Thursday, January 23, 2014

To the entire Jewish Grand Strand Community: If you live in the Grand Strand area, or a Snowbird, or visiting, and are in a book club, are a book lover, and love literary culture you may be interested in our Jewish Grand Strand Reads event on March 2nd.






Jewish Grand Strand Reads is being sponsored by Temple Beth Elohim, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Shalom and Hadassah




 We are reading the novel, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker-A great read. Everyone is welcome, and you don't have to be affiliated with any religion. The event is at Sea Captain's House on March 2nd at 1 PM.
                                                           
                                                                  Our guest speaker is:
                                                                                  
 Rabbi Debbie Slavitt, Professor from Coastal Carolina University. We will also have literary giveaways!!!
 The cost is $20 inclusive. We are organizing the event to share the love of reading with other readers. We are non-profit, and not affiliated with anyone. 

There are other events leading up to March.  For further information you may contact Susan at  susansliterarycafe@gmail.com or to make a reservation you may contact Kat Kahn at katzmeow@aol.com. Contact Kat for a menu selection. The cost is $20 inclusive.

Please, Please, Please! Spread the word to any of your friends. Again, everyone is welcome, invite your husbands, wives, friends and acquaintances.

JEWISH GRAND STRAND READS


To the entire Jewish Grand Strand Community: If you live in the Grand Strand area, or a Snowbird, or    visiting, and are in a book club, are a book lover, and love culture you may be interested in our Jewish Grand Strand Reads event on March 2nd.
Jewish Grand Strand Reads is being sponsored by Temple Beth Elohim, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Shalom and Hadassah




 We are reading the novel, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker-A great read. Everyone is welcome, and you don't have to be affiliated with any religion. The event is at Sea Captain's House on March 2nd at 1 PM.
                                                             
                                                                  Our guest speaker is:
                                                                                  
 Rabbi Debbie Slavitt, Professor from Coastal Carolina University. We will also have literary giveaways!!!
 The cost is $20 inclusive. We are organizing the event to share the love of reading with other readers. We are non-profit, and not affiliated with anyone. 

There are other events leading up to March.  For further information you may contact Susan at  susansliterarycafe@gmail.com or to make a reservation you may contact Kat Kahn at katzmeow@aol.com. Contact Kat for a menu selection. The cost is $20 inclusive.

Please, Please, Please! Spread the word to any of your friends. Again, everyone is welcome, invite your husbands, wives, friends and acquaintances.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

SPOILERS: Don't Read Unless Read Gone Girl






Gone Girl
By Gillian Flynn


This is probably one of the hardest novels I've reviewed..  But This is one book that is very controversial like Fifty Shades of Gray.  Gone Girl,  you want to discuss with everyone that has read it.  This is the reason I joined a book club and started a book blog to discuss books that make you think, and talk about books.

Nick and Amy are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. Amazing Amy disappears and who is to blame for her disappearance? Isn't always the husband?   It seems like the story was ripped from the front page of any newspaper in America. When the wife goes missing.  Where did she go? Is she alive or dead?

I am not going to fill you in the rest because I don't want to spoil anything. I did not know what this book was about from the start. I only knew of the hype, and a movie being made. Just recently I learned that the author is re-writing the ending.

From reading the first paragraph I should have known it was a book that was going to play head games.

When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it. Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the Victorians would call finely shaped head. You could imagine the skull quite easily.
I don't know what made me have a love-hate relationship with this book.  Was it the characters of Nick and Amy? Was it that the author pulled you in. Made me think they were a loving, happy couple then in the middle everything is not what it seems.

 I felt like the author was playing head games, was deceitful, manipulative, and lied to us. Made us, the readers feel like idiots.  But, then I loved how she was able to get me all emotional, and angry.  This is one book that had my emotions all stirred up.

I thought it was interesting that the author used alternating chapters of Nick and Amy's perspective. Amy's was a diary, was she who she claimed to be? She was a poor little rich girl. But, then wasn't. Her parents were much to be desired. Only cared about themselves.

 Everything seemed to fall apart when both of them lost their jobs.  I think all the stressors caused their marriage to fall apart. Their marriage became toxic and deteriorated. Why she had to stage her disappearance, and instead talk to her husband.

I did not like any of the characters. I did not empathize with any of them.  Nick was just dumb and stupid.  Amy was manipulative and playing games, and wanted attention.  Not caring how she got it.  Half way through the book I kind of lost interest, and said to myself, " Enough already". After that I wanted to throw the book across the room.  I think I hated the book because of the characters.  I have hated books before, but not a love-hate relationship. books before,

 I think I just did not like the book because of how the book played head games with us. Really, do you think people are capable of doing this to their husband or wife, or someone they love? Do we really know someone we live with? Some couples when they first go out on dates with each other. They do pretend to be someone else.

Then at the end Nick seemed to be "wishy- washy", and then come on, he decided he wanted her back. The end was just ridiculous. I just thought to myself, both of them deserved each other. What was the purpose? What kind of ending would I have felt satisfied? I don't know but, not that ending.   Or do you think he may get  his just desserts?

 Any way that is my take, and now I can now move on to reading a normal book again. Any body read it? What was your feeling about, Gone Girl?  Tell me what you think?  You can see a literary event here it is almost two hours long.

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All The Organizing is over, Now The Fun Begins.

I am happy to say everything is finally in place for our first  " Jewish Grand Strand Reads". It has been a very long process. I did it last year, but it was word of mouth without any of the temples being involved.  This year all the Jewish organizations are supporting it.

I was worried about this year with all the organizations involved. I thought I would loose control of my "baby". Luckily, this did not happen.  The different organizations let us run with it. Do the planning how we wanted.  Jesse, our temple's secretary at Temple Emanu-El has been great. She helped us with flyers and sending out emails.  Check out the invitation and flyer.




The only thing left is publicity. I am still hoping that our local paper would jump on board and talk to us about our event.  As of yet, nothing has happened. I really thought they would be interested because they don't have anything like this in town.  The Myrtle Beach community doesn't have a community read.  I was hoping that this may interest the community. But, I have to remember this is different than up north.

Anyway I am happy that the organizational part is done. We now have to wait for the end of the month RSVP's will start coming in.  We picked a nice restaurant in town called, Sea Captain's House. It is beautiful right on the water. The restaurant is encased in glass.   The menu is preset with everything inclusive with our guest speaker. I think it is a terrific deal, and a nice afternoon.

Are you wondering what book we picked? If you follow my blog than you may already know.  It is The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.   I have been promoting The Golem And The Jinni to the hilt. Helene must be sick of me now. She must think I am a stalker. LOL!!

             I LOVE THE BOOK THAT MUCH!!! MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME


I have been wanting her to come down to South Carolina. But, unfortunately I am not sure why. No one has asked her to tour down south. I don't know why the Jewish community down here has not asked her to any Jewish speaking engagements. But, for that matter I don't think anyone has asked her up north either.  I am wonder why her novel has not caught on...



 A wonderful read. If you have not heard of it, you must have your head in the sand.  Everyone in our Jewish Community that has read it, LOVED IT! That must mean something.  I did not think I was a fan of magical realism.  But all that has changed recently.  Hoping some producer buys the rights to make this into a movie.

The book has romance, historical fiction, Jewish themes, magical creatures, Middle East and Jewish cultural themes. You can read my review here and also her guest post you can scroll below and find her there.

 You can check out the novel on Helene Wecker's website, also the author just had a wonderful discussion and Q/A on goodreads. One other event our book club is having, Helene Wecker will be joining us on SKYPE next month. We are all excited to meet her.



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Saturday, January 11, 2014

G-d Bless Ariel Sharon

                                     
                                                 February 26, 1928- January 11, 2014
  From 2001-2006 Prime Minister Ariel Sharon served  his country. Before he was Prime Minister he was Defense Minister for Israel. He also became a general in the (Israel's military) IDF.  He was surrounded by controversy during his military and state office.

In 2006 he succumbed to a massive stroke and had been in a coma for eight years.  He was larger than life during his lifetime.  He fought til the end of his life as he did in life, like a warrior.  He was surrounded by personal tragedies. He is the news article announcing his death in the Jewish Forward. Another article about the love-hate relationship we had with him in the United States

  Here is the official website of Prime Minister Sharon.  The Jerusalem Post has a article about his passing and funeral here.  I pray for Prime Minister Sharon and his family. You can now be in peace. May your name be in blessed memory.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Help for the Haunted: Book Review







Help for the Haunted
By John Searles


Help for the Haunted is the story of Sylvie Mason, and her parents.  In the middle of a cold, blistery night her parents get a phone call. It is not unusual in their occupation of helping" lost souls"( great timing to read this book on account of the wintry weather we have in SC).

This night they take their daughter late at night with them to meet someone at a church in a desolate location in town.  First her father gets out of the car. Minutes pass, then more minutes. Then her mother tells her to stay in the car for her. Then again the same thing happens.  Her mother doesn't come back.  Sylvie gets out of the car and goes into the church. She hears a gunshot, and finds them murdered. Then we fast forward a year later. Sylvie is now in the care of her sister, Rose.  Is she who she seems to be? Could she have killed her parents? You will just have to pick up the book to find out.

We learn about the family dynamics, what a strange family this is. There is Rose, the rebellious and devious daughter. Then Sylvie, is the obedient daughter that does no wrong. The parents are a lot to be desired. Her mother believes in the cause of lost souls.  But, the father is not what he seems to be as you will find out at the end.  Then you have her Uncle that doesn't seem like a bad person. But, the parents, especially the father thinks so.  He paints a bad picture for his children. Did he kill the parents, or Mr. Lynch the father with the daughter, with the "lost soul". You have twists and turns that make the story a wonderful thrill ride.

The Help for the Haunted is a coming of age story,  mystery, suspense, and a bit of gothic rolled into one.  I enjoyed reading about the lost souls, and the business the parents were in. I felt sorry for the daughters in what kind of family they had.  The father manipulated the lost souls for his notoriety and monetary gain. Not a person I liked at all.

I have been reading mystery suspense novels over my school vacation. Help for the Haunted is not the exception.  It was a interesting read.  For some reason I could not connect with the characters until the end of the book.  I pick books that are different, from a different theme that I don't know anything about.  For this book, this is a novel about " haunted souls". First I thought, the haunted souls were people searching for their loved one's that had died. Than it turned out it was something different. You realize there is not a definitive line who is the person that needs to be saved.

 Is it the person that is searching for their dead family member? or is it someone that has emotional problems?    Most parents know sometimes it is hard to reach our adolescent child. Sometimes, it is  someone that is not intimately involved with a young teenager? Sometimes it can be a stranger.
The only problem I had with the story. That made is unbelievable to me. Why would the authorities allow her to care for her sister?  I assumed she was still a teenager, or very young adult. With her problems, could she really care for her sister? I would think she would be a very good care giver.  That is just my take of unbelievable. Other than that I forgave the author, and continued on  reading. Took it for face value the rest of the story.

I would like to thank Harper Collins for allowing me to review Help for the Haunted. You can visit John at his website here.


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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...