Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I did finish I Am A Strange Loop but it was pretty slow going. The quantum physics didn't help me zip through it. It was incredibly interesting and if I didn't have a huge stack of books still waiting to be read I would have really sat down and read this more thoroughly so that I really understood what the author was saying. Unfortunately, this is not a book to read when you are in a reading time crunch but I recommend it for anyone who is interested in the nature of consciousness.
Zug was the prettiest little city and the best thing about it was that IT HAD A CASTLE and a charming one at that. Granted it was a small castle, but in my opinion, a castle is a castle.
See. It just oozes charm now doesn't it? Seriously, this is one charming city. They can afford to be charming. Really. According to the official Switzerland travel site....The town of ZUG (pronounced tsoogk), 22km from Luzern on the north side of the Rigi, is the richest place in Switzerland, which makes it very rich indeed.
Even the library is a charming building from the 15th century.
And yes, I am a big geek who runs around taking pictures of libraries. Sue me, I like libraries.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
20th Century Ghosts - Hill, Joe
A concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers - Guo, Xiaolu
A Crack in the Earth - Watzman, Haim
A Free Life - Jin, Ha
A Hatred for Tulips - Louirie, Richard
A New Hunger - Bosselaar, Laure-Anne
A Peculiar Grace - Lent, Jeffrey
A Thief Of Strings - Revell, Donald
A Thousand Deaths - Effinger, George Alec
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Hosseini, Khaled
A Worldly Country: New Poems - Ashbery, John
ABC -Plante, David
Afterwards - Seiffert, Rachel
Against the Day - Pynchon, Thomas
Agent Zigzag - Macintyre, Ben
American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic - Ellis, Joseph J
Amerigo - Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe
An Absolute Gentleman - Kinder, RM
An Arsonist's Guide To Writer's Homes In New England: A Novel- Brock, Clarke
An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere - Walker, Gabrielle
Anxious Music - Ossmann, April
Archivist's Story -Holland, Travis
Arlington Park - Cusk, Rachael
At Large and at Small - Fadiman, Anne
Away - Bloom, Amy
Backpacker's Father - Kopperud, Gunnar
Balance - McCredie, Scott
Be Near Me - O'Hagan, Andrew
Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989 - Taylor, Frederick
Blackbird and Wolf - Cole, Henri
Blind Submission - Ginsberg, Debra
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures - Lam, Vincent
Bowl of Cherries - Kaufman, Millard
Breakfast with Buddha - Merullo, Roland
Bridge of Sighs- Russo, Richard
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Diaz, Junot
Brother, I'm Dying - Danticat, Edwidge
Bucolics - Manning, Maurice
Caspian Rain - Nahai, Gina B.
Chance and Circumstance - Brown, Carolyn
Chasing Kangaroos - Flannery, Tim
Cheating at Canasta -Trevor, William
Cion - Mda, Zakes
Cloud Moving Hands - Song, Cathy
Complete Stories-Malouf, David
Consequences - Lively ,Penelope
Consumption - Patterson, Kevin
Contested Waters: a History of America's Swimming Pools - Wiltse, Jeff
Crashing Through: a story of risk, adventure, and the man who dared to see - Kurson, Robert
Cult of the Amateur-Keen, Andrew
Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn: A Lakota History - Marshall, Joseph M
Dead Boys: Stories - Lange, Richard
Death in a Prairie House - Drennan, William R.
DeNiro's Game - Hage,Rawi
Divisadero - Ondaatje, Michael
Dog Years - Doty, Mark
Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff - Mahoney, Rosemary
Dropped From Heaven: Stories - Judah, Sophie
Einstein- Isaacson, Walter
Elegy - Bang, Mary Jo
Endless Universe - Steinhardt, Paul
Eureka - Lehrer, Jim
Exit Ghost- Roth, Phillip
Feast: Why Humans Share Food - Jones, Martin
Fieldwork - Berlinski, Mischa
Fire in the Blood - Nemirovsky, Irene
First Among Sequels - Fforder, Jasper
Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful In the Business of Flowers -Stewart, Amy
Fly Me to the Moon - Belbruno, Edward
For Liberty and Glory - Gaines, James R.
Foreskin's Lament:a Memoir - Auslander, Shalom
Fragment of the Head of a Queen - Marvin, Cate
From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: a history of the fight for free speech in America - Finan, Christopher
Ghost - Lightman, Alan
Ghosts of Spain: Travels through Spain and its slent past -Tremlett, Giles
Ghostwalk -Stott, Rebecca
Giving: How each of us can change the world - Clinton, Bill
Grey - Armstrong, Jon
Gulf Music- Pinsky, Robert
Gum Thief - Coupland,Douglas
Happy Accidents -Meyers, Morton
Harriet Tubman: Imagining A Life - Lowry, Beverly
Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone - Clark, Joshua
Heartsick - Cain, Chelsea
Horse Latitudes - Muldoon, Paul
If Today Be Sweet - Umrigar, Thrity
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead - Zevon, Crystal
In a Prominent Bar in Seacaucus - Kennedy, X.J.
In Europe - Mak, Geert
In Her Absence - Molina, Antonio Munoz
In the Country of Men - Matar, Hisham
In the Driver's Seat - Simpson, Helen
India After Gandhi: the History of the World's Largest Democracy - Guha, Ramachandra
Inflorescence - Hannah, Sarah
Inglorious - Kavenna, Joanna
Inner Workings - Coetzee, JM
Justinian's Flea - Rosen, William
Kill all your Darlings: -Sante, Luc
Last Chinese Chef - Mones, Nicole
Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram - Thuy Tram, Dang
Like You'd Understand, Anyway: Stories - Shepard, Jim
Lives of Rocks - Bass, Rick
Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth - Shuyun, Sun
Look Me In The Eye: My Life with Aspergers - Robison, John Elder
Lost City Radio - Alarcon, Daniel
Loving Frank - Horan, Nancy
Magnificent Catastrophe - Larson, Edward
Man and Camel - Strand, Mark
Margherita Dolce Vita - Benni, Stefano
Mary Modern - De Angelis, Camille
Mistress of the Art of Death - Franklin, Ariana
Modern Life - Harvey, Matthea
Mr. Pip - Jones, Leroy
My Dreams Out in the Street - Addonizio, Kim
My Holocaust - Reich,Tova
New York Calling: from Blackout to Bloomberg - Berman, Marshall, ed
No One Belongs Here More Than You - July, Miranda
No Real Light - Wenderoth, Joe
Now and Forever - Bradbury, Ray
Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline - Margonelli, Lisa
Once Upon A Country - Nusseibeh, Sari
Once Upon a Quinceanera - Alvarez, Julia
Opposite House - Oyeyemi, Helen
Options - Fake Steve JobsThe Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America - Faludi, Susan
Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King - Hirsch, Foster
Our American King - Martin, David Lozell
Out Stealing Horses - Pettersen, Per
Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer - Brownlee, Shannon
Peony in Love-See, Lisa
Poems from Guantanamo: the Detainees Speak - Falkoff, Marc
Poincare's Prize - Szpiro, George
Poor People - Vollmann, William
Portable Childhoods - Klages, Ellen
Prime Green - Stone, Robert
Refresh, Refresh: Stories - Percy, Benjamin
Retained by the People: The Silent Ninth Amendment… - Farber, Daniel A.
Run - Patchett, Ann
Salt -Page, Jeremy
Samedi The Deafness - Ball, Jesse
Sarah's Key - de Rosnay, Tatiana
Scandal of the Season - Gee, Sophie
School's Out - Dufosse, Christophe
Schulz and Peanuts: A biography - Michaelis, David
See You in a Hundred Years: - Ward, Logan
Septembers of Shiraz-Sofer, Dalia
Shortcomings- Tomine, Adrian
Sin in the Second City -Abbott, Karen
Sir Gawain and the Green Night - Armitage, Simon
Solitude of Thomas Cave - Harding, Georgia
Spaceman Blues: A Love Song -Slattery, Brian
Strange has this weather been - Pancake, Ann
Strictly Right - Bridges, Linda & John Coyne
Sunstroke and Other Stories - Hadley, Tessa
Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life - Reich, Robert B.
Sushi Economy -Issenberg, Sasha
Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector - Brown, Mick
The Abstinence Teacher - Perotta, Tom
The Assault on Reason - Gore, Al
The Bestiary - Christopher, Nicolas
The Black Swan: -Taleb, Nassim
The Braindead Megaphone -Saunders, George
The Canon - Angier, Natalie
The Center Cannot Hold - Saks, Elyn R.
The Clean Shirt of It - Britto, Paulo
The Clearing - White, Philip
The Coldest Winter - Halberstam, David
The Double Bind - Bohjalian, Chris
The Empress of Weehawken - Dische, Irene
The First Word - Kenneally, Christine
The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes - Holthe, Tess Uriza
The Flawless Skin of Ugly People - Crandell, Doug
The Friendship - Sisman, Adam
The Gathering - Enright, Anne
The God Of Animals - Kyle, Aryn
The Great Upheaval - Winik, Jay
The Guardians - Castillo, Ana
The House on Boulevard St - Kirby, David
The House That George Built -Sheed, Wilfrid
The Human Season - Dean, Louise
The Last Chicken in America - Litman, Ellen
The Little Girl and the Cigarette - Duteutre, Benoit
The Long Walk Home - North ,Will
The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America - Newman, Katherine S.
The Mistress's Daughter - Homes, A. M.
The Nine: Inside the Secret - Toobin, Jeffrey
The Other Side of You- Vickers, Salley
The Perfect Man - Murr, Naeem
The Pirates Daughter - Cezair-Thompson, Margaret
The Power of Art - Schama, Simon
The Quiet Girl - Hoeg, Peter
The Raw Shark Texts - Hall, Steven
The Reagan Diaries - Reagan, Ronald
The Red Parts - Nelson, Maggie
The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Hamid, Mohsin
The Resurrection Trade - Miller, Leslie Adrienne
The Secret of Lost Things - Hay, Sheridan
The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 - Edgerton, David
The Sirens of Baghdad - Khadra, Yasmina
The Sixth Extiction: Journeys Among the Lost and Left Behind - Glavin, Terry
The Stuff of Thought: Language as a window into human nature- Pinker, Steven
The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution - Stewart, David O.
The Tenderness of Wolves - Penney, Stef
The Testament of Gideon Mack- Robertson, James
The Theory of Clouds - Audeguy, Stephane
The Trap - Brook, Daniel
The Used World- Kimmel, Haven
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox - O'Farrell, Maggie
The Words Of Every Song - Moore, Liz
The Worst Thing I've Ever Done - Hegi, Ursula
The Year of Living Biblically - Jacobs, A. J.
The Zen Of Fish - Corson, Trevor
The Zookeeper's Wife: a war story - Ackerman, Diane
This Clumsy Living - Hicok, Bob
This Life, This Life: New & Selected Poems - Greig, Andrew
Thomas Hardy- Tomalin, Claire
Throws Like a Girl: Stories - Thompson, Jean
Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 - Hass, Robert
Tomorrow - Swift, Graham
Tree of Smoke - Johnson, Denis
Trespass - Martin, Valerie
UM … - Erard, Michael
Varieties Of Disturbance - Davis, Lydia
Velocity - Krygowski, Nancy
Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History - Ulrich, Laurel T
What You Have Left - Allison, Will
Winterwood - McCabe, Patrick
Worshipping Small Gods - Parks, Richard
Yakuza Moon- Tendo, Shoko
Ysabel - Kay, Guy Gavriel
Monday, October 29, 2007
OK, on to the book. One of the nicest things about being on this book award committee is that I am always reading books in areas where I wouldn't normally venture. For example, I am not a huge fan of history. There are a few very specific times and places that interest me intensely (Ancient Egypt, Victorian and Regency England, to name a few) but the Nixon era is not one of them. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the week that Nixon went to China to meet with Mao for the first time.
They were both complex, intense, flawed men but, even with all of their huge egos, they managed to see how beneficial (and how historically significant) it would be for them to meet and open relations between the US and China and they worked extremely hard to make that vision a reality. Highly recommended to those history buffs out there.
Tomorrow night I will have a bit of a rest however because Randy is coming over to once again spend way too much time working on my electrical problems. This time I am going to insist on paying him something because seven free hours with the electrician is probably as much good luck as one person deserves in a lifetime.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Anyway, on goodreads all you do is rate books you have read, let your friends know what you are currently reading or want to read and talk about books. This is a more interactive site than librarything.com which I am also on and the big plus of goodreads is there is no 100 book limit. I think I have rated around 500 but only 100 or so have actual reviews. Hey, don't judge, sometimes on Sunday nights the reference desk is a little slow. I need stuff to do and rating books seems like as good a task as anything. Not terribly productive but it does fill up the time nicely.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Day three found us meandering around Switzerland in search of charming Swiss towns and of course, castles! After all, I have it on good authority that you can't visit Europe and swing a dead cat without hitting a castle or palace. I politely declined the cat swinging portion of the experiment which may explain why we had a bit of difficulty finding our castle/palace.
Our first stop was the town of Luzern which nicely fulfilled the charming portion of the scavenger hunt. It even had a covered bridge
A medieval wall (making this a medieval walled Swiss city)
It even had a palace...well, we think it had a palace. After following the lovely, well designed tourist map to the many other sites we went in search of the aforementioned palace. You would think that a palace would be pretty easy to pick out but oddly enough, we could not find it. We found the building that we think was the palace but no entrance for a palace. After searching for quite a while we decided that it couldn't be much of a palace if we couldn't actually find it and, after all, we were going to Versailles later in the week. Since that is the mother of all palaces we cut our losses and took off for Zug which my friend assured me had an actual castle with a moat and everything.
I am a fairly intelligent person who can read complete sentences and follow recipes but Cheesemaking Made Easy is a bit misleading. You need all kinds of special things apparently in order to make cheese. Thank goodness I have a friend who makes his own beer (last night's beer was yummy) who told me that many of the special items can be found at his beer making supply store. As soon as work settles down (and I have a chance to clean my house) I will try some of these and report back.
Oh yeah, I have ten more books to read before November 15th and all these fun party type activities that I want to participate in. Why did I want to be on a book award committee again?
Thursday, October 25, 2007
On a positive note, while it is true that we are bad, bad people who are killing the planet, it is equally true that evolution is surprisingly adaptable and will hopefully be able to create all new creatures who can do things to process and break down the many newly introduced man-made substances. Interesting, well-written and readable. I couldn't put this one down.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
According to the museum website, Hemingway visited Key West on the advice of a fellow writer, John Dos Pasos. He quickly fell in love with the town, the people and the big game sport fishing. It was here that he met some of his closest, lifelong friends and it was here that he finished the novel, A Farewell To Arms which was published in the fall of 1929.
Be sure to visit the museum website and make a trip to this interesting museum on your next vacation to the Florida Keys
For more serious research, here are just a few of the sites you can visit.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston, MA
Ernest Hemingway Foundation
The Hemingway Society
And now for a fun trivia question: In a 1958 interview with this man, Hemingway claimed to have written the ending of A Farewell to Arms 39 times before being satisfied. Who was that man?
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The acknowledgements thank people who have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for giving the author insight into what that disorder feels like.
Day two in Switzerland was spent (among other things) at the Kunsthaus Museum. My friend and I quickly discovered that we are polar opposites when it comes to museum going. Whereas she is the fastest museum goer on the planet, I may very well be the slowest. I love discovering new artists and can spend quite a bit of time in front of one painting "absorbing". It's a good thing she likes to sit and read cause she got to do quite a bit of it on this trip.
Here is my favorite sculpture from the museum and it even fits the time of year.
It isn't the Mona Lisa (seen later on this trip) but it made me giggle.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
My first day in Switzerland came with instructions. I wish I would have saved the email but it was funny (in a very caring, friendlike way). I was to drink plenty of water, not take a nap of more than one hour and we would do a short tour of Zurich (if I felt up to it).
It was a bit cloudy but Zurich really is beautiful AND very, very clean. Littering is a bad, bad thing in Switzerland. The public toilets are also sparkling clean but a bit pricey. Hey, you pay for cleanliness.
There is a great story about the saints that were martyred in the very spot where I was standing when I took this picture. Please note that they were decapitated and then PICKED UP THEIR OWN HEADS and (depending on the story) proceeded to bury themselves. That seems a bit extreme to me but then I have never aspired to sainthood.
Legend has it that Felix and Regula, Roman Christians and the patron saints of Zürich, fled to the city from the massacre of their legion in Valais in the third century AD. They were martyred by decapitation on the site of today's Wasserkirche for refusing to pray to Roman gods, whereupon they picked up their heads and carried them up the hill to the spot where they wished to be buried.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
- I paint. Usually pretty badly anymore but I have one or two darn good paintings from the good old days.
- I am fascinated by vampires. I have actual reference books on the subject.
- Nowdays I am addicted to sparkly, strappy, high-heeled shoes but all through junior high and high school all I ever wore was cowboy boots.
- I was a Future Farmer of America. I know how to judge sheep, cows, pigs, goats, and cheese. I had a blue coat and everything.
- I know how to weld. Mig, tig, you name it, I can weld with it. Or I could. It has been a while since I wanted to play with fire. Learned when I was in FFA.
- I like romance novels. I like dark, angsty tortured heroes but my most favorite heroes are the funny ones. What can I say, I am a sucker for a man with a sense of humor.
- When I eat trail mix I start with the things I like the least and then work my way up to my favorites. That way my taste buds remember the happy bits.
- My ultimate weekend is one spent in my house with a big pile of books, my cats and maybe a cookie or two. (OK, that one isn't much of a secret)
- I can sing really well but have a karaoke phobia.
As I have been trying to come up with these I also realized that I am a bit of an open book. Ask me, I will tell you all about it. I'm not shy. Therefore, it was really hard to come up with secret things to talk about:)
I haven't posted much here lately so I won't tag anyone...for now.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The second is Both Sides Of The Mouth http://bothsidesofthemouth.blogspot.com/ which reviews music and even offers free downloads. I love discovering new music so I try catch this one as often as I can.
I don't have any book review blogs that I read (except one I read because she is my friend) but I think that is because I am completely overwhelmed with the amount of reading I have to do anymore. The crazy thing is that I just signed on for two more years of Notable Reading.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Anyway, my favorite Notable related book from my trip was Bow Grip (review to follow soon). My favorite non-Notable (just for fun) read was the Donna Leon mystery series set in Venice. I am trying to extend my trip by continuing to read the series instead of getting busy with my Notable reading. If you like mysteries I highly recommend the series.