Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Pamela August Russell
Finally! A title that exactly
fits a book. No, no...I'm not being mean. With every turn
of every page I was met with sarcasm, cynicism -even enthusiasm - any
"ism" you can think of, really. In fact, when you
read closely, you can see each aspect of your own life spread out on
its pages - the dark and funny side that always hits us right between
the eyes - whether we're paying attention or not.
Let me explain. (I promise not to uncover all the poetic gems). On page five, I was treated to "A Beginner's Guide to Mediocrity" (one of the things I am completely scared of becoming). The last stanza was "Don't bother getting out of bed...The world is crowded enough...without you and your big ideas." I ask you, how frightening is that? For someone with very large ideas, like myself, I shook from that paragraph as much as when Norman Bates was playing dress-up in his mother's clothes.
I went further and opened another door to a poem titled, "Motto". Short, sweet, and to the point. This poem really fits the moments in life when you try with all your might to tell your boss you need a raise. He nods his head in understanding. His paycheck has gotten smaller too because, there's just not enough in the company's coffers right now. He continues by saying that he'd like to discuss this more in depth with you, but he has to get up to his summer house to make sure the new builders have installed the hot tub properly.
You can even go back to your happy, jolly school days with a poem in this book titled, "College Notebook." As my senior daughter is graduating next May, I thought long and hard on this one. What she would learn, the subjects that would fill her mind and make her a better person, knowing - after reading this poem, that her most important class would most likely become the "Kegger at Bryce Hall 3:30 p.m."
I was met with a poem about my favorite food, which is Chinese, in the "Unfortunate Cookie." Which read, "You will meet with someone who will bring you much joy and love. Eventually they will devour your soul like its a hot-dog eating championship. Lucky Numbers: 543, 8, 192, 78" I love those fortune cookies. After eating my meal, I await the deep philosophical words of an unknown machine in a warehouse somewhere that, of course, tells me the absolute truth.
I have to say I went from poem to poem and met up with the demons that surround me in everyday life. This book couldn't have gone to a better person, because anyone who has read my reviews of the sarcastic and silly know that I love to laugh, and my sarcasm knows no bounds. God knows, laughter is the only way to get through life without becoming the newest member of the Manson Family. I think I really found my own sense of humor in Dallas, when I moved there from a small town in Connecticut. I was waiting on a customer one day and she aked me about my accent (didn't know I had one). She asked me where I was from. Not thinking, I replied, "New England." At this point the woman's eyes grew wide and she said, "Really? Wow! You don't sound British." Yes...that was the end for me in the Lone Star state.
Why? Because with sarcasm, you can only test it for just so long. Eventually things become unfunny and when that happens, you need to move on. Irony has its place, but so does intelligence. This author offered me a way to really describe some of the supidity that has "thrown me off course" every once in a while. It was titled "Sadness You Old Minx." And it stated very simply: "I have trouble parallel parking on a lonely road." Think about it? How many people have you met in life that you KNOW would never be able to accomplish that one thing.
See? This book makes you think. Now I don't know if this is the perfect gift for everyone. Perhaps some will read it and think it would be nothing more than a great gift for a bachelor's party. But others, the less jovial of us, need a gift like this. They need to gasp with shock at the rude and inane things that are written, considering that the same rude and inane things are being thought by over half of the population. Walt Whitman, Robert Frost...these writers were wonderful and gave us poetry that will forever be written on the bottom of posters that will line your bedroom with heartfelt happiness and words of hope. But, for people who tend to like Poe and his Raven, there are the Ms. Russell's of the modern world that take words and slam you in the face with them, begging you to let go, laugh a little, and understand that the world and everyone in it, is more than slightly askew. :P