DS's 11 in 2011 Challenge

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DS's 11 in 2011 Challenge

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Editado: Dic 27, 2011, 5:20pm

Here are my proposed categories-

1-Elizabethan London/Shakespeare/history - 5 done - 6 to go
2-Cooking/Food (changed from Classics) done - 16 read
3-Science/Economics/current events - done - 10 read
4- Autobiography/biography done - 16 read
5-Sci-Fi/Fantasy/alternate history - done - 12 read
6-Read the book/see the movie/watch the TV show - 8 read
7- mixed bag - anything I bloody want to read 11 read
8- Language/writing - done
9- mystery - done - 19 read
10-Romance done - 14 read
11-books written in another language - 1 chapter done - too many left to count!

I am not trying for 11 books in each category, just going to attempt to keep them balanced, well except for the last one, which if I get one read I will be happy.

I did just order 2 Harry Potter books in Turkish from Amazon. Interestingly enough I ordered one through Amazon UK from a US seller for about $50.00 less then I would have paid for it through the US Amazon. I am hoping that Harry Potter will be easier then The Secret since it is YA. Maybe I will ask my hubby to get me them in Hindi too for x-mass.

Editado: Nov 6, 2011, 4:27pm

1-Elizabethan London/Shakespeare/history
1-Moda a Firenze 1540-1580: Lo stile di Eleonora di Toledo e la sua influenza
2- Travel and Trade in the Middle Ages
3- The Code Book by Simon singn
4 - Reading the Past - Cuneiform by CBF Walker
5- Egyptian Language: Language Lessons in Egyptian Hieroglyphics by Sir E A Wallis Budge

Editado: Dic 12, 2011, 6:26pm

3-Science/Economics/current events - done!

1- The Visual Handbook of Building & Remodeling by Charlie Wing
2- The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios
3- Embrace Your Insignificance by Bob Gaulke
4- The Secret Life of Pronouns by James W. Pennebaker
5-A Fourtune-Teller Told Me by Tizian Terzani
6- Tales from The Expat Harem
7- Ganbatte Means Go for It! by Celeste Heiter
8- On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis
9 - Ketogenic Diets
10 - I'll Never Be French by Mark Greenside
11- The Worlds Most Famous Math Problem by Marilyn vos Savant

Editado: Mayo 22, 2011, 8:21am

7- mixed bag - anything I bloody want to read

1- Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry by Helen Harle
2- Hedonist's Guide to Istanbul
3- Istanbul and Travels in Turkey (Silk Road Travel Series) by Brian Lawrenson
4- Turkish Reflections by Mary Lee Settle
5- Kodak Guide to Shooting Great Travel Pictures by Jeff Wignall
6- Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Paris
7- Would You Rather – What’s Your Price
8- Lyin's Gate by Catherine Coulter
9- Parisian Architecture of the Belle Epoque by Roy Johnston
10- Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane
11- The Riches of Paris by Maribeth Clemente

Editado: Oct 30, 2011, 1:26pm

8- Language/writing

1- Beginning Turkish by Andras J E Bodrogligeti
2- Making Out in Turkish by Ashley Carman
3- Your First 100 Words In Hindi
4- Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meaning by Sol Steinmetz
5- Introducing Chomsky by John Maher and Judy Groves
6- Hot For Words by Marina Orlova
7- Turkish by David Pollard and Asuman Celen Pollard
8- Build Your Power Vocabulary by Random House
9 -100 Words Almost Eveyone Confuses & Misuses
10 - The Rise and Fall of Langages byRMW Dixon

Editado: Sep 17, 2011, 11:51am

11-Not in English
Chapter 1 - Harry Potter ve Felsefe Taşı - finished! 09/17/11

Oct 31, 2010, 10:21pm

Good set of categories - and your mixed bag category is a good idea!

Nov 5, 2010, 12:25pm

LOL - "anything I bloody want to read". Amen.

Nov 28, 2010, 5:16pm

Starred you! Looking forward to your choices, as always. And major props for reading Harry Potter in Turkish! I bow down to you, Di.

Nov 28, 2010, 8:44pm

I am hoping that I get the set of Harry Potter in Hindi for x-mass too.

Because it is written for a younger audience you really don't think about how complex(?) the writing really is until you try reading it in another language! I must say that by the time I am done with reading Harry Potter in Turkish I will have a varied vocabulary.

But it is interesting that there are a few words that are very similar in Hindi and Turkish. It must be left over from the Persian influences. Dost means friend in both, the word for table is similar too (masa - Turkish and Mej/mez – Hindi.) I guess it was harder then they thought to get rid of all those Persian words

It is also interesting to learn how they treat relationships. There is no gender in Turkish so there is one word for niece and nephew, but uncle isn’t the same as aunt. Harry’s Uncle Vernon is Harry’s aunt’s husband (enişte), but the same word is used also used for your sister’s husband. But there are two words for uncles who are blood relations - amca would be his paternal uncle, where dayı would be his maternal uncle. So Aunt Petunia is teyze(his mother’s sister) and not hala (his father’s sister.)

Of course I should be learning something more practical like Spanish. . . or French since I have my eye on that old French hotel. . . :-)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 13, 2010, 11:46am

When I read Harry Potter in German I learned all kinds of words that I had no other reason to learn -- like the word for "owl". I remember reading pages and pages before realizing what that word was supposed to mean. When am I ever likely to use *that* word in my daily life? ;)

I did have a fun time with the translations of Rowling's wordplay, though. Something was always lost, but it was fascinating which parts the translators would pick up on. I hope the Hindi and Turkish versions are similar! I hope you post your thoughts if you do read them.

Dic 13, 2010, 5:48pm

I can think of a lot of other words that I would be less likly to use then owl (baykuş) - rhinocerous, cauldron, spellbook, witchcraft, wizardry, wand. . . :-)

It is very challenging & fun! And I wish that I had hours everyday for it. Oh, well.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 13, 2010, 8:22pm

My second language is Spanish. I've run across the word for owl and for witch and wizard. Oddly, witch and wizard are the ones I could easily tell you. Bruja y hechicero (or hechicera depending on gender). You never know what words you'll need.

Good set of categories! I starred you too.

Ene 23, 2011, 2:44pm

Expat edited by Christina Henry de Tessan

While this is technically not my first book of the year this is the first one that I have handy and have time to write about.

Expat is a series of essays written by US women who have lived in other countries and some of their experiences there. It was very interesting. I thought that the observation of the young mother who moved to Mexico with her husband and daughter that although the people were very warm and welcoming, the relationships were quite shallow since everything was centered around family and as such they were always outsiders.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Ene 23, 2011, 3:29pm

The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat and The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More than 150 recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages by Loren Cordain

I can't beleive that I don't have a food category!!

In December I read Robb Wolf’s book The Paleo Solution on the hubby’s kindle before I gave it to him for X-mass :-) and really enjoyed it even though it was very heavy on the technical stuff. I even went and got the paperback copy and my daughter is going to read it (she just graduated with a BA in nutrition & has heard a lot about it.) These books are the perfect companions to Wolf’s book as Cordain simply spells out things in everyday language.

As a bonus I finally got my hubby to ‘buy into’ eating low carb and he is down to his lowest weight in over a decade after less then a month. I told him try it for 30 days and see how he feels. He reports that he is not feeling hungry and has fewer internal issues. However his blood has gotten thicker (he has his blood checked quite regularly because he is on blood thinners.) He has been trying to lose weight for the last year and about 1/5th of the 50lbs or so that he has lost has been since 01/02/11. And did I mention that he is not hungry? Hopefully he will make the 325 goal so we can go to the Bahamas. Then I hope that he can make it down to 275 that is his ideal weight.

This is a perfect diet for the hubby; no calorie counting you can eat as much as you want as long as you stay away from certain foods. And once you get down to your ideal weight you can eat the ‘forbidden’ foods once in a while without guilt as long as you don’t go crazy.

I plan to start it as soon as I am off of the ‘cough drop diet’ :-)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Ene 23, 2011, 6:57pm

You have intrigued me with your short review about Expat by Christina Henry de Tessan. What period in time do these stories cover? The only reason I ask is I am an 'expat child' that grew up in southeast asia during the 70's and early 80's. Overall, I found my childhood years to be an amazing experience that is difficult to convey to people I encounter that have never lived outside of North America or Europe, and that cannot even fathom life back then without TV, having a jungle on your doorstep and learning at a very young age that you are the outsider in their society.

Ene 23, 2011, 9:17pm

I loooove food books, though I've much reduced my reading of them in this year's planning. I'm also big on diets that let you eat whatever you want within reasonable limits -- those are the only kind that really work, at least for the way I'm wired.

Yep, you're right, actually can't fathom it, lkernagh. Perhaps a memoir in your future?

Ene 23, 2011, 9:23pm

>22 lkernagh: Most don't give dates but some are from the 70's, I think at least 1 was in the 60's. Only one was by someone who was an expat as a child, when she was 11 her family moved from Brooklyn to Australia in the 70's. I guess that if I was more ‘up’ on current events in the last 20 years I would be able to say when most of them were.

We have a niece living in Japan and it will be interesting to hear her reactions to living there (did I mention that my husband comes from a family of very tall people??) There is no way she could blend in there being very blonde and tall.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Ene 23, 2011, 11:47pm

Ha ha ha. No memoir in my near future - I am a terrible writer! - but good to know that the book captures the broad range of experiences. I will see if I can track down a copy. Who knows, it could be an interesting, all be it unintentional trip down memory lane!

Ene 25, 2011, 5:30pm

I don't know you should check out Write the Story of Your Life by Ruth Kanin if nothing else to share with younger family members. It is the story that is important not the writing.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Ene 25, 2011, 7:57pm

Beginning Turkish by Andras J E Bodrogligeti

Ok this isn’t technically a book but still I am counting it. I got an Amazon gift card for X-mass so I decided to get something that I have wanted but was too cheap to spend that much money on. I read good things about it and had high hopes.

It is ok. Admittedly I had issues getting this program on my computer (it is for an older operating system) and I had to get my IT guy from work to get it going. Maybe there is a file that I didn’t get to see that explains how this all works. I wish it was more user friendly. For example the only instructions that I found are extremely sparse.

Each lesson has a video, but most of the dialogue for the lesson is not on the video. There is no list of vocabulary, which I would have found helpful especially since I am a visual person and the only translations of the words are done verbally. There are some supplemental lists after the 10th lesson, but only one or two have the sound with the words.
The first lesson has 58 flash cards. The flash cards section is basically the main part of the lesson the rest of the sections are basically tests. There are seven ‘buttons’ that give you choices of actions that you can do –play word, discard, next word, show example, sentence, sentence translation, and translation. It lets you know how many words that you have discarded and how many remain, each lesson adds more words.

The great thing is that when you are in the lessons all you have to do is click on a word with the mouse and you can hear a native speaker pronounce it as many times as you want.

The grammar parts are not written in simple language, for example -
5.1. Of the verb imek ermek - 'to be', only the forms idi definite pastise conditional, imiş indefinite past, iken participle survived. The full paradigm of the verb 'to be' in Turkish, therefore, constitutes a suppletive system; i.e., missing members in the paradigm are substituted by elements from other segments of the grammar.

I have an extensive vocabulary, so I know what paradigm means, but I know quite a few people who would have no idea.

In the beginning it explains that Turkish words are like building with Legos, but then instead of explaining say that the verb to work is çalışmak and so she/he/it worked is çalıştı etc it treats it as a different word.

I also (me who knows very little Turkish so far) found some errors. Minor ones I am sure, the list of days Thursday is listed as Tuesday (but that’s easy to spot because they are in day order and there are 2 Tuesdays listed). Güle güle is translated as smiling smiling – which may be true, but güle güle means good bye in everyday speech and I am pretty sure that is what the meaning is in the dialog..

One of the things that I learned in my ESL class was that you want to keep new words to about 5 or so. There are about (well 58 in the first lesson) 40 or so new words in each lesson, that’s a lot of words. I think that I would have preferred to have a greater number of shorter lessons, and I know that I would have preferred to have the grammar explained in simpler terms.

If I had a native speaker and a computer programmer at my beck and call I can tell you that I would be creating the perfect program! I guess this is another reason to reacquaint myself with programming languages, in my copious spare time!

Of course keep in mind that this first came out in 1999 so this is pretty good for its time.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Ene 30, 2011, 9:36pm

The Book of Story Beginnings by Kristin Kladstrup

Format: hardcover
Subject: fairy tales and stories
Setting: Iowa and someplace else
Characters: Lucy & Oscar martin
Genre: young adult?
Source: thrift store

I went to the thrift store looking for furniture – honestly! And we found 3 books and a nice entertainment center for my daughter for $15.

I think that my nephew, Kael will like this book (I did really buy it to send to him). It is the story of Lucy who moves to Iowa with her family after her father loses his job and inherits the family house from his Aunt.

But there is a mystery because the Aunt had an older brother, Oscar, who disappeared when he was 14. Lucy’s great Aunt always insisted that he rowed away in a row boat on an ocean that appeared around there house one night, but no one believed her, not even after a row boat appeared mysteriously a couple of months later. But who can blame them really? On ocean in Iowa?

Lucy and her father believe the story and Lucy decides to see if she can find out what really happened. There are some twists and turns and on the whole it was a fast paced book. Lucy learns about relationships and that you better be careful about what you say and how you say it.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 1, 2011, 6:40pm

Montignac Provencal Cookbook by Michel Montignac

Format: hardcover
Subject: cooking & diet
Setting: your kitchen
Genre: cookbook
Source: thrift store

The hubby found this while we were at the thrift store looking for furniture. I thought, oh a cookbook on the cooking of Provence. I was partly right.

Apparently the author has several books (like The French Diet: Why French Women Don’t Get Fat )out on losing weight by following certain guidelines like never mixing carbohydrates and lipids in the same meal. Butter is out, goose fat is in. Cooking at high temperatures is out and low temperatures are in. Some of the recipes call for soya cream as a replacement for crème fraiche, as far as I can tell soya cream is a soy based crème replacement, I think that I will skip using it. My daughter says that you should avoid too much soy (or maybe avoid it all together. . . .)

So since we are on the Paleo Diet there are some recipes that we would have to modify a lot use dairy products (and I should probably stay away from dairy as much as possible since it makes my nose run, and then makes me cough. :-() But some sound really good like Scrambled Eggs with Sorrel which not only uses crème fraiche but also double cream. There are also recipes that use fructose which is something else I think that I will skip. I haven’t seen a recipe for truffles that uses egg yolks before and I found that weird. One recipe name I found rather amusing – English Leg of Lamb – French Style. Duck Breasts with Orange looked good to, well except for the fact that the recipe actually states that you should discard the fat from 3 of the duck breasts. WHAT discard duck fat?? Not reserve for use in another recipe?? Is the author really French?? :-)

There are some nice pictures with some of the recipes but not every recipe has a picture, in fact it looks like there is one picture for about every 5 recipes.

The last section of the book is menus for 3 months of weight reduction. Interestingly enough, there are no breakfasts listed just lunch and dinner. So if you can eat the foods in at least most of the recipes (unlike us) you could very easily try out the diet using the menus.

It was well worth the $2.80 we paid for it.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 8, 2011, 7:59pm

Making Out in Turkish by Ashley Carman

Format: paperback
Subject: languages
Source: Amazon

This is a very handy book. And it is both a book on making out – as in getting out, doing things and talking in Turkish and various other things that you would like to say in Turkish while you are there and how to say it in Turkish if you would like to make out.

It starts out with an introduction about Turkey and it’s history & culture. Did you know that the adopted daughter of the founder of Turkey was the worlds first female combat pilot?? It also has a very clear (although short) section explaining all about vowel harmony, agglutination.

After that it is divided into 15 different sections from how to meet and greet, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, fighting and cursing, getting serious, what to say in a lovers quarrel, and ends with a section on expressions and proverbs.

All in all it is a very short 127 pages, but packed full of a lot of good sentences, even if you know you don’t need to learn how to say ‘I don’t want to get pregnant’ in Turkish there are a lot of other helpful phrases that you might not find in other phrase books. It is certainly a fun Turkish phrase book.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 8, 2011, 8:09pm

Your First 100 Words in Hindi

Format: paperback
Subject: languages
Source: Amazon

Another short language book, too bad it doesn’t come in a Turkish version. This book includes flash cards on cardstock paper at the end of the book that you can cut out and use to study.
It explains about the different letters (remember Hindi uses a non-Roman script) and has different activities for learning the words. About the only thing that I didn’t like about it is that it didn’t give the English equivalent along with the Hindi word, just a picture. The problem that I have with pictures is that I might see a swamp where another person might see a lake, or a river when it should be bridge. . . but you can refer to the flash cards to clarify what the picture is supposed to be. Like the picture for cupboard I would have said cabinet, no big deal really. But how to you tell that the person is waving good=bye and not hello??

Other than that I liked it.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 9, 2011, 5:54pm

Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry by Helen Harle

Another very short book, I must be in a rut! It is a very fun book on using paper punches to make jewelry out of aluminum cans.

Must remember to read the part that says how many pages the book has when ordering. I was very surprised when this book arrived since it is only 54 pages long. There are 20 projects from simple bracelets to more complicated broaches. It will get you started on up-cycling cans into fun jewelry, or as my co-worker pointed out making fishing lures. You won’t be looking at pop cans in quite the same way after reading this book.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 9, 2011, 8:41pm

32> Oh my! Did it come with a book of hand exercises! You could probably catch magpies with those too. Oooh shiny! (I used to make jewelry, and the wire work will kill your hands if you aren't careful!)

Feb 10, 2011, 7:31pm

33> Not too much wire work, mosty uses thread or head pins. There is a apple blossom brooch that uses wire though. I stuck a punch in my bag tonight to take to work and try out on a couple of cans there. . :-)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 10, 2011, 10:30pm

34> LOL! They won't know what hit the recycle bin.

Feb 12, 2011, 5:17pm

You know if you are looking for cheap seqines some pop cans and a hole punch would totally do the trick! I have already started to design Pepsi sequines inspired purses in my head . . . not that I use them, but they could make good gifts. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 12, 2011, 10:24pm

Yes! Lots of possibilities for pop can purses! You could crochet the panels together too!

Feb 13, 2011, 9:16pm

The Visual Handbook of Building & Remodeling by Charlie Wing

Format: soft cover
Subject: home improvement
Setting: your kitchen
Genre: DIY
Source: shared B-day gift

Wow! We got this book from our niece and her significant other as a combined b-day gift. I took time out of trying to translate the lyrics of Tarkan’s latest album into English (not happy with the ones on-line, which are probably technically correct, but seem to miss the ‘soul’ of the songs. . . unless of course the lyrics meanings are crap and it’s all about the rhythm & sound . . . which really I don’t believe. . . hot can only get you so far . . .)

So, yeah, this book is wow. There is a diagram for about everything that you could ever think of needing or using in or outside of your home, and probably quite a few you haven’t thought of yet. Thinking about putting in a circular driveway? Yep, there is a section with diagrams for that. Wonder how they vent the sinks in a kitchen island? How about how a split-switched receptacle is wired? Is wondering what the different kinds of light bulbs are shaped like keeping you up at night? Or wood trims?

It starts out with talking about human dimensions, there are also sections called “meet the code”, which tells you about the codes for the 2006 International residential code for one and two family dwellings. So if you are looking for a good reference on home building & remodeling this book is probably the one that you want to get.

And once again I have proved that I am a dork . . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 14, 2011, 7:18pm

Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meaning by Sol Steinmetz

Format: hardcover
Subject: semantics
Setting: The English language
Characters: Shakespeare, Chaucer, Longfellow and lots of others
Genre: linguistics, fun facts
Source: Amazon wish list

First let me explain how I shop for books on-line. I have an enormous wish list that I periodically add too. If a book looks good, I add it to my wish list (hoping, quite without any luck, that some well meaning, friend, relative or stranger will buy me a book from my list and send it to me as a present :-0 ). Ok, not really since they would have to ask me how to find the darn thing, but it sounds good. So I have this 48 page wish list on Amazon that I look at when I feel I have some extra money and need a new book fix. I go down the list and look at the books with the lowest prices and look to see who is selling it, and if I feel like buying it I do. I rarely look at the description again, mainly using the title or author to give me a clue as to what the book is about. So when I ordered this book I was thinking that it talked about semantics in general, in an amusing and not dry textbooky kind of way. Oops.

Well, it is an interesting book, even if it is another book in my growing list of books that look at a list of words and explain how they have changed over the years. It is written well, but I really can’t think of anything that sets it apart from the others, no real ‘oh my! How shocking! I can’t believe that the word X started out life as. . . .’

Ah, well at least it was a quick and painless read.

(bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 15, 2011, 12:00am

#39> Bummer. It could've been really cool.

Feb 15, 2011, 8:25pm

Totally not about a book, but I was having a bad day today and then the Tarkan CD that I ordered arrived, the 2006 Come Closer (which as you can see is in English). If half at least half the songs on this CD don’t make you want to dance then you are either dead or deaf. So after listening to it even the totally annoying person who is too lazy to do their job didn’t bother me anymore. How many CD’s can you say that about? (And since I am not a member of PETA the fur trim on the coat that they used for the cover shot does not offend me, although I appreciate their position . . . )

Ok back to studying Turkish idioms . . . zahmete değer bir ödül (a prize worth struggling for)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 16, 2011, 12:28am

I'm almost relieved there isn't CDLibrarything and CDMooch! It sounds like an awesome CD!

Feb 16, 2011, 8:12pm

I like the 'almost'.

I know that iTunes has that 'Genius' thing, and when it first came out I had high hopes, but I am usually disappointed by it. I mean shouldn't it look at the artists that I have the most songs for and give me recommendations for stuff similar to those first? Instead the first recommendations are usually for songs I don’t even remember having, or artists that I only have 1 song for. For example I have the Cities 97 Sampler and it has a song by MoZella I can’t tell you how many recommendations are based on that ONE song. Or ONE album, like Big & Rich. Yes I like them, but consider that we have 4,000+ songs on iTunes and there are only 13 Big & Rich songs and yet Genius has 1 or 2 recommendations out of every 12 or so based on them, but none based on say Billie Holiday, George Michael, Janiva Magness, Ricky Martin, or Sting, all of which we have multiple albums of. In fact the only ones that I have more then 1 album of that they gave recommendations (so far) for was Jonny Lang and Billie McLaughlin. Sigh.

And Tarkan’s Come Closer album isn’t even an option on iTunes (not that I need it to be since I have the actual CD, but still ) makes you wonder how much other stuff is out there, and where do I find it??

I am totally addicted to my iPod! It is on pretty much 24/7 and work would be unbearable without it.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 17, 2011, 12:13pm

I'm still (don't tell anyone) on dial-up, so downloads take way too long, but I always love music recommendations. You're right about all those odd recs on one song. Best (and most dangerous) recommender I've found is Amazon, but it tends to say oh you like so-&-so. Well, here are twenty other albums they've done that you need to have. No!!! Tell me about someone new to me, please.

Feb 17, 2011, 12:39pm

I've found a lot of really good new (to me, anyway) music through Pandora. You put in bands or songs that you like, and it gives you other bands and songs that are like them in your own personalized radio station. It generally works fairly well, although if you mix too many genres on one station, the recommendations tend to not be as useful.

Feb 17, 2011, 1:08pm

45: My friends use Pandora a lot, and are always giving me new recommendations from it. I don't use it myself, as my tastes are totally random and eclectic and have the problem of just about everything showing up as a recommendation.

Feb 17, 2011, 4:08pm

>46 Mareofthesea:: I had that problem as well, until I deleted all my stations and started over with each station based on only one band. So none of my stations are like each other, but each one is (mostly) internally consistent.

Feb 17, 2011, 4:48pm

47: They don't allow listeners outside of the US anymore, so it's really a moot point for me. But yes, keeping genre's separate would help a lot on that site.

Feb 17, 2011, 7:23pm

Thanks for the tips on Pandora. I think that my daughter uses it. I will have to play with it more. So far the suggestions suck and then I am stuck listening to them . . . sigh. No Yusuf Guney, and then ads. . . .Really Tarkan+Hadise+Jonny Lang and I get JAPANEESE music? Did I mention that I am high maintenance?? The only song that it picked that I liked was one by Tarkan. I think that you should be able to skip more in the first couple hours or so so it gets a better idea of what you want/like.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 27, 2011, 9:36am

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton

Format: ARC
Setting: East Coast mostly
Genre: memoir
Source: Library Thing Early Reviewer group

So I do a lot of reading, a lot of reading, depending on what I am reading I can easily read a book or more a day. Hands down this is the most stunning book that I have read in a long time, if not ever. This book is about as close as you can be to being there without a halo deck from Star Trek. Contrary to what other people say this is not one of the best ‘chef memoirs’ around; it is one of the best memoirs around period. You are living, breathing, smelling, and hearing her life in every page. You are blown away from the very beginning by the images created in your head by the words you are reading.

Just - WOW

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 27, 2011, 9:37am

Oy, another added to the TBR pile. Thanks for the great review and for adding to the heap! Hope you're having a nice Sunday morning so far. :)

Feb 27, 2011, 11:42am

Introducing Chomsky by John Maher and Judy Groves

Format: paperback
Subject: Chomsky – language theory and other stuff
Genre: linguists/sort of biography
Source: used bookstore

Chomsky whether you hate him or love him there is no contest as to whether he is a major contributor to the field of linguistics. But, no one has ever said that he is a very ‘readable’ author, unlike David Crystal or Steven Pinker whose stuff is usually a joy to read. So I figured that this book would be a ‘fun’ introduction.

What made me think that? Well, it’s more like a graphic novel, Monty Pythonesque kind of book, and it is short (less then 200 pages). That being said, it is obviously not written as a YA book. Why do I say that? “The so-called humanistic objection is an exquisite example of anti-intellectualism. Once you begin to abstract from a system in order to study it, you are being accused of being a kind of anti-humanistic, philosophical vivisectionist. . .” Did I mention Chomsky isn’t’ a very readable kind of guy?

So the format of the book is basically an interview with Chomsky, with little asides trying to explain what he is saying. Because really the whole point here is to figure out what he is saying – right? With less then 200 pages it obviously doesn’t go into too much detail but basically covers each major idea/theory in a couple of pages or so. The second half of the book not about linguistics, because really Chomsky isn’t all about linguistics, he is also a very active and vocal social activist.

I would say that I definitely get the gist of Chomsky’s theories after reading this. Obviously until I read Chomsky (I know) I can’t say how accurate it is, but it was painless and fun.

(Bruce’s evil twin :-))

PS – I L-O-V-E Adele’s new CD. And I also got Keith Urban’s CD which came out this week and am enjoying that. Still Tarkan’s last CD - Adımı Kalbine Yaz is still currently my favorite.

Feb 27, 2011, 12:07pm

Fascinating! Chomsky actually came up in conversation for me a few days ago -- someone asking what he's famous for. If I see this book, I'll pick it up for him! It looks like an interesting concept for an overview.

Editado: Feb 27, 2011, 1:08pm

>51 LauraBrook: - It should go on the very top of the pile!

Thanks! I am having a very enjoyable moring on-line shopping for more books (really no surprize :-)). Though I found a used book on the UK site for less then 2 pounds from a US place but can't get it becuase I'm in the US. The copy on the US site is $165! So I sent them an e-mail seeing if something can be worked out. . . why don't they have their stuff listed on the US site??

I am also working on my Harry Potter Sılar Odası (Chamber of Secrets) vocabulary. Which would probably go faster if I listened to Classical music while doing it instead of stuff that I want to stop and sing along with - but I'm working on my pronunciation too right? If I ever need to say - as if an angel came from heaven (cennetten gelen bir melekti sanki) - in Turkish I am SO covered!

I had the brilliant idea of putting the suffixes on mini index cards yesterday. I have already gone through one pack of 200 cards (there are spelling variations -den vs -dan or -ten or -tan depending on the spelling of the word, cennet = heaven, cennetten = from heaven) and am not done. . . but I can feel the progress in my brain! I am such a visual person.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 27, 2011, 1:23pm

>53 pammab: (Besides pissing everyone off - at least that is the feeling that I get whenever I have read anything about him) isn't he known mostly for Generative & Universal Grammar? He must be a total hoot to talk to.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Can't decide is Rumor Has It or Set Fire To the Rain the best song on Adele's new CD (it's not ALL Tarkan)

" . . . But there's a side to you that I never knew, never knew,
All the things you'd say, they were never true, never true,
And the games you'd play, you would always win, always win,

But I set fire to the rain,
Watched it pour as I touched your face,
Well, it burned while I cried,
'Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name, . . ."

Feb 27, 2011, 4:23pm

Great review of Blood and Bones... another foodie book goes on my wishlist :)

Feb 27, 2011, 6:41pm

Must read the Chomsky book someday. I admire anyone who is famous for pissing everyone off. ;)

Editado: Feb 28, 2011, 12:33am

54: I'm fifth in line for Blood Bones Butter at the library, so it will be a few weeks. I'm always impressed that you are learning Turkish. Being a visual person myself I'd have to do flashcards as well - bonus being that I'd have to shop at an office supply store, and that's almost as bad as a book store!

I know absolutely nothing about Chomsky, so that may end up in my hands at the library the next time I'm there! On to music, I love Keith Urban and his new CD is great. Yours is officially the one billionth 5-star rating of Adele's new album so it looks like I'll have to get that as well. *sigh* I need to start earning more money and working less so I can keep up with all of the important stuff in life - books, music, movies, napping ...

Feb 28, 2011, 1:45am

58> Yeah, we used to have a used music place by our house and my husband threatened to have an intervention . . . but their landlord raised the rent so they moved. Adele’s new CD was on sale when I got it. I only get stuff from iTunes with gift cards, that seems to cut down on the buying, and if you get them at Sam’s Club you get a slight discount . . . not much but a penny saved :-). But I am sort of ‘old school’ and want the physical CD’s, so a lot of times I end up buying both MP3’s and CD’s.

Turkish, I know I should really have taken up Spanish (and I probably will eventually, I got the new Ricky Martin CD too, love it) but I am hooked on Turkish. I just keep thinking about all the books, and websites and music I will be able to read in another language that is totally different from English. And I totally have to ‘see’ the word in my head before I can start to remember it. So the music is really helping because I can read the lyrics while I am listening (besides being amazing-even though I am a visual person music is so important for me, about the only way I can describe it is that there is so much going on in my head that listening to music keeps part of my brain busy so I can focus). I know that even when I am not working on Turkish part of my brain is still thinking about it and working it out how it all works.

I also made a spreadsheet (because I am a spreadsheet kind of girl) that I can plug my vocabulary into and print out business sized flash cards. Barry Farber pointed out in one of his books on learning languages that we all have moments of time that we can use to learn a language, like when you have dialed the phone and are waiting for the person to answer, during commercials, on the elevator. . . . small flash cards are perfect for this. I can’t believe the amount of time that I spent this weekend on my Turkish vocab, but I know eventually I will get faster, better and won’t have to look up every word!

(Bruce's evil twin, no caffine today and still totally wide awake ugh! :-))

Feb 28, 2011, 2:05am

Hot for Words by Marina Orlova

Format: paperback
Subject: etymology
Setting: the English language
Characters: naughty school teacher
Genre: linguistics
Source: used book store

So I needed another book on word origins –not. But it was different and only $2.

So it’s like Playboy meets linguistics. The author was voted the ‘sexist geek of the year’ by Wired.com so if you are a guy or like scantily clad woman and want to learn about words and their origins this book is for you. If you have very delicate sensibilities you should skip it. Pictures of scantily clad authors aside, this is probably one of the better books dealing with words and their stories. I also understand that she explains them on youtube . . .

Currently sleepless in Minneapolis. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 28, 2011, 4:01pm

Ah, so I'm assuming they also talk about some indelicate words??? I've always wondered where dirty words come from.

Feb 28, 2011, 9:09pm

>61 cammykitty: Must be all those cold winters. . .

You will be interested to know that the F-word didn't show up in American dictionaries until 1965, and begining in 1873 it was illegal to print it in the US (1857 if you lived in Britain.) James Joyce won a landmark court case in 1933 that allowed him to print Ulysses in the US, before that the book was banned in both the US and the UK because he used the F-word in it.

If you expect most of the words in this book to be naughty you will be disapointed. But not to leave everyone wondering here is a list of the 'naughty' words & phrases -

Birds and the bees
wedding (:-) - hey it's in the 'sex ed' section)
stark naked
the F-word

Half Price Books in Blaine has a bunch of copies if you are on that side of town (of course the other locations might have it too) and for only $2 . . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Feb 28, 2011, 9:31pm

Okay.... I will ask the question: Just how did 'snafu' get in that list, not that I am saying any of the other words should be censored, but 'snafu'?????

edit to add: I know it is an acronym for something the censors may have had an issue with but I keep forgetting that its general use can have a more, shall we say, general understanding of things "not quite right". Still, wow.

Feb 28, 2011, 10:36pm

>63 lkernagh: You are correct snafu is an acronym for something . . . situation normal. . . the 'f' is the familiar stand-in for well, the F-word. . . which puts it in the 'you've been naughty' section of the book.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Feb 28, 2011, 10:43pm

Maybe I should have included gymnastics on the list. . . gymnos means nude.

Imagine the TV ratings if the Olympics (summer only of course) went back to being nude? Well, if we were going back to original rules it would only be the male atheletes that would be naked (at least that is what the book says.)

Though you know a lot can be said for they mystery that clothing adds. . . let's just put them all in kilts! Regulation only of course!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 1, 2011, 7:09pm

yay, we snagged A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family from the Feb Early reviewers batch!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 1, 2011, 8:06pm

Congrats on your ER snag!

Interesting about Ulysses. It *almost* makes me want to attempt to read it.

& SNAFU is a military acronym. Any acronym made up by a bunch of soldiers should be suspect. ;) even if it doesn't have an F and a U in it.

Mar 2, 2011, 11:01pm

Teach Yourself Turkish by David Pollard and Asuman Celen Pollard

So I seem to be in a reading rut, a total language rut. I guess it can be a good thing. I ordered a bunch of Turkish books from Amazon, and this one was the first to arrive. So far this is the best of the Turkish books that I have.

What do I like about it? First it very clearly explains how things work in Turkish, like for present tense it explains that you take the verb stem, say gel, then add –iyor (or the correct variant), and then add the relevant part of the word to be, so in this case you get geliyorum = I am coming. Want to make it negative? Add –m- (in this case because of the vowel in –iyor, otherwise you add –me-) to the vowel stem and geliyorum becomes gelmiyorum = I am not coming. Want to make it a question? Split the word into two parts, so the second word is the part of the verb to be and replace it with the question form so geliyorsunuz is split into geliyor sunuz and then sunuz is replaced with musunuz so it is geliyor musunuz – you are not coming?

Also it talks about stress, like the fact that you stress the syllable before the –me- in negative words. Knowing how each letter is pronounced is only part of the story, each language has its own rhythm so I find this helpful.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 5, 2011, 3:09pm

Street Food by Tom Kime

So I went to the book store to look for the Gail Carriger books because everyone seems to love them (see what LT does?? It sucks you in to buying more books . . . of course we already knew that!) Of course I wanted to find used copies . . . alas no luck. Well, I certainly couldn’t leave without getting something. . . I did hit sort of a jackpot, a novel in Turkish! Baba ve Piç. Yes! And it is supposed to be good, so something for after Harry Potter.

But I digress, so I then went to check out the cookbooks, as Bruce and I are cookbook collectors (over 300 cookbooks, not all have made it to LT) and are now eating Paleo (because wheat, potatoes etc are evil and I thought that I would try better living without chemistry) this makes cooking more interesting shall we say since we are so programmed for the ‘need’ for wheat etc? So vegetarian, pasta, or rice cookbooks are not to be looked at (ok I could look at vegetarian but, most of the recipes would be something we can’t eat.) And not to be on the soapbox but if you have any kind of health issues even if it is just being over weight, I suggest you look into reading The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf and try Paleo for 30 days. Or if Wolf’s book looks to technical check out The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat by Loren Cordain. One of the biggest changes that I have noticed is that even if I get very little sleep I no longer feel the need to consume copious amounts of caffeine in the morning, or any for that matter. And I am losing weight and am totally not hungry.

Sorry – back to the book!

I like the pictures, and the format – it is one page recipe with the facing page a picture (except for a couple of exceptions.) I also like the variety of recipes, since this is street food from around the world you get everything from ‘Shlada al Falfla Hamra al Khizzou’ (Carrot and Orange Salad with Paprika Dressing) to (and this is the one that really caught my eye, though there is noting special about the picture) ‘Chee Pow Kai’ (Paper-wrapped Chicken). Or how about ‘Carciofi Ripieni Alla Griglia’ (Grilled Artichokes with Garlic, Chilies and Pine Nuts)? And if I could eat potatoes (ok, I confess I haven’t given up the weekly product review at work – taters are my ‘crack’ and really the sour cream and chive, are ‘Simply’ to die for – sorry bad pun. . . ) I would so make ‘Cudduruni con patate, Salsiccie e Pomodori Secchi (Potato, Spiced Sausage and Sun-dried Tomato Pizza.)

Oh and I learned something new! Moily Haldi (Coconut and Turmeric Fish Soup) uses a paste made out of cashews to thicken it! That’s cool, that’s something that I can try in other dishes maybe that use flour. . .

(bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Mar 5, 2011, 8:06pm

8084157::Soulless by Gail Carriger

Format: paperback
Subject: Half Italian spinster and mysterious vampire & werewolf goings on
Setting: London
Characters: Alexia Tarabotti, Lord Maccon
Genre: alternate history/paranormal romance
Source: big box book store

I loved, loved, loved this book. Very witty and amusing Alexia Tarabotti is half Italian and does not have a soul. Her family decides early on that it is of no use even trying to find a husband for her so she has resigned herself to taking care of herself and relaxing the rules of society. Lord Maccon, is a werewolf and the alpha male in London, and despite being Scottish is an earl and a very eligible bachelor. He is totally out of her league, or maybe he isn’t up top hers. . . While trying to take a bit of repast in the library during a ball Alexia is attacked by a vampire, a vampire who is starving and doesn’t know what she is. And she accidentally kills him, leaving Lord Maccon to clean up the mess, it is after all his job. But who was the vampire and where did he come from?

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 6, 2011, 12:03am

70 -- Glad you liked Soulless! The rest of the series is fun too, but make sure you have Blameless readily accessible before reading Changeless with its massive cliffhanger.

Mar 6, 2011, 12:43am

I collect cookbooks too, but mostly vegetarian. We probably don't have much overlap. :) But, I haven't entered any of them on LT! I'd be entering forever, and I still have a couple bags of other books not on LT yet.

So, Soulless - it's on my shelves. Could I sneak it into the mystery section of my 11 11? Although that section is filling up, but so is my adult sf&f section.

Mar 6, 2011, 12:57am

Another cookbook collector here! I like cookbooks using dried ingredients (So beans/rice/powdered milk etc) so also tend towards the vegetarian, except for the fact that I can't stand soy/tofu. (I substitute meat... shhh don't tell anyone! :P). Street Food sounds like a great book. I see we are also both Fforde ffans! :)

Mar 6, 2011, 6:58am

Changeless by Gail Carriger

Format: paperback
Subject: Half Italian, soulless now married Alexia must figure out what is making supernaturasl mortal
Setting: London
Characters: Alexia Tarabotti, Lord Maccon
Genre: alternate history/paranormal romance/mystery
Source: big box book store

“ . . . Her husband had a decidedly fine backside, if she did say so herself. And she had said so, to her scandalized friend Miss Ivy Hisselpenny, on more than one occasion. It may be far too early to be awake, but it is never too early to admire something of that caliber. . . .”

Another enjoyable read. I love Alexia and her hubby! I love her practicalness, her forge ahead attitude. That said I must say that the plot was a bit thin and since it ended in a cliffhanger, I wonder if it could have been mostly done away with and added to the next book? Really was there much of a story? The Ivy & Tunstell’s sub-plot could either have been deepened or gotten rid of all together, again just details for the next book? Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but when I started writing the review I released how light it was on plot. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 6, 2011, 7:28am

>72 cammykitty:-73

My hubby would be missing body parts if I went vegetarian . . . though I am wondering if iron supplements would offset that. I suggested that we could try it when he told me the planned menus for the up coming Bahamas trip was fish and salads, two foods that I am quite happy to have on rare occasions but would probably make me very edgy (for lack of a better word) if that was all that I had for a week. He quickly conferred with his mother and I will be getting red meat at least a couple of times. I know that lentils are supposed to be high in iron but they never had the same affact as red meat.

I do like a lot of the vegetarian foods, rice, lentils, and I love falafel, but now that we have tried Paleo they are being gotten rid of. Being foodies we have quite the variety, and I am sad that they must go. Of course I will have them once in a while when we go out, and I will probably make falafel every once in a great while. If I make it myself I will know that there is no wheat or corn in it, I might not be sure on the affects of lentils but I know how wheat and corn makes me feel - foggy head, runny nose, achy joints and sticky eyes.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 6, 2011, 8:00am

A Passion for Protein by Henry Harris

Format: paperback
Subject: low carb cooking (Atkins)
Genre: cookbook
Source: big box used book store

Sadly I liked this book better at the store. Not because that it is bad, or that the recipes look unappetizing, no it’s because now that I have read it I realize that most of them contain things that I shouldn’t eat. Really one of those small Hershey milk chocolate nuggets makes my nose run, imagine what something made with a cup of cream will do.

Of course not all of the recipes include dairy, like the Soft-boiled Egg, Smoked Cod Roe and Avocado Salad with Horseradish Dressing. I would have thought that the horseradish dressing would have dairy, but it doesn’t.

Another salad that looks good –Avocado, Crab and Cucumber Salad- uses the avocado & lemon juice as a base for the dressing, which I like (my favorite salad that I discovered a few years ago uses avocado, lemon, tarragon and sadly blu cheese . . . happily for some reason in the warm & humid months I can tolerate dairy with almost no noticeable reaction) and adds soy sauce and scallions. Another recipe that I think that I would like to try is the Boiled Smoked Bacon with Celery. And just in time for St Patrick’s Day – Corned Beef, Smoked Sausages, Sauerkraut and Horseradish, this might have to entail a trip to Kramarczuk’s. I am sure that I will have a terrible time convincing my hubby to go there . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 6, 2011, 12:28pm

Blamelless by Gail Carriger

Format: paperback
Subject: Half Italian, soulless now pregnant Alexia must flee England for her life
Setting: London
Characters: Alexia Tarabotti, Lord Maccon
Genre: alternate history/paranormal romance/mystery
Source: big box book store

Another enjoyable book. But the next one doesn’t come out until July!!!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 6, 2011, 11:07pm

#75> Temple Grandin also tried to go vegetarian and theorized that her brain didn't work quite right when she didn't have meat. I believe her. And I've never successfully gone vegetarian either, but haven't really tried. I can go for a very long time though if I mix lentils with rice, or beans with rice and also have eggs. You'll find plenty of food travelling, but yes, take an iron supplement! I had a friend in college who had been vegetarian for a long time, and then suddenly at a restaurant she ordered liver and didn't know what had come over her. Liver! Ugh! Of all the meats to crave! Then she confessed she'd just been diagnosed as anemic the day before. Not saying vegetarian can't be done, but yes you're right. You have to watch your nutrition.

Mar 8, 2011, 5:59pm

A Hedonist’s Guide to Istanbul

According to Wikipedia - “Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. This is often used as a justification for evaluating actions in terms of how much pleasure and how little pain (i.e. suffering) they produce. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize this net pleasure (pleasure minus pain).”

So this is not a budget travel guide, this the guide that the girls from Sex in the City would use if they were planning a trip. The book says “Our aim is to give you the inside knowledge of the city, to make you feel like a well-heeled, sophisticated local and to take you to the most fashionable places in town to rub shoulders with the local glitterati.”

It is not exhaustive in it’s listings either, for example there are only 20 hotels listed, for a city the size of Istanbul that isn’t even the tip of the preverbial icebrug. But it does tell you that if you are traveling with body guards that the hotel Marmara Istanbul in Taksim has rooms ‘where there are specially dedicated side rooms for traveling armed muscle.” I love the style of writing, for example it says that the Büyük Londra Hotel is “a serious option for those with a restricted budget and/or a developed sense of humour . . .” One wonders what they would say about places that aren’t fashionable.

I would highly recommend that if you are planning a trip to one of the cities that they have a guide for to consider getting a copy.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 12, 2011, 12:02pm

Living In a Foreign Language by Michael Tucker

Format: paperback
Subject: buying a house in Italy
Setting: West Coast & Umbria Italy
Genre: memoir
Source: Amazon

I let our receptionist read this book first, since I get the majority of my books via Amazon and she gets to deal with them when they come in, I figure that it is a good idea to stay on her good side :-). She came back and said that this was the best book that she has read ever and it changed her life. She wants to go there, and buy a house. Wow, ok.

So I was expecting a bit more when I read this. Don’t get me wrong it is a good book, nice and entertaining. It is also one of the few that I have that is written by a man which is a nice change, but the best book that I have ever read? No.

One of the things that really stands out for me is in the beginning when he talks about this party for NBC that they accidentally showed up to early and how when they were leaving they ran into, you can’t really say a fan since she was pretty rude, well lets just say a family of tourists and the way that they treated them. I don’t understand why (or how) people can treat artists (be they actors, musicians or whatever) that way, like they ‘own’ them. It seems sad that the human condition is to repay a gift of talent with such a price. We all get angry when someone reacts rudely to this but imagine that anytime you left your house someone could be there taking pictures and commenting on everything, how would you feel?

Don’t get me wrong, this book is totally not about any of that, this part only took a few paragraphs or pages at most, then it is all about what I know I would love to be able to do- buy a house in another country and live there learning the language, not being a tourist, even when I was in high school and went to Europe I avoided the tourist sections when ever I could.

I need to find a travel buddy, darn it! Someone that I can go to far flung places with and not do too many touristy things! I want to go to book stores, and record shops, and foodie places! (not the hubby because then it would cost me twice as much . . . )

Of course since I am studying Turkish right now I want to go to Turkey, or really just Istanbul. I want to stay at the Kybele Hotel and visit the bazaars (ok this is touristy, but these are the kinds of places that I like to shop at – non-big box stores) and get a Turkish lamp (I know exactly where I want to put it!) Originally I was thinking to stay someplace other then Sultanahmet but I am thinking Istanbul is really a lot like Disney World, so much to see! So maybe focus on the Old City(Sultanahmet) at least on the first trip, and just go over to the Asian side say on a tour . . . maybe re-connect with my friend from high school. . .

sigh . . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 12, 2011, 12:08pm

Istanbul is a LOT like Disney World... You must go. It was a lot of fun when I went a while ago, and pretty cheap as travel goes. But I learned this: bring more cash dollars (or euros) than you think you'll need, and you'll be able to haggle everything down cheaper. We paid in cash American dollars for our hotel room for multiple days at a time and it saved us a good chunk of change; I hadn't expected it would make the difference it did. But yes, Istanbul was a great experience. I'm sure yours, whenever you get there, will be even better given that you'll actually be able to speak Turkish!

Mar 12, 2011, 1:29pm

The Physics of Superheros by James Kakalios

Format: paperback
Subject: phsyics
Setting: physics in comic books
Genre: science
Source: B&N

Normally I am guessing that this is not the kind of book that I would have heard of unless I read about it on another LT posting. But Professor Kakalios is a fellow MN geek and a regular at the sci-fi convention that we are involved in, so of course I had to get a copy when I heard about it even though: one-I’m not into comics, and two-I’m not really into physics (really I have to draw a line somewhere). I must get a copy of this book for my nephew!

The book starts out in the intro, with a history of comics which was very interesting. The rest of the book is divided into four sections – mechanics, energy-heat & light, modern physics and what have we learned?

You will learn all about such things as sonic booms, friction and kinetic energy all as they relate to the superhero Flash. Why is there a sonic boom when Flash runs, can he really run up a building, how much does he have to eat to do this? Of course it’s not all about Flash you will also look at other superheroes like Ant-man, Superman, Spiderman, Batman and others along with their enemies and various things that they have done. All the concepts are painlessly spelled out and clearly explained in a very entertaining manner.

If you are remotely interesting in learning the basics of physics or want to learn more about the history of comics and some of the most popular superheroes then you should really get this book and read it. Textbooks should be written more like this. Ok you are probably even less likely to witness Flash running up the side of a building then you are to watch two trains traveling towards one another one going at X speed and the other going at the speed of Y . . . . but Flash is way more interesting to talk about.

If you have kids this is a must get. Read it together and discus it then when they take physic’s in school they will be way ahead of everyone!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 12, 2011, 1:38pm

>82 bruce_krafft: I am jealous! I know, I get to go to the Bahamas and stay in a house on the beach on a regular basis but I want to go other places too. Now that the daughter is out of college and has a job I want to go places!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 13, 2011, 6:54pm

Tea and Bee’s Milk by Karen Gilden and Ray Gilden

Format: e-book
Subject: a year of living in Turkey
Setting: Gocek Turkey
Characters: Karen & Ray Gilden
Genre: memoir
Source: Amazon

A short and interesting book about a year living in Turkey. Ray & Karen had an opportunity to rent an apartment in Turkey for a year. They packed up, sold their house and moved to Turkey with 2 suitcases and a laptop.

It wasn’t a bad book, but it didn’t really go into any depth on anything. And what a bout pictures? Ray was always taking pictures but there weren’t any in the book (at least not in the e-book.) It only talks a little bit about adapting to a different culture where they didn’t know the language. It just doesn’t go into depth about anything.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 13, 2011, 7:30pm

Istanbul and Travels in Turkey (Silk Road Travel Series) by Brian Lawrenson

Format: e-book
Subject: a short trip in Turkey
Setting: Istanbul & Turkey
Genre: memoir
Source: Amazon

A short (very short) and interesting book about a trip in Turkey. It has some pictures and was informative but short. Really I need to figure out how to tell how long an e-book is by seeing the file size. . . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Mar 29, 2011, 5:09pm

Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer

Format: paperback
Subject: charity cases & not so well meaning relatives
Setting: London and the English countryside
Characters: Charity (or Cherry) Steane & Viscount Desford
Genre: romance
Source: Hope Town guest room

Charity Steane was abandoned by her father at a boarding school and when he didn’t pay the bills she is sent to live with an aunt because her grandfather refused as he disowned her father for marrying her mother. Her aunt instead of taking Charity under her wing and making good decided that she should be an unpaid servant. Finally one day after having enough she packed a bag and started on her way to London to find her grandfather and throw herself on to his mercy. Fortunately for her Viscount Desford sees her walking along the road and recuses her. He reluctantly agrees to escort her to her grandfather’s house in London where they discover that he has left town and no one knows where he has gone. Desford unwilling to release his responsibility for Charity decides that he will not rest until he has found her grandfather and secured her a place. But what to do with her while he does that? He takes her to his friend Hetta of course.
I must say that I was underwhelmed by this book. It was ok, but after what I have read & been told about Georgette Heyer I was expecting more. I had mentioned that I hadn’t read any of her books to my mother-in-law and she wondered how I managed to do that. So since there are several copies of different Georgette Heyer books here (yes, not only are there quite a few titles there seem to be more them one copy of them too) I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

(Bruce's lazy evil twin :-))

Mar 25, 2011, 1:47pm

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Format: paperback
Subject: cousins and fining a spouse
Setting: London
Characters: Sophia Stanton-Lacy and her Aunts household
Genre: romance
Source: Hope Town guest room
The Rivenhall household has no idea what is in store for them when their cousin Sophie comes to stay with them while her father is in Brazil. She is quite unlike any other girl or woman that they have ever met, very capable and used to dealing with things usually handled by men. I liked this one much better then Charity Girl.

(Beuce's evil Twin :-))

Mar 25, 2011, 1:48pm

The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer

Format: paperback
Subject: missing gatekeeper & mysterious goings on
Setting: English countryside
Characters: Captain John Staple, Nell Stornaway
Genre: romance/mystery
Source: Hope Town guest room

While this book wasn’t witty like The Grand Sophy it was very entertaining since instead of being wholly a romance it is also a very good mystery. Captain John Staple is on his way to visit a friend and due to various circumstances finds himself out in the rain at a toll-gate manned by a very young and frightened boy. He decides to stay until the boy’s father returns, except that the father doesn’t return and John has met Nell Stornaway and decides to get to know her better. Add to that two men who would normally not stay in such a small town (Nell’s cousin & a friend), a highwayman and a couple of mysterious strangers and you have quite an interesting story.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 29, 2011, 5:10pm

Cotillon by Georgette Heyer
The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer

Two delightful books by Georgette Heyer

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mar 31, 2011, 5:02pm

Turkish Reflections by Mary lee Settle

I really enjoyed this book. I like the author’s style and though I found some parts sort of vague, like why she was going where she was going and one part I got mixed up and thought that one section was the present when it was really something from when she lived in Turkey 17 years before. Of course this could be because I am tired as I brought back some kind of plague from vacation so not only am I swamped with work I am also feeling under the weather.

Here is her description of the Hagia Sophia (a cathedral that was built in 527.)

“The building covers more then four acres. It is wider than a football field is long, and yet there is not the overpowering sense of diminishment and human frailty that I find in the great dark spaces of the Gothic cathedrals. It is like walking into a field that contains the last sunset, under a dome that is a reflection of the sky, in the golden light of an early evening after a sunny day; a dome that rises to the height of a fifteen-story building and yet seems to shelter and not to intimidate. . . .”

It is a nice introduction to the history of Turkey . And really when you think of Turkey I think that most people think of Istanbul and the Aegen coast, not the interior and she spends a good amount of time in the interior. She gives an interesting history of the Armenian conflict (which I know almost nothing about so I don’t know how acurate it is.)

Of course the book is 20 years old now so you have to wonder how much or how little Turkey has changed since then. . .


(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Abr 1, 2011, 7:40pm

Doctor Who in 22 days!

" . . . as long as there's been something in the corner of your eye, a creaking in your house or voices through a wall . . ."

"Trust me, I'm the Doctor."
(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 2, 2011, 11:41am

I see you have been enjoying a Heyer reading marathon of sorts. It has been a number of years since I read Heyer's Regency novels.... I might need to revisit them someday soon!

Abr 2, 2011, 9:50pm

Yes, the Heyer books were quick reads in-between learning some Turkish (though I forgot my flash drive & flash cards so I didn't get very far in Harry Potter :-(). And of course there was grocery shopping and walking on the beach. It is a house that almost any bibliophile would be happy to stay at. I read another book about a ballet school, I don’t remember the author. I will have to get my netbook out sometime and get the information for it.

I managed to get about 900 pictures (don't you just love digital cameras??) about a handful of which are pretty good, as in I might actually get them printed out and framed. We forgot the tri-pod so the full moon pictures aren’t spectacular. And the hubby really needs to learn about composition. Really he is very focused on the specifics, so we may have some nice pictures of the light and the very top of the lighthouse, they are kind of odd to look at without having the whole lighthouse or maybe even the whole lighthouse and some of the harbor, and he always puts it in the middle. . .

I have added a bunch of photography books to my wish list. My daughter & I are starting to plan a trip to Paris & Istanbul so I figure I better learn how to take better pictures and get lots of practice before the trip since photo’s are the cheapest and ‘smallest’ souvenirs we can get! I have a digital picture frame on my desk and it is great!

If anyone has a favorite photography book let me know!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 3, 2011, 9:02am

Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House by Valerie Plame Wilson

Format: Hardcover
Subject: the CIA, the Bush Admin and the war on Iraq
Setting: Washington DC
Genre: spy-bio
Source: used bookstore

I enjoyed this book, though of course most of it was about her life after her identity was ‘leaked’ and not about actual work for the CIA and as a spy. It really made clear on how we must be vigilant on how we perceive the news, and what we are told to remember that everyone has their own agenda. This is one reason that I like to read the Economist and on-line newspapers from other countries, to get un un-American view point. And see what the different ‘spin’ might be.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Abr 14, 2011, 9:42pm

I did it.

After dragging my feet I started a blog. Because obviously I don’t already have enough to do.

So now I will really have to but some thought into my book reviews. Which is good, because composing one’s thoughts and really thinking about what you have read makes you less of a casual reader and involves you in the book. Really doesn’t any book that we read no matter how ‘fluffy’ give us something to think about?

I went with blogspot, (no reason just ‘cause) but could they make it any more difficult to figure out what fonts are where??? Not happy with the way that it looks, font and font color wise but, I guess it works.

Of course this means that I have another e-mail address, since my old ones are Yahoo! And blogspot requires a Gmail address.

And of course this means actually cooking and sewing too!

Anyway the name of the blog is Truffles, Trifles and Tribbles.

I don’t know how long it takes to show up but I will need a week or more to get some decent content!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 3, 2011, 8:53pm

#90 The description of the cathedral is absolutely gorgeous!

Abr 3, 2011, 10:09pm

>96 cammykitty: I know! If I didn't want to go there before I sure would after reading her description! I have a lovely picture of it on my computer at work.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 4, 2011, 9:16pm

A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi

Format: paperback
Subject: unexpected romance/ memoir
Setting: mostly Venice
Characters: Marlena and Fernando ‘the stranger’
Genre: memoir
Source: Amazon

“My father’s wish was that I be quickly sistemato, situated, find a job, find a safe path, and stay dutifully on it. Early on I learned to want what he wanted. And with time I accumulated layers and layers of barely transparent bandaging over my eyes, over my dreams.’

“Wait’” I plead, flipping pages, trying to find cerotti, bandages. “What happened to your eyes? Why were there bandages?’” I want to know.

“Non letteralmente. Not literally,” he roars. He is impatient. I am a dolt who, living 12 hours with an Italian, cannot yet follow the drift of his galloping imagery.

Newly arrived in Venice on a trip with friends Marlena receives a phone call while they sit sipping wine. Who could it be? No one knows that they have arrived yet or where they are. On the other end is the beautiful voice of an Italian man that she has never met asking her to meet him the next day. Less then a month later he arrives to visit her in America and ask her to marry him, and soon she is selling her house, quitting her job and moving to Venice where she makes a new life with this stranger that she loves.

She is a writer and a chef that has lived most of her dreams, he is a banker who forgot his. He saw her and fell in love and the world changed. It was as if he had been sleeping his whole like and woke up. No sparks, no fireworks just a connection, a feeling of always being married but not being able to find each other.

While she learns to live in Venice, and make his bachelor abode into a home he is also going through a transformation, now as he says “no more waiting”, no more going through life asleep. It is time to be awake and live.

I am sure that many people will cringe at the thought of packing up and leaving everything behind to go to a foreign country to live with and eventually marry a person that you have known for only a very short amount of time. I don’t want to give too much of the tale away, but this is a beautiful love story about two very different people that has been very well written and I can’t wait to read her next 3 books.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 10, 2011, 9:07am

Red on Red by Edward Conlon

Format: ARC
Subject: New York City Detectives
Setting: New York City
Characters: detectives Nick Meehan and Esposito
Source: generous Library Thinger

This is not normally something that I would read, dark and not my kind of escapism. But my hubby is from New York and his best friend, who was the best man at our wedding was a NYC cop so I was intrigued.

The writing is good; I was hooked from the first page, even though this isn’t the kind of genre that I usually read. The main character, Nick has transferred to the precinct where his father lives and he grew up, as part of an undercover job for internal affairs. His marriage is sliding away, his job is disappointing and his father is growing old. Esposito is always looking for an angle, cheating on his wife, talking the talk. Is he dirty? Who did he piss off? The unlikely pair become friends and we follow them as they track down murders, deal with suicides, and other things that come up.

Does life have a plot? If life has a plot, then so does this book. It’s not a who-done-it kind of story, just the story of two detectives going about their jobs, trying to figure stuff out in a neighborhood full of drug dealers, gangs and ordinary people. Not something that I normally read, but I read almost all of it in one sitting. I can tell you if that writing hadn’t been any good I certainly would have finished it let alone stayed up late to do so.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 10, 2011, 1:44pm

Does life have a plot? Good question. Is this a recent ARC? I remember seeing one that looked like it was a non-mystery about the crime solving life.

Abr 10, 2011, 2:48pm

C'est La Vie: An American Woman Begins a New Life in Paris and--Voila!--Becomes Almost French by Suzy Gershman

Format: paperback
Subject: an American moving to Paris
Setting: Paris, mostly
Characters: Suzy Gershamn
Genre: memoir
Source: Amazon

Suzy has always wanted to move to Paris, her husband not so much. But she figured that once she got him there, he would fall in line with what she wanted. Finally she convinced him that once he retires they should spend a year living in Paris as kind of a transition while they figured out what they really wanted to do. It was all going as planned until they found that her husband he had lung cancer and would not live long enough to move to Paris with her.

You will laugh, and sometimes you will cry as she moves to Paris and lives her dream alone.

The only thing that I didn’t like about the book is that Suzy is not your average American wife; no she is the widow of a well-known journalist and publicist whose clients included The Doors, Elton John, Neil Diamond just to name a few. And she wasn’t a stay at home mom, she is also a journalist and author of a series called Born To Shop. Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful book and story but I would really like a book by a ‘normal’ average person and not someone who already knows all the ‘movers & shakers’ in town.

Great book, like Eat, Pray, Love was a book that everyone loved.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 10, 2011, 4:26pm

I have C'est La Vie on my TBR pile. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

Abr 10, 2011, 8:13pm

French Fried by Harriet Welty Rochefort
Format: paperback

Subject: an American moving to Paris
Setting: Paris, mostly
Characters: Harriet Welty Rocheford
Genre: memoir/cooking
Source: Amazon

Harriet Welty Rochefort is an American who married a French man and has been living in France and raising her family there for over 20 years. In this book she tries to explain about the different relationships the two cultures have with food. Pumpkin as a dessert? Not in France. Traveling across the city for the perfect salad greens? Probably not in America. Lunch, dinner, snacks, the differences between the two cultures is vast. Lunch in France is a production, with courses, not just a sandwich. But whereas the typical American lunch ‘hour’ is more likely to be only a half an hour to an hour at most while the French have much longer lunches.

She tells funny stories about life in France and adjusting to the different cultures, learning a new language, raising her family, and dealing with her French husband. She includes some recipes and some mini interviews with her husband.

I think that this is a very good book that really illustrates how completely different out two cultures are and I think that it would be a very helpful read for someone planning on traveling to France, which is one of the reasons that I got it.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Abr 15, 2011, 4:02am

Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Format: ARC
Subject: learning how to cook family recipes
Setting: Singapore
Genre: memoir
Source: Library Thing Early Reviewers

This is a well written book about going home and learning how to make the food of her family. Along the way she learned more about her families past and how to deal with its present.

Thirty-something Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, born in the year of the tiger, decides to spend time visiting her family to have them teach her how to cook family favorites. When growing up in Singapore she was too busy to learn how to cook as most girls do at the sides of their mothers and aunts. Now an adult with a career living in New York City far from home, she feels its lack.

She wished she could take a year off, spend time with her family and learn how to cook the family favorites, but with the economy she didn’t feel that she could take time off from her job, after all jobs are hard to come by in the current economy. And then she was laid off. So began a year of spending time with her family and learning how to cook from them. Included are some of the recipes that she learned to make.

You can almost hear the different voices as you read along, telling the different stories of their lives as they taught her to cook. You can relate to her fear of facing these formidable women and worrying whether she could measure up.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 12, 2011, 8:46pm

Learning to Fly by Mary Lee Settle

Format: hardcover
Subject: a writer’s memoir
Setting: West Virginia, Canada, London, New York City and other locations
Genre: memoir
Source: Amazon

I enjoyed Turkish Reflections: A Biography of Place so I thought that I would check out some of her other books. Learning to Fly was not quite finished at the time of her death in 2005 at the age of 87 so one is left to wonder how she would have summed up her life at the end.

It starts when she is twenty and ends just after publication of her book The Love Eaters, so it does not go as far as her trip to Greece and ultimately Turkey, or her return to the US. It does cover what life was like during WWII and talks about a side of the war that is most often ignored – the lives of the women that served. It is a bit also vague on her relationships with her husbands, which after reading books like A Thousand Days in Venice and A Tiger In the Kitchen seems strange when you think about it. But maybe it is because the husbands were so long out of her life by the time she wrote about those times.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 12, 2011, 9:02pm

A Thousand Days In Tuscany by Marlena De Blasi

Format: paperback
Subject: living in Tuscany
Setting: village of San Casciano de Bagni
Characters: Marlena, Fernando (no longer referred to as ‘the stranger’) and Barlozzo
Genre: memoir
Source: Amazaon

I loved A Thousand Days in Venice but I was under whelmed by this one. Maybe I was in the wrong state of mind, I don’t know. And it didn’t cover 1000 days, only about a year.

It does have some recipes and talk about life in Tuscany and how difficult life was for most people of the older generations. In America we have the Depression and have heard stories of how that was, but for the most part the US was a very rich and abundant country compared to Italy.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 12, 2011, 9:08pm

It looks like I can di out my copy of Atlas Shrugged and read it for my Read the Book/see the Movie category and my hubby and I have a date to go see it on Friday.

I loved it when I was younger, I wonder if I will feel the same now that I am older. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 12, 2011, 10:01pm

Kodak Guide to Shooting Great Travel Pictures by Jeff Wignall

Format: paperback
Subject: travel photography
Source: Amazon

I know very little about taking pictures, using the camera and stuff like that, others might disagree with me, but that is what I feel. So I am trying to learn how to take better pictures. Because photos are great souvenirs that take up very little space and now with digital cameras are pretty cost effective too!

I like the format of this book; basically you get a page of writing about a specific kind of shot, say – stained glass windows – and another page with at least one example illustrating a technique. This makes it nice for a quick reference.

It is a good book to get you thinking about what to look for when taking pictures. For example there is a page on lines, one on the rule of thirds, and one on placing the horizon. Think about it, unless you have already taken art classes or done some research on taking better photos, where do you usually put the horizon? Do you know what the rule of thirds is? If you are like my hubby you put everything smack-dab in the middle of the picture.

I think that I might just pick one or two pages and work on taking pictures using those tips. Practice, practice, practice . . . and then review the photos when I get home and explain to myself what I like and don’t like about each, and refer back to the book to see how well I learned what it was telling me, and what I forgot to do!

Of course with the age of the book it talks a lot about film, something that is hard to come by in this day and age!

(Bruce's eviul twin :-))

Abr 16, 2011, 7:56pm

Went and saw the movie Atlas Shrugged (part I) yesterday. Wow, it has been a L-O-N-G time since I read the book. I forgot how pissed it makes you feel! The movie was good BTW.

So of course I had to go buy the book today (who knows where the old copy is. . . ) Another thing that I forgot - it's HUGE. The copy I got is over 1000 pages and very small print. I have been thinking for quite awhile that I should revisit some of these books that I read when I was younger, and see how I like them now. We shall see. It is interesting that according to the notes in the back of the book that every book that Ayn Rand published is still in print and "hundreds of thousands of copies are sold each year." How many authors can that be said about?

It will also be interesting to see what the reaction is to the movie. The majority of the people going to the showing that I saw (4:45 pm) were older people.

(Bruce's evile twin :-)

Abr 17, 2011, 1:39pm

Has anyone heard what the reasoning is behind the pricing for the e-book version of Atlas Shrugged? The mass market paperback price is $9.99 and the Kindle edition is $18.99!?!? It just seems strangely wrong.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 17, 2011, 5:35pm

LOL! That's a bit of a price difference. I'll warn you, in the snobs thread, there's one member that very amusingly rants whenever you mention Rand. Swing by if you want to bait a bull. ;) I remember loving Anthem, but it wasn't 1000 pages. I'm not brave enough for Atlas Shrugged.

Abr 17, 2011, 8:31pm

Try thinking of it as three books in one - Non-contradiction, Either-or and A is A. Just like Lord of the Rings.

I think that you either love Ayn Rand or loathe her, there doesn't seem to be any middle ground. I noticed that earlier this morning the book was #102 on Amazon and by 10 o'clock it was listed at #4.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 18, 2011, 2:11pm

I'm fascinated by the idea that Atlas Shrugged has been made into a movie! I read the book last year and actually enjoyed it, for the most part. I agree with some of Rand's ideas and disagree with others, but I don't hate her as much as most people seem to. She does seem to be a very polarizing author, though!

Abr 18, 2011, 5:40pm

>113 christina_reads: yes, a movie, you should go see it! Everyone should go see it! I read that it was in limited release, but it was playing at 6 theaters here in the Minneapolis-St Paul area. (Today the book is listed at #6 on Amazon.)

Did I mention that the guy who plays Francisco D'Anconia is very sexy? I wasn’t too sure about the actor playing Henry ‘Hank’ Rearden but he grew on me and it wasn’t long before I thought that he is a pretty good Hank.

I love Ayn Rand’s strong women characters. Now it's not such a big shocking idea to have a woman in charge of something outside of the home, but in the 40’s & 50's? I mean it's like Buffy the Vampire Slayer coming on after (or before) Leave it to Beaver. And in Atlas Shrugged the main character is in charge of a railroad! Ok, her weasely brother is the president but still she is the Vice President of Operations. Dagny kicks butt and the employee’s respect her.

Interesting to note that her first book We the Living also has a Kindle edition and it is listed at $7.99 which is $1 below paperback version . . . .

(Bruce's evil Twin :-))

Abr 18, 2011, 10:44pm

Polarizing is a good word for her. Wow, #4??? That's pretty impressive for a book that's been out forever.

Abr 23, 2011, 8:11pm

Reckless by Anne Stuart

Format: paperback
Subject: a spinsters curiosity
Setting: England
Characters: Charlotte Spenser and Lord Adrian Rohan
Genre: romance
Source: thrift store

Charlotte accompanies her widowed cousin to a three day long erotic party in the country. Charlotte is to observe the goings on. Instead she ends up spending two days alone with the man she has been fantasying about for the last 3 years and not as an observer.

OK, really you don’t read a romance for the plot right? I mean it is usually pretty much the same - boy meet girl, something happens that keeps them apart, something else brings them together and they live happily ever after.

I liked the characters of Charlotte and Adrian, each secure in their world view and then they meet each other. The plot could have been better at the ‘something else brings them together’ part, but still it was a very enjoyable read.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 23, 2011, 9:31pm



"River make her blue again!"

"What the hell is that?"

Abr 23, 2011, 9:48pm

"Careful. Tried that once. Ever so dull."

Love River Song.

Abr 24, 2011, 12:50am

One Night Of Scandal by Teresa Medeiros

Format: paperback
Subject: society and vicious gossip
Setting: London & Cornwall
Characters: Carlotta Anne Fairleigh and Hayden St Clair
Genre: romance
Source: thrift store

It was supposed to be Carlotta Anne Fairleigh’s debut, but instead she crawled out of her bedroom window, climbed down a tree and went to try to get a glimpse of the “Murderous Marques” who was rumored to be renting the house next door. He in turn mistook her for a woman of loose virtue.

It wasn’t long before Carlotta finds herself wed and on her way to her new life in Cornwall. A few surprises waited her there, a step-daughter, a ghost and always the question of whether her husband killed his first wife.

The characters were good. Carlotta is naïve and sheltered, and wants to be a writer. Hayden is haunted and moody and of no help as she adjusts to her new life and responsibilities. But she figures things out as she goes. The plots moves along nicely and the ‘something happens that keeps them apart’ ties in nicely with the plot, and doesn’t seem like something that was just stuck in to get the story moving.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 24, 2011, 1:22am

Winsor Pilates Low-Card Cookbook

Format: spiral hardcover
Subject: low-carb
Genre: cookbook
Source: thrift store

The first fifty or so pages of this book have basic information and a nutrient & carb counting list. After that the recipes are written on one page with a picture of the finished dish on the opposite page. One thing, when I am making low-carb I don’t think that it should have all-purpose flour or croutons, but maybe that’s just me. Really does noodle soup belong in a low-carb book? Or bulgur? Admittedly Tabbouleh can be made more low-carb but the recipe in this book doesn’t seem to be it. And what is ‘reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce’ doing in Tabbouleh??? How about the recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches? The picture for the Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions has potatoes as the side dish.

If you are looking for a good low-carb cookbook, you should really skip this book. There are a couple of recipes that maybe worth trying but for the most part they don’t look very low-carb or different from anything else that you would find in any other basic cookbook.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 24, 2011, 2:22am

Turkey: The Turkish Kitchen

Format: soft-cover
Subject: Turkish cooking
Genre: cookbook
Source: used bookstore

This is obviously an English book as the measurements are in grams and some food terms are different from American ones (aubergine vs. eggplant, etc). I like the fact that there is a picture for each recipe. I don’t like how the ingredients are listed, in paragraph form instead of a list, which makes it harder to read (at least for me.) I also like that most recipes have a bit of a comment on maybe the culture or the history of the dish.

I will obviously have to make sure that I no how to ask if a dish contains eggplant as it seems to be very popular in Turkey and I don’t want to go all the way there just to get sick!

Some of the recipes that look intriguing are: kazandıbı-pudding roll (though in my on-line dictionary it is spelled kazandibi), papaz yahnisi (stewed lamb in orange sauce), and muz likörü (banana liqueur.) I wish that there were recipes for pickles as every where I seem to read that pickles are very popular in Turkey.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 24, 2011, 1:33pm

A Suitable Vengeance by Elizabeth George

Format: paperback
Subject: murder, drugs, dysfunctional families
Setting: Cornwall and London
Characters: Simon Allcourt-St James, Thomas Lynley, Deb Cotter
Genre: mystery
Source: thrift store

So either I am terribly bad at picking mysteries lately or I am just not enjoying the genre anymore. The plot seemed good, the characters well thought out, but something was missing. I didn’t really seem drawn in enough to care about them; I kept getting distracted and wondering if I was at the end yet.

I don’t think that it was the stories fault; I think that it is the genre that I seem to be bored with. Romances are honest, you know its - boy meet girl, something happens that keeps them apart, something else brings them together and they live happily ever after. Mysteries are something was stolen, someone was murdered and we need to figure out who and why and sometimes they just try to be co clever. It seems everyone one but one character in this book has a convoluted family back-story. Maybe that is why I didn’t get interested in the characters enough there were too many wanting my attention.

But again, I have to say that it has been a long time since I have enjoyed a book in this genre. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 24, 2011, 4:25pm

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Format: paperback
Subject: man’s purpose in the world
Setting: New York, Colorado, anywhere USA?
Characters: Dagny Taggart, Francisco d’Anconia, Hank Rearden
Genre: mystery . . . philosophy
Source: Barnes & Noble

“Dagny, there’s nothing of any importance in life - except how well you do your work. Nothing. Only that. What ever else you are will come from that. It’s the only measure of human value. All the codes of ethics they’ll try to ram down your throat are just so much paper money put out by swindlers to fleece people of their virtues. The code of competence is the only system of morality that’s on a gold standard. . . . .” Francisco d’Anconia to Dagny Taggart

Any movie based on a book like Atlas Shrugged can only be a shadow, a glimpse of the book. What parts do you leave in? What parts do you leave out? What can you condense down? Francisco d’Anconia and Eddie Willers are mere outlines of what they are in the book. I think that the movie could have better if that hadn’t been the case.

Like Dagny I don’t understand people who do things because they are popular, or do less then their best. Like Rearden I believe if you make a commitment you should try to do everything in your power to keep it. You should take responsibly for your actions or in-action.

What can I say about Atlas Shrugged that hasn’t been already said in the last 50 or so years? It’s not light entertainment; it’s profoundly moving and disturbing (especially given the current political and economic situation.) Everyone should read it and decide for themselves.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 24, 2011, 5:26pm

Frommer’s Irreverent Guide to Paris

Format: paperback
Subject: Paris
Source: used book store

Want a guide book with personality? Want ‘the lowdown’? Check out one of the 10 Irreverent Guide books. I only wish that they had more cities (like Istanbul). I found it very amusing, and I like the way that it is arranged.

It starts each section with a bit of history and information and then gives a bit of information on same of the places. This is followed by an alphabetical listing and a map showing where they are.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 24, 2011, 6:24pm

Would You Rather – What’s Your Price

Format: paperback
Subject: what is you price?
Source: used book store

It was a buck, so I thought what the heck?

‘Would you drive a British car for immunity to speeding tickets?’ What kind of question is THAT?? I already drive a British car, and I would enjoy it a heck of a lot more if I had immunity to speeding tickets!

Or how about – ‘How much would you pay to speak 10 languages fluently? How about to speak three languages – the one you currently speak, Klingon and Tolkein’s Elven?’

Ok, there are also a lot of very disgusting and just why would anyone even think that up kind of questions. If I had to pay more then $1 for it I would say that it would have been money wasted. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 25, 2011, 11:26am

Wow! You've been busy! Had to laugh at the segue from "One Night of Scandal" to "Winsor Pilates Cookbook." That'll bring the suspense down. ;)

Abr 26, 2011, 6:18pm

Needless to say a lot of times I find house cleaning to be over rated :-)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 26, 2011, 7:01pm

The Sherbrooke Twin’s and Lyon’s Gate by Catherine Coulter

Format: paperback
Subject: taking core of family, compromise & forgiveness
Setting: English countryside with a bit of Baltimore & London
Characters: James & Jason Sherbrooke, Corrie Tybourne-Barrett, Hallie Carrick and their families
Genre: romance
Source: thrift store

I totally forgot that I had finished the romance category until after I was done with Lyon’s Gate but it sort of goes with Sherbrooke Twin’s, so in the mixed bag it goes instead of on the 75 book challenge . . .

The Sherbrooke Twin’s is mostly about James and Corrie, but since James and Jason are twins you don’t have one without the other, so you get a bit of Jason too. Corrie has been in love with James since she was 3 years old. Since her parents left her with quite the dowry her guardians have been downplaying her looks and allowing her to do things that a girl probably shouldn’t – like run around in breeches and follow the beautiful Sherbrooke twins around like a puppy. Her unusual upbringing comes in handy when they all go to London, where the twins find to their amazment- she has breasts! But someone is trying to hurt James’s & Jason’s father. Corrie watches someone abduct James, no time to get help so she jumps on the back of the carriage, in her white debutant ball gown no less and hangs on while they drive for hours out into the dark countryside. Once they reach their destination she attempts a daring rescue. Of course they find themselves out in the countryside no idea where they are, in the cold rain, with no means of transport but their feet. Did I mention no chaperone? You can guess what happens. . .

Lyon’s Gate takes place five years later. Jason has spent the last five years in Baltimore (can’t tell you why you have to read the 1st book . . . ) He decides that it is time to go back home. He wants to start a stud farm, and there is for sale, less then an hour’s ride from the family estate, the perfect farm called – Lyon’s Gate. The only problem is Hallie Carrick a young heiress also wants it. They try to out maneuver each other for the farm and end up each owning half. Of course Hallie, being the daughter of a man who is even prettier then James and Jason (or so she says) thinks that she is immune to Jason’s looks. And since neither of them ever want to get married nothing could happen right? The household is joined by a cook who swoons when she comes into close contact with Jason, and can’t boil water when he won’t be home for a meal, followed by a valet/butler who hates woman and a very young and brash ladies maid. Hallie and Jason learn how to compromise, that one person might have strengths that another lacks and that by working together they can achieve what they both want.

Both books were very amusing with a cast of recurring characters as this is part of a series. There is much talk about nutty buns and the Twyley Grange cinnamon bread that you almost wish that there were recipes included so you could nibble on them while reading.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 28, 2011, 8:41pm

I have to say something about the book that I am currently reading Around the World in 80 Dates by Jennifer Cox. It is totally laugh out loud funny. I am sure that I will stay up tomorrow night to finish it - but tonight is a 'school night' so off to bed I go!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 30, 2011, 9:01am

Snagged an ARC of The Devil in Disguise. That should be a fun, quick read.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 30, 2011, 9:31am

Around the World in 80 Dates by Jennifer Cox

Format: paperback
Subject: finding your Soul Mate
Setting: London, Seattle and the rest of the world
Characters: Jennifer Cox, date wranglers and 80 dates
Genre: memoir
Source: used book store

I was wandering in the used bookstore and discovered a travel memoir section. How delicious! This book caught my eye, it looked interesting. I mean dating people where you live is hard enough, but to travel the world and finding dates must be harder.

Jennifer wants to be in a relationship, he has a fulfilling career, money, a nice house but she wants to find someone to share her life with. So she decides to quit her job and for a year her job will be the job of finding herself a Soul Mate. She reviews her past relationships, figures out what she is looking for in a man and then enlists the help of ‘Date Wranglers’, friends, relatives, business associates who can help her set up a date with a man who fits into her requirements.

Its absurd and thought provoking. She puts all of her skills to work towards her goal, something perhaps we all should do more of?? The first part of the book is laugh out loud funny as she tells about some of the absurdness, the fun, the stress of it all. The second part is almost like a totally different book as she hits a turning point and needs to evaluate what she is doing, to think about how so much traveling and so many dates impact her life and is it all worth it?

Of course she does a bit more then just date, She also meets with people who are experts in their field to give her some insight on love and relationships.

I think that the book is good not only for people looking for love but also their friends as well. She gives insight on not only what is going through her head while looking but also thinks about the choices that her ‘Date Wranglers’ make when they pick a certain person for her date. Did they pick them because they matched her ‘job description’ or were they living vicariously through the date? Was this ‘the one that got away date”, the ‘check up on the ex date’, or maybe even the ‘I would so date him if I wasn’t in a relationship date?

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Abr 30, 2011, 10:00am

Parisian Architecture of the Belle Epoque by Roy Johnston

Format: hardcover
Subject: Belle Epoque architecture of Paris
Setting: Paris
Characters: Belle Epoque buildings, and their details
Genre: history
Source: used book store

I saw this book on my way to check out photography books. I thought that it would give me ideas of places to check out in Paris for good photos. It talks about the different architecture styles, the different things that influenced (or maybe constrained?) them like regulations or the plans & vision of Haussmann. Clearly, this is not a subject that catches my imagination, so it was more of an in one eye out the other kind of read. But I think that I will certainly revisit it once I get a clearer idea about where I would like to spend time in Paris.

The pictures are wonderful and should certainly inspire a trip to Paris and a closer look at some of the buildings that you can find there.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Abr 30, 2011, 2:53pm

I took a test to see what kind of Steam Punk style I am like . . .

Your result for The Steampunk Style Test...

The Ragamuffin

32% Elegant, 38% Technological, 23% Historical, 32% Adventurous and 69% Playful!

You are the Ragamuffin, the embodiment of steampunk playfulness. Chances are, you approach the genre from a much more casual and lighthearted standpoint than most other fans. To you, there is always an element of play inherent in the genre, and you may very well enjoy fashion as much for the opportunity to dress up as for the style itself. You probably wear goggles as an accessory, and rarely as actual eye-protection. Your outfits are likely to incorporate a lot of brown or cream, and combine large boots, Victorian corsets or vests, aviator caps or bowler hats, and gypsy skirts or slacks, simply because you like them all.

Try our other Steampunk test here.

Take The Steampunk Style Test at HelloQuizzy

Abr 30, 2011, 3:08pm

Love the Steampunk quiz! I came out as "The Officer"... now just how crazy is that!

Mayo 1, 2011, 11:43am

Above & Beyond Parsley The Junior League of Kansas City

Format: hardcover
Subject: food for the senses
Genre: cookbook
Source: thrift store

Wow this isn’t your usual charity group cookbook; this is a slick book with some beautiful photographs and amazing recipes.

There aren’t a lot of photos in this book but it is packed with tantalizing recipes – Rum Raisin French Toast, Fontina Grilled in Vine Leaves, Caesar Cream, Sesame Zucchini Bread, Orange Grand Marnier Butter, Sour Cream Sherry Dressing, Hazelnut Cognac Dressing, Dynasty Chicken, Peppered Chicken with Artichoke Hearts, Champagne Strawberry Sherbet, Fresh Ginger Sorbet . . . . It was a good thing that I ate before reading this one!

Conclusion – if you see one of these and like to eat good food – snatch it up right away!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 1, 2011, 12:30pm

New Food Fast by Donna Hay

Format: soft cover
Subject: recipes to cook fast
Genre: cookbook
Source: thrift store

This is my first Donna Hay cookbook. I have read a lot of stuff about her & her recipes on the internet so I was very happy to see this book at the thrift store; of course I had to get it!

If you are not familiar with Donna Hay, she is a well known Australian personality, with 14 bestselling cookbooks and a bi-monthly magazine named after her. She has also been food editor for various publications and in March (2011) launched a TV series called Fast, Fresh, Simple.

I loved the very first recipe – Egg Rolls – you make very thin egg omelets/crepes and then fill them with fillings and roll them up. Perfect for the Paleo Diet! The recipe for Lamb with Quince Glaze made me think about how I could modify it for the boneless leg of lamb that we get since lamb backstrap or eye of loin isn’t something you will easily find here in America. . .

The format of the book is 4 recipes to a page with the photos on the preceding pages or the facing page. Instead of being divided the usual way by type of dish it is divided by the amount of time it takes to make the dish, starting with dishes that you can whip together in 10 minutes working up to 20 then 30 and finishing with ‘short top + sides’ and basics.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken didn’t call for flour or bread crumbs. So many recipes still base their ‘crust’ on flour or bread so it was nice to see that was not the case with this recipe.

If you are worried that there are no recipes for your sweet tooth – don’t worry there are some beautiful desserts included too. How about some Coconut Poached Pears, Steamed Coconut Custard or Chocolate and Hazelnut Pastries? There seem to be a lot of sweet recipes with coconut in them, but they look pretty darn good – Coconut Rice with Lime Syrup (ok not Paleo but maybe for a special occasion . . . .), Coconut Chocolate Tarts these look promising the tart shells are made with egg whites and desiccated coconut.

There are even ideas for breakfast and packed lunches.

Interesting to note that while English cookbooks take a bit of getting used to since they have different terms (aubergine vs eggplant etc) and they use different measurements, this particular book shouldn’t throw too many Americans off too much. Whether that is because this particular copy was published by publisher in BC or not I don’t know. Either way I like it.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 1, 2011, 12:56pm

American Medical Association Diabetes Cookbook

Format: soft cover
Subject: cooking for diabetics
Genre: cookbook
Source: thrift store

While I don’t cook for anyone with diabetes I know that they are usually lower in carbs then mainstream cookbooks so I usually pick up any that I see that look good. Also my daughter is a Diabetes Educator here in Minneapolis and one of my co-worker has diabetes.

I like the format of this book, one page is the recipe with the facing page being a photo of the dish. It also has up in the upper corner the carb count for the recipe. I know that the higher the carb count the more I will need to modify the recipe. I am thinking of replacing the bulgur in the recipe for Tomatoes Stuffed with Cucumber and Feta Cheese with chopped walnuts and I will probably add more parsley. And of course any recipe involving mangos has to be made. I am not sure why there are English Muffin crumbs in the Asparagus with Shallots and Blue Cheese, I suppose they can add a bit of crunchy texture? Obviously when I make it there will be no muffin crumbs. I might add some sunflower seeds or other nuts to replace them though. What I do like is the use of fat-free chicken broth in the dressing.

There aren’t very many recipes (59 – I was curious so I counted them) in this book and while I paid less then $2 for it I am not sure that it would be worth paying the full retail price for it. That’s $.34/recipe.

Bottom line – buy it only if it’s really cheap, or you are totally desperate for a Diabetes cookbook and this is the only one available.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 1, 2011, 7:54pm

I have a few of the Donna Hay cookbooks and just love them! She also puts out a magazine every 2 months or so, a good bookstore should carry it :)

Mayo 1, 2011, 9:15pm

Finished 3 categories so far. Wondering if I should change the mysteries category to something else. Usually I like mysteries, but lately I am not finding them entertaining enough. Maybe too many things running through my head. It’s coming to be that time of year again, the rush is on for outfits for CONvergence, add that to trying to study Turkish and write posts for the blog. . . .

I did find some fabulous fabric for some Steam Punk out fits. One is this weird, purplish mauve stretchy vinyl like fabric and some striped fabric to go with it. I am planning on modifying a Guy Laroche asymmetrical jacket for the jacket and have not yet decided what kind of skirts to make to go with it. I was surprised to find quite a few commercial patterns that can work for Steam Punk with very little or no modification. Of course the most important and first thing that needs to be done is a bloody corset that fits. I bought a lovely black leather one a few years ago, but I am petite (except for my legs – don’t get me wrong I’m still short, my legs are just too long to be petite) and no one seems to make petite corsets! Steel boning that is too long is not comfortable . . . .

Oh, well . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 1, 2011, 9:16pm

>138 Bcteagirl: The only problem with the Donna Hay magazine here is since it is an import it is pretty expensive. . .

(Bruce's evil twi :-))

Mayo 1, 2011, 9:45pm

Ok, I might be sick. I went over the Amazon wishlist and didn't find a single book that I felt like buying!

So I went to Cheapo and got some CD therapy. Got some Razorlight, 2 from The Rasmus, Eric Clapton with BB King and a Clay Aiken . . .

According to iTunes Razorlight is considered 'Indie Rock' and The Rasmus is 'alternative'. Who knew? One of these days i will have to figure out what all the different genre definitions are. Tarkan is either 'world' or 'pop' depending on the album. It seems that the older stuff is 'pop' . . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 1, 2011, 11:36pm

Very ill! Did you take your temperature? I'd hospitalize you if it weren't for the Cheapo run. & who cares what they call it all. Too much effort, and when you figure it out, they'll change the names, like calling "goth" "emo".

Mayo 2, 2011, 8:04pm

I understand the whole putting things into different genres, but for people like me who listen to everything it can get pretty annoying. I have to search practically every section, and I can never remember the names of the artists that I like and want more of (well except for one :-)) Too bad that they dont have a kiosk set up so I can search by artist and see what they have. . . instead it is the tedious effort of looking up what I have in my iPod. . .

I should really make a list and e-mail it to myself, then I can just look at the list on my phone. . . .

Local fabric store is closing and having a great sale. I got some amazing fabric today (2nd trip there this week) it's a very wide green and gold stripe and a solid green to go with it, topped off with gold braid. i also got what I went to get!

Planning on breaking down and buying a dress form . . .

Need idea's pn what I should change my mystery category too . . .

(Bruce's evil twin )

Mayo 3, 2011, 9:06pm

Oh no! Books, music & fabric!!! My mother was a fabric hoarder. We had as many drawers dedicated to fabric as to clothes. If I had a real sewing room now, I'd be in danger too.

Mayo 3, 2011, 9:31pm

She who dies with the most fabric wins . . . . :-)

Saw a great idea for when you travel outside of the country. Instead of making a papercopy of your passport scan your passport and e-mail it to yourself (make sure that it's an email address that you can access while out of town.)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 3, 2011, 9:32pm

:) definitely!

Mayo 7, 2011, 6:29pm

Ok in an attempt to save the mystery category I managed to find 3 used Kathy Reichs books. I also found some sci fi, and two books on Shakespeare.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 7, 2011, 7:11pm

Ah, you've returned to full mental health. I see you've been shopping for books. Now your collections are all complete... for a few days. ;)

Mayo 8, 2011, 12:22am

I think translating Tarkan lyrics might be putting me over the edge again. I read a rumor that Metemorfoz has 40 idioms in it! That's like 4 idioms per song!

I did find another language site though - Lang-8. I signed up for free and will see how it works out. It looks like the way it works is your write journal entries in the language that you are learning and native speakers/writers correct it for you. And you get to help people who are learning your native language.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 8, 2011, 3:24pm

That sounds like a cool language site! I might have to check it out. I'm on a high right now because I just successfully carried off a conversation in Spanglish. She didn't laugh at me, even though when I said "I work in the middle school" it came out "he worked in the middle school." Those bloody verb tenses will get you every time.

Did I get any idioms in here? It's raining cats & dogs at the moment.

Mayo 10, 2011, 8:03pm

>150 cammykitty: Now I bet you *wish* it were raining! Bloody weather! I think I could have swam home today.

A friend and I are doing gratuitous Tarkan comments in our e-mails to amuse ourselves. She can tell by the number of Tarkan comments how my day is going. If there are a lot I am either very bored or having a bad day. Because you just can’t throw in a random Tarkan comment, it has to fit into the e-mail so we are getting creative. It’s kind of reverse Bob Newhart game. (You know where you had to take a drink every time someone said ‘Bob’?) Thankfully he has quite the long list of songs and it’s not all flowers, clouds, sunshine and sin (though I like the sound of günah.) Of course in the back of my head he’s floating around anyway because of the darn idioms. Almost anyone else’s songs only take me about 10 minutes to get the main idea. But still I find it frustrating in a good way, and it makes total sense why I really don’t like most of the translations that are out there. Not enough art, words are images and emotion.

Off to read my new ARC – a romance! With spies! So far I’m only to page 11 and greatly amused. I don’t suppose the hero has green eyes . . . always looking for something that I can use to get in a Tarkan comment!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 10, 2011, 8:52pm

LOL! that's right. We're both in the Twin Cities. We've probably even met real time. It took them bloody forever to turn the AC on in the school today. By 5th hour (with sub), the students were ready to stage a revolt. Only thing that saved us was I told them it wasn't in fact the hottest day ever in the school. They should've been there 5 years ago in May.

Here's hoping you a green eyed spy.

Mayo 12, 2011, 10:57pm

The Devil in Disguise by Stefanie Sloane

Format: ARC
Subject: love, romance, learning about family
Setting: London, mostly
Characters: Lady Lucinda Grey, Lord William Randall the Duke of Clairmont
Genre: romance
Source: Early Reviewers

Lord William Randall, Iron Will, the Duke of Clairmont has shunned society for reasons of his own. He is also a spy, a very good spy. His current assignment? To prevent the kidnapping of the wealthiest heiress in England the beautiful Lady Lucinda Grey.

Lady Lucinda Grey has no intention of ever getting married, and has never met a man that remotely interests her. Lady Lucinda is an orphan who was raised by her 3 aunts, who society refers to as ‘the Furies’. They have raised her to be independent, and not to rely on men. They plan to start a horse breeding farm and until his owner lost him in a card game a horse named King’s Solomon’s Mine was a big part of their plans.

How does Iron Will get close to Lady Lucinda without alerting her or the person planning to kidnap her? He will court her. But she has other plans so he must offer her the one thing that he has and she wants his horse, King’s Solomon’s Mine. She agrees to let him court her for 3 months, at the end of the 3 months the horse is hers either as a parting gift, or as a wedding gift.

Society is all twittering, first because the Duke has come back into society and then because he has chosen to court the beautiful, and rich Lady Lucinda. The Duke is not your usual - I am perfect and must convince the woman that I love that I am the man for her – romance hero. He is confident in what he does, but not in himself as a person or a Duke.

The characters are entertaining. Lady Lucinda is not some young miss just coming out; she is 26 and determined to live life on her terms and not with a husband. Her aunts while not a big part of the plot move it along quite well.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Mayo 14, 2011, 5:19pm

duplicate post deleted

Mayo 14, 2011, 5:56pm

Posted my first journal entry on Lang-8 in Turkish today. I also corrected some entries of people learning English. It is so much harder then you would think. Is what they are trying to say what you think they are trying to say? I said (or tried to say in Turkish) What else is good? And was told that I should have said Who else is good? Too bad the person corecting me is learning Spanish instead of English! In a perfect situation the person correcting you would be learning your language so it would be easier to discus the corrections etc.

if I could only find a good book on Turkish! And more & better ones on ESL. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 14, 2011, 9:04pm

Random Doctor Who thoughts -
Freud - no, comfy sofa. . .
yes, yes I know bad luck to break it . . .
couldn't get much worse . . . Yep.
Oh-who she was a bad girl!

Mayo 14, 2011, 11:38pm

I hear ya on the Lang-8. It's amazing how many different ways you can interpret something. Hopefully you'll find the perfect pen pal there soon.

Mayo 16, 2011, 10:10pm

Today's post on my blog (it's Media Monday, so the topic is media) is all about LibraryThing. Did you know that it would take 5.9 bathtubs to store the books that we have listed on LT? I was amazed that someone looked at my blog becuase they were looking for when Minute Rice was invented! I hope they liked the recipes. :-)

I am reading The Riches of Paris by Maribeth Clemnte. I want to go there now! I want to go and get a new hair cut at Alain Divert and then I want to shop for books at WH Smith, buy a Diptyque candle that is supposed to smell like a church and comes wrapped in newsprint from John Galliano, I want to buy a scarf at Rochas. I want to ride the Metro!

Oh, wait the weather is finally nice here! I want to sit in my yard and enjoy it while I can! Maybe play in the dirt. I bought 20 LED solar path lights yeaterday. I think that I need about 40 more! To bad we aren't by the airport. Part of my yard is a half circle . . . :-) A smilie face would be too funny! And funny thing is, how I was planning on placing themwould almost look like one without any effort.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 17, 2011, 10:10pm

Let's all go to Les Bains du Marais for a nice massage!

And I love the website - http://www.antoineetlili.com/ becuase it is fun!

3 guesses as to what book I am still reading!

(Bruce's eveil twin :-)

Mayo 22, 2011, 8:33am

Four categories done. . . mystery is picking up with the Kathy Reichs books.

Sleep and house cleaning might be over-rated. . . oh and it's post Rapture and I am still here, how about you?
Though accroding to some May 21, 2011 is exactly 7,000 years since the flood in the biblical story of Noah's Ark. . .it's been raining an awful lot here in Minnesota. . . maybe the flood needs to come first? Maybe it's just the beginning of the end? Or maybe not. . . .Or maybe Harold was bad at his math again? Third time is the charm right? :-)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 22, 2011, 9:15am

The Riches of Paris by Maribeth Clemente

Format: soft cover
Subject: shopping in Paris
Genre: travel guidebook
Source: Amazon

I like this book. It is very well organized so you can find what you are looking for if you are using it for a quick reference. The descriptions are informative and entertaining, not only does it give you a ‘feel’ for each place but she also lists the address, phone number, hours, website (if there is one) and best of all the closest Metro stop.

The book is divided geographically and then by type of store. The first section is a general tips section on Paris, good information about things like what plan & to think about. What items could you have issues with in customs, what taxes you need to pay or not pay, is it better to buy in Paris or in the States? She also gives ‘tour’ ideas at the end of each section.

I have been looking at some of the websites and might just start using some for inspiration for outfits, what to look for at the store, what to think about sewing. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 22, 2011, 9:49am

Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

Format: paperback
Subject: serial killer
Setting: Quebec
Characters: Dr Temperance Brennan
Genre: mystery
Source: thrift store

We really enjoy the TV show Bones. It has quirky characters, interesting plot lines, it is good entertainment (and it has David Boreanaz.) So when I found some of the books that the TV show is based on I of course had to get them. This is the first one that I have read.

So far I would say that the only thing that the book and the TV show have in common is the main characters name is Dr. Temperance Brennan, and she is a forensic anthropologist. Not to say that the book wasn’t good, because it was. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. Yes you expect things to change for TV although some show have stayed pretty close to the books, True Blood and the Dresden Files come to mind. The location could have been changed to fit with where they would be filming it, but why change the back story? In the book she has a college age daughter and a husband (or ex-husband), in the TV show she is single, no children. In the book she has a small, cramped office with a window that over looks a river, in the show she has a spacious office with no window.

In the book there is no Booth, in fact she works equally with a small group of policemen until the later half of the book. It will be interesting to see what develops as I read more of the books (I only have 3 so far). Now that Brennan has been introduced maybe there will be other characters that are introduced or given a bigger role in the story line, maybe the show starts later in the series after more characters.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 22, 2011, 5:01pm

OK, rain is good. . . tornados not so much.
But we were missed. hopefully cammykitty is OK too!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 25, 2011, 10:40pm

I'm south Minneapolis, so I'm okay! Thanks for thinking of me. As for the rapture, it passed over me too. I sure wish though that I'd signed on with that group of people who were offering to take care of people's dogs after the rapture. As for Bones, hey, single women are cheaper than women with exes and kids! They'd have to hire steady actors for the exes and kids, but boyfriends are expendable, and therefore probably get paid less. Any book with a character named Temperance is worth reading though. I'll have to keep my eyes open next time I'm at Value Village. ;)

Mayo 30, 2011, 6:10pm

Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs

Format: paperback
Subject: murder, witchcraft and devil worship
Setting: Charlotte NC
Characters: Dr Temperance Brennan
Genre: mystery
Source: thrift store

This Dr Brennan story takes place in Charlotte and not Quebec so we have different characters and a different location, which is something that I am not used to in a series.

A plumber finds a hidden cellar with bones, a dead chicken and other strange items. Later a headless body is found in a plastic bag not too far from a Wiccan camp. Add a political figure spewing Christian fundamentalism and you have an interesting story.

I am still a bit distracted by the fact that the Dr Temperance Brennan in the books is nothing like ‘Bones’ in the TV show. And for this story (slight spoiler alert) one thing was so obvious – the body was frozen! I guess I have watched too many CSI, NCIS, Castle and Bones episodes.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 30, 2011, 6:14pm

>165 bruce_krafft: Glad to hear you are ok. We just got missed, we live in the east side of Columbia Heights. I saw significant damage to some houses and trees when I went to Home Depot this weekend.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 31, 2011, 5:45pm

It looks like I will soon be adding a book to my history category as I just snagged Travel and Trade in the Middle Ages!

Side note: Rust-oleum plastic primer doesn't stick to platinum or diamonds . . . it does stick well to skin though. :-)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Mayo 31, 2011, 9:26pm

Live Free or Die by Jessie Crockett

Format: kindle
Subject: arson & murder
Setting: Winslow Falls, New Hampshire
Characters: Gwen Fifield and a cast of local characters
Genre: mystery
Source: Amazon

Gwen Fifield is the postmistress for Winslow Falls, New Hampshire, and the deputy fire chief for their local volunteer fire department. When a fire at the local museum reveals the body of an elderly woman and the fire chief has a heart attack Gwen is left in charge. Was it arson? Was it murder? Or was it a case of an elderly woman tripping down the stairs and upsetting the kerosene heater? Maybe those no good immigrant boys did it, they must be illegal right?

Gwen doesn’t think that it was an accident, and she doesn’t think that the DeSilva’s are bad kids, their only crime is not being locals. Hugh Larsen from the State Fire Marshals office agrees with her.

It was a delightful read. The characters have CHARACTER, and wit.

Looking forward to more books by this author.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 2, 2011, 6:44pm

Totally off subject - but did you know that the Minnesota Historical Society collection includes:

• 176,712 Books
• 70,369 Periodicals
• 166,700 Pamphlets
• 353,178 Photographs
• 1,437 Sound Recordings
• 1,114 Films and Videos
• 19,277 Maps and 2,027 Atlases
• 6,072 Art Works
• 1,783 Oral History Interviews
• 4,139 Newspaper Titles; Newspapers are on 69,484 Microfilm Reels
• 36,538 cubic feet of Manuscripts, 5,922 Microfilm Reels
• 54,743 cubic feet of State Archives, 11,853 Microfilm Reels
• 232,456 Historical Objects
• 1,152,504 Archeological Artifacts

Wow. I knew that they had a lot of stuff, I actually got a tour once that included one of the archives - the Indiana Jones movie came to mind, really it was that massive.

Anyway, if you are in the Mpls-St Paul area and haven't checked it out you should.


(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 3, 2011, 9:42am

Man, that sounds like heaven! Did you ever get unstuck from the plastic primer? :)

Jun 3, 2011, 6:46pm

Still sporting some primer spots. . .

Jun 3, 2011, 6:55pm

I don't know what to say.

We just found out that our friend Joel Rosenberg died. Some of you might know him as the author of The Sleeping Dragon and other books.

Today would have been his 32nd wedding anniversary.

(Bruce's evil twin :-()

Jun 3, 2011, 7:47pm

I'm so sorry for your loss. You and all his loved ones will be in my prayers.

Jun 3, 2011, 7:57pm

That's sad news. I definitely have a soft spot for his Guardian of the Flame series.

Jun 3, 2011, 11:54pm

Yes sad news. So sorry.

Jun 3, 2011, 11:57pm

As for the Historical Society, I had no idea! I love looking in their bookstores. I should've known there was an equally cool library/archive somewhere. One of my friends has had a small grant off & on to look at some of their artifacts. Apparently they have odd collections of human bones, and she examines them to see what she can find out, and if they are Native American bones, they try to send them back to the proper tribes.

Editado: Jun 7, 2011, 8:54pm

The Hidden Stars by Madeline Howard

Format: paperback
Subject: good against evil, hidden champion
Characters: Sinderian, Guenloie/Winloki, Prince Ruan, Prince Cuillioc, Ouriana
Genre: fantasy
Source: used bookstore

Total score out of a possible 5 – 3.2

Character – 4
Plot – 3
Theme – 3
Style – 3
Setting – 3
Entertaining? 3

It’s an entertaining story. The main characters have depth, but they seem to be missing that little bit extra that makes you really care about them. You don’t love the good guys; if one got killed off you wouldn’t be too upset. And while Ouriana & her henchmen are bad you don’t totally detest them.

There is a plot, it is the traditional good vs. evil, sort of a variation on the Sleeping Beauty theme, complete with 3 fairy godmothers, played by 3 wizards. But no real motivation behind Ouriana except for world domination.

I enjoyed the story; the descriptions were good you can almost hear the quiet of the wizards Scholia being shattered by the arrival of military men to discus war. The dialog flows, there are subplots that add mystery, storylines that will probably be added to in the next books. The world is well thought out but it isn’t much different from your basic fantasy world & culture, we are not exploring non-traditional ideas or worlds. But I wasn’t thinking about the weather (oppressively hot BTW), yard work or anything else while I was reading it. And I have thought once or twice about going to the store and looking for the next book. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 7, 2011, 8:51pm

In an attempt to write better, more informative, and consistent reviews I have created a review form to help me think about various elements of the book.

After reading books like Souless and Devil in Disguise I felt that I needed something to help me give more consistent & informative reviews. While I loved Souless and the other books in the series, I felt that they really lacked a significant plot but that the characters and story were so entertaining that it didn’t really matter. I also enjoyed Devil in Disguise but I saw that other people who read it were disappointed by the sex scenes (or lack there of) . . .

I am sure that I will tweak it a bit as I go, but this is a start.

Now excuse me while I go melt. Really. My car said that it was 106 out on the way home, thankfully in my neighborhood it 'only' registered 100! It's days like this that I wish that I had air conditioning (mind you I would probably be too cheap to turn it on, but it might be nice to have the option. . .)

(Bruce's very hot evil twin :-))

New review format -


Total score out of a possible 5 –

Character –
Plot –
Theme –
Style –
Setting –

Things to think about-

• Are the characters flat or three-dimensional?
• Does character development occur?
• Is character description direct or indirect?
• Do you feel attachment to the characters?

Plot –
• Is there one?
• What is the relationship of plot to character description?
• What are the elements of mystery and suspense?
• Are there a sub-plots and how are they related to the main plot?
• Is the plot primary or secondary to some of the other essential elements of the story (character, setting, style, etc.)?

Theme –
• Is there a major theme?
• Are there minor themes?
• How are they revealed and developed?
• Is the theme traditional and familiar, or new and original?

• What stylistic devices are employed (e.g., symbolism, motifs, parody, allegory)
• How effective is dialogue?
• Sex scenes? (romance)

Setting –
• does it play a significant role in the work?
• Is a sense of atmosphere evoked, and how?
• What scenic effects are used and how important and effective are they?
• Does the setting influence or impinge on the characters and/or plot?

Editado: Jun 7, 2011, 9:57pm

ok- sorry its hot out. . . I needed something to distract me. . . so i took one of those okcupid tests. . .

The What type of MAN turns you on Test . . . it was very amusing (though I must be getting old some of them looked . . .12)

The result-

Tough Guy - You love men, you love testosterone and you know it. You like a bad-ass man who knows what he wants. He isn't what you might bring home to mom but I don't think it really matters - he's hot! Someone like.....Vin Diesel. But let's face it, the whole point of this was to look at a bunch of hot guys.

they have some very amusing 'quizes' here if you are bored.

Jun 8, 2011, 9:34pm

Ah, one of my friends is dating a guy she found on okcupid. & as for it being hot, the day before the day you were complaining about, I left my dog training bag in my car. When I got to dog training class, I reached into my bag to find my clicker so I could "click" the puppy I was working with. The clicker worked only once, because it had melted. Literally. Like an old vinyl record.

Jun 8, 2011, 10:19pm

Ha Ha. My chocolate melted. And my car didn't grip the road like it normally does, the road 'felt' a bit slippery. I missed the exploding roads though, I hear 94 was totally closed do to pavement failure yesterday.

You can train dogs????:-) I thought that they trained you! I knew it was hot yesterday becuase our smaller dog was panting, she never pants. It's still about 80 in the bedroom and she is curled up with her nose under her feet right now. I got my daughter a book on training dogs for X-mass. I had no idea that you could train them to find your keys for you. Our shepard-lab mix will 'find' our smaller dog for us when she doesn't come when called though. I say 'Find Gracie' and off she goes and gets her.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 9, 2011, 4:26pm

Really like your new review format. I feel like such a dope when I do reviews, I never say the right thing, or what I want to say.

And, I totally hear you on how hot it has been in MN/WI the last 2 days! At work (on the second floor) all we have are window a/c's and I don't know if it was because it was so stinkin hot and humid, or if they're slowly dying, but it was roasting in there. And, my client wanted hot towels (usually she never does), so I had to have a giant crock pot full of hot water in my already uncomfortably hot and humid massage room yesterday. I am SO GLAD to have temps in the 50's today, even though I've had a headache since last night. I'll take a tshirt and a hoodie over sweating in a tshirt any day!

Jun 9, 2011, 9:49pm

Laura, did your ask your client if she was nuts???

DS, LOL! Yes of course. German Shepherds are the tattle-tales of the dog world. They make all the other dogs in the house toe the line. Your mix must be more shepherd than lab, at least in the brain department. ... & yes, dogs train you. "Training" is a code word for learning how to tell the dog what you want. Then the dog decides whether or not to do it. Or at least that's what Dillon does. He's an Irish breed. The Irish pride themselves in being "independent minded."

Jun 10, 2011, 7:11pm

Jumper by Steven Gould

Format: paperback
Subject: teleportation
Setting: mostly New York City
Characters: Davy, Millie
Genre: sci fi/fantasy
Source: Amazon

Total score out of a possible 5 – 3.67

Character – 4
Plot – 3
Theme – 4
Style – 3
Setting – 3
Entertaining? 5

It is a very entertaining book, I read it right through without stopping.
But what about the plot? Because it really isn’t about growing up and coming of age or about dealing with being able to teleport. Ok, well it is but only very shallowly.

Imagine that you can go any where that you have been before by just remembering & imagining it. Now imagine that you are a 16 year old boy whose mother left him with his alcoholic and abusive father and you run away from home after you discover that you can teleport.

If you lived with an abusive parent would you not be trying to do everything that they wanted to avoid giving them an excuse to beat you? Wouldn’t you be fantasying about escaping? Wouldn’t you have been thinking about how you would do it?

After two years of living on your own, wouldn’t you be thinking of your future, no matter how much fun you were having? Wouldn't you think about making friends? Figuring out a way to blend in more?

That being said, it was a very good read. It would have been an amazing read if it had explored Davy’s motives for what he does.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 11, 2011, 9:43am

183: I wanted to say that, really and truly, but I so couldn't. I was just thinking about how much more hot I was going to be, which is really awful. It ended up being fine, but I was very glad to get out of work and get in my car where the a/c worked very well!

DS, I have a copy of Jumper (that I picked up after hearing somewhere around here how great it was) and every time I think about reading it, it never seems appealing to me. I think it's because of the abuse, really. Otherwise, teen narrator, timejumping, coming of age - these are all things I like to read about, so I can't think of another reason. At least it was readable and quick to finish, right? Maybe that knowledge will help to get it read and off off my shelf!

Jun 11, 2011, 11:04am

>185 LauraBrook: It doesn't really go into the abuse very much. I mean the Dad & the abuse just seem to be stuck in there to move the story along. Really it doesn't go into depth about anything. He robs a bank to get money so he doesn’t have to live on the streets. He justifies it later to his girlfriend by saying he didn’t hurt anyone because the banks lose that much money everyday and he didn’t take it from individual people, and insurance will cover it etc. But this would have been a great opportunity for some reflection, or debate with his girlfriend about his life and figuring out what he could be doing, especially since this is supposed to be a YA book.

I mean when he finds out about why his mother left Davy doesn’t even really re-visit that time in his mind. I would think that a person’s first reaction would be to go over their memories and wonder how they could have missed what was going on, maybe even felt some guilt because he didn’t notice, and even if he had he would have been helpless to do anything. Davy was more like, oh, ok that’s what happened.

Still I found it very entertaining. Like a Bruce Willis movie where its all about the action and if you go expecting a lot of a plot you will be disappointed.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 11, 2011, 12:12pm

Thanks for the information. I'm a fan of Bruce Willis movies for that very reason, so that helps me mentally shelve it. You're a doll!

Jun 11, 2011, 3:13pm

You just took out a helicopter with a car!
I was out of bullets. . . .


Jun 11, 2011, 7:30pm


Jun 11, 2011, 8:39pm

... I'll pass on Jumper. Thanks!

Jun 25, 2011, 6:59pm

Sorcery Rising: Book One of Fools Gold by Jude Fisher

Format: paperback
Subject: return of magic, clash of cultures
Setting: Elda
Characters: Katla Aransen, Virelai
Genre: fantasy
Source: used bookstore

Total score out of a possible 5 – 4

Character – 4
Plot – 4
Theme – 4
Style – 4
Setting – 4
Entertaining? 4

This book is a solid 4. The characters and storylines are well developed. The different scenes flow together well, and the plots and storylines all evolve naturally. But it is certainly not a stand alone novel so do not expect any kind of conclusion at the end, this book is more of a set up for the main plotlines.

The main storyline is familiar, three clashing cultures living together in an uneasy truce. The Eyrans believe that men & women are pretty much equal, the Istrians keep their women veiled and locked up. The Footloose are nomads who are despised and feared because they are different and follow their own rules. Add an escaped apprentice mage and his mysterious companions – a woman who makes men forget anything but her when they are in her presence and a magic cat and you have quite a story.

Magic has been gone for years but something has changed. The charms at the Allfair seem to be working with more then expected potency with some startling results. And there is more then one person stirring the pot so there are quite a few major storylines moving the plot along.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 27, 2011, 5:38pm

Still Life with Murder, Gilded Age Mysteries, #1 by P B Ryan

Format: kindle
Subject: long lost sons, family secrets
Setting: mostly Boston
Characters: Cordelia ‘Nell’ Sweeney, Will Touchette
Genre: mystery
Source: Amazon

Total score out of a possible 5 – 4

Character – 5
Plot – 4
Theme – 4
Style – 3
Setting – 3
Entertaining? 5

This is another solid 4. It was very entertaining, and you are immediately drawn to the characters and their world. The characters are revealed slowly, bits at a time so like in real life you get to know them and their stories slowly.

The plot is a good old murder mystery. They caught the murderer red handed – or did they? All the clues are there as to who is the real murderer so you have a chance to figure it out before all is revealed.

What could have made it a five? Make the city and the household more like characters. It almost seems like they stop existing as soon as the main characters move on to somewhere else. They are like sets for a TV show, lots of detail where for about ¾ of the stuff, but they are missing the ceiling and the 4th wall and the doors and windows don’t actually go any where.

I can’t wait to read the other books in the series.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 27, 2011, 9:56pm

Invisible (Ivy Malone Mystery Series #1) by Lorena McCourtney

Format: kindle (free)
Subject: murder
Setting: Missouri
Characters: Ivy Malone
Genre: mystery
Source: Amazon

“I'd always been curious about what was on the other side of the hill. "All that curiosity is going to get you in trouble," Harley had muttered to me more than once. He'd also, I had to admit, been right more than once. Like the time I was curious about something shiny in the bushes and, a minute later, after crawling under the bushes to grab it, found myself holding a gun that turned out to be the weapon used in a nearby gas station holdup. And the time I just had to investigate a tiny opening behind the bed in our rental apartment and wound up with my rear end ignominiously stuck in an undersized vent to the attic. “

Total score out of a possible 5 – 4.33

Character – 5
Plot – 4
Theme – 4
Style – 4
Setting – 4
Entertaining? 5

If Hallmarks Maxine was telling a mystery story this would be how it happened. Told in the first person this is the story of Ivy, a widow who spends her days with Thea. They take walks, go to church and laugh at the world together. Then Thea dies and Ivy is left on her own and discovers that she is becoming invisible.

And then Kendra the nice girl that rented the basement apartment in Thea’s house disappears without saying goodbye, and an unknown woman is found dead in the river with a bullet hole in her chest. Could it be Kendra or did Kendra just move on?

This is a story about growing old, losing friends, making new ones and about how God should be important in your life. Not the if you don’t believe in God you are going to rot in Hell God, but the God that makes everything possible, the God who always answers, only sometimes the answer isn’t what you expected. Because Ivy is a I go to church every Sunday and look to God for guidance kind of a woman. She isn’t a bible thumping you need to change kind of woman, she’s more of a I’ll lead by example and explain why it is important to me and when the time is right you will see that I am right kind of a person. Religion is not really part of the plot but part of Ivy’s personality, one of the lenses that she looks at the world.

And she meets lots of people on her quest to find Kendra.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jun 27, 2011, 10:43pm

Bouncing through to check out your reading - some interesting books there! - and to comment that I really like the rating system you are using, assigning separate ratings for character, plot, theme, style, setting and entertaining. I am going to move to a decimal rating system next year but that is a far cry from the sub-ratings you use that can really show where a book excels of bombs! ;-)

Editado: Jun 30, 2011, 8:15am

>194 lkernagh:
Thanks. I am trying to do better reviews so I appreciate the feedback.

To make my reviews more informative & consistent I made myself a template. Also I wanted to make sure that the books that I was giving high ratings really deserved them and show what I based it on.

First I give the book a rating based on my original rating system -

5- (would I) read multiple times, highly recommend
4- (would I) read multiple times, recommended
3- interesting, probably will only read once,
2- mediocre
1- not recommended, don't waste your time

Then I rate it based on 5 questions (I have modified it since I first posted) for each category (which I can give either a 1 or a 0 to) so the rating is pretty easy. For example for plot I have –
• Is there one?
• What is the relationship of plot to character description?
• What are the elements of mystery and suspense?
• Are there a sub-plots and how are they related to the main plot?
• Is the plot primary or secondary to some of the other essential elements of the story (character, setting, style, etc.)?

They aren’t all yes/no questions of course since I want to think about them. So if the relationship of plot to character is weak I would give it a 0 and maybe include something about this in the review.

I add up the total scores & divide by the 6 (which of course if where the decimal comes in) and see how close I am to my general rating.

If the two final ratings are really different then I think about why and fix it or I will explain why I think that it deserves a different rating. I can think of at least a couple of books where the general rating could be higher then the rating based on the categories. A fiction book can be vastly entertaining (which is really the purpose right?) and still be weak on things like plot, theme, and setting.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jul 9, 2011, 11:33pm

July re-cap

1-Elizabethan London/Shakespeare/history-nothing yet
2-Cooking/Food (changed from Classics) -11 done
3-Science/Economics/current events – 2 done
4- Autobiography/biography -11 done
5-Sci-Fi/Fantasy/alternate history-4 done
6- Read the book/see the movie – 3 done
7- mixed bag - anything I bloody want to read-11 done
8- Language/writing- 7 done
9- mystery – 8 done
10-Romance -11 done
11-books written in another language-working on s-l-o-w-l-y

So far I have read 68 out of the 111 that I am planning on reading, so I am past the halfway mark. I didn’t finish my last book, but I did read 310 pages of the 1006 pages so I am calling it a complete book.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jul 9, 2011, 11:50pm

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Format: paperback
Subject: magic & war?
Setting: alternate 19th century England
Characters: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Genre: alternate history
Source: Amazon

Total score out of a possible 5 – 1.3

Character – 1
Plot – 0
Theme – 0
Style – 3
Setting – 4
Entertaining? 0

So I knew that the book didn’t really get interesting until after 150 pages, but really I read up to 310 and felt nothing for the characters, still had no idea what the plot was and really didn’t care about anything that may or may not happen in the rest of the 1006 page book.

I’m considering it done. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-()

Jul 16, 2011, 3:32pm

Uh oh! Jonathan Strange is taking up three inches of space on my shelves. Your review doesn't bode well for it... or perhaps I should read pages 150 to 180 and then clear it off. It definitely seems to be a love it, or fall asleep over it sort of book.

Jul 17, 2011, 7:58am

198> From reviews on Amazon I think that if you are into 19th century literature you will like this book (of course many of the reviews mention that you should be reading it 'with something drinkable at hand'' . . .). It is well written, I just didn’t find it entertaining.

I think that if I was more knowledgeable about this time period I might have liked it more. But I have to admit that most of what I know about this time period is from historical romances need I say more? Anything after the death of Queen Elizabeth I is pretty much rather vague for me. (Admittedly I probably know more about post Elizabethan history then the average American who doesn’t frequent LT.)

I always feel bad when I can't finish a book or when I don't like it, but as one of my favorite Gripin songs says - hayat zaten çok kısa (life is already too short) - so I need to go on to the next one.

BTW Travel and Trade in the Middle Ages by Paul B Newman is a good read so far if anyone is interested in the Middle Ages.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jul 17, 2011, 10:04pm

Ooooo!!! Travel & Trade does sound like a likely source of amusement, fiction or nonfiction. That would be a great title for a satire.

Jul 28, 2011, 9:24pm

So the hubby was diagnosed with IBS and has been having a terrible time. I did some research and found the Low FODMAP diet from Australia. He started it last week and was able to work a full 40 hours the first time in months. But I can only find 2 books on the subject on Amazon, (Amazon UK only has one!) very frustrating! Though since the diet works maybe Fructose Malabsorption is his problem, which adds a few more books to the list. It looks like many of his favorite foods are no-no’s –apples, coconut (we like to use coconut milk in curries), avocados, onions just to name a few. It is interesting that some people say that they can cook with onions as long as they don’t eat the actual onion they are ok, and you can eat the green parts. I was surprised that corn was on the ok to eat list. I know that I couldn’t eat corn when I was breastfeeding because it gave my daughter gas,

So now it is back to figuring what he can and can’t eat. When he started the Paleo diet he felt better, mentally & physically, he lost weight and didn’t feel hungry but still had IBS symptoms. So maybe see what foods are common to both. . .

Does anyone have any recommendations for good books on IBS or Low FODMAP diet?? It looks like the most popular book on IBS was written back in 2000 and from just reading the recipe names he wouldn’t be able to eat a lot of them, though they sound good – Sweet Moroccan Jeweled Couscous, Tuna Steaks with Crushed Coriander and Citrus Mango Sauce, Fresh Tex-Mex Guacamole. . .

Oh, I just finished All You Need to Be Impossibly French by Helena Frith Powell. It sounds like the difference between French women and the women of the US & UK is – they wear expensive matching underwear, they don’t relax and drink too much, and they try to seduce every man that they meet just because he is a man. They are pretty much always at their best, no laying around in sweat suits for them!

It inspired me to go buy some new bras! And Frederick’s has a sale, $10 off every bra. I got 5 and am tempted to go back again tomorrow . . . Really . . . nice low cut, pushup bras that can be worn strapless, as a halter, x-ed in back. . .. for $24 can you do that at Victoria’s Secret? Ok the Miraculous bra is really comfy but at twice the price. . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jul 28, 2011, 10:15pm

Build Your Power Vocabulary, Second Edition by Random House

So I was looking for stuff to help me with my English conversation class and on my way back from the Apple store (replacing an old iPod) I walked by this store called Marbles, the brain store. I was intrigued so I went in. It has books, games, puzzles and all sorts of fun stuff to make you use your brain! And I found this book and a game called The Storymatic, which is basically a box with two sets of cards that have words on them. One set has words that describe people (lottery winner, teenager, person mistaken for a movie star, etc) and the other set has words that give you info on your story (recognized by zoo animal, rollercoaster, pregnant, broken promise, unexpected package). There are several ways that you can play but basically you pick cards and tell a story based on the words that you get.

So, back to the book. I like it. It’s got lessons, its got quizzes, it is organized very well. Do I like it because I got an almost perfect score on the first quiz in the book? Maybe, but probably not. Did you know that gregarious is based on the Latin word “grex”? Grex means a herd of animals, and so gregarious is like a herd.

You can pick up this book and read a page or two and stop to come back to it later. In fact in the beginning it suggests that you should set aside 15 minutes everyday to improving your vocabulary. I am just guessing but I am thinking that I wouldn’t be that far off the mark to say that each lesson and quiz would probably take the average person 15 minutes.

It covers pronunciation, roots, borrowing from other languages. It covers the commonly confused words – like discreet and discrete.

Its got glossaries where it lists prefixes, suffixes, and roots. So once you have finished the book it would be a very good reference for stuff too.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jul 29, 2011, 10:33am

My husband suspects he has IBS but hasn't been formally diagnosed. A couple of things we did that seemed to help tremendously: 1) get his allergies under control (more energy), 2) exercise as an outlet for stress (better absorption of nutrients) and 3) ban corn in all its forms from his diet (have you ever noticed that corn is EVERYWHERE?). Hope your husband gets better soon!

Jul 30, 2011, 9:04pm

Corn and/or wheat seem to be in everything! And with so many people finding that they can't eat them you would think that there would be more options out there for us.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Jul 31, 2011, 10:44pm

Corn is a common allergen. I'm thinking if your husband is allergic to it, it will be a problem. If not, it might be a good source of starch for him. Celiacs can't eat wheat, but do eat a lot of corn. It seems like part of the problem here is what works for someone doesn't always work for someone else. Good luck figuring things out. I hope you have a good nutritionist on your team.

Ago 10, 2011, 12:49pm

So around 70 books read so far, Harry Potter ve Felsefe Tasi is kicking my butt and is taking up way more time then the 11 books that I would have read for that category if they were in English. So far I the longest sentence had 49 words in it! But I am still optimistic in finishing!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Sep 1, 2011, 7:50pm

Travel and Trade in the Middle Ages by Paul B Newman

I liked the way that this book is organized. After reading it you have a good base of who, how, and why people traveled as well as the different things that made up the infrastructure. How roads and bridges were constructed, what types of places people stayed in when they traveled. What kinds of obstacles they encountered and what they did to minimize them.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Sep 1, 2011, 8:21pm

Moda a Firenze 1540-1580: Lo stile di Eleonora di Toledo e la sua influenza.

This is a re-read. I love this book, which is good since it is also one of my most expensive books!

It is a large coffee table type book written in both Italian and English. It has great pictures and is a fabulous resource for anyone interested in Florentine fashion c1540-1580.

I have wanted to make an Eleonora of Toledo dress ever since I saw the funeral dress in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion. This book details Eleonora’s style, talks about her wardrobe and has wonderful photos of many existing portraits of Eleonora and others from the time period.

Right now I am trying to figure out how I can find the time to make the outfit in the 1543 portrait for Costume Con in May, while learning Turkish, sewing my Steam Punk costume and reading all the books that I want to read! This thing called a job and sleep seems to be getting in the way!

Bottom line – if you are interested in Renaissance costume this book is a must.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Sep 1, 2011, 8:35pm

The Help

Format: hard cover
Subject: black maids and life in Mississippi in the 1960’s
Setting: Jackson, Mississippi
Characters: Skeeter, Abilene, Minny and others
Genre: chick book??
Source: borrowed

Total score out of a possible 5 – 4

Character – 5
Plot – 4
Theme – 4
Style – 3
Setting – 4
Entertaining? 4

This is the story of ‘Skeeter’ a white girl who wants to be a journalist and doesn’t quite fit in in Jackson Mississippi and two black maids during the 1960’s.

Skeeter gets the idea to write a book about what it is like to work for white people and raise their children. She manages to convince Abilene to not only tell her her story but to recruit other black maids to tell her their stories too. Mind you this was the 1960’s just before Martin Luther King Jr.’s march and when Kennedy was assassinated. Racial tensions were high, one character in the book was almost beaten to death because he accidentally used the white bathroom.

What I didn’t like about it was the style. It was written in the first person, by the 3 main characters. There is no indication who is ‘speaking’ so you need to figure it out by what she is saying. I find that distracting.

I am guessing that this made a much better movie then a book. But still it was a pretty good book.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Sep 4, 2011, 10:11am

I have changed category 6 to - Read the book/see the movie/watch the TV show - since there are so many TV shows out there now that are based books, True Blood, Game of Thrones, even the cancelled Dresden Files (which was good!)
(Bruce's Evil twin :-))

Sep 4, 2011, 11:40am

Happy Sunday to you! Hope you are doing well - thought I can see you must be if you're reading! - and that you're enjoying the long weekend.

Editado: Sep 6, 2011, 8:16pm

Harry Potter ve Felsefe Taşı- the book that ate my life! :-)
But I am getting faster and better, and I have 211 flash cards (so far) of the most common words in the first 50 pages of books 1 & 2. I bought a packet of business card paper for them they are great!

It is interesting to notice how some words 'stick' the first time you look them up, like öfke (anger; rage, wrath) and haber (news) and others don’t seem to stick no matter what! Kadar (which Google translate says means – until. But the on-line dictionary says - as much as, up to, so ... (that), about.) This one is probably because the definitions are pretty vague. The hubby is helping with mnemonics, no need to make one up for dikmek (to set up, erect) . . . even though it’s pronounced – deekmek! I am glad that I haven’t read or watched HP for a long time because I totally forgot most of the story so it is fun to read it in another language and understand what is happening. Of course what is happening is a bit different from the ‘real’ world so I am glad that I am familiar with the story otherwise I would really be worried about being completely wrong! I mean really, people running around in capes? Owls flying around in the daytime? A man using a silver lighter to put out street lights??

I am also plodding through Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler. Ok, I am a little vague on the history of the world BC (ok really anything other then Elizabethan England is a bit vague), you know the Samarians, the Hittites, Akkadians etc. and this first part was a bit dry, maybe could be improved by better organization, it seemed to scattered, but that could just be me . . . anyway I decided to skip the rest of that chapter – because life is too short! The section on Egypt & China is better, maybe because I know where they are on the map and he sticks to one area at a time.

I really liked this quote from the book –

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Alas summer seems to be over! So I hope everyone has been out enjoying good weather!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Sep 17, 2011, 11:50am


Chapter one of Harry Potter ve Felsefe Taşı has been finished! I am really starting to make progress now. I am even able to understand a couple a sentences on each page without a dictionary!

What I have learned so far –

Harry Potter is not an easy book to read in any language.
We often take our own language for granted, at least those of us who are literate do.

I mean it’s a children’s book it should be easy right? No, JK Rowling really pushed the envelope with the Harry Potter books; the first book has the lowest reading level of 4th-8th grade (according to Scholastic) and the last has almost 800 pages!

Consider that only 31% of 8th graders are reading at their grade level and the standard level for the newspaper is supposed to be a 6th grade level.

So while the going is slow, and most days I feel like I am making no progress, really I am doing pretty good for an old lady just taking up a new language on my own. It certainly has helped my book budget! And while I could have read several books in English in the time that it took me to read one chapter in Turkish I have still read a good number of books this year, even though it looks like I won’t get 11 books read in all of my categories, I am not going to beat myself up over it.

Life is too short and I am going to throw a Paella party in October! Which means – less reading more house & yard work!

Nap time now I think!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Sep 17, 2011, 11:13pm

Yeah you! & yes, you are right about Harry not always being really at grade level. Your statistics, 31% are scary. I thought it was just my district. I had a girl who was reading Rowling's short story collection and didn't understand some basic word like "sorceress." Back in the '70s and '80s, librarians said on the whole, only the top middle grade students were hitting fantasy and science fiction. Now it has changed, but the writing style still tends to be challenging especially since it usually depicts an unfamiliar world.

Sep 18, 2011, 8:21pm

What is even scarier I found a statistic that said that - “from 1992 to 2003, the percentage of adults with graduate school experience who were rated proficient in prose reading dropped by 10 points, a 20 percent rate of decline”.

I guess that I shouldn’t be that surprised. My daughter had a high school English teacher who said that he taught graduate level English classes and the students at her school had better writing skills then almost of his graduate students.

Yes she did go to a private college prep high school, but I am pretty sure that they were pretty normal kids other then that.

What I like about science fiction and fantasy is how they use real history to inspire their stories, which is what got me more interested into history. Kate Elliot & David Weber (really a character named Rob S Pierre?) are great examples. And of course steam punk has made alternate history very popular to do.

It is also easier to introduce different ideas, different cultures without a reader rejecting it as wrong, etc because they are not real places or people so they are acceptable. I just finished watching the latest Torchwood series, Miracle Day – wow. (No spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched it, except that Bill Pullman (best known for playing the president in Independence Day) plays a really creepy bad guy!) Not quite as good a story as Children of Earth (yes I know a lot of people hated it, why kill off Ianto etc), but still it’s a pretty good series that makes you think - what would you do in that situation?

It’s easy to look back at history and say oh, I would never have done that! But really, if we are honest with ourselves we can’t really know what we would have done. In fact if certain scenes were taken out I could see both Children of Earth and Miracle Day being used in a school setting when teaching certain subjects. If you haven’t seen either of these I highly recommend them. (Just keep in mind that they are British and fast forward/skip the sex scenes if that bothers you. . .)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Sep 20, 2011, 1:32am

Yes yes yes, to everything you just said... although I haven't seen Torchwood yet. I've noticed different colleges produce very different graduates. I've seen a masters paper that involved research that I knew I could've topped that very day without even having done the masters coursework. It was on the horror genre, and she was including Twilight as an example. *gasp*

I've been wanting to read Elliott for awhile, and everything you said about S&SF is true. It's a great genre for exploring possible social systems and also to work towards change. Rod Serling started out writing realistic screenplays with biting social commentaries and found now one would take them. When he rewrote them as SF, you know the rest of the story.

Sep 29, 2011, 12:46pm

Embrace Your Insignificance by Bob Gaulke

Format: paperback
Subject: teaching English in Japan
Setting: Yokohama, Japan
Source: Amazon

OK, technically this should be under either Autobiography/biography or language but since he doesn’t really go that much into language issues, (learning Japanese or teaching English) nor really into anything really personal except for some items which just might fall in the category of ‘too much information’ I decided to out it in the Science/Economics/current events category.

First this book is like a train wreck, not really enjoyable, but you can’t help but read it. The format is odd and disjointed, like short essays sort of put in chronological order but with no real story. And it ends just as abruptly. I am very glad, once I finished it, that it was only 118 pages long.

Why or how did he come to teach in Japan? No idea. He gives no clear picture of anything, except that the kids are unruly, and the teachers have no control, and he makes no real connections with any Japanese people while he is there.

I know very little about Japan. For some reason Japan has never really interested me, even though I had a friend in high school who was from Japan. Is this really how life in Japan is?

If you are going to Japan to teach or thinking of going to Japan to teach, this might be a good book for you to read. Otherwise I would probably skip it.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 1, 2011, 8:47pm

Unruly kids in Japan??? & *all* teachers have no control? Sounds like he'd make a more interesting interview subject than author.

Oct 3, 2011, 6:25pm

The Secret Life of Pronouns by James W Pennebaker

I was prepared to be bored by this book. Why? Well because so many books promising similar things have been boring, dull, and anything by interesting. I can say that I was very happily proven WRONG – right away.

This book is fascinating, and is written in a very engaging manner. You will be reading parts (or maybe all of it) out loud to your significant other, or maybe even the poor unsuspecting person sitting next to you on the bus.

Will you be looking at your e-mails differently after reading this book? Will you double check the texts & IM’s from your loved ones? Checking out the lyrics of your favorite songs? Most probably.

This isn’t a book about words so much as it is a book about how language reflects who we are at any given moment. Some things are obvious and some findings are totally counter-intuitive. All of them are quite fascinating.

If you only read one more book this year - you should think about making it this one!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 5, 2011, 4:26pm

A Fortune-Teller Told Me by Tizian Tersani

Format: paperback
Subject: a year traveling without flying
Setting: Mostly Asia
Genre: biography, current events
Source: Amazon

Tizian Terzani is an Italian journalist who has been living in Asia most of his adult life and was told by a fortune teller that he shouldn’t fly in 1993. So on a whim, or experiment he decides to spend the year without flying.

At first it catches your imagination; he relates how in the age of the airplane we miss the subtleties of going from one place, one culture to another, how we are transferred from one shinning edifice to another with barely a difference. But later I find that it lacks enough detail, heart. He travels from place to place and we are given only superficial (to me at least) glimpses of the journey.

I think also that it isn’t personal enough. Ok, he’s a journalist so his job is not to write about himself, what he feels, thinks, but this is about his journey. You learn nothing about the man by the end of the book you don’t really know any more about him then you did in the beginning.

Maybe if this part of the world held more interest for me I might have liked it more, but still I think that it lacks in heart.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 5, 2011, 10:02pm

Tales from the Expat Harem

Format: paperback
Subject: women’s stories about living in Turkey
Setting: Turkey
Genre: biography, current events
Source: Amazon

This is a collection of tales by women who have lived in Turkey for various reasons, many of course because they have fallen in love with and married Turkish men. They tell tales of learning a different culture and language, of leaving their lives behind to experience a very alien way of life. Some are stories of heartbreak, of failed relationships and lost loves, but mostly they are uplifting stories of combing different ways of life and learning how to adjust.

I think that the most interesting story, to me, was the last one. The woman went to Turkey to be a missionary, to convert people to Christianity and truly found what true religion was about.

While all the stories were well written only a couple really touched me, so I would say that i would give it about a 3 out of 5 rating. If you find a copy go ahead and read it, but I wouldn't go too far out of my way to get a copy.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 11, 2011, 6:52pm

Ganbatte Means Go for It!0 by Celeste Heiter

Format: paperback
Subject: getting a job and teaching English in Japan
Setting: Japan
Genre: culture
Source: Amazon

This book is a pretty good step by step guide on becoming an English teacher in Japan. It is well thought out and organized, but only gives a few glimpses of personal experiences of the author.

I would think that if you are thinking about going to Japan to teach English this is your go to book, your bible.

But if you are looking for really in depth information you will need to look for other books.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 16, 2011, 10:23am

Intrigue by Mercedes Lackey

Format: paper back
Subject: fitting in, rumors & foresight
Setting: Haven
Characters: Mags, Dallen
Genre: fantasy
Source: B & N

Total score out of a possible 5 – 4.5

Character – 4.2
Plot – 5
Theme – 5
Style – 4
Setting – 5
Entertaining? 4

Oops! This is book two of a series. So I am sure that if I had read the previous book I would have enjoyed it more. But that being said, the back story was explained well and unobtrusively through out the story.

The main character is the Herald trainee Mags, and his Companion Dallen. I think that the only real problem is that is really all that the book is about, there is a plot & sub-plots, and they are good, but even the secondary characters are almost throw away characters. Mags has very little in depth contact with other people in the book. Yes, he starts to share his meals with a group of people, but we don’t learn what they talk about, how they feel about things etc.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 25, 2011, 7:16pm

Boy, we all seem to have lost steam or come down with the plauge or maybe both!

I got the The Cookbook Collector becasue it looked good (it's not really a mystery, but there are a few things that get solved, at this point I figured it was good enough to count as mystery.) Maybe I'll have the energy later in the week to do the reviews of the books I've haven't written about yet.

I also read Pedaling Through Burgundy Cookbook and was expecting more of a 'story' with recipes, sadly I was wrong. Chocolate & Zucchini is a cookbook with a little story for each recipe, it didn't disapoint like the 'Pedaling' cookbook, probably because it did't try to make it sound like it was a story about going from point A to point B with recipes in it.

I am no where on Harry Potter, becuse I am too tired (I got the plauge, real bad & missed almost 2 weeks of work)

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 27, 2011, 8:55pm

Yikes!!! Hope you are illness free for the rest of the year. And the next year too! Perhaps one of those cookbooks has some killer chicken soup recipes that you can talk your kind twin into making.

Oct 27, 2011, 10:49pm

I don't know about chicken soup but he did make some Chicken Niçoise.

Neither of us liked the idea of it and went - ew - each time we saw a recipe for it. But I decided that since I see so many recipes for it it can't be THAT bad. Hubby was so afraid of not liking it he only made a 1/4 recipe! (His usual modus operandi is - anything worth doing is worth over doing!) And we actually liked it. I think that it will be even better now that SOMEONE knows that our olives need to be pitted. . . :-)

Hubby is sick too, but they haven't figured out with what yet. His regular doctor wasn't seeing patients, so he saw someone else. Who pretty much did a couple blood tests and told him to come back in a week if he didn't get better – for 7 weeks! Hello?? After 8 weeks of this I thought it was time to go to someone else. Thankfully his regular doctor was available. She showed the correct amount of concern (mostly alarm) and got him an MRI right away (which looked normal) and more blood tests. Now we are off to a neurologist on the 11th.

So he's sleeping 16-20, sometimes more a day, is easily fatigued, sometimes sees double, has balance issues (problems walking & telling if he is sitting or standing up straight – the answer to that is usually no), increased ringing in the ears, slight headache & low fever, dizzy spells (standing, sitting, in bed doesn’t seem to matter) and memory loss issues.

So he’s not forgetting dates and names, or running errands and forgetting their purpose (don’t worry he stopped driving over a month ago), easily getting lost, or having difficulties in performing familiar tasks, which is good. I am trying to do some research on different kinds of memory so maybe we can have a better idea of what to look for, what kinds of stuff does he remember, what is he likely to forget and we will be able to give the neurologist a better idea of what is going on.

So if anyone has any ideas please let me know!

He is enjoying his Kindle. Thank goodness for that! He downloaded over 100 free books the other day. I guess that was the best X-mass gift that I could have gotten him last year! Of course if I had waited until this year I would have spent half as much. I told him that I should have gotten him the French version of Proust earlier since people who are bi or multilingual develop Alzheimer’s an average of 5 years later then people who only speak one language.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 28, 2011, 7:11pm

Wow! Didn't know that about the multilingualism. All the more reason for me to keep hitting my Spanish books and movies. Hope your hubby starts feeling better. That sounds alarming!!! And makes the chicken nicoise even sweeter because he couldn't have felt good when he made it. Tuna nicoise is good, so I'd expect the chicken version to be yummy. Hope you are both on the mend, and if you see that first doctor, kick him/her in the butt for me.

Oct 28, 2011, 10:45pm

Wow, that's really scary. Part of it sounds a little like a thyroid condition, but the rest of it just sounds...wrong and unnerving. I hope they can pinpoint what is going on, it's been going on too long.

Oct 30, 2011, 2:08pm

Thanks. He also started twitching earlier this year (mostly when he sleeps) and now I wonder if that could be an indication that something was going on earlier, so I need to try to remember that when we see the doctor.

I just finished Ketogenic Diets which I got through Early Reviewers, very fascinating and well written. I think that few of us ever think about how our diet can really add or take away from our quality of life. I know if we follow the Paleo diet we feel so much better, less sluggish and more alert along with other things (less gas or coughing due to nasal drip). But the idea that diet can help people with epilepsy is an eye opener.

The Rise and Fall of Languages was an interesting little book, or essay, on language but was clearly written for someone that has more knowledge of linguistics then I currently have. Not that I couldn’t follow what was being ‘talked’ about but that I don’t have a deep enough knowledge base to understand the ideas fuller. My linguistic vocabulary is more at a tertiary level where for this book it should be at least a secondary level. I did find it interesting that German & English both developed the –st ending for second person singular independently of each other (due to close internal dynamics.)

Looking forward to the LT100 hour read-a-thon this coming week and plan to use it as an excuse to do nothing but read when I am not at work!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 31, 2011, 5:45pm

25 books plus Harry Potter ve Felsefe Taşı and then I will be done.

Telling myself this so I will be motivated! Planning on getting mystery and Language and Writing categories during the 100 hour read-a-thon this week.

And trying to figure out the 2012 challenge - 12 books in 12 categories in 2012? Maybe just 12 categories in 2012, or some kind of step pyramid? URGH!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Oct 31, 2011, 9:51pm

You can do it.... you can do it.... you can do it!

Nov 1, 2011, 5:18pm

>231 lkernagh: Thanks! LOVE the cheerleader - even if she is wearing Packer's colors! (Not that I am a fan of the Vikings either!)

And I snagged Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking this month. Hopefully it won't be a no show! I've had a few of those. :-(

(Bruce'e evil twin :-))

Nov 1, 2011, 6:35pm

I have signed up for the 12 in 12 Challenge. And I have totally stolen bookoholic13’s 12 in 12 idea!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Nov 1, 2011, 8:18pm

I'll Never Be French by Mark Greenside

It’s funny, this is the second book in a row which basically begins with – it begins with a girl. Very amusing and well written.

It seems last year all the books that I read about living in France were, the French are so cold and hard to get to know, the family rules and everyone else is an interloper. Of course it might be because they were about living in Paris, and this year is more about living in the countryside. This year the books all say how wonderful, kind, patient and helpful everyone is. Now if I only had an extra $300k laying around so I could buy this old French hotel . . .

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Nov 2, 2011, 6:40pm

Aunt Dimity’s Death by Nancy Atherton

Format: paperback
Subject: family, friends, learning about parents
Setting: Boston and England
Characters: Lori Shepard, Bill Willis and Dimity
Genre: mystery
Source: Amazon

Total score out of a possible 5 – 4.833

Character – 5
Plot – 5
Theme – 5
Style – 5
Setting – 4
Entertaining? 5

The real mystery part of the book doesn’t really start until you are well into the book. But that doesn’t distract from the story. Lori has lost her mother (who raised her without a father since he died when Lori was only 4 months old.) She is struggling and nearly at the end of her rope when she gets a letter from a law firm on very expensive paper telling her that they need to speak to her and to come see them no matter what the time.

The day she picks to go turns out to be quite the blizzard, so she arrives wet, very cold and very tired. It isn’t long before she is also very bewildered. Aunt Dimity, who she thought was someone that her mother had made up, has died and in her will she requests that Lori read her correspondence and write an introduction of her book of children’s tales, the same tales that Lori’s mother told her growing up. She is to accomplish this in a month and once done will receive $10,000 as a fee. Oh and she needs to spend that month at Dimity’s cottage in Finch England.

I can’t wait to read more of the series!

23 books left!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Nov 4, 2011, 5:21am

My list so far for the 100 hour read-a-thing -

I plan to read any time I am not: working, driving or sleeping.

Belshazzar’s Daughter by Barbara Nadel - done
Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar
Songmaster by Orson Scott Card
Sorcery & Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Language and Thought by Noam Chomsky
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain
Murder of a Medici Princess by Caroline P Murphy

I want to read some of the True Blood books for my TV/Movie cat, but can't find them . . . . urgh. That is what happens when I let the hubby read them! They go missing!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Nov 3, 2011, 9:23pm

mystery done!
22 books left . . . .

Nov 3, 2011, 9:36pm

Aunt Dimity sounds good. Hope you like Sorcery and Cecilia. Any book with a chocolate pot has to be good. I'll warn you though, the sequel doesn't have the same rollicking caginess. Some people are more fun "odious."

Nov 3, 2011, 10:28pm

Agree with cammykitty, Sorcery and Cecelia is so charming and fun! The sequels are decent reads, but they're not quite as entertaining.

Nov 4, 2011, 5:21am

Chomsky first, then Sorcery & Cecelia!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Nov 4, 2011, 7:18pm

Has anyone tried Amazon's Kindle Owners’ Lending Library?

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Nov 4, 2011, 7:39pm

Chomsky and one more category is done. I will have to read it again in about 20 years! Urgh. He is certainly not for the 'faint of heart'!

Now some light reading!

Nov 5, 2011, 12:17am

Sorcery & Cecelia is done! Very amusing.

Nov 5, 2011, 11:13am

Dauntless done! Very good book!

19 books plus Harry Potter left!

Off to go shopping!

(Bruces' evil twin :-))

Nov 5, 2011, 7:32pm

Another category done!

18 books plus Harry Potter to go!

Nov 5, 2011, 11:58pm

Great reading weekend for you!!!

Nov 6, 2011, 8:49pm

So I have read The World’s Most Famous Math Problem, Egyptian Language and Bon Courage! A French Renovation in rural Limousin. I could probably put the last in my language category, but I am not going to unless I get really desperate.

The hubby has been distracting me, I guess I can understand – he hasn’t really done anything in what 3 month’s now, he is going ‘stir crazy’. So while I would be perfectly happy not going any where or doing anything on weekends, I will have to plan something each weekend to get him out of the house. But it did seriously cut into my planned reading time this weekend!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Nov 6, 2011, 10:51pm

Hey, even with unplanned interruptions, you are kicking some serious reading booty! Go you!

Nov 6, 2011, 11:19pm

good idear from yours, thanks. online fashion

Nov 7, 2011, 8:57pm

Someone sent me an e-mail about auto-correction text errors today.

Really, I think it proves that God is alive and well and has a wicked sense of humor. What could be more humbling then having an innocuous text message say something totally inappropriate? How many meaningful conversations have happened because of it? Not to mention how many people they have made laugh!

Of course most of them that we hear about are probalby made up. Does Disney really get auto-corrected to divorce? I should check my Blackberry - it comes up with some interesting ones sometimes!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Nov 9, 2011, 5:05pm

1 more down, 17 plus Harry Potter to go!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Nov 20, 2011, 11:46pm

You go!!! You can make it, even with the weekend excursions.

I'm sure Disney could auto-correct as divorce, but only if you really messed up spelling Disney. Divcne?

Dic 6, 2011, 7:18pm

I decided to 'go with the flow' and just read what I wanted and not worry about not completing a category, since I was originally just trying to keep them 'balanced'. Thanks to the Aunt Dimity series the mystery category seems to be a bit on the heavy side!

I also made my first pair of gloves! CRAZY! That's what I thought when I saw the one of the patterns for the 2012 CostumeCon single pattern contest was Vogues glove pattern. But I bought it this weekend and made a pair. Why? Insanity? Or maybe it was this website - http://glovecollectioncatalogue.org/ - that lured me to the dark side. If you do any kind of embroidery, think hard before you visit the website – otherwise you too will be making gloves in your future! If I had any kind of embroidery skills I would be making gloves for every day of the year! Mine would all have the fingertips missing. Not because they are hard to do (which they are!) but because I can’t stand gloves with fingertips. They drive me crazy. As a friend of mine said after seeing a pair for the first time – I guess they are good for texting. Or using your iPod, or scratching your ear, nose or whatever or doing a myriad of other modern day tasks that require your finger tips. I told him I am a tactile person and can’t stand to have my fingertips covered. But my first pair of gloves (not made with great care, just a quick see at how things go together and where problem areas are. Vogue should change their name to vague – as in the directions are known to be vauge!)

So Aunt Dimity. What is good about Aunt Dimity is unlike a lot of mysteries these do not involve murder. So the population of Finch doesn’t dwindle with every book. And Lori is not Sherlock Holmes, but a regular woman just doing what she thinks is right. About the only thing I don’t like about them is since the books are called “Aunt Dimity. . . “ you would think that she would take a more active role in the stories. Yes, I understand the limitations but so did the author when she came up with the series.

I got a Nora Roberts & Jude Deveraux at the local thrift store, who have not only organized their book section – what separate sections for each genre??? They have also decided on a set price for hard covers (which I don’t buy except for certain genres) and paperbacks. So no not getting a book because the person pricing that day decided that it should be $3.80 and not a more reasonable price. So paperbacks are all now $1.49! We also got Jim Butcher’s First Lords Fury book 6 in the wonderful Codex Alera series. But since it has been ages since I read the other five I will need to find them and read them first before I tackle this one.

I was not impressed with The Constant Gardener enough to finish it. I didn’t like the tone or the characters enough to get very far either. Oh, well maybe another time.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 6, 2011, 7:32pm

116 books read that I have listed so far. I know that I have read others and I have been very lax at keeping track. So maybe this weekend I will go through the piles and make sure that I have listed everything. . .

Dic 9, 2011, 5:38am

Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole

Format: ARC
Subject: being a flight attendant
Setting: mostly NYC and airplanes
Characters: Heather, her crew mates and the people she meets
Genre: memoir
Source: Early Reviewers

Total score out of a possible 5 – 4.375

Character – 4.5
Style – 4
Setting – 5
Entertaining? 4

It was a good read, I didn’t want to put it down, but it’s not a book like Three Cups of Tea where you want to tell everyone you meet that they have to read the book.

I give her credit for talking about her co-workers but not in such a way that you would be wondering if the next flight attendant you say was ‘the one that . . . “

I must say that I am the type of person who appreciates people who serve me. I look the busboy in the eye and thank him when he picks up my plate. We tip well, because as one of my sister-in-law says the extra couple of bucks means nothing to her, but probably means a lot to a server (not just monetary.) Servers remember us and that makes the experience even better.

You really do learn a lot of stuff about being a flight attendant that you didn’t know previously and if you don’t respect them more after reading this book then I don’t know what to saw.

(Bruce's Evil twin :-))

Dic 9, 2011, 5:34pm

The hubby sent me an e-mail with a link to Austentatious Crochet: 36 Contemporary Designs from the World of Jane Austen by Melissa Horozewski almost makes me want to pick up my crochet hooks again!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Editado: Dic 15, 2011, 5:28am

Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

Format: paperback
Subject: dangerous family scavenger hunt
Setting: Boston, Philadelphia, Paris
Characters: Amy & Dan Cahill
Genre: YA
Source: thrift store

Total score out of a possible 5 – 4.6

Character – 5
Plot - 5
Style – 4
Setting – 4
Entertaining? 5

Orphans Amy & Dan had only one relative that they cared about, their wealthy Grandmother, Grace. And now she is now dead. At her funeral they and 38 other relatives are charged with either taking 1 million dollars and walking away or giving up the million dollars for a chance to be ‘the most powerful and influential human beings on the planet.’

Amy & Dan are shocked; they knew nothing about the challenge. They don’t see how two penniless orphans can compete against their other relatives who are wealthy and old enough to travel on their own. Their grandmother’s lawyer has only three words of advice – trust no one. Knowing that their skinflint guardian will someone get ahold of their money if they keep it and thinking that Grace wanted them to take the challenge, they give up their money to join in on the challenge.

Just like Nicholas Cage’s character in the movie National Treasure the story leads Amy and Dan to Boston, Philadelphia and Paris while they follow historical clues. Not only do you get a good mystery but you get to learn historical facts too! Also are some things about being a spy.

About the only problem that I have with it so far is 39 clues. . . I am guessing that we will have to read 39 books to get to the end??

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 11, 2011, 9:23pm

Original Scandinavian Recipe Book

I found this book at Fleet Farm today. I just had to buy it! It has a recipe for Kronans Kaka (Crown Cake) which uses cooked grated potatoes! It also has several recipes for lefse. It makes me think about making rosettes. I have never made them before, but I did inherit my grandmother's rosette irons along with a krumkaka iron. It also has a Sand Bakkel recipe and I am still looking for fish shaped molds! (My little brother got my other grandmothers fish shaped sand bakkel molds. The least he could do is send me some cookies every year!)

The cookbook itself is very poorly done, with no real order. For example there are lefse recipes on pages 7, 11, 89 & 90 and the index says 11-89, The index can tell you a lot about a book and this one is horrific.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 11, 2011, 9:31pm

Ooh, does it have an ISBN or an author or something? I have a thing for American books about Swedish cooking - they are sometimes gems (since our ingredients are not always the same as the versions I can find here in the US) and sometimes just a great resource for entertainment! :)

Dic 12, 2011, 5:22am

No ISBN Amzon has the authour as 'Bethany Housewares' the book says that it was compiled by Julia Peterson Tufford.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 12, 2011, 12:45pm

Thanks!! That Vikingship cover is brilliant! :)

Dic 12, 2011, 6:32pm

Let me know if you try any of the recipes!

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 12, 2011, 6:32pm

Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

This is the book that started it for me, my first fantasy book. Terry Brooks is one of the few authors where I have hardcover copies (usually autographed) of his books. Love it.

This book is 726 pages. Maybe in 2012 I will count anything over 400 pages as two books and anything over 600 pages as 3? I must admit that most of my books are over 400 pages. . . so I don't know.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 14, 2011, 2:58pm

There's a walk down memory lane! I haven't read a Shannara book in ages. I got tired of them and stopped following the series but my husband gets one from the library from time to time. My favorite was always The Elfstones of Shannara.

Dic 14, 2011, 8:15pm

The Elfstones of Shannara is the next book I am reading! It is 'short' at only 564 pages. I need my hubby to find the first books of the Codex of Alera series by Jim Butcher so I can re-read them before I start on #6.

I just made my first batch of home-made caramels! I think that I might have cooked them too long and they might be a bit hard. But I did find that pecans fit perfectly in my oval chocolate molds! I know that they are way too much money, but I love my magnetic molds & wish I had more. I did dark chocolate shells with a pecan and then fleur de sel caramels. Can't wait to see how they turn out! I plan on doing a little chocolate swirl and a sprinkle of salt on the top in the morning when I pop them out of the molds. I also tried a caramel spoon, so if it is hard that will be good.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 14, 2011, 9:10pm

Home-made caramels..... Yumm!!!!! They sound divine!

Dic 23, 2011, 10:27pm

I have been doing some ‘house cleaning’, going through my wish list on Amazon, removing duplicates (you have to watch those different editions!) and removing things that I no longer am interested in, or have decided not to read due to trying to limit the subjects I am reading. (Notice ‘trying’!) Also cleaning up our list on LT. It is so hard to keep track of books when so many have similar (or in some cases the same) names. And why does Amazon think that it should ‘count’ ‘A’ and ‘The’? Must figure out how to organize the actual books too, so they are easier to find! I do now have a 6 foot shelf dedicated to the 121212 challenge! And did a little shopping to fill in some gaps. I am an Amazon addict, I totally admit it.

I have also been perfecting the candy recipe, which I think I have gotten right. My first ‘real’ indication was when my hubby’s doctor came out to the waiting room (he was getting blood drawn) and told me that ‘it must be the best piece of candy she has ever tasted!’ I call them Sea Turtles. I am not a huge sweet/sugar fan, chocolate yes, sugar no. So I was inspired by some sea salt (Elma Wilson Native Island sea salt from Ragged Island in the Bahamas to be exact) and the Hagen Das ice cream - Fleur de Sel, which is salty, sweet heaven. I must have candy on my mind because this morning I came up with a new one – basically a twist on a caramel apple. And I found a blog post where someone did caramel covered marshmallows . . . if you have never had home-made marshmallows you don’t know what you are missing!

I am reading The Elfstones of Shannara while the hubby is reading my collection of Nora Roberts. I told me that once he is done with them he should try the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 24, 2011, 7:07am

Good luck with the organizing. I'm envious that you now have a shelf dedicated to the 1212 challenge. That's a good idea. I hope I can find time for that before Jan. 1!

Dic 24, 2011, 10:38am

I even got out the labeler and made a label for each category! Nothing like a visual reminder to keep things fresh. I am contemplating getting another board so I can have two and then each category can have a foot of space instead of 6 inches. I like it when they are stacked and I can read the titles easier and then I can see what categories need more books.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 24, 2011, 10:42am

Spell check texting funny – Kleenex got changed to killings! I kid you not. I texted my hubby (while at Sam’s Club) that we needed more Kleenex and it changed Kleenex to killings! Really. And I spelled Kleenex correctly too.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 24, 2011, 6:35pm

Wow, spell check sounds a little disgruntled. ;)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you - I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Dic 26, 2011, 8:14am

Book plates?

Does everyone use books plates? We don't have any on our books, but I am thinking that we should since we loan them out. Of course the other option is I could get a stamp, which I could have custom artwork and a quote. . .

Any suggestions, ideas?

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 26, 2011, 10:30am

I don't use either, but I've often thought about both of them. For me, I'd get a stamp simply because in the long run it will end up being less expensive. The sad part is, there are so many lovely book plates out there that are tempting, and I like variety in things, so there's always that to factor in. *sigh* Maybe I'm not much help here, but now you're making me question whether I should do plates or stamps myself.

Dic 26, 2011, 2:48pm

The hubby said the same thing. But I pointed out that with computers you can create one (or many) and use a printer, paper cutter and glue stick. . .

Here are 10 of the quotes that I am looking at - feel free to vote for your favorite. . .

1- Come, and take choice of all my library, and so beguile thy sorrow. - William Shakespeare

2- Literature is my Utopia - Helen Keller

3- Nutrimentum spiritus (food for the soul). ~Berlin Royal Library, inscription

4- You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. - CS Lewis

5- Books are a uniquely portable magic. ~Stephen King

6- To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting. ~Edmund Burke

7- If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ~Cicero

8- The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce

9- I have always imagined Paradise as a kind of library - Jorge luis Borges

10- When I got my library card, that's when my life began. ~Rita Mae Brown

(Bruce's evil twin :-))

Dic 26, 2011, 7:40pm

Tough choice, but I vote for #9.

Yes, I use book plates on books I'm loaning out but in a pinch, I just write my name in the book. I don't use them in all of my books though because many books are just stopping by my house, and are on their way to being resold or rehomed. I also put notes in librarything about who owns books I've borrowed and who has a book I've loaned out. I even have a library category called "on loan" so I don't end up keeping friends' books forever.

Dic 27, 2011, 5:37pm

121 books read plus countless hours struggling through HP in Turkish - I'm sticking a fork in it and calling it done! (The 1111 challenge not HP - I will still be reading that for the 1212 challenge - but hopefully not the 1313 challenge (unless it's book 2.)

Time to do some library cleaning and get ready for the New Year. Though I did just get Temel Türkçe Dilbilgisi (Elementary Turkish Grammar) in the mail today and I am sure I will also be 'peeking' at that before Jan 1. I am totally surprised on how much I can understand without the dictionary. Not much, but way more then I thought that I would be able to.

I think that January will be getting back into HP, figuring out ‘how to read like a English major’ and Old English, with several ‘fluff’ books thrown in for good measure.

(Bruce's evil twin :-))