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Tag Archives: Book

If Custer Survived The Little Big Horn

Last night, I was cleaning out my phone’s Kindle app, deleting book samples, and determining which books will be on my Christmas vacation reading list. When I came across the following book titles (see screenshot below), I saw General George Armstrong Custer‘s book, “My Life in Pants.”

Really?

That’s what I get for scanning and glossing over something like this when I’m tired—

Then again, it could be the start of a twisted fantasy history tale of Custer in the tailoring or dry cleaning business after he left the Army.

 

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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BOOK REVIEW: New Publication and I’m in It!

The West Florida Literary Federation’s Emerald Coast Review XIX, “Life in Your Time,” is published and available through Amazon. This 19th issue is filled with stories, photographs, and poems gathered from literary talent from its members.  It’s good reading.

By the way, several of my poems and photographs are included in this publication, and the book’s cover is my submission that the West Florida Literary Federation chose to use for this edition.  I’m blushing.

You can find this publication HERE on Amazon.

Enjoy!

©2017 Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


The Story of the Voting Rabbi

Writing is never conducted in a vacuum. There is research to be done, notes to be jotted down, paragraphs to be edited and deleted, thoughts to be discussed with family and friends, books to read and ruminate over, and more research to be delved into.

I’m in the process of writing a book I mentioned here once or twice. It seems that I’ve been writing it forever – and maybe so. It’s a story that’s been floating and spinning in my head and sprawled in shorthand and scribbled notes in a notebook for years. Just as writing – good writing – is never achieved in a vacuum, neither is composing a well-written book. And therein comes the research.

My book needed some information on women’s makeup fashion and habits from the 1930s. I knew a little bit about that – I’m a big fan of culture from the first half of the twentieth century – yet I needed specifics: product names, colors, types, where to buy the beauty products, et cetera. An Internet search led me to the November 7, 1934 archived issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune. It had advertisements and a plethora of information I could use.

My husband and I even found a story about one of his grandfather’s friends on the front page (There’s a story for the future!)

Then, turning to the front page, where the headlines and sub-headlines screamed all the news of the mid-term election where the Democrats were the Stars of the Day and won a Supermajority, and towards the bottom of the page, was this story of the voting rabbi in New York City:

Now I am curious why Rabbi Wolf was the only voter in the precinct. Did the election officials know there would be only one voter, or did it just turn out that way? Who was Rabbi Wolf? What kind of poems were in the book he carried to the polls?

This will need more research, and who knows where that will lead me?

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


The Cook Book

The cook book was so revered, that my Ma kept it in the cabinet above the refrigerator, along with several others and a mass of newspaper recipe clippings and typed and handwritten family recipes. That book, and the others, was only brought down to the kitchen counter only when she was ready to bake or cook something special.

Ma would let me look through this particular cook book from time to time. Yes, I had to “be careful” with turning the pages and “be careful” not to spill anything on it. There were times I could sit for an hour reading and absorbing chapters and recipes and the few photographs in it – not a small feat for a eight-year-old (was when I first started reading it). As time went on, I read more and more recipes, happily thinking about the day when I would be married and cooking for my own family.

This particular cook book is the Antoinette Pope School Cook Book by Antoinette and Francois Pope. They were a couple who was born in Italy (Antoinette) and France (Francois), and immigrated to the United States (Chicago) in the early twentieth century. Over time, she converted their basement on the south side of Chicago into a cooking school. Ultimately, they even had a television cooking show on ABC (Channel 7) in Chicago. I remember watching it with Ma. Their culinary history is legendary. There is a well-written article about the Popes written when Antoinette passed away in 1993. You can read the article HERE.

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Two of my aunts also had this book, presented to them by my Ma. Ma’s book lasted for decades. It was so well used that over time, the pages were separating from the binding and she had to rubber band the book together after she used it. It was getting fragile from so much use. It became a lost artifact when my parents had a small flood in their basement (where she moved the book there for some unknown reason) and the book became so water logged, it was destroyed.

Recently, I found this same edition in near perfect condition, and I bought it. The mailman delivered it to my house yesterday, and I was thrilled beyond expression! I went through the chapters and pages, reveling in chapter introductions, measurements, techniques, and recipes. I found the first recipe I ever made from the cook book – Tuna Noodle Casserole. I was fourteen years old. It wasn’t my first time cooking (I was already do that since I was about eleven). But, oh! I felt so grown up using a Pope recipe!

This edition I now have seems to have an interesting history. Someone – Amy – bought it for Jane and presented it to her on December 25, 1954:

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It looks like Jane tried Pope’s Oatmeal Cookies, but made notes about looking at the recipe on an Oatmeal box:

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She made Pope’s Chop Suey and added penciled notes about her own revisions to the recipe. She even said it was “very good”:

Book4a

Jane made Chili con Carne (remember how that was how we used to always refer to chili?). Jane also made the Beef Stew, and that page is scribbled all over with notes:

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On the last page and inside cover of the book, Jane taped a picture of Francois Pope and his two sons, plus a write up on the cooking school. She cut up the dust cover; that’s where that came from:

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The only clue as to where Jane lived was a note she wrote in a margin: “Use Burghardt’s rye bread”. My Internet research revealed that Burghardt’s rye bread came from the Livonia, Michigan area.

This weekend I’ll be making the lasagna recipe from the book. And that Tuna Noodle Casserole won’t be far behind!

I’ll be remembering Ma baking and cooking, my young days pouring over the cook book’s pages, and of Jane and Amy – sisters, friends, cousins, or in-laws? Cook books are a good resource to learning about how people prepared and served food, and perhaps how they thought enough about each other to present them with a useful and thoughtful gift.

Bon appetite!

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


Life in the Oasis

LifeInTheOasisCover2Here’s to starting 2016 off on the right foot:  I just published my second book of poetry, “Life in the Oasis.”

It’s a compilation of poems – twelve in all – that brings love and joy together.

If you like poetry and love romance, I invite you to get “Life in the Oasis: A Collection of Poems” through Amazon Kindle.  You can link directly to it HERE.

Keep 2016 going on the right foot – stay positive and I wish you a beautiful new year!

 

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


BOOK REVIEW: All My Sins Remembered

BOOK REVIEW: “ALL MY SINS REMEMBERED”
By Susan Marie Molloy

ALL MY SINS REMEMBEREDSummer is here with its sweltering days and warm nights, so books are a fabulous way to relax, get away, and imagine. This is second in a series of my book reviews. I hope that my recommendations inspire you to read these books. ~Susan Marie Molloy
……….

“All My Sins Remembered,” a fictional novel written by Adam Stanley, is a quick-moving, “warts-and-all” work. Through the first-person narration of the central character, Andrew White, the reader experiences Andrew’s seemingly undying obsession with Leigh Mallory, a girl whom he loved and “turned . . .into something unreal” in his psyche.

The novel takes place in 2009. Andrew is sweating out a sweltering July evening in a cheesy motel, contemplating his life, searching how to ditch his two decade obsession with Leigh, and weighing his options to continue on his life’s path.

This is a love story, a narrative of deep guilt, a tale of maturing, a parable of life and death in all its manifestations.

One of the continuing underlying themes in “All My Sins Remembered” is baptism and rebirth. Adam Stanley puts forth myriad descriptions of water, oceans, floods, and fire that are interlaced within each narration wherein Andrew struggles. Indeed, the protagonist is facing his own baptism and rebirth into a life with or without Leigh, and around him are cleansing waters and fires – but does he notice?

Yet, this novel does not portray the pure Pollyanna view of life; it is life, warts and all. To be sure, there are the sweet moments of love where Andrew tells us Leigh “moves like sunlight on a swift, clear river.” He also tells us that “there were girls much better looking than Leigh . . . [though] her hair was never quite right, always tousled and out of place, giving her a rough, wild look like a feral child.”

Conversely, life itself for and around Andrew was also callously ugly: drunkenness, drug use and abuse, physical fights, murder, death, suicidal feelings, and abandonment in several forms. Andrew muses quite convincingly that “[d]eath is easy to ignore if you are caught up in living.” And Andrew tried to live – really live – his life, and most assuredly try to ignore death at all levels.

The novel flows well with splendid narrations and descriptions of life as it was in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Adam Stanley makes great use of what was extant in those years: Music bands, styles of clothing, and types of vehicles, for example. The reader feels and sees the scenes quite clearly. Parts of the book, in its narration, have a general feel of a hard-boiled novel à la Dashiell Hammet, with its blunt, quick, and frank “talk.” That is what makes this novel move quickly. As a caveat to the reader, there is harsh language that may be unpleasant to some readers. I will leave this to the author writing the novel with real life scenarios as much as possible through his characters.

I have the Kindle version of “All My Sins Remembered.” I discovered errors in spelling, word usage, grammar, and format (format especially in the last couple of chapters). Since I don’t have the paperback version, I cannot compare if this is an oversight or not. It was a bit distracting to come across them.

Overall, I highly recommend “All My Sins Remembered” by Adam Stanley. The story is a very good one, and it’s one you might just relate to.

“If you live your life like you want to live it, people are going to think
you’re insane, call you crazy, and label you with lots of other labels.
But just think about this, the crazier you seem to the world, the more you
have really lived. Even if you end up with only a handful of lost dreams,
they can never take away all that living from you.”
— “All My Sins Remembered,” by Adam Stanley

You can find Kindle and paperback versions of “All My Sins Remembered” by Adam Stanley on Amazon by clicking HERE.

© Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and any works here on this site without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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