Kindness Makes All the Difference

Kindness Makes All the Difference

  This post was inspired by The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith, memoir about how  random acts of kindness transformed her family’s bereavement and grief during the holidays. Join From Left to Write on October 28th as we discuss The 13th Gift. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. Help comes in all kinds of packages, Jo.  Don’t worry about who delivers it.  Just accept. (p.83) Once upon a time, many, many moons ago, I opened the front door to . . . an empty house.   I had recently told my husband and step-father to my children that I wanted a divorce, and he left without a scene that very same day.   Lo and behold, a few days later when my kids and I returned home after a long day of me at work and them at school we discovered a practically empty house.  Everything from the silverware to the beds was gone. When you’re standing in an empty living room… Read more »

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Elephants, Psychics and Overcoming Grief in Leaving Time

Elephants, Psychics and Overcoming Grief in Leaving Time

  Children are the anchors of a mother’s life.   ~Sophocles, Phaedra, fragment 612 Having read almost all of Jodi Picoult’s previous novels I knew I was settling in for a treat of a read.  Thirteen year old Jenna Metcalf enlists the help of two very unlikely sources ~ Serenity, a psychic with a load of baggage and Victor/Virgil the alcoholic detective turned P.I. who investigated a death at the elephant sanctuary Jenna’s parents owned 10 years prior. Jodi Picoult has been labeled a master storyteller by Stephen King ~ in my opinion, Leaving Time is truly Picoult’s best novel to date.  Told in alternating voices we are given clues throughout of what happened the night Alice Metcalf disappeared and long-time elephant caregiver, Nevvie, was discovered trampled by one of the elephants. When the plot lines intersect, cross over and under and around as they did in Leaving Time, it is not uncommon to discover a slip up somewhere.  Not so in this gem.  Every tendril of the story was… Read more »

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Dinner Parties, Math Geniuses and Family

Dinner Parties, Math Geniuses and Family

  This post was inspired by The Goddess of Small Victories by Yannick Grannec, a novel about brilliant mathematician Kurt Gödel as told from his ex-cabaret dancer wife’s perspective. Join From Left to Write on October 16th as we discuss The Goddess of Small Victories. As a member, I received a copy of the book for discussion purposes.   Where are they? Did you tell them six o’clock? They had to bring Russell to the station first.  I’m wondering when I should put the soufflé in the oven. You should have planned a simpler menu.  Albert Einstein is coming to dinner!  Of course I’m going the whole nine yards! (p.188) Ah can you imagine preparing dinner for Albert Einstein?!?  I believe I would be a bit intimidated by the prospect! The Goddess of Small Victories is based on the real-life events of renowned Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel and his older, ex-caberet dancer, wife, Adele Gödel.  Reading Adele’s experience with making a meal for Einstein got me to thinking about who would have… Read more »

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First Love, the Movies and a Giveaway

First Love, the Movies and a Giveaway

We’ve all heard it, most of us have experienced it and even some of us live it still ~ first love.  Just those two words bring up a lifetime of memories and emotions.  Do you remember your first love? The giddiness with which every moment was lived out? Watching the trailer for “The Best of Me” takes me back to high school, to my first love.  Although I haven’t read the book nor have I seen the movie, just the snapshot evokes a bygone time.  It is true – you never forget your first love. It is with tremendous thanks to Relativity Media that I have two copies of The Best of Me novel by Nicholas Sparks to give away to two lucky readers.  Those readers will also receive $10 movie card from Fandango or AMC {winner’s choice} compliments of moi.  Giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only. Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda,… Read more »

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It’s All About the Journey, Not the Destination in The Book of Strange New Things

It’s All About the Journey, Not the Destination in The Book of Strange New Things

  A week later and I still cannot quit thinking about this book!  The Book of Strange New Things encapsulates so many things – it’s a book about marriage, a testament to our human-ness, an evaluation of society, a snapshot into the life of a spiritual man – what makes his faith endure while his wife’s faith crumbles.  You will probably hear that this book is genre-bending, and while it is of a sort, I would phrase it more as literary fiction that must be read by everyone. Peter has overcome a life of homelessness, alcoholism and drug abuse, turning his life so completely around with the help of his wife, Beatrice, to where he is a much-beloved pastor.  Beatrice works as a nurse {that’s how they met} and they both serve their congregation with utter devotion and love.  When Peter is approached to join a mission into another galaxy bringing the Word of God to its inhabitants, he jumps at the chance even though he will be separated from… Read more »

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