Wednesday, November 02, 2016

But it's my NAME!

There is a trope that I think needs to die in a huge fire. It's the I don't like your given name, here's a nickname,  I know you hate it but just accept it because I'm male, usually this is shortly after the woman is married and has to deal with a change of name anywa, often being addressed as Mrs his first name and surname, and her last private posession is ripped from her and trivialise,  this isn't just a pet name this is mean. And it's endemic in romance novels and authors have got to stop it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Polgara the sorceress

I read and reread David and, apparently, Leigh Eddings Belgariad series several times when I was younger, and most of the other series too, but it was only recently that I read Polgara the Sorceress, and man did it remind me of things that grated. All the women are tiny, people of particular races all do things in the same way, all women are the same in motives and thinking, ditto men, augh and grrr. 
The surface was an entertaining story and I liked Polgara's voice, but the underlying generalisations, nope.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sometimes there are writers

I read a book recently that made me a bit cranky. Craftsman by Richard Sennet,  apart from the view of craftsmanship as being mostly male he also didn't get the concept of mindless crafting. Sometimes mindless crafting is an accompaniment to complex working, but sometimes it's it's own thing.  When you're in a crafting slump or something complex is occupying your brain,  and not necessarily a crafting project, retreating into the simple is actually comforting. When a lace project is in the slog,  why is there no progress stage, a simple dishcloth can be useful,  a sense of accomplishment can be made out of that little thing. Without slogging by assistants there isn't time made for a master.  But also there is the issue that until you understand your material, you can't really explore it's possibilities. Without scales and warmups your hands will suffer on the piano. Also without understanding both your and the materials issues you can't work with them and through them. I will never play some pieces on the piano that require octave stretches, my hands can't do that, but I can work with it, choose the notes that sound the best, the most right.

But what really ticked me off,  as the daughter of a master cabinetmaker and carpenter; sister of a master carpenter; cousin of a master glassworker (not sure of his proper title but he made a glass sword as his masterpiece!) on page 58 when he talked about a chef d'oeuvre éleve I was somewhat annoyed,  it didn't convince me that he knew enough about what he was talking about because that's known as a masterpiece or master piece. And maybe if we regarded those pieces made by more crafters as being as important and we saw the beauty in them and the skill it took to make them like we look at paintings maybe we would start to have a better understanding of how there is more artfulnes in the world than we notice.  That the present by someone that took more effort than a few minutes in a shop actually has worth, and doesn't deserve derision.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Binge reading

I went on a bit of a graphic novel binge recently and I blame my job, I do some cataloguing as part of my job and there was a pile of graphic novels, which can be a bit involved in the cataloguing, particularly when they're collected issues, there's also often added characters and other messing. And then because I care there's often missing issues, and I do check.  As I did them I sequestered a few away to read.  I find them an easy read, even if I do get a bit... well caught up in the world and I can find the real world a bit dizzying afterwards.  It was also helped by the rubbish weather at the moment which is playing merry hob with my sinuses which also decreases my ability to concentrate.  There are one or two left but I've finished with most of them and I thought I'd write something about them.

There were a few non-fiction ones.

Trauma is Really Strange; Dad's not there any more and Story of my tits.

All three are interesting, Dad isn't here any more is heartbreaking.
Storm, about which I've blogged before 

One based on a true story

Then there were Superhero novels.... a lot of superhero novels.

some gods

which was interesting

which was heartwarming and heartbreaking

which shows promise

which made me want to re-read, and read Bradbury, and get my hands on the other version, with more writers.

an interesting murder mystery in McCarthy era Hollywood

Which is excellent and features Dublin, which I pointed out to several people in work.

strange, very strange

Where some people discover more about themselves when everyone else goes away.

A few that were okay but I have no urge to read more


A few I didn't really enjoy

Musings on Libraries

I still fall into the book trap when I talk about things I've borrowed from the library, though I can borrow more and there was a time when you could borrow pictures.  There are places where you can borrow seeds, toys, tools and other things. There are new things coming on stream with the libraries like emagazines and I'm sure more to come, it's interesting times, but where we're going I don't know.

I had an interesting moment in a Starbucks I regularly visit with one of the baristas where she was discussing how she was having minor problems with English and I suggested she go to the library in the ILAC centre and use the resources of the Open Learning Centre, She had never heard of it and I thought that was a shame, we have so much to offer and people complain about things they can't do that we provide for free.  The resources available through the Business Library are vast and really useful for anyone wanting to set up a business or retrain.  How do I know all this? The bills for their magazines pass my desk.

I'm sure there will be a place into the future for libraries but what it will be, I have no idea. But if I hear one more person tell me we're outdated and useless...

Books Borrowed week ending 31/1/2016

This week's borrowed books and other items.

Outlander Series 1
Glory and the Rake - fiction
Half the Sky - non-fiction
The Dream Thieves - YA fiction
Person of Interest series 1
Bought for revenge - fiction

Sunday, January 17, 2016

books bought this week

Night Quest by Susan Krinard - I have a weakness for Mills and Boon Nocturne, there's usually two per month but I only found 1 in O'Connell Street Easons, sigh.
Ten poems about Knitting - bought in Hodges Figgis (who need to update their site) using a Book Token
Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog, I've been eyeing this one for a while.

Last week I picked up a few too.

Blood Red by Mercedes Lackey - I read the sequel recently. I'm fond of her and her writing.
Dragonwriter edited by Todd McCaffrey - Anne McCaffrey was one of the first SF authors I've ever read and I nabbed this, then I spotted that several of my favourite authors, like Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon and Lois McMaster Bujold have contributions and I was very happy, a happiness tinged with sadness that she's gone.
Pelzmantel by K.T. Laity - I follow her on Twitter and have met her, I reckon I should really read her.
The Revenant of Thraxton Hall by Vaughn Entwistle - sounds interesting, could be irritating.
The Harry Clarke Colouring Book - I have a weakness for colouring books and Harry Clarke and thankfully the pages are blank on one side, unfortunately the information is on the opposite page, making deconstruction if you wanted to frame one of them a bit awkward.

Books out week ending 17th January

Hitman agent 47 - DVD
Downton Abbey series 6 - DVD 
Best of Bowie - CD
Lord Lansbury's Christmas Wedding
The Captain's Christmas Bride
Lady Rowena's Ruin

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A storm

Recently I read Tim Minchin's Storm and I largely agree with him. Yes grasping this life is important, and maybe it's all we get but I felt a need to explore a few things.

While I agree that most if not all psychics are cold readers making a buck, I also have see people conduct interesting dialogues with their subconscious through the medium of Tarot cards, and paid me, well I had to start charging, I was putting in effort, they were not paying attention, until I charged, a cup of coffee. Yes 40p (old money, it was the 90s) made the difference between attention and inattention, thanks capitalism. And yes, once someone started latching onto certain words or phrases I'd start using the theme more. Was I cold reading, yes. Did I have repeat customers? Yes. Would I lapse into a slightly different consciousness sometimes? Yes. Did I rely on it or encourage others to do so? No.

Later, pre-cancer diagnosis, I was under the weather and a friend offered me a reiki session. I took him up on it, there was a preliminary diagnosis that involved my liver and the friend said afterwards, I don't think that what's wrong with you is liver, I think it's more widespread than that, get those tests done, it's important. Yeah it was, I had hodgkins lymphoma. More dispersed indeed.

These two are, yes, anecdotes, but what's in common is the ethical attitude of the person involved. The labourer is worthy of their hire too.

Secondly, he lumps medicine into proven and unproven ignoring the third, complicated category, still under research, and sometimes that third category gets lumped into useless superstition, much like generally regarded as safe and hypoallergenic doesn't mean no one will have adverse effects to a drug or cosmetic. I had a skin condition that could be linked to my blood pressure medicine. Actually to the added padding or sawdust as my dad calls it.

Overall, storm is interesting but simplistic to a degree and he's probably preaching to the choir.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Books out week ending 10th january

Books borrowed from the library this week
Gizzi's Healthy appetite by Gizzi Erskine read good reviews of this online

Handmade Gifts - looked pretty, for reviewing some of it on my knitting site.

A bird in the Hand by Diana Henry - chicken recipes

Warrior of Fire by Michelle Willingham historical romance set in Ireland, usually a how badly do they get it check...

Iceman a DVD

His Christmas Countess by Louise Allen another historical romance

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin - I read Fifth Season over the Christmas and was very impressed

Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal having read the book previous to it, again over the Christmas.

The Immortal Hunter by Lynsay Sands - predictable vampire romance crack

The magpie and the wardrobe - Sam McKechnie sounds very interesting, looks pretty.