Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Winston: Fat cat in a little coat.

The holiday poundage is really starting to take its toll.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Winston: Lambkins.

Here is Winston posing as my cat-stole.
He loves to be serviceable in this way, but only to me.
He knows he looks prettier around my neck than Jason's.
Sorry, Jase.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

He ain't no Mrs. Kringle

He's Mr. Claws.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wednesday Winston: Our Pipes are Frozen.

It happened. Two days without water and an indoor temperature of roughly 85 degrees is taking its toll on us.

Who else is ready for this week to be over?

Monday, December 05, 2011

I've been reading...

Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton.
I liked Jurassic Park. I've read it before and forgotten almost all of it and so decided to give it another try. It was exciting and a little graphic, a perfect expectation in a book filled with carnivorous dinosaurs. By the time I was 3/4 of the way through The Lost World, however, I had grown weary of the raptors slitting open various character's guts with their giant toenails. At times I would read a sentence, pause, and think, "Ew. That was disgusting."

Floating Island by Anne Parrish
This was a gift given to me by Koseli and I absolutely adored it.  The story follows a family of dolls and their predicaments and adventures on "Floating Island" after an unfortunate shipwreck. First of all, the story is perfect. The dolls are hilarious (Mr. Doll especially!) and his various illustrations are so cute and ridiculous it made me giggle non-stop. Children, anyone? Read them this book.

Maus by Art Spiegelman
An amazing re-telling of a man's experience in the Holocaust in comic book form. It took me less than two hours to read it, and in that time I couldn't put it down. Absolutely stunning. Read it, if you haven't already.

Black Swan Green, Ghostwritten and Number9 Dream by David Mitchell.
David Mitchell is the master of character and plot switches. Black Swan Green was different than his other novels, though Mr. Mitchell incorporates some of his writing tricks into the plot (i.e. what on Earth is going on?) but successfully creates an astonishingly likable 13 year old boy as the protagonist. It's as embarrassing and heartbreaking as being a teenager again. Actually, more so, as this novel deals with coming of age, divorce, death, love, lust, bullying and integrity all in one smart little package.
Ghostwritten is an earlier novel and all the more astonishing for that. Each chapter is a different story, a different person, a different life, each intricately and surprisingly linked to one another. When I discovered yet another connection, I would think, "Oh my goodness! I can't believe she's her mother!!!!!" like the author had not been the one creating all these connections, but had stumbled across real people who just happened to know each other in the most unexpected ways possible. What's even more astonishing? There is a larger network of Mitchell characters linked from novel to novel. Simple idea? Perhaps. Genius? Absolutely.
Number9 Dream
This book explores the parallels of reality and unreality. It does this without further explanation to the reader, so be warned. The author tricks you often, and after a while, I felt my trust was diminishing. Was what just happened really happening? The first 4 chapters had me properly confused. And then the story fell together beautifully, and I was enchanted, as always.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Lolita was all at once heartbreaking, hilarious, and entirely creepy. This fact was not helped by the fact that I am daily surrounded by children. Nabokov's writing is absolutely gorgeous, loquacious at times, scintillating and terribly funny. I took it in turns to be revolted by Humbert Humbert, and then understanding, and then completely sorry. It has been called one of the greatest love stories of all time, which seems strange considering its taboo relationship between a grown man and a thirteen year old nymphet. However, as far as Humbert is obsessive, truly devoted and absolutely pathetic when it comes to little Lo, I may make an amendment and say that this could be the greatest story of one-sided love of all time.

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Because of this book, I wish I knew more about Indian-Nepali history. On the bright side, I learned a lot. Achingly beautiful, ceaselessly sad. I finished the book and frantically started rifling through the acknowledgments in the hope that it had not ended. Alienation, family ties, war, romance, the past delicately woven into the present and of course, the ever smiling Mutt, this book was everything that I hoped it would be and more.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I love this book. I've read it before, but Jason and I have been listening to the audio version read by Martin Jarvis. Usually when I think of Dickens, I think of his unforgettable characters-- Miss Havisham, the Artful Dodger, Lady Deadlock, Mr. Skimpole, Pickwick, Uriah Heap-- they are unforgettable, of course, because they were formed by Mr. Dickens (and their names!! Such fabulous names). I forget, however, that Great Expectations, while sad, surprising and slightly creepy, is laugh out loud funny. Pip's commentary had me giggling from the beginning, and by the time Wemmick, The Aged and the Pockets came around, I couldn't suppress my laughter.
On another note, Martin Jarvis is fantastic, second only to Jim Dale. And anyone who knows me knows how much I love Jim Dale (POTTAH!!)

Upcoming reviews: People of the Book, Catch-22, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, In Cold Blood, Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Hard Times.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hem, hem!!

Dolores Umbridge does approve.