Wednesday, June 27, 2007

On my mind today

I read about this amazing site called Better World on Book Chase. I'll be honest, I have not read their entire site but what I've gathered is this: they are collecting used books that might otherwise go into landfills and selling them at low prices. They have raised loads of money for literacy and educational organizations and have donated books to those who are lacking them. Do check them out. I found five used books I was looking for and placed my first order. One fantastic part I haven't mentioned - free shipping for US customers, and low shipping for international orders.

I'm really interested in a couple of books written up in the recent Book-of-the-Month Club insert. Mary Modern is written by a first time novelist Camille DeAngelis. The booklist description per amazon:

The Morrigan family mansion exudes the stuff of memory--of Lucy's childhood and families long gone--with its multigenerational artifacts and memorabilia adorning every shelf, wall, and drawer. After her parents' deaths, Lucy, who has always lived in the house, now takes in boarders in order to stay on and continue her father's work as a geneticist. His basement lab contains all the elements necessary to bring his dream--human cloning--to fruition, and she means to try. After years of study and preparation, Lucy sets legal and ethical considerations aside and decides to clone her beloved grandmother, Mary, and carry the fetus in her own womb. When the experiment goes horribly wrong, Lucy's mentor helps her use a mysterious contraption to finish incubating Grandma. But this is only the first problem. Once acclimated, the modern Mary yearns for her lover from another time and asks Lucy to clone him, too. This compelling and horrific debut novel applies modern science to Shelley's Frankenstein, revealing again the awful truth about the relationship of creator to creation. Lucy's story of love and ambition will appeal not only to fans of gothic romance but also to book groups, whose discussions of bioethics, social responsibility, personal freedom, and the biological nature of memory will last into the wee hours. Jennifer Baker

The Companion is by Ann Granger who looks to be an established mystery author who I've never read. Again, the booklist description from Amazon:

Seasoned mystery-author Granger introduces an atmospheric new series set in Victorian London. When Lizzie Martin accepts a position as a paid companion, she moves from rural Derbyshire to London. As she adapts to her new environment, she also finds herself being inextricably drawn into a murder investigation. The corpse, it seems, belongs to the girl Lizzie replaced as companion. Joining forces with an old friend from back home, Lizzie puts her own life in danger to unmask a murderer. Historical-mystery fans will appreciate the great attention Granger pays to period detail as she evokes a suitably gritty nineteenth-century London. Margaret Flanagan

Thanks to Lesley, who reminded me that I'd wanted to watch The 1900s House. I borrowed it from the library and it provided me with wonderful entertainment. I'm sure I often romanticize this period of time in my mind, but to see the reality (so to speak) of daily life is an eye opener. I loved the teenage daughter's honesty in admitting how bored she was, as I suspect many young ladies were. I highly recommend this, if you are interested in this time period.

And finally, I was in heaven this past Sunday at the farmer's market to find fresh locally grown garlic. So fresh it hasn't even dried yet, and you have to peel the juicy peel away from the cloves. So divine. I used some of it in a paste to marinade a flank steak the other night. It's the little things, isn't it?


Carrie K said...

Books in landfills? Ack!

I loved all the PBS Houses. It was really different in those days! It's almost hard to believe things have changed so much in such a relatively short time.

Iliana said...

Thank you for the Better World link. I will be checking that out definitely!
I read The Companion last year although mine was a British copy and had a different title. I loved it but then again I do love victorian mysteries so there is that :)

Lotus Reads said...

So grateful to you for the Better World link, Tara...I guess living in Canada my order would qualify as international? Either way, I think it's a great site and I will be sure to use them. Thanks again!

nutmeg said...

I am definitely interested in Mary Modern - I will have to add it to my "research" list.

And the Better World site I will also definitely visit.

Thanks for reminding me about the 1900's house. I am compiling a list of dvd's I want to order from Amazon and will look into the "house" series. I remember watching one that detailed home life during WWII - very interesting.

Tara said...

Carrie, I know!! I'd like to see them all - I'll have to see what else the library has. Isn't it amazing what has changed?

Bookgirl, I was hoping someone might have read one of these! It looks like the British version is titled 'A Rare Interest in Corpses'. It seems the new title and cover is attempting to appeal to a different sort of reader, ie. Me. Interesting, and thanks for letting me know.

Lotus, isn't that frustrating - Canada being international? It does seem a little silly.

Nutmeg, I think that one might have been called 1940's house? I saw a bit of one once detailing Edwardian life. I think the 'lady of house' fell into the role a bit too much.

Anonymous said...

I love all the "House" series. I think that 1900's House was the first I watched. I remember about the teenager and I remember the mother being so tired and having to put on that awful corset. Such hard work!