Thursday, March 31, 2011

A.A. Milne: The Red House

I read this on my phone as an eBook, and here's the link to Project Gutenberg's versions of it. Yay eBooks! It's a bit stupid writing eBooks though. I have to start rebelling against the minuscule as initial trend. Ebooks. Ebooks. Now that wasn't so hard, was it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dorothy Sayers: In the Teeth of the Evidence

I'm home sick today, so it's BLOGGING DAY my friends, bloggetty-bloggetty blog! I have six (6) empty posts in my draft lists that are waiting to be filled with content. All I have to do is type like a madwoman for a few hours (with intervals for the Book of Face, random surfing, making extensive watch lists on Ebay and Tradera), then set the posts to be published at regular intervals - and hey presto, it once again looks like I'm a Real Blogger™.  This draft is the oldest, so I'm starting here. Also it's the easiest post to write I think, I probably don't even have to locate the book (a near-impossible task since that ill-fated attempt to organize the shelves alphabetically), since I've read it several times and should remember it anyway.

Monday, March 28, 2011

RIP Diana Wynne Jones

I'm just after reading on Neil Gaiman's blog that Diana Wynne Jones has died. And this is terribly terribly sad. She'll be missed, even by those of us who never had the pleasure of knowing her in person.

Monday, March 07, 2011

The new masthead ...

... which will probably be up for the next five years seeing as how it took me five years to make it at all, ha ha ha, was done with the aid of mr Bani, who knows how to handle the proper camera. He is sorely unhappy with the photo (started mumbling immediately about lightening it up in Photoshop at the VERY LEAST), so don't judge him. I rushed him a bit. We did two sets of pictures, this and a different setup that was longer, with more books. But I tried adding this first, found that it worked, so I left it. He isn't pleased, thinks it's too high. Well, yes, it is a bit. But I had to fit all those books in, didn't I? The masthead gets its own page, with explanations, see above.

I counted 35 books, and only 15 female authors. That annoyed me quite a bit, and in the second photo session I added on a few women. However, I did go with photo nr 1 for now, and I do think that it is another bit of proof that we're living in a patriarchal society, innit. I think of myself as someone who is forever reading books written by women, but when I'm choosing books that I feel represent a sort of cross-section of my reading, men dominate. Just like all research shows that when teachers feel that they're giving boys and girls equal time in the classroom, they're giving boys more, and when they do split it equally they feel like the girls are getting more time. I read just last week some columnist in the paper (can't find it now) who wrote about a visitor who had remarked grouchily that "you seem to read only women writers!" after looking in her bookshelf. The reality was a pretty accurate 50/50. So there we are.

Another side-effect: trying to find the books I wanted to photograph made it clear how impractical colour-sorting is. Christ. So it has to go. Project Alphabetical Order is being drafted. I gave it a go yesterday, after taking the photos, but you need to take EVERYTHING down, and dust, and sort, and put EVERYTHING back, and make some tough decisions ... so it'll have to wait.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Alice Munro: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

Alice Munro has totally flown under my radar all these years. I might have heard the name, but that's it. I certainly wouldn't have been able to place her as a Canadian author, for example. Now, my book club decided to read Alice Munro, and the week after that it turns out that a woman who wrote what was, I believe she said, the first ever dissertation about L. M. Montgomery's books goes to my pilates class and is generally a bit of an expert in Canadian literature, so another woman there asked her if she could recommend Canadian books for her book club who were considering having Canada as a theme for a while, and they mentioned Munro "obviously" (I was like, Atwood - now that's obvious). So there you go, coincidences make up the weave of life and so on.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Jack London: Before Adam

If you had asked me three weeks ago whether I'd ever read anything by Jack London I'd have looked you straight in the eye and with complete assurance said no, definitely not, I'm sure I haven't. Yet I've surely read this book about a dozen times as a child and loved it. And I've always avoided Jack London's books, with their aura of manly maleness, chapped skin, doggy smell and antiquated frontier spirit. That aura is of course based solely on my prejudices. Jack London wrote, I was convinced,  adventure and hunting books for boys; for boys who grew into the sort of man my (paternal) grandfather was (a house tyrant who bullied his sons a fair bit, hunted, and expected the sort of respect one is due as Head of a Household). He, of course, owned a complete set of London's novels.