Thursday, March 25, 2010

After the Snow Melts

We were a slightly smaller group that met on Tuesday to discuss the book Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson. But, then, it was one of the more perfect beginning-of-spring afternoons.

Our overall opinion of the book was favorable, but a few people thought that the story moved too slow, or did not go far enough into certain scenes. Several comments were made about the book having a disappointing ending. A few of us read the book a second time for the meeting and found it more appealing to reread.

Our conversation was lively, however. It was interesting to compare our perceptions of the story. As we discussed different parts, such as the relationship of Trond's father with Lars' mother, we found ourselves clarifying portions of the story to each other. Some of this was due to the order in which the story was told, which someone aptly described as the unfolding of memories as they happen in life.

For us, living in a similar climate, it was easy to relate to the story that takes place in Norway and Sweden. And to those of us, like Cora, who have Norwegians in their family, the characters were understandable and lifelike.

Visit Per Petterson's web site and blog for this and more books authored by him at View more reviews of the book as a featured staff pick from the famous Powell's books web site.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Famous Cat Named Oscar

When we met to talk about Dewey the library cat last December, other cats in the news were brought up in the conversation. One of them was a nursing home cat, who accurately predicted when residents of the home were soon to pass away.

Now there is a book about that cat, titled Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat. The book was written by David Dosa, M.D., a geriatrician working at the home where the cat's predictions took place.

Originally, Dr. Dosa had written a short article about Oscar the cat which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. (Read the excerpt by following this link.) When much publicity followed, the doctor compiled more his own experiences working with Oscar and his special gifts, to write this book.

If you are interested in learning more, visit the author's web site:, which contains links to more things about Oscar, including articles and videos. Reviews of the book include comments from Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants, a book previously on our reading list.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Springs Forward

Just a reminder that our next meeting is scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of this month, March 23rd. This will be after Daylight Saving Time takes place, since it is scheduled for Sunday, March 14th this year. Don't forget to set your clocks!

In my memory, Daylight Saving Time has usually taken place on either the first or last Sunday of April. This year is different, but it will bring us later sunsets two weeks earlier than we are used to. With this wonderful springlike weather we are having this week, I am all for having more daylight!

To be perfectly accurate, however, I should mention that news announced yesterday stated how our days have been shortened by the power of the earthquake in Chile. According to NASA, Chile's earthquake not only shortened our day (by 1.26 millionth of a second), but it also shifted the Earth's axis.

If you want to read more on the topic, one suggestion is an article from Time magazine: "How Chili's Earthquake Shortened Earth's Day."

Or, see the story in National Geographic: "Chili Earthquake Altered Earth Axis, Shortened Day."

Or, if you are just interested in knowing the current accurate time, visit the official U.S. Time web site at:, which includes links to interesting information about clocks, calendars, and time keeping, plus facts and figures about Daylight Saving Time.

Oh, and our meeting will be 6:30 p.m. at the library. Our book this month is Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson.

See you there.