Saturday, December 26, 2009

a search that has gone into overdrive, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE

Ok. Here's the thing. My nana watched us, all of us, every day forEVER when we were kids (but if a man in a suit ever came by, or a lady with a clipboard, we were all just coincidentally wound up at Nana's house at the same time....shhhhhh.....).This is in fact where I picked up reading I believe. My nana is a notorious reader! She loves mystery- King, Koontz, all of them, and all of the Anne Rice novels. The best part?

She would let me read them! At the ripe old age of like, 7, but whatever...

She would hide all the juicy books under her bed (The Joy of Sex anyone? I read it at like 9), with her big bag of chocolate chips, both of which I freely helped myself to.

This was where I watched, and re-watched, and re-watched, The Lost Boys.



But, alas! I must have the raddest nana ever, because apparently I am the ONLY person on the entire freaking PLANET that has seen this movie!

Cory thinks that I have just plain made it up.

The rest just kind of stare at me. Blankly.


The joker? The Pepsi machine straight shot to the balls?! THE STEAM ROLLER?!

Anybody? Somebody?

Damn Santa clearly has not ever heard of it either because it wasn't in my stocking.



Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Flawless; Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History
By Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell

My literary companion, Iris Blasi, over at Sterling Publishers (HERE!) sent me an ARC copy of this little gem a few weeks ago. A true story- based on a man named Leonardo Notarbartolo (go ahead, say it out loud. It is SO MUCH FUN!) who planned and executed the largest diamond heist in history. He makes it sound so easy, it has led me to believe that perhaps I am traveling down the wrong career path. I kid, I kid....

Here's what others are saying about this diamond in the rough-

"Part whodunit, part mob tell-all, part diamond underworld reportage, FLAWLESS is simply too good to miss.”—Ulrich Boser, THE GARDNER HEIST

FLAWLESS "take[s] the genre of true crime to a new level."-- Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi, co-authors of THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE

"Handle with discretion—you might be up all night reading.”—Tom Zoellner, author of THE HEARTLESS STONE and URANIUM

My oldest son, who is 11, asked me this morning if I had finished the book. I told him I had, and he asked to borrow it! This amazes me. However, it also makes me wonder- should I be letting him read this book?


You can polish up your goods over on the FLAWLESS Facebook page (I can keep going with the diamond puns, I got allllll night). Or, read about it here, or here, and then buy it here.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hummingbirds; A Review

Nope. Sorry, try again. But how rad would that be- if I really wrote a review of hummingbirds?!

"Yes, the quick moving little bird came up to my window and spoke to me in the early morning silence. But really, he was just hungry."


This is a review on Hummingbirds. THE NOVEL. By Joshua Gaylord.


The end.

Loved it. Here are some quotes that I dog eared (but not really if the library asks, because I follow the library guidelines 100%!)

"They open a book to a page, and all they see are stupid little black ants marching across- until you begin to talk about it, and then you can hear the bombs going off in their heads. You make that writing dance. And their eyes get all lit up with burning."

"Adulthood feels like empty rooms with clocks ticking. It feels like being at home and suddenly becoming aware of the refrigerator when the motor shuts off. It feels like staring at the ceiling or straightening pictures or listening for the mailman."

This is the story of a man, Binhammer, English teacher/teen heartthrob extraordinaire, and a year in his life teaching at the Casey-Carmine School for Girls. Binhammer- who you can't help but love, and Ted Hughes, who you can't help but feel sorry for, meet their match with two young ladies- Dixie Doyle, who you just want to throttle, and Liz Warren, who I think I want to be friends with, or mother- I'm still not sure.

Gaylord's words kind of float along in your eyeballs, feeding you the story like fish food flakes- half dissolution, half absorption. His characters, even the annoying alliterative ones, stayed with me long after I closed the book, reminding me that they were there waiting for me to finish their story.

Ironically enough, Gaylord himself teaches at an Upper East Side Prep school. If teaching the elite is anything like this, I could happily work in this profession for the rest of my life.

His website states "Hummingbirds chronicles a year in the life of the Carmine-Casey School for Girls, a prep school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Part Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and part Virgin Suicides, the novel offers a dual perspective on the intimate, tempestuous and frequently incestuous private school community."

You can get it here or from your local library. And you should.

Now, if you'll excuse me....I have some page ironing to do.


Friday, December 4, 2009

The Dewey Tree

I don't know how many of you know this, but a large part of my chest piece is based on Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. It took many many mannnnnyyyyy long hours to do, but is one of my absolute favorite pieces hands down.

Well, here is another aspect of my life right now that is inspired by The Giving Tree. My pal over at The Online Publicist, Lisa, has set up a program called The Dewey Tree, inspired by the beloved book blogger that we lost earlier this year. Dewey is the brains behind The Read-a-Thon, Weekly Geeks, and The Bookworms Carnival. Dewey loved books and she loved passing books on to other people that need them.

So. Here is what you do-
*Gather up the books you can live without. It can be 4 books, 10 books, or 20 books!
*Find a worthy group you would like to donate your overflow books to. It can be your local library, a literacy campaign (mine will go to the literacy center I volunteer for), or overseas. There's a great list of book donation sites here on the ALA. Find a charity that speaks to you!
*Then take a picture of your donation and email it to me (onlinepublicist [AT] gmail [DOT] com). It can be a pic of the mailing label on your package, one of your kids giving a box of books to a librarian, or you handing books over to your literacy center. Be creative and have fun!

She will accept pics (and will post her lovely favorites) until January 4, 2010. At that time, she will enter the names of all who sent donation pics into and choose three. Those three winners will receive custom totes handmade with love by Lisa! She will email you pics of her available fabric and have you custom build one you like.

If you want more info, go check out her site HERE.

Totally awesome.

I already donated mine, this morning. I dropped off a bag full of books and other snacks, treats, and personal care products to my local City Hall to be shipped to Marines over seas. They also have a Food Bank center collection there, so I was able to feed two birds with one trip. Ha!

Go do it! And by all means, if books aren't your thing (WHAT?!) then find another way to help somehow this year. There are thousands out there right now that need it more than you do.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Review - The Evolution of an Identity

The Evolution of an Identity
Indian American Immigrants from the Early 20th Century to the Present
A Fictional Family History

by Diya Das

In my junior year of college a woman in one of my Postcolonial Literature classes I shared her story of how she felt as though she was a traitor. Her problem, she explained, was that if she told people that she was American, then she was a traitor to her Indian heritage. If she told people that she was Indian, then she is a traitor to her American heritage. That is her story of immigrant assimilation- constant limbo.

I was constantly reminded of this classmate while reading Diya Das and The Evolution of an Identity. The Evolution of an Identity is published by Tribute Books, and tells one person's narration of an attempt at assimilation in America, in reverse. What is most amazing to me is that Das is remarkably young for such an ambitious narratology. The book opens with "This novel was the result of an honors project for an American studies course during my junior year of high school". Yes; high school. As though not ambitious enough, Das offers the disclaimer "for the present, the most recent version must remain the product of a high school junior's mind and hands" as though it were not good enough to take full fledged credit as a novel.

Das is wrong. It is more than good enough.

Das transcribes a binder full of notes, taking over the course of a little under a year, of one family's remarkable story and culture. Aware of the importance of this project, Das concedes that "I would like this alum to survive, so that it might become a repository of family history for my own descendants".

The novel is separated into three major portions- The First Wave, The Second Wave- Settling In, Post 1965 Chicago and Generation X: A Separate Identity New York City 2005.

In the first wave, the first of the migratory Indians, who traveled to Northern California for agricultural work, are summarized. Some examples are Lala Har Dayal and Taraknath Das, both well known Hindus who studied at Stanford. Lala Har Dayal founded the Ghadr Party,whose aim was to gain Indian independence from Great Britain, in 1912.

In the second wave, Das high lights the growing gap between migratory generations. Such gaps are clear with a statement like this that opens the section; “The first Indian immigrants and the post-1965 Indian immigrants are two separate worlds. It is a class thing. They came from the farming, the lower class. We [come] from the educated middle-class. We [speak] English. We went to college. We were already assimilated in India
before we came here.”- Indian immigrant, post-1965

The last section, Generation X, is where Das, and millions of other Indian immigrants live now. This too can be blanketed with this quote; “So not quite Indian, and not quite American. Usually I felt more along the lines of Alien...The only times I retreated to one or the other description were when my peers didn’t understand me (then I figured it was because I was too Indian) or when my family didn’t get it (clearly because I was too American).”83 - Dimple Lala, Born Confused

Still humbly modest about this great project, seen to fruition by publication, Das states "this snapshot of my family’s experience in the United States does not seem a significant achievement". A small book, 92 pages, with a large story, the story of how Indians have assimilated into American culture.

The Evolution of an Identity can be found here.