Written by Kelly Cozy Sunday, 07 December 2008 16:09
Written by Terry Weyna Saturday, 06 December 2008 22:16
Except for one thing. No matter how I look at it, it still seems certain to me that I will die with books I really want to read still unread. In fact, I'll probably die with books I already own still unread.
Our library contains something like 12,000 books, more or less. I'm only estimating, based upon having catalogued more than half our stuffed bookcases and closets on LibraryThing and reached a grand total of almost 7,100 books.
Written by Terry Weyna Monday, 03 November 2008 16:44It's happened again, for the fourth time: my husband has published a book and dedicated it to me. Isn't that the coolest thing in the entire world?
I've been accused of having a marriage that "sounds like the Brady Bunch" (though we have no children), and of "rubbing people's noses" in having a good one. My youngest sister mocks my joy in my Fred by saying things like, "Oh, he breathed! Didn't he breathe beautifully?!" I suppose I am a bit over the top about the guy. It probably comes from our having been married late in life, after we both suffered through unhappy first marriages.
More than that, though, I think it's that we're so very much aligned in what's important to us. What is that? Books and writing. I've alluded to that here before, but I haven't mentioned how very much those things are really the basis of our relationship. We met in the first place because I could compose a sentence, my husband tells me.
I ran an ad entitled "Do You Like to Read?" on â€” of all places â€” AOL, and he answered it. I almost didn't respond to his ad because he lived relatively far away from me (about 120 miles), but was ultimately seduced by his statement that he was a college professor and writer. I sent him what I called my "scare-away" email, the one I'd composed to send to everyone I answered.
Written by Elizabeth McCullough Thursday, 09 October 2008 17:18Gary Glass, proprietor of BookBalloon, recently spoke with Lady Banks in an Author 2 Author discussion. See the interview and much more at Lady Banks' Commonplace Book (Scroll down for the interview).
Written by Rodney Welch Monday, 06 October 2008 16:14
The Reading Club at BookBalloon has begun its discussion of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Rodney Welch is leading the discussion, and he starts us off with this comprehensive and insightful introduction. You are welcome to join the discussion -- our simple registration process is entirely free of charge.
Some books, I guess most books, get smaller as you return to them; you see the seams a little more closely, the mechanics, the contrivances, the defects. Tolstoy's masterpiece is different. Like Moby Dick or Ulysses or Absalom, Absalom!, it gets larger: it always, reading for reading, is about more than I either remembered or thought.
Here's my initial experience. I first read it 20 years ago this year, and I thought of it as another stellar example of the great 19th Century novel, crowded with characters and centered around a few, full of balls and parties, life high and low, and maybe a little longer than it really needed to be.
But in another way, it was quite different: it was modern. Of course, a timeless novel is always modern. Also, it was perplexing; I had a problem grasping the focus of it. Rather than being centered around the story of Anna, the beautiful society woman who falls in love with a dashing soldier named Vronsky, it seemed to keep going off on one tangent after the next. Commensurate with Anna's story is the story of Levin, the despairing landowner who is in love with Anna's sister-in-law, and Levin -- who is generally regarded as Tolstoy's counterpart -- is engaged in any number of mundane matters that either seemed to have a lot more to do with his time than ours, or which seem thoroughly out of place in a novel: the proper means of farm efficiency, for example, or the intricacies of 19th Century Russian politics.
Of course, perhaps to some extent this would not have been wholly unexpected for the readers of Tolstoy's time, as his previous War and Peace also devoted any number of pages to the author's own theory of history. Still, it was a sermon that grew out of that great book; Anna Karenina seems to jump the track a good deal more.
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