Month: October 2015

What You Say Can Never Be Exact

I am right on board with Katherine C. – I think this is one of my, possibly my absolute, favorite of the books we’ve read so far. I think my favorite part of the book was the way the narrative unfolded. It was like reading the way we actually think – the story opening up a little at a time, swaying from past to present to fact to feeling. Once I read the Historical Notes, I understood the perspective of the story more clearly, and I thought back to something I read earlier in the book. It’s impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many. It’s interesting to then think back on the story and think of all the …

{The Handmaid’s Tale} Cover Redesign

    The Handmaid’s Tale has a rather recognizable cover… and that’s probably because the old version has been around for such a long time. So, to freshen it up, I wanted to bring it into a new era. The timeline in the book is fairly ambiguous, but if you make it all the way to the end, 1980’s cassette tapes play a significant, and rather mysterious, role. Their appearance in the story is till making me think and wonder. This inspired me to use the 80’s as inspiration for a new cover. I wanted something to show off the cassette tape, have an 80’s feel to the style, and still feel a little eerie (in keeping with the tone of the book). So without further a due, here’s a look at my redesign…    

A Peaceful End

Of all the books we’ve read so far, I think this one is by far my favorite. I loved the premiss, the storyline, the writing style, and the ending. I’d never read anything by Margaret Atwood before, but The Handmaid’s Tale definitely makes me want to pick up a few more of her books. One thing I love is Atwood’s insistence that the story is not science fiction. Yes, it’s fiction, but she says everything that happens in her novels is possible and/or may even have already happened. This perspective really added to the experience of this story. As I was reading, every time I would think how crazy the lives were that these characters were leading, I’d think back to real-world scenarios where mass-brainwashing has caused similar or more significant atrocities (the holocaust, public stoning of women, child labor, etc). It makes the themes and events in Offred’s story that much more powerful and relevant. It read to me like a lot more than just a women’s story. “Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn’t really …

30 Years in 30 Books

{Image © ELLE Magazine} Of all the magazines cluttering newsstands—all fighting not to get lost in the declining world of print—Elle Magazine is a stand out. Among the options with pretty actress/model cover girls, Elle also offers substance. It’s the only magazine where you can find both an article on the 10 best facial exfoliants AND one father’s brilliant financial solution to the future wage gap faced by his boy/girl twins. We also happen to love Elle because they always give their fair share of attention to books. For example, in the latest September issue they present The Lit List… “There are certain books that change the conversation and the way we see the world. The editors of ELLE dug deep and picked the 30 from the last 30 years that every self-respecting reader should have on her shelf.” It’s definitely a list to take a look at! Here are a few of our favorites from the 30… 1986 The Handmaid’s Tale (this October’s read!) 1992 The Shipping News 1996 Into the Wild 2000 The Tipping Point 2006 Eat, Pray Love 2012 Gone …

October Book Announcement

Image © Beck’s Books Happy Fall everyone! It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a hot beverage and haunting book. So, for this month’s selection we’ve gone with the theme: {Ghost Stories}. We had a long list to choose from… but there was one classic that made its way to the top: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Surprisingly, none of us have read this highly acclaimed novel, named on such Goodreads lists as: Best Books Ever and The Most Disturbing Books Ever Written. Published in 1986 by award-winning, Canadian author Margaret Atwood, this is the story of a dystopian United States set in the near future when a totalitarian Christian theocracy has overthrown the government. In this disturbing world people are segregated by categories and made to dress according to their station. The bodies of those who rebel swing from the walls that surround the new world. This new world is a haunting look at humanity’s capacity to impose a social control so disturbing, so all-consuming, that the citizens wander as ghosts of their former selves. Some might categorize this as …