“This was almost five stars... It was really good. It is impossible to read this book without wanting to immediately hop the next flight to anywhere. Pam Houston had a great way of making you feel better about your own life be sharing the universal truths that exist in so many women. I was a...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Book Club book chosen by Kathleen.”Mary W wrote this review 7 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was almost five stars... It was really good. It is impossible to read this book without wanting to immediately hop the next flight to anywhere. Pam Houston had a great way of making you feel better about your own life be sharing the universal truths that exist in so many women. I was a huge fan. The only thing keeping it from 5 stars is that it jumped around so much, it was occasionally hard to follow, still, I think on a second or third read I would pick up that much more.”eissme wrote this review Wednesday, March 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very unusual, funny.”Robin L. Finley wrote this review Monday, June 25, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I feel in love with Pam Houston from "Cowboys Are My Weakness" and have read everything she wrote before and after. "Contents" is not my favorite of hers. It feels disjointed in its story telling and I felt it hard to just relax into the story. But of course the writing is perfect and stories are interesting as only Pam could make them!”Nora B wrote this review Sunday, May 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The word that you probably cannot read in the little heart-shaped cloud on the book cover is "novel." I point this out because this book reads like the most funky and creative memoir ever. Adding to this misinterpretation is that the narrator of the book is also named Pam, also is a Creative Writing teacher in California, and also owns a ranch in Colorado. But the cloud on the back of the book says "fiction," so there ya go. Apparently not every word included here is true, but it would be an amazing memoir if it were!
The structure of the book took some getting used to for me. There are well over 100 short vignettes that are used to tell Pam's story, but the reader has to do some work to figure out what makes Pam the unique person she is. We find out early on that she loves to travel, as many of the vignettes carry as a chapter title the flight number of a particular plane. What they have in common is that something goes awry either mechanically or meterologically on seemingly every plane trip she takes, but her desire to travel trumps the fear factor every time.
There does not appear to be a lot to connect one vignette to the next as the time and place and people included are likely to be totally different in succeeding chapters (which look for all the world like journal entries, i.e., short, and with the assumption that the reader is already connected to whatever came before). After awhile though, the reader begins to pick up a theme or two and start to recognize that some of the players are repeats; therefore worth paying more attention to. Pam is a woman searching for love, for adventure, for validation, for a spiritual dimension to her life.
She connects with some very interesting and exotic people along the way and picks up bits of wisdom in some very out of the way places. She finally sheds the guy that she thinks might be the one, except that he keeps a photo of his own great love (not Pam) in his glove box. After several hilariously described blind dates, she meets a Texan that she really clicks with. The only thing is that he still is the emotional property of his ex and his 6 year old daughter. Pam and Rick, the Texan, invest an enormous amount of time and travel miles in building a relationship with ample depth and trust. This also includes a surprisingly deep love and affection that Pam feels for Rick's daughter Madison.
Author Pam Houston has a great ear for dialog and a sense of humor to match. The working title of this book was "144 Reasons Not to Commit Suicide," but the title, Contents May Have Shifted embraces both the travel aspect and the emotional journey that Pam makes very effectively, I think.”
“Okay, I know that officially that this is labeled a "novel". But everyone and their little sister knows this is basically a notebook of the many events and adventures that non-fictional Pam Houston has had in her life. I am in awe at how very much she has done in what seems to be a much too young a life. There is all sorts of fascinating things in this book, which jumps around in time and theme in a way that was a bit concerting at first but grew on me. My only real complaint is that I wanted all of these stories to be longer. ”Jackie Blem wrote this review Wednesday, March 14, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No