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Posts tagged ‘Books and Essays’


“May We Be Forgiven”

There are paths, forks in the road, journeys we must take. Sometimes it’s not a choice, but about what we do with what we are given.

May We Be Forgiven was written by Amy M. Homes, an American writer who teaches creative writing at Princeton University and who goes by the pen name: A.M. Homes. Published in September, 2012, May We Be Forgiven is a fast paced novel that starts with a bang (literally) and gives new meaning to “The Big Bang Theory” of how a family is formed. Although many people think a family is created by a marriage or the birth of a child, a family is formed by people uniting or expanding in many different ways, both conventional and non-conventional.  And, when a family implodes, what are the survivors to do? Run and escape or come together? This is the dilemma faced by the major characters in May We Be Forgiven. Read more »


“The Hundred Brothers”

Brothers, brothers, and more brothers. I have six brothers that range in age from 30 to 52 whom I was reminded of when I read the book “The Hundred Brothers” by Donald Antrim. Published in 1997, I had never heard of the book until I read an essay in “Farther Away,” a collection of 21 essays by Jonathan Franzen. The essay, “The Corn King” which also serves as the introduction to “The Hundred Brothers” touts the book as “possibly the strangest novel ever published by an American” and yet, “it’s often hilarious, but there’s always a dangerous edge to the hilarity.” Read more »


“The Dovekeepers”

Two years ago, I traveled with my family to Masada, a remote fortress on a mountain in the Judaean Desert of southern Israel by the Dead Sea. Masada is legendary for being the place where more than 900 Jews killed themselves rather than be tortured, killed or enslaved by the Romans approximately 2,000 years ago. The day of our visit was brutally hot and there was little shade in this fortress that King Herod built as a refuge. As the sun was beating down and I looked in every direction and saw only the dry earth of the desert and the salty Dead Sea in the distance, I remember thinking “why did they die for this?” “The Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman answers that question. Read more »


“By the Iowa Sea”

By the Iowa Sea” is a memoir by Joe Blair, a middle-aged Massachusetts-born motorcycle-lovin’ adventurer who examines how he became so profoundly unhappy with his life, his marriage, and with himself. In the summer of 1989, 25-year old Blair is trying to figure out what to do with his life when he decides to leave his hometown (Boston) and take a cross country trip on his motorcycle. With $1,500 in his pocket he spends two months exploring the US and decides he will always travel, never cave in to convention, or settle down. Read more »



Cheryl Strayed, author of “Wild”  is a 43-year old writer, wife, and mother who lives in Portland, Oregon.  When Strayed was 22 years old, she lost her 45-year old mother to lung cancer and spent the next four years alternating between trying to preserve her family and her marriage, both of which disintegrated by the time she was 26 years old. Recognizing the need for a change, Strayed (the name she chose for herself after her divorce) set out to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), a 2,663 mile trail that lies east of the Pacific coast from California to Washington, and then write about the experience. Read more »


“Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage”

One hundred years ago today – April 10, 1912 – the Titanic left Southampton, England on its maiden voyage stopping at Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland before continuing across the Atlantic Ocean towards New York.  Four days later on April 14, 1912 at nearly midnight, while maneuvering through the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Titanic hit a massive iceberg causing enough damage for the ship to sink 2 hours and 40 minutes later on the morning of April 15, 1912. Read more »


“Left Neglected”

Lisa Genova‘s second novel, “Left Neglected” is the fictional story of a young woman who experiences a severe brain injury after a car accident that resulted from her taking her eyes off the road to search for her cell phone.  Eight days after the accident, Sarah Nickerson wakes up in a hospital, forever changed. Read more »


“By Nightfall”

Michael Cunningham, author of “The Hours” (which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1998) published his newest book “By Nightfall” in 2010. The story takes place in New York City and although the summary on the back of the book states the story is about Peter and Rebecca Harris, a couple in living in Manhattan, the real story is about Peter Harris. Throughout the entire book, the reader is privy to every thought Peter has to the effect of feeling like the reader is in the head of the main character. Read more »


“Olive Kitteridge”

When I was in high school, I worked in a local pharmacy and learned the secrets of everyone in town: the mayor was taking Valium, an overwhelmed mother had a prescription for 100 Percocet tablets filled monthly, a close friend’s parents never paid their bills (this was back when I thought everyone paid their bills), and a young girl voted “best looking” by her fellow classmates in the graduating class of the local high school was trying to break into modeling and getting hooked on diet pills to become the size 4 she would never be. Read more »


“We Need To Talk About Kevin”

We Need to Talk About Kevin” opens in movie theaters nationwide but there isn’t a movie theater within 50 miles of Hartford, Connecticut showing the film, and it’s not because the film is ‘bad.” In fact, the movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an 81% and the nearly 10,000 reviewers that have already seen it (as there was a limited release on Jan 13, 2012) gave the movie an even higher rating – 86%. So, why isn’t the movie opening up in every movie theater across America? Read more »