Archive for May, 2007

Be Still My Heart

Midtown shop owner protests what he sees as a diminishing support for the printed word.
The Associated Press

The flames rose Sunday as Tom Wayne burned used books at Prospero’s Books at 39th and Bell streets. He hopes to make this a monthly event.
Photo gallery: Book burning at Prospero’s Books
In the 10 years Tom Wayne has operated Prospero’s Books, a used bookstore in midtown Kansas City, he has amassed thousands of books in a warehouse.

Ranging from best sellers such as Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October and Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, to obscure titles such as a bound report from the Fourth Pan-American Conference held in Buenos Aires in 1910 and a textbook on beginning Polish, the books won’t sell. Wayne said even local libraries and thrift stores have told him they were full.

On Sunday, Wayne began putting them to the torch, tossing scores of books into a burning cauldron to protest what he sees as society’s diminishing support for the printed word.

“This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today, Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books.

The fireblazed for about 50 minutes before the Kansas City Fire Department put it out because Wayne didn’t have a burning permit.

Wayne said he would get a permit for next time. He said he envisioned monthly bonfires until his supply — estimated at 20,000 books — was exhausted.

He said he had noticed a decline in customers and perceived more people getting information from television or the Internet. He pointed to a 2002 study by the National Endowment for the Arts, which found that less than half of adult respondents reported reading for pleasure, a decline from almost 57 percent in 1982.

Dozens of customers took advantage of the event, scouring the pile of books waiting to go into the fire, looking forlast-minute bargains.

Mike Bechtel paid $10 for a stack of books, including an antique collection of children’s literature.

“I think given the fact it is a protest of people not reading books, it’s the best way to do it,” Bechtel said.

Did anyone see this on the news

Next question:  Did you nearly have a coronary? 

At first, I nearly choked watching this man burn books!!  My thoughts went to: is he crazy or what?  Did the word “SALE” not enter his mind???!

Or is this man really smart?  It did bring to the attention that reading books is on the decline.  (very sad, but true)  It also gave him national coverage that will possibly send him  many offers to take the books off his hands.  Hmmm.. I hope he chose books he really expected would never sell before piling them into the trash to burn!!

It makes me wonder why teachers don’t promote reading anymore?  I mean, they MAKE KIDS READ the standard school books, but you never hear of any promoting the individual reading of books each kid may actually enjoy.  I wonder why that is?

Trying to think back to my school days, things really haven’t changed.  I can remember theassigned books“, (few if any were anything that drew me into them) but, I can’t ever remember a teacher giving the students an assignment of reading a book of their choice and then making a report on it.  Possibly asking “why” they liked it and “why” they would recommend the book to others….

… and then they blame the fact that kids have no imagination anymore because of television and computers.  Duh.. well.. it needs to be promoted at a young age and repeated throughout their youth to give them the opportunity to understand that reading is fun too! 

I just hope this was a way to make more people want books… if it’s not, then it’s sure a sad state of affairs.

I wish I had been there!  I woulda made a killing gabbing books for almost nothing!

…’till next time…


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Katharine Hepburn

Had she lived longer, Katharine Hepburn would have been 100 years old this month.

My girlfriend Ann, reminded me of this fact, and the fact that John Wayne would have been 100 also..  Annie posted about one of her favorite actors, John Wayne, right “ here

Katharine Hepburn is one of my all time favorite actresses, so I thought I would do a little post about her here.

Birth: 12 May 1907, Hartford, Connecticut, USA more
Date of Death:29 June 2003, Old Saybrook, Connecticut, USA. (natural causes)

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential.  (I would say her parents were most successful!)

Kate Hepburn (as she was often called) made 52 movies… starting in 1932 in A Bill of Divorcement and ending with One Christmas (made for tv) in 1994.

In between were such movies as:

Little Women (1933),

Mary of Scotland (1936),

Stage Door (1937),

Bringing up Baby (1938),

The Philadelphia Story (1940),

 Dragon Seed (1944),

Adam’s Rib (1949),

African Queen (1951),

 Pat and Mike (1952),

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967),

The lion in Winter (1968),

 Rooster Cogburn (1975), 

 On Golden Pond (1981),

and The Man Upstaris (made for tv 1992).
Some, if not all of those, should ring a bell with you.  If they don’t .. well.. You’ve missed out on some really great movies and a fantastic actress.

Kate began her long career doing plays.  In 1928 she first appeared in a play called “The Big Pond” and went on to appear in some 20 plays, including “The Philadelphia Story“, later to become the movie.

Though many books are written about her, Katharine wrote her own Biography, called: Me : Stories of My Life        


(She also wrote: “The Making of the African Queen”. )

Young or old-er… she was one hellava’n actress!

I will always stop to watch a movie with Katharine Hepburn in it.  I’m never disappointed.

There are a number of Kate’s movies grouped together for sale, if you are interested, check them out.  HereHere.  and  Here.  (the last one being the Tracy/ Hepburn movies) and lastly an A&E Biography of  Kate.

If you’ve never watched her… maybe it’s time that you did.

And if you have seen her before… maybe it’s time to see her again.

….’till next time….

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Well.. another book bites the dust.

I picked Here there be Dragons, from the new books that came from Amazon.com because I thought it was a stand alone book.  

(Note:  “I thought!”… and was wrong once again. sigh) 

The author, James A Owen has a second book (the sequel? or will there be a third??) due out this coming January called, The Search for the Red Dragon (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, the)… so much for stand alone! 

However, I will say this about book one,  Here There Be Dragons,  does come to a conclusion so that it could be a stand alone book… one need not read farther to enjoy this book. 

Three Oxford men, become companions on a voyage through the Archipelago of Dreams .. and there begins the Story (stories?) containing Legends,  Myths, and  Fantasies.. which pop up all through the entire book. 

Travel with these men, aboard the Indigo Dragon, through the Archipelago of Dreams and encounter many heard of,  Legends and Myth’s  (good and bad) along the way.  You will find yourself trying to guess “who’s who” before you actually find out. 

I quite enjoyed reading this book, although I will say the building of the 3 main characters was not the best. (I believe he was trying to protect the identity of these men for the end of the book) But still,  this book was a fun read, and I’m happy to find out another such book will be out in January.

Reading level: Young Adult … It actually said.. from 8th grade and UP.

(I’m about as “up” as it gets and I enjoyed it)

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publishing (September 26, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1416912274

At the end of the book there is a page of Author’s Notes… and I quote:

“Suppose the worlds of make-believe had a basis in reality.  Suppose that we could, in the right circumstances, visit them.  And suppose that the proof of their substance was strewn throughout both history and fiction, if only we knew where to look…… “

…. ’till next time…


Ah… well.. make that 2 books bite the dust!  I started this post on Saturday, planning to put it up on Sunday, which I didn’t…. now, it’s Monday and last night I finished reading Fablehaven by: Brandon Mull.

I have to say, that the young adult books I’ve been reading have really all been very good.  I am beginning to think  the authors of these books are better then most!

Fablehaven was a fun read.   Kendra and Seth (sister and brother) get dropped off at Grandpa Sorenson’s home while their parents go on a cruise.  Their expectations of a “fun time” are at an all time low…  but what happens there is surely a visit to remember!

It’s a fast and enjoyable read …  and I hope that anyone who’s already read  the book found the “secret message” at the back of the book!  Drink the Milk!

Hardcover: 368 pages

ISBN-10: 1590385810

Today I will begin to read the second in the series (the third due out next year)… Fablehaven:  Rise of The Evening Star

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As a final Tribute to 30 Years of Star Wars… Myrtle wanted to add her special little something….

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Friday, May 25th is Star Wars 30th Anniversary!  Can this really be?  Where the heck did 30 years go??  (being an old woman, I actually have the answer to that:  30 yrs all showed up in my butt, hips and stomach!)

I remember well, seeing Star Wars in the movie theaters.  I had my sons with me, and they were entranced.  … while I sat there with a drool bucket that filled every time Hans Solo appeared!  Hello? I wasn’t blind!

Along with the most amazing movie I had ever seen, came an amazing artist .. Drew Struzan.  If you didn’t know him before, you know him now.  Click on his link to see some other posters he’s made… I’m sure you will recognize many of them.

Although I like the original first 3 movies more then the last three.. I’m glad George Lucas told the beginning of his story.  I had hoped he’d do  the ending but, hey, I’ll take what I can get!  

I hear there are a number of conventions and special events going on around the country to celebrate the 30th Anniversary… the only one I’d like to be at is one that Lucas would be at! (heh.. ok so there’s a crush going on there).  I don’t know that he will be at any, but maybe that’s something I should look into? hmmmm.  (I did see Lucas, live and in person, once at the Director’s Guild in Hollywood once.  Whew…I’m not sure I breathed the whole time he was on stage!   He’s fascinating to watch.. you can literally SEE that his mind works faster then his mouth can talk !

Anyway…  I did manage to get some of the posters by Struzan (not originals!) and I also collected a few autographs ……

Warwick Davis was the  Ewok.

Sir Alec Guinness: Obi-wan  (absolutely perfect casting!)

And the man who first dreamed it, then wrote it… then gave it to us! George Lucas.

And of course I will always be grateful to George Lucas and Star Wars for being so popular that it brought back Kirk, Spock and McCoy, and gave them a shot at the big screen!

Thanks again George, and Happy Anniversary Star Wars!

ps: did I mention that when I boot up my computer part of the Star Wars theme plays! 

….’till next time..

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Oh how I love to get packages in the mail!

Today Amazon finally caught up on my “past” orders!  Just look what arrived!!

…and in a separate box came the illusive 3rd book to the Dragonlance series!!!  You don’t know how glad I am to get this one!  I envisioned myself mailing the other 5 back because I could not find this book anywhere!  I hugged it strongly before I gently set it up by the other hard back Dragonlance books!

Now that I finally and caught up with Amazon… or rather, they have caught up with me!  I am going to try like heck not to buy any books for a bit and read what I have.   Will this truly happen?  heh.. heck if I know!  I have a fairly good size Wish List at Amazon, I just hope I can resist for awhile! 

But I really have to cut back.. not only don’t I have the money… I don’t have space for anymore books !!  They are piled all over my room!   I’m beginning to feel like Elinor (you have to have read Inkheart to know Elinor).. nobody better touch my books and  I no longer loan them out! (lost too many that way)

You know it’s bad when: just looking at your books makes you smile!


Dancing With the Stars:  AND THE WINNER IS……….

Apollo, Apollo, Apollo!!!!  (such a cutie!)

….’till next time….

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I just finished reading The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atria (November 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743298853
  • I don’t like to give things away ( so I won’t) but I will say it’s was an enjoyable read.

    It begins: Once upon a time– for that is how all stories should begin– there was a boy who lost his mother.

    After a few chapters, 12 Yr old David finds himself in another land, where things aren’t so nice. There are battles to be fought, and lessons to be learned.

    It’s a book that, as you read it, you quickly figure out what is going on.  But the author writes in such a way that you find you want to keep reading anyway.

    I think anyone picking up this book will, in the end, have to admit that they enjoyed John Connolly’s writing; I know I did.


    Last night, (after Dancing With the Stars) I read this little fairy tale by Anne McCaffrey, An Exchange of Gifts.

    I scanned both sides of this little book because I thought the artwork was so nice, by Pat Morrisey.   I haven’t read any of McCaffrey’s sci-fi books… but I think I’ve read ALL the Pern related books. 

    This was different from either.  As I said.. it’s tiny… only 92 pages, so I read it in one sitting, and found that it was very enjoyable.  I would catagorize it as a romantic fantasy. I will say, that more then likely, I never would have even considered this book had it not been by McCaffrey. (just not into romance as much as adventure) But I am more then happy I read it and that I can now add it to my “collection” of books. 

  • Hardcover: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Roc Hardcover (November 1, 1995)
  • ISBN-10: 0451455207
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches   (I told you it was tiny!)
  • Oh! and just FYI for those McCaffrey fans out there… she and her son Todd’s next book will be out in December, called: Dragon Harper.  You can already pre-order it at Amazon for 17.13 … if you are so inclined.

    Here are the specifics on it:

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (December 26, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 0345480309
  • ….’till next time…

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    Monday Photo Shoot

    Well, John Scalzi posted a cute idea for his Monday Photo Shoot.  It’s to make a poster out of some favorite photo’s, so I decided to give it a go.

    It’s simple to do.  John has a link on his post of where to go to make the poster.   If you’d like to join in please visit John and when you’ve posted your poster (little tongue twister there) go back and leave your link for all to see.

    I chose two of my old animal photo’s from when I helped at Shambala Preserve…

    …. and I couldn’t leave out Myrtle!…

    …. ’till next time….

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    In case you like to follow Myrtle, and haven’t discovered her personal blog , here are the two latest installments.

    I love Patches.. Patches is Helen’s dog.  She posts photo’s every so often of her and she is so animated that I asked permission to use her.. obviously Helen said yes! (thanks again Helen!)

    I finally had some good news from Amazon.com.!  Sheesh, lately I’ve had some problems with them, but they seem to FINALLY be coming together again.  Two months ago I ordered 6 books (2 trilogies) of Dragonlance series in Hard Back.  I am replacing my paperbacks, where and when I can due to my eye never really clearing back up..I found hard back books easier for me to read. (and yes, more expensive!)  Anyway,.. I ordered them.. and of the 6 books.. 5 appeared at my door.  The third had said 1-3 weeks for delivery.. ok, I can live with that.  9 weeks have gone by, (not a happy camper) when finally I see on the web site that the book in question is being prepared for shipping!  Glory Be!!!!!  I was even searching anywhere I could to find this last book.  I didn’t want 5 new ones and the last one to be a beat up used book.  Not that I have anything against used books!  Heck no!  I get those when I can too!  I’m not in a position to always have nice new books. 

    So.. I am kinda  happy right now!  I was really thinking I was going to get stuck with only 5 of the 6.. and the books run in order so having 5 would mean you don’t getto read the ending! duh.  These are some of my favorites by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.  I love the characters from these books or I wouldn’t have bothered to replace them… once I finish a few new books I have here I am going to get into re-reading my favorites again.. I enjoy going back and knowing all those characters can come alive for me over and over.

    There are a number of other books I need desperately to replace.  My paperbacks are so old they are turning brown. I realize most of the ones I need (IF they ever were in hard back) will be used.. many are even way out of any range of money I can afford!

    It surprises me no end how expensive some of them are when you consider that Fantasy Fiction is so called not the most popular of books, and that the authors of these books are still alive and writing.  It’s not like there’s no way you won’t get more of their books.  So.. what makes them so expensive???  If you know, let ME know!

    Well.. I have to put a match under my butt and get moving.  My brother and David are having company later.  That means I have work to do!

    Have a good weekend !

    …’till next time….

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