Starlight Reviews – Sandra Brown’s Deadline & Dan Harris’ 10% Happier…



Starlight Reviews | Jorie's Reads by Starry Night Elf

In this edition of Starlight Reviews, I offer up two books focused on journalists facing the aftermath of covering news in war zones. First, I look at suspense novelist Sandra Brown’s Deadline. Then, I focus on Dan Harris’ 10% Happier… 

Deadline

Deadline: A Novel by Sandra Brown | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

Deadline: A Novel 
by Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: Sept 24, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Mystery
ISBN: 9781455551231
Source: eBranch Harris County Public Library

Goodreads 

 Description: 

Renowned print journalist Dawson Scott returns from reporting from the front lines of Afghanistan. Quietly suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), he learns from his source in the FBI of a potentially huge story. This story could define Dawson’s career!

Dawson begins investigating the Jeremy Wesson’s disappearance. Wesson, the biological son of Carl Wingert and Floral Stemal, stateside terrorists who have been on the run for forty years. His coverage leads to Savannah, Georgia and Amelia Nolan, Wesson’s ex-wife, and their two boys. Drawn to Amelia, Dawson learns she and her young sons are staying with a nanny on one of the Georgia Sea Islands. In an unexpected turn of events, Dawson becomes entangled in nasty allegations. Setting aside the PTSD, Dawson tries to find Wesson, Wingert and Stemal.

Review: 

In Deadline, Brown’s gifts of dialogue, setting, and local color brightly shown. A riveting and fast read, I wanted to know how it would end. While I wish Brown made the nanny more memorable, I felt Brown reestablished herself as one of my “go-to” authors.

   RR - OrangeRainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works
by Dan Harris
Publisher: It Books
Publication date: March 11, 2014
Genre: Biography, Autobiography, Psychology
ISBN: 9780062265425
Source: Harris County Public Library

Goodreads 

Description: 

Broadcast journalist Dan Harris’ most embarrassing moment – a panic attack – took place as he attempted to read the news on “Good Morning America” in 2004. After reporting from Afghanistan, Harris became accustomed to adrenaline. When returning to the US, he took serious, illegal drugs to maintain the high. Always on edge, the need for a fix led to the panic attack. After seeking medical help, Harris quits drugs and life gets better.

Soon, Harris’ assignment to reporting on faith leads him to the “self-help subculture.” In turn, Harris discovers something which helps him calm down – meditation.

Review: 

I enjoyed Harris’ writing style – self-deprecatingly humorous. I liked reading about many of the journalists on ABC and so many celebrities. He even mentioned Rivers Cuomo of Weezer! I didn’t agree with everything Harris said and I wasn’t too keen about the narrow margins of the pages.

RR - Orange  Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 

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Jack Keroauc’s On the Road (Revisited Challenge)


On the Road by Jack Kerouac | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

 
Title and Author(s):  Jack Kerouac and Matt Dillon’s On the Road
Release Date: 2000

Publisher: Caedmon

ISBN: 9780060755331
Hours: 11 
Source: Harris County Public Library 

* 1001 Books Book

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Reasons for Reading: I read this book a few years ago since it’s hailed as the book of the Beat Generation. Fortunately, I listened to the the version that actor Matt Dillon read. When On the Road won in the Revisited Challenge, I happily checked out the Matt Dillon version for the second time.

Summary: (This autobiographical narrative uses pseudonyms per publisher’s demands.) Salvatore “Sal” Paradise (Kerouac) tells the narrative of adventures had in the late 1940s and early 1950s “on the road” with his new found, free-spirited friend Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady). Through these treks, Dean and Sal use many drugs, drink many boos, and “sleep” with numerous partners. Sometimes, they stay with different Beats (Carlo Marx/Allen Ginsburg and Old Bull Lee/William S. Burroughs), and other times Beats join them on their trips. Also at play are the tensions between Dean’s partners Marylou (Luanne Henderson) and Camille (Carolyn Cassaday).

One Thing I Learned from this book: Previously, I’d thought the Beats were just the 1950s predecessors to the Hippies of the 1960s. Now, I see the differences along with the similarities between the two groups.

What I Liked: I really am glad I heard Matt Dillon read this book. Also, Kerouac’s prose clearly expresses the events.

What I Disliked: However, I didn’t care much for the characters. They’re lazy and wasteful; lowlifes. Lastly, I didn’t like the way women were treated in this book.

RR - Orange  Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 


Song: 
Ricky Nelson – Hello Mary Lou (with solo by James Burton)

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Jorie’s Top Ten Books Featuring Travel


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

top ten tuesday — books that feature travel in some way

(Wow, listing titles that differed from others’ TTT was challenging!)

  1. Douglas Adams’  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  2. Isabel Allende’s Daughter of Fortune 
  3. Ann Brashares’ Sisterhood Everlasting 
  4. Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon Series (Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno
  5. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales 
  6. John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines 
  7. John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me 
  8. Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises 
  9. Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees 
  10. Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art 

John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me


Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin | LibraryThing

(Last book review of books finished in 2012!)

Griffin, J. H., & Childs, R. (2004). Black like me. Middletown, Me.: Audio Bookshelf, LLC.

Reasons for Reading:Yet again, I sought another nonfiction eAudio work to entertain me during my work commute. I came across Black Like Me, checked it out from the HCPL Digital Media Catalog, and put it on my iPhone.

Summary: Texas Writer John Howard Griffin underwent a bold experiment like no other. He left his home in Mansfield, Texas with the intent to “pass as black.” With the help of a reticent New Orleans dermatologist, Griffin took a course of drugs, endured sunlamp treatments, and applied skin creams in order to understand the “black experience” firsthand. He also shaved his head and, later, his arms.

Then, he traveled through the Deep South as a black man. His social experiment altered the lives of many. Black Like Me is a journal of Griffin’s courageous experiment. The title comes from Langston Hughes’ “Dream Variations”

Rest at pale evening…

A tall slim tree…

Night coming tenderly

Black like me.

What I Liked: I appreciated what Griffin did. Also, I found Griffin to be a gifted writer who wanted to understand and help his fellow citizens. I liked that Griffin didn’t lie, either. He seemed to be an interesting and virtuous man.

What I Disliked:  Many versions of this book exist. I’m grateful I got an edition with an epilogue which Griffin wrote in the 1970s. As hindsight is 20/20, Griffin related the outcome of Black Like Me. It’s my feeling that this should be the version everyone reads.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Setting: Texas, New Orleans, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina

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DK’s Top 10 Orlando


Top 10 Orlando / WorldCat

Grula, R., Tunstall, J., & Tunstall, C. (2010). Top 10 Orlando. New York: DK Pub. 9780756661762

Reasons for Reading : After utilizing various other Top 10 guides, I wanted one on Orlando before I headed to see friends in Florida. I ordered the book from Amazon.

Summary : DK Eyewitness Top 10 Orlando offers the tourist several lists of the ten best restaurants, hotels, museums, parks, etc.
What I Liked : I appreciated the map and the lists of places to hit at Epcot. When I saw the cover of the book had Epcot on the cover, I felt this to be a trustworthy source of information.
What I Disliked : I doubt I spent enough time in Orlando to justifiably find any errors. I hope to return and really test out the guide sometime.
Five Out of Five Pearls

Places: Orlando

Song:  Pinocchio – When You Wish Upon A Star – YouTube

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Top Ten Books Jorie Recommends to Those Who Don’t Like Non-Fiction


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

Click here to see the upcoming topics!

  1. Todd Burpo’s Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
  2. Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
  3. Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life
  4. Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
  5. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
  6. Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  7. Scholastic’s A Wicked History Series
  8. Robert M. Edsel’s Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe’s Great Art – America and Her Allies Recovered It
  9. DK’s  Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides
  10. Julia Alvarez’s A Cafecito Story: El Cuento Del Cafecito

DK and Roger Williams’ Top 10 London


Top 10 London by Roger Williams | LibraryThing

Williams, R. (2011). Top 10 London. New York: DK Pub. 9780756669423

One cool thing about not being in school is all the vacation time I can actually use for . . . vacation. Imagine that! My first big trip after Library School was to Washington, D.C. My friend there had the DK Top 10 Washington D.C. guide which was really cool. When I went to Hawaii, I bought DK’s guide pertaining to Honolulu and Oahu. Shortly after deciding to serve on a mission trip to England, I order the Top 10 London guide from Amazon. This is also an entry for the  2011 Non-Fiction Challenge,

DK Eyewitness Top 10 London offers the tourist several lists of the ten best restaurants, hotels, museums, parks, etc. Additionally, it talks of the top London literati and songs of the merry, old town. This guide also has a foldout map pocketed in the back cover. Of course, all of this information in packaged into a slim volume which travels well.
When my copy arrived, I was impressed by its thickness. The guide to London was bigger than the Hawaiian edition I’d previously gotten. I recommend any of these DK Top 10 books to any traveler. I’m certainly a repeat customer.
Five Out of Five Pearls

Places: London

Song:  The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset – YouTube

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