28. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Humor, Inspirational, Marsha, Memoirs, NonFiction · Tags: ,

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott, 238 pages, read by Marsha, on 05/27/2014

birdLamott gives us an inside peek at her writing processes and the advice she gives to her workshop students.  Hilariously written, as one reviewer notes, the book is “a warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer’s world and its treacherous swamps.”  Lamott is not shy about telling her students and readers that writing is hard work and what we think of as reward, publication, may not ever happen.  And yet, we should keep on writing about ourselves, our lives, our very ups and downs.  She encourages us all to just keep writing day by day.  A good dose of humor is thrown in to keep us from getting too despondent.  Lamott tackles libel, beginning writing, taking classes, and finding writing partners with a good dose of reality and fun in her text.  I highly recommend it for any creative person who needs a good laugh.


31. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox and the Creation of a Myth by Katherine Frank, 338 pages, read by Tammy, on 07/29/2012

It is January 1719. Nearly sixty, Daniel Defoe is mired in political controversy, legal threats and health issues, but for the moment he is preoccupied by a younger man on a barren shore—Robinson Crusoe.

Several miles south, another old man, Robert Knox, sits bent over a heavy volume—published nearly forty years before. Knox’s Historical Relation was a best seller when it was published in 1681, just a year after he escaped from Ceylon and returned to England.

This book explores the real men and their stories. Defoe who imagined great adventures and Knox who lived and wrote about his real shipwreck adventure on the island of Ceylon. It then explores how their writings created a whole genre of adventure, lone-man survival stories especially ones modeled after Defoe’s main character, Crusoe.