Identity Crisis

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty Vendela Vida If you take inventory of what distinguishes you from the next guy, it’s really overwhelming. There’s the obvious stuff like your name, physical description, clothes and carried belongings; then there’s the esoteric: memories, experiences and people that populate them. In fact we seldom consider the identity fodder between…

Healing from Family Rifts

Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off from a Family Member Mark Sichel I didn’t find this book. This book found me! I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office and noticed it on the bookshelf. While all the other books were placed uniformly, this one was…

Emotions vs. Economics

Still Alice Lisa Genova In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, Alice Howland, an accomplished professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. Alice is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at…

Toxic Love

White Oleander Janet Fitch In creative writing workshops the first thing you learn is to “show instead of tell” your story.  This applies to character, setting, scene, etc., and author Janet Fitch’s novel, White Oleander, is my go-to book for examples in doing this.  She’s written a novel rich with sensory detail and prose so…

Foreward

The optimist:  I see Alzheimer’s has lifted any weight she bore in this life.  She is unfettered and living life in the here and now.  There is no past, no future worries on her mind–after all, worry is fretting over what might be.  The woman once propelled by a bit of useful OCD, kept a lovely, impeccably neat home; but she is now…

Purpose

While discovering Auntie Jaquey, I simultaneously groped around in the dark for a few days until I found the boundaries Aunt Gene had set.  Like finding little land mines, the things for which she refused help were planted to sabotage anyone assuming her caregiving role.  Although she enjoyed the freedom our visit provided her, complete…

The Thing Around Your Neck

The Thing Around Your Neck Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Author, Chimamanda Adichie, justifies her well-deserved acclaim in this collection of twelve short stories. She deftly combines the universality of relationships, struggles, and triumphs with snippets of history, social studies, and culture (mostly Nigerian) but, not exclusively. After all, no one and no place is an island,…