primsong: (percy lud love me)
Apparently a huge snow melt immediately followed by large quantities of endless rain was too much for my basement - got up early yesterday to find all the carpets going squishy and water seeping from parts of the walls in the laundry room. 0.o  Ran a marathon until bedtime of "put down towels - spin other towels dry in washer - pull up wet towels and replace with spun ones - rinse and repeat".  Thank God my sump pump and washing machine kept up.  At one point my son said "Did you just pat the sump pump on the head?" "Yes, yes I did.  He's a Good Boy."

Water seepage included my library, we were scrambling to put all the lower level books into plastic bags because that's all we could do at that point, I was like the Little Dutch Boy with the finger in the dyke between towels and the wet-vac and couldn't stop.  Today we've spent all day packing and moving things upstairs because we'll have to pull up the carpet, it's horrible... BUT I only lost ONE book, a big timeline book with history fold-outs, it was too big to be on a regular shelf and by the time we found it there was no saving it.

What a job. Ugh. On the good side, this is the only time we've had this happen in the entire time we've lived here.
primsong: (books)
There's a certain charm in the printed word that will never be matched online, as all book-lovers know.  But yet - I just put my massive old Thesaurus into my 'going to the thrift store' bag.  I still love the process of leafing through it but in all honesty I haven't used it in multiple years, it's too simple to just look up something online as I go.  Sorry, thesaurus, it appears there are small victories for the proponents of the paperless world after all.
primsong: (books)
Digging around a thrift shop, I found a copy of the original "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" story that the movie was based off of and knowing how books become movies that may be something entirely different, had to take it home to read of course!  As expected, the faint resemblances between the story and the movie must have had its fans up in arms when the show came out. 

Had to roll my eyes at the predictable removal of the mother of the family, Mimsie Pott, poor dear was killed off in favor of the widower-romance thing apparently.  Truly seems to be an invention, though he did invent the toot-sweets and successfully sell them to Lord Scrumptious.   Also noted that Caractacus has been split into two people in the show with the invention of his father to cover his Naval Commander part... I'm halfway through the book and most of it has been discovering and blowing up a hidden arsenal of weapons a bank robber was keeping in a cave.  Don't remember that in the movie!  Would have been good.

Aside from all that, I rather like Chitty herself, cheeky thing flashing "Push, Idiot!" at them when they aren't quick enough to hit an unknown lever (and thus discover her wings) - she merely wanted out of a traffic jam, who wouldn't?

primsong: (books)
Just a quick book rec!

I expect there are many people out there for whom this item being in existence is old news, but I was scoping out the kids fiction at my local library (I very much like Avi and was hoping for a title I hadn't read yet) and what did I come across but "Fortunately the Milk" by Neil Gaiman.

Checked it out immediately. Read it all before bedtime. Chortled much. Go forth to your own libraries and pick this up for this great 'bedtime story' expertly spun by the best.
primsong: (books)
I'm gradually working my way through a stack of history textbooks for my daughter's high school, trying to help them eke out another year or two of use and abuse by students before they fall apart, they're so expensive to replace and it's a private school so every penny counts.  Nice to have my somewhat obscure super-power of repairing books come in handy from time to time, though I can't do fancy stuff like complete rebinding or restitching, sadly - wish I had the tools for that, this is more like Book Glue, Tape and Contact Paper 101 with occasional bouts of scissor work and forcing books into rube goldberg contraptions I've positioned with fat rubber bands and bricks to keep them in their girdle until the glue dries their girlish figure back where it belongs.

*snip, tape, fold*

Nice thing is this counts toward my volunteer hours for this year.  What do you do for volunteer work?  Do you have schools or organizations that require some of you?
primsong: (ship)
Thanks to the recommendation of our dear justice_turtle, I not only spent money, but have made absolutely no progress in any other books since my collection of Septimus Quinn arrived - the 4 titles in one cover version - and on top of it I've ended up staying up too late reading and being a fog-head this week.  Such is the danger of listening to my flister's reading recs.  ;-) I'd never heard of him before, but am grateful to be corrected.

A couple of years ago I don't think I would have ever noted "sea adventures" as being a category that I self-identified myself as a reader of.  Sea adventures were for boys, after all, you know... Captains Courageous and Treasure Island and so on.  But then I fell in with Horatio Hornblower and discovered Napoleonic era adventures are darn fine things, Mr. Septimus Quinn being essentially 'Hornblower Lite' and thoroughly enjoyable as such. Patrick O'Brien was good but a bit too gritty and smelly in the details - just give me the sea air and the challenge of a storm and leave out the nitty-gritty on just how a rat is eaten, thanks, and I'm happy.

Just maundering.  Have you ever been surprised to discover you are, in fact, a fan of a genre you never thought you'd read?

primsong: (books)
My college age daughter was saying she felt she needed to read more classics so she could be better versed in what 'everyone' is supposed to have read.  We looked up a number of those 'top 100' reading lists that are published online and going through them one thing was very evident:  they were horribly depressing!  Seriously, anyone who sat down to read through these lists would delve into the depths of cynical depression by the time they were halfway through.  "Why," I asked, "don't any of these lists have a genius like P.G. Wodehouse on them?  Why do they have multiple titles by Depresso-Man Steinbeck but nothing featuring Bertie Wooster?"

So, after seeing multiple depressing, dystopian, cynical and dysfunctional title lists being thrust at tenative exploratory readers who then conclude they "don't like the classics" and wander off to youtube videos how about a list of GOOD books for a change? 

I'll start it off with pretty much the entire works of P.G. Wodehouse, add some Dorothy Sayers and C.S. Forester and say - tell me more!  Classic writers that are witty and funny and upbeat?  yes!!

Also, if any of you happen to know the whereabouts of a reading list that isn't half 'oh no, we're all gonna die' and the other half horrible titles people are forced to read in school programs because the reading lists were assembled in the 50s and never updated, please please show me the way.
primsong: (hamster smooch)
On the recommendation of lost_spook, I obtained a copy of Adrian Plass' "Why I Follow Jesus" and it is fast taking its place among my Very Favorites at a prodigious rate for a newcomer to the literary fold.  Not that I'm terribly surprised, as Mr. Plass rarely disappoints.

And, to top it off, I had a complete YES! Someone Understands! moment reading it last night:

"In one of the desk drawers beside my chair I squirrelled away a delicious collection of stationery articles which I planned to try very hard never to use.  I have always been irresistibly drawn to stationery counters in newsagents' shops.  I'm a loony about stationery.  I love it all. I love the rubber bands and the sticky labels and the pencil sharpeners and the staple guns and the Blu-Tack and the drawing pins and the neat little packs of envelopes.  I love their fiddly, twiddly, functional little beingness, and I love having them stowed away in MY drawer. Yes, I do!"

For you see, I still have some sweet little colored clips and stationery and fancy pens that I've managed to almost never use for about 20 years now. I have the very last pages of very favorite stationery squirrelled away from childhood. I have unused novelty erasers from the 70s. And I love them all.  Yes, I do! I cannot escape a stationery store unscathed, I always end up buying an interesting pen, or a little sketchbook, or cute post-its, or....something. 

I love their twiddly, fiddly beingness. Do you?
primsong: (snood)
Comment with BLUE SNOOD and I'll give you five questions to satisfy my curiosity. Go post the answers on your journal with these instructions and spread the madness!

And here are the questions [personal profile] nentari of the Orange Knickers asked me, under here )
primsong: (books)
This cracks me up - and I want one of those! And one with a coffee-maker in it.

Hah - also amused myself that picking a Bible is a bit like picking your favorite Doctor; even if there are Eleven different versions, it's still the same story underneath. ;-) Sci-fi scripture analogies are great; my pastor uses movie-references all the time.

Speaking of which, I'm off to help prime walls for painting - our youth pastor and his wife just bought their first home and it's a real fixer, last time it was getting down cobwebs and washing everything while other folks attacked all the blackberries in the yard with spades. Looking more like a home all the time! Nothing like a work party to make something that's drudgery into something fun.
primsong: (books)
Just finished reading the Letters of Cicero (excerpts, that is - not the whole bazillion of them) and then Octavius went and totally betrayed him and let Antony kill him! Aaaaaaighh! Noooo! Noooo!

> - <

It's worse because it isn't even a fictional hero dying...! even if it *was* a loooong time ago. That's the thing about history, sometimes the plot just suddenly veers right off a cliff.

*wants to bludgeon Octavius, the @!&#*%! traitorous little power-grabber*
primsong: (books)
Looong ago we got a domain of our own for the very first time, venturing into Waters Unknown.Not that it was used as intended... )

And now to today - years later, when my AmiableLeaf Etsy shop was doing well enough that it looked like it would be a good idea to take all the books off to their own shopfront as books and vintage housewares kind of attract two different kinds of people.

And so what should I call it but Bookloaf?

I listed a handful of books and vintage magazines on it over the last couple of days and [ profile] starflower made me a simply grand banner for the top, even using my old neglected logo. And by golly I even already have a website by the same name. Better late than never.

I think my only regret in this so far is it keeps using up all my writing time! Hopefully that's going to go back into balance as the 'building up' phase levels out.
primsong: (Default)
I'm thoroughly enjoying slowly working my way through the seasons of All Creatures Great and Small via the old tapes from the local library, great stuff. I vaguely remember watching this on tv at some point, but not clearly... remember reading Herriot's books far better, loved them and am loving seeing them come to life on the screen so very well. Must go dig them up again.

And yes, young Peter Davison is a lovely Tristan - I think I may even (*gasp*) like him better here than as Five. Exploding cows, wild driving, dressing up as a monk, pouting, drunken singing and so on. X-D
primsong: (Default)
I turned in a batch of paperbacks at the exchange this past weekend and was delighted to find the little bookshop has expanded its 'classic' section from a couple shelves to a couple bookcases worth. Found a copy of Tennyson's Idylls of the King and randomly opened it last night to find this sparklingly beautiful verse for the humble apple tree:

Tennyson's 'Choric Song' part iii )

Just thought I'd share it. I am reminded of why Tennyson remains in my top-list of favorite poets ever.
primsong: (Default)
To all you librarians and book-lovers out there in LJ-land - have you ever seen this?

I don't even need another bookcart and it makes me want to do this. And yeah, while some of the entries were pretty sad, there's others that just make me bow down to the amazing creativity of bookish folk and give them all librarian treats and tummy-rubs.
primsong: (Default)
Just thinking on how pleased I am that my three teens are reading at this time
Pride and Prejudice, (with plans for Sense and Sensibility)
The Three Musketeers (he just finished the Count of Monte Cristo),
The Scarlet Pimpernel (she's going for 'The Elusive Pimpernel' next)

There's something that just fluffs my feathers about that. I grew up with an emphasis on books being classics 'for a reason' and usually being well worth a read, and they have rarely been disappointments.

A boy at my son's school sniffed at Musketeers and told him if he wanted to read a "real hard book" he should be reading Twilight - proof being when he held up his copy it was 'thicker' than Dumas' masterpiece. Heh. Of course, the effort to point out little details like size of type and width of margins was pushed aside. Oh well. I was pleased to find that class starting in on Kipling's Captains Courageous next - it has some gnarly, intense moments in it but I think those boys might enjoy a taste of a good, gritty sea story if they've been reading vampire fluff.
primsong: (books)
I dearly love antiquarian books - one of my downfalls is the near-inability to leave an aged novel behind when I am sorting through thrift store bins. I brought home three today at fifty cents each, a beautifully tooled copy of Thackery's Vanity Fair, the kind with the tissue leaves over the illustrations and no publisher's date. Judging by the style and pricing listed inside I would guess the 1890s. I've never read it, but now I will!

Along with it comes a small red-bound copy of Stevenson's "The New Arabian Nights" and a wonderfully musty fat volume of English Literature with plenty of illustrations as well. Leafing through it randomly at the bins I opened it and there was this lovely penned illustration of the Queen standing up and boxing Essex on the ears. Definitely a keeper. I just can't stand to let these old treasures end up in paper-recycling... what a loss. I can't keep them all (I passed up an Aesop's Fables after much deliberation, and a fine old British History tome).

Lovely old things. Just lovely.
primsong: (books)
Gacked from pippins_scarf - just because I haven't done any fluffy meme things for quite some time. I've been too tired because I stay up late every night reading books. ;-)

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Drama Nerd
Social Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace
primsong: (books)
One thing that has become apparent to me as I wade further into reading obscure classics (working on Rabelais right now) is that the further you go the more you realize you've been missing out on. My only guide for the most part is my own whim and curiosity - if it keeps getting referred to and quoted by others, I want to know what the original was about. This morning in our bible study I found a passing reference to a list of classical works by everyone from St. Thomas Aquinas to Aristotle to Calvin and C.S. Lewis. A veritable treasure-trove of wisdom from folks who have already been down this "Life" roadway, and what they found. I had to shake my head over my own idea that I am well-read in any way, shape or form when I found out of the entire list I had only read two of them, and those only in a passing manner - there were several that I'd never even seen before.

So many wells to drink from, and only so many hours in a lifetime.
primsong: (books)
I am wondering what it is that makes any of you decide to add a book to your "will get to" list. I have had so many good books recommended by other folks here, but I realized for some reason this was not making me go find them (for the most part)... I can't really say what it is that makes them take up my curiosity or fancy enough to be read.

While I did find the Scarlet Pimpernel novels on the recommendation of my dear (((onone))) - more typical is what I am reading now, the Horatio Hornblower books that I picked up because I read somewhere that Winston Churchill liked them and I wondered what sort of book Sir Churchill would like. (they are wonderful, btw, and the protagonist reminds me of Churchill himself, lol).

So why does a random thing like Churchill's tastes intrigue me while I have all these other novels waiting to be read if I were to so much as sample my friends' LJs? *shrug* What makes a recommendation *really* work? I haven't a clue.


primsong: (Default)

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