Tag Archives: Lynette

Girly Girl: My Late-in-Life Love of the Super Girly

Ask anyone I went to school with, and they will tell you that Lynette Ruby was not a girly girl – that is to say if I am even remembered by my name, and not “that angry short girl with the pixie haircut.”  I thought giving in and having fun with something girly like a movie, book, or pop song would ultimately undo whatever tough personae I’d worked to cultivate.   There were certain things I would not allow myself to enjoy…well, not publicly at least.  There were pop bands I’d deny enjoying, movies I’d claim I didn’t want to see, books I wouldn’t read, and more feminine looks I would refuse to wear.

In school, I ran with other kids on the fringes of society; the wanna-be hackers, skateboarders, goths, punks – the tougher you looked, and more piercings you had, the cooler I thought you were.  I thought we were the non-conformists.  I tried so hard to not conform that in the end…I was conforming.  I would deny liking certain things to keep up the image…well, whatever image it was I had.

Cut to college – wait…cut to after college – and you’ll find me to be a bit…a bit more…girly.  Becoming the awesome Lynette you may know and love today was no easy journey – and it certainly wasn’t without loads of awkwardness.  You know that MTV show, Awkward.?  Yeah, it had nothing on me.  They don’t know what real awkward is.  Let me give you a quick sampling of my awkward “becoming a butterfly” stage in life:

  • Accidentally getting a Mr. Spock haircut while trying to grow out from a pixie cut – ladies it takes more patience than you will even know to grow out a pixie.
  • Having to consult YouTube videos on how to do a proper pony tail – yeah, it was that bad.

There’s loads more stories – loads –  but I have to keep a shred of your respect.  I was almost like an alien trying to figure out how to be an Earthling girl.  There were sad and funny moments in this transformation.  I just wanted to finally do what I wanted to do – whether or not my peers agreed.  If I wanted to do something outrageously girly, I was finally giving myself permission.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not that girly, but compared to what I was?  Uh…yeah!

People from high school come in to my library all the time, and hardly anyone recognizes me. So, what is my point of this post?  Be as weird and as awkward as you want – really!  But, please, make sure it’s what you want to do.  If you want to be a punk who loves Gossip Girl – you go right ahead.  You want to read Batman comics, skateboard, have pink hair, and dress like Audrey HepburnDo it!

Don’t feel like a beautiful butterfly yet?  Start with figuring out what you actually like, not just what you’re friends and everyone expects you to like.  You’ll be more beautiful the moment you act like your true self.  Your metamorphosis won’t happen overnight, and is doubtful to be without its awkwardness – but just remember I decided to get girly at 25 years old. It’s never too soon to be the person you really want to be.

Here are a few titles that might spark your interest: Creagh, Kelly.  Nevermore.  2010

Lyga, Barry.  The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.  2007

Reger, Rob.  Emily the strange. 2012.

Satrapi, Marjane.  Persepolis.  2007.

Article by Lynette, Newburg Branch

Living the Good Long Life by Martha Stewart

livegoodms

I love a good piece of non-fiction that makes learning easy and understandable, and Ms. Martha Stewart has never let me down in putting out quality material, in an easy to understand format.  She’s really on her editing game as of the last few titles, especially Living the Good Long Life.

The subject of this book is how to live the best life you can after 40 and through retirement.  It has great tips for physical and mental health, finances, eating, organizing, and how to care for older relatives.  The book was written for those who are retired, and those who take care of retirees.  It is a great go-to for referencing anything that could happen to those 40 and older.

The layout is clean and simple, with chapter breakdowns that are easy to flip through, and an index in the back for specific look ups.  This is a great resource to have in the house, and is a great title to include in any family library.  In fact, it’s quite a cheery looking book, with all kinds of muted oranges and white…kind of like a Creamsicle.

You probably won’t need to read this cover to cover; and might only find yourself looking at certain sections that apply to you and your family – and that’s what it’s set up for.  You can look at each chapter independently, and still get all the information you need, without having to read the entire book – and it’s a bigger one; coming in around 400 pages.  The text is clear and easy to read, but do expect you may have to read it to retirees with bad eyesight – as there is no large print version.  If you’re over 40, or have a family member over 40, I highly recommend reading and referencing Living the Good Long Life.

Formats Available:  Book (Regular Type), eBook

Reviewed by Lynette, Newburg Branch

Laika by Nick Abadzis: The World’s Saddest Graphic Novel

Laika

 

Have you already read The Fault in Our Stars and need another tear jerker?  Look no further – this is it.  I started Laika in a coffee shop but I had to leave when the water works started.  I finished the book in private where no one would judge me crying over a graphic novel about a dog.  It was…an awkward moment.

You’ve been warned.

Before humans went into space, before chimps, there was Laika – the first living creature to go into orbit around the Earth.  Laika went up in Sputnik II; a rushed second satellite launched by the Soviets in 1957.

Laika was a loveable and loyal terrier mix who ended up going from home to home, even being a homeless stray, before getting caught by the dog catcher and given to the Soviet space program for experimentation.   Through all of it she was an upbeat dog, even loving the scientists who put her through such experiences like  being in the centrifuge at 4 G’s or strapping her into special dog space harnesses.   Those who worked with her came to love her so dearly, and author Abadzis really conveys the pain of the scientists who knew what they were doing – sending the dog on a one way trip into space.

Abadzis not only shows us what the stressed out and overworked Soviet scientists went through, but also lets us see the world through Laika’s eyes.  We see her confusion, her love, and in the end her pain.  This is story is not sugar coated – and it will break your heart.  Even if the story of Laika is familiar to you, this is a recommended read.

Formats Available:  Book

Reviewed by Lynette, Highlands-Shelby Park Branch

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

The title is a mouth full, but don’t let that deter you – in fact, the title is what grabbed my attention.  Upon actually glancing past the cover, I discovered how epically funny this book is.  I stress the word epically.  I laughed out loud so many times that multiple people had to ask me what was so funny – which bothered me immensely because each time I had to put it down to talk to them!

Our evil genius, Oliver Watson, is in seventh grade, and to the rest of his classmates he’s seen as a bumbling idiot, scaredy pants, and general freak to steer clear of.  It turns out Oliver has been playing them all – at home and at school – from the very beginning.  See, Oliver’s really a secret evil genius who never saw the benefit of letting people in on his genius, because no one worthy of it.  For all of his thirteen years he’s been amassing his strength and power; including an underground lair, body guards, more wealth than he can spend, and a professional grade science lab with a whole army of scientists and engineers at his disposal.  All the while, everyone around him sees him as a sloppy and simple minded seventh grader – even his own parents.

Oliver is fine with people not knowing – in fact, he prefers it that way.  He’s even put several barriers in place so that even if people come looking for him, they’ll never be able to prove it – should anyone ever suspect.  But now – now he’s got something to prove…to his Dad; a former class president who won’t stop reliving his political past “glories.”

Author, Josh Lieb, is a producer from the comedy news show, The Daily Show.  This is his debut novel.

-Lynette-

Recovery Road by Blake Nelson

Maddie is seventeen, and already has been given the descriptive nickname “Mad Dog Maddie” for her wild behavior. After too many wrong turns she finds herself in a teen rehabilitation center. Rehab isn’t for her – she does not want to be there, nor does she think her problems are comparable to the others she meets in rehab. Everything changes when she meets another rehab patient, Stewart. The time that had been dragging on so slowly in rehab is now happening so fast after meeting Stewart.

And then she gets to go home.

Maddie is a changed girl now, she’s actually trying to reel in her rage and desire to drink and party – but, no one is buying it, no matter how hard she tries, what grades she gets, or how nice she acts towards others. Though she is sincerely trying to turn her life around for the better everyone, including Stewart, classmates, and her family, suspect she’s going to slip back into her ways. So what about Stewart and his struggles? The more Maddie tries to turn to him for help the more distant he becomes.

Author Blake Nelson writes in a way that makes Maddie’s issues feel so real. Her struggle to reign in her anger and party girl behavior are heart breaking to read. As the reader you understand her sincerity, and yet you also understand why those around her are leery to forgive and forget her wild past. They can’t fully invest in Maddie again until she’s proved herself, and this isn’t anything she can turn around in a matter of months. She realizes she might be fighting her own reputation for years to come.

I would recommend Recovery Road to any young adult struggling to turn people’s opinions of themselves around. It isn’t easy, you might not be able to get everyone to forgive you, but you can come out the other side as the person you want to be – regardless of what anyone thinks about you.

-Lynette-