I really can't decide whether I liked this novel a lot or was annoyed by it's characterizations of children and old people. Sometimes the characters' voices seem spot on, and then five pages later I'm rolling my eyes, thinking that it's too much, gone into pretentiousness now.
The Australian setting is different, though the towns and people bringing casseroles after the death of a neighbor are certainly familiar.
If you like Matthew Quick's novels, you might find this entertaining if not profound.
of poems in this anthology, many of which I think would be boring to kids or vaguely disturbing. Then there are some (like Billy Collins' "The Death of the Hat") that are fascinating, approachable, etc. The illustrations don't help a great deal, either - some of the watercolors fit well with their poems, others are just an awful match. And the whole idea of the anthology - a history of poetry - is hard to grasp when reading this. They all seem rather timeless and unrelated, and not particularly great representations of their period in time.
...but overall, it's an interesting series if you are into genealogy and/or history. The celebrity guests and their families are usually at least mildly interesting, and the producers have done a good job of looking at people from very different backgrounds. You probably won't learn anything new if you're experienced at genealogy, and the celebrities' lack of knowledge about history can be surprising, but it's a good introduction to genealogy in the US.
...after the first song on the CD. It does get better, though none of them really blew me away.
Seriously, one of the best books I've read - and I read a lot. Despite it's subject matter, "Being Mortal" is anything but depressing. It is fascinating, well-written, life-affirming, heart-warming, and most of all, immensely practical.