Archive for April, 2010

Love Begins In Winter

[openbook booknumber=”9780061661471″][rating:4/5]

On the verge of giving up – anchored to dreams that never came true and to people who have long since disappeared from their lives – Van Booy’s characters walk the streets of these stark and beautiful stories until chance meetings with strangers force them to face responsibility for lives they thought had continued on without them.

This turned out to be a wonderful collection of uplifting stories about love, forgiveness, romance, family and hope. Each short story contained a character that had either given up hope or was at a crossroads in their life and had to make a decision or take a leap of faith or sometimes just open their eyes to see the love that was all around them and in some cases had been all along. They were all written wonderfully, very literary and lyrical with wonderful twists and turns that were at once completely surprising and then after some thought completely expected.

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Recap: April 11th-17th 2010

Wow, I’m a week behind, so here are the links from two weeks ago and the one link I tweeted last week. More on vampires and their ethics, Fairy tales and their shocking roots, laws you didn’t know you were breaking (you naughty book blogger you!), and tips true for anyone looking to be taken seriously as a professional online but set out for authors in particular. Enjoy!

Publisher warns US readers buying books from the UK and abroad that its illegal, breaks copyright law: http://bit.ly/cXwStS

This link was probably one of my most popular of all time. Over 40 people clicked to read it! And yes, in it an American publisher really does rant about how some fans of the novels it publishes were buying them several months early from overseas and complaining that the robbing of its sales was considered illegal. Whether it actually is or not seems to be divided as far as the comments are concerned. I buy (and mooch) from overseas regularly myself. Has any one else heard anything about the legality of buying books from overseas?

Top 10 Gruesome Fairy Tale Origins http://bit.ly/c2MBnG They left out LRR eating her grandma’s flesh and blood and stripping naked for wolf.

Yes, I covered this and more gruesome origins in my Fairy Tale Friday post for Little Red Riding Hood. Some of the gruesome origins from the link were new to me as well and got me curious about just where these fairy tales are coming from!

Ethical Vampires Part I: http://bit.ly/cNZYEX & Part II: http://bit.ly/bwyGz1

Interesting article on the ethics of Sookie Stackhouse novels versus Twilight novels, also talks about the ethic and history of vampirism in literature which was very interesting. One of the main points turned out to be how Twilight really gives nothing but lipservice to the idea of ethics in being “vegetarian”, that while they did not literally kill humans they still did plenty else that sucked the blood out of humankind, just in non literal ways. As far as Meyer was concerned as long as no actual killing was going on that made them “good” enough for her.

Five Mistakes to Avoid on your Author Website http://bit.ly/cIX9jm (via @forwardmag)

I’ve been trying to articulate these issues with author websites that I’ve been coming across and this article does it for me perfectly. I didn’t want to come across as rude or forward and was concerned about them taking the advice badly besides. This was written tasteful and true. Very good advice on offer!

A Reliable Wife

[openbook booknumber=”9781565129771″][rating:4/5]

He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for a “reliable wife.” She responded, saying that she was “a simple, honest woman.” She was, of course, anything but honest, and the only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving herself a wealthy widow. What Catherine Land did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely Ralph Truitt had a plan of his own.

Whatever you think this book is about when you pick it up, prepare to have your expectations totally blown out of the water. In A Reliable Wife three characters get tangled in a web of lies, deceit and shame as they all struggle with difficult life situations, hidden and open desires, and bitter and terrible pasts. These are not good people, and yet each in their own way beg for redemption even while believing they deserve none. It is a riveting book about the pain people can inflict on one another and themselves, the bitterness that grows out of that, the helplessness of some people to continue the cycle and the ultimate despair from the belief that the long cold winter will never end.

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The Butterfly

It’s so refreshing, not to mention exciting, to get to do a fairy tale that I have not heard of, seen, read or knew about before today. I feel like I’m walking in fresh snow as I sit down to write this post, and that’s a good thing! Most fairy tales are very, very old and have been around for centuries. They’ve been picked apart and put back together in new ways, they’ve been discussed, debated, banned and treasured by generations of people from all over the world. With Hans Christian Andersen most of his fairy tales are wholey original. They have only been around a mere hundred years or so and some of his fairy tales have simply seemed to drop through the cracks and probably won’t be picked up again for another hundred years or so, if ever. “The Butterfly” is one of those seemingly forgotten stories.

When searching for the text to read the fairy tale for this week, I had only a few pages of hits came up (and most of them Tif’s!) and almost all contained only the text and a note that it was in the public domain. That’s it. See what I mean about fresh snow?

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New Moon

[openbook booknumber=”0316160199″][rating:1.5/5]

For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward had already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning…

After reading Twilight I honestly though the series could not possibly get any worse. We already had anti-feminist and misogynistic overtones, we already had a shallow and petty plot surrounding a shallow and petty character. A mammoth of a book had been built glorifying two teenage lovers utterly convinced that no one had loved as they loved before or would since. The worst is past. I didn’t think it would get better but I didn’t think it could get any worse either. I was wrong.

Warning: Contains Spoilers

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