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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Patty Pick for 10/22/15 is "The Last Season" by Stuart Stevens


Image result for the last season book





I was lucky to receive an early e-book of this novel through the wonderful First To Read Program from Penquin Books. The book 
was published in September 2015. It seems that Stuart Stevens loves politics all most as much as he loves Ole Miss football, all  most. As the book opens, he has finished a long, tough campaign and is hoping to spend more time with his parents. At times this book reads like a fiction novel and I had to remind myself that it is non-fiction. You will find out that he worked for Mitt Romney during one of his runs for the presidency. That has taken a lot out of him. He is nostalgic about his life and remembers the good times he and his father spend attending Ole Miss football games beginning when he was a little boy.

During the 2012 race, Stuart realizes that he has lost his zeal for politics and winning. He can remember true happiness he felt when he and his Dad attended those exciting football games together. The sadness of facing the losing candidate and his family is the last thing he wants to do. After his 60th birthday and with the tough campaign behind him, he proposes a special series of trips to his parents, to attend every Ole Miss football game played during the season that they can make it to. They drive to them all since 
his mom does not fly. They do miss a few but not many. As he visits old haunts, memories return of the good times and the way things have changed from then to now. 

His Mom enjoys the trips visiting the old haunts from their earlier life and spends most
of her time in a comfortable hotel room. His 95-year-old Dad is adorable. I want to hear more of his wisdom. We are all lucky children to have our parents guide us through life. My Dad did not start a successful law firm but he served others well and he taught his daughter that your integrity is all you have in life. And once that is gone, it is a long, hard road to regain it if ever. 

This idea of a trip with your older parents back to familiar places made me wish that I could have done this for my parents before they both passed away. Reading this novel gives us a snapshot of the time period in which Stuart Stevens grew up in and the importance of football to us Southerners. Whatever you do, don't get in front of us on the way to the gate! Enjoy this trip down memory lane - it is a good read!














Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jojo Moyes releases "After You" - sequel to "Me Before You" on 9/29/15!

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I've been waiting for this book since I finished the last sentence of "Me Before You" in August of 2014. Now that I have it in my hot little hand, I have a commitment to my Dansforth and Friends Book Club pick for October. I've really been looking forward to diving into the book pick of our hostess this month, Karen, for our Halloween month - Tana French's  "In the Woods." 
It starts off with a suspenseful opening and promises to keep me guessing throughout the book. I'll have to continue to look longingly at my copy of "After You" for a while longer. 
I have a feeling that Tana French is going to make me forget about it for a while. 
In honor of the publication, I am re-posting my blog of Me Before You! 
Get started reading both books today!


Sometimes when people write stories that include handicapped people you feel it's made up and not accurate. Not so with "Me Before You" by JoJo Moyes! All though the accident that changed Will's life is the main reason our two main characters come together, the story is really a love story. And Will and Louisa feel like real people with all their doubts, troubles, and faults. But be prepared with your kleenex box because I think you will need it. 

As we meet Louisa Clark, her own life is in transition. At the age of 26, she is living at home with her parents, grandfather, her sister and nephew. Her family is struggling with finances and depend on her wages to help keep the household together. Then the day comes when her boss tells her that he is closing the restaurant, gives her a severance and sends her on her way. After trying some of the jobs the Job Center sends her to, she is ready to give up. Then a job as the care assistant in a private home comes available and Louisa heads over for an interview that will end up changing her life. 

Will Traynor has it all - head of acquisitions for an international company and good-looking to boot. He grew up in a wealthy home and seems to have his life laid out for him. One day while heading to work, he is hit by a motorcyclist and paralyzed. It has been a hard transition and Will has become bitter and ready to die. 

When Will's mother hires Louisa to help with Will's care, they are both surprised by the other. She tries to break through his gruff exterior to make his life better. Along the way, they end up changing each other. As their relationship grows, you will not be able to put this one down! Start this book on a weekend so you have plenty of time to read it as you will want to cherish every word. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

As we highlight National Banned Book Week this year, it is important to challenge the freedom to read and choose your own books. I have posted the list from the ALA site below of the top challenged books for the past decade in my blog this week. 

Books are definitely something I get excited about. 
Yes, parents should be able to guide their children to choose books they feel appropriate for their ages. That is what we do as parents - help our children learn to make decisions. As adults, we should be able to read whatever we want as long as we are not trying to cause harm. We can make up our own minds on what is appropriate. There are many classics on the list below that enriches our lives just by the act of reading. People just need to remember that a fiction book is a story and enjoy it , laugh along with it, cry sometimes and scream along with it if it scares you. Sometimes the story will transport you to another place or time, but it is still a story. And their are many beautiful, well-written stories on the list that I am glad I did not miss out on because my parents encouraged me to read everything. So enjoy!! And I feel you should read what books on this list that you want to and they should be available to you when you are looking for them. Choose for yourself! That is a integral part of being a human and an American. 

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank