Sunday, November 06, 2005

I know it is Sunday when I wake up to the sound of football commentary. Steve starts early! He had to go into the office for a bit yesterday so I went into town with him to do some browsing in the tourist shops for Christmas presents for the grandkids. Did find a female pirate for Ally. She loved the pirate set we got her when they were down visiting in July. A trip to Charlotte Amalie is always an experience. We stopped to throw out trash and a big new Dodge truck pulled up to the huge dumpster at the same time. The back was full and two guys jumped up into the back and started throwing out - a car! Well, pieces of one anyway! First out went the hood, then one of the doors. We didn't hang around to watch the rest, but had to laugh at how they were going about it. Supposedly there is a $1000 fine for abandoning a car on the island, but they are all over so I wonder if VIPD ever fines anyone. But, these two guys were disposing of an old car, piece by piece!

We curled up and watched an old b/w movie last night - The Thin Man, with Myrna Loy and William Powell , based on a Dashiell Hammett book. Hammett is the author of The Maltese Falcon, which is also the basis for another cool old b/w movie. We visited one of his old haunts in San Francisco, but I can't remember the name of it. Need to check B&N to see if The Thin Man is still in print. I absolutely love these old movies. Even my daughter knew the movies when I mentioned the dog. I could watch these movies over and over - they are hilarious. My earlier viewing was Lara Croft - Tomb Raider! I am trying to get the 2nd Advent calendar project done for MJ so I can get it in the mail so it will get there for the 1st and watch movies while I work on it. I had no desire to see this movie before, but it really wasn't too bad.

Received a Harcourt ARC of Ithaka by Adele Geras - the wonderful follow up to Troy. I was transported back to Ithaka and felt like I was walking the paths of this ancient island with young Klymene as she agonized over her love for Odysseus and Penelope's son Telemachus, who has fallen under the seductive spell of the selfish but beautiful Melantho. Teen readers will be wrapped up in the story of the young people in this enchanting novel. Klymene is able to see and speak to the gods and goddesses, including Hades and Poseidon, who frighten her with their warnings of death and revenge. At the adult level is the story of Penelope and her wait for Odysseus to return, as she weaves the story of his return on her loom. She waits, even though his husband's own father does not believe his son is alive and wishes her to remarry. A despicable band of suitors arrive on the island, knowing that the "laws" of hospitality of Ithaka will not allow Penelope to ask them to leave. But Leodes, a childhood friend of Odysseus, arrives on the island as a suitor and Penelope falls under the spell of love. Once the reader enters Geras's tale of love and deceit, with gods and goddess interfering in the lives of mortals, there is no release until the tale is finished. Ithaka will be as popular with the teenage girls as Troy has been.

On the picture book front I have to comment on the Houghton Mifflin title Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Francois Roca. A great story to go along with Curlee's informational Brooklyn Bridge that came out in 2001. Always looking for a publicity for his circus, P.T. Barnum assured people of the bridge's safety by leading across 21 elephants - good judges of a safe surface, testing it with their huge feet before proceeding. A beautifully illustrated bit of history that can be shared as a read aloud.

Back to work on the Advent calendar. Gotta get this in the mail soon! December 1st will be upon me too quickly. Thank heavens for express mail.