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"My Mother was Nuts" by Penny Marshall

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Comedian/director Marshall writes very openly on her life experiences growing up in the Bronx, getting pregnant and married young in New Mexico, her marriage to Rob Reiner, friendship with Carrie Fisher, and relationship with Art Garfunkel.      Marshall revisits tough subjects like abortion, drugs, lack of mothering skills, and her now fading health.   Great stories abound of her time spent on TV shows, movies, and her career as a movie director.    Marshall's humor is how she gets through the difficult stuff and lives with a simple motto: “try hard, help your friends, don't get too crazy, and have fun.”

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening

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MISTER OWITA'S GUIDE TO GARDENING is a beautifully written memoir by a first time author Carol Wall. The story is a very personal account of friendship between two people.  Less about gardening, the book is more about those accidental judgments that we make based on prejudices of race, money, education, and plain old general appearances.

I enjoyed this book.  It is about the power of friendship which can change our hearts and transform our lives; it is a reminder we all have more in common with each other than we think.

  

Funny Teen Fiction: The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy

Witty, sarcastic Ethan and his three best friends are students at Selwyn Arts Academy, which has been hijacked by For Art’s Sake, a sleazy reality-television show. The program pits student artists against each other for an arts college scholarship, but is really for ratings and big bucks for the producers. The friends are inspired to write a vigilante poem and distribute it to the student body, hoping to save their school from reality television. 

The Inferno

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Dan Brown’s latest, The Inferno follows the pattern of Brown’s other thrillers.  There is an intellectual puzzle to be solved while baddies chase and threaten the good guys. The fate of the world is in Langdon’s hands and hands of the brilliant Sienna Brooks, who accompanies him. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, specifically “Inferno”,   is the key to deciphering an obscure message left by an obsessed scientist, Zorbrist, who is intent on saving the world by destroying it. The chase and race is on… through the streets, alleyways, secret underground passages, hidden doors and tombs of Florence, Venice, and Istanbul.

Along the way Langdon delivers a running commentary on the rich history of the Italian Renaissance, Christian, and Islamic art. The abundance of information can distract from the plot versus enrich.  I would recommend reading this book for the excitement of the chase, the clues and the underlying theme, but not the convoluted plotting.

 

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