Posts Tagged ‘pets’

Slow words for speed

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Excuses again: I’m working on my mother’s birthday present (which will be late), and so don’t want to put pictures up until she has it. The tablecloth is commuting with me, but hasn’t changed much in the last few rows.

A couple of funny books:

244: Free Air by Sinclair Lewis

This is the book I was Smooth-Reading for Distributed Proofreaders. (I’m linking to the project page for now – you can download it even without being a member – and will link to Project Gutenberg page once it’s up.) Its plot has a good bit in common with the romance in the first two Tarzan books, in my opinion, although the setting doesn’t:

[What follows is most definitely in the class of SPOILERS – no complaints now!]

  • Cultured, gently bred young woman (heroine) goes with her father (who she has to look after) on what for them is a very adventurous journey.
  • Reasonably educated but uncouth-looking young man (hero) sees, falls for, and repeatedly rescues her from trials and tribulations.
  • She repulses his affections for social reasons.
  • Her socially superior (near) fiance publicly stakes his claim.
  • Hero takes pains to learn the skills, clothes and deportment of her social milieu.
  • Heroine’s social conscience still says she can’t be with hero.
  • He saves her once again.
  • She changes her mind.

To be fair, of course, there are an awful lot of other romances out there with the exact same plot, and where they are well written (and preferably contain other interesting plots and subplots) I don’t mind that; it’s rather a classic, after all.

This is a good, light and funny version of the tale, and if I had the time I might consider recording it for Librivox myself.

I don’t, of course, with study beginning again in a couple of weeks, work being hectic already, Braille to continue, crochet to do, and now moderating the European Travelling Teddy Round that is about to begin on Ravelry. (Sign-ups are now closed, I’m afraid.) I’ll let you know when Luna is off!

245. Pugs: G-d’s Little Weirdos by Dave Kellett

The brand new Sheldon book, and I got an Artist’s Edition (with a sweet hand-drawn picture of Oso, of course, on the inside cover). Since this book focusses on pugs, and Oso in particular, some of the cartoons have appeared in the sequential books, but it’s fun seeing them together. I laughed and giggled lots, both of the times I’ve read the book since I received it yesterday!



Wednesday, 20 February 2008

50. Drawing Now : Eight Propositions by Laura Hoptman

An exhibition catalogue (and more) from the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2002. 26 different artists were put into eight different categories (propositions). I read and perused most of this some months ago, but finished it today. Again, learning more about the state of modern art (and Modern Art).

51. Keeping Pets: Cats by Louise & Richard Spilsbury

I read and discussed the Freshwater Fish volume in this series yesterday, and this one is similarly well put together and written, with the same focus on the needs of the animal for proper care.

52. Great Britons: Leaders by Simon Adams

Each of the twenty ‘great leaders’ receives a double page spread, with chronological details, a picture or two (all in black and white) and a very short biography. On most spreads there is also a box with either an anecdote or a couple of lines on other figures of related interest. They are pretty much all the usual suspects (monarchs up to the modern era, then influential politicians, basically). It does make the effort to include both Scottish and Welsh figures of note, rather than just English (and explains that it isn’t including Irish characters from anywhere on the island).

53. The 1930s Scrapbook by Robert Opie

This is a fascinating series, in large format hardback (the quintessential coffee table book), with very short written explanations on each spread of the commercial packaging and advertising shown, showing how fashions and social feeling changed over the decade or period in question. I really like seeing how similar and different the products, brands and styles of advertising are now and then.

54. Step-Up History: Mary, Queen of Scots by Rhona Dick

This is one of the Scottish-focussed volumes of the Step-Up History series, and gives the details of Mary’s life, including the complicated politics she was involved in her whole life, with the impact that had on what would become the United Kingdom(s), and the other major figures involved. (The kind of stuff I mostly learned from and because of the historical fiction I read, it has to be said!)

Unpracticed Knowledge

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

47. Keeping Pets: Freshwater Fish by Tristan Boyer Binns

This is a very informative book, aimed at children considering and/or planning keeping freshwater fish in their homes. It gives the positives and negatives clearly, and stresses the care fish need to be healthy and content. It doesn’t downplay the costs involved and repeatedly reminds a new fish owner to make good use of the expertise of their dealer and local enthusiasts. (I amn’t knowledgeable in the area myself, so I can’t verify the information, but none of it seemed bizarre at all.)

The book would need a confident reader to tackle it alone, but it could be used as a family resource and would not be a bad starting place for an interested adult. In fact, remove the few references to getting an adult to help (with lifting large amount of water and using electrical equipment) and it would be a perfectly acceptable book for grown-up beginners too.

48. Get Writing!: Write that Report by Shaun McCarthy

I mentioned the poetry volume in this series last week, and I actually think this one is better, perhaps because it is tackling a form of writing that is easier to instruct and assess, as it has a common form (at least introduction, argument/explanation, conclusion, with variations), and a specific purpose, neither of which poetry needs to have. Anyway, the book is well structured with interesting exercises.

49. Positively Postcards by Bonnie Sabel and Louis-Philippe O’Donnell

This book is pretty much aimed at quilters (another craft I’ve thought about but haven’t yet tried) who want the opportunity to show off their skills more quickly and flexibly, with a smaller commitment of time and supplies, than making full quilts allows.

The book begins with a description of this craft variation, then lists suggested tools and supplies, then has a very detailed set of instructions, including a step by step walkthrough of a specific project. Nearly half of the book is a gallery of Sabel’s postcards, each with a short commentary on its inspiration and/or suggestions for the theme. Her ‘postcards’ (some of which she even gives framing tips for) really are beautiful.