Showing posts from October, 2012

Help Wanted: Books from the Past

HELP WANTED, Looking For List of  Contemporary Classic Authors from the Past( 1980's) for book clubs. 

I have been looking high and low for book lists from the past.  Contemporary Literary Classics.

I have done several google searches, under decades of best books, popular books from the 80's, best book club discussable books from the 80's without any luck.

This is the few books, and authors that I can think of, but I am looking for a list.  Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingslover, Anne Tyler, John Irving, Jane Smiley, Ann Patchett. Can anyone help me with others. I would greatly appreciate it. You will be helping a fellow book club moderator, and book blogger in the book community. 

Head Master's Wager: TLC Book Tour

Headmaster's Wager
By Vincent Lam

Review copy given from TLC Book Tours

Author, Dr. Vincent Lam's novel, takes place in Vietnam. He's heritage is from Vietnam, he's occupation when not writing is a ER physician in Canada.  He is well known in Canada in literary circles. He has won literary prizes for his short stories, and other novel, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures.  There is a interesting scoop of gossip about him, and Margaret Atwood, one of my favorite authors.

I don't recall how I found out about this novel, it could have been through BEA. When I found out that TLC Book Tour was looking for hosts for Headmaster's Wager, I jumped and eagerly wanted to read, and review. I don't know what I was expecting, but I wanted to jump at the chance.

It seems that this is the right time for novels about Vietnam to be published now.   With the wounds of Vietnam has healed, and less painful it is the right time to start writing about it. There has been recently ma…

A Train In Winter: Book Tour Host

A Train In Winter
By Caroline Moorehead

Complimentary copy given by TLC Book Tour.

A Train in Winter is a hard to read because of the content. But, it is a important part of history that should not be forgotten. The books that are written usually has the Jewish perspective. This time it from a objective point, from a  non- Jewish journalist. It is a important part of history, about the French Resistance that no one knows much about. It takes place during after the war. Most of the Resistant fighters, were women.  Yes, yes!,  you heard right women.

I was happy to read this. Because as a Jew, I thought no one was helping us. But, in reality there were people that were helping to end the war and the atrocities of Hitler. We just did not know many of them. I am not talking about a few, but thousands all over Europe in particular France.

These people were ordinary people, doctors, writers, singers, dental surgeon, teachers, students, mothers, grandmothers, parents, ordinary people wi…

Middlesteins: Packs a Whallop

By Jami Attenberg

What is the Jewish obsession with food?  Ever since I can remember when I was growing up, we Jews use any excuse to eat. We associate celebration with food. We Jews always eating at every life cycle event, birth, Bar, or Bats Mitzvah, Wedding, finding any excuse to eat. 

Here is article that Jami Attenberg wrote in the Forward it ties into her novel, the Middlesteins.   It is a conversation with her, and her father, enjoy!!! Here is a awesome review by Christian Monitor.

 Middlestein's,  Richard and Edie, and their grown children, Robin, and Benny, and their twin grandchildren.

Robin is single, and a teacher with a boyfriend. She is angry about her mother's situation.  Benny, is the pot smoker.  He is married to Rachelle.  Rachelle is the daughter in law, that tries to fix her mother in law.

 Edie is a well educated woman, she graduated law school. At one time she worked as a partner in a large law firm.   She stopped working as her weight incr…

October Book Club Event: Paris Wife

This month I combined both book clubs and organized a book event,  at Waterscapes in the Marina Inn.

With 15  members and non-members in attendance.  Local university professor, Michael Campbell from Coastal Carolina University, was our guest speaker.

Professor Campbell when I first got in touch with him. I could tell he would connect with our book group. He seemed very down to earth.  He even told me, he would like to conduct the book club as well as speak to our group.  He spoke to us, not at us. Not on a intellectual level, but on a friendly level.  He was very open, and I don't think anyone fell intimidated by his status, as a professor.

I had prepared for the book club, and did all the work. I made up my own questions. I then realized I did not have to prepare.  Oh well, better to be prepared then not. I was hoping that we would get to some of the book club questions, but it would have been too long.

We had a couple of people that were school teachers, and academics.  Ther…

Paris Wife: Loved It

Paris Wife
By Paula McLain

Growing up what did I know about Ernest Hemingway? Not much, believe it or not, it was not mandatory to read the contemporary greats, like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Hemingway. Instead I read Catcher in the Rye.

The only facts and rumors I knew was, that he lived in Key West with his many cats. He committed suicide. He has a grand daughter, Muriel a actress.  I was never interested in Hemingway, pretty bad.

The worst,  I was a reader, and lover of books, but not as much as now.  I lived in Miami, a short distance from the Keys. I visited the  Keys.  I did not realize that Hemingway was a big deal.  I did not  visit his home while I was there.

 Even making matters even worse, I had a short Persian white cat, I named Hemingway. Why, I don't know. I was not fascinated with him.

Years later, I was taking a American history class. I had a project that I  decided to do it on F. Scott Fitzgerald, and fit it with the Prohibition. That is when I became…

Tiny Book with Powerful Message

The Secret Sense of Wildflower
by Susan Gabriel

First off, I love to read books  that take place in 1940's Appalachian Mountains. When the author asked if I would like to review, I jumped at the chance.

Wildflower is the nick name given to her by her father. He recently passed away, from a sawmill accident and she, and her family are still mourning his death. Wildflower is the youngest, at 13.

 Wildflower's originally named, Louisa for the characters in Little Women. Her sister's are named from the March girls, Jo, and Meg, etc.

Wildflower, and her family have lived up in the mountains for many generations, and passed down.
They are dirt poor, without inside plumbing, with a out house included. Wildflower, has a secret sense when something is wrong.

On the anniversary of her father's death she visits her father's grave. She encounters trouble, and she senses something. Her intuition is usually right. There, at the grave she encounters Johnny Monroe.
He comes from …

Hemingway's Girl: Book Review

Hemingway's Girl
By Erika Robuck

I am writing this review about two weeks after I finished reading. My memory is a bit fuzzy.

This is a story about a young girl, mixed blood. Her mother is Cuban, and her father American. Ambriella, has to support her mother financially, and emotionally, as well as her sisters.  They don't have much money, and her father died tragically.

She meets a war veteran, she is attracted and infatuated with, and Hemingway at a bar, called Sloppy Joe's. There is a bet, and a boxing match.  This is how she connects with both men. 

Hemingway, is attracted to her. Gives the excuse would you like to work for me and my wife, Pauline.  Pauline is Hemingway's second wife.  Pauline offers her a position.

  Luckily, Ambiella holds her ground and doesn't allow it to get to far. She is wise, and sensible to realize that he is much older than her, and the relationship will not lead to anything. But, still there is a conflict between the two men for he…

Time Keeper: Book Review

Time Keeper
By Mitch Albom

To see my review check out my other blog, Bagels, Books and Schmooze. Another one to enjoy. Check out my review there.