Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Slow Love : Book Review

I have spent the summer as a bookworm. I have read so many books. Many! When the opportunity came around to review a book that was on my summer reading list I jumped at the chance. The book is Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness. The author Dominique Browning was the editor of House & Garden, one of many magazines published by Conde Nast. With no warning and only four days to clear out Dominique found herself not only unemployed but also divested of the source of her sense of purpose in life. She also did what most of us would do. She panicked, closed in on herself, ate and slept her way through the days and nights of a period of depression.

As she struggled to right herself in a topsy-turvy world she had been thrust into the love of gardening, slowing down and planting the blueberries (and smelling the roses), began to work it’s hidden healing powers on her mind and body. Over time she found herself becoming more and more grounded, literally and figuratively. I loved the writing in relation to the soul searching that digging in the earth creates and how pouring your soul into the soil can bring healing. Learning to sit on the ground and enjoy that moment for no other reason than living in the moment is something I can completely relate to.

We will be discussing the book Slow Love on Blogher.com over the next month, please join us.

A Little Light Reading

At least once every week or two we find ourselves at the used book store. We also find ourselves taking home awesome treasures to feast on and tend to blow through the books like a tornado in a trailer park.

The last visit I picked up another set of 10 which included: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Candles Burning, Bet Me, Hissy Fit and a few others. It is a nice mix of chick lit, horror, and science biography.

This is my husbands idea of a little light reading.

Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson. I bet there is a subplot in there that rivals the main plot for character development and intrigue. Or not.

The part of my tag line that reads “I married a Geek” is totally true.

What are you reading now? Are you on goodreads? Leave me a link and I’ll add you to my friends on there.

*****

Have you read about the new Samsung LCD refrigerator with apps? Head over to my review blog and leave your comments for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy gift card!

500 Acres and No Place To Hide

A few years ago we attended a Petroville holiday gathering. I met so many people it was a blur of faces and, I am sorry to say, of names as well. We were corraling a ten-month old between the kitchen and the dining room where he couldn’t break anything and chatted with folks as they moved between rooms. I had little brain energy left to keep up with the names to faces and felt badly that I know I called at least two people by the wrong names.

Susan McCorkindaleThere was one exception. Her name was Susan. I remembered much later her name was Susan McCorkindale. She breezed into Kim’s home like a bottled hurricane on high heels. She moved fast. She talked faster. The thing I remember most was the word ‘jazzericize‘ erupted in her conversations about eleventy-billion times and something about a book. Then she gathered her scarf, purse and a bundle of something and with the last words “I’ll see you at jazzercise” sent in Kim’s direction she breezed out the door in the same whirlwind that initially launched her into the room. My impression of her was ‘holy cow what kind of spastic bundle of energy was that?!?’

Later, much later, I put two and two together and realized she was the Susan who was being published soon with a new book Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl. When the book came out I read it in one sitting. If you haven’t read it you need to. (I would suggest reading before her newest book launches.) Susan is a city girl from Jersey, former marketing exec with Family Circle magazine, who lets her husband convince her to give it all up for a quiet little life on a farm in Virginia. You’ll laugh at her wit, become charmed at her twist of words and love the way she loves her McMen.

Jump forward to earlier this year when I was asked by Kim to review Susan’s newest book, 500 Acres and No Place to Hide, I eagerly said yes! and then waited with itching hands to actually get a copy and dive in.

My book arrived two weeks early and I dove in head first ready to start laughing. That evening I stood at the stove and stirred with one hand and one eye on the food. The other hand was gripping 500 Acres and No Place To Hide. While the right hand was cooking the left eye was relishing in the mental food of a great read. I couldn’t put it down and finished all but the final three chapters the following morning. Due to animals, kids, guests and errands I had to wait until that evening to read those last three chapters. It was past midnight and I was glued to the sofa, alone in the living room with a lamp on while the rest of my house slept.

As I read the last line in the book I started to cry. I wept for her, for her children and for her husband. I went to bed with sniffles. The haunting sadness of her loss was only buffered by the dark comedy not only from herself but from her husband as well in reaction to his illness. Laughter in the face of tears is good medicine. Susan writes with a clear voice filled with love and affection and you can’t help but want to give her a hug then sit down and chat with a bottle of wine or two -and maybe some canapes.

Susan has the ability to be silly, funny, poignant and heart breaking all at the same time. Her journey begins like a modern Green Acres wherein she plays the role of Lisa Douglas expertly. Counterfeit? No, no, no. Susan is the real thing. A real life Farm Girl hidden under the guise of being a Jersey Girl. She is a master at playing on words. I am very sure in another life her dog, Tug, was actually Arnold, the pig. Susan also has a great sense of humor. When all of her chickens go to chicken heaven (her oven and a big cook pot) I’ll offer her some from own flock. She’s sure to love them as they are as tasty as the ones she is raising.

Susan uses her talent to unravel the inner workings of her relationship with her husband, ‘Hemingway‘, and tosses in some black comedy to soften the brunt of their inevitable loss and drags you along for an incredible ride through her life in the mud, and the bugs and the deer* found on the farm. Hang on to your hats because when Susan is in the driver’s seat she stomps the gas with her louboutin’s and you’re flying through the Virginia countryside in a whirlwind of fun.

Susan will be at Salon Emage Day Spa this evening (Aug. 1st) for the launch of her newest memoir 500 Acres and No Place to Hide. If you are local please do drop in. You’ll love meeting her. You will also be able to buy a copy of her book which is not on sale any place else until tomorrow.

*Sorry, Shel Silverstein, I was caught up in Susan’s style and it is my own little attempt to play on words.

*****

Have you read about the new Samsung LCD refrigerator with apps? Head over to my review blog and leave your comments for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy gift card!

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