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Showing posts from March, 2009

Reaffirmation

So for Weekly Geeks this week we're to reaffirm our commitment to linking to other's reviews! I promise i'll do my best. I do normally if i remember reading a review on a specific site or if i come on a different person's review of a book i've already done. I hadn't even thought to do a search for a book that i'd read to see if other's had reviewed it until today. Several people wrote on their Geek post about how they do those searches. Props to Fyrefly for making up a whole searchable site thingy (ok the night shift is taking it's toll right now sorry) just for book blogs. I've gone back and linked to any i've found for the last month or so. Also, feel free to browse my archives and leave a comment that you've reviewed a book too! quick question though...how far back would a review have to be that you wouldn't link to it? I have a tendency to read a big mix of older things and new ones so (like for Persepolis 2 or the Alice…

Mental Floss Top 25

Or at least what they've called the most influential of the last 25 years. another list to pour over! Italicized i've read and bold i own but haven't gotten too yet.

And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts- hmm, i've seen the movie?Maus by Art SpiegelmanListening to Prozac by Peter D KramerThinking in Pictures by Temple GrandinNickel and Dimed by Barbara EhrenreichInto Thin Air by John KrakauerThe Satanic Verses by Salman RushdieMiddlesexby Jeffrey EugenidesThe Alchemist by Paulo CoelhoThe Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen CarrA Perfect Spy by John le CarreWhat is the What by Dave EggersOn Writing by Stephen KingThe Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki MurakamiThe Known World by Edward P JonesHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK RowlingHow Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de BottonBonfire of the Vanities by Tom WolfeInfinite Jest by David Foster WallaceThe Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaBeloved by Toni MorrisonThe Handmaid's Tale by Marga…

Sometimes you just throw lists out the window!

So yes. I'm a book fiend. I make lists of books i want to read or have read, read other people's lists of the same, see what the lists of "good" or "best" or "classics" have to say. If the reading overlords say that this book is one YOU HAVE TO READ (before you die) then part of me says back "yes, of course!" That's all the part of me that wants organization and continuity and order. It is the conformity part.
Then there's the REBEL part. the part that says "screw order! randomness is supreme! I'll decide what i want" and goes off and makes me read something i completely did not expect to pick up. Because i work night now (ugh) i was at Borders yesterday with a 40% off coupon and picked up a non-fiction book. I immediately began reading it blowing past the 2 other books in my schoolbag that i really really need to finish.

I read The Scavenger's Manifesto by Anneli Rufus and Kristan Lawson. It is part history, p…

Challenges are hard to resist

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Ok, i'm doing 1 more. That's it. except for RIP in the fall. that will be it! I swear!

I signed up for the Classics Challenge, hosted by Trish. I'm doing the Entree (lol) and going to plan on reading at least 5. This one runs from April 1 to October 31. Just pulling a few off my TBR stack at the house here's 5 i might read.
Madame Bovary by Gustav FlaubertGiovanni's Room by James BaldwinCrime and Punishment by DostoyevskyCatcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerDeath in Venice by Thomas MannSo we'll see how it goes.


so last weekend i bought a bunch of books. I got The Planets by Dava Sobel, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold for just $4 total at the library book sale. yay! I got the two Gleason books from Amazon and The Tales of Beedle the Bard from McKay's. Should i feel bad that since i bought it used the charity it's for didn't get any money? I'd picked up The Planets a couple times at McKay's but …

Through the Looking Glass and other stuff

Yay! A 1k1 book done. Finished up Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I didn't like this one as much as the first.

In Through the Looking Glass, Alice steps through a Mirror in her home to the Looking Glass world. When she leaves her Looking Glass house she discovers she is on/in a giant chessboard and journeys through it to become a Queen. I found the story to be too dreamlike. Locations morphed into other places and things happened really randomly. In one scene Alice is in a shop run by a knitting sheep. Every time Alice tries to take something from the shelf the objects move around. I have dreams like that a lot (without the sheep though) and it was almost too creepy. Also, apparently the whole setup is really supposed to be a famous chess game but since i don't play chess i missed that completely. I say this one is a 4 mainly because my expectations were a bit higher.

Booklogged's Review, Bookfool's, and Lotus Reads'.

In other news, Happy March …

Persepolis 2

Stayed up an extra 45 minutes last night to finish reading Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi. I liked it but not as much as the first one. This second graphic novel covers Satrapi's life from the age of 14 when she's essentially living alone in Austria through her return to Iran after high school and after to her marriage, divorce, and then leaving Iran again when she's 24.

This one was more difficult for me to read because the author spends a good portion of the book low and depressed. I completely understand why of course but it is hard because i'm identifying so much with the author and her situation that i start to feel low too. It is a good book though and i do recommend it. A 5.

Dewey's review (we miss you!), Alyce's, Bluestocking's, Alessandra's, and Ex Libris'.

Shakespeare Bio

Yesterday I read Shakespeare: The World As Stage by Bill Bryson. Bryson is less a character in this one than in the Australia book i read. I really do like his voice though. Guess i'll have to start working my way through his books.

In this very small book, Bryson says he sums up all the real facts that we have about Shakespeare. There aren't many. We know the date he was christened but not the exact date of birth. We know when he married, how many legitimate children he had, what property he bought and sold, but not the first performance dates of the majority of his plays or what order his sonnets should be in. And we know almost nothing about his personality.

Bryson devotes a chapter to the "other author" theories and i have to say he's pretty convincing that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. Apparently there was no controversy at all until the 1850's when an American woman, Delia Bacon, wrote a book implying that Francis Bacon wrote the Shakespeare play…

Progressive Links

A big bunch of links!

An articulation of how progressives should view wealth. If only we could get others to think this way!

Cool shoes, bags and accessories! I'd love a Combover bag in Buckhorn Brown or the Overlap organic cotton bag in Sand. Just in case...

Article refuting the myths about atheists.

50 reasons to reject evolution...vulgar and smarmy but very funny.

A much better Watchmen review than mine.

I don't have a child and have no plans to have one any time soon. But i am loving the Baby Essentials that Aren't series on Eco Child's Play. Part 6 is about baby brain boosters.

A question. A very scary question. Have we already started an environmental collapse?

A different question. At the beginning of January there were a flurry of posts about Peru intending to plant 40 million trees in just a few months time. These posts list the end of February as an end point of the project, yet i can't find anything about if they succeeded or not? Help?

Part of the reason i'm…

Weekly Geeks 3/14

I haven't done Weekly Geeks in forever! It isn't that i haven't wanted to but some of the topics haven't appealed and then for others i just forgot! Here's this week's:

Worst movie adaptations: The recent release of Watchmen based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore got me thinking about what I thought were the worst movie adaptations of books. What book or books did a director or directors completely ruin in the adaptation(s) that you wish you could "unsee," and why in your opinion, what made it or them so bad in contrast to the book or books?OK, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The first graphic novel is fantastic. It has a great premise: what if all those Victorian (and previous) characters were real, running around Europe, and banded together to help England? So we meet Mina Murray, newly divorced from her husband Jonathan Harker, who becomes the leader of the group. With the help of Captain Nemo, she detoxes an opium-addled Alan Quartermain a…

Why is science important?

Why is science important? - A collection of thoughts from leading scientists, public figures, ...and you.

Posted using ShareThis

This was awesome! another link from Bad Astronomy. I actually got all teary eyed at the end. Seriously.

Reread

So since i was so disappointed in Foundation I decided to reread Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey, the first Valdemar book i read. The fact that i found it for 2.50 at McKay's didn't hurt either.

So this book is about Vanyel. He's a talented musician but not a Bard. Unfortunately he's the firstborn son of a lord who wants Vanyel to be a big, strong, hack and slash fighter and not much else. After his father's armsmaster breaks his arm Vanyel is exiled to Haven were his aunt, Savil, is a high level Herald Mage. Vanyel falls in love with Tylendel, a young male Herald Mage his aunt trains. Bad things happen, people die, and Vanyel suddenly gains extraordinary powers and is Chosen. He is overwhelmed, depressed, suicidal and very ill. As the book ends, Vanyel begins learning to control his powers and begins to heal physically and psychologically. Again, this one is the first of a trilogy. It's a 5.

The reason i originally picked this up, way way back in …

I would post a picture of my plants

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But i can't because my camera won't take it. In the sense that the subject is too tiny. I have to back up so all you can see is an egg carton full of dirt. so i am posting a few pictures of what i am going to try to grow!



I'm growing plants! The zinnias had sprouted this morning when i went to water them and a pea plant is almost sprouted. i mean, the plant isn't up above the ground but it has pushed away all the soil above itself. No luck yet with the basil or thyme or the poppies. maybe today!



it is sleeting but i am definitely going to get out of the house and do something i really really shouldn't do. I am going to go look at a dog at the Humane Society. I'm NOTNOTNOT going to buy him. just look. I don't need a dog. I just miss Chloe.

currently: watching the Big East tournament.

Foundation

Well, i didn't reread the Asimov novel, or start up any of its sequels. I read Mercedes Lackey's newest Valdemar novel, which for some reason she titled Foundation. I have to say, I'm really NOT impressed. I give it a 3.

Mainly the problem is that there is no original idea. We've got a young kid, Mags, who's a slave in a gem mine. He gets Chosen, is amazed about how nice everyone is and how it feels to be clean/warm/well-fed/safe. He starts school at the Collegium, where history and math are hard and weapons and riding are easy. He makes a couple friends. This summary actually covers about 90% of the book. I promise. The problem is that if you've read a few of the other Valdemar books you've read all of these instances before. And there's not enough new elements to make an actual book.

Seriously, read Take a Thief. Or Arrows of the Queen. Or By The Sword. Really, any of the others would be a bit better. Foundation is the first of a trilogy…

Y

I seem to be able to get through easy stuff right now. Kids books and graphic novels seem to be what i feel like readin. I finished up Y: The Last Man Book One by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra today at work. I got it from McKay's a couple weeks ago for like $11, weirdly just a couple days after the LOST episode where Hurley was reading it. I happened to get the deluxe edition, so it is actually the first two books of the graphic novel series.

Yorick is broke, just out of college, and an escape artist. He's training a helper monkey he's named Ampersand. He's got a hot girlfriend, Beth, who's on walkabout in Australia. Suddenly, all the other males on the planet apparently die, rather horribly. As far as the the readers are aware, all the male humans and animals die within a few moments, except Yorick and Ampersand. We're given a couple of theories as to why this happens: cloning and an ancient Arabian secret necklace. Yorick travels to Washington, DC,…

Watchmen was Stupendous!

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Really, really good. a complete 7. Go see it! I am a fan of the comic, though i only read it a few years ago. So I am not going to summarize much. If you've read it, you know what it's about and if you haven't, all you need to know is that it's a dark look at what superheroes could be. The beginning is great. i mean, like the beginning of The Dark Knight was great. Soundtrack, with one little goofy exception, was great; I can't imagine how much they had to pay to get some of the songs. Effects were fabulous. Rorschach was perfection, as was Dr. Manhattan. The ending is a bit different but i actually kinda liked it better. There were only couple of things that i didn't like. The woman who plays Silk Spectre sounds EXACTLY like Natalie Portman, so much so that it was kinda creepy. Oszymandias' accent is weird and iffy in that it kinda goes in and out.

I saw it on IMAX, of course, and it was sold out, of course. I got sandwiched between a heavy, …

Finally

I really really didn't like a book. i have revised down once already. Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan, gets a 3 from me. It does count for the YA challenge. I haven't read any other blogger reviews but the ones on amazon seem pretty positive so i guess i am on my own with this opinion. I just thought it was hard to get into, at least 50 pages too long, and had a sucky ending.

The basic story is that Liga, a young teen in a vaguely medieval/storyland setting, has a despicable father who keeps her trapped at her home. He also gets her pregnant. He dies, she has the baby (which is called a bab in this world, which i do like because it sounds vaguely Cajun), and starts to take a few tentative steps to having a life. Then something worse happens and she tries to kill her child and commit suicide when the good fairy intervenes. Liga, though she doesn't know it, gets sent to live in her own version of heaven.

So far, so good. Liga has a second child and raises her two d…

Science is too cool!

Happy Square Root Day! And i got another one done for the Science Book Challenge.

I finishedPhil Plait's Death From the Skies! It is a great book that i recommend highly. I read the author's Bad Astronomy blog and this book is in the same great style. Goofy and fun but full of facts. I like the blog because he's skeptical and even, dare i say, cynical but optimistic.

Death from the Skies! is about all the ways the universe can kill you. Asteroids, black holes, the sun, alien robots, time itself. Each chapter starts with a couple pages told from the point of view of someone experiencing the calamity. Then he gives you the science of the disaster, what might survive naturally, then what the human race can do to prevent or ameliorate the problem. I can't wait until we can move our whole planet to avoid the sun expanding! I think the best part is the second to last chapter where Plait discusses the end or death of the universe. He explains vast stretches of time and …