Ann's Blog
Ann McCauley is a Pennsylvania women's literature author, who wrote the books Runaway Grandma and Mother Love, both available for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

June 2020
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June Blog
Filed under: General
Posted by: Ann @ 11:51 am
Is anyone out there as tired of masks, social distancing, closed churches, etc. as I am? (I feel such empathy for those workers who must wear masks for 8 hours or more.)  This new normal is so difficult to adjust to, it wasn’t so bad when we thought it would be for only a few weeks, but now the long term implications are so discouraging. My husband says it’s because I am a hyper-social person. Well first of all I am NOT hyper-social! The inability to see loved ones, and even causal friends is almost grueling. But we are all in this together and we will survive with patience and fortitude.

This has been a month of ups and downs, one of our dearest friend’s health has declined to the point that he’s now under Hospice Care at home.  

I have embarked on an exciting writing project with my two writing friends. I will keep you posted as we move forward on the project. We are doing it socially distanced around our patio table every week or two and the rest by many emails flying back and forth. The worst is when one of our email gets stuck in cyber-space!

I have read a variety of good books this month. Mostly from my stack of books to read some day.  

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. Historical Fiction, 2019. This was our book club read for this month. It was a delight, a gritty story about Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project. Troublesome Creek is a real place. The fictitious librarian Cussy Mary Carter was one of the Kentucky blue-skinned people. It is a story of human resiliency, courage and dedication. Cussy confronts dangers and prejudice as old as the Appalachias. A story that shows how important a good mother and father are for children to develop the necessary strength to survive. I highly recommend this novel. It is a wonder!

All The Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank. Fiction, 2015. I love this writer’s wit, her characters and plot. She was consistently insightful, clever and empathetic. It is sad she passed away last year. I am glad there are still a few more of her books I missed reading. This one was deep and yet lol funny at times. It is obvious this writer knew a thing or three about interpersonal relationships, family drama and greed. three forty something Suzanne, Lisa and Carrie are the three lead characters. Each have back stories as different as could be. Suzanne lived on the beach with her 99 year old piano playing grandmother, Miss Trudie. This was a page turner with suspense, mystery, romance and many plot surprises. A fun summer read.

Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson. Nonfiction, 1999. A  page turning account of the devastating hurricane that destroyed the city of Galveston, Texas on September 8, 1900, killing more than 6,000. 9This was set up in the same pattern as his recent book about Churchill, well researched.) Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S.Weather Bureau, missed the importance of the deep-sea swells and strange winds that greeted the city that morning. A few hours later a monster hurricane with winds of 200 miles an hour and an angry sea that tore through even the storm-proof houses. The winds and water were almost characters It was the worst natural disaster in American history. It shows what can happen when human arrogance meets with uncontrollable forces of nature. A worthwhile read.

The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan. Memoir, 2008. This was such an interesting book; I usually do not like to read memoirs. (He’s the author of Marley and Me, a best seller dog-lover book and a wonderful dog lover movie.) Grogan is a fabulous writer and weaves his childhood creative mischief adventures through his teenage near delinquent escapades with wit and wisdom. All this while being raised by devout Catholic parents who always believed in him, his two brothers and sister. By the end of the book, he’s a happily married father of three. There were times the reader did not expect him to achieve any kind of stability at all!

Gone So Long by Andre Dubus III. Fiction, 2018. (I bought this novel because I loved his novel, House of Sand and Fog.) He’s another great author. This is a haunting story I will always remember. There are three protagonists: An 18 year old man who falls in love with beautiful 16year old girl, who gets pregnant and  they marry. They have a sweet baby girl whom they both adore. He becomes obsessive and jealous, kills his wife in a rage when the baby is 3 years old. The second protagonist is the adult daughter. The third is her maternal grandmother who raised her. It is a gritty story with foul language and to me the most sympathetic character was the killer! But it was a worthwhile thought-provoking novel.

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park. Memoir, 2015. This is a powerful story of the human resiliency of a North Korean family’s escape from tyranny, starvation and walking past dead bodies on the street. Where neighbors and friends disappear without warning. She, her mother and sister escape to China out of desperation on the frozen Yalu River and are captures by human traffickers. Finally after two years of peril they escape from China to Mongolia and finally South Korea. It is a page turner, not like any other memoirs I’ve read. 

We watched only one movie this moth as we haven’t ventured out to the local the movie theater yet and our television died, only 2 and a half years old! Our tv guy is in the process of replacing it for us. On the bright side, it gives us much more time to read and we don’t have to watch the pathetic news channels for awhile! The movie we watched was Fathers and Daughters. I thought it would be a nice movie for my husband for Fathers Day. It wasn’t. It was well acted but a very heavy and dark movie. I believe it did show the importance of a good father in a girl’s life. A gritty story. Maybe worthwhile.

My lawn mower is beckoning me… 
Till next month, keep reading, my friends!

Later,  Ann  
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