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Showing posts from May, 2010

Essays

I finished Chinua Achebe's The Education of a British-Protected Child today. It's a book of non-fiction essays. I've only read Arrow of God by Achebe but saw this at the library and picked it up. I enjoyed it. Some of the essays are lighter in tone, others are serious, all relate the reality of life and Africa. Check it out!

Veggies!

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So i picked up my first box of food from Delvin Farms today!

and since i'm doing pics...

here's my flower garden on the rails of my balcony.

for comparison, same shot of the same plants on April 4th when i planted them.

Geraniums

Mixed flowers

Nasturnium. You're supposed to be able to eat it.

and here are the tomato plants! The one on the left grew 4 inches the last 2 days, i promise! I watered it Thursday morning and it hadn't reached the horizontal rail yet.

Herbs: chocolate mint, sage, peppermint, garlic chives

more herbs. Rosemary, lemon balm, and a purple basil. and daisies.


Oh, and Chloe in her favorite spot!

I've only killed one plant so far, a gerber daisy that looked a bit sad when i got it. i've got some regular basil growing too. I hope i get to eat some of the herbs this year!

One Track Minds

I finished The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann this morning. I would call it a book of non-fiction short stories, all dealing in some way with an obsession.

Only the first story has anything to do with Sherlock Holmes though there are several people who could be called devils. There's a French man who impersonates teenagers, even being sent to the USA as the missing son of a Texas family. Did they accept him in their life because to deny he was their son might lead investigators to find they'd killed their real son? in another, a Polish man is brutally murdered and a novel published afterward leads the police to the author as a suspect. There's a story of Toto Constant, the Haitian dictator who lived for a while in Queens. The stories of a lawyer taking on the Aryan Brotherhood and another fighting the Italian mob are great crime stories. I learned about the James Traficant trial from the second one. Some stories aren't crime related but as a reader you…

The Passage

Work was slow yesterday! I finished The Passage by Justin Cronin, which i got free from Librarything. It isn't bad. There were many things in it that i really liked. i just didn't love it.
Good but not great. the basic story is that the US Army is attempting to create a virus that will allow soldiers to heal quickly or, barring that, create a sort of super soldier. They start their human experiments on death row inmates but the last patient is a six year old girl, Amy. The convicts escape and release a plague of super strong, fast, blood drinking semi-immortals. Amy is immune to the blood lust but her aging practically stops.

Then, though, the story jumps forward 95 years and we meet several people who live in The Colony, a compound in California of survivors. The social structure is very rigid and they are surviving on technology salvaged from the past. Unfortunately, the smokes are still around and the equipment is slowly falling apart. The Colony won't be a…

BTT for 5/27

Easy one.

What books do you have next to your bed right now? How about other places in the house? What are you reading?

i don't keep one by the bedside as i usually just go to sleep. but, overall i'm reading:
The Passage by Justin Cronin- and ERC and i've only got 150 pages left. depending on how busy it is at work i should finish this in the next couple days.The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann- non-fiction short stories. each chapter is a different story and not bad so far. I should also finish this book over the weekend.Boneshaker by Cherie Priest- just got it back from the library and i'm about halfway through. it's just slow going for me but i do want to finish it off.also, i've got a few from the library i've not started yet.The Windup Girl by Paolo BacigalupiThe Children's Book by AS ByattThe Education of a British-protected Child by Chinua Achebe- nonfiction for the POC challengeThe Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickensso that's my …

A Movie, a Comic and BTT!

Iron Man 2 is quite good. B and I saw this one Wednesday afternoon. Besides nibbling off my fingernails, always a good sign, I didn't even realize the 2-odd hours had passed until the movie was over! a 6.

I finished Walking Dead Vol 10: What We Becometoday. More journeying. a 5. and now i have to wait and wait for the library to get 11. *sigh*

BTT!
What’s the most useful book you’ve ever read? And, why?
I'm not sure? I've read a few basic cookbooks which i'm sure have helped my kitchen skills. The Hobbit for lessons about life: riches are found in home and family and friends, not in a dragon's horde. Fast Food Nation- don't eat McDonald's. Collapse- we can only push the environment so far, we've done it before and lost that game. The God Delusion- my first angry atheist book, i really realized there were other people who had some of the same thoughts.

hope those make some sense!

Alien Luv

I finished an old sci-fi book, The Lovers by Philip Jose Farmer. The hero is Hal Yarrow, a linguist. He lives in a dystopian future earth where everything in his country is run by the Sturch, a state-church conglomerate. The Sturch teaches that everything bad that happens is you fault because you unconsciously wanted it to happen. If you stub your toe, you must have wanted it, if you can't have a child you must not be sure you will have one, if you die in a plane crash, you and everyone else must have wanted to. The Sturch controls all aspects of life: where you live, who you marry, your career. everyone is expected to report on others misbehaviours; when Yarrow swears his wife gets angry because now she must report him.

Yarrow is stifled and hates his life. he seems to really enjoy his work, correlating and researching languages. He gets an opportunity to go into space when a spaceship returns after finding a new planet with intelligent life. Freed from the dreary marra…

1% and a Mystery

I joined the 1% Well Read Challenge again, trying to read 13 books by April 2011. No specific to read list but all have to be off the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. I'm sloooowly working on that one anyway!

And i finished the second Flavia de Luce mystery last night. Or this morning. It was like 1 am when i finished up. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley picks up just a few weeks after the first volume ends. Flavia is playing in the Bishop's Lacey churchyard when she hears a woman, crying. She finds Nialla, a young woman stuck in town with her employer, Rupert, with their van broken down. Rupert is actually a famous puppeteer on that new-fangled gadget, TV. To pay for getting their van fixed and camping in the churchyard, they agree to put on a puppet show for the town.

As the murder didn't actually happen until about halfway through the book, i don't want to give much more away. I was actually interested in trying to figure o…

Cold

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I wish i had held back on this book until August! Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever is about, obviously, the cold! Each chapter is titled after a month of the year, starting in July and finishing in June. The subjects in each chapter aren't specific to each month though, as the author lives in Alaska he does detail the seasons as they pass in his state.

The stories Streever tells wander around; if you are looking for a straightforward beginning to end book you won't find it here. For instance, the history of scientists' attempts to get down to absolute zero is spread over several chapters. He discusses how geologists realized that glaciers once covered Europe and North America, the men who failed and succeed reaching the North and South Poles, the history of refrigeration, the structure of synthetic fabrics and the biology of Arctic animals. He goes into more mundane topics, like how skis work and ice hotels.

The scatter-shot way the bo…

BTT for 5/13

What influences your reading?
Are your book choices influenced by friends and family? Do their recommendations carry weight for you? Or do you choose your books solely by what you want to read?Do blogging acquaintances count as friends? if so, then i do get a good number of recs from friends. Family not so much because my mom reads a lot of romance books. my mom has given me a couple of Pride and Prejudice continuations to read that i haven't started yet that i will probably enjoy. I pull ideas for further reading from all over though. i get recs from Amazon.com, Entertainment Weekly, the Nashville Scene, book bloggers, books i read, other non-book blogs, the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list, The Daily Show, and B. all over!

More Reviews!

Whew! It's not that i've read so much the last couple days, it's that i've finished several! and these two are for challenges.

For the YA Challenge I finished This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I actually think i like this one least of the three in the series (so far? are there to be more?). Of the previous ones i liked the one with Miranda the least and we are back to her diary entries on this one. Just as things are starting to get better with her family's health and food situation, her father returns with his new wife and baby as well as three other people. Alex Morales and his sister Julia joined the group as it headed back northeast. Of course, Alex and Miranda fall for each other, though other than being non-related and the same age i really don't know why. I just really don't like Miranda much. So it's a 4 from me and if you really liked the first book you'll probably like this one better.

For the Once Upon a Time 4 Challeng…

Catching up

I've finished several books the last couple days so i'll be doing a few mass review posts!

What an awesome name for a heroine! Flavia de Luce is an eleven year old English girl, the leading character in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I loved this weird little mystery. And i've already got the next one waiting for me at the library! Yay! The book is set in 1950. Flavia is brilliant and passionate about chemistry and fights incessantly with her older sisters. Their mother died several years before and they live with their father in their old country house. One night Flavia hears her father arguing with a strange man and the next morning she finds the man as he dies in their garden. His last word, "Vale", sets her on a mission to discover the killer.

That's the only bit i didn't like. I knew who the killer was very early on. I did like all the little side tracks and clues and how Flavia goes about her quest. I could see Flav…

Weekly Geeks 15-2010

I haven't done one of these for a while.
What series do you read where you have had an issue with one of the books in the line-up?Do you cut the author loose after one miss, or do you have a limit of failed books in a series before you toss in the towel?What's your suggestion for that book that you struggle with in a series.Hmm.

I guess I would say i've a very loose, two bad book limit for authors in general, which would include series. if the series has been really enjoyable and i don't like one book, i'll probably still give the next a try. Unless it's gone off in a direction i don't like.

For example, I don't know that i will read any more of Mercedes Lackey's new Valdemar books as they've become really repetitive. the last 3 or so have been disappointing so unless she goes back to some previous characters i'll not bother. I've tried a few time to read Robert Jordan's Eye of the World series but they are so long and, well…

Fables 13-Crossover

I didn't really enjoy Fables Volume 13: The Great Fables Crossover. The book brought characters and events from the Jack of Fables series back to the original Fables world. I've only read the first 2 books in the Jack of Fables series because i didn't like Jack and the snarky tone his books have. I do get meta-textual things but since i dislike Jack so much it makes the books unenjoyable for me. So there were many references to previous events in those books that i didn't understand. and the snarky tone permeated the whole volume which made it a downer. a 3 from me.

BTT for 5/6

on finishing what you don't like.

So … you’re halfway through a book and you’re hating it. It’s boring. It’s trite. It’s badly written. But … you’ve invested all this time to reading the first half.What do you do? Read the second half? Just to finish out the story? Find out what happens?Or, cut your losses and dump the second half?
It depends on what book it is. How much more do i have left? if it's a short book then i might finish it up. Is it a "classic" or for a challenge? then i may go ahead and try to tough it out. I'm currently not in school but i know i used to be required to finish those books! If B handed me one i'd also probably try to finish even if i didn't like it, at least to be able to say why. Otherwise, i've really got no problem dropping a book. The worse it is the faster i would probably stop.

Nashville Update

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Parts of my town are pretty bad off right now. Pictures are by my previous boyfriend, R. Here's his flickr page.

Middle TN Red Cross. You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.

Country music star slanted article on CNN.
Good people are doing good stuff. I'm overwhelmed. I could literally drive a mile or so down the road and stop to help at house after house. This weekend I'll be volunteering somewhere.

Article from Boston.com with some amazing photos.

My place and those of my friends are fine. The apartment complex had some downed trees and apparently a few roof leaks but nothing serious. We're short on water as one of our plants is under water so we're "letting it mellow" at my house, using paper plates/cups, and taking navy showers. It's bizarre that so many places are destroyed but so many others are fine. The library where B works had some minor flooding and he spent Sunday hauling books and equipment upstairs

One thing many other peo…

Floods

I don't know how much this is being covered nationwide. Parts of Nashville and the surrounding counties have had over a foot of rain in the last 40 hours. I'm fine camped on my couch and watching tv. I'm ripping some video from a local news station.

a couple people died when this trucker did this. insane. the river that is flowing over Interstate 24 is normally several feet under the roadway. that median is probably 3 1/2 to 4 feet high.



same spot but a little later. this is a portable classroom from a nearby school that floated onto the interstate.

so this is pretty bad.

Donations to Red Cross.
The Community Foundation of Middle TN.