Roxanna Badin of the Los Angeles Review of Books, writes Rowling Keeps It Real: On "The Casual Vacancy." is the most interesting review I have read for The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. Her description of the myth of J.K. Rowling is worth the reading alone. She writes:
"Rowling’s real life story is neither as romantic nor as tragic as has been portrayed in the media, but that’s not the point. The myth tells us something important, if off-putting, about ourselves: we want the creative process of the down-at-heel single mother to be a fecund miracle, in the same way we want all rags-to-riches stories to involve a firm but romantic pulling-up of bootstraps."
Peter Fritz from Everyday E-book blog in this post titled "What is Normal? The Question Behind Richard Ford's Canada" writes:
Underlying themes of family, maturity, relationships, and secrecy swim just below the surface of the story. And perhaps it is there we learn the deeper values of our ongoing but ever-adjusting sense of "normal" in our lives.
The Quivering Pen gives books away on Freebie Fridays. Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Thursday—at which time he draws the winning name. The lucky winner is announced on Friday. Last week it was Canada by Richard Ford and The Tell by Hester Kaplan.
David Abrams writes about those memorable first two lines in Canada "First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later."
Those words set the tone for the rest of the novel which Colm Toibin says is "a brilliant and engrossing portrait of a fragile American family and the fragile consciousness of a teenage boy.
"The vast, empty prairie lands of Montana and Canada come alive in Richard Ford's latest work,Canada," Nicole Rojas writes for Latinos Post blog.I agree with her, Richard Ford's writing style does paint a vivid picture. Dell's mother describes Great Falls, "It's just cows and wheat out here." Dell said, "And, of course, the winters were frozen and tireless, and the wind hurtled down out of the north like a freight train, and the loss of light would've made anybody demoralized, even the most optimistic souls."
I was an early Stephen King fan but I hadn't read anything by him since The Stand. This 700 page novel's title and cover captured my attention and I am so glad it did. I am loving every surprise along the way. I found this video below at http://112263book.com/. In the video Stephen King talks about how he began this novel in 1973 and why he stopped writing then and why he is glad he waited to write 11/22/63 until now.
Just finished The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman and I highly recommend it. I enjoyed it so much I picked it for Book Club Extraordinaire's January Read. I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks!
For starters, read Turn the Pages blog's review of the novel.
Book Club Extraordinaire Nov/Dec book pick is The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt. Characters abound in this book so I will begin my list so I can keep track of who's who.
Tom Wellswood- age 13 dark gold hair; looked younger than he was; large dark eyes, soft mouth
Julian Cain - age 15; neither tall nor short, slightly built with a sharp face and a sallow complexion.
Phillip Warren- does Indian rope trick and disappears; hay haired, shaggy and filthy; living in the basement of the museum; in the Russian crypt. The shrine of an old dead saint, where the bones used to be on a stone bed.
Dorothy- oldest daughter
Hedda- age 5, vegetarian; little demon; clever; cannot keep still
Florian- age 3; bashful
Robin- age 1
Major Cain- Julian's father; Special Keeper of Precious Metals at the South Kensington Museum
Humphrey Wellswood- Olive's husband, Tom, Dorothy, Phyllis, Hedda, Robin,Florian's father, tall, thin man, with a fox-red beard, neatly trimmed, pale blue eyes and a dark brown velvet jacket; works at the Bank of England and was an active member of the Fabian Society.He tells tales to his family of secret naughtiness amongst the bank clerks.
Olive Wellswood- Tom, Dorothy, Phyllis, Hedda, Florian's mother; vegetarian; author of magical tales; bold, pleasant face, high coloured, eager, firm-mouthed, with wide-set huge dark eyes, like the poopy centres, around 35; moves a little to freely, impuslsivel, fine flesh, fine ankles; authority on British Fairy Lore
Violet Grimwith, Olive's sister, short dark-haired woman in a loose mulberry-coloured dress, vegetarian
Ada - Wellswood's cook
Cathy- young servant
From Reading Group Choices find conversation starters for book clubs. Here is one for The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway: "What effect does the constant confrontation of war and occupation have on each narrator? Does suffering, violence and loss ever become normalized for them? What is it like to live in this kind of anarchy—especially when symbols of peace and power have been extinguished (the eternal flame from WWII, the Kosovo Olympic stadium now used as a burial ground)? And what does it mean to have the color, beauty, and vibrancy of music and flowers (left behind for the cellist) introduced?"
CaribousMom- reading a good book with a furchild by her side, writes a good review on The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. She writes: "The Siege of Sarajevo began April 5, 1992 and lasted almost four years. Approximately 10,000 people were killed, and 56,000 wounded – most were civilians. Embedded in these numbers are thousands of personal stories. One of those stories includes Vedran Smailovic, a musician who witnessed 22 of his friends and neighbors killed by a mortar shell while they were waiting to buy bread in May 1992." Read more..
If you haven't checked out Goodreads website, now is a good time. Goodreads readers give The Cellist of Sarajevo a 3.95 out of 5 stars with 3,974 raters. One reader writes: "The Cellist of Sarajevo made me cry."
BookBrowse gave The Cellist of Sarajevo a Favorite Book badge.Since 2000, BookBrowse has reached out to its readers to vote on their favorite books of the year. After this rigorous voting process, the BookBrowse Favorite Book Award winners are selected. Click the link and see if you agree.
BookBrowse writes "This brilliant novel with universal resonance tells the story of three people trying to survive in a city rife with the extreme fear of desperate times, and of the sorrowing cellist who plays undaunted in their midst..."
When the Calgary Public Library announced the book selection for the second annual One Book, One Calgary series, they did it in style. They invited Philharmonic cellist Olena Kilchyk to entertained during the event to announce "The Cellist of Sarajevo" by Steven Galloway.
The One Book, One Calgary program is an annual citywide initiative designed to initiate dialogue within the community through the shared experience of everyone reading the same book.
Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Cellist+Sarajevo+library+Book+selection/5406016/story.html#ixzz1ZS9IAiex
Washington University in St. Louis ran a First-Year Reading Program contest for students to create their own chapter to the novel The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. Juliet Kinder, the Grand prize winner tells the story from the point of view of Arrow, a gifted female sniper who protects the cellist from a hidden shooter as he plays a memorial to the twenty-two people killed in his neighborhood waiting in a bread line.
Recently, Liz saw the article (first link) in the Record talking about a contest that was held during orientation week.
The winning chapters are posted on their website (second link). There is a lot of info here which may be of interest to you, but to access the chapters click on "Contest". At the bottom of the page click on "Read more..."
John Gever, Senior Editor for Med Page Today writes about the "obesity epidemic." An action point from his article, Half of Americans Projected to Be Obese in 2030, states that by using modeling, the current data predicts that by 2030, 8.5 million additional cases of diabetes, 7.3 million more cases of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The burden of the increased health care costs associated with caring for these patients will be substantial.
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.