Saturday, September 27, 2008

Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs

I'm a fan of forensic fiction and I'm a fan of Bones. I've been reading Reich's novels since Deja Dead and I really enjoy them.

Temperance Brennan is in Charlotte this round and working on several cases that appear to be related to each other via occult rituals/satanism. Cauldrons and various voodoo type objects are found at one scene while a headless body of a young man are found at another.

Brennan and Slidell battle a local "Christian" commissioner who just makes more trouble by riling up the community's fear. Brennan also, unfortunately, battles herself in this novel.

I like this Brennan better than I like TV's Brennan (although she's growing on me) and since Devil Bones leaves things up in the air, I really hope things work out. And I can't wait for the next Brennan book.

Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Another knitting book to guide me on my yarniful journey.

This one actually had a lot of great tips and hints that I haven't learned yet. I have wondered how to determine what number of stitches to cast on for a hat with no pattern. I wrote down a lot of notes (how to determine scarf length, hat size, sock size, etc.) and copied out a lot of her basic patterns.

Although I did pick this up from the library (I like to test drive books first) I've added it to my wishlist to get. I think it will be a pretty valuable reference for my knitting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Another great Librivox recording by a great reader.

Well, this is vastly different from the looney tunes cartoon. Hmph. :)

Just for Reference

This turned out to be a story about duality. Good vs. Evil. Mr. Utterson, a lawyer and good friend of Dr. Jekyll, investigates the appearance of a Mr. Hyde that has caused some concern. Mr. Hyde gives the impression of a deformity, although no one can quite place what it is. Learning that Dr. Jekyll knows Mr. Hyde, in fact has left his entire fortune to Mr. Hyde in a will, Mr. Utterson does his best to find out what is going on.

Mr. Hyde eventually murders someone and is on the run. While Mr. Jekyll assures Mr. Utterson that Hyde is gone, we know that it isn't quite true.

Now, everyone goes into this story knowing what has happened. That Dr. Jekyll has made a "potion" to become Mr. Hyde. That story is as old as the hills. However, you really need to read this novella with an open mind. You'll be inclined to believe that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are really 2 entirely separate people. It wasn't until the last mp3 (or chapters) that the explanations begin to become clear.

Dr. Jekyll knew that he had created a monster, but he was very much aware that the monster was him. At least the dark part of him. Mr. Hyde, at first, is small in stature and that appears to be because Dr. Jekyll, being a good man, didn't really have too much of an evil side. Unwisely, Dr. Jekyll let Mr. Hyde run rampant and let his evil side enjoy all the trappings of a consciousless existence. Not a smart move, Dr. Jekyll.

Mr. Hyde begins to grow and take over. The potion isn't even needed anymore by the end.

Much more sober than the Bugs Bunny version.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bonk by Mary Roach

I like Mary Roach. Her book, Stiff, encouraged me to never ever donate my body to science because I don't want to end up a crash test dummy.

I picked up her new book, Bonk, from the library. It's all about science and sex. This book is fat with tidbits on sex. She had chapters describing penile implant surgery, orgasms, ED, etc. Her and her husband volunteered for a test that took ultrasound pictures of them having sex, to see where the penis hits in the uterus. That's dedication to a book.

Some good tidbits from Bonk:

Kinsey was bisexual.

Kinsey masturbated by shoving things up his weiner. In one case, he used a toothbrush...bristle end first.

Kinsey was one of the first people to notice that the anus puckers during orgasm. He noticed this because he filmed people having sex in his attic.

70% of women cannot have an orgasm with just vaginal stimulation. (Foreplay is vital!)

They found a woman who can have up to 5 orgasms in a row...without touching herself in any way. She just used her mind.

Scientists created a penis camera. Women had sex with it so the scientists can view what happens inside the vagina during sex. (Apparently vaginas expand. Ergo, a lot of women think that the man ... ahem.... isn't in there anymore)

A woman's heartrate increased to 146 beats per minute during her 3rd (of 4) orgasm. However, it's extremely rare to have a sex-induced heart attack UNLESS you are with a prostitute. True facts.

A boar's penis is corkscrewed, like it's tail.

Homosexuals have the best sex... so says a study. Simply because of Gender Empathy.

Great book! I should go on Jeopardy now.

It's good to learn new things.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum

If you subscribe to the Librivox podcast, you get random books downloaded to your ipod. I finally decided to try The Scarecrow of Oz since I enjoyed reading The Wizard of Oz back in the day.

I didn't realize this was the 9th book in the Oz series so it probably wasn't the best place to start however, this was a really great book! I forgot how whimsical and fantastic Baum's stories are and this brought it all back. Sometimes it's really a good thing to be 30+ and to read a story of your childhood :)

This is the story of Cap'n Bill and Trot, an old sailor and a little girl, who get sucked into a whirlpool and end up far from home. They come across an Ork who also got caught in the whirlpool and travels with them on their journey to Oz.

They end up traveling through the Land of Mo and meet the Bumpy Man, to Jinxland where they meet Princess Gloria and Pon, two lovers who aren't in the same class. The Scarecrow comes along, sent by Glinda, to help the travelers maneuver through Jinxland.

The voices on this recording were exceptional. Every character was portrayed by a different person and really gave this a great story feeling.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Dead by James Joyce

This has been touted as one of the best short stories ever written. Upon finishing my Librivox recordings, I think I have to agree.

First of all, download the Librivox version. The person who recorded this story was absolutely phenomenal. He had the Irish brogue to go with the story and was just a fantastic reader.

On to the story: The Dead is part of the Dubliners collection of short stories. This story focuses on Gabriel Conroy and is set at his aunt's annual dance and dinner (around 1904). Gabriel is incredibly self-conscious, fidgety and has a social awkwardness that also causes him to be a bit...abrupt with people. Conroy is asked by his aunts to give a toast at the end of the dinner, in which he tries to make up for some of the "rudeness" that he has shown earlier in the evening. He praises the past and talks about the future generations.

As they are leaving the dinner, he spots his wife, Greta, on the stairs. Since they are staying in a hotel overnight before heading home, Conroy is feeling amorous. He finds later that is wife is melancholy after hearing a song played that evening; The Lass of Aughrim. Conroy soon finds out why that song has made his wife sad and soon has an epiphany of his own. We are all the same in that we all will die.

Excellent story and well worth listening to at Librivox.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I'm a fairly new knitter (almost a year!) and have read some of the Yarn Harlot's blog. I decided to get some of her books from the library to see what's what.

Pearl-McPhee is a pretty funny lady! In this book, she welcomes us to the land of Knitting. We learn how to pack for vacations, the pests associated with knitting, diseases (the dreaded second sock syndrome!), etc. We read about politics (natural yarn vs. acrylics) and etiquette (is it ok to knit in public?)

Right now, I'm knitting my very first sock. Hopefully, I won't contract SSS!

A cute, fun to read book, for new and experienced knitters

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Candy Girl by Diablo Cody

I wonder how many people went back to read Cody's memoir after seeing Juno. Count me as one.

I enjoyed Juno even with all the goofy language use. But I got real tired of cutesy metaphors and literary "jazz 'ems up". Underneath all of that, it was a decent story about about Cody's year as a stripper. What started out as a whim on Amateur Night become an experiment in the, entertainer world.

Cody reccounts the different strippers she meets, the different bars she works at, etc. This was a super quick read and pretty entertaining although her stint at Sex World in the Dollhouse seems a little....disgusting. But hey, that's just me