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30 December 2010 @ 10:14 pm

Hi there everyone! I'm Ellyn Ramich, the author of 411, the first in my Customer Service Chronicles Series. Check out my website: www.ellynramich.com and my facebook fan page: 411 by Ellyn Ramich. Thank you and Happy New Year!

06 March 2008 @ 02:12 pm
Name of book: When the Crow Sings
Author: Jacqueline Wales
Genre: Family Saga
Rating: 5 out of 5

Note: You can get the Ebook version free on the author’s website now http://www.jacquelinewales.com/index.htm  (as well as off of Amazon or at Borders). Highly Recommended.

Description: Thematically, think The Color Purple. In structure, think Alex Haley's Roots. Add a Scottish dialect, and you have an intensely engaging book that's horrific, enticing, and elegantly executed.

When the Crow Sings is like your best girlfriend, mom's shoulder, lifetime movie, and motivational class all in one. This book is a must read; a page turner, tear jerker, yet still it manages to pull together a solid plot while keeping its prose refreshing. When The Crow Sings is a semi autobiographical family saga. In the hands of a proud Scottish woman as she crosses the ocean with the manuscript of her family secrets, the story traverses three generations of strong women as they endure abuse, and ultimately learn to break heartbreaking cycles, to render themselves independent and powerful. The novel adapts native Scottish dialect, it is at once emotionally powerful and fascinating- a haunting, staying read.

I've got to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I usually enjoy things that have a clear plot line and thematic lines, but this was definitely a rollercoaster of a read, and overarching themes pull things together really coherently. 
25 January 2008 @ 01:17 pm
Hi! Do you keep a Reading or Book Live Journal? Would you like to meet other people who do, in order to make new LJ Friends, and discuss literature, or share common interests? Check out addmy_readinglj in order to do so! (:
10 September 2007 @ 12:24 pm
Finished reading Hunter's Gold by and Disgrace by J M Coetze yesterday.

Discovered that a 13 part tv series was made from Hunter's Gold. Several people in nz_literature remembered watching it. Must see if it's available sometime.

Enjoyed Disgrace, which is the story of a former university professor who seeks sanctuary on his lesbian daughter's farm slash boarding kennel in the country after having an affair with one of his students, which is discovered and made public knowledge. Life on the farm brings new insights, fresh challenges and ultimately a devastating blow to both of their lives after they are assaulted and robbed by a trio of men. The dogs become metaphors for oppression and also track the changing attitudes of the ex-professor. His attitudes towards women, lesbianism and life in general also change considerably during the course of the novel.

Started reading Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami yesterday. Not far into it yet, but I'm enjoying the lighter tone of the tale. Be interesting to see how it develops.

I've started making notes about the books I'm reading as I progress. Plot, characters, key points, relevant quotes, attitudes towards women/men/homosexuality etc. Themes. Metaphors. Basically second guessing the reviewers and critics, to see how accurate my interpretation of the novels are. A lot of the time, I find that I'm fairly on to it.

Crossposted in book_marked, 1000_1books and various other LJ reading communities.
Current Mood: content
08 September 2007 @ 05:11 pm
Just finished Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. It struck me that several of the characters had the same dream; a piece of land they could call home. The cessation of money worries. In much the same way that many people dream of owning their own home and being financially independent today. Prejudice also seemed to be a common theme in this novel, against black people, women and handicapped people. Loneliness too, stood out as a predominant theme. Curley's wife craved company, as did Crooks. Both seemed somewhat misunderstood. Crooks because he was proud, Curley's wife because she was too friendly with the hired men and acquired a reputation as being a troublemaker as a result. Friendship too, and loyalty. Both George and Lennie are sympathetic characters, for different reasons.

I haven't read any critiques of this book, because I want to read the classics and form my own ideas and impressions of them, before analyzing them further.

I enjoyed this book and wonder what would have become of Lennie in this day and age. Would he be better off? I guess it would depend on the circumstances.

Am halfway through Hunter's Gold by Roger Simpson. A young adult illustrated novel about a a boy's journey from Dunedin (New Zealand) to Arrowtown (New Zealand) to search for his missing father in the goldfields of Central Otago. Set in the 1900s, it is an adventure story full of quirky characters and near misses. An interesting read.

PS: I enjoyed these books even more because I was able to read them outdoors, in the Spring gardens around town. Beautiful! A great excuse for a walk. (:

Crossposted in book_marked (my personal reading journal), nz_literature and several other LJ reading communities.

Check out gerald_durrell if you're a fan of his work.
Current Mood: content
06 September 2007 @ 10:32 pm
Started with My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult. A touching, insightful, gripping drama about a girl's struggle for medical emancipation from her family. Held my interest until the end. Full of twists and turns.

Next came Youth by J M Coetze. The story of a young South African man who moves to London in the hope that by doing so he will change his life, become a writer and succeed in the world, only to have his dreams quashed through a mixture of bad luck and passivity upon his own part. A tad depressing, but an interesting read.

Then Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Full of evocative imagery, intriguing characters, colourful scenes and thought-provoking reflections on life. I have put Geishas of Gion on my must-read list after hearing of the controversy this novel stirred up. Great movie, also! (:

Slaughterhouse Five was next. The story of yet another aimless wanderer, picking his way precariously through a war. The rapidly changing scenes and time travel in this book, plus the random appearances of the author were quite disconcerting at first, but I found it quite entertaining overall.

Just finished Nectar by Lily Prior. The story of a nymphomaniac albino. Sensual. Improbable. Entertaining.

I'm also in the midst of reading Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Steinberg, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Gerald Durrell: The Authorized Biography by Douglas Botting, Manage Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope, King Lear by William Shakespeare, Time to Write to Yourself: A Guide to Journaling for Emotional Health and Self-Development by Dianne Sandland and The Great Transformation: The World in the Time of Buddha, Socrates, Confucious and Jeremiah by Karen Armstrong.

Crossposted in book_marked (my personal reading journal) and various LJ reading communities.

Check out
1000_1books and nz_literature if you're interested in New Zealand literature or in recording your progress through 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.
Current Mood: content
29 January 2007 @ 10:44 pm
Took the B train midtown to St. Andrews on West 44th St. last Thursday night to celebrate Robert Burns' 246th birthday; whiskey, haggis, and bagpipes abounded: http://www.standrewsnyc.com/

Here's a smattering of what was served up on the B while on the way there:

1. September Child: The Story of Jean Dalrymple- Jean Dalrymple.

I believe Dalrymple is/was a Broadway producer. My Internet search yielded little information. Anyone with knowledge of who this person is/was please comment on this entry. Your insights will be greatly appreciated.

2. Beth Israel Employee Handbook

3. Executive Power- Vince Flynn

4. Wing It: Delectable Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Bar Snack- Christopher O'Hara

I was surprised to see a cookbook because, a.) reading such a book for leisure on the subway struck me as odd and b.) to cook for one's self in Manhattan is odder still. Perhaps that's why it was a cookbook on how to prepare "bar snacks."


Since Manhattan is a major publishing city, it wasn't surprising to see a hipster, "I'm not getting paid, but this internship will look killer on my journalism resume," college aged woman reading an advanced copy of this:

5. Little Pink Slips- Sally Koslow (Street Date: April 19th, 2007)

Now, I do admit, I read the "Entertainment" section of CNN.com. But, I was never one for "dishing dirt" or gossiping. And quite frankly, I've turned a blind eye (and a deaf ear or at have at least tried) when it comes to Rosie O'Donnell.

Seems like everyone is picking on "Rosie" these days. First it was Donald Trump. Now, it's Sally Koslow.

Koslow is the former Editor in Chief of McCall's before it was "reinvented" as the ill-fated "Rosie" magazine. "Rosie" was supposed to be tailored in the style of Oprah's magazine, "O." For whatever reason, Koslow was let go from her position at "Rosie." "Little Pink Slips" is apparently Koslow's fictionalized account of Rosie's alledged editorial board coup.

See for yourself. I'm staying out of it:



Here's the rest from today's A Train commute:

6. Children Playing By a Statue of Hercules: A Collection of Short Stories- David Sedaris

This looks like a pretty solid collection. It includes Amy Hempel's "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried." I remember reading Hempel as an English major while an undergrad at Rutgers.

7. Housekeeping: A Novel- Marilynne Robinson

8. 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Life and Death- Don Piper and Cecil Murphy

And I swear I'm not making this up. This was the next book I spotted after "90 Minutes..."

9. Life on the Other Side: A Psychic's Tour of the Afterlife- Sylvia Browne and Lyndsay Harrison.

Kinda creepy, eh?
27 January 2007 @ 07:26 pm

What will Winter Solstice bring in

...an instant of Karma? ...an ethereal spiral dance of the collective soul? ... cosmic judgment leveled against civilization's expanse? ...destruction of the world as we know it? ...a chance for a new start? ...the rise and the revenge of the Goddess? or simply another day in the life of paranoia?
These are the false prophesies that your pastor warned you about!

Reality Exchange Program

"Makes DMT seem like a whip-it."

Crazy Bear said there'd be days like this. As usual, no one believed him. Now, all I want to know is: where IS that lifeboat, and how DO I ditch this ship of fools, without any of these bliss ninnies noticing that I'm already gone?

Captain, my ass. We are equal in this sea of madness.

That iceberg is looking awfully big.

New Age Metaphysical Books

Amana Mission is on a quest to save the world, and the only problem is, she can't remember why she got involved with such an obvious scam in the first place. Jesus saves. Christ. What a loser.

Kali kills first, and recycles later.

Hitchhikers, load up for a ride to the Other Side. You may wish you had gone Greyhound.

"What the...?"

*A cranky band of prankster peace warriors who absolutely cannot resist messing with each other's minds, no matter the cost.

*Cocky alchemy-dabbling quantum surfers, navigating the Ethersphere with hand-held computers, switching timelines to find a better party vibe and swap tips about the best temporary toilets for use as interdimensional portals.

*A burnt-out visionary hippie millionaire on a mission from Gaia to build a better "communitopia" by underwriting a convoy carrying telepathic priestesses.

*A wheelchair-bound mindpilot propelling a crystal-powered Seed Bank toward the post-Apocalyptic Garden, with psychic precision...and a predilection for high-velocity extreme driving.

*Hermaphrodite time-jumper fleeing a fate worse than death.

*Anarchist ghettoes where anything goes-except escape.

*Ancient Principals vying like sweatsoaked carpetbaggers for our loyalty as the Final Vote is tallied.

*Long-haired security patrols collecting a cannabis tribute tax from all pilgrims to the Valley of Fun.

*And an underground meat mafia bringing a black magic revival to a bloodless dreamworld gone bland.

All brought together by a secret psychedelic superdrug that tunes users in to reality through the eyes of another archetypal avatar inhabiting a different state of space and time. Mahayana made easy. Budding Buddha natures are running amuck on a virtual superhighway where all roads lead to the Bo tree and singularity.

Twenty-first century Tantra is about more than sex, drugs, and
rock and roll.Confronting the Karma of every wasted breath is only the first step.

Welcome to the End Times. Kali awaits. She already knows who you are.

Do you?

The 21st century counterculture is even weirder than it appears on the surface. This is not your mommy’s MTV Road Rules. Satire Parody and Humor.

Ride along on this mesmerizing, metaphor-packed bus trip toward ecstasy and enlightenment, as three real-time guides-Amana, Sissy, and Deva, let you in on what they learned when they asked what It was really all about, after all.

Become them for a multilevel metafictional tour of infinity and awaken yourself to the miracle-a-minute magic of mighty Mother Kali!

Science Fiction Novel Blues 4 Kali

Current Location: Rainbow Country
Current Mood: creative