I turned on the lights, the TV and the radio

Now that kids are back in school – I just know that at least some of you are looking for books to read while waiting in the “pick-up” line at school, or maybe you’re even lucky enough to have fifteen minutes of peace and quiet somewhere so that you can retreat to fantasy life in a book. Lucky are the few…

It’s not often when I have not one but TWO book suggestions that I’m willing to throw out there, and both books should find incredible audiences amongst Duranies (particularly female fans)..because in both cases, you’ll be seeing yourself in the stories, I promise.  I’ve already read both books, and they are both fun and easy reads. I’ll give a short review for each book, and I really hope you check them out – the best part is that if you do, you’ll be supporting fellow fans, as the authors are in fact Duranies. Even better? They are both appearing at the convention in our author panel session on Saturday morning. They will be reading a selection from their work, and then having a moderated discussion and question/answer session. I believe the authors will both have books for sale at the convention, and I’ll bet if you ask – they’ll even sign them for ya!

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The first book I’ve got for you is actually a novella by Karen Booth. Novella is a fancy word authors like to use for “short book that will get you sucked into the storyline super quickly and end before you’re ready to stop wondering what happens next”. This novella is actually the prequel to another one of Karen’s novels, ‘Bring Me Back’. Let me be clear: Bring Me Back is the fantasy for every music fan brought to life. Fictional “life” maybe…but life, darn it!  Before I digress further, I should probably explain Claire’s Diary – and I can do that best in this way: Do you remember writing a journal when you were a kid? Mine went a little like this: “Dear Diary, When are you going to bring Roger Taylor to me?  I have been really, really patient, and I’ve tried watching all of their videos and even reading their interviews..and sometimes I even stare into his eyes for each of the posters on my wall. Mental telepathy just doesn’t seem to work…but I know he’s the right one for me….” Yeah.  Remember those? Well, that journal IS this book. It is like getting a good glimpse of ourselves at the age of 13 or even 14 or 15. Funny? Absolutely. Did it make me cringe at times, seeing how silly I, uh…I mean Claire…was back then? Not in that sense. It just made me remember how tough being a teenager really can be. Then I went into my 16 year olds bedroom and reminded myself of how tough it is to be the parent of a 16 year old. The beauty of it all is that if you’ve never read ‘Bring Me Back’, ‘Claire’s Diary’ is an excellent place to start. Interested potential readers do not need to have read ‘Bring Me Back’ in order to feel anything for this one, and I really recommend ‘Claire’s Diary’. Another amazing thing about this novella? Brace yourselves, bookworms: IT IS FREE. That’s right, the link takes you to Karen’s site where you can download it, read it and maybe even spill a few tears for teenage Claire, all for FREE. Personally, I think Karen is psycho not to charge for it, but then again: she’s a published author of more than a couple books…and I’m a blogger who writes a daily blog about a rock band and it’s fans. For free. Interesting comparison when I think about it that way…..  Anyway, ‘Claire’s Diary’ is a light, yet very-well constructed and thoughtful read that kind of leaves you wanting more…whether that’s another book, or a damn world tour.  Just saying.

And in case you need to find ‘Bring Me Back’ because you’re desperate for more…here’s a link (opens in new window). On the horizon in February of 2014 there’s a third book coming to the series…so you won’t have too terribly long to pine over Christopher Penman…probably just in time to read that book with some new Duran Duran music playing in the background…

Next on the suggestion list is Elisa Lorello’s freshly released memoir, aptly titled ‘Friends of Mine: Thirty Years In the Life of a Duran Duran Fan’. Where to begin with this one? First of all, Elisa has been a fan as long as anyone, and the band has been as much of a soundtrack for her life as it has been for mine…or yours. We all have history. We all have had experiences that have led us to become the people we are now. The difference is that Elisa took the time to tell her story. She shares her life history, all the while explaining how much the band meant to her along the way, and continues to mean to her today. How many of us really fantasized (and some of us might even still continue) about getting past the whole “fan” thing and becoming friends with the band? Which of us can remember a specific song that somehow “saved” us when we needed it most? Who amongst us had a best friend that shared the glorious moments of watching videos, singing songs in our bedrooms, and fawning over the newest articles, interviews and pinups of the band? My point, of course, is that most, if not all Duran fans, should be able to see at least a glimmer of themselves in this memoir…and some might even recognize similar themes in their own life story. I don’t want to give too much away, so I won’t. I will only merely direct you to getting a copy for yourself here.
 
Today I walked my little Kindergartner to school with her dad. It’s funny, because ten years ago, I thought I’d walked my last child down the block and through the gate into the Kindergarten playground. (Never say never, right?) This time, it was much more poignant, and although I held my ground and refused to allow even a single, teensy tear to bridge the corners of my eyes (I didn’t want my daughter to be confused by my bittersweet feelings) – I don’t think my house has ever seemed quieter. I joke on Twitter, saying life is good (and of course it is), but there is a part of me that knows as of today, everything has changed. Again.  My little girl might always be my little girl, but the days I spent with her cuddling on the couch as the older kids were off at school and we were here alone for the day have at least been slowed to a minimum, and I can’t help but feel at least a little melancholy at the thought. I know she is going to learn to love school – she’s always liked a challenge, and she’s got enough spunk and spirit to fill an entire classroom. I wish her Kindergarten teacher luck reigning that huge personality in! I think my own nerves have finally settled, and I must say, having all three kids start new schools on exactly the same day is not very easy. I joke, but I am indeed a late-night worrier, and my stomach has been in knots for a week now. I’m hoping that after today, they’ll settle back into the crazed sense of normal to which I am accustomed.

-R

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