Tag Archives: AUTHORS

MURIEL SPARK

3 May
.

.

During the last week in April, for those of us who are ‘bibliophilic’, Muriel Spark (1918-2006) was the target read for many. I, however, was not one of those many.

While you are certain to find one or two of her tomes among my book shelves, you will find, certainly, that the pages tend to stick to one another. Indicative, I need not tell you, that I have yet to read her. Actually, I did skim through Curriculum Vitae, about a hundred years ago, and found it to be, what little I did read, quite interesting.

.

.

For as long as these books have followed me from place to place, it is most peculiar that I never got around to reading any of them. I suppose Miss Spark’s writings, to me, are about as nondescript as the author herself. I do tend to gravitate toward the familiar, either via a life lived or through the written words themselves.
It is obvious that Muriel Spark and I would not have moved in the same circle. Undoubtedly, because she would have been much too normal for my palate.
I suppose now, however, that since I’ve read a few sparkling reviews, and been reminded that she has tenure in my library, I will just have to pull-out one of her books, and settle-up with Miss Muriel Spark.
Advertisements

JOOLZ DENBY

29 Jan

Joolz Denby writes gritty crime noir, so when publishers failed to show interest in the not-so-noir Ms. Larkin and the Widow Marvell, Ms Denby took matters into her own hands by launching Ignite Books where she then published A True Account of The Curious Mystery of Ms. Larkin and the Widow Marvell herself.

This book is my first hands-on introduction to Joolz Denby. Years ago, I saw a picture of a curious little purple book with the strangest name for a title and an even stranger name for an author. I couldn’t find the book anywhere, then time passed and I forgot about the little purple book altogether. You know, it’s the strangest thing how I came by this book –  I don’t even remember what transpired – all I know is, I am diggin’ Joolz Denby!

(1955 - ) Essex, England Punk Poet; Novelist; Artist; Tattooist

(1955 – ) Essex, England
– Punk Poet; Novelist; Artist; Tattooist

IN PRAISE OF PERFECTION

25 May

Twenty two years ago, I began to shadow James Oliver Rigney, Jr. It was most subtle at first, but soon it became quite obvious that I was obsessed. The stalking grew into a mania that just wouldn‘t let go. Everywhere I looked, over the span of two decades, the wheel turned, and the fixation grew. We both knew, he and I, a few years in, that the game was afoot. How could it not be? And, even though he offered no encouragement or approval, the satisfaction derived set the bar. It became an immeasurable high. A mutual flirtation, as it were. He would present and I would acquire.

James Oliver Rigney, Jr. was not who he appeared to be. Soon after his death in 2007, when I thought it was over, another emerged in his stead: Brandon Sanderson. Thus, I had no choice. James Oliver Rigney, Jr. – or should I say Robert Jordan, was gone, but the shadow of the obsession was not. In 2009, the last battle began, and for the next four years, the mania continued as Sanderson, chosen by TOR and Jordan’s widow, organized  Jordan‘s extensive notes, spun The Wheel of Time, and finished what Jordan had started.

I’ve completed my quest of acquiring.
Now, finally, begins the journey …….

On the island, the air shimmered and coalesced. The black-clad man stood staring at the fiery mountain rising out of the plain. His face twisted in rage and contempt. “You cannot escape so easily, Dragon. It is not done between us. It will not be done until the end of time.” ….. Then he was gone, and the mountain and the island stood alone. Waiting”  *

*The end of the Prologue (Dragonmount) – The Eye of the World book one.

Published by TOR fantasy/a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, Inc. An epic series of 16 books from 1990-2013 including the prequel: New Spring, dated 2004; and the companion: The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, published in 1997 and co-authored with Teresa Patterson.  Fantasy-Science Fiction/innumerable pages

Published by TOR fantasy/a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.
An epic series of 16 books from 1990-2013 including the prequel: New Spring, dated 2004; and the companion: The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, published in 1997 and co-authored with Teresa Patterson.
Fantasy-Science Fiction/innumerable pages

James Oliver Rigney, Jr., aka Robert Jordan (1948-2007) nominated for the 2014 Hugo Award for The Wheel of Time as a whole, for best Fantasy/Science Fiction novel.

James Oliver Rigney, Jr., aka Robert Jordan (1948-2007) nominated for the 2014 Hugo Award for The Wheel of Time as a whole, for best Fantasy/Science Fiction novel.

Brandon Sanderson (1975 - ) author in his own right, and winner of two Hugo Awards in 2013 for best novella: The Emperor’s Soul; and best related work: Writing Excuses.   Sanderson is best known for his Mistborn series.

Brandon Sanderson (1975 – ) author in his own right, and winner of two Hugo Awards in 2013 for best novella: The Emperor’s Soul; and best related work: Writing Excuses.
Sanderson is best known for his Mistborn series.

 

 

WORDS

2 Apr

 “You love words, don’t you?” asked John. “Well, if one doesn’t have words, how does one think?” she replied.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this wonderful movie – Iris -, based on the Biography written by John Bayley. Iris Murdoch was a novelist, philosopher, playwright and free-thinker who defied conformity. She lived for her words, within her words, and all her days, her life revolved around her words. During the last five years, in the end of her life, she lost all her words to Alzheimer’s. She died in 1999. She was 79. John Bayley, Literary Critic and Philosopher, who was married to this brilliant woman for 43 years, stayed by her side to the finish. Since her death, John has moved on with his life. As most people do.

During the span of 40 years, Iris wrote 26 books. The last one (Jackson‘s Dilemma), was written in the beginning throes of her disease at a time when the words she so loved had already begun to slip away. Despite the obvious descent into the loss of her cognitive mind, her final words were published in 1994.

“You love words, don’t you?” asked John. “Well, if one doesn’t have words, how does one think?” she replied.

8af2fb960b2e579db37120aa55df7dea

Dame Iris Murdoch (1919-1999)
John Bayley (1925-)

NELSON ALGREN

13 Mar

Within the vast library of books that fill the modesty of my dwelling, I am oft times surprised to find a tome that long ago faded from my memory. This morning, I ‘discovered’ Nelson Algren (1909-1981). He was there where he’s always been of course: hiding in plain sight.

I remember him best within the words he penned in his three most noted novels:
The Neon Wilderness (1947)
The Man with the Golden Arm (1949)
A Walk on the Wild Side (1956)
Algren was one of our neglected writers, referring to himself as the ‘Penny whistle of American literature’.

His tombstone reads two lines written by Willa Cather:

THE END IS NOTHING
THE ROAD IS ALL

Perhaps his epitaph should have scribed, instead, his own words:

ON THE HEART IT DON’T MATTER HOW YOU SPELL IT

Image

Image

Image

BRITISH WRITERS

28 Feb

jacob-von-hogflume-blue-plaque.jpg

This plaque, commemorating the inventor of Time Travel, was made-up by Dave Askwith and Alex Normanton, authors. The actual Blue Plaque is located somewhere in London. A photograph of it resides within the pages of their book: Signs of Life.

cdf0ba3da3590edef1dd4afc1cfc6390

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This park bench is from the movie and Screenplay/book, Notting Hill by Richard Curtis. After the movie wrapped, rumor has it that a young romantic fool bought the bench so he could propose to the woman he loved (she said no). The park bench is now in Queens Gardens, East Perth, Western Australia. Anonymously donated to the City of Perth where it really does live in a beautiful garden that is locked at night.

BSq9lfwCMAEe1WV

enhanced-buzz-26052-1378209053-6

Speculation has it that Jamie Maslin was such a curmudgeon about having one of his books rejected that he fabricated a ‘real’ fictional character that mimicked his cantankerous behavior at the time. Jamie Maslin is a real British author, but this also could be speculation.

WORDS

6 Oct

“The garden has to reach inside you. It should change your heart, sadden it, uplift it. It has to make you appreciate the impermanence of everything in life. That point in time just as the last leaf is about to drop, as the remaining petal is about to fall; that moment captures everything beautiful and sorrowful about life. ‘Mono no aware,’ the Japanese call it.” (Ch.13 p.163)

THE GARDEN OF EVENING MISTS – TAN TWAN ENG

“Are all of us the same, I wonder, navigating our lives by interpreting the silences between words spoken, analyzing the returning echoes of our memory in order to chart the terrain, in order to make sense of the world around us?” (Ch.23 p.307)

~

 Tan Twan Eng (1972- ) is an Intellectual Property lawyer who lives in Malaysia, and has written two stand-alone novels. His first, The Gift of Rain, was longlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2007. Earlier this month the 2012 Man Booker shortlist was announced, and among the six hopefuls in the running is Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists. The Man Booker prize is worth about $80,000.00, and catapults a new author into an entirely new level of literary recognition.

 

WORDS

29 Sep

In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that …

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

~

Albert Camus (1913 – 1960) French writer and philosopher

second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature (after Rudyard Kipling) 1957

“ To observe that life is absurd is not an end, but a beginning. ”

PERCOLATIONS

8 Sep

It’s rare that I will fall and stumble over myself with one newly discovered writer/author, let alone two on the same day. But fall I most certainly did.

Robert Goolrick was published late in life, after a 30 year career in advertising ended with a ‘downsize’.

As soon as I read this excerpt from Heading out to Wonderful:  “Let me tell you something, son. When you’re young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand-new penny, but before you get to wonderful you’re going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good, long look, because that may be as far as you’re ever going to go.”  I knew ….

 

“….. I live in a tiny town in Virginia in a great old farmhouse on a wide and serene river with my dog, whose name is Preacher. Since he has other interests besides listening to my stories, I tell them to you.” *

Peter Dickinson writes mostly YA and children’s books, but ultimately, it was his British Mystery Thriller The Yellow Room Conspiracy, written for adults, that stood-out for me. A 40 year old murder, recounted by two lovers (two viewpoints) looking back on their youth – in an attempt to solve the mystery. Interestingly enough, it was a sentence I read in another of his books, Hindsight, that attracted me to this writer: “How do you distinguish between real memory and invention masquerading as memory?”

 

“…… tall, elderly, bony, beaky, wrinkled sort of fellow, with a lot of untidy grey hair and a weird hooting voice — in fact he looks and sounds a bit like Gandalf’s crazy twin, but he’s only rather absent-minded, probably because he’s thinking about something else. Day-dreaming, mostly.” *

I am looking forward to reading both books ~

*Biography excerpts

PERCOLATION

27 Aug

I am now reading Six Problems for Don Isidro Parodi, originally published in 1942 (translated to English in 1981). It is Borges’ first collaboration with Adolfo Bioy-Casares. Bioy (1914-1999) and Borges met in 1932, and only joined their literary intellect as a spirited amusement (this book has been touted to be a minor work for both). Two of the best known and more influential Argentine writers, they complimented their 40 year long friendship with satirical comical intent, much to the dismay of their literary critics.

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was an Argentinean poet, essayist and short story writer. In 1961, he received the first International Publishers’ Prize Prix Formentor (meant to rival the Nobel Prize in prestige). Among his short stories, The Garden of Forking Paths published in 1941, and translated into English for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in 1948, are his most famous: Ficciones; and The Aleph.

“The philosophical term “Borgesian conundrum” is named after him and has been defined as the ontological question of “whether the writer writes the story, or it writes him.””  Wikipedia.

Six Problems is a parody on the detective genre. Even the Preface is an amusing allusiveness of parody, written by Gervasio Montenegro, who, in actuality is a character in several of the stories. There are six chapters. Each comprising a ‘problem’ for Don Isidro.

“In an unusual twist on the traditional armchair detective, don Isidro, jailbird and former barbershop owner, unravels each mystery brought to his cell by a host of flamboyant characters, parodies of different elements of Argentinean society. Among these, an easily duped journalist, an actor who gives a new meaning to egotism, and members of a Buenos Aires literary circle, each more absurd than the next, are some of the clientele who stop by the prison to see if don Isidro is “in” for a consult.” quotation, in part, from Fantastic Fiction.

Vagobond

Real Life Travel

Jesus is the Centre, Gospel Teaching Life Church

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, (Philippians 2:9 NIV). There is power in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.... to break every chain! JesusTcentre@gmail.com

Reading Acts

Some Thoughts on the Book of Acts and Pauline Theology

The Whisper of God

"Let us be silent, so that we may hear the whisper of God" Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~~ Several years ago, I started writing down all the amazing ways God used my day to day activities, children, family, friends and nature to teach me. The more I wrote, the more I noticed God in my daily life. It became an exercise of the heart and grew my relationship with Christ in a way I had never experienced. I began to hear God whisper to my heart His desires and lessons for me. I hope that reading some of my stories will encourage you stop and listen for His whisper!

Fr. Ted's Blog

Meditations of an Orthodox Priest

SVMMA APOLOGIA

"FIDES ET HISTORIA"

bookowly

bookowly

Franklenstein

Frank book reviews

bookpeopleblog.wordpress.com/

Howdy! We're the largest independent bookstore in Texas. This is our blog.

mysterypeople.wordpress.com/

BookPeople's Mystery Bookstore-Within-a-Bookstore, located in downtown Austin, Texas

Hidden Staircase

Book recommendations for the armchair detective.

She Reads Novels

"She had read novels while other people perused the Sunday papers" - Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Pages and Pictures

book and movie reviews. mostly books

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings

Bibliopotamus Book Reviews

Book review site with a focus on classics, contemporary literature and much more!