Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Silence of the Lambs

Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs ( the movie) is probably one of my favorite movie characters. He is witty, cool, and a cannibal. I enjoyed the movie so much, I decided that the book was worth a try.

I was suprised at how long it took me to obtain the book from the library, it was currently checked out when i looked for it and it had 3 holds before me.

But when I finally was able to get a grasp on it, I understood why.

The book is about an FBI trainee Clarice Starling, who is given a job to study a pure psychopath to receive some insight on a murderer who collects segments of skins from his victims. Of course the psychopath is Hannibal Lecter, once a world renowned Psychologist who killed most of his clients and ate them. Hannibal is a very hard man to work with, but he seems to enjoy Miss Starling.

Eventually in the book, Lecter agrees to help the FBI with the "Buffalo Billy" case. Meanwhile, Jame Gumb, the murderer known to everyone else as Buffalo Billy picks up his next victim, Catherine Martin the daughter of a Tennessee Senator. Hannibal is supposed to help the FBI capture Buffalo Billy before he kills Catherine.

The above bio is just a brief description of the book. I cannot write the true magic of the book  without giving away the book.  Thomas Harris does an amazing job of creating the characters and developing the scene in your head. I give the book an 8 and a half out of 10. I recommend reading the movie before watching the book though. The book is better than the movie, but for my case whenever I read the book first, the movie that might be a great movie is ruined because it doesn't appear to be the picture you imagined.

Friday, February 4, 2011


About a week ago, a couple friends and I started a book club at our high school. And the first book we all(only three at the time) decided to read was  Kindred.

At first I was hesitant, because technically it is a science fiction, which isn't my favorite genre ( better than fantasy). But after the first fifty pages, I couldn't put it down.

The main character is an African - American woman who lives life in the mid 1970's. She is living in a time where  blacks are accepted by most of the population, but there are still a few remaining racists out there. She is recently married to a white man and neither of the families are excited by the bondage. However, she and her husband live a happy life as writers and it is a happy fairy tale beginning.

But one night as they are shelving their enormous collection of books, Dana faints for no apparent reason. When she wakes, she is in a completely different place. She is lying in the mud next to a stream. As she collects her bearings she hears cries of help from a distressed mother. As she looks to see what the situation is, she notices a small boy drowning in the stream. Her naturally kind reflexes take over and she jumps in to help the boy.

But when she takes the child to the mother, she practically slaps Dana for her efforts. Dana, trying to ignore the woman starts preforming mouth to mouth on the boy. Finally, the boy throws up and everything seems fine, but as she turns around she meets the barrel of a gun held by a stout man that must be the boys father. Frightened by this, she passes out and wakes up next to her husband, who is very concerned since his wife had disappeared for a few moments.

 It turns out, Dana traveled back in time to the year 1819, right in the middle of a time where the whole country treats black people worse than dirt. The reason she traveles is because the boy (who she saves many times) will eventually father a relative of Dana's. Her job is to make sure history stays the same.

The book, although it sounds a little corny, is actually a good read. Octavia Butler does a great job at not giving the time travel a Star Wars sci- fi feel. The book is more about African -American history, and the book is fitting for this month. I give the book 7 stars out of 10.

If you are reluctant to read this book because of the time travel , I would seriously reconsider. It may surprise you.

Even if this book sounds terrible to you, I may have a few other options. The New York Times Best Seller List is usually where I look for a good read that has recently been published. Here is a link. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/overview.html

I recommend The Help. It may be hard to obtain, but it is worth it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Maintaining books.

Just the other day, I was talking to a friend of mine about how books are treated today by other people. Both of us have a fairly decent collection, and we both are generous about sharing them with our buds. Unfortunately though, we both have a decent collection of stories in which our books have been ruined and/or lost.

Now personally I have never lost a book. I don't see how it could possibly happen. For me, losing one is basically  having it mixed up with my other novels. Honestly I did not realize how mistreated books are. Yesterday I discussed this topic with my school librarian and he claimed that an average number of lost/ruined books a year are in the 200 -300 range from the library.

Seriously? How can this happen?

So I'm here now to help everyone properly maintain their precious books.

First of all, I want to say if you are looking at your worn and torn books thinking I am going to bitch about keeping them out of the sunlight and blah blah blah.... Don't worry about it, books deserve a little wear and tear, you don't want it to look like your books are there to collect dust. YOU SHOULD READ THEM. If the spine is wrinkled a little bit, don't freak out.

You should start getting nervous when there are coffee stains and missing pages. These are generally the signs of an improper handler of books. You should, as a rule, never ever leave books on a kitchen counter or table that is used regularly by other people. Someone eventually will spill something and if your book happens to be in the path...

Second of all, do not leave books on the floor. Thats just common knowledge. They don't deserve to be trampled on by your various pets and your nasty feet.

Thirdly, do not let small children around the collection. They enjoy destroying things. Let it be your pots instead of your books.

Fourthly, do not, let me repeat, do NOT BEND PAGES ON A BOOK . Bookmarks were made for a reason, and bent pages are really bad looking.

And finally, leave a certain space for your books. For example, I like to read in the bath tub ( don't do this if you have a tendency to drop things), so when I am finished I place them on a special shelf behind the tub. When i finish with the bath, they go upstairs to the bedroom where they are safely placed on my desk until I am ready to return them. This ensures that you won't misplace them, and other hands won't get to them

If you have a book that needs to be repaired, please do not tape it together. Send it to a book mender, just like you would send your child to a hospital. They are trained to help

I hope this helped give a good understanding of properly maintaining your books. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment