Thursday, January 08, 2009

literary bent

i haven't been completely swallowed up by design and finance blogs...i've been reading too - just got a little backlogged in my book reviewing.  i'm still slowly working my way through "the watchmen" - i want to be ready in time for the movie (although it looks like it's caught up in some legal wrangling between the studio that initially owned the rights and the one currently distributing the movie - super sucky...almost as sucky as the powers that be arbitrarily making us wait for "harry potter and the half blood prince")  

i finished barbara kingsolver's "animal, vegetable, miracle" AGES ago, but a search of ye olde blogge didn't uncover a review.  her command of the english language and her ability to cannily pepper her prose with evocative, apt metaphors tempers what in the wrong hands ("100-mile diet team, i'm looking at you!) would be a self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing project (her family takes a vow to only eat what they grow or can source locally for 1 full year.) it's a warm, open book suffused with maternal, farm-girl wisdom, lightened with self-awareness. there's a spattering of recipes (really homespun...i personally wouldn't try to cook anything out of the book) and guest writing from her daughter camille on the values of eating locally and mostly vegetarian (camille is like, 19 when contributes - let's just say that i thought her segments were the weakest part of the book and i could have done without, thanks.) i loved it and it definitely inspired the back-to-the-land lust that i have somewhere deep within my first generation canadian of hong kong chinese descent body to come burbling to the surface. it's a quick, satisfying read.

at my brother s-dawg's urging, i plowed through the trades of "fables" - a comic series about characters from fables and fairytales we all know and love, living in exile in a small patch of new york city, ousted from their "homeland" by a mysterious force known only as "the adversary." it took me a little while to warm up to it...the hard-boiled detective stories of the first few issues were a little uninteresting, but once the characters are established and you find out who the adversary is...things kick into high gear/epic battle between good and evil time. the cover art is breathtaking - i could stare at the covers for hours. the other art is done by a rotating stable of artists...some had styles i preferred over the others. bits of fairy tale and fable lore are woven into the narrative and informs the choices and storylines in a clever way - seamlessly bridging the old and the new. i would definitely recommend it.

last night i finished "reading" amy sedaris' "i like you: hospitality under the influence" which is by all evidence a fairly straight forward hospitality guide (replete with menus and crafts and recipes) given an amy sedaris acerbic, darkly humourous spin. i'm not sure i would buy it per se, or could recommend occupies this weird space - if you're not looking for a hospitality guide, it won't be of much use to you, but also, if you're not looking for an outside-the-lines off-kilter hospitality guide (that is funny a lot of the time) it's not much use to you either. she rides the line between being utterly sincere and at the same time, completely herself (which superficially bears the veneer of irony) - so it's pretty tricky to negotiate and i'm not sure who would be the intended audience for the book. the laughs aren't sustained enough to merit purchasing a collection of recipes, and the collection of recipes isn't packaged in a way that would allow you to seriously replicate her parties (even though i'm sure she seriously replicates them herself.) an odd little thing.

here are some book-related links:

the book cover archive is exactly what it claims to be - a database of book covers, searchable by author, title, designer, etc. book cover design is a pretty awesome medium - this site is cool because it lines them all up for you so that you can see the crazy range and styles all in one place.

covers features a selection of book covers and critiques and compliments from's an interesting window into an over-looked segment of the design world.

i'm wait-listed for the fundamentals of project management class i wanted to take, but i enrolled in the other section just in case (the other section is taught by someone who DIDN'T BOTHER UPDATING THEIR INSTRUCTOR PROFILE. fail!) between all my hobbies and socializing and work and life and constant busyness - you know what's fallen by the wayside? music! i barely listen to music anymore! i'll throw on whatever's closest while i'm making dinner...but even music appreciation is falling behind. the dotytron recently downloaded the best of prince, depeche mode, inxs, and tears for i've been living off that (quite comfortably, i might add) - but i have no idea what the kids are listening to.

tonight is leftover night.  i'm hoping to have the gumption and verve to walk my butt to yoga class and back so that i can indulge in gossip girl torrents and knitting in bed feeling right chuffed.

you know what else has me feeling something kind-of-but-not-really related to chuffed (except i had no part in this and therefore can't feel the sense of pride that goes along with chuffery)? these screen stills of spike jonze's "where the wild things are"

i especially love the tone of the first two shots.


No comments: