Category: Reviews

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

Oh, what a night!

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Magic City Bookstore, Tulsa’s newest independent bookstore (the only one if you don’t count used bookstores), we went to an author discussion with Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman!

Their new book, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, came out recently and it’s a hoot! The night opened with the head of the Tulsa Literary Coalition introducing them and he actually said, “You may not think of Megan and Nick as literary, but we think you’ll have fun.” Well, Megan just ran away with that comment and it became a running joke throughout the evening, how they weren’t “literary.” (They are actually quite literary and literate.) So, that was pretty funny.

At one point, Megan spotted a guy in the crowd wearing a violet suit. Seriously, violet. It. Was. Bright. She convinced him to let Nick wear his jacket for the duration of the show. Nick put it on without even blinking an eye. (And then later went through the pockets!)

Their book is a fun read and different than most memoirs. Most of it’s written in transcript form with essays and pictures sprinkled throughout. Nick explained that when they started the book, they picked topics and then hit record and talked about their thoughts on each topic. From there, the plan was to get transcripts of their conversations and then build each chapter from there. When they got the transcripts back, they realized the transcripts perfectly showed their chemistry and style. There was no reason to change it. I would have to agree.

Then they read the introduction to us and nailed it. So fun and so funny!

Takeaways:

  • “Momma shoots. Momma scores.” (Nick kept saying this and it was driving Megan up a wall. LOL)
  • Megan is uber talented. She designed the whole book and staged the pictures throughout.
  • Tulsa kicks ass. (Nick said so.)
  • They sang “Oklahoma” for us!
  • A mention of Parks and Rec got the biggest cheer.
  • They brought their dog Clover who is adorable.
  • Wear the purple jacket.
  • There is way more than I can list here…

I took Ethan with me and his review was, “They’re real people. We need more people like them in the world.”

I can’t think of a better compliment.

 

Let’s Talk About Trilogies

Rant ahead…

So, I just picked my son up from the movies. He saw “Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: How was the movie?

Him: That stupid movie.

Me: Oh, was it that bad?

Him: No, it was such a good movie! So good, but they got everyone together and said “Let’s do this!” and then the movie ended. Right. There.

This is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves.

I vividly remember watching the first Lord of the Rings movie. My husband had read the books and was so excited to see it. Our boys were young and I remember sitting on the couch to introduce my kids to this world my husband adores. We spent three hours watching this movie. We were introduced to Middle Earth. We followed Frodo as he tried to find people to help with him return the ring from whence it came. He got his whole team together. The end. The movie ended. Nothing else happened. Three hours to get everyone to agree to work together and then nothing.

I was SO mad, when that movie was over. I literally looked at my husband and said, “That’s it?!?!”

I know there are people who love The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but honestly, that one episode tainted my experience with all of other movies. I did watch the other three movies, but I think you could consider it hate-watching.

I have nothing against franchise movies and making lots of movies in the same world. It’s fun to visit a galaxy far, far away, a school for wizards, or a universe full of super heroes. Make as many movies as you want, just give me a full plot in each movie! Don’t get me involved in the first act of your story for two hours only to tell me I have to wait until the next movie comes in 2 or more years for the payoff of a good ending. It just makes me angry.

The Star Wars movies, Marvel movies, and even the original Harry Potter movies (minus the last two) have been pretty good about giving us a full story with a beginning, middle, and end, along with a overarching plot that’s threaded through all of the installments. If I’m going to drop a pile of money to take my family to the movies, give me a full movie experience I can enjoy.

And, if you’re not going to give me a complete story in the first or second movie in your trilogy, then call it what it is: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3. It’s not a movie, it’s a mini-series. At least then I can make an informed decision about how to spend my time and money.

AND, can we all agree to stop splitting books in half? Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, I’m looking at you. Let me tell you directors, producers, and screenwriters a little secret: The movie that comes from the first half of the last book in a series is always BORING. The first half is the means to the end. Tighten up the writing and get us to the end.

…Rant over. Please return to your regularly scheduled programming.

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

The Miscalculations of Lightning GirlThe Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m just going to say it: I loved this book!

It is the middle grade equivalent of ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE. (If you haven’t read that one, get right on it.) Thanks to a lightning bolt, Lucy is smarter than your average 12 year-old (or 40-something year-old, for that matter), but her Nana insists she needs to experience real life in the form of middle school. While she might be able to hide her math prowess to fit it, it’s much more difficult to hide her OCD. Seeing how the world looks through Lucy’s eyes was wonderful and thought-provoking. Stacy McAnulty manages to shows such character growth without Lucy ever changing who she really is. Ultimately, it’s a story about friendship, forgiveness, and accepting people even when they turn out to be different than your first impression. I was in a puddle of tears at the end.

Bonus: This book makes learning a little something about math easy because you’re not learning math, but rather learning about Lucy who loves math and sees it in everything.

It says it’s for ages 8-12, but I couldn’t have loved it more.

So, buy it for your upper elementary or middle school student, but I suggest you preread before they do it. You know, just to make sure it’s a good read for them. 😉

Pick it up here!

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Big Little Lies

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great read! I’m not too far removed from the elementary school PTA crowd and I felt like I knew these characters. The sarcasm and humor were right up my alley with a mystery that had me intrigued. Liane Moriarty perfectly captured how the way people present themselves in public can be very far removed from the lives they are leading in private. Highly recommended.

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