March 23rd, 2004

The Librarian

Books

Alison suggested a while back (and aren't you sorry? :p) that I should mention any interesting books that I come across. These aren't new, but are worth the hunt (and will likely be easier to find than the elusive Gumshoe novels).

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, by Fay Weldon (1983). Most people have encountered the American feature film, "She-Devil" starring Roseanne Barr ... in Great Britain it was made into a wonderful TV mini-series with Julie T. Wallace in the title role (if you can recall Serpentine, rubber and lace-clad hostess of the underground platform dinner party, in "Neverwhere" ... that's Julie). It's the tale of a woman who has spent her entire life serving others ... when her husband leaves her for a romance writer, she decides that it is time for her to take control of her life. And his. Very quirky, very odd, and doesn't end the way one would expect. :-)

Barometer Rising, by Hugh MacLennan (1941). Considered to be one of the great Canadian novels ... I can say that I am far more appreciative of it at age 42 than I was in tenth grade when it was part of the English curriculum. Back then I thought it was deadly dull, today I'm glad I bought it. The background is Halifax, Nova Scotia, during the first week of December, 1917 ... the week when a harbour accident caused a munitions ship to explode, destroying half the city in a matter of minutes, killing hundreds of people and causing earth tremors that were felt 250 miles away (Nova Scotia was hit by a major blizzard that night, cutting Halifax off from any aid and upping the death toll considerably). An interesting snapshot of another era.