Joyce Carol Oates – “My Sister, My Love”

It’s been a year ago that I actually read this book by Joyce Carol Oates, the magnificent author and professor emeritis at Princeton.   She is simply above and beyond as a writer, so anything she writes is worthy of attention and discussion.

This book, however, is not one of her finest, ‘though it is one of her most interesting in terms of deconstructionism and wild fantasy with regard to the JonBenet Ramsey true-life, unsolved murder mystery.  Nobody could have come up with this novel rendering of the circumstances…or of such a portrait of the family and of the little girl’s brother.  

Ms Oates does not, of course, ever say that the book is about the Ramsey tragedy or the family…but anyone who’s read the press or seen a television in the past 10 years would have to be clueless not to make the connection.

Did I  like the book?   Absolutely!!!   I was horrified, I laughed….I even laughed inappropriately!!!   I sniffled.   I glared at the pages.  I shook my head and huffed scornfully.   I stopped and stared off into space, and I promptly sent the book to my very favorite co-gran/co-in-law, Tinker, who is also a JonBenet Ramsey mystery buff like I am/was.

You can absolutely never go wrong with a Joyce Carol Oates book.  Her writing is flawless.   Her story concepts never fail to challenge and sit you down in a comfy chair for hours.  She is a storyteller extraordinaire, and she is a genius with all the nuances of characterization, place and time.

I can’t imagine you’ve never read an Oates novel before.  If you haven’t…..please just keep it to yourself…..     This might not be the place to start, but you could start with, “The Falls,” which is a kinder, gentler novel.    For those of you who are Oates readers, you’ll enjoy this one for all sorts of strange reasons.

Your Bookish Dame

Bookish Dame turns 60 and talks Readers

 

It's good to be bookish!

Ahhh, it’s been a long and fruitful 55 years of reading and stacking beloved books in my arms, around myself,  on my tables, in my bed, on my bookcases, and in my dreams, etc….   Now, with the new age of darling “readers,”  I’m enjoying just another way to love my books and to carry them with me in stacks and multiples.   Yes, I’m a Kindle-lover….as you know, my Kindle – Miss Stella – is one that practically never leaves my side.

I have to say, it’s also a sheer wonder to be able to have Amazon.com give us their free online reader and the option to have our ebooks sent to it so we can read from our laptops when we’d like to.  I love the size of text I can get there, and that I can store even more books, don’t you know!  :P    ‘though I believe you have to have a Kindle or two to be able to access this option.

The best new find I’ve made this year has to be the ability to download ebooks free from my public library and other libraries across the Nation onto my laptop.  I’m so thrilled to have this new (to me) resource for the latest ebooks and audio books without charge.  What a treasure trove.   The downside to this is that Amazon does not include this feature on our Kindles at this time.  Rats! 

Barnes & Noble,  allows one to download their  online reader and actually purchase B&N ebooks, and get free samples of books; and, one does not have to own a Nook reader to do this.  The Nook is fast becoming the “new girl in school” with its capacity to purchase ebooks, to download audio books, and to download books for free from local and national libraries.  In addition, it offers its own awesome, designer covers  to carry it in (I love the Kate Spade cover, myself).  Those nookish babies seem to have it all.   The Nook’s audio book option comes in handy for getting those free audios from libraries, as well.  Sigh….   It makes one think of having a sister for Miss Stella.  Maybe we could call her Newella…I wouldn’t want to call her Cinderella, just because her inventors gave her a name that’s used and abused in a nookie-ish way.  :[     Until we had this new library access, the step-sister of readers, The Nook, was just a shadow of her sister, Kindle!   ;0

We can’t move on without discussing the Sony Reader, can we?  I don’t know much about this one.  I hear it’s quite similar to the Nook.  Can somebody give it a rating in comments here?    My  son gave my daughter one for Christmas, and she’s just getting around to using it.  Those who have formerly lacked the cash to purchase ebooks on Kindle and other readers, now have that library downloading option which Sony also enjoys….so this has made a difference in peoples’ lives.   I think we’ll see more of this  Reader out there very soon.   

My only question is this— if Dell and Apple can make their computers and laptops in such yummy colors, why can’t the eReaders make theirs appealing in this way, too?    Are you listening Amazon????

Now, finally, let me get to my Book List for the early Summer. 

In the category of Vampirish Books I have the following lined up for Summer reading:

Halfway to the Grave;   At Grave’s EndDestined for an Early Grave;  and One Foot in the Grave:  Night Huntress Novels  by Jeaniene Frost    These novels tell the story of a young woman who is half human and half vampire….she hunts vampires for a living with her lover, Bones, who is a vampire hunter, himself.  Go figure.  I love the first book, so far.

Skin Trade; Bullet; and Burnt Offerings:  by  Laurell K. Hamilton     This really should go into a sex and the vampire/werewolf/masochistic/sado/hunter/shape shifter/nuvo- syfy/ mystery category.   Get my drift?  ( That’s a ’60’s saying, Children)

SyFy, Psychic Mystery/Thrillers of a Strange Nature:     Through Violet Eyes  by Stephen Woodworth   There is a series of these books about the Violet Eyed people which I’m anxious to get through.  The violet eyed ones have the capacity to channel dead people and are used by the Gov’t to hunt killers and such.   Great reads by a good author.

Novels of the Straight and Narrow Sort:    “Rush Home Road”  by Lori Lansens    She also wrote “The Girls,” which I very strongly recommend to my bloggish readers!  It’s a fabulous novel about conjoined twin girls growing up.  Thus, anything Lori writes is on my reading list.  This “Rush Home…” has gotten great reviews from my daughter and friends.

“Lion’s Gate” and “Lion”  by Nelson DeMille    Nelson the Great    Nelson the Man Writer…..I love Nelson.  I hope there’s not a lonely, illiterate soul out there who hasn’t read a Nelson DeMille book.  If so, please start with “Charm School.”    Please don’t tell anyone if you haven’t read any of his books, yet.  It will be scandalous.

A Novel of Unusual Taste:  Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.    All I can say about this one is go quickly….I can’t think of a more urgent word at the moment….just rush…to a library website and download this book.   It is so fabulous, so funny and so avant garde that you’ll stay home from work to read it.   Be quick about it….OMG, you’re going to love me for this recommendation.   I was laughing through the whole thing!   It’s a sort of humor with a skeleton attached that you’ll die for.   Does that make sense?   You’ll just have to see for yourself.

City of God, a Novel of Passion and Wonder in Old New York, by Beverly Swerling.   And I quote the LA Times here, “A whopping saga…whose every strange chapter–teeming with bizarre medicine, slave uprisings, executions, thriving brothels, and occasional cannibalistic Indians–brings forth shocks of recognition.”       I don’t know about you, but I don’t seem to ” recognize”  any of those things just about now; however, I’m willing and hell-bent for leather to find out about them!!!

Books I Need To Read and/or ReRead for My Continuing Education:     “Tree of Smoke,”  a National Book Award Winner, by Denis Johnson;     “Matterhorn:  A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Malantes;   Columbine by Dave Cullen;  “To The Lighthouse,”  by Virginia Woolf

Classics:    “The Tenant of Windfell Hall,”  by Anne Bronte;    Selected Stories by Edith Wharton

So, that’s my Summer Reading list at this time.  You know I’m adding as I go along and not listing things, I’m sure.  I have my little M&M chocolate peanut sins like the J.R. Ward Brotherhood vampires to keep me warm, and others like it.   And, I love the ocassional Georgette Heyer or the like, Regency romances with a touch of mystery to loosen things up a bit around here.    Also,  who can resist anything new from the greatest forensic and women detective authors like Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs and Karin Slaughter?

I have to go now….have to watch the new episode of  “True Blood,” that I’ve recorded for tonight.  Can’t wait to see what Sookie Stackhouse is up to. 

Tell me all about your new reads and what you think of mine….and vampires….and Sookie….and Edith Wharton, etc.    I’m listening.

Your Bookish Dame

60th Birthday

You're only as old as your library card!