Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Enjoyed Reading

Flora Segunda, by Ysabeau S. Wilce. Subtitle: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog. It's as quirky and complicated as that subtitle, but I had fun with it and recommend it. Click on the title above for an intro and the author's webpage.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Big Changes

Things at Lackman have been in flux for a bit of time now. Since March, I have been working as the Branch Manager at the Cedar Roe Neighborhood Library in Roeland Park. For a while we thought someone new would be taking over Gryphons & Dragons and I was just filling in until we found that replacement. I ended up deciding to come back to Lackman, though, and resume my duties here. I will be back at Lackman full time starting November 13.

That's not the change that impacts you, though. Our attendance has been very sporadic for over a year now, and we need to do better for the group to continue. We're looking at what we might change to improve things, and have decided to try changing the night of the week we meet to see if that has any effect. Our next meeting will be Monday, November 5th. After that, we will meet the second Thursday of every month instead of Monday. I hope that works better for more of you and I get to see you then.

Nov 5 - Snow, Fire, Sword by Sophie Masson
Dec 13 - Saint of Dragons by Jason Hightman
Jan 10 - Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
Feb 14 - River Secrets by Shannon Hale
Mar 13 - Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey
Apr 10 - The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
May 8 - The Rover by Mel Odom

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Double Argh!!!

Scratch that last post. I put the 12th on the right column of this blog and a couple of other places, but way back when originally working on the calendar I had taken Veteran's Day into account and scheduled us for the 5th. So forget everything I said about the 13th. Our printed materials and online calendar have us meeting November 5th, so that's when we'll meet. A week earlier than normal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Argh!! Date Change for November

That was quite an oversight on my part. I've been advertising our November gathering the usual second Monday, except I forgot the fact that we're closed the 12th in honor of Veteran's Day. So for this month we'll move it back to Tuesday, November 13. And since the meeting room is already booked that night, we'll be meeting in study room #1. Hope to see you there.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Wizard of Earthsea

A main theme of almost any fantasy novel is good vs. evil. The main characters, though often flawed, usually end up fighting against the forces of evil. And there's no question the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad. There's this clear-cut distinction between the two sides. This book, on the other hand, does just the opposite. Ged thinks he is fighting some foul shadow that represents evil, but he is only able to "defeat" it by accepting that it is a part of himself. He finally figures out that the shadow is his pride, impatience, anger--the evil within him, the evil that he is capable of doing. There is no clash between the forces of good and evil, there is the clash between the good and evil in Ged.

At first the shadow is an incredibly destructive force because Ged has released it upon the world. Ged fears it and that gives it power over him. Only when he decides to "hunt the hunter" and confront it does he begin to have some power over it, and only after he figures out what it is and accepts it is he able to contain it.

That, to me, is a lot more true to life than the more common fantasy clashes. I know there is evil in the world, yet rarely can I say that that person or country or thing is purely evil. I think everyone is a mix of good and bad. Sometimes we respond to our positive urges and sometimes our negative. Some people make a habit of one or the other, but both are there in everyone. That is the wisdom of this book, and what I especially enjoyed about it.

Other thoughts:

- The importance of names. Everyone has a birth name, a true name, and a public name. Kind of the way we give ourselves screen names online. Do you have any particular nicknames that are meaningful to you?

- This is the first book of Earthsea. It was originally a trilogy: A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore. Later she wrote Tehanu, then The Other Wind and Tales from Earthsea. I've heard they are all excellent. Last year the trilogy was also made into a TV miniseries. You can get all of them from the library if you liked this one.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If You've Read Alice in Wonderland

I just finished a recent book that I enjoyed quite a bit. I don't think it will be a G&D selection, but I want to recommend it. The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor. It takes the characters and ideas in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and reworks them into the "true story" of Alyss, Princess of Wonderland. It's imaginative, fast-paced, and a lot of fun.

Monday, October 01, 2007

You Decide

What should we read this spring?
The Goblin Wood, by Hilari Bell
The Rover, by Mel Odom
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Something else (What do you suggest?) free polls

Links to Amazon: The Goblin Wood, The Rover, The Hobbit