Sunday, April 01, 2007

Lots of books

18. Folly - Laurie R King. Not one of the Mary Russell books but pretty good. Woman has nervous breakdown and goes to live on a little island and rebuild the house on it. Be nice to have that much money and a nervous breakdown instead of the usual either/or dichotomy.

19. Coyote Blue - Christopher Moore. One of his first books. It really reminded me of Tom Robbins but, unfortunately, it was the parts of Tom Robbins that I don't care for as much.

20. No Good Deeds - Laura Lippman. As per usual with Lippman, I'm having trouble remembering the plot. Oh yeah, inner-city kid gets in trouble and Tess has to figure it all out.

21. The Art of Detection - Laurie R King. Not Mary Russell but Kate Martinelli, a modern day police detective. But she is investigating a Sherlock Holmes related mystery. I enjoyed this one.

22. A Dirty Job - Christopher Moore. Charlie becomes a Death Merchant. Minty Fresh re-appears. There are Hellhounds and soul vessels. This one was extremely funny.

23. I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away - Bill Bryson. The title says it all; these are collected from a column Bryson wrote for an English paper after he moved back to the States with his British wife and kids. Both America and Bryson had changed a lot in that time.
"I need some of that goopy stuff you fill nail holes in wall with. My wife's people call it Pollyfilla."
"Ah, you mean spackle."
"Very possibly. And I need some of those little plastic things that you use to hold screws in a wall when you put shelves up. I know them as rawl plugs."
"We call them anchors."
"I shall make a mental note of it."

24. The Italian Secretary - Caleb Carr. An authorized Sherlock Holmes story about a haunting/murder at Holyroodhouse, the Queen's palace in Scotland. If you like Holmes you'd probably like it, otherwise, not so much.

25. Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI - Candice DeLong. DeLong joined the FBI in 1980 when women were still a rarity (not that they're overly common now). She worked in quite a few departments and on some big cases. A very interesting book and it made me think of a woman I know who joined the FBI a couple of years ago. I can just see her doing all that.

26. The Hidden Life of Dogs - Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. I spend a lot of time think Lucy is half-human but Thomas takes it even further. I don't think I'd ever be able to refer to two dogs as being married. Interesting, nonetheless.

27. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood. Book club selection for March. I first read this in the early 90's and it seemed so unlikely. Now it seems much more possible and parts of it seem almost probable (in a bad way). Our group was pretty unanimous; everyone was glad they read it and it made them think (we had a really good discussion about it) but I don't think anyone is going to read it again any time soon.

28. The Alienist - Caleb Carr. In my opinion, all of Carr's books should be set in New York City in the late 1800's. This is a murder mystery about one of the first serial killers that also shows the creation of the first profilers. Back then, psychologist were called alienist because they dealt with people who were alienated from society because of their mental disorders. I'd recommend this for almost anyone, it's a great book.

29. Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women are Really Doing on Page and Screen - Susan Isaacs. A short book from the Library of Contemporary Thought. It was published in 1999 so many of the examples are dated, but it's a good look at how women in popular culture are often portrayed as weak, wimpy people even if they are supposed to be strong, brave women (Ally McBeal being a prime example.) I read this in 1999 and it has helped me evaluate the hidden messages that are in so many popular media.

30. Up From Jericho Tel - E.L. Konigsburg. I bought this for a young friend and forgot to give it to her last time I saw her. So I read it myself first. Same author as From the Mixed-Up File of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler which was one of my favorite books growing up. This one, honestly, kind of confused me. Hopefully Lucy will have better luck with it.

Whoo, April 1st and I'm over halfway to the 50 books for the year! I'm actually almost a third of the way to 100 and the year is only a quarter over. I might actually be able to do it this time.

Yarn related - The Einstein Coat is on hold. I have a baby blanket on the hook for a baby shower in 3 weeks. It's crochet so it should go pretty fast. It's a ripple pattern, which I'd never done before. I like it.

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