Saturday, April 29, 2006

Veniss Underground

I bought this book in London last year and finally got around to reading it. I had been looking forward to it as Locus listed it as one of 20 most interesting books last year. I do love interesting visions of the future but this one kind of left me feeling sick.
You get to know the city through the eyes of the twins Nicolas and Nicola in the first two parts and their description of a world falling to pieces draws you in.
The storyline takes second place to the city itself and I did not mind as the author is a first class worldbuilder and you just want to know more about the world around the city and why it is like this.
The third and final part of the story takes you to Veniss underground the city below the city, it is a hellish tale that has a distinctive mythological flavor, it almost reads like a fable. It´s also very disturbing on so many levels, a big part of the story is genetic enginering and dna manipulation and once you get to Veniss underground it gets really discusting, including cathedrals of human flesh and mountains of severed legs.
I like a good dark gothic tale once in a while but this one kind of went over the top.
So I liked it but it left me feeling sick and not wanting to read anything else by this author. Does that make sense?
I´m reading something pretty next.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Well, my nonfiction phase is over; didn't last as long as I would have hoped. I thought maybe I would become this incredibly learned individual, but alas, i am an escapist. The only thing that I am more knowledgeable about is gardening. I couldn't read more than a page of The Teacher Man, so I tried another one: Of This Earth by Rudy Wiebe, but only made it a few chapters before calling it quits. The Teacher Man was well written, I suppose, but I just didn't like the author's voice...does that make sense? I didn't like his personality I guess. Of This Earth is a really good book about growing up as a mennonite in the forests of saskatchewan. It was interesting and I know that someday I would like to read it but, like I said, my nonfiction phase appears to be over. So I am reading one the books from my have-always-wanted-to-finish list; The Joy Luck Club and I am genuinely loving it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

another way to love belle and sebastian

Two of my favorite things have come together; graphic stories and Belle & Sebastian.
Put the Book Back On the Shelf came out in February 2006. It is a collection of interpretations of their lyrics by different comic artists. It is still too newly published for me to get a copy from the library system, but I am looking forward to it...I will have to wait and see if any libraries will even consider it for their collection; it's probably not really considered popular reading...

Monday, April 17, 2006

edible flowers

Halli's recent post on gardening got me thinking of edible flowers. There is a book out there by Lois Hole called Herbs and Edible Flowers. Her books are good because they apply to the Canadian climate. This book lists some edible flowers that will grow well here and it even includes recipes for muffins, salads, etc. that use the flowers. My favorites are pansies because as a child I always loved their individual "faces". They have a pretty mild flavour; my kids like them. This year I am trying nasturtiums because they are supposed to be a little spicy and they attract bugs, keeping them away from the rest of the garden. Marigolds are supposed to be good for this purpose too. So with edible flowers you can have the best of both worlds: beauty and practicality.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I recommed Engrish for many giggles, the "Clothing" category is what I like, and then Hanzis
Matter to put it all into perspective.

(Above: translates as "crazy diarrhea")


Well I've done it. I've gone and joined a book club. Me and some ladies meet once a month. We will alternate between all reading the same book and all reading different books. This month is reader's choice and as I am on a nonfiction kick, I've picked Teacher Man: A Memoir by Frank McCourt. It's about his life as a teacher in New York. He's the guy that wrote Angela's Ashes (about his childhood in the slums of Ireland).

Friday, April 07, 2006

unresolved reads

Aside from Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, I have had several unresolved relationships with books. The ones that for some reason or another, I could never finish but that I just can't forget about and might need to finally finish someday.
Among them are:
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
Watership Down, Richard Adams
The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I had to give away Pride & Prejudice and The Unbearable Lightness of Being because I couldn't stand seeing them in my bookshelves; a constant reminder. Somehow the other ones didn't anger me so much. Probably because I didn't invest as much time in them. I gave up as soon as I realized I wasn't enjoying myself and stopped pretending that if I just kept reading maybe I would.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Vampire fun

For smutty vampire fun read The Vampire´s seduction by Raven Hart. I picked it out randomly from the vampire literature I am ordering for the City Library and was plesantly supprised. Despite the awful cover and the corny goth pen name (Raven Hart has to be made up). The characters where lots of fun and are obviously this writers strong point. I almost put it down after the first few pages then realized that the writer was making fun of the (Anne Rice?) vampire novel with its over descriptive goth prose. A change of perspective soon brings the more down to earth voice of my favorite character, Jack a 150 year old vampire who runs an all night garage and loves cars. Beware, the sex is gory.