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The Accident

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Chris Pavone Crown Publishing, 2014 402 pages Genre: Thriller “Life is the art of being well deceived; and in order that the deception may succeed it must be habitual and uninterrupted.”         – William Hazlitt If you love thrillers, grab this book. Once you do, hang on, because it’s a heck of a ride. I have not yet read Mr. Pavone’s Expats, published in 2012, but I will be reading it in the near future. This man has clearly mastered the thriller genre. Where to start? Too many books lately have been weak in character but ... Read More »

A Circle of Wives

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Alice LaPlante Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014 325 pages Genre: Psychological Thriller “Alas, the love of women! It is known to be a lovely and a fearful thing.” Don Juan, Lord Byron John Taylor, M.D., a prominent plastic surgeon, is found dead in a hotel room in his hometown of Palo Alto, California. Not only does he have a stellar professional reputation, the 62-year-old man is beloved by his community for his pro-bono work for children with facial deformities, by his wife of 35 years, Deborah, and their three adult children. First thought to be the ... Read More »

Cell

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com Author: Robin Cook Publisher: G. P. Putnam, 2014 Length: 402 pages. Genre: Medical fiction Medicine for the soul” – Inscription over the doorway at the Library at Thebes. In his latest novel, Robin Cook takes on the issue of digitalized medical practice. The title refers to 21st century humanity’s ubiquitous accessory: the cellular phone. If you are interested in healthcare issues, this is worth your time. Cook takes the Affordable Healthcare Act, death panels, primary care physician shortages, reimbursement schedules, health insurance companies, electronic medical records, etc. Amalgamated Healthcare, insurance giant aiming to become a behemoth, ... Read More »

Assisted Living: The Musical: Back by Popular Demand

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Submitted “Assisted Living: The Musical®” is returning to Marco Island for another three-show run, March 14-16. The Rose Auditorium welcomes back authors and performers Rick Compton and Betsy Bennett for 7:30 PM shows on Friday and Saturday and for a 2:30 PM Sunday matinee. Tickets are $20 for the evening shows and $15 for the matinee. Subtitled “Sex, Drugs and Gettin’ Old,” the show delivers laughs from the opening scene when a newly-departed couple wonders why their son pulled the plug. The show romps through the “best years of their lives” at Pelican Roost, an active senior-living community. The place ... Read More »

Frankenstein: A New Musical

The cast of ‘Frankenstein: A New Musical’ SUBMITTED photo

Submitted The Box Office is open and tickets are currently on sale for the upcoming production of “Frankenstein: A New Musical.” Based on the Mary Shelley novel, the music is by Mark Baron, book and lyrics by Jeffrey Jackson and original story adaptation by Gary P. Cohen. This collaboration between the Island Theater Company and the Marco Lutheran Church is a true community theater project. From music director to set designer to actors and so on, they have linked their creative arms together to put on this very special production, while offering the community a beautiful, and at times, heart ... Read More »

The Barkeep

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By William Lashner 468 pages Thomas & Mercer, February 2014 Genre: Mystery (Zenspense) “Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” - Author Unknown If you are familiar with the name William Lashner, you likely have read some of his Victor Carl mysteries. This is not part of that series. Frankly, I started reading the book because after several nonfiction reads I was ready for something lighter and I found the title intriguing. It is not often I encounter the term “barkeep,” but it certainly ... Read More »

This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” ~ Joseph Brodsky By Ann Patchett 306 pages, Harper-Collins 2013 The title is deceptive. This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage is a collection of essays about Ann Patchett’s life — not “simply” about her happy marriage. The road to that happy marriage had some significant detours. This is probably the most fun I have ever had reading a biography. From the first page, I felt that I was catching up with an old girlfriend over a very long lunch. ... Read More »

Levels of Life

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Julian Barnes 128 pages, Alfred A. Knopf, 2013 In this slender book, Julian Barnes writes three sections/essays: “The Sin of Height,” “On the Level” and “The Loss of Depth.” He begins, “You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed.” Those two things are invariably eventually torn apart, and hence, the ups and downs, or levels, of life. “The Sin of Height” tells the story of Felix Tournachon, a mid-19th-century French photographer who was celebrated for his portrait photographs which were unique due to his use of ... Read More »

Pirates to Invade Marco Island Museum

Pirates say, ‘Arrrrrrrrrrr!’

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Pirates, buccaneers and swashbucklers, all roamed the gulf waters and mangrove swamps of Southwest Florida during what historians dubbed the “Golden Age of Piracy” between the 1650s and 1730s. In their wakes, they left tall tales of buried treasures, treachery amongst thieves and battles with Spanish and English sea captains. Swords will clash. Treasure will be found, and the Jolly Roger will fly high once again on Saturday, Jan. 25, in celebration of the Second Annual Pirate Day at the Marco Island Historical Museum. Marauders and scalawags will be on hand for pirate-themed arts and ... Read More »

High Notes in Marco’s Art Center

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Submitted The Marco Island Center for the Arts, as part of its “Up Close and Personal” intimate events, invites the public to spend an evening with Opera Naples Southwest Florida’s professional opera company next month on Feb. 1. The evening will begin with cocktails and a light supper at 5:30 PM and the performance at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $40 per person; please RSVP and arrive early as seating is limited. Four talented soloists from Opera Naples’s Young Artist Program — Adam Barta (baritone), Justin Berkowitz (tenor), Katie Dixon (soprano), and Rocky Sellers (bass-baritone) — will perform selections from upcoming ... Read More »

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Final Reunion

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Fannie Flagg Random House, 369 pages When we meet Sarah Jane “Sookie” Poole, she is a 59-year-old Alabama housewife who has just married off the last of her daughters and is exhausted from her mother-of-the-bride duties. She and her husband, Earle Poole, Jr., a dentist, have had the financial and emotional exhaustion of four weddings, plus the financial stress of Sookie’s mother’s extravagance. Octogenarian Lenore Simmons Krackenberry has a penchant for watching late night TV and ordering unneeded items and/or phoning people who need her help, such as the Pope, Barbara Bush and Queen ... Read More »

Top 10 For 2013

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com It is the end of another year already, and the inevitable “lists” are popping up everywhere. Here is my own Top 10 list for this final 2013 edition of “Book Remarks.” The parentheses after the author’s name include the date of the edition of Coastal Breeze News referencing that article. (http://www.coastalbreezenews.com/category/entertainment/book-remarks/) 10. Six Years by Harlan Coben (6/18/13) Six Years is truly worthy of the term “thriller.” It was not only fun to read, but the intelligent dialogue and winding plot kept my mind engaged throughout. The ending was not at all what I expected, but ... Read More »

Marco Movies celebrates 20 years

Marco Movies celebrated 20 years in business on Dec. 13. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Marco Movies celebrated its 20th anniversary on Dec. 13 with a very special event. Owners Nick Campo and Bill McMullan featured both new and classic movies, but one of the showings stood out. During the four-day event, Marco Movies showed “Schindler’s List.” The Academy Awarding film also turned 20 years old this month. Produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, “Schindler’s List” tells the story of Oskar Schindler, the man credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. In honor of the two 20th anniversaries, Campo and McMullan are donating the proceeds from ... Read More »

The Death of Santini

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com By Pat Conroy 352 pages, Nan A. Talese publisher Sold by Random House “Time passing has a soothing, ameliorative effect, and memory softens as its tides flow out to sea. And to the amazement of all his children, Dad was turning into a man of decency and self-control.” I wanted to read The Death of Santini because it was touted as a journey to forgiveness between a father and son. Every major world religion values forgiveness, and it seemed an appropriate read for the Christmas edition, covering father-son relationships, family, love and forgiveness. Also, Conroy ... Read More »

Murder, mayhem and mystery! Oh my!

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Meet Martha Horror (aka Gina Sisbarro). She wants to take you on a tour through Marco Island’s history, but it is not the history of sunshine, sand and shells. Her’s is a “ghost tour” through the unsolved murders and mysteries of Marco’s last 150 years. “I love history,” says Sisbarro, decked out in her full Martha Horror costume. “Marco Island is loaded with history and mystery.” In addition to the new Marco Murder and Mayhem Ghost Tour, Sisbarro also works for Marco Office Supply and directs productions at The Marco Players Theater. She will host ... Read More »

The Rosie Project

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By Graeme Simsion Simon & Schuster 305 pages Don Tillman is a 30-something professor of genetics at a Melbourne university who has decided it is time to get married. He has never had a second date in his life, and most of his first dates have ended prematurely.   Professor Tillman has Aspergers syndrome and lives his life with strict adherence to routine; rationality and time management. TV fans should think of Sheldon Lee Cooper (Big Bang Theory) or Martin Ellingham (Doc Martin on PBS) to grasp the depth of Don’s social ineptness. Owing to his cerebral approach to all life’s ... Read More »

Holiday Events at Mackle

Submitted Santa’s Workshop: Enter the world of the North Pole with Santa’s Workshop, Marco Island style. We’ll be decorating gingerbread houses, creating Christmas tree ornaments, and making holiday crafts for everyone to enjoy. You will also receive a goodie bag of fun treats and prizes to take home with you. Don’t miss this opportunity to get creative and enjoy the wonders of Santa’s Workshop! Date is Saturday, December 7th for grades K through 5th from 9am-12pm at Mackle Park. Cost is $20/child. Pre-registration is required. 239-642-0575. Teen Center Holiday Shopping Spree: Come shopping with Parks and Recreation to the Gulfcoast ... Read More »

Big Cypress Swamp Heritage Festival

By Bob DeGross Big Cypress National Preserve, Chief of Interpretation and Public Affairs Join us on December 7, 2013, from 10 AM to 4:00 PM at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center as we celebrate the history and culture of South Florida for the third annual Swamp Heritage Festival. The welcome center is located at 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141, three miles east of State Road 29 on U. S. 41, the Tamiami Trail. This FREE family-friendly event shines a spotlight upon the history of this rugged, yet beautiful environment through a variety of storytellers, musicians, local experts, ... Read More »

What Happens In Vegas…

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REEL REVIEWS By Monte Lazarus Bengoshi@comcast.net If you suspend your disbelief, sit back and relax and you just might enjoy “Last Vegas.” It’s virtually mindless frothy comedy with a predictable script, saved only by the acting of four old pros and a decent director. Yes, there are some reminders of the vicissitudes of aging that draw some guffaws from the geezers, but no deep message. The unlikely quartet of Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline) grew up as buddies in Brooklyn. Here’s where disbelief must be shed immediately. No such mixed group ... Read More »

Naples: Paradise Can Be Deadly

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BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com   By Diane Ketcham Tidelow Press 2013, 302 pages In Naples: Paradise Can Be Deadly we find that it can also be romantic, wicked, petty, fashionable and wryly humorous. This book is an absolute delight to read. Those of us who live locally will find a certain heightened satisfaction in the familiar locales, but knowing the Naples area is not at all necessary. Ms. Ketcham rivets the reader with multiple story threads interspersed with twists, as well as a loop or two, infusing humor in all the right places. The resolution is credible, leaving no loose ... Read More »