Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

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.