Skip to main content

Daily Scoldings by Beryl Barclay

Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost three coins.  Distressed, he searched for his missing money.  He came upon a girl who was delighted because she had found three coins.  [He] told her what he had lost.  The girl's joy quickly faded as she handed her coins to the boy.  Seeing how sad she was, the boy could feel no happiness.  He said, "I cannot say for certain these coins belong to me.  Let's ask the wise owl what to do."  The boy and girl explained it to the owl.  The owl reached into his own pocket and produced a coin.  He gave two coins to the boy and two coins to the girl.  He said, "Today we each have lost a coin."  The children were content.  Never did they consider the peculiar, creepy implausibility of a talking owl with pocket change.  Be alert.
from March 5

Daily Scoldings: A Bracing Tonic of Criticism, Rebuke, and Punitive Inspiration for Better Living by Beryl Barclay was recently mailed to this blog for review.  I'm not sure how I feel about being mailed books for review--mixed feelings I guess because I do have my own list of books to read--not all of which I succeed in reading in their entirety.  If a book can't hook me and keep me reading, I discard it and move to the next one.  There are too many books to read to struggle to finish one when I could fly through another in a fraction of that time.  However,  I had recently read Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern, the hilarious chronicle of the wisdom that has come from the mouth the author's father over the years.  In a way Daily Scoldings reminded me of the pearls of wisdom shared in My Dad Says.

I must say the title of Daily Scoldings pretty much sums up what the book is about.  Meant to be read like a desk calendar that has a joke or anecdote of the day, each day in Daily Scoldings provides a swift kick in the butt.  This might be imparted in a snarky two or three liner or in a parable.  And I must say the parables are my favorite by far because these aren't your typical Biblical parables.  Barclay's parables are quirky, insightful and often end with a twist and it's the twist at the end that I so enjoy.  Many of the anecdotes imparted in Barclay's unique voice are humorous and make you think--hmm, she has point (especially when it comes to creepy, wise owls).

This book is coming soon to the library.  I recommend you pick it up and brace yourself for some better living.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at does not offer any insi…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…