Utopirama!: Find the Good…

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imageNonfiction 2015It’s Utopirama time again – a time to take a brief time-out from the horrors, suffering and general discomfort of daily existence and look toward a higher goal.  Today’s book is all about making that glass at least half-full before you metaphorically kick the proverbial bucket.  It is Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer by Helen Lende.  As it is also a memoir of sorts, I will be submitting it for the Non-fiction Reading Challenge hosted by The Introverted Reader, hence the comfy armchair.

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Quick Overview:

 In brief, easy-to-digest chapters, Lende takes the reader through the wisdom she has garnered from time spent composing obituaries in the local paper for her fellow townsfolk, both well-known to her and otherwise. Each chapter is titled with a little nugget of truth and follows the salient life lessons that presented themselves to Lende on reflection, ranging from “stop and smell the fish”, to “put on a costume now and then”. The stories are gentle and often humorous, and packed with unspoken exhortations for the reader to dig beneath the thin veneer of daily life and appreciate the untidy, unexpected and unexplored bits of our existence and that of those around us.

Utopian Themes:

Let it shine

Everyday wisdom

Seize the day

Lemons to Lemonade

Ask not for whom the bell tolls

Protective Bubble-o-meter:

protective bubbleprotective bubbleprotective bubbleprotective bubbleprotective bubble

 

5 out of 5 bubbles for the wholesome goodness (and unexpected sting) of squeezing fresh citrus fruits

This is a quick and gentle read and one that would make perfect before-bed reading for those who like to wind down by slowly shedding the layers of negative emotion accumulated during the day. Lende’s voice chimes with welcome and life-affirming humour and the format of the book suits those who like to dip in and out and reflect on what they’ve read. This is a great choice for when you need a cosy, restful distraction, such as during the daily commute, or while waiting for an unpleasant appointment.

Progress in the Non-Fiction Reading Challenge: 5/10

Until next time,

Bruce

Fiction in 50 December Challenge: Reflections….

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Good morning, cherubs of the blogosphere!  Today’s Fiction in 50 prompt, appropriately enough, is…..

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Now my effort this month isn’t particularly original in plot, for which I must apologise, but I feel it nevertheless accurately reflects the state of mind of many beings at this time of year, be they flesh or stone.  I call it…

The Art Critic (A Tragicomedy in One Short Act)

“Take it away.”

“But Sir, you specifically requested that it be placed here.”

“Nonsense! It’s grotesque! Why, you can hardly make out the face for the shadows cast by those wrinkles. Why would I commission such a hideous work?”

“But Sir, that’s a mirror.”

….

“Take it away at once.”

If you’d like to join in on the action, (and we all know you do!) simply create your own piece of fictional writing in 50 words or less and add your post to the linky, or post your fiction in the comments.  For more detailed instructions and prompts for upcoming Fi50s in 2014, click on either of the fancy Fi50 buttons.

fiction in 50  If anyone is interested in co-hosting Fi50 in 2014, drop me a line, I’d love to have a   partner (or a whole committee!) of Fi50 enthusiasts.

Our first prompt for 2014 will be….

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Until next time,

Bruce

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Post-Christmas Tomfoolery: An Award and Fi50 Reminder…

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Welcome one and all to this very lazy Boxing Day (or St Stephen’s Day or whatever you like to call it) post.  To kick off, we denizens of the shelf have been honoured with an award from our good friend ideflex at Across the Bored  . Apparently I am considered a Versatile Blogger – hurrah for me!

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The rules for accepting this award include telling seven things about oneself and nominating 15 other bloggers for the award.  Given that it’s Boxing Day, my motivation to do either of those things is fairly low.  I will however promise to complete that part of the award in the new year and possibly throw around a few Gargies with it.  For now, I am just going to do the celebrating and basking in glory part of the award.

For those who have a bit of creative energy floating about after yesterday’s overindulgence, you’ll be pleased to know that Fiction in 50 is on again next week, starting the 30th!  Click on the button for instructions and prompt if you’d like to play along.

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This month’s prompt is…..

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So get those pens, pencils, half-chewed crayons or typing fingers ready and get some mini-fiction happening!  I will have my contribution and the linky ready to go on Monday.  Incidentally, if you are interested in co-hosting future Fi50s, drop me a line – I’d love to spread the tiny flash fiction love far and wide.  I’ll also have the prompts for the next six months ready to go by then.  Suggestions welcome.

Until next time,

Bruce (and all the gang)

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Bruce Gargoyle's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)