Monthly Archives: April 2012

Quotable Monday: Louisa May Alcott

Love is a great beautifier.


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Filed under Books, Local Author, Louisa May Alcott, Quotes, Women Writers

Cat Map – Cats in Libraries

Cats and books (and book lovers!) have always just… gone together.  How many times have you read a book with a cat nestled on your lap? Or your chest? Or, more likely, on the book?  Kitties are the perfect reading companions – most definitely in the winter – and seem to even regularly find themselves in small bookshops and local libraries.

If, like me, you’re fascinated by these cats and love following them around the shop just as much as you enjoy browsing the merchandise, you might like to know WHERE you can find these cats.  Iron Frog Productions has a website dedicated entirely to showing you where these cats are (and have been historically) around the world in their Library Cats Map!

The map is easy to browse by country and state (for those of us here in the US).  Check it out and see if there are any near you!

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Filed under Books, Cats, Library

The Anne Boleyn Collection by Claire Ridgway

Title: The Anne Boleyn Collection
Author: Claire Ridgway
The Anne Boleyn Files:  http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/

Like Anne Boleyn?  Curious about the real Tudor history?  If so, then Claire Ridgway’s book, The Anne Boleyn Collection, and her site (The Anne Boleyn Files) should both be high on your list to check out.  As I’ve divulged in this blog, quite recently I became smitten with the tale of Anne Boleyn.  I will admit that my first draw was based on the fiction surrounding her life, but it really pushed me to seek out some sources for getting to the bottom of the reality — well, as much as we CAN get to the bottom of it.

One of the first websites that pulled up in my search was The Anne Boleyn Files –  a collection of thought-provoking and intriguing articles about various topics relevant to Anne Boleyn.  SO, when I discovered that the site’s maintainer, Claire Ridgway, came out with a book, I snapped it up immediately.

This first collection runs through Anne’s life from the beginning to the end.  There are a few articles about the OTHER players of the time – the OTHER wives of Henry VIII and the ladies in waiting who tended to Anne during her years in the King’s favor.  In addition to learning heaps about one of my favorite women from history, I thoroughly enjoyed reading something written by another woman who is equally as enthusiastic about her and her story.  In fact, most of the book reads like a conversation, so at times you feel as though you’re sitting across from Ridgway and she’s sharing some of her vast breadth of knowledge, passion, and opinions with you.

In other words – I highly recommend this collection AND that you check out her site!  Also – keep your eyes open for her upcoming release, The Fall of Anne Boleyn.

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Tudors

Quotable Monday: Wanting – Sylvia Plath style

I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people that  I want and live all the lives that I want.  I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.  And I am horribly limited.

Sylvia Plath

I find myself feeling this way quite frequently.  I guess that this is a big part of WHY I love Sylvia Plath oh-so-very much.

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Filed under American Author, American Poetry, Quotes, Sylvia Plath, Women Writers

Yesterday by W.S. Merwin

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Filed under American Poetry, Poetry, W.S. Merwin

Hello, hello!

Sorry – I’ve been MIA once again.  There are some things going on right now (exciting, happy things) that have been consuming my free time, mind, and energy, so I haven’t been able to dedicate enough time to my blog.  This makes me sad.  Luckily, right now I’m in the “sit, wait, and be patient” phase of the happy, exciting thing, so I need can funnel my energy back to where I truly love it to be – writing!

Now, for catching up…!  Hopefully I’ll be back to the routine of the daily postings this week.  For now, I’d like to share an interesting “find” of mine on Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/penguinbooksusa/

Lots of cute book-y pins on there!! Enjoy!

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Filed under 2012

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Title:  No Country for Old Men
Author:  Cormac McCarthy
Length:  320 pages
HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Another library book!  I’m on a roll with utilizing my local library.  I watched No Country for Old Men about a year ago.  I loved it.  I watched it immediately after reading and watching The Road by the same author.  I had a fever for McCarthy novels.

I won’t lie to you, however – I tried reading Blood Meridian and couldn’t get past the first chapter.  I really need to amp my brain up before I dive into that novel – and the reasons for my difficulty getting into that novel are the same as my reasons for being so totally in love with The Road and No Country for Old Men.

But, first, a synopsis of No Country for Old Men:

Set in our own time along the bloody frontier between Texas and Mexico, this is Cormac McCarthy’s first novel since Cities of the Plain completed his acclaimed, best-selling Border Trilogy.

Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, instead finds men shot dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. Packing the money out, he knows, will change everything. But only after two more men are murdered does a victim’s burning car lead Sheriff Bell to the carnage out in the desert, and he soon realizes how desperately Moss and his young wife need protection. One party in the failed transaction hires an ex–Special Forces officer to defend his interests against a mesmerizing freelancer, while on either side are men accustomed to spectacular violence and mayhem. The pursuit stretches up and down and across the border, each participant seemingly determined to answer what one asks another: how does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?

A harrowing story of a war that society is waging on itself, and an enduring meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape destinies, No Country for Old Men is a novel of extraordinary resonance and power.

I can attest that the book is as gritty, dark, and powerful as the above description leads one to believe.  It’s probably a good policy to not pick up any of McCarthy’s novels when you’re in search of something light, love-y, or something that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy in your heart.  If you do, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

The narrative hops around between the characters – the good guys, the bad guys, and the “??” guys.  McCarthy, as always, sticks true to the vernacular of the characters, which is both refreshing and a challenge.  On more than one occasion, I had to re-read a paragraph two or three times or take a step back at the beginning of a chapter to figure out who the pronouns referred back to.  There are cuts, shifts in narrative, and please leave your love of quotation marks at the door…  this is truly a unique and challenging read.  And I love, love, love McCarthy for it.

The reader doesn’t have a front row seat to all of the action, but we’re made aware of what happens.  Even if it isn’t exactly what we expect (or want) to happen.  The chaos that plays out in the lives of the characters in the book serve as a nice parallel for the chaos that ensues in the world around us, every single day, start to finish.  I won’t lie – the character of Sheriff Bell voices some of my own thoughts, concerns, and fears about society on more than one occasion.

So, in parting:

I read in the papers here a while back some teachers came across a survey that was sent out back in the thirties to a number of schools around the country. Had this questionnaire about what was the problems with teachin in the schools. And they come across these forms, they’d been filled out and sent in from around the country answerin these questions. And the biggest problems they could name was things like talkin in class and runnin in the hallways. Chewin gum. Copyin homework. Things of that nature. So they got one of them forms that was blank and printed up a bunch of em and sent em back out to the same schools. Forty years later. Well, here come the answers back. Rape, arson, murder. Drugs. Suicide. So think about that. Because a lot of the time when I say anything about how the world is goin to hell in a handbasket people will just sort of smile and tell me I’m gettin old. That it’s one of the symptoms. But my feelin about that is that anybody that cant tell the difference between rapin and murderin people and chewin gum has got a whole lot bigger of a problem than what I’ve got. Forty years is not a long time neither. Maybe the next forty of it will bring some of em out from under the ether. If it aint too late.

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Filed under American Author, Cormac McCarthy, Fiction

Monday Quote: No Country for Old Men

Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding. How could you? A person’s path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning.

Cormac McCarthy – No Country for Old Men

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