It's getting time for me to think about buying my next car. This one is 13-years-old. It has served me well, but if I want to get anything for it in trade, I need to act. Unfortunately, I still have books to read.
I shouldn't say read, I should say, I still have books to listen to. On tape. My car has a tape player which a new car will not have because the medium is quite obsolete.
Why do I have books on tape? Well, since the medium is obsolete, books on tape are easy to obtain! At garage sales and estate sales they are very inexpensive. In fact, I just got an unopened copy of "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel at a moving sale for less than $1!! How could I possibly pass that up?
Books on CD are also readily available at such sales, though not as cheaply. In my experience, folks charge the most for books on CD, then print books, then books on tape. Which is why my tape library is growing.
Justinian's Flea by William Rosen chronicles the Byzantine Empire under Emperor Justinian. From his collection of law into the Justinian Code to the military victories under his general Belisarius, the author gives a detailed history of an era under one of the few Byzantine emperors commonly-known. The author devotes particular attention to the outbreak of plague during the seventh century, which gives the book its title. Well worth reading for history enthusiasts.
--Michael B., Jamestown Bluffs Branch
Suzzy Roche, youngest sister in the trio known as The Roches, has written "Wayward Saints" her first literary offering. Roche has had an amazing career with and without her sisters, Maggie and Terre. She's acted on the big screen in "Crossing Delancey" and on the New York stage. She's a talented guitarist and vocalist with two solo CDs in addition to those made with the group.
In "The Long Night," author Steve Wick tells us what it was like to be a broadcast journalist in Europe, and chiefly Berlin, during the 1930's rise of Adolf Hitler. But Wick wasn't born until 1951. So instead, he examines the work of William Shirer to capture a foreign correspondent's view of a Germany gone mad.
The first time I read Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," I was troubled by the author's too close proximity to the history. Part history, part memoir, the book also reflects a measure of intimacy like the pages of a diary. Though I did not doubt or distrust the author's honesty or the integrity of his research, his personal involvement in the story made me question his objectivity.
I've always found that any mundane task, such as studying, cleaning, or the aforementioned laundry, always goes faster set to some really good music. Luckily for those of us who get stuck with drudgery, SLCL has some grand scores to make your next annoying chore feel like an epic quest.
"I think you might want to watch this movie," a co-worker told me.
"What's it about?"
"Well, it is about a tire that comes to life and goes on a killing spree."
(Insert chirping noises representing the crickets in my head as I stare dumbfounded at said co-worker.) "OK...a tire. That comes to life. And kills people."
A week later I bring home my DVD copy of "Rubber" and the above conversation repeats itself between my husband and myself, both of whom have been known to lament the lack of new and creative thinking in the movies today. Well, a killer tire certainly challenges that belief - let "Rubber" begin.
And here is the weirdest thing of all; "Rubber" is actually very entertaining. The film sets itself up as a meta-cinema experiment where the audience at home is watching a group of spectators on the screen who have gone to the desert to watch a movie. So, it's all a joke - the killer tire, the exploding heads, the squished scorpions. Or is it?