Thursday, November 18, 2010

But It's OK to Be a Vampire

The Peninsula Daily News reports that a number of students at Forks High School (Washington) recently suspended a number of students for wearing T shirts featuring the Sex Pistols.   Since Bella and Edward (Twilight series) seem to have no problem with whole vampire thing at Forks High, maybe the district needs to reconsider its policies.   They might also want to check out the Supreme Court ruling in Tinker v. Des Moines!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Review

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender is a coming of age story with a twist.  Rose Edelstein lives in what appears to be a picture-perfect family.  Her father comes home each night from his law practice, and her mother takes care of Rose and her older brother.  The picture is not, however, a true representation of Rose’s family.  Dad is withdrawn.  Mom is unhappy and unfulfilled.  Rose’s older brother lives in a world of his own and is rarely seen by the rest of the family except when he silently joins them at dinner.  On her ninth birthday, Rose discovers she has developed an odd malady.  In her lemon birthday cake, baked by her mother, she can taste desperation.  This new “talent” leaves her frightened of food, and more isolated than ever.
Although beautifully written, this is basically a sad book.  We follow Rose and her family for a number of years, but their lives remain rather sad and disheartening.  No one seems to be substantially better off at the end of the novel than at the beginning.  I found this to be a particularly sad book.

The Postcard Killers: A Review

The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund is an action-packed thriller with a likeable pair of protagonists.  Jacob Kanon is a NYPD homicide detective who has taken a leave of absence from his job to track down a pair of serial killers who are roaming Europe’s major cities and killing tourists.  He is determined to catch the killers since one of their first victims was his only daughter, Kimmy.  Dessie Larsson is a journalist with a distinct lack of ambition.  She seems to be unable to finish her doctoral dissertation, and she has little interest in covering high-profile crimes.  She is dragged into the limelight and into the path of Jacob Kanon when the postcard killers select her as their media contact. 
This is one of those mysteries where the reader knows who the killers are from the beginning of the novel.  The question is will the psychopathic killers win, or will our hero and heroine, Jacob and Dessie.  A little romance is also thrown into the mix.  The violence was a bit graphic for my tastes, but overall, this was a satisfying mystery thriller.