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A PARIS ALL YOUR OWN: Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light ~Edited by Eleanor Brown

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Sometimes magic just happens with perfect timing!!!!

Karen Fink at Penguin Random House emailed me and asked if I would like to review A PARIS ALL YOUR OWN.  Her promo email just made me say yes.  At first I could not do the review until September and the book was being released on July 4, 2017,Karen reluctantly said that would be fine.  Then I had a cancellation,  Karen overnight-ed the book – it was destiny.

A PARIS ALL YOU OWN arrived just days before the ‘post’ date of the review and I cancelled everything to read it from top to bottom.  I wish I had time to read it again right now – it was just a lovely read; each page perfectly done and the stories just right.   I was in a state of bliss and I felt as though I had traveled to Paris myself a wish that has just not been meant to be granted for me.

From cover to cover 17 bestselling authors share their experiences of Paris and the City of Light with the reader.  Some essays are romantic, some are profound, one or two are about how awful the trip was and the writer needed recovery and return.  One historic writer told about the research that she completed to write her one story about Paris and that was fascinating.  I learned about how writers can bypass the lines and get into museums with no waiting and how important mother-daughter adventures and explorations can be at different ages.

“…with a glass of wine”

Each essay ends with a group of questions answered by the essay author and a reference to her book about Paris and a way to connect with her, along with a brief bio.  I just could not get enough and I felt like I was there – truly in the City of Light.

That one of the writer’s mentioned Kouign Amanns  (pronounced Queen Amen) was totally able to bring me to unglued! and delighted to the max because next to raspberries this is my most favorite food on the planet.  I have never been to Paris, though had a near miss one time, and I never find anyone who has eaten these buttery delights.  Oo La La!!!

“Perfect for armchair travelers and veterans of Parisian pilgrimages alike, readers will delight in these brand new tales from their most beloved authors.”

“ELEANOR BROWN is the New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of The Weird Sisters, hailed by People magazine as “a delightful debut” and “creative and original” by Library Journal.  She teaches writing workshops at The Writer’s Table in Highlands Ranch, CO, and at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, CO, as well as writing conferences and centers nationwide.  An avid Cross Fit participant, Eleanor is the author of WOD Motivation and a contributor to CrossFit Journal. Born and raised in the Washington, D. C. area, Eleanor lives in Colorado with her partner, writer J.C. Hutchins.”

Eleanor Brown
Eleanor Brown
Eleanor Brown Twitter:  @eleanorwrites

Just a Note:
I read a book review in Slate magazine right before I read this book.  It was for a new book destined to be a bestseller and it was 1500 to 3000 words long and took me 35 minutes to read and then check back about several references and paragraphs of the emotions shared by the writer and the book author.  I now do not feel like I ever need to purchase that book or read all 356 pages of it.  Here at Patricia’s Wisdom I want my reviews to entice you to pick up and read this book, I want you to become interested in the topic and the writing and the tale being told.  I work to limit my words to 500 about the book and connections to the author for you to explore.  I don’t want to have you not need to read the book – I just wish to be positive about someone’s “baby” and have the reader think – Yes, that is something I want to read.

Related:
All the News I Need
Upstream
A Tale for The Time Being

I REGRET EVERYTHING: A Love Story ~Seth Greenland

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

“I don’t know that poets will ever have a public role again but for me poetry is something that must be read closely because the finest work demands a radical empathy.” (Unproofed, uncorrected copy page 91)

I REGRET EVERYTHING is a story I highly recommend to all readers.  Written by a poet and satirist, this novel is compact and complete in expressing it’s theme; the words are silken and clever all at the most wonderful pace.  The vulnerability, which is expressed between these two characters, is heart opening and magical in ways that make the reader empathize and want to know that depth of connection.

Jeremy Best is an estate lawyer in a huge firm in NYC; he wanted to be a writer/poet but his graduate school advisor damaged that possibility. He made poetry his secondary career and had several poems published in notable periodicals.  He had his life all planned out and safe, hoping to make partner in the firm and had not found a life partner at age 33.

Spaulding, the boss’s daughter, is 19 and has been in boarding school in Europe, came home and tried to commit suicide. She needs to be under care and on medications if her divorced parents have their way.  She would like to be a writer and a poet and while working at her father’s law firm she discovers that Mr. Best is a published poet.  She who is quirky and shy begins a friendship with Mr. Best and they text poetic lines to each other as she works on life and figuring out where she needs to be to go forward with her dream.

“By the time he finished the cake he was less vexed.  It’s truly amazing the power of knowing someone, somewhere, is willing to listen to you for free, to know you’re less alone than you think.  Isn’t that what everyone with a beating heart really wants?  To know they’re not alone.  When it started to get dark and I told him he had to go back to Connecticut he was too tired to argue.  We returned to my apartment to get his suitcase.”  Spaulding to younger step brother Marshall (Page 251)

I know that all good poetry needs to be read a number of times, as with this story.  There is so much to enjoy and one reading will not resolve all the dynamics into an evolution of thought or action.  I do not think I would like to see this story made into a movie the words are so crucial for me and the producers would change it into a plain old love story – banal and trite.   The words are so important – wondrous.

What does it mean to be alive?  What is this reference to no regrets at death and yet these evolved characters are having lives full of regrets and control?  The discovery of authentic self is dynamic at any age; toss in humor and WOW.

TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book for review and I am thankful.

About Seth Greenland (from TLC page)
Seth Greenland is a novelist, playwright, and a screenwriter. He was a writer-producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO series Big Love, is an award-winning playwright, and the author of the novels The Angry Buddhist, The Bones, and Shining City, which was named a Best Book of 2008 by the Washington Post. Greenland lives in Los Angeles with his family.
Seth Greenland Online
Seth Greenland Wikipedia

Related:
The Divorce Diet 
US 
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 
The Courage to Be Free 

THE HOURGLASS: a novel ~Sharon Struth

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed reading THE HOURGLASS and found it to be an interesting story line full of good characters.  I have to admit I was ready to move beyond the romance genre when I began this book and was pleased when I found this read to be a bit more thoughtful and stimulating a premise and not just great escape reading.

Sharon Struth has sent out into the world her first novel and she has done a good job and written well.  Her main character presents a good description of a strong individual who is healing from a crisis and yet still suffering from the questions which linger after a huge life changing event.  She needs to find answers in order to forgive herself and move forward.  Brenda McAllister is taking the first steps back into her life a year after her husband has committed suicide.  She is at a book conference to share her 2nd self-help book about relationships as she is a very successful relationship therapist and author.

In THE HOURSGLASS Struth has included those moments where Brenda feels doubt about herself and questions her authority; whether or not her clients will trust her again.  I thought this was well stated and played out as Brenda re-enters her world and literally bumps into her protagonist.   Brenda also understands how when one is in recovery one’s guard is often let down and new vulnerabilities emerge.  Brenda is in a weak position as she tries to unravel her husband’s motives and intentions; she is sorting out what role she played in his death. It takes several pushes from caring people and worried people to get her motivated to truly understand what was happening in her husband’s life and how she might save his reputation and bring her in to the here and now.

The story is more complex and included lots of good romantic aspects and communications of feelings.    I thought it was delightful how Brenda’s agent and friend proceeded to have her assist another author in getting his character “unstuck” in a relationship while she was recovering her own sense of “self”.

I would give this book a solid 4 ladybugs

4-Ladybugs
tlc logo

I think many folks would enjoy reading THE HOURGLASS

(TLC logo) I was sent a copy of this book by TCL online book tours and ETOPIA PRESS.  Thank you very much for the opportunity to write this review.

Sharon Struth
Facebook author page

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

Related Reading:
Songs of Willow Frost
The Light Between Oceans
Letters From Skye
The Beautiful Heist

The Last Gift Of Time: Life Beyond Sixty ~ Carolyn Weilbrun

Monday, July 9th, 2012


The Last Gift of Time is a memoir written by feminist author Carolyn Weilbrun and I was referred to the good book by  Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake  author Anna Quindlin’s memoir about being 60.  This book is about how fabulous it is to be 70 and looking back and forth.

This memoir was inspiring and helped me get through a medical procedure I was undertaking.  Weilbrun was so positive about her life and her time here on earth.  Her writing was fairly formal and just full of lovely literary reference and exquisite quotes; a pleasure to read.

You may not recognize Carolyn Weilbrun’s name but if you are a mystery reader then maybe you are familiar with her by her pen name Amanda Cross?

If not that name, maybe your are aware that she was the first woman CHAIR of an academic department of Columbia University or that she was the biographer of Gloria Steinem.     Weilbrun is also known as a woman who wore pants/slacks early on as a statement of her liberation and the power of women to be comfortable.

The author was married for many years; the parent of 3 children and the Grandmother to quite a flock.  She grew up as an only child of immigrant parents and only later in life discovered that her father had also funded the arrival of his mother and 3 sisters to this country during the war.

That which Weilbrun loved about being 70 was how much joy she found in her daily living.   She loved having an internet connection and being able to email her friends from college and graduate school daily.  She so enjoyed writing and after retiring she enjoyed that pleasure even more on her own schedule.

Solitude was a greatest pleasure and highly ranked.  Weilbrun enjoyed her walks with her dog and just being satisfied in her own company.  She felt a happiness in truly being her own best friend.   She had a family home outside of New York City, but did not enjoy all the yard work and country chores, nor the busy clamor of all the family being around and their activities.  So she bought herself her own house about an hour away from the family home.  She had neighbors with extensive gardens on either side and she walked in their space for her meditations and exercise.

Her life was minimalistic at her own house.  A desk to write, a grand chair by the fireplace, and a bed for sleep.   Her partner joined her on Saturday nights and Sundays after days spent at the family home just down the road.   There was the weekday hustle and bustle of the NYC apartment to wind down from or enjoy if they missed the rigors of city life.

I have several friends who are in their late 70s, one is doing senior triathlons and another is teaching master piano studio classes and  gardening.  There is no sign that they are slowing down and they love their sense of freedom and lightness of spirit.   They too love their solitude and being their own best friend.

I reviewed the book So Far Away by Christine Hartmann  last year.   Her mother decided to end her own life rather than get into a state of needing nursing care, extra funds, dependence, surgeries or pills.   At age 73 she ended her life.   At age 77 Carolyn Weilbrun decided she had had “enough” and also ended her life.

I am enjoying reading about these amazing people who are thrilled with living their life at their creative best especially as they reach the peak of creativity, about age 65!  I feel empowered to make the changes I need to make the best of my life and to celebrate being my own best friend.

I believe the The Last Gift of Time is about the pleasures of living – it is about getting better with age and not just older. I think you will enjoy spending time with these books.

I purchased this book for my own library and no one sent me anything to review this book.  If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you

You may also enjoy reading our words on WiseEars  or Biking Architect .

Related reading:
The President’s Club
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
The Paper Garden
So Far Away
Walter’s Muse