Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Monday, September 26, 2022

Memoir Monday...

Declutter Like a Mother by Allie Casazza... 

Live lighter. Live freer. Live a bigger life with less.

In Declutter Like a Mother, Allie Casazza comes alongside you to explore:

Why decluttering calms anxiety in your heart and lessens tension in your relationships.How to ensure your house is working for you, not against you.Why kids thrive when they’re not overwhelmed with options.How to make time, when you feel you don’t have time, to declutter.

Allie Casazza was tired of feeling it was her against the laundry in her home. She wondered if somewhere beneath her frantic days and the mountains of toys in the playroom she would ever find joy and peace in motherhood. Then she discovered the abundance . . . of less.

As she purged her home of excess stuff, Allie discovered a lifestyle that strengthened her marriage, saved her motherhood, and helped her develop her gifts in a way that no amount of new kitchen appliances or new organizing system ever could.

Research studies show a direct link between stress levels and the amount of physical possessions people have in their homes, and Allie has seen that truth play out in her own life and in the lives of hundreds of thousands of other moms she has mentored through her business and online courses. She proclaims:

You don’t need a home that’s perfect. You need a home that’s lighter. Discover less stress, more space. Less chaos, more peace. Less of what doesn’t matter, so you have room for what matters most of all.

Why am I always curious about books about cleaning up your stuff? I guess because i can use a little help in organization, as books are stacked in various places and well... I have a lot of "stuff". I've read the Marie Condo's take on decluttering (and even clapped my way thru loving & leaving books, which is part of your sparking joy). But Allie's books seems so down to earth... This is on my "very cluttered nightstand" waiting to be read. Published by Thomas Nelson Books and available at your local bookstore now! Stop by soon for my review...


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Banned Books Week... What's it all about Alfie?

 IT'S BANNED BOOKS WEEK... What does that mean exactly? Book sellers, librarians, book bloggers, readers, all of us take a moment this week to think about our ability to read what we want to... it's about censorship, freedom of speech and individuals deciding for the masses what is okay to read and what isn't. Wouldn't you rather decide that for yourself?

When it comes right down to it,
It's really about what our children are reading...

As an adult, banned books hurts us when they are removed from the library. We do not have the opportunity to read something that we may have wanted to. We can ultimately buy the book from a book seller, but what if you can't afford to do that? 

As for children, I can see where some material may be too mature for some. A parent knows their child best- or they should. They could take the opportunity to have a conversation about the book in question too. I'm not here to tell you that your child MUST read The Kite Runner, but if a parent feels that it's okay for THEIR child to read it, then they should be able to. 

Quoting from the University of Connecticut Library library guide on banned books week...

                    Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.
A banning is the removal of those materials.

Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Harry Potter, the Dictionary, even The Holy Bible have been challenged and banned in some circumstances. Here is a list of the top 100 books banned between 2000- 2019. Here is a link to the American Library Associations Top Ten Books Challenged by year.

What do think about Banning Books?

It's always interesting to me to see what books are currently being challenged. I think in the last few years the list has changed because books have become more diverse. But even so, the reasons for the challenges or banning are always the same and fighting censorship is ultimate goal. 

Happy reading (A Banned Book this week!)... Suzanne


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Book Spotlight on... The Queen, Her Life by Andrew Morton

The Queen, Her Life by Andrew Morton... Biographer Andrew Morton provides the definitive, most comprehensive account of Queen Elizabeth II's legendary reign. 

Painfully shy, Elizabeth Windsor’s personality was well suited to her youthful ambition of living quietly in the country, raising a family, and caring for her dogs and horses. But when her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated, she became heir to the throne—embarking on a journey that would test her as a woman and as a queen.

Ascending to the throne at only 25, this self-effacing monarch navigated endless setbacks, family conflict, and occasional triumphs throughout her 70 years as the Queen of England. As her mettle was tested, she endeavored to keep the monarchy relevant culturally, socially, and politically, often in the face of resistance from inside the institution itself. And yet the greatest challenges she faced were often inside her own family, forever under intense scrutiny; from rumors about her husband’s infidelity, her sister’s marital breakdown, Princess Diana’s tragic death, to the recent departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Now in The Queen, renowned biographer Andrew Morton takes an in-depth look at Britain’s longest reigning monarch, exploring the influence Queen Elizabeth has had on both Britain and the rest of the world for much of the last century. From leading a nation struggling to restore itself after the devastation of the second World War to navigating the divisive political landscape of the present day, Queen Elizabeth has been a reluctant but resolute queen. This is the story of a woman of unflagging self-discipline who will long be remembered as mother and grandmother to Great Britain, and one of the greatest sovereigns of the modern era.

I haven't read one Andrew Morton book, but I love the Queen. Somehow I just see Andrew Morton as a sensationalist, putting gossip into print. I don't know why, it's just the impression I get from celebrity biographies that aren't authorized by the subject of the book. Andrew Morton did get authorization from one of his subjects... Princess Diana, for his book Diana, Her True Story in Her Own Words. With the recent passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Andrew Morton's book will be published November 15th by Grand Central Publishing. The book was originally scheduled for release in 2023. Grand Central Publishing generously sent me an eGalley to read. One point to note is that this book is suppose to be an "update" to his book published last year for the Queen's Jubilee. I'm looking forward to reading this. It has gotten good reviews and Grand Central Publishing generously sent me an eGalley to read & review. So mark your calendars for Nov 15th, when The Queen by Andrew Morton will be available at your local bookstore! And keep your eyes out for my review coming soon...

Monday, September 19, 2022

Memoir Monday...


I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee... 

PSYCHIATRIST: So how can I help you?

ME: I don't know, I'm – what's the word – depressed? Do I have to go into detail?

Baek Sehee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her - what to call it? - depression? She feels persistently low, anxious, endlessly self-doubting, but also highly judgmental of others. She hides her feelings well at work and with friends, performing the calmness her lifestyle demands. The effort is exhausting, overwhelming, and keeps her from forming deep relationships. This can't be normal. But if she's so hopeless, why can she always summon a yen for her favorite street food: the hot, spicy rice cake, tteokbokki? Is this just what life is like?

Recording her dialogues with her psychiatrist over a twelve-week period, and expanding on each session with her own reflective micro-essays, Baek begins to disentangle the feedback loops, knee-jerk reactions, and harmful behaviors that keep her locked in a cycle of self-abuse. Part memoir, part self-help book, I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki is a book to keep close and to reach for in times of darkness. It will appeal to anyone who has ever felt alone or unjustified in their everyday despair.

There is a lot of Buzz about this book. It was a massive hit in South Korea, where Baek Sehee is from and translated into at least 8 languages. Part self-help book, part memoir I read about this book and was curious. After receiving an eGalley from Bloomsbury Publishing, I started to read and really liked Baek's matter of fact writing and the way it was written in dialogue between her and her Psychiatrist, and her thoughts in between. One thing I did read was that South Korea has one of the highest rates of suicide in world, and so Baek hopes in sharing her "story" that it can help others cope. Publishing date for this is November 1st! In the meantime, keep your eyes out for my review..

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