Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Readers Live Longer??

Photo by Bryan Thomas for the New York Times

This is a fascinating study about readers versus non-readers.  This appeared in the New York Times on August 3rd.  You can read their article by clicking here.

Over 3,650 people over age fifty participated in this study done by Yale University.  This group was split into three groups, those that didn’t read books at all, those who read three-and-a-half hours a week and those that read more than that.

The study was adjusted to include factors such as age, race, self-reported health, employment, marital status, etc.  Age for the three-and-a-half hour a week group increased lifespan by 17 percent while those that read more than that increased by 23 percent.  Book readers live an average of about two years longer than non-readers.

Reading through newspapers and magazines also saw some benefit, but not as much as book readers.  Maybe one uses more cognitive ability while reading books, which, of course, helps your brain stay younger longer.  This study was published in Social Science and Medicine.  If you’d like to read the article about the study, click the link above.

Now drag out those books and start reading.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Taking a short break

I’ll be having cataract surgery on both eyes and will be taking a break until the end of July.  Please bear with me.  I’ll try to get back to regular posting after that.

Thanks for reading.  I hope your summer is going great!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy July Fourth

I know I’ve been bad about posting here lately.  Hopefully, I can change all that soon.  The problem is many things, but mostly a lack of time to research and post anything worthwhile to read.

I wanted to wish all of you a Happy July Fourth.  It’s bittersweet here with that being the death dates of my father in 1980 and my husband’s father last year.  It’s way to hot to even enjoy a barbecue outside in the desert.  Because of that, we’ll be cooking indoors as usual.

Everyone be safe out there and have a happy day with family and friends.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Another writer gone, but not forgotten

Pat Conroy
10-26-1945 - 3-4-2016

We lost another author and a good one, Pat Conroy.  He was the author of the Prince of Tides and other books that were made into movies.  I’m sure some of you saw some of his films, The Great Santini and Conrack, or perhaps read his books.  The movie for Conrack was titled The Water is Wide and was about teaching poor children on the isolated Daufiskie Island, not far from the resort of Hilton Head where the rich lived.  Mr. Conroy won a National Endowment for the Arts award for this book in 1972.

The movie, Prince of Tides, also won him an Academy Award nomination in 1991.

Conroy lived many places during his life, but called South Carolina home where he was born on October 26, 1945, the oldest of seven children.  The family moved extensively during his childhood because his dad was an aviator in the military.  He flew fighter planes and was very hard on Pat while he was growing up.  He made him attend the Citadel, which was the last thing he wanted to do, but he avoided the draft and wrote a blog at that time about being an anti-war activist.  He saw eight of his Citadel friends killed in the Vietnam War.  He said “they walked off the stage and directly into the Vietnam War.”

Pat Conroy’s memoir, The Death of Santini, reflects on the struggles between him and his father.  After the movie, The Great Santini, came out his father claimed responsibility for boosting the career of Robert Duvall, the main character.  Duvall had already starred in the “Godfather” movies so this wasn’t entirely true, but gives one a sense of what a controlling man his father was. 

Later the book did help to achieve peace between father and son.

The author was married three times and leaves behind two daughters.  He battled a number of health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and a failing liver.  During his life, he suffered from depression, divorce, back surgery and the suicide of a younger brother.  But he succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Friday, March 4 2016.  He will be missed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Read Across America

It’s Read Across America day and also the birthday of Dr. Seuss, children’s writer and illustrator.

It’s nice to have a day devoted to reading, but we should all read something everyday.  You’re never too old to read, whether it’s for fun or research.  I’m thankful I learned to read because there are many people in the world who’ve never had the chance to learn to read, or to write.

Dr Seuss left us with many great quotes that are good for all ages.  Below are some of my favorites.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

A tribute to Harper Lee

April 28, 2926 – February 19, 2016

Not everyone can write a classic piece of literature, but this lady did it and did it well with To Kill a Mockingbird.  I read this book in high school, but that was many years ago.  I want to read it again now.  How many of you have read this classic book?

She had the guts to write a book about race when racial tension was high, especially in the south.  And even though the book was controversial and perhaps not about a pleasant subject, she won a Pulitzer Prize.  You can’t get much better than that.  I’m sure many people will read this book in the years to come.

We lost a great lady, but she lived a nice long life and still had her wits about her.  That’s more than some of us can say, or hope for.  I’m glad she lived long enough to see her second book Go Set a Watchman published in July 2015.  This book is supposedly the precursor to 'Mockingbird.'  I haven’t read it yet, but I doubt it will be half the book as the first one.  We’ll see.

Most of her life was lived in seclusion in the southern town of Monroeville, Alabama.  This was her choice.  I’m all for people living by their own rules.  She was the youngest of four children and never married.  To read more of her life story, click here.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentines's Day Dear Friends

Let's make this a special day to be kinder to everyone we meet, not just our loved ones.  Everyone is probably fighting some kind of battle in his/her life.  Think how nice it would be just to make one day a little better.