Monday, December 26, 2011

The Frozen Thames

I’m not sure how to categorize Helen Humphreys' The Frozen Thames.  Is it a collection of short stories?  Creative non-fiction?  Historical fiction?  Each story is based the actual events that occurred during each freezing of the river Thames.

Humphreys has created a beautiful collection.  Each story is like poetry, lyrical, smooth and full of ice.  The poetic quality is why it took me so long to finish.  The book could be a quick read, but with poetry in general, I have to take a step back, so I had to do that after almost every story.  Of course, this is a personal thing and I’m sure others could sit on a cold winter day, in a warm chair with a cup of tea and read the entire book.  The Frozen Thames is simply lovely.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings or, I Hope The People Who Are Buying Me Presents Read This List

This week The Brokeand The Bookish want to know what you’re hoping to find under the tree.

  1. The Dark Tower:  The Little Sisters of Eluria, by Stephen King
  2. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, by Margaret Atwood
  3. Women of Sand and Myrrh, by Hanan al-Shaykh
  4. Undead and Unwelcome, by MaryJanice Davidson
  5. The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje
  6. Beatrice and Virgil, by Yann Martel
  7. Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 8: Twilight & Last Gleaming, by Joss Whedon
  8. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:  Dreadfully Ever After, by Steven Hockensmith
  9. A History of God, by Karen Armstrong
  10. Robopocalypse, by Daniel H. Wilson
What do you want in your stocking?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Roots Day 3 or I Don't Think The Kids Learned Anything

I had another Roots session on Wednesday.  I don't think the kids learned anything.

This session was supposed to have me go through my diaper bag and explain to the kids what I take with me to care for my son.  Did they retain any of what I said?  I don't know.  A few of them might have.

The teacher and the educational assistant (EA) weren't there.  Instead, there was a supply teacher and a supply EA.  It's difficult to keep control of kindergarteners when you don't even know there name.  The Roots instructor told me that in this instance, the school is supposed to call her and have her reschedule.  It's policy.  The kids didn't learn anything and they were getting a little too close to me and my son.  I wonder if the instructor had a few words for the school administration after I left.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Disney Princesses, by Susan Holbrook

Susan Holbrook’s The DisneyPrincesses is an amazing poem.  I don’t read a lot of poetry.  I read all kinds of poetry in University, but I overloaded.  It was constant analysis and comparisons and I think it changed my ability to simply appreciate a poem.  I believe my ability to enjoy poetry is coming back, but I want the poems I read to speak to me and The Disney Princesses does.

I picked up the new issue of PRISM International.  Honestly, when I pick up a literary magazine, it’s for the short stories.  But one day, as I was making dinner, my husband picked up the magazine and started reading a couple of the poems to me.  (It wasn’t as romantic as it sounds.  grandparents and children were playing in the other room.)  When he began to read The Disney Princesses not only did he become more enthused, but I started to really pay attention.  I really enjoyed the poem, but it also made me think.  That’s what I want from poetry (and other literary works).  I like the point she makes about Jasmine, Mulan and Pocahontas (I have a feeling the poem was written pre- Tiana.)  The last line is also fantastic.

For readers who aren’t into poetry, Holbrook’s poem is something you should have a look at.  It’s funny, a little cheeky and makes you think before you even realize what’s happening.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Searching For and Finding What Others Thought I Couldn't

If you want a 2011 Baby Coin Gift Set for a little one, don't bother with the post office or certain other postal outlets.  Click below.  You'll go to Sears Canada.  You can order it online and right now, they have free holiday shipping.  I say, "Hahaha" to those people I encountered who thought my search was futile.

Royal Canadian Mint 2011 Baby Coin Set - Sears Sears Canada

Literature For All

Literary Blog Hop

It’s been a long time since I participated in the Literary Blog Hop from The Blue Bookcase.  It’s also been a while since I reviewed anything “literary”, but I do have a couple things in the works.  I just couldn’t resist this week’s question:  What work of literature would you recommend to someone who doesn’t like literature? 

Two novels immediately came to mind, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and 1984 by George Orwell.  Both are dystopian.  Both are literary.  Thought I love Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, I think 1984 might be more accessible to a casual reader.  I think it’s because 1984 is the source for so many of today’s clichés and expressions, that someone who only reads fantasy or science fiction might find it really interested.  Both stories are also gripping and frightening.  Literature doesn’t have to take place in the present or past; it can push us into a possible future that’ll give you chills.

What would you recommend to the non-literary minded?