Archive for April, 2009
Indiana has historically produced some of the most popular authors in the country such the early 20th century’s Gene Stratton-Porter, Booth Tarkington and Charles Major to modern day favorites like Kurt Vonnegut, Ralph McInerny and Meg Cabot. I am very pleased to report that there is a new author on the scene who is not only from Indiana, but also one of our neighbors. Terry Bailey was born in Morgan County, the son of Dale and Ella Bailey who currently reside in Paragon. He graduated Eminence High School in 1975 and though education and vocation have led him to other locales, he returns to Morgan County as often as possible. He currently resides in East Canton, Ohio where he serves as the Senior Minister for Indian Run Christian Church. The Pilate Plot is his first book.
About the Book:
David Urbane is a college professor who blames Jesus Christ for the death of his wife. Robert Cooper is the sociopathic President of the United States who is working on world domination but finds that Christianity stands in his way. Nathaniel Stone is the genius computer hacker who discovers that time travel really is possible. Cooper’s plan is to send Urbane back in time to prevent Jesus’ crucifixion and thereby stopping the birth of Christianity. Who will win in this contest of good versus evil?
I find that many self-published first novels still require a lot of polish and editing, and so I was very pleasantly surprised when I read Terry’s book. The Pilate Plot is an intelligent, fast paced thriller that combines science fiction, history, religion and conspiracy. It is well written with a complex story line that twists and turns. Its short, cliffhanger-ending chapters are reminiscent of Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code and make you want to keep reading long after you know that you should stop and go to bed. After all, why stop now when the next chapter is only three pages long? The suspenseful, Christian-themed plot line combined with the speculative aspect of time travel will appeal to fans of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, or any of the major suspense writers. In summary, I highly recommend this book and I hope that Terry finds a major publisher for his work soon. The Pilate Plot leaves the ending open, so I’m looking forward to the sequel, too.
If you’d like more information about Terry or The Pilate Plot you can visit Books By Terry Bailey.
April 27th, 2009
I’ve noticed an interesting trend that is hardly new, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it formally defined in library literature. I’m going to call it Classics With a Twist. It’s a genre of fiction that starts with a classic work of fiction then the author does one of three things to it:
1. Re-writes the story from a different character’s point of view.
2. Writes a sequel.
3. Re-writes the story in a modern setting with modern characters.
Quite by accident, I recently read three books that were Classics With a Twist. The first was Rhett Butler’s People, Donald McCaig’s authorized companion to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. I have to make a disclaimer - I’m an unabashed GWTW fan, even though Scarlett is as unlikeable as a heroine can get and it paints the unrealistic picture of happy slaves ruled by kindly masters. In Rhett Butler’s People we finally get to hear Rhett’s side of the story and we learn of the forces that molded him as a young man. Most of the book is a retelling of the classic through Rhett’s eyes, though it does take it a step further into the years after the war. Overall, it is an enjoyable tale, especially if you’re dying to know what happens next to Scarlett and Rhett, but McCaig brought a lot of modern sensibilities to the story and sometimes goes too far in making things politically correct. McCaig also made Scarlett somewhat sweeter than she is in the original which I didn’t mind because we are seeing her through Rhett’s eyes and his love for her overlooks her flaws. He also made Melanie Wilkes far more coarse, which I did mind. For example, Melanie reveals details of her intimate relationships with Ashley in a letter to a friend which felt completely out of character. In another scene, Melanie instructs Belle Watling how to be a lady, which is something Melanie never had to think about - being a lady was as natural as breathing. Scarlett, on the other hand, could have easily had that conversation because she was all about calculated appearances. If you simply can’t get enough of GWTW, you might also try The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall who tells the story through the eyes of Cynara, a slave. Try also Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, a rather far-fetched sequel which has Scarlett going to Ireland after the war and meeting her father’s relatives.
The next Classic With a Twist is The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough. This sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice takes place seventeen years after that novel ends where we find the bookish, priggish younger sister Mary still a spinster after caring for the Bennet girls’ mother for all these years. Mary idolizes Argus, which is the pseudonym of an exposé writing newspaper columnist who loves to heckle Parliament. In honor of him, she takes her small inheritance and decides to write a book about the way industry exploits the poor. Many misadventures befall her and several men fall in love with her. If you are a thoroughly addicted Janeite, I can nearly guarantee that you will hate this book - Darcy is a power-hungry control freak, Elizabeth a shrew and Lydia a prostitute and a drunk. Mary is charmingly naive and still has a proclivity for worthy causes. However, if you’re looking for a rollicking romance novel with all sorts of improbable situations (including a subterranean cult), you’ll love this book. Jane Austen’s works are very popular starting points for Classics With a Twist. If you want sequels or alternate viewpoints, try Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan, Mansfield Revisited or Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken. If you want modern retellings, try First Impressions by Debra White Smith or Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding. For a really complete listing of all Jane Austen companion works visit www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/austseql.html.
The third Classic With a Twist is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, a modern retelling of Hamlet set in Wisconsin rather than Elsinore and featuring a doggy Ophelia in the guise of Almondine. If you’re familiar with Hamlet, you’ll find this to be a pretty direct retelling, complete with the ghost of Edgar’s father, a romance between his uncle and mother and the disasterous outcome of trying to prove his uncle is a murderer. The prose in this book is lovely, but I’ve found that people either really love it or absolutely hate it - there’s no middle ground. If you are generally a fan of Oprah’s book club picks, then it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll love this one, too.
Shakespeare is probably the most frequently used author in the Classics With a Twist category. For retellings from different characters try: Caliban’s Hour by Tad Williams; Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein; or Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike. For modern takes try Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray; Serenissima by Erica Jong; Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney or Much Ado About Murder edited by Anne Perry.
There are hundreds more of these types of books. If you have a favorite classic, come in the Library and we’ll try to find some related stories. Alternately, check this discussion on literary retellings: www.romantictimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9607.
April 21st, 2009
This week, schools, campuses and communities across the country celebrate National Library Week, a time to remind the public about the contribution libraries, librarians and library workers make to their communities everyday.
In today’s economy, libraries offer free resources to help people find jobs and learn new skills.Worlds connect @ your library, with people of all ages and backgrounds finding entertainment, self-help or their place in the community.With free resources like books, magazines, DVDs and computer and wifi access, people can do better in school, tackle projects and learn new ways to improve their health.
What makes the library unique is access to trained professionals – librarians – to help people find and interpret the information they need to make a difference in their lives. Our libraries also help keep us connected, providing a space for people of all ages, classes and races to come together, while keeping us connected to events and people around the world. It’s where people can keep up with world events or research where to volunteer locally.
Here are some of the things you can do this week at your library:
4:30 p.m., Main Library - Curious About…. A reading program for children ages 5-8
4 p.m., Brooklyn Branch - Brooklyn Kids “Picturing America in Watercolor” Stories and crafts for elementary age children
4-7 p.m., Main Library- Meet local author Terry Bailey and get a signed copy of his book, “The Pilate Plot”
7 p.m. Monrovia Branch - Bedtime stories for all ages. Pajamas optional.
10:30 a.m., Northeast Branch Preschool Storytime Express featuring stories, pre-reading activities and crafts.
10 a.m. & 2 p.m. Monrovia Branch - Preschool storytime featuring stories, pre-reading activities and crafts.
4 p.m. Monrovia Branch - Tell Me A Story - an after school reading program for elementary aged kids.
7 p.m. Main Library - Picturing America in the Civil War - a program for all ages.
7 p.m. Monrovia Branch - Bedtime stories for all ages. Pajamas optional.
10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. Main Library - Preschool Story time featuring stories, pre-reading activities and crafts.
7 p.m. Brooklyn Branch - The Brooklyn Cro-knit club meets to share tips and help each other out.
What can you discover?National Library Week is the perfect time to find out. Worlds connect @ your library.
April 9th, 2009
Hey Billy! Thanks for changing my graphic!
April 2nd, 2009