Happy Birthday, Steve Martin!

Steve Martin is a true Renaissance man. He writes books, plays, and movies. He’s a comedian and an actor. He plays the banjo, juggles, and does magic and card tricks. He’s been the host of Saturday Night Live more than anyone. He’s won three Grammys and an Emmy. He was honored at the Kennedy Center in 2005 with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

And, he’s survived childhood abuse.

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Steps and Exes by Laura Kalpakian

Laura Kalpakian wrote my all-time favorite line in Steps and Exes:

“Bullshit,” said Eve,

but not too loud.

The book is set at Useless Point on Isadora Island, a fictional artistic enclave in the San Juan Islands of the Pacific Northwest. The heroine, Celia Henry, became a young widow before she realized her late husband was not Henry West ~ she had married Henry Westervelt, the scion of a lumber baron family. Her life is unconventional and filled with a tribe of step children and ex-spouses and lovers. She runs a bed and breakfast on property that belonged to Henry’s great aunt Sophia. (See Educating Waverly by Laura Kalpakian.)

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Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love

Elizabeth Gilbert is the quintessenial role model for leveraging a person’s talents to learn how to survive, thrive, and find joy. When life handed her the lemons of a bitter divorce, she squeezed those lemons into the stratosphere of best-selling books. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia was on the best seller lists for over a year. She’s been on Oprah, and Julia Roberts will star in the movie. In true Pretty Woman tradition, she rescued herself before she met the charming Brazilian “prince” Felipe.

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