29 January 2009
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 bugs infect, i didn't really connect with him. I wouldn't have acted at ALL like him in the early stages of the illness. Trust me, if i ever have an itchy patch of skin the texture of orange peel my butt will be headed straight to a doctor.
SUPER BIG WARNING: while not Exactly a spoiler, i'd say there's one part towards the end that any adult male is not going to enjoy reading. so you're warned.
28 January 2009
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 American, or for that matter world, history between the civil war and WWII, at least from school. why? Because my history classes always started at the beginning of America, got up to about the Civil War, at which point we started running out of time for the school year and skipped to WWII.
She also links the laxity of American mental life to mass media, which encompasses tv, internet, magazines, newspapers. Whereas before the 1980's people experienced a lot of tv, movies, or music in groups, now everyone has their own tv, Ipod, portable video player, etc. I can even see the difference in my own family over the course of my life. We had 1 tv the entire time i lived at home, through age 18, which was in 1994. Now, my parents have 4: 1 in the living room, 1 in my parents' bedroom, and 1 each in my brother's and sister's room. They have 3 computers. As kids my family all at least started dinner together (though once people were into seconds we could ask to be excused from the table) and rarely was the tv on. Now it's more casual, usually my mom and sister eating together and my dad coming in later in the evening. (my brother works evenings so he gets a pass on this bit) And the tv's on. So there is less interaction and talking but i feel we're pretty much just as close. We just don't experience culture together.
It makes me want to read Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Jacoby's mentor Richard Hofstadter. That book is from the perspective of a writer in 1966 so i wonder what trends he saw from that point. Also, i want to read a few good, general history books. Why does that always happen? I read one and then it gives me a bunch more to read!
27 January 2009
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 occupation sometimes. also, i'm so so burned out i'm not even doing a very good job anymore. I'd like to do something more REAL, more MEANINGFUL, if you know what i mean. So, looking around a local college, TSU, offers a teacher training program. You can do a full on 2 yr Master's degree or a shorter one just to get the teaching certificate. So, either this Friday or next i'm going to go over there and see what it takes to apply, costs and etc. Who knows if i'll do it but it's a step.
Lastly, i'll do another meme. It's the 6 things that make me happy one that i pulled from Nymeth.
- Flannel Sheets. all warm and snuggly.
- Homemade caramel sauce. I'm addicted!
- The fact that Neil Gaiman and i use the same cel phone!!
- LOST. As an aside, i just started crying when it voted on ABC's LOST showdown. I voted watched the Charlie Drowning moment and couldn't help it. Bring Back Charlie!
- Rachel Maddow-so smart, so awesome.
- bonuses! I'm going to buy a bike.
26 January 2009
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:
12. Alfred Bester: The Stars My Destination (1956)
13. Poppy Z Brite: Lost Souls (1992)- I'm like 90% sure i've read this
14. Algis Budrys: Rogue Moon (1960)
15. Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita (1966)-I'm right in the middle now
16. Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Coming Race (1871)
17. Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork
18. Anthony Burgess: The End of the World News (1982)
19. Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Princess of Mars (1912)
20. William Burroughs: Naked Lunch (1959)
21. Octavia Butler: Kindred (1979)
22. Samuel Butler: Erewhon (1872)
23. Italo Calvino: The Baron in the Trees (1957)
24. Ramsey Campbell: The Influence (1988)
25. Lewis Carroll:
26. Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking-Glass, and What
27. Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus (1984)
28. Michael Chabon: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000)
29. Arthur C Clarke: Childhood’s End (1953)
30. GK Chesterton: The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)
31. Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (2004)
32. Michael G Coney: Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975)
34. Mark Danielewski: House of Leaves (2000)-hated it.
35. Marie Darrieussecq: Pig Tales (1996)
36. Samuel R Delaney: The Einstein Intersection (1967)
37. Philip K Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
38. Philip K Dick: The Man in the
39. Umberto Eco: Foucault’s Pendulum (1988)
40. Michel Faber: Under the Skin (2000)
41. John Fowles: The Magus (1966)
42. Neil Gaiman: American Gods (2001)
43. Alan Garner: Red Shift (1973)
44. William Gibson: Neuromancer (1984)
45. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland (1915)
46. William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954)
47. Joe Haldeman: The Forever War (1974)
48. M John Harrison: Light (2002)
49. Robert A Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)
50. Frank Herbert: Dune (1965)-I read this when i was like 11 and didn't like it.
51. Hermann Hesse: The Glass Bead Game (1943)
52. Russell Hoban: Riddley
53. James Hogg: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)
54. Michel Houellebecq: Atomised (1998)
55. Aldous Huxley: Brave New World (1932)
56. Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled (1995)
57. Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
58. Henry James: The Turn of the Screw (1898)
59. PD James: The Children of Men (1992)
60. Richard Jefferies: After
61. Gwyneth Jones: Bold as Love (2001)
62. Franz Kafka: The Trial (1925)
63. Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon (1966)
64. Stephen King: The Shining (1977)
65. Marghanita Laski: The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953)
66. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Uncle Silas (1864)
67. Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961)--I did see the awful movie with George Clooney
68. Doris Lessing: Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)
69. David Lindsay: A Voyage to Arcturus (1920)
70. Ken MacLeod: The Night Sessions (2008)
71. Hilary Mantel: Beyond Black (2005)
72. Michael Marshall Smith: Only Forward (1994)
73. Richard Matheson: I Am Legend (1954)
74. Charles Maturin: Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)
75. Patrick McCabe: The Butcher Boy (1992)
76. Cormac McCarthy: The Road (2006)
77. Jed Mercurio: Ascent (2007)
79. Andrew Miller: Ingenious Pain (1997)
80. Walter M Miller Jr: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960)
81. David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas (2004)
82. Michael Moorcock: Mother London (1988)
83. William Morris: News From Nowhere (1890)
84. Toni Morrison: Beloved (1987)
85. Haruki Murakami: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995)
86. Vladimir Nabokov:
87. Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003)
88. Larry Niven: Ringworld (1970)
89. Jeff Noon: Vurt (1993)
90. Flann O’Brien: The Third Policeman (1967)-featured on LOST, i picked it up and was completely overwhelmed!
91. Ben Okri: The Famished Road (1991)
92. Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club (1996)
93. Thomas Love Peacock: Nightmare Abbey (1818)
94. Mervyn Peake: Titus Groan (1946)-another one i tried but couldn't read
95. John Cowper Powys: A
96. Christopher Priest: The Prestige (1995)-I've seen this movie too!
97. François Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-34)
98. Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
99. Alastair Reynolds: Revelation Space (2000)
100. Kim Stanley Robinson: The Years of Rice and Salt (2002)
101. JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
102. Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses (1988)
103. Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry: The Little Prince (1943)
104. José Saramago: Blindness (1995)
105. Will Self: How the Dead Live (2000)
106. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (1818)
107. Dan Simmons: Hyperion (1989)
108. Olaf Stapledon: Star Maker (1937)
109. Neal Stephenson: Snow Crash (1992)
110. Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
111. Bram Stoker: Dracula (1897)
112. Rupert Thomson: The Insult (1996)
113. Mark Twain: A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court (1889)
114. Kurt Vonnegut: Sirens of Titan (1959)
115. Robert Walser: Institute Benjamenta (1909)
116. Sylvia Townsend Warner: Lolly Willowes (1926)
117. Sarah Waters: Affinity (1999)
118. HG Wells: The Time Machine (1895)
119. HG Wells: The War of the Worlds (1898)
120. TH White: The Sword in the Stone (1938)
121. Gene Wolfe: The Book of the New Sun (1980-83)
122. John Wyndham: Day of the Triffids (1951)
123. John Wyndham: The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)
124. Yevgeny Zamyatin: We (1924)
So I've read 22 and own another 9. I disagree with a few though. Fight Club isn't sci-fi or fantasy. dystopian maybe, but not sci-fi. I guess that is why people make up these lists..for the rest of us to argue over!
25 January 2009
*pic from urbanchickens.org and they have lots of info on raising chickens for eggs!
*the authors' website is Homegrownevolution.com
19 January 2009
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 be. Girls are supposed to like X, Y and Z and behave in A, B and C ways. Boys only do M, N, O things and act like D, E or F. I want to be an influence the other way. I want Shelby to know that science and math aren't hard; i want Sam to know it's ok if he doesn't like motorcycles. If Shelby wants to rock on her dad's electric guitar and Sam wants to learn to cook my mom's chocolate cake I want them to be free to do it! So i'm trying to collect books/movies/music and such that is non-stereotypical. I'm trying to BE non-stereotypical.
ack. so now i'm ranting i think. This works for the 9 for 09 challenge (letter, in my name i've e,l,a,n,i and so does Coraline) as well as the YA challenge. yay!
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.
18 January 2009
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. They play art movies, have live shows, kids programming and other cool stuff. They serve beer and alcohol at the concession stand and the M&M's are only $2 a bag instead of $5 like most theaters. i've bought a membership myself. Last year at a quick count i saw at least 5 movies there and added another half dozen to my netflix queue that i couldn't make it to see. But, as it is an old theater, the seats there kinda suck. so they are raising money to replace all the seats through the Creature Comforts campaign. They need $65,000 total and the last update i received they'd raised about $12,000. So, go see a movie! Buy a membership! Donate, it's tax deductible!
Vote NO NO NO NO NO on English only in Nashville! Don't make us look even more backward!
Lastly, I just want to say thanks to our Tennessee Titans. Yes, you lost last week. However this season was so great to watch. Making it to 13-0 rocked. Seeing Kerry Collins become a really good quarterback was great. Watching the defense smother folks made me squeal! Here's hoping you do it again next year......and maybe get back to the Super Bowl?
13 January 2009
12 January 2009
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 difficult to describe! The book doesn't feel sensationalized at all; Preston and Spezi seem particularly careful to honor the victims, both of the killer directly and of the Italian justice system that destroys so many lives in the course of the book. overall, i give it a 5.
Ok, one more challenge. The Chunkster Challenge is one that I would end up doing kinda anyway. I read lots of books and plenty of decently long ones. I'm going to pick the second option, Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? Pretty funny stuff. So i'm going to be sure to post about 3-5 big ass books!
11 January 2009
- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle
- Click by Various Authors
- The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
- Just In Case by Meg Rosoff
- A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
08 January 2009
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.
04 January 2009
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 Baldwin
- Dust by Elizabeth Bear
- Children of Men by PD James
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevski
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
03 January 2009
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 salad with cranberries, with farmer market special pickles added.
i had another slice with dinner. It is really yummy! I am going to get some whole wheat flour for my next batch. Highly recommended!
01 January 2009
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 trying to put together my bests list i really wished i'd kept up with them better. After all, if i can keep up with books why not through a line about movies in too.
- Learn to bake bread.
- Do yoga once a week outside my regular class.
- Vacuum once a week.
Sustainablog's Restorative Resolutions.
A suggestion from NYT columnist Bob Herbert
Happy New Year!
Also, at some point since i last looked i've gone over 10K views! Thanks to all my adoring fans! ;)