“Something About Me” Reading Challenge List

Something About Me Reading Challenge involves picking five books that relate or represent yourself. On August 1, you pick other books from the list of other participants and hence, a discussion begins of books chosen. This is my first reading challenge, and I think it’s a pretty interesting one to begin with. I joined the Harry Potter Read Along a few weeks ago too and that starts next month in preparation for HP7.

This is my list for “Something About Me”. This was difficult to say the least. These are books that I’ve read, but I wish I had more choices that were more overt about who I am. I just want to read more after making this list. I also avoided repeats from other participants’ lists.
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Northanger Abbey: book and 2007 ITV adaptation

Northanger Abbey by Jane AustenI’ve had this book for awhile, but I was about averse to starting it thinking it was long. Partly because I read Emma last November, and it took me awhile since it was November and Emma is the longest of the Austen books. My copy of NA just looked long, and it did not take me long to read. I liked it even though Cathy was a bit silly in the middle with her over reactive imagination. She is naive, but not so irritating as other characters named Catherine (hello, Wuthering Heights). Mr Tilney amused me with the teasing. Now, NA is Austen’s satire and mocking of gothic novels which makes the novel a bit meta in the nice way. I don’t think NA is nearly as enjoyable or satisfying as Persuasion or Pride and Prejudice (my favourites), but it’s light, quick, and moved adequately enough.

Northanger Abbey (ITV 2007)This ITV Jane Austen season adaptation is my second from the season. I previously saw Persuasion which I enjoyed for all its cheesy ending. A lot of people find this to have been the best of the three adaptations, and I can see why because it was fun and witty. Andrew Davies adapted it, and he really is one of the best at adapting scripts having done the 1995 P&P, Wives and Daughters (two of my favourite period dramas) and the upcoming Sense and Sensibility. He seems to have a lot of fun with NA because it was very charming with added fantasy scenes. I also thought the casting was good on this; I enjoyed the ITV Persuasion for a similar reason. I really liked JJ Feild as Mr Tilney; he doesn’t look conventionally handsome in pictures, but he lends himself well to the character. I remember watching a young Felicity Jones in The Worst Witch and Weirdsister College. I found her amiable and sweet in this, and both had nice chemistry too. So, I’m two for two now for the JA season. I’ll have to watch Mansfield Park now to see if I like that too, but I haven’t and don’t plan on reading MP for awhile. Though, I’m already predisposed to Billie Piper. I’ll have an excuse to see JJ Feild again in The Ruby in the Smoke (by Philip Pullman), also starring Piper, which I plan to read and watch sometime in the near future.

Clap for Clapotis

Clap for Clapotis Clapotis Closeup
Clapotis, started February 26th, 2007, finished May 4th, 2007
Pattern: Clapotis from Knitty
Yarn: 100% mercerized cotton DK
Needles: #8/5.0 mm straight bamboo
Cost of Project: $10 for the yarn
Pattern Notes and Comments: One of the most well known of online patterns. I’ve wanted to knit this for awhile, and considered a lot about the yarn. The pattern uses a lot of it. I found a discounted cone of DK cotton at my LYS. See pictures below to see how much yarn it used. I didn’t intend to to use cotton for this, but this was a great deal and the yarn was even variegated! For $10, I didn’t think it would be bad. The pattern was easy, and I knit it slowly as I would often only knit when watching The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. My clapotis turned out pretty big of course, and I think it’ll be nice as a shawl for evenings in the summer. Possibly a good heavy autumn scarf. It’s just plain big though so we’ll see how I’ll wear it come fall.
Would I knit it again? Yes, as mundane as it is, it’s a nice pattern. It’s a good to knit when watching TV or a movie. I want to use a wool mix (wool/silk) it for it next time, and if I don’t have #8 circs by then, I’m definitely buying them for this project next time. I love my bamboo needles though.
Next Projects: I need to learn how to knit a pair of socks. A tea cozy for tea drinking in winter, and possibly winter gloves and scarf. Oh yeah, my weird attraction to wrist warmers even though there isn’t much of a climate for them here.
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Friday’s Feast 142

Appetizer – Name something you would not want to own.

A hummer.

Soup – Describe your hair (texture, color, length, etc.).

My hair is now past 1/3 down my back and growing steadily. It is layered, and has lightened considerably over the years making it very brown and maroon in the light, but generally “black” from afar. It’s think since I have a lot of it and can tangle easily. It’s super straight. I can’t put it into buns or updos. Lately, I’m trying to learn how to french plait my own hair, and it’s proving difficult.

Salad – Finish this sentence: I’ll never forget ___________.

The first day I came to Canada… which today is the anniversary.

Main Course – Which famous person would you like to be for one day? Why?

In one respect, I’d like to be a movie star or a model or some type so I can have a vacation from myself and see how the other side lives. In another way, I’d rather be someone like Stephen Lewis and actually doing something to help people in the world. The latter really is better.

Dessert – Write one sentence about yourself that includes one thing that is true and another thing that is not.

I have a cat named Mao. I named my Macbook Galahad.

Friday’s Feast.

Will be done clapotis by the end of the day.  Knitting post tomorrow.

Booking Through Thursday – R. I. P.

Reading. In. Public. – Do you do it? Why or why not?

Generally, no. I’m a home body, and I like the quiet of the house for reading. Last year, I did read W&P by the river which was nice, but there weren’t many people. Long time ago, I use to read in coffee shops, but I prefer home. There aren’t many places I want to read in public around here. Sometimes, I will carry a book with me for the odd occasion when I go out, and may have time to read such as on the bus. I rather look out the window though, but I do read on long plane rides or when waiting for specific things.

Booking Through Thursday

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

The Omnivore's Dilemma Reading about food is merging two of my loves together. This is the second food book I’ve read this year so far which is a lot considering I’ve only read ten books this year. George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying that, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” I bake, cook when I can, and am a very adventurous eater. My love for food is great indeed, and it interests me greatly in many respects. This book was long, but very readable. It was informative, but with a genial style that most people can enter into. As a journalist, Pollan can engage readers while some academics would bore with their style about corn sex. Corn features heavily in the first section of the book. It’s fascinating to read the industry of food, and the impact of it on the environment, and the meaning of such words such as “organic” and “sustainable”. Much as Fast Food Nation did when I read it five years ago, this book made me question my eating habits, not only in a basic moral or scientific ways, but on a philosophical level. I enjoyed reading the author going back to the source of food through corn, grass, or in the woods when hunting a wild boar or foraging fungi. I think there is a viable narrative in this book that you may not get from most nonfiction books because I found myself wondering if I could hunt, really try vegetarianism, or trust corn or the word “organic” the same way ever again. My philosophy and views of food are quite in accordance to Pollan’s so it’s a bit preaching to the choir, but I loved the information I got from it and the personal account of his experiences.

ETA: Dewey has interviewed about this book on her site over here.

Here comes summer

A fairly productive day for me as I went to the hygienist for a cleaning (must return next week for dental checkup though). I spent a lot of time reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma; it’s good, and I’m almost done. What really made my day was that I actually ran today in the late afternoon. I like running in the early mornings, but I have yet to get up early enough for it. It was a good run though since it was windy which means I worked a little harder due to resistance, and cooling. It makes me want to run again tomorrow, but that’s too soon. So I’ll do pilates as I did that today too. Hopefully, I can really kick this fitness program.

I finally took out a library copy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to Yours. It’s beautiful. I want to have a four seasons fling with it and all the recipes. Not only does it have a plethora of essential and tasty looking recipes, but there are loads of tips about baking in general and a nice glossry at the back. It’s definitely going to the top of my big cookbook wishlist. Going with it is is Amy Sedaris’s I like you: Hospitality under the influence. Hilarious, but I haven’t looked through it enough yet.

Back to some reading.

Friday’s Feast 141

Appetizer – How fast can you type?

I haven’t measured it in a long time, but I do hit at 100 wpm when I need to and a little over. I think I am always doing 80 wpm at least.

Soup – What is your favorite online game?

I don’t like online game. I get pretty tired of them because I’m not much of a gamer. I like simulation games, but they aren’t so popular online.

Salad – On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), how intelligent do you think you are?

I really can’t say. I’m bad at school, but I don’t think I’m stupid. Between a 5-7? Measuring intelligence is very arbitrary and subjective. I don’t necessarily trust IQ tests either.

Main Course – Name three of your best teachers from your school years.

Mr. C from HS, Madame B. from Middle School, and Professor Mayer from freshmen year of college.

Dessert – What are your plans for this upcoming weekend?

Take home exam and then FREEDOM: knitting, plans for baking, Doctor Who watching, running, movies, books, introspective journal and video entries about ma vie. Good times and lots of productivity for May.

Booking Through Thursday – Seasonal Reading

  1. Does what you read vary by the season? For instance, Do you read different kinds of books in the summer than the winter? I read more in the summer because I’m not in school. As a result, a lot of the books I read in the summer are more longer such as classics or more intense nonfiction. For example, I read emWar and Peace last summer, and I plan to do some Dickens again this year too. I just read less in the winter because I have less time to focus on longer books. So far, most of the books I’ve read this year are shorter than some others I would read in spring/summer.
  2. If so, do you break it down by genre, length of book, or…? Just discussed length, but genre wise, not much different really. I like taking books with me on holiday as well. Even when I know I won’t be reading for most of the trip, I still take something small like Hamlet.

From Booking Through Thursday.

Just a take home exam left, and I’ll be done for this semester. Next week expect knitting, reading, and baking posts.

Friday’s Feast 140

Appetizer – What is your favorite kind of bread?

Whole wheat, brown. I like banana bread, poppyseed, freshly baked, home made, etc. I like baguettes, garlic bread… I do like baking. Bread is quite interesting.

Soup -When was the last time you bought a new pillow?

A year to two years ago. It’s a Martha Stewart pillow; it’s okay. I want to try one of those ergonomic or specialty pillows.

Salad – Approximated how many hours per week do you spend surfing the ‘net?

A lot. This is my main device for procrastination.

Main Course – What’s the highest you remember your temperature being?

I remember hitting 38.5’C once.

Dessert – Fill in the blank: When I ____________ I _____________.

When I write fiction I never seem to finish it.

Booking Through Thursday

Okay, there must be something you read that’s a guilty pleasure . . . a Harlequin romance stashed under the mattress. A cheesy sci-fi book tucked in the back of the freezer. A celebrity biography, a phoned-in Western . . . something that you’d really rather not be spotted reading. Even just a novel if you’re a die-hard non-fiction fan. Come on, confess. We won’t hold it against you!Booking Through Thursday

I don’t read romance, westerns or “cheesy sci-fi”. I don’t even read mystery. My friend actually said I read a lot of bestsellers, which is somewhat true and somewhat not. I do read chicklit, but I’m not ashamed of it. The one thing I would say that I am ashamed of is that not only have I read The Da Vinci Code, but I’ve also read Dan Brown’s first in the Robert Langdon series Angels & Demons… and I’m probably going to read the third book. I don’t like his writing; it’s tacky and full of sensationalism, but I usually start what I finish in book series. There are other stupid reasons, but I’ll spare you.

Today, I am trying to do a lot of things include read (which I’ve been unable to do for the last two days), watch a movie that I must return tomorrow, and try to get as much done on the clapotis.