"The Seven Basic Plots Why We Tell Stories" by Christopher Booker is, at over 700 pages, overwhelming at times.
Overall, I see it more as a textbook."The Seven Basic Plots Why We Tell Stories" by Christopher Booker is, at over 700 pages, overwhelming at times.
Overall, I see it more as a textbook. It goes into great detail about what he considers the seven basic plots: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth.
The book itself is divided into four parts with thirty-four chapters. There is a lot of information packed into the pages--analysis of stories, a lot of psychology, a lot of history. It's not really a book to sit down with and read cover to cover, but a book that needs a lot of time to really think about what Booker puts down on the pages. Since the book is required for school, time isn't a luxury I had while reading this book.
As a writer, I found the first twenty pages the most helpful (parts one and two). The types of plots Booker identifies are dissected in great detail, using well-known works as examples. I have a lot of highlighting and post-it flags in those two sections. There is a lot of helpful information in what Booker says; information that will be useful in my own writing. This is a book I will keep close at hand.
Lex Sakai has committed a serious social gaffe; she's late for a family gathering. It's a Chinese Red Egg and Ginger party--a baby shower for those of Lex Sakai has committed a serious social gaffe; she's late for a family gathering. It's a Chinese Red Egg and Ginger party--a baby shower for those of us not up on our Chinese/Japanese culture. Truth be told, she'd rather be playing volleyball (that's what made her late in the first place), but Lexi's attendance is mandatory. Her plan is to say 'hello' to her marriage minded Grandma and then escape to the back of the restaurant, where all of her unmarried cousins have fled. The plan is simple, but the execution is anything but.
Lex breaks away from her grandmother and struggles through the jungle of chairs and tables to find her cousins and best friends, Venus, Jenn and Trish. The foursome became close as college roommates and Christians in a family dominated by a Buddhist matriarch. But this time her allies have failed her. The chair they had saved for her had to be removed to make room for a "portly aunty" at the next table. Forced to seek another chair, the only one she finds is at her cousin Bobby's table—he with the six kids all under the age of five. As she tries to make chitchat with Bobby's wife and recall the name of the infant squirming in the the frazzled mom's lap, the first missile is launched. Chicken smothered in sauce departs the fork on which it was impaled and hones in on Lex's new silk sheath. The sight sets off a younger brother. Partially chewed bok choy in garlic sauce sails through the air to join its chicken counterpart in the middle of Lex's chest.
The mess is more than Lex's stomach can take. She leaves to head for fresh air, but diminutive grandma materializes by her side. Closer inspection at the mess on Lex's dress reveals two things to Grandma, both of which she announces to the assembled throng. Lex can't catch a man because she has no chest and Grandma will remedy this most unfortunate flaw by paying for breast implants. What Grandma lacks in size is more than made up for in personality.
Jenn, Trish and Venus rush to Lex's rescue and hustle them out to the parking lot. An attempt to sidetrack Grandma off Lex's single status fails. The duo square off in the parking lot, but Grandma has a trump card. Either Lex has a boyfriend by her cousin Mariko's wedding or she'll pull the funding for Lex's junior high girls' volleyball team.
Lex has four months to accomplish the impossible. Armed with a list of must have traits lifted straight from Ephesians, she begins her hunt for the ideal mate and savior of her volleyball team. Her foray back into the dating world awakens an old nightmare, adding to the pressure. Life spikes one event after another onto Lex, threatening to break her spiritually and physically.
Camy Tang's debut novel, Sushi For One? is a funny and fun look at Asian American culture through the eyes of a single woman in a marriage minded family. The novel does deal with a serious subject, but it is handled well within the natural flow of the story. The point of view fluctuates between Lex and Aidan, the man smitten with Lex, but leery of her Christian faith. The reader is immersed in the story and the lives of these well-written characters.
Chick lit is not a genre I generally read, but Sushi For One? is an exception. Some plot points were predictable and at times Lex's difficulties seemed a bit over the top, but those were minor bumps in this novel. In fact, I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Sushi series, Only Uni (February 2008).
Bringing home a new baby is a seismic lifestyle shift. Rattled, Surviving Your Baby's First Year Without Losing Your Cool,is a book that is easy to reBringing home a new baby is a seismic lifestyle shift. Rattled, Surviving Your Baby's First Year Without Losing Your Cool,is a book that is easy to read and full of wisdom from author Trish Berg, a mom of four who knows of what she writes.
Rattled is split into five parts that cover pregnancy (when the seismic life-shift really begins)birth, adjusting to the newest member, re-connecting with your spouse and how to do it without losing yourself in the process.
Each part is further split into chapters, which are themselves subdivided into sections, making it easy to find your place if you're (most likely) interrupted. Each chapter starts with a short bible verse. Small sidebars (small bits of information printed off to the side of the text)called "Food for Thought" relay bits of information. Other subtitles are: "Faith on Fire" is a short prayer, "S.O.S--Spiritual Opportunity to Savor" is a short devotional for busy moms, "Shelter from the Storm" brief testimonials from experienced moms, and "First Aid Kit" bullet point list of helpful information. Trish follows the sections with a true-life example from her own life, good and bad. Study questions end the chapters.
Appendix A at the end of the book lists milestones and what to expect during your baby's first year. Appendix B lists helpful websites covering a variety of issues related to this new lifestyle.
Rattled is written by a woman passionate to help other moms raise their kids in a Christian home. Her honesty comes through in this book; she's not afraid to list her mistakes as well as her on target actions.
A mom of four, Trish knows of what she writes and it comes through in this book. For more help with family and meals, check out her first book, "The Great American Supper Swap." ...more
Leslie Leyland Fields didn't know what to expect when she married a commercial salmon fisherman and moved to a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska. ThLeslie Leyland Fields didn't know what to expect when she married a commercial salmon fisherman and moved to a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska. This book is her story. The reader is alongside Leslie as she struggles to adapt to a lifestyle that is physically and emotionally demanding, lived out on a remote Alaskan island with no running water, electricity, or contact with the outside world.
She writes honestly of her struggles to live in this harsh environment while trying to build a marriage and, later, to raise a family. It's difficult life that challenges her physically, mentally and spiritually, but a life she learns to embrace as the years go by.
Her writing brings to life her trials as a twenty-year old newlywed adapting to life with her husband's family, inductee into the world of salmon fishing in wild Alaska, to new mother; each new role bringing a new set of challenges into her wilderness life. Like the waves sometimes threaten to swamp her fishing boat, challenges threaten to swamp her life as well. But she never quits; instead choosing to move through her challenges, emerging on the other side. At times bruised and battered, but never totally giving up. In that respect, this is also a book of hope, of working through the challenges instead of giving up. ...more