“Freud’s Mistress” giveaway winner!

I’m sorry to be a day late (or two?) – life gets so busy!

I wanted everyone who commented to win a book, but alas I had to randomly choose a winner…

I wrote everyone’s name on a piece of paper, folded them evenly, threw them on the floor, kicked them around a bit, and then bent over and picked one up.

And the winner is….

 

 

Freud's Mistress

CINDY!

Yay Cindy!  Email me with your mailing address (yes, this is a hardcover book!) and I’ll forward it on!

 

Thanks for all the comments, everyone – Fall is my favorite time of year, too!  Love reading about what you love to do!

In other news, I agreed to another book tour!  Goodness… this one is through Words and Peace’s I Love France Book Tours and will be posted in November.  I’ll keep you posted on that!

Happy day, everyone!
Danette

 

“Freud’s Mistress” Giveaway!

Freud's MistressThanks to the TLC Book Tour and the authors of the book, one person who comments on this post or the post with the review of “Freud’s Mistress” will win a copy of the book!

We are coming up on the first day of autumn – tell me about your favorite autumn activity or food or memory!  Or just tell me how much you love my blog!  Haha Any comment gets an entry into the book giveaway.  I’ll announce the winner on September 23.

Good luck!

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“Freud’s Mistress” by Karen Mack & Jennifer Kaufman

Freud's Mistress

On Facebook I saw the post: “Do you love “The Paris Wife” and “Loving Frank” and have a blog?  If you do, get in touch.”

And because I do, I did.

It’s interesting to me that I think of myself as a purely Adult Fiction reader, rarely choosing a non-fiction book for pleasurable reading, yet those two books – and now this one – as fictionalized accounts of very non-fiction people and events, have become some of my favorites! 

“The Paris Wife” led me down the Hemingway rabbit hole; I watched the movies “The Sun Also Rises” and “Hemingway and Gilhorn,” I loved the Hemingway role in “Midnight in Paris,” I read “The Movable Feast,” and I listened to the author of “The Paris Wife talk about her research (click for my post about it).

“Loving Frank” led me to research his homes and to find three of them in Rochester and drive by them.  “The Women” (about the rest of the women in Wright’s life) is still in my TBR pile (thanks, Sarah!).  

And now, Freud.

This story starts in 1895.  Minna Bernays is employed as a lady’s companion or governess, in an attempt to support herself – an educated, single woman nearing 30 years old.  She cannot bear the treatment given to some of the employees in the household, so she gives all her money to help the young kitchen helper get to the doctor, buy her medicine, and then buy her a train ticket home to her family.  She then writes to her sister, Martha, and asks for help out of her unfavorable situation.  Martha insists she move in immediately, and so begins Minna’s life in the home of Dr. Sigmund Freud.

Minna is no stranger to the family; she and Freud had been corresponding for years.  She is fascinated by his intelligence and theories and he finds her to be a worthy listener.  She challenges him and he confides in her.  This story is about the relationship between Minna and Freud, which is filled with attraction and tension, jealousy and longing.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.  It is a good book – so I think you should read it for yourself!

This book was an easy read with very engaging and well-written characters.  The authors have obviously done their homework – on Victorian homes and clothing, Freud’s relationships with his contemporaries, his obsession with ancient knick-knacks and cigars, and his relationship with his family.  Because of this book I found myself watching a Biography of Freud on the internet (click to see for yourself!).  I realized I knew NOTHING about the man and found his story fascinating.  For example:

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smok...
Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smoking cigar. Español: Sigmund Freud, fundador del psicoanálisis, fumando. Česky: Zakladatel psychoanalýzy Sigmund Freud kouří doutník. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • He was raised Jewish, but didn’t believe in religion.
  • He wanted to be a researcher, but there was a quota on the number of Jewish people who could do research, so he went to medical school.
  • He “courted” his wife for five years and during that time wrote her 900 letters.  It is written that they would be worthy of being categorized as great love letters.  He wouldn’t marry her until he had some level of success.
  • He went into the study of neuroses because few people were studying mental illness at that time and he knew he could make his mark.
  • He had 6 children with Martha within 8 years – and then he became abstinent sexually in their marriage.  He felt that the only way to prevent neuroses was through unfettered sexual intercourse with your spouse and he didn’t want any more children, nor did he want to utilize birth control methods, because that would be fettering.  Goodness.
  • He was addicted to cigars, smoking 25-30 per DAY – even after his diagnosis of oral cancer which left him with a prosthetic jaw!
  • He was also addicted to his work, saying “A man like me cannot live without a hobby horse, a consuming passion, a tyrant.  I have found my tyrant, and in his service, I know no limits.  My tyrant is psychology.”
  • Through self-analysis, he “cured”himself of his travel phobia.  He also used to faint around “gifted male friends,” but he didn’t cure that.
  • He created a Wednesday Society of his avid followers; later he created a secret society made of his “band of disciples,” members wore rings.
  • He was seen as an “enemy of the people” by Hitler and his were among the first books burned during Hitler’s rise to power.
  • He thought that Hitler represented his worst fears of “darkness and psychosis,” yet he refused to leave his home in Vienna until his beloved daughter Anna was arrested.  He then agreed to leave and moved his family to London, where the Freud museum is now located.
  • He continued to see patients until he was on his death bed.  His cancer returned and was untreatable, so he took a lethal dose of morphine. He was 83.
  • His ashes are now kept in a vase from his vast collection of ancient artifacts.  He said he collected the ancient artifacts because he felt that he was “an archaeologist of the mind.”

Just as “The Paris Wife” gave me a sympathetic view of Hemingway, the man who is known as a cad throughout history, this story of “Freud’s Mistress” gives a different view of the man who is known to view women as inferior, due to their lack of a penis.  He is portrayed as obsessed with his work, but appreciative of the intellect of Minna.   On that note, I will close with one of the more famous quotes by Freud, as well as a response by Bill Cosby:

The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’  Sigmund Freud

“Sigmund Freud once said, “What do women want?” The only thing I have learned in 52 years is that women want men to stop asking dumb questions like that.”  Bill Cosby

Another amusing take on trying to figure out women...
Another amusing take on trying to figure out women…

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tlc tour host

For more reviews of this book, see the other blogs on the tour!  I’ll post again about a giveaway so that you can read this book for yourself!

Monday, September 2nd: BookNAround

Monday, September 2nd: Peppermint PhD

Tuesday, September 3rd: The Lost Entwife

Wednesday, September 4th: Unabridged Chick

Friday, September 6th: Kritters Ramblings

Monday, September 9th: A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, September 10th: Books in the Burbs

Wednesday, September 11th: A Novel Review

Thursday, September 12th: A Chick Who Reads

Monday, September 16th: Read Lately

Monday, September 16th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Tuesday, September 17th: WalkieTalkieBookClub

Wednesday, September 18th: Lectus

Friday, September 20th: Book-alicious Mama

Monday, September 23rd: My Bookshelf

Friday, September 27th: guiltless reading

Monday, September 30th: Lavish Bookshelf

“Freud’s Mistress” post – coming soon!

Freud's Mistress

Coming soon!  

I’m almost done with the book and look forward to telling you about it!  

The blog will go up on Tuesday – and there will be a giveaway!  

Stay tuned!!!  

Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman c. Firooz Zahedi

About Karen and Jennifer

Freud’s Mistress is the third novel by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman. Their first novel, Literacy and Longing in L.A., reached #1 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List and won the Best Fiction Award from the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. Their second novel, A Version of the Truth, was also a Los Angeles Timesbestseller. Freud’s Mistress is their first historical novel. Karen Mack, a former attorney, is a Golden Globe Award-winning film and television producer. Jennifer Kaufman is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and a two-time winner of the national Penney-Missouri Journalism Award. Both authors live in Los Angeles with their families.

For more info on the book, click here!

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Tour Stops

Monday, September 2nd: BookNAround

Monday, September 2nd: Peppermint PhD

Tuesday, September 3rd: The Lost Entwife

Wednesday, September 4th: Unabridged Chick

Friday, September 6th: Kritters Ramblings

Monday, September 9th: A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, September 10th: Books in the Burbs

Wednesday, September 11th: A Novel Review

Thursday, September 12th: A Chick Who Reads

Monday, September 16th: Read Lately

Monday, September 16th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Tuesday, September 17th: WalkieTalkieBookClub

Wednesday, September 18th: Lectus

Friday, September 20th: Book-alicious Mama

Monday, September 23rd: My Bookshelf

Friday, September 27th: guiltless reading

Monday, September 30th: Lavish Bookshelf

tlc tour host

Fond Ferragosto Memories

Wherever you are, have a Buon Ferragosto!
Wherever you are, have a Buon Ferragosto!

And a Buon Ferragosto it was! 

Ferragosto 2013 was highly anticipated (almost the best part of a vacation, right?) and truly was a time of great fellowship and relaxation!

I was there for 10 nights and 11 days – how luxurious is that?

The weather was perfect day after day after day… and night after night after night…

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I think I was there alone for 90 minutes on the first day and 2 hours on the last day – how social is that?  

There was time with kiddos…

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And time with adults – family and friends…

Consequently, not many books were read, but oh the conversations!

Around the fire, at the end of the dock, in the French Lake Tavern, on the long walks; over coffee or wine or martinis!

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It was truly a beautiful vacation with wonderful friends.  It’s on the calendar for next year, folks, so plan accordingly!

For more information about Ferragosto, you can click here to read about the first ever (2010), the third (2012), and food memories from 2012 here.

If you’re reading this on your mobile device or in an email, you may need to click through to the site to get the full effect!
There are many photos included in slide shows – vibrant and fun!

Will you join me next year?  

Monday Movie Musings (with a few plays thrown in)

I thought I’d do a catch-up post on the media I have consumed in the past month or so!  I am still hoping to soon have a Ferragosto wrap-up post, as well as more information on the book that I’m reading for a book blog tour (sneak peak: so far I love the book!), but movie Mondays are pretty melodic, so here ya go.

Besides the movies and plays below, I finished watching Arrested Development seasons this summer and started catching up on Weeds.  I am going to jump into Breaking Bad, I think, or I’ll dive into Orange is the New Black.  So many choices.  I do not miss cable TV at all!  Just have to stay home and relax a little!

Here are my thoughts:

MacbethAs mentioned in a post about July, I saw Macbeth at the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, MN with good friend Cindy.  It was a performance by the summer interns, but wow.  I don’t know that I have seen much serious Shakespeare – usually I see the lighter stuff (typical me!) – and I really felt like I needed a massage when this was done!  How intense!  If you know me, you know that I like to branch off from things, so I need to read The Weird Sisters now.  Or someday.  My TBR pile is much too large.

The Way, Way Back – I really enjoyed this summer flick!  Steve Carell has a very different role and I loved Sam Rockwell in this movie – what a hoot!  I loved the 14 year old boy,  ahd love being reminded that my Satellite Sister Sheila proctored an exam for him on set of another movie!  It wasn’t all light-hearted, but a good picture of relationships between dating adults with children.  Not a positive or healthy picture, but an interesting view.  Really, Sam Rockwell was terrific!

“Don’t Tell My Wife!” – I saw this community theatre play in Zumbrota.  It was an original play and I had never been in this nice little theatre before!  A friend was directing it, so that’s why I made it a priority to go, and it was very fun.  There were pastry chefs trying to raise money as ‘ladies of the evening,” a wealthy man wanting to open a bakery, men at a tool convention, a frumpy secretary who gets a makeover, and a wife who is an adult Girl Scout leader.  I think that community theatre is often better when you know the people who are portraying the characters, but this was well done, which is what I expected. 🙂

When Did You Last See Your Father? (on Netflix) – Meh.  I had this forever before I finally put it in.  It was an adult son who is caring for his dying father and thinking back on their relationship.  Colin Firth was the draw, but it was not fun at all.  Remember me?  I prefer fun.

Lee Daniels‘ The Butler – Saw this on Monday with Jenni.  I didn’t know much about it going in, except that Oprah was in it and there were presidents.  It was a very enjoyable movie, even if it felt trite or heavy-handed in its message sometimes.  I loved the presidents: Robin Williams as Eisenhower, John Cusack as Nixon, James Marsden as JFK, Liev Schreiber as LBJ, and Alan Rickman as Reagan.  They were all amazing.  As were Forrest Whitaker, Oprah, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz and Terrence Howard.  I will read more about it, as they say it is “based on true events,” but it is mostly a fictionalized account.  Still good enough to recommend.

Blue Jasmine – I really liked this Woody Allen movie a lot!  I am a Woody Allen fan, as a rule, so it isn’t surprising to me that I enjoyed this.  Cate Blanchett was amazing and the story was a well-told glimpse into madness.  I sat throughout the entire movie wondering how it could ever end – and it was never predictable.  I love that in a movie.  I guess Cate Blanchett played Blanche Dubois on Broadway, and this is reminiscent of that role.  She is “dependent on the kindness” not of strangers, but of estranged family and has conflicts with her sister’s boyfriends and ex-husband.  So glad I caught this movie in the theatre.

The Sapphires  (on Netflix) – I wanted to see this when it came out and it never came to our neck of the woods.  That’s either a good sign or a bad sign.  This film has Chris O’Dowd (love him!) managing an Aboriginal girls’ singing group who tours Vietnam.  There were some overt messages which played into the plot – “white looking” Aboriginal children were often removed from their birth families and raised in white communities and the Civil RIghts movement and assassination of MLK were highlighted – and some of the plot points were predictable, but it was a fun little movie.  I wonder if a lot was cut out of it, because some of the relationships weren’t as flushed out as they could have been and you are left jumping to conclusions, but it was a good watch.

Have you seen any of the above?  Have any thoughts about them – or about anything you’ve seen lately?

Book: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed
Nickel and Dimed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s really so much to think about and discuss in this book.  We chose to read this for group supervision at work and I am sad that I will miss the discussion.  In the book, Ms. Ehrenreich touches on so many things without hitting you over the head with any of them.

The author faced housing, nutrition, and safety concerns, language and communication differences, and the difficulty and run-around with obtaining services or applying for jobs.  She went into the experiment acknowledging that she would not suffer; she refused to go hungry or be homeless during the experiment.   She had a debit card at the ready and a reserve of cash she started with.  She also acknowledges the privilege she comes from and was often amazed that her employers did not recognize it in her.

Because of the book, I reviewed my Ruby Payne book “A Framework to Understand Poverty,” found a website with a “game” about living at the poverty level (http://playspent.org/) and tuned into some Ted Talks about “The Quest to End Poverty.”  It’s always good when a book leads you down a path to explore and learn more.

Have you read this book?  What parts of it will you remember?

my Goodreads review:

Very engaging writing and interesting subject. I was worried that this book would be “dated,” since it was published in 2001 with her social experiment taking place in 1999/2000. But the information is still relevant, maybe even more so, as we are no longer in those same economic times.

Things I will remember:

  • The difficulty in finding housing, especially housing near the job. Especially in Minneapolis. Living in substandard hotels/motels and paying by the week would be frustrating. Common sense would say that living near where you work would be most cost effective, but where the jobs are tends to have more expensive housing costs. So then there is dependence on your own vehicle or public transportation.
  • The hard, backbreaking work without break. Or if not backbreaking, the monotonous work while standing on your feet.
  • The personality tests required by most minimum wage jobs she applied for. And the rule about not talking to each other while working at Walmart.
  • The second to last paragraph of the book:

    “When someone works for less pay than she can live on – when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently – then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The “working poor,” as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else. …”

    That was a powerful paragraph for me.

I am glad I read this book – it was easy and light with an impactful message.

Written at the end of a 12-hour overnight shift… hopefully it is coherent and sensical!