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Melissa_W
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WYGB: Part One and Part Two

Please use this thread for discussion of Part One "Mom Versus the Gnats" and Part Two "Bernadette Past and Present".

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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streamsong
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two

I'm listening to this as an audiobook, even if it makes it a bit harder to pinpoint specific quotes or points of discussion.

 

The audiobook is fantastic! Wonderful voices--more like a production of a play than an audiobook.

 

I love the snarky humor.

 

So far Bee (B?) is my favorite character.  What a strong, resourceful daughter!

Melissa_W
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two

The humor is very sly, isn't it. I cackled through Bernadette's first email everytime she made a jab at the "A"s (oops, "S"s!) as recorded by Bee's school.

 

Since you are listening, do you find it confusing at all that the narrator/daughter is named Bee (as spelled out in the book but probably evokes only the letter while listening) but the mother is Bernadette?


streamsong wrote:

I'm listening to this as an audiobook, even if it makes it a bit harder to pinpoint specific quotes or points of discussion.

 

The audiobook is fantastic! Wonderful voices--more like a production of a play than an audiobook.

 

I love the snarky humor.

 

So far Bee (B?) is my favorite character.  What a strong, resourceful daughter!


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Melissa_W
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So, this virtual assistant thing...

Have you read the invoice for Delhi Virtual Assistants International?

 

Manjula is only charging 75 CENTS PER HOUR???  Only 30 bucks a week.  I don't know if that's an actual price for hiring a virtual assistant in India (which you can do, since apparently AJ Jacobs did it in his book The Guinea Pig Diaries) but that just seems an insultingly paltry rate.

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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streamsong
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two

The audiobook reader, Kathleen Wilhoite, is doing such a marvelous job with the voices that I have no trouble keeping Bee and Bernadette separate. I'll definitely look for more audios by this reader!

 

You may have something, though, with the Bee and Bernadette thing. Do you think Bee is a younger version of Bernadette? Very very bright, somewhat socially awkward with the combination making her a bit isolated? I'd love to hear comments.

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streamsong
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Re: So, this virtual assistant thing...

The Virtual Assistant thing is very funny. 

 

When I listened to that part I thought "I want one!" . 

 

And ..... I did  actually google them and  found out they  **are** Real.  Most of the ads I saw were agencies from India and Pakistan. I suspect the 75 cents an hour might be a bit of a humorous exageration, but I wasn't so serious that I checked out prices. I'm not sure what I'd actually have a virtual assistant do ...... go down the list of plumbers in the phone book and find one with decent references was about the extent of what I could come up with. 

 

If only they could come up with a virtual housecleaner at 75 cents an hour!

Inspired Wordsmith
chadadanielleKR
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Re: So, this virtual assistant thing...

I suppose the .75c/hour has to do with the cost of living in India, which is much cheaper than in the Western world.  As far as I know,  India is specialized in English language Call centers and even though the international phone call costs are as there are,  large Western companies are making enough profit so as to locate their call centers so far away from Europe or North America. For instance, some of the French call centers are located in North Africa. 

I also found the idea of having a virtual assistant very funny, the idea of a virtual housekeeper is even better!

Melissa_W
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two (hopefully not a spoiler)

I chowed the whole book last night (it reached a point of no return, seriously) so, without spoiling much of anything, I can definitely say that Bee is the product of two very, very intelligent people and an interesting character but she's not Bernadette.

 

It is interesting, though, to entertain the possibility that Bee is a younger version of Bernadette because that didn't occur to me at all while reading.

 

(And just a note on Kathleen Wilhoite, I loved her as Susan's sister on ER)


streamsong wrote:

The audiobook reader, Kathleen Wilhoite, is doing such a marvelous job with the voices that I have no trouble keeping Bee and Bernadette separate. I'll definitely look for more audios by this reader!

 

You may have something, though, with the Bee and Bernadette thing. Do you think Bee is a younger version of Bernadette? Very very bright, somewhat socially awkward with the combination making her a bit isolated? I'd love to hear comments.


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Inspired Wordsmith
chadadanielleKR
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two (hopefully not a spoiler)

I am involved in the same process  even though from time to time I have  to  check the meaning of words or concepts used only in the States(as far as I know). Fortunately, on the web, I find everything easily!

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Redcatlady
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two (hopefully not a spoiler)


Melissa_W wrote:

I chowed the whole book last night (it reached a point of no return, seriously) so, without spoiling much of anything, I can definitely say that Bee is the product of two very, very intelligent people and an interesting character but she's not Bernadette.

 

It is interesting, though, to entertain the possibility that Bee is a younger version of Bernadette because that didn't occur to me at all while reading.

 

(And just a note on Kathleen Wilhoite, I loved her as Susan's sister on ER)


streamsong wrote:

The audiobook reader, Kathleen Wilhoite, is doing such a marvelous job with the voices that I have no trouble keeping Bee and Bernadette separate. I'll definitely look for more audios by this reader!

 

You may have something, though, with the Bee and Bernadette thing. Do you think Bee is a younger version of Bernadette? Very very bright, somewhat socially awkward with the combination making her a bit isolated? I'd love to hear comments.


 


When I read it, I thought they both shared the same name and Bee was a nickname.

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Fozzie
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two

The first section of the book was hilarious! 

 

The idea of Bernadette having a virtual assistant was funny for three reasons --- because she doesn’t need one, she writes to the virtual assistant as if she were speaking to a therapist or friend, and because of the ridiculously low rate of pay for the assistant, which must be hidden from her husband, no less.

 

I can’t help but wonder how much of the satire about Microsoft is based in truth.  Or what is said about Seattle for that matter.

 

Can you imagine having a huge mudslide, one of you own making, destroy your house during a party?  What a disaster, but hilarious in the context of the book! 

 

I did not enjoy the second section as much.  Frankly, I don’t think Bernadette is/was a great architect as much as she is/was a jokester. 

 

I can’t wait to see what the next sections hold.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Melissa_W
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two

Agreed - I think Bernadette is considered an iconic architect simply for her point of view with the Twenty Mile House (although its definitely a Green Movement type of house) and for the controversy it was caught up in.  Sort of like how John Kennedy Toole is sort-of revered for his novel A Confederacy of Dunces (it won the Pulitzer) while I can't hlep but think that if it weren't for his story or he had lived to write other books the novel definitely wouldn't hold up to scrutiny.

The neighbor is one of those people I can't stand - I am Miss Perfect and everthing that happens is completely someone else's fault.  I was so irritated when Bernadette wouldn't rip into her for the mudslide and Bee got upset.  And then there's the fake foot injury and her really condescending attitude toward Bee going to Choate.


Fozzie wrote:

The first section of the book was hilarious! 

 

The idea of Bernadette having a virtual assistant was funny for three reasons --- because she doesn’t need one, she writes to the virtual assistant as if she were speaking to a therapist or friend, and because of the ridiculously low rate of pay for the assistant, which must be hidden from her husband, no less.

 

I can’t help but wonder how much of the satire about Microsoft is based in truth.  Or what is said about Seattle for that matter.

 

Can you imagine having a huge mudslide, one of you own making, destroy your house during a party?  What a disaster, but hilarious in the context of the book! 

 

I did not enjoy the second section as much.  Frankly, I don’t think Bernadette is/was a great architect as much as she is/was a jokester. 

 

I can’t wait to see what the next sections hold.


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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Fozzie
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Re: WYGB: Part One and Part Two


streamsong wrote:

The audiobook reader, Kathleen Wilhoite, is doing such a marvelous job with the voices that I have no trouble keeping Bee and Bernadette separate. I'll definitely look for more audios by this reader!

 

You may have something, though, with the Bee and Bernadette thing. Do you think Bee is a younger version of Bernadette? Very very bright, somewhat socially awkward with the combination making her a bit isolated? I'd love to hear comments.


I don't think of Bee as a younger version of Bernadette.  Bee seems much more practical than Berndadette.  Bee seems more the adult to me.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Redcatlady
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The Blackberry Bush War


Fozzie wrote:

The first section of the book was hilarious! 

 

The idea of Bernadette having a virtual assistant was funny for three reasons --- because she doesn’t need one, she writes to the virtual assistant as if she were speaking to a therapist or friend, and because of the ridiculously low rate of pay for the assistant, which must be hidden from her husband, no less.

 

I can’t help but wonder how much of the satire about Microsoft is based in truth.  Or what is said about Seattle for that matter.

 

Can you imagine having a huge mudslide, one of you own making, destroy your house during a party?  What a disaster, but hilarious in the context of the book! 

 

I did not enjoy the second section as much.  Frankly, I don’t think Bernadette is/was a great architect as much as she is/was a jokester. 

 

I can’t wait to see what the next sections hold.



So, everybody, what do you make of the entire "Blackberry Bush War"?  Was Audrey really serious about it, or was she just spoiling for a fight with Bernadette and the offending plant was a convenient excuse?

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chadadanielleKR
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Re: The Blackberry Bush War

I thought it was very funny although realistic. I also thought that the gardener should have thought about the possibility of the mudslide because I am sure this kind of event is predictable and Maria Sample might has seen it happened.

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Fozzie
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Re: The Blackberry Bush War


Redcatlady wrote:




So, everybody, what do you make of the entire "Blackberry Bush War"?  Was Audrey really serious about it, or was she just spoiling for a fight with Bernadette and the offending plant was a convenient excuse?


I think it was both.  It was serious because the blackberries could cause damage to Audrey's home.  In her defense, she had tried to get rid of them on her property.   However, I think making Bernadette get rid of all the blackberry plants was extreme.

Laura

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Redcatlady
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Re: The Blackberry Bush War


Fozzie wrote:

Redcatlady wrote:




So, everybody, what do you make of the entire "Blackberry Bush War"?  Was Audrey really serious about it, or was she just spoiling for a fight with Bernadette and the offending plant was a convenient excuse?


I think it was both.  It was serious because the blackberries could cause damage to Audrey's home.  In her defense, she had tried to get rid of them on her property.   However, I think making Bernadette get rid of all the blackberry plants was extreme.


Especially when it turned out that the bush was holding up the mountainside and its removal caused the mudslide.

Melissa_W
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Re: The Blackberry Bush War

I think the blackberry bush was an excuse to get under Bernadette's skin.  The "war" and subsequent damage was a great metaphor for the way Audrey was butting into everyone's lives, trying to one-up everyone, no matter the cost to others.


Redcatlady wrote:

Fozzie wrote:

The first section of the book was hilarious! 

 

The idea of Bernadette having a virtual assistant was funny for three reasons --- because she doesn’t need one, she writes to the virtual assistant as if she were speaking to a therapist or friend, and because of the ridiculously low rate of pay for the assistant, which must be hidden from her husband, no less.

 

I can’t help but wonder how much of the satire about Microsoft is based in truth.  Or what is said about Seattle for that matter.

 

Can you imagine having a huge mudslide, one of you own making, destroy your house during a party?  What a disaster, but hilarious in the context of the book! 

 

I did not enjoy the second section as much.  Frankly, I don’t think Bernadette is/was a great architect as much as she is/was a jokester. 

 

I can’t wait to see what the next sections hold.



So, everybody, what do you make of the entire "Blackberry Bush War"?  Was Audrey really serious about it, or was she just spoiling for a fight with Bernadette and the offending plant was a convenient excuse?


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com