Apples and Oranges?

Dec 7, 2019 | 2 comments

A friend (who also happens to be a librarian) recommended a book to me based on my saying that Where The Crawdads Sing is one of the best books I’ve read —  maybe ever.  “Then you should read Educated: A Memoir,” she said.  “We have it as an audio book if you’d like.”  Perfect!  It was the day before we were going up to Seattle and a talking book might help while away the travel time.

I should have grabbed a clue, though, when she told me that she’d heard SO many great things about Where The Crawdads Sing but, try as she might, “I just can’t get into it.  One or two pages and that’s all I can do…”

Nyel and I are about halfway through Educated: A Memoir.  Though it, too, concerns a dysfunctional family and though, in each book, the story is told by the youngest daughter in the family, there the similarity ends.  Crawdads focuses on the beauty of the environment and on the ingenuity of the young narrator. Educated focuses on the cruelty and paranoia of various members of a survivalist family.  Apples and oranges!

I don’t know if we’ll finish Educated, even though we have another trip to Seattle coming up next week.  I keep hoping for some sort of redemption but I have a feeling we’ll have to slog through a lot more horrors before we get there.   These are not people I want to know.  Not in person.  Not in a book.

Call me a weenie, but I really don’t like to invest my limited ‘leisure’ hours reading or hearing about the seamy side of our world.  There’s enough of that in the news and, frankly, I think the more we dwell on it the more we perpetuate it.  I don’t want to give it any more energy that I absolutely have to.  I’m back to that old Johnny Mercer song of my childhood — You’ve got to accentuate the positive/Eliminate the negative/And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.  Yes, I think I’d much rather be a Pollyanna than a Scrooge — or whatever Pollyanna’s opposite might be.



  1. Jane Smith

    I loved Tara Westover’s book! Her journey from such dysfunction to a powerful woman blows my mind. It reminds me of another favorite book of mine, The Glass Castle.

  2. sandy stonebreaker

    I happened to have liked both of the mentioned books. However, I strongly believe that each person who reads a book has the right to like or not like and for others not to try and convince them otherwise. The beauty of reading.


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