Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book Review: Annie's Ghost




Annie's Ghosts
By Steve Luxenberg
Published May 2009

Washington Post associate editor Steve Luxenberg is a master of investigative journalism. The editor of two Pulitzer prize winning series, Luxenberg has now written his most compelling story. His exploration of his late mother's secret.

Beth Luxenberg always claimed to be an only child, but a chance mention led to the discovery that she had been hiding the existence of a sister, Annie. The girls had grown up together, living in a series of cramped apartments until Annie's commitment to a mental instituion at the age of twenty-one. Why was Annie committed? How had Beth so thoroughly erased her sister's existence? Why had she wanted to?

Annie's Ghosts is the engrossing eye opening story of Luxenberg's search for the personal motives and cultural forces that influenced his mother's decision to create and harbor her secret. The deeper he digs. the more he finds himself in unfamiliar territory, struggling to balance his dual roles, the tenacious journalist and empathetic son.

The research and investigative work that Mr. Luxenberg did was well documented. You could tell that he was a investigative journalist by his writing style. I thought he did a good job in the research that was done.

He documented the family, friends, relatatives, neighbors that knew his family. He documented the history of psychiatry. in the hospital and in Europe. How the mentally ill were treated with psychotropic meds, insulin, shock treatment. The after effects of Haldol which can cause tardavdiskensia.

The history of mental hospitals, psychiatry, the treatment of patients, the overcrowding. The government's role in mental illness and hospitals. The governments funding in the US. Social culture in the US during the 40's. He summized what life was like for the family under normal conditions. What life was like to have a child with a physical disability and mental illness. How this effected the whole family. His family, his grandparents, his mother.

The research and investigative work was well researched. He did the work objectively. Which was a hard thing to do. Since this was a personal matter, his mother, Beth and Aunt Annie. How do you do investigative work objectively.

The story of the secret his mother, Beth kept from the family till she died. The family lived in Detroit, Michigan during the 30's and 40's. Beth's sister was severely handicapped with mental illness. She was sent away from the home in her early twenties.

Steve's grandmother, Tillie felt that the sins of the parents are passed on to the children. Because Tilly his grandmother and Zeyde married as cousins. In the old country in Europe in the Jewish faith you can marry a cousin to keep everything in the family.

Steve's investigative work also brought us to Europe. In Russia, with the Pograms, the holocaust, mass murders. How families in Europe felt about mental illness and physically handicapped family members. They felt it was right to keep secrets.

During the 40's families felt it was a disgrace to have a family member with a mental illness and a physical handicap. It left you with a stigma and the family felt disgraced in the 1940's. If you expected to marry you did not let anyone know you kept it in the family.

The account of the family takes place, while he's mother is still alive. While she is being hospitalized she tells the social worker the secret. He wonders, why did she wait to tell the secret then. Why not before. What a shock this had to be for him and his family. The brothers and sisters all thought she was a only child.

During the investigation of the early accounts when Annie's is committed to Eloise(the name of the mental institution). He questions her IQ, her mental state, her emotional state. Was she severely mentally ill or was this just a place to put her. Was she schizophrenic? or was this what they labeled everyone.

In the 40's Schizophrenia was a catch-all. Not like today when they distinguish the different mental illnesses. The documents that he finds challanges the reason she was put in Eloise in the first place. He finds documents that states she can care for herself. And can function very well.

At the end of Annie's life she died in 1972. She died alone in her early 50's. She died before the government opened the doors for good. She was buried with a Jewish burial by his mother. She wrote Annie's orbituary that was fabricated. The author questions why did his mother finally recognize her in death but not while she was alive.

Was this a cartharsis for the author? Did he write this to help others that had family secrets? Did he want to understand why the secret was kept? While I was reading the book I wanted to know answers. But there weren't any because Steve' did not know the answers because he's mother kept him in the dark. There weren't any leaads to the questions because his mother and her generation passed away. There were some relatives, neighbors and friends that were still alive. But their memories were fading.

I have mixed feeling about Annie's Ghosts. What I am wondering where are the motivations for each action. Where are the feelings to their actions. How and why did this happen. It is hard for me to relate because there isn't any emotions sprinkled on the pages of the book, only the authors. You can see he took great care to preserve his mother's memory. To protect his mother, and his brothers, and sisters.

I wanted to know the mother and sister's and parents side. How was Annie raised by her parents?? how did Beth actually feel about her? Did she ever feel anything for Annie? Did her parents keep the secret from everyone as well?? The holes were never filled. How it affected them. All the questions he had were never answered, WHY??!!

That is probably why I did not understand why this book was written. With so many unanswered questions. I could not relate to most of the book.

There is a saying you don't judge someone because we have not walked in their shoes. But still I was angry with Bertha. To not have any compassion and not care what happens to her sister. To not care about her welfare and well being really makes her out as a heartless human being.

We will never know if she did or didn't because his mother never told him about his Aunt. She is no longer hear to defend herself.


Annie's Ghost has a good history lesson of the mentally ill, and psyciatry, and what society thought of the mentally ill. If you have no idea what psyciatry was like during that time.

I did enjoy reading this book. The book was well documented, and lot of work, sweat and caring, and investigative work was involved. The book was very compelling. It could help someone that is trying to research family and what happens to a family when there are secrets. I am still glad that I picked up this book and read it.

I am for the first time putting a Jewish book on this blog, as well as books, bagels and schmooze. Because I think this belongs with both blogs. Thank you, Jill, FSB for allowing me to review.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Devil's Queen





Devil's Queen, a historical novel based on Catherine Medici.

The Devil’s Queen tells the story one of Catherine de Medici, one of history’s most intriguing female figures. She is considered a ruthless and cunning Queen. She was born into one of Florence’s most powerful families, Catherine was left incredibly wealthy by the early death of her parents. She later went on to become the jealous wife of the Prince Henry of France, the scheming mother-in-law to Mary, Queen of Scots, the architect of the bloody St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, and, of course, France’s most infamous Queen.

What is unique about the announcement of this book is the publisher's are publishing a ebook to coinside with the publication with The Devil's Queen. Even today, it is commonly accepted that Catherine resorted to astrology and black magic to keep her family, and herself, in power at all costs.

Here, for the first time, bestselling author Jeanne Kalogridis (author of THE DEVIL'S QUEEN) opens the pages of history to reveal some of Catherine’s favorite black magic spells and dark charms in the 'BOOK OF BLACK MAGIC: The Devil’s Queen Grimoire'..." The Book of Black Magic is to be read along with the Devil's Queen.

Winners of Julie and Jula Book Giveaway




Thank you y'all for stopping by and leaving your comments. Alas, the book giveaway is over. Listed below are the five winners. You will be hearing from Anna at Hatchett books. I have sent her the list of winners. I am sure she will be contacting you soon. Here are the names of the five winners:

Sagan, Marie at Bostonbibliophile, Melinda M, Leah, A Reader

Congrats, to all the winners hope you enjoy Julie and Julia. While you are at whip up something yummy and high calorie while you are in the reading mode.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Marcia, from The Printed Page hosts, Mailbox Monday. Thanks Marcia. It is a fun meme to read what other bloggers recieved either by publishers or bought themselves.

I recieved The Raven by George Dawes Green from Miriam at Hatchett Books. Sounds like a interesting read. I did not buy any books this past week. Thank goodness, I controlled my compulsion.

Meeting Mary Kay Andrews















This is my post about meeting Mary Kay Andrews in Pawley's Island, SC. Above is a picture of me posing with Mary Kay. I have always hating me in pictures. But this one I wanted the world to see. I wish there was a better picture. But alas, maybe next time.

A few friend and I met for Mary Kay Andrews with the Moveable Feast that is hosted by Litchfield books and a cultural club.

We had the luncheon at a exclusive community called Debridew. I suppose it is french. The homes were nice. But there was not anything special. When I think of exclusive homes. I think of homes that look like the Hamptons in New York, with arches and columns like you would see in Charleston with triple digits. There wasn't anything like that.

Now, when we get in to the club house it was very nice and exclusive. With wide windows and the view outside was beautiful with lots of greenery.

As I am ascending the stairs to the top floor. There she is Mary Kay. Not the makeup, the author. She is larger than life it seems to me. Note: Mary Kay is not her real name. The names is made up. A conglomerate of her two children's names.

There was not a line like you would expect at other book signing. When I have been to book signing in New Jersey you are rushed and hastled to hurry up. This was not the case. Possibly because this was a luncheon. She took the time to answer some of my questions and told her that I loved her book. She remembered me, because I found her on facebook. She really does care about her fans.

What a thrill it was to meet Mary Kay. I was awe struck. Why is it that I act this way when I meet authors. I get tongue tied and forget what to say. Next time I think I am going to bring a cheat sheet with me filled with questions.

She was surprised that I came because it took over a hour. Everything in SC in a far distance. There is not anything that is direct. The roads are terrible here. They are still trying to get 1-95 into Myrtle Beach. I am surprised she did not realize this since, she her self is a southern girl. Unless she lives in the big city of Atlanta. But this is another story.

She was so gracious and fun to talk to she was a hoot, and so funny when she was speaking. she tells us about her experience at the Jersey shore while on her book tour. Everyone that lives in Jersey knows about needing a badge to enter the beach. Mary Kay did not know this. Her story is on her blog if you would like to read it visit her blog at marykayandrews.com.

Mary kay talked about the importance of
Home in woman's hearts
. Women putting down roots. When she writes, about putting down roots. When someone messes with us, look out. Mary Kay likes to write about small towns. Because everyone knows everyone's business.

How she came about writing Fixer upper happened when she was looking for a permanent getaway to do her writing. A opportunity happened for her to buy a house in Tivy, Ga.

One fact that Mary Kay admitted to when she starts writing that she enjoys settling down to a glass of Chardonney to write.

I can't wait for the next Moveable Feast. This one will be with Anita Shreve. She is just about to publish her next book. This will be a rare treat because northern authors rarely come down here. Looking forward to that. If you are interested and live in the area you can go to Litchfield books( independent book store).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Review: Fixer Upper


Fixer Upper
Mary Kay Andrews

Fixer Upper is a about Dempsey Kilebrew,she works for a high powered firm that leads to a polictical scandal. Dempsey's boss is forced to close up shop. Fires Dempsey because of the scandal. She looses her job, her reputation, and her name, she can't get a job in D.C.

Dempsey escapes to Florida to visit her father. He is recently married to Pilar, a trophy wife with toddler twins.

Mitch has a idea. He has inherited a house in Guthrie,Ga from his Uncle Norbitt. Forget the problems in Washington, DC. Go to Guthrie, Ga. Fix up Birdsong and then sell it.

Dempsey doesn't realize she has a squator, and her dog Shorty living in the house since her Uncle Norbitt passed away. Even though Dempsey father owns the house she refuses to leave.

Alma is very critical of Dempsey. Telling her how to do things. Everything that Dempsey does is not good enough for her. Even though she is a squator Dempsey does not tell her to leave. Possibly because Dempsey feels sorry for her.

When Dempsey first meets (the house) Birdsong, the hedges are so high you can not even find the house. The house is peeling pepeto bismol pink paint.

Dempsey fixes up the house from assistance of the townfolk. Everyone seems to know everyone's business. Dempsey is independent and does do it with chutzpah and gumption. I just love her independent character.

In the meantime Dempsey, hires a lawyer Carter to help her with her legal problems.
The FBI, find her and want to set up her ex-boss. She does not agree immediately, she realizes this is the only way to get her reputation back. She is wired and it is all caught on tape.

At the end when her ex-boss gives her the money. The FBI captures her ex-boss and lets Dempsey leave without taking the money from her. Dempsey asks what do with the money. The FBI's answer is WHAT Money.

Dempsey takes in Alma May and her dog, Shorty. Alma May becomes concerned about Dempsey's well being. That is when you realize she is a softy and she cares about Dempsey and visa versa.

Shorty becomes ill and Dempsey drives them to the nearest Vet. Hosp that is a few hours away. You start seeing that Dempsey and Alma May start having compassion and concern for each other. After this episode they drive back home. Shorty has to have stiches taken out. A few weeks later, Alma May lies to Dempsey and says she is getting a ride to the Vet. Hosp. But she wants nothing to do with Dempsey and tells her she is getting a ride from someone. But, a snowstorm is brewing.

During this time Dempsey goes in to Alma's room and find all the furniture that belonged to her family in her room. She finds a picture and relatives. Dempsey finds out the connection of Alma and her father and her Uncle's house.

In the meantime Dempsey realizes that Alma May, takes the Catfish out without her knowledge(that is what they call the old car). After Dempsey realizes what has happened. Dempsey drives to find them. She finds them on the side of the road, with Alma pretty badly hurt.

I loved all the characters especially Alma May's feistiness and Dempsey becomes more independent. She learns to fight for herself. The way, the author sets up the story is so southern. The town of Gunthrie, Ga knows everyone's business.

The Fixer Upper was a book I enjoyed very much. I usually don't read "Chick-Lit".
This caught me from the first sentence. The family, the friendships, mother-daughter relationship, father-daughter relationship, and HOME and family roots, and home roots was the themes of the story. Dempsey fixing up her life, and her house from the inside out.

I have a friend that likes the same kind of books I like. I don't usually reccommend this kind of book to her but she is down in the dumps, and having personal problems. I thought this was a feel good book and a pick me up kind of book.I thought this was a fun and upbeat book, It made you feel good.

I Reccommend this highly if you are looking for something to make you laugh and get away from it all.

I did get to meet the author, Mary Kay Andrews. I will let you know my thoughts about her at my next post.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dog Days of Summer



Literate Housewife is having Dog Days of Summer at her blog. If you would like to see what it entails go visit her at her blog

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Secrets of Happiness by Sarah Dunn
The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck



1) Read and review one or more of the books that are listed above to review .

There will be a dog and/or summer related prize drawn using List Randomizer for one of the bloggers who sign up below and review at least one of the books on my list.

All participants will be included in the general drawing for the Dog Days of Summer bookmarks I’ll be making for this event.

2) Submit a picture of you, your family, or your pets (not strictly dogs) survive the Dog Days of Summer. Please feel free to use the button and encourage your friends and family to vote for you.

This will be a contest. There will be a dog and/or summer related grand prize for the picture getting the most votes. Second and third place will receive a bookmark.

All participants will be included in the general drawing for the Dog Days of Summer bookmarks I’ll be making for this event.

All pictures must be received by August 20th to be included in the contest.

Pictures will be posted at 9am EST on Monday, August 24th and voting will end at 5pm EST on Friday the 28th.

3) Comment on Literatehousewife.

For each comment, you will be entered in the general drawing for the Dog Days of Summer bookmarks I’ll be making for this event.

Jennifer, this is a great idea before the end of the summer. I love the button. I can't think of a better one. Can you?? Thanks Jennifer for hosting.

I will be posting a review on two of the books mentioned, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and Dogs of Babel. I am reading The Story of Edgar Sawtee for my book club in September, perfect timing wouldn't you say.

I have so many books I had planned to read before August 24th. I hope to get to them all. School starts for me August 24th. I have a couple books I hoped to review. Then a couple book club books, and a online book club (historical book club). I hope I can do it, and work at the same time before August 24th. The time is slipping by so quickly and we are almost into August already.

Help!! Help!! I feel so overwhelmed....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Moveable Feast Luncheon with Mary Kay Andrews



I am looking forward to tommorrow's Moveable Feast with Mary Kay Andrews. The moveable feast is a luncheon with a author. It is hosted by Litchfield books in Litchfield, SC. It is in a exclusive club call Debradew.

Litchfield books doesn't have the big name northern authors for these events. They have local authors. Sometimes they have well known southern authors. This year there were a few I would like to see.

Who do you choose, between Dorthea Benton Frank or Mary Kay Andrews, Alice Monroe. It was a toss up between them, Mary Kay won for now. Sorry, Dorthea I hope to see you on the road if you come to Myrtle Beach this year.

If you don't know who Mary Kay Andrews is you can visit her website or facebook.
I wrote her on facebook and it was a treat. I think of authors as movie stars unaccessable. I forget most of them are just like you and me. It is just wonderful that a author writes you back through email or facebook. I am touched and thrilled.

Mary Kay Andrews has written:

Little Bitty Lies
Hissy Fit
Savannah Breeze
Deep Dish
Savannah Blues

I read one of her earlier books called Hissy Fit. I did not hate it but I did not love it either. I read Fixer Upper and absolutely loved it. It grabbed me right from the start to finish.

Chick-Lit, my defination is a book about girl has some personal problems, girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, they have a situation break up, then get back together and live happy ever after.

I am not sure this is considered a chick lit. The book does have depth and character and suspense, comedy and mystery. I called this a "Chick-Lit" when I started it. I realize now it is not a clear definition of this book after I finished it.

I read a review from another blogger she did not consider this chick-lit. I thought to myself what is she talking about. After I finished the book I realized I was wrong. The book definately is much heavier than romance and chick lit.

I will be writing a review after my luncheon with Mary Kay Andrews probably over the weekend.

Addendum: I just found out that Pat Conroy is doing a book signing that I would like to go to if I am not too busy in September. But I MUST,MUST, see Anita Shreve. I started reading her with a book club I joined at least ten years ago, called Weight of Water. I read most of her books but the last few years I stopped till I read Testimony. Now she seems back on track. I just recieved a ARC from Miriam at Hatchett books. I hope to attend the Moveable Feast.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Thank you Marcia, from the Printed Page for hosting Mailbox Monday. I look forward to reading everyone's posts each week.

This is what came in the past week:

City of Strangers by Ian MacKenzie

Benny and Shrimp by Katrina Mazetti courtesy of FSB associates

The Invention fo Everything Else by Samantha Hunt courtesy of the author

A Change of Altitude By Anita Shreve
Thank you Mariam at Hatchett Books. I have been looking forward to this one since I heard about it.

Now for books I just had to buy at the book store. Like I don't have enough. Hand talk to the brain. Tell the brain not to dive into the purse. Remember brain, picture your bedroom with all the books. Brain could not stop and bought them anyway.

These are the books that I could not stop my brain from purchasing:

Burnt Shadows by Kamilia Shamsie
East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax

What came in your mailbox last week??

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lady Elizabeth: Review



Lady Elizabeth
By Alison Weir

First, I would like to thank Jennifer at Literate Housewife for introducing this book for her historical fiction book club. This is the first time I joined in on facebook and I really had fun with this. This is the first time I did a online book club and it was enjoyable to see what everyone else thought. Thanks Jennifer. If you are interested log on to facebook at book club applications and you will find us there.


Alison Weir, is a historian of European history. She has written several books on the Tudor family. This is her second attempt to write historical fiction. She has written several book on tudor history. Her first historical fiction, was Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey. If her second novel is any indication of her first, I would read her others and her soon to be released, Lady in the Tower(Ann Boleyn).

Lady Elizabeth, is the story of the life of Lady Elizabeth as a child till the time she hears about the death of her half sister, Queen Mary.

The novel opens about the time her mother, Ann Boleyn is beheaded when she is about 5 years old. Her sister, Mary tells her terrible things about her mother. This is understandable since Anne was the influence for King Henry Viii to divorce his wife, Catherine. Here is a link here about Henry VIII and his wives.

Elizabeth, and Mary were living together taken care by caretakers. Elizabeth is known as Lady Princess, but when her mother is beheaded she is referred to Lady Elizabeth. The King goes through many wives as there is underwear.

First there is Katherine of Aragon, he divorces her, There is a problem because Henry wants England to become Protestant. The land is divided between catholic and protestant.

He divorces Katherine which in the catholic religion is illegal. This splits the land she lives out her days. Then comes Ann, she is beheaded because it is thought she was sleeping around.

After Ann, is Jane Seymour she dies in child birth with Prince Edward. It is said King Henry did love her. Then Ann of Cleaves is brought to England from Germany, to become the new Queen. She is one of the Queen's that survives with a divorce. They call each other cousin after the divorce. The next wife is Katherine Howard she is a young thing and is beheaded. His last wife survives and is widowed. \

She marries the admiral. Elizabeth is living with her widowed stepmother and the admiral. Her husband becomes infatuated with Elizabeth. She falls in love with the admiral. They have a affair and she becomes pregnant. They have to help her have a abortion or she will be shamed forever.


Henry, has a hard time having children. His kingdom is worried there will not be a successor. The only male child to succeed after Henry dies is Edward. He is a sickly and young king. Then Edward dies and then Mary takes over as successor because it is determined she was not a child out of wedlock.

Because she is the Queen's daughter she wants England to return to catholism and not protestant. This causes many problems in the court.

Mary's court doesn't trust Elizabeth. The court believes that Elizabeth will do something to overturn the catholic religion. She openly tells her sister she won't practice catholism or go to mass. Which her sister is angry at her. After sometime the court convinces Mary that Elizabeth is up to no good. she is going to turn against the Queen.

Mary decides to send her sister to the tower indefinately. Mary feels there is a conspiracy to get rid of her. Elizabeth is safer in the tower rather than in the court where she could be murdered.

After alot of convincing Queen Mary decides to give Elizabeth a chance and she is taken out of the tower and returned to court because the Queen's husband sways Mary that all the suspicions against her are not true.

Suddenly the Queen becomes very ill and decides the right thing to do is allow Elizabeth the become Queen. She has to promise the kingdom to practice catholism. Which of course she doesn't do. But this is the only way she can become Queen. Mary becomes ill and dies and Elizabeth becomes Queen.

My reaction to the book. I enjoyed reading it. It pulled me in from the first. This is the first time I am reading historical fiction.

It appears no one trusted anyone. Just because you did like how something looked you had a chance with" off with your head." I don't think I would want to live during that time. You were not safe. Any time royalty did not like something there was a chance that you were killed. Especially when it came to religion.

It must have been terrible you did not know if you still had a mother at the end of the day. If King Henry did not like something he would kill you. He would kill the children's step mothers and the next one would come and you would wander if she would survive.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5. That is pretty good for a person that usually doesn't read historical fiction. I find historical fiction is fantasy added with mysticm. I found this one was not like it. I am going to try the next book club pick called the Last Queen. I will let you know what I think.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blogger Appreiciation Week



Again Amy is hosting Blogger Appreciation Week, September 14-18 2009. Amy decided to do it again this year. I give her a lot of credit. It had to be a lot of sweat, time, and hard work to get it together the first time around. I am looking forward to it this year. She built a new blog specifically for the Blogger Appreciation Week.

There were alot of bloggers we met for the first time, thanks to Amy. It was great for us new bloggers that had just started out. I had been a blogger since June for the first Blogger Appreciation Week. Us bloggers that are new to this came at the right time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mailbox Monday








Thank you Marcia from The Printed Page, for hosting Mailbox Monday every week.
I recieved a few suprises this past week. This is what came in my mailbox this past week. I can't wait to dive in. I am looking forward to most of these around. Especially to see Pat Conroy from my own state and my favorite area Charleston, SC.

Something Missing by Matthew Dicks

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

South of Broad by Pat Conroy

What did you get in your mailbox this week. I am looking forward to reading all of these soon. Especially Pat Conroy, he is from my home state of SC.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Julie and Julia


In honor of the release of Julie and Julia there will be a re-release of the book release with a new cover with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The movie trailer can be viewed here.

From the book's cover: Nearing thirty and trapped in a dead end secreterial job, Jile Powell resolved to reclaim her life by cooking. In the span of a single year, every one of of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected rewards; not just a newfound respect for calves livers and aspic. but a new life-lived with gusto.

With the soon release of the movie I am giving away 5 copies of the book. All I ask is that you leave a comment and link to my post. For a second chance to win become a follower of my blog. The contest starts tomorrow and will last till
July 27th.

Just Announced The Winner

The winner of my book blog was Laura. I contacted you but in case you did not recieve my email please contact me. I will get the books out to you as soon as possible.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday is here. Thank You Marcia for hosting at The Printed Page. I did not recieve a loot this week. That is probably a good thing since my books are toppling over. The books are taking over my room. They are on the floor, on my shelves, stacked up. My son wants me to get a Kindle. But I would rather wait till the price goes down.
Here is the books that came through last week.

Drawing in the Dust by Zoe Klein

Drawing in the Dust is compared to The Red Tent and People of the Book. This one will be reviewed on Bagels, Books and Schmooze. The author is a senior Rabbi in a large congregation in California. I can't wait to read this one. The author is known in Jewish circles for many articles in Tikkun and Women's Commentary.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Michael Jackson Remembered (1958-2009)

F
I have hesitated to post anything until now about Michael. Because it was such a shock to hear about his death. First Farrah Fawcett. The pinup with the red bathing suit and the hair.

Then to read about Michael Jackson. like 9/11, I don't want to compare it to that but it was the same feeling. A joke, disbelieve, and then shock. I hesitated to post anything because I was filled with so many feelings. He was taken so young.

To see him recently in a rehearsal video just two days before his death. You would not think you were talking about the same man. He was strutting his stuff. He did not look like a man that was ill and pass away in two days. He looked great. Are you sure that is the same man??

I know there are different camps either you liked his music or you didn't. Or you thought he was just too weird and could not stomach it. Or you were sick of it. Or you put up with it. I lost interest in his music after the 90's just because I stopped listening to new pop music.

I was a fan of the Jackson 5. I used to watch the Jackson 5 on Dick Clark during the same time the Osmonds were singing on Merv Griffin. I was born the same year as Michael. I did not follow his music until Off The Wall. I loved the beat and his music, dancing and entertaining.

When MTV came into existance when cable was just coming into being. Michael Jackson made videos that was so different. He made his music videos into short films. This made MTV evolve and what has changed the music industry.

I never did see Michael Jackson at a concert but did see him in the music video and concerts on DVD. He made you feel like dancing at home or in the office. You would see people at work, their feet move or clicking their fingers. It was so funny.

Michael Jackson, was not just a singer he was a entertainer. Boy he really knew how to dance and entertain and dazzle the public not like anyone else before. I and everyone else loved his costumes when he performed on stage. This set precedence for other singers like Prince, and others.

If you never seen or heard of Michael Jackson or The Jackson 5 I would recommend that you find a video and watch his early videos. Billy Jean, Thriller, Beat it. This will give you a idea of his genius and entertaining greatness.

Michael was misunderstood especially his personal life. His eccentricities of his genius made his mental well being made him look and behave bizarre. I don't want to read and hear speculations anymore. All we have been hearing on the news 24/7 is basically speculation not facts. It's like the news is pulling things from the air to keep his memory going. Who knows if the truth will ever come out. I want to remember him for his music and his dancing and entertaining abilities, not the tabloids's nonsense.


Michael Jackson was a man that did not have a chance to grow up. He had a strict childhood that they say is the reason he was a child-man, he's odd behavior and eccentricities. But he was involved with many charities. Do you remember We Are The World? He was given this gift of singing and dancing that was awesome.

When you see him on stage I can't explain it but he appears timeless. There is isn't a age factor. He has immortality. Now I know that sounds strange. But thinking this way may be the reason I am in shock. He did not look his age. I had forgotten he is the same age as I am. He seemed to be so full of energy on stage.

On stage he seemed comfortable in himself. But when he out in public not on stage he looks like a different Michael Jackson. He did not look comfortable in his own skin.

Whom I do feel sorry for are his chidren. Their father was the only person that cared for them. They have never been in public. It will be very hard for them. The only person that they know is gone.

On a happy note, Michael Jackson's music and dancing made me feel good. That is he's legacy we have to remember if you are a Michael Jackson fan. "The Way You Make Me Feel".

You were taken too soon you were timeless. We love you Michael I hope you have the peace you wanted. G-d Bless you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Bonus Giveaway Announced



The mystery for the bonus prize is How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson.
I decided not to have you in suspense. Making your brain crazy wondering what the bookish bonus prize was. I decided to make it easier.
The bonus giveaway is How To Buy a Love of Reading. You have till tonight at 11:59 PM. Tomorrow the winner will be notified.

In the blogaversay giveaway my passion for throwing different ingredients, (spices) in particular is a passion of mine, hence The Flavor Bible. The Little Red Book is added for my passion for the advocacy of women's health. The third is of course of my love of reading.

When you read below you will understand my connection with the book, How To Buy a Love of Reading. My son, David would always say there is not a book in the world I like. When he's teacher gave him assignments he would always say there is not a book I like. He's teacher would tell him to keep searching there has to be one book in the world that you like. Tanya must have met my son, hence the connection with the book.

Here is the story: To Carley Wells, words are the enemy.Her tutor's innumerable SAT flashcards. Her personal trainer's fifty seven pounds overweight assessment. And the endless assignments from her English teacher, Mr. Nagel. When Nagel reports to her parents that she has answered the question, "What is your favorite book?" with "Never met one I liked". They decided to fix what he calls her intellectual umpoverishment. They will commission a book to be written just for her. One she will have to love-that will impress her teacher and the whole town of Fox Glen with Her family's devotion in the arts. They will be patrons-the Medicis of Long Island. They will buy their daughter the love of reading.

Impossible thought it is for Carley to imagine loving books, she is in love with a young bibliophile who cares about them more than anything else. Anything, that is, but a good bottle of scotch.Hunter Gay Carley's best friend and Fox Glen's resident golden boy, is becoming a stranger to her lately as he drowns himself in F. Scott Fitzgerald, booze and Vicodin.

When the Wellses move writer Bree McEnroy-author of a failed meta movel about Odysseus's journey home through the internet-into their mansion to write Carley's book. Carley sole interest in the project is to distract Hunter from drinking and give them something to share. But as Hunter's behavior becomes erratic and dangerous, she finds herself increasingly drawn into the fictional world Bree has created and begins to understand for the first time the power of stories-those we read, those we want to believe in, and most of all, those we tell ourselves about ourselves. Stories powerful enought to destoy a person or save her.
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Remember the giveaway includes The Flavor Cookbook and Little Red book and the bonus of course that I mention in this post.

The Blogaversary giveaway rules are the same as before just go to my earlier post.

Good Luck!!

Teaser Tuesday


This the first time I am participating in this meme
hosted by MizB,
These are the rules:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I think I have one of my headaches coming on,"Elizabeth said folding up the paper and putting it in her pocket. Her headaches-often so bad that she could not see to read-were a legacy of that other time. But this time she was feigning."


The teaser from Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir

Moving....

So unhappy about my book blog...My book blog is over 11 years old. It has been a hobby. In the scheme of things to most of you. Think i...