Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Monday, May 29, 2006

Book Club Selections 2006

Here is a list of books that we have selected 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 Obedience by Bill Boyd

May 26

The Thing About Jane Spring by Sharon Krum


Death of a Dreamer by M.C. Beaton. Read an Excerpt.


Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India by Narendra Jadhav A memoir in tribute to Jadhav's parents.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Book Club Selection for June

Murder mystery Death of a Dreamer by M. C. Beaton, set in Scotland and featuring Hamish Macbeth, will be our book for June. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth is a television series in England. READ MORE. This is a quick read, made me want to read more of her earlier books.

The Da Vinci Code discussion continues. Take a look at this article by Mr. Boyne in the Jamaica Gleaner. I found this part of the early church history interesting:

There were three primary groups batting [sic] for influence in the early centuries: the Ebionites, the Marcionites and the Gnostics. If either of them had won, the Christianity we know would be radically different. READ MORE.

Enjoy your reading this week. I just finished Mary Higgins Clark's Two Little Girls in Blue. I could not put it down.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Angels & Demons - The Movie

Well the movie DaVinci Code is already so successful that Sony is making a movie out of Dan Brown's earlier novel, Angels & Demons published in 2000. That should be an exciting movie but it will again stir up controversy among devout Roman Catholics.

And Lost Fans, I am sure you did not miss the constant reference to the 1865 story Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. One of the characters in the story is upper class Lizzie Hexam a riverman's daughter and a lawyer. In Lost Elizabeth is the name of the boat owned by Libby (short for Elizabeth)and loaned or given to Desmond. Libby and Desmond just happen to turn up on the same mystery island? Is there a clue somewhere there? We'll have to wait until the next season.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Movie Review

If you have not seen the DaVinci Code there is a really accurate and good review from the Jamaica Gleaner's Tanya Batson-Savage.

Here is an interesting quote from the article: Many of the ideas expressed in The Da Vinci Code were once the stuff for which people were excommunicated from the Catholic Church (especially at the time in history when it was sinful to suggest that the sun did not revolve around the earth). So essentially, it plays with ideas that supposedly form the bedrock of Christian faith and then tries to shake them.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another one of "those books"

Here is another book that will soon be talked about, The Expected One: a Novel by Kathleen McGowan. McGowan self published a thriller about a descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus then it was picked up this year by Touchstone Publishers, affiliated with Simon & Schuster. She got a seven-figure advance for this book. According to the book will be released July 26. Interestingly, I read online that last year at the Book Expo McGowan had to beg people to talk to her, this time she was signing autographs and met with a number of foreign publishers.
Dan Brown did not invent this genre of writing but I am sure he will be blamed or praised if McGowan's book becomes a hit.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Book Expo Buzz

Look out for these three titles in the fall; they created the most buzz in Washington D.C. over the weekend at the Book Expo:

For One More Day by Mitch Albom, release date: September 26.

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier, release date: October 3.

The Innocent Man: A True Story by John Grisham, release date: October 10.

Senator Barack Obama will also have a new book out in the fall, The Audacity of Hope: Reclaiming the American Dream, release date: October.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I saw the movie

There was no picket line at the 3:15PM matinee yesterday. I enjoyed the movie. From what I remember of the book, the movie was a very accurate portrayal and for that I can give it 4 stars. I thought the actors who played Silas and Leigh Teabing were exceptional.

I can understand why devout Roman Catholics and Opus Dei supporters would be offended that the antagonists are affiliated with the church but some Roman Catholic priests have done far more damage to the priesthood and to catholicism than this movie could possibly do. Somebody has to be the antagonist in a murder mystery; sometimes it's a lawyer, judge, teacher, I guess church people are not exempt.

It's fiction. Don't take the book or movie so personally, go out and be entertained.

Crossing the Da Vinci Picket Line

I may have to cross a picket line today. I read yesterday in the Waycross Journal Herald that a Christian group will be picketing the movie theater during the showing of The Da Vinci Code.

What is this fear that some Christians have over this movie? I am happy the book has generated dialogue about the church and christianity. However, if I did not know better after reading some of the comments, example one in the Nassau Guardian this morning, I would think Christianity was so weak it was under threat of collapsing because of one movie? I was actually inspired to respond by email to the article Decoding Dan Brown by Vannessa Rolle, the Lifestyles Editor at Nassau Guardian.

And is it my imagination or has The Da Vinci Code book and movie generated more response from Christians than Brokeback Mountain the play and movie version?

May 24
P.S. Heard from Vannessa Rolle and she says she did not write the article. Some error on the part of the webmaster.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Da Vinci code opens today at movie theaters

Go out and see the movie, be entertained. Things to remember when you go to see the movie:

1.The Da Vinci Code is a murder mystery.

2.The Da Vinci Code movie is based on a novel. It's fiction with some legends and historical facts thrown in the mix.

3. Mr. Da Vinci was not at the last supper with Christ and his disciples. His painting is not a photograph, it is what he imagined took place.

Some critics have not been particularly impressed by the movie and have rated it 2 stars. They are saying the book did not translate well into a movie. READ MORE.

Worldwide protests continue against the movie. I heard on the news yesterday that an Albino group has added its voice against the movie.

Others however, are trying to make money by jumping on the Da Vinci Code band wagon, or should I say, the Da Vinci Train. The Eurostar, the London to Paris train that opened in 1994, wants to take you to see the cities mentioned in the Da Vinci Code.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Anti Da Vinci or Pro Da Vinci?

The movie, The Da Vinci Code, opens this weekend and so the anti code protests have begun as far away as Greece as well as here in Waycross. There was an ad in the Waycross Journal Herald on Monday identifying food stores that refused to pull The Davinci Code from their book section and also commending Harvey's for complying with their request to remove the book. For crying out loud the book is fiction.

Anyway, take a look at some anti Da Vinci Code websites: Westminster Theological Seminary U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Focus on the Family Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights The Archdiocese of Denver.

Now enjoy the movie and be entertained!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Who is digging to America?

In the May 2006 issue of Southern Living, book reviewer Ms. Wanda Mckinney recommends Anne Tyler's bestselling novel,Digging to America. About the book.

List of Novels by Anne Tyler

If Morning Ever Comes (1964)
The Tin Can Tree (1965)
A Slipping-Down Life (1970)
The Clock Winder (1972)
Celestial Navigation (1974)
Searching for Caleb (1975)
Earthly Possessions (1977)
Morgan's Passing (1980)
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1982)
The Accidental Tourist (1985)
Breathing Lessons (1988)
Saint Maybe (1991)
Ladder of Years (1995)
A Patchwork Planet (1998)
Back When We Were Grownups (2001)
The Amateur Marriage (2003)
Digging to America (2006)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bestselling Fiction

Take a look at the Wallstreet Journal's list of bestsellers:


1. "Beach Road" by James Patterson, Peter de Jonge (Little, Brown)

2. "Two Little Girls in Blue" by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster)

3. "Promise Me" by Harlan Coben (Dutton)

4. "Definitely Dead" by Charlaine Harris (Ace)

5. "Digging to America" by Anne Tyler (Knopf)

Compare with the PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Top five BEST-SELLERS. Definitely Dead did not make it in the top five for Publishers Weekly and I Say a Little Prayer was not on Wallstreet's top five.


1. "Beach Road" by James Patterson, Peter de Jonge (Little, Brown)

2. "Two Little Girls in Blue" by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster)

3. "I Say a Little Prayer" by E. Lynn Harris (Doubleday)

4. "Promise Me" by Harlan Coben (Dutton)

5. "Digging to America" by Anne Tyler (Knopf)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jacksonville's Book Festival

This year, Jacksonville's big book festival, Much Ado About Books, is May 13 from 9:00AM to 3:30PM at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront, downtown Jacksonville. Master storyteller and supporter of literacy programs, James Patterson, will give the keynote address. VISIT HERE to check the cost of lunch with James.

It is being promoted as a book-lover's celebration of reading, writing and life. Well known authors will participate in 29 panels over four time slots. Make sure to link to the author list.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Caste Discrimination

I am still reading Untouchables: one family’s triumph over the caste system in modern India by Narendra Jadhav.

Although discrimination based on caste is illegal in India, the struggle continues for those in the lower castes who want good jobs and education. READ MORE.

It just so happens something big is happening in India in regard to affirmative action. The debate and protests going on has to do with quotas versus scholarhips. READ MORE

Top Ten

Top Ten Bestsellers - Hardcover Fiction. Link To New York Times for the rest of the list.

This Week's List

1. TWO LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE, by Mary Higgins Clark. (Simon & Schuster, $25.95.)
2. PROMISE ME, by Harlan Coben. (Dutton, $26.95.)
3. BLUE SHOES & HAPPINESS, by Alexander McCall Smith. (Pantheon, $21.95.)
4. DARK HARBOR, by Stuart Woods. (Putnam, $25.95.)
5. GONE, by Jonathan Kellerman. (Ballantine, $26.95.)
6. SUSANNAH'S GARDEN, by Debbie Macomber. (Mira, $23.95.)
7. OAKDALE CONFIDENTIAL, by Anonymous. (Pocket, $19.95.)
8. DARK TORT, by Diane Mott Davidson. (Morrow, $24.95.)
9. THE DA VINCI CODE, by Dan Brown. (Doubleday, $24.95.)
10. EVERYMAN, by Philip Roth. (Houghton Mifflin, $24.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Madea Goes to Jail

Madea Goes to Jail written by, produced by, and starring Tyler Perry at the Times Union theater in Jacksonville last weekend was hilarious. Now Tyler Perry's book with the catchy title is number one on the New York Times Bestsellers list this week.


Top 5 at a Glance
2. MARLEY & ME, by John Grogan
3. THE WORLD IS FLAT, by Thomas L. Friedman
4. FREAKONOMICS, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
5. THE JESUS PAPERS, by Michael Baigent

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Most Borrowed Books in USA Libraries

The top 5 Fiction

Mary, Mary, James Patterson
Does he write a book a month?

Predator, Patrica Cornwell
We selected her Jack the Ripper book for the bookclub; I was not convinced that Walter Sickert was the Ripper.

S Is for Silence, Sue Grafton
At First Sight, Nicholas Sparks
The Camel Club, David Baldacci

Non Fiction

Leading the list are:

A Million Little Pieces, James Frey
Teacher Man, Frank McCourt
The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, Thomas L. Friedman
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion

Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, Kevin Trudeau
Some consumers are complaining that they were duped.
No wonder people prefer to borrow it from the library.

See the Library Journal online for the complete list

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Save Darfur

Long before Oprah's and George Clooney's interest in the Sudan, the okebookclub had selected the book Slave by Mende Nazer. This was a real eye opener to the modern day holocaust in Sudan. If you have not read it yet, I urge you to borrow or buy this book to appreciate one person's experience of living in Sudan. READ MORE.

Opal Mehta

So the publishers have permanently pulled all copies of Opal Mehta from the shelves. Apparently the book is beyond the revision stage. What an embarrassment for the writer! The contract has been cancelled so there will be no second book about Opal. The movie version has also been cancelled. Major embarrassment all around. What a mess! READ MORE.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"Opal Mehta", team work effort?

Well well well, the story of Opal Mehta is not going away anytime soon. Now I have been reading that Alloy Entertainment shares copyright of Opal Mehta with Kaavya Viswanathan. Who knew that it was normal to have ghostwriters collaborate with the writer to produce a novel? READ MORE.

In the meantime, Miss Kaavya is facing more plagiaism charges. According to the Boston Globe, Opal Mehta has some similarities in structure with "Can You Keep a Secret?" by Sophie Kinsella.

Check out the May 8 issue of People magazine for interesting information on Opus Dei. Yes, the members practice physical mortifications. The pictures of the tools for physical mortifications are in the magazine.