Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Best Place To Read

It's interesting to note, that for me, reading is a solitary activity. I like to either do it alone, or in a bookstore or library among strangers. Because if you put me in a room with someone I know, I just can't concentrate. It's almost as if I can't faze out the world enough because somewhere in the back of my head, I keep reminding myself that I should be socializing. Maybe it's an only child thing.

For me the best way to read is on a train while traveling somewhere. It's wonderful to glance up and observe the changing scenery while contemplating the words on the page. Of course noise-cancelling headphones are crucial, since otherwise you will have to spend most of your time blocking out some whiny person who can't seem to break contact with their cellphone or understand the social ettiquete of using a lower register. Still if you have never experienced reading on a train while traveling, I would highly recommend it. I think my perfect vacation would include traveling around Europe in a train with a couple of good books. . . Nice thoughts to have when I'm stuck in my office in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving in the Boondocks

Coming back from a Thanksgiving in the quiet hills of West Virginia to work and Philly is a depressing experience. There is something theraputic about spending time surrounded by woods, hills, leaves and fuzzy animals.

I had no television, no internet, and spent all my free time reading Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield.

Even my cat seems slightly deflated after 3 days spent romping outside in glorious fall weather. The look she gave me last night after we arrived back in Philly was heartbreaking. Resentment from a pet is hard to take.

Oh well, it was a wonderful holiday and at least I have Christmas to look forward to. This year I resolve to spend more time reading and drinking hot chocolate and playing with the cat. Here's to simple pleasures. =^-^=

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Guilt and the Holidays

The problem with being an obsessive bibliophile is that around the holidays, most people decide that the perfect gift for you is a book. This is true.

The problematic aspect of this however, is that for someone who has acquired over 200 books in the last couple of months, and who's only likely to treat herself to more around the holidays, the unread pile is beginning to resemble what I would like to call a guilt-monster (imagine a 12-ft pile of books that taunts you and you'd be on the right track).

I find myself slinking past my bookshelf, averting the accusing stares that I imagine emanating from my books. Lately, they've resorted to muttering criticisms while I sleep in an effort to lower my self-esteem.

It's not the best of relationships.

The only way to resolve the problem is to diminish the pile as soon as possible. Of course now that I am an 'adult'--- and I use the word in the loosest sense possible, I have obligations around the holidays that stand in direct conflict of my goals.

I wonder how well "please stop bothering me, I must vanquish the book monster before it casts its hate-rays once more in my direction" would go down with the family?

Probably not as well as I'd imagine. . .

Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sailing the Seven Seas...

Thinking of cutting my hair and becoming a pirate since this work thing is vastly overrated...

Aio and The Summer Isles

Work, politics, and a slight obsession with trying to cook our meals instead of ordering out has taken over my life in the past two weeks. Trying to find a solid hour to curl up with book has been difficult. Still hopefully by the end of the weekend I will be able to put out a new review.

I'm currently reading The Summer Isles by Ian R. Macleod, published by a brilliant small press called Aio Publishing Company. The press, still in its infacy, produces beautiful, often collectible editions of fantastic fiction with an emphasis on quality and the personal charm of a small and friendly press, at an incredibly reasonable price.

The publsher/editor, Tiffany Jonas, is a lovely woman who's enthusiasm and dedication to her press is impressive in an age of depersonalized transactions between merchant and customer.

When I ordered my copy of The Summer Isles, she responded quickly with a warm personalized e-mail of welcome. From the looks of the feedback of customers on the website, Aio and Tiffany are dedicated to providing the highest level of topnotch, individualized service that an merchant can provide to a customer over the internet.

The book itself, a limited collector's edition signed by the author, is beautiful to behold. It comes bound in faux leather and suede (they're animal friendly, a big bonus for me) with acid neutral paper and has won awards for the design. I have yet to get to the meat of the book, but the writing and the premise has me waiting in anticipation.

I will be posting a review for The Summer Isles hopefully next week. It'll go up on and then here. In the meantime, if you are a bibliophile or a lover of good fiction, go check out Aio!

You can also find excellent reviews for The Summer Isles and Aio here, here, and here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Allen has Conceded!!!

I think its time to break out the bubbly. . . or the hard liquor. Whatever your drink of choice, break it out and celebrate.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Feeling officially lukewarm about Lost

*Spoilers about Cost of Living, last night's episode, so don't read if you haven't seen it*

Feeling as if Lost jumped the shark last night. I just don't plain care too much for the stupid reveals, and flimsy backstories anymore. Eko death felt meaningless and done more for practical business reasons then anything else. And the two new characters that they brought in to be killed later on are so annoying, that I'm wishing that they get murdered before we get to their backstories. No such luck I'm sure.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fictional Eagle Dedication

I dedicate my blog today to two fictional eagles…yes you heard right, two eagles:

Bermuda Ern of Breakfast of Champions, and the giant eagle that had a penchant for Dirk Gently’s nose/attention in The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul.

Without the two of you, life would just be that much duller. Cheers.