Monday, October 27, 2008

In Cold Blood

Hey Janet,
I have to tell you that after reading Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood, I've always locked my doors at night (and double-checked the locks before going upstairs). My husband likes to say, "We live in North Dakota, we can leave our doors unlocked" because we moved here from the East Coast. I know better -- that murder can happen anywhere -- even a farmstead in the heartland.

There are two DVDs that portray the terrible emotional toll on Capote in creating this book--Infamous and Capote. I would recommend both because they tell the same story in a different way. Infamous also explores a concept still important today -- how Capote blurred the line between fiction and journalistic reporting. Can one really present a "true account" when relying on memory and trying to tell a story in a dramatic, interesting way?

This month I'm staying away from the blood curdling and reading Capote's short stories including Breakfast at Tiffany's. However, I've noticed that we can't keep Stephenie Meyer's books on the shelf, even after buying additional copies!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oooooh, scary!

It's the season to be scared--and I don' t mean by all those papers you have to write!

Halloween is lurking right around the corner, and while being a splendid excuse to buy candy (and taste-test it, of course), this holiday makes me think about all things scary.

Like books.

Kristen and I've been talking about scary books. Some books are frightening because the topic is dreadful (for example, I won't read any book in which children or animals are injured or killed). Others are supernaturally scary. Some simply get in the back of your mind and don't let go.

So let's talk about scary books.

The Shining by Stephen King scared the socks off me, especially the part about the wasps' nest. To this day, I will not touch a wasps' nest, even if it's old and unused. Convinced it's empty, dried out, vacant? Ha. You clearly haven't read this book.

This is why this book scares me. I was never fond of wasps to begin with (really!) so it was quite easy to make use of this natural fear. I've read interviews with King in which he talks about working off our primal fears.

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson--you do know it's fiction, right? It is. Keep telling yourself as you read it. It's just a story. It's just a story. It's just a story....

What is YOUR favorite scary book?


Monday, October 6, 2008

New books!

I love this time of year. The days are cooler, the trees are doing their autumn thing, and I get to order new books!

So here's what I've just ordered:

1. INDIGNATION by Philip Roth. I'm really anxious to read this.

2. A LION AMONG MEN by Gregory Maguire. Has anyone been reading Maguire's Wicked Years series? This is #3.

3. LIBERTY by Garrison Keillor. And back we go to Lake Wobegon.

4. DOWNTOWN OWL by Chuck Klosterman. Chuck (Hey, can I call you Chuck?) is a UND graduate! This book takes place in Owl, ND, and it's another one I'll put on the top of my towering TBR (To Be Read) pile.

Plus here's the really cool thing--Chuck Klosterman is coming here for the March Writers Conference!

I'll let you know when the books arrive.

Meanwhile, enjoy these lovely October days (although as I write this post, it's rainy so I'm enjoying the weather inside) and remember, always have your bookmark IN a book!