4/22/14

From the TBR Shelf: Emily Post by Laura Claridge


http://media.al.com/entertainment-press-register/photo/emily-post-bookjpg-b3cd02027b8d6886_medium.jpgEmily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners (2008) by Laura Claridge

I'm not really sure why I requested this audiobook from the library a few months ago, but request it I did, and listen to it I most certainly did, and I'm here to say that it was worth it- every minute of it.

Emily Post: to me, that name conjures up a hazy impression of something-something-table-manners and something-or-other politeness. And something about advice. Other than that, I knew nothing about the woman whose name has become synonymous with those nouns I just mentioned. But then the book jogged my memory- I remembered having heard that she and I share a birthday. What I hadn't known, though, was that we also share a birthplace: Baltimore. I know- freaky.

4/21/14

Rachel's Random Recommendation #30: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a3/Middlesex_novel.jpg/220px-Middlesex_novel.jpgMiddlesex (2002) by Jeffrey Eugenides


I read this wonderful novel fairly recently, even though I had wanted to read it for years. And I have to tell ya, folks- IT'S PRETTY OUTSTANDING.

Now, if you've read Eugenides before, you'll know this "outstanding" thing already. If you haven't yet read Eugenides, well- I've only read Middlesex so far, but I imagine his other books are also pretty great.

The Dorothys of Crime Fiction

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRrrB-7ypmoih1KJrqx7vtjazNJTaxvFvnQpOwwMwk46jlvG-_epQIt’s April, and as many of you know, I spent the previous month immersing myself in crime fiction. (Now I’m immersed in the 1100+-page novel that is Cryptonomicon, but that’s a different story…).

Aaaanyway, while I was bringing myself up to speed (speedily) on the history of American crime fiction, I noticed something…interesting. Lots of detective/crime/mystery writers were named “Dorothy.”

And like I said, it’s April, and the Dorothy in my life (my Grandma Dorothy) would be 99 this month if she were alive today. She was vivacious, she was dynamic, she commanded attention and was loved by friends and family alike. And she loved a good story.

So, in honor of my Grandma Dorothy and her April birthday, I hereby introduce you to six Dorothys of crime fiction:

4/16/14

Books to Get You in the Passover Spirit

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It’s that time again, ladies and gents: that’s right, the Passover and Easter season. Easter bunnies everywhere, Manischewitz wine flying off the shelves- you know the drill.

We’ll be celebrating both in my house, and I’m the one in charge of the Passover seder, but boy am I not prepared this year because it kind of snuck up on me. So along with thinking about all the things I have to buy for the seder and everything I have to cook, I started thinking about some books that could help get us in the mood for this holiday.

After all, Passover is quite the bookish tradition since everyone sits around a table and, you know, READS FROM A BOOK (this particular book is called a “haggadah”). The haggadah recounts the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt.

Books to Look For (April): Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Humor

Science Fiction

http://edelweiss-assets.abovethetreeline.com/MM/images/jacket_covers/flyout/9780765328700_03c05.jpgShipstar by Gregory Benford & Larry Niven (Tor Books, 416 pages, April 8)

I read Larry Niven's crazy and fun adventure that was Ringworld several years ago, and Shipstar looks similarly awesome. A sequel to Benford and Niven's Bowl of Heaven, Shipstar is about a human ship-on its way to colonize another planet-that encounters a huge bowl cupping a star, with a massive habitable area. Of course, the humans go exploring and all kinds of bad things go down. Add this one to your TBR list.


4/15/14

From the TBR Shelf: Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson


http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080724105005/baroquecycle/images/0/0f/Cover_of_Cryptonomicon_Trade_PB_9780380788620.jpgCryptonomicon (1999) by Neal Stephenson

First of all, this is a long book. A VERY long book. As in, 1130 pages. Every one of which I enjoyed.

So if you're into cryptography, computers, World War II history, submarines, the Philippines, or engineering, you'll love this book. And even if you are only interested in one or two of those things, and know little of the others, you'll still enjoy the story (i.e. I know some WWII history and a little bit about the Phillipines during the Spanish-American War and beyond, but all I know about computers and cryptography is what happened to stick in my mind when people have tried to explain it to me).

4/9/14

Books to Look For (April): History, Comics/Graphic Novels, & Travel

History

http://edelweiss-assets.abovethetreeline.com/MM/images/jacket_covers/flyout/9780374172992_50d66.jpgHotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War by Amanda Vaill (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 464 pages, April 22)

I don't know about you, but I always connect the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) to writers like Hemingway, Orwell, and Auden- probably because that's the only time I learned about that conflict. Vaill, though, takes us deeper into the background of those who joined the Spanish Republican side: writers, journalists, and photographers who shaped how we think about truth in reporting and the rise of photojournalism.


4/8/14

Breaking Into Crime Fiction

hammettIn the spirit of a “reading challenge,” I decided earlier this year to devote the entire month of March to crime fiction (mostly American). Why that particular genre? It had been beckoning to me furiously after I devoured five Agatha Christie novels in one gulp a couple of years ago, but there were always other books claiming my attention. After all, 90% of my TBR shelf is literary fiction or history; I simply didn’t own any contemporary crime fiction. Now, I had read Capote’s In Cold Blood, Poe’s mysteries, Collins’s The Moonstone, and all of the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, but I wanted to get a better sense of the 20th-century American scene (basically beginning with Hammett in the 1930s). I wanted to understand what “noir” was really like on paper (since I had seen plenty of it on film and tv).

So I asked my fellow Rioters and bookish twitter buddies for some recommendations and whittled them down to seven novels. I chose them based on the following criteria:

4/7/14

Rachel's Random Recommendation #29: The Moon and Sixpence by W. S. Maugham

http://diaryofafuturegoldengirl.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/moon_sixpence.jpgThe Moon and Sixpence (1919) by W. Somerset Maugham

This lovely novel by Maugham (who also wrote the autobiographical masterpiece Of Human Bondage [1915]) takes its inspiration from the life of French artist Paul Gauguin. Charles Strickland, a middle-aged English stockbroker, decides one day to abandon his banal life in order to devote himself to painting. Leaving his wife and career for an unknown future, Strickland embraces an existence fully devoted to creativity, and while his abrupt renunciation of his past life may seem callous, his courage to pursue something socially deemed "impractical" for something he loves is also inspiring.

And if you're into novels about painters, also see Émile Zola's The Masterpiece (1886), which is based on the life of Paul Cézanne.

4/4/14

Haunting Beauty: Apex Magazine's Cover Art

http://www.apex-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ApexMag300.jpgAlright, guys, you know that I'm a major lover of vivid and funky sci-fi/fantasy cover art (refresh your memory here if necessary). So you won't be surprised when I fall all over myself to show you some of the beautiful images recently (and not so recently) featured on the cover of Apex Magazine.

Like great literature, great art invites you to make connections across time and space, recognizing older, influential works in newly-painted landscapes or portraits. This is what happened when I looked at recent Apex covers, particularly those featuring solitary female figures. Below are four of my favorites:

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