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December 31st, 2016

08:49 pm
The once-a-year post: What non-work books did I read this year? I slacked off from my 2-books-a-month goal, largely because I rode my bicycle to work for 4 months from June-September, losing valuable subway reading time, but I still managed 22 books. Here they are, in order:

1. Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility. Reread.
2. Ann Patchett, The Magician's Assistant. I had not read her books before; I must read more of her.
3. Katherine Neville, The Eight.
4. Elizabeth Wayland Barber, Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times. This was absolutely fascinating, both the substantive history and the insight into the resources used to gain the information.
5. Bill Schweigert, The Beast of Bancroft. Entertaining mystery set here in Arlington and written by a local.
6. Tamara Ireland Stone, Every Last Word. YA lit.
7. Michael Lewis, The Big Short. Source material for the movie.
8. Homer, The Iliad. Why had I never read this before?
9. Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind.
10. Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove. Wonderful read. Homage to curmudgeons everywhere.
11. Michael Lewis, Moneyball. All baseball fans should read this, otherwise, not so much.
12. Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding. Also a baseball theme, but not just a baseball book.
13. Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet. Sorry, Sherlock fans: I hated it.
14. Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale. A Resistance story set in WWII France.
15. Jennifer Close, The Hopefuls. Supposedly about being a political wife in DC, these were the shallowest characters ever. I hope their husbands divorced them.
16. Bram Stoker, Dracula. Great Halloween book club choice, with (surprisingly) a strong female character.
17. Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden. Speed read before seeing play based on the book.
18. Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel. On a list of great books.
19. ML Stedman, The Light Between Oceans. Book club again.
20. Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle. Record of the voyage round the world (including a stop in the Galapagos) that provided the evidence for The Origin of Species.
21. Rachel Cohn & David Leviathan, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. Teens in NY over the holidays. Good December book club selection.
22. Daniel P. Kennelly, Fatal Knowledge: A Collegiate Murder Mystery. Written by a good friend of mine; unusual for me, I pegged the murderer in the first half.

And now goodbye to 2016; wishing everyone the best in 2017!

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January 4th, 2014

09:52 am - Happy New Year!
No, I haven't quite abandoned LJ yet. I do occasionally stop by and read (usually from work, which explains why I never comment). But since I'm not really a blogger, and never learned HTML, Facebook just seems easier to use.

Other than planning and taking an 11-day vacation to Iceland and Norway and helping husband engineer administer the estate for my beloved father-in-law (who passed away last year on the second of January) and organize a funeral celebration (including interment at Arlington National Cemetery in a beautiful ceremony with full military honors) for 30 out-of-town guests, I feel like I spent my entire 2013 at the office. This is not far from the truth; I sacrificed too many evenings, weekends and holidays to various clients.

I did manage to read some books, though, and I like LJ must better than Facebook for cataloguing them. I only managed 19 this year, but I didn't count the 3 guidebooks that I read cover to cover to plan my vacation itinerary, and Les Miserables was nearly 1200 pages, so maybe I wasn't too far off my goal of 2 books per month.

Here they are, in the order I completed them (cut for length):

Read more...Collapse )

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August 11th, 2011

08:47 pm - Day 6 - Whatever Tickles My Fancy
I'm not getting much feedback on these posts, so I'm wondering if everyone has decamped to Dreamwidth. I actually have a Dreamwidth account, but only 2-3 friends, so I haven't bothered to post much there.

Nevertheless, if you want to find me on Dreamwidth, just look for elfundeb. If I get any action over there, I will start cross-posting.

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November 4th, 2008

09:07 am - Executive Experience Not Necessary
I am off to the polls.

In the event you read this before voting, and encounter someone today who is still worried about Obama's supposed lack of experience, a two-word response is sufficient:

Abraham Lincoln

After one congressional term and one failed run at the Senate, he became the compromise Republican candidate in 1860. Initially derided as an ignorant back-country "Railsplitter," Lincoln did make some mistakes (everyone does!), but he proved to be brilliant at executing his vision and, at least as importantly, holding together a fractious coalition of advisers ranging from out-and-out abolitionists to border-state, anti-Emancipationists.

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September 8th, 2007

05:45 pm - Madeleine L'Engle
A long and prolific life ends, and heidi8 posted an excellent meme to commemorate L'Engle's life and works:

When you see this on your flist, post a quotation from a book by Madeleine L'Engle in your LJ/blog/journal/etc.

I have spent the last hour looking for my copy of A Wrinkle in Time, which used to reside on my son's bookshelf, and have regretfully concluded that when we painted his room he packed it up with the Hardy Boys books that we have given away, because I can't find it anywhere. So, this quote is from memory, and it's going to be rough:

cut for those who haven't read itCollapse )
Current Mood: sadsad

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July 21st, 2007

09:42 pm - Finished Deathly Hallows
In less than 24 hours, a record for me! And loved it, in the sense that the story kept me turning pages at an amazing rate. The only other book to match it in intensity was GoF. Flaws are certain to be exposed on further reading, although DH now has his hands on it, having elected not to wait for the Bloomsbury version to arrive after all. I intended a reread to pull my thoughts together, but I'll make do without --

Totally disorganized, spoiler-laden first impressionsCollapse )
Current Music: Scheherazade

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October 3rd, 2006

10:28 pm - Gay Rights
(Gacked from blpurdom)

We would like to know who really believes in gay rights on livejournal. There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in gay rights, then repost this and title the post as "Gay Rights". If you don't believe in gay rights, then just ignore this. Thanks.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, considering those who read my journal. Even my mother believes in gay rights, and she's one of the most conservative people on the planet.

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September 10th, 2006

09:04 pm - Interests Meme
Gacked from nearly everyone --

My Interests Collage!Collapse )
Create your own! Originally Written By ga_woo, Hosted and ReWritten by darkman424

I really liked this one, even if it provided only photos of bridges to represent a card game. Fortunately, I can't think of any man-made structure more beautiful than a bridge.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Sunday night football

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November 18th, 2005

08:06 pm - Intelligent Design
From today's Washington Post:


Evolution for believers, eloquently and succinctly written.

I wish I'd read it before the conversation I had last week with my Christian fundamentalist uncle.

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November 7th, 2005

02:14 pm - Election Day and Capital Punishment
I don't post a lot of political content, but it's election day tomorrow, with a photo-finish gubernatorial race expected here in Virginia (though it's an off-year for Congress, I live in one of the two states that thinks its governors shouldn't have coattails).

Naturally we have been inundated with tedious ads. Most of them are of the he-said, no-I-didn't variety, but I found one exchange deeply disturbing, and it continues to haunt me even though I've not seen the offending ads for at least a week.the ones descibed here really did make me ill. Basically, the Republican candidate Kilgore has dredged up relatives of executed criminals to appear in TV ads to proclaim that they don't trust the Democratic candidate to execute those convicted of the killing. Yes, that's right. They don't "trust" (their word) Kaine to kill people. I didn't like Kilgore before, but now I can't separate him from the message of retribution in these ads.

The Democratic candidate Yorrick Tim Kaine (yes, Ffordefans, that's right) is opposed to the death penalty. He is a Catholic, and his position avowedly reflects his faith. Yet he has had to produce response ads assuring that he will uphold the law regarding the death penalty in Virginia. ("Don't worry, good Republicans! I'm going to kill people because it's the law!")

The whole episode is especially troubling because of the history of the death penalty here. Disturbing facts about the application of the death penalty in VirginiaCollapse )

I'm hoping that Kilgore's strategy will backfire. Kilgore's ads have been widely denounced as inaccurate in the press; Kaine's responses have been deemed to be factually correct. Moreover, it's a strategy that seems to be aimed at conservative, traditional Virginians, but the polls indicate that the race will be won or lost here in Northern Virginia, which is wealthier, more liberal, and more likely from someplace else where different rules apply.

Rant over.
Current Mood: distresseddistressed

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