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Relationships

Applying the Principles of Improv to Break Free

in Pop Culture by

If you’ve ever spent time watching improvisational comedy, two things might have struck you: (1) this is entertaining and (2) this looks extremely hard. To many, the thought of being thrown an idea and being asked to improvise on the spot is downright scary. Perhaps a little less frightening is the idea of using improv principles and skills to break free from the patterns we believe define us and the stories we’ve been told about who we are. That’s the overriding concept behind Life Unscripted, co-written by Jeff Katzman, MD, and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and Dan O’Connor, Founder and Artistic Director of the Impro Theater and Co-Founder of LA Theatresports. The…

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This Month’s Pick: Jesmyn Ward’s “Sing, Unburied, Sing”

in Girly Book Club by

For the month of September, all chapters of the Girly Book Club are reading Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Buried, Sing (Scribner). Here’s the review that BookTrib filed shortly after the title was published late last year: Sing, Unburied, Sing is a beautifully written, character-driven, heartfelt novel that takes place in the steamy Mississippi Gulf Coast. The story is about a young black girl, Leonie, who has two children: Jojo 13, and Kayla, a toddler. The children’s father, Michael, is white and in prison. Michael’s family is hopelessly racist and rejects Leonie and the children, so they live with Leonie’s parents. Leonie is a drug addict and she is rarely around, so Mam and Pop have stepped in to raise the kids.…

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‘White Fur’: Is Love Really More Powerful Than Money?

in Fiction by

The more I think about this novel, the more I love White Fur by Jardine Libaire. It’s the 1980s and Elise, a school dropout and recently homeless young girl is living in New Haven with a friend she met on the street. Jamey is one of the white, privileged and wealthy guys in the apartment next door; the longtime buddies are students at Yale and everything material has been given to them on a silver platter. The unlikely attraction between Elise and Jamey is powerful, lustful and trepidatious on Jamey’s part, as Elise is from low-class, poor, unsophisticated stock, and although she has big love for her family and knows what she wants out of life, his fancy and pretentious family and…

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‘The State of Affairs’: Sex, Betrayal and Why We Need to Understand Infidelity

in Non-Fiction by

Betrayal, power and affairs are at the scandalous center of our lives and entertainment these days (we’re looking at you Scandal!).  The big question is WHY.  For those of us lost in the dark, Esther Perel just may have the answer. Esther Perel, a Belgian psychotherapist now based in New York City, has a track record of more than 20 years of tackling this taboo topic. Her book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, published in 2007, made headlines when it came out and is still one of the best relationship books we’ve read.  Her TED talk  has received more than 7 million views. While Mating in Captivity dealt with the tensions and contradictions between domesticity and sexual desire, her new book The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity,…

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Mental Health and Family Relationships Come Together in Yoerg’s ‘All the Best People’

in Fiction by

At BookTrib, we are constantly searching for the best ways to connect readers with writers, opening their eyes and worlds to fresh ideas! This is how we came across a wonderful group known as the Tall Poppies, who are not only avid readers, but extremely talented writers as well! This week, Katie Pryal reviews Sonja Yoerg’s ‘All the Best People.’ The heart of Sonja Yoerg’s All the Best People is Carole LaPorte, one of the book’s narrators, a mother of three and wife to Walt, the owner of an auto shop in small-town 1970s Vermont. Carole’s world starts to fall apart when she begins to question whether she might be like her mother, Solange, who has been locked in Underhill, the…

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Feldman’s Follow Up to ‘The Book of Jonah’ is Endearing and Darkly Comedic

in Fiction by

Known for his critically-acclaimed debut novel The Book of Jonah, author Joshua Max Feldman is back with another novel that promises to be every bit as engaging, intelligent and introspective as you think it will be. Start Without Me: A Novel does more than just analyze the family dynamics, and the gravity of the struggles and relationships of Feldman’s characters, it also perfectly displays the grip and mastery he has over his writing, creating an eloquent, captivating book. Adam, a former musician and recovering alcoholic, is going home for Thanksgiving for the first time in years. Surrounded by his parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews, Adam knows that he should feel comfortable, safe, and at home – but there’s still the ever-present…

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Gaynor and Webb’s ‘Last Christmas in Paris’ Mixes Relationships and Tragedy

in Fiction by

At BookTrib, we are constantly searching for the best ways to connect readers with writers, opening their eyes and worlds to fresh ideas! This is how we came across a wonderful group known as the Tall Poppies, who are not only avid readers, but extremely talented writers as well! This week’s Tall Poppies review of Last Christmas in Paris relays a beautifully crafted story love and dreams in the wake of war human tragedy. War changes everything–individuals, relationships, priorities, dreams– so it’s not surprising that stories set in wartime are so popular and, in this case, so engrossing. In Last Christmas in Paris, best friends Will and Tom head off to fight the Germans, leaving behind Will’s sister, Evie, and, soon…

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‘This Is Us’: 5 Moving Books About the Love and Acceptance of Family

in Fiction by

Familial relationships are complicated and wrought with a unique cast of characters. Like a TV show, the American family is the sound stage of our lives and we are the actors. We live, we laugh and we love, never really knowing what will happen in the next episode. Last year, NBC brought us a wonderfully complex story about a family throughout various stages in their evolution and development. This Is Us has captivated American TV viewers unlike any show in recent years because of its honest portrayal of a family that is not perfect, but is perfectly guided by love. Actor Sterling K. Brown won an Emmy earlier this month for his stunning portrayal of Randall Pearson in the series. Tonight,…

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Single? Five Surefire Ways to Feel Even Worse on Valentines Day

in Non-Fiction by
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If you’re single, Valentines Day can be a real crusher, reminding you of the fact that you’ve not found your special someone and everybody else on the planet apparently has. Or so it seems with all the “He went to Jared” and “Every kiss begins with K” jewelry commercials, plus your friends and relatives fretting about what gifts to give their sweethearts and whether they can reserve a table for two at Chez Restaurant du Jour. You might also have your mom chiming in and asking if you’ve met anyone, and your grandma trying to fix you up with her bridge partner’s myopic, asthmatic, socially challenged grandkid (who’s apparently a real catch if you can ignore the coke-bottle lenses, the…

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Battle ‘Ships: Will They or Won’t They Edition!

in Fiction by

Usually on Battle ‘Ships, we like to pit couples from the same show against each other. But this time we’re switching things up and focusing on a theme rather than a love triangle. Welcome to Battle ‘Ships: Will They/Won’t They edition. Any TV junkie is well aware of the Will They Or Won’t They (WTOWT) couple. It’s one of the most familiar tropes out there –- so familiar, in fact, that it’s hard to name a TV show without a WTOWT couple lurking somewhere in every episode. Famous ones from history include Rachel and Ross from Friends, Luke and Lorelei from Gilmore Girls, Jim and Pam from The Office, Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl, etc. I could go on and on,…

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Live Interview with Alan C. Fox and People Tools for Love and Relationships

in Non-Fiction by

Relationship expert Alan C. Fox has inspired thousands of readers with the invaluable advice and engaging stories in his two bestselling books People Tools and People Tools for Business.  Now he is back with the ultimate guide to a better life: People Tools for Love and Relationships: The Journey from Me to Us. Alan is a master at building relationships. In People Tools for Love and Relationships he reveals time-proven techniques that you can use to enhance your connection with your partner, your family, your friends and everyone who is important to you. Each chapter of the book illustrates a different “People Tool” using insightful stories and amusing anecdotes from Alan’s life. From learning how to talk about money with your…

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Go Bananas For These Giveaways!

in Potpourri by

Comment for a chance to win one of this week’s brand spanking new titles. The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson “A brilliant tale of magic, monsters, and kung fu in the San Francisco Chinatown of 1898.” –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review It’s the end of the ninet eenth century in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and ghost hunters from the Maoshan traditions of Daoism keep malevolent spiritual forces at bay. Li-lin, the daughter of a renowned Daoshi exorcist, is a young widow burdened with yin eyes–the unique ability to see the spirit world. Her spiritual visions and the death of her husband bring shame to Li-lin and her father — and shame is not something this immigrant family can afford. When…

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The Secret to a Fulfilling Relationship According to Author Michael Gabriel

in Non-Fiction by

Michael Gabriel, author of “The Balanced Relationship Barometer,” discusses Valentine’s Day and how his own heartbreak led to a deeper understanding of what it means to be in a fulfilled long-term relationship. There is more than one theory on the origins of how Valentine’s Day came to be. In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14 as the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day. Much has changed since the Middle Ages, when chivalrous deeds and poems were used to court women, to our current consumer product-focused bonanza for companies like Hallmark, Victoria’s Secret, Godiva and 1-800 Flowers. What has not changed is the physiological potion of love. When you’re in love, and the brain releases an abundance of feel-good chemicals…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Michael Gabriel and The Balanced Relationship Barometer

in Non-Fiction by

Love is blind. You don’t have to be. No matter which stage of a relationship you’re in, this book and companion mobile app can help guide you with some of the most important decisions of your life: * Are you aware of what you really need from a romantic relationship? * Do you want insight to make better decisions, and avoid relationship pitfalls? * Are you able to see the patterns and trends of where your relationship is headed? * Do you really know how well your most important needs are being met? * Is it time to consider ending a stormy relationship that won’t improve or is getting worse, or can you actually make it better? The Balanced Relationship Barometer,…

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Matchmaker Barbara Summers on finding Mr. Right and ditching Mr. Wrong

in Non-Fiction by

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, romance is in the air. Well, at least for some people. For the rest of us singles, romance is decidedly a little difficult to muster up these days. But, thankfully, we are not left totally to our own devices. Barbara Summers’ new book, Next! A Matchmaker’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right, Ditching Mr. Wrong, and Everything in Between (Select Books; February 2015), can help even the most unlucky-in-love find their perfect match. Summers is a long-time matchmaker and relationship guru, which makes her a veritable expert in finding love. The guide, co-written with author Carey Blakely, takes people through every stage of a relationship —from opening yourself up to the possibility of love,…

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Randy Susan Meyers talks about Accidents of Marriage, a gut-punching family drama

in Fiction by

In her third novel, Accidents of Marriage (Atria Books, 2015), Randy Susan Meyers weaves a compelling tale of domestic abuse and traumatic brain injury as told through the very different perspectives of three family members—two parents and their teenage daughter. Meyers stands at the center of marital distress, surveys the scene, assesses the damage, and recounts it with unflinching honesty and clarity. Meyers is also the author of two previously bestselling novels, The Comfort of Lies (2014) and The Murderer’s Daughters (2011). Recently, BookTrib caught up with the author of Accidents of Marriage, a gut-punching family drama that tackles a slew of complicated issues. BOOKTRIB: One of the many strengths of Accidents of Marriage is your ability to successfully create multiple…

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