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Blogger Book Club: Mister Owita and The Antelope in the Living Room

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memoir reviews
I have to admit, I was excited that Kirby picked a memoir for last month’s Blogger Book Club book.  After starting to write my own memoir during NaNoWriMo, I’ve read several others, as a form of research. Most of them, I started, but didn’t finish.  But I stuck with Mr. Owita and I’m glad I did.

Memoirs are different from the more fast-paced novels that most of us read.  They are, for the most part, more about personal discovery and changes than mystery or suspense. I tend to enjoy memoirs that are funny, like The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life by Melanie Shankle of the Big Mama Blog.  I LOVED The Antelope in the Living Room.  It is Melanie’s second book and focuses on marriage.  Her first (Sparkly Green Earrings ) was about parenting and the third, which comes out in April, is about friendship.

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life was so real. I guess it should be, since it’s a memoir.  But I listened to it on tape (through my library) and hearing Melanie’s voice and her adorable southern accent as she talked about the (sometimes funny) trials and tribulations of marriage made me feel like I was talking to a good friend.  (In fact, I may or may not have referred to her as, “my friend Melanie” when sharing a story from her book.)  Anyway, I loved it, and I’ve been following her blog and think that’s pretty funny, too.

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart definitely wasn’t funny, but I connected with the characters in many ways.  The author (or “memoirist” in this case) was a middle aged woman who was a cancer survivor, but lived in fear of the cancer returning.  Mr. Owita was a Kenyan immigrant hired to work on the landscaping in her yard.  Throughout the book, Owita and the author grow closer and we learn secrets about both of them.  The resulting feeling, that we know both characters intimately and are wiser for knowing them, makes reading the book worthwhile, and one I would recommend.

Check out my fellow Book Clubbers for their reviews this month:
Carmel at Our Fifth House
Cassie at Primitive and Proper
Kirby at Kirb Appeal
Brenda at Cozy Little House 

Our next book was chosen by Carmel and is part of my favorite genre: children’s books!  A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd is a novel recommended for grades 3 to 7.
I included some of my other favorite books for that age range in my Summer Reading List for Middle Grades last spring.

summer reading list

Read my other book reviews:
 New York: The Novel
Rockettes, Rockstars and Rockbottom
Fly Guy: There’s a Fly in my Soup
Beezus and Ramona
Parenting without Power Struggles
You Are a Writer (So start acting like one!)
Water for Elephants
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry: A Novel
The Good Girl
Big Little Lies
Dark Places

Shared at: Modern Mrs. Darcy