Saturday, April 29, 2006

Opus Dei = The Work of God

As we get ready for the release of The DaVinci Code movie on May 19 starring Tom Hanks, more and more people will want to know more about Opus Dei. The body has updated its website. The members say they are not a sect or a cult, rather they are fully integrated into the Roman Catholic Church. Link here.

How did the group become so controversial? It was controversial before the publication of the novel, The DaVinci Code. Read More

A book about Opus Dei entitled, Opus Dei: The First Objective Look behind the Myths and Reality of The Most Controversial force in the Catholic Church by John L. Allen, a Vatican correspondent, has recently been published. It just may hit the best sellers list alongside DaVinci Code.

Friday, April 28, 2006

"Literary Identity Theft"

Didn't I tell you life was going to get complicated for Ms. Kaavya? They have pulled her book off the shelves for revision. READ MORE.

Here is my next prediction: Megan McCafferty's book Charmed Thirds, released two weeks ago, will be the next big thing on the bestsellers' list. Click here to read an interview with McCafferty and to download an excerpt of the book.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

2006 Book Club Selections

Oke Book Club members, these have been our selections for the year so far:

January 20
The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

February 17
All over but the shoutin’ by Rick Bragg

March 17
Zorro by Isabel Allende

April 21
Blind Obedienceby Bill Boyd


The Thing About Jane Spring by Sharon Krum

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The " Untouchables"

We need ideas for interesting non fiction books for our bookclub. I am reading a true story called Untouchables: My family's triumphant journey out of the caste system in modern India by Narendra Jadhav.

Did you know that every sixth human being in the world today is Indian? I can bet they have not even included those in the Caribbean who are of multiracial heritage: part Indian part Chinese, part Indian part Amerindian, part Indian part Black, etcetera etcetera.

Did you know that every sixth Indian is an "untouchable" also known as a Dallit? I am only on page 40 but so far this book is holding my interest. I believe I can recommend this one as a book club possibility. I am learning so much. A whole race of people imposed apartheid on themselves designating some of their own to a life of servitude then they turned to affirmative action to deal with the degrading, unfair and inhumane caste system.

I imagine that all those Indians who migrated to the Caribbean way back in the 19th century were Dallits attempting to find a new and more fulfilling life. This is about an "untouchable" family that stayed in India and excelled despite the 3,500 year old outrageous caste system.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

National Book Club Conference

Avid readers and bookclub members, here is something to look forward to this summer:

There will be a national book club conference at the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia from August 4 to 6.

This is your opportunity to meet Terry Mcmillan, E. Lynn Harris, Walter Mosely and other writers.

By the way, I checked my visitor stats and discovered I had about 48 first time visitors to this blog. I noticed most people linked to the blog as a result of their search for information on the alleged plagiarism charges linked to young Miss Kaavya. Thanks for linking to the blog y'all even if you did so in error. Leave your comments before you go.

What this tells me though is that this story about Opal Mehta is going to be discussed in the media for some time; thanks to the previous James Frey situation. People far and wide are interested.

Another book controversy

Remember my recent post about Lucky Kaavya? Life is about to get very complicated for young Miss Kaavya. According to this article in the Harvard Crimson, her book about Opal Mehta has sentences that are very very similar to sentences in books by Megan McCafferty, specifically, Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. McCafferty was first alerted about the similarities by one of her readers.

Be sure to link to the Harvard Crimson article and judge for yourself how similar the sentences are.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Restricted Section

Check out this blog with book reviews called, The Restricted Section, by Flourish and Blotts.

We met at Holiday Inn as planned to discuss Blind Obedience and to support the Kiwanis Club of Waycross with their Friday Night Out event. We enjoyed fried chicken, pork chops and roast beef with all the southern style stuff: okras, cornbread stuffing, squash casserole, greens and apple cobbler. All proceeds from the event will go towards activities catering to children in the community.

We all agreed that Rawlins and Carter, the main characters in this true story Blind Obedience, were so filled with rage, spite, and hate towards each other that their relationship had to end with tragedy. In the book, Mr. Rawlins, a former Baptist preacher, moved his family away from the Carter family to Lowndes County. What did Mr. Carter, the former Methodist minister, do? He moved to the area as well, right next door to the Rawlins family. Mr. Rawlins failed to kill Mr. Carter so he got himself an alibi while he hired some men and got his three teenaged boys to attack the Carter household.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Book Club Meeting Today

Today we will change our venue to the Holiday Inn. Our discussion will focus on Blind Obedience, a real life story about the murder of some children in Valdosta, Ga. in 1905.

Next month we will discuss The Thing About Jane Spring by Sharon Krum. The paperback should be out now. Read the review Silly and implausible but totally engaging on amazon.

What books are we going to read and discuss for the next few months?

Should we try Steve Berry's new book for July? What about Teacher Man by Frank McCourt?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bestselling Book Watch

According to the free book review magazine, Book Page dated April 2006, these books are destined to be blockbusters:

Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark. Release Date: April 4

Chasing Destiny by Eric Jerome Dickey. Release Date: April 11

Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith. Release Date: April 18.

I think we can also watch out for new novel The Debutante Divorcée reaching bestselling status judging from the comments in USA TODAY. This is the second book by Plum Sykes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Lucky Kaavya

Did you read about Kaavya Viswanathan, a Harvard student, who received a two-book contract from a major publisher while still in high school? Most first time writers get advances less than $10,000 but Viswanathan got a whopping $500,000.00 contract from Little, Brown and Company, part of the Time Warner group.

Apparently when Viswanathan was a senior, her college advisor found out that she was writing a novel. The advisor read it, recognised her potential, and sent the novel to her own agent at William Morris Agency.

The name of Viswanathan's first novel? How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life. READ MORE

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We have read their books

Steve Berry has hit the big times. He has begun to get hate mail from some of his readers. Apparently there are some people who can't tell the difference between fact and fiction. Berry gave a very interesting presentation at the public library. About 30 to 40 persons turned up to the book signing and discussion.

Dan Brown, as I am sure we all expected, won his case. He was cleared of plagiarism in London's High Court. I had been wondering who was next in line to sue him over The Da Vinci Code. Lo and behold when I checked Google News today I saw yet another threat of a lawsuit.

Jodi Picoult has a new novel out called The Tenth Circle. It entered the USA Today's Best selling Books list at number 3 and the New York Times list at number 2. She usually writes about controversial family issues. Remember My Sister's Keeper? This latest novel examines teen sexuality.

Interesting fact: Picoult is pronounced PEA-co. Link to her interview on her site with New Hampshire Public Radio's Shay Zeller

Monday, April 03, 2006

Meet Steve Berry Today

Remember Steve Berry? He visited our book club meeeting after publishing his first novel, The Amber Room. Well, Steve Berry will be at the public library on Lee Avenue today at 6:30PM signing his books. He will speak at 7:00PM.

Come out and meet him today or renew acquaintance. Since The Amber Room, he has published The Romanov Prophecy, The Third Secret, and Templar Legacy.

The Templar Legacy debuted at number 4 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. The book has gone back to press 6 times since February.

See also post dated March 9 titled, Knights Templar.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Have you heard of the Blook?

Blook: a book based on a blog.

That was a new word for me. I found it in the March 25-26 Wall Street Journal. Ian Mount's article in the Journal was titled, A new genre - books based on blogs - gains ground.

Here are some bloggers who have transformed their blogs into blooks. Do we now call a blogger who has written a blook a blooker?

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Blog = What Could Happen?

Egg Bacon Chips and Beans: 50 Great Cafes and the Stuff that Makes Them Great by Russell Davies

Blog=Eggs Bacon Chips and Beans

All the President's Spin: George W. Bush, the Media, and the Truth by Ben Fritz.

Blog = Spinsanity