Jul 31, 2009

Shadow of the Wind

i'm reading Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon. Delicious. That's all for now. Heading to the beach.

Jul 27, 2009

Whitewater Canyon with author K.Linda Kivi

I was hiking in Whitewater Canyon this past weekend, in between gaping at the vistas and looking for Grizzly bears, I had the chance to catch up with my friend, local author and publisher, K.Linda Kivi. We talked about her new book that has just been published by Maa Press - Letters from Lubumbashi - the story of an Canadian immigrant from the Congo. I came up with the brilliant notion to feature her book in our book club and have her as our guest in our discussion of the book! What fun!

We also discussed a few of the jems we've read and why we loved them. Included in that list was 'Bitter Fruit', 'Fugitive Pieces' and 'Black Spruce'. It was so much fun to be in the mountains and talking about books with a great writer. Check out her other works, including Inner Green and The Purcell Suite carried here at Jennies, and find out more about Maa publishing at: http://community.netidea.com/maapress/index.html

On the same trip we got into discussion about the 'Kindle' and the 'Reader,' two new electronic mediums for reading. This new age of electronic books is fascinating and frightening for booksellers. How it will affect the role of the paperback and how it manifests in our culture? What will become of local bookstores? How will they look in the future? It is difficult to imagine a world where books are relegated to digitization. Without the touch and feel of the page, will reading cease to be accessible to everyone or will it broaden the base of readership? What will libraries look like? These were some of the exciting questions that emerged from the conversation.

Finally, I ended my weekend on Rag Beach at the north end of Slocan Lake. While dozing in the sun and jumping in the water I thought about the importance of our local authors for our cultural experience. Thank you K.Linda!

Jul 23, 2009

The old computer

I've been struggling with the old computer at work here. It's like an old dog; it likes to lie down in a familiar spot, but trying to get it to do anything new, like this blog, is a serious battle. It's detracting from my experience of modern of technology. Hmmmn...
I was complaining about it to a colleague that I met through the BC booksellers association. She suggested that I pour some orange juice on it! What a good idea! Perhaps next week we'll have an "incident" and I'll be blogging happily at work again. Meanwhile here I am at home, filling you in on what's happening at Jennies.

Our book club just finished Inheritance of Loss, Kiran Disai's dark novel based in Northern India in the misty foothills of the Himalayas. Our first meeting was a huge success! Desai's ability to cover a range of topics and accurately describe human nature amazed us. We emerged from our discussion of this book touched by the fact of our western privilege and the contrasting themes of light and dark explicated in the stories of orphaned heroes who strive to pluck at hope within their dismal reality.
Our next book is All About Love by bell hooks. Stay tuned.

Jul 17, 2009

We're blogging!

We've all been reading The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson's soon-to-be-released titillating book, the second in the Millenium Trillogy. Once again you'll be on the edge of your seat wondering what Salander is going to do next, or in fact what can't she do? She is our ultimate moral, feminist, genius anti-hero.

Other great reads lately include The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. This novel is about love, prejudice and personal casualties during the war on terror stemming from 9-11. The novel complexifies one Pakistani man's experience in the United States exploring his memories both before and after the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. It's a fascinating story that tells like Kalil Gibran's The Prophet.

Finally a reflection on The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany. Delicious and complex.

That's all for now.
tune in again....