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Search tags: Diaries
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review 2017-11-11 23:48
Over a month behind...yikes!
Spinning - Tillie Walden,Tillie Walden

Tillie Walden's Spinning is a graphic novel/memoir in the vein of Blankets or Stitches, err, with less child abuse. It chronicles the author's competitive experience with figure skating as a child, falling in love, learning how to communicate, and the changes she was undergoing and why she ultimately felt like she had to leave the sport behind.

 

Despite also being an introvert and being on the queer spectrum, the only pieces of Walden's experience that I could personally relate to were parental indifference to sports involvement. I, of course, used that as an excuse to never play any sports past 3rd grade. This is also one of the first books I can immediately tell has been created by someone younger than my generation. There's a quality to the book, not to mention the ubiquity of handheld smart electronics, that I can't pinpoint that made me feel ancient. It was a great experience.

 

This was a great find, highly recommended for any teen reader (or older) looking for a good coming of age story. Walden's storytelling transcends any pigeon-holes a bookseller may be tempted to use to categorize her book.

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review 2017-11-09 22:51
The Carrie Diaries - Candace Bushnell

I wasn't sure how I'd like this book going into it. I've watched the TV adaptation and liked it well enough. It wasn't my favorite, but it was entertaining.

I'm glad I ended up reading the book, because I did enjoy it. It's not the world's best literature or anything, but it is an entertaining read that goes surprisingly quickly despite the long length. It is a pretty relaxing read for the most part, but does bring up some important points. Bushnell incorporates many topics into the text such as feminism, cliques, and power dynamics.

I'll admit the last quarter of the book was kind of a let down. I liked the ending well enough and it was set up nicely for the second book, but there were things that happened that made the book more stressful than relaxing for me. It's not necessarily a critique of the book, just something that interrupted my personal enjoyment of it.

As far as TV show vs. book, I think the characters are pretty consistent although. the show smooshes Lali and Maggie together. Also, Missy doesn't exist in the TV show universe. The mishaps and problems each character faces varies slightly, but for the most part they are similar.

Overall, a very entertaining read.

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review 2017-11-09 16:35
RIP Brian Aldiss, 1925 - 1917: "The Brightfount Diaries" by Brian Aldiss
The Brightfount Diaries. Brian Aldiss - Brian W. Aldiss

It has been a while since I read his “Trillion Year Spree”, but I would respectfully submit that Aldiss may very well have made his case for the essential nature of science fiction in making and moving on the modern world.

 

It is difficult to think of another genre so relevant, and at the same time (in its various forms) so popular and influential. I think he did much to point out the debt we owe the revolutionary authors like Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), and the hot-housing role of science-fiction short stories in incubating new (or reheated) ideas.

 

Brian Aldiss championed SF to the world outside, and occasionally gave those of us who were a little bit . . . insular . . . the ticking-off we deserved. He was part of the community in a good way, attending sf conventions, always approachable, and being the life and soul of the party but always producing books and criticism which challenged us. You could never quite predict what the next Aldiss novel would be, but you always knew there would be something to think about. He was a remarkable man. Even though he received an OBE and an honorary doctorate for "services to literature", I suspect he would have been much more successful in "critical" terms if he had jettisoned science fiction, and he would have been more successful in the sf world if he had buckled down to churn out identikit trilogies. "His work is still [in a sense] to be discovered." Yes, that's correct. It was wide, various, and deep. But those of us who discovered even a part of it are grateful to have done so. 

 

Thank you, Brian.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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text 2017-11-07 18:30
The Corset Diaries By Katie MacAlister $1.99
The Corset Diaries - Katie MacAlister

No woman in her right mind would consent to wearing a corset for a month. Especially a “skinny-challenged” woman like Tessa. But dreams of being debt-free dance in her head when she gets an offer to appear in a reality TV show. 

A Month in the Life of a Victorian Duke is about real people pretending to live on an English estate, circa 1879. And Tessa's leading man—a real-life Duke—is so handsome she can barely breathe, with or without the corset...

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review 2017-10-26 09:22
A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life - Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy was a writer I had known of over many years by reputation. His books, 'The Lords of Discipline', 'The Great Santini', 'The Prince of Tides', and 'My Losing Season' I knew of through either their movie adaptations or via a National Public Radio (NPR) interview. This NPR interview Conroy gave when he was promoting his novel, 'My Losing Season' was one of the best I had ever heard. Conroy was so engaging, both with the radio host and the callers, that he made me - who has yet to read any of his novels - interested in the subject matter. Here was someone, I felt, who cared deeply about the subjects in his novel, and had a deep love for language and the written word. I was enthralled.

So, when I recently came across "A LOWCOUNTRY HEART: Reflections on a Writing Life" in a local independent bookstore, I had to have it. And it doesn't disappoint. This book - containing several of Pat Conroy's musings, reflections, blogs (a word he deplored), speeches, and eulogies from his widow, daughter, and best friend - gives the reader as full and rich a measure of Pat Conroy the writer and man that we are likely to get. He came across to me as a writer who loved and cherished the written word, the fans of his books, enjoyed the company of his fellow writers and their books, was very encouraging and supportive of women writers and up-and-coming writers, valued people, and embraced life to the full. 

"A LOWCOUNTRY HEART" I highly recommend for anyone who wants a fuller understanding of who Pat Conroy was and why his novels encapsulate so much of the magic, power, and beauty of geography, as well as the varied dimensions of the human condition throughout life.

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