Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #10: 13 Costumes I Could Throw Together Tomorrow...

From What I Have on Hand (and a Few Literary Characters)

1. Catholic Schoolgirl--I never attended, but bought the uniform from hometown school.
2. Cowgirl--Boots, jeans, t-shirt, denim duster, bullwhip (I'd better leave the donkey at home).
3. Scheherezade--The pants, blouse, and velvet duster were actually my second wedding outfit.
4. Peggy Cort (librarian, Giant's House)--Skirt, heels, hair in a bun, and shooshing action.
5. Huntress (of Birds of Prey)--Leather duster, tank, black jeans.
6. Titania--Fancy dress, tiara, makeup.
7. Paper Bag Princess--Paper bags, tiara.
8. Red Hat Society, junior auxiliary member--Some red and purple combo, but not a hat--that's for full members.
9. Grania/Grace O'Malley (pirate queen)--Leather skirt, boots, bustier.
10. Doctor--Scrubs, stethoscope, coffee mug.
11. Peasant Girl, renaissance era--My standard ren Faire garb: peasant skirt, blouse, sandals.
12. Businesswoman--Suit, heels, briefcase.
13. Track Star--Sweats, running shoes, letter jacket.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Booking Through Thursday: Conditioning

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

Goodness no: at least, not on purpose. I don't get obsessive about keeping my books pristine (this term makes me think "shrink-wrapping"), but I won't subject them to purposeful abuse, either. My husband tends to leave books face down and open, and it makes me nuts, even though they're his books to do with as he pleases (well, the fact that he's doing this to expensive technical books is part of my problem). So, yeah, my response is more like a gut-clenching, wimpering, I-can't-watch-this anxiety attack.

On the other hand, I've (had to) become at least slightly less manic when it comes to my son's books. I have a big stack that ought to be fixed before they circulate again(a few may be beyond worth repairing). Who knows when that will actually happen? Maybe when my daughter is old enough for them?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Tuesday... Where am I?

I'm on an Indian Reservation in Nevada in the early '70s, trying to avoid getting shot by a wolf.

I started listening to The Blessing Way yesterday after I'd heard that Tony Hillerman had passed. I have a hard copy of the book (actually, a 3-title volume), but am finding that I can take more time for audiobooks (can listen while I pump, or am nursing my daughter to sleep).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Musing Monday

Todays MUSING MONDAYS post is a question from “Scobberlotch” who asks:

How has the economy impacted your book buying? Do you think it’ll change the reading and book-buying habits of the country? Will it increase your library visits? Will it make you wait for the paperback edition instead of buying the hardcover?

It's been quite a while since I bought a new book for full price, and a few weeks since I gave a friend some money for some books she was purging (to get by until her first paycheck came through). With all the books I have, I really have no business buying more for the household until I do my own giveaway (and that in the dozens, if not hundreds) and clear some shelves. Of course, that excludes gifts for others, and the other exception will be for books relating to our son's developmental delay.

Reading, no; buying, most likely. Those who love books will find ways of making deals for the "keepers," and will borrow or trade for those they won't. My hope for the near and middle future is that I'll be able to catch up on many of my long-due reviews, and I will be getting those books (at least 100, mostly BookCrossing-labeled) out of the house. [Which reminds me: I need to take another bagful with me to the BookFest like I did last year. Will have to check schedule so I can leave them near appropriate sessions. I should check the forums to see if they'll have an official presence again; I left several at their table last year.]

It won't increase my library visits by much. I already go weekly, but I might request more through the interlibrary loan process, and get my name on the reserve lists for new (or missing) books in the series I read.

As to waiting for paperbacks, nope, no more than I already do. By the time I'm ready to read something I don't have in hand, it's already come out in paperback.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Finds

These are the books I've added to my TBR and wish lists this week:

Atonement by Ian McEwan

"We meet 13-year-old Briony Tallis in the summer of 1935, as she attempts to stage a production of her new drama "The Trials of Arabella" to welcome home her older, idolized brother Leon. But she soon discovers that her cousins, the glamorous Lola and the twin boys Jackson and Pierrot, aren't up to the task, and directorial ambitions are abandoned as more interesting prospects of preoccupation come onto the scene. The charlady's son, Robbie Turner, appears to be forcing Briony's sister Cecilia to strip in the fountain and sends her obscene letters; Leon has brought home a dim chocolate magnate keen for a war to promote his new "Army Ammo" chocolate bar; and upstairs, Briony's migraine-stricken mother Emily keeps tabs on the house from her bed. Soon, secrets emerge that change the lives of everyone present....
The interwar, upper-middle-class setting of the book's long, masterfully sustained opening section might recall Virginia Woolf or Henry Green, but as we move forward--eventually to the turn of the 21st century--the novel's central concerns emerge, and McEwan's voice becomes clear, even personal. For at heart, Atonement is about the pleasures, pains, and dangers of writing, and perhaps even more, about the challenge of controlling what readers make of your writing."

Atonement qualifies for the Lit Flicks Challenge I signed on to recently

The Dangerous Alphabet
by Neil Gaiman (Author), Gris Grimly (Illustrator)

"A is for Always, that's where we embark . . .
Two children, treasure map in hand, and their pet gazelle sneak past their father, out of their house, and into a world beneath the city, where monsters and pirates roam. Will they find the treasure? Will they make it out alive?
The Dangerous Alphabet is a tale of adventure, piracy, danger, and heroism told in twenty-six alphabetical lines—although even the alphabet is not to be relied upon here."

Props to Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings for posting this one. My boy is letter-obsessed, and this will be one of the 26 alphabet books we read for the A-Z Challenge.

The Faerie Queene, by Edmund Spenser

"Epic poem that was published between 1590 and 1609 by Edmund Spenser. It is the central poem of the Elizabethan period and is one of the great long poems in the English language. A celebration of Protestant nationalism, it represents infidels and papists as villains, King Arthur as the hero, and married chastity as its central value. The form of The Faerie Queene fuses the medieval allegory with the Italian romantic epic. The plan was for 12 books (of which six were completed), focusing on 12 virtues exemplified in the quests of 12 knights from the court of Gloriana, the Faerie Queene, a symbol for Elizabeth I herself. Arthur, in quest of Gloriana's love, would appear in each book and come to exemplify Magnificence, the complete man. Spenser took the decorative chivalry of the Elizabethan court festivals and reworked it through a constantly shifting veil of allegory, so that the knight's adventures and loves build into a complex, multileveled portrayal of the moral life. The verse, a spacious and slow-moving nine-lined stanza (see SPENSERIAN STANZA), and Spenser's archaic language frequently rise to an unrivaled sensuousness. The first installment of the poem (Books I-III) was published in 1590; the second, which contained Books I-III and Books IV-VI, in 1596."

I'll read this book to fulfill the Really Old Classics Challenge.

[descriptions from amazon]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #9: 13 Things I Miss Most About My Pre-Motherhood Life

Thirteen Things about Marina

1. Ability to read more books and
2. reviewing them (quantity and quality).
3. Going to book groups.
4. Writing in general ("real" blogging and letters).
5. Online conversations with other book lovers.
6. Trading books with people from all over the U.S.A.
7. Space I had for books and writing.
8. Browsing for hours at the library,
9. and in bookstores.
10. Reading challenging/difficult material (as opposed to fluffy/cozy mysteries--not that they aren't good writing--sometimes I just need different brain cells engaged, yanno?
11. Staying up 'til the wee hours to finish a good book.
12. Being able to read (or write, or type) without anything attached to one of my boobs.
13. The quiet. The blessed, blessed quiet.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. aliceaudrey shows us 13 OMG pictures
2. after hours offers moms some sage and outrageously funny advice to get through one's day
3. Twisted Cinderella talks about how having a newborn reschedules one's day
4. Anna posts her first T13 and introduces herself
5. Sue answers two memes and posts 13 facts about herself
6. Nicholas lists 5-word titled books
7. Sheri tells us about her "Stupid Injuries"
8. fickleminded didn't post a T13, but invited me to her new photo meme

9. [you're next!]

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Booking Through Thursday: Coupling

[note: when I first saw the theme on Wednesday night, I sketched out my response, and it would appear that I completely misunderstood the intent, and I didn't look at the source link to see what sort of answers were generated. I've provided authors and not characters. If I have time this weekend, I may amend this to reflect a more accurate answer.]

"Monica suggested this one:
Got this idea from Literary Feline during her recent contest:
“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning.
Why? Their romance (secret relationship, her health issues, the age difference) appealed to my young teen self many years ago, and I suppose they just hold a special place in my heart. IMHO, I think their story could go big-screen (it's one of my weirder lottery fantasies, not so much about writing the screenplay, but producing it), but I'd hope for a British production, as I think they'd be less likely to mangle one of their own.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lit Flicks Challenge

1. Challenge runs from September 1, 2008 to February 28, 2009.
2. Read 5 books/pieces of literature that have been made into movies.
3. Then watch at least 2 of the movie adaptations of the works you read.
4. Your list may change at any time and may include overlaps with other challenges.
5. Sign up after you’ve posted about this challenge using Mr. Linky below.
6. Check in here around the first of each month to find activities and giveaways for participants.
7. Link to your reviews and posts using the second Mr. Linky below.

OK, here are my choices (and notes to myself):

Finding Fish: A Memoir (on shelf)
Legend of Bagger Vance (on shelf) *have already seen movie
Stepford Wives
The Perfect Storm (finished 11/24/08, review forthcoming!)

Celebrate the Author 2009

About the challenge:
The challenge is designed to “celebrate” author birthdays. Choose one author for each month of the year. Read at least one book a month. 12 authors. 12 birthdays. If you like, you can read MORE than that. If you’re really obsessive, you might want to “celebrate” all 52 weeks of the year. (But even I am not THAT zealous!) The challenge is designed to ‘celebrate’ the special bond–the connection–that occurs between the author AND the reader as well as the connection between readers. It is very easy to “bond” with other readers over certain works, certain authors, etc.
You can choose picture books, poetry books, early readers, chapter books, fiction for middle grades, fiction for teens, adult reads, nonfiction, whatever you want. You could choose 12 picture books. You can read books in or out of your comfort zone.

You might want to make a list and choose alternatives for each month…that way you can narrow it down as you go. And you do NOT have to choose a book until the very moment you’re ready to start reading. Just pick a handful of authors.

And here’s the secret. If you change your mind, just be sure to change your list to reflect that change. I don’t care how many times you change your list.

Why make a list at all? Good question. It’s not that I want you to stick to your list. I don’t care if you change it. I don’t need to see it in advance. But I mention lists because I think–and this could be me–that it is easier to visit those sites and jot down a few authors per month to give you ideas then it is to wait until the last minute and try to figure out which birthday is when and what counts etc. But if you want to be completely spontaneous then that’s fine with me!!

This year the round ups will be here on this wordpress site. You’ll be leaving links to your reviews. If you write reviews that is. Or you’ll be leaving comments to say what you read.

Jan: Rosemary Wells
Feb: Russell Hoban
Mar: Dr. Seuss
Apr: Ludwig Bemelmans
May: Leo Lionni
Jun: Maurice Sendak
Jul: Beatrix Potter
Aug: Don Freeman
Sep: Tomie de Paola
Oct: Susan Meddaugh
Nov: Nancy Tafuri
Dec: Jan Brett

[if I can, I'll post on their birthdays, and if Im really on the ball, I'll post a picture of me reading the books to one of the kids]

18th and 19th Century Women Writers Challenge

The rules:
How many books? No fewer than four. No more than twelve. For example, you might want to read two books by authors from the eighteenth century (1700-1799) and two books by authors from the nineteenth century (1800-1899). Or you might want to read six books by authors from the 18th century, and six books by authors from the 19th century. You get the idea. Me being the *perfectionist* I am would stress the balance between the two. But I *know* that may be just me. So you may read in whatever proportion you like.

What books are allowed? If they're written by a woman who lived and wrote from 1700 to 1900, then they count. What books don't count...if an author was born during this time period, but didn't publish anything until the next century. Post-1900 books are NOT allowed. There is a small loophole here. If a book was written during these two centuries 1700-1900 and was not published until after the author's death...and that publication date just happened to be in the 1900s or 2000s...then that would count.

[will post list as soon as I make my choices, definitely before start deadline]
Overlaps with other challenges allowed.

Every Month is a Holiday Challenge

[not sure what I'll read yet, but making the list sure will be fun]

A to Z Challenge

General reminder of what you're signing up for:

Option A: Read authors A to Z. Commit to reading 26 books theoretically speaking.

Option E: Read 26 Alphabet books. Embrace your inner child and go visit the children's section!
Here's what we have at home:
1. Accidental Zuccini
2. Dr. Seuss's ABC
3. Alphabatics
4. Halloween ABC
5. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom [needs mending]
So, we will have to find 21 more via the library, or the occasional used book sale.

Mention in your comment which option(s) you'll be committing to. Sign ups begin December 1, 2008. (The challenge does NOT start until January 1, 2009, but early sign ups are definitely encouraged!) The challenge closes to new participants on June 30, 2009.

2009 Read and Review Challenge

* review each book you read between January 1st and December 31st, 2009
* PLEASE keep your reviews clean & respectful ~ these books we read are the hard work of an author, and we don’t need to be mean. Even if you didn’t like the book, please try to find something you can say that would be encouraging to the author.
* reviews can be as short, or long, as you wish
* you MAY overlap with other challenges
* eBooks and Audiobooks ARE allowed
* if there will be spoilers in your review, please note this in the subject line of your post so that those who don’t want to read them can skip that review.

I must confess this will be a tough one for me. I've been bad about reviewing for a few years now. It will take a lot of discipline, and also a lowering of expectations (quality-wise) for myself.

Really Old Classics Challenge

The Rules:

1. Choose how many Really Old Classics you’d like to read by the end of July 2009, from 1 to 100.
2. Read that number of Really Old Classics by the end of July 2009. If you finish, pat yourself on the back.

I've settled on these 4 (TBR in no particular order):

Tale of Genji here
Aenid, by Virgil (on
Song of Roland (on
Faerie Queene, by Spenser (Book 1 on Daily Lit, in 77 installments)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Casual Classics Challenge (1/1-12/31/09)

This challenge is simple…

* Read 4 “Classics” between January 1st and December 31st, 2009
* Overlaps with other challenges ARE allowed
* eBooks and Audiobooks ARE allowed

1. The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
2. The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck

100 Shots of Short Reading Challenge.

The challenge is a simple one - no time limit, no specific titles, just the goal of reading 100 self-picked short stories as and when possible.

I'll keep a master list in this post (with links to individual reviews).

Here's a list of my preliminary source books:
Black Heart, Ivory Bones (fantasy)
I Shudder at Your Touch (horror)
Sisters in Crime 3 (mystery)
1. Arts and Crafts, Mary Jo Adamson
2. Listen and Listen Good, Marcia Biederman
3. SuSu and the 8:30 Ghost, Lilian Jackson Braun
Jeeves and the Song of Songs (humor)
4-9, descriptions here.
What Are You Looking At? (fat fiction)
Redshift (speculative fiction)

There's well over 100 stories in these six titles, but I'm allowing for not being able to finish some particularly uninteresting shorts.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Watch this space

I'm hoping to blog regularly again soon(ish).

Morgann is 2 months old (that's what I've been occupied with since I last wrote) and I'm finally trying to take back small bits of my life. I'll be participating in NaBloPoMo next month (because no, I'm still not ready to tackle a novel), so I hope to have something for y'all to read daily, be it a meme, a review, a blogroll, or an excuse for not having book-related content in the post.