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The Perpetual Teen with Ageing Ovaries A Grimm Sisters fairy tale.People hired to write book blurbs today must have all dreamed of becoming doctors Every Kindle First selection this month is Heart warming or heart stopping Spine chilling or gut wrenching Covid is raging, the unemployment rate is soaring, and there s rioting in the streets My spine is sufficiently chilled and my guts are already wrenched and I m afraid to take my blood pressure In the absence of a non fiction sel The Perpetual Teen with Ageing Ovaries A Grimm Sisters fairy tale.People hired to write book blurbs today must have all dreamed of becoming doctors Every Kindle First selection this month is Heart warming or heart stopping Spine chilling or gut wrenching Covid is raging, the unemployment rate is soaring, and there s rioting in the streets My spine is sufficiently chilled and my guts are already wrenched and I m afraid to take my blood pressure In the absence of a non fiction selection, I picked this book, the heart warming one.It s billed as a Book Club Novel I d be tempted to call it a romance novel, but my friends who read romance novels tell me that new ones now are mostly soft core porn and this book isn t raunchy No graphic sex and the language is so clean it was almost a relief when the narrator got irritated enough to say, Screw both of you There was nothing in it that raised a blush on the cheeks of this elderly spinster, although there was plenty that left me scratching my head, starting with the fact that it s a Kindle book written by an author who seems never to have heard of e books In this story, it s hard back or paper back OK, it s set in 2008, but plenty of us had switched to e books by then.The narrator is 32 year old Dodie, the middle of three sisters After several years of trying to support herself as a free lance artist in New York City, she retreats to the idyllic small town of Chatsworth, Connecticut, where she s now a primary school art teacher She s had her heart broken by a sophisticated New York businessman who urged her to have a showing of her paintings, then shrugged when the critics trashed them She needs a man who ll support her dreams A man who s both strong and sensitive protective and vulnerable manly and malleable Good luck, honey.It s the old, old story of a young woman who wants to get married and have children, but can t seem to find the perfect mate What s she doing wrong In my day, a girl batted her eyelashes and acted helpless Since men were expected to be married by twenty five or so, it generally got her a husband Then she spent the next four or five decades putting up with him It wasn t a perfect system or it wouldn t have been dismantled in only a few generations But what s replaced it I m puzzled by Dodie and her friends Do women in their thirties use expressions like super cool and whatevs They blush and giggle like middle schoolers and plot together to meet cute guys, but they also consult doctors about their fertility How long can Dodie wait to have a child Should she adopt, like her friend Where does her new man fit it Can she mold him into the mate she wants or does he gasp have his own ideas about what he wants Dodie is a modern superwoman She wants to be a great teacher and a potent force in her students lives She wants an active social life and an impressive home and gourmet food on the table and a hot man and a baby and to run the lending library she s started in her own home when the local library is closed indefinitely This would be a full plate physically and financially for about THREE women, but Dodie is puzzled that she can t manage it all effortlessly Modern Americans have almost unlimited choices Many are so dazzled by all the possibilities they have difficulty making any choices at all.I got mental whiplash reading this book The language is so clean and some of the themes so old fashioned, it was like reading a novel set in the 1950 s, but many of Dodie s friends are gay and there s an interracial couple and a single woman is adopting an African child and everybody is just so THRILLED about all of it OK, NOT the 1950 s, but not very believable for 2008, either.Chatsworth is a fairy tale town with quaint houses and shady lanes and the only worm in the apple is a boring fellow teacher who likes math instead of books and art Bad boy The inhabitants all have favorite teas from that FABULOUS little shop in Paris and even the construction workers have model worthy hair and use hand made soaps How could our heroine be unhappy amidst so much trendiness It s because the sisters biological father deserted the family He was replaced early on by a loving step father and their childhood was a comfortable one, but still they feel rejected and worthless All three of them Realistic Probably not anyunrealistic than Dodie moving to Chatsworth and finding a great job and buying a great house and being welcomed with open arms by all the inhabitants Due to high taxes, house prices in Connecticut are appalling Those quaint houses in lovely small towns in Connecticut usually sell to people who ve made Big Money in New York and are looking for a civilized place to spend it Would a young, single teacher be able to afford an architectural gem of a house Even one who doesn t have Dodie s insanely expensive tastes in food, entertainment, etc I was disappointed in this book I love to read and used to haunt libraries, but even the story of Dodie starting the ambitious lending library and it being such a HUGE success and everyone LOVING her for doing it doesn t ring true If the people of Chatsworth love libraries so much, why can t they help with the costs of running Dodie s And do construction workers really swing much weight with investors who have enough money to build malls She s not a bad person, but I found her silly and immature She s simultaneously kind hearted and generous and blindly self centered OK Young people today don t mature as early as they used to Given how long they ll live, maybe they can afford an extended adolescence, but marriage and the responsibilities of parenthood should only be attempted by ADULTS.This is a book for young women who think like Dodie does And for foodies, especially those who believe that EXPENSIVE junk food is OK I was SO annoyed at all the talk about high sugar foods When the mother of a toddler politely points out that too much sugar makes her kid hyper and cranky, Dodie agrees guiltily Then the NEXT words out of her mouth are, Let s play a game If you win, I ll buy you an ice cream cone This woman shouldn t be raising a gerbil until she gets some common sense and can control her sugar fetish.The author s portrayal of older generations is totally off base Women who were young in 1960 didn t talk about having a beau I was young in the 1960 s and 70 s Plenty of us passed on marriage or children or both It s like the author thinks we skipped from Happy Days to 2008 with nothing in between.It s a light read and some of the characters were moderately interesting Every young person in every generation must deal with the hard realities of life, but no writer should be this heavy handed about making her points White saviorism the book It s not as bad as The Help, butyou ll see This is a Kindle First book for June Within pages I could tell it was going to a REALLY NOT GOOD place The main character, Dodie, and all of her friends family are white The Black people, and other characters that are coded to be of color, are props in their story of being good people Dodie starts a library out of her house, because the children in her town can t afford books after the public library closes This is White saviorism the book It s not as bad as The Help, butyou ll see This is a Kindle First book for June Within pages I could tell it was going to a REALLY NOT GOOD place The main character, Dodie, and all of her friends family are white The Black people, and other characters that are coded to be of color, are props in their story of being good people Dodie starts a library out of her house, because the children in her town can t afford books after the public library closes This is on it s face kind, but the children really are used to paint Dodie as their guardian book angel in a way that doesn t come off well Not everyone s race is specified and some of the children are white.Dodie s friend, a white woman, adopts a baby from Ethiopia, having shown zero plans for how she will raise a Black child in America other than I hope he s not bullied for having a white mother She nicknames her baby Boo A Black child Being called Boo For no reason that s ever named I will acknowledge some ignorance here Is that a common nickname Or is this a white woman the author, mainly calling a Black child a name from To Kill a Mockingbird, an original white savior book EDIT I had a paragraph about Dodie s sister and her husband here I missed the fact that, while Dodie s sister is white, her husband is Black I am very sorry Critique of their white privilege has been removed, as only one of them has it The tone of the book is trying to be sweet None of it is snarky or bad intentioned, but good intentions don t save unconscious bias Please, please don t read this book [Ebook] ♡ The Lending Library ♁ A Heartwarming Debut Novel About A Daydreamer Who Gives Her Town, And Herself, An Amazing Gift A Lending Library In Her Sunroom When The Chatsworth Library Closes Indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle Loses Her Sanctuary How Is A Small Town Art Teacher Supposed To Cope Without The Never Ending Life Advice And Enjoyment That Books Give Her Well, When She S As Resourceful And Generous As Dodie, She Turns Her Sunroom Into Her Very Own Little Lending LibraryAt First Just A Hobby, This Lit Lovers Haven Opens Up Her World In Incredible Ways She Knows Books Are Powerful, And Soon Enough They Help Her Forge Friendships Between Her Zany Neighbors And Attract An Exciting New RomanceBut When The Chance To Adopt An Orphaned Child Brings Dodie S Secret Dream Of Motherhood Within Reach, Everything Else Suddenly Seems Less Important Finding Herself At A Crossroads, Dodie Must Figure Out What It Means To Live A Full, Happy Life If Only There Were A Book That Could Tell Her What To Do 2.5 This book was okay I liked the premise, and thought the first half was great, but then all this relationship and baby drama kicked in, and the original premise kind of lost its way a bit A lot of elements I loved at first, such as Elmira s plot line got dropped, and then just mentioned every 60 pages of so in a very vague sense Great idea, I think the author just threw too much else in, so it lost it s way, and ending up quite boring in the second half. Great then frustratingThere was a very significant portion of this book where I thought I d be rating it as 5 stars, but then it slowly started to unravel Let me start with the good this is definitely one of the better First Reads selections I ve made at least for the first two thirds of the book It starts off light and charming with a fun, small town feel and a perpetually sunny heroine Dodie is an art teacher who establishes a lending library when the community s library undergoes ext Great then frustratingThere was a very significant portion of this book where I thought I d be rating it as 5 stars, but then it slowly started to unravel Let me start with the good this is definitely one of the better First Reads selections I ve made at least for the first two thirds of the book It starts off light and charming with a fun, small town feel and a perpetually sunny heroine Dodie is an art teacher who establishes a lending library when the community s library undergoes extensive renovations, and she has a crush on the guy who keeps coming in for books It was delightful with such a light chick lit romance vibe.Then the tone shifted The focus became muchabout Dodie s desire to have a child, and the potential for her to adopt one We see the highs and lows of adoption and the emotional upheaval the process causes From there, the tone stays heavier and the angst increases, so it s sort of like a book in two parts.I really appreciated what the author was trying to do here We see a transformation in Dodie and it s a look at a serious topic Her relationship is central to the story but definitely not the star and riddled with its own problems I wish that the book had been able to maintainof the lighter tone from the beginning while handling these difficult topics, because I felt like Dodie started to lose herself as the process went on I liked her less and less as the story progressed Then there s a revelation at the end that was just no So I wound up rating this as 3 stars and I m not really happy about it There s so much good stuff in here that I wanted to go higher, but my like of both the main characters had dissolved too much by the end Early into the page count of Aliza Fogelson s The Lending Library, my pick this month from thePrime Reads service in which Prime members get a free copy of one out of eight books recently published bys own publishing wing , we re being told of our plucky hero Dodie Fairisle and her recent past as a hipster edgy artist in Brooklyn while dating a noted fashion designer, and how she grew sick of it and instead accepted a random opportunity to teach art to grade schoolers in a small Early into the page count of Aliza Fogelson s The Lending Library, my pick this month from thePrime Reads service in which Prime members get a free copy of one out of eight books recently published bys own publishing wing , we re being told of our plucky hero Dodie Fairisle and her recent past as a hipster edgy artist in Brooklyn while dating a noted fashion designer, and how she grew sick of it and instead accepted a random opportunity to teach art to grade schoolers in a small town in rural Connecticut but then author Aliza Fogelson describes one of Dodie s pieces, an overly sentimental cartoon painting of two smiling mermaid sisters, and I was like, Wow, sheesh, leave it up to a book like this to think of such a painting as hipster edgy Brooklyn work Ah, but a few pages later we learn that Fogelson s been in on the joke the entire time, that Dodie s first hipster hyped gallery show had been trashed by critics as incomprehensibly childish art from a supposed adult, and that her designer boyfriend and all his Brooklyn toadies loved her for the same reason they adored such mentally ill outsider artists as Wesley Willis, Henry Darger or Howard Finster That lets you know quickly that you re in for something smarter and wittier than most titles from the dreaded genre of chick lit or, oops, I guess I m supposed to say bookclub fiction now, but it all amounts to the same thing cozy tales by and for middle class women in suburbs or small towns, socially conservative and often religious no matter what their political affiliation This genre gets a bad rap, and rightly so, because a way higher percentage of its titles than in other genres are complete shit, so it s always worth celebrating when another good one comes along Fogelson s her full length fiction debut carries a dark and sharp edge to it, a reflection of her background in academic lit at Princeton but it still has all the things that bookclub fiction ugh fans are looking for Babies Weddings Austen Desserts DESSERT RECIPES ringing these people s Pavlovian bells just as surely as a set of brass goggles does to steampunk nerds There s absolutely nothing wrong with being a slavishly breathless fan of a set of overly specific tropes within a certain genre, but you should at least be striving to read just the very best that genre offers For the ladies at the Starbucks bookclub at the mall, this will scratch that itch nicely I thought about giving up on this book quite early on, I wish I had Do, as in dough, not do, is a selfish, judgemental, baby obsessed mess that is really good at naming books she once read All of her relationships with anyone are just terrible Just save your time and give this one a miss. This was a lighter read and made for a great palate cleanser The writing was a bit clunky and the plot didn t flow that well Terabithia is a great book but using it as a character name kind of stunted the story, as it doesn t really roll off of the tongue Parts of the story moved along slow while others raced past I loved the book references and my bookworm heart loved that aspect of the story Overall, a quick lighter read that book lovers will enjoy 2.5 This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here This book is awful And I mean absolutely awful I was looking for something a little light to read and I love books so this book s description sounded funit was not It s literally a privileged white woman s fantasy of how life goes and how things should turn out I knew that one chapter in and then it was confirmed in thr About the Author at the end of the book This was like reading a novel written by Charlotte in Sex in the City and edited by Martha Stewart.A few terrible highlights 1 T This book is awful And I mean absolutely awful I was looking for something a little light to read and I love books so this book s description sounded funit was not It s literally a privileged white woman s fantasy of how life goes and how things should turn out I knew that one chapter in and then it was confirmed in thr About the Author at the end of the book This was like reading a novel written by Charlotte in Sex in the City and edited by Martha Stewart.A few terrible highlights 1 The main character Dodie is a pathological, neurotic narcissist headcase who oscillates wildly between selfishness, fantasy and inflated sense of self importance And not in an interesting way she s the stereotypical New England snobby white woman you see in every movie or TV show There was nothing compelling or likable about her Shep should ve stayed in South America and far away from this awful woman.2 THE ADOPTED BABY NAMED TERABITHIA Honestly No one said to the author This is not only cringey and stupid, but the reader will get VERY sick of reading the word Terabithia over and over again I loved the book it references but this was such an awful choice.3 The horrible main character has pretty much zero reaction to her BFF of several years dying unexpectedly in 3 pages, she s moved on and is scheming to adopt steal the baby bc damn it whines DODIE WANTS A BABY Ugh Just garbage GARBAGE So upsetting bc the writing style wasn t bad but the story was horrifyingly awful Bibliophiles of all sorts are sure to fall in love with Dodie and everyone she befriends along her bookish journey The Lending Library is a charming read full of heart, hope, and books.