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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Before, During, After

    Richard Bausch 9780307266262

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Customer Comments

ccqdesigns has commented on (14) products.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

ccqdesigns, September 5, 2010

This book is sweet as honey and everything is sunshine. If you want a realistic portrayal of us Southerners, this isn't it. But, if you want a nice easy breezy light read with lots of feel good, this will fit the bill perfectly. Frankly, I like my fiction with a little more substance and reality. No one can be this sweet for this long. What this book does have is a picture of southern hospitality, the strength of southern women, and a good description of southern settings. The author has a nice sense of style and easy readability. Now if she would just add a dose of believability I might be more inclined to read her next novel.
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The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson
The Tenth Gift

ccqdesigns, September 4, 2010

What a magnificent book. I have traveled from Cornwall to Morocco, from the present day to 1625 and found love, hate, religious zeal, pirates, puritans, Muslims and Christians. This is a fascinating tale of parallel lives of two different times and lives connected by history and passion. It starts out slow, but hang in there. The ride is well worth it.
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The Book of Obeah by Sandra Carrington-smith
The Book of Obeah

ccqdesigns, April 18, 2010

Last Friday night I came home from work and found The Book of Obeah by Sandra Carrington-Smith in my mailbox. I had selected this book from Review the Book based on the out of the ordinary synopsis. I decided to pick the book up after supper and read a little before bedtime; at least that was the plan. This book captured me from the start and would not let me go. I kept looking for a stopping point, a place I could relax and take a breath, set it down and go to sleep, but there was none. I was physically attached to the characters and the prose and I could not stop until it was over, at 4:30 am. The last time a book took hold of me this way was a long time ago. And I have delayed writing this review because I have not wanted to scrutinize why this story touched me the way it did. But, review it I must.
Melody Bennet’s beloved Grandmama Giselle dies and leaves her one last request. She is to take her grandmother’s ashes to New Orleans, have them blessed by a Voodoo Priestess and spread them on Bear Bayou. Melody has lived her entire life in North Carolina with no awareness of her family history on the Bayou, the culture or practice of Voodoo or of any living relatives on the Bayou. What she finds is more than she bargained for and changes everything in her life forever.
This book is steeped in mystery, spirituality, lessons, love, loss and traditions. It makes you question your assessment of Voodoo and other religions and I kept wondering how much was fact and how much was fiction. It has led me on a quest for more information. And, I’ve had a wonderful conversation with the author herself who I have found open and delightful to talk to. I have already questioned her about more books to come and as I had guessed, this is the first book in a series so look for more great reading to come.
I see that I still have not told you why this book affected me in such a way, and this I cannot answer. You must read it for yourself, and see if it reaches up for you. But beware; you may want to wait till Saturday morning to start it!
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Hello Goodbye
Hello Goodbye

ccqdesigns, November 1, 2009

This book has taken my breath away. It is a heart wrenching tale of a family in crisis trying to get through it with love, honesty and courage. Emily Chenoweth has once again painted such a wonderful picture that even includes the cat named Pig that Elliot taught to stand on her hind legs and beg to the Peacock named The Duke. Her attention to detail in all aspects of her writing bring the page to life, leave me wanting more and looking for the next chapter at the last page.
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(0 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Dragon House by John Shors
Dragon House

ccqdesigns, October 23, 2009

I first encountered John Shors when I read his novel Beneath a Marble Sky. This new novel, Dragon House, has stepped up John’s impressive writing skills another notch. Dragon House is a love story; the love of a daughter for her father, a sister for her brother, a grandmother for her granddaughter and soldiers for their country. And it is a story of the courage it takes to follow your heart and protect the ones you love.

The Story: After Iris’ father dies, she decides to go to Vietnam and complete his dream of opening a center for street children there even though he was absent for most of her life and she is still very angry. He was always trying to run from his demons and she felt from her. Iris’ good friend Noah is just home from Iraq and running from demons of his own and agrees to go with Iris. What follows is a painful, slow process of acclimation to a new country, to finding out whom her father really was and if this is really what Iris wants to do. In the process Iris finds Mai and Minh, a brother and sister living under a bridge that are forced to work for an opium addict, Qui and Tam, a grandmother and granddaughter living on the streets and Sahn the beat cop and Vietnam veteran who hates Americans.

My Take: John Shors description of Vietnam, of Saigon and its people brought all my senses alive while reading. I could see and touch and smell the market and the city streets. I could hear the traffic noises and all the scooters zipping past. I could feel the touch of Mai as she brushed up against me and asked if I would like to buy a fan. And my heart went out to all the street children and all the empty stomachs and honest people that try every day to help. And I cried in anger at every crooked official and opium addict and street vendor that expected a bribe. And it brought back all the memories. I have been to these countries, I have seen these children, and I have held their hands and bought their fans and laughed with them and prayed for them. And all I can say is that John Shors has written an amazing book that I highly recommend.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



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