Autumn rings

Fall can now come.  I have baked the first apple crisp for this season.  I did not have enough apples for a pie, so crisp would have to do.  Sadly, my mind was still recovering from the final I just crammed for, so I feel like this first apple crisp is going to be missing something.  Thankfully it has apples, so it should be good.

My Bookshelves

I should be studying, but am not.  I have one final tonight, another project due tomorrow that I need to turn in tonight, and other things.  Instead I find myself checking my Google Reader every half hour or so. Over at Papercuts today there is an entry about the well-stocked bookcase.  I just went through the process of cleaning out my shelves, which means that I got rid of about twenty books (Its like pulling teeth, getting rid of these books).  For my shelves, the constants have been since college: Coupland, Eco, Dillard, Austen, Dostovesky and Orwell to name a few.  Since then, others have joined like Cormac McCarthy, Marilynne Robinson, and John Green.  Some you can see, have just started writing in the last five years (ahem, Green).  Coming home to these books is refreshing at the end of the day.  Even if I don’t touch them or even see them clearly, I still find my heart warmed with the sight of my bookshelves.

Interviews

CorneliaInterview with Cornelia Funke over at the Telegraph today. I still can’t believe her favorite book is “The Once and Future King”.  I really should try reading that book again.


My favorite question:


“Why are dragons still so popular, do you think? No one talks about griffins any more, for example.


Yes, what a shame! I think it is truly time to come up with a great Griffin story! But you are right- the dragon also appeals to me especially, maybe because it is the purest incarnation of nature’s energies and powers and our fear of it – an aspect that shows especially in the Western tradition. My dragons are mostly the eastern kind, which is very often benevolent.”


Can’t believe that the Ink trilogy is over, but its different I feel than the end of Harry Potter.  Harry Potter I was ready for it to be finished.  And it felt completed at the end (especially after wandering in the woods for the majority of the book).  With the Ink trilogy I’d have to say it was satisfying, but open.  I felt that there could be more stories written, but it is obvious in the interview that Cornelia is ready to move on to other stories.  She is also the one writer that I can believe readily when she says that she has several stories in her head.  She is a great fantasy writer.  With her great talent, she has helped the golden age of Children Literature to come.

Big Read: Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild



This year Huntington Gardens in Pasadena is spear heading a month long Big Read event. The book they chose was Call of the Wild by Jack London. Being that Jack London is a favorite author, I can’t help but be more than pleased. Several groups in Pasadena and Glendale will be joining in Huntington Garden’s events. Throughout Pasadena and Glendale you can find events at the local libraries, bookstores, and the Huntington Gardens of course. The events range from book discussions, film screenings, lectures and several children events. My favorite is the displaying of a dogsled and how it works. Visuals are great for when reading a story, especially if it is set in a place like Alaska. Unfortunately, some events do happen during the daytime, but there are plenty of events that happen in the evening and on the weekend as well. I can’t wait to join Huntington Gardens and Pasadena to read Call of the Wild.


Schedule of events during the month of October

Censorship and Palin

Over the past few days the news about Palin banning books has been causing quite a stir. Time and New York Times both have been referred to as sources, but what puzzles me is the absence of any sort of facts.  Here’s the only facts I could find.


Fact #1: Palin asks Emmons (now Mary Ellen Baker) about banning books three times. Emmons gets very upset (Understandably, because banning books is a serious issue).


Fact #2: Emmons is fired, but rehired a short time later due to her popularity as a librarian.


Fact #3: Emmons resigns shortly thereafter and has not accepted any interview requests on this topic.


I have seen several book lists floating around, though none could be verified. Everything [even in the news stories] is speculation.  At the most, all I can say, is that is it wrong to ask what a library’s policies are? Palin did not push the matter any further. She did not submit any requests for books to be banned. I am not going to be following politics any further on this blog, but the nature of this story has me intrigued because book banning is close to my heart. I fight for books to be on shelves. But there is nothing to substianate this story yet except speculations. So here are my speculations: Palin asks about book banning policies (when Emmons is trying to get a new policy – or just instated a new policy – instated) and Emmons for a short time was fired. And Emmons and Palin did not get along.


Link to an article (from 1996 when this originally happened) from Achnorage Daily News & Frontiersman:


Frontiersman


Anchorage Daily News


Story from the Boston Herald on the story (this time the piece does actually focus on the issue and not briefly mention it in one paragraph like Time and New York Times):


Palin asked Wasilla Librarian about Censoring Books

Tree

Tree

This morning I was woken up when a tree decided to fall upon my house. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I kept thinking today of Joyce Kilmer’s poem, Trees:

    • THINK that I shall never see
      A poem lovely as a tree.
      A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
      Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
      A tree that looks at God all day,
      And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
      A tree that may in Summer wear
      A nest of robins in her hair;
      Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
      Who intimately lives with rain.
      Poems are made by fools like me,
      But only God can make a tree.

Poems memorized during childhood have a funny way of haunting us as we grew older.  Even if one threatened me bodily harm, I’m still grateful for trees.

Home

Home by M. RobinsonWhen I finished reading Home by Marilynne Robinson earlier this week, I was left thinking about our humanity.  I finished her novel Gilead earlier this week and I quickly picked up my ARC of Home.  Where Gilead was thoughtful and beautiful throughout the entirety of the book, Home was more direct.  Glory drove the story forward, but it was appropriate.  In Gilead, Ames was our narrator; thoughful and slow.  As one who is preparing to say good-bye.  In Home, Robinson focuses on family and faith.  There is the wayward child, Jack, who seems to never fit in with his family and then Glory, who feels she does not have a soul.  Just as in Gilead, there are several scenes that easily are heart-breaking.  Especially as it deals with family and redemption.

On a literary note, with this second novel revolving around the town of Gilead, I couldn’t help but think of Faulkner.  Through the second novel Home Robinson continues to set up this fictional town that feels very real.  While Ames is not in this story as much, he is still there and seen through the eyes of other characters.  The readers get to see a little more of the town of Gilead as Glory interacts with different members and reminisces about past times.  While Gilead is not in the South (it is set in Iowa), it rings true of Faulkner’s tradition with his legendary county.

Home easily is a great follow-up to Gilead and I only hope that Robinson will write more stories from the town of Gilead.