Monday, July 26, 2010

Ten Most Challenged Library Books

It is not time yet for Banned Books Week, usually a week in September, but I like this graphical representation of the ten most challenged books. This means that people want to ban these books from libraries.

One of my favorite books is on the list, My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

USA Today article on the Trilogy of the Moment

This is a very interesting article on Stieg Larsson's very popular trilogy. Nice pic of the Swedish actress playing the lead role of Salander.

Mitch Albom's Contribution to the Discussion of the Week

Link here for full article by author Mitch Albom

"I am," Breitbart boasted to the media last week, "public enemy No. 1 or 2 to the Democratic Party ... based upon the successes my journalism has had."

There are several things wrong with that statement. First, I doubt he counts that much.
Second, his journalism? It's not journalism if you look for only one point of view, post other people's stuff and don't even acknowledge how using chopped-up material to paint a full picture is wrong.

"Let me think about that," was what Breitbart said when asked whether he might have vetted the footage more carefully if given another chance.

Let me think about that?

Some people have called this incident a referendum on racism. I don't think so. It was a referendum on editing. A referendum on Internet blogging. A referendum on our blazing desire for explosive moments -- even out of context -- and our creeping slowness to see the full picture.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

United Nations in the Family or Diversity within the Family

This is a reminder that we are the ones who assign a race to people.

This post is not about a book. I started reading this story of the white (non-albino) child born of African parents in the Sun, a British newspaper. This story led me to the link nearby about two sets of diverse twins within the same family. Really rare. Then this article led me to look for the link about another set of twins with a Jamaican-British, German connection.

They really should organize into a support group. I can just imagine the questions and the stares the family gets for being different.

Vote for Best Thriller

Link here to NPR's website to select the best thrillers ever.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book 1: Trained by the Great White Lodge

Seems I am into trilogies these days. T. J. Francis' book published by Inner Circle is listed "in stock" on amazon. This is the first of three books. Yes, I have inside information that two more books will be published.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Blogs on Southern Fiction

Here is a list of southern fiction books that I found on this award winning blog. Some time ago I looked at southern gothic on Oprah's website.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stieg Larsson: Book 3

Well I finished the book, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, two nights ago and if you really want to know what I thought about it, check this link. Will Eva Gabrielsson complete the fourth book for the deceased Stieg Larsson? I would love to know what happened to Salander's twin.

I am also eager to see the film version of books 2 and 3 of this trilogy.

While I wait I have moved on to There Goes the Bride by M.C. Beaton, the twentieth in the Agatha Raisin series. This genre is referred to as Cozy Mystery like The Thin Woman by Dorothy Cannell.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Frugality will become the new status symbol; I like that. Dilute the dishwashing liquid, cut the dryer sheets in half or quarters, and check out the business book titles in this article in Time magazine.

I bet Pia Catton and Califia Suntree, editors of Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less would like my Frugal Library Tips.

Also in the Times article are books by Richard Florida and John Robbins. Amazon readers gave Mr Florida's book, The Great Reset, an average of 4 1/2 stars and gave Mr Robbins' The New Good: Livng Better than Ever in an Age of Less, 5 stars.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Time Magazine: James Patterson Interview

Want to know how James Patterson writes so many books and not get confused with his plots? Or maybe you just want to know the secret of his success as a writer. I like his answer to that question; he says his secret is story, story, story, just like the real estate agent's open secret is location, location, location. I also like that he points out that he started off his writing career by reading many books. I have met too many people who say they want to write books but they do not read. They do not even speak the English language well. Read this Times article.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stieg Larsson's book 3

I am on page 82 of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and Larsson has introudced a new character to the book, Gullberg, retired administrator of the Security Police. I am having a hard time, by the way, keeping up with all these Swedish-named characters. I initially had problems distinguishing Niedermann and Nieminem. Anyway, this Gullberg is the chief of an "invisible", ultra secret Section within the Securty Police, also known as the Firm of the Company. The Section was so powerful it could investigate the Prime Minister of Sweden.

The Section, according to the Larsson's novel, was particularly concerned about Prime minister Olaf Palme and his alleged Russian connections but had no concrete evidence. Olaf, head of the Social Democratic party, became prime minister for the second time in 1982 but was later assassinated. Immediately this rang a bell so I looked it up on the internet. This is historically true. I remember it. It was 1986. Olaf Palme hardly ever used his body guards so he was walking on Sveavagen Street, a major street in Stockhom, with his wife, Lisbeth, unguarded. The assassin was some how freed so the case is considered unsolved. The alleged assassin ended up living in the USA where he in turn was murdered. I smell a cover up somewhere.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stieg Larsson gets spoofed

Read this parody by Ephron; the humor will be appreciated by anyone who read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I got Book 3 yesterday, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. There is a smooth transition from book 2 to book 3 from pages 5 through 15. Salander is rushed to the hospital with critical bullet wounds. Her father, Zala, the former Russian spy is also in the hospital.

From pages 15 to 36, we are re-introduced to Inspector Modig and her senior officer, Bublanski; to Gunnar Bjorck assistant chief of immigration, the man who knows about Zala; and to Erika's Berger dilemma of how to tell Mikhael and her staff that she is changing jobs. Also, we are reminded about who shot whom in book 2 and the official but false police theory of Salander as a crazy, lesbian satanist. I am moving on today from page 49.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our Book Club Selections for 2010

Believe it or not, we have been meeting since 2002.

January 15
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba

February 19
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

March 19

Angel’s Game by Carlos Luis Zafon

April 16
The Book Thief by Markus Zusac

May 21
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

June 18
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana Rosnay

July 15
Thin Woman by Dorothy Cannell

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stieg Larsson' Fourth Novel

I found some interesting information on Stieg Larsson's fourth book. I think one day it will be completed by Eva Garrielsson and it will be just as fascinating as the rest of the series.

Since I am being very frugal, instead of paying $19 and change for the hardcover copy of book 3, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest at Walmart, I am getting a copy through Interlibrary Loan. I am looking forward to it since Book 2 of the trilogy ended with a cliffhanger.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Reading Group Guides Contest

Here is information about a contest if your book club is interesested in sharing their Top 10 Favorite Discussion Books. The contest ends on August 31st. Fifty winners will be selected to receive a $200 gift card to a retailer of their choice. Groups also have the option to donate their gift card to a local library, school or organization of their choice

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Proper Pursuit

I am finding A Proper Pursuit very interesting. Violet Hayes' interaction with her grandmother and the grandmother's three very different sisters is very entertaining. At the end, I expect that Violet will be a changed woman. First, Violet has to contend with the very religious philantropist grandmother who shares a home with two of her sisters. One sister, Aunt Matt, is a never-been-married suffragist. She reads the newspapers (not very common in 1893), has an interest in politics and is against the institution of marriage and the resulting loss of women's rights. The second sister, called Birdie, is like Betty White's character in the "Golden Girls"; lovable but quite daft. Grandmother's other sister, who lives elsewhere in Chicago, is Aunt Agnes married to adulterous Uncle Henry. She is the rich sister that is determined to find a rich husband from the right social background for her grandniece.

I am on page 139 and so far Violet has picked up four suitors. There is the dull Herman Beckett from her home town. Her stepmother-to-be, Widow O'Neil, is pushing that relationship. Silas McClure, the traveling salesman, has declared his interest by visiting Violet at her Aunts' residence in Chicago but Violet suspects he is a criminal. Louis Decker, a student at the Chicago Evangelistic Society, is showing some interest and Violet's religious grandmother is pleased with this. Rich Aunt Agnes is favoring someone more like the handsome elegant Nelson Kent who will end up working with his Dad in a safe and secure business.

Who will Violet choose? I am eager to find out. The very imaginative Violet is a wanna-be detective pursuing other interests. She secretly wants to find her mother who abandoned her. Also, she wants to stop her father from marrying the Widow O'Neil, whom Violet suspects murdered her previous husband.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy Independence Weekend! I am using the long weekend to read. I finished Thin woman by Dorothy Cannell set in England. This is the first of a series. It had some humor but it was not as good as the Agatha Raisin mysteries by M. C. Beaton. Ellie is the main character and she is very conscious of her weight. She hires an escort for a family reunion of all things. The escort is the truculent Bentley Haskell, trained chef and writer of adult novels. The family reunion is at the home of eccentric curmudgeon Uncle Merlin's filthy old castle. Uncle Merlin dies almost immediately after the family reunion and Bentley and Ellie move into his home because the Uncle's will has given each a challenge. Ellie must lose weight and Bentley must write a blasphemy free book. They must also hunt for hidden treasure but no one knows exactly what the treasure is supposed to be. They have six months. Ellie, Bentley, their housekeeper, and gardner present a united front against Ellie's other relatives. Mysterious things happen - notes appear, a package with a portrait is left at the post office, the housekeeper is drugged, the cat almost drowns and finally the treasure is found and Ellie and Bentley are in love.

I have moved on to A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin. Violet Rose Hayes is the main character. She is a proper 20 year old young lady who just graduated from Madame Beauchamps finishing school in 1893. She gets three shocking bit of news in the first few pages of the novel. First shock, her father is engaged to marry the Widow O'Neill who has two children, Harriet and Horace who Violet nicknames, Homely and Horrid. Second shock, her father divorced her mother. Third shock, her mother was never sick as she was led to believe, her mother abandoned the family and lives in Chicago.

Violet convinces her father to send her to her grandmother in Chicago. Violet's goal is to find her mother. Her father's goal is for Violet to find a husband in Chicago and his rich Aunt Agnes in Chicago has been assigned to help with this matter.

Violet has to contend with her grandmother and grandaunts in Chicago. One formidable lady is Aunt Matt the suffragist. I am on page 99 and find that this is entertaining with quite a bit of humor as Violet learns about love and the rights of women in the late nineteenth century.