Thursday, October 30, 2008

A New Toni Morrison Novel!

Toni Morrison is one of my favorite authors (Margaret Atwood is my other fav). I love Morrison's novels, especially The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved. Tonight, I was cleaning out my NPR Books feeds, and I was completely surprised to learn that Morrison has a new book coming out on November 11. I should have already known this since I listen to NPR almost every day on my way to work and back, but this week is the second week of the local NPR stations fundraising drive. I am a sustaining member, so I do believe in NPR and don't mind contributing, but the necessary fundraising talk during Morning Edition and All Things Considered is still annoying. So I have been listening to my iPod and, of course, talking when I carpool.

Back to Morrison's new work, it's called A Mercy, a slave narrative set in the late 17th century. It's too late now to expound on the things that Morrison says she was trying to do in this novel, but I am completed intrigued by the story that she presents. Listening to her read an excerpt, I was reminded of what a good reader she is. As a teacher, I used a small portion of an audio of her reading of Beloved so that students could hear how the book should sound in their brains, and I always enjoyed listening to her read even that small portion. I have downloaded the 4 excerpts available on NPR and will definitely spend some time tomorrow listening to it at work.

Links to an audio interview, a video interview, and the four excerpts can be found here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I never thought that I would say this but...

I might want to read a Stephen King novel. And not just any King novel, The Stand, an apocalyptic novel of over 1000 pages. What's the big deal? Well, I am truly not a horror fiction or horror movie fan. I don't do scary! However, after reading a Salon interview with King today, I decided that this is a book that I might like. It is an apocalyptic novel that the interviewer believes will resonate as much with today's readers as it did with it's original audience. I do like apocalyptic novels and movies, and if this novel has "Fundamentalist religion, biological weapons, monster viruses, nuclear destruction, ecological havoc, mistrust of government, the breakdown of democracy" and is well-written, I think I might like it. Plus I still haven't read The Road but plan to very soon, and interviewer seems to think The Road was influenced by The Stand.

The interview celebrates the 30th anniversary of the publication of The Stand. I read it at work between book fair customers and made some notes about some of the specific interview points, but I forgot to bring the notes home, so I can't say more now. Well, I could say more if I wasn't so tired and lazy. I could reread the interview online and remind myself of things that I wanted to say, but I am tired and lazy. Now, I think I'll get even lazier now and watch some DVR'd shows before I go to bed. Later.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Book club book and cake - Updated

A while back, I read about a blogger (can't remember the blog and am too lazy just now to search for it) who bakes an appropriate cake for each of the books read by her book club. I decided that since the next meeting for my book club was scheduled to meet at a member's home, which we don't do much, that I would offer to bring dessert instead of the easier option of a bottle of wine. So today I will bake a Coconut Cream Cake to go with our most recent book, Babylon Rolling. One of the characters makes a coconut cream cake early in the novel. I didn't enjoy the book much at all, so I hope the cake is good. I have never made this cake and found the recipe on the Internet. There were several variations on, and I found one by Emeril on the Food Network. I started to choose the one by Emeril because the book is set in New Orleans and that is where he is, right? However, I decided to go with one of the variations on because they weren't completely from scratch and seemed a bit less work intensive. I decided that, although I normally like to bake things from scratch, today I want to have some time to read and watch the Cowboys for a while this afternoon.

Okay, I'm off to the store now. When I get the cake made, I will snap a photo and post it. Hopefully, I will also be able to report that it was a success with the other book club members.

UPDATE - Here's a photo that I took with my phone. The cake doesn't look special, but it tastes so good.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A new fortune

I got this fortune a couple of nights ago: Character cannot be purchased, bargained for, inherited, rented or imported from afar.

This may be true, but I'm not sure character is very important to most people any more. In theory, I think most people would agree with this fortune. In reality, people without character get ahead all the time, and we accept it.