Sunday, February 27, 2005

Some fiction books I read last year...

and whether they are worth it to read:

By far the best book I read last year was: "The Time Traveler's Wife". I still think about this book sometimes. I loved the characters, I loved the premise. It was just a stunning book.

"Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke: long long long book. very good in some parts, and the premise was great, but not very good with character development.

"Wicked" by Gregory Maguire: started out great and I really really liked the main character (an imagining of the Wicked Witch of the West). But, towards the middle, it fell apart and it just was a let down in the end.

"Watership Down": frickin classic

"The Poisonwood Bible"
"Star of the Sea" by Joseph O'Connor: Very very interesting books, both of these dealt with cultures and time periods that were peripheral histories to me...and to their credits they both made me want to learn more about the historical time periods that they were placed in.

Books that I read that were pleasant reads, but now that I look at the list I can not remember so much about them (still, they are good to read for the enjoyment in them):


"Behind the Scenes" at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

"Daughter of Fortune" by Isabel Allende

"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Kidd Monk

"The Dirty Girls Social Club: A Novel" by Alisa Valdes-Rodriquez

"The Golden Compass"

"The Passion of Artemisia" by Susan Vreeland

"The Probable Future" by Alice Hoffman


Wonderful books about terrible subjects:

"Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold

"The Bondwoman's Narrative"

"Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Whatever...

So, I opened this post with the full intention to write wonderful prose on some such topic...but had to close the window of the browser to do other things...

Now I have forgotten what I was going to write about. It was going to be something about Hunter S. Thompson's passing and how I feel like the U.S. is slipping into dangerous times again and how I wish that the right people should see and grasp the implications of various signs and portents...well, whatever.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Splitting Up

So, the partners at the law firm I work for have decided to split up (amicably) and the world has wrought many decisions into my life now, specifically as they have decided that the administrative staff (me and the office manager) should be left to our own choice. Should I stay with Partner A or Partner B, should I try to look for another job (I have made faint attempts, and even been interviewed, and getting the oh so unsatisfying reply that "You were our second choice") or should I just flip a coin? I know for a fact I am underpaid, however I have had flexible hours and a family friendly environment, so I am torn between the comfortable and the unknown, the pressures and the flexibilities...at the moment I am in freefall, and I think I know where it will end up--just not sure if that is where I want to be.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hello, Out there! or how things echo

I hate "reality shows". And not for the obvious reasons (contrived, stupid and moronic, often times staged and altered). Not because they are blaring NON-reality based, but because so many people believe the "reality" that is shown on them. For example, last night on Wife Swap (or Swap Wives or whatever) (an aside--where is this reality based?), they had switched a lesbian couple's wife with a wife of a conservative "interacial" couple (note that the producers felt that this was important to point out, like "Hey, we are not racist, and let me show you how we are not racist!" Anywho...one can guess the obvious issues generated with this...and one would hope it would be dealt in, if not the most deft manner, at least in one that showed the pros and cons of each life style. But essentially for an hour you got the conservative wife blasting on the "life style" of the lesbian couple and essentially calling the woman a sexual predator. And the lesbian wife who was swapped sounded whiney and insignificant. It did not really show either side in any rational light whatsoever and did not explore the motivations of each side (okay, so this is not PBS). Basically, what really bothers me is that I know that the show was edited heavily and that there were two sides here at odds with each other in basic ways that would make for sensational viewing but not for "reality" per say. However, as the recent election showed, 51% of the population might not make such a conclusion. And so this show was basically preying on the fears of that 51% and not necessarily showing them anything conclusive to base a real understanding on.

An Addendum by Salon: Salon Wife Swap Article