Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Storyline Serendipity: Dame Julian of Norwich


MEDIEVAL MYSTIC SERENDIPITY
IN TWO RECENTLY READ NOVELS

 

Dame Julian of Norwich came up in Larry's Party by Carol Shields and Scandalous Risks by Susan Howatch, two books I was reading at the same time this month.

Julian of Norwich (1342 - 1416) was a Christian mystic and theologian, known for her book Revelations of Divine Love, which is considered to be the first book written in English by a woman.

In Larry's Party, Larry's second wife is a woman's studies professor specializing in the lives of female saints. She breezily mentions one day that she is off to St. Julian's Church in Norwich to study Dame Julian. 

Scandalous Risks is part of Howatch's Starbridge Series of novels about the Church of England in the 20th Century, set in the fictional diocese of Starbridge. Dame Julian's name is dropped during pre-dinner cocktail banter among the cloister set.



WHAT IS STORYLINE SERENDIPITY?
A ONCE-IN-A-WHILE BLOG EVENT

Have you had the experience of something coming up in a book -- an event, place, idea, historical character, or even an unusual word -- and then shortly after, the same thing comes up in a different book completely by coincidence? I call this Storyline Serendipity.

I don't mean like when you take a class in Russian history and read two books about the Tsar. Or when you read two mysteries and there are dead bodies in each.

I mean random coincidence between two books. I like it when this happens because it makes me slow down and pay more attention to how the event or idea, place or character was treated in each book. I get a little more out of each book than I would have if the universe hadn't paired them on my reading list.

If you experience Storyline Serendipity, feel free to grab the button and play along. If you want to, please leave the link to your post in a comment. Or leave the link to your post on the Rose City Reader facebook page. If you want to participate but don't have a blog or don't feel like posting, please share your serendipity in a comment.

This is a once-in-a-while blog event that I'll post as I come across Storyline Serendipity. If you want to participate, post whenever you want and leave a comment back here on my latest Storyline Serendipity post. If it ever catches on, we can make it a monthly event.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine



It had crossed my mind that I ought to ready myself physically for a potential meeting with the musician by making a few improvements. Should I make myself over from the inside out, or work from the outside in?

-- Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I enjoy how this story unfolds bit by bit, as told by Eleanor, a most unreliable narrator. 


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Mailbox Monday: Homing Instincts by Dionisia Morales

The snappy cover on this new book of essays by Dionisia Morales makes me want to dive right in!



Homing Instincts by Dionisia Morales, a collection of essays on how the idea of home plays out in daily life.

What books came into your house last week?




Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.



Thursday, April 12, 2018

Book Beginning: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



When people ask me what I do – taxi drivers, hairdressers – I tell them I work in an office. In almost nine years, no one’s ever asked what kind of office, or what sort of job I do there.

-- Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This is hugely popular, but I had missed it until one of my book buddies recommended it to me a couple of months ago.  Since then, I've been seeing it everywhere, of course. It finally made it to the top of my hold list for the audio download at my library.

Who's read it? What did you think?





Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING





Monday, April 9, 2018

Mailbox Monday: Two New Books About Holocaust Survivors and How to Tell Their Stories

What books came into your house last week? I got two books about Holocaust survivors that look fascinating.



Shores Beyond Shores: From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story by Irene Butter. Butter was Anne Frank's neighbor in Amsterdam before her family was shipped to a concentration camp. It was decades before she told her story outside a close circle of family and friends.



Ghost Writer: A Story About Telling a Holocaust Story by Beth Benedix. After Benedix ghost wrote a memoir for a holocaust survivor, he urged her to write her own story about what it was like to confront the challenge of telling someone else's history when it "swelled beyond its own boundaries."



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.




Thursday, April 5, 2018

Book Beginning: The Lesser Bohemians

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!


MY BOOK BEGINNING



I move. Cars move.

-- Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half Formed Thing, which won the Baileys Women's Prize in 2013. Lesser Bohemians won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2016.

This isn't my favorite type of beginning, short and choppy. The first chapter starts with a stream of conscience scene of the protagonist, an 18-year-old Irish girl in London for drama school, at an audition.



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING




Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Larry's Party by Carol Shields





He hums his thoughts out on the air like music; they’ve got a disco beat: My name is Larry Weller. I’m a floral designer, twenty-six years old, and I’m walking down Notre Dame Avenue, in the city of Winnipeg, in the country of Canada, in the month of April, in the year 1977, and I’m thinking hard.

-- Larry's Party by Carol Shields. Larry’s Party won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1998, now called the Baileys Women’s Prize. The story follows Larry from his mid-20s to late 40s, through two marriages, fatherhood, and a successful career making garden mazes. Yes, garden mazes.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Mailbox Monday: The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney

In 1996, Seamus Heaney's The Spirit Level won the Costa Book of the Year Award (fka the Whitbread Award). I'm working my way through the winners, particularly slowly the poetry winners, so finally ordered a copy.



What new books came into your house last week?



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.




Friday, March 30, 2018

Book Beginning: Larry's Party by Carol Shields

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



By mistake Larry Weller took someone else's Harris tweed jacket instead of his own, and it wasn't till he jammed his hand in the pocket that he knew something was wrong.

-- Larry's Party by Carol Shields. Terrific first sentence! Larry’s Party won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1998, now called the Baileys Women’s Prize.



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING






Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Letters of Note



Seeing a picture of you in today’s newspaper standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail, reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral.

I now hasten to do so, and I do hope you will find them successful.

-- From Queen Elizabeth's letter to President Eisenhower, January 24, 1960, in Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience, compiled by Shaun Usher.

Letters of Note is just as absorbing as Lists of Note, Shaun Usher’s first irresistible compilation of ephemera. Letters is a collection of over 125 facsimiles of correspondences of consequence, usually because a famous person wrote the letter, or because the letter itself is historically important. All are fascinating.

My favorite is the note that John F. Kennedy scratched into the shell of a coconut when his WWII boat was hit by a Japanese destroyer and his crew was stranded in the Solomon Islands. He gave the coconut message to island natives to deliver to the PT base at Rendova so he and his crew could be rescued.




Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.



Monday, March 26, 2018

Mailbox Monday: More Kingsley Amis Books

I'm still on a Kingsley Amis bender. What books came into your house last week?


The Riverside Villa Murders

I Want It Now

That Uncertain Feeling



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.




Thursday, March 22, 2018

Book Beginning: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



Forty-five minutes northeast of Cambridge as a landscape I’ve come to love very much indeed. It’s where wet fen gives way to parched sand.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. I'm listening to the audio edition, which is read by the author. I generally enjoy that experience with non-fiction books, but she is a particularly excellent reader.

I finally got around to this popular book because I am working on the list of Costa Book of the Year winners. H is for Hawk won in 2014.





Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING




Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot



"You're back. There's been another burglary, and someone's about to be killed." 

Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot. Pippa Winterbourne owns Morehaven, a B&B and writer's retreat on the Oregon coast. She is also about to become an amateur sleuth in this first novel in Talbot's Moorehaven Mysteries series.





Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Blogiversary: Rose City Reader is 10 Years Old!


Wow! Rose City Reader has been around for 10 years! That might make me the Gray Lady of book blogs.

To commemorate, here is the list of Rose City Reader's "Top 10" posts. These are the posts that, according to google stats, have gotten the most page views since I started this blog on March 20, 2008.

  • College Board's Top 101: This list of "101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers" is far and away the most popular post on RCR because it was linked on a website that provides resources for young people applying for college.
  • Teaser Tuesday - Plainsong: I have no idea why this teaser post featuring Kent Haruf's novel is the second most popular RCR post. I think this book may get assigned in high school English classes and so get googled a lot.
  • List - Anthony Burgess: The list of Anthony Burgess' favorite 99 English-language novels published between 1939 and 1984.

Now I think I'll go eat a cupcake and celebrate!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Book Beginning: Eating People is Wrong by Malcolm Bradbury

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING


Term had just begun. Professor Treece, head of the department of English, sat at his desk, his back to the window, with the cold, clear October light shining icily over his shoulders on to the turbulent heaps of paper upon his desk, on to the pale young faces of his three new students.

-- Eating People is Wrong by Malcolm Bradbury. This is my favorite book title ever. What's yours?

I love Campus Novels and Eating People is Wrong is an early classic I've been looking forward to for quite a while. I've been laughing out loud while reading it, although when I read the funny bits to my husband, he doesn't share my amusement. He thinks I'm an English Major nerd. .




Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING




Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Review: The Days When Birds Come Back by Deborah Reed





The Days When Birds Come Back is the story of June Byrne, who returns to her grandparents' home on the Oregon coast, in recovery and trying to recover from her broken marriage. She hires Jamison Winters to restore the bungalow, not knowing that his life is also a wreck.

June is not an easy heroine. On the one hand, she went through a lot as a kid and is damaged, still fragile, and sympathetic. On the other, she can be prickly, and she acts pretty nuts. In one of my favorite scenes, she overshares with Jamison, shouting to him over the phone that she is a “dry drunk.” It’s an expression I know well because I’ve worked with many recovering alcoholics, both as clients and co-workers. One of my former law partners (may he rest in peace) used to joke/not joke about himself that you can take the liquor out of a fruitcake, but you still have a fruitcake.

The book hit me hard because June reminds me so much of so many real people. Reed captures what it’s like to be around a former drinker trying to stop – that sense that what is going on on the outside is just a half step out of sync with what’s going on inside. Reed lets the story unfold without forcing June to be better than she is. And it is that tension in the pacing that makes The Days When Birds Come Back such a beautiful story of grief and kindness and love.


NOTES

Read my interview of Deborah Reed.

The Days When Birds Come Back, is Reed's fourth novel. She has written three previous novels: Olivay, Things We Set on Fire, and Carry Yourself Back to Me, and two popular thrillers under the pen name Audrey Braun. Deborah splits her time between Germany, where she co-directs the Black Forest Writing Seminars at the University of Freiburg, and her home at the Oregon coast.






Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Austerlitz by W. J. Sebald



And just as Austerlitz had broken off with these words that first evening, so he continued his observations the following day, for which we had arranged a meeting on the promenade beside the Schelde. Pointing to the broad river sparkling in the morning sun, he spoke of a picture painted by Lucas van Valckenborch toward the end of the sixteenth century during what is now called the Little Ice Age, showing the frozen Schelde from the opposite bank, with the city of Antwerp very dark beyond it and a strip of flat countryside stretching toward the sea.

Austerlitz by W. J. Sebald. There is a rule for writers, "Don't tell, show." This book does the opposite. The entire novel is Jacques Austerlitz telling his life story to an unnamed narrator. His fictional life is interesting, but he goes off on digressions about walled fortifications, moths, exotic birds, Liverpool Station, Turner aquatints, and a dozen other things. It's like following someone click through random Wikipedia articles.



Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Late Book Beginning: Shylock is My Name

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

Sorry to be so late! I thought I had scheduled this post before I left for Montana for a court hearing in one of my sex abuse cases, but apparently not. My apologies!

When the post was supposed to go up last evening, I was waiting for a plane in the Missoula airport, reading this book.

MY BOOK BEGINNING



It is one of those better-to-be-dead-than-alive days you get in the north of England in February, the space between the land and sky the near letter box of squeezed light, the sky itself unfathomably banal.

-- Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson.

Jacobson's re-imagining of The Merchant of Venice is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, where famous authors have written novels reinterpreting famous Shakespear plays. I love this one and now want to read them all.




Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING




Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Author Interview: Sarah Mendivel


Sarah Mendivel is an author, therapist, and public speaker who works with children and teens burdened by trauma. Sam's Theory is her debut novel. See the trailer for Sam's Theory on YouTube.

Sarah recently talked with Rose City Reader about her book and her work with young people.



Tell us a little about Sam’s Theory and why it is more than a typical YA fantasy adventure story.

Sam’s Theory was written to honor the teens and adults who have experienced trauma and adversity in their lives. Like any good YA novel, this book provides a world to escape to and a special magic to believe in. But offering another world to simply run away to wasn’t quite enough for me. I needed to know for certain that these readers were feeling connected to a higher purpose by the end of this story. There was a sense of responsibility in contributing to their journeys by offering lessons that were realistic and achievable. I wanted readers to leave the book feeling as if they had allies in healing through the characters. Sam’s Theory gives survivors permission to feel, dream, and use their voices. It is infused with coping tools and learning, which is different than other commercialized novels. It is a story that encapsulates and nurtures the human experience in a direct, intentional way.

How did you come to write Sam’s Theory?

The idea for Sam’s Theory blossomed during my work as a milieu therapist on a pediatric inpatient psychiatry unit. I was working intimately with teens and children who had survived some very serious abuse, neglect, and loss. There was one night in particular where the universe had brought together a group of teens who all had similar histories and were currently living in residential centers. I remember feeling frustrated as they spoke about the lack of support they had.

I decided in that moment that enough adults had taken from these kids, and that I would role model what giving back looks like. I needed a way to reach more kids, and decided writing a book would be the best way to do so. Books are safe, non-invasive, and personal. They offer connection in a unique way, to every type of temperament. Sam’s Theory came from a real place, and you feel that when you read through it.

Why did you decide to write a fictional story instead of a more traditional, nonfiction self-help book?

There is something intrinsically healing about storytelling. I have always believed that imagination is the key to resiliency and wanted to offer the opportunity for people to explore that. Most teens and survivors have been bombarded by “advice” on how to live their lives by various people and groups with their own agenda. Sometimes this advice is helpful, but sometimes it can be unwanted and misinformed. The world doesn’t need more passive dialogue about how to do things; it needs action-oriented doers with integrity. Teens and adults are more apt to trust people who are willing to live by example. In all of my professional work with kiddos and adults, I have never asked them to try something that I wouldn’t try myself. I made sure the book practices that same code of honor. The journey of healing can be a scary one; and this story should resonate equality in that it offers a hand to hold during it.

What tools does your book offer for readers coping with trauma?

Sam’s Theory addresses and problem solves many issues related to trauma, including disassociation, disorganized attachment, grief, depression, anxiety, and the stigma of getting help. The book begins by educating readers about how trauma is stored in the brain and then explores how to process it effectively. Understanding how your brain and body works after scary things happen to it immediately creates the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with yourself.

We are, as humans, naturally built to regenerate. Readers begin to experience this as truth as they walk in Sam’s shoes. The book offers practical life advice, grounding techniques, conflict resolution ideas, examples of healthy coping behaviors, and insight into dealing with other temperaments that might differ from your own. It validates a survivor’s experiences in a way only survivors know.

Who is your intended audience and what do you hope your readers will gain from your book?

I often ask people what the world would look like if we raised just a single generation of trauma-free kids. My ultimate goal is to get this book into the hands of every kid, teen, and adult who has ever felt disempowered, taken advantage of, or hurt by an unhealthy adult. It is my hope that readers will feel strength in this story and allow it to inspire their own. I want them to feel alive when they reach the final page and believe that more exists for them than the reality they have been struggling with.

I would also love for people without trauma histories to read Sam’s Theory as a way to build a bridge of understanding to those that have. Trauma affects everything we do in school, work, relationships, our diets, etc. People have been doing the very best that they can with what they have up until now. But more than just that minimum exists. There is beauty and freedom in finally discovering your brave voice and taking back your life. I am making it my purpose to get to as many kids as possible and feel very committed to this goal.

What is the best way for your book to reach the people who need it?

My biggest networks are currently rooted in the mental health, social work, and educator communities. Survivors are a protected population and these professionals have been the most instrumental in making sure people in need have access to the book. I encourage people to share the book with others when they’re done, because this story has validity for everyone.

I have also been donating books to foster homes, domestic violence shelters, schools, psychiatric units, child life departments, and other places that might not have the financial means to buy it themselves. People can make book donations on my website www.sarahmendivel.com. Most of the money made at the book’s launch party was in donations and I was elated to be able to bombard the post office with so many packages addressed to marginalized kiddos all over the country.

What did you learn from writing your book – either about the subject of the book or the writing process – that most surprised you?

There is a certain vulnerability that goes into writing a story like this. It is a constant, conscious effort to stay courageous in sharing your own experiences, while trying to protect and honor the backgrounds of others you have worked with.

The biggest surprise came when people began to read it and say, “Oh my God! This is exactly how I’ve felt, but never knew how to put it into words!” That’s when I began to realize that this story wasn’t just for a specific group of kids, but it was speaking to the human condition as a whole. I think the world has been waiting for something like this, and it’s a good time for it.

Can you recommend any other books or resources for young people dealing with trauma?

First and foremost, it takes a lot of courage to ask for help. There is no shame in needing a little bit of backup sometimes. It is our right as human begins to access our worth by seeking the caring and competent guidance of others. If you can’t ask for help for yourself, do it for someone or something else as a motivator.

I am a huge advocate for EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as a therapeutic tool. It is quick, deeply effective, and everlasting. There are many therapists certified in EMDR, and can be found through www.PsychologyToday.com or www.EMDR.com. Teens can also text/call/email www.teenlineonline.org for immediate advice when hard feelings arise. “Asking for help doesn’t make you weak; it makes you an army.” - Sam’s Theory.

What inspires your work?

I work with kids of all ages and backgrounds. I have seen and used countless therapeutic interventions to gather the gritty details about their experiences. But what I realized years ago is that all anyone ever wants is validation. Kids just want to be loved and recognized as a whole person. They want to play and be hugged and eat ice cream. They want to be able to tell a funny story using their “outside voices” and try on different roles.

Trauma is only one part of their story. When I see a kiddo laugh, or play a prank, or draw me a picture after they just shared the scariest secret they’ve ever had to carry, it lets me know I did something right. I can’t imagine a higher calling than the work I do. Every single high-five or excited “Hey Sarah!” I get from a kiddo is the best feeling in the world. I have a box of notes from the kids I’ve worked with in the past, and it will forever be my most prized possession of goods. Kids are the best thing that’s ever happened to us as a human race. Their authenticity continuously reminds me of my own.


THANKS SARAH!

SAM'S THEORY IS AVAILABLE ONLINE IN KINDLE OR PAPERBACK. OR VISIT SARAH'S WEBSITE TO DONATE A COPY TO A KID WHO NEEDS IT!


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Sam's Theory by Sarah Medivel



My heart melted with compassion for him. For some reason, I had never considered a guy getting hurt the way I had been.

-- Sam's Theory by Sarah Mendivel. Mendivel drew on her work as a therapist to write this YA fantasy novel to use as a creative tool to help young people heal from trauma.

Sam's Theory is a fantasy adventure story about a rag-tag group of abused kids who set up camp and form an "Orphan's Collective" in the forest.

Woven through the story are tools for young people to help them cope with trauma. The book acknowledges the problems young people face, including depression, suicide, abuse, neglect, and loneliness, and provides positive tools and applied examples of healthy behavior changes.


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book Beginning: Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS

THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



"I put beautiful paintings in my novels because when I look out the windows, all I see is fog. Now ask me a serious question." Raymond Moore, 1948

Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot. This is the first novel in Talbot's Moorehaven Mysteries series, featuring Pippa Winterbourne, amateur sleuth and owner of a bed-and-breakfast/writers' retreat on the Oregon coast.

Each chapter starts with a quote from Raymond Moore, the (fictional) world-famous mystery writer who formerly owned Moorehaven, before his home became a B&B. I like this quote because it sets the Oregon coast scene so well.



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING





Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Light of the Northern Dancers by Robin F. Ganey



She tried to bury her fear with conversation, but panic had grown along with the mountains on the horizon. She hadn’t wanted Intah to know.

Light of the Northern Dancers by Robin F. Gainey. Set in the late 1800s in Wyoming ranch country, Ganey's new novel tells the romantic and exciting story of Eden Rose, a transplanted Scottish aristocrat. When her husband takes off for good and her brother disappears into the Bighorn mountains, Rose turns to help from Lakota holy man named Intah.

PORTLAND EVENTS:

February 27, 2018: Robin will appear on Afternoon Live on KATU-2 at 3:00 pm PST.

February 28, 2018: Robin will be reading and signing Light of the Northern Dancers at Annie Bloom's Books in Portland next Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Click here for details.




Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.




Monday, February 26, 2018

Mailbox Monday: Kingsley Amis Book Haul

I played hooky last Friday afternoon and slipped off to Powell's for a Kingsley Amis book binge. What books came into your house last week?



Take A Girl Like You



I Like It Here



Girl, 20



You Can't Do Both



Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...