Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

I have been slowly working my way through Half of a Yellow Sun for the last couple of weeks. It is just taking me a long time to finish. No excuses since it is really quite good. When I picked up the new Stephanie Plum novel at the library I thought that would be incentive to finish Yellow Sun so that I could dive into Lean Mean Thirteen. Then I cheated and picked up LMT yesterday and ripped through it overnight.

I do love the Stephanie Plum novels. They are like so much gooey chocolate with caramel. They make me laugh, I really like the characters, they read fast, they are a bit sexy, and even when they are not the best of the series, so what, they only take a day to read.

This one was pretty good. Maybe not the best of the series, but since I really don't read them for a great literary experience, I don't care. I am always glad to catch up with Grandma Mazer and in this one she makes a trip to Victoria's Secret to buy a push-up bra to impress her new boyfriend. That paints a picture. And then there is the skip trace Stephanie goes after who is a taxidermist. Only thing, he stuffs road kill and rigs them to blow up. Not big death blow up, just messy hair and stuffing all over blow up. It tickled my funny bone.

I just love this series. I'm glad I cheated and jumped it ahead in my TBR pile. So there! If you are a fan, pick it up, if you haven't read any of the series yet, get thee to a library and start with number one, in which, if I remember correctly, Grandma Mazer shoots the Thanksgiving turkey off the table. Fun stuff.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My First Published Poem

I mentioned a while back that a poem I wrote was being published on Wicked Alice. Well here it is. It is really fun seeing my work in a zine. And I have a second one coming out this fall in another zine. Seems like poetry may well be my forte. Or I got lucky, who knows, but go read the poem. It is called Drive-up Motels.

Wicked Alice

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I would have sworn that I read this book years ago in High School, but it seems I only saw the movie. I have a very distinct memory of the end of the movie where the characters are walking around memorizing books. Quite the strong image for it to stick with me all these years.

So, I decided to read the book and I loved it and was horrified by it all at the same time. It is fifty years old and it is scary how much of Bradbury's vision has come true to some degree or other. We all know the story, the world has come to the point where ideas are deemed bad and harmful and books, as the carriers of ideas must be burned. One of the firemen, who burn the books, has a change of heart and must go on the run for his crime of keeping books that should have been burned. That's it in a nutshell, but there are the characters in the book that make it so much more than the simple description.

Guy Montag is the fireman turned book defender who we follow through the whole story. He wants to get back to a world that is more than entertainment and soundbites.

Clarisse McClellan is a young girl who is the catalyst to Montag's new way of thinking. I found her to be an odd character because she dies and I believe that she lived in the movie. And I never really got why she died.

Mildred Montag is Guy's wife and she spends all her time in a room with a television on three walls programed to put her into the storyline. This whole television thing is very scary.

Captain Beatty is the fire chief and the one who suspects Montag and ultimately goes after him. His philosophy as he sits next to Montag's sickbed is worth reading alone.

Farber is a retired English teacher who Montag turns to for help and understanding. He has a bit part, but is very important to the story.

I think they still teach this book in schools, at least I hope they do. It is a vision of the future that is awfully close to the truth of the world we live in. I while back I read The Higher Power of Lucky which won the 2007 Newbury Award and got a lot of flack for the use of the word scrotum. Libraries were not adding the book to their collection because of a word. Chilling!

If you haven't read this book you should, it is short and quick. If you have read it, it is worth a revisit I think.