Saturday, April 21, 2012

it's creepy because they all have subtitles

I only have five or so friends on Goodreads, so I will now share my just-finished/current reading list with you, my dear [thousands] of blog readers:

How Characters of Fiction, Myth, Legends, Television and Movies
Have Shaped our Society, Changed Our Behavior, and Set the Course of History
by Dan Karlan, Allan Lazer and Jeremy Salter

Quick essays about characters who have from Ulysses to Prince Charming to Buffy. Perfect for the parent who has 3 mins here, 10 mins there.


Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament
by Kay Redfield Jamison

At first glance the book seemed to offer a cause/effect relationship between bipolar disorders and creative brilliance which depressed me (so perhaps there's hope for me after all). But then obviously the book actually claims no such thing. Not exactly, anyway. I ended-up skimming most chapters because they was so full of quotes about the darkness and terror of depression and mania while what I was in the mood for was less about the dreary torment of an ill mind and more about what the writers/composers thoughts when pen/brush was put to paper.  

(If I were you I'd skip Jamison's book and instead read The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain  by Alice Weaver Flaherty. Now that is an excellent book about the creative process and thoughts about what happens when the creative mind runs amuk.)


More than 250 Lists, Charts, and Facts to Make Planning Easier and Faster
by Sonya Haskins

Have I written lately about my love affair with that most amazing thing The List? And to think, an entire genre of books exist full simply of lists. Exciting beyond belief. Haskins lists range from the normal sort of thing (seven wonders of the ancient world) to the ho-hum (notable Christian missionaries)  to the I'd- completely-forgotten-about-these (mathematical formulas), the perpective-challenging (deadliest animals--sharks kill 100 people a year compared to 1 million killed by mosquitos). Finance terms. Mythology. Boy Scout merit badges. I liked it.


Crushing, fermenting, aging, and bottling your own wine
By Bruce Palmer

Currently reading this one, at my husband's behest. He (and Bruce) are starting to have me convinced a good 50-cent bottle of wine may be within our reach. What's to be lost by trying (other than the initial hundreds of invested dollars and all our waking weekend hours)?


Living Creatures in Poems and Prints
by Stephen Addis with Fumiko and Akira Yamamoto

This is a re-read. Haiku makes me happy and the woodblock illustrations are beautiful, even when the pictures are of bugs. And who can argue with this: Swarms of mosquitos / but without them / it's a little lonely  ~Issa  (In a poll of two breakfasters ages 3 and 35, fists were shaken at mosquitos [see above. 1 million killed a year! Also: ouch.] but it was agreed there would be less to talk about if the bloodsuckers were suddenly nonexistent.)


And that's the scoop! If you're interested, check me out at This one time a total stranger liked one of my reviews, which means I'm not absolutely full of crap and just clicking rating stars all of the time. Ok, mostly that's what I do, but not always. I try.


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