Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010, Post 1

The Blade Itself, by Joe Abercrombie. I was going through those notes that seem to accumulate in my office, the little pieces of paper with half-crossed-out ideas and names to look up, etc. The title for this book was scrawled along the margin of one such note, perpendicular to everything else on the page. I don't know when or where this was suggested to me, but I can only assume I wanted to read it: it's not in one of my sections, so I can't have meant to weed it or buy its sequels. Walking in nearly blind, I gave this book a solid go, but quit. My main complaint is that the author is entirely unable to create a decent sentence. While reading, it feels like fully half the periods merely follow fragments. A large contingent of the remaining sentences are either run-ons, or feel like them. No one has an actual name, and the rules of the world were not being revealed fast enough. Keeping the reader in the dark is not the same as creating suspense. Boo! Of course, the circ on this is pretty good. (We have another book, a mystery/suspense, with the same title, by Marcus Sakey. The circ on that is also good, it's not part of a series, and it doesn't look like something I'd care to read. Note to self: be clearer in future notes to self.) We played the Wii Fit for the last Library Arcade of the year. We unlocked 2 new yoga poses and a strength training exercise, which we mock. We also unlocked new balance games including the Snowboard Slalom (which no one actually played), the Penguin Slide (big hit!), and the Balance Bubble (which one person was able to beat). We also got to try the aerobic activity Rhythm Boxing (lame, in my opinion), and unlocked 2 new running distance options. Oh, how fun! But seriously, it's a good game and the kids dig it. A new hula hoop record was set: 440 spins during one round of the super hula hoop game (which gives you more time than the regular hula hoop game). If you're thinking of getting (or have) the Wii for your library, the Wii Fit is a great addition to get more life out of your programs.  

The Pale Horseman, by Bernard Cornwell. This is #2 in the series, after The Last Kingdom. I'm not sure, honestly, why I love these. I think it's the historical detail and authenticity. Looking back, having finished this book about a week ago, it's kind of like Star Wars: it was long and took a long time, but nothing much actually happened. I checked out the next one anyway. The German Woman, by Paul Griner. ARC. I've had this for a long time-- it's pub date was June 09-- and I kept making little forays into it, reading a few pages at a time, because the writing is good and it deserves to be read, but not by me, I think. I'm not a sad, hard story kind of girl, so I generally stay away from books set during wars, or, in this case, two wars. This may be good for book groups, but I don't like to read the heavy stuff on my own. For the people who do, however, this is totally for them.  

The Impatient Embroiderer: 20 Great Projects You Can Make in a Hurry, by Jayne Emerson. I liked some of the project ideas in this book, but I think this author and I have a different idea about what embroidery should be, or perhaps just a different goal. Most of the projects in here can be done on a regular sewing machine and are, like the title suggests, very quick projects. I'm looking for something that will a) keep me busy for a little while longer than one afternoon, and b) produce something lovely and useful; some of the projects in here seemed more like busy work, making something just for the sake of having made it. I don't know anyone who uses chair-back covers.  

Beautiful Beaded and Embroidered Fabric, by Cindy Gorder. Again, many of these projects are lovely, but not what I'm looking for. Most of them start out with a store-bought item, like a pillow or a purse, and just add beadwork. There aren't any just-thread embroidery projects in here, and I don't think beading is for me. There are too many little tiny things to spill, and I'm clumsy enough in the course of a normal day, I don't need to add those kind of challenges. I hope everyone had a happy New Year celebration. I was watching The Simpsons and drinking a cosmo when I got my new year's kiss. Not, I'm sure, what the makers of Juicy Juice were imagining for the product, but grown-ups need 100% juice, too.

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