Sunday, August 30, 2015

Find The Good by Heather Lende

Roger often brings me home "treats" from the library.  He knows that I seldom have time to peruse the stacks.  In fact, I usually only go to the library if I know what I need. So, his frequent "findings" are always a delight!

Last week, he came home with a real treasure of a book, Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-town Obituary Writer, by Heather Lende. Yes, you read correctly, "obituary writer!"  I was intrigued and delighted from get-go.

Heather writes about how being the obituary writer for her small town in Alaska brought her wisdom, which she lovingly shares in this book.  These are great life-lessons like, "Be sure your dog walks you, or Put on a costume now and then, and, one of my favorites, "Listen to your mother," to name a few.

In her telling of the lives of the people she knows, loves and respects, she finds the lessons that she relates to her own life.  She tells her tales as one would if they were sitting across the kitchen table from you sipping tea and reminiscing.  Never preachy, never judgmental, simply wisdom shared. Her warmth, understanding, ability to laugh at herself and compassion jump from the pages.

I highly recommend reading Find the Good!  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Review of Deranged by Nora L. Jamieson

When I was first asked to read Deranged, by Nora L. Jamieson, I was drawn by the fact that the promo for it said it was a book with three stories about three woman. "Each woman wrestles with forces, both personal and ancestral..." the letter read.  I was hooked.

Nora Jamieson takes the reader on a journey where paths cross, lives change, time merges and magic abounds. Her characters - Anna, Sophie and Louise - are alive and vibrant.  I know these women! 

I connected immediately with the use of "deranged" within the stories.  Not sure if this is a New England term or not (Nora lives in Connecticut; I live in Massachusetts.) but I have heard the word used many times over the years in the same context as her stories.

Nora's descriptions of the natural world are alive with color, motion, sound, smell and even the bitter/sweet taste of life.  The reader can get lost in the woods along with the characters, yet feel that they know the way home.  There is such beauty in her narration! I found myself rereading passages just to hear the words dance from my tongue.

I highly recommend Deranged to all, but especially for those who connect to Spirit, Nature and the eternal dance of Life and Death. This will be a book I return to through the years, knowing that another bit of truth will be waiting for me in between the lines.
 Nora L. Jamieson lives in Connecticut where she writes and counsels women and unsuccessfully tracts coyote.  She lives with her spouse, Allen G. Johnson, and their soulful dog, Roxie, and the sorrowful and joyful memories of four beloved goats and three dogs. You may visit Nora at