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Member: drsyko

CollectionsYour library (1,651)

Reviews88 reviews

Tagsnovel (503), mystery (373), series (329), women (154), non-fiction (88), southern (61), history (57), animals (57), romance (52), autobiography (40) — see all tags

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About meI am a psychologist and university professor in southern CA. I'm 47 years old and must be having some kind of midlife crisis since I just bought my first sports car. :o) I live with 2 cats and a rabbit. I read about 100 books a year. I also have an extensive music collection and I like movies as well. I also like television, especially stations like Discovery HD, A & E, the Sci Fi channel and others of that ilk. Yeah, I know, vast wasteland, etc. But I deal with very harsh realities on a daily basis in my work so I'm definitely up for a bit of escape at the end of the day. Wow, do I sound like the biggest nerd or what? Does it help to say that I also ride a motorcycle and have 13 pairs of cowboy boots, including one very red pair that I wear regularly? :o) (Hmmm . . . now that I read that, not only does it not help, it just cements the whole queen of the nerds thing . . . oh well, you know what they say: It's good to be queen!)

About my libraryI honestly don't even know yet how many books I have. I'm guessing about 3000-4000. Way too many but I don't care! I have relatively eclectic tastes, but have a lot of general fiction and mysteries. I also have many psychology books (duh). Additionally I have several history books, political non-fiction, classic literature and poetry, and some other stuff that I should probably be embarrassed to say I own, let alone that I've read. :o)

GroupsPsychotherapists who read

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameMK

LocationSouthern California

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/drsyko (profile)
/catalog/drsyko (library)

Member sinceMay 30, 2007

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Comments

Thank you so much for picking my books for this years SantaThing. I'm really happy with the selection - the only problem will be which one to read first :) Thank you for your kind words and recommendations as well, I hope you have a peaceful holiday time as well and a good new year! And hopefully you got a good set of books too.

Kind regards,
Chris
psychology of love! - I have a friend in Sweden who is teaching a class at the U of Sweden and wants to use my book to talk about love...should be interesting.

Rebekha is mostly made up .... she is a light in the lives of those children! I walked a fine line of having her "too good" - but she is who she is and I couldn't change her....I'm glad she was there for the children.

I cannot imagine having both parents drinking....it makes for chaos...even sometimes when there is no drinking there is chaos.

I let Vk have her story and only bits and pieces of my life crept in there, as will happen when you are writing about family or friends or relationships. I didn't want to write about my homelife....for all kinds of reasons.

I have received emails from people in pain who read TG and then tell me that their childhood held some of the themes in TG -- alcholism, or abandonment or abuse(as in Aunt Ruby) . . . poor children, they have no escape, do they? I can only imagine TG was difficult for you to read.
The most frequent question I get is: "Is this book autobiographical" -- *smiling* -- I always tell them that there was a "major event" that I used as the 'set up' for the book: My own biological mother gave up her children, my two brothers and me, one at a time. I thought that was interesting and something I didn't hear about much. And since I had a character who needed a home, a place, a belonging, the two things hit it off...but the novel is mostly fiction. My bio mom didn't and doesn't drink. My father, however, is an alcoholic (I don't tell this story, but if someone asked, I would -it just doesn't come up) - but he has been sober for near-50 years (I don't remember his drinking).....I grew up with a father who was an alcohol counselor (he is a "psychologist" now - I put that in quotes because I'm not sure if that is his official title), so we were surrounded by literature on alcoholism, films on brains that were taken from alcoholics, tracts on alcoholism, sometimes he brought home alcoholics (I watched a man go into DT's in our living room one time)....I forgot about these things as they were just a normal part of our lives, and didn't realize they affected me in however way they did until I wrote Vk and all this drinking came out...huhn.

I am interested in home and belonging though - I guess that can't be helped, what with the mom giving us up like that and then my father moving his family: my stepmother(who adopted all of us and had two of her own) and us kids from place to place. I love mother/daughter issues - and to some degree father/daughter relationships. Family interests me. Belonging most of all interests me.

That's facinating what you do with your class -- Something I would do.....and guess I do to some degree.

I tucked literary nuggets in there, too - just for my own smiles.
MK! I experienced that with the death of my brother, but instead of it being the first anniversary of his death (which hadn't come around by then - ) it was his birthday. I was lying in bed, and just couldn't make myself get up. I was tired and sad and just thought "how can I get through this day!" I forced myself up - at the time I was a single mom and had to get up and work and do what had to be done (that's what women do - we do what has to be done)....and finally, I realized what day it was, August 14th - my brother's birthday. So, what you said makes sense...how lovely and strange the mind is.

Thank you, MK, for your thoughts...

PS - I'm probably the only person who also has not read the Harry Potter books other than the first one.

PPS - and August 14 is the birth date I gave VK for her birthday - I hid things in TG. Like room 226 - my birthday is 2/26 :) ...
MK!, thank you so much for this lovely note . . . *smiling* . . . I was having a rough morning and this brought a light to it (I know it's silly, but my good old girl canine friend died one year ago today).

I do want to tell you that I did respect your review and didn't think you were being harsh or insulting. I know how subjective this business is, but even more, I understand that we are passionate about our books! What someone loves, someone else is lukewarm about. For example, take Dan Brown's book - the DaVinci Code - I tried 3 times to read it and never could get past the 4th or 5th chapter, if that much! I wanted to, but his writing style bumped me right out of the story and I'd just put it down in frustration - same thing happened with NYT bestseller The Friday Night Knitting Club; I just could not read that book I bought on impulse and never reached past the first couple of chapters...and I know that there are people lined up behind me incredulous I do not like those two best sellers! *laughing*

I'll go read the revised review . . . and I appreciate the time and thought and care you have taken with my book and with me.

smiling,

Kat
Thank you for taking the time to read and review Tender Graces, even if you didn't enjoy it as much as an author would love for readers to enjoy her books! *smiling* - I am still appreciative of the time you took to read and review my book! It is obvious you love books and that makes you all right in my world!
Dear drsyko

Thank you so much for your review of my novel WIFE OF THE GODS. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it, and I don't take for granted the time you took to read and review it. I'm grateful that there are still people like you who love books. Thank you again for the kind words about my novel.

Yours truly

Kwei Quartey
Author of WIFE OF THE GODS
www.kweiquartey.com
Oh! Oh! Oh!!!! DO ask your brotherinlaw about Koontz. There is an amazing passage - just a paragraph - in Door to December if that is the title - where the dog and boy romp with "the playful presence" which is as close to the joyful Christian mystical experience as anything I've ever read. The end of The Face or *Mask* or whatever that is (a later book anyway) puts the hero on a mystical journey in which he is able to see the face behind all faces which gives them their ultimate value. And, of course, morality and courage and love triumph in some way in every book. (Watchers remains my favorite. It's one that I reread, and I love Twilight Eyes and Phantoms too... and Lightning)
I will read Door into Ocean soon; I'm just so greedy that I start way too many books at a time and rarely finish anything. And I've reread Watership Down and reskimmed my favorite parts too.)
Thanks for asking about the church thing. I got the packet printed out Friday and was able to take the weekend off - except for working on my correspondence for the local Humane Society - and the meeting went well. Now I'm trying to write up the minutes of the last session meeting almost 3 weeks ago, and my notes are trying to say the least.
Hope you're having a useful and enjoyable week. Thanks for staying in touch!
Peggy
Oh! Terry Pratchett.....I am in the minority. I sometimes find him mildly amusing, but mostly not. I pick him up from time to time because somebody whose opinion I trust urges me to, but so far, I spot him trying to be clever more often than I find him clever. (de gustibus non est disputandum) (Hmmm. That time when I flipped back to my page, I didn't lose this. Curious.)
And I do enjoy Laurie King although I haven't read her lately. In fact, I have been doing my purely recreational reading in scifi more than in mystery for the past year or so. Do you like Faye Kellerman, Jonathan's wife? She has a long-running series featuring an LA cop, Pete Decker, and his Orthodox Jewish wife, Rina Lazarus..... well, she's his wife after the first book or so. You probably don't like Jonathan since his protagonist is a psychologist who deals with victims......
Now I'm gone!
Peggy Again
Hello again! To pick up on a few things you wrote lately - I wish I could figure out how to go from your text back here without losing what I wrote --- Guess I could cut and paste myself..... Am I missing something?
Well, to pick up on a few of the things you just said..... I'm glad that you have read my favorites! I own A Door into Ocean but just haven't gotten to it. Mary McMullen wrote in the '70's - light, sneaky little mysteries with a formulaic romance added to most of them. I happen to like her formula. She wrote darker, bigger novels as Mary Reilly; Zero at the Bone is one of hers, I think.
I do read and enjoy the very noirest mysteries as long as they are fiction .... Can't do true crime. (I will admit to fascination with a couple by ??? - can't remember his name: Bitter Harvest about a young woman I was vaguely acquainted with in college and the one about Jeffrey Macdonald since I am so close to Fayetteville.) I do understand your reluctance to deal again in escape reading with what you can't escape in RL. I had a horrible time finishing Elizabeth George's What Came After He Shot Her (I think that's close to the title.) The dysfunctional family and the lost, young teens were way too near the ones I was dealing with at the time. As for Dean Koontz, I suspect more and more that he is a closet Christian. My preference is for his earlier, more fantastic novels which you don't like. Again, I enjoy them because they can't possibly happen out here. AND I find on looking at my lists of books in boxes in the attic that I have another couple of Alice Hoffmans. Yay!
Now I have to get together the packet for our church's annual meeting. It's been a headache, but the meeting is Sunday so I've procrastinated long enough. Happy HumpDay!
Peggy
Oops. One last thing or two...... I had nearly finished *Practical Magic* when I had to stop to do something prosaic (make out exams? average grades?) and never got back to it. I do intend to finish it and read some more. And ---- Shoot! I can't remember what "two" was supposed to be. Oh! Sex!! No, it doesn't bother me. Will I seem smug if I say, "Quite the contrary!"?
Now I'm really gone.
O.K. Just back from your library. I see that you have at least one Maggie/Nick book, *Murder Unrenovated* which is the first one that I read. You also have a couple of her Marty Hopkins books. I like those less because they don't seem as well-written. Part of it may be that Marty is less well-educated than Maggie and Nick. That would speak well for PMC's handling of the material (and show again that I am a snob). You also have a few Charlotte MacLeods but not my favorites. Eventually, she started writing pot-boilers, but I really enjoyed her early efforts.
Mary McMullen was Mary Reilly, and I enjoyed her writing no matter what her name was. (I own *The Road to Gandolfo* and at least one Susan Dunlap too.)
So now I'm trying to leave again.
Goodnight! It will soon BE Saturday!
Peggy
Connections! Connections!
Let's see ---- If you have the M. Maron Deborah Knott books, you will like them especially because they are set in N.C. I met her once when she gave a reading at UNC-P. She immediately knew a lot about my life when I told her that my father had named me "Peggy Ann." (And, yes, I was born and grew up here, and married my hometown honey - a thing I would never have predicted when I was 18.) It occurred to me that other people might not make the connection between S. Paretsky and Maron and Carlson. It's there for me because the three of them are writers (unlike S. Grafton, for instance, who is merely a story teller.... English teacher talking...) I'm glad you have some of the Oliphants. I loved everything about Shirley McClintock and I ADORE S.S.Tepper. I wasn't very taken with *The Margarets* which I haven't ever finished. I think part of it is that the whole book seems written on a YA level, and I don't have a lot of patience with that at this point in my life. I am interested in her working out of kind of sort of the parallel universe idea. (*Grass* and *After Long Silence* and *The Fresco* remain my favorites among her scifi novels.)
I do own and have read some of the earliest Rita/Sneaky Pie mysteries. I found them pleasant but haven't pursued them. And I have (I think) at sometime in the past read Morris West. His name conjures up the 1950's to me. I'm not sure why. I think maybe I read *Shoes...*
So ---- read some Maron and Carlson and Oliphant and tell me what you think. If you have time, you also might like to check out a very welcoming readers' group, www.thereadersplace.com. I tend to read darker mysteries now, but you will find many there who are addicted to the cozy side....... Oh! But do you read Charlotte MacLeod? I'll have to look. And how about Mary McMullen? O.K. That's two more. Your turn!
Saturday is coming!
Peggy
Dear New Friend,
I'm not sure that anybody just "happens" to be a PhD. - a lot of work going on sometime somewhere! And, man!, are our commonalities going to rise when I start listing my Dean Koontz holdings. (He's my original secret, guilty pleasure.)
LizzieD has been my name from way back when the Vines were hot stuff ---
(I still maintain contact with old friends at www.thereadersplace.com.) I am also a devoted Dickens Disciple, so "Lizzie" is for Lizzie Hexam, my favorite of his young women (*Our Mutual Friend*) and "D" is for Dickens. Now, "drsyko" I am able to understand without any help!
It's been quite a while since I read *Blind Assassin.* It certainly isn't my favorite Atwood - at this point that honor would go to *Alias Grace* - but I remember liking the whole faded, genteel milieu with the little acts of daring. I don't know ---- I'd have to look at it again, but I didn't think that it was a bad book......
I don't think that psychologists and teachers have that much in common in how they work. I mean, teachers do not have time to deal with kids' problems in any meaningful way because they are trying to work with 25 or so at a time. Kids can so easily drop into oblivion in public schools. I'm really glad to be out of it and trying to be a useful member of society somewhere else.
So ---- Stay in touch! I'm currently reading *The Lost Steps* which I learned about here, *Anathem,* and *Murder Unrenovated.* You don't have any P.M. Carlsons that I can see, and she is SUCH a good mystery writer! ---- sort of Margaret Maron-ish.... O.K. You may not have any Margaret Maron either ----- Get them both! They are less hardboiled versions of Sara Paretsky. I bet you'd love them..... Oh shoot! I don't see any of the B.J. Oliphant/A. J. Orde mysteries and they are both Sheri S. Tepper!!! (And I adore Sheri S. Tepper!) Now you have three wonderful new names to track down! Do the same for me!!!
Happy Weekend!
Peggy
Hey, I don't mind shouting it to the world: "I LOVE Nerds!" O.K. I can go without large doses of some varieties, but it takes one to know one, and all that.....
Nice to speak to you and have you speak back!
Peggy
It's good to be the queen. It's good to be a nerd at LT. I love it here! I was just cruising around and interested to see what we have in common. I enjoyed looking through your reviews (agree: Ya-Ya and Enchanted April; disagree: Blind Assassin). At any rate, since I've nosed around in your library, I thought I should speak!
Peggy
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