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Sunday, October 31, 2010

To Song or Not to Song

Here I am expressing my inner "Blythe," (please see copyright above for credit)....  It's my vampirish/rockstar Blythe look.  You will note that I'm looking askance and I contemplate my Bookish Libraria face choices.

I need a poll, please.   What do you make of the Amazon gadget for the Top Music Choices???   I'm a bit frightened of it~~   Do you think it's worthwhile keeping?

Personally, I can't bear the widgets for music chosen by blog owners that are foisted upon reading friends. I simply like to read in silence for the most part, or to choose movie theme recordings or classical music.  In cases where the music automatically comes on and stays on while I try to enjoy a great blog, I find myself loving the blogger and hating the music, so to speak.

Let me know whether I should keep my widget.  It's only here for quick listening chosen by each of you or quick ordering if you want to.

Very truly yours,

A Blythe and Bookish Dame

Last of October Reviews

As it’s nearly November, I want to share my last reads of October with you for good measure:
Room,” was all I expected it to be and more. Such a great read from an author whose work (“Slammerkin”) I’d enjoyed before. Ms Donoghue has a slightly skewed vision which makes her works artistic as well as engrossing. This book has that nearly, dare I say it, Edgar Allan Poeish twist to it. Or, at least her writing is reminiscent of something more subtlely gothic. It’s a sense I get more than an actual thing written out-and-out. Almost as if this story could have been placed in any timeframe and still work in most ways.

In the book, we find a mother and little, precocious 5 yr. old boy, Jack, who is the narrator of the story, held captive in a “room.” The mother was abducted and has been held for years as a sex slave, although allowed to keep her son.

The tension and danger is palpable…the confinement is claustrophobic to the reader as we begin to feel and sense the “Room” and Old Nick, the rapist/captor. I began to feel my heart race as I realize that everything rested on his bringing them food supplies and allowing them to have basic survival needs in that shed of a hovel! Donoghue is a genius of a writer!

I won’t spoil this book by saying more than it’s a psychological thriller, a human story with depth and sensitivity, and an unforgettable cast of characters. As a grandmother of children near Jack’s age, I could relate to so much of his thinking and ways of behaving. As a mother of a daughter near his mother’s age who has experienced a trauma in her life, I could relate to several things, as well. The aftermath of their captivity is most distressing, too! This is a strong novel with believable characters that touch your heart.

Your Bookish Dame highly recommends this to her literary friends of all sorts. If you read past the first chapter, you won’t be able to put this one down! As I mostly subscribe to books worthy of your and my time, this one ranks high in that category.

I’d love to hear what you think of “Room
once you’ve read it. Please leave a comment….

Storyteller’s Daughter,” by Saira Shah, as seen above, is the second book I want to review for you. She has an absorbing story to tell, herself, as we follow her in pursuit of an Afghanistan she was raised to believe in as a nearly mystical place, at her father’s knee.

A brilliant author with a fascinating life, Ms Shah kept me on the edge of my seat and the hours flew by as I listened to her descriptions of the Afghaney (sp?) people, the Taliban, the different regional tribes, and her travels through the mountain terrains to seek her ancestoral home and people. What she found in the end was far more than she’d hoped for or expected.

Speaking from a child of the West’s perspective, as well as a grandchild of ancient Afghanistan, a journalist, and an adventurer, Ms Shah paints both a beautiful and a wise story of lost innocence and gained insights. As another story of a woman journalist and photographer in a war torn country who is both brave and heroic, I find this book an inspiration.

“Storyteller’s Daughter,” has much to tell us about Islamic culture and faith, the horrors of war, the involvement of foreign countries in middle eastern conflicts, and displaced peoples. Ms Shah was also responsible for documentaries of note including “Behind the Veil…”
This is one of the very best audiobooks I’ve experienced this last 6 months. It would also be a great read to linger over, I’m certain.

Highly recommended! While it does not change my personal support of our troops in the Afghanistan War, I thought the book gave me a good educational insight into the whole country and people, and it’s history.

Your Bookish Dame