Saturday, June 05, 2010

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Yes, I am slack (but reading!) I found this great video online about the book I just finished: Leviathan. I really enjoyed it. I was frustrated to find it's the beginning of a trilogy (or series, or whatever) and didn't wrap up in a neat little package at the end. But I'll probably read the next one when it comes out. I just hate waiting.

Also, this is my first foray into the "steampunk" genre which wikipedia defines as: a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used — usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era Britain — but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.

Are you impressed with my ability to cut and paste at random from the web? I hope so, because, as I mentioned, I'm feeling quite slack. I enjoy the steampunk premise so much that the next few books up here will probably also be from that genre. What fun to make a new discovery like this! Anyway, watch the trailer, check out the book....enjoy!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Lit by Mary Karr

I have read a lot of books since my last blog entry but I think Lit
is one of my all time favorites. In general, I have avoided reading memoirs because it seems like such a shallow and narcissistic genre- does anyone else really care to know that much about you? Apparently, in some cases, YES if you have a compelling story, like Mary Karr.
When I saw that Mary Karr was coming to Traverse City for the National Writers Series, I decided to finally break down and read Liar's Club, her first book of memoir published 10 years ago. I figured that if I was going buy a ticket to hear her speak, I should have read at least one of her books. To my surprise, I quickly found myself hooked on her style, her humor and, especially her story. Lit is the third "installment" of her life story and it has convinced me that memoir can be a powerful and entertaining form of literature. I was halfway through Lit when Dave and I went to hear her talk about her work at the TC Opera House and we were not disappointed! We thoroughly enjoyed her candor, easy style, wit and insights about her struggle to overcome a hellish past (i.e. dsyfuncional family, sexual abuse, alcoholism and addiction) through sheer determination and discovering a spirituality within herself that she never knew was there.
I recommend this one for Dave, Amanda and Becky.