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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Patty's Pick #4 - Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

This is a very unusual book that you have to read with an open mind. There are so many layers that you will be thinking about it long after you finish it. My book club had a very lively discussion and decided that we read the ending in many different ways.  Not trying to spoil it for you, let's just say it is up to the reader. Sunny and Maxon are quite the unique personalities and stand in for all of us pared down to our basic selves. Their lives and choices are our best and worst selves in some of life's difficult situations. 
We were all proud when Sunny threw off her wigs and got back to being herself. 
We, humans, all wear our individual "wigs" in our lives to be what we perceive we should look like and act like. It takes a truly secure person to take their "wig" off and just be themselves. The other parts of this book delve into motherhood, child abuse and relationships. Wow, how do you fit all that in to a 309 page book? Lydia Netzer gives us a lot to think about. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Finding time and direction....

Does anyone have full time job and trying to write first novel? How do you budget time? Just trying to write Anytime I can..
but this may take a long time this way!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Patty's Pick #3 (8/22/13) The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

You will enjoy meeting this lovely lady and end the book with a long list of books to add to your GoodReads account. It is not written in a preachy or maudlin way but in a enjoyable conversational tone. I look forward to more enjoyable books by this author.. 

Sometimes there are books that touch us in a way we know we will always remember! "The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe is such a book! 
This book tells the amazing story of a mother and son's journey thru a very difficult time. As Will's mother, Mary Anne, fights a valiant battle with cancer, the two share time together discussing various books. I started turning down the pages that held some tidbit I wanted to remember - a book or something said. This basically turned into all most every page having my marks. I cherish my books but this one had too much I wanted to remember. 
Mary Anne was a very special person as her son lovingly tells. Knowing from first hand experience that God chooses the best to leave us too soon, Mary Anne definitely qualifies. Her accomplishments are enough to humble Ghandi. But obviously from the superb writing of this novel, she was a very wonderful mother. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner

This book is an interesting insight into the world of publishing while offering solid advice for all writers. The Forest for the Trees was recommended on GoodReads by another amazing author Will Schwalbe. His book, The End of Your Life Book Club will definitely deserve a long blog post of its own. There are few books about books that will touch your heart and lengthen your reading list like this book. 
Betsy Lerner's book should be a most read for all aspiring and new authors. And probably for many more. Since I definitely want to take advantage of any help out there, this book was quickly added to my reading list. 
The anecdotes about famous writers and the editing process was made fascinating by a gifted editor and agent who is also a gifted writer. The book reads easily and quickly but linger over the good advice and take notes. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Patty's Pick #2 (08/15/13) The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin was one of those richly detailed books that sneaks up on you and you realize you are hooked! Loved the vulnerability of the characters and thought  it appropriate that the subject of human trafficking/bondage was one of the themes flowing thru it. Talmadge was one of those quiet, good men that we are all lucky to know. The steady influence of him on Angelene produced a thoughtful and secure adult. Angelene's thought toward the end of the novel sums it up best - "she opened the cabin door and saw the sky just off the porch. The stars so thick and close you could walk right into them. Those times she thought that if she could remember the stars, she would be all right." I would have loved to know more of what happened to her after Talmadge's death but that was not the purpose of this novel. That, to me, though is a good sign when you want to read more about the characters. The use of the sense of smell was interesting and helped me feel familiar with the setting even though I have never been to the Northeast. Definitely one for your shelves!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen was one funny book!

Just realized that I did not post my thoughts on Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen, which I finished in July for my Book Club. Having lived in Florida for 7 years, there were days I did not think I was in the South even though I consider Carl Hiaasen a southern writer. Basket Case was one of his more entertaining reads. I loved the funny characters. You have to love an obits writer who is obsessed with his own and famous people's deaths. The names that he chooses for his characters always seem to have a double meaning. Jack Tagger, the obituary column writer, who is investigating the death of one of his rock n'rollers death, is goofy and lovable. The Slut Puppies has to be a real band somewhere - that name is just too good to waste.
Carl Hiassen uses the death of printed words in newspapers and magazines as an ongoing theme through this book. He was ahead of his time, as this book was first published in 2002.  That is one of my own pet peeves. I love an actual book and was dismayed this weekend when I actually tried to find some on my Goodreads list and my wonderful bookstore hardly had a one on the shelves. I noticed that they have really cut back on their shelf space. Oh well,  back to Basket Case, a definite read. Very funny! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Patty's Pick #1 - "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot!

Here it is - my first pick for your bookshelf! 
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
By Rebecca Skloot. 
I do not usually choose to read a non-fiction book. 
This book was actually recommended to me by a college 
student, of a friend of mine, who was reading this for her summer college reading choice. I had heard of the book 
but cells and blood did not always appeal to me. 
Turns out this book grabbed me most of the read! 
I learned more about how cells came to be grown in
a lab. These HeLa cells have produced major medical
break throughs. It's hard to believe that in the not too distant past 
quality doctors at top hospitals took patient's cells without permission. 
John Hopkins has always had an impeccable reputation. I found out that the hospital actually began as a hospital to serve indigent people. 
HeLa cells, cells from Henrietta Lack's cancerous tumor, have been 
grown over and over again.  They were the first human cells reproduced 
in a lab. And one do the most amazing parts of this book 
is to learn that Henrietta's family had no idea for many years and never received compensation. Just recently they have been allowed to be involved 
in the choice of some research involving HeLa cells via an agreement with 
the National Institute of Health. This book reads like part thriller and part textbook. But the textbook is very easy to understand. Please
Add this book to your list! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Patty's Picks

Starting every Thursday, I will be sharing a new book choice for you! These will be from all genres - some new and some that have been out for a while! These will be books I have read or are reading currently. Some will even be the choices of my neighborly book club. So check back and you will hopefully find some great books to add to your to-read list!