Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oak Street Renovations

Thanks so much to everyone who has checked in on me since Monday's Oak Street Renovation article: http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/oak_street_upgrade_costly_to_n.html

What I'd like to know now, is who ran off with the cobblestone? The much ballyhooed cobblestone strip running up the middle of Oak Street was ripped out last week and hauled off. Where did it go and why? Also, why are holes that were dug up three weeks ago and then refilled being dug up again? Something is going wrong with this project and not a word from the Oak Street Association, Fleming Construction, or the City. I for one, would certainly like to know how long I can expect my business to flounder.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book Club Information

This month's book club meeting is today. We will be discussing F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Super short story as we wanted to squeeze a meeting in before the chaos of Jazz Fest was upon us all!

Here is a list of the upcoming meeting dates and the books to be discussed:

Sunday, May 31st - Marjane Satrapi "Persepolis"
Sunday, June 30th - Richard Price "Lush Life"
Sunday, July 26th - Robert Olen Butler "A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain"
Sunday, August 30th - Italo Calvino "The Baron in the Trees"
Sunday, September 27th - Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"
Sunday, October 25th - Truman Capote "Other Voices/Other Rooms"

I'll be trying to gather copies of the above books. Just send an email or call if you'd like to reserve any copies.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Onion's Many Layers

I'm a huge fan of the The Onion's AV section, especially the film reviews. And while I check out the book reviews, I've sometimes found it lacking. Recently disappointing was the Best-Of-The-End-Of-The-Year selections. Not that the books weren't worthy, it's just there were so few of them. The selection of about 8 books to the about 20 Best-Of-Film showed a lack of effort to take books as seriously as film and music. Well, this is a great start to making up for the past:


Fellow Blue Cypress Book clubbers, please note the introductory selection . . .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vacuuming will set you free?

I'm giving Joyce Carol Oates work another try. I'd really disliked her past work, not the style or story, just the bleakness of it all. However, several of her recent works have appeared on my reading shelf, so not unlike Phillip Roth, I'm willing to give this author another shot.

Also, just checked out this interview which made me wonder: who would win a fistfight, Oates or Didion?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/magazine/12wwln-q4-t.html?_r=1&ref=books

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NPR thoughts

This morning's NPR reports kept leading to book related thoughts. Surprise.

First there was segment regarding "brown fat", specifically on weight loss. Now, I don't give a flying Snickers about weight, as I've long accepted the extra padding my kids gifted me with. But what caught my interest was the reference to mitochondria. I fondly remembered the first time I'd heard of mitochondria - Madeline L'Engle's "A Wind in the Door", the book that followed her award-winning "A Wrinkle in Time." L'Engle's children's novels were awesome in that they never presumed to talk down to young adults. She made learning about science an adventure.

Also, NPR interviewed Sandra Cisnarios this morning on the 25th Anniversary of her novel "The House on Mango Street." I always felt this book was especially relevant on the idea of home versus the place one lives. I haven't read this one in so long, but feel I'm ready to pick it up again.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Favorite Find of the Day


Was able to crack open another box today (thanks road work for all the free time!) and was super pleased to find it filled with vintage children's books. Children's literature is a favorite of mine, thanks to a childhood filled with a lot of time on my hands and unfettered access to the public library.

I was most happy to pull out of the box, Astrid Lindgren's "Of Course Polly Can Ride A Bike." Most readers will recall Lindgren's unforgettable character Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraimsdaughter Longstocking, otherwise known as Pippi Longstocking. I couldn't get enough of Pippi with her emotional and physical strength and her intelligence. She was mocking, scarcastic and often rude to those adults she was forced to interact with but was also, so much fun and truly a good friend. I was forever trying to make my own braids jut sideways from my head, but I was weird like that anyway.

Lindgren's personality shines on in "Of Course Polly Can Ride A Bike" as Polly channels Pippi's spunk to prove she can ride a bicycle like her older brother and sister. The illustrations are so bright and complete the story.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Boxes upon boxes.


Some may know I'd been gathering books for years in order to get this place up and running. Two storage units later, I have my little bookstore with rapidly filling shelves. Unfortunately, the back store room is filled with precariously piled boxes threatening to engulf any who venture into the catacombs. Well I've stopped procrastinating (thanks massive construction!) and am finally cracking open these boxes, some containing books I haven't seen in years.
There are some really solid books in there (if I do say so myself) but I had a few favorites today. First, I found a copy of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, a play for "voice", later adapted for stage and film. While, I'm a fan of Thomas' work, I'm also a fan of Folio Society books. I just love the quality and the slipcases are a nice touch.
And, though I burn water, I was excited to find a stack of regional interest cookbooks, especially Tony Chachere's recipe for Wild Cherry Bounce, consisting of wild cherries, sugar, and bourbon. How could that combination be a bad thing?

Looking forward to tomorrow's finds . . .