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Showing posts from April, 2012

Review: 2030

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Albert Brooks manages to hit just about every nerve in 2030.  There are no hovering cars, much to the dismay of sci-fi fans everywhere — but there are plenty of familiar things, and they've all gone awry.

Matthew Bernstein is the first Jewish president of the United States of America.  He is faced with a nation in dire straits: the number of "retirees" is growing unabated, now that many of the diseases that used to kill people are things of the past.  The cost of doing business continues to skyrocket, but the number of people contributing is decreasing.

The "American dream" of having a better, more successful life is a distant memory.  Brooks introduces us to a few of the players in 2030, including the President, his wife — and a surprising new relationship the President never saw coming.  We meet members of every generation — which, now that people have sufficient health to permit them to live comfortably into the triple digits.

What is a little scary is the …

Looking for Books in a Border-less World

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I miss My Borders.

The cultural blog/aggregator Flavorwire was kind enough this week to tell me about "10 of the Most Hilarious Memoirs You’ll Ever Read." Intrigued, I checked it out — and found a memoir that sounded really, really good:  Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by The Bloggess Jenny Lawson.


Two words: must have.


In the olden days, I'd have stopped by My Borders on the way home from the gym that night and picked up my copy, maybe even started reading it in the store (with a cookie and a latte from the café).  Alas, that is no longer my life.  Instead, I checked a couple of resources to see what this book would set me back. (For those of you keeping score at home, the publisher has set the manufacturer's suggested retail price, or MSRP, at $27.99.)  

Amazon featured it for $12.99, which was a fine price, but add in shipping and the fact I'd have to wait, and the price became less attractive. Plus, after seeing the cold, heartless i…

Get Ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day April 29!

Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 29. Are you ready?
Here's one to get you started — and you can check out Pocket Poems to see an entire book of fun, sometimes goofy, often profound poems for your pockets.

Pocket Poem
With a poem in your pocket and a pocket in your pants you can rock with new rhythms. You can skip. You can dance. And wherever you go, and whatever you do, that poem in your pocket is going there, too. You could misplace your homework. You could lose your left show. But that poem in your pocket will be part of you. And nothing can take it. And nothing can break it. That poem in your pocket becomes part of... YOU!
by Bobbi Katz

What's your pocket poem? Tell me!

Review: Plane Jane: A Novel of Jane Seymour

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Imagine if you are subject to the whims of a madman. You cannot refuse him. You cannot deny him. You must give him what he wants — or die. You know this to be true because other women have been in the same exact position and failed.

Plain Jane presents that very conundrum faced by Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry Tudor, known to the rest of the world, and history, as Henry VIII.

Jane is a woman who, as a child, overheard her parents describe her as unattractive, fit for a convent that they'd have to pay to take her. Her lot was to be overlooked in life and love. Or, at least, that's what she thought.

Life never happens the way one thinks.

Laurien Gardner presents a very realistic look at the Tudor court, and one of its pivotal characters. Jane is brought in as a lady-in-waiting for Queen Catherine, much beloved by the people of England and mother of Princess Mary — and numerous sons who did not live. Henry's eye alighted on the queen's French-styled lady-in-waitin…

It's National Poetry Month: Celebrate!

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When it comes to Desert Island Books, I have chosen two — and one of them is a poetry book.
I have loved Marge Piercy for decades. I fell in love with her book The Moon is Always Female and carried it around with me like a talisman, reading it for comfort in hard times, relying on it for entertainment in good times.
Before that, it was the collected books of Edna St. Vincent Millay. That collection accompanied me to Europe when I was 17, along with the book Forever by Judy Blume. (I let my aunt borrow Forever for forever, but she couldn't pry Edna out of my hands long enough to read more than a poem or two.)
I love poetry because I love language. Poets pay attention to language, using it sparsely, carefully, deliberately.  I love lineation and what it can do to a single line. I love the way rules are made to be broken in the hands of capable poets.
I don't always know what the poet wants to say. I can't say what I'm "supposed" to take away from any poem. I c…

Once a Theater, Now a Bookstore

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El Ateneo in Buenos Aires was once Teatro Gran Splendid, a theater built in 1919. 
Now, the only part that isn't jammed full of books is the box seats, which are used as reading rooms.

Thanks to Buzzfeed and whatthecool.com.

Celebrate National Library Week!

What do libraries mean to you?

To me, they mean possibility.

There are thousands, even millions, of books in libraries in every town. For no additional cost to patrons, books are available for reading. (Just return them on time — a challenge for even the most voracious reader!)

I have read the first two Fever books by Karen Marie Moning at the recommendation of my friend Karen and have been totally sucked into the world of Fae (and the sexy lead male character).

I perused (okay, totally read) The Happiness Project and realized I could be happy living in comfort on the Upper East Side, too — especially if I could write a book about how happy it made me. (I jest. It had some interesting information and ideas in it. Plus, I'd only be happy on the Upper West Side.)

I had only two days to try to (unsuccessfully) finish The Princess of Mars before I had to hand it over so these pesky Jane-come-latelys could discover John Carter. (Thanks, Disney, for your impeccable timing — though, in a…