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THE THING ABOUT GREAT WHITE SHARKS and other stories ~Rebecca Adams Wright

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

“These are ceaselessly inventive stories, witty, wry, and wondrous, by turn, and all graced with an emotional sincerity that ensure they never dip into mere whimsy.  This is speculative fiction with both a head and a heart.”  -Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl. (From the cover)

THE THING ABOUT GREAT WHITE SHARKS and Other Stories is that it is a collection of fine boned stories that connect in the present moment, while drawing close history and future into the reader’s comprehension while evolving into a truly original possibility.

I grabbed the Uncorrected, Unproofed book as I was heading for a doctor’s appointment.  One more stories and one more test turned into an incredible 9 hour waiting event and THE THING ABOUT GREAT WHITE SHARKS held my attention through each test and waiting for an outcome.  The stories grabbed hold of the mind’s eye and held on until the story stopped.  The stories swirled around in my head while sleep was induced and pain relieved.  My advocate perused the stories while I rested.

The chapter titles caught my attention:

  • Sheila
  • Tiger Brigh
  • What to Expect When You’re expecting an Alien Parasite
  • Orchids
  • Melville loves Hawthorne
  • The Other Husband
  • Barnstormers
  • The Space We Share
  • Poland, 1952
  • Keeper of the Glass
  • Yuri, in a Blue Dress
  • Storybag
  • The Thing about Great White Sharks
  • Aleph Bat
  • The White Chalk Road

How amazing would it be to be flying in an ornithopter in an air show and to know that you just saved your teams future by flying a new and dangerous configuration?  How hard would it be to give up your dog companion and good friend because the law said it was to be done? How would you rationalize or explain a school locker turning in homework after the student died?

I was very pleased to be reviewing these stories for TLC Book Tours so I could share them with you.   I did not like every story in the book with equal delight and yet the book got me through a difficult day with the clever, heartfelt writing

About the author from TLC web page:

“Rebecca Adams Wright is a 2011 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop and a former University of Michigan Zell Writing Fellow. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan and has won the Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prize. Rebecca lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her husband and daughter.”

Rebecca Adams Wright Facebook
Rebecca Adams Wright Website 

Related:
What the Zhang Boys Know
Flings
No Longer And Not Yet 
Half As Happy Stories 

Unfinished Business: One Man’s Extraordinary Year of Trying to do the Right Things ~Lee Kravitz

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

unfinished business

Unfinished Business is a wonderful autobiography of a man’s life.  It is one of those new life stories that just picks one aspect of the life and then tucks in other pieces of the journey as necessary to complete the picture.  Lee Kravitz is working with the question of what are aspects of his life that he has been ignoring because of current endeavors; which of these items would make the meaning of his life more worthwhile if he gave them some attention and resolution.

He is an admitted workaholic journalist, who had a top of the line position in the powerful eastern seaboard of the USA.  He was married later in life and he was letting his wife do most of the parenting while working hard and long at keeping their finances secure and forthcoming.  Then he was “let go” with a good severance package in the economic downturn.  His wife persuaded him to go to a meditation retreat and with her support he decided to take a year to uncover and complete some of the unfinished business in his life.

author

Gail Sheehy begins the foreword, “Lee Kravitz loved his work.  He lived it.  It was not only his identity, it was his demon.  Like many men in high-powered careers, his mind was almost always occupied by his work, even if his body was at home or on vacation.”

Kravitz compiled a list of important connections to remedy in his life and settled on the top ten.  He also wanted to find more time to spend with his children and free up his wife to focus on her own business she was creating.  This top ten seemed as though it was a list that could be completed.

1.Finding a long lost relative
2.Making a condolence call
3.Repaying a long overdue debt
4.Reaching out to a distant friend
5.Letting go of a grudge
6.Seeking spiritual guidance from a mentor
7.Taking the road not taken
8. Healing family wounds
9.Eulogizing a loved one
10.Keeping a promise

My favorite quotes about Kravitz journey came from his mentor, who it turns out just may have been a mentor to me, when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio during my high school years!

“Love takes work.  It demands that you put yourself in the shoes of another person- and understand where that person is coming from – before you speak or act.”

“Love of this sort can be inconvenient, unpleasant, and costly.”      Tony Jarvis

I think we are going to be seeing quite a few more of this style of book in the market place in the near future.  I have dubbed them the Boomer Generation Manuals:  how to change gears and move forward in life as the rules and paradigms change; often written by out of work and what to do next folks.

This book does include a study guide for book groups and a how to start and work on your own UNFINISHED BUSINESS guide.    For more information one can go to the book site and share your own personal stories and get tips on how to get started.

This book was written by a journalist, who has a beautiful command of the English language and uses his words with style and grace.   It is a very nice book to read.   I think it could inspire many individuals to take care of their own UNFINISHED BUSINESS and to connect graciously with their family and friends.  I can envision support groups and study groups gathering around this topic similar to the Voluntary Simplicity Movement

I rate this book 5-Ladybugs

Two more thoughts about this book:  First, I was very happy that I squeezed in three novels between reading the list of self-help books I have been reviewing lately and secondly, I would like to know where Mr. Kravitz is working now after he lost his job and his “take” on ageism in the workplace – as not all of us are going to get good severance packages.

I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury-Walker & Co. publishers and am participating in the TLC Online book tours.    If you purchase this book from my site via Amazon I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

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Have you got some unfinished business that you need to take care of as you age?

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Related Reading:

The Wisdom To Know the Difference
The Courage to Be Free
The Love Ceiling
What Should I Do With the Rest of My Life