Friday, March 28, 2008

#53 Litlovers - a well read online community

Litlovers is a fun site, and one that I can see being useful not just for providing information for people wanting to set up a bookclub but also of general use for personal book knowledge and for readers' advising.

I wasn't feeling very creative so I checked out the site's suggested books for the month. There were three and I chose Geraldine Brooks' People of the book as I had been talking about it over Easter and want to read it. From there, a quick look at the resources section showed that four of her books have notes: March, Nine parts of desire, People of the book, and Year of Wonders. Thus the reader was provided with info about a number of titles to allow a more detailed study of her work. I looked at People of the book in detail and was provided with a summary of the book, biographical data about Geraldine Brooks and links to an interview and lots of critics' remarks about the work. All of this seemed to provide me with a good start for a discussion - now I just need to reserve the book!

I also checked out the LitCourse section and enrolled in the first course which was about romantic fiction, not because I was particularly interested, but because I like starting at the beginning! It provided a useful introduction and discussion points about the two extracts being looked at. One criticism I had was that the course seemed a bit black and white about the answers, whereas I was more interested in being discursive and could easily argue pros and cons of situations. From this you can see that I got some "wrong" and disagree. There are ten courses covering characterization, plot, setting (important for the romance novel - I learnt that!!), irony, symbolism, and other topics.

I could probably live without the produce available at the LitShop and a lot of the LitFun, but I liked the idea of looking up recipes to suit the setting you were reading in. That is a clever idea. I checked out the Greek page and found a few favourites (much more than in the I'm cooked site previously discussed, though the US names for Greek favourites in Litlovers made me wonder whether another search on I'm cooked mightn't find some?). These recipes appeared to be linked to countries, so if I wanted an accompaniment to Ellis Peters' Cadfael series or Georgette Heyer's regency novels I'd be pushing my luck. But maybe historical recipes will come later. Likewise the film adaptations list was pretty short but calling for input.

This is a great site and will, no doubt, continue to grow in strength!

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