For What It's Worth

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Just a little update...Life, reading, music

Still going through a few things - loved ones in a not so great situation and I'm waiting on a few medical tests results for myself. Also, dealing with technical glitches with my insurance that mean I have no access to 1/2 of the things I need for medical care, including filling RX's and messaging access to my Dr. As well as just finding out I had $150 in past co-pays going back to August that I never knew about. It's making me stabby.

One day life will be a little less chaotic and I will be chilled out enough to read and blog consistently again. Today is not that day lol But here's a quick update for now.

I've read a few things. Carrie Soto is back by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I LOVED the audio. Carrie was fierce, vulnerable and determined as she claws her way back to the top of tennis. Loved the relationship with her dad and the other women her life as well.

Started Boss Witch by Ann Aguirre and it's cute but the audio isn't working for me so I'll switch to e-book.

I'm reading Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood and it's funny but the plot/characters are SO similar to The Love Hypothesis that it's thrown me a bit. That was a 5 star read for me but Not sure I want an almost exact retread of it. 

A few songs that I've been listening to lately.

Sick of U by BoyWithUke - I'm using the lyrics video because the official is fairly violent. This one does have lots of f-bombs though...

It's a good F-U song to those who irritate you lol

Run Away to Mars by TALK - Odd video but I think this song is so pretty and something sweet to counter the angry one above lol

That's it for now...I miss you all and I've been trying to keep up with comments on your blogs - even if it's just once a week.

I'll leave you with a little puppy pic - even though they have hogged all my blankets and are pushing my legs off the edge they are a bright spot to my day 💗

Friday, October 21, 2022

Review: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain, Narrated by Simon Vance


Albert Entwistle is a private man with a quiet, simple life. He lives alone with his cat Gracie. And he’s a postman. At least he was a postman until, three months before his sixty-fifth birthday, he receives a letter from the Royal Mail thanking him for decades of service and stating he is being forced into retirement.

At once, Albert’s sole connection with his world unravels. Every day as a mail carrier, he would make his way through the streets of his small English town, delivering letters and parcels and returning greetings with a quick wave and a “how do?” Without the work that fills his days, what will be the point? He has no friends, family, or hobbies—just a past he never speaks of, and a lost love that fills him with regret.

And so, rather than continue his lonely existence, Albert forms a brave plan to start truly living. It’s finally time to be honest about who he is. To seek the happiness he’s always denied himself. And to find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he loved and lost—but has never forgotten. As he does, something extraordinary happens. Albert finds unlikely allies, new friends, and proves it’s never too late to live, to hope, and to love. ~ Goodreads

Source: ALC (audio arc) provided by in exchange for an honest review

Narrator: Simon Vance

Review: Oh lordy, I'm so rusty writing reviews but here goes...

Albert Entwistle spends his days delivering the mail in the small town of Toddington. The routine brings him comfort but he keeps everyone at arms length except for his beloved cat, Gracie.

Several months before Albert turns 65, he receives a notice from the Royal Mail letting him know that his services will no longer be needed and he is being forced into retirement after his birthday. Albert is crushed. Although the job doesn't bring him joy - he has stuffed down so many secrets and feelings over the years that losing that routine and security fills him with fear. Then a life changing event occurs SPOILER -> His cat Gracie dies from cancer, She is elderly but it's over Christmas and it's very depressing <- that leaves him longing for connection. The problem is, he has no idea how to do that after pushing people away for so long. 

Cain weaves in the backstory of Albert's childhood in the 70's, growing up in love with a boy named George, during a time where it was illegal to be openly gay and as the son of an extremely homophobic, policeman father. He's lived his entire life frozen by the vile words spewed by his father about "those people" and the fear that society will still feel the same way if anyone sees a hint of who he really is. Even so, he decides it's time to start living and maybe even find George. 

He starts by taking baby steps, beginning with his neighbor - a young, single Black mom, who is also having a rough go of things, to help  with technology aspects of looking up George. Slowly, his circle begins to widen and he lets small pieces of himself seep out. Albert is both shocked and delighted by the response he gets from people he didn't even think noticed him.

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is a gentle little story that says it's never to late for new beginnings and family isn't something that needs to be connected by blood. 

I say the story is gentle, and it is, but it was also deeply sad to read about Albert's past, watch him struggle so hard just to summon the courage to speak to people (I relate) while the people he forms new ties with are also going through tough things. It could be a real downer at times.

However, it was a joy to watch Albert (& those around him) blossom into this whole new life he didn't think was attainable or that he deserved. There were also the beautiful little connections he made - acts of kindness, both great and small - that made huge impacts.

If anything, I would say things went too well for everyone by the end. Everything just slotted into place, maybe too easily, but I could hardly begrudge that. It couldn't happen to a better group of people. 

The author noted that he wanted to use Albert and George's story to explore the changes towards LGBQT from the 1970's to present day in British society and includes letters from gay men about their experiences from that time. I'm not sure that is included in the print version, I listened to the audiobook, but it was a nice touch.  

I've seen this book compared to Fredrik Backman's books but I can't say. I did find it similar to TJ Klune though - without the whimsy.

CW: death of an elderly cat - cancer, death of a terminally ill child, racism, bullying, parental bullying/homophobia, general "joking" homophobic comments. There may be more but that's what I remember. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Tell Me Something Tuesday Topic Catch Up: Author interactions and Feeeeeeelings

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. 

It is co-hosted by (Linda from Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Roberta from Offbeat YA, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About, Berl's from Because Reading is Better than Real Life  and me) 

Join in by answering this weeks question in the comments or on your own blog.

If you would like to join TMST and receive periodic emails of upcoming topics, please fill out this GOOGLE FORM. TMST is a laid back meme – join in or opt out depending on your interest in topics or schedule.

So, I don't feel like I can ever get back to *normal* with blogging. There's just a lot going on in my personal life right now and it puts reading/blogging on the back burner. (I'm ok! Just a stressful situation for someone close to me).

TMST is like my gateway post to keep me in the loop lol

September 27  Do you follow your favorite authors on social media? Do you interact with them?

Not really. I have a small group of authors from my early days of blogging that I still follow and interact with but it's rarely bookish and mostly on Instagram. I think everyone has taken a big step back from interacting and from social media in general.

I hate the drama and, honestly, the book hype. I miss just having an honest chat about books I enjoyed with a link to buy it.

October 4th: Do you get emotional over books/movies/TV series?

I have said repeatedly on this blog that I am dead inside. It takes A LOT to get me to cry. I used to get very invested in stories but now I feel like I can see the plot coming a mile away and it just doesn't hit me the same way. 

Having said that, I am getting sappier in my old age. I have teared up over a few books recently (a mid-grade zombie book of all things! lol) and I've outright sobbed over a few tv shows the past few months. 

So now I'm a crier, I guess lol