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Showing posts from September, 2006

Is it too much to ask for a spoiler warning?

I consider it a courtesy to the people who read my reviews to warn them if there is anything that could be called a spoiler in my review, and I expect the same from others, and although I do sometimes reveal spoilers, I would never, ever reveal the ending to a mystery. Others obviously feel differently. Today I came across a Robin Paige book on TitleTrader that had a review that suggested it was interesting. A visit to Stop! You're killing me showed that it was the second in a series, so off I went to Amazon.com to check out the star rating and, if I liked what I saw, to buy the first book in the series. And what did I find? An author's message by one half of the writing team that reveals the ending to a mystery I was about to start reading, and without a spoiler warning.

Thank you so very, very much, Ms. Albert. If this is typical of your tact in general, I don't think I want to read any of your books any time soon. How would you like it if someone forced the ending to yo…

It's done – TBR stack: here I come!

The thesis is done and is now at the print shop. I'm picking it up from the printers tomorrow to turn it in. I should feel euphoric, but I'm just tired – I put in a good sprint towards the finishing line and am now in a sort of post-victory daze. It's amazing how much work it is getting a thesis ready for printing: double-checking and proofreading and re-checking and making sure the printers can't mess up the layout and discovering last minute changes that need to be made and then nervously checking everything again.

Now all I have to do is turn the thing in and wait for my grades – I have hopes of graduating cum laude, but I'm not opening the champagne bottle until I know for sure. It will be wonderful to go back to reading just for fun – my TBR bookcase is double-stacked and overflowing, and I have sworn not to renew my library card until I have cleared at least a shelf.

I hope to have the blog running again at full speed soon.

Mystery author #23: Sebastien Japrisot

Title:A Very Long Engagement
Original French title:Un long diamanche de fiançailles
Year of publication: 1991 (original), 1993
Type of mystery: Missing person
Type of investigator: Amateur
Setting & time: France, 1917-1924, with flashbacks and flash-forwards
Number of corpses: Many
Some themes: Love, hate, perseverance, truth, war crimes

I had originally intended to review One Deadly Summer (L'été meurtrier) because I had seen and enjoyed the film, but I didn't like the first person narrative style of the book and gave up on it. I also suppose it was not that exciting for me to read because I already knew what the surprise twist was. When I came across this book I remembered that there had been a critically acclaimed film of the same title and a random reading of a few lines told me it was not written in the same narrative style as the other book, so I bought it.

Story: In the winter of 1917 five French soldiers who have been sentenced to death for cowardice are pushed out into n…

Bookmark: Graffiti

This piece of graffiti is part of a huge mural that can be seen when driving along the Sæbraut road in Reykjavík, Iceland.

The larger bookmark (first image) is 19 by 6 cm and the smaller one is 10 by 5 cm. Click on the images to bring up the full-sized image. Print on cardstock or thick paper. I recommend laminating.





Bibliophile reviews Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai

Year published: 1999
Genre: Literary fiction (if that can be called a genre)
Setting & time: India and the USA; 20th century (semi-timeless)
Some themes: Tradition, family, unhappiness, gender roles

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999.

Warning: contains what some may consider to be SPOILERS

The Story: The story, such as it is (I will explain later) revolves around an Indian family that is so steeped in tradition that it has tragic consequences for the children, none of whom are happy with their lot. The first half of the book deals with Uma, the eldest girl who is plain and has not been able to get a husband. She lives at home with her parents and is more like an upper servant than one of the family and yearns for a life outside the family home, but she can never realise those dreams because it would be unseemly and disgraceful for the family if she did. In between we see glimpses of family history, the siblings growing up and the younger sister's arranged marriage in which she…

Request a bookmark

I am thinking about starting a bookmark of the week project. I have a huge collection of photographs I have taken over the years, some of which I have been moving over to Flickr. I want to do something with them, and here's my idea: visit my Flickr page and if you notice a photo you would like to see on a printable bookmark, drop me a comment on this blog with the title of the photo and I will feature it as bookmark of the week. To see my photographs, click on the link in the heading, choose a photo, copy the title, then come back here and make your request.

P.S. I only ask that you do not request bookmarks made from mosaics I have made from images by other Flickr users. There are copyright issues at stake.
As regards the graffiti images, they are on the walls for the world to see and while I would never try to make money from selling photos of them, I see no harm in distributing them to a bigger audience for free.

Printable Bookmarks

Here are a couple of bookmarks to print out. The first one is single-sided, the other is double sided. You can print them on cardstock or if you want to lamintae them, on heavy paper. The double one should be folded down the middle and the blank sides glued together. These are not shown full size.