Archive for October, 2008

Haunted Libraries

Posted October 31, 2008 By Jandy

It’s Halloween. Check out at/of one of these libraries.

Haunted Libraries

Word Picture

Posted October 29, 2008 By Jandy

Sunlight crashed into the Cloister garden…

From Anathem by Neal Stephenson


Posted October 19, 2008 By Jandy

The problem with moving from one home to a new one is – packing, of course.

We’re moving in about a month. That gives me 30 days to pack up everything, including 1,200* books or so. I’ll need to label the book boxes so I keep Mt. Bookpile separate from those I’ve read. I’ll want to keep genres together because that’s how I shelve the paperbacks. The hardbacks are partially within genres, but the rest are in alpha by author.

One of the good things about moving is that I’ll gain a couple more book shelves. The person I live with has some in storage that he’ll take out when we move. I believe there’s plenty of wall space at our new place for them. That means I can take them out of the boxes and bags I used as a temporary solution when my daughter took a shelf when she moved to her new place in June. That also means I should have extra shelf space again. Currently what I do have is overflowing…

My DVD’s were easy to pack. They’re light. I was able to put them into shopping bags with handles. Many of my clothes will go into suitcases that sit on the shelf empty. The cats will go in their carriers. But everything else requires boxes. I’d better go find more…

*My brother and his wife recently moved over 1,500 books.

Classic Literature Online

Posted October 13, 2008 By Jandy

Crome Yellow by Aldous HuxleyWhen I check my web pages for statistics, I notice that the classic fiction I’ve read are the reviews with the highest hit counts. I’m sure a lot of that is students doing book reports trying to plagiarize other people’s ideas. But hopefully there are other interested people as well.

I just finished Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley. I knew what I was getting out of the books – lots of philosophical ideas – and wondered what others thought. I happened to stumble across a new site that is very helpful for the people checking out the classics in their reading.

The Literature Network has “over 1900 full books and over 3000 short stories and poems by over 250 authors”. They also have a quotation database with over 8,500 quotes. Crome Yellow is one of the novels available online.

Since most of my reading is mostly surface reading stories, it was heartening to see that I had read this short novel correctly. I was finding the depths of the tale. Of course, I think it would be very difficult to miss it – Crome Yellow has little in the way of action and a lot in the way of talk and ideas. I also discovered that although this book was written over 80 years ago, the ideas are still fresh and discussed today.

Charles Martin

Posted October 7, 2008 By Jandy

My daughter (Have Pen, Will Travel) loves the books Charles Martin has written. I’ve now read two of them, the most recent being When Crickets Cry.

When Crickets Cry by Charles MartinWhat a powerful book! The basic story line is fairly predictable from the first two or three chapters. But the process of getting there is the tale. It is written in both the present and the past, because it is the past events that ultimately affect the present ones for someone totally disconnected from the narrator’s past.

A seven-year-old hopeful, Pollyanna-type girl, Annie, needs a heart transplant. Her parents have died. She lives with her aunt who works three or four jobs to pay for Annie’s medical bills. Reese, the late-30’s year-old man, helps Annie in the beginning when she is hit by a car. He’s the narrator and the reader quickly learns he he hiding a secret and hiding from life. Currently he restore boats, is a widower, lives next door to his blind brother-in-law, and hangs out at the local Christian bar (yes, you read that right).

Wrapped in Rain by Charles MartinMartin then tells Reese’ and Annie’s stories in a tone reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks but not as schmaltzy. It wrenches the emotions, though. Wrapped in Rain, the other novel by Charles Martin I’ve read, is similar in writing style and tone. Again, it’s a strong book the hooks the reader right in.

His work falls into Christian fiction, but it’s not preachy fiction. Martin portrays our imperfect world with all its flaws and doesn’t hit the reader over the head on how to fix things. Instead, he concentrates on what his characters need rather than what the reader may need.

I think I’d better not wait two more years before I read another book by this author.

Best Paid Authors

Posted October 6, 2008 By Jandy

Check out Forbes’ list of Best Paid Authors in the world.

I notice that all these authors are British or American. I wonder if there are other authors who should be on this list who write in different languages?