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03/13/09

  03:24:00 am, by Airycat   , 84 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, History

Stupid History by Leland Gregory

Stupid History is lots of fun tidbits of mislearned history, hoaxes and some odd, unknown facts. Evidently I had better teachers than Gregory assumes, because I knew quite a bit already and some of the misinformation was news to me. (I learned it right the first time.) It was fun to read, although, much as I like puns, having a pun at the end of every entry became a little much. It's probably better read in bits and pieces, rather than all at once.

Stupid HistoryStupid History

  01:43:00 am, by Airycat   , 163 words  
Categories: Writing

To the Authors In My Life

I'm compiling a list of authors and links to their blogs (and will be doing websites, too). I'm pretty sure I don't have every published author who's on my friends list on this list yet. Take a look at the author list. If you're not there, please comment here with your blog title/link and website title/link and your real/pen name. If you know other authors who would like the publicity (OK, it's minimal now, but I'm hoping, and I bought your book(s) because someone led me to your blog), leave their name/website/blog info. Keep it public blogs and websites. (And if I've inadvertently included a private website on my list, let me know and I'll remove it.) Blogs don't have to be LJ based and if you have a different blog that you'd prefer I use, let me know that, too. Although, (seraphina-marie & reannon) while your Blogger/Blogspot blogs are interesting, your LJ's are a lot more fun. :^D (I could list both.)

03/12/09

  10:30:00 pm, by Airycat   , 507 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction

The History of Now by Daniel Klein

After reading the jacket notes for The History of Now by Daniel Klein, I was expecting a book that might be more philosophy than fiction, a bit heavier reading than I usually expect from fiction. I was delightedly surprised to find that, although still rich with philosophical questions, this was a very readable story.

At first, the history of Grandville's theater seemed to be a bit of a slow start. As I continued to read, it helped create the reality of the place. I wasn't simply plopped into "anytown" and left to create the atmosphere in my own imagination. Klein's historical detail also provides vital information for the kinds of questions the story may raise. We can see part of why Wendell, Franny and Lila are the people they are in this history. Their history is part of their lives, as is anyone's. It is part of what makes Grandville the town it is.

No character was too minor for Klein to make real. Although some of the depictions are clearly from the deVries family's point of view and a bit one sided, Klein still managed to portray them clearly enough for the reader to see that one-sidedness for what it was. They manage to be both individuals and archetypes of small town life. If I walked into Grandville I would know each of the characters from this book as soon as I met them. I feel like I know them, and that's always a sign of a good story.

The plot itself is simple. It's the chronicle of a year in the life of the deVries family. Events in their lives are both mundane and dramatic. Klein find the right emphasis to create anticipation and resolution. It kept me interested all the way.

Not every question posed by the story is answered; not every problem is solved, but this is how life is and there is no sense of this being an incomplete story. The one disappointment I have is with Hector's story. His life and how he gets to Grandville is compelling, yet there is nothing of his story once he gets to Grandville. We don't really see how the deVries family has changed him, nor and see only a bit of how he changes them (if, indeed, change is the right word in either case). Neither do we get any idea of the cultural differences and the difficulties they can cause. I wanted to see these things and the kinds of questions they could raise. Having invested as much as he did in Hector's early story, his impact in Grandville did not match my expectations. (And yet, as I think about it, I can think of several apparently unimpressive people in my own life whose history can easily match Hector's.)

Still, this desire for more is as much because of the richness and satisfaction of the deVries/Grandville' stories, as for any sense of incompleteness. I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in Grandville and the deVries' lives. I will have no problem recommending this book to others.

The History of NowThe History of Now

03/07/09

  05:41:00 pm, by Airycat   , 53 words  
Categories: Updates

Pictures & Pages

I got all the pets switched to the photo blog. I need to look for more photos, though. I know I have way more than were here.

I'm working on a new Local Habitation page. It's partly for a new look and partly to make it a little cleaner. It's about half done.

03/06/09

  04:16:00 pm, by Airycat   , 18 words  
Categories: Updates

Quotations Page added

Just heck of a lot of quotations for anyone who enjoys reading such, or is searching for one.

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