Last week I mentioned that this week will be audiobooks week, and as promised, I went to the library and picked up a few audiobooks. I was amazed at the wide variety the small library close to where I live carries. There were fiction books of every genre as well as non-fiction. I picked up three titles, one of which is The Color Of Water written by James Mc Bride and narrated by Andre Braugher and Lainie Kazan.

Storytelling at its best

The story gripped me instantly. Maybe it’s the deep timbre and skilful inflection of the narrator’s voice combined with the story itself or the writer’s style. Maybe a combination of all three. But whatever it is, I’m having difficulty turning off my car engine and stopping the tape when I get to my house. The story, a black son’s tribute to his white mother, is told in a style which modern-day writers will call telly, but to me it’s storytelling at its finest. It conjures up memories of me sitting on the floor at my mother’s feet while she rocked in her rocking chair and told me a story. Mc Bride’s style reminds me a lot of Frank Mc Court, another of my favorite authors. It’s funny, yet poignant, hard-hitting, yet subtle, informative but by no means boring.

As I mentioned before, I’d never listened to an audiobook before. I thought it would be a struggle to maintain my interest, but so far it hasn’t been this way. It has made my ride to and from work much more enjoyable and all too short. Just as I would with a good print book, I find this audiobook hard to put down.

The ampersand

Did you know there were once twenty-seven letters in the English alphabet? The letter that is now extinct is the ampersand – & – which was a contraction of the letters e and t, which in Latin meant and. In English, the word and was used as the twenty-seventh letter of the alphabet, but when schoolchildren recited the alphabet, they would say “XYZ and per se and,” since it wouldn’t make sense to say “XYZ and.” Per se means by itself. In time the words were pronounced together and sounded like ampersand. By the late 1800s, the word had come to mean, “rear end, posterior, or hindquarters.” In case you didn’t know, APA style requires the ampersand to be used when citing sources in text such as (Harry & Smith 2008). This is different from MLA style which calls for the and to be spelled out. This is also new to me; et cetera, meaning and so forth, can be abbreviated &c.

Heat wave

Most of the country is expected to be in to 100s this weekend. We are used to that in the summer here in Florida, but the Midwest? How hot is it where you are?

Big savings at Office Max

Summer is always a good time to stock up on office supplies for the rest of the year. Why? With the heat wave out there, you may want to stay in the cool indoors and get some writing done. Another good reason is to take advantage of the special savings at Office Max. Check them out here:

Ink & toner –7/1/12 – 7/7/12

Hurry Save 20% — 7/112 – 7/2/12

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