Monday, April 15, 2013

Mummies and Used Books

I spent a couple hours last weekend in SL going to the Mummies of the World exhibition at The Leonardo. It was very interesting if you like that kind of thing. And I do. Mummies aren’t just from ancient Egypt and they had a nice collection of mummies from all over the world. Most preserved on purpose and some that were not.  The interactive computer screens that let you see some of the science behind the mummies were interesting as well.

I’d like to think I could have been an anthropologist or archeologist in another life.  I find it fascinating to see the existence of people before modern times and glimpses into what they believed and how they lived or what they ate.
After the exhibit I walked across the square to the SL public library where they just happened to be having their semi-annual book sale. Yes, I planned the day to include both. I love library book sales. However, because of recent efforts to purge books from my shelves, I really scaled down my purchases. I could have left with many more books, but I only bought three. And they are books I was already planning to read.  All in all, it was a very nice Saturday.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Book Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

I’ve never read anything by Anne Bishop before but I read an intriguing review of this one and then saw that my library had it readily available so I decided to give it a try. I loved this book and am not going to even try to pretend any different.

Imagine a world very similar to ours, except in this world the inhabitants that were here first didn’t let the humans take over as they settled the colonies and moved west. Instead there is an uneasy truce where the terra indigene (or Others) and humans co-exist, bartering with each other for things they need or want. The Others that live close to, and interact with humans, live in closed communities called courtyards and human laws don’t apply in the courtyards. When the Others in the Lakeside courtyard take in a runaway human as their liaison and make her one of their own, they won’t give up without a fight when someone tries to take her back.

I was immediately immersed in this alternate reality. The book takes its time describing how the courtyard operates and there are many day to day details. There’s a long setup and the action doesn’t start happening until about 50 pages from the end. This did not bother me one bit. I was so totally wrapped up in the workings of the courtyard, I was surprised when I looked at the pages and saw how far I was. Meg is one of those underdog heroines who learns that she’s stronger than she thought and I really liked her. She is a blood prophet, which means when she cuts herself she has visions. I was a little wary of this going into it, but it turned out to be a very small part of the book and not graphic in details. The Others were my favorite part. I loved them all: Simon, Sam, Tess, Henry, Vlad, Winter, Grandfather Erebus, the Ponies… I can’t even name them all. They are not human and don’t even pretend they want to be. They are a mixture of species: wolves, vampires, elementals, and even a woman who reminds me a lot of Medusa. These characters and this world will be in my head for a very long time.

Really, this is the best new urban fantasy I’ve read in a while. My only complaint is that I had to go and read and love the first book in a brand new series and now I’m stuck waiting for the next one.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Conference Weekend

I aways love general conference weekend. The messages are inspirational and I get to spend time with my family. And I can "attend church" in my pajamas or equivalent. Ever since I've lived on my own, I have the same routine for conference weekend. During the Saturday sessions, I clean my house or sort through clutter and just keep busy. During the Sunday sessions, I go to my parents house and watch it there. As the kids have gotten older, the noise level has increased so I can definitely say I listen closer on Saturday. I'm guessing we'll go full circle and eventually the noise level will decrease again as they all get old enough to sit still and at least not talk, even if they aren't listening.

I used to embroider to keep my hands busy during conference. My mind doesn't wander when my hands are busy. I have a dresser scarf that I have been working on for probably 10 years. The only time I ever get it out is during conference and for the past few years I haven't even bothered. It's hard to embroider when you have kids crawling on you. I'd like to finish it one of these days so I can actually get some use out of it. I guess that means I should actually work on it.

Anyway, it was a nice weekend, even if it was too short. Now the weatherman says we're going to have wind storms tonight so I think when I get home from work, I will make sure everything outside is secure and stay inside for the evening. I have a book to read, so it won't be a problem. :)