Tag Archives: © 2019 Book Chatter

Sunday Matters: Life Update

Sunday Matters

I had high hopes for the RIP Challenge but you know me and challenges. The one book I actually got to was not really horror at all. I did watch some movies though. I was so into the challenge but then it got warm and it didn’t feel like fall here. Hard to do a fall reading challenge when it’s like summer outside.

And, the fires. When it feels like all of California is burning, it’s hard to cozy up on the coach with your current read.

I didn’t get to post last week but my daughter’s high school took 1st place in the Musical category at that theatre festival I mentioned. Lots of competition and with half of them evacuated from their homes the day before, they really came together and performed amazingly well. If you are theatre lover at heart, check out Jesus Christ Superstar told in 7+ minutes. My daughter is the tall one and has a nice solo as Pilate.

Right Now:

As you read this, we are on our way to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to see my son in his first show there, Lysistrata. Fires permitting, as there is another one they are battling right now, we hope to get there early so we can take him out to breakfast. It’s a good three hour drive.

This Week:

Nothing remarkable this week. Just rehearsals for Annie and Macbeth. Maybe someday my daughter will finish her driver’s training.


Still reading King’s new book, The Institute.


I did manage to watch Charlie Brown while handing out tons of candy last Thursday but never got around to watching Halloween 2 which was my plan.

Still watching The Walking Dead and American Horror Story.

New Things I’ve Tried:

You guys, I work in Information Technology and I had yet to use Grubhub or any other food ordering app. I was aware of the convenience of course, but just didn’t want to put my information in. Well, that is how my university does mobile ordering now so I downloaded the darn thing. It is nice to just walk up to a counter and get my grub.

Grateful for:

I am grateful for the arts. Both of my kids as you know are heavily involved and it’s such a pleasure to see all their hard work pay off in the form of a production. I love sitting in that theater seat waiting for a show to begin. It’s THE BEST feeling.

How have you all been? I received many messages asking about me and the fires nearby. Thank you so much for thinking of me and my family. The night before the competition, I had some kids at my house because they could not get back into their homes and I was afraid they wouldn’t make the competition. Everyone has been on edge. Traffic has been horrific. I had to work from home one day and the university closed one day as well. But, our homes are still standing. Sadly, my daughter’s friend lost his home in one of those fires.

Anyway, that’s it from me. Hello, November and hello time change.

Review: This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always Is
By Laurie Frankel
Flatiron Books, 9781250088567,  January 2018, 336pp.

The Short of It:

A good book to discuss with a group because you will definitely want to talk about it after reading it.

The Rest of It:

This Is How It Always Is is a novel. It reads like a true story, and the author does in fact have a transgender child but it is a work of fiction. I had to remind myself of this many, many times while reading it.

Penn and Rosie have five sons, two older boys, a set of twins and then Claude. From a very young age, Claude is highly intelligent and interested in things that his brothers are not. Dressing up, for one. While young, this doesn’t appear to be an issue. In fact, his grandmother takes great pleasure in buying Claude tea-length dresses and girly things to wear at home but eventually, Claude wants to wear these things in public.

Rosie, a doctor, doesn’t see an issue with it. She figures he’s young and should be able to express himself however he sees fit. Penn, doesn’t have an issue with it either but he is more aware of the problems that it could cause. Perhaps, they should meet with the school administrators to discuss it. Once they do, they realize the challenges involved.

Claude becomes Poppy, but how much do they share? Do they make it public? Tell Poppy’s friends? The neighbors? Co-workers?  If you had a child who was Poppy’s friend, would you want to know? Think about sleepovers, shared restrooms, etc.

Poppy’s story is hard to put down. As a parent, it would be a tough situation to be in. I’m not sure how I’d handle the situation myself. There were decisions made that made me want to scream at the parents but then I’d turn a few pages and feel empathy for their situation. Most of all, I felt for Poppy.

Because one of the parents is a doctor, we get the medical aspect of Poppy’s transformation but only a taste of it since she is so young. Hormone blockers are mentioned. Surgery is hinted at for a page or two. At the age of ten, is it right for a parent to consider surgery when the child could easily change their mind? That brings up another topic entirely. Is gender something you can change your mind about or something bigger?

There were aspects of the novel that I didn’t care for. I didn’t like that they ended up in Thailand even though much was revealed there. It seemed a little too convenient and not something that could actually happen. I do feel that the author did a really good job of presenting the issues in a clear way. I was conflicted the entire time I was reading it. I don’t know if a person can love a book like this because Poppy experiences so much heartache and angst but I love that the author put the topic out there because I am still thinking about the story now.

If you are stuck in a reading rut and need something to get you reading again, This Is How It Always Is will definitely get you reading and thinking.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.