This week the Books section celebrates the first online Book Fair by examining the wonderful world of reading and taking a closer look at the relationship between reader and book. Books mean different things to different people, but we all seem to agree that they have a lasting impact on our lives. We share the best of them here, and encourage you to check out the rest.
Elsewhere, we bring you the best in music and concert reviews, discuss the good side of product placement, watch the best, and sometimes the worst, of TV, take a look at what's swirling around in this week's political maelstrom, and cover sports and gaming with our usual charm and acumen.
It's all here. What else could you possibly ask for?
From Music Editor Connie Phillips:
Modern Pea Pod wishes a happy birthday and gives a corporate and musical history in 25 Years of Touch and Go Records. This wonderful review is full of information and memories.
Thank you, Joan Hunt for taking all of us to the Festival Del Mar with you. If you haven't checked out her Concert Review: Festival Del Mar – September 23, 2006, you should.
Sombrero Grande does a terrific job filling the reader in on the results of his "solid research" regarding the effectiveness of the CD in Music Review: Bedtime Beats – The Secret to Sleep.
From Asst. Music Editor A.L. Harper:
Is Benny Goodman Big Geez's doppelganger or do glasses and bad haircuts just confuse the issue? Find out in Was Benny Goodman A Doppelganger?
Is Ike Turner just a domestically abusive, cocaine-addicted has-been? See what Zach Hoskins has to say in The Modern Pea Pod's Music Review: Ike Turner – Risin' With The Blues.
From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:
Those who've been paying attention to the books section this week will know that we've been having a special focus on the nature and process of reading, as part of celebrations for the first online Book Fair. There's a full round-up of the articles here on Blogcritics, but I've been left with the tough task of picking out two from those, and some other excellent reviews this week.
Finally, I settled first on Roberta Rosenberg's account of the first library book she ever borrowed, Miranda on the Verandah. I'm astonished, but greatly impressed that "some 40 plus years later", she can "remember the look of the book … with its line drawings washed and highlighted in pastel lavendar."
Secondly, and more seriously, Donnie Marler wrote about how books had been
central to two parts of his life — dealing with a long period convalescing from a broken neck, and helping to maintain a sometimes difficult relationship with his father when he was a teenager. This is real writing from the heart.
From Asst. Books Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:
Vikk Simmons, in Joy: The Love of Reading Leads to the Joy of Writing convincingly and exuberantly shows how "the constant push and pull between the two processes, writing and reading… energizes me, engages my creativity, and prompts more writing." And her related experience in working at a bookstore — as I did for several years — almost made me fondly remember the chewed-up bubble gum stuck on the shelves and the customers asking who wrote Dante's Inferno, or looking for Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholesterol.
Whatever your opinion on the war, Tim Gebhart says of Blood Brothers: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57, "neither side can contest" that this story of an injured reporter and those he meets in a combat hospital is one of "courage and determination, not only by the amputees but also their families and those who provide medical care to them." Tim displays similar focus for a cohesive and compelling book review vividly expressed.
Ray Ellis introduced us to Showtime's new series Dexter in his review of its premiere. The article turns a phrase well and makes me even more curious about the show. After all, Ray wrote this line: "Seems Dexter's foster father, himself a cop, channeled Dexter's love of vivisection into a tool for righteous justice." How could I not be interested?
Then there's a Modern Pea Pod article (written by Zach Hoskins) delving into a DVD review of The Batman: The Complete Second Season. It's a fun read and makes me wonder why I still see the "gritty" Batman in the stores. A "goth-rocker" Riddler? Oh, my!
From TV Editor TV and Film Guy:
Damian Perry takes a look at a few different approaches to product placement in television shows and decides greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. And what he's selling, I'm definitely buying.
Sure, Toho Studios is great a putting a man into a huge lizard suit and having him destroy Tokyo, but in his Space Amoeba review, Maximillian explains that when they throw someone in an amoeba suit it also makes for good viewing.
Hmm… nerd goes to cool guy for help becoming cool. Sounds like about a hundred different movies from the '80s and one bad television series from FOX. Thank goodness Charles Herold suffers through it for us.
From Film Editor Lisa McKay:
I've seen Frailty, and Bill Sherman does ample justice to this very creepy and thought-provoking film. If you haven't seen this yet, Bill's review should entice you to put this into your Netflix queue.
Diane Kristine visits the Vancouver International Film Festival, and instead of a t-shirt, we get this review of The Last King of Scotland, which promises to be as alternately fascinating and repugnant as its subject, Idi Amin.
From Film Editor Erin McMaster:
Caballero Obscuro, via El Bicho, has written a wonderful review on the latest documentary of a series demonstrating what reality TV should be like. 49 Up should be required viewing for the writers and producers of reality TV.
From Managing Editor Joan Hunt:
Rick Behnke gives the uninitiated a compelling reason to check out The Ultimate Fighter 4 when he explains how the competition is more than just a physical test for those involved. There's drama, there's action, and there's always the unknown of who will prevail in the octagon. I may not "get" ultimate fighting, but I do understand accepting personal challenges and the quest to be the best.
From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:
Heartfelt and sincere, writer Big Dog takes us through the process of honoring our fallen in Farewell To An American Hero, Petty Officer David Roddy.
From Politics Editor Dave Nalle:
Can Legitimate Public Policy be Founded on Prevarication by Kelly O'Connell. One of the best articles I've read in BC politics in recent weeks. Short, but insightful and pragmatic.
Dizzy From The Foleygate Spin: As The World Of Pundits, Partisans, And Paranoids Turns by Margaret Romao Toigo. An informative and comprehensive summary of the Foley affair as it is currently understood.
From Asst. Politics Editor John Bambenek:
Cindy Sheehan Needs To Prove This by Big Dog. The accusations of rampant abuses and violations by U.S. Soldiers need to be supported by evidence, so says Big Dog in this post.
From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:
Sal Marinello laid out a damaging but thorough case against Roger Clemens after he was implicated in the notorious Jason Grimsley HGH affadavit.
Victor Lana almost — ALMOST — made me want to see a New York vs. New York World Series this year. Actually, that's not true. His thoughtful portrayal of the Big Apple's playoff buzz and aspirations to see a rematch of the 2000 "Subway Series" was as accurate as my portrayal of not wanting to see either team in the World Series.
And let's tip our hats to Berkeley Joe, who went 8-0 in last week's WAC football picks. Against the spread. Not all of that is luck, pal.
From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:
PC Game Review: Virtual Villagers by Annie. If you've ever fantasized about being the Supreme Ruler over your own tropical island paradise, then this is the game for you.
From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:
In Hollywood vs. The Web, Haydn Shaughnessy asks why we create content for the web? Is content its own justification, or are we looking for more? Social networking, personal gain, and self-satisfaction intersect in this interesting piece.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
From Comments Editor Christopher Rose:
It's rare to find voices of reason in the increasingly heated political/religious debates that surge through the site these days so it was a pleasure to read a little largely unknown history from this anonymous poster.
Posted by TheQuest to The Pope and Islam on 2006.10.01, 18:59:12 PM
Richard, you claim: It is also coming more and more to light that the so-called "Dark Ages" were not all that dark after all — but that's another whole story. It was not so dark after all because the Moors were already bringing the light, around 711 AD, into Europe via southern Spain. It was the European historians who labelled the period the "Dark Ages" because they did not want to admit that these non-Europeans (some Blacks?) had brought such an advanced civilization that was to greatly influence Europe. By that admission, Europeans' claim to racial superiority would be ludicrous to Europeans themselves. Hence, that part of their history had to be distorted and buried. Sadly, today many continue to do the same. However more readers are becoming aware of the Moorish influence on Europe, and … "It is also coming more and more to light that the so-called "Dark Ages" were not all that dark after all". Of course, we have to agree that after the Renaissance, European scholars indeed made great contributions, as I mentioned in an earlier post. Since many of these scholars (e.g.Newton, Bacon ) were alchemists too, that's enough to show they were also influenced by the Moors who introduced Europe to alchemy during the "Dark Ages". The Moors created a society where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived fairly well and accomplished a lot together! Of course, it was not that swell all the time. However, the fact that such a society was possible in Europe at that time is quite an accomplishment considering the Jewish Holocaust a thousand years later.