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Showing posts from 2007

Sagan

I finished up Billions and Billions by Carl Sagan after all, though i didn't expect to. i am pretty sure it was a reread for me. It is less cohesive than some of his earlier ones but that is to be expected considering it was completed after his death. I was intriugued to read about the global warming situation 10 years ago though and how the scientific consensus is really over a decade old.

stupid-head Republicans.

So to finish off the year for sure: 69 books, 20 of which were nonfiction.

More Philosophy

Completed Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy by Richard Green and K. Silem Mohammad last night during the Titans game. Props for making the playoffs guys! Good luck in the rematch against the Chargers.

As for the book, it is one of the best in the series. I read these books, as i've posted in the past, both to expand my knowledge of specific philosophers and their theories and ideas as well as to peek at the depths of meaning in some of my favorite works. The decent books in the series will have essays that say "here's a philosopher, here's his idea, this is how it applies to the work in question". which is fine for the first reason i read these books. The really good books in the series have essays that say "here's some things that happen in the work, this is how it illustrates the theme of the work, here's how it relates to the big questions of life, here's how it defends/opposes this philosopher's work". That is precisely what a…

One More Audiobook

I completed The Return of the King on audio this week so i have finished up that series. it was wonderful to hear the Battle of the Shire part as that was what i really really hoped to see in the movie yet it was left out. That is really the part where you see how much the hobbits have learned, grown (literally and figuratively), as well as how the Shire has dealt with the events of the books. I had hoped it something of it would be included in the Special Edition dvd but, alas, it was not.

Speaking of movies, my Netflix is back on. YAY! My first one watched was Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa. It was fantastic! of course, this is one i should have seen forever ago but didn't. I am trying to expand my horizons. I immediately hopped on and added half a dozen others by him to my queue. Which looks kinda funny now, as it's a list of old and new Japanese movies, the tv show Firefly, the series discs for Cowboy Bebop, then a long list of regular American stuff I've not seen, li…

BTT on 12/27

A Very Interesting Question, one i had intended to post about anyway!

It’s an old question, but a good one . . . What were your favorite books this year?List as many as you like … fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, science-fiction, business, travel, cookbooks … whatever the category. But, really, we’re all dying to know. What books were the highlight of your reading year in 2007?I have several. Though i didn't start blogging books until February and i don't know what i read in January, I'd say my favorites in no particular order: The Watchmen, Rebecca, Ender's Game, The Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Golden Compass. There were several more that were close but not quite to my top 6. I'd say i am a bit surprised. Three books that fall under young adult? A graphic novel from the 80's? A gothic romance from the 30's? The Kushiel series at least makes sense: a lush, complex fantasy world full of strong…

A Few Things

Played around with my blog colors and i like the little changes i have made. Made it just a touch brighter but it still works i think.

Posting my TBR alternates. I totally reserve the right to mess with these in the next few days!
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein (1K1)
Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert (1K1)
A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. StirlingI, Robot by Issac Asimov (1K1)
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (1K1)
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (1K1)
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (1K1)
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (1K1)
A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage (NF)Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett (NF)
Charlemagne's Tablecloth by Nichola Fletcher (NF)
Watership Down by Richard Adams

Currently: watching the Titans game, in HD at my friends' house...if we win the next 2 weeks we are in the playoffs!

I Am Legend

So i finished the novel yesterday morning and saw the movie yesterday evening. But before i go into that...

WE SAW THE BEST PREVIEW!! For the new Batman movie. It was in IMAX. A 4 minute scene from the movie. it was the coolest. Some people we were sitting near apparently didn't like the movie and said that at least they got to see that preview.

The book and the movie are radically different. First, i want to say i loved the movie. It is definitely in my top 3 or 4 that i've enjoyed this year. Will Smith was wonderful and the dog was precious. The cinematography and set dressing blew me away. You believe you are seeing a 3 years gone abandoned NYC. Spectacular.

As for the novel, I read this one maybe 15 years ago. I don't remember exactly, but it was during my vampire fetish phase so i know it was in high school. It had been long enough that i really didn't remember much of what happened though. I would say that it is semi-typical of sci-fi or horror short stories (it is …

TBR Challenge

Hooray! i get to post my regular list for my last challenge i am signing up for the beginning of the year. For this the idea is to read 12 books in 2008 that have been on your "to read" list for a while. The guidelines are anything you've had or wanted to read for more than 6 months. I've tried to mix up some non-ficton, regular books and some 1k1 books. I don't have my alternates set but here's my list for what i intend to read.
The Historian by Elizabeth KostovaOn Beauty by Zadie Smith (1K1)Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1K1)A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin BrockmeierA Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (NF)The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1K1)The Tender Bar by JR Moehringer (NF)Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1K1) The Lover by Marguerite Duras (1K1)All The President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein (NF)The Society of S by Susan HubbardPurity of Blood by Arturo Perez-ReverteI feel these are all pretty doable. i am so excited about what i am…

Stuff I Am Fiending For

a real cafe au lait. the crap i've gotten up here just doesn't compare
while we are at it, beignets.
LOST, for which i only need wait until January 31!
a good long hug from my father
the dark chocolate cayenne pepper cookies i can't find the recipe for
a night out dancing and drinking where i don't have to drive home
a jaw dropping, freak me out horror movie
9 hours of uninterrupted sleep

Golden Compass Movie

Had a wonderful day with BF yesterday. We hung out, did the shopping for everyday stuff thing and saw The Golden Compass. He was really nice and attentive and funny. We got to fuss over how to put together a kitchen cart. Hugs and kisses and cuddling under the blankets because of the cold. It really was one of the best days I've had in a while.

But enough with the mushiness. To the Movie.

A bit of a different experience reading the book and seeing the movie 2 days later. It made me quite concious of the differences between the 2. An experience i am going to repeat this week with I Am Legend. I liked the movie and it had wonderful special effects. The ice bears and the airship scenes were particularly good. I do understand, even if i don't particularly like, why the filmmakers shortened the book and changed the ending. It is really a setup for the next book in a planned series, like the end of Fellowship of the Ring. BF felt that the ending would really turn people off because …

BTT for 12-13

A great question, quickly answered.
Do you use any of the online book-cataloguing sites, like Library Thing or Shelfari? Why or why not? (Or . . . do you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking to?? (grin))Yes. see the sidebar? BF pointed me to LibraryThing in April 2006 according to my profile on there. This was back when you had to pay to join to get to 100 books though i think they've upped the amount now. why? not sure what attracted me at first. I hadn't any catalog or list of books i owned before that. I do like being able to see who else has a lot of the books that i do as well as seeing which ones only i have posted. I actually have more unique books than i would have thought.

currently: watching The Return of the King and realizing the Mumakil charge owes a bit to the Battle of Hoth from Empire Strikes Back.

Book Review: The Golden Compass

Yesterday evening i finished up The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I absolutely loved the book. I immediately loved Lyra; she reminded me of Hermione crossed with a Weasley twin. And i can completely see how this series is recommended to people who like the Potter books. I loved the fantasy setting and the idea of the daemons. That bit reminded me of the Companions in the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey. I can't wait to read the next two; they will be first on my list for January and the YA challenge!

That being said, i had actually thought that this was going to be one of my "younger" selections for the challenge, more of a children's book than YA. After reading, I personally would not put this in the children's category at all. I would say it is a fantasy novel that happens to be about children, not a children's book. The ending, especially, is heavy and dark but there are plenty of dark moments throughout.

I've decided i am definitely going …

Two Towers and other Things

I completed The Two Towers on audio book while on the way to the grocery store this evening to get some food for dinner. I really enjoy hearing these novels. I have now 16 discs for The Return of the King and then I'm finished with all of these and i have to return them to my brother. I do wish audio books weren't so damned expensive; even at the discount bookstore i go to they are still 25 or more per book on cd.

So i am going to see The Golden Compass on Friday with BF. so i decided to go ahead and read the book. Yes, I KNOW that i am not supposed to start it until January for the YA challenge but i am reading it now! :P i will slide the next one in the series on my list instead.

On another note, when did December become May? No, i don't mean the weather, although that is far more spring like than winter. I mean the movies! Normally May-July are the months when my movie calendar is full. Now it is crazy. In the last few weeks we've had Beowulf, Juno, No Count…

The Scarlet Pimpernel

I liked this one much more than i thought i might. The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, is about an Englishman who risks his life during the French Revolution to smuggle aristocrats out of France. He has a secret identity as a rich, dumb, idle English lord, rather like Batman. Although because i am such a comics fan i knew immediately who the Pimpernel was, i still enjoyed the adventure.

I have realized i am probably NOT going to finish my Armchair Traveler Challenge, unless i pick some other books or suddenly feel like reading On the Road. I have had it from the library for about 6 weeks and just can't get into it. i am going to try the Forster this week so we'll see where it goes.

In other news, i went with BF to the Titans' game today. His first pro football game. I went a few years ago with some friends to see Pittsburgh and Jerome Bettis beat up on us. Today i got to see some great defense for 3 and a half quarters then LT break out. So i am 0 for 2 …

Magic Study

Finished up another one. Magic Study by Maria Snyder. In this one, the main character from Poison Study travels to the country of her birth to learn to control her magic. Of course, we have a rollicking adventure along with the lessons. We get a lot more about the world of the stories. And we get the setup for the next book, due out in March. While the characters are not deeply drawn and the coincidences can be a little overdone, i am really enjoying this series so far. As far as i can tell these are the only books by this author.

So i've already received my Christmas present from my parents: a $75 gift card to Amazon. Whoopee! I've spent 25 so far buying a coffee grinder and the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. so i've got one (or possibly three) of my YA reads for next year.

Currently: waiting for the Heroes fall finale; hoping the South American chick is one of the ones to die.

TBR

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A little thing is running around the blogs about everyone's TBR stacks. So i figured I'd post mine too. I've counted mine up and i have 25 books pictured. That doesn't include a couple relationship books i have as well as a few more racy ones i couldn't bear to picture. There are a couple library books in here though.

I have a tendency to get a lot of books through the library though. I know i have a bunch on my list for challenges next year and a few of the ones on here are for those.

I just don't have a tendency to really accumulate a bunch at once. this is really the biggest stack of unreads i've probably ever had. i honestly probably have only had 5-8 books TBR before. Working on challenges as well as my 1001 list has caused me to accumulate some. I think i've had more time recently, unfortunately, to read so i've been getting books in anticipation. And Christmas is coming so i am sure i'll be getting books and/or gift cards as presents.…

Beowulf--The 3D Extravaganza!

So we went to see Beowulf last night on the wonderful IMAX screen. We hit the 9:30 show and as i had woken up about 6:15 am i was a little tired. Really affected me on the drive back more than during the movie.

Anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I never had to read this one in school so i only kind of vaguely knew the story. BF did read it previously so he knew what was going on. I really expected a normal sort of fairy tale: hero fights monsters and after some trials wins, rescues a fair maid, gets treasure/land, lives happily ever after. But this one really wasn't. The story was far more melancholy than i thought. Really sad, especially the ending as we are shown this cycle we've just seen hasn't ended but simply restarted.

Of course the effects were incredible. i am actually tempted to go see it again on a regular screen just to see if it is any different. There are a lot of shots that i could see could have been added just for the 3D effect, like spurting…

BTT

Finally i managed to do one on the right day!!

Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?I don’t so much mean something like reading a series from beginning to end, but, say, a string of books that all take place in Paris. Or that have anthropologists as the main character. Or were written in the same year. Something like that… Something that strings them together in your head, and yet, otherwise could be different genres, different authors…

On first impulse i want to say no. I want to say that i do read series but not necessarily books in groups like this question describes. I know i get on kicks where i read a bunch of fantasy, a bunch of popular science, a bunch of historical fiction, a bunch of horror, a bunch of philosophy. And really, looking at my blog since february seems to have shown this. I feel like when i just glance what i've read it's random except for some of my challenge books. But then…

An AudioBook and A Regular One

Finished up The Fellowship of the Ring on audio on Tuesday morning. It is quite interesting to listen to these on audio. The reader is great, doing voices and really differentiating the characters. But, since i've seen the movies so many times, it is strange to hear him do Sam as a sort of Scottish commoner. Legolas sounds all light and airy. Boromir sounds bitchy the whole time. that's my only real complaint. i am getting through a little quicker than i would have thought. I do have to say the 30-45 mins drive to and from work is a nice chunk to get through. Now, on to The Two Towers.

I also completed The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory today. Tore through that 750 pages in two days. I really liked it, obviously. Since i've been struggling my last few books (except for Poison Study) it was really nice to be able to power through a really good book. This one has been made into a movie with Scarlett Johansen as Mary Boleyn and Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn. …

Pop Culture and Philosophy

I so love this series. At a quick glance, i have 7 of them and there are about 2 more that i'd like. I just found out Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy comes out on Tuesday! Now i have to decide if i just want to get it or wait at least until after Christmas in case someone gets it for me.

Why do i like this series? Yeah, part of it is having them sit on the shelf, telling people that i understand deeper things than they do. So sue me. Part of it is to tell people that yes, there is something more to The Matrix than cool effects, there is something bigger in South Park than Cartman's ass. The main bit, though, is to realize why i like what i like. I read these to learn more about myself. I read to help myself think in bigger terms. I know i don't get all the allusions, deeper themes, etc, in the things i read and watch and it is nice to get them laid out for me. That reason is why i've watched the Matrix Trilogy with the Philosopher's Commentary. I want to …

Finished Wuthering Heights

For a group read. Also a 1001 Book. I am so glad i finished it.

I hated it. Really. A LOT! My understanding is that this was one of the great classic romance novels. so what did i expect from a romance written in the early 1800's? Flirting that doesn't quite sound like flirting, "understandings", separations, conflicts of class, a happy ending. what did i get? An absolutely miserable character in Heathcliffe, an spoiled, whiny, adopted sister whom he is in love with (ugh) for no reason we can see. She loves him back, again for no real reason, but marries someone else. Heathcliffe disappears then shows back up rich (which is the one thing i WAS interested to find out about but we never do) and proceeds to cause his love/sister to die, marries her sister-in-law, makes her miserable. everyone has a kid, they grow up (and though the characters know Heathcliffe is scheming to try to get their estate, no one thinks to send the daughter away) and are made miserable …

Poison Study

No, i am not figuring out how to hurt BF. I finished up Poison Study by Maria Snyder. It was EXACTLY what i needed to read right now. Light, fun, quick, lovely. A bit of magic, romance, poison, intrigue, chases, escapes, true love, miracles.....

um, sorry, wrong book.

But it is a great story. I've already hopped on the library site to get the next one. It reminded me a little of the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey with less sex and much shorter. Third one comes out in the spring, so that's another that'll be up for next year.

Speaking of next year, i signed up for one more challenge. The Young Adult Challenge over on Thoughts of Joy. 12 young adult books for the year. when i go over to YA, i end up loving it. Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Lemony Snicket are all great series. I've been wanting to read some RoaldDahl as I only read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid. And through the last few months I've read several reviews for some books that will qualify for …

Another Little Questionnaire

These are so wonderful! I pulled this from Melody's Reading Corner. I really like answering these things for some reason. hmm, i wonder what that says about me mentally.


1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?I was about3 when i started learning to read. I could before i started school. my earliest memory is actually of sitting on a couch with my dad, my feet just barely over the edge of the cushion, with a book on our laps. i don't know if he was teaching me or if he was reading it to me but i like that memory a lot.

2. What do you find most challenging to read?hmm. i'm not sure. some sort of how-to? chick lit? i guess this question is what is hard to read not what i don't like to read.

3. What are your library habits?We have a great library system in Nashville. I can request things online and pick up stuff at the various branches (one is by bf's and one is on my way to my friends' house so i can choose between those). I tend to go through stages …

BTT time again (which means it's Friday)

I don't know why i can't remember this on Thursdays. this week's is:
how many of uswrite notes in our books? Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?I read a LOT of library books so notes are out on those. I would never write in a book on a first read either. In high school and college of course i wrote in books lots, for notes for classes/papers and also in my personal paperbacks. mainly i would underline/highlight parts more than writing notes specifically in my personal books at least. I do have to say my copies of Interview With the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat are well written in, underlined and highlighted. My poor copy of Lestat has the cover coming off and is actually wrapped and rubberbanded in a piece of newspaper. Guess i should spring for a new one next time i read the series (by which i mean the first 4, the rest kinda suck).

The Sims meet Lost

Found the most hilarious thing today. Got an email from amazon about a Sims Societies game and it had one of those "suggestion links" for a game called Sims Castaway. Looks freaking funny! the trailers are really good. stay for the whole thing as the last couple are the best. Definitely teasing about Lost. You have 3 choices: run, hide, serenade a chicken!

too good!

Later...ack..looks like is a platform game not a pc one. hmm. maybe bf will buy that wii. or i can get it to play on the PS2 they have where i am staying.

Space Merchants

Finished up Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. Immediately posted it on paperbackswap. It was ok, not great though. I found the world far more interesting than the story or the characters. The Presidency is a full-on inherited position (as opposed to the technically elected position it is now) and the Congresspeople and Senators directly represent corporations (as opposed to just being paid for by them). But the main characters were just kind of sad. I know i don't relate well to "ambitious" people and the lead male was the epitome of ambition. want, want, want. i just don't get it.

we'll all be dead in 70 years anyway.

A Finished Audiobook

So i finished The Hobbit on audiobook Saturday and started working on Fellowship of the Ring. It is really different to listen to these in the car rather than reading. These are such familiar stories to me that i feel i shouldn't be reading (or in this case hearing) anything different. But each time i go back to them i do find little differences or things i don't remember from before. This is the first time i have revisited these since I reread the series after the movie version of Fellowship of the Ring came out.

I listened to these both while moving the BF to a different apartment complex. it was just a couple miles away but we didn't rent a big truck so we had lots of trips. i got lots of short little pieces at a time. strangely, i am getting used to reading like this as when i read at work i am taking calls and only get a few pages done between the calls.

currently: blah.

BTT post

Another thursday, another question:

Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less?
Why?

I know that i read less now. I don't even really have an excuse as i don't have kids. When i was in high school i read constantly. I regularly hit over 100 books a year counting rereads and rarely went more than a day without picking up a book. I am not sure why i read less. I can blame it on the depression currently but even before these last few months i was reading less. stress? too many other distractions i know, like World of Warcraft, Sims, Tivo, Lost DVDs. the Internet woo hoo! the internet is a huge part of why i read less i am sure.

currently: watching 30 Rock

Am I a loser?

I think i read plenty. i mean, i enjoy reading. i always have a book with me. everyone recommends books to me, even my therapist! I get to read at work when it's slow, i read while watching slow football games, i read super fast.

But some of you guys are making me feel terrible! I feel like the 3 challenges i'm signing up for for the beginning of the year, as well as the 3 yahoo book groups i'm in will keep me plenty busy for the next several months. but i am reading all these book blogs and i feel like a total wuss! Some of you guys have already signed up for like 6 or more for next year. ack! I mean, one of these for next year is for 64 books! i just don't know if i could plan on the next 100 or more books i am going to read. 25 or so, sure.

I applaud your stamina, your ambition, and your eyesight!

A Strange Moment

So yesterday i spent some time at my and bf's apartment, ostensibly to pack but really we watched tv. I left about 8:15 and drove to my friends' house i am currently staying at. Had a sad but not weepy drive. Just the sort of normal mid-level depression my life is at now.

after i had turned into the subdivision i'm staying in, i saw something i have never seen before. A bright green shooting star fell directly in front of me, at about 75 degree angle to the ground and intersected the horizon. I have never seen a green one, nor one that was not directly overhead. it was strange, disconcerting, to see.

Monday on the way to work i saw a fox. in the middle of the regular neighborhood i drive through in Nashville. That was in the middle of a severe crying jag as i drove (bad idea, leave me alone) and it startled me to see the fox.


I don't believe in God. I don't believe in fate. I don't believe in signs.


but these last few days have been weird.

Another Challenge

So I'll also be doing the Russian Reading Challenge. Being of Russian descent (mixed in with a good dash of Italian and a bunch of American Mutt) I've always felt like I should know more about where my grandfather's father and his parents were born. My world history classes in high school didn't really touch on the country but for the big bad USSR of the Cold War and i didn't have to take anything about it in college either. I've never had to read any of the big Russian novelists, though i have touched on various shorter things and plays in college. also, besides some fiction i definitely am going to include some history on my list. my tentative list so far is:
Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr SolzhenitsynFathers and Sons by Ivan TurgenevAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyHouse of the Dead by Fyodor DostoevskyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoevskyRussia and the Russians by Geoffrey HoskingI may decide to s…

First of Next Year's Challenges

So one of the challenges i have decided to sign up for is hosted by Annie called What's in a Name? I've got all year to get through this one so i am feeling pretty good. I'll post in the next few days what else i'm going to do for next year. I am definitely doing 2 others at the beginning at least but i don't think i'll sign up for any more until at least a few months in or i finish off at least 1 1/2 of the ones i will be working on starting january. So here are my reads for this one!

1. A book with a color in its title: Red Queen by Margaret Drabble

2. A book with an animal in its title: The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt

3. A book with a first name in its title:Emma by Jane Austen

4. A book with a place in its title:Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

5. A book with a weather event in its title:The Cloud of Unknowing by Thomas H Cook

6. A book with a plant in its title:The Serpent and the Rose by Kathleen Bryan

I'll have to reread Jane Eyre before i ta…

Horror question

So BTT had a Halloweeny question yesterday:
What with yesterday being Halloween, and all . . . do you read horror? Stories of things that go bump in the night and keep you from sleeping?
well, yeah! no, HELL YEAH! The whole reason i signed up for RIP was to read some scary spooky stuff. I have always loved Stephen King, Clive Barker, vampires, Zombies, Poe, psychological thrillers. The problem is so much of horror can be absolute trash. I have never been able to finish a Dean Koontz or John Saul novel. I don't care how many these guys sell, they are crap. Every time i take a chance on one i give up. Give me Bradbury, Phillip K Dick, Preston and Child. These guys can write. I'd rather reread Frankenstein or Jekyll and Hyde than read something bad.

so maybe i am a snob after all. :)

Grisham?

Yes, i read something by John Grisham, Playing for Pizza. No, i am not a snob; i've read several of his when i was in high school. He is just not a great writer. He does a wonderful job on descriptions, of places, things, etc, but he doesn't do characters, or plots, that well at all. After about 3 chapters i knew exactly how the book would end, all but the nationality of the girl the main character ends up with.

That being said, this was a nice little read. However I would not recommend it at all to someone who has no interest in football. They won't get big chunks of this little book. The descriptions of food and Italy were wonderful.

I do have to admit that the travel bug has fully bitten me now. Yes, part of it is a deep desire to run away from the situation i am in. But yeah, part of me want to get a passport, brush up on my french, save up some cash, pay off my credit card, sell my car, sell all the rest of my stuff, quit my job and wander around Europe for mont…

Halloween

Happy Halloween!!

Hope this is a sufficiently in-the-spirit type story:

When i was a kid my brothers and i had records. Records are like cd's in that they are round and hold music or audio but they are much bigger, dark in color and use a needle to play the music or audio off of it. One of the ones we had and loved was a recording of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Boris Karloff. it was wonderful. Not the stupid Disney creation but the real story. The B-side was Rip Van Winkle and I think we may have listened to that only a few times. We loved Sleepy Hollow though. Karloff, of course, had a great spooky deep voice and the sound effects of wind, the clopping of the horse hooves and the creaky bridge were terrifying. He made Ichabod Crane's final ride through that covered bridge an intense, harrowing experience.

I wonder how much this record shaped my development and taste for scary.


So What's Left?

I did a post a few weeks ago about what i had set for myself to read by the end of the year. Now seemed like a good time to update that. so here it is:3 Books left for Armchair Traveler Challenge1 each month for Fantasy group1 each month for Sci-fi group1 each month for Classics group2 on hold at library5 from library i am wanting to read2 i've started and wanting to finish upso that makes 18 left if i get all the library ones. i am also almost done with 2 of my Armchair Challenge ones so really it is about 16. i should definitely finish that challenge by the end of the month. YAY!

Do Android's Dream...

The first Philip K Dick novel I've finished. I saw A Scanner Darkly last summer and really liked the movie and bought the book this past spring, probably about the time we were planning our move. I seriously read all but maybe the last 20 pages and packed it, so now it is in a box somewhere all but finished.
I have never seen Blade Runner straight through but it is one of those that i've basically seen, in a 20 mins here, 15 mins there and the story synopsis is every where kind of way. I liked it and do intend to search out more by the author. Since it is a pretty well known story, i don't want to go over that bit again, i want to compare it to another robot novel i just read, The Caves of Steel by Asimov. I think Caves is a much more philisophically optimistic novel as a whole while Dream is more optimisitic about our technological progress but very pessimistic about humanity. R Daneel, the main robot character in Caves, comes off as a pretty good guy. He seems to feel a …

So I Went on A Trip...

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the literal kind. The friends i am staying with went to Asheville and i went along too. Camping along the French Broad River was pretty but freezing. Visited a brewery and i was in the position of knowing the most about beer in the group. Downtown was lovely and busy! Found a GREAT chocolate storethat i can order from online! Try the "blossom" or "ancient pleasure" ones under the Ecstasy Truffle label. yummy.

Took some pictures from our campsite.
so a question that always comes up in reading groups: what books would you plan on taking on a trip? some people seem to have a set answer, like there is a certain group of books they take that they know they like. some people seem to take just whatever they are reading in paperback at the time. I know i am a little different. It depends on the trip really for me. If i am going home to Louisiana that means i have a 10 hour drive each way. even if BF came with me i still drove the whole way usually. so if i brought …

Memoirs of a Geisha

I completed Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Another super-fast read for me (2 days).I haven't seen the movie so only knew vaguely what the book was about. I enjoyed this one too. Very very nice change from The Road. Wonderfully rich detail. Very good sense of place. It seemed to end rather abruptly but that is my only complaint. It is a good book when i don't want it to end!

currently: concerned about tornadoes.

I Finished The Road

Finally, i finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy. i am actually relieved as i was expecting something really really terrible to happen at the end but it didn't. It is depressing, sad, slow and lacking in quotation marks and "said"s so parts can be really difficult to follow who is saying what. I would have really liked to have a little piece at the beginning to say what had happened in the world. It is the story of a man and his son traveling in a post-apocalypse world. they walk, search for food, walk, run out of food, find bad people, find more food, walk, etc. nothing really much happens for pages and pages at a stretch.

I don't know why this one has been so big. I mean it is short and fast to read but not exactly good. i mean, i checked it out once before and couldn't get into it at all and this time it has taken me 3 weeks to read. Compare that to Caves of Steel that i read in a day!

This does finish out my RIP challenge tho!! i had originally said i wa…

One more for Armchair Traveler Challenge

I finished Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe. It is a very different novel than the ones i have been reading recently. Completely outside of my experience. It is the story of Ezeulu, a Nigerian man in the 1920's who is the voice of his tribe's God. The novel is very culturally rich, in a way that i haven't read since college. This one reminded me of some of the ethnographies i read during my cultural anthropology classes. The customs, foods, stories andwords really set up a sense of time and place. The story is a little slow but by the end everything gets tied up in a way that you see nothing could have been any different for the previous 200 pages. The book discusses English colonization of Nigeria and the spread of Christianity and how these things affect Ezeulu and his family.

I am really glad i read this one. If it hadn't been on my 1001 Books list i would never have picked it up.

Thinking about the Past

Reading Memories20 Years Ago: (age 11) when i was 11 i was in 6th grade. middle school sucked ass, so i was probably deep into fantasy. i'd say i read Tolkien around this time, as well as the first 3 books in Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series. Like Stephen King at this point too.
15 Years Ago: (age 16) i can definitely say i tore through Anne Rice at this point, as well as reread a bunch of King. I did enjoy the classics and Shakespeare i read in high school at the time too.
10 Years Ago: (age 21) i was working on getting through college at this point so probably reading whatever i had to. Lots of anthropology.
5 Years Ago: (age 26) i was about this age when my mom gave me the first four Harry Potter books. so then i loved Harry.
3 Years ago: (age 28) I really got into political non-fiction around this point, as well as jumping into memoir and biography in general. Philosophy and buddhism. Jared Diamond.
Last Year: (age 30) I believe i found George R.R. Martin about a y…

Politics

Just in time for him to win the Nobel Prize i finished up Al Gore's The Assault on Reason. I like it, although i wouldn't say i hadn't heard some of it before. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert so a great job of pointing out tv and specifically broadcast journalism are a huge part of the problem with our country. Gore's book covers two things essentially: George Bush sucks (and the various reasons why) and the citizenry is disconnected from politics due to being out of the conversation of government. He discusses how we were pushed aways and ways to reconnect the people to the government. And how much Bush sucks. a lot. so that was really nice to read. (truly, i enjoyed it. i am crazy liberal. i thought it was great)

I am still trying to get through The Road by Cormac Mccarthy. i am a little over halfway. it is such a fast read but i am not getting into it at all. so now i think instead of just trying to read it i'll read 10 or so pages at a time. If i can d…

I am in LOVE

with a bookstore of all things! lol.

So a few Sundays ago i had a really bad day. I was really really upset with the BF (ex? what do you call the person you are separated from when both parties are trying to work things out?) when i got off work. crying, sniffly, not even attempting to keep it together upset. I didn't want to go see him, nor did i want to go to the house i am staying at where my friend lives as i didn't want to have to explain. So i drove down to Cool Springs and just wandered. There are so many little shopping strips down there it is too hard to keep track of what is in everything. So i pulled in one to go to Dick's Sporting Goods and saw a huge sign for Book Gallery HALF PRICE BOOKS. "hmm," i thought, "i read. and half price is better than full." so i go in to check it out.

This store stunned me! they had a HUGE classics section and though i haven't heard of some of the publishers (wordsworth?) any classics i can get unabridg…

In A Glass Darkly--With Spoilers!

First off, i want to congratulate myself on 100th post. while 53 were before i turned this into a mainly reading blog even some of those were about books. It is kind of a big deal to me to stick with this for not quite two years. With 2 1/2 months left in the year i should blast past my 2006 total number of posts.

Finished In A Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu. It is actually a short story collection, threaded together as the collected cases of a doctor, sort of a Van Helsing type. Basically liked the stories, although not all 5 are supernatural they are all quite eerie.

SPOILER SPACE



and some more...


The first stories, titled Green Tea, The Familiar and Mr Justice Harbottle, all involve people seeing things that may or may not exist. In Green Tea, at least, there is the suggestion that the drink of the title lead to the torments of the visions. The second doesn't seem to suggest at all what the cause is, while the third makes you suspect the evil judge really is held accountabl…

The World Without Us

Read a wonderful, interesting non-fiction called The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. It is about what would happen to the Earth if everyone just disappeared. Not died in some disease epidemic, or meteor collision, or slowly over time due to environment changes, but if we were just gone. It was really incredible. It is a true call-to-arms for the environment because the chapters about how long and in what ways our trash and plastic will be around were horrendous. The most interesting ones i think were the chapters on what would happen to the petrochemical plants in south Texas and to the nuclear plants throughout the world. To sum those up: very bad things. But he also discusses more hopeful things, like the ways the land, animals and flora would all recover from our presence and the places where it is even occurring now, like in New England.

currently: getting ready for Florida-LSU.

BTT on Saturday

Another Booking through Thursday post!

Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin)

I would say i have no issues at ALL with naughty bits or swear words. Profanity doesn't bother me a bit so i would neither put down a book nor pick up a book because of it. It isn't a factor at all. i cuss a lot myself, mainly i think because i work on the phone as a customer's bitch and i am so proscribed on what i can say that as soon as i get off the phone the switch is flipped and i am free to express myself!! Sex is kind of a different thing. I would say i don't go looking for it because when i am in the kind of mood to read it i end up rereading something i know is good (Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven springs to mind) or i indulge in some Harry Potter fan fiction. Happy, sweet, emotion…

So Banned Books?

ok, it's Banned Books Week! Let's go out and burn some books! WOO HOO!


Oh wait, is that NOT what happens on Banned Books Week?

Looking over the ALA website i saw a link for the most challenged authors from 1900-2004. Wondering who could be the most challenged, i clicked on it. Stephen King? J.K Rowling? Anne Rice? Darwin?

Nope. The most challenged author was Alvin Schwartz. Who the hell is that?

Let me assure you he is awesome. He wrote the SCARY STORIES series!!!! Dozens of creepy tales, urban legends, and ghost stories written at grade school level for children to spook themselves out with. I loved them when i was a kid. I can't believe those books are the most challenged out there in the US. These aren't any worse than plain old Grimm's Fairy Tales. I am so lucky my parents let me read whatever i wanted.

Robots!

Finished The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov. Or to be more accurate today i read The Caves of Steel, as i hadn't started it until this morning. and NO i didn't skip work again. I don't want to be written up. It is short, only about 275 small paperback pages with good size print. Solid mystery, very well written. I would have liked a little bit more after the detective solved the crime and presented his solution but I really enjoyed the novel.

The really weird part is, as i was going over amazon to pull the link for this post, i realized i haven't read anything by Asimov before. At least not any fiction. This is weird and kinda disturbs me. You see, way back in the 70's and early 80's, way back before cable, tivo, dvd players, home computers or video games more sophisticated than the Atari 2600, my parents were really big readers. Still are, for the most part. That is one of the gifts i am most grateful for from them: that reading is valuable, intellige…

A Book that Didn't get Reviewed

Going back over my previous entries and realized i got one finished that i never posted about. I read Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey. i did enjoy it i just read in in july/early august when my life started falling apart and it just slipped my mind completely. I've got Kushiel's Scion in my book box and plan on starting maybe in November after finishing up the RIP challenge.

Booking through Thursday, A Day Late

I found this site while wandering through several other book blogs off of the Riping Yarns site list.
Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?This is actually a hard one. Most of my friends aren't readers exactly and have pretty different tastes than mine. So anything i really like they wouldn't. I did buy the guy i am kinda separated from a book this week about personal finance, setting up a budget, savings because he really needs help on that front. I got it from TJ Maxx so i spent all of $5.I suppose for him i could also get him one of these relationship books i am thumbing through. Or possibly a graphic novel.

FOOD

Finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It was quite good. Now i am feeling the need to go down to our Farmer's Market tomorrow! It is about how the author's family feeds themselves off local or home-grown food for a year. It reminded me strongly of The Omnivore's DIlemma by Michael Pollan, another wonderful book about food, where it comes from and what really goes into growing it.

I have to say that i know the teensiest amount about how food grows. really, other than knowing strawberries come in late spring and corn, watermelon and tomatoes basil in summer i don't have the faintest idea about what grows when. but i am really inspired to learn.

My Reading for the Rest of the Year

So this morning i am going over my groups, challenges, library on holds and other books i'm wanting to finish to figure out how much i need to read the rest of the year. I'm a little concerned i'm not going to finish! i have at this point:
2 books left for RIP5 for Armchair Traveler Challenge1 a month for Fantasy Favorites Group1 a month for Classic Scifi Group1 a month for Thematic Classics Group3 in my queue at the library2 i have already from the library and am trying to finish5 books that i have either started recently or just bought that i want to get throughwow! that makes a total of 26 books to finish out the year. and that doesn't count any self-help/coping with relationships books that i will go through (i have 2 now). And i was wanting to reread Harry Potter! I guess HP is out for the foreseeable future. I figure i can at least squiggle in 2 of my other books to fit in the Thematic Classics Group. i'll probably miss out on one from both Classic Scif…

Another Challenge

So I joined another challenge. An attempt to work on my 1001 Books list. Also, as i was trying to come up with books for this i realized i had read The Maltese Falcon so i am up to 69 read. In the immortal words of Ted (Theodore) Logan: DUDE! So my new challenge is the Armchair Traveler challenge. As i NEED to get away but can't right now, i figure it might help.

As this one is for 6 books and ends December 31 (i am starting 3 months in) i am going to cheat a teeny tiny bit. Rebecca fits perfectly; Manderley is a driving character and the reason our heroine meets our hero. So it will be considered my first book for the challenge. The rest are:
On the Road by Jack KerouacPlaying for Pizza by John GrishamA Passage to India by E.M. ForsterMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenArrow of God by Chinua AchebeI am not normally a Grisham fan but since this one is football related i signed up for it at the library. I am 67th in line for one of 37 copies so it will probably be later in th…

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Read and really enjoyed this one, if you can say you enjoyed a book filled with the author's pain. I have seen Ali on Bill Maher several times and agreed with many of her views on women's rights and not allowing intolerance in the name of tolerance. Her personal story is so desperately sad, moving and in many ways inspiring. When i first started it i read about 2 chapters and put it down because i didn't think i could handle the "downer" with my own mental state being so off right now. But it kept coming back to me; i began reading it again and i felt so much for her as a person and her struggle to survive that it brought me out of my own funk a little bit, at least while i was reading. Highly recommended but not for the squeamish.

currently: at work, ugh!

Number of Books

BTW, with finishing Rebecca i am now at 67 books done on the 1001 Books list. yay!

Rebecca

Finished my second RIP book, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I haven't seen the movie but i knew the basic plot: guy remarries after his first "perfect" wife Rebecca dies and takes his very much younger new bride back to his huge English estate, where weird things start happening. Not a ghost story in the traditional sense but the whole book is haunted by the past. The author has a wonderful way of conveying mood and feelings. The narrator is very young and insecure. I was reading at work and got a call after a particularly good passage. I felt insecure and nervous on the call. I had to put the book down for a bit after that. I really enjoyed it and have put the Hitchcock film on my netflix list.

I'm in the middle of a few right now so not sure if fiction or nonfiction will end up next on here.

Currently: watching South Carolina at LSU.

Sense and Sensibility

Finished the Jane Austen novel. I had read Pride and Prejudice long ago (maybe for school?) and liked it so picked Sense and Sensibility for a group read.

I really liked it. A very sweet and innocent story. Fluffy. i don't normally like or read chick lit but since this is classic chick lit i gave it a try. The modern stuff is filled with neurotic, OCD women who can't stop talking about themselves. I don't feel anything like that at all so i don't identify with that.

Austen's themes are universal: love, family, searching for happiness. certainly some things that speak to me right now with my messed up personal life. I really loved the sisters; my only sister is 18 years younger than i so i don't have that kind of close "sisterly" relationship like the book describes. But when i was younger i did want a sister to talk to (rather than stinky old brothers lol) and imagined if i did we'd have a relationship like this novel describes.


currently: …

Book Questionnaire I Ripped From Another Site

What are you reading right now? Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. StirlingDo you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that? Yes! Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?I don't read in the bathroom; i am not in there long enough. I only subscribe to Entertainment Weekly and Skeptic.What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?I hated The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzergerald.What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?Right now i am rec'ing The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and the George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire series

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?I would say no, mainly because we have self-checkout in nashville and the hold shelves are also self service. They probably would if i had to talk to them everyt…

Spoilery Review of A Turn of the Screw

Went in Davis Kidd yesterday, mainly just to kill time because it was just 12:30 and there was no way i was going to try to go in Panera for lunch until at least 1:15. Anyway, i was digging through the bargain bin when i found Henry James' A Turn of the Screw for just 2.99. There was a big rack of about 40 odd titles that were sort of "thrift classics" that started out at just 4.95 anyway. as i was going to read this for RIP i snatched it up but couldn't remember which of the rest may have been on my 1001 Books list so didn't end up spending too much cash. I should probably keep a list of a dozen or so with me to snag some on super discount when this happens!

I didn't realize it was a short story. either a long short story or a really short novella. Either way i ripped through about 30 pages during my lunch and the rest yesterday evening. Very Enjoyable. A governess is in charge of 2 kids at a country home in England. Their parents are dead and their uncle is …