☕ Book Break ☕ | ~Educated by Tara Westover~

~Educated by Tara Westover~

Tara Westover grew up never going to school, working in her dad’s junkyard, and assisting her mother as she prepared herbal remedies and served as a community midwife. The family practiced Mormonism and Tara’s father had strict beliefs that went beyond the mainstream. The book is about her experiences. I feel like it was it sensitively done. Often as I was reading this I had to put the book aside. It was difficult to read at times.

Is it possible to disentangle oneself from the influences of their childhood? How much do the things we experience growing up affect the rest of our lives? Familial bonds are far reaching, probably influencing us more than we realize.

Educated is a well written account, if at times stretching the limits of believability, but that is the nature of memory and Tara Westover makes note of that. I’m glad I stuck with this book because there’s something deeper here.

It made me reexamine my own childhood. While reading the narrative, I was deeply touched at times. I teared up when she was recounting a specific incident with her mother that appeared to be a restoration, giving hope for that relationship.

This is one complicated family. Her father doesn’t believe in doctors and, according to a now grown up Tara, displays signs of bipolar disorder. Paranoid, he stockpiles food and guns, ranting about the government and the Illuminati. He seems unaware of the danger he constantly puts himself and his family in, causing many injuries by refusing to take basic safety measures.

This is an important story to tell, showing how living with a parent who suffers from a mental illness can affect the entire family. By reading this account I have garnered a greater understanding of why adult children have a difficult time breaking free from their dysfunctional family.

As I read this memoir I pondered gender roles and the tragedies that can occur in a structure that allows only one member of the family to have authority.

It’s exactly the kind of book I like, one that makes you think. Educated is an excellent book for discussion and book clubs.

On a personal side note, we unschooled our children. In my opinion, what Tara is describing is not unschooling or homeschooling but is neglect. She does mention that other family members homeschool their children and those children appear to be receiving an adequate and genuine education. This memoir is not a criticism of homeschooling or religion but an account of her own experience told from her perspective.

 

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Book Review| Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

Book Review| Talking as Fast as I Can

By Lauren Graham

I became a Gilmore girls fan late. During the years we were homeschooling, I rarely watched television of any sort. Who had time? I started watching the show when it was on Netflix one day when I wasn’t feeling well. I felt an immediate connection with the characters and was delighted by the quick banter. I shared the show with my daughter, who, at the time, was a very reluctant teenager. You know that there is a certain age when anything mom likes is certain to elicit a negative response.

A few moments into the show, she turned to me and said, “It’s us!”

Obviously, we are not the only duo  to feel this connection to Gilmore Girls.

I loved Lauren Graham’s memoir, Talking As Fast As I Can. If you are a Gilmore girls fan I think you would enjoy this book. The Lorelai Gilmore fast-paced dialogue we are all familiar with is infused throughout this small volume. Lauren is so personable. Reading this book was like reading letters from a dear friend, one who is generous with advice and laughter. I don’t usually read celebrity memoirs, but I enjoyed every minute of this book, even when I was crying. Yes, I did cry.

I was encouraged by her advice on everything from writing, making choices, dieting, and technology. She did this all with a splash of humor.

“Eventually I learned that, in the beginning at least, it was better for me to be finished then to try to be perfect. I had to get out of my own way.”

“Often, waiting reveals the truth about something, and not responding to your every impulse can save you the heart ache of waking up in the morning with a sense of regret.”

“Talking about getting a tattoo was, I realized, a perfect case of life thing about the journey not the destination.”

To me, this memoir feels like a gift. Thank you, Lauren Graham! I will definitely be checking out Lauren Graham’s novel, Maybe, Maybe, Someday.

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Beyond Rain Man|Movies and Books for Autism Acceptance Month

ByondRaininMan Books and Movies

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a short list of movies and books for anyone who would like to learn more about ASD by watching movies or reading a good book. Read reviews for content advisories.

Adam(2009) Romance, Drama Rated PG-13 for thematic material, sexual content and language.

Adam, a young man with asperger’s, meets his upstairs neighbor, Beth, and they fall in love. Read a review from Common Sense Media here.

 

Temple Grandin (2010) TV PG Biography, Drama

A Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Awards Winner.

Based on the books “Emergence” by Temple Grandin and “Thinking in Pictures” by Temple Grandin.

 

Fiction

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork

My review of Marcelo in the Real World is posted here.

Rain, Reign by Ann M. Martin (for younger readers)

Read my review of Rain, Reign here.

Memoirs-Personal Biographies

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison 

Read my review of Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison here.

I also enjoyed Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger’s and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers by John Elder Robison 

Pretending to Be Normal by Liane Holiday Willey 

Do you have any to add? Please comment. Have you seen or read any of these? What did you think?

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A Little R & R, Friendship Friday, The Book Nook, Literacy Musing Mondays, Waiting On Wednesday, Saturday Soiree

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Book Review | A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon

By Sophie Hudson

book cover a little salty to cut the sweet

 

 

 

 

 

This is a delightful collection of stories told with southern flair. When I was growing up in the south, I knew families like this one.

The stories are sweet, encouraging, and sometimes heart tugging. Sophie Hudson’s book is sentimental, humorous, and faith-filled.

Speaking as a woman who also loves her people, I enjoyed this peek into the lives of Sophie’s extended family.

Recommended.

Sophie Hudson blogs at  BooMama

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Literacy Musing Mondays, Titus 2 Tuesday, The Book Nook, Saturday Soiree at Faith Along the Way

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