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Topic: PBS BOOK NUTS: APRIL *ALL THE NUMBERS* by JUDY LARSEN-DISCUSSION

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Subject: PBS BOOK NUTS: APRIL *ALL THE NUMBERS* by JUDY LARSEN-DISCUSSION
Date Posted: 4/12/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
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Meeting: Monday, April 20th 7PM EST.

Discussion: All the Numbers

We are going to be discussing the final chapters of the book. Hope to see you all here! Judy will hopefully be joining us for the discussion.



Last Edited on: 4/20/09 4:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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Ahhhhhh found it.   : )

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:01 PM ET
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Hi Everyone--I'm here and excited to be part of your discussion! Judy
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:04 PM ET
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Hi Kathi, Cozi and Judy! I'm running to get the rest of my tissues JIC I need them again.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:05 PM ET
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I'd say you're through the worst of it . . .
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:06 PM ET
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Hi Book Nuts! And a big welcome to Judy. I'm so glad she could join us tonight.

I have to say after last month's book  it took me a while to pick up All the Numbers. But, once I started reading it I had to force myself to stop at the designated chapter. I could have read it yesterday afternoon easily.  It flows, the characters are really likable and believable. After struggling to get thru the last book I was very happily surprised how much I'm enjoying this book.

 

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:06 PM ET
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There! I just read through chapter 8 last night and I still have the sniffles...

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:10 PM ET
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I haven't read it lately - just got my latest copy today - so I'll mostly observe.   I did read it some time ago.   Hi Judy - so happy you joined us.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:10 PM ET
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I always feel like I should apologize for making you all cry. . . would it help you to know that I still cry when I read certain parts? Or that I cried when I was writing it?
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:10 PM ET
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I cried, I laughed. I can totally identify with Ellen. My biggest fear when my son was growing up was losing him so this book really resonates with me. I feel like Ellen's reactions are probably like mine would have been. Every mother's nightmare. The subject is heartwrenching. I'm not usually one to pick up a book that really asks for an emotional response but I'm so glad that we picked this one.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:12 PM ET
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I have to tell you - I almost never cry when reading but your book did it Judy.  lol        But it was ok, yanno?  I could so identify with Ellen.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:13 PM ET
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I think it's very hard to create and write a character that actually brings out strong emotions. It's done easily in movies but for an author to be able to write in such a way as to create an emotional bond between the reader and the characters is really amazing. 

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:13 PM ET
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Thanks, Kathi (and hi Cozette!). I knew when I wrote this that the most important thing was making Ellen real and honest.
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:14 PM ET
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I read a bit of the acknowledgments but I didn't notice if the book came from an actual experience. How did you come up with the idea Judy?

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:16 PM ET
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Well, she certainly is that.   Never perfect but real.   Like all of us.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:17 PM ET
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The idea came to me when I was sitting on a dock up in Wisconsin with my best friend while her daughters and my sons played in the water (yes, just like Ellen and Anna). A jet skier went by and I thought "what if?" What if he'd been closer to the kids? What would that do to me as a mother and a friend. I spent the next year just thinking about it and then I wrote it. I had to tap in to that fear of all moms.
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:19 PM ET
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It really does affect ALL the relationships in her life does't it?  Marriage and friendship as well as motherhood.  

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:21 PM ET
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Motherhood must be the most anxiety provoking 'profession'. Your book really did make me cry buckets last night, Judy, but I woke up with such an appreciation for what I have, healthy boys.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:21 PM ET
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Did you want to be a writer for many years Judy.   I guess the better question would be, have you always been a writer.  I know many writers that aren't published but are still writers.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:22 PM ET
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Absolutely, Cozette--nothing happens to any of us in a vacuum, does it? Just like becoming a mom fundamentally changed everything about who I was, I knew that losing a child would have the same (if not greater) impact.
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:23 PM ET
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Having only one child myself, I can't help but wonder how that would effect the situation.   I can't imagine it much more intense than it was.  How did you come up with the title?   Sorry - guess I do have a lot of questions even if I haven't read it lately.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:24 PM ET
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Hey Anita--I love that it helped you appreciate your boys. My baby (age 21!) was home for Easter weekend and it was so fun to have him around. And of course, when he eft, I worried until he called to tell me he'd arrived safely back at college.
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:24 PM ET
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Well you certainly captured it.  I felt like I was there. Good thing I was reading it in the afternoon or I never would have been able to sleep. LOL I never read any of the other books that it was compared to. (Ordinary People and Deep End of the Ocean) I have seen bits and pieces of the movie Ordinary People.

Just as a comparison. Last month we read We Need To Talk About Kevin. I don't know if you have read it. But the mother in that book was very unlikeable. I couldn't find anything that I could identify with. That was probably the biggest reason I absolutely hated the book.

Ellen is any mom. She's strong. She's vulnerable. I love the relationship between her and her sons. I envy her friendship with Anna and her husband. I cheered when she kicked out her ex husband. I'm hoping she finds a relationship with Bob. LOL (I haven't read that far)

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:26 PM ET
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Cozette--yes, I always dreamed of being a writer--growing up, I wrote ton of stories and poems. I was an English major in college an then taught high school English for 15 years, but I always told myself that I'd write a novel "someday." And then I did! Now, I'm rewriting my second novel for about the third time.
Date Posted: 4/13/2009 7:26 PM ET
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I have a book on grieving that says grief is the process of redefinition.  That it redefines who you are.

Am I still the mother of two children when one has died?

Am I still a wife after my husband died.

I felt that redefinition of Ellen so strongly during this book.

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