Monday, November 30, 2009

Booking It--Thankful

What books and authors are you particularly thankful for this year?

Hmm. Well, I'm thankful to have discovered Jodi Picoult, an author who fulfills my need for recreational reading without forsaking literary quality. She writes with style and depth; her plots are complex and thought-provoking. I don't have to feel guilty about reading her, but I can also relax and be pulled along by the storyline.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What I'm Reading Now

From Publishers Weekly

The second novel from Suri (The Death of Vishnu) follows Meera Sawhney from her unhappy 1950s marriage to aspiring singer Dev Arora through to her own son's coming-of-age. After an impulsive act forces Meera's marriage at 17, her complex, controlling father decries her tying herself (and, by extension, her family) to the provincial, lower-class Aroras. Meera soon finds herself pulled in different directions by her in-laws' religious orthodoxy, her father's progressivism (which doesn't run deep), her husband's self-pitying alcoholism and her own resentment. She finds salvation in the birth of a son, Ashvin; mother love, which Suri describes in intensely physical terms, gives her life passion and purpose, and overwhelms her adult relationships. But as India modernizes, Meera senses that Ashvin, and she herself, must live their own lives. Suri renders Meera's perspective marvelously, especially in small particulars (such as Meera's deliberations around the cutting of Ashvin's hair) and in the perils and conflicts Meera faces in her relationships with men. He also takes a close look at Hindu practices and charts the rise of religious nationalism in the years following Gandhi's death. Suri's vivid portrait of a woman in post-independence India engages timeless themes of self-determination.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Far from the Madding Crowd

Black Friday.

Yes, I've done it before. The early rising. Fighting the crowds. No parking. Long lines. Aggravation. And this is supposed to be fun?

No, thanks. Today, instead of celebrating consumerism, my daughter and I are going to Little Rock, having a nice, relaxing lunch, and spending the afternoon at the movies.

I guess I'm a rebel at heart.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Clarity is important, even outside the Comp I classroom. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

List with a Twist Revisited

Last Thanksgiving, I posted a literary list of things I'm thankful for. I thought I'd do a rerun of my List With a Twist
here (with a couple of additions):

I decided to do a “What I’m Grateful For” list with a twist today. Of course I’m thankful for family, friends, my health, my home, my car, my job, and all the other wonderful things I’ve been blessed with. But here’s a list of things that I am also thankful for:

1. novels
2. bookstores
3. Jane Austen
4. similes & metaphors
5. libraries
6. short stories
7. epiphanies
8. puns
9. electronic databases
10. adults who read to children
11. poetry
13. Shakespeare
14. a well-crafted sentence
15. drama
16. interlibrary loan
17. anthologies
18. limericks
19. signed copies
20. journals & diaries
21. free verse
22. freedom from censorship
23. onomatopoeia
24. satire & spoofs
25. audiobooks
26. the willing suspension of disbelief
27. blogs
28. grammar handbooks
29. quotable lines
30. Microsoft Word
31. gripping plots
32. film versions (sometimes)
33. foreshadowing
34. book shelves
35. satisfying conclusions
36. the 23rd Psalm in the KJV
37. memorable characters
38. dictionaries
39. allusion
40. friends who read
41. alliteration
42. clear and present thesis sentences
43. whodunits
44. new words
45. the classics
46. shades of meaning
47. re-reading
48. imagination
49. reading out loud
50. sequels

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to add

51. palindromes
52. book circles
53. Brit Lit students who love to discuss what they've read

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Front and Center

I love old pictures, and I also love to display them. There's one problem, though. They are extremely fragile.

Several years ago, for Christmas my husband gave me a glass curio cabinet that I promptly filled with old framed photographs and relics of our pasts. Along with pictures of a nice-looking gentleman standing by his Model T while his girl-friend perched on the running board (a couple who became my grandparents), the old general store run by my husband's grandparents, and both of our parents' wedding days were my baby shoes, his father's tie tac, my grandmother's thimble . . . You get the idea. I love all the things in that cabinet. It is our history--nothing with any intrinsic value but to us, priceless.

One day, however, I walked by and noticed that a couple of the pictures in front had been severely damaged by the sunlight--both pictures of a young me. I had the only copies of these photos, so I took them to a restorer and just got them back yesterday. One of them is above. That's a picture of my second grade class at Aubrey Elementary, and that's me, front and center, in the green dress. The other picture is of Santa and me. You'll have to wait until after Thanksgiving to see that one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Booking It--Posterity

Do you think any current author is of the same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?

The first book that came to mind for me was Barbara Kingsolver's tour de force, The Poisonwood Bible. I definitely believe that book will go down as a classic, but I've sung her praises so much on the blog I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. To be honest though, I've been stuck in the 18th century for the last few years, at least in most of my reading life. I'm not as up on current authors as I'd like to be. However, I'm trying to remedy that now. So, as far as the best of current literature/authors goes, I'm certainly not the expert. Any ideas out there? Who or what should I be reading now that you believe will be read 100 years from now?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm Tired

This has been a great year. I finished the degree; I'm back at work. But, boy, am I tired. I thought I'd have some time off between defending and going back to work, but with two new classes to teach this semester, that just didn't happen. And of course the prep from those two new classes has kept me busy, along with all the grading. And NOW I've got two new classes to teach in the Spring semester, so in addition to prepping and grading, I've been trying to do some planning.

So, I'm really looking forward to having some time off next week. I want to get up without an alarm. I want to go through the day without watching the clock. I want to do some recreational reading. I want to watch a good movie or two (NOT New Moon).

Maybe after that I'll be ready for the sprint towards finals.

Friday, November 20, 2009

National Book Awards 2009

Wednesday night, the National Book Foundation announced this year's winners:

Fiction: Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann

Nonfiction: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, TJ. Stiles

Poetry: Transcedental Studies: A Trilogy, Keith Waldrop

Young people's literature: Claudette Colvin, Phillip Hoose.

Additionally, Flannery O'Connor's The Complete Stories was named Best of the National Book Awards Fiction. I'm really glad because that's the book I voted for. (And, yes, I know that sentence ends in a preposition, but consider the alternative: " . . . because that's the book for which I voted." Hmmm. I don't think so. It's like the Winston Churchill quote: "That is something up with which I will not put.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Was She Thinking?

When I got my latest edition of Newsweek in the mail yesterday and saw the cover, I thought, "Surely, she didn't."

But, yes she did, just not for Newsweek. This picture originally appeared in Runner's World.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What I'm Reading Now

From Library Journal:

In Christianity, the Eucharist emphasizes the relationship between Jesus' body and humanity, so it would seem logical that Christians would honor their own flesh and blood. Not so, says Paulsell, an ordained pastor currently serving as visiting lecturer on ministry at Harvard Divinity School. Her compelling book argues that while it is quite possible to regard highly the human physique, various societal and cultural conceptions go against the belief that human beings are "fearfully and wonderfully made" in the image of God. Paulsell writes about bathing and clothing the body, the necessity of exercise and rest, sexuality, and physical debilitations with their all-too-often negative connotations. The section on food is particularly fitting, since modern society places so much emphasis on physical perfection often with devastating consequences. Through this extremely well-written book, both lay readers and clergy will develop an appreciation of the body.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Must-See

If you care about the plight of women worldwide, you should see this film. It highlights the fear and despair experienced by Muslim women under Taliban rule. It is heartbreaking, yet beautifully filmed.

Osama (Persian: أسامة) is a 2003 film made in Afghanistan by Siddiq Barmak.It was the first film to be shot entirely in that country since 1996, when the Taliban régime banned the creation of all films.

The movie was filmed on location in Kabul, Afghanistan. Work began in June, 2002 and was completed in March 2003 with a budget of approximately $46,000 USD. All the actors in the film are amateurs found by the director on the streets of Kabul.

It is the story of a 12-year-old Afghan girl and her mother who lose their jobs when the Taliban closes the hospital where they work. The Taliban have also forbidden women to leave their houses without a male "legal companion." With her husband and brother dead, killed in battle, there is no one left to support the family—mother, daughter, and aging grandmother. Without being able to leave the house, the mother is left with nowhere to turn. Feeling that she has no other choice, she disguises her daughter as a boy. Now called “Osama,” the girl embarks on a terrifying and confusing journey as she tries to keep the Taliban from finding out her true identity--something she increasingly realizes is only a matter of time.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Booking It--Too Short

“Life is too short to read bad books.” I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation. That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.

Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

Yes, I do feel that way. Especially when my stack of "to-reads" is expanding exponentially and my list of "have-reads" seems to grow at a snail's pace. If a book is really slow but someone I trust has told me to stick with it, I will. And if I need to read the book for a class or some other important reason, I'll stick with it, but I'm very tempted to skim quickly to the end. If it's supposed to be a pleasure read and it's bad, then I don't waste my time with it. Too many other good books are waiting for me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bella Battles

The other morning, I woke up to a new comment on an old post, Twilight Pride and Prejudice. I let it go. The next morning, another comment. OK. Enough. A rebuttal was in order.

I thought it might be fun to post the comments and rebuttals here:

lollipop4598 said...
I think its obvious why they are compared. Both stories change from the first reading. When I first read Pride and Prejudice I loved Elizabeth. I saw her as spunky, and as standing up for herself and her family, and I loved the way Darcy couldn't stop needing her despite how she treated him. When I reread it at the same age as Elizabeth my opinion had changed. i understood that Lizzies feelings were hurt. After all, she liked Darcy at their first meeting, but he didn't accept her. But I no longer saw her as spunky. More like shallow and mean spirited. The way she never listened to her mom(who made perfect sense, btw, if they didn't get married their life would go down the shitter. Id be scared too.), disrespected poor short Mr Collins. Ok, the guy wasn't hot, and he wasn't cool, and he was a bit of a toadie. But Mr Collins was trying. He was kind. He was grateful for what he had, and did his best. That deserves respect. She didn't need to make fun of him at dinner. Also, Darcy's aunt. She didn't need to treat an older woman like that. Bella would never have told an older lady "Oh surely you don't expect me to own my age as I have five younger sisters, your ladyship tee-hee." She was a better person then that. And Mr Darcy was far from perfect. I am not sure that marrying Lydia off by force to a serial pedophile was necessarily the best way to handle things. I understand that the times demanded it. I still don't have to like it. OK. That doesn't mean I don't love P&P. I do.Bella is also different with readings. At first she seems meek, but then you see her strength. She never thrown Edwards behavior in his face. She knows what she wants. She loves with honor. Id much rather be that kind of person then, spiteful, opinionated Lizzie. Both stories take their subject matter seriously, they show you intense affection in its naked state. They show you how the right person will make you want to be with them, no matter how they treat you. Only their absence will seem like death. Thats a good picture of first love. One modern, one past. Do you still wonder they are compared? Here is something I wish I could say to Lizzie, but will say to Austen lovers instead; No one likes a snob.
November 8, 2009 8:47 PM

lollipop4598 said...
WOW! I skimmed over P&P again, and Lizzie is appaling. Besides her skill at making the most of peoples shortcomings, which I find distasteful, she is horridly selfish, a complete snot to her mom, and rather stupid. Her ideal, that she will only marry for love, under the circumstances is very self absorbed. Knowing of her family's distress, I can't see how she could live with herself after refusing Mr Collins proposal, and later Mr Darcy's. If I had to marry Howdy Doody to keep a roof over my mom's and my sisters head I would do it. Im not the most selfless person on earth, but I would. The fact that Lizzie only cares about how the men make her feel, and giving not a thought to the people who cared for her all her life, and the huge effect her decision is for them makes me mad. Also, when Charlotte suggests that Jane should be more open with Mr Bingley so he can see that she likes him, she totally trashes the idea, and this almost ruins her sister's life. The only reason things get resolved is because of outlandish luck. In real life Jane would just have lost him. Because no man would put up with being treated the way Lizzie treats Darcy, much less return her rudeness with love. Only a severe masochist does that. The worst thing is that Lizzie doesn't even pass the advice along. And when circumstances prove Charlotte correct, she doesn't blame herself. Just Darcy. That makes me mad too. I can not understand how people even think that this selfish, arrogant, completely unrepentant young woman could be seen in a positive light. I think that it would be far better for the world if people modeled themselves on Bella. Excuse the over answering, but I hadn't realized this before. i just never thought about it. I was told Lizzie was great, and I went with it. What was I thinking?
November 11, 2009 1:13 AM

Stephanie said...
Dear Lollipop,

In your skimming analysis of Austen and Lizzie, I think you missed a few things. Most of all, you ignore the strict social mores of the society in which both Austen and Lizzie lived, and you missed the fact that Austen is a skillful social commentator, not only a writer of romance novels. As far as Lizzie and her refusal to marry Mr. Collins goes, Austen is critiquing a society that treats women as interchangeable articles of trade. First, he’ll take Jane. Oh, she’s taken? Fine. He’ll have Lizzie instead. Oh, she won’t have him? Let’s move right along to Charlotte. Women were used to seal mergers, transfer wealth, and produce legitimate heirs. Austen shows through her skillful irony—and through the character of Lizzie—that she will have none of it. Women are people, too. Lizzie has self respect. (And Mr. Collins kind? You must have forgotten that passage in which he says Lydia in her “fallen state” would be better off dead. How comforting to the family!)

One of the reasons that Lizzie is so popular—and was at the time of P&P’s publication—is that in a time when heroines were fearful, retiring, and hesitant, along comes Lizzie, a breath of fresh air, a heroine with spunk. Is she perfect? Of course not. But she DOES recognize her faults and repent: “ She grew absolutely ashamed of herself.—Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think, without feeling that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd. ‘How despicably have I acted!’ she cried. –‘I, who prided myself on my abilities! . . .How humiliating is this discovery!—Yet, how just a humiliation!’” (Vol. 2 Chap 13). Austen is masterful here because she subverts the 18th century pattern of the “reformed heroine” by having Elizabeth realize her flaws—change and grow--without dimming Elizabeth’s energy and vitality—A major breakthrough for female characters and authors.

And your point that Bella is so much more respectful to her elders than Lizzie? I think you’ve forgotten that Bella lies to her father, deceives him, accuses him and plays on his weaknesses to give herself an “excuse” to flee, and is totally dismissive of her own mother. Not very respectful in my book.

And of course Jane should be more open—again, you missed Austen’s point. Jane is the epitome of the conduct book female of the era, and conduct books forbad women to show any interest in a man. They were to be completely demure and wait for him to declare himself first. And society harshly judged women according to these rules of conduct. Austen’s story shows that this emotional stricture of female emotion is unrealistic and argues that one can be a lady and still show emotion. The fact that Jane almost loses Bingley is making Austen’s point—this kind of fakeness and denial of emotion is restrictive and harmful.

Finally, Darcy a masochist? Hardly. Because he has always been so reserved, he is drawn to Lizzie’s vitality and wit. A masochist is a person who jumps off cliffs and tries to kill herself by driving motorcycles at high speed without adequate driving skills.

I won’t go into my analysis of Twilight here. If you’re interested, you can search my blog for my six-part analysis of the novel called “The Trouble with Twilight.”

I wish you and Howdy Doody much joy.
November 11, 2009 9:57 AM

Becca said...
......Yes. Because heaven forbid a woman have her own opinions about things, whether or not they are right. She should just do what her sparkly boyfriend tells her.
November 11, 2009 1:14 PM

Heather Mac said...
Becca with red hair! Look at how cute you are.

@lollipop, You still haven't really said how and why they should be compared, other than "both stories change after the first reading." I would argue that every novel changes with every reading as you notice things you didn't the first time and your knowledge of the author's writing style and characters grows. The reading also is affected by what's going on in your own life. "Taking subject matter seriously" does not necessarily mean it will (or should be) interpreted seriously. The only serious thing I gained from reading Twilight is astonishment that young girls look up to male "romantic" figures like Edward, who is possessive, authoritative, and just plain creepy, and female "heroines" like Bella, who is constantly self-conscious, nervous, and timid. The two novels are distinct in their separation because Elizabeth is a clever and ambitious woman who thinks for herself. Bella is a snivelling excuse for a female protagonist continuously questions herself and only exists to be "romanced" (controlled) by an overbearing love interest.

LOLOL @ Stephanie's masochist comment.
November 11, 2009 3:23 PM

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reading Circles

Becca loaned me the book I featured in my post yesterday, Hungry. She does something really interesting with books she enjoys. First, she reads the book, underlining and annotating. Then, she passes it around a circle of friends, each doing the same in her turn. When Becca gets her book back, there's a whole conversation included in the pages of the book.

This is the first time I've ever done anything like this, and I loved it. I've always written in books. But it's so different knowing that someone else will be reading your comments, that you are adding to their experience of the book. I felt freer to underline, agree, argue, make connections, add personal experiences. Things that would seem redundant or even ridiculous to write in my own book seemed so necessary in this one.

I'd like to start doing this with some of my own books, but I've always been very possessive of them--probably because of bad experiences involving loaning books to "friends" and never getting them back. I guess there should be some rules to the game.

  1. Choose only people that you are confident will return the book (or that you know well enough to ask for it back if they don't).

  2. Choose only people that will read and return relatively quickly.

  3. Choose only people with whom you can freely express your ideas, opinions, and experiences.

Can you think of any more? And thanks, Becca, for sharing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What I Just Finished

An inspiring and cautionary tale for women of all ages, Hungry is an uplifting memoir with a universal message about body image, beauty and self-confidence.

Editorial Reviews

"A riveting read."-- Nigella Lawson

"An eye-opening tale for all women, Hungry explores the difference between the fantasy that society projects and the reality of what makes us happy. Crystal Renn's experience debunks the modern-day Cinderella story of the fat girl who loses weight to get happy. This is a new fairy tale, one in which a young woman embraces the size she's supposed to be and the world opens up for her." -- Lori Gottlieb, author of Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self

"Crystal Renn is a high-spirited, convincing spokesperson for broadening our notions of beauty. Hungry adds a unique twist to a growing women's chorus: even if you are young and beautiful, as Renn is, it's best to give up the addiction to slimness for the sake of personal authenticity, social relations, intimacy, and sexual pleasure." -- Joan Jacobs Brumberg, author of The Body Project and Fasting Girls

"Hungry offers an intelligent and intimate look inside the modeling industry and into Crystal Renn's heart. Renn's epiphany -- that she didn't have to be a size 0 to find success and happiness -- serves as a more powerful portrait of strength and beauty than anything a camera could capture." -- Wendy Shanker, author of The Fat Girl's Guide to Life

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Must-See

If you haven't seen this film, you should. Several people had recommended it to me, and I just this past weekend made time to watch it. My only regret is that I waited so long to experience this film. It's one of the best films I've ever seen in my life--beautiful, deeply moving, and spiritual. The feast scene brought tears to my eyes.

Written and directed by Gabriel Axel, from a short story by Out of Africa's Isak Dinesen, this Oscar-winning film offers "an irresistible mixture of dry wit and robust humanity" (Newsweek). On the desolate coast of Denmark live Martina and Philippa, the beautiful daughters of a devout clergyman who preaches salvation through self-denial. Both girls sacrifice youthful passion to faith and duty, each turning down a chance to leave their Danish town, instead staying to care for their father and his small church. Even many years after their father's death, they keep his austere teachings alive among the townspeople. But with the arrival of Babette, a mysterious refugee from France's civil war, life for the sisters and their tiny hamlet begins to change, and the feast the woman prepares in gratitude is eclipsed only by her secret.

*1987: Foreign Language Film

Monday, November 9, 2009

Booking It--I Wanna Talk About Me

Which do you prefer? Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and/or ghost-writer)?

Biographies are fine. Autobiographies are better. But I'd really rather read a memoir.

Biographies and autobiographies are usually broad in scope, sometimes even covering the subject's whole life, whereas a memoir often centers on a particular aspect or theme.

Autobiographies and memoirs are fascinating because they reveal so much more than the plot the person chooses to tell. I read and wonder, why this particular focus? How do they select what to include? what to leave out? How are they shading and shaping readers' perceptions? How much is true and how much is wishful thinking? or morphed memories? Are they revealing themselves? or recreating themselves?

See what I mean?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lack of Focus

Yesterday, I was watching CNN to catch the latest news about the shooting at Ft. Hood, and I could hardly pay attention to the newscaster because of the 4 (and sometimes 5) flashing, blinking, scrolling, changing, glowing, always distracting things going on at the bottom of the screen. I couldn't figure out where to focus my eyes.

Here's my question: Is that stuff there to entertain people with ADD? Or is CNN trying to cause the disorder? Maybe the pharmaceutical companies sponsor all that busy-ness on the screen to induce adult-onset ADD and sell more drugs. I don't know. But it drove me crazy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hefty Justice

It was bound to happen, I guess. In a country whose citizens are growing more and more overweight, fat is now a judicial matter.

A 5'8" 285 pound New Jersey man's defense against a charge of murdering his son-in-law is that he's too fat to be the murderer.

In Texas, authorities are trying to figure out how to take into custody and bring to court a nearly one-thousand-pound woman accused of killing her two-year-old nephew.

A Maryland mother has been arrested and charged with criminal neglect for letting her 14-year-old son's weight balloon up to 555 pounds.

I wonder what's next?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Before P&P&Z

I haven't even read Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters yet, and they've already come out with another one:

In this terrifying and hilarious prequel, we witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early-nineteenth century England. We watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naïve young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. We laugh as she begins her first clumsy training with nunchucks and katana swords and cry when her first blush with romance goes tragically awry.

Written by acclaimed novelist (and Edgar Award nominee) Steve Hockensmith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls invites Austen fans to step back into Regency England, Land of the Undead!

JANE AUSTEN is coauthor of the New York Times best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. She died in1817.

STEVE HOCKENSMITH is an award-winning novelist and reporter. His mystery Holmes on the Range was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards. He lives in Alameda, California.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Surely, You Jest

The other night I had the weirdest dream:

Dr. Julie H. from the History Department and I were team teaching a class. It was the first day of class, and the room was full. As we stood up to welcome the group, she made an announcement that was news even to me. "I've decided," she said, " that the male students will stay in here and we'll teach them. The female students will go into the next room and quilt." Yes, you read that right. Quilt.

I tried not to let my mouth fall open as I thought, "How in the world do I handle this? I can't let this happen, but I can't confront her right in front of the students!"

Lucky for me, I woke up. This one's ripe for analysis.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Between the Lines

Tonight is the second L.C. Sears lecture event, sponsored by the Honors College and organized by Kelsey Sherrod, an English major. I'm part of the panel, and I'm really excited about taking part in a discussion of women's narratives.

Here's the announcement:

SEARCY, Ark.— The Harding University Honors College has announced its next L.C. Sears Seminar Series event to feature a women’s panel of professors to discuss stories of women throughout history who have made an impact upon the world through film, literature and ingenuity despite a resistant society.

The event, “In Between the Lines: The Narrative of the Feminine Voice,” will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in Harding’s Cone Chapel.

The panel will include Dr. Clea Bunch, University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor of Middle Eastern studies; Dr. Julie Harris,Harding associate professor of history; Dr. Stephanie Eddleman, Harding assistant professor of English; and Dr. Deveryle James, Harding assistant professor of English.

The L.C. Sears Seminar Series was first organized by students and Honors Council members in 2005 and has covered a wide range of relevant topics since, including the response of churches to the HIV/AIDS outbreak and the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East.

For more information, please contact the Harding Honors College at 501-279-4056.

It's open to the public. So, if you're interested, come on out and join us.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Booking It--Magic Words

“What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible? What words/phrases will make you put the book back down immediately?

Other than a favorite author's name, I don't know that there are any particular words or phrases that make me buy or not buy a book. If the plot or themes pique my interest, I might buy the book. If they don't, I won't.

I'm much more likely to buy a book because someone I trust recommended it than because of what the blurb says.