Month: October 2007

Appetizer -Name a great website you would recommend to others.


Soup – On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?

10. I’m a dreamer. I even lucid dreamed I was flying in San Francisco this morning. It was fun.

Salad – Did you have a pet as a child?  If so, what kind and what was its name?

No, I had a couple of goldfish that kept dieing.

Main Course – If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?

No idea. If I were a celebrity, I wouldn’t want to advertise things either. I would advertise for someone if they gave me a lot of free stuff like books (okay, no ads for books), clothes, bags and shoes, etc.

Dessert – What is your favorite kind of hard candy?

I ‘m not much for candy, but I love chocolate.

I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing. So . . . what books have you abandoned and why? – BTT

Sometimes, I’ve had to abandon books due to time which is why I put The Two Towers on hold; I haven’t finished LOTR for that reason. Some books require more attention over time.  Usually, it’s circumstances. Very rarely do I abandon a book because I’ve disliked it so much. I usually pick books I have an idea I’d like, and a book can’t be all that bad. The one memorable book I’ve abandoned is Mists of Avalon. I’ve mentioned that before, but I’ve tried to finish that at least three times. Life is too short to read books I don’t enjoy at the time. I tried reading Jane Eyre when I was 15, but didn’t try again and love it until years later.

By Augusten Burroughs. On my account, I ask for recommendations of nonfiction books. This was the book that most people “thought I might enjoy”. It’s a very popular memoirs, and I can see why. Many people think the book is funny, and I found some moments amusing, but most of the time, it was just strange. I think Burroughs’s prose is simple, direct, and effective as it is. Burroughs childhood and the people around him were quite messed up, but the more I read, the less perturbed I became. He also seemed to grow into the weirdness and unsettling nature of his life as he seemed to just accept what it was. Objectively speaking, a lot of the details were disturbing and sad.

I probably wouldn’t have read this book had not so many people recommended it for me as I really don’t read many memoirs of this type. I have read a lot about travel, food, and of famous people, but not on “normal” people. Not that Augusten Burroughs childhood was in any way normal. It’s a bit refreshing, and I did relate to some aspects of this. Due to the lack of boundaries placed on the characters and their disregard of societal norms and values, some of the stuff described was seemed genuinely fun and liberating to me. Often weird, but still neat. There was a spontaneity that I could see the appeal of in the stories of the mini adventures.

The book was shorter than I thought it would be, and I didn’t feel dragged down by it as a result. I don’t love this book nor do I dislike it. I think it conveys how crazy people are, but then again, maybe we have that in our every day lives. You can tell I’m not easily surprised by a lot of things that I read. Like I said, I was able to relate to it in some way showing you how we all want to be let out of our cages sometime.

So I don’t read movie reviews, but I’m fairly abreast of what films are liked and well received. I don’t remember hearing anything about this movie which usually doesn’t mean well for the film. Two of my friends did not like. One of them said the movie dragged on way too long. I’m inclined to agree. It wasn’t that bad of a movie, but it felt a bit aimless. I don’t think it did a good job of making you feel attached to any of the characters. It was slow, and took a bunch of amusing things from the book, but it wasn’t quite enjoyable or even sad enough. It felt a bit disjointed. I think the script might have looked okay on paper, but was just difficult to be cohesive on screen. I thought the acting was pretty decent since there was Annette Benning, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow (she had such few lines that she did not irk me at all in this film), Joseph Fiennes, and Joseph Cross as Augusten. The soundtrack wasn’t bad either, and there were some nice moments attributed to the director and the actors. All in all, not the worse movie I have seen, but not a great adaptation either.

Nomad Hat

Nomad Hat and Scarf, started October 5th, 2007, finished October 18, 2007
Pattern: Nomad Hat and Scarf by Kate Coyle from Interweave Knits, Fall 2007
Made for: Mom
Yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky Tweed (75% Acrylic 25% Wool 123 yards per 100g) – 3 skeins of Earthy Brown Tweeds
Needles: #9/5.5mm 150cm circs for hat, #10/6mm and 7mm for ear flaps
Modifications: Needle size changes, different cast-on.
Lessons Learned: I didn’t like the tutorials for the Emily Ocker cast-on online, and wished I had looked in EZ’s explaination earlier because it seemed simpler. Anyway, I used this circular cast-on.
Cost of Project: $15 yarn + $6 for needles = $21
Would I knit it again? Bit boring, but it’s good ear flap hat pattern.

Nomad Scarf Nomadic

Pattern Notes and Comments: My mom has wanted an ear flap hat for awhile now. I was going to do a conventional, tie below the chin sort of ear flap hat when she said she wouldn’t mind the flaps being long. That’s when I remembered that I had just seen this pattern in the Fall IK. I Magic Looped the hat portion of the pattern. I love Magic Loop even though the bamboo circs I used had a cheap cord. The flaps were about 38″ long, and I modified when I switched needles between the 6mm and the 7mm. Each flap took exactly one skein of the Chunky Tweed. I love tweed. This is my third tweed hat in two months. I’m a bit of a yarn snob and this was my first time knitting with acrylic in awhile. My mom wanted it to be brown, and apparently, it was hard for me to find affordable, chunky brown yarn. Besides, I think it’ll be warm enough with the flaps being so long.

This is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, but it marks the second part of the series and is the first part of the next four books. For maximum enjoyment of this book, I recommend you start with the first four books. It’s been so long that I don’t remember how good those books are individually, but I love this series as a whole. It’s fun, unique, different, hilarious, and well written. I forgot how many plots Mr Fforde can balance in these books. This may turn some people off because he does have so many plot lines set up, but most of them are closed without much fanfare in the last couple of chapters. The other ones are set ups for the next books. For a more in depth review with slight spoilers from the previous books and this one (nothing major), click below. Continue reading →

Alright my dear friends, I must call it a night. I have much to do tomorrow. I read two books, one play, but I really only completed one book. It was fun and worth it though, and the book was particularly apt I thought.

I won one of the challenges over at Dewey‘s blog. Yay! She reads some great books too so I’m sure I’ll have some lovely choices in the future. I also would like to take the time to deserve credit to Dewey for being a fantastic organiser and host of this event. She’s made this great fun for all of us.

Here’s my last challenge from Booklogged: Choose one of the books you are reading for the challenge. Pretend you are going to host a book group at your house this month to discuss that book. What will you serve for refreshments? The refreshments have to tie-in to the book somehow.

Since I’ve actually finished First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, I’ll have a Thursday Next themed party.

People who have read the books will understand why I will choose Battenburg cake and Cheese (with crackers) as the food with coffee and tea as refreshments. Not any Cheese, but illegal cheese that I probably had to smuggle across the border.

Thanks for everything today. Good night and good luck.


A memoirs / biography reading challenge running through the whole of 2008. As with most of my lists, this is tentative and subject to change.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
William Shakespeare or Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832 by Stella Tillyard
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

From our lovely organiser Dewey:

1. What are you reading right now? Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

2. How many books have you read so far? 1, and a few scenes from Cyrano.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I guess the one I’m reading now.
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Other than not doing homework, no, not really.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Well someone called long distance, but it was nice to hear from them. My Saturdays — okay my life — in general, not too exciting or dramatic.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I’m surprised that I’ve been able to post this often and participate in challenges. I do like this wing it sort of blogging because I plan a lot of my posts.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No, I’m having a great time and people have been really nice with their comments.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Maybe I’ll try to do it for 24 hours for real next time, but it does depend on when that will be. It’s a shame I have to sleep tonight.

9. Are you getting tired yet? A bit. A book a day is enough for me.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I’m really laid back and not forcing anything. So I think it’s a matter of going with the reading, the breaks, and the interruptions with ease.

Dear Edmond Rostand,

Please write in English — I kid. I kid. You 19th century French writers slay me good. I have enjoyed your Cyrano de Bergerac. Well the first few scenes, but I must stop and find a more substantial work in which I can understand more than half of what is going on. I love your rhyming couplets and your 12 syllable verses, but another day, my good sir?


I’ve taken a couple of lengthy breaks because I am unsure of what to read but I think I’ll start Running With Scissors.

Death by reading challenges, eh? The Seafaring challenge features books of nautical nature. It runs from November 1, 2007 to January 31, 2008. I really just have one goal in this challenge: Read any book(s) from the Horatio Hornblower series by C. S. Forrester.

I love the miniseries, and I’ve been meaning to read at least one of these books for years. One book makes me Lieutenant, but I want to attain at least Captain by the end of January.

Oh here are some bonuses as per my usual challenge posts:

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
..and any Pulitizer Prize or Newbery winning book that fits into this category

I am really open to suggestions since I have read little in this genre. Nonfiction can apply, but it must be engaging of course.

Sarah had a challenge for us to read in a language that was not our native languages. English is not my first language, but it is by far the one I most adept. Second would be French, so I ventured out to read Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergeac. I’ve only ever seen the movie versions of this (both the Gerard Depardieu faithful film version and the amusing Steve Martin one). It’s a story that I’ve liked, but never gotten around to reading. I read only a bit of it this past hour, but it just reminds me how rusty my French is. Shamefully, my comprehension of French diction was the best and how has fallen quite subpar. I love French, but I suck at sticking to things and keeping them up, especially musical instruments and languages. I think French is one of the most lovely languages, and sometimes, if I’m lucky, I dream in French rather than English. I was glad to pick a play and not Dumas. I try to read a lot of things in French, but I usually fail. I will not try to rad Dumas in French though, nor do I really want to finish the musketeer series even though I really liked The Three Musketeers. Anyway, this play is fun lyrically because it’s written in verse and rhyming couplets. Cyrano does not make an entrance for 900 lines. I’ll continue to read for a bit, and have some dinner I think.

I finished Jasper Fforde’s First Among Sequels. I’m a bit tired, so I don’t think I want to read One Day in th Life of Ivan Denisovich; I want something really light. That’s not going to happen, but I’ll figure what to read next.

Here are the featured readers of the hour:

Jessica – Who has just joined us and is reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
Alison is reading Scott Westerfeld’s Pretties and has read 175 pages in five hours.
Deb is reading Peter Sagal’s The Book of Vice: Naughty Things (And How to Do Them) and other books.