I have been participating in Kat’s Summer Reading Program this summer. My goals were semi-ambitious, to read 36 books; with this I set bonus goals: to finish Small Changes, read Dune, read one >500 page book from my stash, and to read Harry Potter in French.
While I completed my goal of reading 36 books, I did not do so well with my bonus goals, only making it through Dune, just over half of Shogun (which is my 500+ page stash book), and the first two chapters of Harry Potter in French.
Following are my final books for the “Summer”. I will continue reading, especially since an additional 8.6 million volumes recently were opened to me.
First though, I must tell you that the call of the Sirens (not those, but the book Sirens, they are different) is loud and I am weak. Tuesday I succeeded by only taking *one* book from my University library, but followed that with 12 from NYPL (In the rain. I ended up buying Vogue Knitting as much for the plastic bag that I could get with it as for the socks. I’m pathetic, but it’s a great issue!). Wednesday saw an additional two follow me home from work (NYPL). When I went out later to return a few to BPL, I had a *very* hard time going home without anyone new. I felt confused and disorientated. I will probably go tomorrow to bring the two home the two wee ones that are crying for me. I’m pathetic. Today, however, was the worst. Alisha and I were emailing and I got to really thinking about a book I’ve wanted to read for quite a while. At 3:30pm today I went to pick it up from Columbia. I’ve just read the introduction at this point, but I know that my spontaneous journey was completely worth it. The book? This one. (along with two others which crowded into my bag. *sigh*)
Ok, onward to what I’ve finished this summer.
Domino Knitting by Vivian Høxbro (88 pages)
I first took this out while looking for how to do a ball band. While I have no knitting (I’m slow) to show you, I urge you to look at this clever little book and learn how very simple building blocks can create very beautiful fabrics. I am determined to work through it. I will try to post pictures soon. I’ve read it twice and like it. I found it clear and easy for me to understand (of course I’ve not knit much from it yet).
Vegetarian Sushi by Brigid Treloar (111 pages)
First, do not look at this book if you are hungry. While my good friend S’s son loves to eat books (and tissues and toilet paper and everything else he can get his hands on) I do not suggest it for this book, especially if you take it from the library. The photos are beautiful, the instructions are laid out step by step both with words and instructional pictures. I had no idea one could do all of these with veges & sushi. There are variations for those who eat seafood of various types. My only complaint on the book is that the beautiful “Decorative Square Sushi” (page 78) which looks like a stained glass window does not have step-by-step instructions. I’ve read “Slightly overlap one full nori sheet with remaining one third nori sheet, sealing with a few grains of rice…” and I’m not sure how to go from those words to what the photograph shows. Ok. I’m going to stop looking through this for the Nth time this week as it’s making me hungry and I’m out of rice (gasp!) and wish I had a rice cooker to help out.
So You Want to Write : How to Master the Craft of Writing Fiction and Memoir (2nd Edition) by Marge Piercy and Ira Wood (324 pages)
A few years ago I came across the first edition of this writing class in a book and fell in love. I have enjoyed Marge Piercy’s writing for years and am very slowly remembering how to write. Ask me one day and I’ll tell you why as a 10 year old, I wrote very well and now have confused all the rules of grammar (I could never spell). I enjoy the exercises the most. Slowly I am working through these and I am exercising in preparation for NaNoWriMo ’06. Perhaps I’ll be completely nuts trying to do it along with work, school, and life; but I feel better prepared this year. I am relearning how to plan, plot, and plod my way through. No, you still can’t see what I wrote last year. Some probably would say that it doesn’t count for “winning” but I hope one day to make something out of *that*. Anyway, this expanded edition is very nice and I will get much further enjoyment from it.
Edit: I forgot this one, my spreadsheet totals still stand.
Dolphins of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (340 pages)
Wow. This was really sweet. I’ve not read all of Pern with the same desire to stay chronological as I am with Valdemar. I have read bits and pieces of it. The premise of Dolphins was not a surprise (I had been wondering about it) and I really enjoyed this. I have a weakness for dolphins and whales and other marine mammels and fondly recall my time wale watching in the summer and also at school with the Okeanos Ocean Research Foundation (now The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation). At one point in my life I wanted to be a marine biologist.
Edit #2: I forgot this one too, my spreadsheet totals still stand.
Sorting Things Out : Classification and Its Consequences by Geoffrey C Bowker & Susan Leigh Star (377 pages)
This is another school book and I will have to write up more in the coming days. This is classified as a “sociology” type of book and it does indeed look at sociological effects of labeling and classification, looking at the ICD, death certificates, tuberculosis and Mann’s The Magic Mountain and apartheid. It also informed me that the last time one could “die of being worn out” was in 1913. I think the largest thing I came away with from this book was what was least expected (isn’t that the way?); I had no idea that apartheid was like that. Sure, we studied it in high school, but not in depth, and I never thought too much about it. Now I am embarrassed and am looking to right that wrong. If anyone has a good recommendation to read I am open to suggestions.
When Darkness Falls : The Obsidian Trilogy Book 3 by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory (324 pages)
I’m obsessed ok? This is the conclusion to Kellen, Idalia, and Jermayan’s journey. I inhaled this book. I don’t want to say anything because I worry I will give something away. It’s inspiring. I finished it on the subway this afternoon and almost cried. It’s good. Go read.
Ok. That puts my summer total at:
54 books (out of 30) over 17,731 pages (average book length of 328 pages). One of four bonus goals were met.
So what’s next? Well, I’m a student now so I need to work on those books and writing. I want to finish up Mercedes Lackey’s books, make a larger dent in Anne McCaffrey’s, and complete my summer bonus goals. Then? We shall see. I heard David Eddings is addictive. ;)