Time To Vote For Planet Books’ JULY/AUGUST Book

Hello There!!  I am really excited about the nominated titles for the July/August book and I hope you will be too.  I spent a while reading book blogs, BookBrowse.com, BookMovement.com, BookReporter.com, ReadingGroupGuides.com as well as Borders.com, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com and finally came up with three great books that I hope you will enjoy learning about and then cast your vote below.  Voting polls will close Friday, June 27th at Midnight EST!

The first title is Elizabeth Noble’s “The Friendship Test”.  I have read Noble’s “The Reading Group” and loved it and I think this one sounds great too.  Below is a summary of “The Friendship Test” from Elizabeth Noble’s web site.  You can read an excerpt of the book HERE

A Novel

THE FRIENDSHIP TEST ~ “One late wine- and gossip-fueled night, four friends on a lark create a fateful test of friendship — one that challenges the very principles and boundaries of their alliance. To pass it means to never, at any cost, betray one another. Twenty years later, they must face that ultimate test.
We meet them at the dawn of their camaraderie in the 1980s and already each woman is distinguished from the other: Tamsin, the compassionate mother hen; Reagan, the brazen and clever overachiever; Sarah, the seemingly perfect beauty; and Freddie, who despite being far from her U.S. home, finds strength in her friends. We forward to today, and as promised they are still firm friends… that is until a crisis occurs and the principles that define their friendship test are challenged. Exquisitely rendered by Elizabeth Noble, The Friendship Test is a powerful testament to the depth and capacity of female relationships.”

The second book nominated is “The Position”by Meg Wolitzer.  “The Position” sounds intruiging and spicy which I thought could make for interesting discussions if this is the book to win the vote.  Below is a summary of the book and as with all three nominated books, you can read an excerpt HERE

A Novel

THE POSITION ~ “In1975, Paul and Roz Mellow write a bestselling Joy of Sex-type book that mortifies their four school-aged children and ultimately changes the shape of the family forever. Thirty years later, as the now dispersed family members argue over whether to reissue the book, we follow the complicated lives of each of the grown children and their conflicts in love, work, marriage, parenting, and, of course, sex — all shadowed by the indelible specter of their highly sexualized parents. Insightful, panoramic, and compulsively readable, The Position is an American original.”

The last book on the list is Kate Christensen’s “The Great Man”.  I had heard an INTERVIEW with Christensen on NPR’s Fresh Air last month and became interested in this story of “…secrets, love, and legacy in the New York art world.”  “The Great Man”  won the PEN/Faulkner Award this year.  Below is a summary of the book and you can read an excerpt HERE.

The Great Man

THE GREAT MAN~ “Oscar Feldman, the renowned figurative painter, has passed away. As his obituary notes, Oscar is survived by his wife, Abigail, their son, Ethan, and his sister, the well-known abstract painter Maxine Feldman. What the obituary does not note, however, is that Oscar is also survived by his longtime mistress, Teddy St. Cloud, and their daughters.
As two biographers interview the women in an attempt to set the record straight, the open secret of his affair reaches a boiling point and a devastating skeleton threatens to come to light. From the acclaimed author of The Epicure’s Lament, a scintillating novel of secrets, love, and legacy in the New York art world.”

Sunday Salon ~ June 22, 2008

This weekend has found me reading “Where The Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls.  The last and first time I read this book was back in 1984 when I was a fourth grader.  I can’t remember if it was required reading for class or if I had ordered it from the Scholastic Book Fair and read it on my own, but I do know that I absolutely loved it.  That’s proving true this time around too.  I find myself remembering what is about to happen in the next few pages when my memory is jarred by a passage and it’s the coolest thing.  Billy, Old Dan & Little Ann are like old friends I haven’t seen in ages and I feel like a little girl again and I’m following them around Billy’s folks land in the Ozarks of Oklahoma.  Watching them go on their night time hunts and playing down on the riverbank below their home is as exciting as it was the first time. 
         
I’m actually reading the same copy that I read those many years ago and I laugh every time I come across a word that has been underlined in pencil.  When I put a book down for the day, I would underline the word I was to start back up with when it was time to get back to reading.  My fourth grade handwriting is on the inside cover showing my name, teacher’s name and my phone number (in case I lost the book it could be returned to me). 
As a child and again as an adult I am the proud owner of a beautiful silver Cocker Spaniel.  Lightening struck twice with me and I feel so blessed to have loved twice when it comes to dogs.  Growing up my dog’s name was Maxwell and he was my best friend.  I could tell him anything and he would listen with all ears and heart.  I got him in the summer of 1981 and he lived until the summer of 1993.  He was the family dog but I believe (and my dad backs me up on this one) that because of my pleading and carrying on for a dog like Lady in “Lady & The Tramp” for a couple of years, my parents finally gave in and we got Maxwell.  He was the best, most adorable doggie.
Now as an adult I have the shear luck of being the proud owner and “mother” to Rocky.  He’s the most beautiful, intelligent, funny dog I’ve ever known.  My husband and I love him and because we don’t have children he fills a lot of shoes in our home.  Dog, confidant, child, protector, playmate, teddy bear, and couch pillow.  We got him from an ad in the Little Rock, Arkansas newspaper when we were living in Memphis, TN five years ago.  We drove two and a half hours to a little double-wide trailer in Cabot, AR and there was our little Rocky.  We bought him for a whopping $125.00 (same price my parents paid for Maxwell back in 1981) and took him home with us.  Now he is a world traveling dog with Okinawa, Japan as an address.
As I have been reading “Where The Red Fern Grows”, there have been moments when I think about the fact that Rocky will join Maxwell in time and won’t be with us anymore.  In those sad moments, I hug Rocky and tell him I love him with all my heart.  Below is a picture of Rocky when we brought him home on Memorial Day weekend 2003.  He was eight weeks old.
8 week old Rocky, May 2003