Books allow me to transcend my own experience of the world. In reading, I can assume the skin of people, places, times, and events that I’ll never otherwise inhabit. They make me feel more part of the world and more human.
How has reading shaped you? Blogger/teacher/parent Pernille Ripp why she believes children should be exposed to all kinds of books…
I get asked for a lot of book recommendations, I think it comes with the territory when you share the love of books. And while I love pairing books with potential readers, I have also noticed a pattern that causes me to pause, that should cause all of us to pause.
I get asked for a lot of books featuring male lead characters for male readers.
When I ask why the need for a male lead, I am often told that “they” just don’t think a boy will read a “girl book.” That a boy will not like a book about feelings. That a boy only wants books that have action. That have other boys in it. That feature characters that look just like them or at the very least think like them.
Do you have an elevator speech? Book writers are told that they need an ‘elevator speech’ — a one-minute pitch for when they inadvertently meet their star-maker. It’s also useful for talking about one’s book with everyone else.
Theoretically, that is. My elevator speech rarely gets past the first floor.
But I love my books, which is why I keep at them. My two novels are in the final edit phase as I build an audience of followers (that means you, dear reader) who I hope will be interested in them when they’re self-published. They’re narrated by a 40-year-old woman, in the form of letters to a deceased grandmother.
Being adopted has shaped the way I view who is family and who is not. When I found out I was adopted over thirty years ago, I saw the people around me in a different light. I saw them as strangers, yet I still accepted them as family because they had taught me to do so. I instantly realized that any combination of people could make a family.
In this way, I accepted my mother and father as my family unit. These were the people who’d decided to raise me from infancy as their own. They loved me, and I them. But when my mother died and my father gave up his parental rights, I began to question the definition. Was my adopted father not my father anymore simply because the Court said he wasn’t? I mean the Court deemed him my father in 1974, and so he was. Was…
Truman Capote was a genius writer and spoken word performer. He’s best known for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Yes, the movie version that starred the lovely Audrey Hepburn but that horribly mangled Capote’s marvelous novella.
Here Capote reads aloud his heartbreakingly sweet and profound autobiographical “A Christmas Memory”…
Here, along with his “Among the Paths to Eden,” is him reading the real version of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”…
Have you read any of Truman Capote’s stories?
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As a novelist, tea is one of my best friends. If I want a boost, to warm my fingers, something tasty and healthy yet free of calories (given how writing involves little physical energy), or during the moments I want to commune with others (making a story can be like cooking, the ingredients being actually living).
Tea is infinitely varied — hot or cold, fruity or robust, earthy or sweet, and on and on — there’s a tea for everyone. Blogger Rhiannon Brunner lives in Vienna, Austria. She’s written a pile of books about subjects that interest her in German, which she’s planning to soon translate into English.
What’s your favorite tea? Here she describes hers…
Tea offers extremely valuable properties. Many minor physical pains can be easily relieved with the right one.
If you take a look at my tea box, you will find some herbs that serve healing purposes. The classics (rosehip, chamomile, and fennel) are of course included. However, I would like to present here two varieties that I have long considered to be absolutely essential:
Damiana tea tastes like dried hay.
Its positive effects include stress relief (it makes one slightly euphoric), relief of menstrual pain, and it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Many people find it helps relieve stomach problems, acts as an aphrodisiac, aids sleep, and strengthens the heart and general circulation.
If you don’t like the bitter taste, sweeten it with honey, because it tastes really bitter!
Above all, diabetics and health-conscious people enjoy its positive effects. If you want to lose weight, you are well advised to use it, since the usual diet does not need to be changed at all.
I have experienced this on my own body — although I did not even intend to. It includes saponins, which helps the body to break down dangerous abdominal fat (visceral fat). Bitter gourd helps to get rid of the type of fat that not even the most restrictive diets can get to. To check the results, I asked a couple of friends to drink the tea as well. Their results were like mine.
Bitter gourd is rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, copper, potassium and the vitamins A, B1, B2, and C. Therefore, it is optimally suited for a health-conscious lifestyle.
Caution is advised only for pregnant women and people with low blood pressure.
My personal favorite way to take bitter gourd is this one, Trà Khổ Qua. It is a combination that also contains Reishi mushrooms, which makes the bitter gourd less bitter, as well as additionally healthy.
I highly recommend anyone to engage in tea and be open to a variety of impressions.
Good tea is like a beloved friend.And so — let me say — it is tea time.
“Flamenco & the Sitting Cat” is the title of the first of my soon-to-be self-published novels. The ‘Sitting Cat’ part of the title refers to the geographical shape of Iran…
I grew up with only classical music — and flamenco music and dance. My father, who left Barcelona in his mid-20s, wanted it that way. Since I left home at 18, it’s a gift to watch any type of dance I like and to listen to every kind of music that comes my way.
I still love classical — and flamenco! Especially fascinating to me is when flamenco is fused with the dance of Iran, where my husband was raised. Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is an Iranian dancer now residing in France. Flamenco is as much about individuality as it is about technique — it accommodates all cultures, all forms of beauty.
If only politics were as intent on creating a climate of ‘we’ rather than an ‘us vs. them’!
If you are a dog lover, then Mutts and Mistletoe is must read book for you! Even if you aren’t a dog lover, you will enjoy this delightful holiday book!
The holidays – which for me begin on October 1 – are the only time of the year that I actually read and enjoy cozy mysteries and romance books. I think it has something to do with being raised on holiday classics which morphed into Hallmark Holiday movies. I like feeling nostalgic and magical and in love this time of year. If given the opportunity to read a fun holiday story, I will jump at the chance. Mutts and Mistletoe was such an opportunity!
Charlie’s life has hit the rocks – her boyfriend just ran off with his trainer, her mother has fled to Australia with her new husband and, in a neighbor’s freak explosion, her apartment ceiling caved in…