Day: June 29, 2018

Book Review: Over the Hill on Yellow Brick Road by Cathi Turow

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Creativity has always been the most important aspect of a writer’s success in my humble opinion. Sometimes it’s the golden balance of wit and truth that make a book stand out among others in its genre. When a bloggerCathi Turow, I’ve been following published a book, Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road: Growing Older with Silliness, High Spirits and a Lot of Heart, earlier this year, I marked it as something to look into over the summer. Well summer arrived, and I found myself with a copy of something that sounded like a cross between almost everything. There’s a bit of truth in this off-beat and off-the-beaten-path (oh, that’s kinda funny when you think about the title) of a memoir (if I may borrow from Turow’s blog) combined with the sarcasm and humor of a well-written writer. And it makes sense given a former role was writing for television and children. So why not combine all of these things together in a ~100-page sorta-picture book filled with fantastic themes, imagery, advice and challenges, right?

yellow

Turow’s book was a surprise. I knew what it covered before I dove in, but the world she’s created is admirable and endearing. You’ve heard all the nursery rhymes. You’ve listened to all the corny advice people share about growing older. But you’ve never quite heard it all tied together like this… a mom learning to adjust to the next phase in her life goes for a walk but is swept adrift to a faraway land. She wants only to get home, but at the same time, she feels compelled to help those around her in this land. Sometimes she’s offering the same advice she had once needed or had given to her, but in others, the quirky and memorable characters (don’t even get me started on the cute google-eyed pictures) show her a different way of looking at things. I don’t like to spoil a book, but there’s 1 story that will make you want to take a chance on this book… think of the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. What if she was a sudden empty-nester and considering downsizing? Should she choose a sandal? Or a glove? Or maybe something totally different? Yep, that’s the marvelous tone set for this book from the beginning. And what a fun read it was!

Less than 2 hours, a comfy couch, a glass of seltzer, and I’m laughing my you-know-what off for a while. But then we get to a certain truth about a certain 4-letter word, and I just lost it for a few minutes. Even Baxter (the 15-week puppy I just got) cocked his head and looked at me like I’m crazy. Crazy like a fox, I said… or at least the author is. She’s on to something quite good here and I can’t wait to see what journey unfolds with the next book she’s planning. For now, take a gander at her blog — you’ll LOVE it.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Watching the Daisies by Brigid P. Gallagher

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I began following a blog entitled Watching the Daisies earlier this year shared by Brigid P. Gallagher and discovered she’d also written a book, Watching the Daisies: Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow, a few years ago. I purchased Ms. Gallagher’s holistic memoir last month and dropped it into my reading queue this week. It came at a great time and helped provide a few clear reminders we should all remember when things get too complex or tough.

Life can be difficult, especially when we encounter illness, pain, and death. It can also be wonderful when we meet new friends, fall in love, or share our days with family. Ms. Gallagher covers it all in this ~50 year memoir of many key events that occurred in her life. One of the biggest impacts I felt from reading her personal insights and history is an acute awareness of how lucky many of us are to have little to no physical pain or be raised by two loving parents who hadn’t died young. The author spent lots of time in hospitals, surgeries and doctors trying to diagnose symptoms that ultimately took a rather long time to discover. Along the path, Gallagher shares her home remedies for dealing with the pain, both mental and physical, as her career develops and she travels throughout the world studying and learning about different medicines, approaches and healing powers. I enjoyed reading about the path she took and felt sadness and happiness with each of her own ups and downs.

From losing family members she loved, to moving back and forth from Ireland and Scotland, to adopting and saying goodbye to many pets, Gallagher shares all the occasions in life that help craft who we are as people. We can face our obstacles with our head held high or sneak away letting no one help us. Gallagher teaches us about medicinal, herbal and other holistic healing options, teases us with trips we want to take in the future, and offers ideas to explore in our own lives on how to be happier and healthier. I next saw the bravery in this woman for not only living through many of the ordeals she’s experienced but in sharing them with readers like me who may have little or no knowledge about the difficulties of a disease or the unknown forces impacting our bodies.

The book is an easy-read with memoir moments, teaching opportunities, and whimsical thoughts. Some hit home for me, others were just a laugh or a nod of my head in acknowledgement of what the author’s been through. In the end, it’s the kind of book where you have a few hours to breathe the same air as someone else, learning how she would deal with all the curves and fun being thrown at her. Stepping out of my own shoes is always a good thing as it helps provide perspective and alternative opinions and ideas. Kudos to Gallagher for sharing such a wonderful life journey with us… I can only hope she’ll share the second half of her life sometime in the future as it sounds like she’s got a lot more planned as accomplishments.
daisy

If you enjoyed this review and think the author and/or book are for you, definitely check our Brigid’s blog as her insight and voice are a wonderful addition each week. You can find life lessons on the importance of slow and a whole lot more @ Watching the Daisies.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Children’s Books Readathon – August 2018

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Thank you to everyone for all their wonderful input into the proposed Children’s Books Readathon. Based on the majority, we will launch in August 2018, but I will have everything wrapped up to select the books and authors who will help promote in the next two weeks so you can read the books in July if August is a busier month for you. Details will be released in the coming days where you can vote to select which books or sign up to share special posts on your own children’s books if you’re an author. For now… I’ve setup a dedicated page you can bookmark to see updates or any posts I share in the near future. First set of guidelines and dates listed below!

***

Welcome to the Children’s Books Readathon held in August 2018. Join in the fun to read between 8 and 12 books in August 2018 and share your reviews with the group. Don’t worry about the count of books, as (1) you can read only the ones you want and (2) some are less than 25 pages! On this page are all the key posts and you can click on each link to see the overview, guidelines and reviews for the different weeks and winning books.

Children's Books Readathon - August 2018

  • Overview
  • VOTE in the POLL (July 1st thru 15th, 2018)
  • Winning Books & Date to Read By
    • Picture Books – 8/4 to 8/10
    • Award Winners – 8/11 to 8/17
    • Young Adult – 8/18 to 8/24
    • Authors Who Blog – 8/25 to 8/31
  • Participating Blogs & Reviews
    • Dates above are Saturdays to kick off the start and reviews posted the following Friday

 

Please Note: All the details are being posted in early July, 2018… keep checking back regularly for more updates and details.

*** PRIOR POST DETAILS ***

Hi… So, I’m back from vacation and ready to plan the Children’s Books Readathon. Given that there’s less than 2 weeks before July is here, I’m wondering if August would be better to give us enough time to thoroughly plan the authors, books and posts. If you’re interested in participating, please leave some thoughts in the comments on this post regarding:

  1. Who wants to join?
  2. Do you prefer July or August?
  3. What children’s books and authors should we read?
  4. Are there any children’s book authors who want to host (Q&A, offer giveaway, discuss your books, etc.) 1 of the 4 weeks to help promote their works?

Let me know by Sunday, June 24th and we’ll see what we can get scheduled! Thanks.

***

What’s that saying… “Idle hands are the…” Never mind. I’m apparently not content unless I’m dreaming and planning content for the upcoming months. It’s not enough that I have two books I’m trying to market, still in the middle of the very successful and extraordinarily fun Agatha Christie Readathon, nor that I’ll be out of the country for three weeks and still trying to finalize the initial posts for all three new blog segments I’m launching, but I decided today that I want to host another Readathon. When I thought through something that might appeal to a wider variety of readers and bloggers, as well as help offer some marketing and promotional opportunities for fellow authors, I feel in love with the idea of holding a “Children’s Books Readathon” in July 2018.

My Next Readathon

If you’re unfamiliar with the Christie Readathon, follow the link from the first paragraph. A group of fans and Christie-newbies held a poll to pick four (4) Agatha Christie books, then we read one each week in April and post a review on the last day of the week. Two down, two remaining so far… everyone can comment and re-blog, but we wanted to share our love the Grande Dame. I’m thinking of hosting these Readathons quarterly, but I’ve pulled together some ideas for one focused around Children’s Books. Once upon a time, I went to school to become a teacher. I wanted to focus on middle school, and also majored in English, so I have read tons of children’s books. I also wrote tons of curriculum and pulled together lots of teacher lessons for reading in the elementary school courses. Some thoughts below on how we could make this shine:

  • We read 2 or 3 children’s books each week. It may sound like a lot, but they are relatively short and we all need a break from lengthy tomes. This may help some of us reach our Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge goals!
  • We split the children’s books into 2 categories:
    • A: Authors we read in the past that we’d like to share
    • B: Current authors with blogs we follow to help with promotion
  • We follow the same pattern with 6 days to read, 1 day to post.
  • We ask the current authors to share a post on my blog that everyone can also re-blog to help market their books. Maybe the authors will have a GIVEAWAY, offer ARCs of something new coming out, or some other fun promotion to make this interactive.

These are just high-level ideas. Everyone could share posts on award winners, picture versus chapter books, ways to engage kids in reading. I’m open to everything that highlights children’s books and helps excite people to spread the word on our fellow bloggers and authors. Throw some suggestions out in the next two weeks. My goal is to wrap up a plan and get this scheduled and coordinated before I leave on vacation in mid-May. We’ll hold a poll and vote on which books to read and review just like before. Target would be in July 2018 to give everyone (authors and readers) ~2 months to plan, purchase, read and prepare.

Who’s in?

 

July TBR

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In the hopes I can control my all-too-frequent impulse purchases and agreements to read new books, I started a new monthly segment on my blog where I list all the books I will read in the upcoming month. I hope that having something written, where I can be held accountable, helps me keep from increasing the TBR until I clear off many books I already want to read. I am going to plan 8 books each month, which is in-line with my 2018 Goodreads challenge to read in total 104 books (two per week). I’m already up to 90 books read at the 6-month mark, so I think I’ll finish it in July if I read some extras. I also am almost through all the books I actually own or have downloaded, so I will be ready to start picking new books in August from my TBR that I don’t already have! That said, let’s dive into next month’s planned reads…

What am I planning to read in July 2018?   8 Books!

 

What did I read in June 2018?   18 Books!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.