Sunday, March 13, 2011

(kick-ass) Books!

1. Lost Encyclopedia, 2010. Written by Paul Terry and Tara Bennett.

I hate referring to us as "Losties," but this book is a Lostie's tape-your-glasses wet dream. The characters, the art, the books, and yes, the theories, are all in full effect. The number one reason to get this book is for the images, which are really, really excellent. Fish crackers, MacCutcheon Whisky, weapons, Dharma stations, Island locations, hieroglyphics, minor characters (and so on)---they're all in this alphabetized, complete volume.

Some attractive sections: Sawyer's nickname hall of fame; illustrations and definitions of the hieroglyphics found in the temple and the heart-of-the-island evil stopper; some interesting business about The Tempest (Dharma Station), The Truce between The Hostiles and Dharma, and The Purge, (stuff that the fans may have missed or hadn't seen yet); and Desmond's adventures in time-travel. Also, there is a two-page spread of the religious stained glass piece from the church at the finale's end---had I purchased this just a few months earlier I wouldn't have had to "draw" my own version of it for my cross stitch and could have just used this for my model and NOT A FROZEN IMAGE ON THE TELEVISION and it probably would have been a hell of a lot tighter . . .

Anyway, it's a fun, fun book and every Lost fan should definitely look into it. The only thing I really thought was missing was a complete, accurate map of the island; topography, Dharma Stations, Black Rock, Lighthouse, Cabin, Candidate Cave, all of it. If someone comes out with that (or explains to me where things are so I can re-do an exact replica cross stitch map DAMON and CARLTON I'm talking to you) I'll be first in line to slam my husband's money down on the counter. Yeah?

2. Views From The Loft: A Portable Writer's Workshop, 2010. Edited by Daniel Slager.

I think I picked this up last summer when it was first released and didn't start reading it until just this month, which is too bad, because it's a really killer collection of essays on writing. During some of them I quietly marveled (usually in the tub, where I do most of my reading) at the fact that these writers were speaking things, thoughts, from their own lives and experiences that I felt myself. It's weird when someone can do that, but it's kind of cool, too. I have to admit that I mostly skimmed over the poets because poetry just isn't relevant to what I'm doing right now. The exception was Barrie Jean Borich, who wrote a poetic essay to win a contest her chiropractor had---(Describe the life of your body: I have become aware of a double self. Some hidden force has hold of me, sending up life, then death, alternately. Living fills me until my dead self punches itself to the surface. Both selves can exist at once.) That was awesome.

My very favorite essays were the ones about fiction or the writing of fiction that were woven into the author's life and experiences. Kate DiCamillo's "Comes a Pony," CJ Hribal's "Power and Powerlessness," Susan Straight's "Why I Write Fiction," and Will Weaver's "Up-North Literary Life;" these were all personally touching, and so wonderfully well done I almost feel compelled to track down the authors (as many of them are local) to tell them so. It's a neat book; I plan on getting the next series as soon as it's released.