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Showing posts from January, 2009

Infected

I did it again! Besides reading a book in a day, i mean, i read Infected by Scott Siglerand realized it is apparently the first in a series! ack! The basic premise is people are becoming infected with some parasite, which starts as an itchy rash but eventually turns into blue triangles under the skin and causes the victim to become paranoid and suicidal.

I had thought this was a medical thriller but it is really a sci-fi novel. It is on the same line as Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I liked it, I'll say it's a 5, and I will definitely pick up the next one, called Contagious.

Sigler writes Infected from several perspectives. We follow the CIA agent, the CDC doctor, the progression of one victim, even a little bit from the nasty little parasite itself. Each chapter, only a few pages long normally, covers a different perspective. It makes the story move very fast but you loose out on getting close to any of the characters. While i felt bad for the character that the b…

We're all so dumb

Sometimes I do just want to cry for the world. Or America. Or Americans. I finished up The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby yesterday. She discusses the anti-intellectual, anti-reason section of American society from the 1930's on forward. She gives a very full portrait of how intelligence and knowledge has gone from being a wanted and admired trait to being something alien and threatening to many people. This book was scary and enlightening; i give it another 6.

It astounds me the breadth of knowledge that normal, middle class people had just 40 years ago. I feel like i'm pretty educated, pretty well read, but pluck a someone who was 32, with a college education, in like, say, 1974 and compare my knowledge of the world, history, geography and art and i'll do horribly! I might be able to match on politics (me on my modern vs them on their modern) and i'm sure i'd do well in anthropology/archaeology type questions, but that was my major. I know very little of…

A Life Post

I haven't really done a post just about what's going on in my life for a while. I know some people have read/commented/followed my various levels of down and depressed and i want to say something good.

Things are not bad. It is strange. Sometime last month there was a morning i woke up and felt good. it actually took a few hours to figure out what was "wrong", which was nothing. I hadn't felt good in a really really really long time. I've had a few more days like that. I'm not saying it's consistent, or even predictable, but it has happened.

on the other side, i haven't had a really bad time, full on crying, laying on my couch staring at the ceiling for hours day since October. I've had a few real crying jags, several teary eyed episodes as well. I haven't had any that lasted more than maybe 30 minutes or so. So that is an improvement.

So another thing i'm looking at is my job. Being a Customer's Bitch is a really exhausting…

I Cave...

so this meme has been running about for a few weeks. A yahoo group i am part of has been discussing this article from The Guardian. Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings did this one so I've decided to give it a go. Now, these are Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and are in alphabetical order. Ones i've read are in bold, ones i own but haven't read are italicized.

1. Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)2. Brian W Aldiss: Non-Stop (1958)3. Isaac Asimov: Foundation (1951)4. Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin (2000)5. Paul Auster: In the Country of Last Things (1987)6. Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory (1984)7. Iain M Banks: Consider Phlebas (1987)8. Clive Barker: Weaveworld (1987)9. Nicola Barker: Darkmans (2007)10. Stephen Baxter: The Time Ships (1995)11. Greg Bear: Darwin’s Radio (1999)12. Alfred Bester: The Stars My Destination (1956)13. Poppy Z Brite: Lost Souls (1992)- I'm like 90% sure i've read this14. Algis Budrys: Rogue Moon (1960)15. Mikhail Bulga…

I want to buy a house....

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Or at least rent one. I just kinda wonder why this feeling has come on in the last year or so. Is it some kinda nesting thing that's happening since i'm in my 30's? is it just frustration about wanting outdoor space, or to paint, or to do what i want with my place? Is it a desire for a bigger sense of place, of home?
I mean, size wise, my apartment is about fine for me. I'd like the kitchen to be a touch bigger and i'd like a laundry room/pantry area. i don't even know if i want to stay in Nashville! I'm not even near financially secure enough to buy a place, especially since banks apparently are more credit stingy. But i'm tired of white walls, beige carpet and ugly fixtures. I'm done with having a dozen boxes around because i don't have a proper place for things. i want a garden, and lots of windows, and not have a neighbor pounding across my ceiling constantly.

So, though i can't afford one now, i've been randomly paging thro…

Coraline

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Today I zipped through Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I got the strange feeling that i've read it before. I don't think so but i don't know so. It reminded me of a bit of The Thief of Always by Clive Barker which is a favorite of mine (note: reread this soon). I read that as a teenager but Coraline came out in 2002 so i know i couldn't have read it in high school or college. Maybe it was reading The Graveyard Book recently. several of the scenes felt familiar, like the bits about the special rock and the talking cat. Others were unknown. I feel Coraline is a 6. A great story of a little girl's bravery, smarts and resolve. I want to give it to my little niece to read now!

That is something i want to do as an aunt: be a bit of a different example for my niece and nephew. I love my brother and his wife and think they're doing a great job with their wonderful kids! I just know that everyone, kids included, is just swamped with images of how and what people are supposed to…

Mailbox Monday!

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I don't normally participate but last week i got a few things in the mail and thought i'd share.

The book is an ERC of The History of Now by Daniel Klein. Courtesy of LibraryThing. Thanks!

The second is a postcard from Helsinki, Finland, from a 15 yr old girl. The written part had some cute stickers of Hello Kitty.

The third is a postcard from NYC! well, Staten Island. I wish i was able to take a better picture as it is a really cool card. It shows all the scaffolding around the Statue of LIberty and the men working to build it. Pretty neat! I'm enjoying postcrossing.

Nashville Only Post

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Not really of course. But I've got some things to discuss that really only pertain to residents in and around our glorious capitol city!!!

First, as the above logo suggests, I saw Richard III this weekend. The Nashville Shakespeare Festival now presents a winter production in addition to their summer play in Centennial park. R and i went on Friday evening and the crowd was pretty decent for only the second performance. Set in a vaudeville theater, the play was very different than some i've seen before. The couple of histories i've seen were straight Renaissance-style productions. I enjoyed the change. There was a little dancing and singing but it wasn't a musical. The Troutt theater on Belmont's campus is a great venue. The play runs through Feb 1st and i highly recommend it.


I love The Belcourt! It's an historic building; the Grand Ole Opry originally played there. Since 1925 it's been many things and Belcourt YES!, a non-profit, manages it now. Th…

Thieves and Escapes

Today i finished up 2 books. The first, The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti, is about a young orphan boy named Ren who only has one hand. Raised in a Catholic orphanage until he's about 12, Ren is taken by Benjamin Nab, who claims to be his brother. Of course he is not; he says he adopts Ren because his injury will be great for cons. Benjamin's friend is Tom, an alcoholic ex-teacher. We follow these three through thieving, selling "medicinal drafts", grave robbing and other exciting activities. As this book is relatively new i don't want to say anymore so i don't spoil you! This book is a great, quick read. I really like it for two different reasons, partly because i like the genre "boys' adventure stories" with thieves and good hearted con men, daring robberies and narrow escapes. Parts reminded me of The Lies of Locke Lamoraand i am sure Locke and Benjamin would get along well. On another level i really like stories (and movies) about th…

TRUE CRIME!!!

I don't read much true crime stuff. Frequently it is poorly written, sensationalized crap, with vague insinuations if the case was unsolved and almost always comes off as the writer trying to make some money off a tragedy. I guess that is why when i do read books in this genre they are usually historical, like last year when i read The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. I'm fond of Jack the Ripper books too. So i was a little wary of reading The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi. What pushed me over to reading it is that Preston is a bestselling author, so i didn't figure he'd be pushing a bad story or writing it just for the cash.


I liked it. Spezi is an Italian journalist who's been covering the case so he has a wealth of information. The Monster killed couples in Italy between 1968 and 1985. the main bulk of the murders occured after 1974, when Spezi covered them for his newspaper. The case and clues are strange, twisty and complex. It's really…

YA Challenge List

Just a place filler to list the books i read for the challenge! Click on the title for the review.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Tender Morsels by Margo LanaganAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollCoraline by Neil GaimanMany Waters by Madeleine L'EngleClick by Various AuthorsThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Sweet Far Thing by Libba BrayHoles by Louis SacharHow I Live Now by Meg RosoffJust In Case by Meg RosoffA Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomband that's it!

Book and Postcards!

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I received 2 postcards the other day!



The top one, though about disney, is from North Carolina and the lower one is from Estonia! I had to look it up on a map. Why is everyone else's handwriting so lovely? i don't get it. but i like getting mail!

I also finally finished up Just After Sunset, a pack of short stories by Stephen King. I really liked these for the most part. They are a touch of a change in a way; i felt the majority of the stories were "up" rather than downers. Several weren't supernatural at all; my favorite one, "The Gingerbread Girl", is a straight up woman in trouble story, but she's a kick ass woman. There are several that deal with death and mortality, like "Willa", "Ayana" and "The Things They Left Behind" but they aren't horror stories in any way. They're pretty lovely, little meditations on life and what is beyond. I give this collection a big 6.

A Couple Challenges

I decided to join the World Citizen Challenge, at the Minor level. So i intend to read 3 books this year. that's it. :) anyway, this is a non-fiction challenge and, for me at least, non-american. I've requested The Chrysanthemum and the Sword from my library to start soon.

Also, I am going to tackle the TBR light challenge. I'm going to do 6 books from my pile but won't have to stick to these particular ones.

Giovanni's Room by James BaldwinDust by Elizabeth BearChildren of Men by PD JamesCrime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoevskiNeuromancer by William GibsonEmpire of Ivory by Naomi NovikSo that is totally it for now. Though any that qualify as sci-fi will of course be registered over at Carl V's Sci-Fi Experience.

Saturday

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So today i vacuumed! I moved around my living room furniture and got all the boxes out of the front room. not just by moving them to the bedroom; i actually emptied some.

also, i made my first loaf of bread today. I am not counting this as a read book but i got Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. i read an article in Mother Earth News about this book. The article actually includes the main recipe. The idea is that you mix up a big batch of dough(6 1/2 cups of flour worth) just enough to incorporate the ingredients and let that sit for about 2 hours. Then you put a lid on it, loosely, and store it in your fridge. I mixed up the dough last night and made my first loaf this morning. Here's a pic of the dough in its container.



And one of the formed loaf. You can almost see Kenny, my beta fish, on the left there.



And one of the loaf after i'd eaten some of it. Somehow i didn't take a picture of it whole.



and a delicious sandwich. Tuna …

2009!

I had a lovely New Year's Eve! Margarita's, Guitar Hero, wins for both Vandy and LSU, fajitas. Then today, sleeping late, IHOP breakfast at noon and before showering, football.

So i don't really do resolutions but i may try it this year. so here's a few things i want to do. And these aren't in any particular order.

I've got stacks of magazines (Real Simple, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone) and multiple issues of the Nashville Scene lying around. Goal- get through these at a rate of 1-2 a day until i'm cleaned out. Most of these I've already read so it's just a matter of flipping through and getting out what i want from them.I've been saving movie and concert and other event tickets for years. I've off and on been trying to put them in a book. I'm only about halfway through 2003. Goal- by the end of 2009 have at least through 2008 pasted up.Blog about all the movies i'm watching, not just the new ones. This year when i was…