Lori's Book Nook

You’re a reader. You’ve arrived at a reader’s page. Perhaps you’ve browsed around and see that we may share a taste in books. Well, here is an opportunity to leave me (and others) a book suggestion. The comments are open!!

It was just brought to my attention that the famous truly Canadian poem David by Earle Birney is now online!

This is a poem read by Canadian high school students, and I think for the most part they actually enjoy it, because while it’s long, it’s a clear story in a setting that many of them know and understand.

And here it is, courtesy of the University of Toronto Libraries — annotated even!

A sample:

2 All week in the valley for wages, in air that was steeped
3 In the wail of mosquitoes, but over the sunalive weekends
5 Poker, the wrangling, the snoring under the fetid
6 Tents, and because we had joy in our lengthening coltish
7 Muscles, and mountains for David were made to see over,
8 Stairs from the valleys and steps to the sun’s retreats.
II
10 To a curling lake and lost the lure of the faceted
11 Cone in the swell of its sprawling shoulders. Past
12 The inlet we grilled our bacon, the strips festooned
13 On a poplar prong, in the hurrying slant of the sunset.
14 Then the two of us rolled in the blanket while round us the cold
15 Pines thrust at the stars. The dawn was a floating
17 To snow like fire in the sunlight. The peak was upthrust
18 Like a fist in a frozen ocean of rock that swirled
19 Into valleys the moon could be rolled in. Remotely unfurling
20 Eastward the alien prairie glittered. Down through the dusty
23 Strides. I remember, before the larches’ edge,
24 That I jumped a long green surf of juniper flowing
26 Spilled on the moss. Then the darkening firs
27 And the sudden whirring of water that knifed down a fern-hidden
28 Cliff and splashed unseen into mist in the shadows.
It goes on…a story of friendship and tragedy and growth. Truly quite spellbinding for a poem.

Ernie Cline is the Numero Uno geek on the Internet…or at least the one who has carved out his niche of geekdom, and becoming successful for actually being a geek.

Spoken word…a screenplay actually produced (that would be the Star Wars homage, Fanboys), and now a novel — Ready Player One:

an homage to 80s geekdom

Simply put, the novel is a distopic look at our world in a possible near future, where all energy is focused on one enormous simulation game…which is, for various reasons, absolutely replete with 80s pop culture references and recreations. Did I mention it features video games? And it has references to absolutely everything and anything that was popular in a pretty limited time frame…

Not enough for you? The audio book, which I am in the midst of right now, is read by Mr. Wil Weaton!

And it’s a good yarn! Thanks, Ernie!

I’m not a big coffee-table-book consumer. This actually surprises me, since I absolutely love photography, and consider myself a decent amateur photographer.  (My flickr.com profile!)

Maybe I like my books nicely wrangled on shelves.

But, I am a purist. My love affair with digital photography has absolutely nothing to do with its myriad possibilities, and everything to do with storage. While I appreciate the wonders that can be accomplished with a digital toolkit, deep down inside I truly believe that a photo that needs to be re-touched is not a good photo.

Maybe it’s a theme — my coffee black, my music a little unhinged, my fiction a bit wild, and my photography untouched.

Which brings me to the book Untouched — photography by Johnny Rozsa

Untouched cover

From Untouched by Johnny Rozsa copyright © 2010, published by Glitterati Incorporated.

This one was passed on to me by raincoaster, who received it from Glitterati Incorporated themselves….And it’s a gorgeous book, a collection of completely un-retouched photos from 30 years of Johnny Rozsa‘s career.

A sample…showing us that yes, Angelica Huston never needed touching up to be absolute perfection:

The always gorgeous Angelica Huston

And the colourful Leigh Bowery and the rather tragic Trojan (a model who died in 1986 at 20):

The unusual Leigh Bowery and Trojan

The rest of the book is a who’s-who of the famous, the not-so-famous, the beautiful and the interesting…in uncompromising photos. Rozsa definitely has a vision, and this thick tome captures it well.

This fabulous video-fied talk of Stephen Fry‘s reminded me this morning of what I find fabulous about language:

I may get itchy Sharpie fingers when I see signs with inappropriately-placed apostrophes, and I still geek-out to things like my friend’s t-shirt that reads “Does anal retentive have a hyphen?” [Answer: depends on your style sheet?], but give me rich, frenzied writing any day over the terse and uptight.

Give me the verbal lushness and inconsistency of spelling and punctuation of Keri Hulme’s The Bone People (which I’ve already blogged about here)….

…. or the crazy richness of image that is The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (again, previously blogged here)….

…. or the rich neologisms of Earle Birney (see AngloSaxon Street in this post).

Your favourites?

Lori

So the other day, I was alone in a little restaurant near my work, having a late lunch…and I was bookless! And notebook-less, and newspaper-less…I’m sure you get the picture.

The guy sitting a couple of tables over was also eating alone…[DIGRESSION: I was told once that the friendly Philippine people will go out of their way to ensure that a friend/co-worker/what-have-you does not eat alone. Then there are cultures where people turn away when they're eating or drinking, for privacy. What a lovely odd world we live in.]

So, this guy was eating alone…no, I did not join him. He was completely en-booked. He didn’t need anyone. But he was not just reading, he was reading, margin-note-taking, notebook-note-taking…rather frantically.

And there was me, so bereft of reading material that I frantically tried to see the cover of the paperback he was perusing so thoroughly, just to read something!

Do I want to read like that? No. I may take the odd note, and if I were to get an ereader, I’d want one with note-taking capability, but I have no need to be obsessive about it. What I resolve to do is to ensure that I’ve got a book (or something!) with me at all times. I can’t believe I’ve come to this point, where I have to remind myself to carry reading material!

Plus, I want to blog more — about books and reading, obviously. Perhaps not the Post-A-Day challenge, but at least the Post-A-Week. We’ll see how that goes.

Read on!

My #1 pleasure in life? Browsing in a bookstore, esp. a second-hand bookstore, or one with piles of discount, ‘remaindered’ books…I love the never knowing of rummaging these piles.

Anyone else with me? (If you’re ever in Victoria, check out Munro’s Books, for those sale tables and extensive selection of new books)

Today’s treasures:

The Book of Martyrdom & Artifice: First Journals and Poems 1937-1952, Allen Ginsberg.

Random excerpt (p168 in my copy):

“January 13 [1947]

Tried tea and junk tonite for second time.

Hip conversation:

“You bug me.”

“I bug you?”

“Yeah, you bug me.”

“I bug you.”

“You bet you bug me.”

“Well, you bug me.”

“So, I bug you.”

Hmm. Art?

I also picked up Rita Mae Brown‘s memoir, Rita Will: Memoir of a Literary Rabble-Rouser. First couple of chapters are fun…but then her writing is always fun.

Well, I seem to have been in a gay mood, now that I look at it. Must have been the discussion this morning over breakfast about the local baker who discriminates against those of alternate sexual persuasion. Guess where I don’t buy cupcakes?

Lori

Every once in awhile someone hands me a book and says “Read this!” Sometimes it’s because (1) they’ve written it,  (2) they’ve tasked me with reviewing, (3) they think we have the same taste, or (4) they know we have the same taste….

The best is (4), of course. So when my friend handed me a book, saying “you must read this!” — I believed her.

Nick Harkaway’s The Gone-Away World (2008)….a book that blew me away as much as the original movie The Matrix. It’s speculative fiction from word ‘go’ — you know from the first that this is not our current reality (maybe it’s the pig-run generator?), and you also know right from the start that this will be an experience. The writing is fast, furious and delightfully…uh…fucked up.

Do not read any more reviews of this book: Reviewers are notoriously awful at keeping the best bits secret. Do not ask anyone else about this book:  They might let out a spoiler or two.

I will allow you a quote or two, because really, the writing it out-of-this-world. Here’s one of my favourites:

“You have to worry about someone even mimes find creepy.”

You get no more from me on this…find it. Read it.

Cheers,

Lori

Book Discussion Pages

Here on the Book Nook you can discuss: The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, as well as the next two books in the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore and World of Wonders, and if that's not enough for you, see what's up on the forums at BookTalk.org!
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.