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  1. Yesterday
  2. Disappointed Book Club Member.

    @Holly246810 hi holly - as we've mentioned a few times, OverDrive does not select the titles. They are voted on by our users and this was the winner of our most recent vote. You can sign up for our emails to be a part of the voting here: https://www.overdrive.com/account/sign-up?utm_source=Call to Action&utm_medium=On-page Link&utm_content=Header Link&utm_campaign=User Registrations
  3. Disappointed Book Club Member.

    I just finished reading “Flat Broke With Two Goats” and wonder WHY a book like this would be chosen for such a large population of readers other than to create controversy? 1. Who wants to read about these irresponsible people and their menagerie of animals, which clearly they can’t afford? Priorities people! Thank heavens there was no mention of them using our tax money for welfare. 2. Although the author did attempt to work for awhile, never once did she say her husband (who seems to be the one that got them in the financial bind to begin with) tried to find work. It seems like hiding out in the woods and taking on their hobbies were more important than being responsible citizens. When they met the police officer to buy the goat and started bad-mouthing him, I got the feeling they were running and hiding from the law. Why else the cringe? 3. WAY too much information about goats! I’m sure the average reader will not be taking up raising goats as a hobby, so why a book with so much unnecessary information? And why ‘TWO’ goats in the title? There were way more than 2, from the start. Obviously they were spending boo coo money on too many animals instead of getting themselves out of debt. Again, where were their priorities in life? 4 And who does that to their friends? She did call them friends at one point, didn’t she? Walking out of the house and letting the owner take the burden on after these people were only trying to help. Then bad-mouthing and complaining about them? Be responsible for your choices folks! 5. The only thing that kept me reading was her writing style, which was great, and the fact that I love memoirs.
  4. OMG! The WHINING!

    I thought the same thing about the return on investment. And I also thought they weren't truly broke because they both worked. I wouldn't have spent my precious money for food on animals that may or may not produce with no kind of farming experience whatsoever. But also kudos to them for being adventurous and reinventing their life. They lived on a lot of faith while spending themselves down to nothing but $4-something in the bank. On second thought, I guess they were pretty much broke whenever the tax authorities seized everything in their accounts on a seemingly regular basis. And the paychecks being garnished. It must be very frustrating to work hard and to have it all seized. I really don't know how it was possible for them to have all those luxury foods and alcohol. I live on around $9,000 a year. I didn't have much sympathy for them making unwise decisions on their finances. Either live in a fancy house or send your children to private school, but not both. They were bringing in over $100,000 a year! They should have had no money problems at all! Oh well, everyone makes mistakes and has lessons to learn. I'm glad Jennifer realized about her living life as always someone else and not her true self. I have had that same problem in my life, living as anyone else, not my own self, rejecting myself and not even knowing who I am. Being afraid to search in myself for who I am. But also taking notes this year on things I find out about myself so I can learn who I am and what I want. So I truly empathized with Jennifer on that point.
  5. Why the recipes?

    I enjoyed this memoir as it provoked my critical thinking about what I would do if I were in Jennifer's situation. Her sharing her thoughts and feelings about what was happening helped me to process my own. However, all throughout my reading I kept wondering, why the recipes? To me, they interrupted the flow of the story and I was annoyed by that. I was also annoyed by some grammatical errors of missing propositions in a few sentences. But I am also hard to please and errors in a book typically ruin the entire book for me.
  6. Last week
  7. OMG! The WHINING!

    I am actually a grief counselor and it would have been better for the writer to express grief or some emotion other than surprise and irritation over what happened. Maybe it is the writing itself which is breezy that is the problem here. But I was unable to connect to any depth gained from this experience. Even the end, when she talks about her grandmother! It was hard for me to feel her grief which most likely IS a deeply felt part of her story. It may be that the superficial style of writing is why so many of feel that she is whining.
  8. OMG! The WHINING!

    I think this memoir will resonate strongly with other people who have experienced loss and life changing events. Whether it is financial ruin, illness or death, events that completely turn your life upside down make you think about everything differently. So this memoir is not a pity party, it's an exploration of grief. Grief is that strange twilight time that occurs between loss and reinvention. Your thoughts and actions during this time are not logical or practical. I thought this memoir depicted this strange time of worry and hope with humour and fragility. I enjoyed it tremendously.
  9. Judging too harshly?

    I'm not sure they did climb out of debt. It sounded to me like they did some admirable belt-tightening (the house and cars), but they also balked at the IRS's repayment plan and took on additional debt (the MFA) and an expensive hobby (goats). I'm glad the author escaped her abusive relationship--that certainly deserves empathy. Nevertheless, I don't see a real connection with breaking tax laws a decade later, or making other irresponsible financial choices. Maybe that first marriage illustrates her personality, but it doesn't justify later choices. She deserves enormous credit for her honesty. If I were that far in debt, I would never admit to luxury-lifestyle acts such as serving organic yogurt to chickens. To me, this is a cautionary tale, not an uplifting story. I'm still not sure McGaha will ever understand much about personal responsibility. If they actually solved their financial problems, or were on the path to that, I would feel less judgmental. I don't like feeling that way, and I'm not sure I'm better in any way for having read this. Maybe I'm worse.
  10. Reactionary

    This book sure brought out the reactions from everyone from one spectrum to the other. The author Jennifer ran the reactionary gambit herself. She leapt before she thot into her first marriage. Finding a torrid love that ripped her emotions, self-worth, esteem and life apart. I am unsure as to how long before she married her old school chum. Each of them brought emotional baggage to their marriage. Communication seemed to be a big part of it. Each seemed to be in a state of denial but tomorrow will take care of it. Tomorrow will help us get things under control. It cannot be that bad but tomorrow with straighten it out. The readers are very reactionary about this book. Their reactions were from loving it to not. Loving the characters to not. It was interesting to read all the comments. It will be a book I remember for its content, dry humour and for the growth in Jennifer as she stumbled her way with unsureity, grumbling, complaining, caring and plain human frailty that we all suffer from.
  11. Is it good ? No spoilers!!!

    I wouldn't recommend this book. I enjoy homesteading/gardening/farming memoirs (are they a subgenre?) but this is not one of the better ones. McGaha admits in the author Qs at the end of my book that structure is one of her challenges, and it shows. She jumps around between times and subjects, and they're not all interesting or well-developed. I don't feel like I grew to understand any of the people in the book other than her. Furthermore, it seems like her situation could have yielded much more insight and personal growth than it did. Finally, I hated how judgmental this book made me feel as a reader--it's hard not to second-guess her choices and hope that the book is not normalizing and glamorizing them.
  12. It could happen to anyone

    I'm with aPriL and SEC. Financial troubles can happen to anyone, yes, but tax troubles of this level, no. I've done taxes for people for years--low income people who don't own country houses, or pay for private school, and probably don't buy craft beer--and when they owed back taxes, it was never like this. I was especially disappointed that McGaha's attitude toward paying the tax obligations was so blase, almost as if she and her husband didn't really owe all the money and wouldn't need to pay it. As if it was the government's problem, not theirs. I was also disappointed that sometimes she seemed to feel like it was all her husband's doing and problem to fix. Unless he had her signing dummy returns that made her believe taxes were filed, she shares the blame for not making sure taxes were done right. It's not like she was a kid who had never filed taxes before. So much irresponsibility in this book.
  13. OMG! The WHINING!

    I got no sense that she grew at all or developed a deeper relationship with her husband. Glib and whining until the end.
  14. I was excited to see this book as my library’s “Big Read” as I normally enjoy these kinds of stories. I really wanted to love this book, but, aside from some interesting chicken and goat stories, I’m not sure I even liked it. Jennifer, an English teacher, and David, an accountant, are “living the dream” with their three children when David confesses that he has not filed any income tax returns for several years, putting the family deep into debt with both the state and the IRS. With one child still at home, they leave their charmed life to move to a run-down cabin in the woods, where they attempt to raise chickens and goats. Jennifer admits to having her head in the sand in general and admits that she ignored all of the red flags over her family’s finances. And though she doesn’t say it in so many words, she admits to a very superficial relationship with her husband. Sounds interesting, right? Well, it would be if not for Jennifer’s incessant whining and victim mentality. Even though she sort of-kind of admits to her own faults, she never really believes that anything is her fault or that she had any part to play in where she and David find themselves. She’s oh so very “tra la, oh well”. At about the halfway mark I was hoping for some sign that Jennifer was starting to really embrace her roll in her family’s drama, but when, at the end of one chapter, she exclaims, “I choose this”, I just didn’t believe her. The whole “follow your bliss, to heck with actually paying your bills” was grating. Her comments regarding law enforcement were enraging, because, you know, when you break the law, you shouldn’t be held accountable. While I do believe she loves her animals, her irresponsibility regarding their health is indefensible. Her comments that Denise, part of the couple who sold them the house she and David bailed on, was “not a good friend to her” was jaw dropping. And when you’re swimming in debt drinking pricey alcohol and getting your hair done on a regular basis is really where your priorities should be. Frankly, Jennifer’s just not very likable – just glib. She may be book smart, but she lacks any common sense. I finished the book without any sense that she learned anything about herself or that she had developed any real connection with her husband. So, if you are looking for a book about a family that suffers a financial set back, regroups, and comes out stronger in the end, this isn’t it.
  15. Do you like the main character?

    I like the main character but as already emphasized by many Readers i think she should Show more sympathy to David and try to be there for him than run away from the Problems. After twenty years of marriage that is the least one can expect . I am now in Chapter six and hoping that she comes to her senses. This is my first participation in big library read and find it really good. We have very less book Clubs in our area and very few english speaking People and I am so glad to have found this platform.
  16. It could happen to anyone

    I agree financial devastation can happen to anyone - health problems, loss of job. However, an accountant who doesn’t pay his income taxes for three years and keeps it a secret from his wife is not excusable or understandable on any level to me. If I had been her I would have filed for divorce and moved back with her family. Instead, she tries to be a farmer although she finds all of it icky. Now, she is used to it. She seems whacky and flighty to me (not a crime, though) but he is a liar and completely untrustworthy. What else might he hide as things go bad?
  17. Is it good ? No spoilers!!!

    No. However, people who have either gone through bankruptcy or had a fantasy of trying farm life after being a city person might like it.
  18. Do you like the main character?

    No. She is exceedingly foolish.
  19. OMG! The WHINING!

    Count me in with this large group of folks who thought she was a whiner. I grew tired of her making excuses for everything from why they were in debt to why they couldn't get out of debt. I'll admit I didn't finish the book. I had enough and stopped reading right after she mentioned drinking local micro brew beer with their meal, while working to clean the cabin. Her attempt to justify a needless luxury expense was incredible. I hoped by the end of the book she would admit/discuss how ridiculous her attitude was and apologize to their friends and to the readers in general. People who default on loans and/or avoid taxes, raise costs for everyone else. From other reviews I have read I'm guessing she isn't contrite in the end. By the way, I would also hope that after selling this book she is paying back all of the money owed to their friends (the ones they were purchasing their home from) and paid all of her taxes to the government.
  20. #BigLibraryReads

    @Adam Sockel Many thanks for the link, I will try to get an RSS client. As said, i love Overdrive and Libby and want to promote as much as possible. In the UK I believe our county has hit a million downloads which is one for every person in the county's population! Many thanks for a great service
  21. Appreciate your story. Wish the book were more similar. Thing is, it IS taking about criminal actions. They didn't pay taxes an accountant didn't pay taxes. She didn't notice she wasn't signing forms every tax season. There are specific laws that cover inherent doses because I'd precisely this type of rationalizing and delineate unawareness. Again: criminal. They didn't just live at their means, they lived beyond their means. They had no savings or safety net beyond criminal acts and using the officers of that criminality to get a fresh start. Knowing what many have been through, who lived within their means, but lost jobs and whose houses lost value, it's hard to feel sympathy for prime for people so entitled. We all want the best, esp for or kids (ha!). But we settle because it's responsible adult behavior. Sucks to be a grown up.
  22. Goat sex and taxes

    I think one of the problems with this book is that her emotional reactions to events does not come through. I am a grief counselor and was unmoved by her account of her grief experiences. This may be more a result of poor writing than a lack of emotion on her part but a memoir should express the story and the emotion. I grant that she may not be as oblivious as she seems; it may just be how she writes about it. Or doesn’t write about it...
  23. Cabin in the woods

    No. Just no. I would not mind baking my own bread again, cooking things but no to the shambles, no to the holes in the roof, no to the snakes and the mud and no WiFi and the dirt and the animals. Just no, not for me. And no to an accountant/husband who doesn’t pay taxes. if I were in that position, I would have gone in to the workforce, used the masters degree to get a well paid job. Downsized for sure, but at least to something that was sturdy, clean and heated.
  24. Cabin in the woods

    Nope. I like clean water, showers, and electricity.
  25. Do you like the main character?

    I'm sure there is more to Jennifer than this book revealed, but this story does nothing to make me feel the slightest interest in getting to know her. I guess that would mean I don't 'like' her .
  26. Do you like the main character?

    I will say that I like her a little better at the end than I expected to or than I did in the beginning. I don't know if they started taking responsibility for things, but her attitude seemed to shift a bit so there's that.
  27. OMG! The WHINING!

    Agreed. At first, I was into this book and felt the author was almost describing my life. But after about 3/4 of the way through, the constant whining about all the sacrifices she had to endure while drinking artisan beer gazing at the waterfall on her property, she lost me as a reader. You can only blame others for your misfortune for so long before those around you start tuning you out.
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