Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bon Appetite!

If you glance over at my sidebar, you'll note that I updated my reading list. Santa was kind enough to drop a gift card in my stocking, so I've been loading ye old Nook with new reading material. I snagged My Life in France by Julia Child, which is absolutely fascinating. I'm zipping through this book and am completely charmed by Julia, her passion for food and France, and her little political asides. You may remember that little book written by a blogger that was made into a movie that was completely horrible? Yes? Well, this is much better than that book.

Not too long ago, Barnes & Noble had a book by Livia Washburn as one of its Free Friday Selections. Washburn has a new murder mystery series in what I classify as 'cozy' - not much blood, not much plot :) Still, it's a fun premise: travel agency owner arranges tours based on a literary theme and mayhem ensues. The Free Friday selection was actually the second book in the series so I nabbed the first one, which is based on Gone With the Wind.

I was going to provide a link to Gone With the Wind but instead, I'm inserting the new and "improved" cover photo... Anyone else think this screams Harlequin? Heh.

However, I'm ready to savor New York by Edward Rutherford. I've been wanting this book for ages but it's massive and I wasn't in the mood to pay 8 gajillion dollars to own it. Enter the nook and a little post-holiday sale AND a gift card and you have the perfect recipe for me doing absolutely nothing this Saturday. My family has been warned. This mama ain't moving from her comfy reading chair. Whoo!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tastes Like Dino Chicken

While enjoying the Christmas holidays at my in-laws', we caught part of an old program on 60 Minutes. I'm not in the habit of watching 60 Minutes and I'm guessing it was on the screen simply as a way of getting from one football game to another. However, all of the adults in the room were somewhat fascinated as the interviewer discussed dinosaurs and their evolution and the possible creation of something called a Dino Chicken.

In short, it's been semi-proven that birds evolved from dinosaurs. And now some paleontologists are trying to figure out how to activate a dormant gene in modern-day chickens to give them teeth, tiny arms with claws instead of wings and a tail.

You got a problem with that?

I didn't think so.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Prayer

I was looking at my previous years' entries for the holiday season and I ran across this little goody from 2008. As you may remember, I was preparing (as I am now) for the annual holiday trip to Nebraska to see family and friends. One of my coworkers composed this little ditty on my behalf:
Oh Lord, please lay your gentle hand upon Dianna's soul, so that she may refrain from smiting those members of her family that so rightly deserve it, and may you stay her tongue from speaking those things that everyone is thinking but is too ashamed to say, and may you give her restful sleep so that she can more easily put up with what will undoubtedly be tremendous loads of horse sh*t each and every day she is away from home, where she gets enough of that sh*t as it is. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (who will be very busy keeping her from gouging out eyeballs with the blunt silverware)... Amen.
I think that one hits right at the heart of many family celebrations :) We're watching the weather carefully, to avoid a repeat of the Snow Stranding of 2009 and unfortunately it looks like Jack Frost is trying to interfere with our trip north. With luck, we'll avoid the snow and will be spending the holidays with grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a few extra friends thrown in here or there.

And I'm sure my mother is smart enough to hide the silverware.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Exactly Like That... Except With Dragons

I'm reading a really great series on my Nook these days by Naomi Novik. The first book is His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1) and the main characters are a dragon named Temeraire and his captain, William Laurence. I'm not usually into fantasy fiction, but this was a free selection from Barnes & Noble so I gave it a shot. I really like it - so much that I'm now reading the third book in the series - and I was trying to explain why I like it to a friend.

In the books, the author reimagines the Napoleonic Wars by including dragons as part of the fighting force. The books deal with the human prejudice against dragons, as well as a societal predjudice against those who ride the dragons. There are battle descriptions and political asides and amusing conversations between the dragon and his captain as Laurence tries to explain human feelings and human failings to a dragon who sees it all too clearly.

I really loved the Horatio Hornblower books, which I started reading when I was in Vietnam meeting Miss P for the first time. These have that same feel - the seafaring captain, the raging battles, the descriptive passages that evoke the time period so well.

But I wasn't explaining that effectively to my friend. What I kept saying was, "This series is exactly like the Horatio Hornblower books. Except with dragons."

I bet she runs right out to get that first book.