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09:05, 21/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Add to my list This book is in your list Remove KIRKUS REVIEW Duras? novel, published in French in 1971, debuts in its English translation (Emily L., 1987, etc.). The town of S. Thala is a timeless place where sand, light, hot blazes, sirens and a dead dog all seem to hold some strange significance. But what? Duras, whose works were popular in France during the last century, was known for experimenting with different genres?she was particularly associated with the nouveau roman movement in France?and presenting her text in unique forms. A prolific writer, she produced novels, articles, plays and movies before her death in 1996. This particular narrative, written in cinematic form, is illustrative of her passion for the unusual. A sequel to The Ravishing of Lol Stein (first published in 1964), this book revisits the main characters as they fade in and out, and the reader is left to reread passages to discover the identity of the speaker and attempt to discern meaning. As a traveler arrives in S. Thala, he suddenly finds himself confronting his past in surrealistic snatches of dialogue that are simultaneously disturbing, exquisite, calming and perplexing. The traveler evidently was once involved with the woman with whom he interacts?at one point she?s pregnant, and at another, they discuss two children?and she?s sometimes accompanied (and sometimes not) by a man who watches over her. Duras certainly tears down traditional ideas about how to structure novels, but her avant-garde approach may be confusing for some. The novel doesn?t work well as a stand-alone. And reading the prequel is no guarantee that the reader will get it. Pub Date: July 16th, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-934824-79-5
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Exclusive Cover Reveal: Coreene Callahan's Fury Of Desire

13:56, 17/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Find it! By Author / By Title Search over 40,000 reviews Try our Advanced Book Search Help Advanced Book Search Search books by title, genre, publication month, publication year, and rating or search by any combination of these options (i.e. all Mysteries published in January 2001 with 4.5 rating). If you want to search for a name or phase, include quotation marks around your search term (example: "Deborah Smith") Visitor Login Visitor login is required to post a review and comment on the blog and other interactive features on the site. Use your same username and password to register for the RT Forums. / Community / RT Daily Blog / Exclusive Cover Reveal: Coreene Callahan's Fury Of Desire Exclusive Cover Reveal: Coreene Callahan's Fury Of Desire BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 11, 2013 | PERMALINK Romance readers who take on a series ? whether it be contemporary, historical, paranormal or beyond ? always have that one secondary character that they're just dying to see get their happily ever after. For many of Coreene Callahan's Dragonfury readers, that character is Wick ? a wounded fighter whose much deserved HEA is coming in book four, Fury of Desire. Callahan's Nightfury dragon shifters ? a half-human, half-dragon race committed to protecting mankind ? have been feuding with another faction of dragons hell bent on wiping out humans, so with tension building across three books, Wick certainly has his work cut out for him. Today we're happy to unveil the cover of Fury of Desire, which depicts a hunky Wick among a burning yellow color scheme, inspired by his piercing amber eyes. Writing an entire series is a serious commitment for an author. We asked Callahan about what she's learned over the course of her series and how the first three Dragonfury books influence the fourth: "I?ve discovered along the way that every book I write is different. Each story comes together in its own time, at its own pace, the ideas, themes and characters melding to form a transformative kind of story magic. Fury of Desire, however, touched me in ways I have difficulty explaining. Maybe because I fell in love with Wick, the unlikeliest of heroes, the instant I met him. There is just something about a bad boy, isn?t there? Particularly one with a shady past, an uncertain future, and a bad attitude. But for all his stubbornness, he made me a better writer, challenging me in ways no story ever has, so I think it?s only fitting that I adore the cover of his book as much as the man. It captures him with brilliant strokes, bringing to life the aggressive, amber-eyed warrior who never says much, yet always manages to get his point across." So what else does she think about the new cover, and her hero? She elaborated further: "I adore the cover for Fury of Desire. It combines all that I envisioned while writing Wick?s story. From day one, he took hold of my heart, and through three books, has never let go. So it was incredibly important to me that his personality be captured on the cover. Everything ? from his take-no-prisoners attitude, aggressive body language and gold eyes ? hits the mark, bringing him to life on the cover. I?m thankful for the talented artists at Montlake Romance. I think the design team got it just right." Curious about what challenges await Wick? Here's the book's back cover copy: No warrior of the Nightfury pack is more complicated or damaged than Wick. Scarred from a childhood of slavery and torture, Wick cannot bear the touch of another person. But all bets are off when he meets J.J. Solares. When she is unjustly imprisoned, Wick agrees to help rescue and keep her from harm. But Wick lives a life of self-imposed isolation and venturing into the world to seek justice for J.J. may be more than he can bear. Brutalized by the harsh reality of prison, J.J thinks she is hallucinating when a majestic dark-haired god sweeps in to save her ? and Wick is shaken to his core by the attraction he feels for J.J. But neither is out of harm's way yet. When they find themselves at the center of a Dragonkind war, they are forced to make the ultimate choice ? surrender to their fears or accept each other?s love. Needless to say, Wick looks smokin' hot, and the look in his eyes certainly tells us he's carrying some demons (figuratively, at least as far as we know ... ). We'll find out what happens when Fury of Desire releases October 15! What do you think about the cover for Fury of Desire? Excited for more in Callahan's Dragonfury universe? Let us know in the comments below. And make sure to pick up a copy of the book, which will be available in both print and e-formats October 15. For more paranormal romance, check out our Everything Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Page . Tags: RT Daily Blog, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
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Aimee Pozorski: Web of Stories: Philip Roth, the Writers' Writer

11:37, 9/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Subscribe by and large, the power of a book lies in choosing, juxtaposing the right character with the right historical circumstances or personal circumstances --Philip Roth, 2011 I remember distinctly where I was when I read each Philip Roth novel for the first time -- especially if I read it during the summer. I read the Professor of Desire on the terrace of the student center of University of Wisconsin overlooking a lake. I read American Pastoral on the front lawn of a tri level walk up where I was renting the second floor just out of graduate school. I read Nemesis in Fish Creek, Wisconsin while vacationing with my sister, her children, and my son. There was something about the vulnerability of the children in that novel -- away for the summer at camp -- that struck me as hard and true while I turned the pages in a sheltered resort town of the Door Peninsula. I read The Human Stain in a dark, air-conditioned room while lying in bed in the middle of the day. I felt somewhat guilty for not being outside, but it was hot, and there was a puppy curled beside me sleeping, and it was a Roth novel after all. This summer, without a Roth novel to confront for the very first time, I have returned repeatedly to his collaboration with Christopher Sykes: Web of Stories, a series of interviews in which Mr. Roth talks about his childhood, his influences, the ideas for his novels, and his life as a writer . It is in the latter category that I consider this Web of Stories series as a partner piece with the PBS documentary: Philip Roth Unmasked , where he also unmasks his creative process. The Web of Stories series is broken down into 163 short clips -- about one to two minutes each, also accompanied by a transcription -- where the voice of Philip Roth comes alive once again. What the series reveals about Roth is not simply the fact that he speaks the way he writes -- that Rothian sentence! If only it were ingrained in all of us! -- but also the fact that he is an exceedingly good critic, not only of his own work, but of others in the canon as well. During this series of interviews, Philip Roth provides some refreshing insights into the origins of many of his novels -- The Human Stain, The Dying Animal, Nemesis -- as well as new insights into his own coming of age. One of my favorites is in segment #55, well after Roth gives an overview of the publication history of his greatest works. It concerns the well-documented argument with his father before leaving for college. But in this iteration, the father's voice and concern become as sympathetic as that of the son : "And he used to say to me, 'You're a plum, you're a plum' you know, which implicit in Europe plum is: don't fuck it up, you know. He didn't say that, he just said 'You're a plum'. He was afraid that something was going to happen to me. Something did happen to me, but it was inevitable that something would happen to me." I read in this moment a synecdoche for all of what comes before and what comes later: Philip Roth was an absolute treasure to his father, to his family. Their belief in him was well founded. Herman Roth felt utterly compelled to protect his son for us all, as we, too, feel compelled to protect him. Even in his retirement, Philip Roth still speaks. If you come to miss his voice, you can continue to hear him reflect on writing and writers, and even to sing about love in #163 -- on Web of Stories. I was so compelled by this series, and by the process of producing these vignettes that I interviewed Christopher Sykes at the end of May of this year. Below is a transcription of some of that conversation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Ordinarily you interview experts in science, medicine and technology. What gave you the idea to interview Philip Roth for his life story? Is there a scientific connection there that readers would be interested to learn about? If not, what links Roth to the other stories in your series? Vitek Tracz, the originator and owner of Web of Stories, set out to record the life stories of people whose work and achievements will matter in, say, a hundred years from now. Of living writers, we thought Philip Roth was someone who meets that criterion. It's true that Web of Stories began with outstanding scientists - it was once called Science Archive - and the first person to be recorded was the great biologist Sidney Brenner. The project gradually broadened to include outstanding people from other fields, so that there are now painters and sculptors, architects and cinematographers, theatre and opera directors, and writers. There are too few women and we are trying to do something about that. How did you prepare for the taping, and for meeting Mr. Roth himself? Did you arrive with a set of talking points or questions, or turn the camera on and invite Mr. Roth to speak about whatever came to mind? Web of Stories is not a journalistic enterprise. The idea is to try to make it possible and comfortable for the talker to tell the story he or she wants to tell, with no limits on length and no editing apart from cleaning up a few technical things. The talker is given a copy of all the recorded material and is free to delete or embargo anything, or even to ask that the whole recording be destroyed. This hasn't happened yet! So we set up the camera and ask the talker to begin at the beginning and take it from there. Inevitably, one does offer prompts or ask for clarification along the way, but we are not trying to 'find out' anything in particular, as it were. As the interviews took place in 2011, after the appearance of Nemesis, Mr. Roth's last novel, was it clear that Mr. Roth had the possibility of retirement on his mind? Mr. Roth did not say anything about retiring, but he did say that he hadn't been writing for a while and found he was greatly enjoying things he didn't usually do when he was writing full-time, like having lunch with friends and watching TV. And YouTube. He does talk in the recordings about the 'ordeal' of being a writer and how it's a job he would try his hardest to dissuade any children from taking up, and I guess he must have been thinking about stopping writing novels. But he didn't say so. What was your reaction when Mr. Roth started singing about "Love, love, love"? Are there any other surprising/ candid/ favorite moments of yours in the series? Well, I was delighted of course. I always ask our talkers about 'love' because they always say something interesting - Mr Roth's was better than interesting! About how long did you spend in conversation with Mr. Roth, taping his stories? Did you perceive certain themes, values, or memories repeated throughout the process? We had five sessions of about two hours each, on five consecutive weekdays. Just Mr Roth, me, and the camera and microphone. It was a pleasure and a privilege - I would read his stuff in the mornings and then go round to his apartment in the afternoons to listen to him talking about how he does it! One of the things I especially enjoyed was hearing him talk about how he did his research for each book, how he writes first and how that shows him what he needs to find out about to make things real - what it is really like to be Miss New Jersey, or to make a glove or stuff an animal, or be a kosher slaughterer or an amputee. Or a writer...   THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman Published on June 18th, 2013 THE FARAWAY NEARBY Published on June 13th, 2013 YOU ARE ONE OF THEM by Elliott Holt Published on May 30th, 2013 AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED
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Solitude: Sweet spot

15:58, 7/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
A journey around living alone Jun 29th 2013 Tweet Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin in the Middle Taiga. By Sylvain Tesson, translated by Linda Coverdale. Allen Lane; 239 pages; £16.99. To be published in America in September by Rizzoli Ex Libris; $24.95. Buy from Amazon.com , Amazon.co.uk SYLVAIN TESSON, a French writer, is known for books about his journeys across the steppes and mountains of Central Asia. ?Consolations of the Forest?, which won the Prix Médicis in 2011 and is his first book in English translation, is different. It is about staying put. For six months in 2010?from February to July?Mr Tesson lived alone in a forest cabin beside Lake Baykal in Siberia. In this section Reprints The nearest village was 75 miles (121km) away, the closest neighbour several hours? walk. There were no roads. Solar panels gave him some electricity, but otherwise, fortified by vodka and cigars, he lived the simple life, much of it reading and thinking?about nature, time and himself. ?Nothing is as good as solitude,? he says, adding: ?The only thing I need to make me perfectly happy is someone to whom I could explain this.? Instead he described the pleasures to himself in a diary; ?Consolations of the Forest? is the happy result. Why did he do it? The question runs through the book like a tune. Was it a revulsion against modernity, against traffic and cheeseburgers? Or was it an act of political refusal? A hermit?s life, he says, ?is more anti-statist than a protest demonstration bristling with black flags?. Was it a wish to tread lightly on the earth, not to exploit it? Or perhaps it was a way to plumb his inner life??the nuances of my own tectonics?. As he chops wood, guts fish and dodges brown bears, Mr Tesson considers these questions in the company of philosophers and poets, misfits and refuseniks. Books inhabit Mr Tesson?s inner and outer landscapes. Two ducks landing on open water remind him of reading and suddenly alighting on a good phrase. The sound of cracking ice brings Schopenhauer to mind. Staggered by the view from a mountaintop, he can think only of Hegel?s words: So ist (?It is so?). His writing is elegant and urbane, full of paradoxes, aphorisms and conceits: ?The sky has powdered the taiga [the northern forest], shaking velvety down over the vert-de-bronze of the cedars. Winter forest: a silvery fur tossed onto the shoulders of the terrain.? He verges on whimsy at times, and there are purple patches: ?A russet moon rose tonight, its reflection in the shattered lake ice like a blood-red Host on a wounded altar.? Tongue in cheek? Perhaps. Yet, for all his playfulness, Mr Tesson is in earnest. He loves the taiga and understands the Russians? almost mystical attachment to it. He shudders at the occasional invasions of gun-toting businessmen in blaring 4x4s, and he walks for hours to meet odd loners in their scattered cabins. One of them gives him two puppies who become his much-loved companions and his wisest philosophers. Move over Schopenhauer. Aika and Bek know where the ?sweet spot? is?the present moment, that special place ?between longing and regret? that Mr Tesson is ultimately in search of.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21580121-journey-around-living-alone-sweet-spot?fsrc=rss%7Cbar

Cyber-warfare: Digital doomsters

16:32, 1/7/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Digital doomsters How scared should we be? Jun 29th 2013 Tweet A Fierce Domain: Conflict in Cyberspace, 1986-2012. Edited by Jason Healey. CCSA/Atlantic Council; 354 pages; $24. Buy from Amazon.com Cyberwar Will Not Take Place. By Thomas Rid. Hurst; 218 pages; £14.99. To be published in America in September by Oxford University Press USA; $27.95. Buy from Amazon.com ,  Amazon.co.uk In this section Amazon ?CYBER? sounds scary. Cyber-criminals can empty your bank account; cyberterrorists are the stuff of Hollywood thrillers. Cyber-espionage involves stealing state secrets or intellectual property. You do not have to understand how computers work to be worried about the damage to you, your work or your country. Yet businesses seeking to increase their sales, and officials and politicians who want more money and power, love tales of doom and gloom. Trade is booming for what some have dubbed the ?cyber-industrial complex?. State agencies demand more power to fend off a dreadful attack by a foreign enemy?a kind of ?digital Pearl Harbour?. Companies peddle security advice and software, often with a hefty price tag. The difficulty for the citizen and taxpayer is to decide: are people being too paranoid, or too complacent? Two new books provide some useful perspective. ?A Fierce Domain? is a collection of essays edited by Jason Healey, a former cyber-policy chief in the Obama White House. His main point is that this is not a new problem: the first big cyber-attack dates back to 1986, when a bunch of German hackers in Hanover, working for the KGB, sneaked into American military networks. Named ?Cuckoo?s Egg?, it was caught only because a sharp-eyed official noted a tiny 75-cent billing error, revealing unauthorised use of a computer network. Many more attacks have followed: Moonlight Maze, Solar Sunrise, Titan Rain and Byzantine Hades. None is a household name, though from the gripping accounts in Mr Healey?s book many readers will feel they all should be. One especially damaging operation involved the theft of top-secret material from the most classified NATO networks. The attackers had used infected memory sticks, which were left lying around in car parks near sensitive buildings. Careless or thrifty officials picked them up, and some used them to copy material between classified computer networks and those connected to the internet. A clever bit of software then copied, encrypted, compressed and dispatched the material?probably, spooks think, to Moscow. Mr Healey?s main message is to urge policymakers to be less secretive and more humble. Too many past attacks remain classified. Officials continue to burble the same warnings and assurances as they did 20 years ago; the public is left in the dark. Thomas Rid is a German-born academic, now at King?s College London. He is one of Britain?s leading authorities on, and sceptics about, cyber-warfare. His provocatively titled book attacks the hype and mystique about sabotage, espionage, subversion and other mischief on the internet. He agrees that these present urgent security problems. But he dislikes talk of ?warfare? and the militarisation of the debate about dangers in cyberspace. Computer code can do lots of things, but it is not a weapon of war. He criticises the American air force for using a ?lobbying gimmick? with talk of ?cyber? as a fifth domain of warfare, after land, sea, air and space. However much the military brass may hype up the threat, states are in fact highly unlikely to use cyber-weapons against each other, Mr Rid argues. They are expensive to acquire, unreliable and fiddly. That does not mean they are useless. Malicious code, ?malware?, can do shocking damage, destroying machines, starting fires, spewing pollution or jamming communications. Cleverer weapons could be more dangerous still, such as malicious code that adapts to its environment, rewriting itself to evade pursuers. They will be used, but as part of sabotage or terrorism rather than all-out war, he argues. Both books leave the reader feeling gloomy. People worry too much about the wrong things, and not enough about the real problems. Digital weapons are growing more sophisticated; the response has been self-interested, slow and crude. 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For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21580123-how-scared-should-we-be-digital-doomsters?fsrc=rss%7Cbar


22:18, 29/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
KIRKUS REVIEW The lukewarm sequel to the tepid supervillain series opener The Vindico (2012) underwhelms. The five former protégés of the villainous Vindico have only two more months of life among the ordinary before at last being allowed to join the League of Heroes. The kids find their time in the doldrums cut short when they are attacked by a splinter group of the League?what gives??and one of them, computer-genius Emily, is kidnapped by a mysterious third party who controls a team of superpowered Wraiths. Could her abduction be connected to the recent disappearances of League members? James, Lana, Sam and Hayden travel from one superbase to another in search of their friend, leaving a trail of wreckage in their wake as they fend off rebel Heroes, Wraiths and the Vindico, who are, predictably enough, released from their imprisonment to join the fray. King?s sequel suffers from the same flaws that characterized the first book: bland protagonists, double and triple crosses that don?t do anything but move the plot from point A to point B, less-than-compelling motivations behind the various villains? actions, overwrought dialogue and clumsy exposition. Readers new to the series will be lost in a thicket of comic-book names and superpowers, and even those familiar with the first book may find keeping track of the expanding cast a challenge. Ultimately forgettable. (Adventure. 10-14)
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Charles Moore's 'Margaret Thatcher' Is A Softer Iron Lady

07:14, 26/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Charles Moore is a former editor of The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator. Michael Lionstar/Knopf Charles Moore is a former editor of The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator. Michael Lionstar/Knopf Early on in Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher, he describes a birthday party at which a school friend tells the future prime minister, "If you don't stop bossing us, I shall stamp on your foot." It's not hard to imagine that a great many people have wished they could say the same thing to her over the 11 years Thatcher spent as prime minister of the United Kingdom, from members of Parliament to routed Argentine generals. But in his new biography, Moore tries to soften the image of a bossy, domineering Iron Lady. Drawing from interviews and her personal letters, he forms a more complete picture of Thatcher in the years from her childhood in Grantham to the Falklands War (a second volume about the rest of her life is forthcoming). Moore, who was the editor of the conservative newspaper The Daily Telegraph from 1995-2003, was handpicked by Thatcher to write her authorized biography. She gave him access to an extraordinary wealth of letters and papers, on the condition that the book not be published before her death. Consequently, it seemed likely that Moore ? himself a conservative Tory and a longtime supporter of Thatcher ? would write little more than a hagiography. But, though he clearly admires Thatcher (she is, as he says, "someone about whom it is almost impossible to be neutral"), he has produced a remarkable biography. The research is staggeringly thorough, and the storytelling vivid and unrelentingly interesting. One of the many pleasures of Margaret Thatcher is Moore's flair for political drama. In one entertaining episode, as Thatcher was running for party leadership, an interview came out that quoted her saying she bought canned foods in bulk. The press, egged on by her opponent, accused her of hoarding ? a serious charge in postwar Britain, which had food rationing until the mid-1950s. She retaliated by inviting the papers into her home to take stock of her larder ? a brilliant move that, as Moore points out, not only debunked the accusations, but made her opponent seem silly. Moore exults in these small dramas, as well as the larger ones. Among the revelations of the book are the details of her romantic life. Moore's unprecedented access to her journals and letters lets him prove that, though she denied it, she dated other men seriously before marrying Denis Thatcher. More shockingly, up until he proposed, she was a little lukewarm about him. At one point, she even wrote to her sister, "I can't say I ever really enjoy going out for the evening with him. He has not got a very prepossessing personality." Moore does his correcting gently, calling her claim that she didn't date anyone before Denis Thatcher an "understandable untruth." A more serious revelation is that Thatcher, though she publicly said that she would not engage with paramilitary groups, had secret proxy negotiations with the IRA during the 1981 Irish hunger strike. Thatcher was both detested and admired for her refusal to budge as 10 Irish Republican prisoners slowly starved themselves to death in jail, including Bobby Sands, who was elected to Parliament from prison. Moore writes: "Mrs. Thatcher went against her public protestations about not negotiating with terrorists, and actively did so, though at a remove." Had this been known at the time, it would have been a major scandal. Though Thatcher was Britain's first female prime minister, she wasn't especially interested in being a female pioneer ? she bragged more often about being the first prime minister with a degree in science. Like Thatcher, Moore's views on gender seem conflicted. On the one hand, he notes with clear disdain, "The courtesy shown to women Members [of Parliament] had the effect of cocooning them in a cosy irrelevance," and refers again later to the "parliamentary female ghetto." At one point, mentioning her unwillingness to invite certain male university friends over, he notes, "Despite four successful years at the university, she was still in a position of traditional, womanly weakness." Other times, he seems oddly paternalistic, reporting warmly on her penchant for brown dresses and her good grades. Instead of, say, trying to illustrate that toughness and femininity are not antithetical, Moore domesticates Thatcher. The first third of the book scarcely mentions any event in her life without also describing her outfit. Much is made, too, of her housekeeping: She doesn't just clean ? she cleans "with characteristic domestic enthusiasm." Odd little gendered statements populate the book ? what, exactly could he mean when he says that Thatcher's "female conscientiousness" was one of her political assets? This kind of sprawling, discursive book provides a portrait of the biographer as well as the subject. The impression that emerges is, on the one hand prim, patrician and a touch elitist, and on the other, smart, drily funny and well-informed. A little bit of a know-it-all, Moore litters his account with small, fussy jabs. At one point he writes that Thatcher's favorite poetry shows no "originality of literary taste." And when she wrote in a letter that the British sparkling wine Moussec is a "sparking champagne", he notes, primly, "Actually it is an ersatz champagne." He makes almost no criticisms of policy, though he frequently portrays Thatcher as more of a hard worker than a brilliant thinker, characterizing her as "ill equipped for intellectual battle." Frustratingly, this kind of casual pronouncement rarely comes with a justification. But Margaret Thatcher is so expansive, so sophisticated and so well-written that it's hard to be overly upset by occasional and slight incursions of Moore's personal views. He's paired the research methods of a historian with the kind of writing you only find in the best political journalism ? fluid, understated and clean.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/06/20/192781335/charles-moores-margaret-thatcher-is-a-softer-iron-lady?ft=1&f=1034

Is Guy Fieri Giving Pete Wells The Finger?

16:17, 19/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Guy Fieri's New Cookbook: "Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives: The Funky Finds In Flavortown" The Huffington Post  |  By Rebecca Orchant Posted: 05/09/2013 9:04 am EDT Sign Up Follow:   Celebrity Chefs ,   Video , Diners Drive-Ins And Dives , Cookbook Reviews , Guy Fieri , Guy Fieri Cookbook , Guy Fieri Flavortown , Guy Fieri Flavortown Cookbook , Guy Fieri Review , Pete Wells , Taste News We have complicated feelings about Guy Fieri around here. Of course we find his enthusiasm to be grating (we are human), his hair to be ridiculous and his fratty portmanteau-heavy slang is frequently the bane of our existence. Where things get tricky is that we actually have a ton of respect for the original motivation behind his now ubiquitous show " Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives ." In case you have been living under a blissfully quiet rock where hydrogen peroxide does not exist, "DDD" is Fieri's Food Network show -- a countrywide road trip, stopping in regionally heralded mom and pop shops along the way to highlight their best dishes. As you guys probably already know, we have a special love for and commitment to American regional foods here at HuffPost Taste. Our editors are all from opposite corners of the country, and we all have our own regional favorites to rave about. We live in a huge country and celebrating everyone's food is an important job that we admire. But does that cartoon character have to be the one to do it? It's as though every time we wanted to enjoy a Philly cheesesteak, a Cuban sandwich or green chile enchiladas, the Kool-Aid man had to OH YEAH! through the wall to serve them to us. This is why providing a rational critique of Guy Fieri's new cookbook Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: The Funky Finds in Flavortown is proving to be especially difficult for us. When we pick up a Guy Fieri cookbook, our immediate instinct is to make fun of it. Something Fieri has, recently, become all too aware of. The flaming spectacle (I mean, really there are a lot of neon flames on it) of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar opening in New York City to a critical tarring and feathering in the center of town was pretty impossible to look away from. And Fieri's subsequent, flabbergasted, entirely too earnest assertion that Pete Wells had "another agenda" in panning the restaurant was one of the most brutally captivating things we've ever watched him do. It appears that Fieri and Wells have not worked it out. In the introduction to the Flavortown cookbook, Fieri says the following: DDD is about celebrating the good in food. We don't review food. We root for it. I get asked over and over, "Is there anything you won't eat? Is there anything you don't like? Do you just automatically give everything a thumbs up?" Of course I don't love everything. Of course there are all sorts of things on any given menu that I wouldn't order. But that's not what we're all about. We're here to show you what you might want to eat out there -- not what you shouldn't! Food is fun. Or at least we think it is. It doesn't feel like too big an intellectual leap to think that drawing this stark comparison between "the critic" and the "the supporter" is to sort of ask America whose side they are on. We visited Guy's American Kitchen & Bar for its opening party with other members of the press. The representative dishes passed around inspired a similar reaction in us as it did in Wells. We, also, are not critics, but we did want to shake Fieri by the shoulders and ask just whose cuisine he was trying to celebrate with that stuff (with the exception of the pepperoni mozzarella sticks, because, come on). The diners, drive-ins and dives Fieri celebrates on his show make honest, lovingly prepared food that makes lifelong customers. Lauding those establishments, shining a light on them, those are the major successes of Guy Fieri as a personality. We wish he would just stick to doing that. This cookbook, the third in the "DDD" series is totally un-mess-with-able in terms of recipe content. Why? Well, they're not Fieri's recipes. They're the specials of the house in 34 of the nation's beloved local restaurants. These recipes have been tested thousands of times in kitchens, by chefs, line cooks, new guys, etc. They are water-tight, and actually pretty exciting to have around. But the book is not without its puzzling and forehead-slapping components. Fieri's show has had 13 seasons . It's one of the most popular shows on the Food Network, and ostensibly, makes them a lot of money. Which has us scratching our heads at the black and white, often blurry photos and generally low production value of the book itself. There are, as ever, many photos of Fieri, sunglasses strapped to the back of his luminescent head, jaw hinged wide open in the attack position on a sandwich. If we think of him as the bro-y, overly excitable brother-in-law of America, it's almost endearing. But, were he actually our excited puppy brother-in-law, we would probably buy him a beer, pat him on the shoulder, tell him to let bygones-be-bygones, learn from the experience and stick to what he's good at. Which, Guy, if you are reading this, the things you are good at are being an avid, passionate supporter of this country's amazing regional food producers and making pepperoni mozzarella sticks. Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter , Facebook , Pinterest and Tumblr . Also on HuffPost: Loading Slideshow "Jerusalem" By Yotam Ottolenghi And Sami Tamimi Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, $19.84 on Amazon "The Art Of Fermentation" By Sandor Ellix Katz The Art Of Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz, $23.76 on Amazon "The Farm" By Ian Knauer The Farm, by Ian Knuaer, $19.41 on Amazon "Modernist Cuisine At Home" By Nathan Myhrvold And Maxime Bilet Modernist Cuisine At Home, by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet, $140 on Amazon "My Pizza" By Jim Lahey And Rick Flaste My Pizza, by Jim Lahey and Rick Flaste, $15.98 on Amazon "Canal House Cooks Every Day" By Hamilton & Hirsheimer Canal House Cooks Every Day, by Hamilton & Hirsheimer, $45 on thecanalhouse.com "Bouchon Bakery" By Thomas Keller And Sebastien Rouxel Bouchon Bakery, by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel, $31.50 on Amazon "Lidia's Favorite Recipes" By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich And Tanya Bastianich Manuali Lidia's Favorite Recipes, by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali, $13.98 on Amazon "Pastries" By Pierre Hermé Pastries, by Pierre Hermé, $31.50 on Amazon "The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2" By Amanda Hesser And Merrill Stubbs The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2, by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, $16.66 on Amazon Contribute to this Story:
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/guy-fieri-cookbook-flavortown_n_3239389.html


02:11, 17/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Add to my list This book is in your list Remove KIRKUS REVIEW This middle-grade historical novel set in Ireland during the mid-17th century is low on character and a little muddled in story but offers lots of history. Thirteen-year-old Tom Flynn?s father ignores him or cuffs him, devoting his attention to keeping his land and spoiling his daughters. Tom?s mother is sickly and withdrawn, and Tom escapes to the cliffs and caves of Roaringwater Bay by their home in West Cork. In those caves he discovers Donal, who speaks Irish and whose father, he says, is a king. Tom becomes intrigued by Donal?s family, and Donal?s small sister Maura attaches herself fiercely to ?Tomflynn.? Tom?s father goes off to Dublin and beyond to secure his family?s place in the shifting political landscape, and Donal?s father supports his family by smuggling. Donal?s family, who makes what they need and works the sea, opens Tom?s eyes to a different life from the one his father is trying to secure. The secrets of the caves reveal not only what Donal?s family does, but how Tom?s mother is connected to them. The denouement involves a little more forgiveness and turnabout than one might reasonably expect. A lot of English and Irish history and culture is dropped in when the focus shifts away from Tom, slowing the storyline and frequently failing to compel; a coda explains the real historical characters around Tom and Donal. For those fascinated by Irish history, but probably not many more. (Historical fiction. 9-14) Pub Date: June 14th, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-84717-207-5
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'Beside Ourselves' Explores Human-Animal Connections

23:51, 13/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
We Are All Completely Beside OurselvesRead an excerpt If you know Karen Joy Fowler's writing only from her clever, 2004 best-seller, The Jane Austen Book Club, you're in for a shock. Fowler's new novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, is a different literary creature altogether ? still witty but emotionally and intellectually riskier, and more indebted to Fowler's other books that toy with the sci-fi genre. In fact, all the time I was reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, I kept thinking of Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel Never Let Me Go, a tragic, scientific romance that deals with cloning. Both novels share a curiosity about the weird, gray areas in our definition of what it means to be "human," and both are saturated with despair. Fowler's novel is superb, but I've already warned a couple of sensitive animal lovers I know away from it. You should read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves only if you're willing to be upset and probably permanently haunted. Our narrator here is named Rosemary Cooke, and she's in college when the novel opens. As Rosemary tells us, she's learned to "[s]kip the beginning and [s]tart in the middle" of her story. That's because if you heard the beginning right away, you'd get the wrong idea about one of her family members. Rosemary wants us to meet her parents; her twin sister, Fern; and her older brother, Lowell; slowly, in flashbacks. She's only reluctantly agreed to talk about her family because as she ultimately admits, she's the only adult child of the family "not currently in a cage." At this point, I have to divulge something crucial about Fern's identity that the book jacket hints at, and Rosemary tells us about a quarter of the way into the story. What we readers come to suspect ? and what we're finally told ? is that Fern is a chimpanzee. Rosemary's father is a scientist studying animal behavior, and Rosemary and Fern were raised pretty much from birth to age 5 as twin sisters. Fern believed she was human and, as Rosemary says, the mirroring went both ways. The most charming and comical parts of Fowler's novel deal with Rosemary's memories of her early childhood as part primate. Here's Rosemary's recollection of playing with Fern on a long-ago snow day: Karen Joy Fowler, whose new book is We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, became well-known in 2004 with the publication of her best-selling novel The Jane Austen Book Club. Brett Hall Jones/Putnam Karen Joy Fowler, whose new book is We Are Completely Beside Ourselves, became well-known in 2004 with the publication of her best-selling novel The Jane Austen Book Club. Brett Hall Jones/Putnam Mom warns me to stay upright. No loping through the snow on my hands and feet. ... [Fern] stuffs another handful of snow into her mouth, smacks her protuberant, acrobatic lips, and turns to look up at me, eyes, shining. Fern's eyes seem larger than human eyes because the whites are not white but an amber color. ... When I draw Fern's face, the crayon I use for her eyes is burnt sienna. Fern's own drawings are never finished, as she always eats the crayon. Fern disappears when Rosemary is 5, and we don't learn what happened to her until the end of the novel. What Rosemary does chronicle, however, is how her family was shattered by Fern's leave-taking. Lowell grows up to be a militant animal-rights activist wanted by the FBI; her mother descends into depression; her father drinks. Rosemary thinks she endured the worst fate of all: She was forced to deny part of her essential self and "just" act human, starting in kindergarten; to refrain from biting, and from jumping on tables and desks when playing. All to no avail ? the already formed tribe of human kids in school sensed Rosemary was different and shunned her, calling her a "monkey girl." Fowler's smart and exquisitely sad novel provokes us to think about a lot of aspects of our relationship to animals that most of us would rather ignore. It also delves into other questions. Do animals think? Can they empathize? Do they have long-term memories? Throughout her book, Fowler weaves in brief life histories of actual "cross fostered" chimps, including that of the famous Washoe, the first chimp to learn American Sign Language. Fowler quotes the researcher who was Washoe's longtime human companion. Speaking of their close connection, he once said that Washoe "taught him that in the phrase ' human being,' the word 'being' is much more important than the word 'human.' " If you think such blurring of the categories between animals and humans is sentimental bunk or worse, blasphemy, Fowler's subversive novel dares you to think again.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/06/07/187339756/beside-ourselves-explores-human-animal-connections?ft=1&f=1034

Fr. Gary M. Meier: Questions After Coming Out As A Gay Catholic Priest

14:50, 11/6/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Questions After Coming Out as a Gay Catholic Priest Posted: 05/30/2013 11:05 am Follow Sign Up Since the launch of my book "Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay Catholic Priest" on the eve of my 15-year anniversary to the priesthood and since my announcement , two questions keep coming up: "Why now?" and "What now?" They've been asked in emails, at the book launch and by reporters. The first time a reporter asked the question "Why now?" it came with a bit of investigative questioning that caught me off guard. She asked, "Why now? Are you dating someone?" "Of course not," I replied. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. When the headlines read, "Openly Gay Priest," it does give the impression that my issue is celibacy. It is not! The fact is, I am not dating anyone. Celibacy has not been my issue as a gay catholic priest. My issue is with the church's teaching on homosexuality and the way it's being implemented by members of our hierarchy which I believe is causing harm, especially to our LGBT youth and especially when 30 percent of all successful teenage suicides in this country are attributed to sexual identity issues. Our hierarchal positioning on this issue is communicating to our LGBT youth that they are wrong, defective, disordered or have a disease like alcoholism. In January 2011, The 8th Day Center for Justice , a Catholic organization staffed by 30 congregations of nuns, priests and brothers issued a statement saying, "the teachings of the Church and the behavior of some members of the Church hierarchy have added to an atmosphere of bullying and intimidation." They go on to say that "despite claims to the contrary ... people of differing sexual orientation are not welcome in the Church. Moreover, such discrimination contributes to an atmosphere in society which promotes bigotry and violence toward the LGBT community." It is my belief that the hierarchal hostility has only gotten worse, not better. So, why now? Why not now? In so many ways I wish I would have spoken sooner. If I have any guilt at all, it is because I've waited this long to speak up. It is abundantly clear to me from the hundreds of emails I've received from people all around the world, that we have caused a great amount of harm. One young man, after telling me his story of repeated rejection by his Catholic church because of his orientation, writes: "I beg you to pray for me." His plea for prayer has in fact moved me to prayer, for him and for all those who are made to feel less than by their church or church leaders. Saint Catharine of Sienna once wrote, "Speak the truth with a thousand voices. It is silence that kills the world." And so I now speak -- the truth, the truth that God has given me to speak -- the truth about love, acceptance and what it means to be a gay Catholic priest. What next? I don't know exactly. I do know it will involve advocacy for the LGBT community. If there is a way to remain a priest in ministry while advocating for the LGBT community -- I'm in. To that end, I have started a website that captures the Rising Voices of Faith who believe in the inherent dignity and equality of all people regardless of who they love. In a recent study from the Pew Research Center , it is clear that the attitude among the faithful towards the LGBT community is changing for the better. This changing attitude is also evident by the hundreds of emails I've received supporting and affirming my decision to speak publically about what I believe. It is my belief that these voices need to be heard. They need to be heard, not for me, but for those who are made to feel less than by others because of their sexual orientation. Rising Voices is an opportunity to let others know they are loved and accepted -- just the way they are. I will remain a full time student in the Master of Counseling program at the University of Missouri Saint Louis . Beyond that, who knows? I do know, however, that in the meantime, I am surrounded by family, friends, supporters and a God of infinite love -- not bad surroundings if you ask me.   Fr. Gary M. Meier: No Longer Anonymous: Why I Decided to Come Out as a Gay Priest At the heart of every authentic call to ministry is the desire to live a life of integrity. It was my desire to live a life of integrity that led me to the priesthood and it is that same desire that has led me to where I am today. Father Shannon Kearns: Collars and Queers I am angry at the people who use the abusers to blame and scapegoat queer people. I am angry at all of the people who think that queer people are sexual deviants, sinners, or predators. I am angry that as a queer priest I will always been seen as a double threat.
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