Friday, November 27, 2009

Recession biting hard

I have now been unemployed for almost 4 months and still no job yet.
It is somewhat depressing.

I personally think that I am being discriminated against just because my hair is grey. Thats why I went back to school, to show that my skills are up to date.

It is not working.

Tonight is the official school graduation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Has Dan Brown found the lost symbol?

I posted a review of Dan Browns latest book - The Lost Symbol - a few weeks ago. That has nothing to do with this post other than the title.

One of the blogs I read on a regular basis is called the Pioneer Woman - about a housewife who moved from the city to the country when she married a rancher. Anyway her blog has been about life on the farm, her family and cooking. She got the bright idea to put together a cook book. After a year or so of hard work, and requesting recipes from her readers, Ree's cook book has finally been published - October 27th, 2009.

At the Walmart store in Little Rock, Arkansas, last week, the Walmart staff seemed to have lost the old symbol and found a new symbol. This is the cookbook in question. Ree thought this stand was hilarious.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Winner - 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize

2009 Scotia Bank Giller Prize

The winner for 2009 - The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre

Book details

The Bishop’s Man centres on a sensitive topic - the sexual abuses perpetrated by Catholic priests on the innocent children in their care. Father Duncan, the first person narrator, has been his bishop's dutiful enforcer, employed to check the excesses of priests and, crucially, to suppress the evidence. But as events veer out of control, he is forced into painful self-knowledge as family, community and friendship are torn apart under the strain of suspicion, obsession and guilt. A brave novel, conceived and written with impressive delicacy and understanding.

I looked through the short list of nominees. The only book I thought might be interesting to read is the Golden Means by Annabelle Lyons.

The Golden Mean is, ostensibly, the story of the philosopher, Aristotle, and his pupil, Alexander. Aristotle has yet to become the director of the Lyceum and his pupil has yet to become Alexander the Great, the conqueror of the known world. In succinct and detailed prose, Annabel Lyon not only illuminates an historical period but explores issues that are achingly contemporary: the purpose(s) of education, the destinies (and responsibilities) of the gifted, the influence of parents, the jealousies of scholars, the complications of tribalism, the tension between belief and science, and the relative merits of the life of the body versus that of the mind. The characters, some historical and some fictional, are, in their multitude, kind and noble and petty and vicious; they are recognizable to us all. This is a wise and thoughtful book.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Books - Book Review

Books, a memoir
by Larry McMurtry
Simon and Schuster 2008

This turned out to be a rather interesting book. Lots of short chapters with stories about Larry's shop, his book buying, his collecting, other books sellers he met and where they are now.

I cant say much more because there really is no story to this book. Just a lot of short chapters.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Empire of the Word - TVO documentary series

I know I dont normally write about TV programs, but this is a documentary series to start on November 25th on the TVO channel in Ontario that I just had to mention. It involves my two biggest areas of interest - reading and history. There are 4 weekly episodes and covers the history of reading.

Official website (not open until November 25)

When did the written word first appear, and how has it changed the course of human existence? How do you make peace when all you want is revenge? And why does the most polarizing scientific theory of all time still matter 150 years after its publication? This November, TVO explores these questions and more through a thought-provoking range of documentary, drama and current affairs programming.

Wednesdays at 10 pm starting November 25 on The View From Here, TVO presents the world premiere of the four-part documentary series Empire of the Word. The jewel in the crown of TVO's season-long programming commitment to literacy, the series is an eye-opening, epic journey into the origins of reading and its impact on more than 5,000 years of human history. At the heart of the series is the question of why reading has survived throughout the ages. Host and renowned Canadian-Argentine writer Alberto Manguel takes viewers around the globe to meet the characters and revisit the events that create the story of the written word, including the genesis of the alphabet, the world's first novel, role of religion in reading; the invention of the Gutenberg press, and the technological revolution.