Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Ántonia

by Willa Cather

I groaned when I read the words "romantic novel" on the back of this book. I'll dutifully read all the kids' schoolbooks that I need to read, but I don't always like it. So I read. It wasn't that bad, really. Kind of like "Little House on the Prairie" for grown ups. It's the story of Jim Burden, a Virginia boy in the late 19th Century who is orphaned and sent out to live with his grandparents in Nebraska. Arriving in the area at the same time is an immigrant family from Bohemia, the Shimerdas. They become neighbors, of sorts, and Jim develops a special bond with the eldest daughter, Ántonia. What follows is a chronicle of the two growing to adulthood. Though that plot, it seems, takes a back seat to the setting and characters. I have a suspicion that Ms. Cather simply pulled together a number of real life Nebraskan anecdotes and weaved together a plot to string them together. If so, it's a plot that's uniquely and subtly woven.

Check it out. Seriously.
LibraryThing link


Monday, March 22, 2010

Eternity in Their Hearts

by Don Richardson

Guess I'll keep it on my shelf
LibraryThing link


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Teenage Revolution

by Mark Waid, Barry Kitson, et al

Teenage Revolution is the first collection of the 2004 reboot of the Legion of Super-Heroes series. As a long-time Legion fan, I picked up the first few issues, but other concerns at the led me to stop buying comics. (for a while, anyway) Even if I didn't have to give up comics, however, I don't know if I would have continued to follow this latest incarnation of the Legion. The art was great, but the writing... Well, as the title of this collection implies, a big theme of the 2004 Legion was the generation gap. Mr. Waid presented us with a Legion in conflict with its elders, one whose motto was not "Long Live the Legion!" but rather "Eat it, Grandpa!" Now I'm not anywhere near grandpa-hood (at least I better not be!), but I am too old to be swept up in youthful idealism. I found that I wasn't identifying with the Legionnaires, as in times past, but rather finding excuses for their critics. Whether that was a good or a bad thing, I don't know. I do know that I found the comic to be less entertaining.

Five years later. I pick up this collection at the Library sale. Maybe I've mellowed, maybe I'm just over the shock, but this here's good stuff. I like the way how Mr. Waid has truly remade the characters and 31st Century milieu for the 21st Century. In many ways, he's truly come up with brand new characters, while still drawing inspiration from the previous incarnations. I can't say that all the changes are pleasant, but I can't say that I hate them either. I think I'm getting hooked... again. I wonder if the old fans reading the new Flash in 1955 felt the same way.

Checked it out, and now I'm paging through it again.
LibraryThing link

(Hurm. What do you know? I already read and reviewed this one.)

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Friday, March 05, 2010

The Best Short Stories of O. Henry

by O. Henry

A gem to keep on my shelf.
LibraryThing link


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