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MonSter in the driver's seat

I don't know who I was kidding, but let me take the weight of my fib. Why I though I could complete this trip is even more ridiculous than the decision to to begin it.


 I'm sure I have read multiple books that represent every state in this country as well as all the countries and continents on this planet. At last count (fifteen plus ears go) I kept a diary (multiple) of every book I rad. Sometime I wrote descriptions, some times not. The point is that I was at one time extremely organized in my reading. 

I am still reading. Do't get me wrong. I read every day ,just not in a regulated manner as Read Across America requires.

The original purpose of this blog was to connect with other acquaintances with the MonSter. That has somehow shifted in focus as I attempt to but that demon aside . But he invades my personal space uninvited and reminds me that attention is needed. that I am not a normal person.

This morning I arose early to work on my NaNoWriMo assignment, as I oily have 3…

Lisa's Friday Reviews (On a Monday)

Yes, I am a bit late, but my NaNoWriMo word count began November's National Novel Writing Month challenge at an impressive number, so I might not have been reading but I  certainly have been writing.

Somewhere along my reading journey I have developed a sincere love for true life adventure. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson fit the bill perfectly for a visit to the state of Maryland. Bryson had me as soon as I saw the book cover. Who says you can't judge a book by its cover?
A Walk in the Woods stirred a longing for just that. A long walk mid the flora an fauna of my Appalachian home land. Or, in my case, a comfy chair and a cup of tea to accompany a pleasant afternoon read.

MARYLAND







OHIO I kind of got lost in Ohio, but I did discover my new favorite author. No, I haven't had the opportunity to actually read all of these books, but Jeffrey Eugenides and I have a standing date for post-NaNoWriMo. Yep, Jeffrey and are going to be spending some time together come December. Anythi…

Lisa"s Friday Reviews: West Virginia State Book Festival

As with any road trip, some of the most exciting parts are the un expected side trips.

Today I should regaling Pennsylvania, but instead find my way to one of the biggest book shows in the nation.

My reviews will have to wait until my return. A return I will make with my arms full of BOOKS!

Lisa's Friday Reviews

New Hampshire: The Virgins by Pamela Erens, set in an elite East Coast boarding school, is the story of Aviva, a young Jewish beauty and Seung, her Asian lover. Or at lest that is the rumor around campus. While the unlikely couple float in a healthy sea of exaggerated assumption of their love life, Aviva and Seung are more accurately caught in the net of confusion and unrequited lust. Pamela Erens sets the  bar high for any future boarding school legends with this honest coming of age venture. I thoroughly enjoyed my stop in New Hampshire, even if it meant reliving memories of early romance and heartbreak.


 A New York Times Editor's Choice selection
* A Chicago Tribune Editor's Choice selection
* A Best Book of 2013, The New Yorker
* A Best Book of 2013, The New Republic
* A Critics' Choice selection for 2013, Salon
* A Best Indie Title of 2013, Library Journal
* One of Redbook's "Top Ten Beach Reads of 2013"
* One of O Magazine's "Ten Titles to Pick Up Now,…

Lisa's Friday Reviews : Reading Across America

As I continue my journey across the country, I begin to realize to fully appreciate the beauty of our country's literary history we must allow ample time in order to completely enjoy  the talent in America. Thus, my stay in New Hampshire is taking a bit more time while I read The Virgins by Pamela Erens. Basically: I am not finished with this interesting look into the promiscuity of our youth.
So, while you awaiting my thoughts on this particular novel, let me share my latest review for Readers Favorite.
We Were Ghosts is a disturbing story that many might not appreciate as much as this former educator. Children are more often than not forced to hide secrets of horrors that occur behind closed doors.  Home is supposed to be a sanctuary, a safe place for children, not a place to fear. I believe that We Were Ghosts to be one of the most important writings ever to be shared with the public. 
Why?  Because it is truly an accurate depiction of the dark reality faced by so many young peopl…

Lisa's Friday Reviews

Maine is a large state to get lost in, especially at the time this memoir was written. Imagine a world without our 21st century conveniences, rig down to indoor plumbing and that all might refrigerator. Louis Dickinson Rich managed to survive without internet, Walmarts, or sometimes even human companionship. While in her early thirties, Rich and her husband found their livelihood in the remote settlement of Middle Dam, Maine. Louis tells of the wide array of loggers, fishermen, campers, and thrill seekers that make their way to her small community in search of sustenance and oft times shelter from the harsh Maine snow storms in which they  find themselves.  The author refers to her home as remote, calm and timeless,  "that makes the scramble of ordinary life seem like a half-forgotten and completely pointless dream."    
For an advocate of getting lost in fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in the woods with Louis Dickinson Rich. We Took to the Woods is a MUST READ and…

Lisa's Friday Reviews: I may be in Maine, but I don't just review books..

Upon looking for an e-mail that I never received, I decided to search my trash; and guess what? Not only did I find the missing e-mail, I also unearthed quite a treasure. 

As a novice essential oil advocate, I am not unfamiliar with coconut oil, but the link below provides a wide world of uses that will keep you reading and pondering for days. But do not be overwhelmed. Grab your jar of coconut oil and experiment. 



I can absolutely attest to the cosmetic value of coconut oil. After only three days of moisturizing with said product, my skin is amazingly soft. I haven noticed the disappearance of some fine lines around my eyes and mouth and my complexion has actually "evened". I am hoping that further application will eliminate that wobbly neck age forces upon us.

I apply the oil to my face and neck every morning and evening after a quick cleanse and let it dry. I also massage a little (and that is all you need) into my feet and heels. Guess I will have sandal feet all winter!

No,…

Reading Across America: Let's begin in Maine!

Last week I announced my plans to red my way across the country in lieu of actually setting foot on the soil of individual states. Since then I have decided that I am glad I did not actually get behind the wheel of a car, because there is a key element missing in my intention. I did not plan. IN my excitement to share this project I did not think through my journey. The reading teacher in me grabbed on to the alphabetical order of states without realizing that out country is not arranged in ABC fashion. So, as I scrambled to acquire an Alabama title, I did not take into account the logistics of beginning my journey in the awkward location that Alabama provides in a road adventure. 



I mean...where do I go from there? My need for order demands that my travels adhere to some type of sense. I suppose I could begin the South, but why not set off from Florida and work my way up and out? I really do not want to back track in my quest to collect all fifty states and not begin a big fan of air …

Read Across America: Lisa's Friday Reviews

Although I have traveled the majority of the states in America, there are a few that I doubt I will ever reach. An adventurer many years ago, my travel lust has waned as life grows more complicated for me. So, when I fell on to this website, I just knew this is one way to tick off all fifty states.

Join me in my travels to READ ACROSS AMERICA!

100 BOOKS ACROSS AMERICA: FICTION AND NONFICTION FOR EVERY STATE IN THE UNION A READING LIST FOR YOUR LAST-SECOND LITERARY ROAD TRIPAlabama Fiction: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafĂ©, Fannie Flagg Female friendships aren’t a new thing in literature, despite recent high temperatures induced by Ferrante-fever. This classic of Alabama fiction centers on the unlikely relationship—a friendship built, more than anything, on storytelling—between an 86-year-old woman in a nursing home and an unhappy middle-aged housewife. But it’s also a portrait of a community, and addresses issues of violence, race, homosexuality and aging over more than hal…

Lisa's Friday Review

Here is one way to wrap up your summer reading. While writing 
this review, I kept thinking about coming of age themes literary 
greats from Kureac and even Steinbeck. Although I would never 
recommend The Summer of Crud to a young reader, this story 
definitely reflects a less wholesome  story than one normally 
associated with the genre most often classified as young adult. So...
I deam Jonathan LaPoma's an adult coming of age tale that will 
hang around in the reader's mind for days after turning the last 
page.
Oh, and I must admit that I am still concerned about Danny's bowel
issues.



                                SUMMER OF CRUD
Finally. College graduation. A new life on the horizon. No better time than now to stretch those 
wings of independence and treat the soul to a well-deserved adventure before real life takes over. It 
was time to hit the road. Play a little music, smoke a little weed, maybe even write a new song. 
Danny is more than ready to go; but when his phone rings at…

Lisa's Friday Review

Have you ever been punched in the gut by a book?  Taken totally by surprise and anxious to get to he next chapter but reluctant for the story to end? Well, that has happened to me twice this summer. I have already told you about Winds of Skilak. I am till not over that tsunami. 
Gifts Unexpected is my second storm of words that left me speechless. Not nonfiction as is Winds of Skilak, but t times I forgot that important detail. As I told the author in my Readers's Favorite review, "Wow". That is basically all I could offer. Just, "Wow".
Relax, Adela, it’s probably nothing,” is what she told herself that morning. The little lump hiding on the side of Adel’s left breast had not been there only weeks ago. At least she was not aware of it. And her last mammogram had been normal. A bit unnerved, Adela mentally shook off any concern as she decided to recheck in a few days. If it was still there, she would see her doctor. For now her time was better spent preparing for he…

Lisa's Friday Review

Have you ever read a book that you just could not put down? Of course you have. You are a reader, right?




Well, this week I took on three totally different genres of fiction and I have been thoroughly satisfied with my reading experience.
If you enjoyed Little Women as a child, dig into this more adult read of sisterhood.
The Book Sisters by Hope Andersen When Vera, the fourth oldest of the Book sisters, asks her mother for a lemonade stand, the charm of Hope Anderson’s tale is planted. Vera, Virginia, Viveca, Victoria, Violet, and Veronica are the six daughters of Vern and Valley Book and members of a picture-perfect family. The all-American dream, the loving family of which Norman Rockwell depicts in his famous images of Americana. But, as all dreamscapes, reality settles its harsh blanket over the family with the historical events of racism, Viet Nam, political turmoil, and international devastation. As time reveals the dark secrets of this once-upon-a-time family, the Book sisters f…

Lisa's Friday Reviews

Well, the end-of-summer count down is officially up and running. School in my district begins August 24 for students and my own son is scrambling to complete summer projects that this goody two shoes would have taken care of as soon as school adjourned in June. But,that has always been my downfall: Don't put off until tomorrow what I can accomplish today. If I search deeply into my teenage memories maybe that was not always the case with me. Maybe age and experience has created this task master alter ego. Maybe extensive reading has taught me the importance of time management. What ever it is, that is me.
No matter how you spend your time, though, I hope that reading is part of it.
Sometimes a story takes us by surprise. Sometimes what we learn from the author's words will blow your mind. Sometimes we are not aware that our heart and mind are in trouble. Sometimes we just need to be reassured.  Meet author Priya Kumar. She has checked off all those boxes in my life with The Wisem…

Lisa's Friday Reviews: The ants go marching one by one.

I Have MS. What’s Your Super Power? This is a book by a sufferer of Multiple Sclerosis, Lisa A. McCombs. It is her personal story, written to help fellow sufferers and their families. It explains how the disease once caused those whose immune systems come under its attack to be locked in asylums, and that it is still not recognised as widely as it should be. She goes on to describe current treatments, their usefulness and side effects, and her own way of tackling living with Multiple Sclerosis. “Suicide is not an option.”
Lisa A. McCombs has written a book that is informative, encouraging and, incredibly, carries the reader to the end on a wave of humour. “My neighbor had MS. He died last week”. This is: "I Have MS. What’s Your Super Power?" MS is the invader and the author is the Super Hero. She describes the symptoms and their tragic effects on quality of life and relationships in detail. Initial diagnosis brought fear. Where many crumble, given the appalling prognosis, M…

Lisa's Friday Reviews: Read Aloud: Books prescribed to prevent summer slide.

Summer is not over yet, but it sure is getting close. Not too close to disregard a little reading, though. According to Jim Trelease, reading godfather to the West Virginia Read Aloud program, 1,600 sixth-graders in 18 schools across the state show that by reading four to six chapter books over the summer is enough to alleviate summer loss in reading ability. When school resumes in a few weeks, teachers will typically spend an estimated four to six weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over their time outside the classroom. As a former public school educator, I can attest to that. So, please take the time over these last days of summer vacation to play catch up. Encourage your children to READ!

Books prescribed to prevent summer slide:


Pre-Kindergarten Tree: a Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup “A book with peek-through holes that let a child view the changes in a tree throughout the four seasons”





Bear’s Big Day by Salina Yoon Bear, feeling very grown-up, say…