Lori's Book Nook

Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

Here, and at my more general, more absurd blog, I’m updating my links to include David’s Very Short Novels, Azahar’s Casa Az, and Archies’ Archive.

It’s about time, since I visit rather regularly, and they seem to visit me.

Enjoy their sites, if you haven’t gone already.

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My hubby sent me a link today that he thought might interest me. It’s a post on James Sherrett’s blog, on his website for his book “Up in Ontario”.  The blog post in question is about Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, and other writing he’s done.

Now, as my loyal reader(s) will know, I’m reading Pollan’s book right now, with the crew at BookTalk.org — and it’s a very readable book.

What you may also know is that I’m currently producing a forum on food security — this book is so damned relevant that I’m going to get a bookstore in town to cross-promote his store with our event, and come to the event with a number of the books to sell.

But what you may not know is that James Sherrett was one of the first presenters at the Shebeen Club in its inaugural first few months (before it had its own name!) — a club that I helped found, and unfortunately, I am no longer close enough to go to every month.

Everything is connected.

Found this concept on Chelsea’s Blog on Vox. I’ve never really thought about this, but here are some of her faves:

7. Mercutio, from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Although Romeo has become synonymous with romantic lovers, he never did much for me. Far from being loyal, he actually strikes me as inconstant; if it hadn’t been for the forbidden nature of his and Juliet’s relationship, they would have been over each other within two weeks, tops. But Mercutio- there’s loyalty. He’s well aware of the stupidity of the feud but remains loyal to the Montagues nevertheless, ultimately laying down his life. The cynical bitterness of the character is also intriguing, as is his obvious intelligence and his sharp sense of humor.

6. Rhett Butler, from Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Rhett Butler is the only traditional romantic hero to appear on this list; he’s pretty much the prototypical rakehell that’s starred in every Harlequin or Mills & Boone romance since then. Scarlett was absolutely crazy not to recognize what she had; Rhett may not be perfect but he was perfect for her. Like he said, they were both “scoundrels.” His devotion to his daughter was also charming; his brokenness after the death of Bonnie Blue remains one of the most heart wrenching things I’ve ever read.

5. Inigo Montoya, from The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern abridged by William Goldman. Westley is nice, I suppose, but at his core he’s pretty dull, and why he loves Buttercup (who may be beautiful but is as dumb as a box of hair) is beyond me. Give me the tortured soul of Inigo Montoya, seeking to avenge his father by killing the six-fingered man. Inigo’s athleticism, skill, and dedication are all worthy attributes.

I don’t think I’ve ever crushed on a literary character. I have favourite heros, of course. Samwise Gamgee, ZorroMiles Vorkosigan, and Friti Tailchaser to name a few.  But I am curious about who other people have had crushes on. Share them with me.

Today would be a good day to comment on the classic SF genre of dystopian lit. You know the books: 1984, A Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale…books about totalitarian governments that use media manipulation and torture, among other techniques, to control their populations.

Why today? If you’ve been sleeping the last couple of days, then you may have missed the scary news that the Shrub, and the USA, are well on their way to bringing the nightmare of the dystopian world view to reality…the Powers That Be can now torture to their cold hearts’ content. Here’s raincoaster on the topic, and Metro.

On a related note, here is Creatrix on the state of art education in the USA — a report that again makes me glad I don’t live there.

Dystopian literature is supposed to be a labratory for what should not be, not a blueprint for the way a government could function…

A friend (who has recently entered the blog-world, here) lent me a book today, Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction by Tom Rabbe.

biblioholism is defined as: “the habitual longing to purchase, read, store, admire and consume books in excess”

This helps, ’cause it’s not necessarily about just reading. Browsing books, touching them, admiring their covers, typeface, smell…even owning them — all of these are sometimes more important than actually reading them.

An example of a book that encompasses all that is beautiful about books — Tree: A Life Story by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady, with original art by Robert Bateman. (The Amazon Look Inside here.) This book is physically beautiful. Obviously, with Bateman art, but it is more than that: it is a lovely small book, with a gorgeous typeface, pages designed with the reader in mind. The text is wonderful as well — the authors follow the life of a douglas-fir, from its first moments as a seed to the final stages as it decomposes, drawing the reader in with historical glimpses to give the tree a moment on our timeline of human history, and weaving science into the prose in easily manageable doses.

When I found I was going to meet one of the design team from Greystone (Douglas & McIntyre), I was excited…I wanted to express my utter admiration for such a beautiful work of art.

Yup. Books are for more than just reading.

Sometimes, book-movie-life connections all fall into place, in that instant of far-seeing understanding.

Today it happened while surfing over to one of my ‘regular read’ blogs, Tian’s Hanzi Smatter.  (He was just featured in the latest issue of Macleans magazine, so he’s getting a lot of hits right now.) This guy collects instances of epidermal stupidity — white folk getting Asian tattoos, usually Chinese characters, that they don’t understand.

A tattoo, does not come off (easily or painlessly), unlike, say paint, or ink…as was used in the rather disturbing but erotic film The Pillow Book

…where references are made to The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon over a thousand years ago in Japan. It’s quite a lovely book, essentially a collection of observations, thoughts, and gossip by a woman in the royal court.

But don’t read about it, read it — or excerpts of it — here.

In so many ways, the Doomsday book is important. It is the earliest surviving public record in Britain. It’s history. Public policy. Art.

The National Archives now has it online, and searchable. Check it out here.

Thanks to my buddy Nag, on her Private Book Club blog, for bringing this to my attention last week. Since then, I’ve seen it in two newspapers.

Good. I’m glad it’s newsworthy.


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!