Archive for May, 2009

Our book club will be meeting on June 6th. to discuss Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.

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Nancy Irwin, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist, released a nonfiction titled YOU-TURN: Changing Direction in Midlife. This collection of “over 40 stories of people over 40” chronicles successful transitions in people’s personal and/or professional lives. Originally from Atlanta, where she trained as an opera singer, Dr. Irwin moved to New York City in 1985 to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. She worked all over the country and abroad, and moved to L.A. in 1994 when she heard that Hollywood needed more blondes…She quips: “The road from comedy to mental health is very short, indeed.”
Dr. Nancy experienced an epiphany when she began volunteering for a shelter for sexually abused children. It changed her life, and prompted her to pursue a doctorate in psychology and to specialize in the prevention and healing of child sexual abuse. You-Turn not only shares her own story, but also 43 other youturns from a variety of people – – some simple, some dramatic: a convicted crack dealer who became a real estate investor, a mother of nine who started a foundation for the leprosy-affected, a monk who became a motivational speaker, a recovering pedophile, a man who became a spouse and parent after 40, a woman who finally embraced her sexual identity after years of denial and abuse, and more. The stories are divided into two parts: change by default (injury, break-up, lay-off, etc.) and change by choice (boredom, lack of fulfillment, etc).
Like a Chicken Soup for the Soul for Baby Boomers, this book is for the fearful and frozen….anyone who feels stuck in struggle yet really wants to move forward. Dr. Irwin states: “I’ve included some professional tips on navigating change at any age, but the emphasis of the book is on the stories told in first person. Everyone can identify with one or more of the stories in this book. I did not want to write an academic ‘do-this-in-order-to-feel-that’ book, because what has helped me reinvent myself so many times was seeing real-life people do amazing things. I figured if they could do it, why couldn’t I? It is my hope that we all begin seeing you-turns everywhere, so they become the rule rather than the exception. Twenty- and thirty-somethings especially can benefit from these stories so they will feel free to explore, question choices, and change directions, to avert what used to be called a “middle age crisis.” We now call it a middle age blaze!!!”

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An elephant never forgets . . . but can she dream?
For forty-one years, Samson Brown has been caring for Hannah, the lone elephant at the down-at-the-heels Max L. Biedelman Zoo. Having vowed not to retire until an equally loving and devoted caretaker is found to replace him, Sam rejoices when smart, compassionate Neva Wilson is hired as the new elephant keeper. But Neva quickly discovers what Sam already knows: that despite their loving care, Hannah is isolated from other elephants and her feet are nearly ruined from standing on hard concrete all day. Using her contacts in the zookeeping world, Neva and Sam hatch a plan to send Hannah to an elephant sanctuary—just as the zoo’s angry, unhappy director launches an aggressive revitalization campaign that spotlights Hannah as the star attraction, inextricably tying Hannah’s future to the fate of the Max L. Biedelman Zoo.
A charming, poignant, and captivating novel certain to enthrall readers of Water for Elephants, Diane Hammond‘s Hannah’s Dream is a beautifully told tale rich in heart, humor, and intelligence.

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May 9th. 5:00 pm- Meet Author Andrew Losowsky at Metropolis Books

Writer and photographer Andrew Losowsky captured the alluring and varied doorbells of Florence, Italy and then imagined the stories of those who might dwell within. Charming, whimsical, and elegant, each story is a perfect match for its photo, balancing the Old World appeal of Florence and the contemporary, gritty realities of a modern city.

The Doorbells of Florence enters hidden worlds of fated love, chance encounters, invented languages, false maps, and a secret beneath the floorboards. Travelers, lovers of Italy, and imaginative wanderers will delight in this collection, which features handdrawn lettering and a silk-screened cover.

Originally a cult online hit, The Doorbells of Florence won the Lulu Blooker Prize for Fiction for books that began life on the internet.

Andrew Losowsky has taught Chinese gang members in Hong Kong, spent the night in a tunnel on the London Underground, crashed a motorcycle in Vietnam, and explored the dark side of Barcelona with a plain-clothes policeman. His stories have appeared in the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and The Believer. This is his first fiction book.

“With this book, the author frees his characters from reality and offers them “a moment of freedom from the ordered world that was holding them back.” He offers readers the same. It’s a breath of fresh air for those willing to lose their grip on rationality and accept Losowsky’s sometimes outrageous sensibility.” – Stephanie Harnett, Los Angeles Times Book Review

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