Skip to content

Wondrous Words Wednesday

September 30, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I’m clearly not reading the right books because I had turn to my Word-a-Day calendar again this week.

1. meshuggener – “Our Uncle’s always been a bit of a meshuggener, but despite the fact that his crazy business schemes never seem to work out, he remains cheerfully optimistic.”

Meshuggener has Yiddish roots and means a foolish or crazy person.


2. psephology – “Erin is a political science major with a particular interest in psephology.”

Psephology is the scientific study of elections.


3. netroots – “Inarguably, it was the campaigning by the netroots that helped the senator get elected.”

Netroots is the grassroots political activists who communicate via the Internet.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The Theft of Memory

September 29, 2015

The Theft of Memory

Dr. Harry Kozol was a well known neurologist – one of the best in the field – and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 88 years old.  His son, Jonathan, saw to his care (as well as to the care of his wife and Jonathan’s mother), with respect and admiration for all that his father had achieved.  During his storied career, Dr. Kozol treated Eugene O’Neill, testified in the Patty Hearst trial, interviewed the Boston Strangler, and participated in numerous studies.  Jonathan and his father were always close and the Alzheimer’s diagnosis helped them create an even stronger bond.

The Theft of Memory by Jonathan Kozol is a very personal book about caring for a beloved parent with Alzheimer’s.  Kozol traveled for work much of the time so he didn’t do the day-to-day care-giving but was around as often as possible.  He and his father’s caregivers always treated Dr. Kozol with respect and did what they could to help his last years be the best they could be.

As Kozol shares his experiences with his father’s care, he reflects on the life of the man he loves and admires.  He’s careful to give credit to the wonderful caregivers he was able to find and is frank about his struggles – financial as well as emotional.

I’ve long been a fan of Kozol for his work with underprivileged children and have found his writing to be powerful in the past so was anxious to read this book.  It’s hard to say you love a book that packs such an emotional punch but, I have to tell you, Kozol has written another important book.  It’s moving and heartfelt and relays such an important message. I freely admit to tearing up a time or two as I read this wonderful account of caring for an aging parent with dignity.  This is a must read for anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Mailbox Monday

September 28, 2015

Mailbox Monday September 28

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia, and now hosted on its own blog.   You can tell it’s fall – the weather here has been gray and dreary.  I don’t mind the cooler temperatures but I sure would like to see the sun.   I found these books in my mailbox last week:





What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Goodnight Selfie

September 25, 2015

Goodnight Selfie

When a young girl is given her brother’s old camera phone, she becomes obsessed with taking selfies.  The photos take her through her busy day until her dad tells her it’s time to turn out the lights and she takes one final selfie.

Goodnight Selfie by Scott Menchin is an adorable picture book that I had mixed feelings about, probably because of my age.  I thought the illustrations by Pierre Collet-Derby were charming and I thought the selfies were a clever way to show the day in the life of a youngster but I wonder if cell phones and selfies are things that need to be promoted to young readers.  From my experience, it seems kids are fascinated enough by cell phones.    I have a feeling young parents and kids just accept them as a part of life, though, so they’ll enjoy Goodnight Selfie even more than I did.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Candlewick Press. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


At the movies: Ricki and the Flash

September 24, 2015

Ricki and the Flash

My friend and I are Meryl Streep fans so we decided to see Ricki and the Flash – the story of a woman who left her husband and children to pursue her dream of being a rock and roll star.  When Ricki’s daughter gets divorced and goes into a tailspin, her ex-husband doesn’t know who to turn to so he calls Ricki.  She goes to them but quickly realizes she doesn’t know her family anymore and eventually returns home somewhat defeated.  Another opportunity presents itself so she, and her boyfriend, make a trip to see her family to once more attempt a reconciliation.

We both enjoyed the movie – we thought it was fun – but neither of us loved it.  The music is great with Meryl Streep singing and playing guitar along with legends like Rick Springfield and Rick Rosas, but the storyline is a little too pat and things are tied up too neatly in the end.  It was fun to see Streep perform with her daughter, Mamie Gummer.   In the end the movie isn’t great but it’s still worth watching at home.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

September 23, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

My Word-a-Day calendar came through for me again this week.

1. veridical – “All psychotherapies are based on the fact that memory is not veridical, that unconscious desires and fantasies exert their force on us all . . .” — Henry Kaminer, The Weekly Standard, July 31, 2000

Veridical means truthful or veracious.


2. bouleversement – “The darkening sky prompted a bouleversement of the captain’s order to prepare to set sail.”

In this case, bouleversement means reversal.  Somehow, I can’t see myself using this word.


3. gulosity – “After Bobby helped himself to a third serving of mashed potatoes, his father asked incredulously, ‘Does your gulosity know no bounds?’.”

Gulosity is a noun that means excessive appetitie: greediness.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Anchor & Flares

September 22, 2015

Anchors & Flares

When Kate Braestrup‘s oldest son was a junior in high school he announced his intention to join the military.  She struggled with his decision – her father was a Marine and she wasn’t sure she wanted the same life for her son.

“I’m not a pacifist,” I explained to the drill instructor as the informational meeting broke up. “And my father was a Marine. But my son . . .”

He smiled pleasantly at me

“You see,” I said helplessly, “Zach is a very special boy.”

To his credit, the drill instructor did not laugh. Nor did he say what was true, which is that the United States Marine Corps, and indeed the whole of the U. S. Military, is chock-full of very special boys and girls.

She was going through what many parents must – she wasn’t against it in theory, but the thought of her loving young son going off to war was terrifying to her.  Braestrup shares her struggles in her latest memoir, Anchor & Flares.

I adored one of Braestrup’s earlier books, Marriage and Other Acts of Charity, (my review) when I read it a few years ago so I was thrilled when I received Anchor & Flares and quickly dove into the book.  I love Braestrup’s voice so the book started off with a bang for me – it was like I was visiting an old friend – but about a quarter of the way through, it seemed to lose its focus so I ended up liking the book a great deal but didn’t love it the way I thought I would.

As I expected, I loved the writing and found the book thought provoking.  Even though my own son never considered the military, I could relate to and agreed with most of what Braestrup said.  Even though I didn’t love this book, I think it’s well worth reading, especially if you’re struggling with your child’s decision.  I think Anchor & Flares would make a terrific book club selection because there is so much to think and talk about.

Review copy provided by Little, Brown. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,828 other followers