Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review: Here's Her Story

Here's The Story
Maureen McCormick
Pgs. 275

Maureen McCormick, also known as Marcia Brady, child star of the TV Show the Brady Bunch. The show aired from 1969-1975. This is her memoir. Maureen talks about her early life and history of her mother and father.

Maureen suffered for years for fear it would come out about the dark hidden secret of her mother and grandmother's illness.

She talks about her TV show the Brady Bunch. Her love of her TV show family. Her close relationship with all of her TV family. Her desire to be with them rather than her real family. She had a off and on again love affair with Barry Williams. When the Brady Bunch ended that is when her problems started.

After the show ended her mother allowed her to move into a condo. She became involved going to parties with several celebrities. She became heavily involved with drugs, such as cocaine. She describes how she felt with the use of drugs, and her depression.

She sabatoged so many different job opprotunities because of her drug use. She thought she could keep living this kind of life style until she hit rock bottom. She had a chance to be interviewed for Raider of the Lost Ark with Steven Speilberg. Unfortunately she was so out of it, it never happened.

Also she was known as the goody-goody that I am sure she was type cast on TV and movies. She was probably never offered a real bite in role.

This went on for years untill she met her husband. When she turned to religion, and stopped the drug use. She got married and had a daughter.

But she did not know why she was so unhappy all the time. There were so many ups and downs to her marriage. She was crying for help. She finally went to counseling for help and medication. After heavy counseling and medication treatment she became stable and was on a even keel.

She had a hard time communicating with her mother when she was younger. But after her counseling sessions she finally opened up to her mother. They both discovered each other for what each one became and what they now are.

During this time, one of her brother's, with mental illness is now living with her parents. Her mother is diagnosed with Cancer. Her brother becomes abusive to their mother and father. There is nothing that Maureen can do to help the family.

Her mother and father deny that her brother is doing anything wrong. Her brother is very paranoid and obessive compulsive. He thinks everyone is unclean and dirty. He fires, and denies any care for their mother. After her mother dies, it get's worse for the family. The mother was the cement that held the family together.

In the meantime,Maureen's daughter now 15, gets her tongue pierced. She had been so busy. She wonders when did this all happen. She was so busy trying to help her father get away from his strong hold of her brother. She confronts her daughter and confides in her about all the things she has done.

Maureen decides at 50 to do a celebrity show. She is overweight. During the show she has enlighment that she should write a book about her drug use, and depression and how she overcame this.

I loved the Brady Bunch, I watched the show as I was growing up. I did not know she was a troubled star till I read the book. I am happy to hear she got her life together and back on track.

I usually don't read memoir. But I was looking for something to read that was light and different. This for sure was different. I had at times had a hard time following the story line. I would have liked to know what years she was talking about in her life. I read on other blogs that bloggers did not like this book. They may have not been able to connect because they are younger than Maureen. I, myself am about two years younger. I could connect to what she was talking about. I was not in the drug scene but could connect to the time and culture and the times.

I don't think I would have spilled the beans about all my life faults to my children. Sometimes it can back fire on you. There were times in the book that I said to myself enought already about the drug use. But, this was the point of the book. That she could not cope with her lonliness, she escaped into drugs.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

James Patterson Trial: Book Club December

James Patterson Trial
James Patterson

Ben Corbett, a lawyer, the grandson of Alex Cross's family. Teddy Roosevelt asked Ben, to go to Eudora, Mississippi and investigate if there is any lynching. Which Ben does find out there is quite a bit. It is kept hush, hush. This is the town where Ben was brought in.

President Roosevelt has asked him to sniff around and if there are attacks on "negroes", to report back to him. In the mean time he's wife threatens him If he leaves she will leave.

In the town of Eudora, Mississippi after the Civil War, "Negroes are to have rights. But they don't. The southerners don't follow the law. He comes back to the town and finds the town still doesn't follow the law. The town still believes it is ok to treat blacks this way. Blacks are only allowed to eat at black eateries, and black only sections for bathrooms and water fountains.

When Ben gets to dowm to Eudora he's father treats him very cooly. He was raised by he's very strict father. Ben, was brought up as very rebellious and having very liberal values.

While Ben, was down in Mississippi. He is hooked up with Abraham Cross. He shows him how the black man is treated by the KKK, and sees lynching,first hand.

There is plenty of blood and violence in this book. If you are faint at heart you may not want to read this book.

At the end of the book when justice is served unfairly. Ben decides he is going to show off his friend, a black women in front of the whole town. He knows this is going to start trouble. He kisses her in front of the town. We all know the town will not tolerate this kind of behavior from a white man.

Ben finds out that Teddy Roosevelt used him to make him look good to win black votes and black sympthizers votes. Only when Ben returned did he realize how he was used. Because now that everything came out ok, would the President take the credit. While Ben was down South the President told him he would deny he knows about Ben in the south.

Our book club discussed Trial, today. I was wondering how this would play out. We all wondered, would he go back to becoming a bleeding heart liberal to continue helping the injustices of the world or would he listen to his wife. He's wife wanted him to become a lawyer that just cared about making money not a caring lawyer. I guess we will just have to stay tuned and find out.

We did have a good discussion of course you can not have a good literary discussion with this kind of book. But, it was spring board for discussions of the treatment of blacks,and the south.

Our book club are all transplants from the north and now we live in SC. We all wondered the same thing. What life was like for the blacks and their treatment by the whites after the Civil War.

We had forgotten how recent lynching was still going on in the 60's. Boy, as we age we forget how time flies. I remember when I was little, living in Michigan and the Detroit Riots. When segregation of blacks and white was going to happen in the schools.

One person in our book club brought up she did not like the book because she was sick of hearing the poor blacks that's all you hear about. All of us responding back and said how would you like saying that about us and the Holocaust. I think she realized how that looked after she said it.

I never read Patterson before. This book was easy to read and easy to follow and kept my interest. I have not read a book about the south like this. It was interesting what it was like from a outsiders view and a black person's view, living in the south after the civil war. I am not sure if Teddy Roosevelt ever did get involved in sending someone to the south to investigate the treatment of blacks.

What was so odd is that I read this book right after reading Batt Humphrey's book, Dead Weight. It has some similarities. Treatment of blacks and injustices of blacks in the south.

I met James Patterson many years ago in Ridgewood, NJ. Believe it or not I still have not read any of his books. I am a hoarding bibliophile that bought his books but have not read anything from him yet until now.

Till next time when we read Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman keep those pages flipping.

Monday, December 7, 2009

One More Time

Just one more time, a few more days and I have a reprieve of school days. I have been sloughing off the last week or so since Thanksgiving. I should have been studying, instead I have been a social bug lately.

I did not get to cracking the books for final exams till yesterday. Pretty bad. With my sweet little dog sick last week I was pretty worried. He was pretty sick, thank goodness he is much better and now I can concentrate and focus on school. I just hope it still gives me enough time to crack the books. WISH ME Luck!

A little end note about my author visit. It was a great excuse not to study so hard yesterday. Our Hadassah group had a guest visit. He was amazing. If you want to check out he's book, Dead Weight. It is a good book to escape with on a lazy afternoon. I would recommend it. Great gift for someone that likes a little bit of history of Charleston, SC and a bit of mystery too. I will tell you about the visit after my exam.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dead Weight By Batt Humphreys

Dead Weight by Batt Humphreys
236 pgs.
Joggling Board Press

Dead Weight is based on factual events with fictional characters mixed in. There is a murder of a Jewish merchant, Mr. Lebelsky. His wife Rose, is away in New York until she is summoned by the city of Charleston that her husband was murdered. She returns to Charleston.

There seems to be a rift between Mr. Levin and Mr. Lebelsky about business being open on Saturday. Jewish law doesn't allow stores to be open on Saturday. Max Labelsky was from the new school to be open on Saturday, but Mr. Levin did not believe this.

Rose Lebelsky opens her clothing shop when she returns. While she is working she gets conked on the head. There is a young black man,Nealy Duncan he is walking away from the scene not running down the street.

He was purchasing items for his wedding. Mrs. Lebelsky was conked on the head. The mob chases after him after they hear Mrs. Lebelsky scream. They chase after him. The mob grabs him and does not look for any other suspects. But they come to the realization he must be Mr. Lebelsky's murderer. This is Charleston, SC the racial divide.

The elements Mr. Nealy Duncan works for a baker named Mr. Gelifiss. He is a white man that teats Nealy like a son. He is about to marry Ida. He makes purchases for the wedding that is what he doing in Jewish Charleston. Observant Jews business owners don't open their business on Saturday. There was a rift between Mr. Lebelsky and Mr. Levin.

SPOILER!!! SPOILER!! If you don't want to know what happens don't read any further.

The trial does not go well for Nealy. It was a unfair trial. it is decied that he will be hanged. There are citizens that want to help including a reporter Hinson.

After the trial he is placed in the jail for two days till the hanging. A group of men wanted to give Nealy his last wish, to see Ida in her wedding dress and married. The group put something in their drink to make the jailers sleep. They have 15 minutes to knock them out and bring Ida to Nealy united in marriage. Be able to escape without anyone's knowledge.

Nealy is hanged by a noose what is called Dead Weight. How they do it on the ships. Even the hanging does go well. You should be able to hear his neck snap and the observers are not sure if it did. They keep him in the noose for a extra 30 minutes.

In the mean time there is a hurricane coming. Ida's mother can not find her. Mr. Hinson goes searching for her. He finds her at Nealy's fresh grave. He realizes that she has shot herself(Romeo and Juliet).

My thoughts on this book. It is a fast easy read. I enjoyed reading the book, Dead Weight. Mr. Humphreys did a lot of research and had a lot of background information about Charleston area and the hurricane. The hurricane just added to the story. I went to Charleston last summer so that added to the feel of the book. Now that I read the book I would like to visit the places that are mentioned, especially the homes and businessses on Kings and Meeting street. The Jewish cemetery where Max is buried. I would like to find Lebelsky's gravesite in the Jewish cemetery.

I have said it before but if any of you live in the Myrtle Beach area or would like to see Batt come to Barnes and Noble at the Market Commons at 1PM on December 6th. He will be doing book signings. Or if you would like to see him as a guest speaker at our Hadassah Tea on December 6th from 3-5. Leave me a comment at the bottom of my post and I will get back with you with details.

I will be having Batt write a guest post in the next few days.

Happy reading

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wishing Everyone A Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Hope you stuff yourself to the gills today. My self, and my son are going to my friend's house Amy's for the big festive meal. Before that my son is going to a Turkey Bowl. What is that you ask? It's working up a sweat playing football, by the time they have finished playing football they are so hungry they will dig into the turkey like no tomorrow.

Everyone have a safe and happy holiday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Web Designer Wanted

I am looking for someone to help me redesign my book blog. Specifically the template for now. There is more work needed but I want to take step by step. I have seen other book bloggers and their sites look awesome. I have tried to do it several time, what I got was frustration. I have looked at istock and I found a couple graphics that are possibilities. I will pay you for your time of course. If someone is interested leave me a comment below at the comments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brain Workout

I have been working out my brain too much lately. Finally the end of the rainbow is near. I can take a breather. I had my exam on the brain and I did well.

We had our practical exam today. I thought I was ready for it. It was on the muscles, insertion and origin of the muscles, brain, nervous system, eye and ear and receptors.

First off, I thought we also had to study the cranial nerves. It turns out I did not have to study this until our quiz next Tuesday. Unfortunately, I did not hear her. Like last time I was so focused in class on what we were doing I did not hear her say anything. If I knew this I would have had more time to study for the insertion and origin of the muscles.

When it came to the exam I thought I was doing quite well. I studied those muscles up and down literally and thought I knew them top to bottom. But when it came to the muscles of the leg. I totally confused myself. I know I did not get them.

She takes off for misspelled words. The exam was 100 questions. I know at least 15 of them I got wrong between naming the muscles and knowing the insertion and origin. But the parts of the microscopic muscle, parts of the neuron, eye, ear and receptors I felt I knew. I will find out by Tuesday how I did.

I fair much better on lecture exams than lab practicals. Especially when it comes to muscles and bones.

Next Tuesday we have a quiz on the cramial nerves which I pretty much studied for. As you can still imagine I have to study during Thanksgiving. My last exam in the first semester of A/P is a take home test.

I Don't want you to think this will be a cinch. I have Dr. Schell she is pretty tough. I know because I had her in Medical Terminology. Her last exam was a take home test then and it was difficult. I am sure it will be the same this time around.

Everyone in the class except myself and one of my lab partner's are not happy about this because I would rather take the test. A take home test first of all you don't learn anything. You are just scrounging for the answers.

This coming Tuesday we will have a quiz on cranial nerves. Then our take home test, the week after our final exam. Don't forget add math and public speaking to the mix.

G-d please help me. This semester has been so stressful with work and school and the house. It has just been too much. Then I have to repeat the same thing next semester with the rest of A/P which contains the rest of the body systems.

Sometimes I wonder if I am crazy going back to school at my age

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Checking In

I am reading Dead Weight by Batt Humphreys but I was unable to finish it yet. It is a page turner. I can't wait to finish it so I can write my thought on my blog. I have been able to read because of school. But starting next Tuesday I will have some time to dedicate to reading and my blog.

I am excited I have been in touch with Batt Humphreys, the author of Dead Weight. He is a local author from outside Charleston. He is coming to Barnes and Noble on December 6th. The good news is, After the book event at Barnes and Noble he will be stopping at the membership tea we were having that day.

I wanted to have him come out to lunch with my book club and my group of friends. But most of them would be at the tea. Some quick thinking, on my part I had come up with a plan.

Mr. Humphreys has agreed to come after the BN book event to come to our tea. I can't believe a author would do this and take the time to come to talk to us after. This is gracious of him.

When I started communicating with him when he and he's publicist were planning the book event at BN he asked me what day woudl be better. To ask me, I am sure he is so busy. This was so touching, don't you think?? Top it off he is not getting paid for this.

The organization, will not allow him to solicit his book during our tea. So, this is out of the kindness of his heart( but spreading the word about his book helps).

This is fantastic, and awesome. There are not many book events down here in SC. Up north there is more opprotunity for them.
I am excited to meet Batt.

He has written a book based on fact of a murder that takes place in Charleston. The book is called Dead Weight.I read already half of it and it is easy to read. It is like reading a newspaper article. I am not reading it for literary reading. But the historical background and culture of Charleston, SC in the turn of the century. I am enjoying reading the book. I will let you know what I think after I finish the book.

Now, I need to get back to studying. Just thought I would check in and let everyone know what is going on. Wish me luck on my exam. This is going to be a hard exam. It is on the brain. I thought the muscle was hard. The nervous System is double the studying time. What was worse was we only had a day to study the brain. It is just alot of info. to study in a short time. I will let you all know after my practical how I did on my exam.

See you all soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here I Go!!

Here I go again... I only have three more weeks left. I have a quiz on Thursday on Nervous Tissue, The we have our last lab quiz before our last Practical, and then our exam on the Nervous tissue, the practical will be the week of Thanksgiving.

I am so stressed I can't wait till it is over. After the practical we have one last test and then a final exam.

If I can make it the next two weeks then I know I will make it. It has been a stressful few months. I just want it to be over all ready.
Our instructor will allow us to drop the lowest grade and from all our tests. So you see that is why just one one more. I have to say I have worked hard all semester if I can come out with a "B" it will be great.

I just want to collapse and take a break all ready. I have not been able to go to my book club in two months.

Today it was so funny I saw another student in my class reading a novel between classes. I said to her, you really have time for that I wish I did. She was reading, a Jane Heller. A good juicy read. Not heavy but a no brainer book I wish I could.

I so miss reading a goood juicy book but it will just have to wait a couple weeks. Even our book club book I could only read half of it. Oh, well. I have to stop complaining. I just have to hit the books so this is my cue to say good bye to y'all for a couple weeks again.

Can't wait but alas I have to get back and hit the books.. See you later. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Miss Y'All

Only 6 more weeks till school is almost over. I took the exam for the Joints and the muscles. I did well. So much better than last year. What a great relief I got through the muscle. I never understood it but this time along I actually got how the muscle works. I accomplished something and even mastered it.

We are going on on to the Central Nervous System and the Brain, and a another week the senses(ear and eye, nose, touch etc.) We will have a practical exam right before Thanksgiving, a comprehensive exam around the second week in December.

Next semester I will be doing the rest of Anatomy and Physiology. The endocrine, blood, heart, kidney, reproductive, intestinal, etc. I can't believe I made it this far.

The unfortunate thing I had to put things on the back burner for now. At times I have tried to read a book and review one or two. Hopefully during break I will be able to get back to my blog. I miss my readers and followers. Sorry to everyone, I miss you all. I am sure you understand school and career is more important right now.

I have also had to put off my book club which looks like it has survived without me. They read two books since I have been gone,The Guersney Literary Potato Peel Society and Sarah's Key. I heard Sarah's Key is wonderful. I will try to get back to the book club possibly in January. For now, I will see you shortly and hopefully all is well with all of you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

School Days IS Overwhelming!!

I passed my first practical exam by the skin of my teeth. I studied and every test I get exam jitters and make stupid mistakes. I did that but I am just happy I passed. The next exam coming up I am dreading. This is the exam last semester, in General A/P I did not do well.

We are on the Muscles and Joints. The subject of muscles is very difficult, overwhelming. I can't wait till the exam will be over next week. Anyone that is in the medical field knows how difficult this part of A/P is. Never liked the muscles. Understanding the parts of the muscle cell, how the contraction works, and energy is very intimidating. But to add insult to injury we have to name each muscle and where it attaches called insertion and fixed. Anyone that reads this pray for me that I get through this with a passing grade.

All that is left for A/P is the Nervous System and Senses. That is more interesting to me.

The Speech class, I ending up with a good grade. The next two projects for speech that are left are a panel, and take a stand speech. We have to pick a social impact speech, and Take A Stand Speech is our last project we have to do for the course. I can't wait for it to be over.

I am so glad that the A/P exam test will be the only thing I have to focus on. Rather than the speech and math all together. It worked out perfectly. Because the professor has been out of class several times. She had to change the due dates for everything. Thank goodness, I was worried that I would have the Speech due on the same date as A/P. Thank goodness, happy days, all the upcoming tests are on different days. How good is that. G-d must have been listening to me.

Believe it or not we only have six or seven weeks of school left. I can't believe it.
It's going fast.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Literary Road Trip

I am going to be doing my first literary road trip entry soon. I am excited.
I went to Barnes and Noble this afternoon. I walked into the store, in Myrtle Beach and saw a display that caught my eye. The book is called Dead Weight, by Batt Humphreys. The story is based on historical Charleston, SC.

The book is about a Jewish merchant that is murdered in Charleston, SC. A African American is accused of the murder. The day before he is to be married he is accused of the murder. This will be great for my Jewish blog as well as Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe.

I am very excited because it takes place close to my home of Myrtle Beach. Historical fiction of the turn of the century, just up my alley. The book has gotten great reviews. I never heard about it till now.

One of my bookish friends told me after I sent a email out to let everyone know that she has seen him speak at Litchfield Books, in Litchfield. Too bad I would have loved to hear him. I just sent a email out to all my bookish friends to spread the word.

Mr. Humphrey's has contacted me and told me he would be interested in talking to my book club. He will be doing a guest blog soon too. I can't wait. You, see I don't know of many local author's in my area. We don't usually have anyone in this area that is a author.

Mr. Humphrey's is a South Carolina resident outside of Charleston. He was a senior producer of CBS News. He recently returned to Charleston, SC.

I will be hosting Mr. Humphrey's soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Am Back!!

I have been so busy with school that I had to let my blog go for awhile. I am now back because I am caught up with my work. I have a few days free time, thank g-d.

My practical was yesterday. I am sorry to say I did pretty bad. I studied everything. But found out during the practical I forgot one thing. I am so mad at myself.

The practical was parts of the body and the regions, Tissues(CT and Epidermis), bones, and joints. I studied so much on the tissues and bones and joints. I don't know how I could have forgotten that. I quess because I was so focused on the hard stuff, I was not thinking so much about the earlier chapters. Oh, well what are you going to do?

There were 100 questions and 20 of the questions I did not know, and then there were a few I did not know the answers to, even though I studied. I hope there is still hope. Because the practical is worth 7% of your overall grade.

This has been a hard semester. Last year I was on the president's and dean's list. This year most of the classes are not what I like but they are required.

Public Speaking is not my favorite. My speech is on the 1960's fashion it was fun. The good part about it is I now now how to do a power point. I learned alot about the 60's and about myself growing up. I will adding my thought of the 60's fashion that influenced 2009 fashion on my blog in the next few days.

I was living during the time. Most of us don't think that was a interesting era until you get older and reflect what happened. You bet ya! There was a lot happening during the 60's and it probably not happen again. I quess because you were living during that time it does not fasinate you until you start reflecting about your era. I would think it is probably the same for ever person that hits middle age. Things are awfully different when I was growing up then when my son is growing up now. Things were less complicated than now. My parents used to say that all the time and I would always grin. Well, who is having the last laugh because now I am saying it.

I am just about ready to finish a book and ready to review Masha Hamilton, 31 Hours.
Look for my review in the next few days.

By the way what do you think about the new blogging laws? I wonder how it will affect book bloggers and my readers?

Myself I always say where the review copy comes from. I do my blog for a hobby not for compensation of any kind. I think most bloggers do the same thing. So, I hope it does not affect our followers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy New Year

I left a message to wish you all that are a Jewish, a Happy New Year message. on my other blog at Bagels, Books and Schmooze.
La Shana Tova

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ye-AH!! 38th Ave, Diva's Are Back in Business!!

After all most eight months( January 09), 38th Ave Divas Book Club finally met for the first time in months. This is our 4th going on 5th year. Due to illnesses, deaths, personal problems finally the book club came back together for the first time today.

I was not sure if it was going to happen. I have not heard from any one in quite awhile. A few members were not happy with the books picked. This time, I told everyone to bring with them three books and pick a date and month and a book. We did not pick for the year. That may have been the problem.

One thing I have learned from organizing and keeping us together. Not every book club is the same you have to hit it by trial and error. Just like people are individuals so are book clubs. Just because one club says it was successful doesn't mean it will work for you.

On to the book club. We discussed Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. A few people were not happy with the book picks. So, I decided what author will draw people in? Easy Jodi Picoult. Her books get you talking about the books. I was right. It sure got every one talking.

Topics covered was heart transplant, death penalty, religion, miracles, politics, messiah, and most definitely salvation. All these topics were in the book.
Every book that the author writes is a jumping board to discuss for hours.
Alot to talk about and debate.

The book is about a convicted prison that is on death row. He would like to save his soul( we think). He has always been in trouble. His last act he would like to save a little girl. There is one catch, the girl,is the family members that he has killed before. He shot and killed the girl's step-father and sister.
The only way that he can give he's heart to the young girl is to die on the gallows not lethal injection.

The story is taken with several characters point of view. What happens it a little far fetched, several miracles happen. Water turns to wine, One of the cell mates has remission with AIDS, the bird comes back to life. Gum that she have only been for one prisoner was able to to last for seven or eight prisoners. A bit far fetched wouldn't you say. You know what I am leading to, don't you?

The biggest point the mother had a hang up about that her child if she gets Shay's heart will her daughter develop the same characteristics as him.

It turns out we find out later in the book. That Shay is a fixer upper for the family and finds that the step father is molesting the the daughter that Shay killed. He feels he is saving her.

When Shay was younger as a child he was living in foster care with his sister. He's sister was being molested by the foster father. She could not take it any longer. We think Shay was responsible for the fire, but we learn it is he's sister that started the fire. He keeps wanting to save people and not speak up.

There is a quote about salvation and religion.. It reads

There is a law in this country that says the state has to let your practice your own religion, as long as it doens't interfere with the safety in the prison. There also a law in NH that says even though the court has sentenced you to die by lethal injection, which wouldn't allow you to donate your heart... in certain circumstances, death row inmates can be hanged insteand. And if you're hanged you'd be able to donate organs.

Another note, Judiasm.
For Jews, repentence is about conduct-you realize you've done something wrong. you resolve to change it in the future. But teshuvah means return. Inside each of us is some spark of G-d-- the real us. It's there whether your're the most pious Jew or the most marginal. Sin, evil, murder- all those things have the ability to cover up our true selves. Teshuvah means turning back to the part of G-d that's gotten concealed. When you repent, usually you feel sad- because of the regret that led you there. But when you talk teshuvah about making the connection with g-d again- well it makes you happy. Sins separated you from g-d and distance always makes the heart grow fonder.

We did a few discussions questions, that made us question why did Shay not fight. We thought he was resigned to his fate. From the beginning to the end. He was it seemed just interested in saving people not saving himself. Including his sister. We thought he was the hero. But I also thought the priest was the hero. He brought Shay his own happiness, his death and salvation of his soul to save the girl.

Our book club enjoyed discussing this book we could sit there for hours but we had to go home some time to our familes. If you would like to see what TNYT felt about this book you can read the review here.

Me, myself I did not think it was a great literary piece. But, it had alot to say. Brought alot of debate and discussion. This is what you expect from Jodi Picoult. I am disappointed that the author felt she had to use the same material as Stephen King's Green Mile. I like to read books that make your juices flowing.

38th St Diva's we Are Back In Business...Until next time 38th Ave, Divas Happy Reading!!

Oh, by the way these are the book picks we have picked up to January.
October we are reading Guersney Literary Peel Pie Society.
November we are reading Sarah's Key and December we will read Zookeeper's Wife, and January we will read James Patterson's Crosse's Trial.

Keep those pages flipping...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day Everyone!!

Happy Labor Day Everyone. Unfortunately there are people that have to work on this day. I was one of the unlucky ones. But that is ok at least I have a job. There are many people that are unlucky this year. Hopefully it will get brighter soon.

Cleopatra's Daughter Giveaway

I am hosting the book Cleopatra's Daughter concurrently with with the release of Michelle Moran's book coming out in stores tomorrow, September 8th. Michelle has agreed to send three copies to the lucky winners. Also Michelle is writing a guest post on my blog in the next few days, look out for it.

The rules are as follows:

The giveaway will begin tommorrow September 8 till September 17th.
Leave a comment on my blog why you would like to be entered in the giveaway.
Blog about the giveaway on your blog with a link coming back to this blog.

Cleopatra's Daughter By Michelle Moran

Excerpt from the book flap:

The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in Cleopatra's Daughter. Recounted in Selene's youthful and engaging voice, it introduces a compelling cast of historical characters. Octavia, the emperor Octavian's kind and compassionate sister, abandoned by Marc Antony for Cleopatra; Livia, Oxtavian's bitter and jealous wife; Marcellus, Octavians's handsome, flirtatious nephew and heir apparent; Tiberius, Livia's sardonic son and Marcellus's great rival for power; and Juba, Octavian's watchful aide, whose honored postiton at court has far reaching effects on the lives of the young Egyptian royals.

Selene must find a path around the dangers of a foreign land. Her accounts of life in Rome are filled with historical detaisl that vividly capture both the glories and horrors of the times. She dines with the empire's most illustrious poets and politicians, witnesses the creation of the Pantheon. Navigates the crowded marketplaces of the city where Roman style justice is meted out with merciless authority. In these chaotic streets and whispering palaces. Selene confronts the same forces that destroyed her mother and struggles to meet a different fate.

Good Luck!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. This is what I recieved in my mailbox this past week.

The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel
Thank you Caitlin from FSB Associates

From the flap:

In childhood, "LillyPad and Valpal" vow to form an exclusive two person club. Throught out the decads they wrote intimate letters on which they shared hopes, fears, deepest secrets-and recipes, from Lilly's Lovelorn Lasagna" to Valerie's "Forgiveness Tepenade". Readers can cook along as the girls travel throught time, facing the challenges of independence, the joys and heartbreaks of first love; nand the emotional complexities of family relatationships, identity morality, and goals deferred.

But no matter what different paths they took or what misunderstandings threatened to break them apart, Lilly and Val always found their way back together through their Recipe Club. Until the fateful day when the act of kindness becomes a unforgiveable betrayal.

If more info. check out the Recipe Club here.

Now and Then by Jacqueline Sheehan
Thank you Jennifer from Book Club Girl.

From the back cover:

When Anna's life begins spinning out of her control, she certainly never expected it to go to this far. Thrust into a life she doesn't understand in a time and country completely foreign to her, Anna struggles to find her way home. But first she must rush to save her troubled teenage nephew from both the past and himself. Full of mystical charm and the intimitable style so many readers grew to love in Lost & Found.

Day After Night By Anita Diamant
Courtesy of Kate Bittman
from Simon and Schuester

Do any of you remember the Red Tent?? The Red Tent was written by Anita Diamant.
I was so happy to get this in my hot little hands I couldn't wait to post about it.
I posted before today. You can look at the post below to my other blog,at Bagels, Books and Schmooze to read about her newest book about to be published on September 8th.

Beg, Borrow, Steal by Michael Greenberg
Thank you Terrie from Other Press

Michael Greenberg, is the author of Hurry Down Sunshine- an account of his daughter's life from mental illness.

This time he writes about his vivid take on his life as a writer of little means trying to practice his craft or simply stay alive. He finds himself doctoring doomed movie scripts;selling cosmetics from a ironing board in front of a woman's department store; writing about golf,a game he never played; and botching his debut as a waiter in a posh restaurant.

Central characters include Michael's father whose prediction that Michael's scribbling wouldn't get him on the subway almost came true; his artistic first wife, whom he met in a Greenwich Village high school; and their son who grew up on the Lower East Side, fluent in the language of the parlor.

Then there are Greenberg's unexpected encounters; a Holocaust survivor who on his deathbed tries to leave Michael his fortune; a repentent communist who confesses his sins; a man who becomes a woman; a Chilean filmaker in search of his past; and rats who behave like humans and cease to live underground.

I broke down this past week and bought:

The Virgin's Daughters by Jeane Westin
From the back cover:

The daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn, Elizabeth I was profundly aware of the dangers of mixing power and sex. Torn between opposing needs- to fulfill her destiny as a strong monarch and to follow her own sensual yearnings-she was fated never to experience true love. and became determined to thwart the romantic desires of all around her. Now Elizabeth's story is told as never before- through the eyes of the two ladies in waiting who were closest to her.

Can't wait, I must get cracking. It now is going to get difficult as I just started school this week. I am taking Advanced A/P. I may be slow in my reading so bare with me. What did you break down and buy or get in your mailbox this past week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Anita Diamant New Fiction

Check out my blog at Books, Bagel, and Schmooze to read more about Day after Night by Anita Diamant. Publishing date is September 8,2009.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week Meme

The Book Blogging Appreciation Week Meme has it own site this year. On the site it asks the questions if you participated last year. What was the highlight of BBAW. What new blog did you find because of BBAW? What tips would you give to new bloggers? My answers are below:

The highlight of BBAW was that I received so much traffic on my blog. I just started blogging only a few months ago. I did not have many other bloggers coming to my blog at that time,this was perfect timing.

I was having a giveaway but there was not enough traffic coming. But, because of BBAW, there was so much publicity about all the giveaway this improved my giveaway.
Then I was able to get more traffic on my blog because of the giveaway.

I had met so many bloggers and new and old because of BBAW. Because of Amy there is fellowship in the book blogging community. There are bloggers I would have never met over cyberspace.

There are so many new blogs I discovered I can't name just one I discovered.

The only tip I would give to a new participant is join in all the activities. Check in daily to see what is going on. BBAW is the greatest time to get your blog known through BBAW because all the publicity, and the link to find other bloggers and making new friends.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Here is the books that came in my mailbox this past week. Thank you Marcia from The Printed Page.

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin. Thank you Random House. I look forward to reading this.

City of Refuge by Tom Piazza. Courtesy of Book Club Girl

Not many books this time but it does give me time to recuperate from the many books that come into my house every week. Oh, no a few more came today.
What came in your mailbox this past week?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dog Days of Summer Post

The Art of Racing in the Rain is my book pick for The Dog Days of Summer at Literate Housewife. I would like to thank Jennifer for hosting. This was great fun.

During the event we were to send in a picture of our dog for Dog Days of Summer. Unfortunately I was unable to get it to Jennifer on time. Instead I will post a picture of my cute little dog, Nachat. He's name means Joy in hebrew.

The Art of Racing in the Rain
By Garth Stein

There are only a few main character's in the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Enzo is the dog, and then there is he's master Denny. There is Eve, soon to become wife, and mother. Then there is his soon to be made family, he's daughter, Zoe.

The book opens with Denny and Enzo being single and the bestest(mispelled on purpose) of friends, man's best friend. Enzo wants to be human. This is the story about a dog that thinks he's human.

He and Denny share the love of car racing. Denny's occupation is car racing. He is constantly on the racing tour circuit. Denny has to leave Enzo at his own devices. What does Enzo with his time? He watches documentaries. The Learning and Discovery channels, and watches the car races.
He is obsessed without having a thumb like a human, called the Dew thumb.

Denny falls in love with a women named Eve. He is not thrilled about it because he has to learn to share. But in time he accepts her and falls in love with her too. After they are married Zoe is born.

After a few years, he sees Eve's ear he knows something is wrong he smells a odor in her ear. He does not know how to tell anyone. He keeps it quiet. Eve suddenly becomes ill and has to go to the hospital. They discover she has cancer.

Denny seems to always be travelling in the racing circuit. So he agrees to allow Eve to stay with her parents called the "Twins". I am not sure why the name. He feels the best for Zoe, and Eve is to stay with the parents. After sometime she dies.

This is where the trouble starts. The parents want to keep Zoe. Denny wants Zoe to come home. The shock has not even worn off. The parents don't give Denny even a chance to digest the news before they ask for custody of Zoe.

Denny retains a lawyer. In the mean time. There is a relative names Annika. She felt rejected and cried Rape when Denny did not accept her advances. The girl told her parents a story and he lost custody of his daughter. Anything they could find to make Denny look bad.

Even at the funeral, he was not allowed to participate at the funeral. He was accused of being called a molester. Denny did not plan the funeral, Eve's parents did.

There was alot of money spent to try to keep his daughter. But the parents found ways to find things wrong with Denny. Denny lost alot of money to try to win Zoe back.

Denny is about to sign papers but Enzo knows there is something fishy. He grabs the papers before Denny signs them. He urinates on them. Denny does not sign the papers. Decides to never give up.

Denny is offered a great chance to work for Ferrari. He does not understand why a man from Ferrari would help him. He decides to get in touch with him when his life is situated so he waits.

During the investigation Denny sees the teenage girl at a cafe. He confronts her but manipulates the story to make her feel like she is the victim. But guess what it worked. She decides to fess it and tell the truth.

The trial is brought to court. Denny is brought up to the witness stand, and other members of the family.

During the trial Enzo is dreaming. During the trial Enzo is speaking with a human voice. The court asks him to tell them what happened with the girl. Since he saw everything, he could tell the court everything that happened.

During the proceeding at the witness stand the cousin breaks down and tells the truth. She withdraws her testimony. Denny is given custody back to Zoe.

During the trial Enzo starts to have health issues and becomes ill. He has a medical condition called hyperplasia( hip problem).After the trial Enzo is hit by a car. Enzo passes away.

Denny is given a job in Italy with Ferrari to try and make a fresh start.
Then while he is doing a job, he meets up with a father and his son, ENZO. He is trying to figure out if this is coincidence or is this a reincarnation of his dog Enzo.

I remember this documentary says that after a dog dies, he's soul is released into the world around us. His soul is released to run in the world. run through the fields. enjoy the earth, the wind , the rivers, the rain, the sun the- When a dog dies, his soul is released to run until he is ready to be reborn, I remember. It's OK.
When I am reborn as a man, I will find Denny. I will find Zoe. I will walk up to them and shake their hands and tell them that Enzo says hello. They will see. You can go.

When I first read this book I did not think I would like this. I was totally wrong. This was a dogs perspective of life. Of course fiction. But I did enjoy it up to the very end. Even though it was sad at the end. There was a conclusion, a happy ending.
Did you ever wonder what your dog thought about things?

Now I wonder what Nachat thinks. I thought the author did a great job explaining how he ate his food, and cleaned himself, and other things. It was so cute, and funny.

I loved the part at the end. When the dog was dreaming and wanted to give his side of the story about the teenage girl. Nothing really went on, and he wanted to have his say. He wanted to tell everyone what really happened in a human voice.

The ending to the philosophy of a dog's life and what happens to Enzo and what he thinks about life and what happens after he dies he very interesting.

I rate this book four bones and I would recommend this to anyone that has a dog.
Thank you again Literate Housewife. This was a fun event. If you would like to see what other people had to say. Or to see what The Dog Days of Summer is all about check it out at Literate Housewife.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Thank you Marcia for hosting, Mailbox Monday. If you would like to join in, write a comment on Marcia's blog The Printed Page. Then blog about the books you recieved in your mail box or bought from where ever.

Here is the books I recieved this past week. The mail man just seemed to be coming constantly this week. I assume this is how it is slow for the publishers for the summer, then picks up in the early fall and publicists are scrambling to ge the word out. Because I recieved so many books I can't count.

Here is my list:

The Shortest Distance Between Two Women by Kris Radish

A Better View of Paradise by Randy Sue Coburn

The two above books look like beach reads. But the rest of my batch seem like they would be rather intense. To find out what other books I recieved in my Mailbox you will have to come and visit Jewish Mailbox Monday at Bagels, Books and Schmooze

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Public Speaking

I am back in school. I am taking only three classes, but it is intense. I am taking Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, Public Speaking, and Math.
This may not seem so intimidating to you. But, I don't like speaking in front of the class, period. We have to prepare for a class for speech.

For those of you that like to be front and center. This is just the class for you.
But for me to speak in front of 20 young students. It is hard for someone that is middle age. Making a fool of myself with people that are mainly my son's age.
We have to do four types of delivery of speech. For one minute, I have to memorize something. For 30 seconds have to read a piece. Then the 3rd is prepare something and allowed to use notes. The last is something that is spontenous that the teacher knows. I am terrified.

It would not be so terrible if I was not taking the classses I am taking A/P and Math. Have not been in a math class for over 20 years. I just have to get over my jitters and stop stressing. It is easier said then done.
Wish me luck!!

One Thousand White Women: Book Review

One Thousand White Women By Jim Fergus I have been looking forward to reading, One Thousand White Women. S...