Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spent two hours today at the Casket Arts book sale, picking up classics of the leftist variety.

What a weird sensation to be staring down rows of Sydney Sheldon and Dominic Dunne and finding, amidst the dross, the occasional Chomsky or Lenin.

I plowed on through for two solid hours. Picking the gems from the frauds.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Lace Reader

Just finished reading this book by Brunonia Barry. It starts with a great premise, the unreliable narrator. The narrator begins by saying she lies all the time and that she's a crazy woman.

Okay. Let's see how a crazy woman thinks.

Except we then go into a fairly logical narrative of which we are expected to believe most of what we read, but be prepared to toss out some of the more outlandish claims. That's cheating.

For an amazing example of reading the words of a crazy woman while being able to discern reality from fiction, I recommend and highly prefer Charlotte Gillman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." It's free on the web at Gutenberg.

However, to review the book on its merits, I should say I was pulled along by the plot and kept coming back to it when I had time to read. The sense of place is awesome, I assume, although I've never been to Salem. I was fascinated by the family, Towner, her twin sister Lindley, her mother May and her guardian Eva. All were strong, fascinating women with quirky habits and powerful beliefs. Even the secondary female characters get fleshed out: Angela, Roberta, Anya and Ann.

But I was really bothered by the shift from first person narrative by Towner to first person narrative by Rafferty, the detective who falls for Towner, midway through the book. In comparison to the women of the book, Rafferty is poorly developed. We know little of his beliefs or his desires. He is curiously incapable of action.

I'm not sorry I read this book, but I'm not recommending it to others.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Updated 10/17 flyers

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Don't mess with French farmers!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Another flyer for Mayday