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review 2017-04-17 15:33
Sunrise Sunset by Kim Weiss
Sunrise, Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe and Gratitude - Kim Weiss

Stunning book of 52 sunrise/sunset photos. Also included are poetry, personal thoughts, gentle advice, and shirt stories from different inspirational authors.  This book has a very calming effect whether you just look at the pictures or actually read it. The pictures are stunning.  The book can give you a whole new outlook on each day and an end to each as well. Whether it has been a good day or bad. It basically helps you feel grateful for the lessons learned that day. That each day is beautiful in its own way as well as being a gift. At least this is my take on the book. 


I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2017-01-21 22:23
My brother always used to say we are all born with an expiration date. This man faced his with dignity.
Gratitude - Oliver Sacks

This really brief book of four essays count among the most moving pieces I have ever read by anyone facing his own imminent demise. Having survived his unusual cancer for almost a decade, he was shocked to discover that although he felt wonderfully well, he was, indeed, now doomed. He took solace from his family and his friends, his memories and his accomplishments, recognizing that we all have a finite timeline. After reading his essays, it can only be said that he faced his death with dignity and grace, as well as with an appreciation and recognition of all that life had given him. I was moved emotionally to tears, but I was also moved to hope that I might face my death in much the same way, with an acceptance and a sense of joy for all I had been lucky enough to receive and enjoy as I “shuffled along on this mortal coil”.

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text 2016-08-10 01:11
Stand by the King, Stand by Your Brother
The Shawshank Redemption - Stephen King
The Body - Robin A.H. Waterfield,Stephen King
The Shining - Stephen King

When I received the incredible opportunity to meet Stephen King, I pondered for days beforehand about what to tell him, what I wanted to share with this man who had shared so much with me through his words.

And then I knew.

But If I were to get the words out in the moment, it had to be a just-us.


My husband went first. Then I stepped forward and King's eyes smiled into mine and held them. I leaned forward, the distance balanced between no one can overhear/this is special and I'm a crazy stalker who is going to bite off your nose. His eyes told me he understood. And then I told him.


I told him that "The Body", the novella that became Stand by Me, helped me, with every reread, with my delayed and complicated grief from my little brother's death. In the obvious ways at first, but, finally, as I aged--


through Chris, as he cried about wanting to go somewhere where no one knew him and start over (unable to shoulder my identity as the Older Bereaved Sister, wanting to drop it)


and as Chris, in the quoted scene below, tells Gordie that he is stuck in his grief, stuck thinking the wrong brother died, stuck in his anger, and that he has some writing to do.

King had looked down while I was explaining, to carefully sign my first edition of The Shining. When I got to that last specific bit, he finished, dropped the pen, and met my eyes again. His eyes were damp.


"I am so very glad," he said, "and so, so very grateful you were able to tell me."


We looked silently at each other for another moment. He slid me my book, and said, "What was his name?"




He nodded as a man does when he mentally puts something in his pocket. "Eric."




The movie came out when I was in high school, still in the middle of it, still trying to figure out the answer to the question about how many siblings I had. The truth--one but he died? Way to bum everyone out, Morticia. None? Betrayal. Just being tasked with that (tasking myself with it) ramped up the grief-anger. Perfect timing. This movie owns a piece of my heart, and I don't want it back.


Gordie: Fuck writing, I don't want to be a writer. It's stupid. It's a stupid waste of time.
Chris: That's your dad talking.
Gordie: Bullshit.
Chris: Bull true. I know how your dad feels about you. He doesn't give a shit about you. Denny was the one he cared about and don't try to tell me different. You're just a kid, Gordie.
Gordie: Oh, gee! Thanks, Dad.
Chris: Wish the hell I was your dad. You wouldn't be goin' around talkin' about takin' these stupid shop courses if I was. It's like God gave you something, man, all those stories you can make up. And He said, "This is what we got for ya, kid. Try not to lose it." Kids lose everything unless there's someone there to look out for them. And if your parents are too fucked up to do it, then maybe I should.




Thank you, sweet, loving Naomi King, for sharing so much of your father with the rest of us weird motley fools and discontents. Please accept this story as a token of gratitude from one Constant Reader, who is a better and healthier person for it.


Impetus: http://wilwheaton.net/2011/03/though-i-hadnt-seen-him-in-over-twenty-years-i-knew-id-miss-him-forever/

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review 2016-05-12 06:08
Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
Gratitude - Oliver Sacks

A short book of essays that the author wrote about life, aging, illness, and dying. A nice little inspirational book about having gratitude for the things and people in your life.

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text 2015-02-09 06:31
A commitment to review unknown authors


I was about to review The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje when I discovered this work already has 352 reviews on Amazon. Does Michael need another review? Will my comments make a difference to this internationally known, winner of every major literary award, Canadian literary icon?


I know an author that would like to see his novel(s) reviewed – me. Or someone like me. Someone at the beginning of his or her writing career when a review and a starred rating are actually worth something, perhaps in sales and certainly in self-esteem.


So why not read works written by authors like myself and write a review of their book instead of a book by the Michael Ondaatje’s of this world? There’s certainly lots to choose from and many of these books are free on sites like BookLikes, StoryCartel, even Smashwords and Amazon.


Just a second, that could mean reading a lot of bad writing. Am I up to that kind of sacrifice to help promote new literary voices?




I believe an author should read the same type of books he wants to writes. Why read westerns when you write commercial/literary fiction? Why read amateurs when you want to be a pro?


Nietzsche said, “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” If I want to create great art, perhaps I should be a little more gracious. Probably good for my karma as well.


Okay, how about half of what I read will be from new, undiscovered writers and the other half from someone I aspire to write like?


I can’t see any point in writing a dishonest review. There’s likely at least a few on most new writers book pages as it is – family and friends guilted into posting something flattering and hitting five stars. I’m not sure how that helps them and I won’t be doing that.


I’ll write constructive reviews. I think I know enough about this craft to point out what the author is doing right and perhaps suggest how they might improve other areas, though this by no means suggests I don’t make the same mistakes myself – again and again.


I actually get more from well-considered negative reviews of my work (and I’ve had enough) than glowing ones that lack specifics. However, if the review I write is less than three stars I’ll email it to the author to see if they want me to post it. If they don’t, I won’t. They can use it for their edification or send it to their trash file unread.


I hope to make some surprising discoveries and maybe offer some assistance along the way.




PS Anyway, I went ahead and reviewed Michael Ondaatje's, The Cat's Table. Gave it two stars on Amazon and one star here - just so you know what you're in for.






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