09 September 2012
On the daydreams department: Inkwood Books, an "indie bookstore in a cozy old Hyde Park bungalow" is for sale. My dream is alive with more than just black and white as I buy the book bungalow in a page-turn.
The rich becomes richer: had the U.S. State Department not withdrawn a $16.5 million contract to provide Kindle Touches for its overseas language education program, that would have been the case with Amazon . The reconsideration now gives all vendors opportunities to respond to the Department's requirements for mobile learning. Yay to sharing the pie.
A positive state of bookstore affairs: Oblong Books & Music (New York) renovates. Here's wishing them traffic flow increase. Politics and Prose (Washington, D.C.) changes their store layout. A toast to events that draw larger audiences. Builders Booksource (California) re-sizes to a cozier space. May they have continued relief from high rental costs. Book Rack Bookstore (Massachusetts) has a changeover focusing on aesthetics. Patrons find it fantastic, they report.
I find all this especially good to muse about after singing a bookshop dirge earlier.
30 August 2012
When books die do they go to heaven? I like to think they do. Earlier I lamented the gradual departure of bookshops here and there. It is bittersweet to succumb to book depression. Then something came up which made me think that in a traditional book lover's space this would be perfect - "a heavenly library." Or at least the look of it. Young & Battaglia is the creative genius behind this bookshelf wallpaper idea showcased by Design Year Book.
"White books on white shelves." How peaceful is that! And to me it is quite a comfort to see reminders of traditional books like this if they have to be driven off our lives by e-readers. On a fashionista note, it looks like an intelligent sort of background for a photoshoot with a dark-clad reading model, does it not?
Let's go to Budapest. Just a 5-second show that may stretch your fascination to five minutes or more: [youtube width="250" height="200"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QS4mp5RV5M[/youtube] If you have encountered these bookish delights earlier somewhere, well, it was fun sharing them again with you in my nook.
09 August 2012
Name a book you love in a genre you normally don’t care for. What made you decide to read it? Did it make you want to try more in that genre?
Harry Potter, and I ended up reading all seven books in the series. Broomsticks and cauldrons, wands and potions, what in the name of Merlin's beard are they?.... I recall my own snigger at these things; look up my book shelf where the books are lovingly piled, and think of telling the sister-in-law how she influenced me to read HP.
Because I'm sure she has no idea what she's done. She was holding a wineglass in one hand and HP2 in the other over a meal during one family get-together. The cover I saw was of Harry dangling from the flying car above the Yorkshire Moors. I wouldn't have been curious if she was a ninth grader, but she's a medical doctor. Okay, she's a globe trotter too so maybe it was a book she did not finish from some trans-atlantic flight, but what business would a decent dermatologist have with petrificus totalus or wingardium leviosa?
That got my nostrils on the magical pages of HP for long, delightful hours and almost tempted me to steal a chapter or two at work. Curiosity could have killed the cat.
Bookish Sarah asks an interesting assortment of questions:
What genre do you avoid reading and why?
Erotica and dark fantasy (some call it a sub-genre) - I don't last long in these genres. I get bored easily and then I go particular with money value.
Thursday Thirteen: I write like...
A haiku poet invited me to join his haiku meme. I went strolling around his site, and found a charmingly interesting widget that says he writes like Charles Dickens. There was a link so I hopped over there, and as I'm no writer, you could imagine what fun I got out of checking
"which famous writer I write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers."
Here we go ---
1. As I’m someone who still loves having traditional books around, I say that’s the spirit! ~ E-books v. printed books, and whether a Kindle loaded with a thousand books would weigh heavier than one with only a hundred books.
2 Utmost love most pure / divinely capable of / crimson sacrifice ~ Love at Calvary (an Easter haiku)
3 In Hua Hin Hills visitors can tour vineyards in a way you normally can’t in Burgundy or Tuscany: riding on an elephant. Vineyards of Thailand
4. Built in world war two / the Spanish house stood / along the road /
Capiz shells made up its windows... / Out came “yakan, yaweh…” ~ Casa Embrujada, a free verse written for Halloween
5 It miffed my mother who was worried it was senility progressing... she sways her hips to imaginary music. ~ Waltzing Rosario, about my waltz-loving Grandma
6. I’ll pass those up.... My money is getting spent on time-tested quality entertainment – ballet and opera. ~ on Lady Gaga's Bad Bangkok Romance
7 Those nights of Wuthering Heights chain-smoking til 3 a.m.... and as enigmatic as Enigma. ~ reminiscing Mea Culpa
8 Just when I was about to send it over, I realized that if I were offered a place, the very topic I built a case on would send me back to Thailand for data-gathering. ~ Austenuating Jane Austen
9 “A quality haiku. Just the right amount of zest” says a published UK novelist/poet of my first attempt at a meme called Haiku Heights. ~ Pirouette
10 He congratulated her for passing some national exam. They bumped into each other at the luncheon that followed... ~ Christmas without you
11 "Austenuating a fire in my head" - an old tagline
12 If it’s made by Shangri-la and no other I’d actually eat it. This one looks like a throat clogger. I won’t take the risk. ~ on being shown a hideous fruit cake and asked if I would eat it
13 It is a truth universally acknowledged that a blogger in possession of a Jane Austen addiction must be in want of more Jane Austen adaptations. Now isn't this obvious?
HAPPY THURSDAY MY FRIENDS :)
26 July 2012
Do you have a favorite season of the year that you read more? (Example: during snow storms, rainy weather, or sunny and warm weather)
Where is your favorite place to read? On the beach? Inside/outside?
During rainy weather! I love the rain, especially when I'm indoors. I love curling up in bed with a fuzzy blanket, a cup of hot chocolate or tea on the side table, and read read read. While traveling on a coach from Windsor Castle back to London, it rained. Hard. The next minute everything was white. That was my first snow experience ever and I was thinking... this would be perfect if there was a charming book in my hands right now!
The beach -- well, every time I'm on a beach I'm doing something else like catching up with family and friends so the bedroom with the rain pitter-pattering on the roof works very well for me.
Thursday 13: Books (on my TBR pile) for the rainy days
See if you might be interested in any of them. Most of them are recent.
1. Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart
murder mystery in Victorian England
2. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
private lives under government surveillance
3. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
a touch of sunny Tuscany
4. Things That Are by Amy Leach
communion with the wild world
5. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
hair removal, getting fat, tiny pants, expensive handbags
6. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
psychological elements, problem of perception
7. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
wonder of life, animal and human
8. The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes
the lost art of letter writing, amnesia
9. Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta
lack of communication in sibling relationships
10. The White Devil by Justin Evans
contemporary horror set in a centuries-old boarding school, Lord Byron look-a-like
11. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
an artist's life, otherworldly beings
12. White Shotgun by April Smith
FBI agent, Italy
13. A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion by Ron Hansen
classic mystery feel
24 May 2012
Do you have any pet that has a name inspired by your readings?
If not, what would you pick if you DID?
Do any of your friends have book-based names for their pets? (Or their children?)
Piano lessons were imposed on me when I was a little girl. My love for reading extended to the short background of the music or biography of the composer written on my music books. I think I enjoyed the reading part more than working on the keys. Fast forward to 2002 I bought a toy poodle and named him Mozart, that's him on the sidebar, after the composer. I use his photo as a bookmark.
My mother's dog is named Shakespeare, after you-know-who. (sorry for the HP reference). A fairy tale - addict young niece named one of our cats Snow White, and the other George, after King George.
2. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov features Banga
3. Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie features Bob
4. Call of the Wild by Jack London features Buck
5. The Roly-Poly Pudding by Beatrix Potter features John Joiner
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck features Candy's dog
7. Two Gentlemen of Verona, by Shakespeare features Crab
8. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens features Diogenes
9. Harry Potter by JK Rowling features Fang
10. Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien features Garm
11. Ulysses by James Joyce features Garryowen
12. Adam Bede by George Eliot features Gyp
13. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens features Jip
17 May 2012
If you had to choose to live within a novel, which would it be?
Without much ado Harry Potter's Hogwarts! What a place to explore! I'd like to transfigure arrogant Malfoy into a cross-eyed cockroach. *kidding* And when I feel like cutting Snape's class I'll hang out at Hagrid's hut. Then during summers head to The Burrow. As Ron Weasley says, "it's not much, but it's home."
Thursday 13: My favorite places in Harry Potter
1. Hogwarts the moving staircases and all the magic learning!
2. The Burrow 'dilapidated and standing only by magic' ah!... wonderful
3. Hogsmeade Village appeals to the country girl in me
3. Madam Puddifoot's is where we will have high tea
4. Diagon Alley shop til I drop
5. Shell Cottage a newly-weds' home must be sweet and lovely
6. Weasley's Wizard Wheezes I want their anti-acne cream
7. Honeyduke's Sweetshop for my sweet tooth
8. The Leaky Cauldron when one day in Diagon Alley is not enough
9. The Three Broomsticks running a pub and living above it
10. Scrivenshaft's Quill Supplies good old writing paraphernalia
11. Magical Menagerie offers advice on animal care and health
12. Florean Fortescue's choco-raspberry with chopped nuts
13. Flourish & Blotts books of course
10 May 2012
Perhaps a combination of both. I have been living alone since my big D in 2006 and I don't seem to mind; rarely wish for company. Seventy five percent of my king size bed is littered with books. I occupy the remaining 25% when I sleep. As for socializing I am happy meeting friends for lunch, dinner or high tea in or outside my nook. I love cozy cafes. Church, concerts, lectures, or family get-togethers - I welcome them as revitalizing shot to my routine which is being alone.
1. Sappho (600 B.C.) Greek poetess
2. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) British statesman and writer
3. Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) English dramatist and poet
4. Lord Byron (1788-1824) British poet
5. Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) Danish poet and writer
6. Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) Euro-American writer and journalist
7. Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Euro-American poet
8. Herman Melville (18-19-1891 Euro-American writer
9. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish writer and dramatist
10. Marcel Proust (1871-1922) French writer
11. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) British writer and dramatist
12. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) British writer and publisher
13. Truman Capote (1924-1984) Euro-American author
03 May 2012
Do you have siblings? Do they like to read?
As an only child I often wondered what it was like to have siblings who like to read. Would we have a contest on who could read how many books in a month? Share and discuss each other's reads while munching chocolate? There were cousins. But all one did was devour comics while another read the same author I read hundreds of full moons ago - Irving Wallace. Parents regulated my reading pile, and Wallace wasn't exactly on their list of approved material, so it was fun sharing the secret read with a cousin who did the same experiment. We were probably looking for supplemental info to our high school sex education. I'm a fan of my parents' literary gifts; didn't mind reading alone almost all the time.
Thursday 13: Famous siblings - except perhaps the last pair, there's one common denominator among most of them: rivalry
1. Kate and Bianca in Taming of the Shrew- fought bitterly
2. Orlando and Oliver in As You Like It - relationship was marked by antagonism
3. Cain and Abel in the Bible - one brother's jealousy led to murder
4. Leah and Rachel in the Bible - competed for the love of Jacob
5. Ares and Athena in Disney's Hercules- competed over territory
6. Venus and Serena Williams, in tennis - compared with each other by the media
7. Janet and Michael Jackson, in music - compared with each other by the media
8. Rose and Maggie in In Her Shoes - alternately loving and argumentative
9. Michael and Fredo in The Godfather - their conflict was fatal
10. Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, advice columnists - very close and publicly antagonistic
11. Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine, actresses - had an uneasy relationship from childhood and later stopped talking to each other completely
12. Ann and Mary Boleyn, The Other Boleyn Girl - contended for the affection of King Henry VIII
13. Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - two sisters very different in their ways of thinking and feeling
Reference for nos. 1 - 11 here.
26 April 2012
Charlie Quillen asks:
Has a book ever inspired you to change anything in your life, fiction or non-fiction alike?
Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad inspired me to change the way I look at money. Kate White's Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do helped me change the way I evaluate myself. The Da Vinci Code inspired me to change my attitude toward The Bible. The entertainment of puzzles in Dan Brown's work and its references to concepts that ring a bell around times long ago when the Bible was spoon-fed to me, sparked a fancy to rediscover non-fiction mystery that the Bible has abundance of, as well as advice and knowledge that never gets old.
Thursday 13: Inspiring changes. Which ones speak to you best?
1. Change brings opportunity. ~ Nido Qubein
2. Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein. ~ Life's Little Instruction Book
3. Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change. ~ Jim Rohn
4. Use what talents you possess, the woods will be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. ~ Henry van Dyke
5. Each person's task in life is to become an increasingly better person. ~ Leo Tolstoy
6. Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ~ Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford commencement address
7. The greatest mistake you can do in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~ Elbert Hubbard
8. Twenty years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~ Mark Twain
9. Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix ~ Christina Baldwin
10. We all have big changes in our lives, that are more or less a second chance. ~ Harrison Ford quoted by Gary Jenkins, Imperfect Hero
11. Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, humiliated before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, raped before you, yet someone survived. You can do anything you choose to do. ~ Maya Angelou
12. We have a strategic plan. It's called 'doing things.' ~ Herb Kelleher
13. Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful is it is encouraging because it means things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better. ~King Whitney Jr
19 April 2012
Bookish Sarah asks:
What are your literary “pet peeves”?
Put too many swear words in a story and I lose interest. Too much cursing sounds like limited vocabulary, stunted creativity. The other one is something I have experienced for the first time - a novel with an unlikeable character. The Wise Woman is my first Philippa Gregory. If I wasn't fond of historical fiction (besides thinking that Gregory is brilliant at her genre) I wouldn't have minded not finishing the book. The heroine is so unlikeable almost every page developed in me a distaste of her that even her death in the conclusion didn't convince me it redeemed her. I want my reading experience (outside work) to be a pleasure; not characters that I don't enjoy.
Thursday 13: Unusual words that begin with letter N
1. nephogram - is a photograph of (a) lungs (b) diaphragm (c) clouds
2. nodated - means (a) knotted (b) sprained (c) inundated
3. neuralgiform - is like or shaped like a (a) brain (b) nerve (c) esophagus
4. nidify - to build a (a) nest (b) an invalid argument (c) wooden box
5. nesiote - means living (a) by a lake (b) on a dessert (c) on an island
6. ninon - is (a) silk (b) cotton (c) taffeta
7. nacarat - means (a) tangerine (b) bright orange-red (c) gold
8. naology - is architecture study of (a) a temple (b)a manor house (c)a castle
9. natiform - is shaped like (a)a nose (b) buttocks (c) hips
10. nemoricolous - means living in (a) valleys (b) forests (c) mountains
11. nervure - means vein of a (a)petal (b) leaf (c) fruit
12. nipter - is ceremony of washing the (a) feet (b) nose (c) hands
13. nepenthe - is something capable of making one forget suffering such as (a) a drink (b) an inhalant (c) a liniment
Answers: 1. (c) clouds 2. (a) knotted 3. (b) nerve 4. (a) nest 5. (c) an island 6. (a) silk 7. (b) bright orange-red 8. (a) temple 9. (b) buttocks 10. (b) forests 11. (b) leaf 12. (a) feet 13. (a) drink
Courtesy to The Phrontistery for the list.
29 March 2012
Are there any fictional characters whom you have emulated (or tried to)? Who and why?
Nowadays, none. But as a kid I was all over Nancy Drew from the first time I got my hands on Clue in the Crumbling Wall. In many ways ridiculous, but I could relate. Her dad never seemed to be home - mine came home once a month. She was surrounded by people who instantly responded to her - my father's side of the family showered me with lots of attention. Possible attribution here is I'm an only child, kind of usually got what I wanted, things like those. Perhaps I unknowingly behaved like Nancy Drew at times as I always had fun imagining I was her in those adventures she did.
What literary character do you feel is most like you personality-wise (explain)?
Now this is interesting. I once took a Harry Potter personality test for fun and emerged as Mad Eye Moody whose profile goes like this:
Noble yet ruthless. Brilliant with a twist of insanity. Excellent wizard who became the most feared dark wizard catcher. While not as moral as Dumbledore, he is just as honest with the same essential values.
As a Jane Austen fan I am unable to resist "which Austen heroine are you?" so I took the test too and results show I am Marianne Dashwood.
I wrote a research proposal on integrative complexity of four Asian leaders during terrorist crises to the University of Copenhagen. It's fun to be curious. The feedback was very positive.
Whatever makes me brilliant, ruthless, insane one minute and all lovey-dovey sensibility the next?
No voice divine the storm allayed, no light propitious shone ... to love is to burn! to be on fire! *clutching heart*
This stuff makes me laugh and frown at some parts I can't believe but I took those tests, and although they were just for fun, what and where else could I have based my answers on? Quite entertaining.
Thursday 13: Classes for Women at the Adult Learning Center
A friend sent this to me. There were only 12. I added the 13th, or if you have a better idea I'd like to hear it.
NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM.
Class 1. Up in Winter, Down in Summer - How to Adjust a Thermostat
Slide Presentation. Meets 4 weeks, Mon and Wed for 2 hrs.
Class 2. Which Takes More Energy - Putting the Toilet Seat Down, or Moaning About It for 3 Hours? Round Table Discussion. Meets 2 weeks, Sat 12:00 for 2 hours.
Class 3. Is It Possible To Drive Past a Marks & Spencer Without Stopping? Group Debate. Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.
Class 4. Fundamental Differences Between a Purse and a Suitcase -Pictures and Explanatory Graphics. Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.
Class 5. Curling Irons-Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Bathroom Cabinet?
Examples on Video. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours
Class 6. Help Line Support and Support Groups. Meets 4 weeks, Fri and Sun 7:PM
Class 7. Can a Bath Be Taken Without 14 Different Kinds of Soaps and Shampoos?
Open Forum. Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.
Class 8. Health Watch--They Make Medicine for PMS - USE IT!
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.
Class 9. I Was Wrong and He Was Right!--Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.
Class 10. How to Parallel Park In Less Than 20 Minutes Without an Insurance Claim
Driving Simulations. 4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.
Class 11. Learning to Live-How to Apply Brakes Without Throwing Passengers Through the Windshield. Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined
Class 12. How to Shop by Yourself
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.
Class 13. Sympathy v. Solution: what to offer friends in trouble. Serious lecture. Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Tuesday for 2 hours beginning at 5:00 PM.
Upon completion of ANY of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.
28 March 2012
Certainly, there was some deep meaning in it, most worthy of interpretation, and which, as it were, streamed forth from the mystic symbol, subtly communicating itself to my sensibilities, but evading the analysis of my mind. --Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850)
Put simply, kinesics refers to body position and motion including those of the face. It is a form of nonverbal communication people use to establish relationships, and express personal identity and cultural values.
Does Hitler's Nazi salute come to mind, for example?
Right here in my part of the world kinesics are abundant in cultural communications. Thailand is a society where fewer words are spoken. The wai is used to convey many meanings. In my early days in Bangkok I saw two cars sideswipe each other. When drivers came out of their vehicles to sort out the accident, the first thing I saw they did was not an exchange of words but a wai. The same kind of accident may warrant kinesics in other countries but probably in a form of jabs or kicks. I know of one country; saw such body motions in a similar road situation with my own eyes.
[caption id="attachment_10261" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Wai. Courtesy of Google Images.[/caption]
In a different context people may use kicks and hand gestures to chide someone, 'you're annoying in an amusing way.'
Ted Conover's book, Coyotes: A Journey Through the Secret World of America's Illegal Aliens (1987), discusses body motions as strategies used to influence others' perception. Mexican workers who enter the US illegally were taught how to walk nonchalantly or control furtive eye movements in order to avoid calling attention to themselves, which can reduce chances of getting caught.
Teachers know which students are likely to answer a question in class, by their facial expression. Those who do not want to interact may look away.
This difficult-to-feed kiddo communicates his low enthusiasm for eating by rolling his eyes over and over and using his fingers to seal his lips: I don't like to eat and I won't negotiate.
Somewhere in films or for some, in real situations, have you noticed attorneys rolling their eyes or looking at their watches? Some may even stifle a yawn conspicuously. They are deliberate actions employed to suggest that a witness is lying or the opposition's argument is boring or ridiculous. It is reported that a number of judges now require lawyers to stand at lecterns to limit nonverbal communication that may influence jurors.
Judge Samuel Kent's restriction on attorneys' courtroom kinesics may be the most stringent. He is known to have said, "facial gestures, nods of the head, audible signs, anything along those lines is strictly prohibited."
22 March 2012
Ever read a book you thought you could have written better yourself?
I could hardly write my own prayer. If I do not like a book and have difficulty finishing it the book may not be for me. I would leave the writing or rewriting to someone whom the story belongs.
With books at work (academic) - maybe edit, adjust examples, or illustrate a concept to fit needs of certain learners. But then writing it better? I might as well write another book entirely.
Thursday 13: March Celebrations
1. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
2. National Common Courtesy Day
3. National Teenager Day
4. National Single Parents Day
5. World Down Syndrome Day
6. National Flower Day
7. Twitter Day
8. Children's Poetry Day
9. Hump Day
10. Memory Day
11. National French Bread Day
12. California Strawberry Day
13. Fragrance Day
Please leave the link to your BTT or T13 post so I can visit and comment back easily. Thank you.
15 March 2012
Have you ever used a book to instruct someone of something or is there anyone for whom you would like to do that? (I don’t mean a text book for a class, but a work of fiction or non-fiction that would get a certain message across either through plot or character). What is the book and what do you wish to impart?
Professionally, yes but not necessarily the book in its entirety. I used Don Quixote in an English camp for the Thai teaching staff of a business institute. A drill on the parts of speech served as instrument to carry bits of idealism and realism across.
Personally I use books to instruct a young nephew and niece about life in general. The books are gifts that they are to read if they want something more later. 'More' could mean an all-expenses paid trip to the mall in exchange for learning something from the books. Yes, I could be a doting, strict, crazy aunt.
I gave Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl to a niece in hopes that she finds lessons from history even if they are as harsh as fascism and Nazi atrocities. And for the nephew, an illustrated geography book. It's this sense of the magnitude of our world that I wished to impart. There is so much to do besides ball games, ijo.
Thursday 13: Books I bought as gifts
1. Jesus, CEO by Laurie Beth Jones
2. Pocket Finance (Chief contributor: Tim Hindle)
3. Treasury of Poetry, selected by Alistair Hedley
4. Treasury of Virtues, adapted by Jennifer Boudart, Mary Rowitz, Sarah Toast
5. Eating People is Wrong by Malcolm Bradbury
6. The Bible Story (10 volumes)
7. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
9. Organizing Silence: A World of Possibilities by Robin Patric Clair
10. Vintage Greeting Cards with Mary Jo McGraw
11. Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry by Ian O'Connor
12. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
13. The Heart Garden by Janine Burke
01 March 2012
Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character? Who and what about them did you love?
Not really in love. Infatuated, more likely. A girl friend enticed me to read the Twilight Series. She's a medical doctor in her mid 30s; I'm a freaking university instructor in my late 30s, and we giggle over 16-y.o. Jacob Black?! We liked Edward Cullen too but he's too pale-skinned and can never beat Jake's six pack. Oh la-la! I mean it's awesome to just feel and not think sometimes.
And there's Sirius Black of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban fame. Seriously I enjoyed fantasizing over him. Rich, handsome, arrogant, bully. A lot like my real life ex-husband. No wonder a male friend calls me gaga at regular intervals. But I am completely at peace with the world and my neurotic self about all this.
Thursday Thirteen: Love - Hate
The wizarding world's characters that I love and hate in simultaneous order
1. Albus Dumbledore leader, wise
2. Severus Snape ill-tempered, bitter (felt a bit sorry for him at the end though)
3. Hagrid loyal, gentle giant friend
4. Draco Malfoy bully, feeling entitled... mean
5. Sirius Black ruggedly handsome, rich, intelligent
6. Dolores Umbridge I see corrupt, real world Education industry officials in her
7. Professor Moody or Crouch Jr's disguise transfigured Malfoy into a ferret, love it
8. Minerva McGonagall I love her for telling Dolores Umbridge off in class. Bravo!
9. Rita Skeeter annoying journalist
10. Molly Weasley so motherly, very loving and quite protective of her brood
11. Bellatrix Lestrange insane, nasty
12. Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger the main ones
13. Vernon, Petunia and Dudley Dursley uptight muggles
17 February 2012
For that matter, do you ever READ fan-fiction??
No, I haven't and probably never will as I am no writer. But I'm not closing my doors either. Maybe when I'm old and sitting on a rickety rocking chair caressing a china cup of white tea, I will. Who knows... my muse just might poke me.
I have Sarah Gray's Wuthering Bites, and Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride, Prejudice and Zombies on my bookshelf right now. I bought them and never read them. At least not yet. Maybe when I'm old and sitting on a ....
Right after I finished writing my master's thesis, I devoured fan fiction for Harry Potter. There must have been too much remnant of scientific stuff in my life I felt so deprived of pop lit that much. Recently, I came across The Obituary of Charlotte Collins. It was an excellent travel back through time I almost forgot it was fiction.
Just a side note or in case you'd be interested: the Brontes wrote fan fiction themselves. How interesting is that!
31 January 2012
In this post: Teaser, Top Ten, Tune In
Should Be Reading
My sin was winning. I have hidden myself in the old power, in the old skills, in woman's power.
p. 101, "The Wise Woman" by Philippa Gregory
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Top Ten: Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks
The Broke and the Bookish
The book club in my town has international membership. I am curious how members (myself included) would discuss, think of, or react to:
1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
3. The King's Speech by Mark Logue
4. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O' Farrell
5. That They May Face The Rising Sun by John McGahern
6. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
7. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
8. Kelly, the Bar Girl Who Would Be President by Sam Worthington
9. Shroud by John Banville
10. Hitler's Piano Player: The Rise and Fall of Ernst Hanfstaengl by Peter Conradi
Tune In: Seal's Kiss from a Rose
I know I like the lyrics: "graying tower alone on the sea... a light hits the gloom on the gray," but didn't bother to know who sang it, (okay now I know) nor its background that it was included in the Batman Forever soundtrack, yeah old maids like me could be so boring like this; until I saw what images were used on this video - Pride and Prejudice! Well, of course, of course.... :)
26 January 2012
What’s more important: Good writing? Or a good story?
(Of course, a book should have BOTH, but…)
I buy my books. So before buying any I spend time reading blurbs and reviews as of course I want value for my money. One thing that gives me pleasure in books is reading them from start to finish because of both - good writing and good story. Then I am happy knowing I haven't wasted a cent. On the other hand, good writing for me is very instrumental in tolerating a not-so- good plot. I am willing to forget it is a dull story if the writing is really good it can carry me away.
*More bookish reactions at Booking Through Thursday
3rd sentence: "Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her caresses, and her place had been supplied by an excellent governess, who had fallen little short of a mother in affection."
Thoughts: Stepmother scenario in my mind here. A child in the film Nanny McPhee says, "stepmothers... they're an evil breed." I thought how lucky for Emma she got a loving governess. Of course not all stepparents are bad. And aren't we glad good foster homes exist? Our chances of being subjected to the horror stories of child neglect and abuse are lessened.
*Proud Book Nerd hosts Third Sentence Thursday
24 January 2012
She had resolved that one and twenty should be the period. With the fortitude of a devoted noviciate, she had resolved to complete the sacrifice, and retire from all the pleasures of life, of rational intercourse, equal society, peace and hope, to penance and mortification forever.
p. 423, "Emma" by Jane Austen (Volume II, Collected Edition)
A classic look at misconstrued romance. Foolish, arrogant, sensible, oblivious or endearing characters are excellently portrayed. If you've read this before, marvel anew at how people from way way back are actually alike ourselves nowadays in many ways. If not, get ready to observe human behavior described with humor and skill that made Jane Austen a much-loved author with millions of fans.
*Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading
Perhaps easy accessibility was taken for granted. But there's no excuse for not having read #6, especially for someone like me who did grad time in the Humanities- Communication Arts no less. This reading life is stranger than fiction.
1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. Anne Shirley of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
3. Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
4. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
6. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
8. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
10. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
*Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Lyrics from a poem of the same title by W.B. Yeats
Vocals by Donovan & Video illustration by Sissham
19 January 2012
I saw this article the other day that asked, “Are you ashamed of skipping parts of books?” Which, naturally, made me want to ask all of YOU. Do you skip ahead in a book? Do you feel badly about it when you do?
It depends; and about two percent of the time.
You Don't Say! for example, by Barry Phelps, is about world notables and their misquotations listed alphabetically. In this case I wanted to know first what misquotations Margaret Thatcher or Napoleon Bonaparte made rather than reading accounts in order. Parts that are of least relevance or interest to me - I skip without questioning myself.
Conrad Kottak's international edition of Anthropology: the exploration of human diversity once was my bible for a week. I was then preparing a PhD research proposal. Dissect, synthesize, decide which ideas would be best for an argument on a deadline on top of other university job related readings - I was almost blue in the face as the reading turned mad. And I only needed to nail some historical bit that would help rationalize the proposal. That and a few more words that began with the same letter - you could guess where I went and how thick were the pages I skipped. I know what a mpakafo is but I have to run back to this formidable but very interesting reference if asked to describe arboreal theory.
Now, do I feel badly about skipping when I do? In most cases, yes. Most books in my hands are too engaging and too useful not to be read in their entirety. At times it is probably this 'I-have-to-read-everything-inside-every-book-I-own' state of mind. Or that could just be my seasonally neurotic self speaking.
This post is linked with Booking Through Thursday.