26 August 2008

A Return to Weekly Geeks

So I haven't done this in a while. This week's theme is a photo tour of your bookish life. Fun!!

So i read a bunch at work; here's my desk.

The side of my couch that usually i read on, complete with comfy pillow stolen from the bed. like my side tables?

the one bookcase i own, full. the smaller one holds movies.

the shelf of the window in my bedroom. most are unread.

and here's the boxes of stuff, almost all books, mostly read.


Vote Obama, PT 4

Wonderful stuff but i though Joss Stone was English?

25 August 2008

RIP 3!

Am really excited about joining back up for the new RIP 3 challenge. While I have been blogging about what i've been reading since February 2007 i didn't find out about the reader blog community until last August. The first challenge i joined was RIP 2, so i blame Carl V. completely for any challenge anxiety i've had, as well as my giant TBR shelf! :) This year rather than a list he suggested a pool so here's mine!

  • The Dracula Dossier by James Reese- it's and ERC from Librarything!
  • Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert- i actually won this during last year's RIP and just haven't gotten to it yet!
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer-I've been trying to read this for 6 months!
  • Gothic by Deborah Noyes- a series of short stories, YA by my understanding.
  • Rises the Night and The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke- another one that's been on my shelf a while
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova- i started this in January and got about halfway through. Going to try to finish it.
So that's a pool of eight. should be a good bit to choose from.

24 August 2008

Vote Obama/Biden!

While I personally had hoped for a non-male choice, I have enjoyed hearing Joe Biden speak for the last several years. Personally he seems honorable and intelligent. I know some progressives feel there are "issues" with him but i don't know that any candidate anywhere, electable or not, would match up perfectly with every single segment of the progressive community.

a kick ass speech

20 August 2008

Vote Obama, PT 3

Because McCain won't have a tee like this!

19 August 2008

Fowl Book

I finished the latest Artemis Fowl novel, The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer. I am really starting to like Artemis. He's grown so much from the first novel. He begins the first book as an obnoxious, criminal genius 10-year-old and ends this latest as a strong, thoughtful 15-year-old. I've really started liking him in the last 2 books as he's made friends, has a conscience, and is even getting a bit of a "save the world" mentality. In this one, Artemis and Holly go back in time to rescue a lemur that is the only cure for Artemis' mother's illness. And they must match wits with 10-year-old Artemis. Much craziness ensues. The only complaint i have is that the books always feel a touch rushed, as if the author was told several times to take out any non-action based scenes. I would have been perfectly happy to ease a bit more into this one, as the last one had Artemis coming back from a lost-in-time/space colony 3 years after he'd left. It would have been very nice to see a bit more of the Fowl family being "normal" before the action jumped in.

Maybe Rowling has just spoiled me!

I give this one a 5. Seems to be my most popular ranking. And it counts for the YA challenge!

17 August 2008

My Morning Jacket

I saw My Morning Jacket Friday downtown at Riverfront Park. They were incredible! If you get a chance to see these guys live take it. No opening band which was a bit different. I knew I liked the stuff from their new album as Left of Center on Sirius radio has been playing it constantly but I had no idea how much of their older stuff I knew. The weather was great, the crowd was really into it, and i had a great time with R. all in all, a good day.

15 August 2008


I had a visit from the wonderful cable man today. I have internet at the apartment! WOO HOO! And i am gorging myself on Sportscenter. Oh, how i've missed your wisecracking commentary. How did i survive without knowing which plays made the Top Ten every day? How many mascot mishaps did I miss? Who's sucking in preseason football? How far back are the Yankees? ack!!

And to really really get me celebrating i finished The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein this morning. The second half of the book goes much faster than the first, as it covers modern American politics and policies since 2000. So I actually know about plenty of it, like Bremer's misadventures in Iraq. (i am going to take a second to pimp my favorite Iraq book, Babylon by Bus. when two guys whose regular job was selling bootleg tshirts at Red Sox games come off as more qualified to run government departments than the people who are being paid to do so, you are in a sorry sorry state) But for the last part to really have a big impact, and for it to prove the book's premise of being the culmination of these policies, you have to work (really) through the first half. I wasn't even the slightest bit aware of the subject; financial thoery and South American history were both subjects I'd managed to avoid. I do recommend it but you have to be aware that it is a book that really challenges you. i give it a 5.

14 August 2008

BTT for 8/14

A bit of a different question this week:

You, um, may have noticed that the Olympics are going on right now, so that’s the genesis of this week’s question, in two parts:
Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general? Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?
And, Second:
Do you consider yourself a sports fan? Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.

On the first question, I'd say i can't remember reading anything about the Olympics or olympic type sports. I have probably read a few books, probably fiction, centered on sports but the only ones i can think of right now are Playing for Pizza by John Grisham, one about football in Italy which i didn't like much and was the last time I'll bother with grisham. I had to read The Natural in high school and also didn't like it.

As for the second question: yes yes yes! I watch football, pro and college. I watch college basketball regularly. I watch Sportscenter. I normally like sports movies, as long as they don't have too many children or dogs that do tricks. i mean, Bull Durham is one of the best movies ever, not just a baseball movie. If you don't tear up during Pride of the Yankees you have no soul. Maybe you get a pass if you're a Red Sox fan. Seabiscuit, Rudy, Rocky, the first Longest Yard, heck even Major League are all great movies. Sure, there's usually cliches: the training montage, the wise old mentor, with wise-cracking rookie, the miraculous win. But they are far more interesting cliches, and have better stories usually, than the average romantic comedy.

11 August 2008

Monday Wrap up

First things first. Sesame Street + Feist = awesome. I should have seen this coming.

Too cute.

Next, I finished up my second book by Peter Stamm, Unformed Landscape. This was shorter than On A Day Like This and it also had a much smaller feel to it. Our protagonist is Kathrine, a woman who lives in a small Norwegian fishing village. She has a young school age son, a husband she never loved, a job as a customs inspector. She's kind of hard to get as she doesn't seem to care about her son much, or her mother except in a distracted way. But she isn't self-centered, it is more that she is drifting, doing what is expected because it would be too much trouble to do otherwise. Then she has a one night stand with a friend, after which she finds out her husband has lied about every detail of his life before he met her: his schooling, travel, languages known, etc. So she drops the boy (which is how we hear about her son until the end) with her mother, leaves her life and begins to travel. She goes to Paris to meet an internet friend, sees Germany, meets strangers, and in a way grows up. In a way I did identify with her; there is such a depressive state she seems to be in that I couldn't help but feel for her. Who doesn't think sometimes there might be something you are missing? And the situation with the husband was wretched; from personal experience cheating is less of a hurt than finding out I'd been lied to for years. But I can't connect with not feeling for your child. I don't have any kids, so i don't know, but i can't imagine just not having any connection with your own kid. The first book is a bit more relatable as it explored the same theme of missing out but gave the character a concrete reason: he thought he had cancer. I give this one a 5 and will continue to look for this author.

Thirdly, i am overwhelmed with reading right now. I am still struggling my way through Shock Doctrine as well as Master and Margarita. plus i have 5 other library books to read. And just got another ARC book from Librarything, The Dracula Dossier. I think I'll save that for RIP! Seriously though, i need to power through a few just to clear out the clutter. I wanted to start Twilight too now that the series is completed. Ugh.

Fourthly, i hit the Frist with R and some friends Friday night. We saw a bunch of abstract art, which was fun but weird. I left thinking i could have done some of it. There is a photography exhibit coming up in November as well as sculpture by Rodin. And the King Tut exhibit is going to be in Atlanta after Dallas so i'll be able to see that too. Yay!

10 August 2008

Vote Obama, Pt 2

Courtesy of Huffington Post, lots more pretty charts on why Democrats are better for the economy than Republicans, no matter how you slice it!

09 August 2008

Vote Obama pt 1

Take a peek. I personally have no problem with those top 2 groups paying more taxes. From politicalpeon.com

07 August 2008

BTT for 8/7

This week's question is about settings. I havent' done this in a few weeks; life has been crazy and the last couple questions just didn't inspire me.

Places I'd want to live: Valdemar, from the Mercedes Lackey series; Anne Rice's New Orleans: the Japan of the Otori series by Lian Hearn; Lyra's world in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series; being a witch in Harry Potter's Europe would be cool.

Places I'd really rather not: Victorian England in pretty much any universe, but particular the girl's school environment of Libba Bray's novels; The Future in Fahrenheit 451 or 1984 or The Road; Roland's world in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

On another note, i am reading The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klien and I can't wait to be done. This is a very interesting book but it is so heavy, physically and psychically. i really think i am going to try to just break it down to 30 pages a day until i finish. with 260 pages left hopefully i can get through it in a week.

01 August 2008

Kids Books are Good

Yesterday since i had nothing to do after work for once (seriously, trying to go on dates is time consuming) i just read. Period. I finished up two YA books between dog walks.

I liked Once Upon a Time in the North By Philip Pullman much more than Lyra's Oxford. North is the story of how 24-year-old Lee Scoresby meets Iorek Byrnison. What could be better than a bit about my 2 favorite characters, besides Lyra and Will, from the HDS series? There's an adventure, political intrigue, aeronautics and the good guys win! This little volume does include some ephemera from the series as Lyra's Oxford did so we find out what Lyra's Master's degree thesis is about. I figure this one is a 6. And according to various sites we are going to get a Will story in the future. Whee!

Also read A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'Engle. This one is also told from Meg Murry's point of view but is also apparently the last one to do so? This one is a 5 I would say. Little Charles Wallace is in school now and being bullied constantly. Worse than that, some evil Un-Namers (sort of antimatter things i think) called Echthroi are attacking him on a cellular level. Weirdy sci-fi/fantasy things happen, we get some lessons on the interlocking web of nature, the good guys win. I'll definitely keep reading this series.

I've got my dog this weekend yay! R went to Lollapallooza with a bunch of his Vandy friends (he sucks and i am not jealous of him seeing Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, NIN, The Racontuers and Gnarls Barkly. not jealous at all. not the tiniest bit. nope) so i got Chloe. I'll post pics later this weekend.