I’ve read a couple of great books lately

I’m sure you’ve heard me say from time-to-time that I am very compulsive. Once I set my mind to do something, I have to go all the way.

Reading is one of those somethings. I signed up on Goodreads to read at least twenty-five books this year. That’s really not a lot, but with my writing regimen, it’s not easy. I did it in 2018, and so far this year, I’ve read eleven book – two ahead of schedule according to Goodreads.

Right now I’m reading Jane Fonda’s autobiography, My Life So Far. Please don’t give me a hard time about Jane. Since she became my exercise guru way back in the day, she’s been my hero. And she writes about and apologizes a lot about her visit to Vietnam during the war. Besides she’s a great actor.

So here’s a bit about two books I’ve recently read.

The Boston stories in Don’t Mess with Tanya, by Ken Tangvik, are beautifully and expertly portrayed. I liked every one – especially the story about Tanya, the young black woman, who gets back at a store keeper for treating her with distrust as she looks around his store. I also liked Matt’s story as he waits in a hair salon for his haircut. The women talking in the waiting area give him quite a lesson in how they live their lives.

These stories show the cultural and race diversity of the Boston community by portraying immigration difficulties and the violence the people have to contend with. However, it is not all dark. Love is portrayed as well.

Ken Tangvik, is a great writer. His words kept me turning the page. I highly recommend Don’t Mess with Tanya.



David W. Berner’s new memoir (I call it a Master Memoir), The Consequence of Stars: A Memoir of Home, is a series of stories about growing up; his family, including his wild and troubled sister; his two sons; homes he’s lived in; his train travels and drives west to places like the Navajo Nation, and to Paris visiting Hemingway’s haunts as related in The Moveable Feast. He also describes his times as the Writer-in-Residence at the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando, Florida, and at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace in Oak Park, Illinois. Berner ends his book in a new home outside of Chicago where he decides to build a writing shed in a corner of the backyard, making sure that his precious memorabilia and safely ensconced inside.

Berner tells each story with such stunning and packed detail that it kept this reader in awe. Every place touched upon is colored with the songs and musicians of the day, the books that relate, the people that he meets – where they were, what they wore, what they said. Berner’s love of music is especially evident. Every once in a while he describes detouring into guitar playing with friends or the locals he meets during his travels. Also evident is Berner’s love of family – for his mother, father, sister, and his sons, his school day friends and their sometimes wild adventures, and finally for the new love in his life and how they set up their home together..

The life stories in this memoir kept me thinking: I’ve done that, I’ve been there, I want to go there too. I loved this book, I recommend it to readers of all ages, and if I could, I would give it ten stars instead of a measly five.


I highly recommend both of these books. They’ll keep you turning the pages.


  1. Thank you, Madeline! I’m thrilled you liked the book.

Speak Your Mind