Although the temperature is just beginning to dip, it's that time of year. A time to be thankful, to pause and reflect, and to celebrate friends and family. Whether you need presents for a family member, a gift exchange, or a fabulous hostess, books make great gifts. I'll be posting ideas as I find them over the next few weeks. Plus, I'll share ordering information for my upcoming novel Red Ochre Falls. Just in case you'd like to order one for yourself and a few friends. Here are gift book ideas from Real Simple: http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/gifts/gifts-book-lovers/homes-up-high Get your laptop or notebook ready to add at least one of these books to your holiday list. Cheers!
Formatting and editing are in full swing here. Work, school and family activities take priority, but I still search for good books to read when I have downtime. Here is a Huffington Post list of 10 Fall Books That Should Be On Your Nightstand. Not sure, but I plan to check out this list, and the reviews, before I add them to my Goodreads shelf. Here's the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-greenthal/best-fall-books_b_8113614.html
Guitar Gently Weeps” from the Beatles White Album is one of their best, IMHO. I
love the guitar chords and the stories of how it became the version we know
was supposedly inspired by I Ching a
Chinese Book of Changes, which George Harrison found at his mother’s house one
visit. Some say Harrison had trouble convincing the band the song was any good.
After several attempts, the band had a little help from their friend, Eric
Clapton, and got it right.
happened, it is hard to argue the beauty and longing in this song. It reminds
me of how change sometimes feels.
changes happen in September: back-to-school, football, autumn, and transforming
leaves. I keep thinking how much our kids have grown this year, how much fun we
had this summer (most of the time), and that they’re heading back to school. It
makes me smile, and yet, I long for those seemingly simpler days when we went
everywhere together. It wasn’t really simpler, just different.
investigated the world and the kids asked a million questions, usually while I
was driving. It was fun, crazy, exhausting and…everything all at once. And it
was beautiful. So, in honor of change, and beauty, and longing, I’ve compiled
my top five versions of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ by some truly great musicians:
The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Santana, India Arie, Prince, and Tom Petty, just to
name a few.
listen, maybe weep a little, and get through the start of this new school year
together. Feel free to share your favorites too!
And now, the government is involved. I read in this Publisher's Weekly post after the article appeared, Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi paid Amazon HQ a visit to check things out and discuss the Equality Act. Maybe it's just to keep them in line, but an article and a trip like this doesn't go unnoticed. Coming to his company's defense is Nick Ciubotariu, Head of Infrastructure and Development, Amazon.com Search Experience, writing this response. All this public back-and-forth is interesting. In my corporate experience, I felt first-hand the pressure to perform above and beyond, and work extra hours. Sometimes this pressure came directly from management, sometimes from peers, sometimes it was internal pressure to get my job done, and be a great employee, to advance in the ranks, or at times, to just keep a job. I don't know how you can put only one business on the hot seat for this. I hear people from companies all over talk about being tied to their job, or their smartphone, and struggling with work-life balance. Is it fair this goes mostly unwritten, but is expected? What is your take on this? Are heavy workloads and long hours Standard Operating Procedure these days, are Amazon's employees being treated unfairly, or other?
This is news. BIG news. After 45 years with PBS, HBO will now air Sesame Street's first episodes. Something about a nine month run of new shows on HBO, then the 'newer' shows will run on PBS. We'll still be able to watch revamped reruns on PBS this fall. yay This will last five seasons. I'll have to decide if it's worth the money to see the first-runs, or if we can wait for the PBS aired episodes on a nine-month delay. I know they need money to make the show, but it seems wrong on so many levels to make parents pay for what was free educational programming for decades. Let's hope the folks at HBO don't try to make it edgier by making Oscar's trash-can lifestyle a result of hardcore addiction, and renaming it 'Sesame: Life on the Street' or just 'The Street'. You can read more of the The New York Times article here.
Kids can learn and get so much enjoyment from books, so read with them, it really does make a difference! I grouped these by age to make things easier for parents,
aunties, and anyone looking for children’s books.
What do you like to read to your kids, neices/nephews, grandkids? Feel free to add to this list in the comments section.
Elirio, and Lupe build a custom out-of-this-world lowrider car to enter in the
Universal Car Competition. They hope to win the cash prize and open their dream
garage. First in a series.
This week I noticed a lot more back-to-school chatter. Summer vacation
has ended for some, and is coming to a close for others. This is both good and
bad news. Yay, school and learning! Boo, end of lazy, summer days (if you had a
chance to enjoy any)!
There are still sunny days left before we head back. I want to spend most
of them playing outdoors with the kiddos and reading great books long after
sunset without an alarm at reveille. So, here’s a Five for Friday list in case
you want more summer reading ideas.
Now go, pack in as much fun as you can, and squeeze in a few more good
books before summer sails off into the horizon.
If the title and the cover are any indication, this is going to be an
Inspired by a chance encounter with spinner dolphins off the coast of
Maui, Casey decided she wanted to learn more about dolphins. The book is said
to explore dolphin science and cultural meaning, but also discusses the
importance of protecting the species from hunters.
This sounds like the perfect blend of heart and science. The kind of
summer read that reminds us all of earth’s many wondrous creatures.
Kinsey Millhone is a pretty strong character. She’s a private
investigator who’s seen her share of bad guys. In her latest installment of the
alphabet series, X, Millhone has to
identify and help catch a serial killer before he catches her.
Reviews are listing this as an “intense” and “chilling” novel. Grafton
crafts Millhone with the characteristic pluck, intensity, and humor readers
enjoy while creating a psycho serial killer to ratchet up the anxiety while Millhone
works her investigative magic.
Looked so interesting, I may just have to buy it right now.
Excerpt of Amazon's Overview:
The acclaimed author of The Good German “deftly
captures the ambience” (The New York Times Book Review) of postwar East
Berlin in his “thought-provoking, pulse-pounding” (Wall Street Journal) New
York Times bestseller—a sweeping spy thriller about a city caught between
political idealism and the harsh realities of Soviet occupation.
This book delves into a CIA hostage rescue mission that went sideways.
The Vienna agents on duty, lovers at the time of the incident, meet up six
years later to piece together what really happened, and find out if one of
their own had been compromised.
A man named Monsieur Perdu is a self-described literary apothecary. He
runs a bookstore from a barge floating on the Seine, prescribing “novels for
the hardships in life.” (Amazon) He just has trouble finding the right
prescription for his own loss, until he reads a letter from a great, lost love.
This book is on Oprah’s Book List under the tab ‘Books for
When Your Brain is Melted’. Sit back, relax and travel
with Perdu as he ventures out to heal others, and possibly, himself.
this book list for a variety of summer readers. Here are three interesting picks
for those who wish to take a literary journey; leap into pet-parenthood with
their kids; or adventure with authors to new lands.
read one or not, I invite you to find and share your favorite summer reads in
the perfect time to get swept away. This Pulitzer Prize winner could do just
that. Some of the reviews I read are saying this beautifully written book has
well-drawn characters and a story that flows. If those aren’t good enough, the
page-long overview on Barnes & Noble might help sway you.
of the Overview from Barnes & Noble:
“stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco
Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and
Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one
another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the
Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer
“whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
little ones asking for a pet? This could be a fun book to help you settle on
the right one, or just get the conversation rolling in a fun way. Since our
kids have been asking for everything from puppies to ponies, it’s time we pick
this one up and read together.
Here’s a brief clip from Barnes & Noble:
never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one’s mind is
the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and
sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can’t choose just one!
The tale captures a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to
illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes
you just have to do it!
are a recurring theme for me this summer. I enjoy them because you can sample
short stories from a variety of authors. It’s a great way to find out whether I
like a writer’s style before committing to a longer length novel.
anthology sounds just right for all those rushing to fit in last-minute travels
before heading back-to-school.
An Innocent Abroad: Life Changing Trips From 35 Great Writers is everything a
travel anthology should be, ranging from funny to touching to
heartbreaking while always remaining engrossing. The anthology features a
diverse and wide ranging number of contributors, from writers Dave Eggers
and Ann Patchett
to seasoned travel chroniclers like Jan Morris.
this was a long book, but it didn’t feel long. Roberts does an incredible
job of weaving in backstory as Shelby Foxworth works to put her life back
together after the death of her husband.
that Roberts didn’t make Shelby a whiner, or I’d have stopped reading. There
were times I understood and sympathized with Shelby's role as a young mom of a three-year-old daughter. She juggles a lot, but puts her
head down and keeps going. A hard-working, relatable character is one you
root for in a story like this.
shows her mastery of character, setting, and story development—with a mystery
to solve, a steamy romance (who doesn’t love a handsome man who works well with his
hands?), and plenty of down-home comfort, this book is a definite summer read.
Here’s an overview from Barnes & Noble:
Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions…
who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in
crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his
safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead.
He never really existed.
takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her
hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But
her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town,
surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff,
as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning...
is an understatement when it comes to this book. Rumors and questions
surrounded the publishing of the book so long after To Kill a Mockingbird. Was
this what Harper Lee really wanted? Was it pushed out now because of
money?Oh boy, the conversations before
the launch were lively, and now, they’re even louder.
love it, and are glad to read something else of Lee’s even fifty years later.
Some can’t believe Harper Lee actually agreed to publish this as the character
Atticus Finch is controversial in this one. (Word is the character inspired by
Lee’s own father is shockingly different from the one we learned about in grade
this book will be talked about for some time. So, if you’re curious, or want in
on the discussion, you should probably check it out.
Overview from Barnes & Noble:
historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the
earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the
Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.
written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee
first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed
to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014…
the overview from Barnes & Noble (B&N) because it made me want to read
this book. It just sounds interesting (King Lear and a pandemic? Whoa!). Maybe
you’ll think so, and put it on your book list, too.
is really long, and also eclectic.
like over the last few years a bunch of novelists got together and made a pact
to pen postapocalyptic stories. If you choose to check out just one of
them, Station Eleven, Arthur C. Clarke Award winnner
and National Book Award finalist, is a great pick. In its opening pages,
famous actor Arthur Leander collapses onstage during a production of King Lear.
His death (though unrelated) heralds the beginning of a worldwide flu
pandemic. The novel moves back and forth through time to describe what
happens as the illness and panic spreads…