Trivial Tuesday #3

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The answer to last weeks trivia question is Titivillus. I came across the name in my reading of The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson and it seemed an interesting bit of trivia. Wikipedia has short entry about the “patron demon of scribes” which says:

Titivillus was a demon said to work on behalf of Belphegor, Lucifer or Satan to introduce errors into the work of a scribe. The first reference to Titivillus by name occurred in Tractatus de Penitentia, c. 1285, by John of Wales. Titivillus has also been described as collecting idle chat that occurs during church service, and mispronounced, mumbled or skipped words of the service itself, to take to Hell to be counted against the offender.

He has been called the “patron demon of scribes,” as Titivillus provides an easy excuse for the errors that are bound to creep into manuscripts as they are copied.[1]

Marc Drogin noted in his instructional manual Medieval Calligraphy: Its history and technique (1980) “for the past half-century every edition of The Oxford English Dictionary has listed an incorrect page reference for, of all things, a footnote on the earliest mention of Titivillus.”

Titivillus gained a broader role as a subversive figure of physical comedy, with satirical commentary on human vanities, in late medieval English pageants, such as the Iudicium that finishes the Towneley Cycle.[2] He plays an antagonistic role in the Medieval English play Mankind.

In an anonymous fifteenth-century English devotional treatise, Myroure of Oure Ladye, Titivillus introduced himself thus (I.xx.54): “I am a poure dyuel, and my name ys Tytyvyllus … I muste eche day … brynge my master a thousande pokes full of faylynges, and of neglygences in syllables and wordes.”

So this weeks question is related to the last. Who is the patron saint of writers? Be sure to look for the answer next week.

Weekly Review #13

This week I managed to get quite a bit of reading done. I feel like I have somewhat made up for the last couple of weeks when I didn’t get so much read. I’ve also made the decision to put Amitov Ghosh’s novel Sea of Poppies on hold for a while because I”m not really enjoying it. There are some parts I like but others I don’t and I’m getting too bogged down with the parts I don’t like.

I suspected that I might enjoy The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and I finally got the opportunity to read it Friday night before I left to do my bowling for bowl for kids (that was a lot of fun, and it was a great opportunity to spend some time with people from work). It’s a story I knew but I didn’t know how it would end but once I got into the story I knew how it would end so it wasn’t quite a surprise that I would have liked it to be. But it was enjoyable.

I also managed to finish Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle which is one of the best novels ever. I really enjoyed it and you can read my full review here. Be sure to read this novel if you ever get the chance.

This week’s Theatrical Thursday will be on a show I saw this week that isn’t book related but I wanted to express my opinions on the show. I made the trip to Toronto this past Wednesday to see Jersey Boys. Here is a clip of the London cast doing one of the numbers from the show to tempt you back on Thursday:

I’ve got a few other books on the go now; an ARC copy of Dr. Alan Godwin’s How to Solve Your People Problems, Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs by Irvine Welsh.

The Gargoyle – Review

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thegargoyleThe Gargoyle

By Andrew Davidson

Genre: Fiction/Historical Fiction

I think I may have a new favourite book! The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson is a book that had me captivated from the very first sentence, “Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.” Davidson is very eloquent making it very difficult to set the book down. I actually ended up staying up rather late last night to finish this amazing novel.

The story is of a man severely burned from an accident in his vehicle and Marianne. There are various aspects of their lives that are revealed throughout the novel. As their time together progresses Marianne tells him stories of love and of their past lives. Marianne deals with several bouts of a mental disorder that isn’t exactly clear and because of it she has manic moments of carving gargoyles.

I will say that I rarely get so emotionally involved in books that I read but it an option while reading this one. The last 50 or so pages were difficult to read because of the welling of tears. I was actually quite shocked to that this happened because I cannot even remember the last time I became so emotionally involved in a book. But I would say it was a great aspect of this novel.

To top everything else off it was great to find out that Andrew Davidson is from Winnipeg. Another great Canadian novel. I must thank those of you that suggested I read this when putting down you favourite Canadian novels in my giveaway. I am very excited to see what will come from Andrew Davidson next because his writing is beautiful. And for those of you that like to read about food the description of their feasts are enough to make you drool.

Get your hands on a copy of this novel as soon as you can!

Here are some others that have also reviewed the book:

The Book Lady’s Blog has a wonderful review.
http://thebookladysblog.com/2008/07/02/book-review-the-gargoyle-by-andrew-davidson/

Devourer of Books focuses more on the beginning of the novel but it’s what drew her into this fantastic novel.
http://www.devourerofbooks.com/2008/05/the-gargoyle-book-review/

Joy’s Blog seems to have enjoyed the novel as well.
http://jlshall.blogspot.com/2008/09/review-gargoyle.html

Over at Fresh Ink Books you can see a little on the novel.
http://freshinkbooks.blogspot.com/2009/03/tss-books-read-this-week.html

The Raabe Review has an amazing review of this book.
http://theraabereview.com/book-reviews/the-gargoyle-by-andrew-davidson/#comment-677

Another review can be found at Reading Adventures.
http://readingadventures.blogspot.com/2008/11/gargoyle-by-andrew-davidson.html

If you would like your review added send me an email and I’ll be more than happy to add your review as well.

Weekly Geeks 2009-12

weekly-geeks9When Dewey started Weekly Geeks, one of the first projects she encouraged us to do was link our book reviews to each other. Sadly, I’ve fallen of the wagon on this one. For people like me who need a refresher and for all the new Weekly Geeks this is a topic that could use repeating.

Let’s look at Dewey’s original post : Dewey’s post.

Here’s what we’ll do:

1. Write a post encouraging readers to look through your archives (if you have your reviews in a particular place on your blog, point them there), and find the books that they have also written reviews. Tell them to leave a link to their review on your review post. For example, I’ve written a review for Gods Behaving Badly and Jane Doe leaves a link to her review of Gods Behaving Badly in the comments section of my review.
2. Edit your reviews to include those links in the body of the review post.
3. Visit other Weekly Geeks and go through their reviews. Leave links for them.
4. Leave a note somewhere on your blog to let people know this is your new policy.
5. Write a post later this week letting us know how your project is going!

This is a big undertaking but as Dewey put it, it’s ‘community building’. Have fun!

This weeks project is a repeat of one we did when Weekly Geeks got started. It’s one that I really enjoyed and have expanded it a bit by doing a google search of the book I’ve reviewed and link at least three other bloggers that have also reviewed the novel I did. Take a look through my archives and see if there is anything I’ve reviewed that you have also reviewed. If you find something that you have also reviewed please send me an email at thatsthebook@gmail.com and I’ll add the link at the end of my review.

Theatrical Thursday – Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Last week I watched this incredibly moving film and because of that I found out it was a novel. Because of watching the movie I now want to read the book. The most unfortunate part of that is that I cannot seem to find the book anywhere in Stratford. Maybe I’ll have to make a trip the Library sometime, as I haven’t done this in a long time.

I generally don’t use the library because I don’t like the fact that I’m restricted as to when I can read the book. I have no problem finishing it in the allotted time, I guess I’m just a little anal retentive.

But I digress, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the story of a boy made to move to a house in close proximity to a concentration camp. As the film progress he befriends a boy inside the barbed wire fences of the camp, now run by his father. The story is truly touching and if you don’t want to read the novel you should at least give the film a shot, at which point you’ll probably feel compelled to read the book by John Boyne.

This is enough to make want to hunt down this book at the next available opportunity.

Booking Through Thursday #28

Booking Through Thursday

The opposite of last week’s question: “What’s the best ‘worst’ book you’ve ever read — the one you like despite some negative reviews or features?”

To be honest I cannot think anything that would answer this question personally.  Usually if I hear enough negative about a book I avoid it because I don’t want to waste my time on something that I wouldn’t enjoy.  I cannot even think of something that I read and enjoyed  that I later found out others really didn’t like.

I’ll be interested to see what everyone else had to say on this subject.

Weekly Review #12

This is a little later than usual but this week has been turned on its head a little.  I’ve had make some adjustments to my work schedule (starting earlier) because I’m off tomorrow evening to see Jersey Boys in Toronto.  Due to this change I wasn’t thinking yesterday and so didn’t do my weekly review then…so you get it now.

I didn’t get nearly as much reading done as I wanted to this past week.  I did get started on The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson and I must say this is proving to be one of the best books I’ve read this year.  Thank you to all of you that suggested I read it.  I’m almost half way through already and I have already fallen in love with it.

On the flip side I’m still struggling through Sea of Poppies and more and more is being missed because my mind likes to use this time to wander.  But I’m determined to keep at in hopes that it’s rewarding in the end.

I did get another one of the Fables books finished this week and I must say it was great.  This is one of the best graphic novel series I’ve encountered.  But then again I haven’t been that involved in the graphic novel scene.  I’m really enjoying my encounters with graphic novels thus far.

Coming up this week in Theatrical Thursday is a look at Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Until next time happy reading.

Trivial Tuesday #2

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I know someone of you have been thinking about this past weeks question and the answer of course is George/Georgie, Pete and Dim (these are the friends of Alex the lead character in A Clockwork Orange).

This weeks question arisses from my reading this week.  And because of that it may be a little trickier than last weeks.  The question I have this week is:

What is the name of the mischievous demon that created havoc for scribes?  He was blamed for creating mistakes while transcribing which he would then bring in his bag to deliver to Satan.

The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant – Review

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ladynextdoorThe Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant

By Michel Tremblay

Genre: Fiction

My first encounter with the genius that is Michel Tremblay came in the theatre while watching Les Belles Soeurs and from the moment the curtain rose. His characters are quirky and often very witty, they are women that you wish you shared a neighborhood. Once the “BINGO” scene happened I could do nothing but love Tremblay and his cornucopia of Quebecois women.

The next time I encountered Tremblay it was a beautiful tribute to his mother that passed away before she had the opportunity to any of Michel Tramblay’s works enacted on the stage. For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again is a stellar work of art that shows a man’s love for his mother. Since seeing this show I’ve wanted to read a novel composed by Tremblay. If you ever get the opportunity to see anything by Tremblay take it…at any cost (if I can out to the Shaw Festival this summer I will be seeing Albertine in Five Times).

When I saw that The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant was going to be a part Canada Reads 2009 I was thrilled to read the novel. It was full of the same wonderful characters I came to love on the stage. I will admit that there were times that I had difficulty getting with the novel but once I got over the barrier I devoured the novel. I enjoyed the novel but I wouldn’t say it should your first encounter with Canadian literature because there is better stuff out there.

Michel Tremblay is one of Canada’s often forgot literary treasures and shouldn’t be left behind with other great Canadian French writers like Roch Carrier. The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant is a novel that should have been part of Canada Reads many times over but it’s not the novel that should get the accolades of THE novel all Canadians should read but the author is someone everyone should, no needs, to discover.

What others are say about The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant:

Roughing it in the Books gives info on the cover and a review worth reading.
http://www.roughingitinthebooks.com/?p=262

The Keepin’ it Real Book Club seems to have similar thoughts as I did on this novel.
http://kirbc.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/the-fat-woman-next-door-is-pregnant-by-michel-tremblay/

Reader of the Stack has some insightful comments on the novel.
http://www.readerofthestack.com/tag/sheila-fischman

As usual if you’re interested in having your reviewed listed here send an email to thatsthebook@gmail.com

Weekly Geeks 2009-11

weekly-geeks9Do you have a favorite book that really pulled you back in time, or perhaps gave you a special interest in that period? Include a link to a review of it on another book blog if you can find one (doesn’t have to be a Weekly Geek participant).

I generally don’t read an overabundance of historical fiction. When I want history I generally go for non-fiction. But there are a couple of books that that come to mind. One that I’ve read for the first time this year and one that I’ve read again this year. I’m sure those of you regular readers here will know that one of them is Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow.

The other book that I really enjoyed was the winner of Canada Reads this year, Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes (which goes by Someone Knows My Name outside of Canada)

Reviews can be found at these links:
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
These links have links to other reviewers so you’re not just getting my opinion.