Thursday, November 25, 2010

Eerie Books in Wylie

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  At Eerie Books it is Halloween everyday.

Eerie Books in Wylie, Texas has an eclectic collection of books, calendars, and movies.

Horror is defined in a broad sense.  You can find books by Anne Rice, Stephen King, and Peter Straub. You can find Christian fiction by Dekker and Perreti.

Eerie also has an excellent offering of H.P. Lovecraft.

You will also find reprints of old classics from small independent presses.

The independent presses are my favorites to discover.  I recently purchased Theodore Sturgeon's Some of Your Blood (Millipede Press) and Thomas Tyron's The Other (Millipede Press). These two are my Thanksgiving reads.  Millipede Press is now Centipede Press at centipedepress.com

Randy Ray, owner, leads a Horror Book Club the first Thursday of each month.  In December, the club is reading  The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

Visit Eerie books online at eeriebooks.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rufus Joins Our Family

Rufus is our new Indie Reads cat.  We adopted him from the Wylie Animal Shelter.  He is a beautiful, big grey and black Tabby.  Ellis was suspicious at first, but as I write, he is sitting next to Rufus on the cat tree.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lily, Indie Reads cat, passes away

We lost our sweet Lily on Wednesday, October 27.  She was an independent and strong soul who survived being abandoned before she came to live with us.  She was 16 and had kidney failure.  Her name is in the web address and you can see her picture on the blog.

We will always love and miss our Lily.

Northwestern University purchases Curbstone Press




Curbstone Press has been purchased by Northwestern University Press.

Northwestern purchased their backlist, plus titles in progress.

www.nupress.northwestern.edu/

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Late Show

The Late Show
 David Trinidad
Turtle Point Press, 2007


Before cable television, streaming video, and all our other electronic ways of watching movies, there was the late show on Saturday night at 10:30 p.m.  It was a treat to stay up late.  I remember watching “A Summer Place” with my mom until 1 a.m.


David Trinidad’s collection The Late Show uses popular culture and movies in particular to write about his mother, friends, and movie stars. 

The first poem “The Late Show” recalls those movies. 

Natalie Wood, in the middle
of reciting a Wordsworth poem,
bursts into tears and runs out
of the classroom.

Julie Harris hears Hill House
beckoning, beckoning. Geraldine
 Page begs Paul Newman for a fix.

Trembling, Ingrid Berg-
man watches the gaslights dim.


In “Watching the Late Movie with My Mother,” he writes:

It was our special time:
just the two of us
alone in the family room
on a Saturday night,
everybody else—my father, brother
and two younger sisters—
asleep in the back of the house.
She reclined on the brown couch;
I was sprawled on the carpet
in front of the TV, totally
absorbed in the drama
on the small screen.


“Classic Layer Cakes” is also a memory about his mother.    He writes about his mother doing the universal 1950s/60s role:

“My mother in her frilled apron, dusting and vacuuming sweeping and moping rinsing, scouring, scrubbing.”

“perusing The Brand Name Calorie Counter at the check-out stand. Folding her receipt and green stamps into her purse.” 

“When we were sick she’d bring us Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, saltines, and ginger ale on a TV tray.  A rerun of I Love Lucy was also medicinal”

In two poems, he describes his mother’s battle with cancer.

In “Sonnet”,

"The day she died, my mother divided
up her jewelry, placed each piece in Dixie
cups

When we placed the last ring in the last cup,
she looked up at me and said, “We never
have enough time to enjoy our treasures.”

In “Classic Layer Cakes” the poet tells his mother, as she lies dying:

“Thank you for being my mother.  I love you.”
“You’re onto the next journey. God be with you.”
“You’ve done a good job, Mom.  You can let go now.”

At one point, the poet writes in “Classic Layer Cakes”
“I wish I could do this memory better.” 

The poet doesn’t have to worry, he writes a beautiful memory.  Any reader growing up in the same time period can recognize his/her mother in these poems.


Trinidad is a Barbie doll collector.  There’s an interview about his doll collection on  

In “Doll Memorial Service” he describes how dolls die:

There are many ways
a fashion doll can
die:  chewed limbs, split
neck, ponytail snipped to
the hair plugs.

“A Poem Under the Influence” begins, “I dreamt of Barbie, or to be precise, a Barbie outfit: a big pink gown that came with unusual shoes; clear plastic half shells…”

He writes about so many of my favorite things:

His nod to Plath, “I am typing on pink paper in tribute to Sylvia Plath, who wrote her great poems
on “pink, stiff, lovely-textured” Smith College stationary….”

He writes a list and description of the “movies that scared the hell out of me when I was a child.”

Trinidad also honors his friends, Joe Brainard, Rachel Sherwood, Tim Dlugos and James Schyler.

In “A Poem Under the Influence,” he writes:

“At the end of fourth grade, I asked a substitute
teacher
to sign my blue autograph book.

I threw the book away; I wish I could include her name. But I’ve never
forgotten
what she wrote: “David, you are an unusual boy.  May it continue into adult
life.”

Fortunately for us, it continued into adult life.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Poetry Books to Read

I just completed my second poetry class with Storycircle Network.
Here are three of my favorite books that I have read.

Paper House by Jessie Carty
Published by Folded Word
www.foldedword.com

The “Poet’s Note” is a fun A to Z read.
My favorite poems in this collection:
“While Mom Watched Bewitched”
“While We Were Unattended”
“Gift Catalog”
“After Judy Blume”

Lizzie Borden in Love: Poems in Women’s Voices
by Julianna Baggott
Published by Southern Illinois University Press and
Crab Orchard Review
www.siupress.com

My favorite poems in this collection:
“Mary Rockwell after the Abortion”
“For Sylvia, Come Winter, Come Winter”
“Lizzie Borden Addresses Her Jury of Men”



The Late Show
by David Trinidad
Published by Turtle Point Press
www.turtlepointpress.com

My favorite poems in this collection:
“The Late Show” (see if you know the movies)
“Nature Poem”
“Doll Memorial Service”
“All This and Heaven Too”
“Watching the Late Movie with My Mother”

Monday, July 5, 2010

American Library Association Visit

I returned from the American Library Association in Washington, D.C. last week. I had a good time visiting with friends, attending sessions, and special events. Marlo Thomas, Natalie Merchant, and a poetry and book reading, “Many Voices, One Nation” were highlights.

I visited one of my favorite presses, Orca Books. I also went by Tin Books, Cinco Puntos Press, Continuum, and Milkweed Press. I picked up some new titles from each and plan on reviewing them in the future.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Beckoners by Carrie Mac

The Beckoners
Carrie Mac
Orca Book Publishers


"You've got your slacks, your punks, pushers, users, Goths, slags, geeks, hippies, rejects and other garden variety misfits--the ones that smoke at least." These are the words Simon uses to describe his classmates as he introduces Zoe to the world of Abbotsville. He fails to tell her about the secrets of the Beckoners, an exclusive clique. Zoe is in too deep as a member of the group before she realizes the violent and evil motives of the Beckoners.

When Zoe drops out of the Beckoners, they become angry and vengeful. They are not just an ordinary clique concerned with fashion and popularity. They are a dangerous and violent group of girls who terrorize their fellow students.

Carrie Mac writes creates strong characters. Zoe is the new girl in school who must discover the importance of real friends over popularity. Simon and Teo are a loving couple who become Zoe's good friends. Then there's "Dog" or April. She is the primary target of the Beckoners. She has the strength and courage to withstand the Beckoners brutality.