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BEAUTY AND ATTRACTION: A Novel ~Liz Rosenberg

Monday, October 31st, 2016
beauty-and-attention

beauty-and-attention

An Advanced Reader copy of this story arrived in my inbox and I just thought the cover of this book was a good first hook.  I found this story about a young woman in the 1950s to be very interesting and a good read.  The story is about a “freedom” which can manifest after a death; it is about how to express and explore this new stage in a time period known for being quite restrictive.

TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book for review.  It is a good read.

The precision of the writing truly pulled me into the story of Libby Archer, a  naïve, young woman living in Rochester, New York as her father has just died and left her an orphan.  Her aunt and uncle who live in Ireland ask her to come and spend time with them and she choses to do just that as her friends push her to get married to be cared for and a young, smart enterprising local fellow is hoping she will say yes.

The banter between her cousin, an English Lord, and Libby is quite remarkable and compelling as Libby is quite outspoken and feisty.  Libby has very few resources at her disposal except her wit, charm, and kindness.  Her rather narcissistic aunt takes charge of her future and introduces Libby to a fascinating friend.  There are trips to Paris for clothing and style and Libby is loosing herself with each chapter.  She becomes more and more molded into a rather pathetic person and then falls in love or is manipulated into a relationship, when in Rome.  Money has come her way and this makes her an even greater “mark”.   Death keeps signaling change in Libby’s life – and then in a surprise twist she takes hold and takes a new direction.  Makes it worthwhile to read to the very last paragraph.

I enjoyed the book and liked that it was short and to the point.  There was good context material, such as reference to the McCarthyism pervasive in the USA and the focus on the development of computers.   I so liked how the story ended.

“The author of more than thirty books for adults and young readers, Liz Rosenberg has published three bestselling novels, including The Laws of Gravity and The Moonlight Palace. She has also written five books of poems, among them 2008’s Demon Love, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and After Great Grief, forthcoming from the Provincetown Arts Press. Her poems have been heard on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. Rosenberg’s books for young readers have won numerous awards and honors and have been featured on the PBS television show Reading Rainbow. A former Fulbright Fellowship recipient, Rosenberg teaches English at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She lives in Binghamton with her daughter, Lily, and a shih tzu named Sophie. Although she has homes in New York and North Chatham, Massachusetts, her heart is still in Ireland.” (TLC book tours)

Liz Rosenberg Wikipedia

Related:
The Moonlight Palace
The Imaginary Life
The Time Travelers Boyfriend

OUTSIDE IN: A Bildungsroman *(coming of age) Novel ~Doug Cooper

Monday, April 28th, 2014

“OUTSIDE IN is a deep entertaining read about all the truths that find us when we’re looking the other way.”    Jerry Stahl – from the book cover.

OutsideInOutside In just brought me right back to my days in graduate school.  I thought about my study group and all the fellows arriving full of inhaled weed, cocaine, and passing around the beer all the while thinking they were being so clever, creative and intelligent.  I was the only woman in the group and the only person paying my full fees and I needed the information that these 6 privileged, affluent, East Coast males could provide me. Their dilemma was the Viet Nam War, emotional immaturity, and the inability to problem –solve.  I resisted reading this book and pushed it to the eleventh hour just because I felt stuck into that old situation – the teacher getting no credit or acknowledgement for skills.  I should have been paid a great deal of money over my career by the “inherited wealthy sons”  instead I am watching them manipulate the economy now and many are still emotionally vacuous and even meaner than they were 40 years ago.  Why would I want to read this book?

I persevered!  I am very glad I did, because the book had teeth and psychological piercings; there was no fluff attached.  Doug Cooper distilled 4 primary characters which prove to be  composites of some of the major problems facing our culture today and being masked by recreational or entertainment excesses and even Daddy’s money. “Jell-O” people, who strive for instant gratification and feel entitled just bore me. To me it appears that they have bypassed the meat and potatoes of life, the joy of recognizing mistakes and amazingly  the very stuff of who they are and what gives them meaning and depth.  I could see that there was hope for some enlightenment in a few of these characters.

Brad the primary character in the story is 28 year old junior high school math teacher, and he is put on leave from his position because a student dies of drug use and the parents blame him.  He is persuaded to head to Put In Bay Island to be a bouncer or “camp counselor” in a resort play land.   The participants are confined by their location, their heavy drinking, their exploration of drugs, and their constant almost 24 hours of daily play.  Addiction takes over the recreation and there is a need to figure out what comes next – they draw crisis to themselves over and over again – as any good novel would.

The book is smart and quite the read and if I were still teaching Psychology in college, I would add this book to the list and would get to teach all the big concepts and words in a great lecture about coming of age in America,  why maturity is so delayed, and how when the Inherited Wealth rules our world  we will have a new cultural dilemma to contend with; this is an important read.

When reading OUTSIDE IN, try to challenge yourself to figure out the emotional goal each of the characters represents. Do we actually understand responsibility – able to respond?   I think the historic context also plays a significant role in this capable study.

“Doug Cooper has traveled to over twenty countries on five continents, exploring the contradictions between what we believe and how we act in the pursuit of truth, beauty, and love.  He now lives in Las Vegas.  Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or at ByCooper.com.

After I wrote this review I went to several sites and blogs including what the author shares on his blog and it was a delight to read what others said.   I am so very pleased that I persevered.  It gave me a good workout – contemplation is good!

tlclogo  TLC Online Book Tours sent me a Kindle Copy of this great read.  At first appearances I was concerned that this book was all about drinking, drugs and excessive sexual behavior, as I arrived on the Put In Bay Island with Brad Shepard, I began to see that these were the young adult children who have not learned emotions, or problem-solving and are easily persuaded to mask what they need to be tackling and growing forward; they do not know how.  The author has captured this dilemma occurring in our culture at this time and given it a definition.  Some will awaken from this dream state – OUTSIDE IN is about those who figure it out –there is an epiphany.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few blossoms in my bouquet. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.

Sharing is good!

Related:
My Country Tis of Thee
The Moon Sisters
Short Leash
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

*The author introduced this word to me – It just rolled around nicely into my brain – Thank you. Bildungsroman

A New E-Book and It’s Free!

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Women at sunset

I love reading Silver & Grace the blog and the newsletter.   And now if you head over to this delightful space all about wonderful maturing women, you can read my words.  That’s right Eliza is publishing a free e-book today about Women Who Make a Difference, and I am one of those women in the book.

I have already downloaded my  copy and read every word about all the amazing women and what they have done to make a difference   – You can hop, skip and jump right over and get your copy right now – why wait?

Make A Difference Cover
Women Who Make a Difference

The book’s idea came from Taylor Mali’s YouTube Video about what it means to be a teacher.

So then I am left with a question or two for you:   Did you get your copy of the book?  Did you watch the video?   How do you make a difference?

I want to remind readers that on the right hand side of this page is the Harvest Potluck Cookbook, which is also a free e-book of the most loving recipes my blogging community could submit and my IT Girl put together.   It is also access to making a contribution to the United Nations Children’s Fund.  Hope you will check that publication out too – yummy!

Related Reading:
Hannah Coulter
Camel Pirouette
I Am Willing
What do Librarians Make?

Being Alive – Another Teacher Arrives

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Sunflower

As of late, I have something stuck in my head and it keeps rising up like the head of a sleeping snake.  There are moments when it hisses and prepares to strike.   I just get so upset when they come in the middle of the night.

It is not like the tune to a song or the lyrics to an advertising jingle, rather it is more a constant rehash of the offending statements made by a person in my community or in the media.

My newly elected representative to the House of Representatives keeps making these amazing statements that cause me to wake in the middle of the night and go over and over what she has said.   It makes me study her campaign website and her congressional site and to thoroughly read her response letters.

I can not find anything nice to say about her.  It is easy to see that she is conservative and feels empowered by her election to carry out her own agenda and claim it is representing this district.   She is definitely carrying out her own agenda and not even the Republican agenda (though it fits in her pocket nicely) but she is truly only representing herself and her own ideas.

That she is systematically bulldozing all the projects that I have worked on all my life, that she “hates” children, veterans, and immigrants  and anyone who needs assistance in their lives or a helping hand; in my humble opinion those are all straight-forward easy to witness ideas that will get her defeated in the next election cycle.  We have sent this kind of individualistic, self-serving person off to the Capital before and they have had a turn.  That is part of Democracy.

So what is bothering me and letting me choose to suffer and keep this individual in my mind?

My initial thought was that it was because she is flying under the wire and appears to be just fitting in with the conservative leadership, thus she is appearing to be a follower and can weave her web and work her plan rather away from the public eye.  That is troublesome but it is not IT.

My second thoughts centered on her being a rigid thinker.  Well over 50% of the adult population becomes “rigid” in their thinking as they grow older.  Yep even Liberals become rigid in their thinking capacity as they age; for that matter so do Radicals and Progressives.   So as scary as it is to have elected someone to office who is a rigid thinker so young, we know how to handle rigid thinking as a society – we often call it maturity or coming to our senses!

So I keep being harassed by this person and her words – and I keep choosing to be awakened in the night to crawl into the pain and suffering that my thinking keeps hissing at me.   It is alive within me.

This morning I understand what is niggling me and so deeply making me confront my aroused fears.   It is her HATE and the depth of her HATE that I can not abide.

It is hate wrapped up in sophisticated garb and a confident air.   It is hate that is masked by the power grabbing and confusion.   It is not boiling over in tantrums and noise, but it is there and it is making the HATE within me come alive and rise up.

When my children were small and I was teaching them about the world and some of the problems of the world, I would remind them of the feeling that they get inside when they hear a police siren or fire truck horn coming down the road.  I told them when they felt that feeling inside when they were with someone that is a warning; get away from that situation and give yourself space to sort it out away from that situation.  Get away. It is your inner self telling you that you might not be safe.

My life’s work is to work on being loving and kind.   So arrives my new teacher coiled and ready to strike.  Here is my next workout and my next fear to understand.
I must now confront my capacity and expression of Hate.

I need concentration and focus.  I am healing by exploring my hate.  I am choosing to change and grow; I am choosing to learn from this teacher.  I am choosing not to suppress this emotion into high blood pressure, heart attack or a stroke. I am choosing not to bury these feeling with food or distraction.

Do you confront or distract?  What do you do when something is alive within you?
Do you choose to beat it with a stick or simmer it on the stove?  What is it you are valuing and learning?   How do your teachers arrive?

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Related Reading you might enjoy:
To Life
Rest(less)
Red Fox – Good Morning
Increase Your Emotional IQ