Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
This slender edition may not be the best Bill Bryson has ever written and is definitely not a book to base a thesis on. But for someone, like myself, who knows the name Shakespeare (never spelt the same way twice!) from his plays and Sonnets this book is an interesting read with the usual touch of Bryson wit.
Bryson expand on the little we know of Shakespeare, remarking that he is “at once the best known and least known of figures”. We don’t even know what he looked like as the three likenesses we have are so different. Even so, Bryson records everything that is known about the Bard, from the earliest scholars to the esteemed ones today, including the scholars like Delia Bacon, who tried to prove some one other than Shakespeare wrote his works.
Also he gives us a setting for the man – Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Although Shakespeare is usually associated with the Elizabethan period, Bill Bryson points out that the majority of his play writing career takes place after her death. We learn about the theatrical scene and the culture in
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Lady of Light and Shadows
By C.L. Wilson
These are the first two books in a fantasy romance series called Tairen Soul. Supposedly they are about the Fey. Fey usually meaning Fairies, the Tuatha de Dannan, Titiana and Oberon, etc. Well, not in these books. The author tacks the name Fey onto a “magical” race that is entirely of her own creation, with no real connection to the rich folklore of our fantastical creatures.
I wish I could say this mix of two genres produced something new and fresh, but it didn’t. In part, because the author used generic plots and characters from both genres in a mostly generic manner. Set in a pseudo medieval fantasy world, handsome, powerful, but with a tortured past, king of the Fey finds his truemate in a pretty, good hearted, but possessed by demons, woodcarver’s daughter. Except, of course, she’s not really of such humble origins. Dark times are on the horizon, as the Eld, evil magic users, are secretly gathering their forces to strike at a human kingdom that doesn’t want to believe the threat is all that bad.
There were some interesting characterizations that were never followed up. For example, our hero lost his first wife in a war with the Eld, and literally went crazy with grief. Ostensibly, his feelings still remain, but now he’s truemated to someone he knows nothing of. This gets mentioned a couple of times, but usually as an excuse for the heroine to beat herself up for not being worthy, instead of exploring the hero’s emotional changes and this new relationship.
And I found any number of the secondary characters more interesting. One of the heroine’s Fey guards, Belliard vel Jelani, who is one step away from going over to the dark side. Gaelen vel Serranis, a legendary Fey warrior who’s gone over to the dark side. Granted, the dark side isn’t all that dark, as it’s more about banishment, than doing evil deeds. The few human border lords siding with the Fae against the Eld. Or the poor Fey who finds his truemate, only to find she’s married to someone else.
But then there are the Tairen. Another magical race, which are somehow bonded? with the Fey to the point that some of the Fey have Tairen souls? and can shapeshift into these creatures. Yes, I find them confusing. And despite reading two books, I still can’t figure out WHY they are in the books at all. Other than the author thought giant winged cats would be cool.
All that said, I did read both books. They aren’t bad; they just didn’t live up to my expectations. If you like Christine Feehan or Sherrilyn Kenyon (aka Kinley MacGregor), or romance books about soulmates, and want to branch out to books with more world building of the fantasy nature, you will probably enjoy these books.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Judge Lockhart's mother, Charlotte Jefferson, befriended a stroke victim who is unable to talk. Certainly she had no idea how this friendship would impact her life.
Charlotte also became friends with the newspaper editor who is dating her daughter, the family court judge. When Jack decides to attract the senior readers in Cedar Cove, Charlotte is the natural choice to write the column.
The town librarian, Grace Sherman, is devastated when her thirty-four year marriage seems to crumble and then her husband, Dan, disappeared.
At the same time, Olivia's daughter Justine is dating a man old enough to be her father. Is it a relationship of convenience or is there really romance involved? Olivia doesn't know. Neither does Justine.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Tuesday, February 12th at 6pm at our library!
Free all-ages show! Join us in welcoming The Whomping Willows, Catchlove, and Justin Finch-Fletchly and the Sugar Quills to the Homewood Public Library.
These indie all ages rock bands write and sing songs based on the seven Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling.
This is their only Alabama show, so don't miss out! Call Ms. Heather 205.332.6621 for more information.