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Old September 21st, 2002, 07:59 PM   #121
Cinderellen
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I've also heard that sometimes the publishers will buy copies of their own books by the thousands to drive the book to the New York Times Best Seller List. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a best seller list, doesn't it?

I was also relieved that you all felt the same way about the book. I thought that maybe it was only me too.
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Old September 21st, 2002, 11:13 PM   #122
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Hi Cinderellen

What I said about MFA's can seem as though there is no chance for a simply writer to make it into publication. That's not true. Take Anita Shreve, for example. She has a B.A. from Tufts, was a high school teacher when she won the O. Henry Prize for a short story. Prizes like this are important because they attract the attention of publishing houses, agents, editors. But Shreve went on to journalism before she began seeing her novels published. Now, she teaches parttime at Amherst and writes in the mornings while her children are in school. :-) Maybe you've read "The Pilot's Wife" or "The Weight of Water."
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Old September 26th, 2002, 01:40 PM   #123
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I haven't yet, but I will put them on my "to read" list. (((((Lou))))) Since I started reading this folder more faithfully, my "to read" list has gotten very large.
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Old September 27th, 2002, 07:47 AM   #124
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I just finished two of Jamkes Patterson's books. Now I absolutely LOVE to read his work, but these two left me empty.

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

and

Cradle and All

Suzanne's Diary was a love story and Cradle and All was, well..it just was.
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Old September 29th, 2002, 12:53 PM   #125
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((((Cinderellen)))) :-)

I'm bringing this into "Books" since it's a discussion topic. I've finished "Fall On Your Knees" by Anne-Marie MacDonald, and I wondered what others of you who read it think it's about. I know, it's about a family and sisters, but beyond that.
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Old September 30th, 2002, 12:05 PM   #126
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I ached for those girls, Lou. They never experienced the natural unconditional love and security of a parent and so never learned how to love themselves or to escape from their past. Lily was their hope.

You were probably looking for something else, Lou. I'd love to know.
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Old September 30th, 2002, 10:26 PM   #127
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I got an answer! ((((Cod)))) No, really, I just wanted to know. The "unnatural" relationship with James, their father, is the crux of the story. You think?

My mother comes from an incestuous family, and I learned in therapy that such a situation creates a generational habit of conflict among the women in the family. They are vying for the father's attention, it seems, but really, they are working to please him so they can avoid his wrath. As a result, of the competition to stay in his good graces, the women fight. This fighting is essential to the continuation of the male's sexual abuse because if the women begin to talk, he will be exposed. Notice, for example, that when Frances finally tells Mercedes what was happening when she sat in their father's lap, Mercedes is at first resentful. Then, she pushes the father down the stairs. Yay Mercedes! She is the ruined heroine. Funny that this book was not marketed as the story of incest, but by the time I finished, I wasn't even sure that the author knew what she had on her hands.

And about Kathleen's diary. At first, I thought, WHY DO I HAVE TO READ THIS?? Give me Frances. Then, I got caught up in it and was sorry to see that NYC story end. Oh Rose. I love Rose. It's Rose's mother who wrote the letter to James, isn't it?
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Old September 30th, 2002, 10:44 PM   #128
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Yes Rose's mother. I loved Rose too and was so sad the way that ended. Frances I wanted to HUG. I loved that book and those characters, well not ALL of them. Some I HATED. Excellent writer, isn't she?
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Old September 30th, 2002, 11:07 PM   #129
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*sigh* another book to add to the list.

For the record... The Bondwoman's Narrative is absolutely wonderful so far. I've not been able to put it down. It was written in the mid 1800s, so the wording is a little different, but it's fabulous.
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Old September 30th, 2002, 11:27 PM   #130
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Thanks Cinderellen. I'll put that one on mine.
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Old October 7th, 2002, 11:46 PM   #131
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I am bringing another discussion into this Book folder.

The book I am reading, "The Botany of Desire," is fascinating. Michael Pollan, the author, has a thesis that asserts that humans are bumblebees, drawn to plants that meet our desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and nutrition. And, that in seeing to it that our desires are met, we humans plant, graft, fertilize, hybridize, clear whole states of forests in order to plant more--and in so doing, direct the evolution of certain plants. This relationship between plants and humans is unconscious; that is, it is as intentional as the flower's allure to the bee.

Now, I know that I am an oddity in my fascination for discussions of flora and fauna, but I'm telling you, this book mesmerizes me.

Pollan has divided his evidence into four chapters: the apple for its sweetness, the tulip for its beauty, cannabis for its power to intoxicate, and the potato for nutrition and control.

I've read the apple chapter. And I ask you, did you think you knew all there was to know about Johnny Appleseed?? Hah. Here's just one little tidbit. Appleseed was John Chapman, a real person who did, indeed, plant orchards of apple trees from Pennsylvania to Indiana. He planted these from seeds. The apple trees that grow from seeds are "spitters"; that is, they do not produce edible apples, but pithy, bitter fruit. So, why plant them?

I'll tell you why. Hard cider. Chapman moved out ahead of settlers, planted orchards alongside rivers, waited until they grew a few years, then sold off trees as settlers arrived. The settlers replanted the trees on their land and used the fruit to make hard cider, liquor, booze. At that time, there were also grafted apple trees--the method by which edible fruit-bearing trees are cultivated. But edible apples were not the prize.

I just love this stuff.

You may now go on with your lives.
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Old October 8th, 2002, 08:38 AM   #132
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And the author's name is "Pollan."

Do you think he was fascinated with this concept from the time people started making fun of his name in gradeschool?

Had no idea about Johnny Appleseed...wasn't he religious as well?

What is the writing style of this book, Lou?
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Old October 8th, 2002, 11:05 AM   #133
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LOL You say pollan, I say pollen, let's just say he's one of those writers, the kind who take up the domestic topics of cooking or gardening, and like MFK Fisher, turn it into a metaphor for everything.

He's written for NY Times Magazine, Conde Naste, and this is his third book. It is written in a loose, familiar style that makes what could be botanical sludge read smoothly. Pollan takes the stance of one who has simply come across some curious info and wants to share it.

And yes, Chapman was evangelistic, but more. He was one of those rare believers who saw nature and the divine as the same. Not as metaphor, but the same. So, for example, to forge a path into the wilderness ahead of settlers was so lead the way to heaven. Not metaphorically, really. Such beliefs made good relationships with the Native Americans possible for Chapman.

Over and out.
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Old October 8th, 2002, 12:41 PM   #134
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I think I might like that book, Lou!
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Old October 8th, 2002, 12:42 PM   #135
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Speaking of books...

I've signed up for NaNoWriMo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, thousands of people will be working on cranking out 50,000 words in 30 days.

Anyone else want to take a shot at this?

http://www.nanowrimo.com
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