Saturday, January 24, 2009

3rd Book: Tales of Beedle the Bard

The third book of the year was JK Rowling's supplement to the Harry Potter World-- Tales of Beedle the Bard. It's a clutch of fairy tales with Dumbledore's commentary. Meh. It was ok. At least the proceeds went to a charitable organization. Children's High Level Group I sure hope that link works. The charity has raised a crapload of money to insure that UN minimum standards for the care of children are implemented across the whole of Europe and beyond. So I recommend you buy the book, but you needn't read it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

2nd Book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society would be a good choice for fans of 84 Charing Cross Road. This epistolary starts out with a journalist, Juliet, who is exhausted from a book tour and looking for a new project. She gets a letter from a resident of Guernsey-- a small island in the English Channel that was occupied by Germany during WWII. Dawsey has a book with Juliet's name in the flyleaf, by Charles Lamb, and wonders if she might be able to help him find more. Juliet writes letters back and forth with him and other members of the society until she finally decides to go visit and write her next book on the island and the occupation. She leaves behind her rich, pushy, American boyfriend and he is pretty crabby about that. It's all very charming. I couldn't quite decide if it was too charming. I definitely found the ending a bit too neatly tied up. I suppose that is just how the English are.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

First Book-- Succubus Dreams

Despite the obscene amount of money spent on my education, I read a lot of books that are less than edifying. I have a single, weak rationalization for this: at least I'm not watching TV.

This year's first book, started on 1/2 and concluded on 1/10 was Succubus Dreams, by Richelle Mead. This is the third book in a series, the 4th book comes out in June and the author's website indicates a fifth is in progress.

The main character, in case it is not obvious, is a succubus. Georgina Kincaid is an evil temptress (with red hair, of course) who can steal life from a man during sex. Actually, she has a quota she has to meet in order to satisfy her demonic supervisor and to maintain her own shape shifting abilities. The Bureaucracy of the Damned even have boring manuals.

Like most of the Urban Paranormal Series, each book has an enemy to overcome-- and in Georgina's world, she has to overcome the forces of one evil without pissing off her boss to the extent that she's banished to Hell or destroyed completely. She's dancing on the head of a red hot pin here, as there are not a lot of Individual Development Plans in Hell-- one improvement over the corporate world.

There is a strong element of moral ambiguity in these, which many readers may object to. There is also a lot of graphic sexual content, so don't say I didn't warn you.

2009-- The Year of Continuing Education

Ravelry has a thread for readers called 52 Books in 52 Weeks and I signed up. Here it is January 17th and I'm running a teeny bit behind. I should be into my 3rd book by now, but I am only midway into the second. I intend to log the books with the tag 52Books.

As a fairly new knitter, I have another resolution to make each project I knit this year be a learning experience. I want to learn the feel of new fibers, construction and finishing techniques and a few new stitches along the way. So that stuff will have the tag Yarn.

I wouldn't mind cooking some new things, but frankly, my skills in the kitchen are well above average. Furthermore, they are underappreciated. I have a cooking blog for that, but it is sadly, sadly neglected.

There may be learning experiences at work that I suppose can be tagged Work.

Along the way, there will be episodes in life that can only be tagged hijinks-- the kind of ridiculous episodes that seem only to happen to me.

Other than that I will wing it on the tags.