The Writer's Garden
Book reviews and other media commentary.


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  Saturday, November 23, 2002

The International Children's Digital Library has recently opened with 200 books. Here is an NPR Article.
8:00:27 PM    

  Thursday, November 21, 2002

Came across an on-line collection of Jimmy Boegle columns when searching for Square Rutabagas...I'll be attempting to grow them next summer.  He's found some pricey square watermelons, and that Homer Simpson's "Doh" is now part of the Oxford English Dictionary.  - Dean
12:43:20 AM    

  Monday, November 18, 2002

If you want to get an idea for David James Duncan's writing without the obligation of The Brothers K, give River Teeth a try.

I have to register with All Consuming to get these referrals some cash for some good organizations like the Epilepsy Foundation.  Hopefully those are plain links right now.  It baffles me that cheap technology book sites like don't build in the API features like Amazon to attract the attention of tech-heads.  - Dean

11:22:15 PM    

The Brothers K by David James Duncan is an excellent novel.  I recommend it for wintertime reading when you'de like to escape to warm summer thoughts.

Recommended if you enjoy baseball, nolstagia, struggle, personal triumph and journey intertwined with excellent story-telling. Possibley a father-son book.

Sorry for the lack of description. I feel compelled to write perfectly at the moment and would rather avoid it and get on with the cleanup, sleeping and studying I had planned for this evening.  -- Dean

11:08:03 PM    

  Saturday, November 16, 2002

Have you ever heard someone say, "There's a small patch of blue sky, enough to make a cat a pair of trousers?"

I'm reading The Shell Seekers and came across it.    - Tam

11:35:41 AM    

  Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I have been working away at finishing Ayn Rand's novel for about 6 months now. It's got plot and enough interesting characters, but the problem remains that it is a "philosophical novel."

And not just any philosophy but one of her own making, Objectivism. Objectivism, as I understand it, is a celebration of human individualism. It regards religion and social concern to be the height of self-righteous pity. The great evil of Individualism (Capitalism, of course) is Socialism.

Back to The Fountainhead: The story concerns the trials and tribulations of one Howard Roark, architect. A genius and one of those "movers of history" which our culture depend on, Howard is thwarted on every side by the mediocre, the sensitive, and forces of social collectivism. He is used, ignored, and persecuted but eventually prevails over all.

OK, I do appreciate the complexities of the story, particularly the love trapezoid between the four main characters. Trying to figure out the depths of young theory Objectivism can be interesting too. Unfortunately, there are also those moments where characters preach for pages at a time. Moments where the definition of Objectivism seems to fold back on itself where only those who are complete egotists can truly understand compassion, real compassion.

I am not an Objectivist. Not in any way shape or form. However, I can completely understand how this theory has gained interest within the United States since the late '30s when it was written. A preview of the Cold War dished up by a woman who emigrated to the United States alone after experiencing some of the upheaval of the Russian revolution. The true American Individual fighting against the encroaching Communist world.

But I digress. If you are interested in Ayn Rand read Anthem (much much shorter). I've also heard that Atlas Shrugged is her greatest work. Maybe I'll review that someday.

But maybe not. If you have a love for people, Ms. Rand will probably irritate you.

- Tam

8:43:25 AM    

  Tuesday, November 12, 2002

One important reason I weblog is to write better.  But, unlike that last sentence that I wrote three times, I'm probably going to digress into a conversational style (or worse) in the name of speed, brevity, and comfort.  I look forward to all corrections and suggestions.  I will try to do my best to cut down on: elipses ... and other misuse of non-whitespace seperation&em-dash;cliche acronyms (FWIW); digressions into the world of cute such as smudging poetry and prose with aggravating alliteration.  As for spelling, I tend to mis-vowel and would like to blame MS-Word's auto-spell correction.

- Dean

1:20:15 AM    

  Sunday, November 10, 2002

Came across The Cluetrain Manifesto at Half-Price Books today and made a note to myself to check it out later. Electronic version here.

Writing question: If your page presentation is configured to underline an HTML link, do you need to bother to add underlining?

By the way... Welcome to The Writer's Garden portion of our weblog.  This is my wife's (Tam) portion of our "profesional" (not aimed at friends and family) blog.  She is the comprehensive reader and educated writer/linguist in the house and will at least produce the best book reviews and commentaries here.  I seem to cover a third to half of most of the books I get into. Determing how many are posts also go to the Home Page will be determined by the frequency of posts, and at a later date. The title may also change, as I see this is a fairly redundant name already...

11:50:30 PM    

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