February 24, 2012 by Kelly Gass
“The Cat’s Table” by Michael Ondaatje This book describes a sea voyage by an 11-year-old boy. He is traveling from Sri Lanka to London in the early 1950s on a ship titled Oronsay. The boy’s name is Michael and he is to meet his mother in Lon- don. Michael has very little supervision on the voyage, even though a non-vigilant chaperone has promised to look after him. He has a couple of close friends on the voy- age who are roughly his age. His friends’ names are Cassius and Ramadhin. The three boys have their meals at the “Cat’s Table” – meaning it is the table farthest separated from the Captain’s table in proximity and in social station. Michael and his two pals share the table with a few mostly misfit adults, who make for interesting camaraderie. Having little supervision, Michael and his pals naturally get into their share of trouble. They also learn a lot about adults and the “games” older people play. The three boys find the adults intriguing and this keeps them guessing about what they may be hiding. Some of the adults have secretive lives and the boys go on clandestine missions each day in order …Read More...
January 12, 2012 by Kelly Gass
I started reading In the Province of Birds by Joseph C. Neal book about a week ago at my step-daughter’s home in Royal Arkansas – basically on the edge of the Ouachita National Forest. The next morning, on a gravel lane outside her home, I chanced upon two pileated woodpeckers working on separate trees. That was the first time I’d seen that type of scenario, so I was really excited and primed to read and review this month’s book selection. The book’s author, Joseph Neal, is also a regular contributor to this newspaper. Perhaps you have read his interesting articles on birds in Western Arkansas. So when it was brought to my attention that this local author recently had his book published and released on Amazon.com, I thought it would be a great time to review it. This is a prime time of year for bird watching and for reading books related to the subject. From time to time, I pull my Stokes Field Guide To Birds from the shelf and use it to identify or refresh my memory on a bird that shows up at one of the bird feeders in our yard. The main theme that permeates throughout the …Read More...