Category Archives: book review

50 Shames of Earl Grey


If you have ever eaten with my husband, you are familiar with his request for Earl Grey tea (with honey) at the end of every meal. Everywhere! Like a Cracker Barrel in Tennessee. Or a cozy little coffee shop, where the operative word would be coffee. Or friends’houses, as if everyone has this on hand.

We saw this book at a rest stop on the Northway, on the way to the Adirondacks. I could not resist buying it after reading the back. Too funny.



Filed under book review, carry a camera, humor

Singing Teenagers

Sometimes I am so busy taking pictures it does not occur to me that I should stop and buy the damn thing. This photo was taken at the Brooklyn Flea. They have the best collection of nonsense you can ever find. I always get so caught up in the whole atmosphere of the place that I make the mistake of not making a purchase.

I particularly love the hyphen in Teen-agers. It was if the word had just started catching on.

I am hoping this is still there next week. I was dying to see the inside of this book and of course was able to find it on ebay. It is a songbook from 1954! It can’t get any better, can it? The illustrations are to die for.

I take great comfort in knowing I can buy it there if the Flea is out of it next week.



1 Comment

Filed under absurdities, art, book review, carry a camera

Pat the Zombie

As everyone knows, May is Zombie Awareness Month. What? Everyone doesn’t know that? Well by the look of the stats on this blog you would think they did because there is a nice healthy amount of views of last years’ posts.

And I would think that Aaron Ximm and Kaveh Soofi (how do you pronounce those names) knew it was, because they launched their book, Pat the Zombie, this month. I learned about this on a Daily Candy email and could not help but jump with glee and run to post about it. (I am wondering how they were ever able to legally do this).

It would just so happen that our dinner conversation the other night was rather zombiecentric.

Me: Did you know that it was Zombie Awareness Month?

Gary: I love Zombies.

Me: I know that about you.

Gary: Zombies are my absolute favorite horror creatures.

Me: What are your second favorite?

Gary: I would have to say… Werewolves.

Me: Do you think there are such thing as Pet Zombies?

Gary: Oooo, I would like that very much.

What? Are you doubting that we actually had that conversation. You should know better!

When I saw this book I just wanted to buy it for him as a surprise for Father’s Day, but I couldn’t wait to post about it. My kids loved Pat the Bunny (favorite page was ‘Daddy’s scratchy face’). I really hope this book doesn’t scar them for life.

Watch the promo video… it is really out of control.


Filed under absurdities, animals, book review, gary

Time to Cry Tuesday – Just Kids

I don’t usually do book reviews here at Time to Cry, but this one I could not resist. I just finished reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids and it left an indelible mark on me. A promise made to a soul mate on the day before he died to write their story makes this all the more poignant.

Not because I am a fan of Patti Smith (although I am) or of Robert Mapplethorpe (I am(ish) with a caveat that some of his work is just way too graphic for me). But because this is the story of two of people who were their art. And simply because this is one of the truly great love stories. Not just of romance, but of  two people who were inextricably linked. The story of young artists feeding each other’s souls in a way that is almost difficult to understand. In many ways they were but one soul. Their relationship started as a romantic one and transcended Mapplethorpe’s coming out.

With NYC of the late 60s and early 70s as it’s backdrop, Smith has woven their story almost as if it were poetry.

As with any biographical account, I am sure the omissions where plenty and the story romanticized a bit, but the net of it all is that these two people were so incredibly connected. In many ways, one completed the other. They reveled in each other’s fame and suffered from each other’s failures. Their sense of responsibility to one another was inspiring.

If you create, this will give you chills. If you don’t, it gives you insight into the minds and hearts of those who do. And if you have ever loved deeply, this will give you a good old fashioned Time to Cry at the end.


Filed under art, book review, friendship, photography, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Eat. Prey. Love.

I saw this in the book rack at the drug store while I was waiting for a prescription. The local shop owners don’t even flinch anymore when I whip out my camera.

Am I the only one who thinks this title is hysterical? It’s like the guy’s version of the book. I love the quote at the bottom:

“An absolute delight!”

1 Comment

Filed under absurdities, book review, carry a camera, humor

Woodstock Celebration

I was just shy of 10-years-old during Woodstock, yet somehow I always felt a part of it’s generation. The music, the vibe, the sentiment; it all carried over into the seventies during my teen years becoming the soundtrack of who we were. Hippies at heart, I suppose.

I am fortunate enough to live in a town where a great disc jockey and rock historian also resides. Pete Fornatale graced us with a lecture and Q&A followed by part one of the Woodstock movie at our public library, another jewel of this town.

In thanks to Pete I will plug his book, Back to the Garden, which looks like it should be a great read.

And just because every time I see this video I laugh, I will leave you with this hysterical ‘translation’ of Joe Cocker’s Woodstock performance.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

Leave a comment

Filed under book review, current events, music, rock 'n roll

Now she becomes a book reviewer?!

6a00d83451a8cf69e2010536eb729f970c-120wiI have spent the last 20 years trying my best to get involved in a book club and I have finally found the type I could handle. A virtual one. Yes, I know, I have a strange knack of finding almost everything I need in the basement. Kind of scary, but hey, it works for me.

The Silicon Valley Moms Blog was given the opportunity to review Diana Spechler’s new novel, Who by Fire. I jumped at the chance to read this and share my thoughts with the group. Other reviews will be linked at the bottom of this post as well as the lead in post on our group blog. The author will be available there for comments throughout the day, making this quite intriguing for me to participate in.

This is an interesting story about the power of family and how circumstance and human frailty can compromise these bonds. Being one who hates when a book review gives away the entire story – because then why bother – I will be brief in my description.

The story opens with the disappearance of the youngest of three children. It is set in a suburban community not unlike my own. The family is Jewish, and similar to my own family, more traditional than truly religious. The loss of their young daughter causes irreparable damage to this family. The parents split and the remaining siblings take very different paths. The son turns to Orthodox Judaism and flees to Israel, the daughter turns to a life of unfulfilling sexual encounters, often with strangers.

You are thinking, so much for not giving too many details? Sorry, you need these to follow my ‘review’. This is not a traditional book review filled with likes and dislikes or analysis of writing style. I did enjoy the book, found it a quick read and would recommend it for that reason. However it is the lesson from this story that stuck with me and kept me thinking long after I put the book down. 

This book was about motherhood and the lengths to which we will go to save our children and preserve a sense of family unity, sometimes at the risk of destroying the individuals and their right to choose their own paths. As mothers, we claim to want to see our children lead happy and fulfilling lives. But what happens when the path they choose is not the one we sought for them? Do we support their life decisions, or do we push them away with the very acts that we think will draw them closer?

The mother in this story is torn by her son’s decision to pursue a more religious path than she has taken. She goes so far as to consider his choice cult-like. It aggravated me to think of how this tortured her and led her to manipulate her kids. I have known people who have chosen to live more religious lives than their parents. Although it is hard on their families they work it out and respect their lifestyle.

The hardest thing for a parent to do is to hold their tongue and only give advice when it is asked for. We live in a generation of helicopter parenting and over-involvement that sometimes pushes our families away instead of drawing them closer.

So far I have been fortunate to have children who have level heads and make well informed solid choices. But they are on the cusp of their adulthood. The choices get harder from here on. My only hope is that I will always be able to support them no matter who they are and where life leads them.

If you would like to read more reviews of this book you can find them below. Please be warned that these are more traditional reviews and give full details of the story.

Florinda at The 3 Rs blog

Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog

Julie at Booking Mama

Marie at Boston Bibliophile

Gayle Weiswasser at Everyday I Write the Book Blog

Meghan at Meghan’s Mindless Muttering

Sarah at Genesis Moments

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

add to : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine :  :  : TailRank : post to facebook


Filed under book review, parenting