Posts Tagged ‘Goodreads’

Death Comes for the ArchbishopDeath Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The only plot here is that which you might find in anyone’s life. The book flows through Bishop Latour’s years without relying on external forces of any kind. A quote toward the end of the book expresses the way the work itself moves:

“He realized also that there was no longer any perspective in his memories…. He was soon to have done with calendared time, and it had already ceased to count for him. He sat in the middle of his own consciousness; none of his former states of mind were lost or outgrown. They were all within reach of his hand, and all comprehensible.”

Click on the link above to read the rest of my review of Death Comes for the Archbishop.

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The Illustrated Man

The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Illustrated Man is comprised of short stories from a variety of subgenres, with heavy emphasis on rocket ships and space travel/extraterrestrial civilization within our solar system which provide a backdrop for his social commentary.

My favorites from this collection are: “The Veldt,” “The Highway,” “The Long Rain,” “The Fox and the Forest,” and “The City.”

An enjoyable read but, while I love Bradbury, this collection is not my favorite of his works.

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The Stuff That Dreams Are Made On: A Jungian Interpretation of Literature (Chiron Monograph Series : Volume 5)The Stuff That Dreams Are Made On: A Jungian Interpretation of Literature by Clifton Snider

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Snider is adept at offering a better understanding both of Jungian archetype and of the literature he discusses. I come away from my reading with a desire to explore, to read the pieces I have not read, to think, to discourse and converse. These responses, rather than an unquestioning agreement with everything asserted herein (which is not the case with me), is what makes this a “5-star” book.

Works considered include:
* various with Merlin as subject
* “Tristram of Lyonesse,” Swinburne
* The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
* Orlando (and) The Waves, Virginia Woolf
* The Member of the Wedding (and) Clock Without Hands, Carson McCullers
* Several by W. H. Auden

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I just finished this book last night.  It earned 3 GoodReads stars from me: a fun, light read.  A step up from the Nancy Drew mysteries I cut my reading teeth on, but then, it’s not really written for an elementary school audience–more challenging vocabulary, deeper characters, some language (swearing, cursing, whatever you want to call it), better storyline (of course, it’s been a while since I’ve perused ND).  The book is appropriate for YA, Adult, and precocious Middle Graders.  Set in England during the 1950s, this mystery frolic follows 11-year-old chemistry phenom Flavia de Luce through adventures dangerous and dastardly.  I found myself mentally traipsing back to my childhood, imagining myself living her life.

The protagonist is, admittedly, a bit annoying at times.  Perhaps that is inevitable considering the evident influence of intelligence, privilege, and cool, sometimes even antagonistic, family relationships.  Still, the author knows his character and by the end, she has grown and I have gained some sympathy for her.  This is accomplished, in part, with brief, sometimes poignant, glimpses into the “sweetness at the bottom of the pie” that shows through subtle cracks in the “crust” of self-confident, capable Flavia, reminding me that she is really just a little girl riding her bike around the environs of her small town seeking pleasure and her place in the world, and dealing with death in the process.

A couple of final notes on the book:  It is the first in a series, and it is slated to be made into a TV series in 2015.


One of Flavia’s sisters, Ophelia, is a pianist, and Bradley uses her as a vehicle to sprinkle references to music throughout the book.  I loved this.  I actually noted each piece so I could listen to them.  I cruised around YouTube, and this is what I found.

Toccata from Sonata in A Major, Pietro Domenico Paradisi

Originally for Harpsichord

Eileen Joyce on piano

Arrangement for Harp and Strings

Flute and Bassoon (I don’t understand the “homage to Barbara Streisand bit.  Can anyone enlighten me?)


Robert Schumann sonatas  

Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op 11 (Emil Gilels)

Piano Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, Op 22  (Martha Argerich)

Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op 14 (Grigory Sokolov)

If you liked those, or want something a little shorter, try something in this Schumann piano playlist.


Bach’s Goldberg Variations

Glenn Gould studio recording (video of studio session)


Ophelia did not play the following, but they were mentioned in the book.

“Harry Lime” Theme from The Third Man, Anton Karas

Originally instrumental (with zither and accordian)

Piano (straight)

Piano (variation)

Piano (and now it gets wild!)


UK Ukulele Orchestra


Beethoven’s 6th Symphony “Pastoral”

As there are many recordings available, and as it is 42 minutes long, I’ll just post one link.

Pastoral Symphony



Kristen Lamb

A few months ago I heard Kristen Lamb was speaking at the Ozark Writers League in August.  I immediately inked the meeting onto my calendar.  Early Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed for the two-hour drive to Hollister, MO.

It was worth the trip.

I can’t remember now how I heard about her books, We Are Not Alone, and Are You There Blog, It’s Me, Writer, but according to my Goodreads list I read them both earlier this year.  They were, in fact, among my first ebook downloads.  The thing that struck me most, besides the simple instruction in why and how to set up a social media platform, was her approach to marketing.

An explanatory digression:  Picture me as a college freshman, all shiny with dreams of making the world a wonderful place.  My goal: to communicate, to share vision and joy and hope with all those wonderful people out there.  (Actually, that part of me hasn’t changed much.)  So, of course, I declared my major as Communications.  New picture: me sitting aghast in my first Communications class–Intro to Mass Communications, aka Intro to Mass Manipulation.  And the next picture: me exiting the classroom, turning right, and proceeding to the English Department to change my major.  That last picture was a video.  Nothing against marketing types.  It just wasn’t my scene.  I had completely misunderstood the appellation of Communications.

I mean no offense here.  I have many business-y friends who are wonderful people.  What is refreshing about Kristen Lamb is that she marries a personal philosophy of service and positivity to marketing.   It is so strange and invigorating to read a marketer saying that our first priority should be to build relationships, to build people.  Then “sales,” if that is your aim, will follow.  It is revolutionary.

That is why I wanted to meet her.  I also had other questions.  Was she really 1. as upbeat and perky as she appears to be on her website and in her books, and 2. as dedicated to people over $$ as she claims to be.  The answer to both, from my experience, is yes.  Don’t get me wrong.  She believes in marketing and all that nastiness we artist types just don’t want to deal with.  She just believes in helping people more.  And she proves that by her support of and interactions with individuals.

Here’s a for-instance.  Some of you may have heard of the “Roni Loren incident.”  I wrote something about it myself here.  So did Kristen, but she went further.  With a desire to support bloggers in the quest for quality, non-copyright-infringing art, she started Wana Commons.  As far as I know she’s not making a penny off it.  She’s not a photographer, so she also doesn’t get any direct marketing exposure.  She does help others get that exposure, and she gets peripheral benefits.  However, I really believe that if money went out of fashion and we all worked gratis for the sake of bettering society and the lives of others, Kristen would be working just as hard as she does today.

This really isn’t intended to be a Kristen Lamb lovefest.  We’re just sympatico on the whole concept of valuing and building individuals.  So, yeah, read her books.  There.  She got some free advertising.  I don’t mind.  They may be helpful to you, especially if you are uncomfortable with marketing and/or social media.  But even more than that, think about her philosophy and her attitude.  I can’t tell you to adopt it, but if more of us practiced it, our little corner of the world might be a more fulfilling place.

So am I a sucker?  Is Kristen really that awesome?  Or did she just get an A+ in Mass Manipulation?  I don’t know (okay, I really think I do), but she has me seriously considering joining Twitter.


What makes you shake when you think of marketing and social media?  Do you think it’s hype or history in the making?  And a completely unrelated question–did you ever sit in a classroom and think “I am sooo in the wrong place”?