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Title:  A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean: A Grump in Paradise Discovers that Anyplace it's Legal to Carry a Machete is Comedy Just Waiting to Happen
Author: 
Publisher: Travelers' Tales
Publushed in: 2008

Author Gary Buslik and his wife have been married twenty years. In that time they have traveled to the Caribbean many times for vacations, Add in Buslik's time as a travel writer and he has spent quite a bit of time visiting the Islands that dot this area that many consider paradise. The author considers himself a rotten person, easily turned grumpy, which affects how he sees these islands and the culture clash that occurs between his Midwestern American lifestyle and that lived in the warmer Island climates.

 This book is a collection of travel stories that were originally published elsewhere. So at times there feels a bit of repetition that may have been  avoided by chnging the order of the stories presented. I enjoyed the stories inside. They were written with a black humor and sometimes homesick feeling. The author presents some near brushes with celebrities both unwanted (such as the time he accidently insulted Idi Amin) and wanted (trying to meet Princess Di only to encounter her security and the confusion of a local man who just wanted to get home through a blocked off route). There are stories of crazy and wildly smart Rastifarians, pokes at both the British and the French, as well as musings on how progress is changing island lifestyle.

The author can come across as brusk and a bit of a jerk at times. He is a self proclaimed Republican and Jewish agnostic who is married to a more liberal leaning woman, and who teaches in a very liberal university setting. He loves to weave in observations about growing up in Skokie, IL and his current home in Mundelien, IL and compare them to the islands he has visited.  However you really get a feeling of his appreciation of the islands and the people who host he and his wife during their times staying there. I don't know if this travelogue is for everyone. but I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially his stories about visiting Cuba and visiting Hemingway's home.
nimrodiel: (book-ish)



Title: The Kagonesti
Author: Douglas Niles
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: 1995  

I have a love of the Dragonlance saga. However some of the books are written much better than others. Because I have been disappointed in this series before I have picked up and set down this copy several times without getting past the prologue. I am very glad that I continued with it this time around. The Lost Histories series is a group of books set in the Dragonlance world which probe the historical roots and records the struggles (sometimes epic) of some of the lesser known races of Krynn. This book looks at the Kagonesti - the wild elves. It starts with their founding as a separate people from the more civilized "house" elves. The wild elves with their black hair aand dusky skin still live in the wilderness as the Silvestri led by Silvanos are retreating from the wilderness to live in their crystal cities. Kagonos and his people are beloved of the silver dragon Dalannar who gifts Kaganos with a mystical rams horn which can call his "people" to help them if they are able.

The book is written in three parts. The first shows Kagonos as the first pathfinder and wielder of the mystic horn at the end of the First Dragon War, As he and his people withdraw from the other Elves to retreat deep in the forest of Ashalon.

The second story follows Ashaway as he leads his people during the third dragon war (During the time of Huma). Ashaway has the role of Pathfinder thrust upon himself suddenly when the previous Pathfinder is killed in a raid by the bakali, lizardmen who serve the dragon queen. Ashaway has to find safety for his people while helping the Knights of the Rose travel through the deep forests and mountains to the Dragon Queen's stronghold of Sanction. Even as helping the humans goes against the traditions of the Kagonesti, Ashaway is urged to help the Solamnic knights by the current silver dragon who carries the match to the hown he carries.

The third and final story of the Kagonesti elves takes us to the years before the cataclysm. We see the struggles of young warrior Iydahoe as he witnesses the destruction of the four tribes of the Kagonesti. He and his father struggle to keep their small band of survivors hidden and alive as the Humans from the city of Ishtar and the Silvenesti build a massive road through the forest homes of the Kagonesti tribe. Iydahoe seeks vengeance upon the men who killed his people. A raid on a caravan leads the capture of himself and a young warrior under his care. They are in the caravan wagon of a cleric of Mishakal when the cleric is pulled away by magic - a signal that the thirteen days before the end of the world is to arrive. Iydahoe and his tribesman escape with the help of a priestess Vanisia and return to his tribe. They are led to go up into the mountains by the mystic Grandfather Ram and are saved from the water that rushes in and destroys Ishtar and created the Newsea as the Cataclysm breaks the world of Ansalon.

I really enjoyed how this fills in some of the history to events before the cataclysm.

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Because of this box of older science fiction I was introduced to author John Boyd. I have had the chance to read several of his books now. I like his writing style. It's a little pulpy, sometimes a little silly, and he portrays some very interesting issues using satire and comparison through the sci-fi setting.

Rear cover synopsis:
"John Adams and Kevin O'Hara are graduates of North Dakota's great Mandan Space Academy. Both trained to be conquistadors of space, explorers in the age of interstellar imperialism, Adams and O'Hara are as different as any two space scouts could possibly be. Now, together, they are sent to explore a distant world called Harlech. The Harlechians are unclassified aliens; relations with their women are strictly forbidden by the Interplanetary Colonial Authority. Adams is willing to play by the rules--but whoever made those rules hadn't counted on the lusty Red O'Hara, rakehell of heaven ... From the Adams-O'Hara probe, only John Adams returns."

----------------------------

This book wasn't one of his better ones. The premise is that two humans are sent into space and make first contact with an alien culture. However, when Red O'Hara and John Adams land on a planet that has a society based on academic learning and pleasure without war, crime, or poverty. The citizens of Harlech live underground to escape the terrible static electricity storms that occasionally cover the surface. Their society is made up of "Universities" rather than cities. After making contact O'Hara and Adams learn the native tongue and request to teach about Earth customs and religions during the academic terms of the University that they have landed near.

The Space Exploration team has a series of rules that are supposed to guide their conduct, We see both men slipping loose from these constraints and becoming more and more familiar with the local Halrachians, most noticeably the women.

I feel like this book didn't age well, and compared to the other books I have read by this author it is much more abstract than the two books that precede it (it is the third in a space exploration trilogy). However, John Boyd's prose is as ever enjoyable and almost lyrical to read.
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
cover The Tale of One Bad Rat
Title: The Tale of One Bad Rat
Author: Bryan Talbot
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Publication date: 1995

Helen Potter is a runaway following the steps of Beatrix Potter whom she holds an affinity to because of sharing both first and surnames. Her troubles with being touched by males and her sexuality combined with the mental stigma and shame she feels as a survivor of incest has her constantly on the move and leery of trusting anyone.

Her traveling companion starts off as a pet rat saved from a school biology lab. As she travels north her reliance on the rat as a companion becomes more prevalent after a tragedy drives her to continue North. Helen finds her way to the Lake Land District, home of Beatrix Potters house Hill Top. Helen finds friends in the owners of the Herdwick Arms pub who help her after she collapses in the rear of the building, and who offer her safety in a job, a place to sleep, and eventually in support in facing her parents.

This is a tough story to read. The subject material is uncomfortable, and you can see the research and the pain and suffering that the author conveys in the subject. He quotes Miriam Saphira from The Sexual Abuse of Children "The first step towards prevention and to provision of supportive services for the girls who've been abused is bringing abuse into the open... Incest is not taboo. It seems that talking about incest is the real taboo."

This was such a moving little story about finding the strength to stand up to the person abusing you and finding your strength as a person despite the mental stigmas that plague your thoughts and opinions of who you are. The artwork in this book is absolutely stunning. I don't know that I would have picked this up on my own, though it is the story driven type of graphic novel I adore. This was shared with me by bookcrosser HI77 I'm sad I wasn't able to fit it into my manga and graphic novel book box. I'll have to think on a place to share this book with the world.
nimrodiel: (Default)
Anyone who knows me knows that I am an active member of bookcrossing.com. I read alot of books and don't necessarily have space to keep them all. So I add in bookcrossing BCID labels to those books I want to pass on and then either hand them off to people I think will enjoy them or leave them places for other people to pick up and read.

I'm lucky as my part of the suburb I live in and the neighboring part of Chicago has many little free libraries to drop books off in, and I do on a fairly regular basis. This is both good and bad as I tend to pick up at least one book for every three books I drop off.

I also won a RABCK sweeps (random act of book crossing kindness) with a manga and graphic novel theme at the end of 2016 and ended up with a bunch of manga and graphic novels which I have been reading over the last few months. Some have been good such as Ceres: Celestial Legend, Bleach, The Kurasagi Corpse Delivery Service, and Bitch Planet vol 1 and Monstress volume 1 of which I have plans on purchasing volume 2 of each when they come out.

I am planning a manga and graphic novel bookbox and have filled a box with 40 or so titles that I either have received from other bookcrossing members or are titles I have from various comic book bento subscription boxes that are not books I would reread or even read. The idea is this will get mailed to the people participating and they take books out and replace them and eventually I get a box back in the mail with (hopefully) new manga/graphic novels. It should be fun.

I want to try and start writing reviews of the books I read again for my neglected blog over on blogger. I may crosspost those over here as well.

My reading goal for the summer is to read down the TBR pile and get some of these books passed on or added to my keeper shelves.
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
I think it says a lot about our society and how youth obsessed we can be when people are reacting to my hair so interestingly. I started going grey in my early twenties. Ith wasn't noticeable because I was dying my hair a lot at the time. Black, red, purple, bleached out blond. My hair was all sorts of colors.

When I started to develop chemical sensitivities I stopped dying my hair. I let it go back to my natural color which is brown with red and blonde highlights. Over the past twelve years my hair has gone more grey but as long as I wore it pulled into a bun or ponytail it isn't noticeably grey. As my hair is long, the grey blends in and as grey tends to turn brassy it just made the ends of my hair look dishwater blonde.

Recently I have noticed more grey hair. And, it is shimmery silver rather than dull grey or white. I've embraced it as I love how the strands look against the darker brown of my roots. I started using a shampoo for grey, blonde, and bleached hair once a month and I have to get used to the smell as it is more fragrances than my normal shampoo and I am combing it through to the ends of my hair which I normally don't.

I have been amazed at people's reactions to my hair changing. Perhaps it's because most people assume I'm ten years younger than I actually am. Perhaps it's because so many women cover their grey but I have been astonished at the reactions I have gotten from you should dye your hair (I will do what I want to do thank you very much), to it looks so shimmery, to is that your natural hair color (no really I paid a salon to put in silver streaks).

I find myself stopping by the hair color aisle every now and again as I would love to color my hair autumn leaf red again. But I don't want to risk the hives and other symptoms that my chemical sensitivities bring about. Hives on the scalp are a pain to deal with.
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
In November I attended a teacher training on including nature in the classroom. One of the things we did was build a small worm box. It has been sitting on my counter since then getting food scraps and paper added to it. The other day I took the plastic container out of the cardboard sleeve it sits in and saw lots of itty baby red wriggler worms crawling along the sides.

Baby worms are pretty interesting to look at. They are a translucent white with a little red in them from their blood. There must have been an egg ball close to the wall of the container as there were lots of little squigglies. If not, I might not have even known there were baby worms until they matured as these are so teeny tiny.

I almost wish we were discussing worms this week instead of three weeks from now.
nimrodiel: (Default)
You watch them walk to your shoes and leave you a gift of a piece of dry kibble inside one of the pair.
nimrodiel: (Default)
Why is it I haven't had a flat tire in over two years but the last month I have had four? Late to class today because I hit a pothole and popped the brand new inner tube I had put in yesterday after hitting a pothole on Tuesday and blowing out my last patch.
nimrodiel: (Default)

Well, my dr seems to think the rash might be fifth disease.

Another weird childhood illness I never had.

If this is the cause, I am looking at 1-3 weeks of rash and itching...

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

nimrodiel: (Default)

I thought the weird allergic reactions to stuff were behind me.

I spent the 4 days of the holiday weekend battling fever, joint pain and fatigue. Yesterday I had to go to the emergency care clinic for a rash on my arms and legs (which also turned out to be on my back and torso).

The ruling there? 50% it's most likely contact dermatitis. I have unscented oatmeal soap and prescription strength skin cream.

But, because of the fever and joint pain it might be lyme disease or rocky mountain spotted fever (both tick born). So I'm under orders to get blood work done.

Meanwhile,y hands and feet ache, my skin is sensitive to touch, and I feel bruised all over.


Grrr!


Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

nimrodiel: (doodle)

•I managed to find the Tazo holiday tea Joy that I love and couldn't find last year. Seriosly, if my tea cabinet were not packed full I would buy ten more tins for the rest of the year.

•How have I never heard Neko Case before this? I'm loving the old NPR coverage of the Newport Folk Fest.

•A 2 lb bag of sourdough pretzel bites is a lot of pretzels.

•Yay! Sprite green is in stores again!

•I can use the library wifi from the metro station as I wait for my bus to school. Rock!

• Am I doomed to never find comfortable headphones?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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My books read list and book ramblings are all public posts, The little bit that I post here still outside of that is friends only. So, if You are new reading and want to be added by me let me know how you found this journal and who you are in the comments and I will add you if I feel like it.
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
1. The Bellmaker by Brian Jacques
2. Tales of a Hollywood Gossip-Queen by Mary Kennedy (ARC)
3. Living Well with Back Pain by Robert B. Winter, MD, Marilyn Bach, PhD and the Twin CitiesSpine Center (ARC)
4. Assasination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
Another two week entry. Should be bacl on track next week.

Books read week of 9 June 2006

1. The Ninth Life of Louis Drax by Liz Jenson
2 Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore
3. Back in Texas by Roxanne Rustand

Books read the week of 16 June 2006

1. Warrior's Song by Janis Reams Hudson
2. Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipies and one tiny apartment kitchen by Julie Powell (audiobook)
3. Young Warriors edited by Tamora Pierce
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
Due to a Memorial Day road trip and just being busy I forgot to post these weeks entries on time.

Week of 25 May 2006

1. About the Man by Sheryl Woods
2. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
3. The Pregnancy Test by Susan Gable
4. A Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdane

Week of 5 June 2005

1. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
2. Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli
3. Calahan's Key by Spider Robinson (audio book)
4. Deadly Games by Thom Racina
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
1. The Secret of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
2. A Soldier's Quest by Lori Handeland
3. The Thin Pink Line by Lauren Baratz-Logstead
4. The Price of Pride by Donna MacGuigg (ARC) <- currently reading
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
1. The Obsidian Key by Eldon Thomas (ARC)- currently reading
2. Practical Demon Keeping by Christopher Moore - currently reading
3. The Book of the Lion by michael Cadnum (audiobook)
4. The Woman Who is Always Tan and Has a Flat Stomach (And Other Annoying People) by Lauren Allison and Lisa Perry (ARC)

This weeks post brings me up to 58 books read so far this year.

Crazy!
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
Drawing a Blank: Or How I tried to Solve a Mystery, End a Feud, and Land the Girl of My Dreams by : Daniel Ehrenhaft, Illustrated by Trevor Ristow
review )
nimrodiel: (book-ish)
1. Anasazi Boys by Neil Gaiman
2. Wanted: One Sexy Night by Judi McCoy
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