It’s Never Too Late by Scott Page

Scott Page

It’s Never Too Late

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE by Scott Page is a perfect little book for your retirement check-list. I know that I am beginning to think of retirement to some degree. I’m nowhere near it yet, but, it’s on my mind. I soaked up all this information like a sponge.

This book is great for people reaching retirement age, just planning ahead, or for those of you who may be helping your parents get a grip on their future.

I found every aspect of this book helpful in one way or another.

Page tells about helping his aging parents get their heads out of the sand.  There are many adult children out there who are what we call the “sandwich generation.” Not only are they taking care of their children and themselves, they also are helping mom and dad get ready for the future. It can be such a daunting task. Page makes it a tad easier by putting out some great tips.

Page discusses social security, life insurance, health issues, long-term care, income in retirement, and so much more. I found myself flying through this insightful book. I think you will too.

I especially liked what he wrote about making a second act for yourself.  There are so many talented people at retirement age. They don’t have to retire and do nothing. This is your chance to pursue something you’ve always wanted to do. I am lucky in that my passion is everything books. And I intend to continue reading and writing and talking about books for as long as I am physically able.  Boom!

I received this book from Morgan James publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Arrangement by Ashley Warlick

Ashley Warlick

The Arrangement

I’ve been looking for a book like THE ARRANGEMENT by Ashley Warlick, for a long time.  What do you know of the personal life of the first food writer? Are you familiar with the name M.F.K. Fisher? Of course, I had heard of her.  I even read a book that included her last year: Year in Provence. 1937. Did I really  know who she was or how she became a writer? I did not.

THE ARRANGEMENT, has come along at a great time. Writing about food has become so successful. I mean, we all love to eat. And everyone watches the Food Network nowadays. Sometimes I even leave it on for background noise…

M.F.K. Fisher  is actually Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher. She  spent the majority of her life in California. But traveled extensively in France and Europe.  It was always all about “the food.”  I have long been a foodie. I began working in restaurants as a young woman and loved learning all aspects of food preparation and celebrations of the palette. My family totally “gets” it. They’ve all worked with food off and on most of their lives.

Appetite and hunger are a big theme of this book. We learn that Mary Frances has quite an appetite for food and everything sensual in life.  This novel begins with a meal, one that will turn out to be life-changing. The way she describes the dishes will have you jumping up to grab a snack without even thinking what you are doing.

The first chapter of THE ARRANGEMENT sets the tone for the novel. We begin to get a sense of the “hunger” in Mary Frances’s soul..  The very sensual paragraphs of this story are written with depth and feeling.  Warlick gets us right into the spirit of our characters. No shrinking violet here.

As I  watched Mary Frances struggle with her marriage to Al, I couldn’t  help but feel sorry for Al. But that did not keep me from cheering her on. How often have we known people to marry too young? Yet stay together because they don’t want to hurt the other spouse. Happens.

Mary Frances begins slowly,  writing essays. Their  friend Tim who is a  published author, reads them, and offers tips, then help to get her work noticed. They become closer and closer.  While Al slowly fades away.  When Tim asks Mary Frances to accompany him and his elderly mother to Europe via an ocean voyage, you can almost see the writing on the wall. The scenes during the crossing are outrageous and sometimes breathtaking. I loved them. There’s nothing quite like your first transatlantic cruise.  We’ve been lucky enough to have crossed twice. It’s life-changing.

There are scenes where you will read of Mary Frances’s sexual appetite. These scenes are written with great sophistication and feeling. They help to show who she is. They are an innate part of this story.

Mary Frances spent a lot of time in France. She  has written several books about her travels.  I am making a point of reading them all. I want to know more about her. This is a good barometer for a great author. I do know that this is a novel. But I feel like I’m getting to know Fisher very well.

My absolutely gorgeous finished copy came from Viking Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I can’t thank them enough. Of course I’m taking THE ARRANGEMENT on my lecture tours this season!

 

 

Announcing A Winner!

Coloring Book

Hot Dudes

I have a winner for my very colorful giveaway of HOT DUDES COLORING BOOK! Her name is Elaina. Congratulations! I will send an email right off asking for your mailing address.

Thanks, all of you, for entering.  More to come.

Giveaway! Hot Dudes Coloring Book by D.C. Taylor

Coloring Book

Hot Dudes

 

“For all lovers of washboard abs, bad boys and… crayons—there’s a new group of hotties in town and they are ready to get graphic (artistically, that is!). HOT DUDES COLORING BOOK (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; February 2, 2016; $9.99) by D.C. Taylor.”

 

 

Inside this steamy book you will find a swoon-worthy collection of 60 scantily-clad heartthrobs for your coloring pleasure. With sexy cops, cowboys, lumberjacks and a plethora of other fantasy beaus to choose from, every artist is sure to find their muse. Hitting stores just shy of the most amorous holiday of the year, this entertaining book prompts one to ask the question: who needs to choose one valentine when you can have them all?

Okay, folks, I know this is out of my comfort zone, but for heaven’s sake, it’s for Valentine’s Day:) I have one finished copy of HOT DUDES COLORING BOOK to offer for my giveaway. I know many of you have taken up coloring again now that the adult coloring books are all the rage. So, leave a comment below and you’ll be entered for this giveaway. It’ll be fun!! You can always win it for someone else..

I will choose one winner on Friday, February 5. Only U.S. addresses, please. And no P.O. addresses. Good luck! Let’s have fun with this one.

 

 

 

 

Why We Write About Ourselves edited by Meredith Maran

authors write

Why We Write About Ourselves

WHY WE WRITE ABOUT OURSELVES is a nonfiction book filled with insightful essays written by twenty well-known  authors.

Pat Conory

Pat Conroy

I can’t resist reading anything Pat Conroy writes. He is one of the twenty authors included. I immediately turned to his pages. Chapter four, page 37. I can not get enough of this amazing author. He writes fiction and nonfiction with equal talent. He is my favorite writer of all time. I don’t say this lightly. There are many great authors I hugely admire but, Pat is THE one for me. He tells it like it is. It’s certainly no secret that he spent most of his life writing novels about his family. He kept trying to rid himself of all the pain. I wonder if he’s done writing family. I sure hope not. He’s kept me rapt on the end of my seat for years. Even as I sit here writing this post I am wondering what he is working on next….

Anne Lamott has a chapter. BIRD BY BIRD is one of THE most used books on writing in the world today. She writes mostly novels and Christian books.

Sue Monk Kidd has a chapter. She’s written her share of memoir pieces. But she’s best known for her novels.

Author

Sue Monk Kidd

I really enjoy hearing what famous authors have to say about how and why they write what they do. I find that as they become older their reasons may change.  In this book you’ll see that Pat Conroy could give a rat’s ass which one of his relatives gets their feelings hurt over something he wrote about them. Then there’s Sue Monk Kidd who says she believes we should use discretion in writing about real people. Wouldn’t that be a great panel? Conroy and Kidd:)

Since memoirs have become so wildly popular the past few years  Maran decided to put together this book of essays. It’s a book you will want to hang onto. You can easily pick it up and put it down. Is perfect for bedside.

I received my review copy from PenguinRandomHouse in exchange for an honest review. It’s just great

This Was Not The Plan by Cristina Alger

Cristina Alger

ThiS Was Not the Plan

THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN, by Cristina Alger, is a study of fatherhood , love, grief, and friendship.  It’s hilarious in parts, with plenty of room for reality.

Charlie Goldwyn is working night and day to make partner at the very prestigious law firm he’s worked at for ten years. He’s been working 72 hours straight, needs a shower, and is about to sneak away home to have dinner with his five-year-old son, Caleb, when he is literally shanghaied into attending an office party; the last place he needs to be right now. After tossing down a few strong drinks on an empty stomach you can almost write the next step, yourself. He’s asked to make a speech about the high-powered case he’s just won. And, he does, but it turns out to be his “Jerry Maguire” moment, and then it goes viral when it turns up on YouTube. Ugh.

What you don’t yet know is that Charlie is a single dad. He’s raising Caleb with the help of his twin sister. They’re not the usual family. Both are 33 and unmarried. Zadie is wonderful with Caleb. And Caleb needs wonderful. He’s not your run of the mill kid. Caleb loves to dress up in sparkly girls’ clothes. And he’s fixated on natural disasters. You see, Caleb’s mom was killed tragically in an accident that Charlie feels responsible for.

But it’s not all sad. Yes, there is grieving. But many of the scenes in this delightful novel are laugh-out-loud hilarious. I kid you not. Charlie must face the facts, and his future. What does he really want out of life? And he’s looking into his non relationship with his own father who enters the picture for the first time late in Charlie’s life.

What starts out to be a story about revenge, ends up being a story of learning balance and accepting what is right in front of your face.

Cristina Alger is the acclaimed author of THE DARLINGS, which I adored a couple of years ago. She knows NYC. And you will surely feel you are walking a mile in her shoes here.

I adored THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN. I think you will too. My review copy came from the generous people at Simon and Schuster. Thanks guys.

Review Love In Lower Case by Francesc Miralles

Barcelona love story

love in lower case

If you’re looking for a book with a happy ending, love in lower case is just what the book doctor’s ordered. What a  sweet story from  an author who’s already made a name for himself in Spain and throughout Europe.

“The story begins on New Year’s Eve with Samuel deJuan, a lonely, middle-aged linguistics teacher in Barcelona going to bed feeling that his life is half over, and that the coming years show little promise for significant change.  To his surprise, and to readers’ delight, he soon discovers that small, sometimes unnoticed and often underappreciated  events are what make up a satisfying life–thanks to a cat, whose arrival forces him from his doldrums. “

The setting quickly got my attention. And, of course, the cat. Everyone knows how much I love cats. And books. Plus, I love hearing about people finding their first love all over again:)

Samuel names his brand new kitty friend Mishima, and this is where the love begins. When Mishima scratches at his door on New Year’s morning, little does he know that his life is about to change, and for the better. Slowly, with baby steps, Samuel is drawn out of his small world.  His caring relationship with Mishima moves him into a more caring arena.

love in lower case

Author

Samuel is on a mission to get his first love back. He hasn’t seen her since they were mere children. Really. But one day he sees her on the street of Barcelona. Even though she is a grown woman now,  there is no doubt of who she is.  He begins following her.  Does she remember him? After all, it’s been a long time.

Barcelona is a dynamic, bustling city. We visited several years ago and were lucky enough to settle into an apartment on La Rambla for several days in late spring.  La Rambla is Bacelona’s most famous street. It has just about everything including live animals for sale along the way.  What I did not know is that Barcelona is full of book lovers. This is fabulous!There is even a holiday named St. Jordi’s Day, that’s celebrated in Catalan each year. It comes on April 23. I love this. According to the tradition, a man gives a rose to a woman, and she in turn gives him a book. What a wonderful idea! They say that throngs of people crowd La Rambla on this day, searching for just the right title for that special someone.  The street is filled with books and authors. Holy Cow!

After all, it really is the little things that make up our world.  Love is all around us. We just need to open our eyes and look.

My review copy of LOVE IN LOWER CASE came from Penguin Books. Thanks, guys. I wish you love:)