Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Beginnings on Friday

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion from Rose City Reader. Instructions are pretty clear: just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

 This week's entry - Daniel Handler's The Basic Eight

I, Flannery Culp, am playing solitaire even as I finish this.

I loved most of the Lemony Snicket series so am curious where the author will aim this journey,

Adaptation: What To Expect When You're Expecting

I have no interest in this movie, but know more than a few people that are so thought I'd post the trailer. I don't see the appeal but sure it will pull in millions and millions!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Mark: Lionel Gelber Award


Ezra F. Vogel, a Harvard professor specializing in Far East affairs, has won the 2012 Lionel Gelber Prize for his book about China under Deng Xiaoping.

 Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China, published by Harvard’s Belknap Press, was named winner on Monday of the literary award honouring the best book on international affairs.

The prize, a $15,000 award named for late Canadian diplomat Lionel Gelber, is presented annually by the Lionel Gelber Foundation, Foreign Policy magazine and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

Vogel’s book examines how the Chinese leader confronted the damage wrought by Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution and loosened the economic and social policies that had stunted China’s growth. The leader's move to push modernization and ease trade relations with the West lifted hundreds of millions of his countrymen out of poverty.

“The rise of China as a mighty global economic power, which now seems so inexorable, was never foreordained,” said George Russell, executive editor of Fox News and chair of the five-person Gelber Prize jury.

“That it happened, and how it happened, depended enormously on the wiles, stratagems and vision of the short, pugnacious man who is the subject of this deeply informed book by one of the West’s most important Asia scholars."

Vogel won in a field that included another book on China by Nobel Prize-winner Henry Kissinger.
The other contenders were:

Book Mark: Kobzar Literary Award

Award-winning director and screenwriter Shandi Mitchell won the Kobzar Literary Award at a gala event in Toronto for her debut novel, Under This Unbroken Sky: A Novel. The award, presented biannually since 2006, commemorates literary work that best presents a Ukrainian Canadian theme. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting and young adult literature are all eligible for the $25,000 prize.

Mitchell's novel follows the Mykolayenko family as they struggle to survive Prairie life in Depression-era Canada. The jury, which consisted of Denise Chong, Nino Ricci, Randall Maggs and M.G. Vassanji, called Under This Unbroken Sky a "compelling and poignant narrative that honours the ancestry of many Canadian Ukrainians who worked for a better life during the depression era."
The other finalists were:

Mitchell, who is Ukrainian on her father's side, dedicated the award to her grandmother and to the stories she never told. "It did mean a great deal to come back to the Ukrainian community with this story. It meant a great deal to say a story that my baba could never speak aloud. Those silences are chasing generations," she said. "We are losing all our narratives, and we need to gather them."

Mitchell receives $20,000 of the purse. The remaining $5,000 will go to her publisher, Penguin Group Canada. The four remaining finalists received $1,000 each.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the sea posts the opening paragraph (maybe two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening paragraph (s). This is the First Chapter First Paragraph meme.

After a few weeks away, my entry this week comes from Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending

I remember, in no particular order:
--a shiny inner wrist;
--steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it;
--gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house;
--a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by a half dozen chasing torchbeams;
--another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface;
--bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door.
This last isn't something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn't always the same as what you have witnessed.
Ain't that the truth!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Mark: Vending Machine for Books

Brazilian company 24×7 Cultural launched early this year an initiative enabling customers to choose the price they want to pay for the books sold through its subway station vending machines.

Check out the full story at Springwise.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Mark: Various Topics

Rather than do individual posts, I'm being lazy and throwing all these odds and ends into this one post. 

Saturday Snapshots: Yummy Treats

Saturday Snapshot is a weekly meme hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. The guidelines are to post a photo that you or a friend or family member have taken and then link it back to Alyce's original post for the week. Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see.

Where has March gone?? Have lots to catch up on after weeks away from the blog.

One activity that has been steady is my continued dabbling into baking and trying out new recipes. It seems of late that I always have leftover bananas hanging around so decided I needed to find  alternatives to banana bread to include as an uber-healthy snack in my daily lunches.

First up is an apple-banana-oat loaf, which is very yummy with yogurt or ice cream. The only problem I had with this recipe was the baking time - too short. There is lots of moisture in this recipe, with 2 apples, 2 bananas, honey, and milk and not enough binding materials to produce a 'loaf' in 30 mins. I baked it for just over 50 mins and it was still a bit too moist. I think the milk can likely be reduced to half or maybe even left out and it would still turn out great.

Second recipe is one from the Rachael Ray site - banana oatmeal squares. They are fantastic, and really do take no time at all to whip up. I'll exchange the egg for ground flax seed next round (I always throw flax seeds in my recipes to up the fibre content) and likely reduce the milk a touch.

I have a couple other recipes I'm eager to try out; perhaps this weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Adaptation: Mirror Mirror

This adaptation holds zero interest for me but perhaps there is an audience out there for it...somewhere.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Adaptation: The Deep Blue Sea

Based on British playwright Terence Rattigan's 1952 play, "The Deep Blue Sea" centres on the wife of a British Judge who is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot. This doesn't sound very appealing (and the trailer is not that great), I suppose, but the role of Hester Collyer is considered one of the greatest in theatre. It will be curious to see how well the character translates to the screen, and how well Rachael Weisz can inhibit her.