Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lessons in Grieving

The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler

You'd think the quiet lives that Dorothy and Aaron led would end uneventfully. Then the storm came, which caused a tree to fall through their house, killing Dorothy. After Aaron moved in with his sister, Dorothy started coming back from the dead. As she shows up more and more, Aaron finds he's looking not only at their relationship, but his whole life. That includes the destroyed house, his disabled body, his bossy sister and a job in the family publishing business.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Is Chick-Lit getting a Bum Rap?

First Impressions


Let's face it, the moment we hear the term "chick-lit" our minds immediately go directly to those cheap books our mothers (or at least my mother) used to buy from the supermarket. You know the ones; they have very distinctive covers. Mostly you'll see a man's bare, upper body, rippled with muscles, in extremely close proximity to a woman who seems about to faint. Sometimes she'll be wearing one of those dresses that have tight corsets and push her boobs up to enhance an overflowing d├ęcolletage, which is only partially hidden beneath delicately gathered paper-thin muslin. (I've always thought that the tightness of their outfits were to blame for these women looking semi-conscious.) Those are the so-called "bodice-rippers" that Harlequin is still churning out to this day.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Life in the Day...

Ostrich by Matt Greene

Alex is the only one in his primary school allowed to wear non-religious headgear. That's because he's been bald since he had his brain surgery. But that doesn't matter much to Alex, even though it could make him feel - as he calls it - "ostrichsized" (which is a better word for excluded - because ostriches can't fly so they often feel left out). No, Alex is concentrating on getting a scholarship to a good middle school. He's also trying to figure out what's behind all the strange things that have been happening since he had his tumor removed.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Poetic Memoir of Ondaatje's visits to Sri Lanka

Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje, author of "The English Patient," was born in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon). In 1954, at the age of 11, he left for England and in 1962 he moved to Canada. Only as an adult did Ondaatje go back to visit the island of his birth, which he called the "pendant off the ear of India." While there, he investigated his family history through the places and people still there. This is his account of these visits.