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cybercrone    20
Well, the writing is nothing to write home about for a start.
 
I really, really love goats and back-to-the-country stories, so was quite looking forward to this.

The amount of bellyaching she does about situations that were caused by her own negligence  and denial is quite unbelievable. The amount of sheer good fortune she has had, since with her ignorance *everything* living was in grave danger of dying, is also unbelievable.

She's obviously mentally lazy as she keeps complaining that she doesn't understand 'numbers' and 'science' and blaming a lot of her mistakes on that "fact" - but she can follow a complicated cookery recipe with lots of numbers and science with no problem. So I guess it's what you choose.

Some of her research was really shoddy too. Such as her statement about mixing hot lard to make soap having been the most difficult/dangerous part of soap making for pioneer women. Well, no . . . The most difficult and dangerous part was making the lye, which didn't come ready made in cans back in the day. She seems to believe that ready-made lye was available off the ark.

How on earth did Overdrive pick this piece of junk for a Big Library Read??
 
 
 
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Adam Sockel    32
1 hour ago, cybercrone said:
Well, the writing is nothing to write home about for a start.
 
I really, really love goats and back-to-the-country stories, so was quite looking forward to this.

The amount of bellyaching she does about situations that were caused by her own negligence  and denial is quite unbelievable. The amount of sheer good fortune she has had, since with her ignorance *everything* living was in grave danger of dying, is also unbelievable.

She's obviously mentally lazy as she keeps complaining that she doesn't understand 'numbers' and 'science' and blaming a lot of her mistakes on that "fact" - but she can follow a complicated cookery recipe with lots of numbers and science with no problem. So I guess it's what you choose.

Some of her research was really shoddy too. Such as her statement about mixing hot lard to make soap having been the most difficult/dangerous part of soap making for pioneer women. Well, no . . . The most difficult and dangerous part was making the lye, which didn't come ready made in cans back in the day. She seems to believe that ready-made lye was available off the ark.

How on earth did Overdrive pick this piece of junk for a Big Library Read??
 
 
 

Titles are all selected the same way. Publishers submit titles that are then voted on by OverDrive users around the world. If you'd like to participate in the voting you can sign up for our emails at 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

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Sethcalkins    3
4 hours ago, cybercrone said:
 

I somewhat agree. Though, I don't know if the author herself is really that bad. Even if she is, then who am I to judge? While reading this I imagined that the character in the book was just a representation of herself...not an exact replica. 

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Gill    4

This was incredibly poor writing if it wasn't a discussion book I wouldn't have got past the first chapter. Felt sorry for the goats. 

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Mjvig    0

Are the link to sign up for voting.

Is this the same as what we agreed to when signing in here?

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JMO    18

I'm still reading it, but saw the topic heading and have to agree. I'll keep trying to get through it...

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Reneenee    3

I could handle the whining and I learned a lot about raising goats but I did feel that most of the events described were overly dramatized. I admire anyone who can write a book but I realize that I am weary of the memoir genre. How can anyone be truly honest about their own life? Memory is so flawed.

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Anne McC    8

I didn't think the writing was so bad.  Very like a report on a conference or business trip but the constant self pity was tiresome.  As was the reverential eulogies to grandparents, very old, frail, seriously ill people who, themselves, probably didn't recall their hardscrabble backgrounds with any kind of fondness.

Jennifer's blame of her husband for everything that went wrong really ticked me off.  She was content to be reliant on his working and earning without putting herself out to grow the family finances or pay any bills but blamed him absolutely for their indebtedness.

I can understand wanting to stand on your own two feet, but I am puzzled why her parents or deified granny didn't help out a bit.  Nor why they went to live in a sh#t hole when they could've bunked up with either of them, especially if she had to go to care for granny regularly.

I think it's the only book I've read where I experienced not a flicker of a smile.  In fact, I missed out whole chunks of the narrative where she was talking about granny.  She was 92.  You were nearly 50.  She died.  Get over it.

It's a few hours I won't get back but I learned an thing or two about goats.  I won't be buying any.

 

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I was excited about the online discussion but was on the fence about the book. The style isn't my typical read. I'm having a hard time staying with this book. 

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Annie007    4

I understand about the self pitying, but isn’t that the point? She has to grow as a person, and growth can come at any age, at any time. She was emotionally spent, emotionally flat broke.  Maybe it takes different circumstances for us as individuals to find our breaking points, but the loss of her home and the death of her grandmother in addition to feeling foolish about her financial situation and her seemingly perfect marriage falling apart were what brought the author to an emotional crossroads. I think I wold have been felled by much less. 

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Donna P    4

I agree, it was poorly written.  I kept reading only because I thought it would get good.  I hope overdrive picks a good book next time!

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dorothee2    2

I am listening to the audiobook.  About 70% through the book right now.  I am tired of the pity party.  Everything is soooo not her fault.  If this was not a book discussion book I don't think I would have made it thought the first 3 chapters.  It's too depressing.

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JLB    7

I too tired of the pity party. Jen made me tired. She spent years ignoring her financial situation and then was incapable of getting out of the hole she and David dug together. If they were in such debt, why keep so many dogs? Why keep the youngest son in a superbly expensive school? Her decisions did not seem to be well thought out. There was very little communication between the husband and wife during the time they were acquiring debt and very little communication afterwards as they tried to move on with life. (Notice I did not say “falling into debt” as that would make it seem like some kind of unfortunate accident...and I also said “as they moved on with life”, not “as they worked to get out of debt” because the book did not give me the impression that there was much effort made to pay back the debt.)  The story did not inspire me. This was not a tale of overcoming insurmountable odds and winning at the end of a hard fought battle.  

This was my first time participating in the Big Library Read program.  Am not sure that this particular book choice will have me eager to participate in the next round.

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BonnieR    5

This is not a compelling memoir.

The self pity for her financial problems and the obsession with the dead grandmother were annoying. Worse, who gets themselves into that kind of financial trouble then keeps sending her kid  to private school. The privilege and self-absorption in this book reek worse than any buck goat.

I kept reading hoping to find something to like. Total let down. 

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It felt meandering and aimless, some person who did some stuff and wrote about it.  I would have been taken with the book if there was any authentic account of realization about herself... but it came off more like a voyeristic account of 'living poor', and I just think she is being creepy.

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/misanthropester.com/2018/01/11/disgusted-but-not-surprised-flat-broke-with-two-goats-by-jennifer-mcgaha/amp/

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pinkgiggles    5

I am glad that I am not the only one who found this book hard to read. I loved the title and the cover and I really wanted to like this book. As I started to read the book, I knew I was not going to like this book immediately. I tried the audio version to listen to during my commute and that was actually worse. The author's constant use of pulling the victim card completely irked me and from what I have read so far, it does not appear that she takes any responsibility for the situation she's in. The books comes off as shallow and I cannot bring myself to finish this book. I hope the next book is much better as I am super excited to discover that there is a book club through my library. 

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DMI    6

So disappointed in this book. I quickly tired of the author's self-absorption and lack of personal accountability. She typifies, to me, a mindset that plagues today's society - a willingness to blame everyone else for one's problems, an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility to herself, her family, her friends, her community. The overall message seems to be 'when life is hard, your bad behavior is excusable'. Nope, I'm not buying it.

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Deborah    1

I am about halfway through and I just want to shout at the author to "grow up"!  I've kept reading because I have been hoping that she'd experience some epiphany about her own roll in her troubles.  What I'm reading here is that I'm not going to see that happen.  What is the purpose of a memoir with no self-examination?

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Warzonelu    0

Wow, I agree.  The author is a major whiner.  She does not own her mistakes and makes the entire book a chore to read.  What was the object?  Feel sorry for the author, NOT me.

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DanielCasey    1
7 hours ago, Shallay Booker said:

It felt meandering and aimless, some person who did some stuff and wrote about it.  I would have been taken with the book if there was any authentic account of realization about herself... but it came off more like a voyeristic account of 'living poor', and I just think she is being creepy.

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/misanthropester.com/2018/01/11/disgusted-but-not-surprised-flat-broke-with-two-goats-by-jennifer-mcgaha/amp/

 Well, thanks for linking to my book review. I'm really surprised this book was picked for the BLR. I had read and review it simply because I'd won a free ARC via Goodreads. It's an infoerior work but perhaps its superficiality is what makes it so broadly appealing 

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Clarisse    0

I think the lessons and times for self reflection, she missed continuously throughout the entire book.   She faced the following things: an unfulfilling career, financial ruin, a failing marriage and the loss of friendships but the ways to correct ALL of these situations is summed up in the last lines of the book which were inspired by her grandmother’s visit. 

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stormimdow    0

I can't finish it...it has been days since I even read a word.  This is my first time doing the book club.  I was so excited,

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Magarty    2

I was disappointed with this book. The author did nothing but moan about her and her husband’s hard life...which was caused by their owl foolish decisions. Take responsibility for your actions.

I was interested in the goats though. Although I couldn’t believe the slipshod way they approached that venture.

I am glad I don’t know those people.

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DearDeana    0

I was also bothered by the whining and self pity that bothered many of you. I understood it at first thinking I would feel that way in her shoes but I know I would come around and help be proactive about getting out of debt the first year tax season ended without my signing our tax forms. I did have compassion for Jen and David diving into re-building their lives with very little money and enjoyed the hits and misses of growing their food and raising chickens and goats. 

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Judith    2

I thought her need to be protected was understandable considering her experience with first husband. Some of the problems seem because of two workers, 3 children, pets. Life is too full this way no time for all the details. People fall through the cracks. 

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