The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

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source: purchased
title: The Silver Linings Playbook
author: Matthew Quick {Twitter}
pages: 289
published: 2012
genre: fiction
first line:  I don’t have to look up now to know mom is making another surprise visit.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending―the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being haunted by Kenny G!

David O. Russell’s adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook features Bradley Cooper (People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive) in the role of Pat, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker, and Jacki Weaver. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: “Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut.”-quoted from amazon.com

my thoughts:
Matthew Quick tugged at my heartstrings with The Silver Linings Playbook. We get the story through the eyes of thirty-something Patrick Peoples who as the story begins is finally going home after a few years stay in a mental hospital. Pat’s mom fought hard to get him out and as part of his release agreement he has to continue seeing a therapist and continue taking medications. When Pat gets home to New Jersey you see the dysfunction in his family. His father, his brother and himself are all die-hard Eagles fans. Football is a constant in Pat’s life and it is one of the few things that makes him happy and feel normal again. It is also the main thing that allows bonding time with him and his Dad.

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I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

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source: purchased
title: I Am Legend
author: Richard Matheson
published: 1954
pages: 161
first line: On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when the sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back.
rated: 5 out of 5
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blurb:

It seems strange to find a 1954 vampire novel in Millennium’s “SF Masterworks” classic reprints series. I Am Legend, though, was a trailblazing and later much imitated story that reinvented the vampire myth as SF. Without losing the horror, it presents vampirism as a disease whose secrets can be unlocked by scientific tools. The hero Robert Neville, perhaps the last uninfected man on Earth, finds himself in a paranoid nightmare. By night, the bloodthirsty undead of small-town America besiege his barricaded house: their repeated cry “Come out, Neville!” is a famous SF catchphrase. By day, when they hide in shadow and become comatose, Neville gets out his wooden stakes for an orgy of slaughter. He also discovers pseudoscientific explanations, some rather strained, for vampires’ fear of light, vulnerability to stakes though not bullets, loathing of garlic, and so on. What gives the story its uneasy power is the gradual perspective shift which shows that by fighting monsters Neville is himself becoming monstrous–not a vampire but something to terrify vampires and haunt their dreams as a dreadful legend from the bad old days. I Am Legend was altered out of recognition when filmed as The Omega Man (1971), starring Charlton Heston. Avoid the movie; read the book. –David Langford

my thoughts:

Hello blog friends, I have been MIA and missed you all these few weeks but I did manage to read I Am Legend and wanted to share my thoughts on it. I’ve been busy with the usual work, family and just enjoying the summer. We even went on a mini-vacation to the beach last weekend. I’ll share pics on a Sunday post soon and I’ll be blog hopping this weekend and catching up.

Anyway, I picked I Am Legend out of left field really, it wasn’t a book I even planned on reading anytime soon but I found myself in a reading slump and this one helped get me out of that.
Richard Matheson wrote I Am Legend in 1954 and he set his futuristic post-apocalyptic thriller in 1976. The protagonist is Robert Neville, who has lived alone for a few years after losing his wife to a virus that infected most of Earth’s population and turned them into the living dead. The virus was thought to have been spread by mosquitoes after a war. Neville lives boarded up in his home, drinking often to ease the pain of his lone existence. He ventures out during daylight in search of food and supplies while also killing vampires. He spends his days trying to figure out the virus and how to cure it. I felt bad for him from the start. You get to see his past through a few flashbacks. I felt that Matheson wrote Neville’s loneliness and desolation masterfully and he was really creative with his storyline.

Horror he had adjusted to. But monotony was the greater obstacle, he realized it now, understood at long last. And understanding it seemed to give him a sort of quiet peace, a sense of having spread all the cards on his mental table, examined them, and settled conclusively on the desired hand.
p. 101, I Am Legend, Richard Matheson

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Crescendo by Amy Weiss

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I am an Amazon Affiliate
source: Free review copy via Amazon Vine
title: Crescendo
author: Amy Weiss (Twitter)
published: Hay House, Inc. May 2, 2017
pages: 208
genre: fiction/magical realism
first line: Once upon a time-
rated: 5 out of 5 stars amazing
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blurb:
“Til death do us part,” Aria and her husband swore. But death came much too soon.

When tragedy strikes one summer night, everything is taken from Aria: her family, her future. Desperate to find meaning in life after loss, she and her beloved mare leave their home in search of something—anything. It feels like the end of her life. It is the beginning.

If she can find her way through the forest of grief, she will discover an incredible adventure waiting on the other side. Hers is no ordinary journey—it is a journey into the nature of the soul. Each step takes her further into uncharted lands. The cave of darkness. The lake of time. The human heart. Each place she goes and each person she meets has a new lesson to teach her, and soon she comes to learn the most astounding one of all: her loved ones have never left her. They are with her throughout the lifetimes. They are eternal and immortal.

And so is she.

And so are we.

My thoughts:
I finished reading Crescendo last week and I am still thinking about it.
This is a beautifully told story about life, loss, grief and love. It is a small world because years ago I read Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives by Brian Weiss, who I found out is Amy Weiss’ father. If you haven’t read Many Lives, Many Masters I recommend it also, it is an incredible true story about past life experiences and reincarnation. Anyway, I’m digressing here a bit. Crescendo also revolves around the idea of past lives. Isn’t the cover pretty? It matches the story perfectly. As I was taking that picture, my dog Huey photo bombed it, top left. He has perfect timing.

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May 23 Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads Featuring Complicated Romantic Relationships

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I know it seems like all I post are memes lately, I swear I have reviews coming up soon too. This week’s TTT is a Summer Reads Freebie. I really enjoy reading outside during the summer months and my favorite beach reads are ones that hook me from the start. During the summer especially with the nice weather beckoning, there are other things that will grab my attention if the book I’m reading isn’t a real page turner.

What is better than a complicated love story? Love is never easy so it seems more realistic when its that way in books too. It feels like the characters earn their relationships in a way, if they have to struggle and fight to stay together against the odds.

Here is my list of page turners and my hot dog legs from last summer by the lake….

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Top Ten Beach Reads Featuring Complicated Romantic Relationships

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1.  Letters to the Lost by Iona Gray

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five…He promised to love her forever. Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness….

Letters to the Lost became a favorite when I read it. It is both historical and contemporary romance with dual story lines. Keywords in the blurb “all the odds are stacked against them…” So good.

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Top Ten Tuesday April 11: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read

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Top Ten Tuesday April 11: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read

This weeks topic was harder than I thought it would be. As for myself, unique books are ones that are hard to forget.
Here’s my list…

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1. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band
Motley Crue is an American hard rock band that formed in 1982. In The Dirt each of the four band members tells his story from childhood through their time with the band. This book was like a roller coaster ride, wild. There was sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, but you also get to see another side of the group, the guys behind all the glam and fame. Very entertaining.

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2. Flowers in the Attic  by V.C. Andrews
I don’t know what it is about Flowers in the Attic. It is just one of those books that is almost awesomely bad, in the best way. The flowery writing, the taboo twist to the story-line, the drama….it’s all juicy.

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