A Literary Blog
about Books (and the occasional film) How
they affect us. How they shape our lives. Note:
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Nudge, Nudge. Wink, Wink I am an avid fan of Words With Friends, a fun Scrabble-like diversion played online with Facebook friends
and acquaintances – most of whom, like myself, don't take it all that seriously. But last night, I was "nudged"
after a day’s lapse in play by one of my opponents, which I found distastefully rude and disrespectful.
the uninitiated, "nudging" is prodding an opponent when a move hasn't been made in a specific length of time. The
interval used to be two days before a glaring orange "NUDGE" button appeared next to an opponent's name, which is
activated to send an impersonal, annoyingly upsetting email reminder. Zynga, the makers of WWF, has dropped the interval to
six hours, making it easy to constantly annoy other players. IMHO, however, the button shouldn't exist at all. I am neither
feeble-minded nor so irresponsible that I have to be reminded to create a word -- especially in a game I thoroughly enjoy
playing. When and if I have the time.
"Nudging" may be acceptable behavior to younger players, but not
to me. Especially when I politely asked the nudger via "Chat" not to do it again. The response? I was told to "resign"
and that I was a "poor sport" for taking so long to play. And that,
for reasons that should be obvious to the more polite and mannerly of us, I found to be more than just offensive. It is commonly thought that "Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink" started as a Monty Python "in
joke". But, believe it or not, it was used many times in one form or another by William Shakespeare. The most memorable
is in the first act of Romeo and Juliet when Juliet's nurse tries to cajole
her to come in off the balcony while being wooed by Romeo. "Anon, dear Nurse," Juliet says over and over again;
each time more annoyed than the last. And the nurse? She keeps right on nudging. Nudge. Nudge. Nudge. Geez! Leave the kid
alone! She’s old enough to know what she’s up to. And why. (Okay, so maybe she isn't…but that’s the
crux of the play, isn’t it?)
Okay, so let's segue into the question: Who is this nurse, anyway? The Bard
doesn’t tell us much about her except that her name is Angelica. Not much else. Now let's jump ahead 600+ years to last
month when Juliet's Nurse: A Novel by Lois Leveen was released. An almost exhausting and extensive retelling of the tale, this easily could be the definitive
answer; if nothing else, it is plausible, albeit imaginative.
My review of Leveen's account
is the www.authorexposure.com posting for October 9th. Okay, so I'm a few days late blogging about it. But I didn't think you'd mind. I am sure you kindly
understand that I was busy attending to other things. And because of this, at the very least you didn't nudge me. Wink. Wink.
I am allergic to bee stings. Not as
badly as I was a child, but still...I avoid at all costs all things apiary. One summer day when I was five, I was running
around barefooted in the backyard, frolicking in the blooming clover, and accidentally stepped on a bumble bee. Within minutes
my foot swelled up to the size of a small football and, suddenly having difficulty breathing, my Mom rushed me to the emergency
room where I got a stinging shot of anti-venom, another of antihistamine, and a huge bag of ice to quell the swelling. I was
back to semi-normal within a few hours. But the shots, the swelling, and the painful process of tweezing the deeply embedded
stinger out all hurt like hell.
So, when the opening scene of The Beekeeper's Ball , the second novel in the Bella Vista Chronicles by Susan Wiggs involved someone being assailed by a hive of angry bees,
I understandably cringed, remembering my first (but not the last) bee sting. Needless to say, I survived both the real sting
and after a few pages the eventually delightful first chapter, and soon found myself engulfed in the honeycombed passages
of this delectably delicious romantic literary novel.
as you know, when I enjoy a remarkably good book, I just have to share it with Betty, my tennis and reading buddy. Here is
her great “right-on” synopsis:
A romantic novel with beautiful
scenery! The story reminds you of[the] "fairy stories” you read
as a child. The heroine was known to have suffered at the hands of a villain and along comes the hero to rescue her. Only
this time she, the heroine, needed to be recued from the demons within that had convinced her she could never love again.
To see if the heroine and her hero do live “happily ever after” please buzz over to www.authorexposure.com and read my review. Then settle in with a copy and a mug of hot tea laced with honey.
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.
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:
Rainbow in the Sky
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.