dampscribbler: (child calming techinques)
I always seem to choose to post when I have almost no time.  This time is no exception, as I'm making dinner, doing laundry, needing to attend to Nature's call, sorting tax papers, and looking at the Web right now. 

Still, I'll post something....

It has come to my attention that my daughter is a nicer person when I am a nicer person.  I'm not taking entirely kindly to this news.  See, I'm a curmudgeonly she-bastard in my head, and I'm comfortable that way.  Being nice and having fun is okay for a few hours, but it's so alien and unfamiliar to me that it feels like work to maintain it for very long.  Bitching about stuff, on the other hand, is easy.  Natural.  Comfortable.

I guess when They say that being a parent will make you a better person, it's this kind of thing they're talking about.  You know, getting nicer and grumping less.  I don't know.  It's all very mysterious to me.  I'd like to record developments as they, well, develop, here in my LJ.  But considering my history, it may not happen.  After all, I've recorded so few other developments and significant events here (did you know I finally had my medically-indicated colonoscopy in January?  No, because I still haven't gotten around to writing about it here.  Because I seem to be waiting for something before I post here.  What am I waiting for?  Maybe I'm waiting til I have happier, less grumpy bitchy things to write about.  Again, I don't know.)

That's all for now.
dampscribbler: (books)
I'm really not being very good about reviewing the books I've been reading. This entry won't much remedy that, I'm afraid, but I want to wrap up my list for 2007 and introduce my list for 2008.

Sometime in November, I read book #12: Lessons From a Dead Girl, by [livejournal.com profile] jbknowles. I haven't read much YA lit in the past few years, except for some Princess Diaries titles, so I felt like I was on unfamiliar turf reading this book. Jo did a great job of presenting a complex relationship between two girls, a relationship that lasted several years and was burdened by some deep dark secrets. I wonder what it would have been like to read this book when I was the age of the intended audience. Since I'll never know, I can only say I enjoyed reading it and found myself really caring about the characters and their challenges.

Throughout the course of the year I read The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger. Organized by month, this book was very relaxing and satisfying bedtime reading on nights when I didn't have the wherewithal for anything that would make me think or feel too deeply. Despite that, it's not a fluff title -- it's rich with history of what life was like for the average Englishman (some attention is given to women throughout, but recorded history provides much more detail about men's lives at that time) in the year 1000. There were some surprises -- the amount of power and property held by women at the time, the number of foods that today are common but in England in 1000 were rare or unheard of, the disgusting details of then-common pestilences. The book ends with a nice wrap-up chapter that I had intended to quote from, but I can't locate the book at the moment (finished reading it about 3 weeks ago) so maybe I'll come back to that but don't hold your breath.

I think that makes 13 books officially read for 2007, unless I'm forgetting something. That's awesome, and beats my goal of 12, so I'm delighted!

As for new titles for 2008, I've begun reading The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, and The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall, currently only available from the UK. I've also signed on for two book blog challenges -- The Book a Month Challenge, which is pretty much just what it sounds like, with the added challenge of fitting the book to an assigned theme each month, and The Man Booker Challenge, which is to read six titles which were either shortlisted for or won the Booker Prize. You can find my list of selected titles here: http://dampscribbler.livejournal.com/153197.html

If I achieve all this, I'll read somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 books this year, though I'm not eliminating the possibility of overlapping the two challenges and thus reducing my list. Also, I wouldn't mind doing a couple more book reviews like I did in 2007.

That's all for now. Happy New Year, everyone!!

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