Tag Archives: #books #greatAmericanNovels

Something new….

I’ve been taking an online marketing course for the past 11 days and one of the biggest takeaways from the guy giving the course has been how to connect with people and readers in a more personal way. Since I live in the woods in a tiny New England town and I don’t get out much because, you know….writing…connecting with and meeting new people has been a problem for me. I can’t afford to attend every single book signing out there or travel to every conference.

Really, all I want to do is write.

But…

This is the age of easy access to people via the internet, so I’ve moved into the twenty-first century and tried something new, something the course director says should boost my online presence ( read:book sales!) if done correctly.

I can only hope I’ve done it correctly. Hee hee.

So, long story short, I did my very first FACEBOOK LIVE EVENT yesterday. It was terrifying, just me, sitting in front of the laptop, talking. Terrifying, I tell you.

I don’t even like to get my picture taken much less be videoed.

But….

I made it a short piece ( 10 minutes) and talked all about something near and dear to me, the Great American Read blog I’d done that morning. I’d had the forethought to make a few notes on what I wanted to say so that made it easier. I will admit I rambled a bit and if you watch the video you can hear me clicking my pen nervously off camera – something that sounds really loud to me.  I had someone else tell me they didn’t hear it at all, so I hope that’s true for the masses.

Depending on the response I get to the video (and this blog, talking about it) I will do another. Everything horrifying always gets better when you do it a few times, right?

Okay, let’s be real here because this is me: I’m never going to be comfortable being videoed. Not gonna happen in this lifetime. All I can see when I watch it is how crooked my face is, how my left eye is ridiculously smaller than my right, and my neck is starting to resemble the Thanksgiving turkey I’m going to serve this year. Add in the fact my voice sounds like a million pointy nails scratching against chalkboard and you can understand why I didn’t pursue any type of career in the performing arts. If you do watch it I suggest you keep the volume low so that my voice doesn’t annoy you too much.

And if you do watch it...BLESS YOU. If it’s something that you find either funny, interesting, worth the ten minutes you lost watching it, I’d really appreciate it if you could either pass the link on to your friends, or drop me a word or two in the comments section either here, or on my FB page, telling me your thoughts and reactions. I’m not being falsely humble and fishing for compliments, peeps. I truly need advice on how to do this better and more effectively.

So. I’m off to do the one thing that doesn’t give me agita: write.

When I’m not making myself nervous about public speaking you can find me here::Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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What do you mean I can’t read that book?!

I’ve been writing a great deal about books recently since the Great American Read has started broadcasting on PBS. I actually gave a real voice to the title of this post when I was a teenager. I’d gone to my local library and asked for a copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover, a book I’d heard about in an advanced English class and was told the library didn’t have a copy because the book was, currently, on the banned list.

This wasn’t the 1950’s  McCarthy era, folks. This was 1977.

Until this time I never even knew a book COULD be banned from public libraries or from being sold in  commercial book stores. Since this was decades before the Internet made everything sellable ( banned or not, legal or not) I had no recourse and wasn’t able to read the book until I got to college and it was part of another advanced english course as required reading. My college, apparently,  had no problem selling it to its students in the college bookstore. In all honesty, when I finally did read it, I didn’t see what the big deal had been about. If the powers who be banned the book in an effort to try and  protect teenagers  from reading about and then having sex by not allowing them to read about mutual and consenting sex, they were doing a piss-poor job, because I’d already read a much passed around copy of The Happy Hooker as a freshman in middle school. Every kid in my class had thumbed through it- some had even underlined a few passages. As far as I know, no one who read the book grew up to become a  prostitute or had sex with an animal. That whole “letting kids have access to books like that gives them leeway to have sex” is just stupid in my opinion. Again, this was the 1970’s. We didn’t have access to internet porn; R rated  movies were enforced, and cigarettes came with warning and age labels. I wasn’t even allowed to purchase a COSMO magazine until I was 18 and could show proof of age.

Things are different now, aren’t they? Not better, just….different.

Back to the banned books, the topic of this little conversation, one sided though it is.

Censorship is a concept I have a great deal of trouble with. As an American, but more as a writer. Freedom is very precious to me – in all aspects of the word. The dictionary defines censorship thus: the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

Now, I get the threat to security argument. There is no way the general public should have – in my opinion – access to classified documents where the publishing of such could endanger lives or the security of this nation or anyone in it. That’s a given for me. No argument on my side.

But that’s were my opposition to censorship ends.

The mutual exchange of information is what makes us an elevated species. We think. We have ideas. We share those ideas with likeminded – and not likeminded – individuals via speech, in the media, and yes, in books. As far as I know, human beings are the only species on the planet with a written language. And a beautiful written language, at that. Words mean things. Words form things, like philosophies, goals, opinions, theories, conclusions. The exchange of ideas is a freedom  we have in this country, where in other countries it can be used as the reason for imprisonment or a death penalty.

To censor someone’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas from being written and shared with others because a collective body of elected officials deems them obscene, politically unacceptable or against the norm is not the definition of freedom of speech by any measure. This freedom’s a biggie, folks. It’s defined in the bedrock of our Constitution.

Again, this is just my opinion and no one has to agree with it or me. But I do have the right – morally, legally, ethically, and spiritually, to state it, write it, and share it. That’s what being an American means.

I’ll get off the proverbial soapbox now.

This past week, the American Booksellers Association celebrated their annual Banned Books Week by posting 10 of the most challenged and banned books of the year.

This is the list and you can read about the books yourself. I was very surprised at several of those that made this list.

In the past, other books that are now considered part of our great American collective and which were banned included: A Light in the Attic, Forever, by Judy Blume, Cujo by Stephen King, The Catcher in the Rye, and even something as wonderful as Charlotte’s Web was banned because reading about the death of Charlotte was considered to be too emotionally harmful and upsetting to children. The idiots that made who call completely missed the entire premise of the book.

I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about censorship, and I’m sure the individuals who make and try to enforce the tactic think they are doing a service. Obviously, those individuals are not writers because if there is one thing I know – and know without a shadow of a doubt – writers are writers because they have stories to tell that will uplift some, enable others to lift themselves,, entertain the masses, and provoke thought and actions in others. Writers write for the joy of writing, for the happiness it brings them and others.  And in this country one of our basic tenants is the pursuit of three things one of which is happiness.

Off the soap box now and off to exercise my freedom to write.

Yu can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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The Great American Read

Piggybacking off of Saturday’s post, I love books.

But you know that… hee hee.

This year on PBS  a documentary about books is playing that is near and dear to my heart. It started last May with a two part episode of the 100 favorite books in America as voted upon by hundreds of thousands of people. The show is hosted by the wonderful, smart, and wickedly witty Meredith Vieira .

The premise is easy. From these 100 books listed, PBS watchers will vote on the #1 favorite book to read.

I have several favorites in the list, including, but not limited to,  these:

 

 

 

 

 

          

 

Then there a few books that I question. I won’t list all of those but I will tell you my least favorite book of all time, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, is also on this list. Don’t judge me. I just think this book was a waste of my sophomore year in English in high school. And why in the name of all that’s holy is 50 Shades of Gray on the list???

Okay, enough ranting about the ones I don’t like.

You should view the list and see if your favs ( and not favs) made the list. Then, I recommend you watch the show and on your favorite!!! I’ve even been toying with the idea to start reading the 100 books ( even the ones I hated!) in 2019. Many of the books I’ve never read before and I think – at this advanced age (heehee) – I should broaden my reading horizons.

Just a thought for now, but I’m giving it thoughtful consideration.

 

Seriously, though…if you like to read, this is a great show to watch. Each episode digs deep into the category of books they are doing. For instance, there’s a show about debut books from first time authors like Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The WindDid you know that was her first and only book ever published?

There’s a show all about the romance genre ( a personal fav for me!) titled WHAT WE DO FOR LOVE. It includes books like  Jane Eyre   and Pride and Prejudice.  

There’s an episode  even about the human condition that highlights books such as thePilgrim’s Progress and Siddhartha.

One of my favorite episodes is the one on friendship. It features The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,  A Separate Peace and  Charlotte’s Web,

Again, this is a great series to watch if you love books, love to read, or are just trying find out a little more about the authors and why they wrote the books they did.

So, if you’re looking for a change from all the negative stuff on commercial television nowadays, this is a really nice way to spend a few hours. You won’t only be entertained, but you’ll learn something along the way as well. Make it a family watch and gather up the kids, grab some popcorn, watch and DISCUSS the books with one another!

Reading and the Great America Read. They’re good things.

When I’m not watching TV or reading you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Author, love, Romance, Romance Books