Saturday, January 25, 2014

Two Historical Fiction Reads

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I was wary about reading this, since her last book "The Mermaid Chair", was such a flop.  I was hoping this was more on the level of "The Secret Life of Bees".  I was happy that I took the chance.

This story alternates between Hattie (Handful) a slave and Sarah Grimké , the daughter of a slave owner.  We watch both of these ladies grow from very young girls to mature women.  Handful is Sarah's slave.  Sarah does not want this, but as a young girl, she has no say.  Her father, who is a lawyer and judge, keeps Sarah from following in his footsteps.  We go through their lives, together and apart, and watch how they both 'sprout wings' and fly.

This type of Historical Fiction is Kidd's specialty.  Based on a true story, this telling is very compelling. 

This is an Oprah Book Club pick.  I usually read her picks, I've not been disappointed on the new books she brings to my attention.

News From Heaven by Jennifer Haigh

"News From Heaven: The Bakerton Stories" is a collection of short stories by the author of the novel "Faith." Most of these stories take place between the 1920s through the second World War. It revolves around a town in Pennsylvania called Bakerton (a mining town).  The town's population is overwhelmingly Polish.  A few of these stories deal with the Polish Christian and the Jewish people they have contact with.  One of my favorite stories is the first one. "Beast and Bird" is a story about a young Polish woman who goes to work as a maid for a Jewish couple in New York City.  However, all of the stories are very well written and interesting.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2nd Published Article

The Dos and Don'ts of Being an Adult Learner

Here is my 2nd published article with The Yahoo Network.

Please take the time and visit.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Published article


This is an article I wrote about my educational experience thus far.

If you recall, a few posts back, I went into rant mode about one of the on-line article publishing sites.  This is my first article with Yahoo, and so far, it has been a breeze.

So please check out my article.  It isn't long, it won't take you forever to read.


Friday, January 17, 2014


This is the reason I don't blog much. But as you can see, it was worth it. My GPA is 4.171. I really didn't expect it. I was going for a 4.0. Summa Cum Laude here I Come. LOL!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill
Directed/Produced:  Martin Scorsese
4.5 STARS!!

There are 2 reasons why I saw this movie (well 3, but I don't count the fact that my daughter is in love with Leo).

1.  I work on Wall Street.  I know the culture and appreciate movies that deal with it.  Some other movies I've seen that deal with Wall Street recently are Arbitrage and Margin Call.  However, I thought this movie Trumped those. 

This is based on the autobiographical book by Jordan Belfort.  It tells of his life from a runt on Wall Street to an extremely successful Wall Streeter.  But this success comes at a price, or in his case, several prices.

This movie was 3 hours long.  Although I didn't think it lagged anywhere.  Most of the story was very intriguing, or perhaps since I knew what they were talking about, it was more intriguing to me.

 2.  To prepare for this role, Leo, Jonah and Martin had to go to an Investment Bank and do some research.  On August 21, 2012 they did this research.  Yes that's right ladies...I got to breathe the same air, touch the same door knobs and walked on the same carpet as Leo.

So since they did their research at MY bank, I was obligated to see it!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Frustration with on-line article writing / Thoughts on Books

I thought I'd try my hand at posting some articles on line.  I looked around and people said that Triond was a good site.  I joined it and I am not pleased.  I submitted 2 articles yesterday and they declined it.  They said the content was already published on line.  OK...that may be so as I quoted someone else's article.  Although I gave them credit, it was not allowed.  They want only original content.  OK...I thought, fair enough.  So I posted 2 more articles that were 100% original content.  They came back automatically saying it was duplicate content that was elsewhere on the web.  So I searched the site to see if I was doing anything wrong.  I found that there is a certain way to submit etc.  So, I did everything right and guess what?  It still was declined.  I give up.  People say HubPages is better.  I will give them a try.  I'm not all about making money, although it is nice, I want to write articles to help people.  But Triond frustrated me to no end.  I wasn't the only one with this problem.  On the help/support page, every other post was the same thing...articles declined over and over and over.  So it seems to me, Triond doesn't know their butt from their elbow. 

The fall semester has ended.  I start the Spring semester on the 22nd.  I am looking forward to the new semester.  18 weeks of the same class can be tiring.  One of my classes is called The Art of Storytelling.  It will be the same teacher I had for The Short Story.  I found The Short Story class very interesting.  I'm not a short story reader, although I do read them, but I usually read a collection by the same author.  This class introduced me to authors I never read and stories I didn't know existed.  I enjoyed it.

I finally finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  I started this book in November 2011.  It took me so long because everything got in the way, mainly school and other books.  I enjoyed the beginning and the end, I found the middle to be extraneous for the most part. There were some important parts that moved the story along, but I grew bored.  The ending was classic King and I wished more of the book was like that.  I understand he was trying to do something different, but I think he needs to stick to horror.  I have read other non-horror books by him, and they were just OK.  It is a shame he is put into that box but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Here is the sad part. I've read 3 other Stephen King books before finishing this.  And he is my favorite author.  I'm giving this book 3.5 stars.

I recently finished The Leftovers by Tom Perrota.  It was a NYT notable book for 2011, and I read somewhere, they are going to make it into a TV Show or mini series or something.  My question is WHY?  It has an interesting premise.  Something akin to The Rapture occurs and this story examines what happens to the people who are left behind.  Some families are left to pick up the pieces of their lives as fathers, sisters and children just vanish one day.  Some deal with the
grief in ordinary ways, some in not so ordinary ways.  A cult like fraction starts up called "The Watchers". There job is to WATCH those who are left behind.  They are like the 'moral compass'.  It all sounds very intriguing, but the book didn't come off as such.  I give this book 3 stars.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The 2014 TBR Pile Challenge!

I really need to get through my TBR pile. I have books that have been in that pile for years. I need a kick in the bum in order for me to get to them. So I found some accountability. 2014 TBR Pile Challenge.
1. Lark Rise to Candleford - Flora Thompson
2. Someone Knows My Name - Robin Maxwell
3. The Cross Gardner - Jason Wright
4. Redfield Farm - Judith Coopey
5. The Stranger - Albert Camus
6. Family - J. California Cooper
7. Signora Da Vinci - Robin Maxwell
8. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
9. Honolulu - Alan Brennert
10. Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill
11. Clare - Susan Lynn Peterson
12. Last Exit to Brooklyn - Hubert Selby


A.  Demon: A Memoir - Tosca Lee
B.  Perfect Peace - Daniel Black

2014 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Please click the above link to participate.

Here are the details:

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

  • everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish)
  • add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review) 
  • any kind of historical fiction is accepted (HF fantasy, HF young adult,...)
  • During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:
20th century reader - 2 books
Victorian reader - 5 books
Renaissance Reader - 10 books
Medieval - 15 books
Ancient History - 25 books
Prehistoric - 50+ books

I am going to read 5 books for this challenge.  I already have 3 on my TBR list.

1.  The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
2.  News From Heaven: The Bakerton Stories by Jennifer Haigh
3.  Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
4.  Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
5.  Homer & Langley: A Novel by E. L. Doctorow

6.  The Waterworks by E. L. Doctorow

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A new year

Happy new year everyone. I always make resolutions, it is usually losing weight. That hasn't changed. However I'm going to have a goal, this year this year I plan to post to this block at least once a week if not more.
With me in school it is going to be hard but I plan to do it. I am going to delete my other blogs and concentrate just on this one.
I will be keeping my Tumblr account however that is mostly pictorial.
Today eyesore the secret life of Walter Mitty. I never saw the original however I did read the short story. This movie was way better than the short story. I highly recommend it.

Every New Year's day I see a movie this one is a five star movie. I hope not to see too many bad movies this year. I don't know what my reading will be like however.