Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sssh! It's The Secret of the Secret

As we have seen with the Davinci Code, there are now some new self-help books and reprints of old self-help books hanging on the coat tail of the bestselling book The Secret.

There is the Law of Attraction: The science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't originally self published by Michael Losier and of course this title: The Secret of "The Secret" by Karen Kelly. There is also a parody Who Moved My Secret? by Jim Gerard.

Read about other titles being reissued in USA Today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Anne Tyler

We will meet June15 to discuss Digging to America by Anne Tyler, 1989 Pullitzer Prize Winner. Someone compared her fiction writing to Instant Oatmeal: bland, warm and comforting. I thought Digging to America was a wonderful multicultural family story. We'll discuss this at our next meeting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Books to Movies

This is an interesting link to a list of books that have been made into movies. So, how many of these books have you read? And, how many of the movies have you watched?

Notes of a Scandal is the most recent movie that I saw. I haven't read Pursuit of Happyness but I enjoyed the movie.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Book Club Blogs

Found an interesting blog on controversial books by African American writers. Click here.

Also, check out this Paradise Valley Community College book club blog.

This British based book club blog for "connoisseurs of fine literature, books, clubs and blogs" no longer seems to be current. Not enough connoisseurs?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Ann Rule Recommends

See what Ann Rule, bestselling author, recommends in The Wall Street Journal. These titles are included in her list:

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)

The Corpse Had a Familiar Face by Edna Buchanan (Random House, 1987)

Bitter Blood by Jerry Bledsoe (Dutton, 1988)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tony Wheeler

British-born Tony Wheeler has an interesting guidebook out called, Tony Wheeler's Bad Lands: A Tourist on the Axis of Evil. He is supposed to have devised an "evil meter" to rate the countries he visited.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We Loved The Thirteenth Tale

Our book club met last week to discuss The Thirteenth Tale, a first novel by Diane Setterfield. This was a very strange and fascinating story set in England about family scandals, secrets and lies which haunt the major and minor characters. The story interestingly is divided into four sections: Beginnings, Middles, Endings, and Beginnings. The writing is excellent. The images are vivid. The ghosts seem real.

The theme has to do with truth. There is a quote from one of the major characters, Vida Winter: “My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth itself....What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie.” The story is not very exciting in the first few pages. In the third paragraph, the protagonist, Margaret Lea, makes a big deal about a letter she receives before actually opening it. Right away you get the image of a protagonist who lives a very dull, unexciting life.

The letter is from Vida and she wants Margaret to write the true story of her (Vida's) life. Margaret is skeptical because she normally does not write biographies of living people plus Vida has a history of creating multiple versions of her biography. In fact there are 19 versions of Vida's life. Vida is old and sick plus she has a connection with Margaret. They both had twin sisters. Margaret predictably accepts the job and a dark gripping tale enfolds that includes incest, masochism, and child neglect and abandonment in a strange English family.

There are several references to the novel Jane Eyre. Just as in the classic Jane Eyre story, this story has a governess, fire, and disfigurement. It has characters that are hidden away, romance, and madness.

Okay, go read the book!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Book Awards Finalists

Some of the books on the British Book Awards shortlist are:

Thomas Hardy:The Time-Torn Man by Claire Tomalin, Biography of the Year

Londonstani by Guatam Malkani, Writer of the Year

Some of the Finalists for the 2007 Audies are:

Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood by Teri Garr

Mama Made The Difference by T. D. Jakes

Since 1996, the APA has been hosting The Audies to honor excellence in audiobook publishing. This year The Audies will be held in the Rainbow Room in New York City on June 1, 2007.

And here are some of the 2007 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards Finalists:

City of Tiny Lights by Patrick Neate

The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower

The Bloodwater Mysteries: Snatched by Pete Hautman and Mary Logue

Click here to see more Edgar Awards Nominees 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Intimate Stories

Check out what USA Weekend magazine, May 18-20, 2007 is calling The Next Classics:

Blindsided: lifting a life above illness by Richard Cohen

Drinking: A love story by Caroline Knapp

An Unquiet Mind: A memoir of moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison

A Whole New Life by Reynolds Price

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What are you reading?

I am reading The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan. Before reading this book, I had no idea that there was a theory that Mary Magdalene and Jesus had three children: one daughter and two sons. I had no idea that there was a theory that John the Baptist was the true Messiah. This book was written before the Da Vinci Code and has similarities to the Code: hidden art messages, anagrams, secret societies. The writer herself claims to be a descendant of Mary Magdalene.

Here are two books I'd like to read before the end of the year:

Breadfruit by Tahitian writer Clestine Vaite. This is the second book in a trilogy by Vaite.

Fruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy. The protagonist in this story goes back to the Jamaican roots of her parents and returns to England with a new perspective and understanding of her parents.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Washington Post's Award Winning Books 2006

Best Fiction Books of 2006 according to Washington Post include:

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Talk Talk by T. C. Boyle
Nowhere is a place by Bernice Mc Fadden
Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Best Nonfiction include:

Mussolini's Italy by R. J. B. Bosworth
Revolutionary Characters by Gordon S. Wood
The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina by Frank Rich

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Award Winning Books

From the Quill Awards 2006, the Winner of the Book of the Year and Humor Winner ...(drum roll)

Don't Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings by Tyler Perry

From Library Journal's Best Books 2006, The Best Mystery is In Plain Sight: A Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box, Best Science Fiction/Fantasy is Odyssey by Jack Mc Devitt and Best Thriller is Promise Me by Harlan Coben.

On the Publisher's Weekly Best Books of the Year are Justice for All by Jim Newton and Pretender by C. J. Cherryh.

Final drum roll, on the Los Angeles Times Best Books of the Year, there is Talk Talk by T. C. Boyle.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Darryl Wimberley In Waycross

Author Darryl Wimberley was at the public library last night for a book signing and lecture. Not familiar with the writer? Click on his April 2007 book, The King Of Colored Town, on amazon. Also, coming in July 2007 is his book, Pepperfish Keys.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Recommended for Book clubs

Under a section titled Great Reads in People (April 30 issue), the book reviewers of the magazine recommend the following for Book Clubs:

Easter Everywhere: A Memoir by Darcey Steinke
To My Dearest Friends by Patricia Volk
Body Surfing by Anita Shreve.

The book that really sounds interesting though is the one highlighted on page 49 as the Critic's Choice titled, If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation, a memoir by Janine Latus.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Silent Partner

In the May 14, 2007 issue of People Magazine, Dina Matos McGreevey's memoir, Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage, gets only a two star rating while Flower Children by Maxine Swann gets 4 out of 4 stars.

Mrs. Mc Greevey was the wife who stood by the side of former New Jersey Governor, Jim McGreevey, as he announced to America that he was gay. She's divorced and now doing the rounds on the talk show circuit. Unfortunately I missed the Oprah interview with her. I am sure the book will be a best seller despite the low rating from the reviewer at People.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Book Selection for May

Our next meeting will be on May 18, third Friday of the month. The book selected for discussion is Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.