22 June 2007 by Published in: in my life 4 comments

Yeah, there’s nothing like a puking kid to run one back to continuous dryer use, is there?

I seem to have made a number of mishaps and mistakes this week, culminating in chopping the DirectTV cable in half with the shears this morning. I’ve decided I’m not safe, and I will restrict myself to playing with my own toys, because if I break those no one will notice. Right this moment, I’m fiddling with the website as my chosen toy to break. I upgraded nucleus without making a backup. See? I live on the edge. Do not be surprised or alarmed if the whole tower of blocks comes tumbling down. (I have already fixed the comment bug, though…commenting no longer gives you an error!) Sorry about the general site ugliness. It was not my plan to roll out the new look until I had some help from professionals. Web design is not my strong suit. I recommend you subscribe to the rss feed and read it that way, and thus be freed from my ugly attempts at aesthetics!

Yeah, that’s not much of a post, so let me add an audience participation bit (and remember, unless I break yet another thing, commenting no longer gives you an error). I’m almost a week away from the next reading vacation (scheduled for summer instead of Thanksgiving or Christmas this year due to complicated personal circumstances which do not concern you, reader), and I haven’t even begun to think about which books to take. So here’s a partial list of what’s on my TBR shelf. Tell me what to take along and read!

  • Mixed Magics by Diana Wynne Jones. Four stories set in the Chrestomanci world which I have never read before.
  • The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones. I got this for my birthday last year. It’s chunky, bound to be Arthurian, and has a dragon and a wizard on the cover.
  • Babel 17 by Samuel R. Delany. A secondhand bookstore find, when what I really wanted to pick up was Dhalgren. Oh well, I gotta start on my Delany somewhere, right? It says it won a nebula on the cover, so how bad can it be?
  • Latro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe. My husband read this and said it was good. He kept telling me things about it while he was reading it, so maybe now it’s my turn. It’s an omnibus of the seperately published novels Soldier in the Mist and Soldier of Arete.
  • UBIK by Philip K. Dick. I’ve read my share of PKD, but this is one I haven’t read yet.
  • Little, Big by John Crowley. Snurched this secondhand, after it was strongly recommended to me in the comments to this entry.
  • La Resistencia by Ernesto Sabato. My family brought me this from Argentina a while back when I vaguely said “bring me some good novels in Spanish”. I haven’t read any Sabato in a couple of decades, and never read this particular work. It’s probably about time.
  • The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco. I’ve had this book on the shelf for at least five years now. I always think it will be the next thing I read, and always pass it over for something else.
  • Basic 35 mm Photo Guide by Craig Alesse. Look! Non-fiction how-to. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.
  • Author Unknown by Don Foster. This guy traces people by their writings. He worked on the unabomber case. I’ve been eager to read this book, and had it given to me off my wishlist a while back. Second (and last) entry in the non-fiction category.

Also in contention are books I want to re-read (when I want to re-read something I put it back on the TBR shelf):

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman.
  • Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link.
  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

I expect I’ll honor tradition and pick up a Bujold book at the bookstore next week to take with me, so if you have a particular favorite you think I ought to take, suggest it.

Remember, any and all algorithms for book-picking are allowed. Do not limit yourself merely to what you have loved, what you know I will like, what you have heard of. Pick as the spirit moves you. And remember, some books will be left behind. Only about half of these will tread as far as the suitcase. The book you do not vouch for may be the sad book that stays home on the shelf, waiting (perhaps years!) to be read.


Fri 22nd Jun 2007 at 3:39 pm

Even as a big Eco fan I was kind of underwhelmed by "Island". It felt like a long trip to not very much of anywhere.

Fri 22nd Jun 2007 at 4:47 pm

I was startled at the new look. But only because it was different – the new look is great, I likes it alot. Clean, crisp, good colors, nice texture.

I suggest The Merlin Conspiracy, because you can’t go wrong with wizards and dragons (sarcasm mine, but still), Babel 17 because its Sci-Fi, Island of the Day Before because I’d like to read some Eco, and so I’ll live vicariously, and Mixed Magic, because its four (4!!) stories in one book!

Tue 26th Jun 2007 at 10:08 am

I’m SO glad you found a copy of Little, Big. I was at the Strand in New York on Saturday and looked for it (that’s where I found mine) to no avail. It’s one of those books I buy a copy of whenever I spot one. I do so hope you enjoy it. I learned the word "orrery" from that book.

I’ve been reading the Dark Is Rising books lately. They’re easy and (for fantasy) very fast-paced. But perhaps you’ve already read them.

And I read a graphic novel called Clan Apis that had much to recommend it.

AND I picked up a wonderful no-brainer at the Strand, a new addition to the "Best American [year]" series: Best American Comics 2006. Edited by Harvey Pekar. It’s a beautiful book (color inside, even) and I cannot wait to open it.

Wed 27th Jun 2007 at 8:09 am

I can think of 2 books that should make the trip off the top of my head.

Latro in the Mist by Gene Wolfe
Modern Classics of Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois.

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