Saturday, July 30, 2011

Left Neglected Book Tour and Giveaway

Left Neglected
By Lisa Genova

Dear readers, please forgive this review. I have had a problem posting with blogger at least four different days. I have been upset, because I had a lot to say about this novel. But, most of it has faded away. This is my favorite novel for the summer, beside Butterfly's Daughter.  I like to read a book that has something to say, with some research mixed in. I could tell Ms. Genova did her research.

 Thank goodness I had posted some thoughts on Goodreads.  I am posting it from there. Please forgive me this time. As my life is topsy-turvy right now with moving, and finding a new job, and lots of different changes. I am sad about these life changes. But, I always have believed there is a reason for everything.  So, I don't know what it is yet, but I am sure it will come to me. 

Read on to my review: I may go back and revise in a few weeks when my life is not so crazy. I would like to apologize to my readers and to Ayelet from Simon and Schuester. I promised this would be up this week.  

I am having a giveaway for Left Neglected. Leave a comment the one thing that causes you the greatest stress and did you do anything about it. The giveaway starts Monday August 1st, my son's b-day, till Friday August 5th. I will let you know the winner, on August 8th after I move.

 I love the book cover of the paper back better than the hard cover.  I like the texture of the paperback, and the color. Rather than the hard back of the navy blue.

 Lisa Genova, is the author that wrote Still Alice, which I highly recommend as well.  Lisa Genova   is a psychologist and her expertise lies in neuroscience.

Sara and her husband, Bob have 3 children. Linus 8 months, and their other school age children, Charlie, and Lucy.

 Both Sara and Bob have high powering, stressful jobs, and trying to juggle home life and work simultaneously.

 While driving home, Sara has a important call to answer. But, the one second trying to find the phone changes her life.

She gets into a car accident, and everything changes.

 In todays world, of computers, and phones, we are always multi-tasking and  juggle everything in our daily life. Something has to give sometime. In this case it did.

Sara has not been paying attention in her daily life. She has not had time to pay attention and absorb anything in her life. Like the title of the novel, her life has been NEGLECTED,before the accident. 

Since the accident the complication of problems with the right side of her brain, causes her not see anything on her left, or do anything on her left side of her brain does not register. This is truly a true disorder.

What she endures in therapy gives her a time to stop and absorb and think about her rushed life.  Before she hadn't anytime to care about herself, or her family and her relationship with her husband, mother, and her children.

Also before Sara gets into the accident, her son has been having difficulties in the classroom.  Sara and her husband are both asked to come to the school to for a school conference about their son, Charlie. The teacher observes Charlie's poor behavior with the other students and he's behavior in the classroom. What they learn is there is a possibility that he has symptoms of ADHD.

This is the first time I have read a novel that talks about ADHD. I have a connection and felt sympathy for the family. I understood what Sara and Bob were going through when they first learned about their son, Charlie's diagnosis.

 I went through the same thing with my son at school. With being so proud when my son accomplished something. But, ADHD causes the child to be different and a outcast.  The author touched based on this. She hit it on the nail how, us parents feel.

I liked the similarities of Sara needing to slow down as well as her son's diagnosis resulted in his behavior slowing down, I liked the parallel.  Her son, Charlie,  in the beginning of the story was fidgety, could not concentrate and always moving sounded similar to Sara's fast track life.

The only part I did not like was the ending. The story fit, happily ever after. I would have given the story 5 stars if it was not for this part. But, overall I liked the book and I kept wanted to flip the pages. 

Thank you Avelet for allowing me to read, and review and host a giveaway.  I hear that Lisa Genova is writing another one.  I am not going to give you a hint you will just have to go to her website or her facebook page. She discusses her book there.

Good reading!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Borders Closing

rders is closing, see what NPR has to say.

Sorry I posted below, but for some reason blogger is not allowing me to edit anything lately. I am really thinking of closing shop on blogger. Starting over on another host. Ever since blogger has changed their format, I can't change posts. My posts are not formatted right. I want to edit a post and it won't. So bear with me until, I get this straightened out. I hope this does not affect me loosing my readers. Sorry,

Post below is my thoughts on Borders Book Store.

Another One Hits The Dust: Borders Book Store

Today is a sad day for the publishing industry and the book business. Most of the stores that are still in existance are questioning, will we still be in business, with E-books on the rise. Will patrons still buy a physical book. What happened to Borders? Will it happen to us?

My experience with Borders was living up north, in Paramus NJ.  Beside Borders at Garden State Mall, we had two, yes I said two Barnes and Noble one different sides of the road, on Rt. 17, a mile apart.
We also did have a few independent book stores, one in Ridgewood, NJ, called Bookends.  Then another one in Wycoff. Don't remember the name of that one.

I preferred going to BN, instead of Borders. I liked going to Borders for the the events. But, I did not like the layout. Barnes and Noble had the large couches and oversized chairs, and it had a comfy feeling.  Borders did not, and either does the Indies. I left NJ about 10 years ago.

Now, that I live in Myrtle Beach, SC. We do have a Barnes and Noble, It used to be in Myrtle Beach, but since 2 years ago BN moved at the Market Commons( upscale shopping).  The new store is sharp, and modern.  With lots of chairs, and comfy. We also have a nice coffee shop there.  

Most of the employees there, I have known for years. Since I moved to SC. It is the same people and feels like home.  Sorry, to say I am not going to miss Borders. But, it is sad to hear of the closing.

It makes you wonder what happened. Did the competition of the big book chains cause the defunk.  I am talking of BN, Amazon.

What is going to happen to the physical stores? Is what is going to happen to Blockbuster going to happen to the book stores? You will use the store to download your books?  Personally, I don't think this is the end of the physical book. I have the Nook, and use it occassionally. But, I still love the physical book. I like when you can flip the pages back if you forget something. I can't figure the fangled thing, and takes too long to highlight. I would rather take a marker and highlight a book. But, I like a nook when I am going to the beach, or if I was traveling.

I think with the closing of Borders, publishers, and authors are taking stock. Thinking the end of book stores is near. I hope not!! Maybe the next generation. My generation still likes the physical book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Turn of Mind: Book Review

Turn of Mind
Alice La Plante
Copy as ebook
by Netgalley
 Lately, many authors are writing novels about memory loss and Alzheimer's Disease. It could be that the baby boomers are getting to middle age. This was a interesting read. 

  Turn of Mind is the story, about Jennifer, 64 year old widow, with Alzheimer's Disease. She has a daughter Fiona, and a son Mark. She has a caretaker 24/7, Magdelena staying at her home. Her friend Amanda, her neighbor is killed with 4 fingers severed off her hand.

  Most of the time, Jennifer has a notebook that she carries around with her everywhere. But, it is unrealiable.

Police think Jennifer was responsible. But the problem is Jennifer's memory is detoriating. It is very interesting how the author plays with the confusion. There are several times myself I was confused and had to flip back the pages to understand what was going on. I think the author's technique of writing was very unique.

Out of the blue, Jennifer loses time. You are reading something, then all of sudden she is in the middle of the street with oncoming traffic. How did she get there? There are many times that the author had Jennifer come in the middle of a situation. Try and think of yourself, sometimes when you drift off and find yourself drifting back.  How do you feel? A bit disoriented until you get your bearing.

Another time, when Jennifer left the facility, she befriends a couple of homeless men. They realize her facilities are not all there. But, they think they can con her.

After this incidence she takes a cab with not any money and she doesn't have shoes on. She arrives at her clinic ready to work. But she doesn't have her license any longer. Her fellow physicians recognize her. One of her fellow physicians says, I thought you retired. Then they all kept working. No one called to report something was amiss. I just think this did not fit the story.

There is a twist at the end of the story, I am not going to tell you.

The story is written in four parts. The first part when she is being cared by a care taker. The second part is when she taken to a nursing home. The third part when she escapes the nursing home wandering. The fourth part when she is taken back and the mystery is solved.

The novel is more about the illness, than the mystery of her friend Amanda. I enjoyed reading the story. Going into Jennifer's head, going from sanity to  confusion to senility to confusion.

 Going back in time when she was a little girl. At one point she thought her mother and sister were still alive. That I am sure can be frustrating to convince someone that they are living in the past.

  But, like all other books dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, it is difficult to read, because of the subject matter.  Visit NYTimes website for a nice review of Turn of Mind.

 After you read this one, you may want to read  another novel, that is very good it is written like a memoir, about Alzheimer's you should check out Lisa Genova's Still Alice. Very hard to read but is excellent.

Books, and More Books Arriving This Week

Wow, this week has been a winner with all the books and gifts I recieved.  First I recieved compliments of Book Club Girl,  a tote bag with books authored by Mary Kay Andrews, Deep Dish. But, what I was really excited about was, Summer Rental.  How great is that!! Check it out below.

These are the books that came this week:

Left Neglect by Lisa Genova
 Storm Chasers by Jenna Blum
 Maine by J.Courtney Sullivan
 Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
 I Gave My Heart to Know This, Ellen Baker

Happy Reading!!!

Sweet Smile and Beautiful Girl

Sweet Smile and Beautiful Vietnamese Girl

Pretty Smile Girl

Pretty Smile Vietnamese Girl

Cute Pretty Girl

Cute Pretty Taiwanese Girl

Beautiful Girl

Beautiful and Sweet Smile Girl

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Club Discussion: Butterfly's Daughter

 I thought I would post this for a laugh today. Look Above. 

Our book club, 38th Ave. Diva Readers, met today.

What a book club it was. The last time we had this kind of meeting, was when Benay hosted it at our temple. We had 18 ladies attend. As you can imagine, when many ladies show up, it is a gathering.

The one thing I decided if more than 8 ladies were showing up, I would do just the usual munchies. But, because I thought only 6-8 were coming I would make it more elaborate. What a mistake, all of sudden 11 people show up. like always, some people didn't RSVP. Luckily I had made enough food.

But despite the large number of 11 ladies, only two did not show up. I was hosting this one.  If you follow this blog you all know I read this a few months ago.  One of the book club rules: you must read the book before suggesting it.

I personally don't like this rule, because I don't like re-reading the book again.

I decided I was going to do a food theme, based on the book, Mexican.  There was lots of food themes to go with the book. But, I decided, main course would be Taco Salad.   I modified the recipe added cilantro, black beans, and corn with the meat mixture, then added lime.  I got the greatest compliments. Our members called to find out my secret ingredients, LOL!!, We are all Jewish ladies, some of our book club ladies follows kosher dietary laws. I decided to make Tuna Fish Taco Salad for the ladies that follow Kosher dietary rules.

I love flan, when I lived in Miami I used to be able to get it easily. But, in Myrtle Beach, not as easy.  I found a recipe on line was intimidated. My son's Friend Dylan, helped me make the flan.  I am not a baker, I did not realize you can liquify sugar. Learn something new everyday,me dummy.  Anyway, he did a great job. Every one loved it. There was none left.

On to the discussion.  The person that suggests the book is the person that leads the discussion and hosts it, thats me this month.   Most everyone enjoyed reading the book. Because of learning about the metamorphisis of the butterfly, the migration, etc.

The parallel story about the Journey of Luz and her friends. Reminded me of Thelma and Louise. The life lessons Luz learned along the way.

Some members did recall, something amazing happening. One of our members, Benay recalled when her sister died, a butterfly showed up. She told us she did not believe it was her sister, but her daughter's spirit. But then two other butterfly's showed up, she believed it was her parent's spirit.   This book is amazing and brings up so many beliefs and emotions.

A couple members felt the story was so contrived. I did not pay attention to that. I just liked the story, the hidden meanings, the journey, and traditions, carrying on the family.

 One group member that has not been at our meetings for a while, showed up.  She has monopolized the book club, always interupting everyone, and taking over. She did not do it this time. What a relief.

Our book club this month was successful. Everyone was respectful, and not one person interupted each other. Our book club had a lot to discuss with this novel.  Our book club met for two hours.

I would recommend this novel, Butterfly's Daughter for a book club, lots to talk about. I had contacted Mary Alice Monroe a few months ago for the discussion questions. I am sure by now, it must be on her website. I also contacted MAM, for the milkweed seeds, and book marks to go with this book.

I would like to thank MAM, for all her help with receiving the book marks, the discussion questions, and milkweed seeds.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kitchen's Daughter

Kitchen Daughter
By Jael McHenry

I recieved copy from the publisher

This review is going to be short and sweet. I read this a few weeks ago, and don't recall all of the details.  

The Kitchen Daughter, when the story opens Ginny's parents just pass away. Her sister, and the family come home to the funeral.  Ginny is different she doesn't do well in social situations.She doesn't like to be touched by others.  Ginny doesn't feel comfortable after the funeral with the relatives and friends visiting.  The relatives, are interferring and her sister Ginny is domineering.  

After they leave it is just her sister, Amanda and her left in the house. Amanda has family of her own, and lives a distance from Ginny.  

 Her sister doesn't feel comfortable with Ginny left in the house by herself.   Ginny has Asperger's Syndrome. But, we learn later in the story, she was not diagnosed, it was just suspected.

As anxiety starts to take over, Ginny decides she is going to stir up some recipes. Each time she makes recipes from her dead relatives their spirits come to her. As soon as the smells disappear the spirits disappear.

My Thoughts: I am not going to ruin the rest of the story.   First off I loved the book cover.  That got me from the start. Isn't it unique? 

I wasn't sure if I was going to like the story. It reminded me of another book, The Sadness of Lemon Cake. That one I could not relate to. This one I did. I just enjoyed reading about  the spirits coming forth. It worked with the book.

The only person that Ginny relates to is Gert, she is a Jewish woman that has taken care of the house since Ginny was little.  Gert asks Ginny to come with her to help set up a "shiva meal". She wants Ginny to help her with the cooking. Ginny agrees. This worked in the story, in Judiasm, there is lots of mysticm in our traditions. This worked for the story with the recipes stirred up the relatives.

There is a mystery that goes along with the story as well. This caused me to keep turning the pages. Even though if you are not a great fan in the spirits, or even cooking this was a lovely story.

Mixed into the story was the acceptance of her sister having Asperger's, letting her live on her own.  Ginny's  parent's never let Ginny out of their sight, never let her become independent.  Her sister, Amanda did not trust her living alone. 

I enjoyed reading Kitchen's Daughter, this is a awesome summer read. If you have a chance pick up a copy. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Giveaway

Hi Y'all to all my fellow readers, I am hosting a book giveaway.
The book is The Talk-Funny Girl.

Here is the synopsis of The Talk-Funny Girl:

In one of the poorest parts of rural New Hampshire, teenage girls have been disappearing, snatched from back country roads, never to be seen alive again. For seventeen-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with her own home, every day. Marjorie has been raised by parents so intentionally isolated from normal society that they have developed their own dialect, a kind of mountain hybrid of English that displays both their ignorance of and disdain for the wider world. Marjorie is tormented by her classmates, who call her “The Talk-funny girl,” but as the nearby factory town sinks deeper into economic ruin and as her parents fall more completely under the influence of a sadistic cult leader, her options for escape dwindle. But then, thanks to a loving aunt, Marjorie is hired by a man, himself a victim of abuse, who is building what he calls “a cathedral,” right in the center of town.

Day by day, Marjorie’s skills as a stoneworker increase, and so too does her intolerance for the bitter rules of her family life. Gradually, through exposure to the world beyond her parents’ wood cabin thanks to the kindness of her aunt and her boss, and an almost superhuman determination, she discovers what is loveable within herself. This newfound confidence and self-esteem ultimately allows her to break free from the bleak life she has known, to find love, to start a family, and to try to heal her old, deep wounds without passing that pain on to her husband and children.

By turns darkly menacing and bright with love and resilience, The Talk-Funny Girl is the story of one young woman’s remarkable courage, a kind of road map for the healing of early abuse, and a testament to the power of kindness and love.
If you would like to be participate in the book giveaway, here are the rules:
The giveaway starts today till Sunday July 12th. Write a comment why you would like to read this book. Become a follower of my blog.  Thats it.
Thank you for joining the giveaway, and good luck!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

We Band of Angels: Book Review

Band of Angels
By Elizabeth M. Norman

We Band of Angels, is the true story of our forgotten women during World War 2.  88 nurse's were trained, by the Army Nurse Corp, and also the Navy, but not for combat.

They came to the Phillipines, for travel. adventure, warm weather, and action, and fun. But they did not know what they were going to have to use their intuition, their experience, and street smarts.

Here is the background history of the Phillipines:

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The Americans and Phillipino's were in the Phillipines, on a base in Manilla. After a few days, the Japanese bombed Manilla. This forced the American and Phillipino troops to go to Battan. Once the military was in Battan, they were forced to the south of the Phillipines. Once there the Japanese forced the death march of thousands of Phillipino, and American military. 

The famous death march caused terrible relations after the war for years.  Because of this even, now Americans have a hard time letting go of this part of history.  There were 8-10,000 men died in the death march.  The Japanese military tortured American POW's many by starvation, torture, and physical torture. These men came down with terrible diseases of the tropics, Dysentery, and Malaria.   The death march was a 65 mile trac to walk. Many men died. The the American POW's were treated terribl

We Band of Angels was written by Elizabeth M. Norman. Her parents were in the military. But she has never served in the military. The hard part getting her research was finding out if the military nurse's were still alive.  Most of the nurse's were in their 80's. Ms. Norman was surprised that they memories were still intact.

The nurse's were not trained in combat. Most military did not know what to make of them. The nurse's did not even have uniform until the war. The uniforms they wore were not practical for war.

The nurse's set up Hospital #1, then Hospital #2. Both hospitals had several thousand men. The hospitals were not buildings. But were setup like camps in the Civil War.  No walls, no roofs. They had anesthesia in the beginning of the war. But, towards the end it was so bad they had to use Ether. The last time Ether was used was during the Civil War.

In between the hospitals were tunnels( caticombs). Where supplies, and the nurse's slept, and some patients were staying there as well.

The nurse's were not prepared for what was ahead of them. Unfortunately they were not trained, or prepared for combat. They had inadequate supplies, low stock of medication, the nurse's worked 24/7 no matter if they were sick with dehydration or not. There wasn't any sanitation, the nurse's heard the bombing constantly. Soldiers, and nurses's were exposed to Malaria, Dysentery,Beri-Beri( protein defiency cause you not to be able to move your muscles.).

The Japanese rationed the food at first to 1000 cal./day by the end of the war is was less than 500 cal. /day. They had money in the beginning they were using to get food and supplies. But towards the end it was practically nothing.

 Many Americans blame McArthur for abandoning our nurses and soldiers. He left and went to Australia.

The story of these band of Women was so unique, and their bravery speak volumes. Thank to them many soldiers survived and came home. The nurses did not want to leave the men when they came for them. What happened to these nurse's, and the soldiers was a turn of World War two, and changed the way we think of women in the military.

When some of the nurses were able to leave and come back to the states, The military was trying to glamourize the nurse's experience. By glamourizing their experience hoping to increase the recruitment of nurses.   Around the time this happened one of the nurse's wrote a book about it, one of studios wanted to produce a movie called, So Proudly We Hail. Most of the women were not happy about it. They felt it demoralized them. They made up facts as well.

This is a unique story. I always heard of the terrible conditions, and the treatment of our men. But did no know how or when this happened. The story connected the dots. I am sorry it took me so long to read this book. It took 10 years to read it, and I am glad I did.  If you are interested in this part of history, you would most likely read this book. I certainly did, learn about these brave women.

I am happy that Mrs. Norman told us what happened to them after the war. They did recieve a medal, but not the medal they deserved.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Still Alice

Still Alice
By Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova, is a psychologist with a Ph.D in neuroscience. She self published her novel, and sold her books by word of mouth, and from the trunk of her car.

Alice is a 50 year old, married with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. Her husband is a research scientist.   She has three adult children already living away from home.

The book feels like you are reading a memoir. Each chapter, is set in the next month as we see Alice regress further and further from herself. The novel, starts before diagnosis to when she looses herself.

It starts with she can't find her keys, where her cell phone is, forgets what she is covering in class.  Not being able to recognize where she is.  She chalks it up to the stress, getting older, menopause setting it. But, this is not the case as she is diagnosed.

As the disease progresses we see what happens to Alice, and how it affects her and her family.  Alice loses her self and who she is.  The only one that seems to help Alice with her feelings and emotions is her daughter, Lydia.

After a year passes, Harvard is concerned about her teaching. The director of her department is recieving evaluations from her students. The reviews are terrible, but honest. The dean decides she would be more useful in a advisory role, not in teaching.

   The story goes into Alice's head dealing with her feelings, anger, and her frustration as she looses her faculties.

My thought:  This is a hard book to describe what I thought about it. I read this book because I like reading books that deal with mental disorders.

The book reads like it is non-fiction. Sometimes you forget you are reading a novel.  What makes the novel unique is that she made her characters, into very educated people.

Alice, being a psychologist more interesting. This gave the book more depth.

I have always wanted to know what people with Alzheimer's are thinking. Because several times I am taking care of them. They look empty, they look like they are somewhere else.  Where did they go?? Are they regressing back to early time? What I have wondered why they can recall their long term memory? Is this because they can't remember short term memory? Or because they want to remember when they were little because it is a happier and safer time?

I have been talking to a few friends of mine about this book. What do you think of a book club reading and discussing this?

 I can't see any of my members reading this. Possibly because if you have a medical disease, even if it is terminally. There is always hope. With Alzheimer's Disease it is a death sentence. You know there is not a cure, there is isn't any hope.

We have had a few member's that have family members diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Yes, they can connect with this novel. But I am sure it stirs up bad memories. They don't want to remember how their parent was.

 This is a hard book to get through. I think anyone that is taking care of someone with Alzheimer's, or wanting to know more about it would become more aware what it is like.

I would like to praise this book, but at the same time it is hard to read. I hope this review doesn't stop people from reading it. Because I still think this is a awesome novel.  I would also like to recommend a novel, that I am also finished reading is, Turn of Mind.  A different perspective of Alzheimer's Disease.  I will be posting on that soon.