Tuesday, October 31, 2006
What struck me about this novel is that everything in his life was designed to train him for the moment when he is alone and must carry on. Although on the surface this is a quiet novel where "not much happens", watching endless repetitions of loss resulted in this being one of the saddest books that I have read this year.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
- Deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule.
- One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify: “Both men are anomalies: they have... likable personalities but each has made his reputation as a heavy” (David Pauly).
anomaly. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved October 25, 2006, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/anomaly
Each in her own way an anomaly, the Riggs sisters grow up with the intense love/hate bond that sisters often have (and hopefully grow out of). In addition, the older sister, Glynnis has a disabled leg and Carol is an albino making school at time a torturous experience. Each must suffer the casual cruelties of their classmates and learn how to survive the emotional damage that is done. As they get older the two girls take distinctly different paths to discover their true place in the world.
Set in the 1970's in Canada, this first novel is smooth, polished and just a little quirky. I highly enjoyed it.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
"Thousands Blog for British Library." American Library Association. 2006.http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2006abc/october2006a/britishblog.htm (Accessed 23 Oct, 2006)
"A Naked Display of Emotion over Library Closings." American Library Association. 2006.http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2006abc/october2006a/kingsteignton.htm (Accessed 23 Oct, 2006)
"EPA Allegedly Plans to Reduce Access to Online Publications." American Library Association. 2006.http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2006abc/october2006a/epasubs.htm (Accessed 23 Oct, 2006)
"Missouri Trustees Pull Graphic Novels, for Now." American Library Association. 2006.http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2006abc/october2006a/marshallmo.htm (Accessed 23 Oct, 2006)
"Graphic Novels Draw Challenge in Missouri." American Library Association. 2006.http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2006abc/october2006a/graphicnovels.htm (Accessed 23 Oct, 2006)
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Of course, this story was made into a movie based on the book Alive so many will know the basic story. But Nando talks about it from a different angle, discussing feelings about the crash, his mother and sister's deaths and his feelings about his fellow survivors. He also looks at the portrayals of a couple of the less heroic boys with more understanding and compassion than he did as a young man and sees how emotionalism just showed the fear, not the steps these individuals took to overcome that fear.
You also find out what has happened to these men, what kind of lives they led and what they have done with these experiences which is a nice addition to the tale. Very well done and movingly told.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
This is another of those clever books that takes a great idea and turns it in to an entertaining story. There were several other books on this year's list that had the same feel to it but I enjoyed this one more. There are a few places that the pace was a little slow but overall a solid satire of our quest to know the future.
Monday, October 16, 2006
At work I am taking a look at new technologies, formats, etc...that promote or provide alternative access to books. What does everyone think about book trailers? Would this "commercial" entice you to pick up a book (assuming that the genre was something that interested you)?
How would you feel about having them playing (most of them have very little or no sound) in a library or posted on a library webpage.
Here are some examples:
Sunday, October 15, 2006
This is not a novel that captivated me but it was interesting and had a very old fashioned literary feel to it, similar to Virginia Woolf in tone.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Her newest collection of short stories is completely different. This beautifully written short story collection presents episodes from the life of Nell, starting with the birth of her sister. Nell's life becomes more measured as time goes on, although you never feel she has settled into her skin. There is always an edge to even the most serene and domestic of these stories. Ultimately, she becomes the caretaker for her sister, her husband and her parents and these tasks help her become comfortable with the person she is meant to be.
This was a lovely collection of short stories although I could have happily read a novel that more fully explored the life of this character.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Alternating between the two siblings, Lena and Owen tell the story of their family's struggle to deal with the loss of the oldest child, Hugh, missing and presumed dead. The inability of the parents to deal with the loss of Hugh allows the two remaining children to slip further and further into trouble. As they struggle to deal with this loss in addition to the normal problems of childhood, the lack of guidance creates situations where the two feel alienated and alone. Bad choices are made, situations spiral out of control and eventually the family faces the potential loss of another of its children.
Although the structure of this book felt off to me, alternating between first and third person, I still enjoyed and was affected by this novel.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Also, http://expat-experience.blogspot.com/2006/10/passing-of-hero.html to read about the passing of Buck O'Neil
Monday, October 09, 2006
The main character comes to American planning to work and eventually send for his beloved wife when he had created a good life for her. As he lives an isolated lifestyle selling carpets and saving money, his wife has become pregnant and quietly divorced him. In his grief and loneliness he wanders the airport late at night and one night he meets the young, beautiful, very American, Stella. He is drawn to her youth and sense of belonging and soon is having an affair with her. Unfortunately, the very qualities that attracted him in the beginning soon leave him feeling more isolated than ever.
I did enjoy this novel but in the end, nothing has been resolved. In the end he remains alienated.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Very nicely done without the alarmist tone that many writers on the subject develop (probably because the potential outcomes are alarming.)
Friday, October 06, 2006
Interestingly enough, this book does not paint a bleak picture of the effects of mental illness on an individual or a family. In the end, everyone involved is better off than when they started. I enjoyed this book and you can tell that this was written by a poet. There were some lovely uses of language during the course of this novel.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Tonight I went to the awards dinner and the speaker for the evening is a writer/editor for Mad magazine talking about censorship. Very provocative and entertaining. I also won a mp3 player and got to see some people that I don't get to see very often. Best of all, my conference work is all done except for the extremely early morning meeting tomorrow.
Life is good.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
He showed some shots of brain activity of different age people as they were looking at websites, printed text, etc... I love that kind of stuff. Brains are amazing pieces of equipment. Anyway, he talked a lot about online use, social communities and online information competition. He also talked about how libraries need to reposition themselves in the coming years so that they are not perceived as obsolete.
1.1 billion uses of libraries in the U.S. per year
.2 billion tickets are sold to all sporting events per year
(I don't know where he got this statistic but will find and put up a reference when I locate it.)
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Have I mentioned lately that we are bad, bad people who are killing the planet.
Have a great day:)
A case of access to books helping to maintain sanity?
Monday, October 02, 2006
My next door neighbor's gentleman friend was going to bring me some straw bales so I did put some scarecrows out yesterday. Hopefully the bales get here soon so one of my scarecrows doesn't look like his head is suspended a couple of feet in the air above his body. That sounds much scarier than it looks. Pretty much just looks dorky.
I have been browsing amazon looking at Halloween costumes. Since my friend Brent won't get the Jack Sparrow costume I can't dress up as a pirate wench. I did see a nice Marilyn Monroe costume but I hate having to remember to talk like her all evening. If I absolutely can't decide I can always dig out the witch, nun or Lady Godiva costumes. It is always good to have a standby. I wish I could find a good Xena: Warrior Princess costume. I love Xena (no, not like that!)
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I haven't got a new book for you today but it has been a busy weekend. Friday, I had a job interview, work happy hour and date. Yesterday, I worked all day and had a friends birthday/going away party/band thing and date. I am going to try to crank out a book or two today in between mowing and trying to get a couple of bushes replaced.
This summer was hard on my garden and it didn't help that I didn't have time to baby stuff along.
My article finally came out, a year and a half later. I don't know if I will get used to the time lag for scholarly journals. Once I write something I want to see it right now.
Sarcastic Awareness Month is (1) For those who realize they are sarcastic and want to get it under control; (2) for those who are sarcastic and want to get better at it; and (3) for those who are forced to live or work with people who are sarcastic. Sponsor: Sarcastics Anonymous.
I guess the first step is to admit you have a problem:)
A sarcastic booklist courtesy of Fiction_L:
- Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
- Armour, Richard. "It All Started With" series
- Barry, Dave. Dave Barry's Complete Guide To Guys
- Barry, Max. The Company
- Buckley, Christopher. Thank You For Smoking
- Chen-ho, Wang. Rose, Rose, I Love You
- Cook, Glen. Garrett, P.I. series (starting with Sweet Silver Blues)
- Crews, Harry. The Mulching Of America
- Cuppy, Will. How To Tell Your Friends From Apes
- Cuppy, Will. The Decline And Fall Of Practically Everybody
- Gibbons, Stella. Cold Comfort Farm
- Heller, Joseph. Catch-33
- Hiaasen, Carl. Nature Girl
- Hooker, Richard. M*A*S*H
- Jones, Diana Wynne. The Tough Guide To Fantasyland (October 2006)
- Leyner, Mark. The Tetherballs Of Bougainville
- Lopez, Steve. The Sunday Macaroni Club
- MacLeod, Charlotte. Rest You Merry
- McCrumb, Sharyn. Bimbos Of The Death Sun
- McCrumb, Sharyn. If I'd killed Him When I met Him.
- Moody, Rick. The Diviners
- Moore, Christopher. Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
- Moore, John. Heroics For Beginners
- Parker, Robert B. Spenser series
- Pascall, Jeremy. God: The Ultimate Autobiography
- Pierre, D. B. C. Vernon God Little
- Pratchett, Terry. Discworld books
- Pynchon, Thomas. V
- Recknor, Ellen. Prophet Annie: Being The Recently Discovered Memoir Of Annie Pinkerton Boone Newcastle Dearborn, Prophet And Seer
- Shankman, Sarah. I Still Miss My Man, But My Aim Is Getting Better
- Shuo, Wang. Please Don't Call Me Human
- Stahl, Jerry. Plainclothes Naked
- Stout, Rex. Nero Wolfe series
- Townsend, Sue. The Queen And I
- Vonnegut, Kurt Cat's Cradle
- Waugh, Evelyn. Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy
- Westlake, Donald. Sacred Monster
- Bierce, Ambrose. The Devil's Dictionary
- Browne, Jill Connor. The Sweet Potato Queen's Book Of Love
- Bryson, Bill. A Short History Of Nearly Everything
- Eggers, Dave. A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius
- Franken, Al. The Truth (With Jokes)
- Frazier, Ian. Coyote Vs Acme
- Grizzard, Lewis. Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes
- Hitchens, Christopher. A Long Short War: The Postponed Liberation Of Iraq
- Ivins, Molly. Who Let The Dogs In?
- Macdonald, Dwight. Parodies: An Anthology From Chaucer To Beerbohm *And After
- Martin, Reed C. Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Reader's Guide For The Attention-Impaired (abridged)
- Moore, Michael. Dude, Where's My Country?
- Nash, Ogden.Notaro, Laurie. The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club
- Parker, Dorothy.Pollitt, Katha. Virginity Or Death!: And Other Social And Political Issues Of Our Time
- Reinhardt, Susan. Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
- Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day
- Stewart, Jon. America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide To Democracy Inaction
- Twain, Mark. The Innocents Abroad
- Walker, Douglas. The Official Rock, Paper, Scissors Strategy Guide
- White, Bailey. Mama Makes Up Her Mind