Thursday, November 27, 2008

I've Been Tagged!!

I have been awarded my first award from Marie, of Boston Biliophile. and tagged for a meme. I have never been asked to do one. This is my first go at it. I am sorry it is so late. But I had a paper for school that takes precedence. Even over books I am sorry to say. Who would ever believe I would say that.

Find the closest book to you and turn to pg. 56, find the 5th sentence and 2-5 mores sentences beyond that. The book closest to me is The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
The sentence reads: We've been all over this. I didn't bring myself to this. I was brought. And now I'm done. I thought about not telling you. That probably would have been best. You have two bullets and then what.

Now tag 5 blogging friends:
Bermuda Onion
Book Club GirlBooks
Dar, at Peeking Through the Pages
and Red lady's Reading Room
Lisa, at Books On the Brain

Now go to my other blog over at Jewish Ranting and I posted my meme there as well.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and blogger friends. Don't over stuff!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Follow Up On Paper

Well I came to class all right and handed in the paper. You only hear about these things in movies. I get to the library to brush up the paper. I print it up.
Well the paper is not centered right. Oh, My G-D I panic... What do I do now!!
The nice college librarian offered to help me she did not realize what she was getting in too. She thought all she had to do is center the page. But she finally said to me" didn't any one ever explain to you; that you are not to press the enter button at the end of every sentence". I gulped, and then sweat went down my back. I said No. She was so nice. She fixed my whole paper 7 pgs. long and still the bibliography had to be fixed. Then we find out that the printer is not printing out. I have 15 minutes to have it printed and get to class. I am so bad at saving on a jump drive. I was so nervous I hoped to g-d that I saved it right on the jump drive. You see the librarian told me that if I saved it on the drive she could print it on one of the other printers... Well it got done 5 minutes to spare. I never want to ever go through this again. Next semester I am taking computer 101, and keyboarding. Hopefully I will learn all the techniques to be able learn all the things I thought I learned but I did not get. Thank Goodness there are nice people in this world.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Funally Finished It!!

I finally finished my history psper. It is not so much the paper but the technical things with the computer that I found difficult. I knew about the paper since I started class. I went to get help with how to put the jump drive in. Finally figured that out but could not figure out how to a foot note, and a citation page. Still not sure if I did it right. When I got most of the paper done I decided I was going to get extra help on certain points. When I put in my flash drive, my document becomes corrupted. Well you guess it I had to write the paper all over again. Thank goodness, I did not have to go to work or I would be in a jam. I hate it doing things at the last minute. I would have rather had this done a week ago. That way I would not have to worry about the technical support. Well anyway the paper is done and I hope and pray that the jump drive was able to save everything that I can print it at school. My paper is a argumentative paper.

Did Women Make A Difference During The French Revolution.
Here is a great picture of Liberty which I am using on my cover sheet doesn't she look great.I know this is my blog about books, but allow me one time to write about personal stuff. Anyway the paper does deal about books. If any one ever needs help
with this topic I know where great resources are, or if you want to know for your own personal reasons I think I may just post it some where on my blog. Now that I am finished I will analyze all my info. and post what I learned about Women and the French Revolution. I found this a very interesting topic. I am loving history so much like never before. I was never interested in WW1, imperalism. When I was getting to the topic I thought it would be quite boring. But surprise it was interesting, most European countries history is a soap opera. Everyone is suspicious of everyone and the alliances my g-d who can keep this straight. Quite interesting.
If you are interested what I have to say about history look for my next post.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dianna Spechler Interview

Diana Spechler is the author of the novel Who By Fire (Harper Perennial.) Her fiction has appeared in such publications as Glimmer Train, Greensboro Review, and Moment. She has taught at the University of Montana and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. She holds a BA from the University of Colorado and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.

It catches you right from the start and grabs you and doesn't let go.
I don't call this a Jewish book. But it is written of course by a Jewish author.
The book deals with issues that could and probably has happened to many families that are Jewish or not.
Family problems, the mother, sister, and brother don't know how to communicate with one another and guilt, and guilt, and guilt, and there is plenty of that to go around.
That is what Jews are famous for. They all deal with the crisis differently. The book does deal with the Intifada, and the brother running off to Israel and becomes a B'al Teshuva( religious Jew), and cuts himself off from his family. I just loved the characters, How each family member deals with their sister's disapearance and their father leaving the family. It was a very good read.
I have been waiting for a novel by a author to touch and talk about the situation in Israel. I thought it was interesting how Diana made the narrative into alternate voices through out the book instead of a straight narrative. I think it was quite effective. I don't think the book would have had the impact it did on me if it was a straight narrative.

I would like to thank Diana for stopping by and chatting with me during her busy book tour. This happens to be Jewish Book Month, when we find out what Jewish Books are flying off the shelves.

How did you come to write Who By Fire? Were there events in your life that led you to write it?

When I was a grad student, I wrote a short story about two of the protagonists, Bits and Ash, who are brother and sister. Bits lives in Boston and Ash lives in Jerusalem, learning at a yeshiva. At the beginning of the story, Bits learns of a suicide bombing in Jerusalem and wants to know if Ash is okay. She keeps calling him, but he never responds. The story, which I titled Close To Lebanon, ends without resolution. A few months after I finished Close To Lebanon, it was the tense plot and the fictional family, rather than my own family or events from my own life, that wound up haunting me enough to expand the story into a novel.

Do you consider yourself a Jewish writer?
I am Jewish and I am a writer, but not everything I write is about Judaism. At the moment, people refer to me as a Jewish writer because of the themes and the setting of Who By Fire. Truly, that’s an honor. There are so many amazing Jewish writers.

What makes a Jewish novel?

I think that classification is somewhat subjective. If I write a novel that has nothing to do with Judaism, it will still be a Jewish novel, because Judaism is transmitted through the mother, and I am, after all a woman. (Yes, I’m joking. Kind of.)

Did you always want to be a writer?

Yup. I was writing stories as soon as I could pick up a pen. My mother has a twenty-four page story I wrote when I was seven years old. It’s called Shana and The Magic Quilt. It is a masterpiece.

Is there a certain Jewish author you look up to?
I love a lot of Jewish authors. Two of my favorite Jewish novels are The Ladies’ Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis and The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.

Is there a secular author you look up to?

Only about a million of them. Jeffrey Eugenides is one of my favorites because of his novel Middlesex.

Was there an author, Jewish or not, who advised you along the way? Did you take his or her advice?

When I was a graduate student, I got a lot of great advice from my teachers, who were, of course, writers themselves. I remember the author Colum McCann visiting my MFA program and talking about pushing through writer’s block. He said that if you’re writing a story and it gets out of control, it’s up to you to wrestle it into submission. After all, you created it. That’s pretty empowering advice.

For my non-Jewish readers, can you talk about your experience with yeshivas?

When I was researching yeshiva life, I contacted a lot of men’s yeshivas in Jerusalem. I told them I was coming to do research for a novel and I was hoping to take a tour and ask some questions. Most declined or didn’t respond, which is understandable. For one thing, yeshivas are a place for men to learn about Judaism. They didn’t need a woman staring at them and writing about them in a notebook. For another thing, some were worried that I was writing about Orthodox Judaism to make fun of it. Of course, I wasn’t, but I had trouble convincing most people of that. A couple of yeshivas did let me in, which helped me to better imagine yeshiva life and make Ash’s chapters (which are set in a yeshiva in Jerusalem) more authentic.

Were you able to draw on your own knowledge of Judaism, or did you have to do research?

I did a lot of research. Of course, from growing up Jewish, I knew some things, but while I was working on Who By Fire, I did a lot of reading and I asked a lot of questions. I made frequent use of the website

Since your brother has become a B'al Teshuvah, has your relationship with him changed?

My relationship with my brother never changed. We’ve always been very close. He’s the best.

What is it like to be in Israel as an American?

I certainly can’t speak for all Americans, but I’ve had fabulous experiences in Israel. Once, in college, I spent a whole semester there, studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. (I use the word “studying” loosely.) Those months were some of the best of my life.

Are you surprised by how many non-Jewish readers are reading Who By Fire?

I’m not surprised. The novel is set partly in Israel and the characters are Jews, but the themes are universal. It’s a story about guilt and rescue. Those are not exclusively Jewish concepts.

What kind of responses, favorable or otherwise, are you getting to the book?

So far, the reviewers have been very kind. (Should I knock on wood now?)

Why the title, Who By Fire?

A lot of people ask me if the title comes from the Leonard Cohen song, but in fact, Leonard Cohen and I seem to have had the same inspiration: the Yom Kippur prayer that lists the ways one might die in the coming year if he hasn’t made it into the Book of Life.

Is there something you want readers to get out of this book?

Of all the reactions I get to the book, the two most gratifying are, “I couldn’t put it down,” and “I’ve never been to Israel, but after reading your book, I want to go.” I hope more readers will pay me those two compliments!

Are the events in the novel autobiographical or did you make them up?

I made them up. That’s the fun part of writing fiction. I write some non-fiction, too, but I always prefer imagining people who aren’t real doing things that I would never do.

Is there a message in the book?

I hope there are subliminal messages on every page, seeping into the reader’s unconscious, encouraging them to send me presents. Other than that, no, I don’t think there’s a message.

Are you observant or secular?

I’m pretty secular at this point in my life, but I’m open. I’m interested in every type of observance and every type of non-observance. Judaism fascinates me. Religion in general fascinates me. It’s all beautiful. Even Jews who ignore Judaism have beautiful stories to tell about their reasons for living how they live.

What kind of reaction have you had from observant Jews?
I was so worried that even after all my research, my depiction of yeshiva life would sound inauthentic. I haven’t heard that yet, though. The feedback has all been pretty positive, from observant Jews, secular Jews, and non-Jews.

Has your family read the book? What was their response?
They loved it! After all, it’s dedicated to them.

Are you writing now?
It’s hard to write while I’m on book tour, but the novel I have in the works is a story of transformation through loss set at a weight-loss camp for children in North Carolina. I’m not sure yet about a title for it; it’s still in its infancy.

I am reading the book and loving it. The family around which the book is centered happens to be Jewish, but it’s a story that could happen to any family. Do you agree or disagree?
I definitely agree. Family dysfunction does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, etc.

Thank you for stopping by!! Good luck on your new book Who By Fire.
Can't wait to read the next one. If you would like to contact Diana and let her know what you thought of the book you can visit her website. Also visit book blog talk radio on November 20th where book club girl is hosting her monthly author radio program.
I would also like to thank Book Club Girl for all her help.
Thank You So Much You Are The BEST!!!

We Interupt This Broadcast

I just finished this book, "We Interupt This Broadcast."
This is a great book for holiday giving for friends and family that are history buffs,and current events. While you are reading the book you can also listen to the broadcast. Do you remember when....Do you remmeber what you were doing when you heard the news of Princess Diana's death, Elvis when he died, when the man walked the moon.
Where you were when you heard Pres. Kennedy was shot?? Do you remember the day of 9/11 where were you? All the current events of the day made history. It is ingrained in our memory. The power of pictures bring back powerful emotions, of sadness, it will remind you of what you were feeling and smelling and doing during the broadcast. At least it did for me.
That was the aim of the author, when he explains why he added the CD to the book.
You will relive those moments in history.
rekindles your emotions and stirs them.
I can still remember the procession of Pres. Kennedy going up and down the street in Washington, D.C. I was a little girl. I remember how sad and overwhelmed I was even as a child. The horrible events of 9/11, when my mother came home from the doctor and told me. I remember that day like it was yesterday when you look at the pictures,and hear the CD you will recall the day, fleeting memories will come back vividly. I can't say enjoyed, but I did like flipping through the pages of this book. Reading the different events in history. It goes from the Hindenburg explosion to The Virginia Tech. incident. Including a foreward by Walter Cronkite, and introduction by Joe Garner and the CD by Bill Kurtis.

We Interupt The Broadcast
Where Were You When…?

Table of Contents
Foreword by Walter Cronkite
The Hindenburg Explodes: May 6, 1937
Pearl Harbor Under Attack: December 7, 1941
D-Day: The Normandy Invasion: June 6, 1944
President Roosevelt Dies: April 12, 1945
V-E Day: War in Europe Ends: May 7, 1945
Atomic Bomb Destroys Hiroshima: August 6, 1945
Japan Surrenders: WWII Ends: August 15, 1945
Truman Defeats Dewey: November 3, 1948
General MacArthur Fired: April 11, 1951
Sputnik Launched by Soviets: October 4, 1957
John Glenn Orbits Earth: February 20, 1962
Marilyn Monroe Dies: August 4, 1962
Cuban Missile Crisis: Nuclear War Threatened: October 22, 1962
President Kennedy Assassinated: November 22, 1963
Lee Harvey Oswald Assassinated: November 24, 1963
President Johnson Declines Re-election Bid: March 31, 1968
Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated: April 4, 1968
Robert Kennedy Assassinated: June 4, 1968
Apollo 11: Man Walks on Moon: July 20, 1969
Apollo 13: Astronauts Escape Disaster: April 13, 1970
Kent State Massacre: May 4, 1970
Munich Olympics Tragedy: September 5, 1972
Nixon Resigns: August 8, 1974
Saigon Falls: April 30, 1975
Elvis Dies: August 16, 1977
Iran Hostage Crisis: November 4, 1979
John Lennon Assassinated: December 8, 1980
President Reagan Shot: March 30, 1981
The Challenger Explodes: January 28, 1986
Berlin Wall Crumbles: November 9, 1989
Operation Desert Storm Begins: January 29, 1991
Rodney King Verdict Incites Riots: April 29, 1992
Waco Standoff Ends in Disaster: April 19, 1993
O.J. Simpson Saga: June 13, 1994 - February 4, 1997
Oklahoma City Bombing: April 19, 1995
Flight 800 Explodes Over Atlantic: July 17, 1996
Atlanta Olympics Bombing: July 27, 1996
Princess Diana Dies: August 31, 1997
The Impeachment of President Clinton: December 19, 1998
Tragedy at Columbine High School: April 20, 1999
John F. Kennedy Jr. Dies: July 16, 1999
The 2000 Election: November 7, 2000
Attack on America: September 11, 2001
Virginia Tech Massacre April 16, 2007

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Got It ! I Got It !

I have been waiting for this one for over a month.
I can't believe I finally got my grubby hands on the book.
I finally received the ARC in the mail the other day. I am so excited.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
I know it sounds strange that I am jumping for joy over a book. But it has been over two longs months that I have not read a good book. Thank You, Miriam at Hatchette Books.
Thank you. I can't wait to start reading this one.
This caught my eye. I love the graphics.
The book is called The Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker.
Check out the author's website. I can't wait to start reading this one.

This book reminds me of James and the Giant Peach. It sounds a little strange and off beat. But I can't wait to read it.
Here is a link to Corrine review.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Giveaway Is Closed

Shalom Y'All as we say in South Carolina.

I regret to post this, as I had a great response to my book giveaway. But any of my readers and fellow bloggers that responded after the 5th of November. I regret to let you know that I will have to turn you away. I feel bad but the date stated specifically November 5th. Anyone after the 5th will not be in the drawing. I will be drawing in the next couple days.
I was trying to promote my blog but it turns out I found out about your blogs too. Which I will be visiting and putting on my blog roll, and visiting.
Thank you for stopping by and come back now that you know where I am.
I had made some blogs friends here too, that I hope will be everlasting. I would like to thank everyone who helped with promoting my blog. I had a great response which I was not expecting. I would like to let you all know that Diana Spechler will be having a guest post here soon, check back often.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton Passes at 66

I can't believe it Michael Crichton has passed away at the age of 66 from Cancer. I had to do a double take to make sure I read the article from Bookish Ruth's blog right. I am heart broken. I remember seeing Jurassic Park with my son at age 4. All the parents were in a uproar not allowing their child to see it because they thought it was too violent. I ended up taking David despite what everyone was saying, and he turned out fine. He is in college now. I read a few of his other books I think one was called Sphere. I loved ER, he was either the creator or the writer. I would like at this time to pray for him and his family and hope he did not suffer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Hi fellow bloggers and readers, I wanted to let you know about a new concept that is being launched. I have been contacted by CBS, they are promoted a new concept at The show is, Novel Adventures. It can only be viewed on the internet. It is about four women that join a book club and their zany adventures. You can view the press release below. I wouldn't normally promote this, but because it is about a book club. Well, anyone who know me knows what I would do next...... they use the internet to promote their products. This one is Saturn. The TV producers use to do this for old radio and TV shows.
It will be interesting to see what happens. If this concept takes off or stays idle. Well here is a preview from

CBS Interactive announced today a partnership with Saturn to launch its new original scripted Web series "Novel Adventures" from creator Jonathan Prince ("The Cleaner"), who has a first look deal with CBS Interactive’s sister division, CBS Paramount Network Television. The eight-Webisode series will premiere on November 3 exclusively on,, and and stars Daphne Zuniga ("One Tree Hill"), Paola Turbay ("Cane"), Ashley Williams ("How I Met Your Mother") and Jolie Jenkins ("Desperate Housewives").

Each episode will be presented exclusively for a 48-hour window on, and and then roll out across the CBS Audience Network as well as be available on iTunes. Two new Webisodes will be released per week for the first two weeks, followed by a single new Webisode a week for the remainder of the series. NOVEL ADVENTURES will be promoted across CBS Interactive platforms and in prime time on the CBS Television Network.

Set in various locations throughout Los Angeles and shot in high-definition, NOVEL ADVENTURES is the story of four women from different backgrounds and at different stages in their lives who join a Book Club in hopes of escaping the obstacles presented by everyday life. They come together through their shared passion for books at a weekly book club, but quickly realize what they are really looking for is adventure. And so, inspired by a different book each week, the four embark on a variety of adventures that help them fulfill their lives while taking them to a new and exciting place each week.
Following is a list of the eight Webisodes in order of appearance:

• The Sand and Sea Club: To honor Hemingway’s classic tale The Old Man in the Sea, the girls head out for an afternoon of deep-sea fishing and end up with a surf lesson from a male model from Malibu.
• The Fab Four: Sheila Weller’s Ladies of the Canyon (Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and Carole King) brings the groupie out in the girls who are determined to live out the life of rock legends.
• Spy Girls: The Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum leads the ladies to Spy School.
• Whodunnit? We dunnit: The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston is the backdrop for the girl’s chance to find out how to solve mysteries, CSI-style.
• If You Can’t Take the Heat: This adventure is inspired by writer Kathleen Flinn’s book titled The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. Based on her adventures at Le Cordon Bleu, it leaves the girls starving for an epicurean adventure.
• The Prince and the Perfect Taco: With mixtures of inspiration from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind and Knit Two by Kate Jacobs, the sequel to her bestselling book, Friday Night Knitting Club, the girls search for the urban myths of a gypsy taco truck and the perfect man.
• Bare Essentials: Betty Friedan’s autobiography titled Life So Far leads the girls to find their own power, ironically, thru pole dancing classes.
• But You’ve Got to Have Friends: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows helps the ladies cap off their book club with a final look at their past experiences and opening the door to more adventures in the future.


DAPHNE ZUNIGA AS LAURA, a recently divorced mother of a teenage son, who having found herself in a rut, looks to shake things up with her new friends.

PAOLA TURBAY AS JOANNA, a single, successful entertainment attorney who must balance the expectations of her career and her mother who just wants her to get married.

ASHLEY WILLIAMS AS LIZZIE, a recently married young woman struggling to cope with life in a new city, a work-a-holic husband, and too much time on her hands.

JOLIE JENKINS AS AMY, a happily married woman who runs a high-end bakery, but is still missing something – a baby -- in her seemingly perfect life.

In addition to watching the series online, viewers are invited to participate in the adventures by visiting, where they will find bonus content as well as blogs and vlogs organized by character, Webisode and book. A variety of community tools are also available, including:

• Commenting, Rating, & Reviews – Fans can post comments and rate each Webisode, as well as rate and review the books the women read and their adventures
• Suggest a Book – Viewers can submit suggestions for books to be covered in future Webisodes
• Quizzes- A variety of quizzes are available about the books, activities and Webisodes
• Discussion Boards - Forums for discussing the books or authors featured on the show, including chats with the actual authors
• Fan Favorites – Viewers can become a fan of a book and/or author, get reviews, join discussions, and more

Book Giveaway

There is a giveaway for A Given Day by Dennis Lehane. I have been wanting to read this for awhile. It intrigues me about the early 20th Century Boston and two Irish families. This is part of the Carnival Giveaway. Here is the author's website with some valuable resources.

Bookroomreview is having a book giveaway carnival this week. There are plenty of giveaways in store this week. Visit her blog to see the many prizes are being given away by other book bloggers.

Lilac Girls: Book Review

Lilac Girls By Martha Hall Kelly Review copy from Ballantine Books You may not want to read my review. I am very critical of ...