MJ Monday-Music: Echo in the Canyon

Lately it seems as if my musical “patterns” have been in sync. We watched Ken Burns’ Country Music and loved it. I instinctively knew my folk rock preference had deep roots in “country” music and folk music.  We then watched Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue. I had seen the original tour when in came to Rochester, NY back in the mid 70s (7th row center). There was overlap between the two documentaries, and I’m not talking only about Bob Dylan.

My husband, who somehow knows when things are on TV, saved the best for last: Echo in the Canyon. Wow. Bob Dylan’s son Jakob interviewed many of the music icons of my youth, then re-recorded their songs with the help of other modern day artists. There may have been a tour. His goal was to remain as true to the originals as possible. My favorite moment was when David Crosby pointed out that up to that time, rock & roll lyrics were all about “he’s my boyfriend doo wop doo wop.” Artists such as Bob Dylan and Jackson Browne changed that when they “created” folk rock, where the words meant something. They introduced poetry into song lyrics. Crosby quote a line from “Mr. Tambourine Man” to make his point. It was a blatant suck up to Dylan Minor, but it worked because it was true.

Wow. I purchased the sound track. It’s a wonderful listen.

Book Review: Karen Robards-Superstition

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

This year I am going to review my six favorite Karen Robards books. My sister gifted me with my first one many years ago. When I first joined my local RWA chapter, I learned about another one (which I will review later) that had my colleagues gaga.

Since then, I’ve read most of Robards’ single title romantic suspense novels. I love her stories. My favorite is Superstition. Take an ambitious TV new reporter, a psychic who is blocked, a chief of police with a shady background, a couple of uncooperative ghosts, a haunted house, set them on Pawley’s Island right before tourist season is about to begin and watch this story unfold. Suspense. Twists. Turns. A couple of chilling moments. Superstition has it all. One of the things I like about this story is how deeply embedded the character backstories are embedded in the plot.

Five stars.

MJ Monday-Movies: Waking Ned Devine

I saw Waking Ned Devine for the first time not too long ago.  I had a difficult time getting into the movie, because my ears were slow to catch the cadence and nuances of the thick Irish accents. This is not an unusual problem for me. Once my brain clicked into the dialogue, I enjoyed the movie.

The story takes place in a small Irish village where someone has won the National Lottery.  We often hear “it takes a village.” We read news stories where neighbors help neighbors when disaster strikes. But what happens when someone wins the lottery and  the shock of it kills him?

Four stars.

 

Self-Help Review: Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do

Why Good Girls Don‘t Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do by Kate White is probably the best self-help book I have ever read. And re-read. And studied. Analyzed. Used to get a raise.

It’s an older title–1996. Someone in my local RWA chapter gave a presentation on the book, and I was fascinated. At the time, I was still working in local TV and still on my Big Business Career Track. The book is full of sound advice. Years later, I still offer its wisdom to my husband when he’s perplexed by something at his Day Job.

My copy of the book is dog-eared and bulging with sticky notes. The pages are a rainbow of colored highlights because something new struck me each time I read it.

Yes, the book is geared toward “executive” women, so there’s a lot of “delegate it downward”attitude, but there is also a lot about how to hoist yourself out of the crap pile.

I loved this book so much, I bought the author’s next self-help book and was disappointed. It seemed more about how wonderful she is. When she spoke at an RWA PAN session, I purchased the recording, and while I’ve listened to her speech innumerable times, again I was struck by her almost smug attitude. She should have quit while she was ahead.

Still, the nine “secrets” revealed in the Good Girls book are solid advice. Skimming the pages as I write this inspires me to read the book again: “The secret is to stop trying to do everything and start concentrating only on the essential steps that will allow you to achieve your goal. Anything more is a waste of valuable time and energy.”

Amen.