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    Religious war at its very simplest is killing each other over who has the best imaginary friend.
    - Anonymous

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    Ready Player One

    I have a younger brother who makes a living as an English Professor. Whenever I see him I ask for book recommendations and he always has some for me. Unfortunately, he often recommends material that he’s reading and what he reads is often a little over my head. But the last time I talked with him he said that he had just finished a book that he thought I would enjoy and that I should check it out for the nostalgic factor he was sure I would experience. It may be the best recommendation he’s given me.

    Ready Player One is a simple, nostalgic story set in the year 2045. A tale set thirty years in the future, but a future that has become obsessed with 1980’s culture. It’s the first novel from Ernest Cline, who’s most known for writing the screenplay for the …


    Two for One Book Review

    The last two books I’ve read are considerably different, but share a common bond: both were written from unusual and what I found to be very interesting perspectives.

    Room, by Emma Donoghue is the story of a victim of abduction and her five year old son.   They live their lives in an 11X11 foot room; never leaving the ‘prison’ that is their world.  The entire story is told from the perspective and in the voice of the five year old.  While that means the language is realitively simple and straight forward, the author effectively portrays and says a great deal about the human condition and the emotions and feelings that make us human.  The story is pretty good, the story telling very well done.  Even though the premise may seem disturbing, there is a great …


    I just reread Trevanian’s The Main, one of my favorite books.  There was I time that someone asked me to address books that have had a big impact on me, and this was one I wrote about.  I said:

    “At the risk of showing my age I’ll bring up Trevanian, whose most popular work is probably The Eiger Sanction.  The Main is about a policeman in Montreal whose life revolves around his beat.  I was so able to identify with the character that it was some time before I came to realize that his life was tragic and that the loneliness that surrounded him was what made him tragic.  I realized that the love of those around us is what matters in the enrichment of our lives, not just our own life.”

    To that, I would like to add:  The reason this is such a great book is because it’s such a …


    How to Talk to Girls

    This morning I read what is destined to become a classic in my library.  I’m going to recommend it highly, and to the degree that I’m capable, I’m making it required reading for my sons. The book:   “How to Talk to Girls” by Alec Greven.

    Alec is currently nine years old, he wrote this book when he was eight.  Originally the piece was a pamphlet that he sold at his local book fair.  It was very popular, Harper Collins then got a hold of it, paired it with illustrations from Kei Acedera, an illustrator out of Toronto, and published it last year.

    Like the essay “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, Alec has managed to simplify things for us.  Specifically those relationships …


    Read this:
    Rick Reilly
    Amen


    Eeeee Eee Eeee

    eeeee.jpgIn Eeeee Eee Eeee Tao Lin quotes Portuguese poet Pessoa:  “Pessoa said art was fun and beautiful because it was useless and had no meaning.”  If that is so, Tao Lin’s book strikes me as being successful as art.  It was fun and beautiful – but in a useless, meaningless kind of way.

    The narrative of Eeeee Eee Eeee is simple, underlying the simplicity of the plot.  There is a plot, though there’s not much to it.  I found myself more drawn to the sections following Ellen, a secondary character, than those of the main character, Andrew.  In retrospect, that may be because I got tired of the repetition and uselessness Andrew continually demonstrates.  The main emotional flavor of the novel can be summed up by the title of Tao Lin’s previous work, a collection of poetry titled …


    What Should I Read Next

    There has been quite a bit of discussion around our house lately about what we could be reading…   It seems to be the question of the day, just about every day.  So while going through the Readers Digest, a short blurb titled “What should I read next?” caught my attention.  It directed me to my new favorite website: 

     What Should I Read Next

    It’s so simple, yet so valuable.  Check it out.


    Love in the Time of Cholera

    littoc.jpg
    You know how sometimes when you’re reading something the sentence just seems to go on and on, telling of things that happened, then morphing into background discussion, possibly even getting into some conversation before going back to event depiction, all the while just going, and going and you never seem to even have a hint that the sentence will end, let alone see an end coming, or if you do think that this may be the point that the sentence will end, it doesn’t; it just keeps going and going, like that battery powered rabbit that never stops beating that drum, the sentence seems to exist without an end, as if it in and of itself is the very definition of forever, or of eternal and that this sentence will be going on and on through the …


    Jacob’s Escalator

    sam1.JPGWith all the demands that life makes on us, and the natural reluctance we have to expose our emotions, it becomes rare that we have strong, stirring emotional experiences.  However, I’m having one today.

        

    It is with tremendous pride in Sam that I’m announcing his blog:  Jacob’s Escalator.  I don’t believe I’ve ever possessed such clarity of thought as I have in the pride I feel when I read Sam’s work.   Make sure you read his Prologue along with his first post (The Notebook…).  They are outstanding!

    http://jacobsescalator.com/blog/

    Way to go, Sam.


    The Hobbit

    Thanks to Roger for bringing this to our attention!
    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – After months of bitter legal wrangling, Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc have agreed to make two movies based on the book “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien.

    In a statement Tuesday, the companies said Jackson, the director of the smash hit “Lord of the Rings” movies, and producer Fran Walsh will executive produce both a “Hobbit” movie and a sequel, but Jackson was not named as the director.

    “We don’t have a director yet,” said a New Line spokeswoman.

    The movies will be made simultaneously starting in 2009, and a tentative release date has been set for 2010 for the first film and 2011 for the second.
    hobbit2nded.jpg


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