midnightsjane: (Default)
The move to the new house is now only weeks away, so time to start sorting through the collection of stuff I've accumulated over the last 19 years in this place. Books are my focus now. So far I've sorted through one big bookcase, and two smaller ones; total number of boxes filled and taken to the book donation bin=10. So many more to go! I'm trying not to be sentimental, and not hang on to books I know I won't read again. I'm trying to decide if I should toss all those Star Trek novels (save for the few I know I will reread, like the Rhihansu novels by Diane Duane); I've let go of most of the Angel and Buffy novels, because really, most of them were pretty bad. My rule of thumb so far has been if I haven't seen the book in more than five years, I know I will never miss it...and when you have books stacked 3 deep on a shelf, there are plenty of those books.

I have found a few hidden treasures. Just now I unearthed a copy of Berke Breathed's Bloom County "Loose Tails" and I found myself laughing very much out loud at the antics of his characters. I'd forgotten about Bloom County; it, along with Calvin and Hobbs were at one time the main reason I bought newspapers..for the comics.

Good thing I'm starting this process now. I have no idea how long it's going to take. OMG. I'm a book hoarder.
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I am moving in a month or so, and in preparation for the move I decided to start culling my book collection. Just spent the last hour sorting, and I now have 3 boxes filled with books to donate. I sorted through 3 shelves of one bookcase. Those shelves are still filled with books. This is going to take awhile. Good thing I have time. I better not procrastinate as is my habit. :p

Book Meme

Sep. 14th, 2014 06:57 pm
midnightsjane: (Default)
Because I have been busy, with just the regular real life stuff, not terribly interesting, and haven't had a lot of time, I think I'll do this meme as a way of kickstarting my journaling again.

Via Raincitygirl, a book meme:



Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag ten friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them! Not tagging anyone, feel free to do or do not:

1. Lord of the Rings. A book that enchanted me from the first reading, and continues to do so after at least 25 rereads.

2. A Tale of Two Cities. My introduction to Charles Dickens way back in high school. We read it in English Lit class in grade 10, and it opened up a whole new world for me. I haven't read it in years, but I remember it as one of the books that made me see the world differently.

3. The Water Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby by the Reverend Charles Kingsley (I had to look it up in Wikipedia) published in 1863. I don't remember much about it, but the feeling I had when my grade 3 teacher read it to us in class remains. I was enchanted, couldn't wait for the next chapter, and I think it was responsible for instilling a love of books in me that has stayed for lo these many years.

4. The Valdemar Series by Mercedes Lackey. Just a whole wonderful series that I return to for comfort like a warm blanket on a cold day.

5. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. Chris Hadfield's journey from dreaming of the stars as a boy to his time on the International Space Station. Inspiring and informative...and I'm a little jealous, 'cause I've secretly always wanted to be an astronaut.

6. Chocolat by Joanne Harris, and the followup book The Lollipop Shoes. Great characters, a hint of magic, and Paris. I found these books in an airport store and they kept me entertained on a boring flight.

7. Poldark by Winston Graham: a whole series of historical soap opera that kept me enthralled for months. (loved the TV series, too)

8. The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. The first series I read by Kay, one of my favourite writers.

9. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. The best rendition of the Sherlock Holmes mythology I know of. Love the whole series.

10. The River That Flows Uphill, A Journey from the Big Bang to the Big Brain. A long title for a long book by William H. Calvin that uses a rafting trip down the Colorado River to explore nature, science and the wonder of life. Really fascinating.

Doing this was a lot harder than I thought! I keep thinking of other books I've read, and how they opened up worlds to me...no wonder I have so many. I can't imagine a world without a book to read.

Book!

May. 27th, 2014 09:44 pm
midnightsjane: (Default)
I have the new Dresden Files novel in my hot little hands. Picked it up on my way home this evening - I just made it into WhiteDwarf before they closed. I would have been very upset if I'd missed it, let me tell you. Now I have to settle down and start reading because people are posting about it already, and I MUST AVOID SPOILERS!! Temptation to peek is great, but my will is strong.

:runs off to read:
midnightsjane: (Default)
Alice Munro won the Nobel prize for literature! That is really amazing news; she is one of the foremost writers of short stories in the world, and one of the writers who helped form my own view of the world, and of the country I live in. She writes about ordinary people, small towns, the life of Canada, and does it with warmth, insight and excellence. The short story is a tough format, and she is a master of it. I have several of her books, most of which I've owned for decades. Along with Margaret Laurence and Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro brought the women of Canada to life for me with her stories. At the age of 82 she is still writing, although she says she might not do much more. If she writes nothing more, she's left us with a wonderful body of work, one which is now honoured with the Nobel Prize.

Bravo!
midnightsjane: (Default)
Neil Gaiman totally understands my bookish soul.

I knew there was a reason I like this man and his writing.
midnightsjane: (Default)
They say time flies when you're having fun, so by those lights I must be having a hoot and a half, LOL. It's just been one of those really busy times, and the days zoom by. And all of a sudden, July is over and we're halfway through summer. Sheesh.

July officially became the driest on record here. Not one day of measureable precipitation the whole month. The rain held off until last night, when we got a shower or two. I think it's going to be a great blackberry season..I was checking o.ut all the blackberry bushes that line the fenceline at the farm this afternoon, and the bushes are loaded with berries that are actually ripening. I picked a couple of handfuls to sample and was pleased. I'm going to have to put on my body armour and go do some serious picking. If I can get enough, I think I might make some jam. Didn't have a garden this year, so I'm getting my fill of fresh local veggies from the farm markets around here. The only veggie that is growing on the farm right now is a giant squash plant that self seeded on the manure pile. Not sure what kind of squash, but it's big!

All the horses got their feet done today. The farrier got there early so we got all 10 done by lunchtime. They were all good this time, unlike last time when every horse seemed to think it was rodeo time! Nick was relieved I'm sure.

I'm glad I'm going to be out at the farm tomorrow...it's going to be very noisy around here. My landlord has to repair the patio because there's a problem with water leaking down into the stores below, so tomorrow they're going to jackhammer the concrete on half of the space and put new waterproof barrier down and then pour on new concrete. I came home last night to find that all the plants had been moved onto the other side of the patio, so I figured something was up; today we got the notice from the landlord. Poor neighbours, it's going to be unpleasant here tomorrow.

Still very pleased with my new car. I've put almost 2000km. on it in just over 3 weeks! It's proving very handy when I have to get grain and hay cubes for my horses. The hatchback makes it super easy to haul stuff.

I have had some time for summer reading, and in the hot weather my tastes lean towards the kind of stuff that doesn't require a great deal of brain power; fluff for the lazy hazy days of summer.

What I've been reading this past month:

Crown of Vengeance: The Dragon Prophesy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. A big (almost 800 pages) tale of magic, war, world building and destiny, set in the world the authors explored in The Obsidian Trilogy and The Enduring Flame trilogy, both of which I really loved.

The Fate of the Jedi series: nine novels by Christie Golden, Aaron Allison, and Troy Denning. Set 43 years after The Return of the Jedi, it follows Luke Skywalker, his son Ben, and Leia and Han Solo's quest to discover why their son Jacen turned to the Dark Side. I picked up the first one out of curiousity, because I haven't been reading much Star Wars for a few years, but out the need for reading material I started rereading the Timothy Zahn series that started the novelizations (Heir to the Empire)and started feeling the Star Wars magic again. I liked the series, and it certainly did the trick for summer fluffy reading.

Tarnished and Torn by Juliet Blackwell: a mystery featuring a witch who runs a vintage clothing store and picks up vibrations from the clothes she touches..often leading to the discovery of murder and mayhem. Quite fun.

Tulle Death Do Us Part by Annette Blair: another series that features a psychic detective who gets pulled into mysteries by touching clothes and jewelry that others have worn. This one has a resident ghost, Wiccans, and Goth girls. Not great literature, just good entertaining reading.

So far, I've had a good,if uneventful, summer. Can't ask for much more.
midnightsjane: (Default)
This is pretty neat!

Canada's smallest library

A bookworm's favourite place.
midnightsjane: (Default)
Note to self: Be more careful when booking work shifts. Working a day shift one day, a night shift the next, and then a day shift the next? Makes for one confused body.

LOL.

So, I've been busy getting things sorted out with my car. Took the loaner back this morning and was able to pick up poor Honda. The body shop was able to get the trunk closed, so the car is drivable for now. I talked to the ICBC adjuster this morning; he gave me a quote for the settlement and will do the paper work. I should get a cheque for around $3000 from them, which will make a good down payment on a new car. I'm looking at the Honda Fit, which looks like a nice small car, and it has a hatchback, which is so handy when I have to haul grain etc. One of the Honda dealers has a 2010 with low mileage for around $10,000, so I'm going to check it out. Still going back and forth between new and used. I have some time to look around, so that's good.

I was so tired when I got home I crashed for a couple of hours. It was really hot when I woke up, so the rest of the day was low key. I walked up to the Library, found a great book to read, came home, did a couple of loads of laundry. Made a big salad for dinner and sat on the patio to eat. I'd watered all the plants, which cooled the patio off quite a bit. It was very pleasant sitting out there, just enjoying a quiet few moments.

The book I took out of the Library is by JoAnne Harris, who wrote the book which was the inspiration for one of my favourite movies Chocolat (I loved Judi Dench, and Johnny Depp in it). She followed it with another book I love, Lollipop Shoes. Now she continues the story of Vianne and her daughter Anouk, and the people of the village of Lansquenet in Peaches for Monsieur le Cure. It's so well written, and so warm and wise about the human heart, I'm enthralled. I started it about 4 o'clock and I'm already half way through it.

I guess I'd better organize myself, since I have to work tomorrow morning. My own dumb fault. At least it's air conditioned in the unit, so if it's hot again tomorrow I won't notice it.
midnightsjane: (Comic horse)
There are snow storms and rain storms in parts of the country, but right here it's all sunshine and falling cherry blossoms. In short, a beautiful start to a new month. Nice.

I'm going to enjoy my next few days off. The way my work schedule has been of late, I haven't had more than a couple of days off together, so five in a row is going to be great. Got to make the most of the sunny weather. I spent a couple of hours yesterday sitting out on the patio reading and drinking tea, a fine way to pass the afternoon.

Speaking of reading, I am taking a trip down fandom memory lane, inspired by the prospect of new Star Wars movies, and a find in the local library of a new book by Timothy Zahn. Scoundrels, featuring Han Solo and a gang of shady characters, set between the first and second Star Wars movies. Enjoyed it well enough, a good book to read on a warm spring day, not the greatest thing ever, but enjoyable. Then I went searching through my own library for more, and found Zahn's trilogy Heirs to the Empire, the books that really started the whole line of post movie novels. One of the features I like about the various novels is that they all relate in some way to the other books, so a story line started in one book might show up again in another. Of all the Star Wars Books I have, I think these first three books by Zahn might be my favourites. It's been about 15 years since I last read them, so it's almost like discovering them all over again. I may just end up on a whole Star Wars reading marathon. I just finished rereading all the Dresden Files books, and before that the whole Star Trek Rihannsu series by Diane Duane. I seem to be on something of a kick here. One thing about having so many books, if I dig around I'm bound to find books I've forgotten I have!

Haven't watched much TV lately; I don't seem to have the time. I'm really behind on Bones, missed the last two episodes of Castle, also the last couple of Touch, and have pretty much given up on Glee. One show I make a real effort to see is Once Upon a Time. Luckily with my laptop I have the ability to watch the things I miss at a time of my own choosing..I just need the time!

I seem to be a rather busy person these days. It's all good, though. I'm quite happy to be busy..makes me feel productive.

Tomorrow I have to get out to the farm early. Our farrier is coming to trim and/or shoe the horses. He spends the whole day there, since he has 11 horses to do. Works out for us, too.

Going to be another busy day. Good thing it's supposed to be warm and sunny.

*Gloats*

Nov. 23rd, 2012 09:20 pm
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I have in my possession the newest Dresden Files book, Cold Days. It's not officially for sale in Canada until Tuesday, but I happen to have friends in high places..book sellers!
I stopped in my friends' store on my way home, just to say hi, and they'd just unpacked the box of books. They let me have one, just 'cause I'm such a nice person...and I said I wouldn't tell anyone. Okay, I couldn't stop myself. Don't tell anyone I told you, eh?
I promise I won't read it until Tuesday....yeah, right.

Book rec!

Oct. 3rd, 2012 10:42 pm
midnightsjane: (Default)
For all those readers out there patiently waiting for Jim Butcher to finish the next Dresden novel, I think I've found a book you might enjoy. I was visiting my friends at WhiteDwarf Books this afternoon, and Jill pulled a book out of a box and said "here, I think you'll like this; Jim Butcher did!" It's called Fated by Benedict Jacka. The protagonist is a mage named Alex Verus who owns a magic shop in London. I'm about 3 chapters in, and so far I'm really liking it. Has a similar feel to the Dresden Files, and in fact he even references Harry in a vague way (as a wizard he's heard about in Chicago who advertises in the phone book), but he's building his own world view.
I'm always delighted when I find another author who pleases the reader in me, and when it's an ongoing series like this one is (book 2 was published this spring), I'm doubly delighted.


In other news, it was a glorious fall day out at the farm. The leaves are just turning colour, and it was warm and sunny. The sky was a brilliant blue, and everything just looked so beautiful. My favourite time of year, at least for now.

Came home, made myself a very tasty supper of pasta and homemade sauce (fresh cherry tomatoes, onion, green pepper, zucchini and basil, simmered in olive oil) which I ate while watching two episodes of the Big Bang Theory..two episodes I hadn't seen before, bonus! I love that show, it makes me lol.
midnightsjane: (Calvin's choice)
Every cook has one, sooner or later. Tonight was my turn. I decided to make a kugel (grated potato, onion and carrot mixed with egg and bread crumbs, topped with grated cheese and baked) for dinner, with an eye to having leftovers for my supper tomorrow. Mixed it all together, popped it in the oven and waited; it smelled good, looked okay, but when I cut it into squares and lifted it up to put on the plate it fell apart. No big, still edible..until I put a forkful into my mouth. OMG. When did I dump the entire salt shaker into the mix? It was SO oversalted I almost gagged. Tasted it again, just to make sure. Yup, culinary disaster indeed. The whole thing got tossed into the compost bucket. So much for dinner.

On to plan b: pasta with canned sauce. Not fancy, but pasta rarely disappoints me.

This isn't the absolutely worst thing I've ever cooked, but it comes damned close. Usually if a dish doesn't come out the way I envisioned I can somehow rescue it, but this was definitely a no way loser. :sigh:

I just hate throwing food out, it's such a waste. But sometimes, that's the only thing to do. One good reason that I never cook something for the first time when company is coming! I remember one time making a new recipe for friends, and being so embarrassed when the portions were really tiny, in spite of what the cook book had said. Best to test it on myself first.

Heh.

Other than the dinner mishap, it was a good day. Went out to the farm, cleaned a couple of stalls and the paddocks, said hello to my horses, scored some pumpkin tarts courtesy of our boarder Kim, thankyouverymuch.

Also managed to get up to the Library and find some new books to read, hurray!! Came away with the newest novel by Ann Perry in her William Monk series Acceptable Loss, a couple of books by Mercedes Lackey, Gwenhwyar and Trio of Sorcery and a new author for me, Sara Douglass with her new book The Devil's Diadem. As well, one of the Pern novels written by Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd, Dragon's Fire. It's so great to have books I haven't read and reread a hundred times! Hurray for the public library system.

Off to read now.

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