Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Authors, Books and Stuff

Here is something interesting that took place last week, April 22: Authors by day and Rockers by night. This must have been really fun.

Here is an interesting book-related link from Book Think.

On the recommendation of my friend Marcia, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, I am now reading, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett who also lives in Atlanta, Georgia. It's described as Stockett's stunning debut. Setting is 1960s in Mississippi. Although I have not read very much yet, I already like the characters Aibileen and her friend Minny, both African American helpers in white households. It is promoted on amazon as, "Three ordinary women about to take one extraordinary step". I am eager to read about all three women and find out what extraordinary step they take.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What are you reading now?

I'm reading N is for Noose by Sue Grafton. Tom Newquist's wife asked Kinsey Milhone to investigate his death. She says her husband was upset about something and she wants to know what it is. I am at page 62 and so far everyone is saying there was nothing unusual distressing Tom, that the wife was always trying to pry into Tom's business, that everyone loved Tom, the good cop, but some did not like the wife. However, there is the mystery of Tom's missing notebook.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Book suggestions for the month of May

Here are some really interesting titles, focusing on mothers, to read in May as suggested on Andrea Levy's lastest book, The Long Song, and Amy Tan's, The Bonesetter's Daughter.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Small Island by Andrea Levy

So sorry I did not promote this on my blog before Sunday. Small Island Part 1 was on PBS last night from 9:00PM - 10:30PM, Masterpiece Classic. It is based on the Orange Prize and Whitbread winning novel, by the same name, written by British writer Andrea Levy. Setting is Jamaica and London in the 1940s. One theme is interracial love.

I really enjoyed it and I recognised some of the cast members who had minor roles: Dorothy Cunningham, Glen Campbell, and Leonie Forbes. Glen I remember from his days as a Jamaica College schoolboy acting in a play with St. Andrew High School girls. They are all very experienced stage actors in Jamaica. Look out for Part 2 next Sunday. The non Jamaican actors had really good speech coaches. Ashley Walters' Jamaican accent was very convincing.

I have read Fruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy. It is available at the Waycross College Libary. Andrea's parents are Jamaicans and she seems to like to explore the Jamaican migrant's experience of the "Motherland" in the 40s and 50s. I wrote a review of Fruit of the Lemon here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Year of the Flood

"Do we deserve this Love by which God maintains our Cosmos? Do we deserve it as a species? We have taken the World given to us and carelessly destroyed its fabric and its Creatures....... Why would God give us another Earth when we have mistreated this one so badly?" page 424. That is the essence of The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. It is an environmental message.

I went into a dystopic world of animals like rakunks (rat combined with skunks), lions combined with lambs, smart sheep and pigs; a world of insects like bees and maggots for healing therapy; and a world of perfect man-made naked blue people with high sex drives. I enjoyed the journey to this weird world. I liked that I got three perspectives of the Dytopic world from Adam 1, Eve 6 also known as Toby and from Ren.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Are you reading Dystopian Fiction?

I am reading The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. I could not get into Oryx and Crake by the same writer so I am returning it to the library. Year of the Flood is described as a dystopic masterpiece on amazon.

Yes, I had to look up the meaning of dystopic. It means anti- utopia, a negative vision of future society. So, while utopian fiction is the creation of an ideal world, dystopian fiction is the creation of a nightmare world. This comes under the genre of science fiction and speculative fiction.

I am enjoying Atwood's nightmarish world. Toby starts off as the narrator. She seems to be alone in the world because of a "Waterless Flood". I don't know what that means yet. She is telling the story of her life before the flood; how she had to go undercover in a world where the CorpSeCorps rules, how she ended up working at a place that sells burgers made of questionable meat judging from the cat fur, how she became a sex slave to her boss at Secretburgers, how she was rescued by a vegetarian religious cult called God's Gardeners. I am on page 59. There are two other narrators. Adam one who leads the Gardeners and Ren who seems to be a teenaged girl in the cult.

Wikipedia, of course, has a list of dystopian literature, if you care to know more.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Holocaust Remembrance

Vivid images, dark humor, deep, powerful story on the Holocaust. That's my verdict of The Book Thief. The foreshadowing was too much in my opinion but the book was worth reading and I highly recommend it.

By the way, this Thursday at 7:00 P.M. is the Waycross College Holocaust Remembrance in the auditorium. We'll be seeing a film called 'The Devil's Arithmetic' starring Kirsten Dunst and based on the book of the same name. No charge for admission.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Death the Storyteller

Death is a storyteller in the Book Thief. He says he has a library of stories. Death speaks with a male voice. Death sees colors first, then dead people. Death is irreplaceable. Death can be cheerful, amiable, agreeable or so he says. Death is not nice but he is fair. Death is not violent or malicious. He works hard during war. War is ungrateful. War is the boss that orders Death to get it done, without saying thanks. Distraction keeps Death sane. Death needs distraction from the survivors. Colors are a distraction.

I am now at page 448 and hoping to complete reading today. Fascinating, not great, but paints vivid picture of growing up in Germany during WW11, stirs up emotions.