I am a giant Lostie. When the third season ended seven months ago, I wondered how I would make it until January with so many unanswered questions! Fortunately somehow I forged through (with a little help from a show called Heroes to occupy my time) and now I am in the midst of planning my next LOST party to launch the premiere of season four this Thursday at 7:00 pm CST.

If you haven’t already devoted some serious time to finding out what is going to happen to the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 and unlocking the mysteries of the island on which they crashed, I wouldn’t advise you to simply jump in and start watching season four. Lost is definitely a drama that requires viewers to start at the beginning. I warn you though, Lost is an addictive substance so proceed with caution. Just how addicted you become depends on the individual, but I have only known two people who have been able to overcome this television drug and even they still attempt to live vicariously through me and my weekly email recaps.

On the other hand if you’re like me and anxious to feed your Lost craving, I highly reccomend taking a look at the missing pieces shorts on ABC’s site, which reveal bits of backstories not previously shown. Some are more interesting than others, but its the 13th missing piece that will truly get you geared up for a new season of crazy questions and theories. I would also recommend EW’s Doc Jensen’s weekly recaps to add more fuel to your Lost fire. And last but not least, in my attempt to help out all of those other Lost obsessed library patrons I came up with this reading map, which I try to keep updated throughout each season.

Sledgeweb, another great Lost resource, has an update on the WGA strike and Lost. Now that Lost is finally beginning I try not to think about the fact that they were only able to film eight episodes before the strike began. I simply look forward to submersing myself in what will inevitably be at least two months of good, solid television.

Love, Coupling, and the New Victorians

Well, it looks like we aren’t the only ones to point out the similarities between this month’s book selection, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and husband Jonathon Safran Foer’s 9-11 drama, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. A 2005 article in the Village Voice discusses the peculiar synergy and competition that can occur when novelists partner. If you like all of your plot points to be a complete surprise, beware, that are some spoilers within.

In another bit of related Nicole and Jonathon media, last July the New York Observer also published a neat little article about the couples it dubbed The New Victorians. These young and successful couples in their 20s immediately settle down complete with babies, chefs, and crunchy responsible lifestyles. I have to admit, its a bit jarring to see a literary golden couple mentioned in the same paragraph as model/actress/rockspawn Liv Tyler and Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger (sigh). But not only does the Observer namecheck the New Victorian poster kids, it asserts that this trend seems married to current “trendy” obsessions with gourmet cooking, mutual funds, and maternity style fashion. Its a very reactive article – but fun reading nonetheless.

With six months gone since the declaration of this age of “suburban materialism gone urban” are you noticing this domestic bliss popping up near you?

Upcoming Titles

The more ambitious readers in our group expressed an interest in knowing what titles we already have cooked up beyond next month. Here is what we have got planned through June:

March: The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

April: As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway

May: Blankets by Craig Thompson

June: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Happy Reading!

February 2008 – The History of Love

How befitting that we should choose a complex and endearing modern love story for our February book discussion? Actually Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love helped us kill two birds with one stone: it offers our readers a break in between the long, dense novels we have selected and it introduces one more female author into the mix. So the love theme is really just a nifty bonus. Here’s a review from Amazon:

Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love is a hauntingly beautiful novel about two characters whose lives are woven together in such complex ways that even after the last page is turned, the reader is left to wonder what really happened. In the hands of a less gifted writer, unraveling this tangled web could easily give way to complete chaos. However, under Krauss’s watchful eye, these twists and turns only strengthen the impact of this enchanting book. The History of Love spans of period of over 60 years and takes readers from Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe to present day Brighton Beach. At the center of each main character’s psyche is the issue of loneliness, and the need to fill a void left empty by lost love. Leo Gursky is a retired locksmith who immigrates to New York after escaping SS officers in his native Poland, only to spend the last stage of his life terrified that no one will notice when he dies. (“I try to make a point of being seen. Sometimes when I’m out, I’ll buy a juice even though I’m not thirsty.”) Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer vacillates between wanting to memorialize her dead father and finding a way to lift her mother’s veil of depression. At the same time, she’s trying to save her brother Bird, who is convinced he may be the Messiah, from becoming a 10-year-old social pariah. As the connection between Leo and Alma is slowly unmasked, the desperation, along with the potential for salvation, of this unique pair is also revealed.

The poetry of her prose, along with an uncanny ability to embody two completely original characters, is what makes Krauss an expert at her craft. But in the end, it’s the absolute belief in the uninteruption of love that makes this novel a pleasure, and a wonder to behold. –Gisele Toueg

Please join us for our next discussion on Tuesday, February 26 at 8 pm at the Avenue Ale House in Oak Park!

Bookcase Crush

As a book lover, it’s only natural that I delight in the aesthetically pleasing arrangement of books. This is not to say that my own collection has achieved this status yet, but that I appreciate and continually strive for it. Being the design blog & decorating magazine junkie that I am, I’m fortunate enough to come across a lot of really inspiring images of book shelves and book collections scattered throughout peoples homes. I just never thought of collecting them all in one place. Thankfully Jamie from Raleigh, NC beat me to the punch.

Jamie features a large variety of home goods as well as “a little of this, some of that” on her blog, I Suwannee. However, it’s her recurring feature – bookcase of the day – that’s captured my eye. Here she collects photos of bookcases from around the web and posts them in one spot. Her sources vary from home magazines such as Domino and Elle Decor to perfectly beautiful blogs design*sponge and decor8 , and let’s not forget the Ikea catalog. I spotted several local bookcases in the bunch including one from graphic designer Nicole Balch of Pink Loves Brown fame (Nicole has also been busy chronicling the transformation of her Oak Park Bungalow in her own blog, Making it Lovely).

If you’ve read this far, chances are something about beautiful bookcases appeals to you, too. If so, may I suggest you browse flickr pool rainbow of books? Here you’ll find not only books and bookcases, but books organized by color on bookcases. Yes, today is a good day. Thanks to Apartment Therapy and Anne for the links.

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