I’ve gotten a variety of options for the Okie Reader this month.
First, take the wild ride with storm chaser, Reed Timmer, from the Discovery Channel. Apparently he’s getting his PhD in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. Check out tornado footage at his tornadovideos.net site. His new book is Into the Storm, published by Dutton, 282 pages, and some spectacular photographs. He’s spent a lot of time in Oklahoma ,so for all you Okie weather enthusiasts this one’s for you.
From the Chickasaw Press, we have Chickasaw Removal by Amanda L. Paige, Fuller L. Bumpers, and Daniel F. Littlefield Jr. All the authors are well known in their field and highly regarded historians.
Description Straight from OU Press…..”A uniquely detailed account of the removal of the Chickasaw Nation from their original homelands to Indian Territory
In the early nineteenth century, the Chickasaw Indians were a beleaguered people. Anglo-American settlers were streaming illegally into their homelands east of the Mississippi River. Then, in 1830, the Indian Removal Act forced the Chickasaw Nation, along with other eastern tribes, to remove to Indian Territory, in present-day Oklahoma. This book provides the most detailed account to date of the Chickasaw removal, from their harrowing journey west to their first difficult years in an unfamiliar land.
The Chickasaw removal began in 1837, a few years after the departures of the Choctaws and Creeks. In their gripping account of the Chickasaws’ forced trek, authors Amanda L. Paige, Fuller L. Bumpers, and Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., describe the array of characters the Chickasaws came across, including missionaries, whiskey peddlers, profiteering government agents, and contractors, some of whom purchased and distributed rations they knew would go rancid before the removing parties passed by their way stations.
Although several histories have spotlighted the politics and events of the Removal Era, this book is a unique illumination of the “whole business” of removal, including details of the places where the Chickasaws camped, bought supplies, sought medical attention, and buried their dead. The story continues into Indian Territory, where the Chickasaws faced a new set of obstacles but eventually persevered to become the strong and successful nation they are today.”
And for all the Gena Showalter “Lords of the Underworld” fans, there’s Darkest Whisper or just in time for cold weather, Deep Kiss of Winter written with Kresley Cole.
Breathtaking tale of vampire love. So pull up a chair with your favorite immortal.
It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 30 years since the publication of Gail Sheehy’s landmark Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life. I read that book soon after its publication, and I can attest that it has been helpful in navigating the decades of my life, especially the 30s and 40s. Now, this is not to say that I have avoided those “predictable crises” along the way, including a classic mid-life crisis that put me in a deep funk. It’s just that I knew what was going on. Life can be scary, and information helps. Still, even though you can understand a crisis from an intellectual perspective, it’s very personal when it’s happening to you.
I thought about Passages after I finished Michael Cunningham‘s new novel, By Nightfall. Forty-something Peter Harris is a high-end art dealer and gallery owner in New York. He has a successful wife, Rebecca, who he married for love. He lives in an enviable space in SoHo, and enjoys the company of the rich and influential. But there are clouds on the horizon. He is struggling to relate to his young adult daughter, feels distanced from his wife, and wonders if his career has reached its apex, with professional stagnancy or decline around the corner.
When Rebecca’s troubled younger brother, Mizzy, comes to live with them, Peter’s midlife blues grow into a fully-bloomed existential crisis.
It’s a common condition when we start to feel the clock ticking on our own mortality. Have we made the right choices? Do we have time to again experience the exhilarating feeling of new love/new career/new life/new insert here.? Have we left something important behind? What is the meaning of all this? And true to midlife crises, there is often a catalyst that becomes an obsessive focus around which our larger existential questions are posed. For Peter, the catalyst is his brother-in-law, Mizzy.
The joy in reading this book, beyond Cunningham’s sublime writing, is wondering if Peter is going to chuck it all, come to terms with his situation, or find renewal within his current life. The joy, for older readers, may be recognizing yourself.
The biggest joy, for me, was the last line of the book. First lines of novels are celebrated and quoted often: “Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” “I am an invisible man.” “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” No matter how masterful the last line of a book, we stay away from quotations because we don’t want to give anything away.
I’m going to give it away. I’m going to show you the last line of By Nightfall, if you want to see it. Just highlight the area below:
He begins to tell her everything that has happened.
It’s a simple sentence, not particularly artful unto itself, but magnificent in the context of this latest wonder from Cunningham.
It’s been a busy Monday. You need a break. How about a quick view of the Library Detective from Seinfeld. Priceless!
We can’t embed the video, but you can view it by clicking here.
Have fun, and don’t forget to return your library books on time!
Literary Kittie is feeling very literary this morning, so her Site of the Week is the National Book Foundations’ National Book Awards.
In 2010, there were 1,115 books submitted for the National Book Awards.
The number of books by genre:
- Fiction: 302
- Nonfiction: 435
- Poetry: 148
- Young People’s Literature: 230
Since 1950, The National Book Awards have recognized the best of American literature. Musician Patti Smith who just won the prize for nonfiction with her memoir, Just Kids, made a plea for publishers and readers not to let technology kill off traditional books.
“There is nothing more beautiful than the book, the paper, the font, the cloth,” she said. “Please never abandon the book.” –Patti Smith
You can watch the November 17th ceremony yourself from the link, Please note that the video contains adult language. Also you’ll be able to see all the finalists and winners listed.
And for another Literary Kittie award worthy site, check out the 2010 World Fantasy Award Winners . The World Fantasy Convention was held the end of October in Columbus, Ohio where the awards were given out. I always find good books from the Finalists lists. I’ve got Finch by Jeff VanderMeer checked out from the library right now.
So in this season of awards, winners and finalists, get out there and find some fine reading, and in the words of Patti Smith,
Never Abandon the Book.
Cool, I just mentioned C.J. Cherryh in a blog post, and there she is in Oklahoma Magazine, November 2010 issue. It’s a nice article by Becky Carman, “Rooted in Red Earth”. C.J. has her own Wave without a Shore Blog. So you can keep up with her comings and goings, new books, and it looks like a new venture in e-books, called Closed Circle.
I know Young Bill is a huge fan of Cherryh’s work.
From the World of Librarians and Book folk, you can get Book Smack sent directly to your email. Some of the entries can be directed toward us librarian types, for example, *RA stands for Readers Advisory, Starred Reviews are books Library Journal recommends to librarians.
It’s free, and it’s good stuff, so I recommend it. Go to the Book Smack link, down the page at Library Journal you’ll find the e-newsletter entry for it.
Here’s what LIS library news has to say about it,
Want “high-impact reviews of street lit, genre fiction, graphic novels, audio, and DVDs, along with edgy RA, in-depth prepub info, and industry buzz” direct from seasoned library-type editors? Then you’ll want to sign up for Library Journal’s new twice-monthly newsletter BOOK SMACK.
Dec 3rd and 4th, Tulsa City County Library will give the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award to Ian McEwan. First they have an Award presentation at a black-tie dinner: 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3 then a FREE Public Presentation: 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Central Library.
McEwan has written numerous novels, short stories, screenplays, children’s books and other writings. His works include the highly praised novels “Amsterdam,” “Enduring Love” and “Atonement.”
It’s not even Thanksgiving, and already I’ve seen my first top ten list of books for the year. This one comes courtesy of Library Journal magazine. It’s an inaugural list (pop the cork on the champagne!) and it reflects “fiction and nonfiction titles that stood out as the very best in 2010.” The list was compiled by a group of LJ Editors and librarians.
American Terroir by Rowan Jacobsen (Bloomsbury)
By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
How To Live, Or, a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell (Other Press)
Room by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Crown)
The Passage by Justin Cronin (Ballantine)
The Tiger by John Vaillant (Knopf)
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (Random)
Walker Evans Decade by Decade text by James Crump (Hatje Cantz)
I can’t tell you how many times I see a top ten book list with titles I’ve never read. This year is different! I’ve read The Passage (see review here) and By Nightfall (review to come), and I’ve placed a hold on Room at my library. I even have Freedom on my nightstand, but I’m still not sure if I’m actually going to read it.
How ’bout you? Have you read any of these titles? If so, please share…
First things first, I want to say Thank you to all the men and women who are now serving or served our country in the military. We don’t say it nearly enough how much we appreciate it.
I’m home today, spending quality time trying to unclutter the dreaded craft/sewing/yarn/material room. I must be suffering from a craft hoarding disease. All beside the point however, you know how much I like Locus magazine. So I was pleasantly surprised to find an interview with Mercedes Lackey in the last issue. As most of you surely know, she lives in Oklahoma, and writes great science fiction and fantasy. Go to her amazing bibliography. In this piece, she talks about meeting C. J. Cherryh and her early influence when she was beginning. I heard a rumor they had some kind of falling out and no longer collaborate. Whether they’re working together or not, Okies have been endowed with these two science fiction/fantasy world building giants.
Mercedes has worked with other sf greats, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, Piers Anthony and Steve Libbey. I love Mercedes adventures in podcasting, she’s always welcomed social networking. Saw an article somewhere about her willingness for fans to share pieces of her work on the internet as she felt it built a fan base. (I need to find the complete article and hope I’m not misstating). She comments on Creative Commons is this piece.
Role playing games seem like a perfect venue for fantasy writers to work out their creative muscles. Looks like Mercedes is big into ”City of Heroes”.
But all this extracurricular activity isn’t keeping her from writing,Intrigues just came out, book two in the Collegium Chronicles.
What’s new on the Okie Bookshelf ?
Kate Buford has just written what is being called “the first comprehensive biography” of Jim Thorpe. It’s thick with 479 pages, well documented with plenty of footnotes, and getting substantially good reviews. Oklahoma Native American writer, N. Scott Momaday has the following comments on the Thorpe biography, ” As an athlete, Jim Thorpe was a force of nature. His achievements, across the board, remain unsurpassed. For many years we have needed a fair and comprehensive story of his life. Now we have it. Kate Buford’s biography of Thorpe is a first-rate example of the genre. She has written–with clarity, insight, objectivity, and inspiration–a definitive work. Here is an evocation of triumph and tragedy, and a uniquely American story.”
Tweeted Kate and found out that there’s an exhibit at the Muskogee Public Library on Native American sports figures from Oklahoma.
Another woman writing on Oklahoma sports legends is Jane Leavy in her new book The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood. It just became a finalist for the 2010 CASEY Award for the Best Baseball Book of the Year.
“Meticulously reported and elegantly written, The Last Boy is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from the author’s weekend with The Mick in Atlantic City, where she interviewed her hero in 1983, after he was banned from baseball, with reminiscences from friends and family of the boy from Commerce, Oklahoma, who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, be voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player three times, win the Triple Crown in 1956, and duel teammate Roger Maris for Babe Ruth’s home run crown in the summer of 1961—the same boy who would never grow up.”—Harper Collins Publisher
Two Oklahoma sports legends who embodied everything that is great in sports, and everything that can be lost. Sports biographers, Buford and Leavy don’t stop with the stats and the accolades, they give us the real people behind the numbers.
Actually, Kitty and I are thrilled! It’s been one of those weeks from Hades, and we really thought the first week in November would pass without a post on our blog. But here was our favorite aloof cat, prancing in and dropping the goods. I suspect he* thinks we’re gonna pick just one, but we’re gonna give ‘em all to you.
The truth is, we rarely think about the type font in a book we’re reading unless it’s difficult to read. If you’re reading along, engrossed in your latest book, and you’re not paying attention to the typeface, then the type designer has done his/her job well, as has the publisher in deciding to use that particular font.
Most people didn’t think about type fonts at all until the computer age, when everybody became an expert with those drop-down font menus on their desktop machines.
The Top 100 Best Fonts of All Time Most of the fonts on this list are 20th century creations, developed in response to the mass printing capabilities offered by the letterpress and offset printing processes. But some fonts are truly timeless. The oldest creation on the list is Bembo, designed by Francesco Griffo in 1496, about 56 years after Gutenberg developed his movable-type printing press.
Serif or Sans-Serif? Don’t know what we’re talking about? Actually, you do. Marketing executive David Canfield explains the difference, and talks about the advantage of one over the other in print and online environments.
Font or Typeface? We sometimes use these terms interchangeably, but there is a difference. The FontFeed provides the details. (Our favorite explanation of the difference: the Font is the mp3 file. The Typeface is the song. Beautiful!)
The Anatomy of Web Fonts Want to get deeper into what the online environment hath wrought for typography? Go here.
Top Ten Typefaces Used by Book Design Winners More scoop from The FontFeed. Take a look at these fonts the next time you’re designing a cover for your latest report!
Typography Geeks and Font Snobs Finally, our favorite former Oklahoma librarian, Cokie Anderson, provides this wonderful little post on Booktryst. I think I would have loved it even if I hadn’t taken a typography class in college!
*Asterisk! More about our literary cat… Kitty and I have a disagreement about the gender of our furry friend. I think he’s a he, and she thinks she’s a she. We don’t actually know. We never get close enough to him/her to tell. I mean, it was hard enough to round him/her up for the photo above. And since we do not discriminate on the basis of gender, it doesn’t really matter. The pay for our weekly site is the same: one can of tuna.