Sunday Quotables

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All readers come to fiction as willing accomplices_Sunday Quotable

Happy Sunday!

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The Dance Gods: A New York Memoir by Kenny Pearl — A Review

danceGodsThe Dance Gods: A New York Memoir by Kenny Pearl

RaeleighReads rating: love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236

Summary from goodreads:  When Kenny Pearl arrived in New York City, determined to succeed as a dancer, he was penniless, friendless and jobless. His memories shine against the backdrop of the turbulent ’60s and ’70s, including Vietnam War protests, the military draft and the rampant crime that once plagued the city. From humble beginnings in the hippie-populated Lower East Side, to performing with the greats of the New York modern dance scene-he danced with the companies of both Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey-Pearl’s life is one of tenacity, hard work and passion. This is the engaging story of the hurdles he faced on his unique journey and the remarkable people he met along the way….

When Mr. Pearl queried my blog, he said in response to one of the criteria in my review policy, “Yes- there are superheroes in it, if you consider, as I do, people who take super risks to reach the top of the dance world, as heroes.”

Well, I do consider those people superheroes. Have you ever witnessed a professional dance class? They’re bloody agonizing. And the dancers go full out, on move after move, trying to reach this illusive thing called perfection. To top it off, they do it on top of sore muscles and bruised and battered feet. It’s absolutely incredible!

I used to dance, when I was a kid. I loved it! There is something about moving your body to music and trying to defy gravity that brings such a sense of joy. This memoir made me remember all of those wonderful hours spent staring at myself in a mirror, doing twirl after twirl, leap after leap. My dancing days ended way too soon, but I was able to pursue my artistic side through music as a pianist. I felt such a kinship with Mr. Pearl as he talked about the need to express himself, and the physical ailments he experienced when he couldn’t do so.

His story is so passionate and genuine, and I’m sure many, many people can relate to it. From a wide-eyed idealist as an eighteen-year-old kid in Canada to a seasoned dancer in New York, Kenny Pearl lets us peer into the world of a professional dancer during the heyday of modern dance. One of the dances he speaks a lot about in the book is Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Here is an excerpt, Sinner Man from 2016 (I think):

Pearl danced with both Alvin Ailey’s and Martha Graham’s dance companies. If you don’t know who Martha Graham is, or even if you do, here is another little gem I’d like to share with you:

If you like dance at all. If you like memoirs at all. If you like the 60s and 70s at all. This is for you. Seriously, pick it up today, and prepare to be inspired!

Happy reading, lovelies!

#TopTenTuesday – Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

Well, I’ve only read 23 books so far, so that doesn’t give me much to choose from.

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I’ll just go in the order I read them rather than try to rank them. 😀

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Sky

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.

Sisters of Sorrow by Axel Blackwell.

The Dance Gods by Kenny Pearl.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham.

Darn it! I only made it to five. Well, that will have to do. These are the books, of the ones I’ve read so far this year, that I would recommend to others. I loved them all for different reasons:  the Russian setting in The Crown’s Game, the characters in A Torch Against the Night, the edge-of-your-seat writing in Sisters of Sorrow, the inspiration I felt from The Dance Gods, and the laugh-cry that was Talking as Fast as I Can.

I look forward to whatever else 2018 has to throw at me (literary and otherwise)! Let me know what you’ve loved reading this year in the comments, or point me to your TTT.

Happy reading, loves!

 

 

 

Operation Salazar by Dan Lawton — A Review

28246585Operation Salazar by Dan Lawton

RaeleighReads rating:love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236

 

From Goodreads:  “A home invasion uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to overthrow a nationwide criminal enterprise.”

The above is a really great summary of this book. Home invasion –> Bigger criminal network than we originally thought –> Our characters are in too deep to get out. So, all you folks who like to binge on every variation of Law & Order ever…you may dig this. Or, maybe if you’re a fan of Breaking Bad or Narcos. This story is told from the perspective of the “bad guys” after all.

Operation Salazar is pretty typical mystery/suspense fare. I’m not sure if I was given an uncorrected proof or not, but the thing was riddled with enough errors to set my teeth on edge, and I almost gave up more than once. I didn’t though. I powered through. Why? I don’t really know. I didn’t particularly care for it. The plot was stale and overdone and it failed to ever really pull me in. But, it may be a pretty decent read for someone who likes mystery and suspense. Maybe? Or, if you need to tick another book read off your to-read list, this one will do. It’s pretty short and easy to read.

I wish I had some positive things to say about this…The ending was pretty decent. It was realistic. I appreciated that.

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I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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Facing the Past

A little snippet from one of my author friends. 🙂

Elizabeth Schierschmidt

It’s here. A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the character Imp. Now, you can understand more of her position as Seer. As a Seers apprentice, her visions were direct and simple, take this message to this person. Now that Imp has the official title as Seer and her visions have become a tad bit more complicated. Snippets of people throughout their lives and struggles for survival. Who is important? What is important? And who is this message for? These are just some of the new trials placed before her as she takes on her role as the official Seer.

What is the vision about? How does Imp handle this new task? Check out Imp’s process in this short introduction to the responsibilities of being a Seer in Facing the Past.

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