Books to plays

Books to plays- local

Again I see that several children’s books live theater productions are scheduled to be performed locally: “Pinkalicious,” and “Angelina Ballerina” are 2. I will make a flyer for the fall 2013 as more are announced.


“Quartet” features an excellent cast.  Unfortunately, the four great actors in this film do not, in my opinion, fit their characters.  Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Bill Connolly, and Pauline Collins are cast as four great opera singers who reside in a senior residence.  The four had performed together in their younger years and now were scheduled to sing for a fund raiser for Beecham House’s gala.  We never see these actors actually sing so maybe  that is part of the reason why I just couldn’t buy the idea that they were opera singers.  Rex Reed describes “Quartet” as “a film of so much affection, tenderness, and charm. ”   The setting was charming.  That’s about it.

If you see it, stick around for the closing credits.  Many of the actors in the film were, at one time, famous in Britain in the fields of music and the cinema.  A better recent movie with music as its theme is “The Late Quartet.”

Barbara Pym

In Sunday’s Book Review there was an interesting article about Pym. She had published six books with the same publisher when suddenly they turned down her seventh, the reason being they were not losing money but not turning a profit either.  She kept writing and receiving rejection slips until The Times Literary Supplement asked a number of literary figures to name the most overrated and underrated authors of the last 75 years. Philip Larkin and Lord David Cecil (?) picked Pym as underrated. So she was soon back in business with her new books published and her older books reissued. I was so happy to see we still own 7 or 8 of her books. I’m sure I read them all.

“Six Years”

If you are a Harlan Coben fan, you will probably enjoy his newest “Six Years.”  If you aren’t, you are not missing much.

The basic plot involves a young guy who meets the love of his life in rural Vermont.  He is there trying to complete his PhD thesis.  She is working on honing her craft as a painter.  After an intense three month affair, Natalie abruptly tells Jake that she is going to marry someone else. She asks him never to contact her again.  Important first clue that all is not what it seems.

Fast forward six years later.  Jake has never gotten over Natalie nor has he ever tried to see her.  One day he sees on his college’s website, he teaches at a very prestigious New England school, an announcement that Natalie’s husband has died.  This, of course, is his signal that all bets are off, and he can make contact with Natalie.  He soon learns that the man she married was murdered and, more importantly, he was never married to Natalie.

Confused???  This is only the beginning of an involved tale that includes two hit men, a secret society, Jake’s murder of one of the hit men,  and the revelation that Jake’s best friend isn’t who he says he is.

Coben does write a fast-paced story. However, the plot details in “Six Years” are so contrived that even though everything meshes in the end, surprise, surprise, I as a reader felt that he could have written a better novel using his core idea.


Top 10 SF/Fantasy titles

Booklist has recently posted their top 10 Sci-fi/Fantasy picks; you can find them here. I checked all the titles, and we 4 out of the 10. The ones we don’t have are The Future We Left Behind (only 3 copies in system), The Girl With Borrowed Wings, (13 copies, seems to be fairly popular), Railsea (15 copies, only 2 recent cko’s), Seraphina (33 copies, recent cko’s in all but 2 libraries), Quarantine by Lew Thomas (13 copies, recent cko’s in almost all) and Quintana of Charyn (last title in a series that we don’t own, only 7 system copies).  I would recommend ordering Seraphina of all the titles. Just my two cents!