Monthly Archives | July 2011

The borrower

The Borrower

I’ll admit I picked this book up because I liked the tagline, She borrowed a child. He stole her. Lucy Hull who is a children’s librarian runs away with Ian Drake when she finds him hiding out in the library one morning. She’s always enjoyed him when he visited the library, even if she did worry over his mother and the insistance that Ian only be allowed borrow books with the “breath of God” in them. And definitely not those ones with magic and satanism in them!

And then Lucy finds a note making her believe that Ian is being sent to anti-gay classes. She isn’t really kidnapping him, she is rescuing him.

The chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

chimps of fauna sanctuary

A true story of resilience and recovery

In Fauna Sanctuary Gloria Grow rescues animals. There are dogs, horses, swans, a donkey, and of course the chimpanzees. Most were retired from research facilities where they were the subjects of medical research into Hepatitis, HIV, and the like. There are a few who were circus chimps. Some of them started life as pets, cute little chimps to dress up and play with, until they grew too big and strong and dangerous. Anyone who heard of Travis and his attack on Charla Nash knows that a chimp is not to be taken lightly. And yet people continue to try and keep them as domestic pets.

In this book Westoll spent a year working in the Fauna Sanctuary. He gets to know not only the people who work there but also the chimpanzees themselves, and their horrific lives spent as test subjects, being knocked out, biopsied, infected, and isolated.

Dune

Dune

The actual review

After three question and answer sessions I’m not sure how many of you want to read more about Dune, but I want to gether my thoughts after all the back and forth between peoples. Well done to Carl for coming up with this, and all the questioners for their questions which prompted all those answers.

Dune is one of those books that most people have heard of, or they have heard of the film, it is one of the classics of science fiction. I had the impression that this was a great and sprawling book, full of overly complicated ideas and strange notions. It isn’t. Well, maybe it does have some strange notions, but many of them are cool. And it certainly isn’t overly complicated, in fact it is quite a straight-forward action/adventure story. Mixed with just a hint of coming-of-age, all stirred together in a heap of sci-fi-ness.

Dune (round iii)

Dune

The final questions for the Dune group read are:

  1. What is your reaction to finally learning the identity of Princess Irulan? Do you think that her convention added to the story?
  2. Were you satisfied with the ending? For those reading for the first time, was it what you expected?
  3. On both Arrakis and Salusa Secundus, ecology plays a major role in shaping both characters and the story itself. Was this convincing? Do you think that Paul would have gone through with his threat to destroy the spice, knowing what it would mean for Arrakis?
  4. Both Leto and Paul made their decisions on marriage for political reasons. Do you agree with their choices?
  5. What was your favorite part in this section of the book?
  6. One of the things I noticed in the discussions last week was Herbert’s use of the word “jihad.” What do you think of Herbert’s message about religion and politics?
Deadline

deadline

Newsflesh book 2

It is alwasy difficult to blurb about the second book in a series. Giving the details of the start of this book will reveal the end of Feed, and that would be just plain mean, so I’m not going to do that. Instead I’ll just say you should read book one and then go pick this one up, and then wait, with me, because book three isn’t out yet :(

Dune (round 2)

Dune

  1. Was Liet’s identity a surprise? who do you think he really works for?
  2. What do you think of the Fremen culture? is this a culture you think you’d enjoy spending some time with?
  3. What do you think of Count Fenring’s unusual verbal mannerisms?
  4. This is a far future empire with very little in the way of computerization. Information is often passed down orally, and schools (such as the Mentats and the Bene Gesserit) have formed to train young people in memorization and information processing. What are you thoughts on a scifi story that is very “low-tech”? Does that sound like a feasable future? a ridiculous one?
  5. If you found the beginning of the book tough to get into, do you find that you’re having an easier time with the middle portion, now that all the “set-up” is complete?
  6. The center portion of the book is still pretty dialog heavy, but what I’ve noticed is the subtlety of the dialog. Things left unsaid are often more important than things that are said. What do you think of that as a stylistic choice? does it make the dialog more interesting? less interesting?
  7. Dune was written in the 60′s. Does it feel dated to you? How does it compare, writing style-wise, to more contemporary science fiction you’ve read?
  8. If you’ve never read this book before, where do you think the storyline is headed?
Dune group read- Round 1

Dune

A week or so ago a blog post from Carl about a Dune group read popped up in my reader. And I thought to myself, Dune, hmmm, that’s one of those classic sf books I’ve never read. Full Disclaimer I have however memories of the film. I don’t mean that I watched it, but I did somehow manage to buy the film’s picture book yoke, so I know vaguely what the story is. So, I decided that what the hell, I was going to give the group read a go. So round one’s questions are below.

Times for yet another much delayed post

It is now July, and midsummer was last month, so I am slightly late with my Once Upon a Time V round-up post. But things happened to get in the way of posting. Okay, one thing. The puppy. Time consuming she is, but I think I have somewhat of a schedule going on now and she is gradually learning her place. So I have time for the round-up post, you’ll be happy to hear :)

Touch

touch

Stephen has returned home to take up from his stepfather as pastor. He has also returned in time to sit at his dying mother’s bed side. He knows she is dying and is writing her eulogy, but at the same time remembering his past, as well as the stories and legends that grew up surrounding his grandfather Jeannot.

Zentner’s debut novel is a slow, atmospheric retelling of those childhood memories interspresed with Stephen’s musings on his current situation and relationships with his family members.

The hum and the shiver

hum and the shiver

Bronwyn Hyatt is coming home. A war hero. Or so some people say, others say she hasn’t changed a speck from the trash Tufa slut she was before she left, but to her family all that is important is that she is home. Back among the Tufa. And who are the Tufa? Well that no on seems quite sure of. They’ve been in the mountains of east Tennessee since before anyone can remember. Closely knit, and prizing musical ability, they live apart from other people. And Bronwyn is a true, pure-blooded Tufa, a First Daughter. But a haint is visiting, and there are ominus signs everywhere her people look.

Old Burnside

A memoir of a Southern Girlhoodold burnside

In 1913 Harriette Simpson Arnow moved to Old Burnside, Kentucky, with her family. This is her recollections of life in the once bustling lumber town. She was only four years old at the time, and yet she still manages to recreate the town and people she knew back then. It is a small book, only 125 pages in the edition I read, but there is plenty going on.

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?

RipleySo you all remember that I got a puppy right?