Thursday, May 31, 2012

Broken for You

Published in 2004, Broken for You is the debut novel of Seattle-based writer Stephanie Kallos. The book received numerous positive reviews, and she was named Best First Novelist in 2005 by Library Journal.  Her second book, Sing Them Home, also garnered praise for its development of characters in a physical and spiritual landscape of loss and healing.  While her stories deal with death and loss, sadness and broken lives, the author's use of humor and whimsy lightens the load, reminding us that what is damaged (in life or in the physicality of things) might come to be mended in unexpected ways. To get a taste of the author's whimsical humor, visit Kallos's Web site for her charming, chatty biography, not the official bio, but the one entitled Directions To Where I Live.  The author also includes a lengthy question and answer posting for book groups, so I hope our group will explore away here.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sneakers Advised

The merry month of May is just the perfect time to read and discuss Phillip Lopate's Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan.  Our improving weather offers a suitable kick to get us out the door, feet on the street, and heads craned in search of great vistas. We're primed and ready for new adventures - to paraphrase Mr. Lopate, well, that's Spring for you!  

And, of course, Phillip Lopate's book offers innumerable possibilities for day hikes and strolls in neighboring New York.  Coincidentally, there are several walking events taking place in Manhattan this weekend which are referenced by the author.  One is the Great Saunter sponsored by the Shorewalkers which takes place tomorrow.  You'll recall that Mr. Lopate participated (to some extent) in this 35 mile organized walk around Manhattan's shores.  Here is their Web site.  The other notable walking event is sponsored by the Municipal Art Society of New York and is entitled Jane's Walk NYC, in honor of urban booster Jane Jacobs who was discussed numerous times in Waterfront.  There will be over 70 guided, free walking tours throughout the boroughs on both Saturday and Sunday.  Roosevelt Island is featured in one of the tours, and another one is entitled "An Accessible Waterfront for East Harlem."  Link to their Web site here for more information.

In no case are you to pay any attention to these!  Your duty is to show up and discuss the book, right?! Well, I hope to see many of you for our discussion tomorrow; if not, I'll know where you've been. If you wish, please refer to my commentary on Waterfront in Book News and More, also.