Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Long Wait is Over-Mad Men

Season 4 of Mad Men began on Sunday night at 10 PM.  Not sure if I like the new concept of starting their own advertising firm and Betty's relationship.  He seems so dull, compared to Don.

  She doesn't seem to understand anything around her. Except for children to be little dolls and behave.

I was a young girl in the early 60's. There wasn't children's and women's rights until 1970's.. Luckily things have changed. But I do remember appearance and etiquette was important to your parents.    Luckily parents now a days don't rely on their children's appearances and good manners to make them look like good parents. Not like the 60's.

The advertising firm from season 1 to season 4 is very different. The last past season's Cooper's firm was very professional.  Now, the new firm is very personal.  The employees are talking to each other like they are old buds.  Calling each other by their first name.  Walking into offices without knocking.   We will just have to see as the show moves on.

So, what is your take on Season 4? Was the anticipation worth it?  Were you disappointed?  Did you like, or not like Season 4.  What do you think of Betty and Don's new estranged relationship? What did you think of the new firm? Did you like it better with the old firm? Like to hear what you have to say.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Monthly Jewish Book Carnival

I am so excited, Marie, at Boston Bibliophile, and American Jewish Libraries will be hosting a monthly Jewish Book Carnival. To promote Jewish books and readership on the biosphere. I am so excited because I have always thought there were only a few of us out there. Apparently not. My blog, Bagels, Books, and Schmooze has been laying idle for about six months. I was starting to think to combine my two blogs.  But then reading about the carnival I decided to give it a try.

But not only that maybe we will get Jewish book news in one place. Hopefully if there are other Jewish book bloggers they will join us. Thank You, Marie for inviting me and telling me about this.
Happy Blogging, Looking forward to the August Jewish Book Carnival.

Fierce Radiance: Book Review

A Fierce Radiance
By Lauren Belfer

The novel  opens during the start of the attack of Pearl Harbor. It is about a single working mother, Claire Shipley, a photojournalist for Life magazine.  She was married and had a daughter several years ago. But her daughter died from Septicemia, a blood infection.  During this time her marriage falls apart. She is left with her own devices of raising her young son by herself.

Top researchers and scientists are on the verge of a discovery of Penicillin. the mad dash development at the Rockefeller Institute. The story opens a gentleman is very ill, and Claire is on this assignment,  and the research of Penicillin.  He is given Penicillin he gets better. But then there is a rebound, and he is unable to bounce back because there isn't any penicillin left.  He unfortunately passes away. Life magazine decides to kill the story.

 Researchers are racing to find the medicine for soldiers fighting in the field dying from a amputation, shrapnel etc. Also children, men, and woman, young and old died from a scratch on the knee.

Claire is on assignment for Life magazine. While she is on assignment she meets Tia, a Mycologist and James Straton, scientist Tia's brother.   In the meantime Jamie's sister, Tia  has mysteriously fallen off a cliff and died. Is it suicide, or did she fall? This is the question that is posed reading Fierce Radiance.

The novels delves into the development of finding the cure for bacterial infection.. Growing the mold in the lab in glass milk bottles which is very basic. The politics, and the pharmaceutical business tycoons of Merck and Pfizer.  The development of penicillin and the cousin drugs. But unfortunately, Penicillin can't be kept with ample supply.  The  Penicillin is strictly for the production and development of the federal government to be given for the military.  It is not to be shared with the pharmaceutical tycoons. But shared with the scientists and researchers. They are not to work on the "cousin" of penicillin, until penicillin is found first. Because this will slow down the development of Penicillin.

In the meantime Claire and Jamie fall in love.  Jamie is a naval scientist. he is sent to Europe to look at the effect of infection during the war. At the time, a bomb goes off at the medical unit. Claire at home in the US suspect that Jamie died. He comes back later in about 6 months.  They continue their relationship.

While this is happening her father, Edward Rutherford wants to get into the action. He thinks he will make millions if he makes he's own pharmaceutical company.  We later learn that there is a cover up. Claire's father had something to do with Tia's death.

Spoiler-Don't read on if you intend to read A Fierce Radiance

Nick, Tia's fellow doctor and was romanticly involved with Tia.He finds the discovery Tia was working on. He remembers as a young boy:  " His Grandmother was from a small village in the Dolomite mountains of Northern Italy. When Nick was very young three or four. She still kept a loaf of stale bread on the kitchen counter, as her own mother had, as everyone in the village had. The bread was moldy. He was trying to tell Tia this while he was courting her. When anyone in the family had a cut or a scrape. He's grandmother would slice off the bread, press the moldy side against the wound, and wrap a bandage around to hold the bread in place for a few days. No one in their family ever developed a wound infection. The mold was Penicillium. This was old country medicine, and the modern world never took it seriously. At first it was purely innocent but then as the detective digs deeper he realizes that Nick Caruso stole the secrets of the discover of Penicillin and sold it to Rutherford, Claire's father.

Claire's son becomes gravely ill with Pneumonia. Rutherford asks to get the penicillin that has not been tested. Unfortunately Charlie becomes deaf, a side effect of the drug.

Claire starts investigating about the Japanese detainees being tested.  . Many Japanese that are detained at camp, becoming guinea pigs for the testing of the cousin drug. Many of them die or become blind and deaf.

At the end of the novel we find that Penicillin has helped the medical world. During WW2 Penicillin became worthless because it was over produced for the armed forces. Every military personnel that fought over there had penicillin in the knapsack.  But the "cousins" to Penicillin-sulfur drug is worth millions.

Claire discovers and suspects that her father has committed murder. She coincidentally bumps into her ex-husband, a reporter.  She eggs him with the story. He starts to digging and finds out there is something fishy.  When he digs too deep he is found dead off the train.

I enjoyed reading A Fierce Radiance, Especially after reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
The book was full of intrigue, and was very compelling  The book was not a typically historical novel. Usually are filled with one dimensional characters.  A Fierce Radiance had many aspects of the characters.  There was mystery, a murder, suspense, historical, military involvement during the development of antibiotics.  I could not put it down.  I am a nurse so this book brought the historical aspect of the development of Penicillin and other antibiotics home for me.  I usually don't read a book longer than 350 pages.  But this book did not stop me from reading and loving it. I would recommend this to anyone.
Unfortunately, I have not found many book reviews on this novel but I posted a link on a couple of professional book reviews that I thought interested me.

The New York Times has a review here
Barnes and Noble review

If you would like to read what my fellow blogger said:
Booking Mama

Thank you Ms. Drucker for allowing me to review A Fierce Radiance.
Here is a link that I found about the discovery of Penicillin and other antibiotics. Very interesting article.

Cherry On Top Award

Thank you for the surprise award from one of my fellow bloggers at Caroline's Bookbinder. The award is called Cherry on top award.. It is given to a person they feel has a special touch to their blog. I am very grateful that you feel this way.

List 3 things you like about myself are:

I am very good about getting up on my soap box.
I like my hair, it is curly and wavy and kinked up in the summer months
I can laugh at myself at times.

 I would like to pass the award to 5 fellow bloggers:

                                                                               Boston Bibliophile
                                                                       Every Day I Write The Book
                                                                                Literate Housewife
                                                                                   Bermuda Onion
                                                                                   Jewish Wishes

The only picture I have on my computer that I like at the moment because my other computer went down is:
This is a photograph that I took for a school project. It is at a store in Myrtle Beach. It was so fun to remember those clothes and styles in the 60's. What do you think of the bus? LOL!!! After all I recieved a "A" for the school project.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hot Flash Club

The Hot Flash Club
By Nancy Thayer

This book, was recommended by a friend of mine. The Hot Flash Club came at the best time. After reading the most depressing book. I needed to read something that was comical. I have had this book on my book shelf, but did not pick up until now.

I would recommend this book to anyone that is over 50.  Anyone adjusting to to a few wrinkles here, a few there. Some rolls hanging there.  Competition in the office, your darling daughter having some problems. She wants to move home. You are the only one that understands me. Wow is me, I want the house to myself.  I don't want to share the house with anyone any longer. The husband caught cheating.

If you can relate to this, this book is for you. 

Faye, Marilyn, Shirley, and Alice meet at a party. They all form a club called the Hot Flash Club. The four ladies start discussing their lives. They come to a conclusion we can help each other out.
"I think Alice, there's a way we can help one another. "We've got four problems, Faye you want to know whether your son-in-law's having a affair with the secretary at his law firm." Fine Shirley, you need help with legal and financial matters, right. I want to find out if the brat is after my job, and fourth Marilyn, you want to find out  your son's finacee, Lila Eastbrook is after your son for his money.  Look we can all each solve someone else's problems.  Oh, this sounds like fun. Faye, cried out, fishing out a ice cube from her glass and rubbing it across her neck, which turned red.  She cried out, " Hot Flash". That's it, Alice said we will call our selves The Hot Flash Club. With a piece of Chocolate cake at the end of her fork into the air, Let's toast to The Hot Flash Club".
So the four interwined into each of their lives and problems. Faye applies for a job as a housekeeper to find out for Marlyn if her son's fiancee is after something else.    Alice in the meantime help Marilyn to change her style of dress, hair makeup.

Faye, is a artist her husband has passed away.  Her daughter comes back home with her grand daughter. Faye fears that her son in law is having a affair.  Later on in the novel. She wants her life back. There is a way to help her daughter and herself at the same time. I don't want to spoil the rest.

Alice fears that Allison is younger and trying to get her fired. In the meantime Alice falls hard for a new man,Gideon.

Shirley wants to jump start her Massage business.  She under charges her clients. She keeps her money stashed at home with out investing her money.  Alice volunteers to help Shirley to re-organize her massage business.

The end of the novel,   It feels like a three ring circus, a lot of yelling, discussions, sweet revenge. The four of them get revenge, and it is satisfying for most of them.They all get their
just desserts and it is satisfying!!! It all wraps up in a neat package.

I loved this book I would recommend this to us ladies over 50.  It is just a fun read.  There are more to this series and I am going to read the next one.