Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Middle Place

The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan, is probably my favorite book I have read this year. The book resonated with me because like Kelly, I  grew up in suburban Philadelphia and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area as a young mother. Kelly describes her journey through breast cancer while learning that her father has prostate cancer. A theme of the book is that in our 30's we live in a middle place between parent and child. Kelly's father, Greenie, is a character for the ages. He is a fun loving, optimistic, bear of a man who supports Kelly through her troubles. Beautifully written and heartfelt, this book delves into the author's world of marriage, motherhood ,friendship,and most of all family. Kelly writes in a way that you feel that your are a friend. You will feel a familiarity when she finds, Edward, her husband, has her babies, and grapples with the twin cancer diagnoses with Greenie. This book is currently on the New York Times bestseller list. Kelly has a second manuscript in production which I can't wait to read.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Adventure Read

One Sunday, paging through the Washington Post review of books, I found this gem. Norman Ollestad has written a gripping memoir of his unusual upbringing in Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970's. The author's father, Norman Ollestad Sr., was a former child actor and FBI agent. He raised his son to be fearless; skiing black diamond mountains at age three and surfing some of the most dangerous waves of the Pacific Ocean in Topanga Beach and Mexico. The book is a love story about a father and son. Norman's unorthodox upbringing ultimately saved him from a harrowing plane crash at age 11. A truly inspiring and moving tale. Another Starbucks book pick and currently on the New York Times Bestseller List. You will not be disappointed in this book. Website:
Norman Ollestead on Youtube discussing his book.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happens Every Day

Happens Every Day (Isabel Gillies)
This was an excellent memoir on surviving divorce. I read it the first time in about two sittings. The author describes how she left a lucrative role on Law and Order to follow her English professor husband to a tiny, bucolic town in Oberlin, Ohio. She thrives there and enjoys the academic life with Josiah and their two small boys. Unfortunately, life sometimes has other plans.
Gillies paints an excellent portrait of marriage, infidelity, and its aftermath. She describes her WASP upbringing and displays great strength in the dissolution of her marriage. I have passed this book along to people of all ages and everyone has been captivated. I read this with a group of young adults and they had high regards for this memoir! Starbooks book pick for May. (FYI: Starbucks picks some terrifiic books).

NPR Review by Maureen Corrigan (Interesting article by book critic and Georgetown professor)

Isabel Gillies Website                                   

About Me

I am excited to share some of my favorite books and tips for motivating people of all ages to read. My friends and family have encouraged me to share the many books I read with others. I am so motivated to start a blog and I hope you will all be interested in my posts. Mainly, it is my own catalog of books I have read. You may also see some guest bloggers.
My love of reading began at an early age and in fifth grade, I was privileged to be pulled out class and be included in a group reading Junior Great Books. In the school library one day, I was frustrated and could not find a book to check out. The school librarian directed me to the biography section and I have been hooked on non-fiction books ever since. The point is that everyone enjoys stories and interest is the key word. Find out what a person is interested in and there is a book,article,website, or poem for them! Reading is a life skill.  It creates critical thinking skills and ispiration!
In closing, my daytime career revolves around teaching reading and I hope to inspire you with many great books. Please post comments and give me some feedback.