The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks

You know when you think of the perfect retort for a heated situation after the event? Even decades after the event? That is the premise of The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks. Although, it begins with shy, mild-tempered Caroline Jacobs telling the president of the PTA at her daughter’s school to fuck off. Excellent stuff.

“In the cafeteria of Benjamin Banneker High School, surrounded by crowded bulletin boards, scuffed linoleum, and the lingering smell of chicken nuggets, Caroline Jacobs had shouted a four-letter word.”

Within pages of ‘the scene’, Caroline is taking teenage daughter Polly on a road-trip, back to her home town to confront Emily Kaplan, her childhood best friend who unceremoniously dumped Caroline 25 years ago in the middle of the school cafeteria. It really is the stuff of dreams – who hasn’t had someone in their past that they would like to say “Hey, about that time when you did…” – and it often seems the more petty the crime, the greater the grievance. Continue reading

‘Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend’ by Matthew Green

I had an imaginary friend when I was little. Oddly, I shared the friend, whose name was Melman, with my brother. We both very much believed in Melman, or that’s the way it seemed to me at the time.

Of my four children, only one has had an imaginary friend. The friend was named Cockies-Wockies and lived with us for nearly two years. Cockies-Wockies left when my son started school. I understand why, now that I have read Memoirs of an Imaginary Friendby Matthew Green (who writes under the name of Matthew Dicks in the US).

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is the story of Budo, an imaginary friend who has been ‘alive’ for five years (a staggeringly long time in the world of imaginary friends). Budo’s ‘imaginer’ is Max. Budo has lasted a lot longer than most imaginary friends because Max needs him more than other kids need their imaginary friends and when something out of the ordinary happens, only Budo can save Max. Continue reading

Enforced down-time = reading bonanza

I have a little hospital stay coming up. If it weren’t for the pain I’m likely going to experience, I’d be bloody excited about the prospect of four days lying in bed with nothing to do but read.

Pain or not, it’s best to be prepared. So I turned to my reading pile to decide what I’ll take along.

As well as the TBR list I published earlier in the week and also the titles I haven’t yet tackled from a list earlier this year (The Snow Child of course, The Freudian Slip by Marion von Adlerstein and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami), I’m also adding these six books – Continue reading