Thursday Book Feature: Love the Beat Goes On

Love the Beat Goes On
by Lynda Filler
Copyright 2017

This is not about Sonny and Cher, although I thought it was when I first glimpsed the title. In this short memoir, author and photographer Lynda Filler discusses her diagnosis of cardiomyopathy in 2008 and how she miraculously recovered. She starts by detailing events leading up to her diagnosis including but not limited to her experience with online dating following several failed marriages, her move from Canada to Mexico, where she lived for several years, and her return to Canada. She then describes her symptoms and how she came to be diagnosed and told to get her affairs in order because she didn’t have long to live. She then outlines her path to healing and subsequent recovery, providing tips to others suffering from the same malady. She often claims not to be a medical expert and encourages readers to follow the advice given by their own doctors. The book includes resources.

I felt two connections with this book. First of all, my father was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy about the same time as Lynda Filler. Second, my brother and his first wife honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, during the 1990’s, at probably about the same time Lynda Filler was living there. Although I found her description of her healing process interesting, I was, and still am, skeptical. If this book had been released in 2008 when my father was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, he might have benefited, although I doubt he would have read it.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
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Review: It’s Still Christmas

Abbie-1

It’s Still Christmas

By John Justice

Copyright 2015

 

From the author of The Paddy Stories: Book 1 comes a sweet novella set in Philadelphia in December of 2008 during a dwindling economy when many people fell on hard times. Bill and Eleanor Gleason and their two children, Kristen, 13, and Corey, eight, are on the run from creditors, living in their van, nearly penniless. During a snowstorm, they stop to help retired lawyer Abe Lowenstein, who’s car has slipped off the road and into a nearby creek. As a result, their circumstances change unexpectedly for the better.

I met John Justice, the author, through a writers’ group, Behind Our Eyes, and have enjoyed reading his work. It’s Still Christmas is one of those stories that makes me grateful for what I have. I snuggled under a blanket in my recliner, as I read the account of the family freezing in their van in a parking area with a Christmas tree shining nearby. This is definitely a must read for the holidays. I wish there were more people like Abe Lowenstein in this world.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

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A Cardinal Holiday

I know Christmas has come and gone, but recently, I read a delightful book, A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg, and you know what? This book can be enjoyed any time of year.

In Chicago, Oswald T. Campbell learns that his emphazema is getting worse, and unless he leaves the windy city, he may not last through Christmas. His doctor gives him a brochure for a resort in an Alabama town called Lost River. However, when he tries to get a reservation, Mr. Campbell finds out that the hotel burned down in the early 1900’s, but through a miraculous twist of fate, he finds someone in the town willing to rent him a room.

The rest of the story centers around an injured redbird named Jack. Taken in by Lost River’s general store owner, he learns to do tricks and becomes a fixture in the community who is mourned by many when he dies unexpectedly. Other characters besides Mr. Campbell’s landlady and her feeble mother include the postmistress, mailman, and a private investigator/process server, to name a few. The author takes us through events in these characters’ lives over the course of a year until a Christmas miracle allows a little girl with a serious birth defect to walk again. I was lucky to run across a recording of the book read by the author, and that was a nice touch.

Fannie Flagg’s career started in the fifth grade when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play, The Whoopee Girls. At nineteen, she started writing and producing television specials. She later wrote for and appeared on Candid Camera. She then became established as a writer and actress in television, movies, and the theater. She even wrote the script for the movie adaptation of her book, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, and it was nominated for an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America Award and won the Scripter Award for best screenplay of the year. She lives in California and Alabama. To learn more about her and her books, visit http://fannieflaggbooks.com/ .

I’ve read many of Fannie Flagg’s books including Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Welcome to the World, Baby Girl, and Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven. Her characters are funny and provocative, and everything turns out well in the end. Although her plots my not be realistic at times, it’s fun to escape into the worlds she creates. I recommend A Redbird Christmas and other tales to anyone who enjoys a good laugh and a heartwarming story. Happy New Year!

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and That’s Life: New and selected Poems

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

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