Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Book (and other) excitement

Emmms over at Quelle Erqsome tagged me in a book meme. Because I don't want her to think that I am the slacker that I truly am, I am posting my responses here. (Also, I am hoping that it earns me bonus points in her Mustachioed Avengers contest, because I can use all the help that I can get.) I appreciate the tag, though, as I am constantly reading something, even if it's just the list of files whizzing by as they are scanned.

Anyway, here goes:

1. What book are you currently reading?

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, by Harriet Washington - heartbreaking accounts of racism in medical treatment. There's a lot more than just the Tuskegee Syphilis Study; doctors who are now regarded as heroes for their new techniques frequently experimented on slaves or free blacks before performing the procedures on whites. And experimentation without informed consent continues - by companies in certain markets who have been granted permission to experiment on anyone who becomes unconscious en route to hospital, and by the U.S. military. Very well-written, informative book; won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

The Best of the World Cafe: Great Conversations from NPR's Most Popular Contemporary Music Show, by David Dye - transcriptions of interviews from the radio programme. As a music lover, I enjoy learning more about the thought processes of those talented enough to create music. (Hey Emmms, I'm about to read the Neko Case interview!)

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond - currently on hold, because it is somewhere in the house. Upstairs, I think. Perhaps in the giant sack of things that went into hiding before the party. Great book about how some of us humans have mucked up our environment and how others have learned to live in a fragile ecosystem.

2. When you think of a good story, what are the first 3 books that come to mind?

Call it a cop-out, but these are some of the books I read and re-read again.

Beauty, by Sheri Tepper - fabulous reinvention of fairy tales. (You can probably add most of her books to this list, too.)

Most of the Discworld series, including the Tiffany Aching books. Just great stuff, entertaining reads, with so many cultural references that you're bound to miss a few, which leaves more to discover when re-reading. If pressed to recommend just one or two, I'd say (with references in parentheses) Soul Music (pop music), Moving Pictures (movies), and Maskerade (musical theatre).

Anything by Tom Robbins or Margaret Atwood. Probably most frequent reads are Skinny Legs and All and Cat's Eye (Oh, how that book made me cry on first reading... And thanks to Gretchen I have an autographed hardcover version. Someday soon I will get back to NYC.)

3. Which 3 books would you recommend for summer 2008 beach reading?

Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson - I really enjoyed this book. I am not entirely sure why. I will probably read it again this summer.

Island of the Sequined Love Nun, by Christopher Moore - the title alone marks it as an excellent beach novel, and Moore's absurd humor inspires giggles and belly laughs. (Or read any other book of his - all will make you laugh. If they don't, you are reading the wrong Christopher Moore.)

The Ground Beneath Her Feet, by Salman Rushdie - One of Rushdie's strengths is the way he uses language, and this book tells a wonderful love story (again with lots of pop culture references - now you know one of my many weaknesses. Oh, and U2 and Daniel Lanois recorded a song with Rushdie's lyrics for the movie Million Dollar Hotel. It was a bit freaky first time I heard the song, as I recognized the lyrics but hadn't known they'd been made into a song.)

4. Any knitting books you would care to share?

A Field Guide to Knitting: How to Identify, Select, and Create Virtually Every Stitch, by Jackie Pawlowski (because it's small portable, with lots of color pictures)
And someday, someday, I will make one of the gorgeous creations in Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan.

5. What is next on your reading list? (I added this part; future meme participants can consider this optional)

The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint
Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media by Susan Douglas
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

6. Tag three other knitters for this meme:
Penny, Eryn, Megan, consider yourselves tagged. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say.


And in other news...

Had awesome bedhead the other day. Like, totally. As in gag me with a pitchfork sort of awesome. Good to know that I can have huge hair without using any sort of product. At least until I brush it. (Yes, I was amused - so amused, in fact, that I felt compelled to share.)

Have been running around a lot, as usual. Knitting was Monday, in North Olmsted, and while I'd hoped to stop at home before going over there, work got in the way. Yesterday, I came home from work, cooked dinner, and left. Went to Miss Chickpea's and met a few of the Cuyahoga Falls Knitters and (crochet) Hookers group members as well as my friend Tanya. We bought a few things (I gave in and bought Joyce's favorite sock yarn - Mountain Colors Bearfoot as well as a skein of Berroco Sox; Tanya bought some Malabrigo), then she followed me home to use my winder and swift. After she left, I ate dinner and swung by North End to deliver Matt his hat (argh - forgot to take a picture!), and had a drink with Mike. Had planned on stopping at Jo-Ann's to get a needle felting tool, but got on the road too late.

Today I am catching up on all of the things I have ignored lately. Did the book meme, will fill out the questionnaire for the Beer and Fiber Swap, stitch a few squares for a group gift afghan, oh, and Mike did our taxes, so I need to review and send the darn forms in. With checks. I don't know that I like sending a check rather than asking for a refund, although I guess it's one of the necessities of being self-employed.

Watching the Pens game right now. Gonchar just scored, and they just played this commercial. Can't.Stop.Laughing.

What else? I always think of things when I'm not posting. I know I will have more to babble on about as soon as I post. Oh well. I should do those other things that need to be done, instead of just talking about them.

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