Archive for June, 2015

In Praise of Bound Books

Posted June 12, 2015 By Jandy
 

Book ShelfRight now I’m reading The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. It is a memoir of his mother’s life after her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer that has spread. This is a terminal diagnosis. There are lots of thoughts to ponder in this book. This one tickles me and is a good definition:

“One of the many things I love about bound books is their sheer physicality. Electronic books are out of sight and out of mind. But printed books have body, presence. Sure, sometimes they’ll elude you by hiding in improbably places: in a box full of old picture frames, say, or in the laundry basket, wrapped in a sweatshirt. But at other times they’ll confront you, and you’ll literally stumble over some tomes you hadn’t thought about in weeks or years. I often seek electronic books, but they never come after me. They may make me feel, but I can’t feel them. They are all soul with no flesh, no texture, and no weight. They can get in your head but can’t whack you upside it.”

Book I often talk about the feel of holding a print book. An electronic book just isn’t the same. But that electronic book weighs less in the suitcase than five to ten print books. Plus I can get an electronic book any time I’m ready to start it, even if I purchase it or borrow it from the library at midnight. That print book, though, sits in that pile waiting for me, shows off its cover when I’m reaching for a different one in Mt. Bookpile, or has Nora Roberts’ or Jim Butcher’s or Connie Willis’  signature in it, or sits on the shelf showing off a complete series waiting for me to read it again (Are Amelia Peabody or James Herriot calling my name? When I have time…).

Schwalbe captured the feelings quite well.

Book Review: The Paper Magician

Posted June 11, 2015 By Jandy

by Charlie N. Holmberg

When sheThe Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg finishes Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony Twill wants to be a Smelter magician. Although she is at the top of her class, she isn’t allowed to choose. Instead she is assigned to be a Paper magician. Paper! That is such a weak classification, nothing like working with metal. But it’s either accept the Paper bonding or give up magic completely. She doesn’t want to become a household servant so she accepts the position.

Master Magician Emery Thane is one of the few remaining paper magicians in the world. He takes Ceony as his apprentice. He has an animated paper skeleton as his butler and makes a paper dog to keep Ceony company. She quickly learns the art and precision of folding and how to animate her creations. An incorrect fold will ruin the whole design and prevent the magic from working. He teaches her how to bring stories to life while reading a book.

Ceony is on her own for a few days while Mg. Thane takes care of Magician Council business. Shortly after he returns, his arm injured, another magician appears in their home.

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Book Review: One Thousand White Women

Posted June 7, 2015 By Jandy

One Thousand White Women by Jim FergusOne Thousand White Women by Jim Ferguson
5 stars

Chief Little Wolf of the Cheyenne Indian nation met with President Grant with a proposition for future peace in the United States. The Cheyenne believe that all children belong to the  mother’s tribe. He proposes that the President provide 1,000 white wives to the Cheyenne. All babies born to these women would belong to the white race. Thus the two tribes of peoples would merge peacefully.

Although President Grant refuses initially, the program gets surprising support from women across the country. May Dodd, a Chicago socialite whose father had her locked in an insane asylum, is one of the women in the first group of volunteers for the grand social experiment. They are representing their country by joining with the Cheyenne. May keeps a journal of her travels.

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