Archive for June, 2013

Book Review: The Lightness of Dust by M. L. Weaver.

Lightness of Dust Review at Quintessentially Bookish

Release Date: October 15 2012
Publisher: Luna Risen, LLC
Series: The Meronymy (#1)
Pages: 151

Lightness of Dust

From the book jacket:

In ancient Anatolia, a young healer fights to reunite with her true love despite her father’s desire to profit from her gift.

In Depression-era Seattle, the caretaker of the Persephone Music Hall finds inspiration for his art in the arms of a beautiful foreign violinist.

A university professor in modern-day California struggles to keep his lab and his marriage from the clutches of his enthusiastic new grad student.

A mysterious thread draws these lives together across the span of history and summons one of them toward an unspeakable fate. Follow the thread as mortal cares scatter with The Lightness of Dust

Plot:

Kere is a teen girl living in ancient Anatolia. Her betrothed has left on a ship to gain his fortune and she is stuck with a greedy father who wants to use her gift of healing to his advantage by giving her to the priests, therefore preventing her from marrying.   During the Depression, Sam does maintenance at the Persephone Music Hall, but art is his passion.  He’s incredibly talented, but poor, so he is shocked when Lily, the star violinist, falls in love with him.  Jake is a modern day professor who’s once great marriage is failing due to his new job and his new assistant.  All three stories are wildly different, but they all have one hidden secret in common.

Overall Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book.  I finished the entire book is less than a day because I was so curious to find out how everything was connected.  I had really intended to review it much sooner than this, but with my new job I just never had the chance.  The three stories intertwine in such a way that each is dependent on the others while still remaining complete in it’s own.  I read through it quickly, because I was so curious to learn how they all fit together while being so different.  Despite each story taking place in wildly different times and settings, they all felt authentic, both in language and characterization.

Characters:

Each story has one particular main character.  The first one we meet is Kere, a young girl with a strange gift in a very ancient land.  I immediately sympathized with Kere.  Her story is a difficult one and she’s a very likeable character, even when she is making mistakes.  I spent most of the book worried for her, though.  She faces many challenges and dangers, romantically, religiously, and personally.

The focus of the second story is Sam.  It focuses on his love story (both with a woman and with art), but we still see glimpses of him through the years, well into his old age.  Sam is so interesting I almost wish there was a book entirely about him.  Though his story appears to end with this book, I’m hoping he’ll show up again later in the series.

The third story focuses on Jake Morgan, a professor, and his relationship with his wife and his grad assistant.  It took me awhile to warm up to Jake.  He’s a jerk to his wife, a jerk to his assistant, and he doesn’t realize what huge mistakes these are until it’s too late.  His story is the least complete, however, which gives him opportunity to grow in future books.

Setting:

Weaver is great at subtle descriptions.  He gives such a clear picture of each setting for each story, but he manages to do it without resorting to large blocks of descriptive text.  Instead he weaves the description into the action so that they compliment each other.  The reader is able to really see the Persephone or the seaside of Anatolia.

Writing Style:

Weaver manages a consistent style throughout the book, while still giving each character his or her own voice.  Kere sounds just as much like a confused teen girl as Jake does a modern man.  His writing can also be flowery, such as when the Goddesses appear or stark when Jake has an internal debate.  He’s a chameleon when writing, but it’s still obvious that one writer is constructing the story.  It’s a great trick for the structure of the books.

Extras:

The appearances by the Goddesses are really intriguing.  I really hope the rest of the series reveals their story more.

Favorite Line:

Rage cooled with time.  Love faded, or was strangled, or became a memory that stretched icy hands through time and kept him awake in the hours when the moon would otherwise cradle the sleeping in it’s night.  Grief, though…grief lived on, pulsing madly through veins and gouging numb hollows in chests with a sad rage all it’s own.

Read This If You Like:

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Many Lives of Avery Snow by Christy Sloat

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. I did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions here are my own.

Find M. L. Weaver online: Goodreads // Amazon // Website

New job!

I’ve gotten a bit behind in my posting lately because I started a new job this week!  I’m the new PR Specialist for a local library system.  It’s a lot to take in, but so far I’m really happy with the position, the people working there, and the library.  I’m still getting to know the library system, but I’m excited to jump in and start really working on ways to streamline some of the current procedures to make things easier for the branches and come up with new ideas for helping promote the library.

So, the new job (and adjusting to just working again in general) has me pretty busy right now, but I do have some posts planned for the near future.  I have a book review and a movie review planned to post in the next couple of days.  Over the next few weeks I have a few more reviews, a summer reads list, and some library features I’ll be posting.  I’ll probably start writing more about marketing, PR, and advocacy in the library field, too, as I do more research into the trends and ideas that will help me in my new position.

Link Roundup: May 2013

I forgot to do one of these for April, so this will be a long one.

 

 Game Theory: Jane Austen Had It First

Political Science professor Michael Chwe has written a book analyzing the novels of Jane Austen using Game Theory.  He argues that Austen’s characters were engaging in strategic social warfare.  He says “I had always been taught that game theory was a mathematical thing. But when you think about it, people have been thinking about strategic action for a long time.”

 

 Men Read Jane Austen, Stephenie Meyer, and Ursula K. Le Guin

Noah Berlatsky enjoys reading books by and about women and argues why other men should, as well.  “To assert that women authors have something to offer men, then, is not just to say that a man can read Jane Austen and still be a man. It’s to say that to read Jane Austen is one way that a man can be a man.”

 

Do Readers Judge Female Characters More Harshly Than Male Characters?

This is a really interesting look at how readers respond to male and female characters, particularly when the character exhibits anger, assertiveness, and other stereotypically male characteristics.  It also discusses the idea that readers judge literature based on whether or not they would want to be friends with the main character and if that is an appropriate way to judge.

 

  Coverflip: Maureen Johnson Calls For An End To Gendered Book Covers With An Amazing Challenge

Author Maureen Johnson, who is just awesome, recently pointed out the differences in covers given to male authors and female authors.  She challenged her Twitter followers to create covers for well-known books with the gender of the author swapped.

  My Dad And His 10,496 Book Reviews

This is a very sweet story about the author’s father and his love of books.  You can even download his father’s review sheet and compare your own opinions.

 

  Libraries in New York City: Why We Give a Damn and Why You Should Too

Though specifically aimed at New York, this essay is a wonderful reminder of why libraries are so important and why they need our support. “That is why you should care, because for those moments when nobody else cares, we care, and we will get the answer. We serve the public, all of the public. We need you, all of the public, to support us.”

 

  A Librarian’s Response to ‘What’s a Library?’

This was written in response to a negative article on the usefulness and purpose of libraries.  I’m not linking to that article here, because I found it silly and Rita Meade’s takedown is much more interesting and intelligent.

 

Canon Fodder: Denouncing the Classics

Are the classics above reproach?  Or can they be legitimately criticized like any work?  And what exactly makes a classic?  Sam Sacks examines these questions in this essay.

 

The Curse of Reading and Forgetting

Have you ever started to read a book only to realize you’ve read it before and simply forgotten?  I have done that many times.  The author of this essay discusses his feelings about forgetting and rereading.

 

And here are a few lists to enjoy…

Banned Books 2013: ‘Captain Underpants’, ‘Fifty Shades’ Make List Of Most Challenged

How to Read in the Tub

Embarrassed About Reading YA? Don’t Be!

25 Signs You’re Addicted To Books