Currently Reading…

16 11 2010

November SciFi/Fantasy Book Club Selection: Look to Windward, a space opera by Iain M. Banks.

It is available in paperback and e-book form, but not in audio (BUMMER).  I’m reading the e-book version on my Nook.

Jacket Description: The Twin Novae battle had been one of the last of the Idiran war, and one of the most horrific: desperate to avert their inevitable defeat, the Idirans had induced not one but two suns to explode, snuffing out worlds and biospheres teeming with sentient life. They were attacks of incredible proportion — gigadeathcrimes. But the war ended, and life went on.

Now, eight hundred years later, light from the first explosion is about to reach the Masaq’ Orbital, home to the Culture’s most adventurous and decadent souls. There it will fall upon Masaq’s 50 billion inhabitants, gathered to commemorate the deaths of the innocent and to reflect, if only for a moment, on what some call the Culture’s own complicity in the terrible event.

Also journeying to Masaq’ is Major Quilan, an emissary from the war-ravaged world of Chel. In the aftermath of the conflict that split his world apart, most believe he has come to Masaq’ to bring home Chel’s most brilliant star and self-exiled dissident, the honored Composer Ziller.

Ziller claims he will do anything to avoid a meeting with Major Quilan, who he suspects has come to murder him. But the Major’s true assignment will have far greater consequences than the death of a mere political dissident, as part of a conspiracy more ambitious than even he can know — a mission his superiors have buried so deeply in his mind that even he cannot remember it.

Hailed by SFX magazine as “an excellent hopping-on point if you’ve never read a Banks SF novel before,” Look to Windward is an awe-inspiring immersion into the wildly original, vividly realized civilization that Banks calls the Culture.

My Impressions So Far: I am enjoying it, but it is an exhausting read.  It is indeed wildly original and vividly realized, but it uses fictional words to describe fictional beings and there are NUMEROUS different life forms in the book.  I have never wanted one of my books to have pictures in it more in my life!

Status: I am highly unlikely to finish it before club tonight, but that doesn’t mean I won’t finish it.

Also Reading: The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book One) by Rick Riordan.

Yay, this one is on audio so I’m listening to this when we trek the ATT and when I’m driving around.

December SciFi/Fantasy Book Club Selection: Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1) by Jim Butcher.

This is also on audio, so it should be easier to complete!


The Wee Beastie Has Been Immortalized in Watercolors…

15 11 2010

As if it wasn’t cool enough that one of my cousins took some fantastic photographs of the Wee Beastie last winter…

Snowbeard…A friend of my mom’s used one of the photographs as the basis for a watercolor.  Imagine my surprise when I awoke to this picture of the completed piece…


The American Tobacco Trail…

15 11 2010





is like a mountain vacation three miles from my home…

…if you overlook the maddening throngs of people on the days you don’t get there first thing in the morning…

Is beautiful, no?

The Loudmouth Purplehead?

14 11 2010


PANCAN hairIt doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? Not to worry, it is only a temporary situation and based on feedback not an all too obvious one either.

Overwhelming response is that I switch my hair up so much that color change wasn’t unexpected and yet I feel like there is flashing sign over my head screaming PURPLE…purple…PURPLE…

There is a method to my madness (as usual)…November is PANCAN’S Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month and their color is purple.

It isn’t often that I get to be a rebel AND bring attention to a great cause. Score!

I’ve lost too many people to this stupid disease, but the most painful was losing AMG at the too young age of 27.

** November was when she was diagnosed, so it seems fitting that PANCAN would choose that month.

** Purple was a favorite color of hers. I still find notes written in purple ink stashed around my office in her distinctive handwriting. Even ones scribbling out lab inventory needs make me smile.

I think she’d get a hoot over this small remembrance of her, after all not everyone would think to call me hot mama (let alone get away with it) like she did whenever I experimented with my hair.

Please don’t ignore mysterious abdominal pains that don’t go away.

Please keep pushing your doctor for an answer.

Please don’t think this stupid disease only attacks the elderly. AMG was 24 when she was diagnosed.

I miss you, Hot Mama.