Monday, May 26, 2008

Evilness incarnate

How evil are you?

Read em and weep XO baby!

The Translator by Daoud Hari

For those of you who have been with me a while, you know that I have been participating in a group that is trying to stop the genocide in the Darfur region.

The Translator is about a young man who, after losing a number of family members in Darfur, risks his life to become a translator and guide for reporters so that the world would know about what was happening in his home. Eventually, he was caught, tortured and eventually rescued by friends. You can tell that English is not Daoud's first language because the book is a little choppy in places and could have used some polishing by a skilled editor. Still, it is a worthwhile read that gives a first-hand account of the atrocities being committed and that tugs the heart-strings and would hopefully radicalize others to get involved.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Last Week's Reads

I have been on a bit of a vacation from blogging this month but I have been reading. I thought I would at the very least, give you a list of titles that I enjoyed. How long this post is depends on how long it takes me to recover from mowing half the yard. I really don't want to go back out there so this may be very long indeed:)

Last Week's Reads:

Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin - An attempt to weave together the astonishingly complex history of the Byzantium Empire. It is brilliant but perhaps not as accessible to the non-scholar as the author intended. To be fair, I am not sure how one makes such a complicated subject accessible but she gave it a darn good try.

Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Movement by Sally McMillen - excellent look at the powerhouse women who started and guided the women's rights movement in America. I wish I could have met a couple of them or at the very least, heard them speak. They sounded like amazing women.

Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton by Jonah Goldberg - This was interesting in an odd way. I found the historical study of fascism fascinating but I am not sure the author really offers convincing evidence that modern liberals are fascists. I do like books that offer a look an opposing viewpoint of my beliefs because it does force me to take a look at the not-so-pretty aspects of "my side" and try to avoid those qualities in my own life.

*Small Favor by Jim Butcher - Number 10 in the Dresden Files series does not disappoint. I'm not sure how much of a mystery was attached to this one but I really enjoy the SF elements of this series and he has managed to keep from getting silly and trite in the series. I like the characters, I enjoy the pyrotechnics and I am always satisfied with Harry and the good guys saving the day.

*not a notable possibility but a just-for-fun break from the serious scholarly work.

I have also joined a couple of new social networking sites and am currently exploring them.

Toluu -
Bright Kite -
Friend Feed -
Twitter - (actually I have been on this one for a while but a bunch of my friends have now joined so it has moved from a pleasant diversion to a serious addiction.)

Ok, time to go finish mowing.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Because it is a lazy day

You Are a Cashew

You are laid back, friendly, and easy going.

Compared to most people, you have a very mild temperament.

You blend in well. You're often the last person to get noticed.

But whenever you're gone, people seem to notice right away!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hot Young Adult Novel

SF author Corey Doctorow's newest Young Adult book is getting lots of buzz these days (even among adult readers). If you want to check it out, it is available free for download here -

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Time Off!

Two more evening/weekend shifts and the semester is over! I will have a whole month off and then we switch to summer hours so I will actually get home before 11:00 pm at night. I am a very happy camper-to-be.

Now, my plan my month off includes the following tasks. I will be making graduation gifts out of duct tape (I found instructions for a whole set of luggage), going to my nephew's graduation, reading and then...wait for it...actually posting witty, entertaining blog posts about the books I am reading. Really! I will!

Or I might nap. It's kind of hard to tell these days.