Friday, October 30, 2009

from Stephen

"Books are a uniquely portable magic."

~Stephen King~

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Currently reading...

J. K. Rowling

Summary: Harry struggles to uncover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, the past owner of a potions textbook he now possesses that is filled with ingenious, potentially deadly, spells. But Harry's life is suddenly changed forever when someone close to him is heinously murdered right before his eyes.
(Summary from

I began reading the Harry Potter series a couple of months ago at the request of a friend. It had simply never been a priority of mine to read the series, when there were so many other books on my "To Read" list. While I knew the books would be fun and easy reads, I must admit I have been surprised at how much I have really enjoyed them, and seeing the transformation Rowling has made throughout from a "youth" genre to a more adult literary genre.

Thank you to my brother, Eric, for lending me his pretty, hardcover Harry Potter books so I do not have to buy them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

review :: People of the Book

Geraldine Brooks

What I enjoy most about this book is the journey the reader takes, following the story of the Sarajevo Haggadah backwards, centuries in time, to its strange origin.

Throughout the novel, we see the haggadah come to life through the eyes of Hanna (the present-day protagonist). However, the reader is privy to its birth and development--steps of history on which Hanna can only speculate and guess.

By the end of the novel, only the reader knows the true and full story of the Sarajevo Haggadah. I found myself wanting to tell Hanna. I wished that I could step into the pages of the book and say, "I know what happened! Let me fill you in." Brooks created a character that I cared about and felt connected to.

I give this book four stars. The writing style was not necessarily my favorite, but the story and characters were brilliant. This is a novel I would recommend, especially to anyone who enjoys history.

Monday, October 19, 2009

word of the day :: quandary

[kwon-duh-ree, -dree]
-noun, plural -ries
a state of perplexity or uncertainty, esp. as to what to do; dilemma.

1570–80; perh. fancifully < L quand(ō) when + -āre inf. suffix

"Suffering succotash...I'm in a quandary." (Bill Cowher)
* Definition taken from 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

new (used) books

Today I purchased all of these books for $11.50 at a used bookstore that, unfortunately, will be closing its doors at the end of the month. What a deal!

From top to bottom:
The Poorhouse Fair, John Updike
False Dawn, Edith Wharton
Light in August, William Faulkner
The Alhambra (illustrated), Washington Irving
Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor, R. D. Blackmore
Treasures of Spanish Art (Spanish Pavillion, Seville World's Fair, 1992)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Currently reading...

People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks

Summary: An intricate, ambitious novel that traces the journey of a rare illuminated Hebrew manuscript from convivencia Spain to the ruins of Sarajevo, from the Silver Age of Venice to the sunburned rock faces of northern Australia.

Inspired by the true story of a mysterious codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, People of the Book is a sweeping adventure through five centuries of history. From its creation in Muslim-ruled, medieval Spain, the illuminated manuscript makes a series of perilous journeys: through Inquisition-era Venice, fin-de-siecle Vienna, and the Nazi sacking of Sarajevo.
(Summary from

I heard Geraldine speak at Warwick's a couple of months ago, and have been wanting to read People of the Book ever since. Geraldine's quiet passion for this story was quite alluring. And it's a book...about a book!

Monday, October 5, 2009

word of the day :: capricious

[kuh-prish-uhs, -pree-shuhs]
subject to, led by, or indicative of caprice or whim; erratic: He's such a capricious boss I never know how he'll react.
Obsolete. fanciful or witty.
1585–95; < It capriccioso capriccioso

"A love without esteem is capricious and volatile; esteem without love is languid and cold." (Jonathan Swift)
* Definition from

Friday, October 2, 2009

from Flannery

"The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location."

Flannery O'Connor