My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: April 24, 2010

My favorite thing this week is my daughter’s birthday! She officially became a teenager yesterday. I tend to gift books to those I love (in addition to things they crave) which is not an entirely selfless act. The book I chose for this birthday was Watership Down by Richard Adams. Adam’s classic was a favorite of mine in my teenage years. I have not yet reread it, but I always fondly remember the adventures of Fiver and Bigwig when I am reminded of the book. Sarah of A Rat in the Book Pile encouraged me to introduce it to my daughter by blogging about her experience reading it to her daughters. I was further encouraged by Max (Pechorin’s Journal) who was very enthusiastic about thirteen being a good age to introduce this “masterful children’s book“. I will let you know how one of the world’s newest teens likes it.

A New KfC Contest: Pick the 2010 IMPAC Winner” Top prize is $100 towards books, second prize is $50 toward books. Get your entries in (and read the shortlist) before the contest closes June 16.

While you are at KfC’s blog, check out Mrs. KfC’s guest post: “The Financial Meltdown

Only Words to Play With has an interesting post on Gogol (and, apparently, the author is literate in Russian). Gogol is a shortlist contender for my next book purchase.

Library of America’s Story of the Week is Rudyard Kipling’s “An Interview with Mark Twain”

Max has started in on Proust and gives us a Proustian Excerpt.

I am not sold on the idea of iStories. “An iStory is a short, dramatic narrative, fiction or nonfiction, up to 150 words long.” (Resolution and Debutantes are two examples). It feels a little like haiku.

If you enjoyed the Nicholas Sparks take-down in the Tournament of Books commentary, then you will like this Guardian article. It “read[s] like a bulletproof rationale to exile Sparks somewhere far away to a land without any typewriters.”

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog has an enticing review of Glenda Guest’s Siddon Rock. “…it’s a truly innovative book that’s a real pleasure to read…”

Buenos Aries has a “new…scheme to promote reading.”


12 Responses to My Favorite Lit-Blog Things: April 24, 2010

  1. Mrs. KfC is going to be delighted that you linked to her guest post. One of her other specialities is the British Royal Family and she says she already has mentally structured another guest post for when Wills and Waitie Katie announce their engagement. Stay tuned. It does seem the KevinfromCanada will be featuring more than simply fiction in the future.

    And a belated happy birthday to your daughter. There is a temptation to list yet more titles which I am sure would drive her crazy. So, a very, very, very quiet suggestion that you might want to leave a copy or two of some of Jane Austen’s work sitting out somewhere. Preferably one with an enticing cover and then you might want to consider a few of the excellent BBC productions for an evening of family entertainment.

  2. Kerry says:

    I definitely enjoyed Mrs. KfC’s last post, so I look forward to more guest posting in the future. While I obviously share your love of fiction, I think an occasional guest post is a great way to provide some stimulating variety.

    On behalf of my daughter, thank you. So far I have decent credibility on the book recommendations with her; she does not run screaming if I indicate she might like a particular book. Of course, now a teen, those days cannot be far off, no matter how good the books I suggest.

    We do have Jane Austen on the shelves and I barely avoided making the recommendation just a couple days ago for fear that she was just a little too young. She enjoys “adventure and romance” (thank you, Twilight….), so Wuthering Heights was another thought of mine. I wasn’t sure that wasn’t a bit too intense or too mature. I much prefer the idea of her reading Jane Austen. And the BBC productions are a great idea. Thank you!

  3. The 14-year-old daughter of my playwright friend (who was the inspiration for his play Queen Lear which I described in a post a few months back here
    was inspired to read Jane Eyre after seeing it sitting around the house. Her father said it was probably too difficult for her (he knew exactly what he was doing) which meant that she not only read it but wrote a term paper on it. Then asked him “who is even more difficult?” and moved on to Saramago.

    We don’t have children so I appreciate reports like the one you provided here. A reminder of what it was like to be young. Good luck with the recommendations.

  4. Sorry to clog up your site. The BBC collection of their versions of Austen’s six best novels is available at amazon for $40. Six nights of home entertainment (actually, we are up to about 18 since we have watched most of them three times) even if your daughter doesn’t like any of the books. The production values are somewhat dated, but the acting is ever so much better than the more recent versions.

  5. Kerry says:

    Your comments are never a clog, Kevin. I really appreciate them. I remember that post of yours and the playwright’s idea was a good one. I may even use that. Watership Down is quite thick, so I may have a little time to plot my strategy.

    I will definitely have to check out the Amazon listing. That is a very reasonable price. Those BBC versions appeared in a book I read recently, featuring as an example of a mother and her daughters bonding to the slight befuddlement and annoyance of the father. (They quoted the lines back and forth to each other incessantly.)

    And, by the way, always feel free to make suggestions to me of books I might consider for her. I was thinking something by Mark Twain might be good about now, too. And, of course, the Lord of the Rings series is something she will probably be delighted to “discover” soon. By the way, that Frankie Landau-Banks book, I re-read your review and it sounds excellent. I have been meaning to crack it myself, so maybe that is the first order of business.


  6. Frankie Landau-Banks is an excellent idea and don’t worry about buying it to read for yourself first — it is a book that I remember with great fondness and I am hardly the demographic that it was meant for. You might also want to check out Christine Schutt’s All Souls (although that is more from a parent/reader point of view than a recommendation).

  7. Kerry says:

    I will, Kevin. Thank you.

  8. LOL Kerry, I like novellas but the iStory is a bit too short even for me. I did though try to get my f2f bookgroup write 140 character reviews of their choice of book/s we discussed last year, but it didn’t engender much enthusiasm! One year we did haiku reviews and that one got a bit of interest.

  9. kimbofo says:

    A belated happy birthday to your daughter. I can verify that being 13 is the perfect age to read Watership Down. I read it when I was 13 and it still counts as one of my all-time favourite books. A word of warning though: she may want a pet rabbit after she’s read it!

  10. Kerry says:

    whisperinggums, thanks for the comment and for feeling me on the iStory concept.


    Thank you very much. I was a little older when I read it, but it is one of my all-time favourites too. Her grandmother has pet rabbits, so maybe that will do? (fingers crossed)

    Otherwise, I can always encourage her to watch the rabbits in their natural environment (our neighborhood has too many, I think, already). I will even suggest that she name them…

  11. Sarah says:

    A belated thanks for the link, Kerry. I do hope your daughter enjoys Watership Down; am looking forward to hearing a, hopefully, favourable report.

    Naming the rabbits in the neighbourhood sounds like fun, but we have done it the other way about. The hair of my youngest daughter has a habit of bouffant excess, which has earned her the nickname Bigwig. And no, she is not at all appreciative!

  12. Kerry says:

    Funny anecdote, Sarah. I can imagine your youngest does not like the moniker. I will be certain to let everyone know how the Watership Down experiment goes. She has started it, but I more often find her returning to Twilight, ugh. I am hoping that once she gets into it, she will really get into it.

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