NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Blue Notebook: Author Event Report & Giveaway


Last night, I went to see James Levine, M.D. talk about his novel, The Blue Notebook. If any of you ever have the opportunity to see him speak about his work -- GO! He's funny, he's poignant, and he's very passionate about the work he does around the world as a doctor.

He began by telling the standing-room-only crowd how overwhelmed he was at the turnout. He talked a bit about how he came up with the idea to write the book while he was working on his diet book, Move a Little, Lose a Lot. In that book he talks about taking on a large project. He decided that he would follow his own advice and chose as his project to write a novel despite the fact that he's not a literary kind of guy. At least I think that's what he said. His stories tended to ramble a bit, from nerves or enthusiasm I couldn't quite tell. It didn't matter. He was fascinating to listen to.

He chose to write about child prostitution in India based on his experiences working in the field on special projects that provide medical attention to women and their children in some of the brothels in Mumbai. He told of some of his own experiences with them and of observing programs that are working to rescue these people from the cycle of poverty and the skin trade. I couldn't even begin to describe what this man has seen, but he spoke of it all, horrifying and hopeful, with an obvious love for the people he was talking about. There were a couple of times that I believe he was close to tears himself.

My favorite part was the Q&A. For all of his joking and fidgeting during his presentation, he answered some very difficult questions from the audience in a manner that drove home the problem of child prostitution. I thought some of the questioners were a bit harsh, almost as if they felt Dr. Levine was personally responsible for stopping this practice. However, his answers were respectful while pointing out that child prostitution is not an "India" problem. It's a problem all over the world. The U.S. has more child prostitutes than India or Thailand, and before we get on our high-horse and lambaste other countries and governments for not abolishing the problem immediately, we might want to look at what is going on in our own cities. My words, not his. He was a lot more PC. :-)

I could go on and on and still not capture a fraction of how great it was to listen to Dr. Levine speak on this subject, but I'll stop here and urge you all, as he did, to check out the work being done by the organization receiving all the U.S. proceeds for this book, The International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

While you're here, leave me a comment and I'll put you in a drawing for an AUTOGRAPHED COPY of The Blue Notebook! Because child exploitation is a problem around the world, everyone is eligible to enter no matter where you live. Entries will be accepted until 6:00 Central Time on Friday, July 31, 2009, and the winner will be announced Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009.

Good luck, Everyone!!