A Literary Blog
about Books (and the occasional film) How
they affect us. How they shape our lives. Note:
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Thursday, August 21, 2014
History Lesson Sometimes reading and reviewing a novel is like completing a school assignment. You know, the dreaded book reports we
all had to write for English Literature. I, for one, wrote so many of them in high school and college that writing reviews
now comes naturally to me. And most of the time, I enjoy the process and, of course, the writing. Not like cut and dry school
assignments at all. But there are rare times when doing so becomes an onerous chore. Reading and reviewing Notes from Underground by Roger Scruton is one of them.
In essence, this novel set in Prague on the cusp of the Czechoslovakian rebellion in the 1970s is supposed to be a love story. But, in reality, it is a dogmatic history lesson.
One must dig deep to find, enjoy, and savor the romance. This is by no means a pan, but a cautionary observation. If you're
looking for a novel that both instructs your mind as well as moves your heart, then you just might enjoy this often difficult
Your lesson for this week is to bus yourself on over to www.authorexposure.com, read my review, and then read Scuton's literary offering. Writing and handing in a book report is optional.
Mr. Big Great things come in smal packages. And sometimes small, wonderful things comes in large ones. Like Charles Stratton,
also known as Tom Thumb, who, as the smallest guy in the world, was the biggest attraction in P.T. Barnum's American
Museum in New York.
You may already know this, but did you also know that he was an international spy during the
Civil War? Well, maybe not tin real life...but in Nicholas Rinaldl's novel, The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb, he was. And a whole lot more.
This is a fascinating novel which I had the pleasure of reviewing for www.authorexposure.com. Please read my comments and then pick up a copy. It's one of the bigger reads of the year.
Flying High While
a good novel can stand on its own merits, sometimes it becomes much better when its reader – and, in this case, its
reviewer – knows the author. Such is the case with Waiting in the Wings, the last novel in Jeanette Vaughan's Flying Solo trilogy about intrepid aviatrix Nora Broussard.
I had the pleasure
of chatting with Jeanette last year when her first novel, Flying Solo, was released. She relayed a bit of the writing background of the story of a daring woman in New Orleans in the 1960s who,
against all odds, learns to fly. In the process, she falls in love with her flight instructor and life, well, life becomes
a stormy cloud with a thin silver lining. In the second, Solo Vietnam, Nora braves the worst of the conflict to find MIA Steve. Both were excellent reads. All the more so because I was able to
learn first-hand from their author the backstage information that lead to her writing them.
Now, in Waiting in the Wings, Jeanette brings to light yet another twist in Nora's exciting life: the story of the child whom she had out of wedlock and
was forced to give up for adoption. Steve, of course, is the father. But what happens to Jena is an eye-opening emotionally
charged glimpse into what it is really like to be an adopted child in search of her birthmother.
An adoptee herself, Jeanette's third literary offering is a heartwarming
and truly heartfelt story that should be on everyone's reading list. Please wing your way over to www.authorexposure.com to
read my review and then fly straight away to your nearest bookstore. This novel will have, as it did mine, your spirits soaring.
Enough is Enough My father used to say, "Make what you have do." Meaning that one should be content with what one has. Akin
to "If you can't be with the one you love, then love the one you're with."
When I was younger, I did
not always subscribe to his philosophy, always seeking a better apartment, the latest "fully loaded” model car,
the most stylish – and often the most expensive – outfit to wear. But now that I am getting older and forced to
live on a limited retirement income...Well, perhaps my wise and wonderful father was right. The old convertible just needs
a good detailing. My old laptop still chugs and whirs along as I blog and write my second novel. No need to move or replace
anything. At least, not yet.
See? I am making what I have to be sufficiently enough. And I am perfectly content.
Not, however, like Rita Carmichael in All We Had , the debut novel of visual artist turned author, Anne Weatherwax. Unable to pull herself up out of poverty by the straps
of her four-inch high heels Rita, the main protagonist, schleps her thirteen-year-old daughter, Ruthie, across country in
search of a better life. Just outside a small town in upstate New York, their old car dies. And it is only a cast of delightfully
quirky characters who can save Ruthie from a homeless childhood and Rita from herself.
Due to be on bookshelves
tomorrow, All We Had is one of those end-of-summer reads that you must take along on vacation or settle in with on a hot, lazy Sunday afternoon.
I had the privileged to read and review for www.authorexposure.com an advanced copy the second week in June. So far, this is one of the better captivating stories that I've read this season.And if there is only one novel you have time to read this month
(besides Forty-Thirty, of course!), then make it this one.
A River Runs Through It In my friend Betty's words, journalist Wendy Wallace's second novel,
The Sacred River , "is a story of three women seeking redemption: Harriet,
a daughter, from physical death to life; Louisa, her mother, from the lust of life and youth to forgiveness; and Aunt Yael,
from a purely spiritual life to a life of humane goodness".
Set in Egypt during the Victorian era, this is
an elegantly written novel which I had the pleasure to read and review for www.authorexposure.com. Please take the time to follow the link and read my comments, and then add The Sacred River to your summer reading list. It is an historical, pseudo-gothic novel that shouldn't be missed.
J. McInerney is an author, poet, and librettist.
currenty published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations, two volumes of poetry, stories for children (of all ages) and a variety of
children's musicals. Her titles include:
Meditations for New Members
of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A
Collection of More Spiritual Poems
We Three Kings
Beauty and the Beast
Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding
Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She
is currently working on her first novel.