‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Posts Tagged ‘bookstore

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puppetmasterIt is always pleasant when someone you love recommends a book for you. I told Erin that I was in the mood for something short and light, and she advised me that maybe a children’s book would be appropriate for the end of the summer. I have picked up a novel by a first time writer, Joanne Owen, who has written Puppet Master. Here is the description on the back:

When Milena meets the charismatic Puppet Master and his menacing proteges, the twins Zdenko and Zdenka, in Prague’s Old Town Square she has no idea quite how much her life is about to change. In a story rich in the traditions of circus and theatre, myth mingles with the mystery of a missing heiress, Milena’s mother, and her daughter’s magical legacy is revealed.

How cool does that sound? I know that I’m intrigued and it’s a short 200 pages, so should be just the right thing to pass a few days. Cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

September 2, 2009 at 7:54 pm

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Miss Erin gifted me with a book recently, a collection of short stories by South American writer Francisco Coloane, Tierra Del Fuego. We were browsing at the Crapters the other day and Miss Erin playfully hid a book behind her back and turned to me, “You’re going to hate me for showing you this.” [ Reason being that we both should not purchase books for one because we have so much already to read and the second because we cannot afford it. ] She shows me the back of the book where the following is written:

Long arms, arms like rivers, are necessary to fully embrace Francisco Coloane. Or perhaps it’s necessary to be a squall of wind, gusting over him beard and all. Otherwise, take a seat across the table from him and analyze the question, study him deeply; you will surely end by drinking a bottle of wine with Francisco and happily postponing the matter to some later date. – Pablo Neruda

Now I don’t know about you but I tend to trust authors implicitly. Authors I enjoy who recommend other authors or mention authors that have influenced their own writings become mandatory reading for me. I have discovered so many wonderful authors as a result of writers who mention other writers or works that they find fascinating for one reason or another. I think that one of my favorite discoveries was through Graham Greene who recommended Patricia Highsmith’s collection of short stories as he wrote of her: “Highsmith is a poet of apprehension.” I recently wrote a paper on Patricia Highsmith and my relationship with Erin began with Patricia, so I owe Graham quite a bit.

So feel free to share stories or commentaries on authors you’ve discovered through blurbs. I think that for the most part, authors usually have a good sense of what is good literature and what is great. Here’s hoping Pablo, if your taste in literature is anything close to your style of writing and poetry, I nothing but good times ahead of me. Cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

May 29, 2009 at 6:33 pm

The Day of the Locust

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“Scattered among these masquerades were people of a different type. Their clothing was somber and badly cut, bought from mail-order houses. While the others moved rapidly, darting into stores and cocktail bars, they loitered on the corners or stood with their backs to the show windows and stared at everyone who passed. When their stare was returned, their eyes filled with hatred. At this time Tod knew very little about them except that they had come to California to die.” – The Day of the Locust – Nathanael West –

n1800251 The story centers around a group of misfit individuals who work on the outside of the Hollywood Film Industry. The real sadness is that these individuals seem to be unaware, if not unaware, then at least willfully blind of their condition.  The artist, the fading vaudevillian, the starlet, the everyman, the gangster, the cowboy, the child star/prima donna, and the doting mother.

Set in the late 1930’s, just before WWII. What this book presents is the exact opposite of what Hollywood is touted to be for so much of the time. B-Movie stars stuck in a land that only privileges the A.

Despite these sad figures that dominate the landscape of the novel, there is something beautiful, beautiful and vulgar about the way that these characters insist on living their life, in fighting for their dream. I am not sure if that is a hopeful image or a tragic one.

It’s a quick read and well worth your time. There was a definite Hemingway The Sun Also Rises feel to this novel. Some of that same bleak sit around and wander, not really sure where to go. The pacing of the novel was a bit slow but I found it allowed for a more in depth exploration of the characters. The ending of the novel is quite disturbing and presents an image that will not go away anytime soon. Check it out at the library or bookstore. Worth it and as I said, a fairly quick read. I finished this in one day. Penguin: 183 pp.

Just Ordered:

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I love ordering books online. Do not have to deal with long lines or ridiculous people and their stupid commentary. Can’t wait for these to arrive, cheers.

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Written by thebeliever07

March 31, 2009 at 10:56 am

Richard Price

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I just picked up Richard Price’s Lush Life, and I’m not sure what to classify this book as. Fiction, Literature, Thriller, Mystery? If his name sounds familiar it is because he helped co-write The Wire as well as having written several other novels and their subsequent film screenplay adaptations (Clockers & Freedomland). I was in the bookstore this afternoon with Kari and Erin and they were buying books so I felt obligated to pick up something as well, but I also wanted to read something different. Lately I’ve been reading far too much Literature (Capital L – – academia), sometimes that can get to be a bit rough. I am still not sure what this falls under, is it an airport read? Who knows? Will review shortly, cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

March 24, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Purchases, Susan Sontag, etc..

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  • Reborn: Journals & Notebooks 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag
  • If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes
  • After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • Candide by Voltaire

susansontag1As I leaf through the personal journals of Susan Sontag I feel myself become instantly smaller and less poetic. Is it even possible for me to display the power and energy that is evoked from her thoughts and words, I wonder.

“I know now a little of my capacity…I know what I want to do with my life, all of this being so simple, but so difficult for me in the past to know. I want to sleep with many people–I want to live and hate to die–I will not teach, or get a master’s after I get my B.A…..I don’t intend to let my intellect dominate me, and the last thing I want to do is worship knowledge or people who have knowledge! I don’t give a damn for anyone’s aggregation of facts, except in that it be a reflection [of] basic sensitivity which I do demand…I intend to do everything–does it cause me pleasure or pain, and I shall be very cautious about rejecting the painful–I shall anticipate pleasure everywhere and find it, too, for it is everywhere! I shall involve myself wholly..everything matters! The only thing I resign is the power to resign, to retreat: the acceptance of sameness and the intellect. I am alive..I am beautiful..what else is there?” 5/23/49

Such possibility and future is written there and all of it is hers, she ‘takes’ what she wants from life and I respect the fuck out of that. I aspire to be this passionate about my life and the things I do [intend to].

Written by thebeliever07

February 10, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Bookstore Adventures

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Just returned from a delightful visit to the bookstore. Met up with Erin and Emi and had a wonderful time, a perfect way to enjoy the pleasant labour day weather we’re having, sitting out and enjoying the breeze.

Picked up a new book which I’m excited about reading.

Paul Auster’s latest novel, Man In The Dark, a story about a father who lives with his daughter and grand-daughter, both dealing with relationship trauma, set against a post 9/11 world as he struggles to deal with his growing insomnia. Looks to be a sad read, but I’ve been reading lots of sad stories lately and enjoying all of them. But I guess this is one of the reasons we read: tragedy, pain, drama, suffering, etc… all of these subjects are important to us, we can empathise and relate to such issues. We’re attracted to those around us who also share the same world we inhabit, a world filled with all of these melancholy subjects. That’s not to say that the world is lacking in positive subjects, of course there is love, happiness, joy, but these are only given value because of those darker subjects that we so often encounter.

Will review the book soon, as it is a fairly short read at 180 pages. Cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

August 30, 2008 at 10:51 pm