Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lorien Legacies

I am reading a magazine called, The Week. In the December 3 issue, on page 30, there is a very interesting article about James Frey, the talented but not so straight-forward author, who was exposed on Oprah. Well lately, he has been hiring writers to produce and complete manuscripts and this is being frowned upon by critics. He has a best seller on his hands, or should I say they have a best seller on their hands. The article says the title is, I Am Four, but amazon has it as, I Am Number Four using the pseudonym Pittacus Lore.

Monday, November 29, 2010

An Innocent Man On Death Row

"An innocent man is aboout to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him." Those are the opening sentences on the blurb of The Confession by John Grisham. Sounds fascinating to me so I will be starting this book tonight despite the average 3.5 star rating from amazon readers.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I am reading the Testimony

The Testimony is an interesting story and very topical since it covers young people having drunken group sex, taping it, and posting it on the internet and the resulting media frenzy over the scandal.

This book was unusual and sometimes confusing in that it was written from the first, second, and third person perspective plus an epistolary narrative voice in the very last chapter. As you can imagine, we heard the "voices" of several characters. Silas was a character that was speaking to "you" and the you was his girlfriend. The character Ellen was addressed in the second person; "you". Sometimes the you refers to Jacqueline Barnard, a researcher who is contacting the main characters two years after the scandal.

We see the action that takes place days leading up to the sex scandal, the day of the scandal, and the days after the scandal and then two years after the scandal.

The message essentially is that one's negative actions can trigger catastrophic consequences for so many others.

Silas is the character that I thought was a little unrealistic. His fury was realistic but I also think that a teenager in his siutation would have confided in his girlfriend and perhaps his fate would have been different. I noticed that the writer did not make the teenaged girl, at the center of the teen sex orgy, sympathetic. She was just a spoilt, out of control, lying brat.

Overall this was a good story.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things: The J List

Inspired by Oprah's Favorite Things and her O List in her magazine, I have come up with my J-List. These are a few of my favorite things:

Anita Shreve's Testimony and Cedric Miller's Testimony

I am reading Testimony by Anita Shreve. What I have read so far is that there was sexual activity involving alcohol, one teenaged girl and three teen young men of a basketball team at a private school in Vermont. The story is now getting into the negative aftermath of the sex scandal and how it affected each one involved, their parents, and the principal of the school. There is some indication that the 14 year old girl was not a victim but the instigator of this orgy.

This story reminded me of the real life testimony of a New Jersey pastor. He came to public attention because he wanted the elders in his church to stop using Facebook. He spoke of the negative effect on some marriages in the church when members reconnected with "friends". I wondered why he thought Facebook was the problem. I wondered why he did not consider having some kind of seminar on Internet Safety in the church as Trinity Methodist Church, Gainesville, Florida decided to conduct for their congregation. Lo and behold, it turns out that 10 years ago, without the assistance of FB, he and his wife had their own sexual orgy with a male church worker and his wife. Read it for yourself.

I am going to continue reading today. Right now I am just excited about enjoying my five day Thanksgiving week end. Whoo-hoo!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What should I read next?

Oh My Gosh! I just looked at Jenners of Find Your Next Book Here, on the blog Lost in Books. This blogger has read some of my all time favorite books: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Maybe I should go check out the other two books on this blogger's reading list: The Host by Stephenie Meyer and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

Next month our book club members will not select and read the same book. We'll read whatever we want and discuss our book choices at the meeting.

Someone in our club wants to read, True Memoirs of Little K. Little K is supposed to be a Russian ballerina and the mistress of the last Tsar. The other members have not yet decided what they want to read.

Monday, November 15, 2010

We're Reading "The Blood of Flowers"

We meet this week to discuss the historical fiction of The Blood of Flowers, a coming of age story set in 17th century Iran. The writer is Anita Amirrezvani and this is her first book.

The main character and narrator is a fourteen year old girl who is forced, along with her Mom, to relocate to a big city with relatives because her Dad died suddenly. She loves making rugs and much of the description in the novel is about the knotting involved in rug making.

On page 83 the narrator's uncle explains that rugmakers protest evil by reminding the world of beauty. Beauty is likened to a tonic. He explains to the niece that carpet designs have to have unity and integrity to achieve a beautiful design.

This novel educates the reader about the concept of temporary marriage. When the narrator reached the age of 16, her mother agrees to have her enter into a temporary 3 month marriage contract with a well-to-do older man.

I am at the point where the narrator is hoping to please her husband sexually so that he may extend the temporary contract into a permanent one. She is also hoping to master her rugmaking skills and make a big sale. This would enable her and her mother to leave the Uncle's residence. While the narrator and the uncle get along well, the uncle's wife treats her and her Mom like servants.

See what amazon readers think about this book.

Monday, November 08, 2010