Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BLOG TOUR: Laughing Through Life by Connie Wilson, Review + Giveaway!

Hello everyone!


Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....the place you've come to know as a one stop bookishly delicious shop in your online day.  Today, we take a step into less familiar territories with a blog tour ready to explore the world of non fiction....as in real life.  This particular book is from an author once featured on the site with another of their titles....It Came From the 80s...but this time around, she draws more from life experience than from the silver screen.  Ready to read all about it?  Courtesy of Virtual Author Book Tours, today's book of choice is....

Laughing Through Life
by

From the email pitch....

...a book of funny essays and observations that critics have called "Erma-Bombeck-meets-David-Sedaris," with hilarious results. You'll find yourself nodding your head in recognition of many of the situations that a young mother, teacher and business-owner encountered while raising 2 children born 19 years apart (PTA membership from 1973 to 2010!). Connie's adventures while covering the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns with press passes also will amuse---especially if you thought "W" was a bonehead. (If you are not a progressive, you might not laugh quite as heartily. Be warned.) Smile. Enjoy! Laugh through life with Ava & Elise Wilson, the author's 2-year-old twin granddaughters, who provide a never-ending supply of funny anecdotes, (just when she thought it was safe to go back in the water.)


Okay, admittedly when I was first approached by the author and then the book tour group on this one, I was intrigued.  It looked potentially hilarious....but alas, for me the journey was not to be so chuckle filled, something I may have gleaned from the get go if I had paid more attention to the description (how I missed the glaringly bright signal fires, I'll never know).  Why the not-so-glowing experience?  Let's just say I'm not a huge fan of politics and about half the book deals with her experiences and feelings regarding those that assist in running our country.  I mean, I get it; she isn't a fan of the Bush clan, let it go.  Also there was a tendency to over share happening in a few places, particularly the whole story called "The End"....which um, happens around the end of the book but that limited answer is also describing just what the story centers on.  You guessed it....its a trip to the proctologist and though routine, I really didn't need to read about what the doctor with the gloved hands proceeded to do.  O-O 

 
Now that that is out of my system....no pun intended, it did have some redeeming qualities and moments of mirth worth noting.  For instance, the injects thoughts of her granddaughter add a little spark of home to the story because really, there's a reason there is/was a show called "Kids Say the Darnedest Things".  Also, I did enjoy the story about her daughter and the cell phone company.  Too true and too funny!  Let's not forget the mock interview story where a student in class chose a particular restaurant establishment that generally maintains employees wearing low cut shirts, and tiny shorts, as her "test interview". It lead to a most uncomfortable situation for the interviewer to the point that even the interviewee realized things weren't going so well.  Definitely smile worthy there.

So you see, in short....it didn't reach laugh-inducing levels of hilarity but there were some good for a smile.  It wasn't quite my cup of tea if hard pressed, but to each their own.  I'm sure given the proper audience, it will be all over in no time flat.  Special thanks to author Connie Wilson for the review copy as well as Teddy at Virtual Author Book Tours for the chance to participate in the tour.  (THANKS!)  For more information about said author or said tour, feel free to click a link found within this post for easy access.

Now, just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't for you.....that's why I'm happy to present you with a chance to win!  Here's the scoop.....

The prize...


(1) printed copy OR ebook copy of Laughing Through Life by Connie Wilson
(prize version received depends upon winners location)





How to enter...
Simply leave a comment below for your chance to win.  Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you should you win.




 

The rules....
This contest is open to one and all...as in INTERNATIONAL.  If the winner chosen is the from the US of A, you will receive a printed copy of the book.  If you are an international winner, an ebook copy will be granted to you.  Remember, the ebook copy is limited to NOOK and Kindle versions.
Entries will be accepted from Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 through midnight CST on Saturday, December 10th, 2011.  REMEMBER:  If you do not include an email address in your entry, you will be disqualified.
Winner will be contacted within 48 hours after the contest closes and will have 48 hours to respond back to my email request for mailing information.




So, that's it.
The end of another tour and another month here on the site.  Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour including tomorrow's stop over at She Treads Softly.
Good luck to one and all!
Until next time...happy reading!



 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taste Testing Tuesdays


Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading
 
On the menu this week...two books that couldn't be more different from each other...whoa, wait a second.  Deja vu.  *looks at last week's post*  Yep.  Same sentence and yet it holds true.  One is lingering from last week (and coming through on a blog tour tomorrow) but will be finished today.  The other is a hefty little self-published title that falls more in line with the YA side of life.  Ready for a taste?  Here goes. 
 
As selected by SuziQoregon (a great Twitter tweep you should check out after you finish this post..^_^), here are your bookish teasers...
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
 
I had been reading to the blind and visually impaired, as a good deed,  for over a year, and it had come to my attention that even the blind and visually impaired might be bored to near-death or coma by one hour filled with nothing but grocery prices and/or obituaries.  So, during the three-minute break we were entitled to take at the half hour, I would normally bring in something "funny" from the newspaper.
-- pg 42-43, Laughing Through Life by Connie Corcoran Wilson
 
So, this is one of the lighter moments in the book where the author takes her trademark inward facing snark and shares it with the reading world.  It's a kind gesture for both the old folks in the story as well as readers seeing as how they are faced with circulars and we are faced with political anecdotes otherwise.  This reading journey has been "interesting"...stay tuned as the blog tour swings by tomorrow with a review and your chance to check things out for yourself.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I couldn't even pinpoint the exact moment when I had decided to tell him so many details, but the words just kept pouring our before I could stop them.  Phillip's own life was an open book around the office, and there were never any secrets as to what was going on in his personal life after work.
-- pg 327, White Knight by Raiza Denise
 
Ooh..now there's a tease loaded with innuendo...I mean can't you just see the narrator raises her eyebrows at the end of the second sentence?  I can...okay so since I've gotten to know her character (one Abigail Richards) as I've read, it might make the visual more clear, but trust me....there's either facial ticks or finger quotes going on during this one.  Curious who this Phillip is though as I've yet to encounter him...and where's Nick?  *curious*
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR.* 

 
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Until next time....happy reading!
 
 

BLOG TOUR: All Good Children by Catherine Austen

Hiya readers!

Welcome to post number two of the day as we celebrate the recently released Young Adult title from author Catherine Austen, "All Good Children". Earlier today, you were treated to an interview I was granted with the author. Her answers to my barrage of questions were revealing, truthful and funny while still digging deeper into the story line. Well I can't very well leave you with the wealth uncovered and not give you a glimpse of the surface now can I? Glad we agree. Without further stalling on my part, today's blog tour feature and book of choice is....

All Good Children
by

From the author's site....
"Living with hope is like rubbing up against a cheese grater. It keeps taking slices off you until there's so little left, you just crumble." Quick-witted, prank-pulling graffiti artist Maxwell Connors is more observant than the average New Middletown teenager. And he doesn't like what he sees. New Middletown's children are becoming frighteningly obedient, and their parents and teachers couldn't be happier. As Max and his friend Dallas watch their classmates transform into model citizens, Max wonders if their only hope of freedom lies in the unknown world beyond New Middletown's walls, where creativity might be a gift instead of a liability.




Can you imagine?  A world where creativity is frowned upon and everyone is expected to simply line up, take their assignment and live life as they are told?  Nah...never happen...right?  I wouldn't be so sure.  The world introduced by Ms. Austen isn't so far fetched.  I mean, there are advantages to what they were trying to introduce....a more manageable society with potentially less crime and people living up to their supposed potentials.  Not so bad.....well, except for that "supposed" part.  I mean, whose to say what anyone is truly capable of achieving, good or bad, throughout the course of their natural life....but I for one would rather live in a world that the option to find out exists, as would Max.
 
Max is not your typical "hero" in any sense of the word.  He's not a good boy gone bad that redeems himself through his deeds.  He's not the classic underdog that fights his way through insurmountable odds to come out on top.  What he is is this....a young man trying to find himself that expresses his frustrations and beliefs through his creative side, for better or worse.  In this society, art is viewed more as a "worse".  The freedom of expression that lies within its unframed borders is a scary prospect to the powers that be.  I mean, if you're going to create a robot like civilization, you can't very well have people thinking for themselves....it'd never work; hence the battle begins for both our free will and our very lives. 
 
The storyline here is not merely that of our wills or freedom of speech....it also has undercurrents of racism, prejudice, and discrimination.  It's amazing how such a forward thinking group of people can have such backwards thoughts about human kind as a whole....a fact which is addressed rather tactfully as events progress.  Over half of the population can't read or write....how scary is that?  Again though, how far is it from the truth depending on where you look today?  It's not all doom and gloom though as the author injects a bit of real life humor into the story with the personalities given to each character as well as how they act out from time to time. 
 
In short, it's a fictional look at a reality that may not be so far away with the possible repercussions we could face should the same steps of "progress" be taken.  It's enjoyable from a make believe stand point, but also gives you something to really think about.  We are so dependent on technology as a civilization and expect things to go just so....how much of a leap is it really to a time when we dictate the path that others must follow in their lives for the sake of smooth sailing? 
 
ARC for review won via LibraryThing Early Reviewers courtesy of Orca Book Publishers.  (THANKS!)  If you haven't visited LibraryThing before, you don't know what you're missing...seriously, check it out! Even friend me if you like!  ^_^  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to visit the publisher online....or check out the author's official website.  Speaking of the author, for a deeper look at today's title feel free to check out my interview with Ms. Catherine Austen herself in yesterday's post and for more on her blog tour going on now, check out her site.
 
Until next time...happy reading!
 
 
 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Tour: The big review....

...is delayed.  I'm so sorry to disappoint you all but a dial work schedule (and low cell battery ...grr) played havoc with it posting. Rest assured it will be up late tonight/early tomorrow ...in the mean time, feel free to look over the interview I had with author Catherine Austen and throw a few questions or comments her way.

BLOG TOUR: Interview with Author Catherine Austen

Hi everyone!


Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place that's open 24/7 to FEED your NEED to READ.  This week, I promised tasty bookish delights, and I plan on delivering just that.  Yesterday, we perused the Southern US of A in a "mockingbird" tone (just check out yesterday's post for more details)...but today?  Today we step into a dystopian future not so far from our own here and now but with startling differences that threaten to shake their world to its core.  The book....All Good Children.  The author....Catherine Austen

I had the fortune of being asked to participate in the author's blog tour and she graciously entertained a few questions I had about the book.  The following is our email interview exchange...AND for those with questions or thoughts after reading it, you may be interested in knowing that the author is swinging by the site periodically throughout the day to answer any comments, so feel free to speak up!  Without further adieu, please raise your bookmarks high for Ms. Catherine Austen!

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Interview:  Author Catherine Austen




Max certainly loved to stir up trouble to keep things interesting yet you could see that underneath it all, he really cared about the world he lived in. How was he able to foster that desire to make things better in a world where much was already set for them?

Max’s love for his family and friends is very intense. Partly it’s his nature and partly his upbringing. He’s an outsider who comes from a strong family, he has a sweet little sister but he misses his father terribly, so he has an unusual sense of protectiveness on the one hand and vulnerability on the other, and together they intensify his love for his family and friends and his fear of losing them. For me, that’s what makes a good dystopian hero: someone who really loves somebody else. When you love someone you want to make the world better for them and you can’t accept the things that threaten them.



 

Xavier is a side character and yet I can't help but wonder in the way he was developed (so complete and distinct), was he ever a lead character in a draft of the book....or perhaps will he be playing a bigger part upcoming?

Xavier is loosely based on a real person who was the inspiration for this book (a boy who was strange and beautiful and heavily medicated). He was never a lead character but Max’s story began with him, i.e., my first conception of Max was of him half-listening to Xavier. (I never imagine my main character from the outside, always from the inside. It’s kind of freaky.) So even though Xavier is a side character, he’s at the heart of the book. (Or at least beside Dallas. I love Dallas. I would like to adopt Dallas. Or be him. I can’t decide which.)


 


Another surprising, or perhaps not so surprising, part of the story I saw glimpses of dealt with racism. Curious how a society so forward in many ways could be so backwards in others. Was it intentional or did it just surface while the story was being conjured?

It was intentional. Economic uncertainty and changing demographics can bring out hatred and blame in any community. My first draft had more overt discussion of racism and homophobia among the kids at school. Now it reads more like fish in water – which is tough, especially when you’re writing for teens, to show something like that and let it stand without moralizing. It makes for a better book, but one more open to misinterpretation.

But on the question of race... Max was white until midway through my first draft. I had to come up with a Halloween costume, so I sat at my kitchen table pretending to be Max with Dallas, and I picked up the salt and pepper shakers and thought, okay, one of them can be black. Once Max was a visible minority, it suited his character and plot so well I couldn’t think of him any other way.




 

I have to admit, the scene in the airplane with Ally, Max and the bag of chips...too funny. So the question begs to be asked....was it art imitating life? (Where'd the inspiration for it come from?)

Yeah, I have a teenage son who torments his little brother. I’ve heard praise from many adults about how I captured the annoying jerk aspect of teenage boys in this book. But Max is a saint compared to real kids at their worst. He is arrogant and bored and naughty but very good at heart. I LOVED being in his head while I wrote this book. It was so fun and liberating and young.



 

Everyone wants to know (or will once they read the book)...will there be a sequel? When? Any details you can share?

Yes, although I didn’t intend one when I wrote All Good Children. It should be out in 2013, if all goes well. Max’s life goes down the toilet for most of the book while Dallas’s takes off flying, and they end up on different sides of a violent clash between a corporation and a commune, through which they uncover a horrifying secret about the agricultural labour force that takes them back home to New Middletown for a good old us-against-the-world smackdown.


 
- - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Quid pro quo....

Favorite book of late... I’m reading Room by Emma Donoghue.

If you weren't a writer, what was your plan b? 
Pretty much anything that pays.

On your days off, where can you be found?
Libraries, museums, parks, in the basement on the drums, out in the yard feeding squirrels, in coffee shops, at the movies, hanging out with my family.

The most important thing I've learned in life so far is.....
....nothing lasts but some things last longer than others.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Pretty cool, right?
So, what are your thoughts, comments, reactions and the like?
Feel free to leave them in the comments below...you never know when the author will drop by for a spell.



Remember, this is a two post type of day folks, so be sure to stop by later on for the book review.  For more information about the author as well as the blog tour going on now, feel free to visit her official website.  Special thanks to author Catherin Austen for indulging my curiosity and graciously answering all of my questions no matter how prying.  ^_^

Until next time...happy reading!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia by Mary Helen Stefaniak

Hi there readers!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.....the place to be when you're really hungry and true sustanence will only come from the pages of a book.This week, prepare to be satisfied with reviews, guest posts and the like to satisfy your bookish cravings. Today's featured title starts the feast and is reminiscent of a classic read generation after generation starring a Southern cast of characters you won't soon forget. Get ready to be transported to a time and place not so far away from our own. Today's book of choice is....

THE CAILIFFS OF BAGHDAD, GEORGIA
by
Mary Helen Stefaniak

From the publisher....
Narrator Gladys Cailiff is eleven years old in 1938 when a worldly schoolteacher turns the small town of Threestep, Georgia, upside down. Miss Grace Spivey defies the traditional curriculum and racial boundaries alike, regaling her charges with readings from the Thousand Nights and a Night and casting a gifted African American student as "chief engineer" of the town's annual festival, newly reinvented as the Baghdad Bazaar. But her progressive actions are not without consequence and ultimately culminate in a night of death-defying stories that take readers on a magic carpet ride from a schoolroom in the South to the banks of the Tigris (and back again).

Truth be told, this story reminded me a lot of the infamous "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.  The Southern setting, the timeframe, the prejudices seen and the lead character chosen to divulge all the events that transpired.  It's a story about prejudice. A story about how everyone has the right to learn no matter their race, age or background. A story about accepting our differences, or heck even celebrating them the best way we know how. 

Taking the time to reflect on this one, I think I can appreciate the narrators' voice (Gladys Cailiff) even more. It was honest and truthful; its innocence retained both before and after the events played out (no pun intended)....it just had a new set of eyes through which to view the world.  Miss Spivey was a breath of fresh air to a town that was seriously due for a spring cleaning...whether they knew it or not.  She's not perfect and her transgressions end up being her downfall, but she really tries to make a difference and throw a new coat of paint on a tiresome old problem.  In short, her character is a firecracker with a lot of heart and had it not been for her impact on Gladys' life, I don't think she would have amounted to half the person she did.

Theo Boykin on the other hand was a character we'd have loved to see go far but was ill fated from the start.  He achieves so many things in his youth that one could barely fathom the feats he would have reached given the chance.  Now I know what that sounds like...I promise, I'm not spoiling the story in any fashion, merely making a suggestion to allow his presence to make the impact it was intended to whilst completing this literary journey.

Then there's those characters you love to hate like Mavis (who actually has a life changing experience later on in the story) and Mr. Gordan (who wouldn't bother to change to save his life).  Sometimes they get what's coming to them, other times not so much but they make the story complete in the end.  The extended family, friends and not-so-friendlies all play a roll as this story unfolds but I'll let you discover them for the most part on your own.

Now, there is one part that started to lose me about 2/3 of the way in. Certain events transpire leading to a rather lengthy story telling from the town's temporarily dubbed Shahrazad (a story teller from their play), where truth and fiction are woven together to create a masterpiece worth turning your attention to.  Don't get me wrong, it was done well and anyone that wasn't focused on it rather than the events actually happening in the town just wasn't paying attention...however, for me it got a bit TOO into the historical tale.  Admittedly, I'm not a huge historic fiction fan in the true sense of the word so that probably played a part...but had the ending not weaved it way back on course, my end opinion on this one might have differed.  Now to my summary....

In conclusion, I enjoyed the story a great deal and warn you, once you enter the town of Baghdad, Georgia you may not want to leave.  Though it's true, you will meet those who will stand against you, if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything, right? Whole heartedly recommended to older teens (there's one scene not quite proper for younger eyes even if the narrator is a child) through adults the reading world over.  Southern lit fans, TKAM fans, and fiction fans in general....there's something of value in this one for one and all...and life lessons to be gleaned.

Review copy courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their complete catalog of works, feel free to visit them online at www.wwnorton.com . This book was released in paperback September of this year and should be available on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time....happy reading!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Roving Reader

Creepy cover alert!
Just what is that house hiding and um, why are we rowing towards it?

THE UNINVITED
by
Tim Wynne-Jones

So, what did you discover when out and about?
Do tell!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books - Take 2!

Hiya readers!


Well, it's the day after Thanksgiving.  Time to kick all those Christmas plans into high gear, including all that wish list shopping....what better day to start than on Black Friday? All the sale, deals and bargains to be had; it's a sea of humanity all after the same thing....Christmas spirit and the best price on what they need.  Every year my family and I brave the stores in that early morning rush whether we need something specific or not...it's just our way of ushering in the shopping season, but Chronicle Books has another option for you that's much less stressful and all about the bookish giving.  Yes, my friends....it's time for....


...the 2nd Annual Happy Haul-idays celebration!

This year, they've up the ante for not only do I (as the post-er) get a chance to win my wish list of up to $500 in Chronicle Books treasures, but you as the post-ee (okay, commenter) have a chance to win that same list...AND a charity of my choosing wins too!  Sounds great, right?  It is and definitely a great start to the most wonderful time of the year.

My charity of choice will be....
...Got Books?.  Sound familiar?  It should if you're a visitor of the site.  Last year, my blogger friend and I organized a giveaway hop titled something very similar to this, hence the deja vu.  Fear not though, this is the real thing and the book donations that they take in are distributed to several worthwhile bookish causes including Books for Troops and Books for Teachers!  It's a cause worth looking into as it supports the power of reading in communities that may not have all they need in the resource department.  So this my friends will be the organization I choose to show a little bookish love to if we are chosen as the winner.

Now...want a peek at my wish list?
Here ya go...have a gander...



 







...and a few not pictured....
 
- Dracula's Heir: An Interactive Mystery Quirk Books By Sam Stall 
 
- Large Ruled Moleskine Red Notebook 

- Never Bite When a Growl Will Do by Michael Nastasi 




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So...in a nutshell...

  • Read this post, review my wish list, and leave a comment to enter
  • Visit the main site to check out all the other fabulous blogs participating and repeat the step above
It's easy.
It's fun.
Winners will be announced on December 13th according to the official rules so what are you waiting for?  Ho HO ho!  I mean...GO go Go!



Until next time....happy reading!







Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving: A Time for Friends, Family and New Traditions


Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....where I'll take care of the book feast while you take on the delicious dinner you, your friends, and family are having today.  Sound good?  It does it me especially since ours was essentially cancelled this year.  Yeah, first time in my life this has happened but you know, whatever....gotta make the best of things, so I'm putting a smile on my face and bringing this guest post to you. in the hopes of adding another dimension of fun to your holiday.

Today's guest post comes to us from an author that seeks to draw the lessons of life out from those who've been there, done that first so the next generations can learn from their experiences while sharing a laugh, a smile, a tear along the way.  Inspired by The Legacy Project he's on a mission to share some great ideas with the world, including this wonderful suggestion for a new holiday tradition.  Without further adieu, please welcome Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D......

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


A Different Thanksgiving Conversation: Eight Questions to Ask Your Elders
By Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

(adapted from 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans)



A famous picture by Norman Rockwell shows beaming grandparents serving turkey to a crowd of smiling extended family members. This idealized image represents reality in this way: Thanksgiving is one event that traditionally brings the generations together. So what’s a good way to spend this precious intergenerational time?

Here’s one you may not have thought of: How about asking your older family members to give the younger ones advice for living? I’ve spent the past six years conducting a research project in which we asked older Americans: “What are the most important lessons you’ve learned that you would like to pass on to young people?” The results were fascinating, and yes, you can try this at home! So I’m proposing that we all use Thanksgiving to ask our family’s elders to share their wisdom.

Why try it? Because it’s an interesting and enjoyable thing to do. Younger people have a lot to gain by seeking the life wisdom of older people. We can take advantage of years of lived experience, perspectives that defy contemporary “common sense,” and experiential knowledge that comes from having been tested in almost every type of stressful situation. Have they been married for 50 years? Ask them what makes a marriage work. They raised a family, so ask them their advice for raising children. And don’t forget to ask their advice about aging well!

On this holiday, we can all be thankful that our elders are so full of wisdom, and willing to share. Below are some “conversation starters” to use around the dinner table this Thanksgiving. While you’re digging into your turkey and mashed potatoes, you can profit from the valuable lessons that those around you have have learned first-hand over their lifetimes.

1. What are some of the most important lessons you feel you have learned over the course of your life?

2. Some people say that they have had difficult or stressful experiences but they have learned important lessons from them. Is that true for you? Can you give examples of what you learned?

3. As you look back over your life, do you see any “turning points”; that is, a key event or experience that changed over the course of your life or set you on a different track?

4. What are some of the important choices or decisions you made that you have learned from?

5. What would you say you know now about living a happy and successful life that you didn’t know when you were twenty?

6. What would you say are the major values or principles that you live by?

7. Have you learned any lessons regarding staying in good health?

8. What advice would you give to people about growing older?

I hope you will give these a try. We do sometimes ask older people for their life stories, but it can actually reach deeper and be more rewarding to ask them their advice for living.

This is how knowledge for living was once transferred; the experience of interlocking lives, intertwined over generations, was passed along and remained alive in the telling. This wisdom exists in people you know, right here, right now. And it’s your for the asking this Thanksgiving.

And if you learn something valuable from an elder, or your own family elders would like to share their advice, you can add it to our website http://legacyproject.human.cornell.edu/give-your-advice/ and be entered for a chance to win $100 Amazon gift card, now through December 4th!


------------------------------------------------
About the Author


Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D - Karl Pillemer is a professor of human development at Cornell University and Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College. An internationally renowned gerontologist, his research examines how people develop and change throughout their lives. He has authored five books and over 100 scientific publications, and speaks throughout the world on aging-related issues.

After a chance encounter with a remarkable 90-year old woman, Dr. Pillemer decided to find out what older people know about life that the rest of us don't. His quest led him to ask more than a thousand older Americans their advice for living. He asked about all the big issues - love, marriage, children, work, happiness, avoiding regrets.

This 6-year project led to the book: 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans, published by Hudson Street Press in November 2011.

For more information on the The Legacy Project, please visit the blog: http://legacyproject.human.cornell.edu/, like The Legacy Project on Facebook, and follow author Karl Pillemer on Twitter.


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Guest post courtesy of author Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D via Julie at Etch Communications.  (THANKS!)  For more information about his new book, 30 Lessons for Living:  Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans, or The Legacy Project that inspired it all, just click on the links imbedded within this post.  This book is on sale now at a bookstore near you.

So...will you be adding this to your Thanksgiving traditions?  Our elderly have LOADS to share both information, history, and family wise....don't let that wealth of knowledge go to waste.  If you are so inclined to share one of your experiences about a life lesson you've learned from an elder, don't forget to enter that contest!  Tis the season for learning, winning, sharing and caring.



Here's hoping you have a most wonderful Thanksgiving everyone.
Until next time...happy reading!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

Hi there!
You’ve stumbled across the site built for readers with a variety of tastes called Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. Hopefully…that was your intent. If so, yay! Thanks for stopping in! If not, nice to meet you and hopefully you’ll find something of interest anyway.


So tomorrow…is….THANKSGIVING DAY.
O-O
Did this sneak up on anyone else, or just me?
Really….I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, 2011 has flown by at whirlwind speeds as a whole, though somehow, some way it had its stalling moments too. Go figure. Anywho, hopefully you’re all ready to stuff the turkey and yourselves tomorrow with your family and friends. Have an extra piece of turkey for me, okay? I give you FULL permission. ^_^ In the mean time…

To help satiate your reading appetite, I’d like to present you with a literary hors d'oeuvre. How is it to be considered an appetizer? Ah well you see, this is but book 1 in a new(ish) Young Adult series featuring a mythical creature that has been rising from the depths of the deep blue sea on more than one occasion recently. Said to quite possibly be the new “it” creature of the moment, I’d say it’s high tide…I mean high time that I delved into the bottomless lipid pool of mermaid lore swimming about, and this my friends is a great place to start. Ready for today’s feature? Here we go. The book of choice for today is…

 
Marina’s Tales, Book 1:
By

From the author’s site…
Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. In just a few weeks after moving to the small beach town, sixteen year old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can only manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past to learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her...and maybe even find true love along the way.



Let’s see, if I had to put this in a nutshell I’d say….take one dash Twilight, add a tablespoon of “under the sea” magic, and shake violently still you achieve a color of serene sea blue. That’s what this book brings to readers. Now, I shall explain the compact description I just created in order to appease the gods of curiosity…because let’s face it, if I stopped there…A) it just wouldn’t be me; and B) some would probably be instantly attracted while others instantly turned off to reading this selection without giving it a fair shake. Ready set….explaining time!

I’m going to take it apart piece by piece and hopefully put it back together better than the king’s horsemen did with Humpty Dumpty. I referenced Twilight…for the romance and a few of the underlying storylines. Yes, there is a supernatural creature, in this case mermaids. Yes, one is in love with a human (or rather several are, but that I’ll let you discover on your own) which for anyone that has seen a Disney movie featuring the life and times of one precocious mermaid, you’ll know is forbidden. Do you see where I’m going with this? These are the areas that brought this highly publicized series to mind and you know what? I don’t fault the book for it. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of that particular series (or maybe not), but the elements that I saw echoes of were fine by me. One is not a mirror image of the other and the fact that it can call up similarities between the two and STILL stand on its own two feet (or, umm, tail?) is a plus in my book….perhaps it will be in yours too.

Second…that dash of “under the sea” magic I referred too. Of course, that has to do with the paranormal creature chosen to feature in this story…mermaids. Honestly speaking, besides “The Little Mermaid” (actual Disney storybook version), I’ve never read another mermaid story. Now that means I don’t have much to compare it to lore wise but you see, I’m a gatherer of information and lore not a strict “you-must-keep-them-all-the-same-historically” dictator (no offense to those that fall into that category, to each their own!). I understand that a book is simply that…a book (fiction, mind you) and creative licensing is all a part of the game. Personally, I don’t care if the events are historically accurate or follow the most widely accepted views, I WANT A GOOD STORY; pure and simple. If it’s good (or sounds good), I’ll read it…case closed and reference books shut (unless I’m curious about something and research it later….). This book hit all the right notes and even some I wouldn’t have guessed when creating Lorelei and her sisters (including the scary one that attacks….uh, never mind…) “family” and watery home.

Third aspect I mentioned three paragraphs ago now (hey, you know how I get sometimes…this is nothing new… ^_^)…the violent shaking to reach the eventual serene blue sea. That my friend is referring to the action which there is quite a lot of. From riding the waves to out witting jealous girls at their own game, Marina learns about life, love and family. Being uprooted from her globe trotting life with her father and plopped into Aptos, California with her dear old Aunt Abby and Cousin Cruz…certainly unsettling. Being forced to attend the local high school when you’ve been home schooled by the best all of your life….disturbing for sure. A mother you’ve never known, a father that buys you off every time you mention her, a past that is getting murkier by the minute, and multiple attempts on your life….yeah, I’d say that about explains the “violent shaking” there, don’t you? The “serene blue” comes in at the end of the book when things are all smooth sailing…well, sort of; how else do you suppose you’d be tempted into reading the next installment? There always has to be a hook (ooh, bad choice of words) to draw you back in and while this one is more passive (as in future events that are yet to be decided…dun dun dunnnnnn), it serves the story and its characters well. Speaking of characters….

Marina really came to life on the page and I genuinely enjoyed getting to know her character. She’s not your typical teenage girl getting all swept up in popularity contests, “who’s the fairest of them all” concerns and lavish things (though she does have those things thanks to Aunt Evie …who’s not really her aunt, but that’s a story for another day). She has heart and a desire to follow it. She takes the path less traveled and does what she deems as right not because it’s what everyone is doing but because that’s how things should be. She treats those around her with respect and courtesy unless of course they need a good dose of reality of which she’ll happily oblige. Even before we discover shades of blue in her past, it’s easy to see why she becomes fast friends with Megan (quiet and artistically gifted), understands her Cousin Cruz (a fashion designer in the making), and snags the attention of one surfing Adonis named Ethan (~insert wolf whistle here~ …seriously, there is more than looks to this guy as we soon find out). She’s true to herself (once she gets past the splash from her past) and exudes confidence despite her many examples of klutziness executed in perfect form (yeah, been there, tripped over that…) which spells true beauty both inside and out.

The cast of characters surrounding her are varied in their likes and dislikes and might I say that the stereotypical mold is no where to be found when it comes to their true colors, a fact I found refreshing. The descriptions of both land and sea take you places you may never have been but will vividly see right before your eyes. Travel the coastal road and gaze down at the beach (and surfers...hehe) below. Stand on the beach and watch the wave’s crash on the shore. Cut through the water at astounding speeds and surface in the great blue beyond with only the stars to light the sky above. It’s a verbal picture waiting to be painted on the canvas of your mind….so what are you waiting for? Grab a “paintbrush” and get to work!

In summary, if you couldn’t tell…I really enjoyed this book and am eagerly anticipating my upcoming read of book 2 (The Moon and the Tide)…as well as book 3 (The Fate of the Muse). Now if I can only get this darn “make-more-reading-time-for-me-now” formula right, I’ll totally be set. *kicks alchemy set___small explosion…O_O* Recommended reading for Young Adult fans of all ages. Any “questionable” scenes are demure enough while still packing an emotional punch…and the language is kept clean.

This book as well as its follow ups is available now at many of your favorite online book retailers so feel free to scurry off and find a copy after you finish reading my close. ^_^  Ebook for review courtesy of author Derrolyn Anderson. (THANKS!) For more information about this series as well as her other published works and works in progress, be sure to visit her official website.


Until next time….happy pre-Thanksgiving to you…and happy reading!




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