13 Days of Love: Day 13 Wrap-Up

So over the past few days we’ve visited books about love. But as you could see, love comes in many shapes and forms, and is expressed in various ways. Sometimes, it isn’t all happy-there are no birds singing, no fireworks, no butterflies in the tummy; then there are the times it starts like that, but morphs into something cruel.  At times love can be scary. But it can also be that happy feeling.

But let’s face it, no matter the kind of love, be it twisted, abusive, happy, heart-breaking, sad, forbidden, scary, silly, etc, at its best or worst-there is one thing you’ve got to admit…it sure makes a good read! 🙂

So enjoy some more books about love, there are lots more than what I highlighted. Read and share yours with us!


Till next time, keep flipping those pages!

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

13Days of Love: Day 12 Heart’s Delight & Date with an Alien

yeah yeah, so I’m a day late…but on to what you came here for!

Heart’s Delight by Per Nilsson

He first saw her on the bus, her red hair a beacon. He notices her everyday from that point on. Weeks later, they finally start talking, and become friends, and become a little more than friends. He goes to America for the summer and thinks of nothing but her the entire time he is gone. But when he comes home, she is acting strangely.

Now he sits in his room destroying everything from their time together. As he destroys, he also waits for the phone to ring. He also stares at a bottle of blue pills and a razor blade-still waiting for the phone to ring.


Date with an Alienby Mary Logue

Branko is on Earth with a mission: find a female to bring home to his dying planet so they can mate and have babies to repopulate the planet.

Tonia’s summer is different than summers past. Things are just…different. Then she meets Branko, and love moves fast with these two. Soon he is asking her to go home with him.

What happens at the end of the summer will shock you!

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

13 Days of Love: Day 11 The Truth About Forever & My Sister’s Keeper

The Truth About Foreverby Sarah Dessen

Macy is looking forward to her summer vacation. Between working at the library, studying for the SATs, waiting on her boyfriend to get home from summer camp, to silently, privately grieving the loss of her father, that is all Macy planned for the summer.

What she didn’t plan on was Wes and Wish Catering. She meets them at an open house event and loves the chaos that comes with them.

With the help of her new friends (most especially Wes), Macy comes to terms with the death of her father. This turns out to be a summer of change for Macy-just what she needs in her life.

And what Sarah Dessen book would be complete without a bit of young love? (And no, this is not a slam-I ❤ her books and Truth is one of my ‘Top 5 Favorite Books of All Time.’) Read and enjoy! 😀


My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

By the age of thirteen, Anna has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, tests, shots, etc. Not for herself, but for her sister Kate who has leukemia.

In fact, Anna was conceived to be a bone marrow match for Kate. She is the product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis to ensure she would be a match. She has never questioned it until now. Anna is growing up an no longer content with being her sister’s only hope for survival. There is no doubt that Anna loves Kate, but she is no longer content to live her life as if she also has leukemia. What Anna decides to do will have serious repercussions…especially for Kate.

The moral dilema posed by My Sister’s Keeper will leave you thinking for quite a while. Is it fair to conceive a new child to save the life of the first one? Or is it selfishness on the part of the parents?

Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 8:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Applying to a college or university? Want more information?

Would you like some more “personal” information from the students who attend specific niversities? If so, take a look at www.unigo.com, a “social networking” type site that provides input from current students. This might help a potential university applicant to learn more about the “culture” and common interests of the university.
More information about this web site can be found at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123499498840816053.html

Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Trying to select specialized doctors & hospitals according to ratings?

Individuals and family members who are trying to select the physicians and the hospitals that have the best ratings for specific areas of specialization might want to go to this web site: http://www.healthgrades.com/ Health Grades provides ratings for 26 treatments and procedures in most U.S. hospitals and rates them with a “star” rating, with five stars being the highest rating.

Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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13 Days of Love: Day 10 Tamar & If You Come Softly

Tamar by Mal Peet

How far would you go for someone you love? Would you be willing to lie? To betray? To kill? In Mal Peet’s Tamar, two young men in love with the same woman have to answer that question, and decide whether passion is more important than their friendship.

Two British agents, code-named Dart and Tamar, are stationed in Holland during World War II to help the Dutch Resistance. They are dedicated to their cause and to each other, until Dart falls in love with Marijke, a local member of the resistance (who is, unbeknownst to him, Tamar’s lover.) Dart is confident that Marijke prefers him to Tamar and begins to resent and feel betrayed by his superior officer. In the end, only one man will get the girl, but how far is each willing to go to ensure that he is the winner?

Fifty years later, a fifteen-year-old girl named Tamar is trying to figure out why her grandfather committed suicide. All she has to go on is a box he left her with an old passport, a crossword puzzle, a picture of two soldiers, four maps, and some money. As Tamar follows the maps and uncovers her grandfather’s history, she uncovers a story of love, passion, and ultimate betrayal.

(Tamar provided to us today by Heather)


If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

Despite the fact that Ellie is Jewish and white, Jeremiah falls in love with her. From the first time he sees her in the halls of their prep school in New York, where he stands out as a black teenage boy, to the time she meets his parents all they see is the love they have for one another. Not everyone else sees it like that and they have to learn to cope with other people’s reactions to them. Jacqueline Woodson tells a beautiful story of first love in this heart-wrenching book.

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Carnival of Rio and Black Orpheus

Carnival celebrations abound this time of year in Europe and Latin America, and as Mardi Gras in New Orleans and other US cities.  Recent news articles and photo collections reminded me of the 1959 Academy Award winning film Orfeu Negro, known as Black Orpheus in the U.S.  In essence a modern re-telling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth with an all black cast, it is set against the backdrop of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

Marpessa Dawn (left) and Breno Mello as Eurydice and Orpheus in "Orfeu Negro"

Eurydice arrives in Rio de Janeiro just at the start of Carnival.  But she isn’t there to party: She’s on the run from a mysterious man who is intent on killing her.  While hiding with her cousin in a favela, she meets Orpheus, local ladies’ man and leader of a samba school.  They fall in love, as they believe they are destined.  Eurydice’s stalker appears, and pursues her until she loses her life.  Orpheus, refusing to believe she’s dead, begins a search to find her, leading him through the streets and dark places of Rio and Carnival.

Black Orpheus introduced the world to the culture of Rio de Janeiro with colorful vistas of the surrounding hills and the modern city, and of the joyful dances and activities of Carnival.  There is even a glimpse of a Macumba rite of the Afro-Brazilian Umbanda religion. 

And there is the samba.  In nearly every minute of the film can be heard the incessant beat of drums and cowbells: the infectious rhythm of the samba.  The samba music and dance was relatively new to Carnival in the 1950s, having been banned in Rio for many years, and the beat drives the celebration.  The bossa nova, a blend of jazz, poetic lyrics and samba rhythm, made its introduction in Black Orpheus.  Leading bossa nova creator Antonio Carlos Jobim released an album of bossa nova music a year before he and Luis Bonfa wrote the film’s soundtrack.  The soundtrack was as great a hit as the movie, and bossa nova became and remains a popular music style.

Despite its popularity around the world, Black Orpheus was not without its critics.  Some felt that the French director Marcel Camus focused more on the locales and the pageantry of Carnival, making the film more like a travelogue than a narrative, and completely ignoring the perspective of native Brazilians.  Others said that the poverty of the “favelistas” – people who live in the favelas – was romanticized, downplayed and whitewashed, the characters being “charming, carefree, sexually joyful people.”  Still others compared the characters to the black stereotypes seen in Hollywood films. 

Though valid points, audiences embraced the film.  For Brazilians, it was their culture displayed on film for the world to see, and one of few films where Afro-Brazilians see themselves.  For others, it was a fascinating look at a culture during its most revered festival, set to one of the most vibrant music styles in the world.  Black Orpheus won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1959.

The face of Carnival of Rio has changed, if pictures from this year’s festivities are any indication.  However, the spirit of gaiety and spectacle of Carnival remains, just as it was documented in Black Orpheus.


The above blog is based on my article appearing in the Summer 2007 issue of CinemATL magazine.

Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus) is not available at CCLS libraries, and cannot be requested through PINES.  Check a video rental store that carries foreign and art house titles for availability.

Read more about Carnival in Rio, as well as see images and video here.

Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

13 Days of Love: Day 9 Time Traveler Series & Blue Bloods

Both Sides of Time; Out of Time; Prisoner of Time; For All Time by Caroline B. Cooney

Annie, a girl from the 1990s finds her way back to the 1890s where she meets and falls in love with Strat. Was she really from the future or was Strat making that part up? He gets locked up in a mental institution and Annie is called back by Time itself to rescue him. If Annie stays in the past with Strat what will  happen to her future life?


Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Schuyler knows something is wrong with her. Her blue veins are starting to become very pronounced, she begins to crave raw meat. Around the same time this starts happening, Jack Force, the most popular guy at school, starts noticing her. Jack’s sister Mimi does not approve of this…distraction. (It also doesn’t help that Schuyler’s best friend feels more than ‘friends’ with her.)

Schuyler finally learns the truth about what is happening to her-that she is a Blue Blood, as is most of the New York elite. Blue Blood connections to each other span centuries of births and deaths, marriages, children, etc.

Many questions are raised in this book-from Schuyler’s dad being human,  her mom being in a coma, who the Silver Bloods are, and who is killing off Blue Bloods.

Read on in Masquerade and Revelations

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

13 Days of Love: Day 8 Wicked Lovely & Ink Exchange

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Aislinn can see faeries. But she tries not to pay them attention so that they don’t know that she knows about them. But as luck would have it, the Summer King notices her and decides she is going to be his Queen.

There are three problems with this:
1-Aislinn is mortal
2-Aislinn is in love with her mortal friend
3-Aislinn is not in love with the Summer King

Neither of these reasons prevents the Summer King from pursuing her at all costs.


Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Leslie feels like her body is no longer hers. Her brother sold her to his “friends” for a night to pay his drug debt. She survived, but now she needs to something to make her body hers again. She is getting a tattoo, a wing and eye creation.

This image happens to be the mark of Irial, the King of the Dark Court. Aislinn tries to protect Leslie from the faerie world, but it is no use. Leslie is under Irial’s thrall now that she has his mark on her body. She belongs to him and no one else.

Her feelings for Niall, the Summer King’s right hand, have disappeared even though he loves her. And what of Irial? Is it love he feels for Leslie, or is it something much worse? Her body gives him what he needs, but at what cost to her? Once again, Leslie is being used by someone else.

Will she be able to break free this time? Will love conquer all? Or will obsession find a way to be the master?

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

13 Days of Love: Day 7 Peeps & Twilight

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Cal is different from most guys. He can’t have sex with a girl, let alone kiss one. If he does, she will become crazy, homicidal, and ghoulish. He calls them Peeps; you and I would call them Vampires.

Peeps hate everything in their life: family, friends, home, childhood memories, hobbies, favorite ‘things’-everything. What they once loved has become their anathema. To get away from their anathema, the Peeps flee, spreading the parasite.

Cal is tracking down Peeps. Namely Morgan, the girl who gave him the parasite in the first place. In the process Cal meets Lacey, and begins to fall for her…

(Don’t forget the sequel The Last Days. We don’t have it in Clayton County, so you’ll  need to reserve it)


Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

(Yes…Twilight…again. But hey, it’s perfect for loooooooooove don’t ya think?) 

So we have Bella-new girl in town. We have Edward-hot guy in school who is not new in town. She falls for him, he falls for her. Sounds great right? Oh, did I forget to mention that he is a vampire and she is not? And he is quite protective of the clumsy, accident, danger magnet Bella.

Add in Jacob, the son of her dad’s friend, who also happens to be a werewolf, and who happens to be in love with Bella and what do we have? One heck of a vampire/werewolf/human love triangle! O.o

Who will Bella choose? The vampire? The werewolf? Neither? Read the books to find out how it all ends!

Published in: on February 19, 2009 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment