Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review: Here's Her Story

Here's The Story
Maureen McCormick
Pgs. 275

Maureen McCormick, also known as Marcia Brady, child star of the TV Show the Brady Bunch. The show aired from 1969-1975. This is her memoir. Maureen talks about her early life and history of her mother and father.

Maureen suffered for years for fear it would come out about the dark hidden secret of her mother and grandmother's illness.

She talks about her TV show the Brady Bunch. Her love of her TV show family. Her close relationship with all of her TV family. Her desire to be with them rather than her real family. She had a off and on again love affair with Barry Williams. When the Brady Bunch ended that is when her problems started.

After the show ended her mother allowed her to move into a condo. She became involved going to parties with several celebrities. She became heavily involved with drugs, such as cocaine. She describes how she felt with the use of drugs, and her depression.

She sabatoged so many different job opprotunities because of her drug use. She thought she could keep living this kind of life style until she hit rock bottom. She had a chance to be interviewed for Raider of the Lost Ark with Steven Speilberg. Unfortunately she was so out of it, it never happened.

Also she was known as the goody-goody that I am sure she was type cast on TV and movies. She was probably never offered a real bite in role.

This went on for years untill she met her husband. When she turned to religion, and stopped the drug use. She got married and had a daughter.

But she did not know why she was so unhappy all the time. There were so many ups and downs to her marriage. She was crying for help. She finally went to counseling for help and medication. After heavy counseling and medication treatment she became stable and was on a even keel.

She had a hard time communicating with her mother when she was younger. But after her counseling sessions she finally opened up to her mother. They both discovered each other for what each one became and what they now are.

During this time, one of her brother's, with mental illness is now living with her parents. Her mother is diagnosed with Cancer. Her brother becomes abusive to their mother and father. There is nothing that Maureen can do to help the family.

Her mother and father deny that her brother is doing anything wrong. Her brother is very paranoid and obessive compulsive. He thinks everyone is unclean and dirty. He fires, and denies any care for their mother. After her mother dies, it get's worse for the family. The mother was the cement that held the family together.

In the meantime,Maureen's daughter now 15, gets her tongue pierced. She had been so busy. She wonders when did this all happen. She was so busy trying to help her father get away from his strong hold of her brother. She confronts her daughter and confides in her about all the things she has done.

Maureen decides at 50 to do a celebrity show. She is overweight. During the show she has enlighment that she should write a book about her drug use, and depression and how she overcame this.

I loved the Brady Bunch, I watched the show as I was growing up. I did not know she was a troubled star till I read the book. I am happy to hear she got her life together and back on track.

I usually don't read memoir. But I was looking for something to read that was light and different. This for sure was different. I had at times had a hard time following the story line. I would have liked to know what years she was talking about in her life. I read on other blogs that bloggers did not like this book. They may have not been able to connect because they are younger than Maureen. I, myself am about two years younger. I could connect to what she was talking about. I was not in the drug scene but could connect to the time and culture and the times.

I don't think I would have spilled the beans about all my life faults to my children. Sometimes it can back fire on you. There were times in the book that I said to myself enought already about the drug use. But, this was the point of the book. That she could not cope with her lonliness, she escaped into drugs.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

James Patterson Trial: Book Club December

James Patterson Trial
James Patterson

Ben Corbett, a lawyer, the grandson of Alex Cross's family. Teddy Roosevelt asked Ben, to go to Eudora, Mississippi and investigate if there is any lynching. Which Ben does find out there is quite a bit. It is kept hush, hush. This is the town where Ben was brought in.

President Roosevelt has asked him to sniff around and if there are attacks on "negroes", to report back to him. In the mean time he's wife threatens him If he leaves she will leave.

In the town of Eudora, Mississippi after the Civil War, "Negroes are to have rights. But they don't. The southerners don't follow the law. He comes back to the town and finds the town still doesn't follow the law. The town still believes it is ok to treat blacks this way. Blacks are only allowed to eat at black eateries, and black only sections for bathrooms and water fountains.

When Ben gets to dowm to Eudora he's father treats him very cooly. He was raised by he's very strict father. Ben, was brought up as very rebellious and having very liberal values.

While Ben, was down in Mississippi. He is hooked up with Abraham Cross. He shows him how the black man is treated by the KKK, and sees lynching,first hand.

There is plenty of blood and violence in this book. If you are faint at heart you may not want to read this book.

At the end of the book when justice is served unfairly. Ben decides he is going to show off his friend, a black women in front of the whole town. He knows this is going to start trouble. He kisses her in front of the town. We all know the town will not tolerate this kind of behavior from a white man.

Ben finds out that Teddy Roosevelt used him to make him look good to win black votes and black sympthizers votes. Only when Ben returned did he realize how he was used. Because now that everything came out ok, would the President take the credit. While Ben was down South the President told him he would deny he knows about Ben in the south.

Our book club discussed Trial, today. I was wondering how this would play out. We all wondered, would he go back to becoming a bleeding heart liberal to continue helping the injustices of the world or would he listen to his wife. He's wife wanted him to become a lawyer that just cared about making money not a caring lawyer. I guess we will just have to stay tuned and find out.

We did have a good discussion of course you can not have a good literary discussion with this kind of book. But, it was spring board for discussions of the treatment of blacks,and the south.

Our book club are all transplants from the north and now we live in SC. We all wondered the same thing. What life was like for the blacks and their treatment by the whites after the Civil War.

We had forgotten how recent lynching was still going on in the 60's. Boy, as we age we forget how time flies. I remember when I was little, living in Michigan and the Detroit Riots. When segregation of blacks and white was going to happen in the schools.

One person in our book club brought up she did not like the book because she was sick of hearing the poor blacks that's all you hear about. All of us responding back and said how would you like saying that about us and the Holocaust. I think she realized how that looked after she said it.

I never read Patterson before. This book was easy to read and easy to follow and kept my interest. I have not read a book about the south like this. It was interesting what it was like from a outsiders view and a black person's view, living in the south after the civil war. I am not sure if Teddy Roosevelt ever did get involved in sending someone to the south to investigate the treatment of blacks.

What was so odd is that I read this book right after reading Batt Humphrey's book, Dead Weight. It has some similarities. Treatment of blacks and injustices of blacks in the south.

I met James Patterson many years ago in Ridgewood, NJ. Believe it or not I still have not read any of his books. I am a hoarding bibliophile that bought his books but have not read anything from him yet until now.

Till next time when we read Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman keep those pages flipping.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Monday, December 7, 2009

One More Time

Just one more time, a few more days and I have a reprieve of school days. I have been sloughing off the last week or so since Thanksgiving. I should have been studying, instead I have been a social bug lately.

I did not get to cracking the books for final exams till yesterday. Pretty bad. With my sweet little dog sick last week I was pretty worried. He was pretty sick, thank goodness he is much better and now I can concentrate and focus on school. I just hope it still gives me enough time to crack the books. WISH ME Luck!

A little end note about my author visit. It was a great excuse not to study so hard yesterday. Our Hadassah group had a guest visit. He was amazing. If you want to check out he's book, Dead Weight. It is a good book to escape with on a lazy afternoon. I would recommend it. Great gift for someone that likes a little bit of history of Charleston, SC and a bit of mystery too. I will tell you about the visit after my exam.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Dead Weight By Batt Humphreys

Dead Weight by Batt Humphreys
236 pgs.
Joggling Board Press

Dead Weight is based on factual events with fictional characters mixed in. There is a murder of a Jewish merchant, Mr. Lebelsky. His wife Rose, is away in New York until she is summoned by the city of Charleston that her husband was murdered. She returns to Charleston.

There seems to be a rift between Mr. Levin and Mr. Lebelsky about business being open on Saturday. Jewish law doesn't allow stores to be open on Saturday. Max Labelsky was from the new school to be open on Saturday, but Mr. Levin did not believe this.

Rose Lebelsky opens her clothing shop when she returns. While she is working she gets conked on the head. There is a young black man,Nealy Duncan he is walking away from the scene not running down the street.

He was purchasing items for his wedding. Mrs. Lebelsky was conked on the head. The mob chases after him after they hear Mrs. Lebelsky scream. They chase after him. The mob grabs him and does not look for any other suspects. But they come to the realization he must be Mr. Lebelsky's murderer. This is Charleston, SC the racial divide.

The elements Mr. Nealy Duncan works for a baker named Mr. Gelifiss. He is a white man that teats Nealy like a son. He is about to marry Ida. He makes purchases for the wedding that is what he doing in Jewish Charleston. Observant Jews business owners don't open their business on Saturday. There was a rift between Mr. Lebelsky and Mr. Levin.

SPOILER!!! SPOILER!! If you don't want to know what happens don't read any further.

The trial does not go well for Nealy. It was a unfair trial. it is decied that he will be hanged. There are citizens that want to help including a reporter Hinson.

After the trial he is placed in the jail for two days till the hanging. A group of men wanted to give Nealy his last wish, to see Ida in her wedding dress and married. The group put something in their drink to make the jailers sleep. They have 15 minutes to knock them out and bring Ida to Nealy united in marriage. Be able to escape without anyone's knowledge.

Nealy is hanged by a noose what is called Dead Weight. How they do it on the ships. Even the hanging does go well. You should be able to hear his neck snap and the observers are not sure if it did. They keep him in the noose for a extra 30 minutes.

In the mean time there is a hurricane coming. Ida's mother can not find her. Mr. Hinson goes searching for her. He finds her at Nealy's fresh grave. He realizes that she has shot herself(Romeo and Juliet).

My thoughts on this book. It is a fast easy read. I enjoyed reading the book, Dead Weight. Mr. Humphreys did a lot of research and had a lot of background information about Charleston area and the hurricane. The hurricane just added to the story. I went to Charleston last summer so that added to the feel of the book. Now that I read the book I would like to visit the places that are mentioned, especially the homes and businessses on Kings and Meeting street. The Jewish cemetery where Max is buried. I would like to find Lebelsky's gravesite in the Jewish cemetery.

I have said it before but if any of you live in the Myrtle Beach area or would like to see Batt come to Barnes and Noble at the Market Commons at 1PM on December 6th. He will be doing book signings. Or if you would like to see him as a guest speaker at our Hadassah Tea on December 6th from 3-5. Leave me a comment at the bottom of my post and I will get back with you with details.

I will be having Batt write a guest post in the next few days.

Happy reading

Sunday, November 29, 2009

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wishing Everyone A Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Hope you stuff yourself to the gills today. My self, and my son are going to my friend's house Amy's for the big festive meal. Before that my son is going to a Turkey Bowl. What is that you ask? It's working up a sweat playing football, by the time they have finished playing football they are so hungry they will dig into the turkey like no tomorrow.

Everyone have a safe and happy holiday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Web Designer Wanted

I am looking for someone to help me redesign my book blog. Specifically the template for now. There is more work needed but I want to take step by step. I have seen other book bloggers and their sites look awesome. I have tried to do it several time, what I got was frustration. I have looked at istock and I found a couple graphics that are possibilities. I will pay you for your time of course. If someone is interested leave me a comment below at the comments.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brain Workout

I have been working out my brain too much lately. Finally the end of the rainbow is near. I can take a breather. I had my exam on the brain and I did well.

We had our practical exam today. I thought I was ready for it. It was on the muscles, insertion and origin of the muscles, brain, nervous system, eye and ear and receptors.

First off, I thought we also had to study the cranial nerves. It turns out I did not have to study this until our quiz next Tuesday. Unfortunately, I did not hear her. Like last time I was so focused in class on what we were doing I did not hear her say anything. If I knew this I would have had more time to study for the insertion and origin of the muscles.

When it came to the exam I thought I was doing quite well. I studied those muscles up and down literally and thought I knew them top to bottom. But when it came to the muscles of the leg. I totally confused myself. I know I did not get them.

She takes off for misspelled words. The exam was 100 questions. I know at least 15 of them I got wrong between naming the muscles and knowing the insertion and origin. But the parts of the microscopic muscle, parts of the neuron, eye, ear and receptors I felt I knew. I will find out by Tuesday how I did.

I fair much better on lecture exams than lab practicals. Especially when it comes to muscles and bones.

Next Tuesday we have a quiz on the cramial nerves which I pretty much studied for. As you can still imagine I have to study during Thanksgiving. My last exam in the first semester of A/P is a take home test.

I Don't want you to think this will be a cinch. I have Dr. Schell she is pretty tough. I know because I had her in Medical Terminology. Her last exam was a take home test then and it was difficult. I am sure it will be the same this time around.

Everyone in the class except myself and one of my lab partner's are not happy about this because I would rather take the test. A take home test first of all you don't learn anything. You are just scrounging for the answers.

This coming Tuesday we will have a quiz on cranial nerves. Then our take home test, the week after our final exam. Don't forget add math and public speaking to the mix.

G-d please help me. This semester has been so stressful with work and school and the house. It has just been too much. Then I have to repeat the same thing next semester with the rest of A/P which contains the rest of the body systems.

Sometimes I wonder if I am crazy going back to school at my age

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Checking In

I am reading Dead Weight by Batt Humphreys but I was unable to finish it yet. It is a page turner. I can't wait to finish it so I can write my thought on my blog. I have been able to read because of school. But starting next Tuesday I will have some time to dedicate to reading and my blog.

I am excited I have been in touch with Batt Humphreys, the author of Dead Weight. He is a local author from outside Charleston. He is coming to Barnes and Noble on December 6th. The good news is, After the book event at Barnes and Noble he will be stopping at the membership tea we were having that day.

I wanted to have him come out to lunch with my book club and my group of friends. But most of them would be at the tea. Some quick thinking, on my part I had come up with a plan.

Mr. Humphreys has agreed to come after the BN book event to come to our tea. I can't believe a author would do this and take the time to come to talk to us after. This is gracious of him.

When I started communicating with him when he and he's publicist were planning the book event at BN he asked me what day woudl be better. To ask me, I am sure he is so busy. This was so touching, don't you think?? Top it off he is not getting paid for this.

The organization, will not allow him to solicit his book during our tea. So, this is out of the kindness of his heart( but spreading the word about his book helps).

This is fantastic, and awesome. There are not many book events down here in SC. Up north there is more opprotunity for them.
I am excited to meet Batt.

He has written a book based on fact of a murder that takes place in Charleston. The book is called Dead Weight.I read already half of it and it is easy to read. It is like reading a newspaper article. I am not reading it for literary reading. But the historical background and culture of Charleston, SC in the turn of the century. I am enjoying reading the book. I will let you know what I think after I finish the book.

Now, I need to get back to studying. Just thought I would check in and let everyone know what is going on. Wish me luck on my exam. This is going to be a hard exam. It is on the brain. I thought the muscle was hard. The nervous System is double the studying time. What was worse was we only had a day to study the brain. It is just alot of info. to study in a short time. I will let you all know after my practical how I did on my exam.

See you all soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here I Go!!

Here I go again... I only have three more weeks left. I have a quiz on Thursday on Nervous Tissue, The we have our last lab quiz before our last Practical, and then our exam on the Nervous tissue, the practical will be the week of Thanksgiving.

I am so stressed I can't wait till it is over. After the practical we have one last test and then a final exam.

If I can make it the next two weeks then I know I will make it. It has been a stressful few months. I just want it to be over all ready.
Our instructor will allow us to drop the lowest grade and from all our tests. So you see that is why just one one more. I have to say I have worked hard all semester if I can come out with a "B" it will be great.

I just want to collapse and take a break all ready. I have not been able to go to my book club in two months.

Today it was so funny I saw another student in my class reading a novel between classes. I said to her, you really have time for that I wish I did. She was reading, a Jane Heller. A good juicy read. Not heavy but a no brainer book I wish I could.

I so miss reading a goood juicy book but it will just have to wait a couple weeks. Even our book club book I could only read half of it. Oh, well. I have to stop complaining. I just have to hit the books so this is my cue to say good bye to y'all for a couple weeks again.

Can't wait but alas I have to get back and hit the books.. See you later. Wish me luck...

Monday, November 9, 2009

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Miss Y'All

Only 6 more weeks till school is almost over. I took the exam for the Joints and the muscles. I did well. So much better than last year. What a great relief I got through the muscle. I never understood it but this time along I actually got how the muscle works. I accomplished something and even mastered it.

We are going on on to the Central Nervous System and the Brain, and a another week the senses(ear and eye, nose, touch etc.) We will have a practical exam right before Thanksgiving, a comprehensive exam around the second week in December.

Next semester I will be doing the rest of Anatomy and Physiology. The endocrine, blood, heart, kidney, reproductive, intestinal, etc. I can't believe I made it this far.

The unfortunate thing I had to put things on the back burner for now. At times I have tried to read a book and review one or two. Hopefully during break I will be able to get back to my blog. I miss my readers and followers. Sorry to everyone, I miss you all. I am sure you understand school and career is more important right now.

I have also had to put off my book club which looks like it has survived without me. They read two books since I have been gone,The Guersney Literary Potato Peel Society and Sarah's Key. I heard Sarah's Key is wonderful. I will try to get back to the book club possibly in January. For now, I will see you shortly and hopefully all is well with all of you.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

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Friday, October 23, 2009

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

School Days IS Overwhelming!!

I passed my first practical exam by the skin of my teeth. I studied and every test I get exam jitters and make stupid mistakes. I did that but I am just happy I passed. The next exam coming up I am dreading. This is the exam last semester, in General A/P I did not do well.

We are on the Muscles and Joints. The subject of muscles is very difficult, overwhelming. I can't wait till the exam will be over next week. Anyone that is in the medical field knows how difficult this part of A/P is. Never liked the muscles. Understanding the parts of the muscle cell, how the contraction works, and energy is very intimidating. But to add insult to injury we have to name each muscle and where it attaches called insertion and fixed. Anyone that reads this pray for me that I get through this with a passing grade.

All that is left for A/P is the Nervous System and Senses. That is more interesting to me.

The Speech class, I ending up with a good grade. The next two projects for speech that are left are a panel, and take a stand speech. We have to pick a social impact speech, and Take A Stand Speech is our last project we have to do for the course. I can't wait for it to be over.

I am so glad that the A/P exam test will be the only thing I have to focus on. Rather than the speech and math all together. It worked out perfectly. Because the professor has been out of class several times. She had to change the due dates for everything. Thank goodness, I was worried that I would have the Speech due on the same date as A/P. Thank goodness, happy days, all the upcoming tests are on different days. How good is that. G-d must have been listening to me.

Believe it or not we only have six or seven weeks of school left. I can't believe it.
It's going fast.

Friday, October 16, 2009

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