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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Book Six Opening

Finally back around here and ready for this one. Are you guys ready? Because Here weeeeeee gooooooooooooo.

And now our video. (Could I be any more dorky?)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sharp Teeth Discussion

Ok so this time I'd like to do something different. I'd like to get your comments before I say anything. I will join in the comment section to post my thoughts after we get several from you guys. That way you guys get first say this time!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Slow Down

Hey Guys,

Sorry for the non-communication. Let me get you all up to date on where we're headed.

Things have slowed down a bit. This is good. We can get everyone up to speed. So, tomorrow I will start the Sharp Teeth discussion, join in whenever you wish. And we'll be putting off any book openings till early next week. That way, you can get through Sharp Teeth if you're still working on that, get a hold of Dear American Airlines, and get that on a reading roll before we contemplate another book. I will update the calendar later in the day today, so pretty much ignore the coming dates till I get them straightened out.

Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Technical difficulties - Book Opening

I owed you a book opening on Monday. There have been technical difficulties with the video we took. Then there were technical difficulties getting near the computer - mostly with my schedule and brain. I am here now and I'm going to do this one rather unceremoniously.

Virtual Drum Roll please...............................................
(can you hear it? Turn up the volume)

rustle rustle, rip tear, rustle, squeaky book cover, smell of new paper and ink, (you with me?)


Here it is!

Lynnea speaks, "Ohhhhhhhhhh so cool!"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Discussion: Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

Ok, not sure how many of you read this one. I mostly have some overall comments.

First, I enjoyed the book for the peek into a world we rarely hear about. And I found myself considering the situation of these people on a more personal level, understanding the fix they seem to be in. Which I appreciate. Most news stories, reports and so forth about people living in projects offer surface information at best. It is easy to judge and think, "they could change if they wanted to. Or why don't they call the police?" But it is a lot more complicated than that and seeing the way they seemed to be stuck between a rock and a hard place was enlightening. Even the gang members seemed stuck to some degree. Though I did not feel that way about J.T. at all. I felt he wanted to be some kind of super gang godfather and pursued that as far as he could. Finding out the police were complicit in illegal actions and atrocious behavior towards tenants and women did shock me a bit. Not completely but the extent of their involvement really felt like such a betrayal for these people.

As for the author, I thought he was rather naive throughout. I could not believe that after having spent years around these people, he still didn't get it. He betrayed trusts without thinking, he constantly questioned why people didn't call the police but most importantly, he didn't report a lot of what he witnessed and that seemed wrong to me. I understand his predicament, but it was a little over the line to have been 'in on' discussions of drive by shooting tactics. I thought at the very least he should have known to walk away from a planning meeting like that. Finding out things in the abstract is one thing, but sitting through meetings where people are beaten for insubordinancies and attacks on other gangs are planned was a bit much for me. Maybe I'm the one being naive though.

In the end I think this is a valuable book for giving an understanding to a part of life that maybe most of us are insulated from too much.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And the winner is.....


Congratulations. Please email me at tembilina_at_hotmail_dot_com or brownbooksblog_at_gmail_dottie_com

I've got a little package I'd like to send your way!

Other announcements:

We start reading Sharp Teeth officially Saturday, the 11th. We'll be opening the next book on Monday, the 13th. And don't forget that the discussion of Sudhir Venkatesh's book is scheduled for tomorrow! See you there!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Book Opening, Book Four - Geek Theater Installment One

As I'm sure you're aware - I'm woefully behind for the book opening of book four. Shame on me. I'm sorry. So without further ado, I'm giving you today:

Book Geeks in Nature

Don't forget to leave me a comment and put your name in for the next drawing. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday! Do it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

On Chesil Beach Discussion

Ok, De is champing at the bit and going to ruin her teeth if I don't do something right away. Hee hee. I was going to try to get to this by afternoon but I'm going to get this going right now so I can hear what you guys have to say.

I don't have prepared questions. I'm going to share my thoughts, I encourage you to do the same and I'd like to get a good dialog going on those lines. Men, any of you who read this please chime in. There are several of us women anticipating getting the male point of view on this one.

Overall I loved this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the language and skill of this author. I found myself believing things about his characters and then as more information was revealed, my views changed. For a small novella taking place in the course of one night and about a year's worth of memories, this was gripping and sad and lovely all at the same time.

It was interesting that for different reasons, the main issue between these two young people was a reluctance to speak about their problems or to allow themselves to be angry, until it is too late. Given the era they lived in, from what I know, speaking about sex even in the context of marriage was not done. Even daughters and mothers talking about things before an impending marriage often only spoke the night before the wedding and the information was sketchy at best. At least for the generations of women in my family that is the case.

But a more subtle interesting problem I think was the conflict Florence felt between her love and her inability to feel comfortable with intimacy. Which proves just the opposite problem for Edward, whose impatience for intimacy seems intertwined with love and he simply cannot understand that Florence does love him in spite of her lack of desire. I was wondering (here is where you men can help me out specifically) if this is typical thinking for young men. That love and love-making are two inseparable things. If a woman loves a man, she would show it with intimacy. I thought this was interesting since many women equate love and sex in completely the opposite way - if he has had sex with me, he must love me.

In the end, I suppose that immaturity got in either newlyweds way, otherwise they might have tried harder to resolve the problem. Of course, for each of them, with ideals about marriage in that time-period, perhaps the problems seemed completely insurmountable.

Your turn.