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In Art Lost And Found, The Echoes Of A Century's Upheaval

12:11, 9/11/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
One of the works discovered in the trove, a painting from Otto Dix, is projected on a screen during a news conference in Augsburg, southern Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.NPR reviews, interviews and more Every week, a cluster of stories comes to define the landscape of news media. These can be stories of international scope or local intimacy, but for their own distinctive reasons, they all offer narratives defined almost in real time. To get a better grasp on the hectic pace of current events, it's often vital to turn to another kind of narrative ? our favorite kind: books. That's why each week we'll invite authors to suggest a book that somehow deepens, contextualizes or offers an entirely new angle on one of the week's major headlines. This week, German authorities revealed that a museum's worth of artworks looted by the Nazis had been discovered. Valued at approximately $1.3 billion, the trove contains many works long thought lost, some of which were produced by artists considered 20th century masters. Susan Choi kicks off our new series with Visitation, a novel by German author Jenny Erpenbeck. It's a story of the century as seen by the objects we've owned and lost along the way. This Week's Must Read In a Munich apartment, more than 1,400 pieces of art, by such masters as Matisse, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Otto Dix, lay stacked on shelves or piled up in drawers. Some had been presumed forever lost. Others, including a Chagall, had never been known to exist. The scale of the discovery will require a rewriting of art history. But the human history of how those paintings came to be in that apartment ? 1,400 tales of dispossession ? will never fully be written. One of the works discovered in the trove, a painting from Otto Dix, is projected on a screen during a news conference in Augsburg, southern Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. Kerstin Joensson/Courtesy of AP Images One of the works discovered in the trove, a painting from Otto Dix, is projected on a screen during a news conference in Augsburg, southern Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. Kerstin Joensson/Courtesy of AP Images The paintings can't talk, though if they could, they might sound like Jenny Erpenbeck's novel Visitation, which tells a similar story, though not from the point of view of hidden art works. The central character of this novel sits on a lake in Brandenburg, Germany. It's a house that watches as political upheaval ruins the lives of its residents one after another. The Jews who live in it are forced to sell it cheap when they attempt to escape the Third Reich. Soviet soldiers move in at the end of the war. They avenge themselves with pillage and rape. Later, the house's East German owner has to flee when he's discovered doing business with the West. People bury their cherished objects in the garden for safekeeping. Other people wind up in equally unmarked, forgotten graves. Erpenbeck's house collects this inventory of rupture, displacement and loss. It's unsentimental and devastating. Houses keep something of the people who've lived in them; it's something we sense, but can never decipher. I think a similar thing is true of the paintings found in Munich this week. Those artworks have trafficked with all these people who've owned them or stolen, protected them or tried to profit from them. The history of their entanglement with these people is part of them now. The object remembers its people. It's their only trace. Sometimes that's the closest we can get to restoring what's lost. Susan Choi is an American novelist. In 2010, she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award. Her works include My Education and A Person of Interest.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/11/08/243970526/in-art-lost-and-found-the-echoes-of-a-centurys-upheaval?ft=1&f=1032

The Golden City

18:00, 7/11/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Add to my list This book is in your list Remove KIRKUS REVIEW An ambitious debut from Cheney: part fantasy, part romance, part police procedural and part love letter to Lisbon in the early 1900s. Oriana Paredes has webbed fingers, gills on her neck and discoloration on her legs that looks like scales. She is a sereia hailing from unmapped islands off the coast of Portugal; her people are the basis for the legend of mermaids. But in 1902 Lisboa, the golden city of the title, she passes as the human companion to a young gentlewoman, Isabel. The sereia have a fraught history with the Portuguese?they are illegal in the city itself?and Oriana?s role in society is a cover for her real vocation: sereia spy. Spying, however, is lonely and boring until Oriana and Isabel are kidnapped and left in the river for dead. Isabel, sans gills, dies, but Oriana escapes and, in doing so, discovers clues to an elaborate, sinister plot under the guise of a large artwork installation. She exits the river heartbroken, with an eye toward revenge. Within days, Oriana's search connects her to Duilio Ferreira. A gentleman of the city and frequent consultant to the police, he is privately investigating the deadly artwork installation. Duilio is also part selkie?seal person?and convinces Oriana to work with him in solving the mystery. Their mutual trust grows in the process, along with a burgeoning affection, and they are aided by a colorful cast of characters, many with magic powers or mythic backgrounds. Cheney could use more practice determining which details are worthy of explication?Oriana?s webbed fingers are a constant reference, but where the case is concerned, it can be difficult to track who knows what, which of the plethora of details are important and how. But she does a lovely job connecting magical, historical and romantic elements; her Lisboa is a marvelous place to visit, and the installation artwork at the center of the mystery is a creepy, creative plot device. A diverting read, with plenty of loose ends for a sequel. Pub Date:Nov. 5th, 2013
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/j-kathleen-cheney/golden-city/

It's, Oh, So Quietit's, Oh, So Quiet

02:35, 6/11/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
it's, oh, so quiet Here's a link to this photo. Just copy and paste!  show short URL Grab the HTML/BBCode Copy and paste the code below: it's, oh, so quiet it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430_t.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430_s.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430_q.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430_m.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430_n.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430_z.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430_c.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_b2e6881430_b.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3737/10627131524_efabc72ce5_o.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/federicabutterfly/10627131524/]it's, oh, so quiet[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/federicabutterfly/]Federica Butterfly[/url], on Flickr it's, oh, so quiet Size:

Get Your Textbooks Delivered By Drone!

23:25, 1/11/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
The DinnerThe House Girl by Tara Conklin Josephine is a 17 year old slave in antibellum Virginia while Lina is a twenty something up and coming lawyer in present day NYC. The lives of... read more Wonder by R.J. Palacio "You really are a wonder, Auggie. You are a wonder." These are the last ten words of the novel Wonder(ironic). Wonder is a unique novel in... read more The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell An all out character driven novel with a slow building plot with quite an ending. My kind of book! and should make a great book... read more
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.bookbrowse.com/news/detail/index.cfm?news_item_number=1494

Watch: Reza Aslan Is 'obsessed' With Jesus The Zealot

03:43, 31/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Reza Aslan Introduces Jesus The Zealot... And Revolutionary To HuffPost Live (VIDEO) The Huffington Post  |  By Paul Brandeis Raushenbush Posted: 07/17/2013 5:28 pm EDT  |  Updated: 07/17/2013 6:27 pm EDT Subscribe Follow: Christianity , Religious Books , Historical Jesus , Jesus Zealot Book , Reza Aslan , Books About Jesus , Jesus , Jesus Radical , Jesus Revolutionary , Reza Aslan Zealot , Zealot Jesus , Religion News ?I?ve been obsessed with Jesus for a very, very long time,? Reza Aslan confessed to HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, ?I heard the Gospel when I was 15 years old and it just blew me away.? Aslan, who became a successful evangelist in his youth, now identifies as Muslim. However his fascination with Jesus the person continues and inspired his new book, "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth ." The book excavates what can really be known about Jesus the person and the context in which he lived. Aslan feels passionate about why that kind of knowledge is so important: Unless you believe that Jesus lived in some kind of a cultural and political vacuum, that the context of the world in which he lived played no role in his actions or his motivations, then you have to take seriously that he lived in a specific time and place and the things that he said were directed to a specific audience in one of the most tumultuous periods of the history of the Holy Land. Ahmed didn't waste any time and started his interview by asking Aslan if Jesus was a revolutionary. Aslan responded: Jesus was a Jew. He started a Jewish movement to establish the kingdom of God on earth and, as a result of that movement, he was arrested and executed as a state criminal. If you don?t know anything else about Jesus than that, it should give you some clue as to what kind of trouble maker we are talking about. While the word "Zealot" might strike many today as a negative title, the author insists that this was really who Jesus was: Zealotry as mode of piety was a widely accepted Biblical concept that many Jews would have claimed for themselves. It refers to the uncompromising devotion to the sovereignty of God and to cleansing the Holy Land of foreign presence and dedicating it to God as the sole king. When asked if this meant Jesus supported violence, the author is of two minds: There is no evidence that Jesus promoted violence in any of the histories that we have. But we need to rid ourselves of this notion that he was a pacifist. Jesus wasn?t a fool, if you are talking about the end of Caesar?s rule and inauguration of reign of God, you can?t be so daft as to think that will happen in a peaceful way. While Christianity in America in more recent years has been associated with more conservative causes and politics, the Jesus Reza has portrayed might not actually fit comfortably within the Christian right who claim him: This is who Jesus was, the historical Jesus: he was an illiterate, day laborer, peasant from the country side of Galilee who hung around with the most dispossessed, poor, weak, outcasts of his society -- people whom the temple rejected. And who, in their name, launched an insurrection against the Roman and priestly authorities. That?s Jesus. So, if you claim to walk in Jesus? footsteps, that?s what it means. It means rejecting power, in all its forms -? religious and political -- it means denying yourself in the name of the poor and the marginalized regardless of their religious or their sexual orientation or anything else. If you do not do those things, you are not a follower of Jesus. 'Cause that?s who Jesus was. Aslan also hopes that people reading the book will find another important parallel from Jesus? life to the present-day world, specifically in the cause of the Palestinians. The land that Jesus called his own, there is still a poor marginalized people who are being occupied directly by a military presence and so I would be curious how Christians couldn?t see the parallels between what?s happening in the occupied territories today and what was happening in the time of Jesus. Watch the entire HuffPost Live interview below. Contribute to this Story:
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/17/reza-aslan-zealot-_n_3611504.html

Reader Review: "the Other Typist"

07:51, 29/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Click HereContact Us    The Other Typist reader reviews The Other Typist reader reviews: Read reviews of The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, and write your own review. The Other Typist There are currently 2 reader reviews for The Other Typist of 5 by CarolK 160 Words A Minute! An all out character driven novel with a slow building plot with quite an ending. My kind of book! and should make a great book discussion. Rindell fleshes out her character(s) quite well, with excellent narration, reliable or not, by Rose, the original typist. Rose Baker, clicks away her days in a New York police department back in the days of prohibition and the speakeasies. Rose is quite the formal young woman and takes her job quite seriously, making few mistakes and not tolerating any from others. She's a bit stodgy to say the least and at first I liked her but after a bit, I thought, oh drat, I could never live up to her expectations and would I want too. Still all seems to be going well when enters the other typist, Odalie. Odalie seems to be all Rose is not, flamboyant, a bit crass, and not the greatest of typists. You guessed it; Rose becomes infatuated with Odalie and soon they are the best of friends. You definitely want to see how this relationship pans out. An excellent psychological study of morals and more; The Other Typist is spooled out like the ribbon of a typewriter to its very end. Suddenly there is no more. Find someone who has read it to compare notes. I know I will! Rated of 5 by Diane S. The Other Typist I am not quite sure why but I seem to have read a few novels lately that have a naive young woman and another manipulative one. This one is very well written, a psychological tour de force, with an unreliable narrator and different revelations that keep you guessing. It is hard to tell for much of the book, how much of the truth is being told. Odalie is a prime piece of work, but although some things are not as they appear, some are and it is very hard to tell which is which and what is what. So if you like psychologically twist novels, this is one which begs the question, is evil contagious?   1
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.bookbrowse.com/reader_reviews/index.cfm/book_number/2900/the-other-typist

Romance Novels, The Last Great Bastion Of Underground Writing

12:45, 28/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
The Awl Maria Bustillos | February 14th, 2012 Romance fiction is widely reckoned to be a very low form of literature. Maybe the lowest, if we're not counting the writing at Groupon, or on Splenda packets. Romance fiction: probably the worst! An addictive, absurd, unintellectual literature, literature for nonreaders, literature for stupid people?literature for women! Books Just For Her! Low or not, romance is by far the most popular and lucrative genre in American publishing, with over $1.35 billion in revenues estimated in 2010. That is a little less than twice the size of the mystery genre, almost exactly twice that of science fiction/fantasy, and nearly three times the size of the market for classic/literary fiction, according to Simba Information data published at the Romance Writers of America website . It would be crazy to fail to pay close attention when that many people are devoted to something. So, what is in all these hundreds of millions of books? What is their strange allure? As it happens I am in a position to say, because I read and love romance fiction. It's one of the genre things I collect sporadically; I have a particular fetish for Mills & Boon and Harlequin romances of the period between the late 1930s and 1980, what I think of as their Golden Age. During this time, the two houses produced an immense and vastly entertaining body of writing with a unique function and value in American life. Or Anglophone life, to be more exact, since Mills & Boon was founded in London (Whitcomb Street, W.1.) in 1908. Harlequin, which came much later, is a Canadian firm. Romance novels are feminist documents. They're written almost exclusively by women, for women, and are concerned with women: their relations in family, love and marriage, their place in society and the world, and their dreams for the future. Romances of the Golden Age are rife with the sociopolitical limitations of their period, it must be said. They're exclusively hetero, and exclusively white, for example. Even so, they can be strangely sublime. Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex (1949) "[Woman] is defined and differentiated with reference to man and not he with reference to her; she is the incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential. He is the Subject, he is the Absolute ? she is the Other." In romance fiction this formula is reversed, as scholar and former Mills & Boon editor jay Dixon (who spells her name with a lower-case "j") observes in her book The Romantic Fiction of Mills & Boon 1909-1995 . Woman is the Subject, man the Other. (This is a marvelous book, by the bye, far and away the best one on the subject; thorough, scholarly, fun and beautifully reasoned.) For all the scoffing from various quarters at the fairy-tale messages they contain, romances largely deal with practical, everyday matters; they're more like field guides for resolving the real-life difficulties women face. As those difficulties have changed over time, the romance novel has adjusted accordingly. The problems of balancing a career with running a household, looking after children, negotiating a romantic impasse: these kinds of things are dealt with directly. Rarely do "serious" writers on women's issues stoop so low as to address such homely questions, agonizing though they remain to women even now. How do we express generosity, love and patience without becoming a doormat? Yes I want to have a career, but I still like jewelry and pretty dresses! How can this incredible man like me even a little bit, when I have all these flaws? What kind of person does one need to be in order to really deserve someone's love? These questions have never stopped being asked, no matter how emancipated we may become. Every Mills & Boon romance is guided by the light of a single principle; the philosophical pole star that emerged with the birth of the novel in our language from 1740-65, in the works of Richardson, Fielding, Fanny Burney et al. In The Romance Fiction of Mills & Boon, Dixon writes: "The underlying philosophy of the novels of Mills & Boon is that love is omnipotent?it is the point of life. It is the solution to all problems, and it is peculiarly feminine. Men have to be taught how to love; women are born with the innate ability to love." Whether or not this is actually true, I don't know, so I can't tell you. But can there be any doubt that this single conviction has fueled the efforts of a vast proportion of novelists, male or female, ever since the invention of novelists? Dixon makes a persuasive case that the romance heroine draws her man into the domestic sphere, the realm of women, of home, in order to resolve their differences and establish sex with love as the central principle in their lives. Actually, both lovers must alter their earlier prejudices to create a working alliance where sexualized love can flourish, cf. the grandmamma of all romance novels, Pride and Prejudice. Men must be transformed by love and enter into the woman's realm in order to emerge as fully-realized human beings: this is the core message of romance fiction, Dixon argues. We need one another; embrace this idea, and everything will magically work out. The part about it all working out provides the fairy-tale gloss of these stories. For we all know that even with all the understanding in the world, and all the best intentions, it might not. Still, however foolish it may seem to the modern, knowing, cynical reader, many find it very pleasant to withdraw into a fantasy place where everything comes right in the end. "The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily," as in Wilde's fizzy, bitter joke: "That is what Fiction means." In any case, whatever her merits, Simone de Beauvoir will be no help to you at all when your boyfriend has been unkind to you, but a romance novel might well help. (Considering the unbelievable perfidies of her own boyfriend, Jean-Paul Sartre, one may hope that Simone de B. resorted to Mills & Boon now and then, when the need arose . Or Françoise Sagan, at the very least.) *** Romance literature is underground writing, almost never reviewed or discussed in the newspapers or literary rags, or at a dinner party. One is supposed to be embarrassed to have a taste for it. There are distinct advantages in this poor-cousin status. Here is a literature entirely without pretense; its authors are guileless, since they needn't conform to any external ideal of literary performance. They are in no way trying to win a Booker Prize. Consequently they are entirely at liberty to explore their own questions within the few confines of their genre. So there's no sniffy condescension or po-mo posturing in a romance novel; they're the least stuck-up books in the world. Everybody knows that they are written and read just for kicks, and that gives the author an enviable freedom within which she may permit her imagination to run riot. And does it ever. These writers have no authorial brakes at all, and their irrepressibility is enchanting all by itself. What other kind of author is free to name her hero Sin Watermount or Don Julio Valdares, Tarquin Roscuro or Duc Breul de Polain et Bouvais? There is generally a wild, far-flung and exotic locale: Queensland, the Western Cape of South Africa, the Scottish Highlands. There are impossible situations, natural disasters, a whole pantheon of dei ex machinis, drama galore. And there is, always, falling in love. I have often wondered whether romance novels mightn't generally serve the same purpose for women that pornography does for so many men. I do not mean as an aid to autoeroticism, though, so much as the imaginary fulfillment of a profound imperative that is never too far from your mind. Anyway, pleasurable as all that is, romance fiction's deeper purpose is twofold. First, there is the soothing, gentle balm they apply to the insecure and frightened part of our nature. These are books with the set purpose of providing healing and reassurance to the reader. The romance heroine, though possessed of heart, intelligence and beauty, is at the mercy of her own self-criticism most of the time. As the story begins, she is scared and isolated, poor, or abandoned, or lonely. Not infrequently, the book opens with her having just suffered some terrible loss; her husband has just died in a plane crash, or her parents or beloved guardians have died, and now she is forced to work as a paid companion to a rich and disagreeable widow, maybe, or she's just come to Australia from England to live with her grandfather, who is mean as a snake. Then she runs into an unusual and interesting man who openly demonstrates his dislike for her, or else pretty much ignores her entirely. Difficulties will multiply. And almost always, as the tension builds, the heroine is beset with doubts about her own competence, attractiveness and worth. That's just how I feel! the reader cries inwardly. This goes wrong, that goes wrong. I am the worst, most worthless person, the heroine is saying to herself half the time, thereby calling forth the reader's protective, sisterly feelings. Both reader and heroine have a good cry, maybe. Then the heroine redoubles her efforts to do all the things she needs to do. Find a job, grow up and stand on her own two feet, care for a child, nurse someone she loves back to health. Since she is convinced that she totally sucks in every way, the heroine will also be mostly oblivious to the hero's growing attraction to her. All of a sudden, though, beside himself with desire, he will pounce, just a bit; sometimes with the "punishing kiss" and sometimes with gentleness. But there will be a thrilling undercurrent of barely-restrained passion; he might "mutter a curse under his breath." Bit by bit, the difficulties are negotiated, the rival leaves town, the farm is saved. Our hero and heroine arrive at an understanding, and the end of the book finds them, almost always, in a passionate embrace. The pleasure of moving through this ritual of set plot points will be familiar to lovers of detective fiction or spy novels. I use "ritual" advisedly because it really is quite like a religious ceremony; comforting, calming. The pleasure involved is almost wholly anticipatory, and if you don't know almost exactly what is going to happen, you can't feel the pleasure of anticipation. The literary rituals of genre fiction fulfill their purpose by pushing the buttons in your mind and heart, one by one. *** The second purpose of romance novels is the exercise of imagination. This may sound paradoxical, given that there is a definite formula to these stories. But they are indeed vehicles for the imagination; each one a love rollercoaster, if you like, to tempt our fantasies. To idealize. What would a really wonderful man be like? What are the very best characteristics that men and women can have? What would the most exciting possible moment in a love affair be like; how would the tenderest lover behave? So at the same time that these books are about real issues, they are profoundly unreal and fairy-tale-like. The same thing being true of fairy-tales: serious business in a frothy, thrilling exterior. As a reader, this part appeals to me the most: the opportunity to vamoose into a purely escapist story, which I guess also explains my love for detective novels, fantasy, and sci-fi whether hard or soft. Dixon quotes Mills & Boon author Violet Winspear as having said in Radio Times, "I think all women like to dream about marvelous men," adding " I've never met any of them myself, I doubt if anybody has." *** So what is it, exactly, that makes literature trivial? Is the point of literature to depict something more like "real life"? If the formulaic qualities and perfervid fantasy of romance novels bring them closer to superhero comics than to Dostoevsky, what does this mean, exactly? What is the difference between genre and "serious" fiction, now that Maus and The Left Hand of Darkness and The Man in the High Castle have conclusively demonstrated that deeply serious, insightful ideas may indeed come in a deceptively lightweight envelope? The key difference between Fyodor Dostoevsky and Violet Winspear is?the beard, obviously, but in terms of literary production, the difference is that the latter is thinking more about you, the reader, whereas the former is thinking more about himself, the author. Each approach has an enormous value, potentially. To put this another way, Dostoevsky writes from deep inside himself, about his whole life, every single thing he ever saw or learned; Winspear plies her craft according to what she imagines it would please you to read, imagine or dream about, though it's nearly impossible for a novelist to avoid revealing some of his own ideas and beliefs about the world, however tangentially. It doesn't matter whether you call this "serious" literature or not, really, though it seems to me that when millions and millions of people are involved in the same reading, it is very serious indeed. *** "Can I make him happy, Contessa?" "You love him for himself? [And] I believe your mutual interest in Persian rugs will be a strong bond between you." ?Anne Weale, Now or Never (1978) You can tell a Golden Age romance very easily by the weird beauty of its cover art and typography. They are irresistible. Oddly, the covers I prefer also contain the stories I prefer: a little old-fashioned, and crazy as hell, glittering with imagination and lunacy. They are free of the ploddingly explicit sexual detail of today's romance, or the outright depravity of earlier ones like The Sultan's Slave or The Fruit of Eden. "Serious" or literary fiction is supposed to be that way because it's meant to be like Dostoevsky, leaving no stone unturned in the human psyche, shocking us, showing us things we'd never understood or even thought about ourselves before. There's not much room for fun in books like those. But surely it's not necessary to point out that the rarefied world of American literary fiction is brimming with dull, predictable and zero-ly engaging books. Most "literary" novels, in fact, take not one single risk, offend no taboo, and leave every sacred cow grazing undisturbed in the placid fields of their conventionality. Which is the riskier, edgier, more involving story? The lit-fic novel du jour?some lukewarm retread of Desperate Characters, probably?or The Sheik (1919), E.M. Hull's febrile, terrifying account of the abduction, rape and eventual "taming" of a tomboy Englishwoman by handsome, cruel tough guy Sheikh Ahmed Ben Hassan? The recent reading of which made me realize that we only think we don't have taboos. This brutal, vulgar and wildly popular book was later made into a film starring Rudolph Valentino, who became a superstar as the result. But no way could The Sheik ever be made into a film today. It is far too depraved. I keep thinking it must be to do with the war. That's a likeness of its author, Edith Maude Hull, at right, by the way. Keep that visage in mind as I run you through the plot. First, the Sheik abducts our heroine and takes her back to his desert lair, where he commences to rape her every few pages. She is moderately peeved at him for raping her all the time but still finds him amazingly handsome, though "cruel," which, pretty much. She finally manages to escape, only to be abducted yet again, but this time by some other lord of the desert. So she is right in the middle of being strangled by this new abductor (she won't let him rape her) when just in time, the Sheik arrives to reclaim his property, erm, mistress, and after a ghastly struggle slowly chokes that horrible fat old black-toothed Ibraheim Omair to death right in front of her on the divan, in revenge, smiling all the while, "till the dying man's body arched and writhed in his last agony, till the blood burst from his nose and mouth, pouring over the hands that held him like a vice." Oh and the Sheik turns out to be not even an Arab, but the son of a mean Scottish earl and a Spanish princess instead. She ought to have known! He has "the famous Caryll scowl," she exclaims, smacking herself on the forehead. (Okay, she doesn't smack herself on the forehead. Also, English people can't spell.) Anyway, believe it or not, she stays with him because now they're "in love" in her Stockholm Syndrome-induced crazytown in the desert forever. I don't know. Usually, I just prefer my escapist fiction a little less terrifying and horrible. There can be a little bit of abduction! But not too much. *** In the middle of writing this, I was overjoyed to learn, reading here , that Awl commenter mascarasnake was in possession of information regarding that rarest of aves, a grandfather who read romance fiction for pleasure: [M]y teetotal, suit-wearing farmer Grandfather always had to hand [...] Silvermints and what we referred to as his 'dirty books". They were Mills and Boon (Harlequin in the US, I think?) and a source of complete fascination to me. Looking back it seems bizarre that the only things he read were church newsletters and books about eighties careerwomens' love lives. Straightaway I wrote and asked her about it, and in response to my questions, which amounted to PLEASE TELL ME EVERYTHING, she kindly replied: My grandfather was born in 1909, to a typically large Catholic family [?] Most of his brothers went to America but he remained on the farm he grew up on. He married my Grandmother when he was in his thirties and she was in her twenties. They lived and worked together on a small farm in the West of Ireland, with not particularly good land, and had eight children. They grew their own food, had eggs from their own chickens and milk from their cows, but things like store-bought food and new clothes would have been a rarity even when my mother was growing up in the sixties. [?] As a child I didn't think my Grandad's choice of reading material was anything unusual, I just assumed that Mills & Boon were what all grandparents read. I'm not sure who gave them to him initially; it was most likely my Granny or one of their four daughters. The nearest village has a church, a few pubs and a small store so most of his books were bought for him by his children. My mother and I often bought a stack in a secondhand bookstore before we went to visit for the weekend in the eighties. His chair in the kitchen was in front of a window and there were always a few books stacked on the sill, waiting to be read. My mother told me that, as the plots were so similar, my grandparents developed a system to keep track of which books they'd already read by putting their initial inside the cover once they finished. They both admitted that if they didn't do this it would take a while to realize they were rereading. [?] I'm not sure that he was a particularly romantic husband; it definitely wasn't a roses and moonlight stroll kind of relationship. He was a good husband and father and I think they were happy together, but it was a different era and I don't think romance was the main objective when they married. I wonder. In learning about the very few men who read these books (some 9 percent, according to the RWA website , but I've never met even one, myself) it struck me how women are far more free to read anything they like than are men, just as we are so much more free than men to wear any clothes we like. Nobody is going to bother a woman about her reading, whereas American men are only just barely permitted to admit to having a taste for Jane Austen. Even then, they are liable to blame this girly transgression on a sentimental high-school teacher. There are quite a lot of questions on Yahoo! Answers asking whether or not it's okay for a guy to read romance novels . And pretty much everyone answers Yes, read what you like, it is okay, though one pointed out that he might like to read them in private. In our world, very little provision made for men to feel or express tenderness openly. And yet one can't help but suspect that nearly everyone has his gentle, unwarlike side. It's this, I suspect, that that those young men who are devoted to the animated TV show "My Little Pony," and who are known as Bronies , are looking for, at least in part: a place where they might not only free themselves of the imperatives of machismo, but also manifest their gentleness freely and without restraint, be playful, permit themselves to imagine freely. When we really become equal, maybe "just for women" won't be seen as less, or weird, or lame, as it appears mascarasnake's grandfather already understood. Women visit the country of "just for men" all the time, unimpeded; we can read Tom Clancy or Patrick O'Brian and nobody bats an eyelash, because we are allowed to be curious about men's fantasies of things. We have a visa for their country, and yet they are not permitted into ours, in some sense. The world of letters being the paradise of liberty that it is, it is perfectly fine for anyone to stick to just one kind of book, or just one authorial gender, or one genre, or one color of binding, just as he likes. But if men are curious about our side of things, as I imagine many of them must be, I should think it would be interesting to them to visit, and maybe we should invite them, as I am doing now. *** Among its hundreds and hundreds of writers madly scribbling all over the globe, Mills & Boon employs just one male writer , Roger Sanderson. "The broad-shouldered Yorkshireman goes weight training three times a week, mountain climbing at the weekends and enjoys a drink with friends at his rugby club in Waterloo, Merseyside," the BBC reports. He writes under his wife's name, Gill Sanderson; they have four sons. "Gill" Sanderson has written more than 80 romances. He would probably have been a soldier otherwise, he says. The encyclopedic jay Dixon says that the manuscripts submitted by men to Mills & Boon usually contain obvious howlers that no woman would ever write, such as having the heroine explicitly admiring herself in a mirror. (Definitely a male author's tic in imagining what being a woman is like, I've noticed it before; they had it in that movie Switched, for example.) But she adds: "I can find nothing in Roger's romances that would alert even an experienced reader to the fact that he is a man? Roger is one of the few men who does have the knack." "I'm happily married and I have been in love, therefore I have the basic qualification," Sanderson told the BBC, adorably. "I know what it feels like and from there everything will develop." *** Among the many unexpected gifts of the e-reader, anonymity is one of the most valuable. Romance is one of the fastest-growing categories in ebooks, in a maybe-related development. As Alison Flood wrote recently in the Guardian , "No longer are [readers] forced to conceal the covers of their latest purchases (The Sultan's Choice, say, or The Temp and the Tycoon) from fellow commuters. Instead, they can follow their heroine's romantic adventures with impunity, safely protected by the anonymity of their e-readers." Maybe the opening of this new door can help in developing a better understanding between men and women. To be free to see how the other half lives. And beyond that, to a greater understanding of literary activity itself, which is only a matter of someone else's ideas, someone's awareness of life, made manifest for others?for anyone else at all?to experience and enjoy.

Author Q&a: Nick Lake Talks Hostage Three And The State Of Ya Lit

08:51, 25/10/2013 .. 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 / Author Q&A: Nick Lake Talks Hostage Three and the State of YA Lit Author Q&A: Nick Lake Talks Hostage Three and the State of YA Lit BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, OCTOBER 15, 2013 | PERMALINK As an editor and author, whose book In Darkness won the Printz Medal,  Nick Lake  knows how to draw readers in with grippingly rich, intense stories that you'll be thinking about long after you've read the last line. We spoke to Nick about his latest book, Hostage Three , an engrossing story about a teen and her family who are taken hostage by Somali pirates, in our November issue, which is available now. Today we'd like to share the rest of our interview, since Nick had so many smart and interesting things to say.  *** Hostage Three has a bit of a controversial ending, but it almost had to be that way, as everyone was in an impossible situation. Why did you decide to end it the way you did?   Oh, that's exciting! It's rather pleasing to be thought of as controversial, though it wasn't my intention. Like you say, I think to me it just always seemed like the natural ending, like it had to be that way. I mean, as soon as Amy and Farouz get involved, it's a zero-sum game. There's no imaginable scenario in which there's a happy-ever-after ending for them. So it always happened that way, even in the dream I had when the story came to me.  Your books are dark and yet steeped in realism for a YA audience. Why do you write this way?  I don't know! I'm drawn to darkness, I think. I'm interested in how people respond to extreme situations, and I'm interested in the fact that, when an earthquake happens or a hostage-taking or whatever, it happens to real people, in the real world. It's almost unimaginable, and that's what draws me to try to imagine it.  And I'm especially interested in how people who are still becoming people ? i.e. young adults ? respond to such situations. I mean, we're all becoming adults, all the time ? no one has totally cracked being a content, fulfilled person all the time, but when you're a teenager you're right in the middle of that process. That fascinates me. Right now, in addition to having to navigate the murky way to adulthood, there's a teenager finding out they're adopted. There's a teenager falling in love with their teacher. There's a teenager carrying an AK-47, in the Congo; losing their limbs in a car crash; losing their house in a tornado. Every one of these stories is amazing because every person is amazing. But also, I think I have this almost evangelical desire to say something about hope and redemption and grace. To create stories where characters are tested, but come to a sort of self-understanding and acceptance along the way. Because I really believe ? no, I know ? that you can go through bad stuff and come out the other side intact; or even stronger. And in order to have that kind of story structure you have to have the darkness ? joy is meaningless unless you've been through the abyss. Also, though, I just think it reflects life. And I think a YA audience deserves a literature that reflects its experience. Teenagers suffer loss and illness and abuse every single day. Perhaps they're more open to emotion, too, and this is partly why books that deal with serious topics engage them ? to an extent I think adults learn to suppress emotions and consider them somehow embarrassing. Which I have always hated, and which may partly explain why I'd rather write for teenagers. But I don't know. On some level it's probably, too, just a personal inclination. Pedro Juan Gutierrez, who wrote the Dirty Havana Trilogy, said something ? and I've never been able to find the exact quote since I read it ? but he said something like, "love and death are the only proper subjects of literature." I kind of agree with that. And, you know, I've tried writing humour and I'm terrible at it. Give me pirates and death any day. As the editorial director for HarperCollins Children's, what do you think is most exciting about children's literature today?  Hmm. Interesting question. I think the most exciting thing, right now, is the way in which intelligent, thoughtful, beautiful, literary (for want of a better word) YA fiction has become commercially successful. John Green is a bestseller! And Elizabeth Wein too. That's just awesome, and such a testament to the discrimination and sensitivity of teenagers. It's a joy to see that trend finally arriving in the UK too, with Looking for Alaska racing up the charts. What's the one book you wish you could have published? The one book I wish I had published is Meg Rosoff 's How I Live Now. Hell, I wish I had written it. Oh, and The Hunger Games ? one of the best thrillers ever written for young adults. I remember reading that book when it had literally just come out ? I didn't see it on submission unfortunately ? and I got to the bit with Rue and the flowers and I thought, "wow, this is going to be HUGE". It was the heart, the genuine, throat-choking emotion of it ? and I agree with John Lasseter's credo that what makes a truly great story is heart. I mean, with Suzanne Collins, here was someone who could execute a page-turning thriller and make you cry. That's pretty much a single-line summation of what I aspire to. *** Curious to see how Hostage Three plays out? Copies are available at your favorite bookstore or online retailer today! And check out our Everything Young Adult Page for even more YA buzz! Tags: Contemporary Young Adult, Young Adult, RT Daily Blog, Young Adult
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More Is More In Donna Tartt's Believable, Behemoth 'goldfinch'

14:38, 23/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
by Donna Tartt NPR reviews, interviews and more If you're a novelist who takes a decade or so between books, you can only hope that your readers remember how much they loved you in the past. It's a saturated market out there, and brand loyalty doesn't always extend to novelists. But ever since the news broke that Donna Tartt's new book The Goldfinch would soon be published, many readers have been waiting in a state of breathless excitement. They've never quite gotten over how much they loved Tartt's 1992 novel, The Secret History, a tale of friendship and murder set at a college, which went on to become not only an international hit but also one of those rare books that are read over and over, in hopes of reliving that initial literary rush. Would Tartt's latest book inspire the same kind of devotion? After all, she published a second novel, The Little Friend, that was frequently described as a letdown. Is The Goldfinch more like The Little Friend, or ? fingers crossed ? The Secret History? As it turns out, it's not much like either The Secret History or The Little Friend, and if I hadn't known that Donna Tartt had written it, I would never have guessed. This dense, 771-page book tells the story of a boy named Theo Decker, whose mother is killed in a terrorist act early in the novel. In the midst of the trauma and chaos, Theo steals a famous painting, "The Goldfinch," by the Dutch painter Carel Fabritius, setting the sweeping, episodic story in motion. Several reviewers have compared her book to Oliver Twist, but when I started it I was more reminded of the Harry Potter series (a comparison that is actually made later in the book). The contemporary plot is often nervily improbable and outsized, and Theo, age 13 at the start, is a lot like Harry, in that both boys are gifted, tender-hearted and woefully unsupervised. Theo's scar, while deep and permanent, is of the invisible kind. Donna Tartt's other works include The Secret History and The Little Friend. Bruno Vincent/Getty Images Donna Tartt's other works include The Secret History and The Little Friend. Bruno Vincent/Getty Images The day The Goldfinch arrived I promptly cracked it open, remembering how my sons would pounce on the latest Harry Potter on the day it was published. J.K. Rowling transformed a generation of kids into passionate readers. Donna Tartt does something different here ? she takes fully grown, already passionate readers and reminds them of the particularly deep pleasures that a long, winding novel can hold. In the short-form era in which we live, the Internet has supposedly whittled our attention-spans down to the size of hotel soap, and it's good to be reminded that sometimes more is definitely more. So we get a whole lot of Theo here, and also his friend Boris, a kid with a Ukrainian passport and a multi-national history who befriends him after he's forced to leave New York City and go live with his deadbeat dad and his dad's new girlfriend Xandra in a horrible development in Las Vegas. Boris is a great character ? totally appealing, a victim of appalling parental neglect, and together he and Theo forge a friendship that's believable, destructive, and comical: "Don't go!" said Boris, one night at his house when I stood up toward the end of The Magnificent Seven" ... "You'll miss the best part." ... "You saw this movie before?" "Dubbed into Russian, if you can believe it. But very weak Russian. Sissy. Is sissy the word I want? More like schoolteachers than gunfighters, is what I'm trying to say." More on Donna Tartt Caution: These Books May Make You Skip Work The Las Vegas section is long and detailed, just like all the other sections of this novel. Tartt almost seems to be writing in real time, and yet I was never bored. A series of long set pieces moves the story from the suspenseful opening to the rich, dense, leisurely middle and eventually the action-packed end, which is set in Amsterdam. That part, weirdly, feels as if it was grafted on from a different novel. Or no, it almost feels as if it was grafted on from a particularly literate, stylish indie crime film on the Sundance Channel. But the occasional disjointedness doesn't affect the overall success of the novel, which absorbed me from start to finish. While The Goldfinch delves seriously and studiously into themes of art, beauty, loss and freedom, I mostly loved it because it kept me wishing I could stay in its fully-imagined world a little longer. Donna Tartt was right to take her time with this book. Readers will want to take their time with it, too. Meg Wolitzer's latest novel is The Interestings.
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Mark Hewitt?s New Book, "charles Manson Behind Bars", Tells...

10:56, 23/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Put PRWeb on your site Mark Hewitt?s New Book, "Charles Manson Behind Bars", Tells the True Story of Inmate Willie Mendez?s Dramatic and Emotional Journey of Being Housed Next to Charles Manson Mark Hewitt, a true crime author and the editor of "Radians and Inches: in search of the Zodiac," has completed his second book in collaboration with Mendez, "Charles Manson Behind Bars: The Crazy Antics and Amazing Revelations of America?s Icon of Evil." (PRWEB) October 22, 2013 Published in New York by Page Publishing , Mark Hewitt?s poignant tale transports the reader behind bars with a gripping and potent description of prison life and the interactions of the inmate Guillermo "Willie" Mendez with the infamous icon. Willie Mendez became institutionalized after repeated violations of the law, including attempted murder and armed robbery. He is serving a sixty-eight year prison sentence. For the past forty years, Charles Manson has languished in prison for his participation in the Manson family murders of 1969. He is America?s icon of evil, the one who brought down the curtain on the 1960s. He has never been a quiet inmate, however. From his unbridled outbursts of rage to his tender acts of generosity, he makes his presence felt to everyone around him. He inspires awe in other inmates, he cozies up to prison guards who are eager to do him favors, and he is responsible for countless staff transfers within and outside of the institution. From his initial feelings of contempt toward the aging killer, Willie, nicknamed, "Boxcar," by Manson, traveled to a place of openness and acceptance of the old man?s ideas. Over time, he began to defer more and more to Manson without reservation. This is a tale of growth and maturity that contains intimate details and shocking jailhouse secrets. Willie shares an insider?s view of Charles Manson, his crazy behavior, his whispered confessions, and his sometimes profound wisdom. "Charlie" speaks openly about his sexuality, shares some details of the Tate and LaBianca murders, and relates his childhood experience of being forced to wear a dress to school. Readers who wish to experience this chilling work can purchase "Charles Manson Behind Bars" at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play, or Barnes and Noble. Contact Mark Hewitt through email at Radians(at)Live(dot)com or by phone (707)-548-6479. For additional information, review copies or media inquiries, contact Page Publishing at 866-315-2708. About Page Publishing Page Publishing is a traditional New York based full-service publishing house that handles all of the intricacies involved in publishing its authors? books, including distribution in the world?s largest retail outlets and royalty generation. Learn more at http://www.pagepublishing.com .

The Red House Book Awards Shortlists - Vote Now!

20:27, 21/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Julia Donaldson, SuperwormThe Red House book awards shortlists - vote now! Eoin Colfer and Julia Donaldson among the nominees for the Red House awards - chosen entirely by children theguardian.com , Monday 21 October 2013 12.43 EDT Children and young adults all over the UK are being invited to vote for their favourite books of the year, to be announced at the Red House Children's Book Awards in February 2014. Former children's laureate Julia Donaldson and Eion Colfer are among the authors up for the awards. Donaldson is best-known for the Gruffalo, but it's her new hero Superworm who is slithering towards the prize this time. The book delighted family reviewers Jennifer, Minnie and Bebe, who enjoyed it in their own special ways: "The crazy toddler sat with me and kept quiet whilst I read to her and asked for it again so that's a good sign, and the eight-month-old liked to gnaw the dust jacket, so high praise indeed," wrote mum Jennifer. Also included in the younger children category is Rachel Bright's tale of Walter the donkey's adventures, and two colourful books by Helen Stephens and Jeanne Willis about the problematic lives of a lion and hippo respectively. In the younger readers category, voters can choose from Norman Messenger's new illustrated book The Land of Neverbelieve, or Jennifer Gray's feline-crime novel Atticus Claw Breaks the Law, shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2013. Finally, the list includes the latest book by Dundee Award winner Alex T Smith, following the extraordinary life of Claude the dog. There is also a shortlist for older readers, including the first in a new series of time-travel novels from Artemis Fowl creator Eoin Colfer: The Reluctant Assassin was described by site member Buki as a masterpiece that "will leave you sweating with anxiousness". At least one reviewer will be delighted to see that Anne Cassidy's cryptic thriller Killing Rachel is nominated too - safah wrote: "The sequel to Dead Time. Another book; same characters; new mystery. Is it better? Absolutely". With them is Rick Yancey's sci-fi dystopian novel The 5th Wave, which hasn't yet been reviewed for the site, but you can read an extract here. This is the only nationwide award voted for solely by children. Last year's awards went to David Walliams, Sophie McKenzie and Andrew Weale for his intricately designed pop-up book Spooky Spooky House. Previous winners have also included Michael Morpurgo, Suzanne Collins, Malorie Blackman and JK Rowling. This year's winners will be announced at the Southbank Centre on Saturday 22nd February 2014. Voting will close mid-January, so what are you waiting for? Take a look at the shortlists below and vote for your favourite now! Books for younger children Superworm, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Scholastic) Walter and The No Need To Worry Suit, by Rachel Bright (HarperCollins) How To Hide A Lion, by Helen Stephens (Alison Green Books) Hippospotamus, by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen)
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Img_6787img_6787

04:29, 20/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Grab the HTML/BBCode Copy and paste the code below: IMG_6787 IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e_t.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e_s.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e_q.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e_m.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e_n.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e_z.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e_c.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_7b07e4467e_b.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/][img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10366641675_b8e5cb89e9_o.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/24917258@N05/10366641675/]IMG_6787[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/24917258@N05/]Andy E. Nystrom[/url], on Flickr IMG_6787 Size:

Your Iphone Is Now Officially A Pokédex

02:19, 20/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
iphone pokedexYour iPhone Is Now Officially A Pokédex The Huffington Post  |  By Dino Grandoni Posted: 10/18/2013 5:47 pm EDT  |  Updated: 10/18/2013 6:00 pm EDT iPhone , Iphone Pokedex , Pokedex , Siri , Books News Last week, Wolfram Alpha, the "answer engine" that can solve calculus problems or tell you how many people live in Manhattan with a few keystrokes, updated its database to include all 649 known Pokémon . Why does this matter? Siri frequently pulls information from Wolfram Alpha when trying to answer queries. That means that your iPhone, if you own one, just became a full-fledged Pokédex . OK, let's try a really basic question. OMG, it worked.
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Exclusive Excerpt: A Plain Disappearance

08:12, 18/10/2013 .. 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 Excerpt: A Plain Disappearance Exclusive Excerpt: A Plain Disappearance BY Elissa Petruzzi, SEPTEMBER 04, 2013 | PERMALINK RT readers are always in the know, so of course we're all aware that Amish fiction is incredibly popular right now. The appeal of the simpler life, and those sweet romances, attracts readers in droves. And today we've got a treat for you, an exclusive excerpt from  Amanda Flower 's  A Plain Disappearance , an RT Top Pick! Our reviewer said of this intriguing mystery, "Flower has hit it out of the ballpark with this series and continues to amaze with her knowledge of the Amish way of life."  Curious? Read on ... Steam rose from Sparky?s nose and mouth into the frigid late December air as he shook his bridle and pulled the sleigh over a small hill. The sleigh owner?s grandson, Timothy Troyer, sat in the driver seat, wearing a thick wool coat, black knit cap, and navy scarf wrapped about his neck. He held the reins with a light but firm touch, and he looked every bit the part of a young Amish man out for a sleigh ride?even though he?d left the Amish way years before. Did that mean I was the Amish girl to complete the pictur­esque scene? I pulled the wool blanket up closer to my face and chuckled to myself. Beneath it I wore a purple and gray ski jacket and flannel-lined jeans. A pink and purple Fair Isle stocking cap, complete with pompom, covered my shoulder-length, straight red hair, and tortoise shell-patterned framed sunglasses protected my hazel eyes from the sun?s glare off of the snow. Not exactly Amish attire.
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Lost Luggage

14:06, 16/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Add to my list This book is in your list Remove KIRKUS REVIEW Punti delivers a richly told literary novel about four half brothers in search of their father. The men are Christopher, Christophe, Christof and Cristòfol, each born in a different European country. They haven?t seen their father, Gabriel Delacruz, since early childhood and only recently have learned of the existence of the others. Gabriel and his best friend, Bundò, once had been long-haul movers operating out of Franco?s Spain, and their route covered much of Europe. When loading a family?s boxes into their truck, Gabriel and Bundò used to select one box to steal without knowing its contents in advance. They didn?t always find much of value, but they enjoyed the game. Gabriel was also a card player who made a living by cheating later in life. Once the four Christophers finally meet and get acquainted, they decide to locate Gabriel, whom no one has seen for over a year. Is he still alive? Why has he disappeared? Should they be angry at him? Why did he give all the boys the same name? They swap stories about their father based on what they?ve heard or what they remember. Considering how long he?s been out of their lives, they seem to know quite a lot. Each Christopher gets to tell the others his story in great detail, and their individual voices are not readily distinguishable from one another?physicist and shop owner speak with the same eloquence. On the other hand, everyone is likable, including the larcenous Gabriel and the thieving Rita, who accounts for lots of ?lost? luggage. The characters? wit and the author?s vivid imagination shine through in this beautiful translation from Catalan, although the story seems longer than necessary. The pace is leisurely as Punti revels in the details and the joy of telling the tale. For readers less interested in action than in exploring humanity, this novel is worth reading. Pub Date:Oct. 15th, 2013
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Josh Fleet: A Psychospiritual Odyssey Among Two Lost Tribes Of American Pop Culture

19:16, 14/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Mike RagognaNathan Rabin's Psychospiritual Odyssey Among Two Lost Tribes of American Pop Culture Posted: 06/14/2013 12:15 pm Follow Subscribe Nathan Rabin is no stranger to manic descents into the darkest corners of mind, body and soul. His memoir, "The Big Rewind," told through the lens of pop culture, is rife with trauma, heartbreak, neglect and often-debilitating neuroses. So, perhaps it's not surprising that soon after setting out to research and write "You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me: Phish, Insane Clown Posse and My Misadventures With Two of Music's Most Maligned Tribes," Rabin tumbled in a downward spiral to the pits of emotional hell. What is surprising -- to the author and his dear readers alike -- is that the knee-jerk, stereotype-based derision he initially felt toward Phish and Insane Clown Posse soon blossomed into full-blown love and obsession. "Going to see Phish," he said, "is now one of my favorite things. In. The. World." Documenting two years of following Phish and the ICP to the farthest reaches of his sanity and soul, Rabin's new book is a chronicle of teshuvah -- repentance and return -- from the sin of the Golden Cliche. As a Jewish fan of Phish whose devotion to the music regularly veers toward heresy, snagging an advance copy of "You Don't Know Me" was for me like finding the keys to the Holy of Holies while the High Priest is out on paid leave from his Temple duties. The book was a revelatory, face-to-face dialogue with divinity. Opening the book for the first time and discovering that Rabin's introduction to the whimsical world of Phish was in Miami in 2009, and that his quest for jamband understanding had a lot do with falling in love with a girl, a hunch I once had about the deeply spiritual, serendipitous underpinnings of Phish's music and the surrounding scene began to seem all the more real. Three years and some months ago, I made the pilgrimage to Miami for four consecutive nights of Phish. I was in high school in 2004 when the band broke up, presumably forever. The colorful caravan of intoxicating music, myth and camaraderie had seemingly passed me by, and the two innocent shows I'd managed to convince my parents to pay for and let me attend taunted and teased my memory. So Miami '09 was an emotional homecoming. The venue was mere hours from my college, friends from every facet of my life would be there and, after following Phish's reunion shows with spine-tingling jealousy earlier in the year from my apartment in Jerusalem, I had tickets to all four nights of rapturous, musical bliss. Those shows planted a seed in my soul: I would write a book about the connection between Phish's nightly feats of improvisational wizardry and the laughably ubiquitous presence of other members of my tribe -- the Jews -- within Phish's universe, framed as a review of the four shows in Miami '09. One of the first stories I wrote as an intern at HuffPost was " Going to Synagogue at Madison Square Garden ," about the very Jewish experience of dancing ecstatically on New Year's Eve 2010 at a Phish concert. Fast forward a few years and I'm now engaged to an amazing, Phish-loving Jewess whom I met because of that story. A few weeks from now, we will pack the car and hit the road to follow Phish along the East Coast before moving to Jerusalem later this summer. In "You Don't Know Me," albeit a thoroughly secular source, I found confirmation for my theories about the holiness of Phish's music. "When you have these kind of transcendent concert experiences, it has as much to do if not more to do with the audience than the band itself," Rabin told me on the eve of the book's publication. "There are so many stories at every show, at every festival, at every concert, and they just don't get told. And this was an attempt to tell one of those stories, or a couple of those stories, and preserve for posterity what is almost by definition kind of an ephemeral, transitory thing: being at a show and feeling these emotions, connecting not just with the music, but to this world, to this history, to this whole kind of tradition." In his deftly told tale, ICP fans evolve from an illiterate horde of trailer trash-talkers to an all-embracing family of misfits in clown makeup, while the denizens of Phishland shed the collective patchouli-stained drug rug of privileged iniquity and emerge as care-free spiritual seekers of the highest degree. From darkness to light, Rabin himself transforms on tour. Instead of compulsively obsessing over the past in order to manufacture some perfect, impossible future, cavorting at ICP and Phish's respective carnivals of darkness and light opened his eyes to the "sacred present." Asked if he'll be spotted on tour again this summer, his response was telling. "God willing," he said, before laughing maniacally. A longer, nerdier version of this appeared in Hidden Track . Loading Slideshow Juggalo Phish fans began gathering on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to camp for the three nights of Phish concerts. Elizabeth Caspain aka "Mystic Diva" from Flagstaff, AZ shows off her happy face shades. Cyrus McCrimmon, Phish fans began gathering on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to camp for the three nights of Phish concerts. Elizabeth Caspain aka 'Mystic Diva' from Flagstaff, AZ shows off her happy face shades. (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images) Gathering of the Juggalos It may be one of the largest beach ball parties ever as the inflatable objects appeared while the band Phish took the stage at Super Ball IX at Watkins Glen International Speedway Saturday July 2, 2011. Close to 60,000 were expected for the three day event that ends Sunday. The last concert to be held at the venue was in 1973 where over 600,000 watched headliners The Grateful Dead perform. (AP Photo/Finger Lakes Times,Spencer Tulis) Phish Returns At Hampton Coliseum - Day 2 - Backstage And Atmosphere HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 07: Phish performs at the Hampton Coliseum on March 7, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by C. Taylor Crothers/FilmMagic) Phish New Years Eve Concert Audience during Phish New Years Eve Concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Juggalette Phish From left, Ken and Eric Anderson drove from Denver, Colo., for Phish's concert at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, on Friday, March 6, 2009. (Photo by Rob Ostermaier/Newport News Daily Press/MCT via Getty Images) Juggalo Phish fans showed their enthusiam as Phish jammed through their opening number Wednesday night in Denver. Phish fans showed their enthusiam as Phish jammed through their opening number Wednesday night in Denver. (Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images) Juggalo Phish fans began gathering on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to camp for the three nights of Phish concerts. Walter Clymer aka "Pyro Gypsy" from a Alaska plays his guitar after putting his tent together on the soc Phish fans began gathering on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to camp for the three nights of Phish concerts. Walter Clymer aka 'Pyro Gypsy' from a Alaska plays his guitar after putting his tent together on the soccer fields. Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images) Gathering of the Juggalos Phish fans began gathering on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to camp for the three nights of Phish concerts. Rory Wilson of Boulder carries her hula hoops for dancing in the camping area. Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denv Phish fans began gathering on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to camp for the three nights of Phish concerts. Rory Wilson of Boulder carries her hula hoops for dancing in the camping area. Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images) The 2003 BillBoard Music Awards - Arrival LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 10: The Insane Clwon Posse attends the 2003 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 10, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 14th annual ceremony airs live tonight on FOX 8:00-10:00 PM ET Live/PT. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images) Phish Returns at Hampton Coliseum - Day 3 - Concert HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 08: Trey Anastasio of Phish performs at the Hampton Coliseum on March 8, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish Phish performs during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., Sunday, June 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) Phish fans began gathering on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to camp for the three nights of Phish concerts. Bob Blanding of Winter Park, CO stakes down his leaf for shelter on the soccer fields. Cyrus McCrimmon, Phish fans began gathering on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to camp for the three nights of Phish concerts. Bob Blanding of Winter Park, CO stakes down his leaf for shelter on the soccer fields. Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images) 2011 Outside Lands Music And Arts Fesitval - Lands End Stage - Day 1 Phish performs at the Lands End Stage during the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Disco Man 2010 2012 Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival - Day 4 MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 10: Trey Anastasio and Phish perform at Day 4 of the Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival on June 10, 2012 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images) 2011 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1 SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Phish music fans attend the Lands End Stage during the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) 2011 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1 SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Phish performs at the Lands End Stage during the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish in Concert at Wetlands - June 1990 Phish during Phish in Concert at Wetlands - June 1990 at Wetlands in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Steve Eichner/WireImage) 2011 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1 SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Phish performs at the Lands End Stage during the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish - Commerce City, CO COMMERCE CITY, CO - AUGUST 31: Atmosphere as Phish fans attend the first concert in a set of three Phish concerts at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on August 31, 2012 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images) 2011 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1 SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Phish performs at the Lands End Stage during the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish in Concert 1995 - Mountain View CA MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Phish drum circle scene at Shoreline Amphitheatre on September 30, 1995 in Mountain View California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images) 2011 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1 SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Phish performs at the Lands End Stage during the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish Returns At Hampton Coliseum HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 06: Phish Fans attend their return concert at the Hampton Coliseum on March 6, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images) 2011 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival - Lands End Stage - Day 1 SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 12: Phish performs at the Lands End Stage during the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held at Golden Gate Park on August 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish's Festival 8 At The Empire Polo Club - Day 2 INDIO, CA - OCTOBER 31: A general view of day two of the Phish Festival 8 on October 31, 2009 in Indio, California. (Photo by Dove Shore/Getty Images) Bonnaroo 2009 - Day 4 - Phish MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 14: General view during Phish performance on stage during Bonnaroo 2009 on June 14, 2009 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) 2009 Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival - Day 2 MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 12: Artist Joe Young works on a weekend long painting during Phish's performance at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on June 12, 2009 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images) 2009 Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival - Day 2 MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 12: Artist Joe Young works on a weekend long painting during Phish's performance at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on June 12, 2009 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images) Bonnaroo 2009 - Day 2 - Phish MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 12: Phish performs on stage during Bonnaroo 2009 on June 12, 2009 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by C. Taylor Crothers/FilmMagic) Phish Returns At Hampton Coliseum - Day 2 - Backstage And Atmosphere HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 07: Phish performs at the Hampton Coliseum on March 7, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by C. Taylor Crothers/FilmMagic) Phish Returns At Hampton Coliseum - Day 2 - Backstage And Atmosphere HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 07: A general view during Phish Returns at the Hampton Coliseum on March 7, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish Returns at Hampton Coliseum - Day 3 - Concert HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 08: Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish performs at the Hampton Coliseum on March 8, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish Returns At Hampton Coliseum HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 06: Mechandise is sold prior to the Phish concert at the Hampton Coliseum on March 6, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images) Phish Returns at Hampton Coliseum - Day 1 - Concert HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 06: Page McConnell, Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman of Phish perform at the Hampton Coliseum on March 6, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by C. Taylor Crothers/FilmMagic) Phish Returns At Hampton Coliseum - Day 1 - Concert HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 06: Page McConnell and Trey Anastasio of Phish perform at the Hampton Coliseum on March 6, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish Returns At Hampton Coliseum Day 2 - Backstage And Atmosphere HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 07: A general view during Phish Returns at the Hampton Coliseum on March 7, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish Performs at Keyspan Park in Coney Island - June 17, 2004 Phish Fans (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage) Phish IT Festival Day 2 Phish (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish IT Festival Phish (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish New Years Eve Concert Audience during Phish New Years Eve Concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Phish In Concert New Year's Eve - December 31, 1999 Atmosphere during Phish In Concert New Year's Eve - December 31, 1999 at Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Big Cypress, Florida, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage) Phish Returns At Hampton Coliseum - Day 2 - Backstage And Atmosphere HAMPTON, VA - MARCH 07: Phish performs at the Hampton Coliseum on March 7, 2009 in Hampton, Virginia. (Photo by C. Taylor Crothers/FilmMagic) Phish In Concert New Year's Eve - December 31, 1999 Atmosphere during Phish In Concert New Year's Eve - December 31, 1999 at Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Big Cypress, Florida, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage) Phish In Concert New Year's Eve - December 31, 1999 Atmosphere during Phish In Concert New Year's Eve - December 31, 1999 at Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Big Cypress, Florida, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)   Follow Josh Fleet on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JoshLyleFleet FOLLOW RELIGION
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Medieval Romance Novel - Champion Of The Heart - Book Trailer

11:04, 13/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Medieval Romance Novel - Champion of the Heart - Book TrailerA book trailer for Champion of the Heart A medieval romance novel by Laurel O'Donnell Read free sample chapters: http:wwwlaurel-odonnellcommedieval-romance-novelschampion-of-the-hearthtmlnnVisit http:wwwlaurel-odonnellcom to learn more about other medieval romance ebooks available by award winning author Laurel O'DonnellnnMusic: The Rule by Kevin MacLeod (incompetechcom) Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 30 http:creativecommonsorglicensesby30 (less info)

Bryan Berghoef: A Rabbi, A Priest And A Minister Walked Into A Bar...

03:08, 9/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
A Rabbi, a Priest and a Minister Walked Into a Bar... Posted: 06/10/2013 5:00 pm Follow Subscribe ...and a genuine discussion about beer and faith broke out. Maybe not the punch line you were looking for, but when Rabbi Eli Freedman, Father Kirk Berlenbach, and Rev. Bryan Berghoef (yours truly) took the stage at Fergie's Pub in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, it was no joke. The event, one of hundreds during Philly Beer Week , drew a packed house, including several folks in the brewing industry. One brewer noted, "This is such a refreshing change from many of the events I've attended this week." Luke Bowen, owner of Evil Genius Beer Company (West Grove, Pa.), was more than happy to feature his beer at the event. "I grew up in a family that loved to debate on all topics. I think it's really great to see people connecting their faith with beer, and discussing religion with people who may think differently than they do. When I saw this event, I knew I had to check it out." So what exactly did happen when these three clergymen got together on Saturday? The rabbi, appearing very comfortable with a beer in his hand, shared stories and incidents in which the rabbis of old engaged with beer and brewing. Freedman expounded on the text, in good Jewish fashion, highlighting all the instances in which beer is mentioned and discussed in the Talmud. Questions such as: "Is beer good for us or bad for us?" and "Is beer kosher?" were among the topics discussed. As for the health effects of beer, Freedman shared an insight from R. Johanan, who stated: "Why are there no lepers in Babylon? Because they drink beer and bathe in the waters of the Euphrates." When one attendee doubted whether Abraham would enjoy a beer, Freedman aptly shifted gears. "I'm not sure if I can speak for Abraham, but Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the great rabbis in recent history, spoke of a theology of amazement: a rediscovery of the wonder of our world and the fact that we are even alive to experience creation at all. And if you think about it -- fermentation is an amazing thing! That you could leave some hops and barley and yeast in water ... and over time ... something called fermentation happens, and you have an amazing beverage! Heschel called us to marvel at the creation God has given us, and I think we have to include brewing and beer in this amazement." The rabbi handed the mic to Father Kirk Berlenbach, who took the stage asking, "Why have we created a division between something so enjoyable as a good beer, and our ability to worship God or be a good Christian? Why do we say, 'You can't enjoy a couple of good beers and still be honoring God?' Why do we deny such a beautiful and enjoyable part of God's creation -- of which God said, 'It is good.' It's time we embraced beer as a means to foster communion with each other, and with God. It's time we say it's OK, even good, to be a participant in the creative process of brewing something unique, savory, and meaningful." Several amens arose from the crowd as the priest, in good homiletic fashion, waxed poetic about the beautiful ways in which a good brew can enhance our relationships both within our faith communities and outside of them. Berlenbach coordinates a monthly beer appreciation club at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, in which they brew good beer (I've seen firsthand the hops growing up the side of the church exterior) and hold tastings and food pairings. His parish made T-shirts available at the event stating "Church Basement Brewery" on the front, and "Serving God's love, twelve ounces at a time" on the back. I was also given a few minutes to share about my own experience in bringing people together at the intersection of beer and faith over Pub Theology discussions. I wrote about this in a prior HuffPost column, " Pursuing Faith Over a Pint ," so I'll be brief here. Simply put, Pub Theology sessions create a space for people of faith or no faith to gather and learn from each other, while enjoying a good, (preferably local) craft brew. And as we sit down from someone of a different perspective or religious tradition what we often discover is that many of our stereotypes simply aren't true. Throughout the afternoon the crowd was engaged as each of us spoke, and offered great questions during the Q & A time that followed: How did you get the OK to incorporate beer into your ministry from your tradition/denomination? What do you do about folks who are in recovery? How do you share perspectives without having everyone simply agree with each other? Where do you draw the line on allowing substances to facilitate community? Could you have a marijuana theology group? And perhaps one of the most meaningful comments came right at the end, as a gentleman near the front declared, "Thank you, all three of you, for your genuine comments and honest sharing. I'd follow any one of you as a spiritual leader." As the time came to a close, people continued to mill about long after the official presentation closed, and more than a few great local pints were enjoyed. It was my first official beer week event, and I certainly hope it's not the last. What fruit is borne out of such a gathering? Well, as Father Kirk notes on his own recap of the event, the 60-odd people who showed up equals the average Sunday attendance in the Episcopal Church. So perhaps we've unwittingly tapped into (pardon the pun) an avenue outside of the usual channels in which people's thirst (ahem...) to connect over matters of faith can be met. And as the rabbi and priest enjoyed a pint and further conversation afterward, talk of brewing an interfaith beer arose. Other folks milling about the bar were dreaming and imagining Pub Theology-style gatherings in their own neighborhoods, and there was no lack of smiles and conversations among people -- of many different religious and philosophical traditions -- who walked in as strangers and left as friends. I think we can all drink to that.  
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When It Comes To Brain Injury, Authors Say Nfl Is In A 'league Of Denial'

07:56, 7/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
League of DenialWhen It Comes To Brain Injury, Authors Say NFL Is In A 'League Of Denial' by NPR Staff Transcript   The casket bearing the body of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster is surrounded by flowers and photographs after funeral services in Pittsburgh in September 2002. Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, authors of League of Denial, point to Webster's autopsy as one of the most significant moments in the history of sports. Keith Srakocic/AP When the Pittsburgh Steelers won four Super Bowls in the 1970s, you could argue that no one played a bigger role than Mike Webster. Webster was the Steelers' center, snapping the ball to the quarterback, then waging war in the trenches, slamming his body and helmet into defensive players to halt their rush. He was a local hero, which is why the city was stunned when his life fell apart. He lost all his money, and his marriage, and ended up spending nights in the bus terminal in Pittsburgh. Webster died of a heart attack, and on Sept. 28 2002, came the autopsy. NPR reviews, interviews and more "His body ends up in the Allegheny County coroner's office," ESPN investigative reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada tells NPR's David Greene. "And there's a young junior pathologist there named Bennet Omalu. He makes this decision sort of on the spur of the moment to study Mike Webster's brain." Fainaru-Wada and his brother Steve Fainaru have written a new book called League of Denial ? it's also a Frontline documentary on PBS. They take an exhaustive look at how the NFL has dealt with allegations that playing football can lead to brain damage. They interviewed doctors, scientists, former players and their family members ? though, not NFL officials, who declined interview requests to them and also to NPR. The authors point to that autopsy of Webster as one of the most significant moments in the history of sports. Omalu found Webster had a disease that would be called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy ? or CTE. It can cause the behavioral changes that afflicted Webster. He was sure the CTE came from repeated pounding on the football field. "He thought that well, this is information that the National Football League would probably like to have," Fainaru says. "He says he thought [the NFL] would give him a big wet kiss and describe him as a hero." That's not what happened. Instead, the NFL formed its own committee to research brain trauma. They sent their findings to the medical journal, Neurosurgery, says Fainaru-Wada. "They publish in that journal repeatedly over the period of several years, papers that really minimize the dangers of concussions. They talk about: there doesn't appear to be any problem with players returning to play. They even go so far as to suggest that professional football players do not suffer from repetitive hits to the head in football games." Over the last decade, the NFL has repeatedly avoided tying football to brain damage, even as they've given disability payments to former players with dementia-related conditions. Interview Highlights Enlarge image i Kevin Mack (left) of the Cleveland Browns tries to get away from the grasping hands of Dave Duerson of the Chicago Bears in Feb. 7, 1988. Duerson committed suicide in 2011 and wrote a note that included this request: "Please see that my brain is given to the NFL's brain bank." AP Kevin Mack (left) of the Cleveland Browns tries to get away from the grasping hands of Dave Duerson of the Chicago Bears in Feb. 7, 1988. Duerson committed suicide in 2011 and wrote a note that included this request: "Please see that my brain is given to the NFL's brain bank." AP On the death of safety Dave Duerson in 2011 MF: Duerson was a long-time safety, a defensive back for the Chicago Bears ? and one of the hardest hitters in the game. He had a reputation as just a powerful, powerful hitter. Also, ultimately, after his retirement, a very, very successful businessman. He also was on this committee that was giving out disability payments to players, and became sort of a lightning rod for retired players who believed that Duerson was effectively becoming a shill for the league and the union and trying to keep retired players from getting money. ... So, that's the backdrop in which you see Dave Duerson ? until he ends up committing suicide and he leaves a note basically describing why he killed himself and how he realized that he basically was going mad. SF: One of the more chilling things about this whole thing is that the people who are dying, many of them are dying in very macabre ways. They're drinking anti-freeze or they're driving their trucks into a tanker truck at 100 miles per hour. Duerson, after spending years denying that this was an issue and warning that the NFL was turning the league into a league of sissies, he then shoots himself in the chest to preserve his brain and then he writes this note: MY MIND SLIPS. THOUGHTS GET CROSSED. CANNOT FIND MY WORDS. MAJOR GROWTH ON THE BACK OF SKULL ON LOWER LEFT SIDE. FEEL REALLY ALONE. THINKING OF OTHER NFL PLAYERS WITH BRAIN INJURIES. SOMETIMES, SIMPLE SPELLING BECOMES A CHORE, AND MY EYESITE GOES BLURRY... I THINK SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY DAMAGED IN MY BRAIN, TOO. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES I SAW STARS IN GAMES, BUT I KNOW THERE WERE MANY TIMES THAT I WOULD "WAKE UP" WELL AFTER A GAME, AND WE WERE ALL AT DINNER. And then on the last page, it's almost as if he had remembered something that he had forgotten. "PLEASE, SEE THAT MY BRAIN IS GIVEN TO THE NFL'S BRAIN BANK." MF: Indeed, his brain was studied, and it was found to have CTE. On reaching a scientific consensus linking football to brain injury SF: I do think there is a consensus now among neuroscientists. I think the real question now is, what is the prevalence, is it still relatively rare, or is this something that's an epidemic, as some people have suggested? And then, are there other mitigating factors? Mike Webster and some of these other people we know had a history of mental illness in their families. Webster had used steroids and some people have suggested that the combination of the head trauma and these other abuses might be contributing to it. We just don't know at this point. ? Clearly they're making changes to the sport in an effort to make it safer. Whether it can be safer or not is a whole other question. It's a collision sport whose violence is loved by all of us who love the game. - Mark Fainaru-Wada On what's at stake for the NFL MF: This is a $10 billion industry, right? And it's hard to imagine that the NFL goes away. Clearly they're making changes to the sport in an effort to make it safer. Whether it can be safer or not is a whole other question. It's a collision sport whose violence is loved by all of us who love the game. There's a powerful point in the book where Bennet Omalu ? the scientist we described who first sees CTE in a football player ? is showing his slides and his findings to a doctor who is connected to the NFL, and the doctor says something like, "If 10 percent of mothers come to believe that football is dangerous ? to the point of brain damage, effectively ? that's the end of football as we know it." I think we are at that point now, not necessarily where it's the end of football, but where there's a dialogue beginning about whether you want to let your kids play or not." SF: I think it's a very personal decision, and it's one that I've grappled with myself, with my own son. As I said, the issue of prevalence with this disease is not yet established. There are some very, very ominous signs, obviously. But at the same time, we all know that there are lots of things in life that involve risk, and I personally don't want my son to be making all of his decisions based on fear ? particularly for something like football, which I love and which was a really formative experience for me, playing high school football. I think, like a lot of things in parenting, I'll deal with it when I have to and not until then.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.npr.org/2013/10/07/229181970/when-it-comes-to-brain-injury-authors-say-nfl-is-in-a-league-of-denial?ft=1&f=1032

Driven By Phyllis Greene-nichola

16:25, 5/10/2013 .. 0 comments .. Link
Driven by Phyllis Greene-NicholaPhyllis Greene-Nicholas Driven Eloquent Books Softcover 6x9 212 pages 1450ISBN: 978-1-61204-591-7A complex tale of love lust betrayal and hatred Driven is the story of Charlotte a divorced mother of two who meets Edward also a divorcee in a chance encounter at a grocery store The two are stirred by an irresistible attraction to one another that neither can fight But sometimes it's difficult for love to find its way especially when Charlotte's controlling ex-husband Trevon finds out she's dating and becomes insane with jealousy The extent of his rage becomes evident in increasingly violent ways Edward is also dealing with his own complications from his previous marriage as well as a pair of managers at his network of auto dealerships that are attempting to undermine his business Things go from bad to worse for Edward when he finds that his ex-wife's new boyfriend has molested his daughter Although love can arise at the most unexpected of times and places it can also be tested For a love to survive such adversities it must be true and Driven Phyllis Greene-Nicholas was born in Valdosta GA Even though she now lives in Atlanta she still calls Homestead FL home Although she has been writing poetry since the age of 15 Driven is her first book It was inspired by her children her love of romance novels and her own life experiencesPublisher's website: http:sbpracomPhyllisGreeneNicholas

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