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Showing posts from January, 2014

Poetry Wednesday: cats and you and me

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cats and you and methe Egyptians loved the cat were often entombed with it
instead of with the child
and never with the dog.

and now
here
good people with
the souls of cats
are very few

yet here and now many
fine cats
with great style
lounge about
in the alleys of
the universe.

about
our argument tonight
whatever it was
about
and
no matter
how unhappy
it made us
feel

remember that
there is a
cat
somewhere
adjusting to the
space of itself
with a calm
and delightful
ease.

in other words
magic persists with
or without us
no matter how
we may try to
destroy it

and I would
destroy the last chance for
myself
that this might always
continue.

by Charles Bukowski
from The Night Torn Mad with Footsteps. © Black Sparrow Press, 2001.  Courtesy of The Writer's Almanac

Poetry Wednesday: Let America Be America Again

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Let America Be America Again
Let America be America again.  Let it be the dream it used to be.  Let it be the pioneer on the plain  Seeking a home where he himself is free.  (America never was America to me.)  Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--  Let it be that great strong land of love  Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme  That any man be crushed by one above.  (It never was America to me.)  O, let my land be a land where Liberty  Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,  But opportunity is real, and life is free,  Equality is in the air we breathe.  (There's never been equality for me,  Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")  Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?  And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?  I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,  I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.  I am the red man driven from the land,  I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--  And finding only the same old stupid plan  Of dog eat dog, of mi…

Reading Important Tomes: The Weighty Books List

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Carole and I have taken on Weighty Books, and I think it's going to be fun.

We are members of a book club whose members chat about books online and meets for brunch a few times a year. Each club member chooses a book in turn. This group has helped me read more than a few books I wouldn't otherwise have read, and I've also chosen some good books myself for the club. (I've also chosen a few less-than-successful books, too, but I'm okay with that. You never know until you try, right?)

At a book club conference Carole and I attended in September, Carole had a great idea: read Weighty Books. These are books we always intended to read but, for some reason or another, didn't. At a certain point in life (namely, after college), there are fewer reasons or opportunities to read such books. Don Quixote? Crime and Punishment? Not always at the top of the must-read pile in our everyday world — and yet they are valuable reads.

Weighty books deserve time and atte…

Poetry Wednesday: El Beso

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El Beso
Twilight--and you  Quiet--the stars;  Snare of the shine of your teeth,  Your provocative laughter,  The gloom of your hair;  Lure of you, eye and lip;  Yearning, yearning,  Languor, surrender;  Your mouth,  And madness, madness,  Tremulous, breathless, flaming,  The space of a sigh;  Then awakening--remembrance,  Pain, regret--your sobbing;  And again, quiet--the stars,  Twilight--and you. by Angelina Weld Grimké Courtesy Academy of American Poets

Is There a Jar Big Enough?

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Book Riot blogger Rachel came up with a great way to plow through her To Be Read book stack: the Jar.

In this jar are the titles of all of the books you wish to read.

When the time comes to start a new book, you reach into the Jar and voilá! Your choice is made for you.

I like to think I can meet my book choosing needs, but I suspect that's not the case. I have an autographed copy of The Poisoner's Handbook that I've been meaning to read, and now PBS American Experience is featuring the book.

I also have the same plan for Wild and The End of Your Life Book Club, whose authors I met last year and whose books I am ready to read.

And yet none of those books are on my nightstand yet this month.

Will a jar help me get to all of the books I want to read, or am I just kidding myself? Would a jar help you? Will a jar help anyone with a serious book addiction?

Do I need to stop asking questions and start reading? I think we have a winner....

Summer Reading: Reflecting on Success

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Sand may have given way to snow, but don't let that stop you from thinking about your 2013 summer reading list! 

Did you get to all of the titles on your list, or did you take advantage of the sun and fun and — what am I thinking? Reading in the sun is fun!

Anyway, two fellow readers chimed in with their reading lists, and they were impressive! Karen and Stephanie were up to the challenge of Summer Reading and, between them, read 22 books. 

Karen and I were supposed to read Under the Dome together, but it was too gritty for me. Karen, on the other hand, sailed through and added a few other amazing titles to her list, including:
NextSepulchreThe Dead ZoneHeart of the SeaWuthering HeightsRose MadderMidnight in the Garden of Good and EvilThe Lost WorldMidnight BayouUnder the DomePirate Latitudes She powered through a couple of powerhouse authors — Stephen King and Michael Crichton — and added a few other interesting writers to her list. A couple on her read-list are on my to-read list. Ma…

Review: House of Silk

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When you get your hands on The House of Silk — and trust me, you want to! — plan to do nothing for the next few days but read. Anthony Horowitz's novel is a rip-roaring, non-stop adventure with shocks and surprises on every page.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson may be the rage thanks to the BBC, but this book will do its part to boost his popularity.

The premise is intriguing: Watson recorded the details of a case so shocking, so awful, that it had to be kept sealed and hidden for a century after it occurred.

The story is simple — well, as simple as Holmes can permit. Holmes is approached by an art dealer who feels threatened by a figure stalking his home after he recently returned from American on a work-related matter. Is it the man from America come to seek revenge? Before we can answer that question, there is death, violence and a silk ribbon wrapped around the wrist of a street urchin. Thus they enter the House of Silk — something so diabolical, so secret that even th…