Ian Rankin is absolutely one of my favorite authors. I’ve checked out Exit Music, from the library, so don’t tell me anything until I’ve had time to read it. Rebus is always down and out, in dark crime ridden Edinburgh. I read on the dust jacket that this is the swansong for our Inspector. It looks like it’s true. “Say it ain’t so Joe [Ian].” Its been a long ride from Knots and Crosses to this 17th novel.
It makes me want to go back and start from the beginning. I’ve never read his Jack Harvey novels, I’ve got to get those. He writes in his newsletter that he will have a new novel out in June 2009 and a graphic novel ‘Dark Entries’, which now has a publication date of September 09. We’ll have to see what Sadie at “Extremely Graphic Blog” has to say when it’s out.
I finished the very powerful 185 page book by Joseph W. Shaw, To Honor the Dead. Beautifully written, tension building in each page of this homecoming, redemptive novel of small town friendships and prejudices. Having family from western Oklahoma, the descriptions of place were particularly accurate and poignant, pointing out what has been lost in small town America and what never changes.
I was surprised how good this novel is. Colter Wayne Tyree accidentally ends up back in the place he has left many years ago. Still carrying all the baggage of the past he finds old friends; new and old enemies. How he handles his ghosts and redeems himself is quite a tale. I can certainly relate to Colter’s examination of a life less lived, or at least one that cannot live up to youthful expectations or self examination. I suspect we all have some sort of homecoming whether we ever leave home or not.
Oliver Wendall Holmes Lonewolf, Cheyenne Vietnam Veteran, Coyote, and catalyst for many of the events is indispensible to the telling. Shaw uses the sad stories of lingering prejudices toward Native Americans, the difference between rich and poor; women as second class and the ignoring of evil in our midst to develop a truly stunning first novel.
Joseph Shaw was born and grew up in Western Oklahoma. He does us proud.
Since I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone, I do have an issue with the ending, so if anyone wants to comment on what they thought, go ahead, I’d like to hear what you have to say.
I like listening for book news on the television, it always surprises me what comes up. Apparently Ann Coulter and Bill O’ Reilly got into an argument about who sells the most books. It was a sibling type disagreement more along the lines, “Mom likes me better”, ”NO she likes me better”.
Ann is hitting the talk circuit with her new book, Guilty. She told O’ Reilly when he suggested she take some advice from another conservative, Bernie Goldberg, ”my general policy is to take advice from people who sell more books than me not fewer books…”. Then O’ Reilly said something along the line of you should take my advice since I sell more than you. Then the following: no you don’t; yes I do; no you don’t ; yes I do, etc.
Interesting, since if that were true she’d be taking most of her advice from J. K. Rowling.
My take on this whole silly political book business, that make the rounds on the talk show circuit, both conservative and liberal, is that it results in additional money in the pockets of the bookseller and publisher. If this is what it takes to support an industry to keep us in books worth reading then I’m fine with it. Keep selling, keep publishing, keep arguing about who sells the most and keep giving me the choice of what I want to read.
Then on the Colbert Report, Lawrence Lessig, was interviewed (or harassed) by Colbert about his new book, Remix. Since copyright issues are something that drive librarians up the wall, this is a particularly sore subject with me as well. Of course all talk of copyright is best left our of social dialogue or you will not be asked back to any parties.
But if you go to Lessig’s Blog, you can hear a fascinating remix of his interview. It’s on the January 9th entry.
I can’t help myself, every where I look there are more 2008 reading lists. The Millions, A Year in Reading 2008.
And the author of Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch, as reported in an article on the New York Times website, announced his essay published on the internet site Beliefnet was not actually his experience, but “internalized it as my own experience”. Ms. Candy Chand who actually penned the story seemed none too pleased,
“I have strong issue with anyone who would appear to plagiarize my work and pretend it is his own,” she said. “That takes away from the truth of the material, it takes away from the miracle that occurred, because people begin to question what they can believe anymore.
“As a professional writer, when someone appears to plagiarize, they damage the industry, they damage other writers’ credibility and they hurt the reader because they never know what to believe anymore.”
A Christmas story is plagarized, what’s that about?
I found this website at Elegant Variations, about the Best 2008 Books of the Year Symposium at Ready Steady Book. Here are some very interesting reads from people more clever than I. And I found the voting page for the Best Literature Blogs at webblogawards. My inspirations. Get the vote out, or at least check out these blogs.
From the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Reading Oklahoma Blog, news about how to get your poetry work submitted and read at the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah!
The month of January will be open-submission for anyone interested in being one of the 15 Woodyfest Readers to read at the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah this year. The size of the group is smaller this year, but everyone is submitting anew, so there are more open slots. If you are interested in being part of this event (second Saturday in July, 2009), start thinking now what you might like to submit. Two poems may be e-mailed to Carol Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org) during the month of January.
The submissions will be numbered and sent for blind judging by co-chair, George Wallace, in New York. The judges look for variety and do not necessarily need work on Woody Guthrie … for good work on any subject, have used music, humor, social protest, performance poetry, literary poetry… and just interesting work… but often the works do seem to apply to the singer’s times, concerns, life, or just the land. Hopefully this will spread the word to many, so pass this information to your faculty, students, friends, anyone you think might be interested. Readers from other states are welcome, though we have no funds to bring anyone, but the festival is great fun and worth a trip! Though it is usually HOT!
I would add very very HOT!
At a time when we would all like to go “green” and return ourselves to right thinking about nature and all living things, a perfect little book of poetry comes to us from Linda Hogan. Rounding the Human Corners connects us, as only a poet can, to the incredible link to human things; horses, water, whales, life of the unborn, plankton, oceans, trees and ourselves. ’When we walk together/ in the tall grasses, I feel her/ as if I am walking with mystery, /with beauty and fierce powers, /as if for a while we are the same animal/ and remember each other from before.’
‘Waking today/ just before winter/ when I try to name the color of grasses, / how I feel their beauty,/ there is no word.’ ’I have no wealth to speak of/ other than this,/ all this, just to praise the dry grasses/ and their color that can’t be spoken in words.’
She also explores our end of days and the continuing circle of life. ’Another dog lies at the door/ breathing, feet moving as it sleeps./ Like me, always walking toward something,/ even asleep, chasing, searching out/ some treasure and then one day/ we walk away from the body/ leaving the skin clothes lying empty/ and still travel on.’
When poetry is good it is that refreshing drink of water, it calls us to stop drink deeply, and think beyond ourselves. Linda Hogan is very good.
I’ve included some additional information about Linda, and she has a new fiction book out this year called People of the Whale. Linda Hogan is a Chickasaw poet, novelist, and essayist. She was born in Colorado and raised in Oklahoma. She is the author of several books of poetry and a collection of short fiction. She has received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, a Guggenheim Award, and a Five Civilized Tribes Playwriting Award. She received the Oklahoma Book Award for Mean Spirit.
I really like what Chris Carroll at the Bookmarking blog had to say about keeping a list of the books you’ve read, where you were, and the date. Very cool idea and very timely. It seems much better than the Rove/Bush reading competition, which has gotten a lot of guffawing on various websites. Besides I’m sure I’m more interested in what I’ve read and sometimes, what I’ve attempted to read but couldn’t get through for a variety of reasons, not the least of which I thought it wasn’t very good, than anyone else. (That was probably a major run-on sentence.)
I have a large stack of Okie author books awaiting my pleasure so will stop for now and start my list.
From the Artist Posters Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress.
More images by Sadie Wendell Mitchell | More artist posters
[PD] This picture is in the public domain. Taken from Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/trialsanderrors/3103144309/
from his PBS television show, Newshour. What you probably don’t know is he seems to be able to hide out unobserved in the halls of Oklahoma’s state capitol, amid our politicians, observing their foibles and antics and report back to us through his hilariously funny political satire using
One-Eyed Mack, Oklahoma’s fictional second in command to get his point across.
When the Governor “Buffalo Joe” Hayman calls for unilateral privatizing of state government, as he puts it on Sooner Sam Screams at Noon, Oklahoma’s primiere talk show, the notion of taking “government out of government” doesn’t set too well with One-Eyed Mack, our second in command, Lieutenant Governor. Mishaps occur to our poor Lt. Gov. and an unexpected and accidental, not to mention completely wrong, heart bypass surgery lays him low, before he can run against “Buffalo Joe” and counter his crazy ideas.
There’s an interesting commentary on tort reform, using his law suit against the hospital who did Mack wrong, also commentary on the salacious and destructive use of slander in political campaigning. Lehrer makes us think, and for us folks in Oklahoma, he gives us plenty to think about. If Lehrer isn’t an Okie, he’s the next best thing.
This is the eighth One-Eyed Mack book, you’ve also got to read Sooner Spy and Crown Oklahoma.
Happy New Year!