I wonder how much this record shaped my development and taste for scary.
31 October 2007
I wonder how much this record shaped my development and taste for scary.
30 October 2007
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 Challenge
- 1 each month for Fantasy group
- 1 each month for Sci-fi group
- 1 each month for Classics group
- 2 on hold at library
- 5 from library i am wanting to read
- 2 i've started and wanting to finish up
29 October 2007
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 kinship with humans and does want to understand them and help them. Is this due to the 3 Rules in Asimov's universe? Rachel Rosen, the main robot we see in Dream, is from a far technically superior level (the police have to do bone marrow analysis on robots in this universe to verify that a dead body is a robot) but mentally seems very deficient, especially compared to R Daneel. The robots in this world are incapable of understanding empathy and don't care about humans, other robots, or life in general. My personal definition of empathy, vaguely Buddhist as it is, is the understanding that other things feel, and hurt, in the same way that i do. I would think that some level of this could be programmed into a robot, especially as it is mentioned they feel pain.
I was thinking of doing a rating system of some sort. haven't confirmed what i am wanting to do with that yet so i'll just say this was definitely worth the read.
21 October 2007
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 store that 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 a book at all it would be something small and not too engrossing as i would just be reading a little here and there when my family was busy or i got up too early. now if we were flying somewhere the best thing for me to do is get the most engrossing thick paper back i could find. i am not the best flyer yet so a brand new Stephen King, Mercedes Lackey, or George RR Martin would be perfect. Alternatively, a really good popular science does wonders for me too, like Carl Sagan or Jared Diamond.
This weekend's trip i took 2 new copies of Skeptic Magazine (i had my last 2 delayed in reaching me because i moved) as well as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick. I knew i was going to be riding much of the time on the drive to and from Asheville (i ended up driving only the last 170 miles back to Nashville) but that i wouldn't be reading much when we got there. I made it through both issues of Skeptic and about 4 chapters of my book so that is not too bad.
currently: resting after this trip.
18 October 2007
currently: concerned about tornadoes.
17 October 2007
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 was going to read an HP Lovecraft for my 4th book but had decided to try The Road again as it is certainly frightening. i will admit that i did have a bad dream involving the setting last week.
currently: watching Around the Horn
16 October 2007
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.
14 October 2007
20 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 year ago. more non-fiction too.
12 October 2007
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 do that twice a day i'll finish in a week, just in time to take it back to the library.
Currently: watching Lost season 2 DVD.
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 unabridged i will take. So that day i just purchased Madame Bovary and Wuthering Heights just as possible reads for next year and spent maybe $6.50. So today i went back and said i would spend only 20 before taxes. well, for 20.50 i got Emma, The Moonstone, Anna Karenina, Cryptonomicon and Our Mutual Friend. It may not be the best place to pick up a specific book (their sci-fi/fantasy section is big on Tolkein and hardbacks but not a lot else) but for just wandering or beefing up your collection it is incredible. Also, brand new hardbacks are probably cheaper through amazon. But i don't want hardbacks. I want stuff i can throw on paperback swap if i don't like it. And a brand new trade paperback of Anna Karenina that doesn't have Oprah's name on it is certainly worth 3.99. To top it all off, I also found out they have a big store in the Bellevue Mall. while that mall isn't as creepy as 100 Oaks, i think i have just been in once or twice so i am not surprised i missed it.
On a semi-aside, one thing my Yahoo book groups talk about are their giant To Be Read stacks. Truly though, until this last year i hadn't ever had one. i pretty much bought books as i read them. while i might pick up one i knew i wanted to read a few weeks before i got around to it, rarely did i have more than one or two purchased and waiting to be read. Now library stacks i have always had but if i get where i am just renewing one and never get around to it i always just take it back. The last several months though have seen me sign up for amazon prime (so i can buy a book whenever i want and not pay shipping), go to the flea market, find paperbackswap.com, and now this new store. now i do really have about 14 books in a "too read" pile. eek! I do intend to sign up for the Russian Reading challenge as well as the TBR 2008 challenge so that should cover a good bit of my pile. At least i don't feel like i have the smallest Librarything list.
09 October 2007
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.
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 accountable by the men he hung unjustly in the course of his years on the bench. Of those three, I'd say Green Tea was the best, perhaps just because of being the first, perhaps because the monkey the main character describes seeing sounds very frightening.
The last two stories were my favorites. The Room in the Dragon Volant is a straight up mystery. In fact, it is so straight out of Tales from the Crypt that they may have ripped it off for the comic. An Englishman traveling in France after the defeat of Napoleon becomes wrapped up in the schemes of a gang and barely escapes with his life. Moves right along though.
The last story is Carmilla. Yeah, that Carmilla, the lesbian vampire story. I loved it! i have read a LOT of vampire things but managed to miss this one. Definitely great descriptions, wonderfully atmospheric. Stoker seems to have pulled the Lucy and Mina characters both from this tale. In this case the survivor is Laura and she is writing the story 10 years after the men vanquish the vampire. One thing about the vampire is that she has to use as her name all the letters in it again. so what would my vampire name be? maybe Elimena? Laineme? Imenale? My name need more consonants.
i have put The Vampyre by Dr. Polidori on my list for sometime next year. Maybe next years RIP!
06 October 2007
currently: getting ready for Florida-LSU.
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, emotional fan fiction. I don't read romance novels, mainly because the few that i have picked up over the years tend to not be the best written stuff. The few that i have enjoyed have been historical type ones involving pirates, castles, nobility, etc and i guess i like those because they become a total immersion fantasy. That being said, Henry Miller's Tropic books are near the top of my classics to read list because i have heard they are pretty graphic. I mean, who doesn't want to read about what your grandparents thought about sex back in the day.
Currently: watching Auburn torch Vandy. COME ON GUYS!
04 October 2007
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.
03 October 2007
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, intelligence is important, and knowledge is wonderful. Anyway, my father is a huge sci-fi fan. We had stacks of sci-fi hardbacks and paperbacks. I tore through plenty of them between ages 9-14. Robots, space, aliens, colonies i really loved it. But somehow i don't think i read any Asimov. Did i just skip those? Did my dad not like his writing? Not sure, but now i've got more stuff to read.