Tag Archives: memoir

Book Review: The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer

Book Review: The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer

Image courtesy of www.AdamLanger.com

A friend loaned me The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer recently and recommended I read it. Knowing I was a writer and aspiring author, this friend felt certain I would enjoy this story. I was at first skeptical; this book did not fall into the categories I devote my limited leisure time to read: classics like The Great Gatsby, Little Women or Wuthering Heights, or narrative nonfiction and self-help books similar to my own genre of writing.

What the heck? I decided to take a break from the norm and give it a try. All I had to lose was a little extra time. As it turned out, my friend knows me pretty well. I truly enjoyed reading The Thieves of Manhattan. It’s an action-packed story about two writers in New York with a history of failure in the publishing industry. Their lives intertwine in a book-writing scam and suddenly they are living the Indiana Jones version of an author’s action/adventure in New York City. The book includes a lot of humorous jabs at the publishing industry and intentionally blurs the lines between fiction and nonfiction writing. By the end, the boundaries between what is real (a memoir) and what is fake (a novel) have been completely overstepped.

As a writer working toward the publication of my first book, I really found this story to be amusing. It was a quick read for me and a nice departure from the books I read to help further my writing efforts for a book to read just for the fun of it. Go ahead and read The Thieves of Manhattan, there’s really nothing to lose with this one, especially if you are a writer or aspiring author. Without even knowing you, I’m still pretty confident you will like this book. And if you read it, let me know what you think!

Check out the book trailer here:

Peter Falk Succumbs to Alzheimer’s Disease

Peter Falk Alzheimer's Disease DementiaI just heard the news that Columbo actor Peter Falk died yesterday after a relatively short battle with Alzheimer’s disease progressing since its noticeable onset in 2007. Here are a few of my first thoughts on the subject.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all his family, friends and fans for their suffering through his illness the last four years and for their grief now. All I need to add is “just one more thing.” Rest in peace, Peter Falk.
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Bravo Billy Joel: Memoir Will Not Be Published

Billy Joel has backed out of a reported $3 million deal to publish his memoir entitled The Book of Joel after being written, edited and readied for release in June 2011. Wow, that is quite a lot of money to turn down, but I admire Billy for sticking to his guns on this one and really like what he had to say about his decision to cancel the book:

It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I’m not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music.

The legacy of any musician of Joel’s caliber is of course his music, and I would much rather reference his brilliant music and songwriting instead of a tell-all memoir of forced confessions written by someone else (Fred Schruers). While Joel himself might respond to the criticism, “You may be right, I may be crazy,” I say bravo, Billy!

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Ronald Reagan and Alzheimer’s During His Presidency

I read a lovely excerpt in Parade Magazine this morning from Ron Reagan’s new memoir My Father at 100 about his father, former President Ronald Reagan. The excerpt discusses the first hints of Alzheimer’s disease surfacing during Reagan’s presidency, and the former President’s son has some beautiful insight regarding how Alzheimer’s disease might have affected his father’s duties in office:

That likely condition, though, serves as a reminder that when we elect presidents, we elect human beings with all their foibles and weaknesses. I find something courageous in my father’s dedicated pursuit – even in the face of his declining powers – of peaceful rapprochement with the Soviet Union, the world’s other nuclear superpower, throughout his second term.  He never stopped wanting to save the world.

This sounds like a fabulous book and loving tribute to a larger-than-life father who ended up being human just like the rest of us.  Excerpt and photo courtesy of Parade Magazine, read the full article here:

“My Father, The President”, Parade Magazine, January 16, 2011

It doesn’t bother me at all that Ronald Reagan may have been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease during his presidency, but how do you feel about that?

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow

This simple but insightful Albert Einstein quote succinctly summarizes my recently acquired outlook on life and eloquently explains the purpose of my new blog Brought to My Senses as well as the memoir I have written.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~Albert Einstein

As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered a new and healthier perspective on life after contemplating unfortunate events from my past and at a pivotal point in time refocusing my efforts towards the proper question “What have I learned from all this?”  Suddenly the planets aligned, the answers became clear, and I found myself compelled to share the important lessons I’ve learned as inspiration for others in a similar predicament.  The unfortunate events can be summarized into two distinct categories:

Dysfunctional family relationships

Alzheimer’s disease

While these two dissimilar issues might appear to share no common boundary, in my life the lines between the two have overlapped dramatically and brought about a new reality.  Surprisingly, these traumatic experiences have made me stronger, wiser and happier.  I’ve learned important lessons from my mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease allowing me to contemplate and come to terms with my family’s dysfunctional past.

And so I move forward addressing these two issues pivotal to the creation of my first nonfiction book.  Brought to My Senses is my inspiration and vision for personal happiness based on what I have learned from the past, how I now live in the present, and my hope for a healthy and happy future.

Have you been weighed down emotionally or physically due to dysfunctional family relationships or Alzheimer’s disease in your own life?  If so, please take a look around, make yourself at home, and feel free to share your thoughts here.

References:  Albert Einstein QuotePhoto courtesy of U-g-g-B-o-y