1. A History of the World in Six Glasses, Tom Standage
I read this on a plane, and it was just as good as the last time I read it. And this time I remembered to copy out the recipe for grog. Talk Like A Pirate Day, here I come!
2. Braniac, Ken Jennings
Yes, the Ken Jennings of Jeopardy fame. I like his way with words, (read his blog, it's good) and I like the tidbits of information about what it's like behind the scenes of Jeopardy. I wasn't so fascinated by the extensive history of trivia, but that's just me.
3. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
I can't believe nobody made me read this book earlier! I blame you all. It was wonderful.
4. The Godfather Legacy, Harlan Lebo
Naturally I loved this one. savetheolives gave it to me for Christmas, and obviously she knows (and encourages?) my dark side well. :) Most of the book focuses on the making of the first Godfather movie, with much less attention paid to the second and third. But that's okay.
5. Ball of Fire, Stefan Kanfer
Biography of Lucille Ball. It was sad, as most biographies of famous figures seem to be.
6. Fables for the Fair, by One of Them
A hilarious little old book. I should post one of the fables later on. *makes note*
7. The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Waterson
This does so count as reading! There are a lot of words along with the pictures. :)
8. The Cinderella Pact, Sarah Strohmeyer
I read this one of the evenings when the power was out and there was nothing to do but read. It's chick-lit (the baby blue cover with picture of the sparkly high-heeled shoe sort of gives it away), but what the plot lacks in plausibility, the characters make up in surprising realism. It was light, and fun, and not-serious in a nice sort of way.
9. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
10. A History of London, Stephen Inwood
I never would have made it through all 1000+ pages before the end of the month had it not been for the eleven-day power outage! It's probably more than the average person wants to know about London's history, but it's a big book for a big subject. I was very impressed, very very impressed. I'd recommend it to people like elanortheeldest and jennymae, but it seems that everybody I think would enjoy reading it is too busy going to college to do so. Life!
11. The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare
Another one I blame ruthette for. She was right, it's even better than Blackbird Pond.
Current reading: Well, among other things, Grace and Power: the private world of the Kennedy White House. 'Tis very interesting.
And in other news: it's been snowing all day, and when I went out at lunch I had much more trouble on the roads than I ever did two weeks ago when they were covered with solid ice. Go figure.
I love snow so much ... I love looking out the window and seeing it fall. I love how quiet the outdoors seems when there's a layer on the ground.
A long grey woolen skirt, very swishy, and knee high black zip-up boots do one happy girl make.
It's a special kind of feeling, more than any of those words could describe. It's a winter feeling. That's the best I can do. I feel like winter--snowy winter, not dead, ugly, brown winter.
It feels like a day to mail Christmas cards.
Christmas. You'll hear it from everyone else, so I'm not going to preach a sermon... But Christmas is truly a blessed time. I hope you all have a wonderful one!
We had snow most of the afternoon and evening Dec. 23, and Christmas Eve morning I woke up to see it still snowing lightly--my first white Christmas ever! I think we got about six inches altogether. This afternoon I went out with the boys and we each made a snowman--I get cold so quickly that it's hard to stay out very long, but it was fun.
Christmas Eve always feels more like Christmas to me then Christmas day, because we always have open our gifts then, but Christmas day was good too. Mom and I made a big dinner, and we all ate tons of food. I did a lot of reading and didn't bother about all the things I should have been doing.
Oh! I didn't mention The Two Towers yet! For anyone who doesn't already know, lol, I loved it. Absolutly. And Return of the King promises to be even better, can you BELIEVE it?!!
(For the few random people who are not in any of the email groups where I expounded in great detail about what I liked and didn't like, let me 'splain...no, there is too much. Let me sum up [TPB, Hannah!]: Eowyn and Gollum were perfect, the Ents slightly weird but good, Aragorn better then ever, Arwen sort of random but interesting, and Faramir a travesty, but a better looking travesty then I anticipated. Altogether, I will be very upset if TTT doesn't win a whole pile of awards.)
I want to see it again. So badly. But instead I'm just collecting tons and tons of reviews and articles and pictures (hurray for the internet!)
Back to Christmas. This was the year of silver. =D I got a silver bracelet from one of my bosses, and I bought myself a handmade silver ring, and my dad in a random fit of perfectness gave me an Italian silver necklace with a cross pendant. I love silver so much! Only mithril could be better. ; )
Yes, I'm slightly more Middle-earth obsessed then usual. I get that way this time of year. I wish I could escape there occasionally....like next Sunday, when Dreaded Relatives will be vising. (But only for about four hours, thank heavens.)
A few misc. things....
*The stack of books I'm reading now:
Le Morte d'Arthur (Sir Thomas Mallory)
The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights (John Steinbeck)
The Last Promise (Richard Paul Evens)
Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien)
A Treasury of Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore (edited by W. B. Yeats)
Russell Baker's Book of American Humor
*My favorite cookies at the moment: creme filled Pirouette thingies. YUM. Thank you Candace!!
*Did you know that area rugs are remarkably fire resistent?
*Life without a microwave is tough. (ours quit. **cries** My beatiful black microwave! I don't know if I can convince them to buy a black one twice. =P I didn't win on the fridge--they bought ivory instead...)
*A dead duck showed up the front yard this morning...I can't decide if it's better or worse then the headless stuffed beaver last week. ; )
Wow, another year gone again. I've been doing some mental and physical house cleaning, though I didn't really mean to.
I'm into Arthurian ledgends now. I'm going to read every book the library has on King Arthur, the Round Table, and Gallent Knyghts (to borrow the more authentic spelling). I just finished John Steinbeck's translation and interpretation of Le Morte d'Arthur, which was really good--too bad that he didn't ever finish it. Now I'm onto a translation of Le Morte d'Arthur by, uh, someone else...oh, Keith Baines. It's much closer to Sir Thomas Mallory's orginal then Steinbeck's. Next will probably be T. H. White's novels about King Arthur, which I've read before but long time ago.
Arthur is always very remote (as befitting a king) and so has very little character. Because of the Divine Right of Kings and so on kings could really "do no wrong"...anything wrong they did was the fault of their councelers or whatnot. So you can't really get much character in a king since they never make mistakes, never show doubt or fear and so on. Actually King Arthur does depending on what version you read, but he's still very characterless.
This means that I'm much more drawn to other characters--namely, Guenevere and Lancelot. (Or Gwynevere, depending on, again, which translation.) This is odd, seeing as G and L aren't *exactly* role models. Oh well. Few of them were. ; )
Another interesting thing to note is the almost total lack of description. All you find out about Arthur is that he has grey eyes. Gwynevere has golden hair, and Lancelot is a large man. Leaves a lot to the imagination, I guess.
My New Years Resolutions:
1. Stay me.
2. Read lots of good books.
3. Keep my friends.
4. Cook lots of good food.
5. Grow up a little more. ; )
6. See Return of the King.
Haha. I think I know several of those that will be easy to keep. =D
And---this was snitched from a friend who snitched it from a friend who...
Five things that 2002 taught me:
1) Things can happen very quickly that I could never imagine happening to me.
2) With God's help I can overcome problems, and when I trust in Him he *does* provide.
3) Life is not usually reasonable.
4) Friends are one of the very best things in life....when you pick them correctly. ; )
5) Growing up means using your head more and your emotions less as a guide.
Five personally significant events of 2002:
1) Cinco de Mayo...the fifth of May, and not for the Mexican holiday.
2) Buying Fellowship of the Ring:SE and seeing The Two Towers. =D
3) George's memorial service
4) Daily emails from Hannah
5) Realizing I could be married before too long, and I've got a LOT of work to do. ;)
Five things I want to do in 2003:
1) See Return of the King
2) Read a lot of good books
3) Have time for the things I enjoy doing
4) Mature in faith, attitude, and emotions
5) Keep my mind, heart, and desk drawers clutter free
Five things I don't want to do in 2003:
1) Beat myself up over my mistakes
2) Alienate my friends
3) Go to another funeral
4) Put another dent in the car. ; )
5) Obsess over things that aren't worth it
Five things I love beyond all reason currently:
1) Friends, and immediate family
2) Music of many types
3) Lord of the Rings
Five things I hate with good reason currently:
1) Liars and hypocrites
2) Bad weather
5) My irrationality
Five People who have challenged my thinking the most:
1) Hannah, in true best-friend style
2) Authors of the books I've read
4) Tolkien, of course
5) Gwen, in many letters!
Five People who have been an especial blessing:
1) Grandear, in word, deed, and thoughfulness
2) Hannah EVERDAY
3) Gwen for long letters
4) Sarah for the Green Monkeys
5) Anyone else who happened to have been a blessing, lol...
I love the names of people in old Anglo-Saxon and Celtic myths and ledgends. My favorite so far has been King Angwyshaunce of Ireland. Close behind are Guenevere, Gwyn, Gwyndolyn, and Gwynwen, Geowyn, and my FAVORITE Gwen name: Gwenllion. But there are so many other good ones: King Pellinore, Sir Mellyagraunce, Sir Brastius, Sir Tristram, Sir Galahad......the ladies Iseult, Margawse, Igraine......
WHY DOES NO ONE NAME THEIR KIDS IN THE GOOD OLD ANGLO-SAXON TRADITION ANYMORE????
Personally, I'd like to name a daughter of mind Galadriel. I knew a little girl named that, so it doesn't seem as odd to me as it might to others...That family also had children named Kirdan (verson of Cirdan) and Rosie. (Rosie MARIE, after *me*!)
I like reasonably odd names. But not so odd that they're...Odd. And I like names with meanings and histories. There are a few that I couldn't imagine bestowing on a child for rather obveous reasons: Jezabel, Hillary, Madonna.