts: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster

 

[Click on book cover to go to book’s Goodread.com page.]

. . . “It’sHebrew,” Travis said with a nervous grin.
“What does it mean?”
“It says, ‘I belong to my beloved, and my beloved is mine.'” . . .

. . . It wasn’t just me, and it wasn’t just him, it was what we were together that was the exception. . . .

. . . “I knew the second I met you that there was something about you I needed.  Turns out it wasn’t something about you at all.  It was just you.” . . .