Yeah, I’ve beaded, I’ve sketched, I’ve crocheted, I’ve made softies, all the craftsy stuff. But my eye kept being drawn to needle-felted creatures on Etsy. I never bought any because, well, I’m cheap/frugal/broke (however you want to look at it) and I can’t bring myself to buy anything I could conceivably make myself. Not that I was actually making it myself, nor did I know how; the point was that if I were so inclined I could learn.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Science fiction.
To start with, it’s FUNNY. And smart. And, to me as a writer, inspirational, because it has a very simple story arc but is nevertheless brilliant. There are almost no books I wish I’d written, but this comes close. If you like any variety of science fiction, you should run and buy all of Scalzi’s books right now.… >> Read more
Two thumbs up for Just A Geek: Unflinchingly Honest Tales of the Search for Life, Love, and Fulfillment Beyond the Starship Enterprise by Wil Wheaton. Memoir.
If you are a geek, you just grinned, because you already read WWdN. If you are not a geek, you said to yourself: “Who is Wil Wheaton? And why doesn’t he spell his name with two L’s, like a normal person?” Is okay.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Suspense.
Going from Cormac McCarthy to Preston & Child: Ow. No offense to them, but I think they would be the first to agree that one does not read their books for the prose. But I stuck with it, and after I relaxed into the fact that it was what it was, I enjoyed just as much as always the gleefully over-the-top adventures of ultra-rich ultra-brilliant bullet-dodging DSM-IV-quoting Southern gentleman who is Special Agent Pendergast (he has an evil brother, does that tell you anything about this series?).… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Love Poems from the Japanese translated by Kenneth Rexroth. Poetry.
Not anywhere near the standard of the previous book of Rexroth-translated Japanese poetry I’ve read, One Hundred More Poems from the Japanese. All of the best poems in here were also in that one. So read that one instead.
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“Your hair has turned whiteWhile your heart stayedKnotted against me.I shall neverLoosen it now.”—Kakinomoto no Hitomaro
Thumbs up for The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Literature.
I was strangely attracted to this book in spite of the fact that both my coworker and my boyfriend said the same thing about it: “That’s an AMAZING book. Don’t read it, you won’t like it.” This is because they know I assiduously avoid depressing novels. However, what they didn’t realize is that I have no objection to bleak survival stories – and this book is bleak, bleak, BLEAK – it’s dysfunctional interpersonal dramas I hate.… >> Read more
Two big thumbs up for Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Edith Grossman. Literature.
I won’t lie: I probably would not have assayed a 940-page book at this point in my life had it not been a Christmas present from my boyfriend. He has excellent taste in books so my reaction was more an intrigued “hmm!” rather than a horrified “aaaagh!” – but it’s still a daunting prospect.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth. Science fiction.
This one was in the top fifteen of a “Best Classic Science Fiction Novels” list I am working through (I need a project in my reading, or else I’ll be too scattered: as you may have noticed). I was sucked in from the first page and read happily all the way through, feeling undistracted by the other fine things in my “current reading” pile, which is a high compliment.… >> Read more