Monday, August 25, 2014

Librarian D.O.A. Booknotes

After a very long dry spell of not reading much I've been reading and am a happier soul.  Determined to write them up somewhere along the line I've been stacking them up in my craft room near my computer as a hint that I should just do it. 

I have actually started picking them off my pile and typing in thoughts in my apparently beloved Word.  Here is the first batch.


Librarian D.O.A  Booknotes

 


The Fallen Charlie Higson

The Enemy Series Book Five
 

The Fallen finally offers some answers to questions regarding the origin of the zombie plague. 

A few of the kids operating out of the Imperial War Museum have some scientific aptitude and they are hoping to find the origin of the disease and perhaps create a cure.

What might have been a trip of a few hours across London to get medical equipment and back turns into days.   Characters making the trip die, revolt spawns back at the museum as the group known as “The Holloway Kids” tries to fit in with a new group.  There is a traitor among the Museum group who brings destruction down upon both groups as they struggle.

These books are wonderfully fast paced and tense.  You’re rooting for these kids, and almost always the most sympathetic of them seem to die.  Sort of like The Walking Dead and the constant danger that favorites will be killed off.

 

The Ploughman’s Lunch and the Miser’s Feast Brian Yarvin
 
 

Nearly a year ago we had a wonderful trip to England.  Our picky picky selves were determined to try some pub food and local foods this time so we didn’t eat at Kentucky Fried every single day (Agh that happened one trip. So awful. So gross.) 

One of my favorite things that I tried in various places was the Ploughman’s Lunch which most often consists of cheeses, fruits, greens, ham, eggs and those odd little white onions.  There was always something that I liked and would eat in a Ploughman’s lunch.

This book has wonderful recipes for all sorts of things we tried and didn’t try.  Spotted Dick, really quite nice. Pease Porridge. Bubble and Squeak.

This would be great to read before you go so you know what to ask for, and it is totally fun to see what some of the foods were that you saw but weren’t bold enough to try.

Have your own nice pub meal right at home!

 

Seven for a Secret Lyndsay Faye

Sequel to The Gods of Gotham

 


Timothy and his brother Valentine become involved in the dire business of “slave catching”.  This is a lucrative business in 1846. It is so lucrative slave catchers steal free citizens off of the streets and from their homes, often with the blessing of the newly formed Police  and local politicians.

I saw the author locally and she said for her Valentine was the moral center of the stories, but he is so amoral that bothers me terribly.  Luckily, as I’m reading, Timothy is everything I’d want in a hero, brave, humble, determined to do what is right for everyone regardless of their color, sex or station in life.

This is a complex story, with so much information on the slave trade and the efforts of blacks at the time to find a way to defend and protect their loved ones while having no legal rights.  It seems such an impossible way to live, and find dignity, but they manage, just as people now somehow find a way to lead lives of freedom with the scales ever weighed against them.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

From the Diaries of D.O.A.


Sunday 8/24/14
 
 

Television

 
Dr. Who

I watched the new Doctor Who last night after seeing a David Tennant episode earlier in the week and liking it.  I haven’t watched since Tom Baker was Who, not sure why.

My guess is I didn’t like whoever followed him.

I thought Peter Capaldi was a fine Who.  Sort of a Shakespearean persona. Planet of Puddingheads!
His companion annoyed me for much of the episode, being rather whiny and unaccepting of the new doctor. 
 

She apparently wanted her own doc version, and had a smidgen of romantic interest in him.  Now Who is old and gray and wonderful. 
In the piece at episode’s end with the previous doc, it was touching, but honestly, his head looked like it was made of wax.  She liked that?  Hmmpf.

I thought the episode needed more Who and less companion.

I was confused by the lizard lady and her wife in Victorian London, not to mention the potato guy.  Still, they acquitted themselves well.

Not a fan of omniscient villains so I didn’t care for the lady in the garden at the end.

Off we go. At least I’m not attached to the previous Who as most are. Be gone, Wax Head.

 

Intruders

I watched the new show Intruders as it promised to be a bit scary, a bit sci fi, a bit X-Files.

It is clearly meant to be scary, confusing and you aren’t supposed to have a clue as to what is actually going on.

The Intruders are what? Aliens?  They appear to either kill or take people over or somehow reclaim them?

James Frain is the baddie who goes around shooting everyone rather mercilessly.  For some reason he doesn’t kill a nine year old who is transforming? Or getting her memories of another life back?

Apparently this will have repercussions, and he should have plugged the poor kid.  Not that her mom was paying any attention to her or anything.  And the kid killed her beloved cat.  Under the influence of the alien ? madness.  Now she wants revenge.

The other person I like is an ex-cop whose wife appears to be in the middle of being reclaimed.  She starts dancing to jazz (omfg!) and next thing you know she disappears while on a business trip. The husband recovers her phone and finds texts that make it sound as if the wife and a lover plan to bump him (the husband) off.
 

This is eight episodes, I’m intrigued, I’m in.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

From the Diaries of D.O.A.


 

 Saturday August 23, 2014

I haven’t kept this up in ages though I have tons of things to babble about.  It is working for me to write posts in Word then copy them over on my other blog so I will see what I can do here.

The Garden

A terribly disappointing year.  It was so cold into June that I couldn’t feel comfortable planting my warm weather plants.  I got late starts on everything I did put in.

On the plus side I have been finding that seeds from previous years germinate fine so all the things I didn’t start can be done for next season.

I had no success with seeds started on my light stand this year. They just all withered despite my efforts.  I thought I had down the whole process and I have great seed starting tools but we got zippo.

Seeds started right in my raised beds, even started late,  just flourished.  Figure A plant outside.

Flowers… man, they are so slow to grow those I need to start way early indoors for sure.

I need to do serious fall cleanup and prep of those so that they are ready to go as soon as something resembling spring arrives.

I gave away about 80 plants to my little sister from the west side of the yard.  They are very happy in their new home and I am happy not to have to have tried to move them within the yard here.

I have to mention my arthritis is like sooo awesome and painful and it hampers me incredibly from working in the yard for more than a few hours of time.  Very bad.  Not how I pictured things going at all.

 

Television

Way back in my callow youth all original programming stopped in late May and all summer was full of re-runs and old movies on TV.

Now, there are all of these little mini-series which if successful get more than one season.  They seem to run from 8-10 Episodes, then if they’re lucky they come back in a year.  Kinda dicey.

We actually haven’t had real cable in ages but have it again now.  So we’re getting Showtime and HBO and can watch some of the things offered there.

I missed True Detective but it seems intriguing so I may try to watch it on Demand yet.

I loved Penny Dreadful set in Victorian times with vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein, possessions.  I’ve seen it compared to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (I liked that movie and haven’t read the books) but it isn’t anything similar for me.  
As a caveat sort of comment, I was pretty shocked at the (Insert Sex Scene Where Everyone Appears Bored… But Damn They Sure Are Buck Naked) here and in other prime cable shows, but I now just shake my head and endure them.  Honestly, someone should be looking as if they’re having a good time but nooo.
 
 
We started watching Black Sails on Showtime ( a pirate show, yo ho) because we liked NBCs Crossbones so much and had seen them compared.   I thought John Malcovich as Blackbeard on Crossbones was mesmerizing and loved the rest of the cast.  It did not get a renewal, but Black Sails was apparently given a second season so we’ll catch it when it comes again, as it were.  Very mechanical sex in that one, good grief.  The acting was better in Crossbones across the board.

We started watching Legends on TNT with Sean Bean.  It’s an espionage thriller that is great after only two episodes. A real showcase for Sean Bean.  I must say so far it looks like Sean gets to live and everyone else on the team gets picked off one at a time.  Death sells.

More fascinating babbling Soon.    Librarian D.O.A.

 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Eye of the Needle

Working on some mending.  Whilst threading the needle that quote about the rich man and the eye of the needle came to me.

Just like me, the poor fool probably can't see the freaking eye of the needle so of course he can't thread his way through.

Thought I'd share and try out this Blogger app which may make posting ez.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!


This little girl grew up to be a mother of eight kids.  Why this didn't unhinge her (more) I don't know.  One child changed my life and how I see the world.  Imagine eight!

She tried and mastered every sort of needlecraft.  Her sewing skills kept us all in charming dresses and she began making wonderful "soft sculpture" dolls and toys at one point.

Although mom would not admit to being a good cook,  she could work wonders with almost no ingredients, which is usually what she had at hand.

Mom took up painting at mid-life and did landscapes and portraits and she loved re-creating on large canvases the work of The Masters.  She dreamed of having a gallery in her house of her work.

Unlike me, she was good at math.  Why, why she couldn't pass a bit of that on, I don't know.  

Apparently her father insisted that the kids learn how to do every single thing they could.  So, she could do carpentry and plumbing and electrical work.  A new room or a porch could be created by her in the space of a day.  I know she didn't go to the library for books on how to do things, so she must have sketched out what she wanted to do and the dimensions of the project in some near blueprint way, and off to the hardware store or lumberyard she went and she'd come back with what she needed.  She never had a truck so she'd have boards in the back seat sticking out the windows.

She had a long illness at the end of her life but she payed no attention to it and always thought she'd get better.

If you were sad or down you could sit on the floor by her tiny little self, listening to the puff puff of her oxygen tank while she brushed the hair back from your face and told you everything would be alright.

To all the moms who are everything in the world to their kids as she was to us, Happy Mother's Day, and give that lady a big hug if you're lucky enough to still have her.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep is a sequel to King's 1977 novel The Shining.  Ignoring film versions of the story, The Shining remains for me one of the best and scariest King novels.

King excels at putting good, plain people in the way of incredible horror.  He knows what scares you, and he piles it on to your delight as you read.





The Shining had an evil, haunted hotel with room after room of ghastliness.  A small family trying to survive snowed in, isolated and left to deal with everything that crawled and flew out of their own psyches and the brooding history of the Overlook hotel.

At its core is Danny, who has The Shining.  An ability to know and see things most cannot. 

In Doctor Sleep, Danny is grown up, scarred, wounded, barely sober.  A reflection of the father who tried to kill him.

Much of the novel deals with Danny's battle to remain sober in the face of new horror.  The new horror is The True Knot, a wandering group who find people, especially children, with the Shining.  They torture and devour the "steam" from those they catch to prolong their lives.

Danny makes his way to a small town in New Hampshire where he finds employment and tenuous sobriety.  Working in a hospice, he becomes known as Doctor Sleep.  When a resident is about to die, a prescient cat in residence goes to sit by them.  Danny is able to talk with the dying patient and help them relax into their permanent sleep.

Also in this town is a little girl named Abra who is filled with the Shining.  Even as a baby she was able to do things that powerfully affected her environment.  She has telekinesis, is able to view events far away and see them coming and can read minds.

As the True Knot kills a young man, Abra somehow is aware, and right there with him.  She becomes aware of the True Knot and they become aware of her, setting in motion a cross country power struggle between a young girl and Rosie The Hat, leader of The Knot.

Danny is drawn in over time by messages from Abra which appear on a blackboard in his room.

The True Knot appear as a bunch of old people traveling peacefully across America.  They look like every old codger you ever saw and are immediately dismissed from memory.  I love how King is able to make you think hmmm, those harmless old folk, probably ruthless killers.

In place of the claustrophobia that infused the Shining is the inevitability of confrontation and ultimate loss in a battle between good and evil, something that King always puts before us.  I really only like happy endings, and those are never guaranteed in a King book which keeps you reading even as you hardly dare to turn the page.