Category Archives: League of Extraordinary Authors

Me Again by Keith Cronin

Mr Again by Keith Cronin

Miracles can be damned inconvenient. That’s what thirty-four-year-old stroke victim Jonathan Hooper learns when he wakes up after spending six years in a coma. Everyone calls Jonathan’s recovery a “miracle,” but since nobody had expected him to recover, his sudden awakening becomes an awkward intrusion on the lives of his family and friends. To make matters worse, Jonathan doesn’t even recognize these people. The stroke has wiped away most of Jonathan’s memory, while the coma has withered his body. In short, Jonathan’s not the man he used to be – whoever that was. The only bright spot for Jonathan is Rebecca Chase, a young woman he meets in the hospital’s long-term recovery unit. A stroke has drastically changed her personality, making her a stranger to her husband. Gone is the vivacious trophy wife, replaced by a shy, awkward woman with a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing. They don’t fit in. And they’ll never be the same. But now they’ve got to decide what matters most: who they were, or who they can become?

I was hooked by this book with the opening sentence, which was: “I was born on a Tuesday morning. It was a difficult birth, because I was thirty-four years old.” This was another which I went into reading having not read the blurb telling what the book was about. Not sure if that had an impact on how I felt about the book, but I do know that I loved it! I seriously could NOT put this book down! I loved reading about Jonathan Hooper’s journey back to reality, to discovering that a lot has changed in the years he has been asleep. Not to mention how much Jonathan himself has changed, since he woke up.

Me Again is narrated by Jonathan & reads very much in the format of an autobiography, albeit an autobiography of a fictional character. It is really well written, is very funny, the characters are believable and likable. While Me Again is a funny book, it is also a serious look at Strokes, Stroke victims and the resulting struggles for both the victims & the families of the stroke victims.

I highly recommend Me Again, for anyone looking for a delightful, funny, but at the same time serious look at Strokes, this is the book for you!

5 Stars

 

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Milkshake by Joanna Weiss


Milkshake by Joanna WeissGlamorous Candace Calloway is running for governor of Massachusetts, and while men love her — in every way –she can’t seem to win over women voters. Then her campaign manager spots a news story about Lauren Bruce, who had a wardrobe malfunction while nursing her baby in public. Now, Candace is championing Lauren’s cause, helped by the breastfeeding activists who call themselves the BOOBs. Her opponent has aligned with the newly formed Mothers on Modesty (MOMs). And Lauren is caught in the middle, trying to navigate the world of campaigns as she also deals with breast pumps, talk show hosts, perfect-mommy friends, and post-baby sex. MILKSHAKE is a satiric novel about the absurdities of motherhood, breastfeeding, and politics.

I think I might have picked up Milkshake as a free book on Amazon, after I heard about it from Linda Gillard, via her Facebook page, where she sometimes tells people about the other authors in the League of Extraordinary Authors. Anyway, how I found the books isn’t really relevant, but what I thought of the book when I got around to reading it is.

I mostly read on the bus to & from work & this book was another example of me sitting there chuckling to myself, while I am sure my fellow passengers were wondering what was so funny.

Milkshake is about Lauren Bruce, a new mom who is kind of lost. Lost in her new role, feeling like she has lost herself, her identity & is not entirely sure she’s up to the task of being a mom & making all of the right decisions for her baby. Then Lauren heads to the museum with her friend Mia, who is a bit of a militant on all things “Mom” & “Baby” – Mia has all the right answers, or so it seems to Lauren. While at the museum Lauren sits down (at Mia’s instance), in the middle of one of the exhibits & starts to breastfeed her daughter. Then everything goes very wrong & before she knows it, Lauren is the latest  cause célèbre & involved in a tug-of-war between the pro breastfeeding (The BOOBS) camp & the pro-choice/pro-bottle (The MOMS) camp,  a pawn stuck in the middle in the Gubernatorial race.

Milkshake is a funny look at what is a very emotive issue – a woman’s right to breastfeed her baby in public, without having to worry about being hassled by the “decency” police, but it is also a look at a woman’s right to make a choice – the best choice for her & for her baby – and not be vilified by the other camp for the choice she has made, or has had to make.

I am not a mother myself, so have never had to make these kinds of choices, but Milkshake still really appealed to me. I loved the characters, Lauren, Mia, the Senator & the Senator’s campagne manager were all likeable &  funny in equal measures. Lauren manages to get herself into some very funny & tricky situations (love the breast pump!) & just when things are spiraling out of control Lauren manages to redeem herself & her dignity.

From what I have read Milkshake was the debut novel for Ms Weiss – and a very good one it is!

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Swedish for Beginners by Susanne O'Leary (League of Extraordinary Authors)

On the morning of April 25th I left my house at the crack of dawn to travel by bus, then train to Cornwall, for a job interview. I didn’t get the job, but I did get to read this fab book!

If you have never been stupid lucky enough to take the bus from the Midlands to London, then the train to Cornwall – don’t! The only good thing was it was an early journey & gave me enough time to read just about an entire book.

Book description:

“When her Father dies, Maud learns that her mother, the beautiful Eleonore, whom she had never known, was from Sweden. She travels to Stockholm to meet her Swedish family and discovers both a new country and a mysterious past.

Maud also learns that Lukas, the handsome older man she meets, was deeply in love with Eleonore in his youth. Maud’s attraction to him is marred as details of Eleonore’s past emerge from family letters.

The story that is revealed, of a rebellious and somewhat immoral young woman, shatters Maud’s fantasy of the fairytale princess she had always believed her mother to be. Only when Maud reads her mother’s final letter does she learn the truth about her own parentage and Lukas.”

Let me start by saying that I loved Swedish for Beginners! In no small part that is because of the location, but also because it is genuinely a really good book. Continue reading

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