Tuesday, October 28, 2008
At the moment, the book that is at the top of my Want!!!!!! list is Just After Sunset, a new short story collection by Stephen King, which is coming out on November 11, according to Amazon. I have no idea when it's coming out here but hopefully before Christmas so that when I give Jeremy my list, (I make him a list of things I want and he picks something from it _ I love him dearly but sometimes he's not very good at deciding what I might like) that will be right at the top.
Dean Koontz also has a new book coming out next month, which sounds promising; Your Heart Belongs to Me, so that's on the Want!!!!!! list as well.
Apart from that, I'm not sure. I need to go trawling some book websites and blogs (heh!)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I'm still reading Kaimira Book 1: The Sky Village, which is pretty awesome and I'm doing my best to get it finished before I give in to Graveyard Book goodnes.
I've even put The Graveyard Book away so it can't say reaaaaaaaaad meeeeee every time I look at it on the table. However, if by the end of this week I haven't finished both Sky Village and The Graveyard Book, I'll be highly disappointed in myself.
Then, on Saturday, I'll be starting Love in the Time of Cholera, which is November's classic novel and a friend of mine said something vague about reading it along with me, so we'll see how that goes.
What else do I have? Oh! Nation! That's the other one! Plus I went to the library on Thursday and got some books. Not as many as I could/usually get, but I think first on that list may be Blind Faith, by Ben Elton. Or this other one, about the Knights Templar, but the name of it escapes me and it's aaaaaaaaaalll the way in the bedroom. Black Knight Red Knight, or something (I keep typing night ... I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something).
I also went to the movies on Thursday with a workmate to see Brideshead Revisited (for some reason, I always want to say Pride and Prejudice) and while I enjoyed the movie (but not as much as the series with Jeremy Irons in it), not much of it is sticking with me.
Having said that, I might put it on my classics list for 2009. For which I'm still looking for suggestions. :)
Um. Must go to bed now. Mostly because I've just accidentally deleted this post about 10 times.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Step 1: Choose 3 Weekly Geeks, either from the Mr Linky below or from any of the Mr Linkies in any previous Weekly Geeks, and explore their archives. Try to choose at least one Weekly Geek you don’t know well.
Step 2: Looking through some of their oldest posts, find at least one that you really like from each of the three blogs.
Step 3: Write a post featuring these 3 bloggers, linking to the posts that you enjoyed, with a short blurb.
Step 4: Visit the WG #22 posts of two other Weekly Geeks from the Mr Linky below, and link to their posts at the bottom of yours.
Step 5: Come back and sign Mr Linky with the url to your specific WG #22 post, not just your general blog url.
Next is Kerrie at http://paradise-mysteries.blogspot.com/ and this post: http://paradise-mysteries.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-do-you-know-what-to-read-next.html has given me some great ideas and links for books to read. She's also flying the Aussie authors flag pretty high, and as a Kiwi book blogger I admire that, and aspire to do something similar (I'm a bit crap at it at the moment.)
Finally is Bookfool at http://bookfoolery.blogspot.com/
Friday, October 24, 2008
You're up late, you don't go for your walk, and if you read at all, it's in 2-5 page increments.
That's kind of what my week has been like. We've been training on an upgraded computer system at work, and the trouble with working for a newspaper, is that you still have to get it out, so we've pretty much been training on the live system. Which can be kind of good,but it can also kind of suck. And this week kind of sucked.
Except for Friday, which was okay. We finished early and everything seemed to go all right. PLUS, the review copy of The Graveyard Book finally came in, which I commandeered as one of the two Keepers of the Book Cupboard Keys (the other Keeper is on holiday.) And yesterday was pay day, which is always a good day. So I treated myself to Nation by Terry Pratchett, and I've practically had to sit on my hands not to start them before I finish the book I"m already reading (I'm trying to be good ...)
So I got some solid reading-time on Sky Village today, which is actually very good but at the back of my head, Evil Reading Fairy is whispering "Graveyard Boooooook".
What else. That's really all I have for now. :)
Monday, October 20, 2008
I've just got to the bit where he's about to misunderstand an encounter Mrs Graham has with her landlord and I swear ... he's thisclose to throwing his toys out of his cot and kicking his heels on the floor.
It's possibly not the best choice of book at the moment, with a lot of the work stuff I have going on (a lot of which seems to be dealing with sulky men for some reason), so it's just making me angry all over again. My dilemma is that it's one of my classic reads for 2008 _ October's classic, and I've already bailed out on The Old Curiosity Shoppe, The Once and Future King and The Picture of Dorian Grey. If I manage to read Love in the Time of Cholera and Stranger in a Strange Land, I"ll have read eight out of the twelve.
I skipped Dorian Grey at the time, because I was falling behind, so it's possible I'll pick that one up before the end of the year.
But Tenant ... it's just not happening. I"m avoiding it, and feeling guilty and miserable about it and for crying out loud, that's not why I read!!! I certainly don't read in my spare time only to be reminded of work!!!! So. No more Tenant, for now. At least until the work thing settles down, or I get over my very strong aversion to Gilbert Markham.
Unfortunately, this has left me in a quandary, with little else on the go except for The World of Jeeves Omnibus. Which I'm enjoying, but I need a novel. A novel!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, I'm going to do my classics challenge again next year (I'm an optimist); read one classic novel (any genre, doesn't matter) a month. If any of you lovely people who either read my blog on purpose (and I love you, I truly do), or stumble across it by accident (I'm mildly fond of you, but I'll love you if you comment) have any suggestions, let's hear them!
Right. Time for bed.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I had hopes of being able to get around everyone again, but with work (home now) and being tired after working two stupid-late shifts on Thursday and Friday, all I can think about is bed and the omnibus of Jeeves & Wooster stories waiting for me _ a couple of those and I should be ready for some sleeeeeeeeep. (In an they're soothing to read kind of way, not that they're so boring they'll send me right off.)
You all did great, and this is how I feel about being too tired to go and tell you all individually:
(Patrick, mugging for the camera).
Back tomorrow, with a Reading Week post.
Sleep well everyone, you all did a great job!!!!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Okay, this will be my only mini-challenge. Off to work soon.
http://fizzybeverage.blogspot.com/ has challenged readers and cheerleaders to come up with a Top 10 list a la David Letterman.
Mine is about cats (no, really???)
Top 10 ways cats enhance your reading experience:
10: They treat you like furniture, thereby forcing you to sit in one place
9: They're warm
8: They like to "share" your book by headbutting and biting it (at least, Merlin does)
7: They provide a soundtrack that you can feel, as well as hear
6: They force you to take breaks (to feed them, you can starve, for all they care)
5: They give you an excuse not to move: "I can't move, the cat's asleep"
4: They keep the kids entertained with their handy appendages (like tails, and ears that can be pulled)
3: They give you a rest break now and then, when they need a pat. Just five seconds will do, give your wrists a break from holding up the book.
2: If it's a big enough cat, you can use it as a book rest
And the number one way cats enhance your reading experience:
1: They're like the force, or duct tape. They have a light side, a dark side, they hold the universe together and remind us that spending hours doing one thing occasionally (reading, sleeping) is good for the soul:
Friday, October 17, 2008
The Readathon starts (I think) in a few hours, and I keep forgetting that I said I'd cheerlead, so this is my post-it, so to speak. I hope to visit all the readers at least once.
I'm pretty tired after working two stupid late shifts, so it might be an in-town-for-one-night-only gig.
But, you know readers, I"m thinking of you. And I'm ravenously jealous, but I can't read at the moment while Patrick is up without him making off with the book. Tricky!
Anyway. In House, two very different couples find themselves stranded in the backwoods of the middle of nowhere. There's a very old house purporting to be a B & B, that they're basically led towards by the bad guy: Barsidious White (just as an aside _ is that not the best name for a freaky-deaky serial killer? Barsidiousssssss).
At first the four are just confused, a little creeped-out by the people inhabiting the house (a family of inbreds, or so we think at first), then outraged, then scared out of their tiny little minds as Things start happening.
As things start to get worse _ and stranger _ the true characters of the captors of the house emerge. At first it seems as though their situation is hopeless, as the house shifts around them and they battle with whether to meet White's (Barsidioussssss) demands:
1) God came to my house and I killed him. 2) I will kill anyone who comes to my house as I killed God. 3) Give me one dead body and I might let rule two slide.
However, things are just not that simple and they have to figure out how to fight the house, White and their own inner demons.
Dekker and Perretti are, I believe both Christian writers and there are religious elements woven tightly into the fabric of the story. I never felt preached to _ mostly just really spooked. But you know, tell me a good story, and I don't care what you do. And this is a good story. A really good story.
Read it with the lights on.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
He goes off on to tangents, tells stories in the middle of other stories and waxes on a variety of subjects that all have one thing in common: William Shatner. Yet he doesn't come across as egocentric. Instead he comes across as a man who gets the joke. Who has always got the joke and we are the ones left a little bewildered.
Up Till Now is fabulous. Funny, as I said _ especially when he starts listing all the Star Trek merchandise. He'll interrupt a perfectly good story about something completely unrelated and just start listing it again _ as though he can't quite believe it. As he puts it, to him, and presumably the other actors at the time, it was a job. They were grateful to be working in a shaky industry and had no idea Star Trek would become the phenomenon it is now.
And what I didn't know is how much Shatner has done in the field of acting. From starting out as a young man in Canadian theatre, to Broadway, to early TV, to Star Trek, T J Hooker and right up to Boston Legal, he has done a lot! I got the impression from the book that he just pretty much says yes to anything he's offered, which has led to a fascinating life.
Shatner is also reflective as he talks about his life, his works, and his loves. The most moving chapter of the book is the one that deals with the death of his third wife, Nerine, who drowned in their family swimming pool. It's heartfelt and incredibly moving.
Sigh ... I need to come up with some kind of rating system. Otherwise my reviews just sort of peter out.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I finished Up Till Now, by William Shatner, which was awesome (review to come) and I finally started The Tenant of Wildfell Hall _ October's classic read. I can't say what I think of it yet; I'm only about 20 pages in. I'm also still reading House by Frank Perretti and Ted Dekker, and that's due back at the library tomorrow. Since I can only read it in daylight hours without totally freaking myself out, I'm not sure if I'll get it finished.
I pulled Inkheart from my bookshelf to read but I don't know when I'll really get a chance to start it. I'm also picking away at a variety of short stories, for a Creative Writing course I started a few weeks ago. For our next assignment we have to talk about a short story that has changed/impacted us in some way. I'm not a great short story reader, so I've been picking at a few different ones. I"m pretty sure I'm going to use October in the Chair by Neil Gaiman, though. Which, of course, will mean reading the whole Fragile Things collection (again ... heh).
Um. That's all ... for now. :)
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Dewey is challenging our minds this week, with a bit of a group project/scavenger hunt.
Here are the rules:
1. Look over the list of first lines. How many can you identify immediately? Post these in your blog, with the answer (the book title and author). If you’re not 100% positive of your answer, please google the line to be sure. Otherwise, your wrong answer will be spread around to other bloggers. Step 1 is the most basic step in the project, and you should only sign Mr Linky if you complete this step.
2. If you like, list a few or more first lines without answers and ask your readers if they can identify any of them. It’s fine to list all of them for your readers to look at, if you’re so inclined.
3. If you want to, you can also go around visiting other Weekly Geeks and commenting with the answers to any lines that stumped them. The more WGs you visit, the more will visit you!
4. If you want to take part in a contest to see who can get all 100 lines identified, visit the Weekly Geeks who sign Mr Linky below, take their identified lines from their blogs and post them in your own post. Your own list will grow this way. Please don’t forget to link to any Weekly Geeks whose identified lines you take!
5. If you eventually have all 100 lines identified in your blog post, please email me at dewpie at gmail dot com. Don’t email me if you get all 100 by looking at the blog of someone else who got all 100, though, because obviously that person beat you to it.
Okay. Here are the lines: (Updated _ thanks everyone!)
1. Call me Ishmael _ Moby Dick by Herman Melville
2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife _ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. A screaming comes across the sky _ No idea; from Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
4. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice _ One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins _ Lolita by Vladimer Nabokov
6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way _ Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (had to google this one; I haven't read the book, but the line was sooo familiar)
7. riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs _ No idea
8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen _ 1984 by George Orwell
9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair _ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
10. I am an invisible man _ Invisible Man by Ralph Waldo Ellison
11. The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard _ No idea
12. You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter _ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain13. Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested _ No idea
14. You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler _ If On a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new _ Murphy by Samuel Beckett
16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth _ Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger
17. Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo _ No idea
18. This is the saddest story I have ever heard _ No idea
From Nymeth at http://thingsmeanalot.blogspot.com/: The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (thanks!)
19. I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me _ No idea
20. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show _ No idea
21. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed _ No idea
22. It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness _ No idea (and I started so well!!!)
23. One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary _ No idea
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (thanks!)
24. It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not _ No idea; from Jessi at http://casual-dread.blogspot.com/:
25. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting _ No idea
26. 124 was spiteful _ No idea
27. Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing _ No idea; from http://penrynsdreams.livejournal.com/111496.html Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes (thanks!)
28. Mother died today _ No idea; from Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: Stranger by Albert Camus
29. Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu _ Waiting by Ha Jin
30 The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel _ No idea; from Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: Neuromancer by William Gibson
31. I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man _ No idea
32. Where now? Who now? When now? _ No idea
33. Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. “Stop!” cried the groaning old man at last, “Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree.” _ No idea
34. In a sense, I am Jacob Horner _ No idea
35. It was like so, but wasn’t _ No idea
36. —Money . . . in a voice that rustled _ No idea
37. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself _ Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
38. All this happened, more or less _ No idea; from http://penrynsdreams.livejournal.com/111496.html: Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut (thanks!)
39. They shoot the white girl first _ No idea
40. For a long time, I went to bed early _ No idea
41. The moment one learns English, complications set in _ No idea
42. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature _ No idea
43. I was the shadow of the waxwing slain / By the false azure in the windowpane; _ No idea
44. Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board _ No idea; from http://penrynsdreams.livejournal.com/111496.html: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (thanks!)
45. I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story _ No idea
46. Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa’s antipodal ant annexation _ No idea
47. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it _ Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C S Lewis
48. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish _ No idea
49. It was the day my grandmother exploded _ No idea
50. I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974 _ No idea; from http://subliminalintervention.blogspot.com/: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (thanks!)
51. Elmer Gantry was drunk _ Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lews
52. We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall _ No idea
53. It was a pleasure to burn _ Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
54. A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead _ No idea; from Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
55. Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes’ chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression _ No idea
56. I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho’ not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me _ Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
57. In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street _ No idea
58. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress _ No idea
59. It was love at first sight _ No idea
60. What if this young woman, who writes such bad poems, in competition with her husband, whose poems are equally bad, should stretch her remarkably long and well-made legs out before you, so that her skirt slips up to the tops of her stockings? _ No idea
61. I have never begun a novel with more misgiving _ No idea
62. Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person _ No idea
63. The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up _ No idea
64. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since _ No idea
65. You better not never tell nobody but God _ No idea; from http://penrynsdreams.livejournal.com/111496.html: The Color Purple by Alice Walker (thanks!)
66. “To be born again,” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.” _ No idea; from Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
67. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York _ No idea
68. Most really pretty girls have pretty ugly feet, and so does Mindy Metalman, Lenore notices, all of a sudden _ No idea
69. If I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me, thought Moses Herzog _ No idea; also from Jessi at
http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: Herzog by Saul Bellow (thanks!)
70. Francis Marion Tarwater’s uncle had been dead for only half a day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Saviour at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up _ No idea
71. Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there’s a peephole in the door, and my keeper’s eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me _ No idea
72. When Dick Gibson was a little boy he was not Dick Gibson _ No idea
73. Hiram Clegg, together with his wife Emma and four friends of the faith from Randolph Junction, were summoned by the Spirit and Mrs. Clara Collins, widow of the beloved Nazarene preacher Ely Collins, to West Condon on the weekend of the eighteenth and nineteenth of April, there to await the End of the World _ No idea
74. She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him _ No idea
75. In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains _ No idea
76. “Take my camel, dear,” said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass _ No idea
77. He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull _ No idea
78. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there _ No idea
79. On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen _ Riddley Walker (had to google this one, but we studied it at university)
80. Justice?—You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law _ No idea
81. Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash _ No idea; from Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: Crash, by J G Ballard
82. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink _ No idea
83. “When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,” Papa would say, “she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.” _ No idea
84. In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similes stretched to the snapping-point _ No idea
85. When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon _ No idea; from Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: Last Good Kiss by James Crumley
86. It was just noon that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a white man _ No idea
87. I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as “Claudius the Idiot,” or “That Claudius,” or “Claudius the Stammerer,” or “Clau-Clau-Claudius” or at best as “Poor Uncle Claudius,” am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the “golden predicament” from which I have never since become disentangled _ I, Claudius by Robert Graves
88. Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women _ No idea
89. I am an American, Chicago born—Chicago, that somber city—and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent _ No idea
90. The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods _ No idea
91. I will tell you in a few words who I am: lover of the hummingbird that darts to the flower beyond the rotted sill where my feet are propped; lover of bright needlepoint and the bright stitching fingers of humorless old ladies bent to their sweet and infamous designs; lover of parasols made from the same puffy stuff as a young girl’s underdrawers; still lover of that small naval boat which somehow survived the distressing years of my life between her decks or in her pilothouse; and also lover of poor dear black Sonny, my mess boy, fellow victim and confidant, and of my wife and child. But most of all, lover of my harmless and sanguine self _ No idea
92. He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad _ No idea
93. Psychics can see the color of time it’s blue _ No idea
94. In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together _ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
95. Once upon a time two or three weeks ago, a rather stubborn and determined middle-aged man decided to record for posterity, exactly as it happened, word by word and step by step, the story of another man for indeed what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal, a somewhat paranoiac fellow unmarried, unattached, and quite irresponsible, who had decided to lock himself in a room a furnished room with a private bath, cooking facilities, a bed, a table, and at least one chair, in New York City, for a year 365 days to be precise, to write the story of another person—a shy young man about of 19 years old—who, after the war the Second World War, had come to America the land of opportunities from France under the sponsorship of his uncle—a journalist, fluent in five languages—who himself had come to America from Europe Poland it seems, though this was not clearly established sometime during the war after a series of rather gruesome adventures, and who, at the end of the war, wrote to the father his cousin by marriage of the young man whom he considered as a nephew, curious to know if he the father and his family had survived the German occupation, and indeed was deeply saddened to learn, in a letter from the young man—a long and touching letter written in English, not by the young man, however, who did not know a damn word of English, but by a good friend of his who had studied English in school—that his parents both his father and mother and his two sisters one older and the other younger than he had been deported they were Jewish to a German concentration camp Auschwitz probably and never returned, no doubt having been exterminated deliberately X * X * X * X, and that, therefore, the young man who was now an orphan, a displaced person, who, during the war, had managed to escape deportation by working very hard on a farm in Southern France, would be happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to come to America that great country he had heard so much about and yet knew so little about to start a new life, possibly go to school, learn a trade, and become a good, loyal citizen _ No idea
96. Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space _ No idea; from Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/: Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
97. He—for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it—was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters _ No idea; from http://subliminalintervention.blogspot.com/: Orlando by Virginia Woolf (thanks!)
98. High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour _ No idea
99. They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did _ No idea
100. The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting _ No idea
Okay, the words "no idea" have stopped looking like words!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I’ve seen this series of questions floating around the ‘net the last few days, and thought it looked like a good one for us!
What was the last book you bought?
Um. H'm. I don't buy a lot of books, because of the library, and getting them from work. Um ... Oh! An Unfinished Woman by Lillian Hellman _ bought it off Trade Me.
Name a book you have read MORE than once
Lord of the Rings
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
I don't think so, no
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
If the story summary makes my ears prick up
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I read more fiction than non-fiction, but I do read both
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
I'm a sucker for beautiful writing
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Odd Thomas, from Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Uhm ... Up Till Now by William Shatner, The World of Jeeves by P J Wodehouse, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Twas ... The Vintner's Luck. I finished it on Saturday? Sunday?
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Yes. Sometimes sooner than that.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The awesome, talented and obviously very smart Rachel at http://americanbibliophile.com/ has nominated me for an I Love Your Blog award. Seen here:
Here are the rules:
1): Add the logo of the award to your blog *tick*
2): Add a link to the person who awarded it to you *tick*
3): Nominate at least 7 other blogs *tick ... see below*
4): Add links to those blogs on your blog
http://americanbibliophile.com/ _ not just for the award. I've started to read them every day. :)
Dewey at http://deweymonster.com/ _ because as we all know, Dewey is made of Awesome
Joanne at http://bookzombie.blogspot.com/ _ we had fun doing the Weekly Geek together a few weeks ago and now I check in on her blog most days
Raych at http://booksidoneread.blogspot.com/ _ because, like Dewey is made of awesome, Raych is made of funny.
Jill at http://underthedresser.blogspot.com/ who is, like me, a relatively recent blogger, but an excellent reviewer
5): Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!
Okay. I've been here far too long, so will take care of that later. :)
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I also read But Wait, There's More by Suzanne Paul. She's kind of world famous in New Zealand and she has had some very public up and downs lately. It was an interesting read, to say the least. It's kind of a self-help/autobiography and a very easy read. I also finished Evil Under the Sun (again), then had a weird sense of deja vu when I saw that it was on UKTV on Saturday. Not the Peter Ustinov/Diana Rigg one, but one with David Suchet. Who I love as Poirot, but I wasn't entirely happy with some of the changes made to the story.
However, on to the reading week. I'm working 11-7 again this week, then it's back to normal next week. So, if I'm good, and turn the TV off early every night, I should be able to finish Up Till Now, and start The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which is October's classic novel.
Also on the starting blocks (maybe) is Books One and Two of Star Trek: Voyager String Theory. However, our local library doesn't have book three, so I'm not sure whether to read them and try and track down the third, or not read them (decisions decisions).
That'll do for now, I think.
Have a great week. Read lots. :)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The Vintner's Luck is set in the French countryside of the 19th century. At the height of summer one night, Sobran Jodeau meets an angel, Xas. They agree to meet on the same night every year.
At first, Sobran treats Xas like a spiritual adviser, but soon their relationship evolves into something else, and eventually, man and angel fall in love.
Xas comes and goes in Sobran's life as the latter raises a family and tends to his vines.
The Vintner's Luck is a rich book, with layers and textures and some absolutely gorgeous metaphors and similes. I'm still mulling over the very last line of the book (don't worry, I won't give it away here). Xas and Sobran both have their own lives to live, but the feelings they have for each other complicate both in very unexpected ways.
Xas is a beloved of both Heaven and Hell (the contract goes something like this: Lucifer shall have his pleasures and God shall have his pains) and Sobran is devastated when he finds out that, technically, Xas is a fallen angel.
However, like everything, Sobran and Xas find a way through, a way around and a way to be together.
I don't drink wine, so my metaphor is food-based: for me, The Vintner's Luck was like the best chocolate in the world: rich and textured, but you can't eat a lot of it at once. Very heady stuff.
I loved it. It's going on my list of Favourite Books I Have Read This Year.
Somewhere near the top.