Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Snapshot: New Perspective

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.

With spring comes a change in projects, and a recent switch has provided me with a large cubicle (with actual walls - never had that before!) and two large windows offering this view:

The top right building is City Hall, with the pool out front. Not pictured to the left is the square where numerous festivals congregate throughout the summer. In the bottom right is the front of our new art gallery.

Tuesday, May 15, 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.

My entry this week comes from Shelley Jackson's Half Life: A Novel

Blanche, white night of my dark day. My sister, my self. Blanche: a cry building behind sealed lips, then blowing through. First the pout, then the plosive; the meow of the vowel; then the fricative sound of silence.
Blanch is sleeping. She has been sleeping for fifteen years.
I can tell you the exact moment I knew she was waking up. But allow me a day's grace. Let me remember that last afternoon, unimportant in itself, wonderfully unimportant, when I was still Nora, just Nora, Nora Olney, Nora alone.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Line By Line: Markus Zuzak, The Book Thief

“He stood a few meters from the step and spoke with great conviction, great joy.
"Alles ist Scheisse," he announced.
All is shit.”

“The Germans in basements were pitiable, surely, but at least they had a chance. That basement was not a washroom. They were not sent there for a shower. For those people, life was still achievable.”

“Papa sat with me tonight. He brought the accordion down and sat close to where Max used to sit. I often look at his fingers and face when he plays. The accordion breathes. There are lines on his cheeks. They look drawn on, and for some reason, when I see them, I want to cry. It is not for any sadness or pride. I just like the way they move and change. Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.”

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.”

Friday, May 11, 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 - Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey

It began with my father not wanting to see the Last Rabbit and ended up with my being eaten by a carnivorous plant.

Adaptation: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Based on the novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach, and with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Bill Nighy heading the cast it looks like a winner!

Tuesday, May 8, 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.

My entry this week comes from Amor Towles' Rules of Civility

On the night of October 4th, 1966, Val and I, both in late middle age, attended the opening of Many Are Called at the Museum of Modern Art--the first exhibit of the portraits taken by Walker Evans in the late 1930s on the New York City subways with a hidden camera.

It was what the social columnists liked to refer to as "a superlative affair.

Table of Contents: Coppermine

Author: Keith Ross Leckie
Publisher/Year: Viking Canada, 2010
Synopsis: The story begins when two missionaries disappear in the remote Arctic region known as the Coppermine. North West Mounted Police officer Jack Creed and Angituk, a young Copper Inuit interpreter, are sent on a year-long odyssey to investigate the fate of the lost priests. On the shores of the Arctic Ocean near the mouth of the Coppermine River, they discover their dismembered remains. Two Inuit hunters are tracked and apprehended, and the four begin an arduous journey to Edmonton, to bring the accused to justice.

Instructing the jury to "think like an Eskimo," the defence counsel sets out to prove the Inuit acted in self-defence. They hear how the hunters believed the priests were possessed by demons about to kill them, and how, acting on this belief, they killed the men and ate their livers. The jury finds them not guilty. The hunters become celebrities, a parade is held for them, they visit a movie theatre and an amusement park, and become guests of honour at socialite dinners. They are given new suits, fine cigars, and champagne. But Rome is outraged that the murderers of its martyred priests will go free. As secrets of Jack Creed's past in the trenches of Europe are revealed, Jack tries to save his two friends, and himself.

What Others Have To Say
The Globe and Mail
"It is a gift of a premise: initiating mystery, physical action, epic journeys, complicated justice, clash of cultures. For the most part, Leckie exploits these ingredients in tasty ways, his scriptwriting craft showing in sure pacing and brisk scenes ending with snap! crackle! pop! buttons. His Mountie, Creed, is a solid if stock protagonist, a canoe-loving man of duty who prefers the relative certainties of solitude and the law over the puzzles of the heart." 

Guelph Mercury
"...depth of character is not his strong suit. He writes for plot and that’s what makes a good adventure story. And it confirms my theory that we need the clash of cultures to challenge our assumptions about who we are and who those “others” (native, Eskimo, Inuit, aboriginal) are. Nonetheless, this is a most satisfying read."

Good Reads Rating: 3.95

Monday, May 7, 2012

Line by Line: Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding

“She hated the namelessness of women in stories, as if they lived and died so that men could have metaphysical insights.”

“The problem, like most problems in life, probably had to do with his footwork.”

“It was strange the way he loved her: a sidelong and almost casual love, as if loving her were simply a matter of course, too natural to mention. Like their first meeting on the steps of the gym, when he’d hardly so much as glanced at her. With David and every guy before David, what passed for love had always been eye to eye, nose to nose; she felt watched, observed, like the prize inhabitant of a zoo, and she wound up pacing, preening, watching back, to fit the part. Whereas Mike was always beside her.”

“The doctor said a ball hit me. But I don’t remember batting.” “You were in the dugout. Henry made a bad throw.” “Henry did? Really? Are you sure?” “Yes.” “Well, it’s always the ones you least suspect.” Owen let his eyes fall shut. “I don’t remember anything at all. Was I reading?” Affenlight nodded. “I warned you. It’s a dangerous pastime.”

“There are no whys in a person's life, and very few hows. In the end, in search of useful wisdom, you could only come back to the most hackneyed concepts, like kindness, forbearance, infinite patience. Solomon and Lincoln: This too shall pass. Damn right it will. Or Chekhov: Nothing passes. Equally true.”

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Book Mark: Doug Wright Award for Canadian Cartooning 2012


Cartoonist Kate Beaton, known for her smart, witty comics that shine an irreverent, contemporary light on historical and literary figures, has won a Doug Wright Award for Canadian cartooning.
Beaton won the best book honour in Toronto Saturday night for her book Hark! A Vagrant, based on her highly popular web comic filled with lively caricatures poking fun at everything from Canadian stereotypes to history's hipsters to Jane Austen mash-ups.
"The world of comics can be a sequestered and dusty place," award juror and visual artist Shary Boyle said in statement.
"Beaton rises up and throws open the doors to a whole new audience — welcoming one and all with her generous vision and sense of sophisticated, inclusive playfulness."
Born in Nova Scotia and now based in New York, Beaton's work has also appeared in Harpers Magazine, the National Post and The New Yorker. She was previously recognized at the 2009 Wright Awards with its emerging artist honour.
Up-and-comer Ethan Rilly (aka Hartley Linn) accepted the 2012 Spotlight Award for Pope Hats #2, a continuation of the Toronto cartoonist's sensitive tale of a bright young woman navigating a career in a busy corporate legal firm while tending to her capricious actress roommate.
Rilly "is a cartoonist who takes his time to get it right," jurist John Martz said. "It can be no easy task to write a story about an introspective Toronto law clerk, and have it be so compelling, so rewarding to study, and be filled with such warmth."
Boyle and Martz were joined on the Wright Awards jury by artist and professor George Walker.
Organizers presented the Pigskin Peters Award, the category honouring avant-garde or experimental work, to Toronto's Michael Comeau for his comic Hellberta, which the nominating committee described as "a pastiche of superhero comic, a political satire, a post-apocalyptic fable — all melded together to form a single nightmarish vision."
Taking place during the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, the Wright Awards ceremony also included the induction of Montreal-based veteran political cartoonist Terry Mosher, widely known by the pen name Aislin, to the Giants of the North - Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame.
Mosher, on hand for the ceremony, looked back at his more than 40-year career as an editorial cartoonist — the majority spent at the Montreal Gazette — in a colourful, and at times bawdy, on-stage conversation with newspaper columnist Rick Salutin.
Held annually and named after the cartoonist behind the internationally syndicated comic strip Nipper (later renamed Doug Wright's Family), the awards celebrate excellence in the Canadian art and alternative comic scene. Past winners include Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, Pascal Girard, Bryan Lee O'Malley and Jeff Lemire.