Thursday, October 25, 2007
Royal Military Academy lecturer and scholar John Keegan accomplishes the impossible in this equally comprehensive and concise book chronicling each phase, each front, each nation, and every major player of World War I. Discussing in detail the root catalysts and initial conflicts which ultimately led to bloodshed, carnage, and revolution; Keegan provides a fresh and unbiased view on the "War to end all Wars". This is a great and relatively easy read for anyone interested in history or war. The audio version is read by narrator Simon Prebble.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Kingsley is routinely robbed of Oscar caliber performances but depriving him here was way off. His portrayal of the menacing Don, a man who long ago crossed the line from steady delinquent to reprobate psychopath, is too grotesque to look away from. Winstone's ('Gal') 'reformed criminal' is the perfect foil to Don's demonic wilfullness and the supporting cast is perfect. As a psychological thriller, 'Beast' is comparable to Silence of the Lambs or Seven and on par with Miller's Crossing or Pulp Fiction for a glance into the criminal underground.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Class reunions can bring out the worst in people. At a special gathering of high school alums, a killer secretly stalks those who made him the victim 20 years earlier.
A northeastern prep school catering to rich, talented, foreword-leaning teens; this former Stonecroft Academy class features a distinguished group of scholars, businessmen, and hollywood stars. Yet the glamour of this reunion is overshadowed due to the deaths of several former students--all women--from recent "accidents". Scandal soon takes center stage as another of the "lunch table girls" disappears. Another scandal ups the tension for former student Jean Sheridan as she returns to confront a past she can't forget and a child she's never met. Coincidences become unlikely when another disappearance, along with a series of taunting hints at Jean, force detective Sam Keegan and plucky student-turned-investigator Jake Perkins to speculate on a revenge plot. But who among the 42 attendees could be the killer and how could he (or she?) know so much about Jean's secret? Are Jean and the daughter she's yet to meet next?
Currently top-billed mystery/suspense author Clark knows how to tell a story and the intrigue of 'Nighttime' will keep her loyal fans page turning. While practiced mystery buffs may yawn at the (somewhat) overblown motive of the killer and cringe at his darkside alter-ego (The Owl???), the plot survives on melodrama alone. Despite larger-than-life characters and predictable dialogue, 'Nighttime' delivers on its action making for a good night time read.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Ever wanted to write a story or a novel, but felt like you needed a little push? A growing international phenomenon, which last year included almost 80,000 registered participants, declares that November is the month to begin!
National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is affectionately called by participants, begins in November. The idea is to write a 50,000 word book in the thirty days of November. For those of you counting, that's about 1,670 words a day. Or, in simpler numbers, 2,000 words a day means finishing a rough draft in 25 days.
Participants can register at the NaNoWriMo website. The website includes message boards, word meters, posted drafts, and more to support the writers. You can even order supportive emails from best selling authors including Neil Gaiman, Sue Grafton, Garth Nix, and Tom Robbins to name a few.
Begun in 1999 with a total of 21 participants, National Novel Writing Month is the brainchild of Chris Baty, who has written a book-No Plot? No Problem (808.3 Baty)-that tells the story of how NaNoWriMo came to be and provides many useful tips for writing a novel in just thirty days.
In his book, Baty explains that after his first experience trying to write a novel in only 30 days he realized, "The biggest thing separating people from their artistic ambitions is not a lack of talent. It's the lack of a deadline." He also states that writing at such a crazy pace helps people to overcome their need for perfection in their writing and to take risks that they wouldn't otherwise.
The book is positive and upbeat. Included with the writing tips are time management tips (make large dishes with lots of leftovers so you don't have to cook every day), questions to ask yourself about your writing style and about the story that you want to write, week-by-week information about potential pitfalls, and ideas for revising your messy rough draft once you finish.
So are you thinking you may be interested? Let us know here at the Moore Memorial Library. We'd be happy to set up a writing group/support group for anyone interested.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
In Adam Bede, a young carpenter's devotion to a strikingly beautiful farm hand turns sour when she catches the eye of the local landowner. The passions of both men climax at the realization of each's feelings. The real genius of this book is Eliot's use of few characters and even fewer settings as opposed to a Dickens novel where people and places reach into the dozens. Australian David Case masterfully enhances the story's mood and maintains the reader's interest in each character. Though the realism abides throughout, the tone is never somber or cynical and all four protagonists contain just the right amount of ambiguity to create an intriguing plot with no heroes or villains. Even the seemingly victimized are never cast a shadow over as redemption and reconciliation are present by the story's end. (AD FIC ELIOT)
Taking the creed of "anti-tourism" (which frankly, I never before knew existed), it offers a series of travel games or "experiments" to get you where you're going and then occupy your time once you're there. A few examples are: go to a new city, borrow a dog and let the dog take you on a walk; choose your hotel based not on its amenities but from the view from your hotel window; honor the second-highest mountain on earth (called K-2) by selecting a map at random and visiting the place located at the square K-2 on the map's grid. All of the travel exercises are designed to make their adherents look at the world around them with a new perspective.
While I don't know if I would actually use this book to plan my vacation, I had a great time reading through all of the exercises and imagining where I'd end up if I did. It's definitely worth picking up.