Sunday, June 01, 2008

Not exactly the gorgeous island villa that art thief Thomas Crowne (Pierce Brosnan) takes the insurance detective Catherine Danny (Rene Russo) to in one of my all time favorite movies, The Thomas Crowne Affair, but right now even the Tobago Hilton pool sounds good as a place to relax. Another humid over cast day here. This kind of weather makes me want to curl up and watch movies all day.

I did a bit of that this a.m. - also watched Marie Antoinette with Kirstin Dunst. Very unusual revisionist style with music bordering on rock music, but it is a fun movie to watch.

Anyone who reads my blog knows I am a big Alice Hoffman fan and I couldn't resist taking some time out from children's and YA to read her adult novel The Ice Queen. A 30-something miserable with her life librarian is struck by lightening and survives it, but can no longer see the color red. She becomes an unwilling participant in her brother's research on lightening victims. She isn't any more willing than the rest of the participants in his group in talking about how the physical and emotional trauma of the strike has changed her sex life, let alone her soul. Talking about the physical affect with the heart doctor is one thing, but she isn't about to let her involvement with the group get personal. She just isn't a warm woman that way. But, she certainly heats up when she begins a torrid, literally and figuratively, romance with a lightening victim whose skin is burning hot to the touch. I'll just let you take it from here, when I say they need a bathtub full of ice water to be intimate! Hoffman's books are intriguing because she deftly weaves a bit of fantasy into her often starkly realistic novels, but she creates characters so intriguing that the reader is swept into their lives, holding our breath, until the end. Fantastic book and one I'll keep to re-read at a later time. Older teenage girls who have read Hoffman's YA novels like Green Angel and Incantation may well enjoy this book even though the protagonist is much older.

Summer is just around the corner and we all need a good camping picture book to share with little ones. Otis and Rae and the Grumbling Splunk by Laura and Leo Espinosa, a new Houghton Mifflin title fits the bill perfectly. And don't worry it's not too scary for even the youngest listener - the Splunk looks like a friendly orange bear with too short legs. Otis and Rae's heads look a bit like white marshmallows, which may sound a bit cannibalistic as many of us roast marshmallows when we camp, but these two little ones in blue and pink hats with ears are too adorable to think about eating. Wonder if this husband and wife team thought about marshmallows when they created these two best friends. Rae is the outgoing one and tells Otis scary stories while he munches on his favorite food - PB&B (peanut butter and banana sandwich). They do run into a Splunk but he turns out not to be such a bad guy and a PB&B takes care of the loud grumble that gave him his name. A delightful book for story time, no matter where you are reading it aloud - around a bonfire or during story time.

Now to see if Blackboard is back up so I can get some work done. This is the downside to being a DE professor - I am dependent upon the system working when I need it to, which doesn't always happen.