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August 30, 2007

Lost in Austen : Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure

by Emma Campbell Webster, ISBN 1594482586 [Amazon]

When I think of a choose-your-own-adventure book, I see wizards, knights buy viagra professional brandishing swords, brigands, a damsel in distress. In the case of Lost in Austen, the reader is her own heroine, whose "mission is to marry both prudently and for love" in the role of Elizabeth Bennet. Anyone who has imagined herself as Lizzy would find this interactive version of Pride and Prejudice deliciously diverting. Be forewarned - a bookmark comes in really handy.

There are no brigands, but there are gypsies. Characters and scenes from other Austen novels make their appearance and have their own allurements. There are points to be won and lost for intelligence, confidence, fortune, connections, and accomplishments. It's optional to keep track of the points, but I chose to tally my score along the way. (Apparently what I lack in accomplishments, I make up for in faults.) While I chose my viagra professional online path rather conservatively, I did wander onto other storylines. There are also trivia questions to test one's Regency knowledge as well as end notes that cover source material. This book may be for fun, but who says there can't be annotations as well? Also scattered throughout are wonderfully cracked graphic-novel-Gothic illustrations by Benjamin Gibson.

What makes the book work is its mix of Austen's words and Webster's witty, sometimes catty, spot-on commentary, which at times illustrates why these characters and stories remain so close to our modern-day hearts. It really isn't such a stretch to be in Elizabeth Bennet's corset - to be human, flawed and seeking to be true to ourselves. In the burgeoning cottage industry of Austen sequels and spinoffs, Lost in Austen is a fun, cheeky treat from a writer who clearly loves Jane as much as we do.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:31 PM | Books | TrackBack (0)

July 18, 2007

Lady Crumpet and the Shocking Confession

I have viagra professional mastercard not moved past Book 4 in the Harry Potter series. That's right, I am totally behind on what's happening. I started Order of the Phoenix ages ago but never got past the initial meeting because Harry was yet again all pissy and teen-angsty and I found that tiresome.

I figure I'll finish the series, but certainly not this weekend. So good luck to the rest of you Potter-heads who have been more faithful than I. I have to get started on some titles for my book groups, which are due to meet soon.

And lastly, in a strange but more likely merely coincidental turn of events, I've heard from two order viagra professional publicists who have invited me to review some Austen-related pop novels.

I haven't been doing much here at the Armoire, mainly because I'd like to do something more substantive than talk about myself. I have Twitter now for those fleeting scattershot impressions. Anyway, given that I've been reading more regularly, posting about books may be a good direction to pursue, as opposed to leaving the blog to rot.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:59 PM | Books | TrackBack (0)

January 18, 2007

The Children of Men - P.D. James

This book was extraordinary. Another book I would like to revisit. Puts me in mind of The Handmaid's Tale. The near future is dystopic and humanity faces extinction, having suddenly become infertile in 1995, the year that became known as the Omega. Great Britain, one of the few countries where civilization still seems to survive, although it too is crumbling into chaos, is now run by a dictator known as the Warden of England. People have buy viagra professional resorted to watching old movies and television shows about the young, keeping dolls in prams and having their kittens christened in order to cope with the loss of children in the world. There are state sponsored porn shops, the regular checkups of selected men and women for possible fertility, official mass suicides of the old - not necessarily of their own free will - in the effort to sustain remaining resources. Omegas, the last generation to be born, are exceptionally beautiful, cruel and selfish.

Theodore Faron, the main character, happens to be cousin to the Warden of England. He's an Oxford historian, whose area of expertise is the nineteenth viagra professional mastercard century. He has his own loss, his own failures, and has never been able to connect with others in any meaningful way. He becomes drawn in with a group of revolutionaries, and ends up finding the salvation he realizes that he needs. But even at the novel's end, we are left both elated and chilled, wondering what will become of these people.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:43 PM | Books | TrackBack (0)

October 18, 2005

LibraryThing - An online tool, still in beta, that allows you to catalog your books. Media (cds, dvds) seem available too, but not quite as numerous. This may involve my editing my catalog entries, but it's worth exploring. I'm thinking about ponying up the $10 for a lifetime membership (which also allows you to catalog more than 200 items).

Time magazine picks top 100 novels since 1923 to present

a few thousand science fiction covers

article on weblog usability

Yours, &c., LC at 08:17 AM | Blogos , Books , Sundries | TrackBack (0)

October 11, 2005

The History of Love

by Nicole Krauss, ISBN: 0393060349 [Amazon]

I finished this a few days ago, but today I flagged passages I loved and cried as I re-read the final section. Have you ever felt so moved that it's as if you're possessed? Reading The History of Love was like having my chest cracked open, the words flooding into me:

The floorboards creaked under my weight. There were books everywhere. There were pens, and a blue glass vase, an order viagra professional ashtray from the Dolder Grand in Zurich, the rusted arrow of a weather vane, a little brass hourglass, sand dollars on the windowsill, a pair of binoculars, an empty wine bottle that served as a candle holder, wax melted down the neck. I touched this thing and that. At the end, all that's left of you are your possessions. Perhaps that's why I've never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that's why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived. [p. 165]
And this:
Every year, the memories I have of my father become more faint, unclear, and distant. Once they were vivid and true, then they became like viagra professional photographs, and now they are more like photographs of photographs. But sometimes, at rare moments, a memory of him will return to me with such suddenness and clarity that all the feeling I've pushed down for years springs out like a jack-in-the-box.... [p.192]
The novel unfolds through several character viewpoints, through different narrative forms - first person accounts, journal entries, excerpts from a novel within the novel itself called The History of Love, even poetry. There is a literary mystery, at the heart of which is a love story that inspires other love stories, so that the novel itself is a history of love.

One more line, one that caused the words to swim on the page for me: "The truth is the thing I invented so I could live." [p.167]

Yours, &c., LC at 01:21 PM | Books | TrackBack (0)

August 26, 2005

Another reason to love Paris

Now you can buy books from a vending machine.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:58 PM | Books , Shopping | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 23, 2005

Alice's Adventures Under Ground

Scanned images of an antique edition of the book, an earlier viagra professional online version which became Alice in Wonderland.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:38 PM | Books | TrackBack (0)

August 16, 2005

Brooooce!

We stood around with messages from the ether and bobafred to get our copies of Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way signed by the Bruce himself. The guys all seemed to think he needed a viagra professional haircut, but I thought he looked all right. It was surprising how slowly the session seemed to go, but the man took a moment to actually chat with each person. He asked us both what we did - guess there wasn't too much for him to say about my being a librarian, but no matter. He shook our hands and signed "Stay groovy" in our copy.

Tapas at Fuego with Mr. Ether and Lisa. My particular favorite, the dream dates: bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola. I ate the whole damn plate (all three pieces).

Then we returned for a screening of The Man With the Screaming Brain. This will also air on the Sci-Fi channel next month. There was a Q&A beforehand. Perhaps the best moment was when someone asked Campbell what he thought about PG-13 horror movies and he went on a tear, voicing his strong disapproval. Such movies are simply to squeeze an extra $10-15m by having a more kid-friendly rating at the cost of a movie's quality. He then whipped out a piece of paper with some notes about all the sucky movies that have come out this summer, being remakes of tv shows or movies from the seventies. Good fun. He's a funny guy and has a good rapport with his fans.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:22 PM | Books , Film/TV | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

June 23, 2005

Whatever will be.

Books Stir Discussion on Lost Friendship [AP] "Friendships blow up and fade out all the time. Sometimes it's a fight. And life changes - a move, a marriage, a baby - can get in the way. Then there are those times when you just look at your friend and realize you don't really have much in common anymore...."

The Friend Who Got Away The book's official site also has a blog which accepts submissions of links and personal stories on this topic.

I've read some eloquent takes on this subject. It's been on my mind of late, try as I may to stop dwelling on the loss of a girlfriend. Things are different than this time last year. I still feel sad, but there's little point in hanging on. There are things I should have, could have done, but I didn't. At the same time I don't shoulder all the blame for what went wrong. Hopefully I've learned enough not to make the same mistakes. Now I am more resolved to be the kind of person people like to be around, and to surround myself with such people as well.

The other night I was on the phone with one of my oldest girlfriends, talking about how the end of a friendship can hurt as much as a breakup. There was a time when we had our own falling out. She had written me a Dear Jane letter. Instead of letting it go, I called her up and we settled our differences. (Many tears were shed.) We are different friends than we used to be, but there has to be room for each person to grow. We're no longer the same people we once were. Thankfully we are still in each other's lives and we can talk to each other about things both important and frivolous.

June 14, 2005

Recent Austen Scholarship

In Love with Jane (Diane Johnson, The New York Review of Books, v. 52, no. 11, June 23, 2005) - Johnson, author of such works as Le Divorce, reviews some of the recent scholarship on Jane Austen.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:47 AM | Books , Jane | TrackBack (0)

June 02, 2005

This is Your Brain on Dangerous Ideas

Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries This list probably should be cross-referenced with the American Library Association's list of Most Banned Books.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:46 PM | Books , Politics | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 25, 2005

Another Blogger, Another Book Deal

Cindy Adams, the gossip columnist, notes the following as today's example illustrating her tagline "Only in New York, kids, only in New York."

AT Princeton Brooklyn's Jeremy Blackman wanted to write musicals for Jay Kerr, now a voice coach. Then, at Harvard Law, he began anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com wherein he managed to identify the tattered soul of the legal profession. Its contents intrigued the publisher Holt. They e-mailed to see if he would turn it into a novel. Jeremy nailed a William Morris agent and "Anonymous Lawyer," a suspenseful study of life inside a law firm, is on its way to our bookshelves.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:13 AM | Blogos , Books , Legal | TrackBack (0)

March 17, 2005

Andre Norton

Science fiction author Andre Norton dies
[AP via Kansas City Star][Bugmenot for login/pwd]

I've only read a few of her novels, but I liked them very much. (I have an irrational hangup of committing to a whole universe of novels, never mind that I already do this with certain authors.) I didn't know she'd been a librarian, too.

December 06, 2004

Surprise!

An unexpected package was sitting on the porch when I came home tonight. It contained The Runes of the Earth, the newest Thomas Covenant novel from Stephen R. Donaldson. It's one of the items on my Amazon wishlist. There was a packing slip with a name and address but no message.

Are we acquainted, kind Sir? Are you a fellow blogger, perhaps a random visitor, or even a regular reader? I'm merely curious as to whom I owe my pleasure and gratitude for such a lovely gift. A proper note will be posted to you soon, but I simply had to share this pleasant surprise here. Thank you!

December 04, 2004

Moving Notice & Other Pronouncements

I'm going to deactivate comments temporarily, for several reasons:

1. Fucking Comment Spam. I wish MT had a better interface for deleting comments. I wish MT had a button that let you zap and electrocute the asses that do this for a living.

2. Moving This Weekend (12/3-12/4). I will most likely move the site THIS weekend, meaning that the URL www.ladycrumpet.com may not seem to work for a heart-clutching 24-48 hours to possibly longer (lord, I hope not). So DO NOT PANIC, dear handful of regulars. I shall return. You can find me at www.ladycrumpet.ORG while we all wait for the .COM address to finish propagating. Of course this notice might have been more helpful a few days ago.

2a. Still MT for Now. No, I don't want to hear about why I should move to a different platform. I've installed and re-installed Movable Type too many times in the past ten days to contemplate something else at this point, even though it would probably mean the restoration of my sanity. But I have gone from knowing squat about MySQL to setting up databases, dumping and importing them, and also using SSH to work basic Unix commands, including removing whole directories with stuff still in them. *gasp* Those of you with real computer skills can just quit laughing now. Pretty please. I find that it helps to work in small chunks of time on discrete tasks. That sometimes one needs to step away in order for the simpler solution or idea to present itself.

2b. All By Myself, If I Do Say So...Myself. I did this practically on my own, without much input from certain people who promised to help and then jilted me once I joined their recommended host and ran off with their referral bounty, leaving me, after ugly bouts of self-pity, to SUCK IT and DO IT MYSELF. That's ok - I found the anonymous love through the support forums at DreamHost and Movable Type. This time I have a binder, with tabs, containing manuals and copious notes. This time I haven't rushed anything. Well, when I did, I made mistakes and had to figure them out and fix them. It didn't kill me, so I am stronger, I guess.

2b. Favorite New Phrase: "Suck it" - thanks to LTR for sharing this most useful sordid expression - and for not directing it at me. Sort of a variation on "suck it up" but slightly more crude and potent, which so appeals to my inner cretin.

2c. Bad Form. If I'm overdosing on the ALL CAPS and swearing a bit too freely, it's because I'm a little loopy being up so early, being unable to sleep. Also I've been reading John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, whose title character speaks in ALL CAPS, ALL THE DAMN TIME. I'm trying to decide if I want to bother finishing the book. I am just not that excited about it, and it's not like I don't have things I want to read, like returning to Jonathan Strange.

3. Oh Well. There was going to be another point, but I forgot what. Maybe it was one of the above.

October 31, 2004

Dragonsblood

Dragonsblood [Click for larger image]

A cover image is finally available on Amazon for this title. I hope this is the actual cover. Last I heard, this particular illustration was set for the UK edition, while the US edition was going to have something blander, similar to the American covers for Dragon's Kin and The Skies of Pern.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:29 PM | Books | TrackBack (0)