Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts

Monday, February 4, 2019

Book Review: True Places: a Novel by Sonja Yoerg

True Places: A Novel by Sonja Yoerg
I chose True Places as my Amazon First Reads pick a month or so ago. I had not previously heard of the author, Sonja Yoerg. I chose the novel because of the setting: the area on and around the Blue Ridge Parkway. I could relate with many parts of this story and with several of the characters. The story kept my attention and I wanted to find out what would become of the woman, her family, and the wild child she found along the road.


True Places by Sonja Yoerg


This is a tale of country life, suburban life, and what may happen when the two are combined. 

The country story begins with a child living alone in a remote cabin in the forest with her mother. Tragedy strikes. 

The suburban story begins with Suzanne Blakemore, an over-extended mom, wife, and fundraising organizer extraordinaire. Feeling the pressures of too many commitments and too little time, forty-two year old Suzanne impulsively drives her Navigator (full of the over-powering scent of the hyacinths she is transporting for the Boosters auction) away from it all.

While driving at a break-neck speed on the Blue Ridge Parkway, she finds a sick and emaciated child. After hospitalization, that child - who turns out to be a very small 16 year old - joins the Blakemore family. We hold our breath at times as we watch Mr. Blakemore and his son, Reid, butt heads. And we watch as the Blakemore's daughter, Brynn, is guided by adolescent emotions, peer pressures, and social media. Social media - where mocking and bullying occurs by the minute and no one is immune - especially not the "wild child". 

Will this family be able to blend or will tragedy strike again? 

My prediction was that the author would portray one setting and it's inhabitants as better than the other. One group of people right. And the other group wrong. I would have put money on the story being about the civilized suburban folk saving the poor country bumpkins.  I was pleasantly surprised that the author showed the good, the bad, and the ugly of both worlds. 

The moral of the story is about the difference between doing things because they are the expected things to do and doing the things that make us feel right. It was about finding our True Places and our true selves. 




Amazon First Reads


Amazon First Reads is a program through Amazon in which each month a book from a selection of approximately 6 books are offered for free (for Prime members) or a reduced cost for First Reads subscribers. On the 1st of each month, I choose a book from those books are offered. 

I have found some new-to-me authors that I probably would not have read otherwise. I can't say that I've liked all of my First Reads picks, but I can say that I look forward to the 1st of each month and have found some authors that I will watch for in the future.

First Reads is one of many reasons I continue to renew my Amazon Prime membership. 





Image credit: photo courtesy of Fotojet


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Monday, January 28, 2019

Reviewing the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Reviewing The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an Amazon original series set in New York in 1958, starring Rachel Brosnahan. Mrs. Maisel (Brosnahan) is living her dream. She is married, loves her husband, has two children, and lives in a beautifully appointed apartment in Manhattan. From a very young age, she has dreamt about and planned it all: college, wedding, and her adult life trajectory. She tells us about it during a flashback to her beautiful wedding. Everything is going exactly as planned, until suddenly - in one evening - Mrs. Maisel learns that others can completely de-rail her best plans.

Midge Maisel is a loyal, happy housewife who works hard to please her husband. Mr. Maisel (Joel) is a salesperson with an office job. But at night, he performs at a club as a stand-up comedian. He's not very funny and Midge bribes the club manager with briskets to get Joel into better time slots with a better audience. On the same night that he completely bombs, things completely fall apart for Midge. She is devastated and lost. Am I making this sound like a drama? It is not. It is a comedy full of quirky characters.

A co-worker told me to watch the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Since she has recommended an author that has quickly become my favorite, I trusted her opinion and I began watching the series the first weekend I had a few spare minutes. I am able to watch it for free because of my Amazon Prime membership. I watched several episodes that first day and binged watched into season 2 the next weekend. 




The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel reminds me of I Love Lucy - but a naughtier version. The buildings, clothing, baby carriages and way of life are all from that time period. Rachel Brosnahan's facial expressions and/or timing of her humor remind me quite a bit of Lucille Ball. She's a bit sneaky, like Lucy. An example being reminded of Lucy was during a scene at bedtime. Midge goes to bed in a negligee and still made-up. As soon as Mr. Maisel is asleep, Midge gets up and does her beauty routine; putting her hair in curlers and applying an over-night face mask. She sets the blinds so that the sun shines through the crack in the morning - waking her before the alarm. She completes her beauty routine and is back to bed; perfumed, made-up, and looking beautiful. She closes her eyes and he wakes. This scene made me laugh and reminded me ever so much of I Love Lucy

Am I making this sound like an I Love Lucy rehash? It is not. There is cursing, "sex" scenes (not the type of sex scenes shown on cable tv but sex scenes nonetheless), and some modern colloquialisms that aren't from the 1950s. For me, these things are a bit like watching a cartoon with a child and the cartoon includes adult humor and references - out of place but funny (although, I wouldn't be bothered by less profanity).

If the title sounds familiar, it may be because Rachel Brosnahan won a 2019 Emmy for Best Actress in a Television Comedy. Deservedly so, I think.






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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review This: Bringing Home a Puppy Day

Today according to the Calendar of Funny and Weird Holidays, today is Bringing Home a Puppy Day.

For those of you who are dog lovers, I'm sure you can remember the day you first brought your new puppy home, with great joy and anticipation.  For those of us who don't have dogs or any other pets, just thinking about bringing home an animal, will make our hearts beat just a little faster.

One thing is certain, puppies are just so darned cute that it is hard not to have your heart melt into a puddle of love!  Those cute little faces and bodies covered in fur so soft, and that small helpless yelping that comes out of them when they are in your hands, is enough to make a grown person melt into a puddle of "Ahhhh's!"  and "Ohhhh's"!




Handling them is the first step into "Puppy Oblivion and Puppy Fever!" Now you are on a path that will forever change your life.

Welcome to the family oh little four legged creature, that stole my heart!  We are forever changed and will never be quite the same as we were before.

That is all good.  Now let's make our family ready for it's newest member.  The one member who will get away with all kinds of good and bad behavior, and will love each of us in our own way.  He will bring what he feels we need into our days each and every day and all we need to do in return is love him, feed and shelter him!  He will be the antidote to stressful days, the balm for restless spirits, and the eyes that see himself as our four-legged fur child, that can only please us with his presence.  And he is so right.


Dogs are one of the most wonderful creatures on the face of the earth.  They make us better people by their presence in our lives and the only thing they want in return is to be loved and cared for by us.  That's not so hard to do!  Several years ago someone told the story about the Ninth Day when God Make a Dog, you can view it by clicking on the link!  


One thing is certain, once you have a dog in your life, you will never be the same again.  They come into our homes and hearts as little bits of fur and feet, with a tail following behind and they park themselves in our hearts forever.  We will go crazy to make sure that our puppies have the best toys, the nicest bed, leashes for walkies and we will poop and scoop gladly.   For all the love, that these critters give to us, we will be, their forever family gladly.  

We will buy them treats, and treat them to some new toys, buy them coats and boots, costumes and scarves and they will look at us with so much love in their eyes, that you could drown happily in their love for us. 

Bringing home a Puppy Day has to be one of the Best Holidays on the Calendar of Weird and Wonderful Days of the Year.

The only thing that I would add, is learn how to make puppy behave in ways that are acceptable to society.  There are things that puppies need to be taught and there are great ways to train your puppy. So please do some research before going to the kennel or pound to get your newest member of the family.  Research what kind of dog will fit into your family dynamics and then also research how to best train the dog.   Puppies will look to you  for guidance and you have to be ready.  Gentle training will make puppy and the family meld into one big happy group.  





Then have fun, walk the dog, make him part of your life and best and most important of all, love him!












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