Book Chatter


My brain is saying no. The mild weather in Southern California agrees with me. No, I am not quite there yet but Christmas is a mere seven weeks away. Did you know that? The Hub and I got into a heated discussion about it. He prefers to let it creep up on him, but he’s not the one who does the buying, or the cooking or really any of it. Okay, he handles the Christmas lights (and has fallen off the roof twice). I do all the rest and I don’t complain because I LOVE Christmas.

I love Thanksgiving, too. I’ve been compiling my gluten-free recipes as this will be my first gluten-free Thanksgiving meal. This year though, I don’t want to wait until Black Friday to get the shopping started. I have two reasons for this. The first, is that it’s just easier to buy a little at…

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write meg!

It’s been months since Ginny Blackstone left Greece without the final of a series of envelopes from her beloved Aunt Peg — a collection of instructions that took her on a cross-European adventure and got her break out of her timid shell. While carrying out the last of Peg’s wishes, Ginny’s bag was stolen . . . and the last envelope was gone with it.

Back in the U.S., Ginny receives mysterious word that someone has discovered her bag — and Peg’s instructions. Relieved, scared and excited, Ginny leaves for London in the hope that she’ll be able to finish the project she started. But returning to England and meeting Oliver, the new keeper of the envelopes, does nothing but reopen old wounds. Coupled with discovering that Keith, the enigmatic and handsome actor she met on her first tour, is still in London — but not still single — Ginny…

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The Fourth Fisherman by Joe Kissack

image[Fade from Black] Camera pans from a calm sea to the prow of a small fishing boat. Voices speaking Spanish in the background as a man walks the beach toward the vessel. As he comes into focus, he is not dressed for fishing and appears to be looking for something. The scene turns with his gaze, sweeping the ocean and then spying a dock further down the beach, the camera follows him as he walks toward it, away from the boat. [Title]

Stories that appear separated that intertwine to lead to an intersection unexpected by the audience are a Hollywood staple. Better yet are divine stories of lives brought together by The Director. Such is the The Fourth Fisherman, the tale of four lives transformed by circumstance unforeseen when the first steps were taken. Author Joe Kissack recounts how his life of Hollywood…

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More than you want to know about comic books!

Is Watchmen the greatest comic ever written? A lot of people adamantly say so. Myself, I have some reservations about such an accolade, since I’m still partial to Jeff Smith’s Bone, enjoying it almost as much now as I did when I was 12, and I absolutely love Neil Gaiman‘s Sandman epic. Recently, I’ve been pretty enamored with Starman and Astro City. Alan Moore himself has said that Watchmen isn’t even his best book, and it seems like he has grown weary of having the book mentioned. Having read a lot of Alan Moore’s work, I’d agree that Watchmen isn’t the most representative of his style, and from what I’ve read, his series Promethea might very well be a better book. Still, I think one thing most of us can agree on is that Watchmen is a great comic, but as with all great works of art…

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In just six days I finally get my hands on a book that I have been waiting to read for over a year.  Umberto Eco‘s The Prague Cemetery will arrive at my door next Tuesday, and I feel like a child waiting for Christmas morning.  When this book was released last year in its original Italian, I attempted to work my way through it, to no avail.  My Italian is not nearly good enough to be able to appreciate the sheer beauty of Eco’s writing and the subtleties of his ideas.  I tried in Spanish, and although my Spanish is decidedly far better than my Italian, it was just not good enough.  So I waited, and pre-ordered, and then waited some more.

Now let me explain about my love (obsession?) with Umberto Eco.  I first encountered him during my freshmen year of college in an English Comp…

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the contextual life

The independent bookstore McNally Jackson, located in SoHo, New York, features a regular series called “Conversations on Practice” hosted by author and musician Glenn Kurtz. Kurtz, an excellent conversationalist, invites fellow writers to sit down with him to discuss their life and work. These are some of the most engaging nights going on in New York and Brooklyn’s thriving literary scene.

The other month Salon’s book critic Laura Miller was the guest. As a fledgling reviewer and interviewer, listening to an intimate conversation about Laura’s 20 years of experience in the field and her approach to the craft was of personal interest. 45 minutes flew, not seeming nearly long enough, and I was left with more questions than I’d had walking in.

Laura was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule—she has two deadlines a week—to let me pick her brain. The final version of the…

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Cpl Crud's Writings

Occasionally I catch the train to work.

Most of the time I bury myself into my studies (time is a premium), but about two weeks ago I did see something unexpected.

Before I moved out from my parent’s place (scarily, this happened over a decade ago), I used to have access to all kinds of books. When I was in primary (elementary) school, we were once asked to count all of the books in our house. We stopped around the 3,000 mark. I was a little ashamed when I got to school the next day, knowing that we had fudged the last few hundred. I shouldn’t have worried so much; the next nearest compeditor had about 1,000 books in their house.

So I was never stuck for choice when it came to books. I had read everything by Anne McCaffery by age 12, and once I got hooked into the…

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clouds on my palette

I have been attempting to read ‘A Suitable Boy’ since a long time. But somehow I have not been able to. Also that I had heard mixed reviews about it, kept me away. On one hand, I had a cousin, who HIGHLY recommended it and on the other was my husband, who had disliked it. According to him, it was like the script of a Hindi soap opera- it was about marriage and it went on and on without getting to any point. He had given up reading after a couple of pages.

But I wanted to see for myself what this prize-winning book by the much celebrated Vikram Seth was about, and booked myself a copy from my online library.

And I’m really glad that I did so!

But first impressions first.

When I saw the volume of the book, I was taken aback. At around 1400 pages, it was quite a mighty tome. Hubby joked that by…

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lying for a living

What’s this? The Broadview Anthology of Sixteenth Century Poetry and Prose, propped on a desk against somebody’s in-tray?

Let’s take a closer look.

Wait. What’s this? The brand new sleek and shiny Broadview Anthology of Sixteenth Century Poetry and Prose, edited by Marie H. Loughlin, Sandra Bell, and Patricia Brace?

Why, yes. Yes, it is. And Patricia Brace would be our own Patti, who pledges nuthin’ but the furniture, packs ammo for a dueling banjo, creates verb names until she’s stopped with a rubber mallet, and goes two kilometers down a mineshaft to set records for choral singing underground.

Congratulations on the publication of such a beautiful book.

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