Category Archives: books


So my good friend Candace has been on me to check out BookMooch, and at lunch today insisted I create an account. So I did.

BookMooch is a website where you post books you want to find homes for, and as you send off books, you earn points to ask for books to be sent to you. Sounds cool, right? Lordy knows I’ve got way too many bookies around my house that could use a good home. So when I got home, and added a few books until Pandora decided she wasnt happy talking to the Internet anymore and my kid wanted something to eat.

I plugged pesky Pandora in and told her to sit there an think about connecting to the Internet.

I heated up a piece of left over pizza for Lila.

I sat back down, and had requests for 5 books! I was floored! One of the books was this lovely, super expensive hardback book, The Cross and the Serpent, I had from my history days at UNM. I’ve held on to it for all these years because I couldnt bear to part with it; it *is* a lovely book. I am so happy to see that it was requested for ‘Mooching’ right away. I am so delighted that lovely book is off to someone who wants it.

I’m so pleased. : )


I recently read Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. I picked it up from the library because Lila and I fell in love with the movie, and I was so excited to read it.

Stardust is the story of a young man living near a mysterious fairy world. The young man travels to this world in order to find a falling star to win the heart of a young woman. During the course of the book, the young man finds the star, a lovely young woman, and falls in love with her. They enjoy a series of adventures throughout.

I have to say I am sorely disappointed with this book. The movie is incredible, and I think it elaborates on the concept and story better than the book. The movie gives the story an edge with a sharp timeline instead of a meandering journey, which gives the story an element of excitement and keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. In the book, the plot moves very slowly, and many of the scenes are quite anti-climatic. For example, at the end of the movie (warning, Spoiler!) the young star and young man endure a heated battle to secure the life of the star from a set of evil witches who want to eat her heart for everlasting life. The battle is rich and exciting, the young man and his mother are reunited, the young man finds he is to be king, and the evil witches die. In the book, the evil witch simply walks away from the star, and the young star even gives her a kiss, followed by yet even more meandering as the young man and the star listlessly journey about before returning to the kingdom to lead.

Another thing that really bothered me about the book is the state in which the young man returns to his home town. In the book, he is described as being a raggedly dirty gypsy boy, not readily recognized or accepted by his former community. The movie better illustrates the transformation of the boy into a young man during his journey by presenting him as a fine and handsome, dashing young man with confidence and skills to succeed. For a young man who is destined to be king, this is a better illustration to make.

I did finish the book, but overall found it dull and tedious, and was quite frustrated with the lackluster progression of the plot and development of the characters. This is one of the few, rare cases where the movie is a better choice.

The Big Book of Weekend Crochet

Borrowed The Big Book of Weekend Crochet from the library recently, and thougth i’d post my thoughts. nice – had a handful of really neato patterns in it. the patterns were classic, applying basic stitches and details in an appealing and versatile form. the only drawback – too many baby patterns. I really liked several of the sweater/wraps/cardigan patterns, and one or two tank top patterns. The rest was not to my liking. Do I think it’s worth the 18.00$? No. But I might consider it used for way cheaper.

Old-Time Crochet Made Easy

Old-Time Crochet Made Easy


This is a fabulous book, containing 74 patterns ranging from doilies to afghans to wearables and household items. The pattern instructions are clear and easy to follow, the items, especially the doilies, are beautiful and work up quickly and nicely. Some of the wearables are not very practical, but there are a few patterns for shawls that I’d consider making. Lots of filet patterns, which have clear graphs to follow. I love the potholder and other kitchen patterns, and some of the little misc patterns are neat. Pretty much everything in this book is delicate, lacy, and has a vintage flair. Thread is the emphasis, so if you’re a threadie, definintely check this item out. It runs really cheap used on Amazon and, so I recommend it for anyone’s library.

Granny Squares Nanny Squares


checked out Granny Squares Nanny Squares from the Alameda County Library through the shared borrowing we have at work, and it’s a keeper!

although the book’s title claims, “New Twists for Classic Crochet,” I didn’t find the patterns to be that innnovative and new. not to say that they weren’t good, mind you, i just didn’t find them different enough to consider them new twists. however, the book does feature quite a few nice patterns that are reminicient of days of old, and i found myself picking up yarn and hook to stitch a pattern or two here and there. beware, though, by and large these patterns are not for the faint of heart! they are detailed and tend to be a bit on the complicated side, but if you like a good challenge, dig in. of the few things i stitched and the many i studied, the patterns in this book work up nicely.

in addition to the lovely patterns, the book has detailed, crisp and clear photographs, diagrams and images, and the large text is easy to read. although a strong attention to detail is suggested, as long as you follow stitch by stitch you will be able to create these patterns. they are well described in the items i stitched up.

this is a lovely book and contains old tyme patterns featured in today’s modern example of a well printed book. if you like old fashioned patterns, definitely add this book to your collection!

Illuminati ~ Larry Burkett

Illuminati ~ Larry Burkett

it is bland; like all the other conspiracy theory pulp fiction out there, especially after reading something as divine as Geek Love. i see now that reading Dunn’s book has left me wanting… Geek Love was so rich and full, that other books fail to even come close, and feel empty and hollow.

so back to The Illuminati. based on an ancient, secret organization that achieves total world domination, world power and begins extreme measures of control and annihilation of anyone who believes different from them. the book itself is unremarkable in its style and content, and is completely predictable in its outcomes. to be fair, it is interesting in how the tools of control are so easily accepted by the American people in the book; the government slips the control methods in so slyly that it’s frightening. so that is a redeeming factor. however, that is grossly overshadowed by this extreme Christian slant to it – god this, jesus that… *that* was a bit much, for me, and i found myself rooting for evil from time to time because of the overly self righteous attitudes the heros indulged in.

anyways… read and released. not good enough for my collection.

geek love by Katherine Dunn

this is by far one of the best books i’ve read of all time, ever. it is a fantabulous buffet of imagery and story. it is a beautiful book, and i am stunned by her work. I’m off to go find more Dunn books on

the story is of a family of traveling carnival freaks, but the twists that the book explores go far beyond typical carnie life. The children are intentionally produced with genetic abnormalities brought on by various toxic substances the mother ingests during pregnancy. The resulting children are empowered by their oddity and revel in their uniqueness. Arty, the eldest, inadvertently creates a cult sect that amputates limbs in order to achieve his cocky high self esteem. he preaches that in being like him, you leave behind the hurt of the world. his followers in a way take over the carnival and turn it into a traveling cult. this older brother manipulates the rest of the family, who adore him totally and follow his every whim. eventually, his ill thought out schemes destroys their world, leaving the narrator struggling to save her daughter from a change that would deprive herself of her unique genetic gift from the family.

The story itself is fascinating… it is utterly intriguing to meet the characters and see what events they face in their familiarly odd little world. but the book goes beyond that, and is nearly painful to read, haunting in its humanity, and the need we have to love and be loved.

The Good Earth ~ Pearl S Buck

the story begins with a family living in rural china in the ’20’s. they are doing well… the main character and husband owns land and farms it lovingly in order to provide for his family. They have enough… and then the weather turns, impoverishing them. Eventually, they must leave their land and their home for the city. life is hard, and right now the husband and wife are thinking about selling their little daughter in an attempt to climb out of their dark world of hunger and cold. It just breaks my heart… i think of how beautiful the little baby girl must be, and i feel the devastation of such a position.

The book is remarkably touching… this man works his life to bring about goodness and wealth for his family through the security of land ownership. The man struggles to find refinement in his life and surroundings, and is a success at bringing a new level of life to his family. He does build quite a land hold, to the point where he cannot farm it, and must hire workers. Eventually he rents the land out to neighbors for a portion of their take. The tragedy here is that his sons, whom he has struggled to raise and educate and provide a higher quality of life for, plot to sell the land as the man ages towards death. They do not understand the value of the land to themselves, and to their father.

there is one other bit of tragedy in the book. The man has a first wife, Olan, who he does not appreciate. throughout the book she works hard and gives to the man and the family, and gets little in return. as she lies dying, the man is saddened by his lack of appreciation of Olan, and recognizes too late what work she has done. This is a solemn reminder to all of us that we often do not appreciate what we have at hand until it is gone.