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Archive for November, 2008

Perfume: The End

The initial post

After having seen the movie

Halfway through

I finished reading Perfume on Friday, and I stand by my original assessment: not disturbing.

Yes, Grenouille kills lots of people, and yes, he turns them into perfume, but it’s not disturbing. I think a lot of that has to do with language: Perfume is beautifully written, by someone who is a master at his craft. Horrible things happen in the story to be sure, but they way they are presented makes all the difference. Süskind never dwells on the brutality of what is happening; he just states the essential facts and moves on. There is no dipping blood, no gut-churning descriptions of violence and despair, no imagery calculated to give you nightmares for the rest of your life.

It’s a beautiful book about a horrible person. I suppose that could be considered disturbing, but I really don’t see it that way.

I love this book.

Here is my visual tribute to the book; the pictures were taken by me in New York, Oslo, and Chester PA.

Source: personal copy

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Peeps

This was something I learned about in my Reference 101 course, and I think it needs to be shared with the world:

Peeps in the Library!

I don’t like to eat peeps, but I do like to see them subjected to rigorous scientific testing.

I also like the book Peeps.

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Black Friday

Will today be crazy busy or painfully slow?

I vote for slow, since we’re staffed pretty thinly.

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Much as I love Johnny Tremain, I think it’s good that books telling the not-so-pretty side of history are being written for children and young adults.  It’s all too easy to put people into either Heroic Revolutionaries or Evil Loyalist camps–the truth was often much murkier, and it’s not right to obscure that out of the mistaken belief that children can’t handle the truth.

I finished Chains yesterday, and it is amazing. I’m can hardly wait for the sequel.  The story is incredibly well written, and a powerful read.  It does not shy away from the harsh realities of Isabel’s life, but is completely appropriate for the intended audience.  Go read it; you won’t be sorry.

I read The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party when it came out, and am next in line for its sequel, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves.  Octavian’s story is quite different than Isabel’s, and he has a very different set of obstacles to overcome.  Once again, the brutality that is part of his world is not sugar-coated, but it is still an age appropriate read.  Read these as well.

NY Times review of Pox Party: Slave to Science
NY Times review of Kingdom on the Waves: The War for Independence

I also read Johnny One-Eye.  John Stocking is a double agent in Revolutionary-era Manhattan.  Johnny has his own demons to overcome and dreams to attain, but his is once again a very different perspective of a supposedly familiar period.  Since this is a novel for adults, nothing is held back. Another great read.

NY Times review: Philandering Father

All of the authors have done amazing research for their books, and all of the books are excellent reads.  Not always easy reads, but that much more satisfying for how hard you had to work to reach the conclusion.

Source: borrowed from library

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Japan

Mr. Lush and I have *just* about hammered out a plan with the nice travel agent lady for our upcoming trip.

The good news is that we’ll be visiting both Tokyo and Kyoto. We’ll get to take the bullet train (Shinkansen), see Mt. Fuji, visit shrines, see a tea ceremony, and stay in a traditional inn, or Ryokan! And oh, the shopping opportunities! 😀

So excited!!!

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Candy, Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

The final part of the saga unfolds:

After I told my parents about Mr. Lush’s reaction to my having eaten some of our keepsake M&Ms, my father’s creative juices went into overdrive. This is the result:

Just in case you’re having trouble reading the tiny print, they say “keepsake” and “not keepsake.”

I knew dad was up to something, because he had told me that we should be getting a box soon. And then a few days later he asked me if any keepsakes had arrived in the mail. So I had a pretty good idea of what was going to be inside.

When the box did finally arrive, I told Mr. Lush it was for him, and that he should open it up. He did, and was underwhelmed that we had gotten *more* M&Ms. Then he looked closer, and was delighted to see that they were labeled.

“Now I can pick out all the blue ones and keep them safe!”

“Um, I think you need to look a little more closely…”

“But they’re colored-coded! I can just pick out the blue…hey! Wait a minute! Some of those pink ones say ‘keepsake’ too! What am I going to do???”

“Hee hee hee.”

“Grr!”

So now we have seven bags of personalized M&Ms that I am not allowed to eat.

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Busy

I was so busy today doing stuff that I don’t have anything interesting of my own to share. Here are some articles I culled from various places instead:

Novels ‘better at explaining world’s problems than reports’

5 Ways Social Media Will Change Recorded History

Library bus by Muungano

Now off to do laundry!

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