Book 38: Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller

This was my first excursion into the world of audiobooks; I’m full of thoughts.

The audio was over 5 hours, the average reading time for the book was just over 3.5 hours. I definitely could have read it quicker than I listened, but this gave me the chance to listen while driving to and fro (in my glorious new used car!).

I think I’ll definitely start shopping cheap deals on audible, though I’m not sure if I’ll ever be one for a monthly membership. The kindle edition of Coming Clean complete with audible audiobook was around $5, so I decided to bite the bullet and try this one out.


The book covers Miller’s childhood living with a hoarder father and a mother with severe scoliosis and a phobia of driving which left her dependent on her husband for transportation. His issues are an overarching theme of the story and her responses to them are interesting.

I’ll go ahead and say that I didn’t have a clue who Miller was before this book; she’s fairly accomplished as a writer and an actress, something that she also covers in the book. I was most interested in her childhood (who isn’t?), so I’ll start there.

The run-ins with CPS were intense. The naïveté that Miller kept throughout was pure, and really lead to a crisp description of her childhood.

Hoarding is a mental illness I’m not wholly familiar with, and it’s certainly not the only illness represented here. I’d never known it fell under the OCD umbrella, an umbrella under which I fit.Depression and anxiety are heavily present, as are mentions of ADHD. Her father’s mental illness, her mother’s, and her own suicide attempt are all vital elements in the book.

Miller’s mother’s physical illness was a pretty key element here as well; the failed spinal surgeries were bleak times for Miller and her parents. The physical ailments were exacerbated by the surgeries instead of being alleviated, something that sent her spiraling downwards and stripped Miller of her single stable force. The constant combatants versus the frequent offerings of support were relayed in a way that read as a very genuine representation of a mother/daughter relationship.

Her adult life was equally compelling, but I’ve decided against providing too many spoilers for y’all. If you’re into CNF, interested in any of the aforementioned themes, or otherwise down with audiobooks I’d say it’s worth a read/listen.

A few more interesting bits are her dating history, the fact that her parents were totally willing to help her write this book, and the fact that she dealt with everything so well without writing an overly sentimental book.

I’m not sure who the reader of this audiobook is, I’m probably wrong in the assumption that it’s Miller, but I did find the voice to be quite calming. It’s a slow reading, which wasn’t always my favorite, but it was thorough and even regardless. There were a few lilts, some moments in which the reader even spoke with emotion, which lead to my figuring that it may be Miller herself.

I give this book a 7/10.

Coming Clean: A Memoir

Happy reading,


Book 37: Earth by Cecilia Woloch

I’m currently in one of Cecilia Woloch’s workshops; she’s filling in for Laura Newbern, one of our resident poets, and I’m quite enjoying the experience. Needless to say, I decided to pick up at least one of her books this semester.

Earth won the 2014 Two Sylvia’s Press Chapbook Prize, which resulted in its printing from what I can tell.

A couple of my favorites were; “Teta,” and “A Place in the Music.”

Woloch’s writing is ethereal, so delicate and sweet. The sensory details that she incorporated often set the poems apart. Themes of love, loss, and family were tangible and emotional without forced sentimentality.

Knowing Woloch from class, I’m aware that she’s a feminist and identifies as such, so it’s not surprising to see the elements through her writing of strong women.

I give the book a 9/10.


Happy reading,

PS.  I apologize for the extremely short posts, I’ve had a long day full of a lot of terrible reflection. This is the best I can give of myself this evening.