Showing posts from May, 2009

I've been inspired

by my wallet and by Andi!I have a bunch of books that i own but haven't read. Seriously, based on my Librarything list i have about 80 or so i haven't read. Various things get in the way, like library books and recommendations and and the fact is i keep buying more! soooo, while i'm not going to do a full challenge of it like Andi, i am NOT going to buy or request any more from the library until i read 20 of my own. The exception (because there must be one) is that if i see the Sandman graphic novels i'm missing i can buy those and i can get Fables and Y: The Last Man from the library as i read them. Not counting those comics, right now i've actually got eight other books on request. and i have 8 more from the library i need to finish up. No real rules otherwise that i am going to follow. any order, any length, whatever i feel like reading....though Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will probably be on the top of my list!

Updated: oh, i forgot another exception! I…

Second Nature

Second Nature by Michael Pollan is a book about the relationship between humanity and nature. Specifically, how people view the landscape and how their ideas create the interactions they have with the world. It is really a series of essays, loosely arranged by season. Pollan explains what he thinks having "a green thumb" really means, the class war of the roses, how the American front lawn is a weird mix of democracy and uniformity. It isn't a bad book, nor is it the best I've read by Pollan. i give it a 4.

So. Weekly Geeks, we're going into the confessional this week.

What's your non-reading guilty pleasure?

Lip balm/gloss/moisturizer! Not lipstick but perhaps slightly colored gloss. I don't wear makeup very often but i rarely leave the house without a stick or little tin in my pocket. I like several the Burt's Bees makes, like the Pomegranate Replenishing Lip Balm or the Medicated Lip Balm with Clove! Most recently i've picked up a few lo…

Y part 7

Y: The Last Man Volume 7: Paper Dolls is ok. I'm not sure why it has Paper Dolls as the title. We have some backstory for 355 and Ampersand, including why he has that name! Yorick and 355 search for Beth in Sydney and get caught up with a tabloid reporter. Hero delivers a letter to flight attendant/Catholic church caretaker Beth. The Israeli chick shows up in Washington DC again. Things happen but this book is really disjointed between one story and another. I mean, it makes sense, because we're smack in the middle of the series and we need some of this information. I just wish we could have gotten 355's story a few books ago. It was really the kind of set that should have been split between volume 6 and 8. Oh well. a 4 and i'm on hold for the next one!

BTT for 5/28

I didn't answer last week's question but i almost did this topic instead. Glad i waited!

Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?

The last Narnia book. It just made me so incredibly angry. I disliked it so much that it made me un-enjoy the previous books!

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The A to Z meme

• Are you available? Any time any place!
• What is your age? 32
• What annoys you? lots of things.

• Do you know anyone named Billy? Nope
• When is your birthday? July 7
• Who is your best friend? D

• What's your favorite candy? Chocolate Frogs
• Crush? Robert Pattinson right now :)
• When was the last time you cried? Sunday night

• Do you daydream? Yes
• What's your favorite kind of dog? Medium sized short hair mutts
• What day of the week is it? Thursday

• How do you like your eggs? I like eggs benedict, or eggs in a basket, or in burritos with peppers.
• Have you ever been in the emergency room? Several times but never for my own injuries
• Ever pet an elephant? Yup

• Do you use fly swatters? no
• Have you ever used a foghorn? no, but i've used an airhorn
• Is there a fan in your room? nope

• Do you chew gum? occasionally
• Do you like gummy candies? yes but not the sour ones
• Do you like gory movies? yes but not torture porn

• How are you? Not t…

Magic's Promise

Today ireread Magic's Promise by Mercedes Lackey. It picks up the story of Vanyel, a powerful Herald-Mage, about 12 years after Magic's Pawn. After spending a year filling in along the Karsite border that should be covered by five Heralds, Vanyel and Yfandes are exhausted. They go to visit Vanyel's parents and family. While visiting his family won't be stress free, Vanyel should be able to rest and recover and not use magic for a few months. However, after being there a few weeks, Yfandes "hears" a Companion's cry for help in another kingdom nearby. They rush to help and become embroiled in politics and magical intrigue.

I still love Vanyel. While occasionally you want to shake him until he relaxes, he's a great person. It really really really annoys me that a few of the Amazon reviews basically say "well i would have like this book but the character is GAY!" ridiculous. and really sad in this day and age. but i'm not going to …

Weekly Geeks 19


Farthing, by Jo Walton, is an English cozy mystery. Or you think it is for a while, until it becomes about politics and justice and law. Is there one set of laws for the powerful and rich and a different set for the poor and powerless? If personal integrity is futile, what do you do?

The story is set in England in 1949. This is an alternate history England, where the US never entered WWII and England made a peace with Hitler in 1942. One of our narrators is Lucy, a member of the English nobility who's just married David, a jewish banker, much to the dismay of her mother. The couple is at her parents' estate, Farthing, for a weekend party. On Sunday morning the body of Sir James Thirkie is found. Unfortunately, his murderer stabbed a Jewish star to Thirkie's chest, throwing suspicsion immediately onto David. So we then meet our second narrator, Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard. I liked both narrators and they were both solid characters.

The story quickly moves…

My First CSA Box!

I don't know if i'll keep taking pictures of the box each week but I was so stunned this morning i had to share! I had to go buy some of those jumbo ziploc bags to get this into my fridge!

My half of the strawberries! I am going to try to make some shortcake tonight to go with them.

Ok, these are green onions. I had no idea these could grow so large! The knife is there for some perspective.

I am not much of a proper Southern woman. I didn't know which were the collard greens and which was the red russian kale. I didn't want to ask when i picked up the box so i had to look up some pictures when i got home! Besides those greens and the onions and strawberries i got lettuce and broccoli. R is getting half the box when he gets back...if i can keep myself from eating all the strawberries anyway! maybe i'll just let him have them next week. hmmm.

Our box is from Delvin Farms, in nearby College Grove, TN
Local Harvest is a great site for finding farms and farmer's…

I love my doggie!

Her name is Chloe and she is just over two years old. She's a black lab mix, probably with some Border collie thrown in, which we can tell by the way she runs. R and I got her just a few months before...I moved out. I say we have joint custody! I have her for the holiday weekend because R is visiting relatives in Ohio. She's very sweet and close to perfect. Chloe is a cuddler (but not a licker) and a jumper but doesn't bark. she's not too small nor too large at about 45 pounds. She's alert and loves to swim. This is her favorite spot in my house.
for some reason, she also likes curling up under my dining room table, coiling herself around the pedestal and the chair legs.

It doesn't show in these pictures but she has tons of energy and loves to run. We took a long walk yesterday morning at Radnor Lake and we were quite sleepy in the late afternoon. I took a nap too!

While her main interests include playing fetch, running in circles, and looking outside, …

Fables 3 and 4

Got through two more volumes of the Fables series. I am really loving this one. In Volume 3: Storybook Love we have a couple of one-shots that bookend the bigger, series-moving story. A newspaper reporter thinks he's going to be able to expose the Fables so we get "A Two-Part Caper". We find out where Goldilocks has been and new schemes start to get Snow and Bigby. Prince Charming does a great thing, even if it is just for stupid selfish reasons. This part is a 5.

In Volume 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers, the Adversary launches an invasion. The Fables must come together and fight with their various powers to stop him. It has some awesome fighting and the dialogue is great. Boy Blue's tale of the last boat out of storyland is heartbreaking. This is the best volume so far. a 7. I am worried i'm going to have to collect this one too. Damn! More books to buy.

I love some of the ideas in this series. The fact that Billingham makes the handsome prince fro…

More Food!

I finished up Mark Bittman's Food Matterstoday. It is sort of a diet book but not really. It is really a how-to book for people who've read things by Michael Pollan. With great sounding recipes! It is a very simple idea. Don't eat crap. If you eat mainly veggies, fruit and whole grain, with a touch of meat now and then, you'll have a hard time eating too many calories. Some of the statistics were startling. I had no idea how much soda normal people drink. I have an occasional coke when i'm eating out and i keep a 6 pack in my cabinet for others to drink when they come over. But for many people sodas comprise 7% of their calories.

He also talks about why eating like people did for thousands of years is lighter on the earth. it takes 2200 calories of energy to make 1 can of DIET soda. seriously. fruits and veggies and rice and beans aren't packaged with much and aren't processed much either. Meat is a bit less ridiculous but seriously inefficient…


I am done with Click! The tag line is One Novel, Ten Authors. There are several that i'd read before including Nick Hornby, Margo Lanagan, and Eoin Colfer. Each author contributes a chapter of the overall story. They are really a series of linked short stories. That makes some shorts very different from others. It's not a bad book at all though. It's for a good cause even! The profits are going to Amnesty International.

The tale begins with Maggie, a young girl, mourning her grandfather Gee. George Keane, as he is known to the world, is a famous photographer. He leaves Maggie a gift of a box full of shells and instructions to "throw them all back". She discovers that they are all from different continents. His gift isn't a gift, it is a quest, one that will carry her through the rest of her life.

Only a few of the stories directly involve Maggie's quest. We find out who made the box, the stories of how Gee picked up some of the shells, how Magg…


Another Daily Lit book finished! Persuasion by Jane Austen follows Anne Elliot, a 27 year old middle sister. Eight years before the story begins, Anne fell in love with Frederick Wentworth. Because he is in a lower social class and has no money, family and friends persuade Anne to break up with him. At the beginning, Anne's father realizes he is broke due to his extravagant lifestyle. Anne's older sister, Elizabeth, is much like her father and the favorite. They decide to move to Bath to reduce their expenses and lease out thier mansion. It ends up going to Admiral Croft, Wentworth's brother-in-law! So Anne meets her love again but now he's made his fortune and is a captain in the navy. There are love triangles, dramatic injuries, and confused identities. I like this one much better than Northanger Abbey. I identified much more with Anne, a woman who doesn't have much in the way of independence but never tries to change to meet others expectations. She car…

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

As an impulse, I picked up The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell from the library this past weekend. It is a short book of Vowell's essays. I've seen her on The Daily Show and thought she was quite funny. Her essays are not disappointing. They are funny, insightful, liberal and reflective. First published in 2003, several of the essays focus on the 2000 election and the aftermath of September 11. Whether she's reflecting on her penchant for death-filled vacation locations or how ridiculous it is for people to compare themselves to Rosa Parks, Vowell never becomes caustic and never looses her good heartedness. I give this collection a 5.

I love her covers. They are all great but i'll only post this one for now. I expect to keep reading her work as time allows me!

Btt for 5/14 and Contagious

First, BTT.

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

I am not awful about buying books but i definitely don't wait until i'm "out" of stuff to read either. I wander McKay's a good bit and pick up stuff on my mental list of books i want. I am bad about adding things on my library hold list. now that they've cut everyone to 10 holds only i have to ration. I tend to have a few on there that are new books on order or have a bunch of holds on them. then i need a couple spots open for random things i need to read.
Secondly, i finished Contagious by Scott Sigler today. I think this one is better than the first but still a 5. Nice to see a duo of a series instead of a trilogy or more t…

Lots of stuff

More grey skies and storms for Tennessee. *sigh* I would almost welcome the heat if we'd get some days without rain. If it pours on Saturday I'll be skipping the Ren Fest.

Last night's dinner: steak with peppers and onions and purple sweet potatoes! What?

here they are cut up.

and boiling in the pan.

they taste almost exactly like sweet potatoes but a little earthier. Very yummy. And anything that color naturally has to be good for you right? It is such a distinctive looking vegetable. Maybe i'll try a sweet potato pie with them!

Lastly, i read Y: The Last Man, Volume 6: Girl on Girl by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra last night. This one is the weakest so far. It isn't bad but really isn't anything spectacular plot wise. Some girls hook up, we find out a bit more about Beth and Yorick's relationship pre-wipeout, more fighting happens, this time on the high seas! I give it a 4.


I HATED IT! Seriously. This book gets a 1. I'd give it a 3 but the damn thing is 769 pages long and it's a week overdue at the library so i've got to pay a fine so it gets a 1. Really. And i've decided that i am completely and totally done with unreliable narrator novels. It does at least count for the Chunkster Challenge.

Drood by Dan Simmons starts with Wilkie Collins introducing himself to the reader. He says he's going to talk about the last 5 years of Dickens' life, from the Staplehurst accident forward. Dickens says he meets some sort of creepy dude during the Staplehurst wreck named Drood. After several more chapters we find out Drood is supposedly some sort of Egyptian hypnotist criminal mastermind. Dickens and then Collins get wrapped up in Drood's scheme to have either his biography or his Egyptian religious rituals published. While Wilkie does discuss this mystery but he tells us lots more about his own life. His two mistresses, his la…


So i am pushing the best lotion, lip balm, etc that i've found. and it's local for me! Thistle Farms is a non-profit business. It is run by women from Magdalene, a residential treatment center. A great cause in itself, the products are fantastic. I am in looooove with the body balm; it works great on my nails and cuticles. Try the Citrus Vanilla if you can; it is the best smell ever! Like sugar cookie with a lemon icing. Their products are a 7!
Thistle Farms website.

Today i also read the first two volumes of Fables. In Fables Vol. 1: Fables in Exile by Bill Willingham and Lan Medina we get introduced to all our players. All our various storybook characters have been driven from their homelands by The Adversary and have been in the real world for several hundred years. In New York City, Snow White is the Deputy Mayor and her sister, Rose Red, is missing. Unfortunately, her apartment is covered in blood and all signs lead to her murder. Bigby Wolf (the Big Bad Wolf i…

Media Overload!

2 movies and a play in the last 24 hours!

The first movie was a DVD, 30 Days of Night. Decent, not awesome, horror. Nice to see gross, blood sucking vampires. Basically, vampires invade a town so far north they have a full month of darkness. Survivors band together, sneak, hide, get picked off one by one. I feel the movie had more potential than they show. One character says something like "we live up here (so far north) because we 're the only ones who can. we know this town and we know the cold" but then the only real way they use their knowledge is to sneak around when the blizzards come. i guess i expected more fighting and less hiding and being very quiet. a 4.

Secondly, this afternoon i saw a conversation at TPAC. Darwin in Malibu is a play, one great big conversation of a play. Darwin is living in Malibu, California, with Sarah, a beachcombing hippie chick. Aldous Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce drop by. See, the Bishop feels the reason he's not in …

Y: Ring of Truth and BTT!

SOMEONE ELSE START READING THIS SERIES!! I want to talk to someone about it. Please! In Y: The Last Man: Ring of Truth by Brian K Vaughn and Pia Guerra we get answers! lots of answers! 1 and 1/2 secret agencies identified! What happened to Hero? Has Yorick killed anyone? Is Beth alive in Australia? Why did Yorick survive the deaths? Did the astronaut girl have her baby safely and, if so, boy or girl? Seriously, this has been the best volume since the first! a 6!

Last Saturday (May 2nd) is Free Comic Book Day! In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:
- Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?

- How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
- Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

As you may have seen above, I do read graphic novels. personally, "comics" are individual issues, "graphic novels&quo…

Y again

I would so be done with this series if my library had 2 copies of each book! I just read volume 4 of Y: The Last Man: Safeword by Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra. I should have book 5 in a couple days but book 6 is out of the library until June 1. Maybe they'll read it fast. I give this volume a 6.

I liked this one the best of the books so far. There are two stories in this one. In the first, 355 and Dr. Mann have to get some antibiotics for Ampersand so leave Yorick with a friend of 355's, agent 711. Yorick then has to face his inner demons and realize why he's a bit impulsive where danger is concerned. In the second, we find out that they've been on the road for about a year now! They've made it to Arizona and have to fight a militia group, the Sons of Arizona, who are blocking all traffic on I 40 because they feel the government caused the men to die. Interesting twist at the end of this one as well.

The Sirens of Titan

This morning i finished The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I actually don't think i've read any Vonnegut before. Unfortunately this one is not on the 1001 List. oh well.

The Sirens of Titan is a long setup for a punchline at the end. it's not bad. It reminded me of LOST and Watchmen due to a character who can see various points in time all at once, as well as weird character connections and doing massive amounts of harm to individuals for "the greater good". It's a philosophical work as well and deals with the nature of self and memory and God. The time displaced character is Rumfoord. He's a very rich man who decided to take a rocket to Mars and flys into a chronic-synclastic infundibulum. Don't worry about that though, it's just the setup. That makes Rumfoord able to see the future and materialize on various planets at different times.

Rumfoord tells his wife, Beatrice, and the richest man alive, Malachi Constant, that they're…