Wednesday, August 31, 2011

'The Leftovers': Shouldn't that be Left-Behinds?

Review: THE LEFTOVERS (Macmillan Audio 2011)
By guest blogger Star Lawrence
Author, Tom Perrotta; Reader, Dennis Boutsikaris

This is a book about a shared tragedy and the different takes on it…No…

This is about suburbia and the noble depths of average people…Not really. Maybe noble shallows.

This is an arch, ironical look at fundamentalist responses to the inexplicable…Naw. You do keep expecting a swipe at the Far Right. But, like many swipes and insights, it does not come.

This is a book about our times, uncertainty, human resilience...Maybe it was supposed to be.

I didn’t know what to make of this book, despite liking previous works by this author. The setup is that a Rapture-like event has happened—millions from all religions, not just Christianity, are “disappeared,” never to be seen again. Included are the pope and Greta Van Susteren.

So how do the “Leftovers” handle this? Truly, this is a before and after deal. “I was one way before and different after”—you know what I mean. Or was it? Maybe there is blah blah—WOW BIG EVENT—blah blah.

We focus on a couple of people in a burg called Mapleton. The mayor’s wife decamped to the largest post-Departure cult, the Guilty Remnant, where the people wear white, remain silent, take up smoking even if they didn’t before, and stare at the “Leftovers” to make them uncomfortable until the real fun starts with Judgment Day.  Her son drops out of college and takes up with another cult, the Holy Waynes. You can read for yourself what they are into.

The mayor is at loose ends, what with no wife, never hearing from his son (a Holy Wayne, then a Barefooter), his daughter screwing up HS,  and dealing with nutty people in town complaining about their newspaper delivery. He kind of dates a woman whose children were both scooped up in the Departure. She prides herself on being a good girlfriend—but isn’t.

A baby is being born—will it be you know, a Big Deal, Savior-Type  Baby—or just the offspring of a polygamist wannabee?

My problem with this book is that it made people seem irritatingly bland even in the face of big events. Yes, we all cope in our own way…But style, people, have some style!  Dennis Boutsikaris is one of my favorites—but his flat, soft acting makes most characters sound similar.

Incidentally, I listened to an interview with the author—and this was supposed to be a comedy. Completely did not see that one coming.

A comedy. Amazing!

I did learn one thing, though—from now on, in all books, there is a One-Cult Maximum. And next time, Greta Van Susteren gets to live to explain everything.

Star Lawrence is the owner of the health humor site, HEALTH’Sass, at, keeping people alive and laughing since 2006. She is also trying to help get people through the Recession at

Saturday, August 27, 2011

There Are No Words ...

This is kind of an old video that I've been meaning to post for ages. I bookmarked it and forgot about it. Now that I've seen it again, I still can't believe it.

"It's not a map. It's a novel."

Dumbfounded doesn't even begin to describe it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

25 Terrific Novels for Journalism Students

Now, technically the word "terrific" can mean "terrifying." But I don't think that's what the writer of this article had in mind in compiling this list of 25 terrific novels for journalism students.

This is a really interesting list. I'm particularly interested, I suppose, since I was once a journalism student myself.

I have read some, but not nearly all of the books on the list. Having looked it over, I wouldn't mind reading some of the others, because they seem really awesome.

I must admit that I have a particular favorite author among those listed.

Can you guess who that might possibly be?

Think real hard. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Raw Peace, The Promise of the New Day, Singleton Hippie Art

Raw Peace,
The Promise of a New Day
Singleton Hippie Art

She peeked out,
Just Barely,
over the river's edge.
Stretched her lazy pink pajama~ed arms
high up into the sky
and sighed...
The new Day...
The Promise...

And for just a moment
before the rickety rattle battle
of voices
and traffic
and chaos begins...

She's untouched...

Words and Artwork (C) Singleton 2011


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

'Back of Beyond': Welcome to Hell-o-Stone

Review: BACK OF BEYOND (Macmillan Audio 2011)
By guest blogger Star Lawrence
Author, C.J. Box; read by Holter Graham

First, I look for a character to follow or empathize with, then try to figure out what trouble he or she is in.

This book starts out with an ex-alkie, nicotine-jonesing cop named Cody Hoyt banging around the backwoods in Montana, plowing into an elk, and then getting to a rain-soaked, burned up cabin containing the crisped remains of his AA sponsor. Naturally, Hoyt sits in his car and slurps some booze he stole from a witness, which irks his partner Larry no end.

Hmmm, this is my protag? (He also helps himself to phones and equipment from the property room as if it were Walmart in there.)

With some alcohol-infused detection, he develops the notion that his teenage son and his wife's intended second husband are on a pack trip into Yellowstone with the killer. Whoa—quite a leap there.

We cut to two teenage girls who are on the trip with their dear old Dad. One is a cheerleader type and the other is a commonsense, observant youngster, who soon notes that Dad might just have known a single woman named Rachel, who is also on the trip. Hey, they didn't just meet, she deduces. Very good, Gracie!

Back to the crime, remember that? There is a school of red herrings coursing through the park. Everyone did it! There, I solved it.

But no…pretty soon, the unhappy campers start falling—their remains immediately set upon by ravening wolves or grizzlies. The wildlife is wild in this!

I can't say much more without spoilers. Let's just say screenwriters are only allowed one coincidence per script and this book exceeded that quota.

I did like some of the writing quite a bit—phrases like "sudsy stars" appearing. I have been to Yellowstone and the stars are so visible they look like foam. I am leery of woods, personally, and descriptions of wolves as 175-lb dogs with red bloody teeth hunched over a corpse tended to stick with me. The reader Holter Graham also had a pleasant tenor voice and didn’t ham it up.

Some scenes went on too long (hint, the peeping Tom scene at the latrine). And would Cody really frisk every corpse he found for cigs?  Well, on that one—yes. He is quite the protag. I bet he also kept the satellite phone he "found" in the evidence room.

Star Lawrence owns two blogs— and a recession site called She is a long-time reporter.

Bedroom Wall Designs for Teenage Girls |Bedroom Wall Paint Design

Bedroom Wall Designs for Teenage Girls

Bedroom Wall Designs for Teenage Girls

Bedroom Wall Designs for Teenage Girls

Bedroom Wall Designs for Teenage Girls

A teenager's room is her kingdom and decoration should reflect is very important, and that's a project. Mom did not love the girl to keep rocking the small hand-painted dresser so many, the worship of her five children forever. This is natural, as a girl to a mature woman, her tastes and interests are changing, and she wanted her room to reflect these changes.

Mural painting is a very popular feature for children's rooms. They usually draw a blank wall on the big picture. If you do not relish the idea of ​​his painting a mural, you can buy in a variety of styles, themes and colors of wallpaper murals. Wallpaper wall murals like these, so that they can be easily installed by anyone. Mural decoration is a good way to change the whole feeling of the bedroom and add to your child a sense of adventure. Hello Kitty and strawberry, cute, pink bedroom theme can appeal, but not beyond the age of preteen girls, a toddler or a little girl. Tween or a teenage girl, will find these more attractive design. If you like young black bedroom decoration ideas, and want to paint the bedroom walls black, modern youth bedroom decoration photo, you can help select the style and color balance of the teenage room decoration. Black teenage bedroom decoration ideas that obedience. On the other hand, black bedding and bedroom theme is elegant, timeless and elegant.

Bedroom Wall Designs for Teenage Girls

Black and gray color of the wallpaper and painting and other decorative ideas to complement them and create a harmonious, stimulating and attractive to youth bedroom decoration design. Imagine a teenage girl, gives the black and white damask quilt set "(her mother really liked a lot more than she ever) a cool look. Mix and match What is the pattern and color settings, and bags of bed it into a pleasant and unique things.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bedroom Wall Colors For Teenagers

Remember that a lot of storage space into the toy, she's young and all the accessories, cosmetics, clothing and other items, she will receive her age.Closet organizer systems can be installed by the average family owners, DIY home improvement retailers such as Home Depot or Lowes options. You can also buy inexpensive items such as shoes and sweaters hanging rack to help keep your things organized girl.

Bookshelves teenege an important part of the room, all of these books and toys. Plastic boxes, crates or cardboard boxes and decorative arts, is a great way to organize her dolls, toys and accessories on the shelves.

New fashion of youth bedroom dresser. Stylish bedroom dresser to change the overall appearance of the bedroom. Now changing the drawer are also available. If youare the color of the Fed has a drawer, you can change it with new. Bright colors like most teenagers. Also tell them so that they can choose different colors to do the right psychological impact. However, it is best to use bright, light color combination that will provide a charming and enthusiastic young people look forward to your bedroom.

Sunflower Wall Art |Sunflower Wall Sticker Kids |Sunflower Framed Art

Sunflower Framed Wall Art Sticker

Beautiful sunflower wall decals are a beautiful way to create, no mess murals. These modern wall decals sunflower sunflower garden along the substrate affect the alignment. Bright yellow center, pink petals, and apple green leaves, a decoration to your bright colors bring a lot of opportunities.

Sunflower Framed Wall Art Sticker

Seven Sunflower Wall Art and unique eye-catching addition to any bedroom, living room or dining room. Complex with seven old metalworking eloquently slender sunflower petals shaped metal frame, seven Sunflower Wall Art will strengthen its red, and the entrance of your home, look in the corridor wall.

Sunflower Framed Wall Art Sticker

Yellow and orange sunflower oil painting hanging on the wall, sure to bring joy to any nursery, girl's room or playroom. Make art using simple shapes and patterns to create a unique collage, depicting a modern sunflower. This is an Oopsy daisy canvas reproduction of digital copying, and then reach out more to the appearance of finished wood. This does not require frames.

Sunflower Framed Wall Art Sticker

Sunflower Framed Wall Art Sticker

Sunflower Framed Wall Art Sticker

Iron Sunflower Wall Art

Sunflower Framed Wall Art Sticker

Haitian metal wall art is through fair trade practices, providing a living wage and humane working conditions of artisans. Craftsmen use of fire clean-up recovery drums.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The 20 Essential Indian Novels

Here's another one of those interesting little articles with lists of books that manage to find their way into my email inbox. Okay, so this one is called The 20 Essential Indian Novels.

And the article gives a list of 20 books, with the following introduction:

India's ancient, volatile history, multicultural and multiethnic heritage, and varied geography make it a hotbed for amazing literature. Unfortunately, so few of its vast offerings garner much recognition or renown in the United States. Bibliophiles and students hoping to delve into the dazzling array of Indian literature available might want to consider this list a great, diverse start; however, by no means does this downplay the importance or value of other writers and works.

Oh, okay. :)

PS: There will be a small break in regular blogging, while I take a couple of weeks e-vacation.

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