Miss Letting-Go-Getting

Books and Music and Blogs, Oh My!
July 14, 2008, 11:21 am
Filed under: authors, Fun Stuff, music, Web Resources | Tags:

Photo courtesy of Chilsta via Creative Commons & Flickr

I like blogs, I like books, I like book blogs. I also like music. Paper Cuts, one of my favorite book blogs has this really great feature called “Living With Music” wherein various authors discuss the effects of music on their lives and in most cases, offer up 10-song playlists complete with reasoning behind each selection.

This concept clearly isn’t new. Starbucks has their “Artist’s Choice” CD’s and I-Tunes has a similar feature, but I appreciate that this particular voyeuristic peek into the musical tastes of the famous is devoted to authors.

Measure for Measure, another of my favorite blogs courtesy of the New York Times features musicians discussing the art of song-writing.

“With music now available with a single, offhand click, it’s easy to forget that songs are not born whole, polished and ready to play. They are created by artists who draw on some combination of craft, skill and inspiration. In the coming weeks, the contributors to this blog — all accomplished songwriters — will pull back the curtain on the creative process as they write about their work on a songs in the making.”

Finally, the blog for my one of my favorite NPR shows, All Song’s Considered, has started a new feature in which they post the lyrics of a song, and readers post their interpretations.

“I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” by Wilco

“Everything in Its Right Place” by Radiohead

They also have a great post called “Sigur Ros vs My Spell Checker” Check it out I tell you!


Miss LGG


Miss LGG’s Book of the Week: The Post-Birthday World
June 28, 2008, 4:14 pm
Filed under: authors, Books | Tags:

One down…twenty-three to go! Remember my personal summer reading program in which I pledged to read two books a week? Yeah, that’s not happening, or at least not at the pace I had hoped. Many of the books I chose are over 500 pages, and I have been sleeping on the bus a lot these days, and it’s summer and all I want to do is ride my bike and sit outside and hang out with friends, and make-out with a certain handsome man and, and, and….

I did, however, finish one of the books on my list…

The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver, 517 pgs.

I first learned about this book from Entertainment Weekly’s yearly recap of the best media. They named this novel by British author Lionel Shriver as their top fiction book of the year which was intriguing to me because it didn’t exist on any other best of the year lists. Here’s what EW had to say:

In a year when nearly everyone was caught up in the story of a young wizard, an ensorcelling book about a mortal adult woman went virtually unnoticed. The heroine of Lionel Shriver’s extraordinary novel The Post-Birthday World is Irina McGovern, an illustrator living in London with her longtime partner, Lawrence Trainer, an earnest policy wonk. They share values and routines, if not a world-beating sex life. As the first chapter ends, Irina finds herself alone with a roguish acquaintance, pro snooker player Ramsey Acton, whom she’s always found dangerously attractive.

Here, the novel branches into two competing narratives. In the first, Irina kisses Ramsey. In the second, she resists. Chapter by chapter, these two richly imagined scenarios play themselves out, eventually meeting up again some 500 pages later. Which was the better choice for Irina — the steamy lover Ramsey or the steady companion Lawrence? Shriver playfully suggests answers, only to snatch them back again.

Before it was co-opted and trivialized by chick lit, romantic love was a subject that writers from Flaubert to Tolstoy deemed worthy of artistic and moral scrutiny. This is the tradition into which Shriver’s novel fits. In 50 years, we’ll still be wild about Harry. And a lucky handful of readers may stumble across The Post-Birthday World and wonder why they’ve never heard of it.

Right on–so true, I have steered clear of any fiction dealing solely with love and relationships because I can’t stand to read formulaic, trite happy-ending crap, which tends to be most of the chick-lit genre. I’m not a total cynic about love, but the fluff love genre of recent years never delves deeply into the workings of romantic relationships or characters’ psyches in general. Shriver’s novel is down and dirty honest, brutal, heartbreaking and so very very real.

Shriver is quickly becoming my favorite contemporary author. Her incredibly thought-provoking We Need to Talk About Kevin had me pondering parent/child relationships and the root of evil for nearly a month. Her writing style is incredibly elegant and dense, yet very easy to read and ultimately her books are impossible to put down.

Seriously, check her out. Good stuff.


Miss LGG

Plagiarists Beware! Even the Dead Ones!
March 29, 2007, 3:18 pm
Filed under: authors

What do Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville and Laurence Sterne have in common? Yes, they were all authors! Good job! You’re brilliant!

Did you know they were also plagiarists?

My mother, a brave middle-school language arts teacher, detects and fights plagiarism among her young poets with a simple Google search. Paul Collins, in an article for Slate, points out that with a tool like Google Book Search “even artists not living in the on-line age are in trouble.”

Read it!


Website of the Day: The Internet Public Library
Looking for quick and reliable facts? Looking for credible websites on a given topic? The Internet Public Library is a great place to start research on a plethora of topics! You can also ask librarians questions via e-mail. According to the FAQ page, the IPL is:

  • the first public library of and for the Internet community
  • an experiment, trying to discover and promote the most effective roles and contributions of librarians to the Internet and vice versa
  • a group of highly talented, creative, strong-willed people, working hard

What’s not to like about that? Check it out:


Ta Ta for now!