Sue Monk Kidd scores again

Movies adapted from books never seem to properly capture the nuances an author conveys with the written word. While the world enjoyed the movie, “The Best Deborah MoggachExotic Marigold Hotel” with Judi Dench and a great cast of talented Brits, it paled in comparison to the original book “These Foolish Things” by Deborah Moggach. (more…)

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Re-living the glory days

Until this week I had never heard of #P.J. O’Rourke. Don’t know how I could have missed him. I just finished reading his latest book called “The Baby Boombaby boom bookwhich is an account of his life from the perspective of a Beta Boomer, like myself. Born in November 1947 in Toledo Ohio, he is now a high-profile American satirist, political journalist and writer. His reflections are (more…)

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Imagining a better book club

As an avid reader I should probably belong to at least one book club, but I don’t. The reason is that I simply love books too much to try reading one that’s not a total delight. #Book clubs provide wonderful social and intellectual opportunities for readers and I think they are incredibly valuable instruments for meeting people and enrichingBookclub1your mind. However, they’re just not for me. While reading a book that’s not of my choosing might expand my mind, it also shortens my life and becomes too much like homework. It reminds me of plodding through Return of the Native in high school. I could have been reading something I loved instead.

One of the first questions I ask people when I meet them is, “Do you read much?” and “What are you reading now?” I love to hear the answers as I frequently get excellent recommendations. And it’s a great ice-breaker for interesting conversation. I could never understand the appeal of the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It was predominately recycled information and hardly qualified as ground-breaking. So, when I heard there was a discussion about the book at a local bookstore, I decided to go and see what I was missing. Only two people showed up – me and another woman. Even the facilitator was M.I.A. The evening did turn out to be worthwhile however, (more…)

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Alice doesn’t live here anymore

Alice Munro is without doubt a very good author – after all she recently won the Nobel Prize for literature. The thing is – and I’m embarrassed to admit this – I just don’t get her. In an earlier blog posting, I applauded her winning the Nobel Prize and was as proud as any Canadian could be. It motivated me to dig out my hard-cover copy of  reading1her latest book, “Dear Life” and give it another shot. About three-quarters of the way through the book I gave up – again. While her stories of the people and small town places in southwestern Ontario ring familiar, I find them tedious and depressing, which, as someone who grew up in a small Ontario town is understandable. But her story lines and writing style fail to make me want to turn the page and keep reading. If someone could explain why she was Nobel-worthy I’d be very grateful.

I’m just a simple lover of books, not a student of literature, an academic, a critic or probably even all that smart. So there’s obviously something I’m missing. There are so many other Canadian authors I like better than Alice Munro which makes the criteria for selection from the world-wide pool of Nobel prize contenders even more incomprehensible.

The answer I think lies (more…)

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