Monday, September 28, 2009

Social Networking and Authors

Well, well, well, Dan Brown is on Twitter and Facebook. See an excerpt of The Lost Symbol, Brown's latest book. That's the way to go!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BooK club Selection for September

We chose Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith for our September discussion. The setting is Edinburgh, Scotland and the protagonist is Isabel Dalhousie, a reviewer of peer reviewed articles on Applied Ethics. The book has a great attention grabber as the opening sentence: "Isabel Dalhousie saw the young man fall from the edge of the upper circle, from the gods."

Did he jump, did he slip, or was he pushed? Isabel felt she had a moral obligation to find out. The word moral comes up a lot in this story as in moral responsibility and moral cowardice, for examples.

Anyway, Isabel discusses her concerns about the young man to her housekeeper Grace, her niece Cat and her niece's ex boyfriend Jamie. All agree that she should mind her own business. Of course, she doesn't.

Sounds like an interesting story? Well it wasn't. I would rate this 2 1/2 stars out of 5. It had lots of potential but the writer included too many irrelevant details and the end was not very satisfying to me.

Interestingly, the title is the Sunday Philosophy Club but the club, we are told, is inactive. What we got were several philosophical discussions about love, moral obligation, lying, poetry, gambing, truthtelling in sexual relationships, truthfulness in genetics, forgiveness. We also got some interesting points of view, cats are natural sociopaths for example.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Angel's Game

The club enjoyed Shadow of the Wind so much that I decided to read another book by Zafon. I read Angel's Game. The writing was excellent but the end was very unsatisfying; there was no resolution so it left me with questions. It was a very strange and very gothic book with an element of the supernatural. It is about a writer, David Martin, who lived in a strange towerhouse. It turned out that the previous owner shared his initials; D.M., shared his love for writing, and was a writer. The labyrinth called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books mentioned in Shadow was also mentioned in this story. David was introduced to the Cemetery by Sempere Senior of Sempere and Son, the same bookshop mentioned in Shadow. This Sempere Senior is, however; the grandfather of the Daniel Sempere mentioned in Shadow. David returns to the Cemetery as an adult to hide his novel and to choose a novel. Of course he just happens to choose a book on religion by D.M. The book makes several references to the soul, great expectations, and religion.

The most interesting characters are David and his mysterious parisian publisher who wore an angel broach, smiled like a wolf, and seemed to be the devil himself.

Worth reading if you like the gothic genre. I would actually give it 4 stars.