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Showing posts from February, 2010

Friday framble!

Yes, it's a Friday framble.   It was going to be Work In Progress Wednesday, then Wednesday turned to Thursday thunk it, but before I knew it - here we are. Friday.    Last Wednesday, if you'll recall was Ash Wednesday.   I made a few Lenten promises to myself to do several things, including writing a 1000 words a day on Eyes in the Ashes.  I'm holding myself accountable so here's the good, bad and the fugly.   
Last Thursday, the day after Ash Wednesday,  woke up with a sore throat which then turned into a full bore, nose clogged, mushy brained and hacking my head off cold which left me sounding like Lauren Bacall.   Hubby thinks I sound sexy.   So, instead of continuing the story because my brain and the story was just not connecting,  I started rereading it and editing.  Yep, I know. Some folks say not to edit til you gotten the first draft finished, other's edit as they go along.  Still haven't figured out which is the better process for me yet.    
I love…

Booking Through Thursday: Why you Read

Booking Through Thursdays has a very interesting topic today:  I've seen this quotation in several places lately. It’s from Sven Birkerts’ ‘The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age’:

“To read, when one does so of one’s own free will, is to make a volitional statement, to cast a vote; it is to posit an elsewhere and set off toward it. And like any traveling, reading is at once a movement and a comment of sorts about the place one has left. To open a book voluntarily is at some level to remark the insufficiency either of one’s life or one’s orientation toward it.”
To what extent does this describe you?

Well, nosy me just can't accept a quote without looking it up. I found the text of Birket's "The Gutenberg Elegies and read it.   I don't agree with the above statement after reading through entire thing.    I couldn't actually find the above quote, so perhaps someone can point me to it in the text.  

He posits what will happen if we eventua…

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Mists of Avalon


Marion Zimmer Bradley

"Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne.

There is the darkly bewitching Morgaine, half sister to Arthur and a high priestess in the enchanted land of Avalon, where women rule as the creators of life and keepers of knowledge. For Morgaine, there is but one quest: to wrest Britain away from Christianity--the new religion which views women as the carriers of original sin--and to return it to the worship of the Mother Goddess.

The fair and lovely Queen Gwenhyfar is torn between her duty to her king and the new God, and her passion for the dashing Lancelot. Both women struggle and suffer, and both--in their own extraordinary ways--triumph."

I read "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley as part of the Heather's Take a Dare challenge.   Written back in 1982 is a retelling of tale of King Arthur from the view of three w…

What's On Your Nightstand - February

It's the last Tuesday of the month which means it is time for What's On Your Nightstand hosted by 5 minutes for Books.   My TBR pile overfloweth and I have instituted a buying ban until I've whittled the pile down a bit.   Do you want to see my whole list - then look here.  I finally decided to organize it by genre, instead of just one long list.  Sometimes I'm in the mood for sci fi, other times mystery or occasionally a non fiction read.  So I split up the list and we'll see how long that works.  I've been picking books out by using because they all look so good and I just can't make up my mind.  I even put their nifty widget in my sidebar.
What's on my reading plate for this month?  I just started The Bible of Clay by Julia Navarro which is a biblical historical and archaeological thriller wrapped up in one.  A famous archeologist's grand daughter is searching for cuneiform tables which are said to have the first book of Genesis written…

Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturini

Keeping the Feast 
One Couple's Story of 
Love, Food and Healing 
in Italy

Paula Butturini

Back cover: "Paula Butturini and John Tagliabue met as foreign correspondents in Italy, fell in love, and four years later, married in Rome.  But not even a month after the wedding, tragedy struck.  They had transferred away from their Italian paradise when John was shot and nearly killed on the job.  The period of physical and mental suffering that followed marked the abrupt end of what they'd known together and the beginning of a phase of life neither had planned for.
They followed their instincts and returned to the place they loved, Italy, and there they found a lifeline of sorts. As John struggled to regain his health and Paula reexamined her assumptions about illness and recovery, it was food and its rituals--the daily shopping, preparing, sharing and memory of food--that kept them moving forward.  Food became a symbol of the family's innate desire to survive, to accept, and to …

Art History --- A!!!!!

Laocoon and his Sons

I got an A in my Art History class!   Lordy, it was more tough and rough than I expected for a lower division class.  However, I learned so many interesting things and have a much better appreciation for ancient art and architecture.   I am done with my lower division courses and have 3 upper division courses left.    My next class, which starts March 1st, is going to be quite interesting - Nobel Literature.  The course will involve discussing the history and of course, controversy surrounding the Nobel Prize.  Plus reading and analyzing 4 books which under ordinary circumstances probably would never even consider reading.  When I looked up what books were required for the class, I was hooked.  I received them yesterday and all look very interesting.  

Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre French Existentialism

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann German literature

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  Literary Fiction - mythical latin american town

The Silent Cr…

Who is Hugo Gernsback?

Who is Hugo Gernsback and why are the Hugo Awards named after him?  

Good question since I had never heard of Gernsback until I decided to read the Hugo Award winners and host the Mind Voyages science Fiction and Fantasy reading challenge.

Hugo Gernsbacher, born August 16, 1884 in Luxembourg immigrated to the United States in 1904 to New York.  Hugo was fascinated by electricity and invented a dry battery which he patented upon arriving in the United States.   He established a radio and electrical supply house called Electro Importing Company and developed a small portable radio transmitter called the Telimco Wireless Telegraph.    He was very creative and went on to patent 80 inventions. 

Long story short, Gernsback  published a magazine for electrical experimenters called Modern Electronics which was later taken over by Popular Science.   To fill up some empty space in the magazine, he decided to write a futuristic story which ran in 12 installments.

That story was later published in …

Lesson Learned?

James decided he wanted the Nintendo DS game "Mario and Luigi Partners in Time" which was released in 2005.   We went online and it wasn't available new online from Amazon or other stores, nor was it available in the box stores.  Game stop said they had a used one and we drove over to the store, but low and behold - no they didn't.  At that point, I was done. But James, being very persistent, talked to Father who said "I'll find it for you son."  
I came home from work the other day to find the two of them online at Amazon checking out the used sellers.   Now I've got nothing against the used sellers on Amazon but when it comes to buying used, I will only buy from 1) someone I know or 2) a legitimate box store such as Game Stop.   We get a lot of customers who buy used equipment which was advertised as in perfect working order and end up bringing it to our shop for repair. Thank you - Ebay.  

However, they had made up their minds and purchased the g…

WIP Wednesday: Lent and our personal writing challenge ala Nano style

What does Work In Progress Wednesday have to do with Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent? 

Both James and I have been neglecting our writing lately.  We did so well during National Novel Write month, writing every morning and working toward the goal.  We would both get up in the morning and after breakfast, sit down and right for an hour or so.  For me, working on the 50,000 word goal  and for James, writing and finishing his fan fiction story about the super Mario Brothers.  He figured out exactly how many chapters and pages he had to write to use up his 120 page notebook and did exactly that.  Lately, we both have been getting on the internet after breakfast and before you know, it's time to do lessons or whatever else is scheduled for the day.   James is giving up the internet for Lent (his choice) and I'll be limiting my online time.   

We decided that Lent would be a good time to do our own personal novel writing challenge. We have 46 days including the 6 Sundays.    I&#…

The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane

The Forgotten Legion

By Ben Kane

Back Cover:  Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born into slavery, and then later sold; Romulus to gladiator school and Fabiola into prostitution, where she will catch the eye of one of the most powerful men in Rome.    Tarquinius is an Etruscan, a warrior, born enemy of Rome and trained in the forgotten arts of divination.  He has a long foretold destiny that will take him to the ends of the known world.   Brennus is a Gaul whose entire clan was killed in a battle against the Roman army.  After being sold as a slave he rises to become one of the most famous and feared gladiators of his day.    In a story that ranges from a Rome riven by corruption, violence and political enmities to the very edges of the empire, The Forgotten Legion is a novel of the most powerful empire in history told from the perspective of the lowest rungs of its society.  "The Forgotten Legion" is an excellent book, very well written, grabs your attention from the very beginnin…

Carrie's Ireland Reading Challenge

Irish Reading Challenge - 2010  hosted by Carrie of Books and Movies
This is one challenge I just have to join because I am part Irish after all and have the Irish temper to prove it.  :)   It will fit in well with some of my other challenges - Historical, Reading Western Europe and New authors.   
Here's the deal You can join in anytime.The challenge runs from Feb 1 through Nov 30, 2010The books can apply to other challenges.Rereads are allowed.
Books that apply - written by an Irish author, set in Ireland, or involving Irish history or Irish characters.Books may be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, audiobooks, children’s books Choose your commitment level:
Shamrock level: 2 booksLuck o’ the Irish level: 4 booksKiss the Blarney Stone level: 6 books I'm going for broke, since I've always wanted to kiss the Blarney Stone (my grandmother did) and do it metaphorically by joining the Kiss The Blarney Stone Level and read 6 books.   Thanks to Carrie, I just won a copy of "An Irish…

TSS: Happy Valentine's Day !!!!!!!!!!

Renoir "the Lovers" 

Virtual Hugs andCandy Kisses for everyone!
What do you have planned for the day?  Our day is going to be lazy.  It has been a hectic week and we need a day of rest.  I may run out to the store later and pick up a roast beef so we can have roast and yorkshire pudding for dinner.  Or we may just end up having chicken.  Who knows....
My Art History class - western art from the ancient through the 14th century is finally over and I think I'm going to get an A'ish grade, even with getting an 82 on the final.   This class seemed particularly hard and involved much writing and research, but I did learn a lot.   What has been especially neat is coming across settings in some of the historical fiction books I've been reading and recognizing what they are talking about.    "The Forgotten Legion" by Ben Kane, for example which is very well written and an excellent, excellent book set in ancient Rome. I'll be posting my review on Tuesday for t…

Winner of Michael Palmer's The Last Surgeon

The Winner is 
As chosen by CHIP 

Congratulations to Chip for winning The Last Surgeon.
Be sure to check out Michael Palmer's website for more information about The Last Surgeon which will be released on February 16th.  Michael will be sending Chip a personally autographed copy of The Last Surgeon.   Thank you to everyone who entered.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World

Robert Jordan 
Book 1 in Wheel of Time Series 

Back cover:  "The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend.  Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again.  In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance.  What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow."
I read "The Eye of the World" as part of the Dare Challenge by Heather J.   Honestly, I thought I had read it before but discovered I hadn't.   That is what comes from being a voracious reader.  After a while all the covers at the store start to look the same or old books get new covers and suddenly you are very confused as to what you read and didn't read.  I actually quite enjoyed the story and the Prologue Teaser for Book 2 at the end of the book sounds very enticing so will probably go on to read book 2. 
"The Eye of the World&qu…

It's all about the tone!

It's all about the Tone!

Father's blog "John's Corner" is now live and cooking.  He will posting once a week about all sorts of things.  His passion is sound - the purity of sound.   He's a guru when it comes to electronics.   So if you or your significant other is an audiophile or just really into music, recording, audio, tubes, designing electronic widgets and loves talking about it, please check out the blog and follow him.    There will be guest posts from recording engineers, musicians, and all kinds of folks.   Stay tuned.

First Hugo Award winner - The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

The Demolished Man 
Alfred Bester

Back cover:  "In 2301 A.D., guns are only museum pieces and benign telepaths sweep the minds of the populace to detect crimes before they happen.  In 2301 A.D., homicide is virtually impossible--but one man is about to change that.   In this classic science fiction novel, the first to win the prestigious Hugo award, a psychopathic business magnate devises the ultimate scheme to eliminate the competition and destroy the order of his society.  Hurtling from the orgies of a future aristocracy to a deep space game preserve, and across the densely realized subcultures of psychic doctors, grifters, and police, The Demolished Man is a masterpiece of high-tech suspense, set in a world in which everything has changed except for the ancient instinct for murder."

Back in 1953 when I was barely a twinkle in my daddy's eye, Alfred Bester won the very first Hugo award for best novel, The Demolished Man.   The people in Bester's futuristic world …