Hello

Welcome to Lucid INK or LINK.


LINK will be dedicated to bringing book information to the masses. Reviews and rating of recently read books, reader's advisory, general book information, personal reading and publishing thoughts, reviews of book websites, and links to book websites are just some of the things I will try to cover from this site. I invite anyone and everyone who would like to participate in this bookish discussion. However, I will have 3 ground rules to begin and may add others as needed.

GROUND RULES:

1. No Attacks. Users may argue as heatedly as they like about topics, but hostile or mean spirited comments aimed at other users and not at their comments will be stricken.

2. No SPAM of any kind. Sell your junk elsewhere. SPAM will be stricken.

3. No nonsense posts. Nonsense posts or post which clearly have no connection to the conversation will be stricken.

That's it. I hope there's no need for additional rules and I hope that many people will enjoy this site.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Book Review: Man on the Ceiling

Man on the Ceiling, The (Discoveries) by Steve Rasnic Tem
Surreal to the point of near trippy-ness and yet very realistic, this fictionalized account of real events ("everything we're telling you here is true") grips the reader at a gut level. Any person who can even imagine having children will find this horrifying novel difficult to set aside. “The Man on the Ceiling” is the story of parents who having lost a child (exact reasons unknown) struggle to deal with the aftermath of emotions and delusions that flow from the sudden and horrible loss of a loved one. While, to some, the effects they use may seem overdone and overwrought, for anyone who has suffered a loss like this it will all seem oh so real. The pain from this sort of death can cause those left behind to not exactly lose touch with reality, but rather to find the “real” less tangible than desolation of their own emotional landscape… one becomes lost in an internal war zone of obvious and hidden dangers. For most people this “other” world can take a long time to (mostly) escape from, others may never even make the beginning steps to heal this tragedy. “The Man on the Ceiling” is labeled as a horror novel and it is in the sense that it attempts to capture one of life’s most horrifying events, the loss of a person one loves deeply.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jane Austen was Never Funnier

Northanger Abby by Jane Austen
Northanger Abby is my favorite Austen novel. It’s possible that I feel such affection for it because it was my first Austen novel, but I don’t believe that is the case. I love it because it not only has Austen’s trade mark satire of society and manners, it also contains some of the most lighthearted characters of all of her books. Catherine (the main character) is a very silly young lady with a ridiculously over blown imagination and her love of Gothic novels fuels her dramatic fantasies. (As I read this book I couldn’t help but think of comparisons between the idea that these Gothic novels caused young ladies to have overwrought imaginations and the perception that television is corrupting our youth. It seems the concept of media as corrupting just keeps coming back.)

In the end however, Catherine’s daydreams aren’t all a mistake. She is sought after by a man with less than good intentions (her brother receives the same treatment from a woman) and the man she loves does have what seems a dark secret.

All in all I found this the funniest and most directly enjoyable of all of Austen’s novels. I also consider this one of my all time favorite books.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bad Poetry

Read laugh, scowl, choke, hate, enjoy... whatever... but here's my poem.

Just After

“spiteful koans”
He said
Buttoning trousers
Stumbling towards an open door
“What did you say?”
she asked
Finger knuckle deep in nostril
“Nothing”
He replied
Thinking – Nothing that
a cigarette
and
a train ride through a tunnel
wouldn’t cure.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thinking About a Nonfiction Book to Read

Until recently I've always thought of myself as mostly a fiction reader. However, in the last year and a half I have read some nonfiction titles which really have me thirsting for more nonfiction titles. One of these books which I really enjoyed was How to Think About Weird Things.

This book was fantastic! Before I read How to Think About Weird Things I had never really read a book about critical thinking. I had always thought of myself as a sharp person and able to see the fallacies in poor arguments, but this book really helped to sharpen my dissection of ideas and arguments. While the book is meant to push the reader to think and to understand the world with a keener eye for mistakes we all make in our day to day lives, it was also an extremely entertaining read. The author uses many many quotes which are both humorous and very poignant. In addition to this countless real life asides are used to illustrate thought fallacies which the book describes.

I picked it up in a used bookstore where it had been miss-shelved… So, I don’t know much about it, but it appears to be a text book for a college or high school course. Having said that, I have to say that I don’t believe I’ve ever read a text book which was so enjoyable. If all of my college texts had been this well conceived, I would have definitely been a more studious reader of texts. (Not that I was a bad student, but well... You know what I mean.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Books/Internet: Origami

One of my hobbies (other than reading of course) is origami. I’ve been fascinated by it for years. One day, while in college, I came home from classes and sat down on my couch (which my roommate and I had saved from the trash in front of someone’s home). I had a bowl of cereal and I started to watch Levar Burton on Reading Rainbow. The show was about Japan and they did some origami. That was 20 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Anyway, I often find myself in a book store looking over their origami book selection and I over hear a parent and a child trying to select an origami book. Other times an adult will ask me straight out what a good book might be… Here’s the rub. My answer or comment (to the parent) is always: “Go to the Web.” It’s not that I don’t want them to buy the book and help authors of origami books. Actually I do want them to do just that, but I want them to do it with some experience under their belts.

The Internet is packed with great sites which offer the beginner lots of chance to try out origami and learn a little before they start buying books. I’d rather these fresh minds get a feel for what they like and what they don’t before plunking down the green. Then the person can buy a book that they will really enjoy and not just a book that I might recommend to someone who hasn’t done it before.

In this spirit, I thought I would point out some really good origami sites for anyone who reads this and would like to start doing one of the most fascinating art forms in the world.

http://dev.origami.com/diagram.cfm - This is a site which has loads of diagrams which range from very simple to extremely complex.

http://www.origami-resource-center.com/free-origami-diagrams.html - The Origami Resource center also offers hundreds of instructional diagrams ranging in difficulty from easy to hard.

http://www.origami-club.com/en/- Origami Club is an excellent site for beginners. It offers models which range fro easy to moderate and has a delightful selection of nice looking traditional and new designs.

http://www.oriland.com/index.asp - Oriland is probably my all time favorite site for beginners. It’s extremely well done and has many new models which are very easy to learn.

http://www.origamivideo.net/ - Origami Video is a great site which has tried to collect video lessons of origami from sources throughout the web.

These are some great sites to get anyone started… from there I hope you all go out and support the publishers of origami books by buying some of them. I’ll suggest some of my favorites another day.

Book Review: Aylmer Vance: Ghost-seer

Aylmer Vance: Ghost-seer (Mystery & Supernatural): Ghost-seer (Mystery & Supernatural)… by Alice Askew; Claude Askew
I’ve been picking up all the books in the series as they show up in the used bookstore near my home. So, I bought this one as well. I started reading it shortly after purchasing it, because it sounded like it would be a bit like Sherlock Holmes investigates supernatural cases. At the time that concept sounded appealing. However, it just didn’t pan out. The stories in this collection were mildly interesting at best. They did little to capture the imagination and for short stories they sure did seem to drag on.

That said, I did find the final story (The Fear) well worth the rest of the book. “The Fear” was a great little ghost story which made my hair stand on end a couple of times while reading it. It was good at building suspense and keeping it going for the entire story until near the end. Sadly even this story had a large fault. The ending didn’t live up to the rest of the story. But even with that problem this one story was really good. I can’t say I’d recommend this book to anyone, but I would recommend the story “The Fear”.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Book Review: Moonshadow by J.M. DeMatteis

The Compleat Moonshadow by J. M. DeMatteis
This is one of those books which gives one hope for the future of graphic novels. Unfortunately it was written/drawn about 20 years ago and since then the medium hasn’t progressed greatly. The book shows the possibilities of strong plot, character and allegory use in the medium of comics. Unfortunately the graphic story telling world still (to a greater degree) continues to cling to one genre (superheroes). There’s nothing wrong with that genre. It has its own possibilities, but imagine if the only kind of books written were romance novels or maybe only science fiction, or mysteries. Sounds pretty boring doesn’t it.

Moonshadow shows that a grand story can be told and yet still encompass a simpler tale of coming of age. All this is well told with humor and depth. The book covers its goals with the panache and ability of any well written novel and actually does a better job of capturing that painful point between kid and adult than most novels. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known who (after reading this book) said that Moonshadow felt like a story of their own coming of age. It's a bitter sweet treat to get a chance to get reacquainted with those awkward years of grasping for adulthood... Those precious moments when enlightenment was an all consuming goal. I say it's a treat no one should pass up.

I can't recommend this one enough.

Moonshadow gets an A+.