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PRIVATE CITIZENS: A Novel ~Tony Tulathimutte

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

  • An Amazon “Best Book” of Month
  • A Buzzfeed “Most Exciting” Book of 2016
  • A Flavorwire “Most Anticipated” Book 2016

I was so lucky to be sent PRIVATE CITIZENS for review for TLC BOOK TOURS.  We started off by getting the tour dates mixed up and this book arrived before May.  This was okay and we rallied around to find a new spot for it.

Here’s what it said on the book cover:
“ From a brilliant new literary talent comes a sweeping comic portrait of privilege, ambition, and friendship in millennial San Francisco.  With the Social Acuity of Adelle Waldman and the murderous wit of Martin Amis, Tony Tulathimutte’s PRIVATE CITIZENS is a brainy, irreverent debut “ – This Side of Paradise for a new era.

“Private Citizens is a freak of literature – a novel so authentic, hilarious, elegantly plotted, and heartbreaking that I’d follow it anywhere.  Tony Tulathimutte is a singular intellect with an uncanny 40/20 vision on the world.”  – Jennifer duBois, author of Cartwheel and A Partial History of Lost Causes

Tony Tulathimutte is a very smart fellow
“Tulathimutte has contributed to AGNI, The Three Penny Review, The American reader, Salon, The New Yorker on line, and other publications.  A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and Stanford University, he has received an O. Henry prize, a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and the Michener- Copernicus Society of America Award.  He lives in New York.”

Hilarious, authentic, intelligent were the words that truly captivated me and to learn about the privileged young people who graduated from Stanford University, I was totally ready to read this book.  Four friends reconnecting, yes!  This sounds very good indeed.  I set aside a whole afternoon to start the read.   After 4 hours at it, I realized I had slept 90 minutes of my time away instead of reading.  I am too old to find bowel track humor very funny any more, I could not find humor at all instead I found the style very distracting and the 4 friends pathetic.

On the second session of reading, I engaged a bit with Cory the social activist as she connected with a cultish self-help seminar,  I could identify as my wishes and hopes were not being met early after graduation either and I fell pray to something like this situation.  When I had 75 pages left to read, I jumped to the last chapter and finished PRIVATE CITIZEN’s. I have no idea why one character needed eye surgery.  I did not care.  I felt rather hopeless about recent graduates and a kind of despair sticks with me as I begin reading the next book on the list.

I did not like this book and thought the drug usage, sex, and alcohol consumption were too big a focus for these whiney characters.  Wow not funny, not smart, and I find it sad that PRIVATE CITIZENS is so anticipated and folks are so excited about it – worrisome to me. All that privilege and such weak outcomes.  I am concerned for our future.

Tony Tulathimutte Website
Tony Tulathimutte Twitter
Tony Tulathimutte Facebook

Related:
A Visit From the Goon Squad
How To Be Alive
Liar
Memory Card Full

IN FLAMES: A Thriller ~Richard Hilary Weber

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

“We were all good examples, and at the same time casualties, of a hunger for easy profits edging inexorably around the globe, our goal specific if narrow, little more than simply cashing in.  Despite the rising heat, this grim insight made me shiver.” (Loc 595 of un-proofed e- copy)

IN FLAMES  is quite the story and it moves at lightening speed; the setting is the exotic island of San In’igo, AKA the jeweled paradise of the Caribbean and a monumental jungle, lots of clandestine ruminations and  peasant strife.  The first pages are about the arrival of our fair-haired boy from Princeton, Dan Shedrick, and his walk across the tarmac to his first architectural job and a journey that appears to be a rich boy’s survival sequence.

While most of his peers are job-hunting states side, Dan has found this yearlong internship with an oil company and a foot in the door to his wealth and fortune.  Elaine the naughty bad girl finds Dan right away and he moves from the National Hotel to a country club site with lots of his cronies.  He runs, swims, works the drawings of the new wharf and drinks rum by the gallons.

He is offered a part-time job at the new Art Gallery in exchange for some spying and information sharing.  It is at the gallery where he meets an interesting Ex- Communicated Priest, who flares Dan’s curiosity and interest in the attached characters in the story.   At a club party , a very popular radio entertainer is murdered  and during the night the club’s owner and Elaine’s husband dies of a heart attack and the story quickens pace because Dan holds a clue and evidence to the murder.

Add the Island fortuneteller and a whole section of battling the jungle when trying to escape the kidnappers and we are roped into an amazing adventure and tons of insects.  This story has lots of appeal and is a very quick read.  I can visualize lots of folks enjoying this story on their daily commute or just to unwind after a busy day.

There is a great deal of escape in the story and even though there is a clear formulation, the premise is catchy and every young man dreams of making his fortune the easy way, accompanied a sexy girl, and with lots of money involved.  How about CNN making footage of a young man’s survival story?

Oh yes!  Some bad girls are amazingly successful and smart; some turn out to be just another pretty face.

TLC Book Tours  sent me this thriller for review and it provided a great escape and a quick trip to an island paradise.

About the Author (from book cover)

Richard Hilary Weber is a native Brooklynite- Park Slope Born and bred – and a Columbia Grad.  He’s taught at the universities of Stockholm and Copenhagen, has been a scriptwriter for French and Swedish filmmakers, among them Claude Berri and jBo Widerberg, and now lives in Provence, France.

www.richardhilaryweber.com

Related:
Ayesha Ryder
Ayesha Ryder: American Treasure 
A Beautiful Heist
Supreme Justice 

DARING GREATLY: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead ~Brene’ Brown

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013


I am a reader and life practitioner who just wants the best for people and I feel DARING GREATLY is one of the best reads and guides I could possible share with you.   I believe Brene’ Brown is defiantly on to something great and good for humankind’s best interests and outcomes.

I have reviewed Brown’s other major work The Gifts of Imperfection and was drawn into her research modes and interpretations.  Yes, I could find my own self and struggles in her words. I was not ashamed to look at my own feelings of shame, those times when I block my feelings of vulnerability, and I was challenged to evaluate my words and actions improving my outcomes and resilience.  I liked her fine-tuned definitions of words and responses; I could certainly understand how they made a difference in our conversations.  I have watched her TED TALKS numerous times, and listened to her full interview on the radio program ON BEING at least 3 times.  I have great praise for Brown’s ability to explain her data and what she understands in such incredibly human terms, so that all of us can comprehend and find useful her lessons.

In DARING GREATLY, the author has taken her research further by adding men to the studies and more interviews and by teaching and leading numerous workshops which have honed her vast knowledge into even more expository and useful words.  DARING GREATLY is a useable workbook not only for social workers but for anyone who looks to be a parent, a teacher, a human in a loving relationship and/or a leader.  This book pinpoints our control issues and politics – actually, it covers just about every way we as a people keep our actions from matching our values.

“Blaming, gossiping, favoritism, name-calling, and harassment are all behavior cues that shame has permeated a culture.”

I found myself releasing old feelings about my childhood and forgiving myself for my imperfect parenting skills when reading DARING GREATLY.   I firmly believe that children are hardwired for struggle and adversity and those are the tools which assist us in learning to be shame resilient and wholehearted people. (Author’s terminology)

This book can change lives and has changed lives and I recommend this book to everyone.  DARING GREATLY is a gift of change and an innovative approach to being the best that one can be – INSPIRING.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few blooms for my bouquet.  Thank you.

This book is from my own library and I thought it was worth sharing with you.  I have already created a workshop using the information gained from Brene’ Brown’s work.

“I am Enough!”  

From Powell’s review page:
”Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. An award-winning teacher and speaker, she is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t). Her groundbreaking work has been featured widely in the media, including a PBS special.”

TED TALK on Vulnerability
FACEBOOK

Related Reading:
The Gifts of Imperfection
The Wisdom to Know the Difference
When Women Were Birds
Search Inside Yourself

Morning Light is Revealing – II

Monday, April 8th, 2013

On March 23rd, 2009, I posted this post.  The spring light has been so revealing this year, I am busy painting the kitchen and using this Spring Energy Boost to clean out file drawers, cabinets, cupboards and simplify.  I thought I would share an oldie but goodie from the last time I felt this need to lighten up.     Ode to the joy of change!  Enjoy

********

Window Box

Window Box

Spring and summer the morning light enters my kitchen windows at just the right angle to reveal every drip, smear and dust particle on all the cabinets and appliances. The splashes above the sink look like sparkling tear drops on the window.

The morning light is so revealing and it inspires me to get into the corners and drawers to clean all the nooks and crannies.

Twice a year at our house, the sun rise comes right out of the top of the snow -capped mountain peak directly east of us. It the clouds are not overcast we get the sun’s rays as a wake-up call. It is so delightful to just stay in bed and feel the shine move across your body.

The dogs and cats we have shared life with could always be found in morning pools of sun on the floors- contentment napping.
The yoga studio I went to when pregnant was bathed in sunlight in the morning hours, and the salute to the sun pattern always felt an entirely appropriate and understandable movement in that space.

Morning walks are always towards the sun, sun at my back, sun to my side as I complete the circle of the Lake. It just feels right.

Journal writing, prayers, and meditations are done in the east window in the morning and I notice my note pad with “mind- wanders” is quite full in the morning as compared to the evening light. Problems from the night before seem to find resolution in the first light.

Yes, I spent years of my life getting up, going to work, getting children off to school, volunteering, and being hyper busy in the morning hours. It did not diminish my revelations in those first efforts.

For me I think it is the end of the darkness, the feeling my way around, that helps me see the light; let it shine. There is clarity and a celebration that the dawn has preceded.

What are your best moments of revelation? When do you know if you have seen the light?
Do you have a favorite story surrounding the light? Please Share, I look forward to your comments.

If you purchase anything from Amazon  or Powell’s   from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading I invite you to explore:
Red Fox – Good Morning
Poser
My Heart is Strong and Misshapen
Walking a Puppy – Meditation