Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poem-A-Day brought to you by Knopf

Today’s selection is John Updike’s “Half Moon, Small Cloud.” To sign up, go to Poem-A-Day @ Knopf Doubleday Press

Half Moon, Small Cloud

Caught out in daylight, a rabbit’s
transparent pallor, the moon
is paired with a cloud of equal weight:
the heavenly congruence startles.

For what is the moon, that it haunts us,
this impudent companion immigrated
from the system’s less fortunate margins,
the realm of dust collected in orbs?

We grow up as children with it, a nursemaid
of a bonneted sort, round-faced and kind,
not burning too close like parents, or too far
to spare even a glance, like movie stars.

No star but in the zodiac of stars,
a stranger there, too big, it begs for love
(the man in it) and yet is diaphanous,
its thereness as mysterious as ours.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kaite's Book Meme

My friend, Kaite, put together this Book Meme and another friend continued it. Since I don't like to be left out of the fun, I thought I would join in:)

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?
A copy of the Bible my Grandparents gave me. It still smells like smoke from my house fire but it was the one book I dragged out of that mess determined to salvage.

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?
Current Read: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
Last Read: Little Bee by Chris Cleve
Next Book: Doghead by Morten Ramsland

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?
I love quirky characters so everyone told me I would LOVE Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Really, not-so-much...

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
I have a huge list of books I want to read on amazon.com and goodreads.com but I don't have anything that I will "make" myself read. Life is too short and there are way too many great books out there. I'm not going to force myself to read something I don't want to.

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?”
I don't precisely "save" books. I just get new ones I am dying to read and so the poor lonely formerly in-demand unread ones get stored in a to-be-read list or down in my basement.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?
I don't usually read the ending first unless I am reading and am ambivalent about a book and trying to decide if I should finish it. Then I might jump around and read several sections to see if picks up.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?
Not something I usually read but they do serve a purpose so I don't think they are a waste.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Amelia Peabody in the Elizabeth Peters books. I can't think of anything more cool than being a Victorian explorer in Egypt with all of those discoveries left to find.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?
Black Beauty and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I remember reading them over and over again on a road trip to Washington D.C. with my family when I was in 5th or 6th grade.

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.
Does getting large shipments of books from the publisher every week for the last three years to support my book award reading count as interesting?

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?
Every book I give to someone (not counting a few lately) has been a book that I put a lot of thought into. I try very hard to give people what they want, not what I want.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
No one book. I always travel with new-to-me books that I leave scattered behind me like confetti, just waiting to be found by a new reader.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?
Not really.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?
One of my staff found bacon in a book but I can't say that I have ever found anything that unusual.

15. Used or brand new?
I don't care. As long as they don't smell funny or look too grimy, I don't much care what kind of shape the book is in. It's all about the words, baby!

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?
I am keeping Gretchen's answer on this one. "Can't he be both?"

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?
There are so many, where to start? Ummm...Dune was pretty darn awful.

19. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
The two people with the closest taste in books to me are Gretchen and my sister and I almost always like what they are reading. Kaite, on the other hand, has very different taste but she has mad librarian readers advisory skillz, so when she is wearing her RA hat I always listen.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Yes, I have been reading but I have to admit that I have mostly been reading urban paranormal fiction (Patricia Briggs is doing a fun werewolf series right now) but now it is time to get back to the Award reading.

On the day Sarah and Little Bee meet, events take place that profoundly affect the lives of each woman. Two years later, when their paths meet again, the course of their lives is once again profoundly changed. At once heartbreaking and tender, their journey explores the immigration system in England, the impact of a global environment and what the lucky and strong owe to those less fortunate.

I love stories that make you ponder your life and really stop and think about what you would do in a similar situation. This is that kind of novel for me.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Free e-book Friday

NEW YORK, NY - March 4, 2009 - Random House, Inc. today unveiled the first five titles in its new Suvudu Free First Book Library. Designed to introduce new readers to popular and acclaimed science fiction and fantasy series, the Suvudu Free First Book Library allows readers to access free digital copies of the first book in each series.

The program launches with access to the following novels:
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (we love this book here at Dear Author)
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (I’ve heard great things about this book)
Settling Accounts: Return Engagement by Harry Turtledove
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt

The books will be made available through Random House’s science fiction/fantasy portal, Suvudu.com (http://www.suvudu.com), as well as on other content services, including Scribd.com and the Stanza ebook reader application for the iPhone.

Says Christine Cabello, Random House Publishing Group Deputy Director of Marketing: “The Suvudu Free First Book promotion provides us with a new digital vehicle to build an author’s fan base and is an ideal way to bring new readers to these series.”

New titles are scheduled to be added to the Suvudu Free First Book Library on a regular basis. Coming soon are Terry Brooks’s Magic Kingdom for Sale—Sold!, Elizabeth Moon’s Trading in Danger, and many more.