A few months ago, I was asked to join the local book club. I’d always planned on joining when it was formed a decade ago, but life and my introverted persona thwarted any plan to attend.
I was excited and frightened to go. I knew most of the attendees — when you live in a village of less than 1000 people for over twenty years, you get to know who’s who. My fear was garnered by writer’s doubt. They would realize I’m a fraud. They hated my books and were planning to tar and feather me. Or even worse…they planned to review my book in front of me.
Well, despite my fears, none of the terrible things I thought would happen happened. I’ve enjoyed my time with the group, their insights and the books that we’ve read.
This month’s selection is Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. The New York Times Bestselling story is about Vance’s family, his youth and the culture of the Rust Belt areas of Ohio and Kentucky.
I felt an affinity to the characters described in this book. They fought to protect the family and the family fought among themselves. In my family, we were taught from a young age that “blood is thicker than water”. Another point the author made was how even as his family moved into the middle class, they were uncomfortable with the difference in the culture around them. Behaviors which were accepted in Jackson, KY were frowned upon in Middleton, OH.
Throughout the book, J.D. Vance chronicles the events of his life and how he could have taken a different road than the one he ultimately did — graduating from Ohio State and Yale Law School. His story made me laugh, cry and get angry. Bounced from household to household, a parade of “father figures” and dealing with a parent with substance abuse, J.D. grew up with uncertainty and fear. His only source of stability were his grandparents.
I highly recommend Hillbilly Elegy, it is a moving story which helps to shed light on the reasons we have a large social and political divide in our country. I believe it is important to see what other people have experienced and how their lives are affected by the politics of the day.
Every morning is another chance to make someone smile, to give a friend a hug, to comfort someone who is having a terrible day, and to present the world with your best self.
Check out this 3-volume short story anthology by authors from the One Million Project!
This is a fabulous idea! This organization hires homeless women taking them out of the shelters to train them to make jackets that are given to the homeless.
They also provide training for other careers for those who wish to move on once they are established. We need more ideas like this one. Check out the video and consider donating to help this worthwhile program.
We live in a tiny place near the Mississippi River, and our son’s Labrador Retriever has been staying with us as we dog-sit. My husband was walking with the yellow fur baby when he heard a woman calling out, “Hello, Max!” referencing Clare’s loyal dog in Exodus and Winter’s Icy Caress.
On his return, he said, “Another reader of your books thinks Caesar’s name is Max.”
I absolutely love it!
For a limited time, you can download Exodus (Clare Thibodeaux Series, Book 1) for FREE, and purchase the Kindle version of Winter’s Icy Caress (Clare Thibodeaux Series, Book 2) for only $0.99!
Don’t miss out on a chance to read about Clare’s journey from ER nurse to a woman in hiding as she is hunted down by deadly strangers from her past. Two men vie for her heart while they promise to keep her safe from harm. Can she let her guard down and open her heart?
This article from the Huffington Post is an interesting read if you want more info about how romance scams on social media work and hear from actual victims of romance scammers, and the victims whose faces and identities are used to perpetrate these multi-million dollar crimes.