omorka: (Asherah Presides)
25 Nisannu: Lit ancestor candle well after sunset (so technically the 26th) and lit incense for the three Ladies of the Ugaritic pantheon (Astarte, Asherah, & Anat). Did not perform any other altar work at either the indoor or outdoor altars because I spent most of the evening providing moral support/handholding while Cheshirebast tried to wrestle his taxes into submission. Did read the first three chapters of Diana Paxson's book on building relationships with the Divine, which is both interesting and a fast read, while waiting for him to sort through receipts. I am a bit tired of all of the good polytheist books coming from either Heathens or people whose politics are to the right of Ayn Rand or both (I don't know anything about Paxson's politics, mind; she's in the first category). Where are the Nova Romans and Hellenics? Why aren't they writing these books? Heck, why not more Druids and Celtic Reconstructionists?

26 Nisannu: Freshened water on altar, did brief grounding and centering meditation, lit incense at indoor altar for the Ladies of my altar (Tiamat, Gaia, and Shapshu) and the Ladies I wish to invite (Lahamu and Kishar), lit candles & incense at outdoor altar for Shapshu and Eshmun, and the Beloved Dead.
omorka: (Asherah Presides)
[Note for sacred calendar dates: I'm using the Achaemenid-era Chaldean calendar because it's the one that's easiest to use. Since the new moon and the equinox fell on the same day this year, I'm assuming that 1 Nisannu was the evening of the 20th/morning of the 21st (Babylonians counted from sunset, like most Semitic peoples still do). I'm not entirely sure what to do about the year count, since I'm actively an anti-monarchist, but listing off the current Congress seems even more awkward than treating the Presidency as if it were a reign, so I'm doing that for the moment.]

Got two different suggestions in 48 hours that cleaning off and re-dedicating my home altar would be the correct thing to do for Akitu. My right wrist is hurting too badly to do the grading I really ought to be doing right now, but gross motor movement doesn't hurt nearly as much as fine motor stuff, so I went ahead and did so. I hadn't quite realized how much extra stuff had accumulated on top of the altar. Fortunately, it has drawers, and they weren't full yet, so I dusted everything off and put most of it inside the altar. I have two votive figures for deities I'm not currently doing reverence for (Tehuti and Sarasvati), so I found honored places on the bookshelves for them (they're both deities of learning, among other things, so I can't imagine them objecting to being placed with books). I also have an un-dedicated image of Hecate, but I need to do a proper ceremony for that one, so I wrapped it up and put it in one of the drawers for right now.

The rest back here for space )
omorka: (Monkees '68)
I ordered a copy of Dolenz's autobiography (written in '89 or so originally, with a final chapter that's everything from then to the mid-naughts from his biographer; the rest of the book is written in first-person) on account of I'd read a library copy of it twenty years ago and remembered bits of it being interesting. I was right; he's a process theologian - and gives a pretty good layman's description of it in the chapter when he mentions it. (That same chapter makes me think it is very, very important that he and Dan Aykroyd never, ever be allowed to get drunk together; we would end up with a dimensional rift for sure.) It's also somewhat disconcerting, in that Micky-the-character might as well be the authorial voice; every third sentence is either a joke or a reference to something else. I don't particularly mind reading 190 pages of him goofing around (I am a fangirl, after all), but only the parts about his family come across as anything less than his public-persona-as-defense-mechanism. The upside of the author-as-harlequin is some screamingly funny descriptions of bits of the celebrity life. For example, his description of the last time he dropped acid:
I ended up sitting in the living room , watching the walls breathe and my hand turn into a snake, impatiently looking at my watch thinking, "Here goes the old hand-into-a-snake routine. I wonder when I can get out of here and go home to work on my gyrocopter?"


Anyway. On to the next three episodes Behind the Cut )

Three decent episodes, no real standouts (but no stinkers, either). Episode 19 shows some good ensemble work, and Episode 20 lets Davy and Micky show off some of their physical comedy chops; Episode 21 feels to me like Episode 1 done right this time, which is probably the wrong way to think about it, but there it is.

There aren't any commentaries on this disc, alas.
omorka: (Baking Cookies)
So, two books I've finshed recently -

---

First, The Aritst and the Mathematician: The True Story of Nicholas Bourbaki, the Genius Mathematician Who Never Existed, by Amir D. Aczel.

This book covers some fascinating topics, but I hesitate to recommend it to anyone, because it's rather poorly written. Not terribly written, let me point out; I'd be more than pleased with this level of structure and flow from, say, one of my senior IB students, or even a college undergraduate. But it's puzzling from a professionally published book by a professor; in some ways, it reads as if it were a translation of a very good book by a competent but novice translator. The author has a tendency to repeat himself, and there are several places where he tries to give a general overview explanation of a mathematical (or, in some places, linguistic, artistic, or anthropological) concept that really doesn't take well to a generalized layman's explanation, leaving me as the reader almost as in the dark as I was before (or, in the case of some of the set theory and topology that I did already know, annoyed that he didn't explain it better).

At any rate, the book is about the history of the Bourbaki Group, a loose collection of French mathematicians from the 30s to the 60s who revised French mathematics (in the wake of the collapse of German mathematics over the 30s and 40s, especially) and set it on new, more rigorous footing. It's an interesting period; there's a shift from a very nationalistic sense of mathematics in Europe to a much more global outlook over that timeframe, and it's that shift that eventually kills off Nicholas Bourbaki (the pen name under which the group published) in the '80s. In the meantime, Bourbaki's big idea, the notion of mathematical structure, influenced the entire academic atmosphere in postwar France. It's a portion of the history of mathematics that deserves more attention than it gets (British and the tumultuous remains of German mathematics tend to get all the academic notice for the period). I'm just not sure this book, with its own structure problems, does it justice.

---

Second, Cheap. Fast. Good!, by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross.

First, if you're a working parent cooking for children, you don't have major food sensitivity issues in the family, and you don't already have Mills & Ross's previous book, Desperation Dinners, go get it. Half-Price Books stores will often have a couple of copies in the Cooking section, unless someone else in the area has already discovered it. (They also have a book called Desperation Entertaining, which is worth picking up if you can get it cheaply, but isn't as generally useful as the other two.) It doesn't rank up there with Peg Bracken's I Hate To Cook Book in terms of absolutely lifesaving stuff - Skid Row Stroganoff is still the world's best comfort food, even if it looks like dogfood (although all skillet meals sort of look like dogfood) - but it's very good indeed. And you don't have to have a family for it to be useful, even though all the recipes are sized for four; anyone who arrives home at 6:30 and just wants dinner on the table without having to venture back out or eating after 8:00 will find it useful, and the extras can be lunches down the line.

Anyway, Cheap. Fast. Good! is the result of both authors having career wobbles due to the slow-motion collapse of the newspaper industry (they're both food columnists, and DD is largely a collection of recipes from their column together). When they suddenly found themselves with less discretionary income, at much the same time as their toddlers and elementary school kids turned into middle-schoolers and teenagers, they turned from focusing on getting meals done as soon as possible (the focus of DD, which specializes in 20-minute meals, and, to a lesser extent, DE) to getting them done in a reasonable amount of time without breaking the bank. The contrast with their earlier books is interesting, and instructive; they still use convenience foods, but they tend to stick with one or two per recipe instead of three or four. CFG has a larger focus on less-processed ingredients, too, including seasonal ones. They also have some helpful tips about bulk shopping, storing, and cooking ahead when you can.

There are a few issues; the biggest one is that anyone with food allergies will find large swaths of the cookbook simply unusable. If you're lactose intolerant or cooking for someone who is, for instance, you'll have to do a lot of modification for the book to be much use at all. (Gluten or nut allergies will require less modification, but there will still be a substantial number of recipes you won't be able to use as-is.) Similarly, if you're just fussy, you'll have to do a certain amount of adjusting; I substitute frozen green beans for canned every time they come up, for instance, even if they are a bit more expensive. I hate bell pepper, too, and they're quite fond of it, but so far substituting an equal amount of chopped celery (or, if it's only one of several vegetable ingredients, just omitting it) seems to be working out. And one of the authors must have a ketchup-loving kid, because it shows up with alarming frequency.

Still, overall, a worthwhile buy. Highly recommended, especially for those of us who are trying to eat out less but get home too late to sweat over an hour-and-a-half dinner.
omorka: (Baking Cookies)
So, two books I've finshed recently -

---

First, The Aritst and the Mathematician: The True Story of Nicholas Bourbaki, the Genius Mathematician Who Never Existed, by Amir D. Aczel.

This book covers some fascinating topics, but I hesitate to recommend it to anyone, because it's rather poorly written. Not terribly written, let me point out; I'd be more than pleased with this level of structure and flow from, say, one of my senior IB students, or even a college undergraduate. But it's puzzling from a professionally published book by a professor; in some ways, it reads as if it were a translation of a very good book by a competent but novice translator. The author has a tendency to repeat himself, and there are several places where he tries to give a general overview explanation of a mathematical (or, in some places, linguistic, artistic, or anthropological) concept that really doesn't take well to a generalized layman's explanation, leaving me as the reader almost as in the dark as I was before (or, in the case of some of the set theory and topology that I did already know, annoyed that he didn't explain it better).

At any rate, the book is about the history of the Bourbaki Group, a loose collection of French mathematicians from the 30s to the 60s who revised French mathematics (in the wake of the collapse of German mathematics over the 30s and 40s, especially) and set it on new, more rigorous footing. It's an interesting period; there's a shift from a very nationalistic sense of mathematics in Europe to a much more global outlook over that timeframe, and it's that shift that eventually kills off Nicholas Bourbaki (the pen name under which the group published) in the '80s. In the meantime, Bourbaki's big idea, the notion of mathematical structure, influenced the entire academic atmosphere in postwar France. It's a portion of the history of mathematics that deserves more attention than it gets (British and the tumultuous remains of German mathematics tend to get all the academic notice for the period). I'm just not sure this book, with its own structure problems, does it justice.

---

Second, Cheap. Fast. Good!, by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross.

First, if you're a working parent cooking for children, you don't have major food sensitivity issues in the family, and you don't already have Mills & Ross's previous book, Desperation Dinners, go get it. Half-Price Books stores will often have a couple of copies in the Cooking section, unless someone else in the area has already discovered it. (They also have a book called Desperation Entertaining, which is worth picking up if you can get it cheaply, but isn't as generally useful as the other two.) It doesn't rank up there with Peg Bracken's I Hate To Cook Book in terms of absolutely lifesaving stuff - Skid Row Stroganoff is still the world's best comfort food, even if it looks like dogfood (although all skillet meals sort of look like dogfood) - but it's very good indeed. And you don't have to have a family for it to be useful, even though all the recipes are sized for four; anyone who arrives home at 6:30 and just wants dinner on the table without having to venture back out or eating after 8:00 will find it useful, and the extras can be lunches down the line.

Anyway, Cheap. Fast. Good! is the result of both authors having career wobbles due to the slow-motion collapse of the newspaper industry (they're both food columnists, and DD is largely a collection of recipes from their column together). When they suddenly found themselves with less discretionary income, at much the same time as their toddlers and elementary school kids turned into middle-schoolers and teenagers, they turned from focusing on getting meals done as soon as possible (the focus of DD, which specializes in 20-minute meals, and, to a lesser extent, DE) to getting them done in a reasonable amount of time without breaking the bank. The contrast with their earlier books is interesting, and instructive; they still use convenience foods, but they tend to stick with one or two per recipe instead of three or four. CFG has a larger focus on less-processed ingredients, too, including seasonal ones. They also have some helpful tips about bulk shopping, storing, and cooking ahead when you can.

There are a few issues; the biggest one is that anyone with food allergies will find large swaths of the cookbook simply unusable. If you're lactose intolerant or cooking for someone who is, for instance, you'll have to do a lot of modification for the book to be much use at all. (Gluten or nut allergies will require less modification, but there will still be a substantial number of recipes you won't be able to use as-is.) Similarly, if you're just fussy, you'll have to do a certain amount of adjusting; I substitute frozen green beans for canned every time they come up, for instance, even if they are a bit more expensive. I hate bell pepper, too, and they're quite fond of it, but so far substituting an equal amount of chopped celery (or, if it's only one of several vegetable ingredients, just omitting it) seems to be working out. And one of the authors must have a ketchup-loving kid, because it shows up with alarming frequency.

Still, overall, a worthwhile buy. Highly recommended, especially for those of us who are trying to eat out less but get home too late to sweat over an hour-and-a-half dinner.
omorka: (Baking Cookies)
So, two books I've finshed recently -

---

First, The Aritst and the Mathematician: The True Story of Nicholas Bourbaki, the Genius Mathematician Who Never Existed, by Amir D. Aczel.

This book covers some fascinating topics, but I hesitate to recommend it to anyone, because it's rather poorly written. Not terribly written, let me point out; I'd be more than pleased with this level of structure and flow from, say, one of my senior IB students, or even a college undergraduate. But it's puzzling from a professionally published book by a professor; in some ways, it reads as if it were a translation of a very good book by a competent but novice translator. The author has a tendency to repeat himself, and there are several places where he tries to give a general overview explanation of a mathematical (or, in some places, linguistic, artistic, or anthropological) concept that really doesn't take well to a generalized layman's explanation, leaving me as the reader almost as in the dark as I was before (or, in the case of some of the set theory and topology that I did already know, annoyed that he didn't explain it better).

At any rate, the book is about the history of the Bourbaki Group, a loose collection of French mathematicians from the 30s to the 60s who revised French mathematics (in the wake of the collapse of German mathematics over the 30s and 40s, especialiiy) and set it on new, more rigorous footing. It's an interesting period; there's a shift from a very nationalistic sense of mathematics in Europe to a much more global outlook over that timeframe, and it's that shift that eventually kills off Nicholas Bourbaki (the pen name under which the group published) in the '80s. In the meantime, Bourbaki's big idea, the notion of mathematical structure, influenced the entire academic atmosphere in postwar France. It's a portion of the history of mathematics that deserves more attention than it gets (British and the tumultuous remains of German mathematics tend to get all the academic notice for the period). I'm just not sure this book, with its own structure problems, does it justice.

---

Second, Cheap. Fast. Good!, by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross.

First, if you're a working parent cooking for children, you don't have major food sensitivity issues in the family, and you don't already have Mills & Ross's previous book, Desperation Dinners, go get it. Half-Price Books stores will often have a couple of copies in the Cooking section, unless someone else in the area has already discovered it. (They also have a book called Desperation Entertaining, which is worth picking up if you can get it cheaply, but isn't as generally useful as the other two.) It doesn't rank up there with Peg Bracken's I Hate To Cook Book in terms of absolutely lifesaving stuff - Skid Row Stroganoff is still the world's best comfort food, even if it looks like dogfood (although all skillet meals sort of look like dogfood) - but it's very good indeed. And you don't have to have a family for it to be useful, even though all the recipes are sized for four; anyone who arrives home at 6:30 and just wants dinner on the table without having to venture back out or eating after 8:00 will find it useful, and the extras can be lunches down the line.

Anyway, Cheap. Fast. Good! is the result of both authors having career wobbles due to the slow-motion collapse of the newspaper industry (they're both food columnists, and DD is largely a collection of recipes from their column together). When they suddenly found themselves with less discretionary income, at much the same time as their toddlers and elementary school kids turned into middle-schoolers and teenagers, they turned from focusing on getting meals done as soon as possible (the focus of DD, which specializes in 20-minute meals, and, to a lesser extent, DE) to getting them done in a reasonable amount of time without breaking the bank. The contrast with their earlier books is interesting, and instructive; they still use convenience foods. but they tend to stick with one or two per recipe instead of three or four. CFG has a larger focus on less-processed ingredients, too, including seasonal ones. They also have some helpful tips about bulk shopping, storing, and cooking ahead when you can.

There are a few issues; the biggest one is that anyone with food allergies will find large swaths of the cookbook simply unusable. If you're lactose intolerant or cooking for someone who is, for instance, you'll have to do a lot of modification for the book to be much use at all. (Gluten or nut allergies will require less modification, but there will still be a substantial number of recipes you won't be able to use as-is.) Similarly, if you're just fussy, you'll have to do a certain amount of adjusting; I substitute frozen green beans for canned every time they come up, for instance, even if they are a bit more expensive. I hate bell pepper, too, and they're quite fond of it, but so far substituting an equal amount of chopped celery (or, if it's only one of several vegetable ingredients, just omitting it) seems to be working out. And one of the authors must have a ketchup-loving kid, because it shows up with alarming frequency.

Still, overall, a worthwhile buy. Highly recommended, especially for those of us who are trying to eat out less but get home too late to sweat over an hour-and-a-half dinner.
omorka: (Literary dragon)
Donald J. Sobol died a few days ago.

The Encyclopedia Brown books were a huge part of my formative years. One of the things I appreciated was that Sally was not just "the token girl" - while she wasn't as smart as Leroy, she was consistenly portrayed as intelligent in her own right, and physically formidable, a rare talent in a girl in children's lit at the time. The Two-Minute Mysteries were geninely scary to me as a kid - probably not their intent, but still affecting.

Safe journey, Mr. Sobol.
omorka: (Literary dragon)
Donald J. Sobol died a few days ago.

The Encyclopedia Brown books were a huge part of my formative years. One of the things I appreciated was that Sally was not just "the token girl" - while she wasn't as smart as Leroy, she was consistenly portrayed as intelligent in her own right, and physically formidable, a rare talent in a girl in children's lit at the time. The Two-Minute Mysteries were geninely scary to me as a kid - probably not their intent, but still affecting.

Safe journey, Mr. Sobol.
omorka: (Aughra's Wheel)
So apparently Diane Duane's bank account got hit by skimmers. In order to raise some fast cash while the bank's fraud department gets off its duff, she's offering a 20% coupon code on her Ebooks store.

While there's something slightly squicky about getting something for cheaper because of someone else's misfortune, I have to admit I went ahead and took the opportunity to get e-reader editions of the Young Wizards books. Which, you know, I needed anyway. :-/

Now I have to remember how to manually put stuff on the Kindle . . .
omorka: (Aughra's Wheel)
So apparently Diane Duane's bank account got hit by skimmers. In order to raise some fast cash while the bank's fraud department gets off its duff, she's offering a 20% coupon code on her Ebooks store.

While there's something slightly squicky about getting something for cheaper because of someone else's misfortune, I have to admit I went ahead and took the opportunity to get e-reader editions of the Young Wizards books. Which, you know, I needed anyway. :-/

Now I have to remember how to manually put stuff on the Kindle . . .

Memage

Jan. 12th, 2012 08:31 pm
omorka: (Lesbian Tea)
From several people on my flist:

Pick up the nearest book to you. Turn to page 45. The first sentence describes your sex life in 2012.

"These boats were actually used when the statues of the gods made ritual journeys to visit each other at festival times (see journeys and processions of the gods)." - Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, Jeremy Black & Anthony Green

Given that the previous sentence refers to the beds of the gods, I think this is auspicious somehow. The other closest book was a cheat:

"We are constantly learning and teaching about ethical intimacy: how to find our own boundaries, how to respect the boundaries of others." - Radical Ecstacy, Dossie Easton & Janet W. Hardy

But using a book that's actually about sex seems unfair to the spirit of the thing.

Memage

Jan. 12th, 2012 08:31 pm
omorka: (Lesbian Tea)
From several people on my flist:

Pick up the nearest book to you. Turn to page 45. The first sentence describes your sex life in 2012.

"These boats were actually used when the statues of the gods made ritual journeys to visit each other at festival times (see journeys and processions of the gods)." - Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, Jeremy Black & Anthony Green

Given that the previous sentence refers to the beds of the gods, I think this is auspicious somehow. The other closest book was a cheat:

"We are constantly learning and teaching about ethical intimacy: how to find our own boundaries, how to respect the boundaries of others." - Radical Ecstacy, Dossie Easton & Janet W. Hardy

But using a book that's actually about sex seems unfair to the spirit of the thing.
omorka: (South Park Jen)
Just finished a pair of books that contrast interestingly with each other.

The first is Elisabeth Lloyd's The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution. Is it a spoiler if it's a non-fiction book? )

The second book, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, gives Lloyd a brief, mostly negative mention - and similarly brief but far more positive ones of both Michael Pollan and Easton & Liszt, which made me feel as if they'd been reading my Amazon purchase list. Again, long review is long and behind the cut. )
omorka: (South Park Jen)
Just finished a pair of books that contrast interestingly with each other.

The first is Elisabeth Lloyd's The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution. Is it a spoiler if it's a non-fiction book? )

The second book, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, gives Lloyd a brief, mostly negative mention - and similarly brief but far more positive ones of both Michael Pollan and Easton & Liszt, which made me feel as if they'd been reading my Amazon purchase list. Again, long review is long and behind the cut. )
omorka: (Polyamory Is Love)
Finally finished a book I ordered well over a year ago, Anthony Ravenscroft's Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless and Hopeful. It's the only Poly 201 book I've ever found.

Let me expand on that for a moment for those of you who aren't familiar with the mess that is the poly bookshelf. There are a lot of Poly 101 books, which range in quality from execrable to pretty good. The two best known in the poly circles I travel in are Deborah Anapol's Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits, which was groundbreaking when it was published but is mired in self-congratulatory verbiage and a muzzy newage mindset, and Easton and Listz's The Ethical Slut, which has actually held up pretty well, considering. Celeste West's Lesbian Polyfidelity is also pretty good on that front, although the focus, as you can guess from the title, is a little narrow (although she seems to consider open group marriage polyfidelitous). And, in fact, most of the poly books that exist are Poly 101s. They're also almost all evangelistic. They not only think poly is awesome, they want you, the reader, to discover how awesome it is. The few other books that exist tend to be how-to books for very specific relationship structures - often the FMF V-triad, but sometimes the two-het-couple quad. 313 courses, if you'll permit me to extend the metaphor a bit past the stretching point.

Ravenscroft claims not to have read any of the three books I mentioned above. This might be one of the reasons his book is different; not knowing what ground has already been trod, he doesn't feel any pressure not to wander past it. And while the book does share some of the same territory as Ethical Slut, for the most part it's that rarity, a general poly book that gets past the "This is awesome! You should try it!" evangelical mode and the very basics, and actually deals with the nitty-gritty of living poly - a 201 course.

Remainder of the review behind the cut to spare your friends page )
omorka: (Polyamory Is Love)
Finally finished a book I ordered well over a year ago, Anthony Ravenscroft's Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless and Hopeful. It's the only Poly 201 book I've ever found.

Let me expand on that for a moment for those of you who aren't familiar with the mess that is the poly bookshelf. There are a lot of Poly 101 books, which range in quality from execrable to pretty good. The two best known in the poly circles I travel in are Deborah Anapol's Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits, which was groundbreaking when it was published but is mired in self-congratulatory verbiage and a muzzy newage mindset, and Easton and Listz's The Ethical Slut, which has actually held up pretty well, considering. Celeste West's Lesbian Polyfidelity is also pretty good on that front, although the focus, as you can guess from the title, is a little narrow (although she seems to consider open group marriage polyfidelitous). And, in fact, most of the poly books that exist are Poly 101s. They're also almost all evangelistic. They not only think poly is awesome, they want you, the reader, to discover how awesome it is. The few other books that exist tend to be how-to books for very specific relationship structures - often the FMF V-triad, but sometimes the two-het-couple quad. 313 courses, if you'll permit me to extend the metaphor a bit past the stretching point.

Ravenscroft claims not to have read any of the three books I mentioned above. This might be one of the reasons his book is different; not knowing what ground has already been trod, he doesn't feel any pressure not to wander past it. And while the book does share some of the same territory as Ethical Slut, for the most part it's that rarity, a general poly book that gets past the "This is awesome! You should try it!" evangelical mode and the very basics, and actually deals with the nitty-gritty of living poly - a 201 course.

Remainder of the review behind the cut to spare your friends page )
omorka: (Literary dragon)
It's the ol' Page 123 Meme again!

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.


The book is Phule's Paradise:

If anything, Victor Phule looked more like a military commander than his son did - or the majority of active military officers, for that matter. His manner and bearing displayed what his heir potential might achieve in maturity. Where his son was slender, the elder Phule had the lean, fit look of a timber wolf. His features had the sharp, angular planes of a granite cliff, wheras his son's face still showed the softness of youth.


And for those of you who might be sighing in relief that this wasn't what you expected:

The second closest book )

And the third, for good measure )

The curious thing is not so much that two of these are movie tie-in novels as that all three of the closest books - in fact, four of the closest five - are fiction. That's unusual, for me.
omorka: (Literary dragon)
It's the ol' Page 123 Meme again!

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.


The book is Phule's Paradise:

If anything, Victor Phule looked more like a military commander than his son did - or the majority of active military officers, for that matter. His manner and bearing displayed what his heir potential might achieve in maturity. Where his son was slender, the elder Phule had the lean, fit look of a timber wolf. His features had the sharp, angular planes of a granite cliff, wheras his son's face still showed the softness of youth.


And for those of you who might be sighing in relief that this wasn't what you expected:

The second closest book )

And the third, for good measure )

The curious thing is not so much that two of these are movie tie-in novels as that all three of the closest books - in fact, four of the closest five - are fiction. That's unusual, for me.
omorka: (Literary dragon)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] scarfman, originally from [livejournal.com profile] anaka:

If you tend toward books (and if you don't at least somewhat, the odds of you being an LJ devotee to whatever degree are pretty slim), then it's a good bet that you've got a number of books that really resonated with you, often to the extent of informing your development as a person and your view of the world. These are not always classics of literature. Often they are, viewed objectively, really deeply awful books. That's not the point. The point is that they were the right (or wrong, nothing says they had to have a positive influence) thing for you to read at the right time, and they stayed with you in a meaningful way.

The number of these varies, but most people if queried can come up with three of them. One or more of them were likely encountered between the ages of 11 and 13, and may have been the first "grown up" book you read. Beyond that, I can't think of any set pattern, and even those may just be a coincidental cluster of data points. Nonetheless, I'm newly fascinated by this question and I wish to ask it here.

Help me out then, my friends. Name your top three core texts. If you wish to include age when encountered, positive or negative influence, general summary of the text, or type of influence it exerted on you, that would be likewise awesome. I wanna know about YOU! And books! Humor me. :)


Unfortunately, there are at least three books that are easily candidates for this list that I cannot give, because I no longer remember their titles. I could tell you where they were in the county library young readers' section (or, in one case, my parents' bookshelf), and I could describe what their library covers looked like, but authors and titles have long been swallowed by time. So, of the ones not so lost:

1) A Wind In The Door, and by extension the rest of the Murray Children cycle, by Madeline L'Engle. These are books that reassure smart kids that their difference isn't a detriment; that the universe is vast and yet accessible and comrehensible, if taken in small chunks; and that humans can - no, must - be trusted with their own destinies. There are also some wonderful themes on music, on identity and naming, and on remembrance. It's probably somewhat ironic that such Christian (if not exactly orthodox) books are part of what set me on my current spiritual path, but there we are.

2) Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, Milliam McKinely, and Me, Elizabeth. by E.L. Konigsburg. It sounds dumb when I say it, but - this is probably the most formative book regarding female friendships in my entire life, much less my childhood. It also was one of my "okay, so I'm a witch; what does that mean?" figuring-out books.

3) Spiral Dance, by Starhawk. Some of the Dianic/separatist bits of the political rhetoric have not aged well, but as a textbook for feminist Pagan values and practice, you can't much go wrong with the original. Finding this in college, along with Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, was a revelation.

Honorable mention: the Bible, the Principia Discordia, The Ethical Slut, Blessed Bi Spirit, the fourteen original Oz books by L. Frank Baum, the GURPS 3rd edition revised Basic handbook, and the Eneuma Elish.
omorka: (Literary dragon)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] scarfman, originally from [livejournal.com profile] anaka:

If you tend toward books (and if you don't at least somewhat, the odds of you being an LJ devotee to whatever degree are pretty slim), then it's a good bet that you've got a number of books that really resonated with you, often to the extent of informing your development as a person and your view of the world. These are not always classics of literature. Often they are, viewed objectively, really deeply awful books. That's not the point. The point is that they were the right (or wrong, nothing says they had to have a positive influence) thing for you to read at the right time, and they stayed with you in a meaningful way.

The number of these varies, but most people if queried can come up with three of them. One or more of them were likely encountered between the ages of 11 and 13, and may have been the first "grown up" book you read. Beyond that, I can't think of any set pattern, and even those may just be a coincidental cluster of data points. Nonetheless, I'm newly fascinated by this question and I wish to ask it here.

Help me out then, my friends. Name your top three core texts. If you wish to include age when encountered, positive or negative influence, general summary of the text, or type of influence it exerted on you, that would be likewise awesome. I wanna know about YOU! And books! Humor me. :)


Unfortunately, there are at least three books that are easily candidates for this list that I cannot give, because I no longer remember their titles. I could tell you where they were in the county library young readers' section (or, in one case, my parents' bookshelf), and I could describe what their library covers looked like, but authors and titles have long been swallowed by time. So, of the ones not so lost:

1) A Wind In The Door, and by extension the rest of the Murray Children cycle, by Madeline L'Engle. These are books that reassure smart kids that their difference isn't a detriment; that the universe is vast and yet accessible and comrehensible, if taken in small chunks; and that humans can - no, must - be trusted with their own destinies. There are also some wonderful themes on music, on identity and naming, and on remembrance. It's probably somewhat ironic that such Christian (if not exactly orthodox) books are part of what set me on my current spiritual path, but there we are.

2) Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, Milliam McKinely, and Me, Elizabeth. by E.L. Konigsburg. It sounds dumb when I say it, but - this is probably the most formative book regarding female friendships in my entire life, much less my childhood. It also was one of my "okay, so I'm a witch; what does that mean?" figuring-out books.

3) Spiral Dance, by Starhawk. Some of the Dianic/separatist bits of the political rhetoric have not aged well, but as a textbook for feminist Pagan values and practice, you can't much go wrong with the original. Finding this in college, along with Margot Adler's Drawing Down the Moon, was a revelation.

Honorable mention: the Bible, the Principia Discordia, The Ethical Slut, Blessed Bi Spirit, the fourteen original Oz books by L. Frank Baum, the GURPS 3rd edition revised Basic handbook, and the Eneuma Elish.

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