Monday, February 16, 2009

Roads to Quoz

An American Mosey
William Least Heat Moon

William Least Heat Moon is best known for his travel journals Blue Highways and River Horse. This newest book, which came out in 2008, is sewn together from his notes from years of visits to various places in the United States. It lacks the coherence of the others, because it is not the narrative of a single purposeful, or even purposeless journey. Nevertheless it is an enjoyable read from the millennial era's answer to Charles Kuralt. It is perfect for inducing Spring fever.

Quoz is a made-up word which Heat Moon defines as: Anything, anywhere. living or otherwise, connecting a human to existence and bringing an individual into the cosmos and integrating one with the immemorial, thereby making each life belong to creation, and so preventing the divorce of one from the all which brought it into being.

Heat Moon is blowing smoke up out collective skirts with this fancy definition of his fancy word. Suffice it to say that he likes odd and interesting stuff, especially if it's old. He is able to tease a story out of each discovery.

If I have any criticism of Roads to Quoz beyond it's scattershot nature it would be Heat Moon's attempt to make much out of the letter Q. His wife is known in the book as Q, rather than her name, and he makes up more than a few words which start with that letter and showers the reader with them and other Q words more grounded in the English language. By the end of chapter one this rhetorical flurry settles down to a drizzle however and it didn't kill my enjoyment of the book.

Heat Moon and Q meet many interesting people in Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, Northeast Pennsylvania, the Florida Panhandle, New Hampshire and I've probably left out a few more places. oh yes, the intercoastal waterway starting in Baltimore and going all the way down to Florida. I think that the intercoastal could have made a book by itself if he had done it in River Horse and not as a passenger on a commercial vessel. Next time, maybe.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Book Review Blog Carnival #10

The tenth edition of the Book Review Blog Carnival has been posted at Inkweaver Review. You will find reviews of books old and new in many genres from 22 different reviewers in this edition.

Book reviewers, you can participate in the Book Review Blog Carnival by submitting a link to you review at our page.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Blogroll Amnesty Day Wekend Spectacular

Tuesday, Feb. 3rd is the biggest holiday in Blogtopia, Blogroll Amnesty Day. Blue Gal, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Jon Swift have banded together, once again, to organize an extended international Blogroll Amnesty Day celebration. Here, in Skippy's words, is how you can participate:

the basic rule for blogroll amnesty day weekend is simply this: take a moment to write a post linking to (and pointing out to your readers) 5 blogs w/traffic smaller than yours. this inclusive and magnanimous yet easy-to-do gesture will not only expose your readers to new voices and those voices to new readers, it will foster a sense of community, support and all-around kumbaya amongst the progressive infrastructure.

I'm all for kumbaya, being a big Pete Seeger fan, so here is my entry. By the way, I have no idea who's traffic is bigger or smaller than mine, so I'm just linking to blogs I like. These are all contributors to the Book Review Blog Carnival.

The most recent post on Becky's Book Reviews is actually about collecting records, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and like that. She doesn't mention Sammy Davis Jr, an important member of that group of pop singers of the 40s and 50s and "rat pack" member. She makes up for it by including Louis Armstrong, a musician in a class by himself.

In At Home With Books you can read, today, about ignoring the blaring sound of the Superbowl while trying to read on the sofa, the challenge of reading under the influence of tryptophan and the soporific effect of NASCAR. Oh yes, and there are a couple of books thrown in.

Into The Wardrobe, a blog named in reference to the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, will tell you, this morning, about this year's winners of the Sidney Taylor Book Awards which recognize the best in Jewish children's literature.

Living the Scientific Life, rather unexpectedly sports a LOLcat on it's top post from yesterday, in honor of the "birfday" of the blog's author, GirlScientist.

The Library at the End of the Universe has a review of a novel, The Ruins by Scott Smith. The blog's author, Penelope, didn't like the book. I, however, did like the review.

You can join in the Blogroll Amnesty Day fun, too. Just write a post linking to five deserving blogs and drop Jon or Skippy an email with your post's URL. You will get a link from their almost A list blogs in return.