Tuesday, July 7, 2009


"Kitchen Privileges" by Mary Higgins Clark
(from inside flap)
Even as a young girl, growing up in the Bronx, Mary Higgins Clark knew she wanted to be a writer. Teh gift of storytelling was a part of her Irish ancestry, so it followed that she would later use her sharp eye, keen intelligence, and inquisitive nature to create stories about the people and things she observed.

When Mary Higgins Clark's father died during the Depression, her mother opened their home to roomers, announced by a discreet sign that read
Those who responded proved to be a colorful lot.

Studying these diverse people, then later observing passengers on the Pan Am flights on which she worked as a stewardess, Clark began to form ideas for short stories that later appeared in magazines.

When her husband died, leaving her a young widow with five children to support, she found work writing radio scripts and also decided to try her hand at writing novels, the second of which was Where Are the Children? That book launched her career and was the first of 27 (and still counting) best-selling novels of suspense.

As Mary Higgins Clark has said when asked if she might give up writing for a life of leisure, "Never! To be happy for a year, win the lottery. To be happy for life, love what you do."

In Kitchen Privileges, she reflects on the joy that her life as a writer has brought her, and shares with readers the love that she has found.

This book follows Ms. Clark's life from the time she is 3. It takes you through the Depression, the World War 2, the 60's and Viet Nam. Through all this Ms. Clark is writing short stories and submitting them to the poplar magazine's of the day. And trying her best to raise her 5 children by herself. It also looks into how a writer gets started and how she got her first book published. Well, the book we probably all have heard of. Her first book ever published is called,
"Aspire to the Heavens", which was based on George and Martha Washington's life. If you click on the name of the book it will take you to Amazon.com where they have the book listed. If you have read any of Ms. Clark's books, you should read this Memoir. It lets you see how she began her writing career.


This book concludes the reading challenge for me. 5 of 5 books read.

1. The Sum of Our Days - Isabel Allende
2. The Mighty Queens of Freeville - Amy Dickerson
3. Jantzen's Gift - Pam Cope
4. Dog Years - Mark Doty
5. Kitchen Privileges - Mary Higgins Clark

Monday, July 6, 2009


"Dog Years" by Mark Doty

(from the back cover)
Why do dogs speak so deeply to our inner lives? When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he brings home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care. Beau joins Arde, the black retriever, to complete Mark's family. As Beau bounds back to like, the two dogs become Mark Doty's intimate companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days. Their tenacity, loyalty, and love inspire him when everyting else fails.

"As someone who is in love with a dog, I found this book to be an oracle of truth. For those who have yet to love a dog, it will be a revelation." Ann Patchett

The quote on the back of the this book from Ann Patchett summarizes this book to a T. I didn't think I would like this book when I got it. But it is a very good book, happy, sad, hilarious, and just plain fun to read. As you follow Mark, Beau and Arden around the country there are some really funny happenings along the way. It also gives you insight into the ways animals work into our everyday lives. Our family has 2 critters living with us. I can't even imagine when the time comes what we will do when they die. Mark Doty gives you the a way of letting go when that time comes.