Leaving Home by Garrison Keillor

Rocky Rates It: Leaving Home by Garrison Keillor

My knowledge of A Prairie Home Companion being a notch up from abysmal, I decided to tackle the series of bound essays titled Leaving Home by a broadcaster whose reach spanned from the lakes of Minnesota to the shoreline of Lower Alabama.  I’d dare say our political leanings are as equally far apart, but that didn’t …

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French Women Don't Get Fat By Mireille Guiliano

Rocky Rates It: French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Giuliano

Prepare for gushing, fan-girling, and mad props!  This is the most common sense, effective, simply glorious non-diet diet book I’ve ever read!  There, I’ve said it.  Now, you need to understand I’m pretty well-versed in dietary lore.  I’ve flirted with the likes of Pritikin, Atkins, and–Lord, help me–Suzanne Somers.  I’ve sweat to the oldies, boogied …

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Christmas Past

What the Dickens?

  The Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet To Come swirled about the classroom as the genius of Dickens wrought its magic.  Sure, the students understood allusions to Scrooge, but I was surprised by their corporate ignorance of the plot line (and, consequently, the message) of A Christmas Carol.  After using a combo of rich …

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Poisonwood Bible

Rocky Rates It: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

I read Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible several years ago and decided a re-visit was in order.  I was impressed when I approached it from a reader’s perspective, but from a writer’s perspective, the sheer magnitude of Kingsolver’s craft left me–for lack of a better term–fangirling my way through the novel. Kingsolver lays bare five souls, six …

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Salem's Lot

Rocky Rates It: Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

I didn’t even buy a pumpkin this Halloween.  Didn’t decorate.  Didn’t wear a costume.  Didn’t have any trick-or-treaters come knocking at my desolate door.  But do you know what I did have this Halloween?  Vampires!  Loads and loads of vampires! I had frights aplenty with King’s Salem’s Lot.  This tale made it to the big screen …

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Spittin’ Images, Blood Relations, and Mysterious Legacies…the Making of Clemenceau’s Daughters

  Call it fate, or call it the creeps, but the idea behind Clemenceau’s Daughters emerged as I was thumbing through my great-grandmother’s photo album, trying to decide if I had the ambition to digitize a bunch of old photos of people completely lost to the collective family memory.  I felt pretty guilty as I …

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Love Your Life by Cheryl Marks Young

Rocky Rates It: Love Your Life by Cheryl Marks Young

Love Your Life is a comprehensive workbook for discovering your passion and actually doing something productive if not profitable with it.  It is most decidedly not an “if you can dream it, you can be it” guide of feel-good psycho-babble.  The text hinges on the metaphor of a master gardener; a metaphor that is, if …

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