Awesome Authors #9: Tom Perrotta

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Image Credit: AZ Quotes

I love so many podcasts, which is a great problem to have. Last month, I finally listened to the NPR Fresh Air interview with Tom Perrotta, which originally aired on July 31st.

I remember reading part of Election when I was younger, and I have seen parts of the movie. But, listening to the Fresh Air interview makes me want to re-read it, and read more of his work.


Born in August 1961, Perrotta was raised in New Jersey. His family roots are Italian and Albanian. He is one of three children. He decided early on that he wanted to be a writer. He wrote several short stories for his high school literary magazine. After high school, Perrotta went to Yale University for his bachelor’s degree, and then earned his master’s from Syracuse University. He married in 1991, and lives in Massachusetts, near Boston.

Since 1988, he has published seven novels, multiple short stories, two collections of short stories, two essays, and at least one ghostwritten novel. Several of his works have been turned into screenplays for film and TV. The most recent adaptation was The Leftovers, for HBO.


Election (1998)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

The story involves high school and presidential elections in 1992. I look forward to reading this again, and then watching the movie (1999).

Little Children (2004)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

This book is Perrotta’s most-lauded and praised books. This is definitely on my list. Like Election, it was adapted into a film (2006).

Mrs. Fletcher (2017)

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Image Credit: Amazon

I look forward to reading this. The Fresh Air interview about this book was spellbinding. I wonder if this one will become a film?


What about you?

Have you read any of Tom Perrotta’s work?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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Tag #36: Currently Reading Book Tag

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Image Credit: Mommy and the Books

The amazing Thrice Read ladies did another tag! I’m always up for answering fun book-related questions!

Here are the links to Jenn and Eden’s posts:


How many books do you usually read at once?

I try to stick to one book!

 

If you’re reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books?

I typically don’t do this, but it happened this week. I had a long reading break / hiatus, and I felt it was necessary to switch books for the time being. The nice thing about books I own – They’re not going anywhere!

 

Do you ever switch bookmarks while you’re partway through a book?

Not really. I love my Glee bookmark that I bought a while back.

Where do you keep the book(s) you’re currently reading?

I try to keep them on my nightstand.

What time of day do you spend the most time reading?

At night, before bed.

How long do you typically read in one sitting?

These days, it’s typically less than an hour, since we go to bed so early. It’s really sad!

Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off?

On. I hate taking them off!

What position do you mainly use to read?

Sitting up, usually with a pillow behind me.

Do you take the book you’re currently reading with you everywhere you go?

No, unless I know I’m headed to an appointment with a waiting room!

How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading?

Sporadically. I’m lucky if I remember to do it once a month!


What are you currently reading?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #35: My Name in Books Tag

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Image Credit: Good e-Reader

Two of the ladies at Thrice Read did this really cool, yet challenging book tag. I wanted to see how I fared with the nine letters that make up Laura Beth.

Here are the links to their posts:

Here we go!


L – Looking for Alaska, John Green

A – A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray

U – Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand

R – Rosebush, Michelle Jaffe

A – Anthem, Ayn Rand

B – Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, Barbara Ehrenreich

E – East of Eden, John Steinbeck

T – Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher

H – Half Broke Horses, Jeanette Walls


What about you? Which books correspond with your name? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #34: Horror Movies Book Tag

Here’s another awesome book tag, courtesy of the ladies at Thrice Read!

Here’s the link to their post:


The Rules:

  • Please credit and link Princess @RoyalReader as the creator of this tag, and add the rules.
  • You can use the graphics provided in your post, or you’re welcome to make your own!
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you and let others know of their fabulous blogs.

The Zombie Apocalypse

Name a book you’d save when civilization ends.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Vampire

A book you would stake through the heart.

Allegiant, Veronica Roth.

The Haunted House

A book that still haunts you.

13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher.

The Psychological Thriller

A book with a twist you did not see coming.

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins.

The Creepy Doll

A book that seems innocent, but isn’t.

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks.

The Monster

A book you could barely tackle.

Angels & Demons, Dan Brown.

The Comedy Horror

A book with mixed genres that worked, or didn’t.

I actually haven’t read any mixed genre books!

The Cliched Teen Horror

A book you found super cliched.

Twilight, Stephenie Meyer.

The Demonic Possession

A book so gripping you need an exorcist to escape it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1), Stieg Larsson.

The Science Fiction

A precious book you would sacrifice to aliens for the good of mankind.

I agree with Thrice Read, I would sacrifice The War That Saved My Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.


What would you pick? Let me know your answers in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Awesome Authors #8: Sharon M. Draper

I first discovered Sharon M. Draper in high school. I found The Battle of Jericho at the Russell Memorial Library in Chesapeake. She introduced me to a whole new world. Through her books, I quickly gained a better understanding of African-American teenagers and their lives. Draper’s writing is incredibly realistic, and I felt connected to many of the characters. I’m adding a few of her books to my TBR, also.


Sharon M. Draper was born August 21, 1948. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she graduated from Pepperdine University. She’s married, and has two children, a son and a daughter.

She was named the 1997 National Teacher of the Year. She has received multiple national and international awards and recognition. Draper is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award. Several of her books have been listed on the New York Times Bestseller List.


Hazelwood Trilogy

I read this trilogy, one after the other, after reading The Battle of Jericho. It was so life-like, I needed a break after finishing the series. It shows the consequences of driving drunk, to say the least.

Jericho series

I read The Battle of Jericho first, and then I had to wait until November Blues was published in my senior year of high school. I remember feeling ecstatic when Just Another Hero was announced when I was in college. Like the Hazelwood trilogy, Draper covers many real-life topics in these books, including hazing, teenage pregnancy, tragic deaths, and school shootings, to name a few.

 

Romiette and Julio (1999)

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Image Credit: sharondraper.com

I don’t actually remember reading this, so I’m adding it to my TBR.

Double Dutch (2002)

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Image Credit: Simon & Schuester

Like some of the other books, I don’t remember reading this one. This is also going on the TBR!

Copper Sun (2006)

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Image Credit: sharondraper.com

This is one of her historical novels. I remember reading parts of it, but I don’t think I finished it. I’m putting this one on my TBR.

Fire from the Rock (2007)

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Image Credit: Scholastic

This is one of my favorite books from Draper. I love historical novels, and this one is written in journal / diary-style. I definitely want to re-read it soon.

Out of My Mind (2010)

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Image Credit: Goodreads

This is another book I’m adding to my TBR. It’s told from the perspective of a girl with cerebral palsy. I have deep appreciation for writers that respectfully approach and write about individuals with challenges.


I hope Draper will continue to write and publish! I look forward to reading and re-reading her books, especially her historical novels.


What about you?

Have you read any of Sharon M. Draper’s works?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #33: The Would You Rather Book Tag

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Image Credit: Dreamy Addictions

The lovely Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts participated in this awesome book tag!

Here’s the link to Jenna’ post:

Ready?

Here we go!


Would you rather …

Have unlimited money for e-books, or a $5,000 Barnes & Noble (B&N) gift card?

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Image Credit: Barnes & Noble

I’ll take the $5,000 gift card, please! Without hesitation, I might add.

E-books are great for certain purposes, but I will always be a physical book kind of girl.

Would you rather …

Meet any deceased poet, or J.K. Rowling?

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Image Credit: Goodreads

This one is also a no-brainer. I think I would freak out a little if given the opportunity to meet J.K. Rowling. I can picture myself asking her so many questions about writing, publishing, and wanting to know more about her life. Harry Potter was a big part of my life when the books were being released, and it still is, with the movies, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. She’s an amazing writer!

Would you rather …

Write the world’s most famous book, or visit the world of your favorite book for one day?

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Image Credit: Salon

This is definitely a selfish choice, but since I’ve dreamed of being a writer since I was 10-years-old, I would want to write the world’s most famous book. I think it would be such a cool experience!

Would you rather …

Choose __________ or ___________? (Insert characters from your favorite fictional love triangle).

I’m not a love triangle person, so I have no answer for this one.

Would you rather …

Experience Hogwarts in a very realistic and accurate virtual reality, or travel around the world for a year, at no cost.

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Image Credit: VitalityToday

I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled many different places already. But, if given the opportunity to travel around the world for an entire year, at no cost, that would be AMAZING. I’ve already started a list! In no particular order:

  1. Italy
  2. Everything touching the Mediterranean Sea
  3. Ireland
  4. Scotland
  5. Greece
  6. The Amazon Rainforest
  7. Costa Rica
  8. All of Canada
  9. Japan
  10. Australia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Antarctica
  13. All 50 states
  14. Puerto Rico
  15. Bermuda
  16. Scandinavia
  17. Jerusalem, Israel
  18. Germany
  19. South Africa
  20. The Galapagos Islands
  21. Fiji
  22. Tahiti
  23. Bali, Indonesia
  24. All of the National Parks
  25. Switzerland
  26. The Panama Canal
  27. Machu Picchu
  28. Easter Island
  29. Acapulco, Mexico
  30. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  31. Santa Catalina Island

This tag was so much fun! Some of these questions were really hard.

What would you answer?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #50: “The Great Gatsby”

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Image Credit: Complex

I may have mentioned before that I re-read The Great Gatsby at least once every year. This Book Review attempts to express my deep love and appreciation for this novel, first published in 1925.

I was first introduced to this thrilling work of fiction in Mr. Degnan’s English class in high school. At the time, I knew bits and pieces of the eras known as “The Jazz Age” and “The Roaring Twenties,” but I hadn’t willingly picked up a work written by F. Scott Fitzgerald until this particular assignment.

Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed.

Told from the perspective of Nick Carraway, a man in his late twenties, the book catapults you head-first into the crazy world of New York City and Long Island during the summer of 1922. Nick is surrounded by a literal cast of characters, including Jay Gatsby, the owner of an extravagant, opulent mansion. Nick rents the modest bungalow next door, and is immediately awestruck by Gatsby, the incredible parties he hosts, the rumors that swirl, and the air of mystery. What follows in the coming days and months is a violent whirlwind of many parties, little work, lots of dancing, plenty of food and drink, and a time of celebration following The Great War’s end.

Nick reconnects with his cousin, Daisy Fay Buchanan. She is married to one of Nick’s college acquaintances, Tom. Jordan Baker, a beautiful amateur golfer, soon enters Nick’s life and his heart. Along the way, Nick learns that Tom has one main mistress, Myrtle Wilson, and rents an apartment in the city for other affairs.

An invitation to one of Gatsby’s parties thrusts Nick into another world. He learns the man is borderline obsessed with Daisy. Five years have passed since their chance encounter. However, Nick can see that Gatsby desperately wants to reconnect with her. Over time, he uses Nick surreptitiously to accomplish his goal.

Throughout the novel, affairs run rampant and can easily make the reader’s head spin. The dancing, music, and illegal alcohol will do that, too.

The characters’ personalities are heightened, and sometimes incredibly violent and unsettling. The fights and shouting feel real, and the hot summer day that serves as the novel’s climax makes me sweat every time.

Several of the characters suffer quite tragic consequences, and by the very end, many are bitter and disillusioned, to say the least. There’s a sense of an incredible downward spiral.

The novel is long enough to take readers on an incredible adventure set in a span of just a few months, but short enough to be thrilling, breathtaking, and entertaining without getting stale. Reading Gatsby for the first time inspired me to dive into Fitzgerald’s world and read more of his work. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Finishing the book leaves me in a slightly depressive mood, but in the end, it’s worth it. It gives me a sense of what those years were like for those who experienced it, in the cities, in modest houses, and in the ashes.

5 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂