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Showing posts from November, 2008

Books for Which I'm Very Thankful

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are ten books, in no particular order, for which I'm very grateful:

--The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

--Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

--Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

--Sold by Patricia McCormick

--Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

--Clara: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life by Margo Kaufman

--Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

--In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

--The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan

--Of Human Bondage by W. Sommerset Maugham

Twilight (The Movie)

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My best friend Keli, her daughter Shon, and I went to see Twilight, based on the book of the same title by Stephanie Meyer, yesterday.

I think the movie did justice to the book. No big surprises or changes from one format to the other. I think some of the acting is a little stiff at times, and I'm not sure I feel the chemistry between the leads, Bella and Edward, the way I do in the books. I think some of the "coolness" factor of being a vampire isn't presented (think Underworld, one of my all-time favorite movies). I expected a little more of Jacob's presence in the movie, too, for whatever reason. Overall, though, I left the theater feeling mostly satisfied and not overwhelming disappointed, as often happens when seeing a movie based on a book I enjoy.

If you enjoy the books and haven't seen the movie, I think you'll enjoy the movie well enough. If you enjoy the movie and haven't read the books, you'll probably really, really like the books. I sug…

Tuscan Holiday by Holly Chamberlin

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Okay, I confess: I bought Tuscan Holiday on a whim during a Barnes & Noble visit when I couldn't find anything even slightly tempting to buy. That was in September, and I finally opened the book on Friday evening. And then I couldn't stop reading once I started! I read the book cover-to-cover when I should have been sleeping, as I definitely felt on Saturday when Maya wakened at 4 a.m. I absolutely love this charming, insightful book about a life-altering trip, having the courage to make decisions, and the mother/daughter relationship.

I don't want to say too much about the story because I want you to read this book for yourself!

Elizabeth Caldwell, never-married mother to Marina, purchased two tickets to Florence as a college graduation present for her daughter. Needless to say, Marina was more than a little disappointed to learn the second ticket was meant for Elizabeth and not Marina's fiance. Regardless, the mother and daughter do head to lovely Tuscany together.

Favorite Adaptation

Jane Austen. That name evokes a sense of romanticism and charm. She is "all the rage," as they say, today. I don't remember her being such the rage during my college class devoted to Austen's novels, though I do remember appreciating her writing style and her characters while wishing she had found the time to write a vastly different book to break the monotony. "Write what you know," and Austen certainly understood her time and locale in a way that I believe most modern writers don't have the patience or sense of appreciation (or possibly skill?) to note in print.

While some of the specifics are different, just due to the passage of time and changes in the way we live, I think the general themes transfer well from Austen's time to American society today. I would like to think we're less class-stratified and have less rigid gender-specific roles, but. . . . In some ways, yes; in other ways, a resounding no. People are people, certainly, and Austen…

Movies Based on Books

How do you feel about movies based on books? How do you feel about movies based on books that you absolutely loved reading? Do the movies ever match the books in that situation? Or have you seen a wonderful movie where the book didn't reach the same level?

One of my favorite books of all time is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Yes, I first read the book as a requirement for an English class in high school, but I've voluntarily read the book a few times between now and then. Since I often never re-read even books that I enjoyed on the first go-round, to say that I can't really remember exactly how many times I've read The Scarlet Letter is saying something.

I avoided the 1995 Demi Moore-Gary Oldham movie version of The Scarlet Letter for a lo-o-ong time because I knew I wouldn't be happy. Finally, I "braved" watching the movie on television, and I really couldn't conceive how horrible the results would be. THEY GAVE THE TALE A HAPPILY EVER AFT…

Indigo Bridge Books

While the big-box bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders hold a strong appeal due to the massive number of books and book-related items they carry, there is something even more appealing about the small, local bookstores that are rapidly disappearing due to the chain stores and the Internet. Local bookstores have a charm, a quality of stumbling across the unexpected treasure, that the chains can't duplicate. If you're fortunate enough to have locally-owned bookstores in your area, I hope you value and support them.

The epitome of charming, a new, independent bookstore, Indigo Bridge Books and Indigo Cafe, just opened in Lincoln's Haymarket District on September 5. True to the norm for my life these days, Maya and I finally managed to visit the bookstore on Sunday--only 2 1/2 months later. Now that I've "discovered" the store, we certainly plan to return often.

The store is small, meaning that the book selection is limited, with only one or two copies of…

A Little About Me

When preparing to graduate with a BA in English (not the most practical, work-ready degree, I realize) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I knew I needed to have some sort of additional education to have a career. With the love of reading and all things books, library school seemed like a logical choice. (BTW, love of reading is not a very good reason to go to library school, especially now, though possibly never, just as my library school instructors mentioned.) I went to library school at Emporia State University (Kansas) June 1993-December 1994 with the goal of working in a public library. Although I didn't necessarily appreciate all of the group work and presentations at the time, overall, that was a surprisingly happy experience.

Fast forward to now, where I still haven't ever worked in a public library! I'm a medical librarian working in a hospital setting, where I've been since 1999. (I can't think about that year without thinking about the Prince song,…