April 2003 Archives
Another One Gone
Wow. Weíve gotten another really good discussion under our belts despite it being derailed twice (Rich and his He-Man Woman Haters Club and me unnecessarily worrying about a broken comment box). And thanks to Do-Heeís late arrival, it was the first discussion that stretched all the way to Saturday. Kudos to Mary Carmen for choosing Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and challenging the way we think about fairy tales.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Hi everyone! I hope everyone finished the book. Sorry that I didn't post yesterday, but I was away for Easter and did not return until last night.
I thought I would start the discussion off a bit easy and ask how everyone liked the book in general. What did you think of the format? The "re-telling" of a famous fairy tale? What did you think of the ending? Overall impressions?
I have more directed questions, but I want to same them. Plus, I am spending all day today at Research Day at Drexel, so I will be away from the computer (boo! hiss!).
An Introduction to Gwen
1. I found BookBlog while searching for a journal that had disappeared.
2. My sister says my bookshelves look like that
Best Novels of the 20th Century list.
3. Yes, I've read them.
4. No, I didn't like all of them, but I never throw anything away (you should see my record collection).
5. Our dad read to us every night from six to seven (a grade-school sampling: Toynbee's The Study of History, The Iliad, Dante's Inferno, everything Edgar Rice Burroughs ever wrote), a practice I was subject to well into high school, and something I am still working through with my therapist.
6. I don't actually go to a therapist, though I tried once.
7. I live in Oakland, California, with my pre-teen daughter and my handsome boyfriend, and their evil cats. I am a graphic designer, which means I spend a lot of time reading. I also write in my journal about as often as I re-design it, and set a very bad example for the other authors of the group journal I run by not writing very often at all.
Iíve been doing a lot of housecleaning around here.
Besides rearranging the layout, RSS feeds from member sites have been added to the sidebar on the right. If youíre a member and have a feed I donít know about, leave a comment. Iím not sure yet if itís going to be a permanent feature since I havenít determined how much bandwidth it sucks up. Although Iíve asked the parser very nicely to only cache member sites every 12 hours, it seems to refresh itself whenever the main page is accessed. If it turns out to be a drain, itís gone.
The little ads on the right have also changed to randomly rotate through links to sites that link back to us from an index page. Friends of BookBlog, so to speak. I created the buttons from screen shots, and if you donít like yours, sorry. I tried.
Members, ever wonder why your name on the right doesnít link to your home page or e-mail address? You need to log in and update your author profile for it to happen. Adding your e-mail address will also turn on a nifty feature that e-mails you whenever anyone posts a comment to one of your entries. So, how about taking care of that now while itís still fresh on your mind? The member log in box has been moved to the bottom of the right sidebar.
And while Iím asking for things, someone PLEASE volunteer for July. Being a moderator isnít all bad. Sure, some members will choose not to read your book and give you lousy excuses as to why. Of course, some members will bash your selection and question your taste in literature. Yes, you will start to think everyone hates you. But look at it this way: you will eventually recover your self-esteem and be a stronger person for it. Come on, you know you want to.
In light of the number of search requests we get for:
I'm adding this entry to set the record straight: it's Wuthering Heights.
Despite being a Victorian novel, Wuthering Heights is unique. It does not moralize, it does not paint a picture of genteel society, and it is not filled with fainting women and simple but resolute men. No one in this novel is nice. The characters hate and hate openly, and are unable to draw a definitive line between where hating ends and loving begins. They are forces of nature, much like the decaying yet heather-covered moors that both isolate and free them.
I've already mentioned here that I've read Wuthering Heights about 10 times. I realize that borders on being obsessive. However, everyone else should read it at least once.
Although Kate knew choosing Shopgirl would not generate much controversy among our members, I felt the discussion disintegrated into an appalling display of mutual respect and affection between Rich and Andy. (Stop it. Now. Please.) Despite my chagrin at the lack of tension in March's discussion, I'd like to send a hearty thank you to Kate for moderating and exposing us a title that was able to, ahem, unite us as a group. (Oh, I'm kidding. I'm glad we can agree on some things.)
That being said, we've got some interesting books coming up in the future. I've already finished Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and am almost ready to get started on A Canticle for Leibowitz. Of course, I've read Blindness, which is one of my favorite books, since I'll be moderating June.
Who's ready to step up to the plate and take on July?
Guess who's shopping
As a variably-employed freelance writer, I'm in the habit of selling off everything that isn't necessary to my survival. So I put up Mysterious Skin for sale on Amazon. Guess who bought it?
Yes, that Scott Heim.
I asked him if he didn't already have enough copies -- and apologized for selling my copy. This was his reply:
Don't worry about it, Sarah -- I sell stuff on amazon as well! Mostly cds, though. And yes, I am the author. The time of "free copies" from my publisher was long ago... so now I try to snag up relatively cheapo copies of the paperback when I can, as sometimes I'll send out free books to people and etc etc.
Thanks for your email!† I'm really happy you liked the book AND found it difficult... I guess it was difficult to write, too.† If you are so inclined, write a tiny one-line review on the amazon site and say just that--"I liked it but it was difficult" or something--every little tiny bit helps and currently I'm trying hard to keep the book in print (so even the littlest review or anything similar actually helps out in the long run).
Hope you're having a great March so far...
(Note: He sent this in April.)
So if you felt passionate about it, leave a review on Amazon.