July 9th, 2009

One book I’m gaga about!

My latest review for the Oregonian begins: “There are two secrets about writing that authors don't like to discuss. One is that the more you write, the less you like to read. Since loving to read is probably what got you started writing in the first place, that's a huge loss. But over time, expository dialogue, long stretches of narrative and characters who are clearly empty-headed marionettes dancing to the author's tune become all too easy to spot.

"The second secret is that occasionally a novel comes along that makes you fall in love with books all over again. And like any lover, you're jealous -- jealous that this wonderful book was created by someone else.
For me this year, that book is Attica Locke's Black Water Rising."

Read more here.

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Borders UK seeks to turn booklovers into just plain lovers

Every company seeks to extend its brand. Kelloggs went from cereal to cereal bars. But if it branched off into toothpaste, it might be too big a leap.

Borders UK now has a dating site, called Happily Ever After. The site says, “In all the best fairytales, girl meets boy and frog turns into prince. If only real life was so simple! Sometimes fate needs a nudge in the right direction, so sign up to Borders' Happily Ever After dating site today. With hundreds of like-minded singles to meet online, search to see who's already joined us and start a whole new chapter in your love life.” You can check it out here.

One columnist imagines users getting updates that say "Did you enjoy, Mark, 34, of Swindon? Then you should try Gareth, 36, of Slough." Or: "After dating Sally of Birmingham, 86 per cent of customers go on to date Jayne of Devizes."” Read more of the column here.

[Full disclosure: my husband doesn’t read fiction, but our marriage still rocks!]

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This is just plain awful!

The economy has been hit hard here. Oregon has the second-highest unemployment in the nation (after Michigan, and we don't make cars).

But I just found out something that plain freaks me out. Not only did Portland's Twenty-Third Avenue Books, a small but well-stocked bookstore, close in January, but it's owner became HOMELESS. She ended up panhandling in front of the store!

"Neighbors got together to get Griffin’s cellphone reconnected — she owed $400 to the phone company. And they helped her find a place to live temporarily, so she could stop couch surfing and carry on with the job searching."

That's so horrible I can't even contemplate it. I've seen two of my favorite authors at her store - John Dufresne and Susan Fromberg Schaffer.

You can read the article at http://blogs.wweek.com/news/2009/07/08/from-bookstore-owner-to-homeless-another-terrible-tale-from-nw-23rd-ave/

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Good news for migraine sufferers

I know so many of my LJ friends suffer from migraines, as I do.

Well, maybe there's a silver lining.

""In this study, we evaluated the relationship between migraine and breast cancer risk and found that women who have migraine have a 26 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women without a history of migraine," said study author Dr. Christopher Li, an associate member of the epidemiology program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle."

Read more here.

PS For those of you with migraines, do yours switch from side to side from one time to the next? Mine do, but it seems kind of weird.

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