Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October 31st

Thanks to everyone who wished me a good trip. Other than the long flights (and why IS airline food always so bad?), it was a successful visit. Lots of visiting of friends and family. Lots of shopping. And the weather was reasonable most of the time, meaning it didn't rain too much. So I really can't complain, but it is nice to be home again.
As for today, it's (1) Halloween (Happy Halloween to everyone who lives in a country that celebrates it), (2) the last day of the R.I.P. Challenge (I finished just in time!), and (3) my birthday!! (Ha Ha Ha! Explains a lot doesn't it!) ;P

Book #42 - In Cold Blood

by Truman Capote

5th book finished (and just in time!) for the R.I.P. Autumn Challenge

My Rating: 3.5/5

There has been a lot of talk about this book and the author since the film, Capote, came out; I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. It was a compelling read and Capote did a wonderful job describing the killers, taking us into their thoughts, and making them human. Perhaps I'm too desensitised by crime shows on TV, or violence in the news, because I didn't have a particularly strong emotional reaction to the story, but it was interesting to read, on several levels. Groundbreaking at the time it was written, it's definitely worth the read. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the film.

Book #41 - Vendetta

by Michael Dibdin

2nd book in the Aurelio Zen Mystery series

My Rating: 2/5

Meh! I read the first one, Ratking, a couple of years ago, and wasn't that impressed, but I already had this one so I decided to give it a go. It was a fairly quick read, and I wanted to see how it would turn out in the end, but overall I'm just not interested by the main character, and therefore, not terribly interested in what he gets up to, or how he solves the case. Needless to say, it's not a series that I'll be following.

Book #40 - Straight Talking

by Jane Green

My Rating: 2.5/5

Light and fluffy, it was perfect airplane reading.
The story itself is pretty typical, with very few surprises, but I haven't read any chick lit in quite awhile so it was a fun, easy read.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Senso-ji at night

I leave you with a couple of pictures from last weekend, in Asakusa.

Going Back in Time

Well, this time tomorrow (Thursday, October 19th, about 11pm) I'll be:

a) trapped in a plane perhaps somewhere over the Pacific, reading, eating bad airline food, or maybe watching a cheesy movie.

b) most likely jetlagged, hopefully sound asleep in a real bed in Victoria.

A simple thing, crossing the International Date Line, but it always amuses me to arrive at my destination BEFORE I left! :P
Of course I lose that day on the way back, but oh well.
Anyway, I'm off on a visit to the homeland so posting will be scarce, if at all, for the rest of the month. But I'll be back in time for Halloween, and the end of the R.I.P Challenge.

As for which books to bring, it's not too hard this time. I'm only taking 2 fluffy (that's all my brain can handle in airplanes) books with me that will not make the return journey. I'll need all the space I can get because I already have 4 books waiting for me that I ordered from Amazon.ca a couple of weeks ago! Plus I'll definitely be scooping up a few more while I'm there, enjoying the bookshops. I'll list my goodies when I get back.

Now off to finish start packing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Book #39 - The Way the Crow Flies

by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Shortlisted for the Giller Prize - 2003

My Rating: 4.5/5

A long book, at over 700 pages, but it was a compelling read so it kept me up late several nights, not wanting to put it down. By turns shocking, frustrating, touching, amusing, thought-provoking, it's beautifully written with characters that came across so real, faults and all. Right from the beginning, I cared what happened to the young heroine of the story, Madeleine, and her family. I simply had to keep reading to see how it would all turn out. I even learned a little about what life was like in the 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and life in the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force). Plus, it was interesting to learn that part of the plot is actually based on the real life case of Stephen Truscott and that MacDonald apparently grew up in the same region, during the same time period. It has left me thinking about secrets, their consequences, and living with the choices one makes. A truly great read; it's one of the best books I've read this year!
"Afterwards, in bed with a book, the spell of television feels remote compared to the journey into the page. To be in a book. To slip into the crease where two pages meet, to live in the place where your eyes alight upon the words to ignite a world of smoke and peril, colour and serene delight. That is a journey no one can end with the change of a channel. Enduring magic."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Soba goods shop

Where you can find everything you need to make traditional
Japanese soba (buckwheat noodles).
Check out How to Make Soba Noodles (with pictures).

The knives!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

5 most memorable

Choosing my 5 most interesting things, got me thinking about and remembering all those plays and musicals that I was fortunate to see in London. So another list is in order!

My 5 most memorable theatre experiences:

5. Watching Twelfth Night, performed in traditional costume, by an all-male cast, at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman's trilogy made into a 2 part play) was fantastic! So good that I went back to see it all again the following year!

3. Seeing
Joseph Fiennes in Love's Labours Lost.

2. Some people don't like it but I love
Les Misérables. It suits my love of historical fiction, period pieces, drama, …well you get the idea. I saw it twice. Once at the Palace Theatre, then again after it moved to the Queen's Theatre.

1. Seeing
Kevin Spacey in The Philadelphia Story. Also saw him in National Anthems, both at the Old Vic of which he is the current Artistic Director, and he is absolutely brilliant live!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


(click image to enlarge)
Gion, Kyoto
April 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006


(click image to enlarge)
taken in York, England- May 2005

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

no idea

I have absolutely no idea what this is called. Interesting though.

Monday, October 02, 2006


There are a couple of reasons why I didn't read Little Women for Our Coffee Rings this month. One is that I've been reading books for the R.I.P. Challenge and kind of ran out of time. The main reason though is that about a week or so ago I discovered something very frustrating.

I still have my old copy of Little Women, with the bent spine, that I read as a child. I thought the group read would be a good excuse to read it again since I don't remember much of it. Besides it is not very long, I thought, when I pulled it out. My copy is only 270 pages.

I saw some comments by other bloggers though about it being a bit long. Out of curiosity I checked the page count of various versions of the book on Amazon. All were well over 400 pages! I started getting a bit suspicious.

So I decided to look for it online, since it's in the public domain, and compare. First I found it here, which listed 23 chapters, same as mine. But then I found it here with 47 chapters! And I found this comment on Amazon from School Library Journal about the Scholastic edition:

"Little Women was originally written in two parts, and this volume only contains part one, which ends with Mr. March's return. Readers familiar with the more common two-part version may find this title incomplete."

Mine is over 20 years old after all, so it's different to the one listed on Amazon, but it was also published by Scholastic. So now I feel completely cheated! Damn Scholastic and their shortened junior version!!

Someday I will have to read Little Women in its entirety! For now I have to figure out what to do with this incomplete book I have. Who would want it? Do I throw it away? And even more worryingly, I wonder about other Scholastic classics I read as a child...

Sunday, October 01, 2006