Banned Books Week - September 24 - 30

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cat Thursday - Inside is better than out


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

Thank you for all the well wishes last week. I am finally feeling a lot better and hoping to be completely recovered by the weekend, albeit still a bit weak. I have movies to see! I appreciate you all bearing with me and sticking with Cat Thursday. 





Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.


Photobucket


Friday, January 22, 2016

Yearly Remembrance...Heath Ledger

Gone too soon, on this day, 8 years ago. Rest in peace.


Photobucket



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cat Thursday - One week hiatus

I am seriously ill (I think I might have pneumonia). I'm going to the doctor tomorrow...hopefully, if the weather cooperates. Cat Thursday will be back next week.



Photobucket


Friday, January 15, 2016

Rebecca Foust's Paradise Drive - Review


My thoughts
I have to admit to going through something of a midlife crisis at this point in my life. I'm not acting out or experiencing it in the traditional, obvious ways (like an affair...not possible since I'm no longer married), but in subtle ways like job disillusionment. Really just disillusionment in general, I guess. So, Pilgrim's journey/experiences in these brilliantly written sonnets really hit home for me.

The written word has always had a deeper meaning for me than just entertainment, and never is that more so than when I read poetry. As I'm going through this period in my life, I found myself really identifying with many of Pilgrim's experiences in these sonnets.

She finds herself at parties, teeming with the examples of the seven deadly sins and she shuts herself in the bathroom to escape, to read. Soon, she is always armed at these occasions with a book in her purse. Sound familiar? I always have a book with me and could so see myself doing this. Especially if subjected to the narcissism and elitism she finds herself exposed to.

"...Pilgrim ran for the bathroom, not for coke 
as others supposed, but for something
more covert and rare: a book, 
or any bit of anything written. An antidote 
to the twitter Out There..."
(Page 5)

And then her fears in regards to her special needs son (autism, Asperger's, spectrum disorders), as I have dealt with these same fears with my son. Powerful, powerful words...

"...and where to find 
the manual that tells how to respond
to the loved child who from his snug bed
whispers, I wish I were dead, Mom?
Tell me, Dr. Spock, what to do about that,
what does a mother fucking do about that?"
(Page 18)

And what so many of us run to and alas, it doesn't help/didn't work, at least not in my case...

"Pilgrim knew what the answer was: get born
again. Even if it hadn't worked out 
so well the first time. Te altar-call part,
the prophesying, the speaking-in-tongues
all felt a lot like a Ouija board cheat, 
you know, wanting it so much that, OK, 
SHE NUDGED THE PLANCHETTE..."
(Page 61)

And here, I think what we perhaps all were taught and continually strive for, even through our trials, midlife crises, etc...

"...So clear then, the rules: 
better yourself. Work hard. Save. Pay the bills."
(Page 15)

As I said, profound. If you love poetry, you must pick up this book. 

I leave you with this final sonnet, which speaks to my love of books and reading, to the mother who instilled that love in me, and to the validity of the escape and redemption that can come from reading a book...

Forgotten Image

Your mother, reading on the stairs in light
poured in a wide shaft. At night, shadows,
soft thuds and pleading, clink-clink of his ice
in the glass. Your mother, reading. Light seen
through a chink in a cellar wall. The attic air,
dry and danced with bright motes. You know
it's there, at the top of the house, the stairs
you must muster the mind to ascend. But how?
Where is the first step? Your old notebooks,
dust-felted, stacked up somewhere. Your mother,
reading. The sense of another life, inside 
and outside the walls. An attic, other upper rooms
in the home. Other homes. You are a mother now,
too--so many open mouths, so much to do--
your mother reading, reading herself alive. Showing you.

About the book
Paradise Drive links 80 sonnets in a narrative about a modern Pilgrim on a journey from rust belt Pennsylvania to the glittering suburbs of Marin County, California. The book takes great pleasure in questioning, tinkering with, and ultimately exploding the sonnet form. It has been well received, with more than 50 reviews and features since its release last April. Rumpus and the Washington Review of Books included it in their National Poetry Month picks, and the San Francisco Chronicle recently published this review.


About the Author
Rebecca Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence and is the recipient of fellowships from The Frost Place, the MacDowell Colony, and the Sewanee Writer’s Conference Her fifth book, Paradise Drive, won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry. Her other books include All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song (Many Mountains Moving Prize), God, Seed (Foreword Book of the Year Award) and two chapbooks that won the Robert Phillips Chapbook Prizes in 2008 and 2009. Foust’s poems appear widely in journals including American Academy of Poets Poem-A-Day series, Hudson Review, Massachusetts Review, Poetry Daily, Sewanee Review, and Verse Daily. A first generation college graduate, Foust attended Smith College (BA 1979), Stanford Law School (1979), and Warren Wilson College (MFA 2010). She lives in Northern California and works as Poetry Editor for Women’s Voices for Change and assistant editor for Narrative Magazine.

Foust has won the 2015 American Literary Review Creative Writing Award for Fiction judged by Garth Greenwell and the 2015 James Heart Poetry Prize judged by Jane Hirshfield.

Visit other stops on the tour!


Photobucket


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cat Thursday - Authors and Cats (49)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I'm REALLY late today! Sorry! I had a bit of difficulty finding an author with a birthday in January who is also a cat owner/lover (and one I haven't used previously). Finally found one!

Mr. Tammet and Abby. 
Credit Nick Cunard for The New York Times

Happy Birthday this month to author Daniel Tammet. He celebrates his birthday on January 31st.

Daniel Tammet was born in a working-class suburb of London, England, on 31 January 1979, the eldest of nine children. His mother had worked as a secretarial assistant; his father was employed at a sheet metal factory. Both became full-time parents.

Despite early childhood epileptic seizures and atypical behaviour, Tammet received a standard education at local schools. His learning was enriched by an early passion for reading. He won the town's 'Eager Reader' prize at the age of eleven. At secondary school he was twice named Student of the Year. He matriculated in 1995 and completed his Advanced level studies (in French, German, and History) two years later.

In 1998 Tammet took up a volunteer English teaching post in Kaunas, Lithuania, returning to London the following year. In 2002 he launched the online language learning company Optimnem. It was named a member of the UK's 'National Grid for Learning' in 2006.

In 2004, Tammet was finally able to put a name to his difference when he was diagnosed with high-functioning autistic savant syndrome by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen at Cambridge University's Autism Research Centre.

The same year, on March 14, Tammet came to public attention when he recited the mathematical constant Pi (3.141...) from memory to 22,514 decimal places in 5 hours, 9 minutes, without error. The recitation, at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, set a European record.

Tammet began writing in 2005. His first book, Born On A Blue Day, subtitled 'A Memoir of Asperger's and an Extraordinary Mind', was first published in the UK in 2006 and became a Sunday Times bestseller. The US edition, published in 2007, spent 8 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2008, the American Library Association named it a 'Best Book for Young Adults'. It was also a Booklist Editors' Choice. It has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide, and been translated into more than 20 languages.

In 2009, Tammet published Embracing the Wide Sky, a personal survey of current neuroscience. The French edition (co-translated by Tammet himself) became one of the country's best-selling non-fiction books of the year. It also appeared on bestseller lists in the UK, Canada, and Germany, and has been translated into numerous languages.

Thinking in Numbers, Tammet's first collection of essays, is published in August 2012.

In 2008 Tammet emigrated to France. He lives in Paris. (Bio from Goodreads)

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

Photobucket


Monday, January 11, 2016

One of my favorites...gone. RIP David Bowie 1947 - 2016 #davidbowie


I was utterly shocked when I saw the Facebook post from David Bowie's page at 12:32 am this morning...that he had died from an 18 month long battle with cancer. I had no idea that he even had cancer. I don't think anyone but his family and closest friends were aware. Once I realized it was indeed true and not another hoax, I was hit with crushing sorrow. I have been a fan of his since I was a child. What can I say...my parents had great taste in music. I remember owning and wearing a David Bowie t-shirt to school regularly when I was in the 6th grade. Most of the other kids were like, "Who is he?" So, I consider myself a lifelong fan. His music in the 80s defined me, and then I rediscovered his earlier stuff in the late 80s/early 90s. And then there was his acting career. Who can forget his stellar role in Labyrinth or his fantastic, yet heartbreaking, turn in the masterpiece that was The Hunger.


I will truly, truly miss him and will now be adding another yearly tribute to my blog in January, each year on the day of his death, January 10, 2016 (I post a tribute to Heath Ledger each year on January 22, the date of his death...this will be the 7th year). I have his biography, David Bowie: Starman by Paul Trynka so I will be reading it very soon...if I can get past the sadness.


As a tribute today to what truly defined him, his genius music, I've shared some of my favorites below.














Photobucket


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Cat Thursday - Cats in Art (16)


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

A quick one here. I get on the phone for my first calls on my new job tonight and I'm super nervous! Hope your new years are off to a great start!

1525 Bacchiacca (1494-1557) Young Woman with Cat

Bacchiacca - Woman with a Cat

The Cat's Lunch by Marguerite Gérard

Two Children Teasing a Cat, ca. 1590 
Attributed to Annibale Carracci 
(Italian, Bolognese, 1560–1609)


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.



Photobucket


Monday, January 4, 2016

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Bout of Books

My intent to participate and my reading goals...

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 
- From the Bout of Books team

My goals for the week:

--Read the section of In the Heart of the Sea for TuesBookTalk
--Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz
--finish Medicis Daughter by Sophie Perinot
--finish The Conqueror's Wife by Stephanie Thornton
--If there's time...start Little House in the Big Woods


Photobucket


Friday, January 1, 2016

First Book of the Year and My One Word - 2016


I really love Sheila's (Book Journey) approach to the New Year. Her First Book of the Year and My One Word are fantastic ways to welcome a new year. This is my first time participating in both.

For my first book of the year, I will be reading In the Heart of the Sea by Nathan Philbrick. I have had this book on my shelf for some time and when I saw the previews for the film (which came out in December) in the Fall, I decided I would read it for Non-Fiction November, but that didn't quite work out as planned. Well, it turns out that January is a non-fiction month for my Goodreads/Twitter book club, #TuesBookTalk so I proposed to the group about reading Heart of the Sea and received a resounding "Yes!" I've been under the weather so didn't want to pose with my book so Arya agreed to pose with it for me.


Now, for my One Word that is going to encompass my plans/goals for the New Year. I quit my job which was really wearing me down and taking me away from the things that I love most...my sons, my reading, this blog/reading community and my writing life. I start a new job in a little over a week (still from home...I'm in training right now) that is not going to infringe on "me time." So, my main goal in regards to reading, blogging and the written word will be to read more, review/share thoughts on what I read, post more here on the blog (in addition to Cat Thursday) with A Reading Life posts, etc., and most importantly, my life's dream, working on my novel. In my personal life, spending more quality time with my boys and a BIG health related goal (more on that later).

So, my One Word is Decisive.

--characterized by or displaying no or little hesitation; resolute;determined

I like the sound of it! I may even get a pendant or a bracelet with it engraved (as Sheila does each year). Such a great idea! Thanks, Sheila!

What's you First Book of the Year? Are you picking One Word? Please share!

P.S. Hoping to come up with a Best of List for 2015, although my reading was sporadic. It may only be a top 5.


Photobucket


- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf