Sunday, October 29, 2006

Queen of Persia and other selections

Here are our reading selections for 2007:

January: Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

February: Atchafalaya Houseboat :My years in the Louisianna Swamp by Gwen Roland, C.C. Lockwood

March: Hadassah: One Night With the King by Tommy Tenney, Mark Andrew Olsen

The book in March is based on the biblical queen Esther. One amazon reader titled her review of the book as, "The Bachelorette: Queen of Persia". The movie version is showing right now at the cinema in the mall.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lolita in Teheran Controversy

Remember we read and discussed the book, Reading Lolita in Teheran by Azar Nafisi several months ago? There are articles in The Chronicle of Higher Learning criticizing this book.

Hamid Dabashi in Peeking Under The Cover, criticizes the cover of the book. He says that the image of the two women on the cover sugggests that they were reading Lolita when in reality the image was croppped from a news photo and they were reading a reformist newspaper. Ms Nafisi points out that authors do not choose the final cover of their books.

Dabashi has more issues in A Collision of Prose and Politics by Richard Byrne also in The Chronicle.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Spooky Books On Display

Here are some "Chilling Reads" on display at the Waycross College Library:

Possessed by ghosts:exorcisms in the 21st century by Wanda Pratnicka

Real ghosts, restless spirits, and haunted places by Brad Steiger

Tale of the body thief by Anne Rice

Vampire book: the encyclopedia of the undead by J. Gordon Melton

Vampires, werewolves, and demons: twentieth century reports in the psychiatric literature edited by Richard Noll

Telltale lilac bush, and other West Virginia ghost tales by Ruth Ann Musick

Monday, October 23, 2006

Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie's Will

This looks like a book worth reading, Inherit The Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie's Will by Gene Stowe. The setting is North Carolina in the early twentieth century. Two really wealthy white sisters wrote wills leaving their estate to a black man, Bob Ross, and his daughter.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Free Speech issues

The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature went to a fifty-four year old Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk. He was yet another writer accused of "insulting Turkishness" raising debate on free speech in Turkey. Read More.

Look on for books written by this now controversial winner.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a prestigious award coveted by fiction writers. Take a look at the list of previous winners. Link here.

Thirty five year old Kiran Desai, author of The Inheritance of Loss, is the winner for 2006. See the list of candidates for this award here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Innocent Man: John Grisham

Grisham's nineteenth book, a non-fiction book, is now being promoted: Innocent Man.

According to what I have read, Grisham has been researching and writing for 18 months accumulating a stack of primary documents which tell the story of Ron Williamson. He was a ballplayer who was on death row for 11 years paying for the crimes of rape and murder which he did not commit. Apparently, Grisham read Williamson's obituary and was inspired to write this book which may end up another bestseller. Read MORE. Also link to THIS.

The House Next Door

Just in time for halloween, the tv version of The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons. Watch it on Monday, October 30 at 9:00PM on Lifetime Channel. Was it last year that we read and discussed that book? It was strange and unpredictable and we loved it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Traitor's Gate by Anne Perry

We meet on the third Friday of the month to discuss this book.

This was a story set in nineteenth century England. I did not start enjoying it until I had read more than 200 pages. As is hinted in the title, it is about loyalty as well as the opposing forces: betrayal and perversion of power. The story deals with loyalty to the Inner Circle, a secret society of men who intend to gain wealth for themselves through Ceil Rhodes' settlement of Africa. It deals with loyalty between men and their women, and loyalty to England.

In the story three things are going on. Superintendent Pitt is investigating the murder of the father of his childhood friend. The murder is made to look like accidental death or suicide. Secondly, Pitt has to discreetly find out who in the Colonial Office is leaking information about Africa to the Germans. In the midst of these two investigations a second unexpected murder takes place. Pitt is hampered by the class structure of the time. He was not from the upper crust of society yet he has to interrogate and possibly arrest one or more of these high society gentlemen.

We get a clear picture of the Victorian woman in this story. She was to be demure and dependent on her man because of her innate feminine weakness which made her illogical. However, the women in Perry's story seem to be the exception. This is especially so in regard to one of the protagonists Charlotte, wife of Superintendent Pitt, who is portrayed as charming and clever. She uses her charm and clever mind to manipulate Eustace, a minor character, so he could gather pertinent information to solve one of the two murder mysteries in the book.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

USA Today Top Five Bestsellers

According to USA Today, it's Mitch Albom's For One More Day that is the leading bestselling book now. Memory Keeper's Daughter, Mary Mary, Predator, and Culture Warrior round off the list of top five books.

Culture Warrior is by Bill O' Reilly.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Paperback Bestsellers

On the New York Times list of bestselling paperback fiction books is...Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts. The bestselling paperback nonfiction is Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs.

One of my favorites is number 2 on the Bestselling Nonfiction list, The Glass Castle. It has been on the list of bestsellers for 36 weeks.