Saturday, April 28, 2012

My book selection criteria.

Television viewing has grown wearisome . . . filled with endless reality/nonsense shows, so I've been reading, and reading a lot.
But how do I select my library of books?
Well I have three measures that help me chose my books.
A) Front Cover - The cover is the first thing I see - that and the title.
However I can only think of one instance when the front cover was so compelling I knew I was going to get the book before even reading the blurb on the back . . .  Those Who Save Us, by Jeanna Blum.
The image of a young girl, I'm guess 4-5 years of age was wearing a red coat, kind of like one I remember having in Brooklyn.  It drew me! 
B) The back blurb is about 95% of the reason I select books. Rarely have I actually cracked one open in advance of buying it, rather base whether the book returns to shelves on what the blurb has to say.
C) Topic - I'm pretty consistent in this regard.
I'm a strident Holocaust-aholic, reading everything I can get my hands on.  And also enjoy books that have jewish characters. ex: The Midwife of Venice.
Religion comparison books, and those that knock religion are big on my list. ex: Dancing with Angels.
Fantasy books, and no I'm not talking x-rated. Harry Potter and books about dragons get me. I have yet to dabble into vampires.
And lastly books set in the orient. I find those so fascinating. Memoirs of a Geisha,  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
On occasion I do select books outside my norm, i.e. The Glass Castle, The Da Vinci Code, and am always interested in memoirs.

I have a friend who never looks at the blurb on the back, but cracks open the book and reads the first page. IF that author writes in a style she likes AND catches her with a hook, she buys the book.

What about you, what makes or breaks a book being selected by you?

I'm just curious.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

When is it time to replace Gefilte Fish?

It's Passover this week and my family sat down to our traditional meal of chicken soup with matzo balls, chopped liver, gefilte fish etc.
To me those dishes ARE passover. But those dishes are also Rosh Hashana.
What I mean to say is that they define the holidays to me. I don't care a lick about the prayers but the food is as important as turkey is for Thanksgiving.
BUT not everyone shares my thoughts.
My sister and son want to modernize our menu. They're tired of the old tried and true. For them the holidays would survive a menu change, but I am a hold out.
I once heard that smells trip memories, but so do foods, and to me the taste of sweet gefilte fish or dill laced chicken soup with big fluffy matzo balls bring me back to a table I sat at with two parents and five siblings.
I fear the replacement would weaken that memory.
I think I would be willing to bypass all the other dishes, but not the chicken soup or gefilte fish.
I'll give it a try for the next holiday.
But between you and me, I wish I didn't have to.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In search of a New Symbol

Anyone who knows me knows that for years and years I wore a necklace with a gold horse's bit around my neck. As of late, I think it doesn't work for me any more. Sure I love horses and still ride, but not like I once did.
It's time for something new.
I considered something flashy, shiny and elaborate (Which I love), but then thought about a different necklace . . . more like a symbol.
Some people wear Crucifixes, others Mogan Davids, Peace signs, etc. All are good, but don't quite fill my bill.
My parents were holocaust survivors and I am deeply proud of that. I want something that signifies that pride.
Some might say, "Your jewelry should not define you." Well I say WHY NOT?
I am in search of a new symbol. Something that I can wear proudly, signifying that I am only here because Adolf Hitler failed.
That's a big thing for me and I won't stop until I figure this one out.
Have any suggestions??????

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You're only as old as you feel . . . bull sh t!

In reality, you're really as old as your body tells you you are . . . but I am in the mood to argue.
I made a bucket list long before the movie (Which I loved) came out.
As I approach numbers toooo ugly to type I have to resign myself to the fact that there are places I won't get to visit in my lifetime.
I have decided to focus on getting myself to Antarctica asap.
Why there???? you ask.
Thar be penguins to photograph.
I have heard it pricy, so I'll have to save up my money, but I will get there. . . . sooner than later.
When we're young, there's soooo much time to do everything, but then all those years vanish in a blink, and you have to seriously consider what you really want to do, before.......
I want adventures, lots of adventures.
I want to know that I stretched and challenged my self.
I want to return to Africa and photograph the Apes, but only an upturn in the economy will permit it. You see I plan on taking the kids and the grand kids so the price ticket will be big.
Let's all hope that the economy will turn around before I'm toooooo old to make that trek.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I was a patient reader, but it wasn't deserved

Over the past many hears have dutifully waited for the next book of the Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel to be released. But have found her series ending book lacking.
I can see no reason for the 800 pages, other than she loves to write. It is endless, repetitive visits to caves and remembrances that we have read and re-read throughout the other books.
I feel cheated as she built up toward what I was hoping for closure in regards to Ayla's son from the Clan, which is mentioned endlessly but unsatisfactorily answered. The reasons behind Jondalar's straying are weak as is the conclusion of this book.
I was very upset that I forced myself to finish the book. I would have been better served to stop at book number five which was a far superior read.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Years plus 26 days

In my previous post I listed some of the things I hoped to accomplish this year. Here is a report card on how I'm doing.
Diet - The grade of "C" - I have my good weeks when I eat well, keep the carbs down and protein consumption up.
I have those moments when I crave, desire, can't live without . . . . junk.
But tomorrow is another day.
Exercise - The grade of "C" - When I'm not ill, (I've had two colds in 26 days) or too busy, I've been really good at slapping on the leg weights and walking my dogs up and down hills. When I do it with any consistency I actually feel stronger . . . Yeah. The problem is consistency.
But tomorrow is another day.
My aspirations - The grade of "B" - My family has been prodding and guilting me into turning my hobby of photography into more of a money making venture. So, I have put out the word that I am in search of bellies and babies and families . . . to shoot.
I'm nervous because I want to do a good, no great job, and am acquiring props and backdrops as we speak. Wish me luck, but
Tomorrow is another day.
Writing - The grade of 'B' - I've been working on my second book for well over a year and just today I pressed the send button sending it to my editor. Now I must nervously wait by my computer, with the hopes that there will only be a minimal amount of corrections. Once its back, the book will be sent to
my friend at the Huff Post for the thumbs up or down. If it's thumbs up then I send it for spelling and grammar cleansing. Then my search for an agent or publisher begins.
Wish me luck.
So two C's and two B's not bad.
But then - Tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Looking ahead to 2012

I refuse to make New Years resolutions, because . . . well they never live up to the hype BUT I do have a 2012 bucket list.
A) I'd like to bring down my weight . I know, that's on almost everyone's list, but I am going to really try this time. There are a couple reasons:
#1 I want to be here for my family, ie: husband, children, brothers, sisters, father, friends and grand kids.
#2 I can't expect to successfully accomplish my backpack trip into the hinterlands of Yosemite at this weight. My sister has already warned me that I'd better not slow everyone down. OOOOOHHHH the pressure.
#3 So I can start shopping again. Going to the mall searching for clothes in XL sucks. Nothing looks good, so I just wear old stuff. Hey - it fits!
B) I would like to seriously start-up a newborn, children, maternity photography business. My son and his girlfriend suggested I do it, and I am seriously thinking of starting. I just need to perfect my lighting techniques. I shot my grand kids from the time they came into this world and love love love it. My daughter was my model for maternity as well as family shots and I think I'd be good at it.
C) I want to finish my second book. A wonderful girlfriend and sister have been helping me hone it and it should be pretty dam good when it's done.
D) I want to have a wonderful time when my sis and I go to Iceland, and hope to return with stunning shots of that wonderful place.
E) I hope to be lucky enough to land camping spots for Yosemite valley so we can share yet another fabulous summer week in my favorite National Park with family and friends.
These are the first ones to come to mind, but if and when I think of others I'll add them to this post.
Wish me luck to fulfill my 2012 bucket list!