A friend loaned me The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer recently and recommended I read it. Knowing I was a writer and aspiring author, this friend felt certain I would enjoy this story. I was at first skeptical; this book did not fall into the categories I devote my limited leisure time to read: classics like The Great Gatsby, Little Women or Wuthering Heights, or narrative nonfiction and self-help books similar to my own genre of writing.
What the heck? I decided to take a break from the norm and give it a try. All I had to lose was a little extra time. As it turned out, my friend knows me pretty well. I truly enjoyed reading The Thieves of Manhattan. It’s an action-packed story about two writers in New York with a history of failure in the publishing industry. Their lives intertwine in a book-writing scam and suddenly they are living the Indiana Jones version of an author’s action/adventure in New York City. The book includes a lot of humorous jabs at the publishing industry and intentionally blurs the lines between fiction and nonfiction writing. By the end, the boundaries between what is real (a memoir) and what is fake (a novel) have been completely overstepped.
Nothing more exciting than a box of books showing up on the front doorstep. Wait, let me explain further! Nothing more exciting than a box of books including one of my stories showing up on the front doorstep! Take a look at the box of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers books I received recently. I’m working my way through the book before its official release on March 13 and reading some great stories. Can’t wait for the book signing at Barnes & Noble in Springfield on March 24!
It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I’m not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music.
The legacy of any musician of Joel’s caliber is of course his music, and I would much rather reference his brilliant music and songwriting instead of a tell-all memoir of forced confessions written by someone else (Fred Schruers). While Joel himself might respond to the criticism, “You may be right, I may be crazy,” I say bravo, Billy!
I’ve recently finished reading the book Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s by Lauren Kessler and found it an interesting exploration of professional caregiving for Alzheimer’s patients. After feeling guilty about her own mother’s care and death from Alzheimer’s, Lauren Kessler decided to go work as a resident assistant as penance to gain a better perspective of the disease and its victims. She relates all the dirty details of the backbreaking job and the bizarre tendencies of the care facility residents.
I know how hard the job of a resident assistant is after watching them care for my own mother, but I always thought their official job title was CNA or certified nursing assistant. This book shined more light on the difficulties of their duties and working conditions, making me admire them even more. It takes a special person to continue caring for Alzheimer’s patients as a long-term career, and many times I marveled at their compassion, tenderness and patience, knowing I couldn’t do the same job nearly as well for any length of time.
I’ve just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, and I really enjoyed them, especially the third book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Reading these fictional stories has been a nice change of pace from the nonfiction I’ve been consumed with the past several months. I like Steig Larsson’s flawed characters, especially Lisbeth Salander. While she is not lovable, Larsson does make you sympathize with her and cheer for her to triumph in the end. It will be interested to watch the movies made from these books and see how closely they stick to the written word.