Sunday Matters: Strange Place

Sunday Matters

I am in a really strange place right now. After my mom’s passing, and all the other stuff that came with it, I find myself in this weird limbo stage where sometimes I am incredibly happy, and other times (not sad) but anxious. I feel all wound-up.

With the holidays and all the holiday traditions we have as a family, I can almost forget about my immediate problems. I see the tree and smile or I get excited about holiday reading with a warm, holiday drink by my side.

But then, it all comes rushing back to me. Reality. Life is hard sometimes.

Right Now:

I’ve got my cup of coffee and the sunlight is streaming through the window. It’s so pretty outside. COLD. For us, but pretty. We are about to head to church.

This Week:

December came up fast! This week I have two holiday parties to attend: the book club holiday party and one that a colleague throws every year.

Reading:

After my mom’s passing, it took me a long time to pick up a book. However, reading is like a tonic to me so I forced myself to begin again and sure enough, it’s calmed me in ways that no glass of wine could.

I finally finished Summer of Night. It was such a large book and parts of it were classic horror but it dragged in places. I still have to write the review. I am currently reading Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and I really love it.

Watching:

When your life seems like it’s spinning out of control, TV can be a comfort. I’ve watched SO much TV. I’ve watched old shows like Bob Newhart (so comforting) or several episodes of The Wonder Years. I’ve watched dark shows like Black Mirror and holidays classics like Frosty the Snowman. As you can see, anything goes in the TV department right now. I still haven’t experienced The Gilmore Girls yet. Is that a show my daughter and I could watch together?

Making:

I did cook for Thanksgiving but it was a weird day. Everyone was home, which was good but I could not relax. I’ve been making stuff here and there since I had the time off but now I am back at work for a little while and back to wondering what to make. What sounds good? I saw someone post a photo of Rib Eye steaks and lobster tail. Now, that sounds great to me.

Grateful for:

I am grateful for my friends and the many people who have reached out to me in some way over the past two weeks. You guys are the most awesome people. I’ve read every single message and card and some of the things you’ve said have literally brought me to tears. I am so grateful for you.

Review & Tour: Searching for John Hughes

Searching for John Hughes

Searching for John Hughes
By Jason Diamond
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062424839, November 29, 2016, 304 pp.

The Short of It:

Anyone growing up in the 80s is going to find this book to be a real treat but even if you didn’t grow up during the best decade ever, you’ll still find something to like.

The Rest of It:

When I was asked to do this tour and began to casually chat about the book, I was surprised by how many people I ran into who had absolutely no idea who John Hughes was. Really? My first reaction? What is wrong with you?

In 1984, the movie Sixteen Candles came out. I was a sophomore in high school. In my junior year, The Breakfast Club came out.  In my senior year, my most tumultuous year by far, Pretty in Pink debuted. ALL of these movies shaped me as a human being. So much so, that I introduced them to my kids as soon as they were old enough to understand all that teen angst. John Hughes wrote many movies and he directed some of them too but what he did best was really nail the teen experience.

Enter Jason Diamond. His infatuation with Hughes goes beyond my love of the man, in that he followed his work well into the 90s and filled notebook upon notebook with bits of knowledge about him. Searching for John Hughes IS about Diamond’s quest to write a book about Hughes but it’s about so much more.

Diamond’s childhood was troubled. Although he lived very close to some of the iconic Chicago movie locations seen in some of the films I mentioned, he dealt with physical abuse at his father’s hand, a mother who struggled to be the kind of mother she really wanted to be, and Diamond’s continued struggle to find himself.

As a teen, pretty much abandoned by his mother, he’s forced to move from couch to couch, living off the kindness of friends. School, often a challenge, provided some brief moments of clarity. Especially when one of his favorite teachers turns him on to good literature and gives him a place to stay.

This memoir has highs and lows, both good and bad. Diamond struggled with drugs and alcohol but his survival instinct always seemed to kick in when he needed it to. Moving from job to job, he began to think about writing as a career and that is when he decided to write a biography on the man himself, Hughes. A biography that never happened.

What struck me about this memoir is that Diamond is a really interesting guy on his own. His challenging childhood, his ability to always pull himself up by his bootstraps, was impressive and there was a lot that I could relate to. As much as I love Hughes, and as much as I enjoyed reading about Hughes, I almost wanted to read more about Diamond.

As some of you know, my mother passed away on November 15th. This was the first book I read after her passing and it gave me all the feels. It’s like I jumped into a time machine and went back to my senior year. Hughes knew so much about being young and wanting more. Like Andie in Pretty in Pink,  I came from the wrong side of the tracks and struggled through my high school years. I had a Duckie and a Blane and even a Steff. How could Hughes have known this? That was his appeal. Everyone viewing these movies can find someone to relate to. Rich, poor, popular or not. If you haven’t seen his movies, I implore you to do so.

Then? Read this book. It’s filled with lots of movie facts but Diamond also takes us to some of the iconic filming locations in and around the Chicago suburbs. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jason Diamond
Author: Jason Diamond
Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Links: Website, Instagram, and Twitter

TLC Book Tours

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains purchase and author links.

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