more of the same but with ebook potential
I'm still reading
True to form. Although I really like Elizabeth Berg's
earlier stuff, I'm just not getting into this latest book. It's nice
enough, but it's just not doing it for me. I read three or four chapters
last night and wasn't compelled to keep reading. It's likely that I'll
finish it this weekend, if not sooner. It's a coming of age novel, one
of my favorite genres, but it seems a bit mundane at this point. I'm
not quite half-way through the book at this point.
So I have this great palm now and I'm curious about downloading ebooks
to read. I got 2 freebies with my software, Deaver's
Empty chair, which I've read, and a Star Trek book that
I deleted as soon as I discovered what it was. I like my scifi a bit
more original. I have Deaver's Stone
Monkey, but haven't read it just yet.... Normally
I would be devouring it, but I've just had too many other tempting
books thrust in my face. Can you imagine that? I am a huge Deaver
fan, but....perhaps its a delayed gratification tactic. I know it
will be another year or two until he writes another novel. Okay so
I'm excited about all the titles that I found at Peanut
Press. The books seem quite expensive though. I'm thinking I may
begin with one of the cheapie Modern
Library titles that I haven't read. I really wanted Catcher in
the Rye, but it's not available in this format. Oh, I've read it several
times, but it never seems to stick with me, so I'll try it again.
Maybe I can finally grasp the full significance of it, or maybe not.
I'm looking at Middlemarch
country of the pointed firs and other stories. I
think there are fewer than five women writers represented in the modern
library offerings at this site. However, almost all of Jane Austen's
are there, but I'm not a great fan.
Monday, June 24,
my goodness! sex, books, and dentatas?
I bought Strip
city: a strippers farewell journey across America
several months ago when it first came out, but finally got the urge
to read it sometime last week, or maybe it was 2 weeks ago by now.
Lily Burana writes a great
account of her life as a stripper. Her style is relaxed and easy to
read. For the most part I really enjoyed the content of the book,
especially when she goes into the history of stripping and visits
oh this special museum that I've since forgotten the name of. A few
parts are kind of tedious though. She makes all these lists several
times. She runs through the gamut of stripper's names, names of strip
clubs, and there's something else, but I've since forgotten what.
It wasn't quite as meaty as I would have liked. I'm not talking about
illicit sex or anything, that part was adequate. I think I would have
enjoyed it more if it was more academic. It's very accessible, no
doubt, but I'm sure it will be more of a popular work than...well,
let's just say that if my public library was "that kinda library"
they would have a copy of it before my academic library would. It
appeals to the masses, or can, might, could, should.
Anyway.... Along that vein, I decided to take Brothel:
Mustang Ranch and its women off my shelf as well.
I bought it months ago after it first came out, but again wasn't chomping
at the bit to read it. This is one of the books that I took to ALA.
I sat reading it in the lobby of the Marriot Marquis. Also read it
while I tended the SRRT booth.
It shed light onto legalized prostitution in Nevada. I learned a lot.
Not a lot I didn't already know or imagine, but it was still quite
Albert paints the characters in a sympathetic light. More
about the book. An interview
with Albert complete with photos of one of the suites at the Mustang
Of course, it was ALA, so I took a handy dandy paperback that would
be easy to carry around. What is life if you're bookless? I mean who
has time to just sit around and stare aimlessly or eavesdrop on others
when you could be reading?! The likeliest candidate for this mission
crash, described as a cyberpunk thriller,which I
enjoyed immensely. Yes, I was surprised that I liked it so well. The
plot is excellent, the characters are not as developed as they could
be, but the technology was truly fascinating. I had never read Neal
Stephenson, though I did check out Cryptonomicon,
but didn't read more than the first two or three pages. So the main
character Hiro Protagonist is way cool, and there's his "sidekick"
"Y.T." who has a dentata to protect her from forcible rape.
She mentions it several times in the course of events, but only toward
the end do we learn how it's weilded. Cool....
I finished Unless
last night, and I must say that it was truly excellent. There were
so many points that really hit home with me. It's very much an inner
life type of novel. You learn so much about what's going on in the
protagonist's mind. Okay so I had to read it becuase I enjoy Carol
Shields, and also I read about it in last month's issue of Book.
Ok I swear that's where I read it, but it's not listed in the table
A few of Shields' jewels: from page 41, Not surprisingly, she, always
looking a little derisoire, believes that women have been enslaved by
their possessions. Acquiring and then tending--these eat up a woman's
creativity, anyone's creativity. from page 55, Don't hide your
dark side fomr yourself, she said to me once, it's what keeps us going
forward, that pushing away from the blinding brilliance. She said that,
of course, in the tough early days of feminism, and no one expected
her to struggle free to merriment. from page 70, She believes
that Norah has simply succumbed to the traditional refuge of women without
power: she has accepted in its stead complete powerlessness, total passivity,
a kind of impotent piety. In doing nothing, she has claimed everything.
from page 148, Novels help us turn down the volume of our own interior
"discourse," but unless they can provide an alternative, hopeful
course, they're just so much narrative crumble. Unless, unless.
And then there was a long passage from one of the many letters that
Reta writes in her head but never mails, but I don't want to type the
whole thing out. Just for reference though, it's on page 164-65.
I started Elizabeth
Berg's new novel True to form last night. There aren't
any reviews of it online just yet. Unless, you want to read the ones
Tuesday, June 11,
Just read that statistics
gathered by the Romance Writers of America indicate that romance novels
constitute 40 percent of all popular fiction purchased in the United
States. Guess I'm not helping with those figures. I wonder who is?
Monday, June 10,
Just now reading about
in terms of summer reading. Reading as entertainment? Who woulda thunk
it? I would have read it last week if...sigh... my internet connection
was working. I plowed through several books this weekend.
Finished up Secret
life: an autobiography. It was a disappointment.
It's touted as the memoir of a sex addict and then 3/4 of the book
is about his (Michael
Ryan) childhood, which includes his molestation, but honestly,
I was expecting something more about his base sexual encounters as
an adult. It was interesting, and quite well-written though. It did
hold my attention, but I believe that was because I kept waiting for
the good parts. I'll admit it, I'm out for the occasional thrill when
it comes to reading.
Then I read the Glass
Harmonica, a quasi-fantasy/sci-fi book by Louise
Marley that has an element of time-travel in it. It was an average
read, I must say though that I was slightly disappointed in it as
well. I must find a better source for picking good books. I just picked
this one off the shelf at the local crap bookstore because the back
cover made it sound good. It takes place in 2011 or maybe 2018 and
also in 18th century London. These two women play the glass harmonica
and have visions of one another. The woman in the past is trying to
send a message to the one in the future about the restorative benefits
of glass harmonica music so that she can then heal her twin brother
of his handicap. Frankly, I like the story when it took place in he
18th century best. If you've not heard the glass harmonica before
you can listen
to .mp3 files here.
Then I read Marc Shapiro's biography of Susan Sarandon. Called Susan
Sarandon: actress-activist, it was another disappointment.
I hoped for something more in depth, but this was a very surface treatment
of her life. Written entirely from magazine and newspaper articles,
he never interviewed Sarandon at all for the book, nor did he interview
her friends or family. Granted, I learned more about her life, struggles,
and activism, but it was quite obviously just a compilation of magazine
articles. Well, now it all makes sense. Apparently he's a biographer
to the stars... he's written about Jennifer Love Hewitt &
Freddie Prinze, Jr. I tried reading Rain
by Kirsty Gunn, it looked
& sounded promising, but after the first 15 pages I tossed it
because it was just too lyrical for my taste. It's about these two
children who entertain themselves at a lake because their parents
recover from hangovers everyday and party every night. While I enjoy
the "abandoned child" genre, there was too much description
of the natural environment and not enough narrative. That really drives
me crazy. I'm all for nature, but I prefer to be in it and not read
about it. I've found that most writers I've read get too obtuse and
I spend entirely too much time trying to imagine the scenery and that
gets in the way of actually reading the book.
Next, I picked up Having
faith: an ecologist's journey to motherhood (by
Sandra Steingraber). I read
about two chapters of that before deciding that it would be too scientifically
complex for me to follow. A great premise, that of motherhood and
ecology, but I guess it was more that I cared to chew.
I picked up the other two Bourne books by Robert
Ludlum but they are terribly thick looking and I'm slightly daunted
by the thought of reading them. Surprising how a thick paperback doesn't
have that same effect on me. I think it's the whole weight issue. I
don't want to have to lug around a book that heavy. I also have a biography
of Woody Guthrie and a biography of some man, can't recall his name
right now, who was once a political conservative and is not any longer.
I can't think of any fiction that's handy to read other than books I
already own. Guess I should start reading those instead of patronizing
my public library so frequently, eh?
Tuesday, June 4,
books in queue
Finished October suite, it was pretty good, but somehow
lacking in someway. Didn't seem completely fleshed out, but that didn't
really detract from much.
The Bourne identity was good, but not as wickedly twisted
as other suspense/spy/thrillers that I've read. It definitely kept my
interest though. Jason Bourne doesn't know who he is, well he realizes
that he's an amnesiac, yet he's highly skilled in self-defense, etc.
He has flashbacks from Nam. The book was written in 1980, so I'm interested
to see how it's interpreted in the upcoming
movie starring Matt Damon.
I'll probably read Ludlum's
other Bourne books as well, although it appears as though he died last
I did read a fabulous book over the weekend though, The
secret life of bees. What's so interesting is that
I check it out a few months ago and for some reason decided not to
read it. One of my colleagues recommended it to me and I decided to
pick it up again. Taking place in SC in 1964, Lily Owens, virtual
orphan, accompanies her black housekeeper to town so that she, Rosaleen
can register to vote. An altercation occurs and Rosaleen is beaten
by white men and jailed. Lily ends up running away from home because
her father told her that her mother abandoned her, but ends up breaking
Rosaleen out of the hospital where she's under guard. They hitchhike
to a neighboring town and find refuge in the home of three beekeeping
sisters, August, June, and May. It's quite excellent, but really one
of those rather heartwarming women's novels that only certain people
can appreciate, me being one of those certain people quite obviously.
No doubt I'll be looking for other books by Sue
Monk Kidd. I'm currently without book, though. Bookless, you see.
That's a very bad place to be.