Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cheapskate Next Door

Frugality is the new black so this is a book I'd like to read, The Cheapskate Next Door : the Surprising Secrets of Americans living happily below their means, by Jeff Yeager. However, even a tightwad like me would never ever eat food off strangers' plates at a restaurant. This apparently is what one man interviewed by Yeager does.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Writers visiting the troops

I saw an interesting article in Georgia Times Union newspaper about writer Steve Berry who left his position as a County Commissioner in St. Mary's, Georgia after ten years to focus on his writing. Also mentioned in the article was this upcoming visit to the troops by writers including Steve Berry (“The Paris Vendetta”) such as; David Morrell (“First Blood”), Douglas Preston (“Relic”), James Rollins (“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) and Andy Harp (“A Northern Thunder”).

Steve Berry and Andy Harp have been mentioned in my posts in the past because they have been to "Meet the Author" events in Waycross, Georgia. Steve Berry was in fact the first and only author we have had as a guest at our bookclub. He spoke about his first book and our book club selection, The Amber Room. I will always remember how his book draft was turned down over 80 times before it was finally accepted. I was also present when he was at the Okefenokee Public Library talking about yet another book. Just look at him now. He is a full time writer.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mary Roach: Science and Humor

Here is an interesting interview with Mary Roach on oprah.com. Mary's books have interesting titles: Stiff, Spook, Bonk and now Packing for Mars: the Curious Science of Life in the Void. I have read articles by Mary Roach in Reader's Digest. They are usually scientific and humorous.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Handle with Care by Jodie Picoult

I am now on page 193 of Handle with Care. Charlotte, one of the characters, is a mother in conflict. She wants to sue for wrongful birth. This means that she wants to sue based on the fact that the doctor did not alert her from the first scan that the baby would be born with OI, a genetic disease, that causes the baby's bones to be broken easily even from within the womb.

Here is why Charlotte is in conflict. The doctor is her best friend of some 8 years. Their older daughters are best friends. Charlotte's husband thinks the lawsuit is dishonest since they would have to say they would have aborted had they known from the first scan that something was wrong. The book is written from the point of view of several characters and most of it is written as if it were directed to the now five year old with OI.

Another drama is unfolding. The lawyer Marin is searching for her birth mother. Picoult introduces the supernatural in this book like she has done with at least one other of her books that I have read. Marin has been assured by a Psychic that her answers will come from certain key people. One by one these key people are coming into Marin's life to give her answers.

So far the most tragic figure is not Willow the sick child but Charlotte's older daughter Amelia who feels disconnected, like an outsider, in the family and at school. I read My Sister's Keeper. I'll really be upset if it turns out that Amelia, the well child, ends up dying.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Recession as a theme for Novelists

This is an interesting article about writers using the financial crisis as a theme or setting for their novels. This is figuratively taking lemons and making lemonade; good for these novelists.

I like the title, Recessionistas , the chick-lit written by Alexandra Lebenthal who is featured in the USA Today article. In case you did not know, the suffix "-ista" is a common one in spanish that we have been borrowing to coin new English words such as frugalista. In spanish the suffix has to do with one's profession such as dentista and periodista (journalist).

Friday, August 06, 2010

Eat Pray Love movie

Eat Pray Love will open in theaters August 13 starring Julia Roberts. See more on Oprah's website.

I liked the book, I especially liked the lessons Elizabeth Gilbert, the writer, learned about prayer, destiny and controlling one's thoughts.

She posed a very potent question on page 177 in relation to deliberate and specific prayer, "If I want transformation but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur?"

I liked the cultural tidbits about the different countries Italy, India, Idonesia. In Bali, for example, we learnt that most people gave their children only four names: Wayan, Made, Nyoman and Ketut meaning First, Second, Third and Fourth; the names connote birth order.