helen99: piano (piano)
Meme by way of [personal profile] rainbow

To put this in social context, the timeframe is the mid-1950s:

The World We Live In - (a large, beautifully illustrated book put out by Life Magazine based on a series they'd published in the magazine).

The Golden Book of Astronomy

The Golden Book of Science

The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments -- So ok. I didn't really *have* this one, but I found it while searching for the others and found out it was banned from libraries. So I downloaded a PDF of it immediately (available at the above link). I'm not intending to try any of it - I just want to own a banned kid's book.

The first five Noddy books by Enid Blyton - a series of stories about a wooden doll who comes to life and lives in Toyland.

The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett - the story of how a secret garden transformed the lives of three people.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - the story of Jo the original tomboy and her three sisters.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling - The story of a boy raised by wolves, a bear, a panther, and a snake.

Mary Mouse by Enid Blyton (all of them) - The story of a mouse who is nanny to three spoiled rotten children. She always got the whole family (including the parents) to behave themselves, somehow.

Everything by Beatrix Potter that I could get my hands on - Stories whose main characters were mice and rabbits, cats and dogs, frogs and toads, squirrels and foxes...

The Little Pond in the Woods

Tales of King Arthur -- I have not been able to find this book. I wish I could. It was a large book with an ornate cover, and color plates of knights and ladies, kings and queens, wizards and goblins and the ladies of the lake. It was gorgeous...

Everybody's Favorite Songs -- No clue who published it. All I remember is that it was a falling-apart, large green softback sheet music book circa 1959.

Water Birds - a children's book on various types of water birds. Beautiful illustrations. Have no idea who wrote it or who published it.

The little engine that could.

A wrinkle in time by Madeleine L'Engle (the edition at this link was the one I first read) - the story of a girl and her brother and their travels through spacetime to rescue their father.

Including comics here too:

All the Casper the Friendly Ghost comics - Casper was the best. He could walk through walls (still practicing - haven't quite gotten it yet).

All the Wendy the Good little Witch comics. She knew all about spells and what plants did what...

All the Nancy comics that had Oona Goosepimple in them -- Oona Goosepimple lived in the haunted house down the street. There was an armchair who smoked cigars, and a fireplace that went into another realm...

Spooky the Tuff little Ghost - the tough counterpart of Casper from the wrong side of the tracks.

(Can you see a pattern here?)
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This link was called to my attention by [livejournal.com profile] rebelfilms: Book-Cycle.

Its availability and range of service seems to be pretty localized to Exeter, Brighton and thereabouts, but still - it would be nice to support the effort in some way. They're basically an open-source-style bookstore.

Their motto is "From Tree to Book and Back Again" derived from the fact that they rescue unwanted saplings from nurseries, and offer them to people to take with the books.

"You may take up to three books, three trees and spend up to three hours on the internet per day, and pay whatever you wish. Everything we do is on a donations only basis."

From http://www.book-cycle.org/FAQ

"Q: How does it work?

A: You may take up to three books, three trees and spend up to three hours on the internet per day, and pay whatever you wish. Everything we do is on a donations only basis.

Q: Are you serious?

A: Yes, really, you can pay whatever you wish, for all our products and services.

Q: How much do people usually pay?

A: We give you no indication of what other people pay. You pay whatever the books are worth to you! We have no idea of your means so can not tell you how much you should pay.


Q: Do the staff get paid?

A: No-one gets paid for any part of their work at Book-Cycle. Book-Cycle is run completely by volunteers.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I ran across the Good Neighbors: Kin graphic novel by Holly Black last night. It interested me enough to read it in one sitting (actually standing - I took it off the shelf and finished it right there). I ended up buying it since I'd, well, read it. I'll admit to being in favor of Aubrey... but still -- looking forward to the rest of the series...

It was especially amusing that the four friends introduced in the beginning meet weekly for a little urban exploration photography...

New book

Oct. 3rd, 2008 11:36 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] jolantru's book is available here: The Peridot Path: Trees of Southeast Asia

This book describes personal spiritual experience of each tree (with photographs by the author).


Jul. 16th, 2008 12:35 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
A new bookstore has come to my attention.

Ukazoo Books
730 Dulaney Valley Road in Towson, Maryland
Monday-Thursday 9am–9pm
Friday and Saturday 9am–10pm
Sunday from 11am–8pm.

Over a million titles, comfortable reading room, wi-fi, cheaper than ebay, Amazon, Borders or B&N


Feb. 4th, 2008 10:27 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rialian was just reading me an excerpt from a book called Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle by David Wann. The excerpt was about a country called Bhutan. They measure wealth according to something called, "Gross National Happiness."

Maybe it's a result of living independently of words for at least part of the time...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Yes, I know this is like saying "sand found at beach," but I didn't recognize this one. It's called, "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to know -- and Doesn't" by Stephen Prothero.

It instructs people in the basics of the major world religions. If it's yours, it's here next time you're over.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I first met you (or more accurately, your books) around 1963 when I was meg's age. You were one year younger than my mom. You should look her up now - you had a lot in common and she loved you too, as I did.

My favorite recent quote from you (after you saw the movie they made of your book and an interviewer asked if it met your expectations) was, "Oh yes! I expected it to be bad, and it was!"

You were quite smashing when you were young, you know. And you stayed beautiful all your life.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I just ordered 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and put the rest on "save for later".

Heh. So 6 years later, I have joined a bandwagon that's already gone (typical).

Part of it is that my mom loved those stories and kept telling me I should read them but I never did. And it's her birthday next month. and such.

Yeh, kind of hard week in that respect.

Work became crazy. They fired another guy (for incompetence) and gave me all his tasks (which were due last year). I actually love those kinds of challenges because, well, miracles and all that. So I am in the process of producing miracles for them.

I figured maybe one of Snape's incantations might help...


Jul. 19th, 2007 11:44 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
For some reason, the name of an ancient Greek play popped into my brain this morning and wouldn't leave. I did a search on the name and found Lysistrata by Aristophanes (and read it).

Well then...

Suspending a few areas of culture shock and a few other areas where the author obviously erred on the side of whimsy, it was delightful... Sample:

"MAGISTRATE (addressing the women)
I would ask you first why you have barred our gates.

To seize the treasury; no more money, no more war.

Then money is the cause of the war?

And of all our troubles. It was to find occasion to steal that Pisander and all the other agitators were forever raising revolutions. Well and good! but they'll never get another drachma here.

What do you propose to do then, pray?

You ask me that! Why, we propose to administer the treasury ourselves.

You do?"

Yep, they did...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I found it! There was a science fiction story I'd read very long ago that had affected me profoundly (I'd identified with one of the characters), but I'd forgotten the title of the story and the author. This makes it a bit difficult to find a book. I only knew the names of three of the characters, "Dua, Tritt, and Odeen". I'd searched on these names some time ago (probably years ago), but got no hits. Just now, I remembered to do another search on those names, and this time there were hits and I found the book. Dua, Tritt, Odeen, and their strange world appear in Part Two of Isaac Asimov's three-part book, "The Gods Themselves". FOUND IT!! It's on its way home...

Yesterday at the bookstore I found another short story I'd lost track of called "Mimsy Were the Borogroves" by Lewis Padgett.

These are both stories that I read long time ago, but I still remember them like vivid, wonderful dreams. I call these kinds of stories my "spirit stories".

One by one, I'm finding these stories that struck that kind of chord...
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I went to Borders to use a birthday gift card from my brother. After staring at rows of useless books, I ordered a copy of Wild Fermentation so we can have a lending copy but retain one for everyday use. Then I walked toward the music section, hoping they'd have something there that I'd like. On the way to the music section, I passed through the audio books and noticed a copy of "The Fallen". This is a story about a detective who falls out a window, and from then on he has synesthesia. His particular form of synesthesia allows him to see people's emotions as form and color, which is useful to a detective if the emotions don't match the words. I figured this theme had been done before (Steven King?), but thought to myself, "Mom would probably like this - maybe I should pick it up for her". And then the next thought was, "that will lo longer be necessary".

I quickly left the store. Just as well. It was time to head back, and there was nothing there.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I've always been a fan of Arthurian mythology, so I bought a book last night called Merlin and Wales: a Magicians Landscape. It's written from the perspective of someone who has researched several versions of the Arthurian legends and also probably studied quite a bit of general mythology seen through Jungian-colored glasses...

Anyway, I finally reached an excerpt that just caused me to go... "I need to set this book down for a while and rest my brain". I thought I'd share the excerpt:


The fifteenth-century poet Rhys Goch Eryri says that Emrys's head was concealed in the Coed Ffaraon (Pharaoh's Wood) at Dinas Emrys. In Celtic belief, a magic head, whether carved in stone or in words, stood for the whole immortal being. Therefore if Emrys's head was hidden in the wood, so was he all, just as the burial of the god Bran's head under the White Hill made Londone the capital, just as the Queen's head on a Welsh postage stam implies her whole body and that of Britannia. In a sense, the Dinas Emrys hill is the head beneath its forest hat. Similarly, on a smaller scale, Emrys's head is the buried cauldron, seen as a gilded version of King Vortigern's helmet, abandoned as he fled. Inverted, it changes from a symbol of war, to the crucible of peace.

Such radical transformations, both of scale and purpose, are to be expected on Dinas Emrys, where rival attitudes contend, yet search for reconcilliation. Consequently, Emrys's dinas holds mixed metaphors. Oak and ash trees still run their tangled roots like pubic hair over its mound of Venus, beneath which Emrys lies in hiding. He is our sovereign foetus, destined to re-emerge as an alternative to the warrior-hero norm. Under the tree is a hill and under the hill is a cave and in the cave is a pot and in the pot is a head and in the head is a mouth and in the mouth is a tongue and on the tongue is a word, ready to reinaugurate divine reality by means of the inspired spirit or awen (muse)."

Wow. I'm not sure whether or not my knowledge actually increased, but I'm pretty sure I just built an entire army of new synapses.


Jan. 18th, 2007 10:00 am
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Excerpt from some book Rialian was reading a few days ago:

"People don't look at their watches to see what time it *is*. The look at their watches to see what time it *isn't*."

Maybe that's why I never bother to wear a watch or reset my clocks. There are many clocks in the house, but that's mostly because other appliances have clocks built in (microwave, four computer clocks, three alarm clocks, three car clocks). There is also one wall clock.

However... Many of these clocks contradict each other. For example, my car clock shows 12:00 when it's actually closer to 10:00. The wall clock is approximately an hour fast because I don't bother to reset it from DST to EST. The CD alarm battery died and it reset itself to midnight during a power outage. The cat wakes me up, though, so no problem.

I believe time units are constructs of humanity - the only real clock is the rising and setting sun, the moon, and the position of the sun with respect to the celestial bodies. If we'd stop polluting the damn place so much, we could see and read the clock like our ancestors did.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
1/11 has been declared Kallisti day. Other people surely called it something else. Disagreements no doubt ensued. Eris stood by, and rolled a golden apple to someone.


Oct. 16th, 2006 06:04 pm
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Excerpt of "From the Ashes of Angels" by Andrew Collins:

"...Lamech is accusing his wife of sleeping not with angels in general, but of having had relations with a specific race of divine beings known in Hebrew as 'Irin', meaning 'those who watch' or 'those who are awake', which is translated into Greek as Egrigoroi, meaning 'watchers'."

I know it's just a nuance of language, but the term 'watchers' had always seemed a bit abstract. What were they watching. Who knows. But... "Those who are awake." That's not so abstract.

Also, I like the word 'irin'.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
For anyone who, for some unknown reason, likes zombies:

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

I was just advised by a fellow snake owner to try feeding my baby snakes mouse heads instead of mouse butts, since sometimes they like those better. The fact that they might want braiiinsss reminded me of World War Z. They have it on audio as well, in case someone is planning a long road trip...

April 2010



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags