Review: Fifth Business

Don’t look up information before you write a review.  Yet I did find out Tokyo Police Club wrote a song based on this book.

Ramsay, the protagonist of Fifth Business, could be Everyman and Anyperson except that historical and world events move through his life and become up close and personal.

Fifth Business is a story that no matter how much we don’t believe that we impact people’s lives around us, we find out about it at the weirdest moments and when we least expect to. Then at some point everything will come to a head and perhaps not the way we expect. It’s also about belief, love, being yourself, being part of something and being part of other people’s lives.

This book talks a lot about magic and has a magic all of it’s own.

Advertisements

All the Single Ladies (The Extra Woman)

Before picking up this book, I had never heard the name Marjorie Willis and after reading the book, I understood why.  Ms. Hillis is one of those “hidden” historical people that unless you study a particular area and era inside and out, you will never hear of.

I’ve read plenty about the Roaring 20s and the pre-World War II era.  Plenty.  This era of American history fascinates me and in some ways our society today is a lot like it as much as things have changed.  For example, Prohibition is still here except now it is with items such as marijuana and not alcohol.  The effects are similar and at the same time but farther reaching.  This is for another time.  Another example is Wall Street and society was shaken to it’s core again in 2008.  Yet sometimes the question bed, did we really learn?  How much of what we have is still only on paper?

Marjorie Hillis wrote several books, her best known at that time being Live Alone and Like It. Ms. Hillis wrote for the single woman of the 1920’s and managed to sell products, known today as cross-promotion, for major retailers at the same time.  Ms. Hillis managed to ride out the Great Depression and continued writing for many years, even after she married at an older age for the first time.  The author, Joanna Scutts, paraphrases the book and goes into the historical context surrounding Ms. Hillis and her works.

10/10 for helping your mind to bloom.  A must for feminists, Women’s Studies, Jazz Age enthusiasts, and history buffs.

Review: The Battle for the Castle

I found this book in one of the local Little Libraries.  I didn’t know about the author Elizabeth Winthrop, even though she has written over 60 books for children, nor have I ever heard of the book until now.

Magic is in the air.

William, the protagonist, is 12.  His friend Jason jumps trains for fun and it has become a local coming of age for youngsters in William’s town to jump the trains as a rite of passage.  William may not be one for jumping trains but he does receive a very unique and powerful present for his birthday from his old governess.

One never knows what those forgotten toys in the attic might hold.

 

 

From Here to Eternity

I read Ms. Doughty’s first book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes while on a bus trip three years ago and after a death in the immediate family.  I finished reading From Here to Eternity the same day another immediate family member had been placed in hospice.

I applaud Ms. Doughty for doing what she does and bringing a very tough topic to the forefront with honesty and humor.  Death is part of the life cycle and so is grieving and not enough is given to the ritual of death and grieving.  Ms. Doughty traveled the world to see how other cultures deal with death and it is very different from what we know in the United States.  And then how the United States is influencing other cultures.

A must read.

Review: An Acceptable Time

This is one of those books that just leaves you with a “wow” feeling.

This is written by Madeline L’Engle and is part of A Wrinkle in Time, The Quartet, series.

Polly is with her grandparents in New England and discovers that she is above sacred space but also goes through a dimension in time that brings her back to the same area 3,000 years prior.  Polly meets the people who inhabited the area.  They think her a goddess.

This book touches on faith, religion, physics, science, and time.  10 out of 10.  A must read.

30 Day Challenge: The Tide is High

A relative of mine has a favorite saying that “water finds its own level”.

Find your tribe and they will find you.  This is true in life and with running a business as well.

I had a 20 minute conversation a few months ago where a potential client wanted to know why they should choose me over one of my competitors.  It was one of the toughest phone calls I’ve ever had as a business person.  Yet in the end, they paid me for the time I spent with them which was above and beyond what I normally do and I was grateful and the 20 minutes was well worth it.

Quick aside: people will call you when you are least ready.  So, always be ready.

One piece of advice I give to business newbies, and I received this as well in the beginning, is don’t feel you have to take every client.  Yes, I made that mistake in the beginning and learned the hard way.  Everyone wants overnight but even after doing this for over 20 years, there are still people out there who don’t know about you and your best friend is word-of-mouth.

And yes, the people who will want to work with you will respond.  So be yourself because phony is exposed really fast.

Review: The Black Cloud

I was reading this book on a day when the clouds were rolling in from an unusual summer storm just to the south of where I live.  The atmosphere fit the book.

The author, Fred Hoyle, was a well-known scientist and this comes through in the book.

An astronomer finds something out of order when taking pictures of the stars.  The only way for it to be described is as a black cloud that covers the Earth for a period of time and causes great chaos.  The story is mainly told from the scientist point of view.

A must for science fiction fans and those who love astronomy and doomsday tales.

I wonder if Steven King read this.  This has echoes of The Dome and also of Arthur Clarke.

10 out of 10.