Tag Archives: books 2005

Hey, it’s raining! Well what do you know!

Finished The Book of Three yesterday. I liked it. It’s the sort of book I would have loved as a kid. There’s adventure on every page and funny, smart characters. It’s too bad my mom shunned fantasy, and I doubt Alexander was to be found in my school library. And from this day forward the follow will be added to my personal lexicon: “crunchings and munchings,” “poor tender head,” and “oracular” anything.

Watched Million Dollar Baby. It was as good as I expected, though with more humor I expected. Kinda makes me want to search out the F.X. Toole tome. Hmm. IMDB tells me that Toole fought rejection letters for 40 years before getting Rope Burns published at age 70. Makes me fell less whiny… But unfortunately, my grandmother spoiled the ending for Eric and I when we were in Omaha. “We watched a really sad movie last night that Tom bought. Have you seen it? No? Well, in the end…” *sigh*

Since it’s cloudy and cool (relatively, it’s 89 degrees), I was planning on taking the video back and maybe stop at Kmart. And break in my brand new athletic shoes. But I think I’m going to wait until the rain lets up. It’s coming down pretty good.

So, this week’s list:

  • Checkbook and filing
  • Scan counters
  • Scan old edition of GURPS Supers (for archival purposes naturally)
  • Modify AJ’s counter
  • Dust
  • Laundry
  • Dishes

As well as writing, of course.

I actually did make it to 10K for the month of July. KMM is now 67,000 words. Maybe another 40K to go.

I realized over lunch that my word count might be low this week *cough* due to Chapter 22. It’s a bear that both Eric and I are rewriting. Ah, to say more here of it… Eric, you need to remember your Najud password so you can read my muddled thoughts on the matter. They’re clearer than my muddled vocalizations. Btw, I want to use the word ‘grume’ in a sentence. Fah.

Finished Stanford’s Heaven this morning. Interesting how most Christian doctrine on heaven has never quite matched up with the popular beliefs about it. While the book mostly concentrates on the Christian history of heaven, it also touches on other religion’s versions of the afterlife, which was nice to see. As always, Stanford personalizes his involvement with the subject, for better or worse, and he writes with a dash of ironic humor. Now that I’ve read three of his books, I’ve pinpointed another reason I’d be willing to read a fourth. When investigating a subject, whether heaven, the Devil, or the possible existence of Pope Joan, Stanford looks everywhere. Not only are primary sources and subsequent criticisms fair game, but so are the visual arts, architecture, and music of the period. It’s the kind of history I enjoy.

Okay, back to Ch. 22. Then a good 700 words, then disc. Somewhere in there, I need to shave my wookie legs. Another reason to hate summer…

What I’ve read thus far in 2005:

I had decided at the beginning of the year I’d put all my posts about books I’ve read in a memories category. That lasted until the end of January. I had to go back today and look up a few post. In that case, I guess it’s good that I haven’t read too much this year…

I’ve been lately interested in why people choose to read the books they do. Is it word-of-mouth? Reading reviews? ‘Cause it’s on the chats? Great cover art? What is it?

I rarely suggest books to other people. I don’t figure that people around me really want recommendations from me. And I rarely heed any recommendation that’s given to me. All in all, I suppose it’s because I don’t have many close friends. No one knows me well enough to say, “Katherine, you’d love this book” and I know no one well enough for me to say, “This book would be perfect for you.” And I’m picky. And the only person I’d recommend a book to, Eric, is picky too.

So how *do* I pick my books…

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons, original posts here and here. As I said in my first post about this book, I read mention of it in The Internet Review of Science Fiction, Steve Wedel’s Horror’s Hearth and Home. Looking at the article, there’s very few books cited that I haven’t read. I like a good gothic haunted house, what can I say?

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach, original post here. The times when I will pay attention to recommendations is when I’m boning-up on a subject (or even an entire genre). Like I said, most likely someone in HWA mentioned this book (as well as Iserson’s Death to Dust which I’m reading now) for ‘dead body’ reference.

An Innocent, A Broad by Ann Leary, original post here. A “Dear Reader” selection. I read the first chapter or so by email, liked it, checked it out from the library. Does “Dear Reader” kind of count as word of mouth? Or would I do as well picking any random first chapter read?

The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances by Peter S. Beagle, original post here. He’s Peter S. Beagle. I’ll read anything by him. The Rhinoceros… I found like new at Bookman’s. I didn’t realize it was a slightly rare find. Why Peter S. Beagle? When I was a kid, The Last Unicorn (the animated movie) enchanted me. It was scary and funny, with some slightly lit-geek overtones. Even at a young age I was a lit-geek, I guess. I gradually came to realized that there was a book behind the movie and an author behind the book.

Dune by Frank Herbert, original post here. My mother read all the Dune books. I tried reading Dune in 8th grade. I got to page 100 before becoming completely confused. I watched the 80s movie. That didn’t help. In college I watch the movie again and got a little more out of it. I stole my mom’s copy of Dune and vowed to read it one day. (That was probably ten years ago. I’ll bring her book back when we visit.) Eric recommended Dune to me. That was probably a good six or seven year ago. I finally read it, and my adult brain gets it. It was good, very good.

Ring by Koji Suzuki, original post here. Movies will make me interested in books (and in certain subjects), but only if the book came first. That’s the case with this one. The movie was very disturbing to me, so I wanted to see what the book was like.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Yes, I’m padding my reading list with kid’s books… There are a few kid’s books that people refer to lovingly that I have not read. (There’s a few others on my list including Lloyd Alexander.) In the case of Willy Wonka, I haven’t even seen the original movie. And after reading Charlie I probably won’t see the new movie. I liked the book. It’s charming and I love that the language is bright and not simple.

My Name Escapes Me by Alec Guinness. Impulse read. I don’t know how to explain these books. I was at Bookman’s, wandered into the screen trade section, looking for some William Goldman (another author that I came to through the movies…) and there was Mr. Guinness’s slim “diary of a retiring actor.” I like diaries and collections of letters. I’m a snoop and I like seeing into people’s lives. The title of the book intrigued me and was indicative of the humor with which Alec Guinness wrote. I’ll be shelving it next to Helene Hanff’s Underfoot in Show Business.

So, there I am. Eight books *cough* in six months.

Finished reading Ring. I’ve only seen the American remake of the movie, and the book is very different. There is more explanation for the ghost (Sadako in the book, Samara in the movie) and why the curse exists. It makes the story more satisfying, but in all, less scary. There’s something truly scary about Samara being a revenant, an angry spirit who just wants to wreck havoc without a reason aside from insatiable revenge.

Havoc, perhaps one of my favorite words. Revenant, also good, and not recognized by LJ’s word check.

On to Heaven. Peter Stanford is my favorite theologian. One would think an agnostic would not have a favorite theologian, but I find it all intriguing and Stanford appeals to my literary sensibilities.

Hmm… Amazon.com has some interesting stats associated with some books now. They tell me that Heaven has 88,942 words and is at an advanced reading level. And if I buy it from Amazon.com, I play a dollar for even 3850 words. Interesting…

Dune, which I recently finished, has 185,723 words (it didn’t seem *that* long) and has a fifth grade reading level. Fifth grade??? Really. The most common word is: said. (Heaven‘s is well, heaven.)

Decided to change my journal style for a while. Just because. I like this new one, Flexible Boxes. No customization though. I fiddled around with it last night and never came up with anything good, so I won’t spend more time on it.

Finished Dune last night. That makes a whopping book-a-month average. It was good, I enjoyed it and am ready for the next one. But first for the charming journal of Alec Guinness. I suspect he wouldn’t find charming to be complimentary.

Only five people, including myself, showed up for disc today. That’s the least I’ve ever seen, I think. Usually we at least have three on three.

Wrote 500 new words on KMM.

The Dr. Poole icon will not work out. Tim Curry just looks too demented.

And now, since Eric is awake, I must go DM.

What I’ve been reading, February edition:

Finished two books in February and gave up on a third.

A Dame, A Broad by Ann Leary didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. The humor never really played out. It just ended up kind of flat.

Picked up and quickly finished The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances by Peter S. Beagle. It’s a collection of Peter S. Beagle’s more famous short stories (which were excellent and will be reread), juvenilia (which were not that good), and essays (which just weren’t that interesting). I love how Beagle writes with this sort of light whimsy. It makes the dark moments of his stories all the worse.

The book I gave up on was Douglas Clegg’s The Infinite. I kept with it for 200 hundred pages because I like the “stay in the haunted house ’til dawn” genre. But it just wasn’t working for me. Maybe because it’s the end of a series involving Harrow, the haunted house, and if I had read all of them I would see this build up. I don’t know, I’m not inclined to find out. Nothing has happened in 200 pages aside from character background, but the characters aren’t that interesting.

I need to vacuum and do some work on Rifts stuff. Update the guild shop. Make some sauce kind of thing to go with dinner. Take out the trash. I didn’t finish all my rewrites. I’ll work on them tomorrow, but today I just need a break from it.

Finished Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. I don’t remember who recommended this book to me. I have a feeling it was some horror writer some where that mentioned a good book about “what happens when one dies.” This book covers the squishy details of decomposition as well as many other things. Roach handles the subject with a lot of humor, which I appreciate, though some might see her as a tad bit irreverent. Personally, I learned a lot, and Roach was fairly investigative about the subjects presented. I have to give her kudos for debunking some urban legend, something I’ve been thinking about taking up as a hobby myself. Informative and morbidly entertaining. Right up my alley.