Saturday, November 30, 2019
Friday, November 29, 2019
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
“I can’t believe you didn’t pack any weapons. Some kind of handgun adapted for Martian air.”
“Believe me. I didn’t.”
She hesitated. “OK. Well, I did. In the back of the food lockers, on both the gliders. I stowed away crossbows. To work them, you just have to-“
“Found them. Took them out. Dumped them. Sorry, kid.”
She felt unreasonably enraged. “Why the hell? Listen to me, Dad. Weapons like that have helped keep me alive a long time in the Long Earth-“
“Don’t hold with weapons. Wouldn’t expect that from a guy from Wyoming, would you, Frank? Weapons kill people, in the hands of idiots. And since most of the human race are idiots-“
(from The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter)
4½*/10. The complete review is here.
Monday, November 25, 2019
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Friday, November 22, 2019
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Dad followed me. He sat down with a loud exhalation and turned to stare at me. After twenty-seconds of uninterrupted comical glaring he joked: “If you’re on drugs you can tell me you know.”
I lowered the magazine and laughed a muffled response. “If I was on drugs I would never tell you.”
“Why not?” he feigned surprise and hurt. “You’d be missing out. We could share. I have a cupboard full back home.”
“Sure. Uppers, downers, lefters, righters. I got the lot.”
(from An Idiot In Love by David Jester)
6*/10. The complete review is here.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Monday, November 18, 2019
Sunday, November 17, 2019
“If I tell you this,” I said quietly, “it could be bad for you.”
“It could force you to keep secrets that people would kill you for knowing. It could change the way you think and feel. It could really screw up your life.”
“Screw up my life?” He stared at me for a second and then said, deadpan, “I’m a five-foot-three, thirty-seven-year-old, single, Jewish medical examiner who needs to pick up his lederhosen from the dry cleaners so that he can play in a one-man polka band at Oktoberfest tomorrow.” He pushed up his glasses with his forefinger, folded his arms, and said, “Do your worst.”
(from Dead Beat by Jim Butcher)
9*/10. The complete review is here.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Friday, November 15, 2019
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Words were what excited Jim [Morrison], writing rather than singing them. “I never did any singing,” he told Rolling Stone, looking back on his youth. “I never even conceived it. I thought I was going to be a writer or a sociologist, maybe write plays. Anne expected her brother to become a poet “and be poor all his life”. As an example of his intellectual interests, she notes that when he graduated from high school in 1961 he asked his parents for the complete works of Friedrich Nietzsche as a reward, which says something about the sort of boy he was and offers a key to understanding the performer he became.
(from 27 – A History of the 27 Club… by Howard Sounes)
9½*/10. The complete review is here.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Monday, November 11, 2019
Sunday, November 10, 2019
I got an email from the Phoenix Library this past week, informing me that they have changed their policy, and will no longer be charging/collecting fines for overdue books. You're free to ignore the due dates, but at a certain point, they will charge you a "replacement fee", presumably to buy a new copy of the book.
I have mixed feelings about this new policy.
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Friday, November 08, 2019
The door to the archway banged open and the three lads startled. They looked at each other sheepishly; it was only Treasurer Fogg. “Gentlemen,” Fogg nodded at the lads. “Mrs. Sprye, my light and joy,” he said as he bent to kiss her upturned cheek.
“Foggy come a’courting, he did ride,” Stephen sang, sotto voce.
Ben and Tom chuckled. Tom wondered why it was the highest poetry when youths and maids fell in love but basest comedy when persons of middle years did the same. Their lumpish figures, he supposed. And their appalling lack of shame.
(from Murder By Misrule by Anna Castle)
8*/10. The complete review is here.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Gleeking came up in a book I just finished reading. It was set in the 1580's, and there are two definitions for the word, one modern, one archaic.
I presume the archaic definition was the one the author intended for the book, and it is "joking" or "gibing", which fit the context of the passage in the book.
The modern meaning is considerably different, although still akin to the 1600's version. I'll let you google it. I was quite amazed there was a specific word to cover this bodily action.
Tuesday, November 05, 2019
Monday, November 04, 2019
Almost immediately young Boyd had alienated the other Scouts with his nettlesome commentary and disdain for physical labor. By the time the troop made its first expedition, Shreave had been accurately pegged as the resident slacker. Soon after midnight a prankster had opened his sleeping bag and set loose a juvenile armadillo, which innocently began to explore Shreave’s armpits for grubs. The unhappy camper had reacted by clubbing the bewildered creature to death with his boom box, a second-degree misdemeanor resulting in the troop’s ejection from the Lady Bird Johnson State Floral Gardens and Nature Preserve, and of course, in Shreave’s lifetime banishment from the Scouts.
(from Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen)
7½*/10. The complete review is here.