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03/15/09

  03:32:00 am, by Airycat   , 53 words  
Categories: Updates

Validation

I have begun what has become the rather tedious job of validating all my web pages. All my monthly splash/index pages are error free. Tomorrow (later today, actually, since it's after 3 a.m.) I will work on completing the new Local Habitation page, which is the contents page.

Now, I'm going to bed! :sleep:

03/13/09

  04:00:00 am, by Airycat   , 39 words  
Categories: Updates

Book Reviews Blog Added

I've started to collect all my book reviews, so they are not in order read/written right now. More will come as I find (and perhaps edit) the older ones, and, of course, as I read and write new ones.

  03:50:00 am, by Airycat   , 268 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction

Peripheral Vision by Patricia Ferguson

Peripheral Vision starts out slowly. Ferguson's style tends to be more telling than showing, or perhaps it's simply more narrative than action. By chapter four I was confused. I didn't see any connection to the characters from one chapter to the next. I persevered, but it was slow going. Despite that, her characters became compelling to me. Although Sylvia is the main character, according to the back cover blurb, I found Iris and Ruby to be more compelling. The only thing that kept me reading was wondering how all these characters were connected. About two thirds of the way through there was a hint of connections. By this time the characters had also managed to become "real" to me and continuing was easy. By the time I finished this book I had to agree with the back blurb: "Peripheral Vision is a funny and clever novel about love and the lack of it; about motherhood, sight, and insight; and about the different ways we experience and transcend suffering."

One of the really great things about this novel is that I could not guess what was going to happen next. Nothing was predictable. At the same time, nothing that happened seemed wrong or forced. It all seemed natural. The story wrapped things up at the end, but not in a tidy little box. I like stories with a beginning, middle and end, but I don't like formulaic or 'pat' endings. I also don't care for stories that leave me wondering as much at the end as I did at the beginning. Peripheral Vision manages to find that middle ground.

Peripheral VisionPeripheral Vision

  03:42:00 am, by Airycat   , 227 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee

I don't think the piano teacher was the main character of this story. She seemed a bit bland. There was nothing about her that made me either love or hate her. Will seems more the main character. Although I can see that it is because of Will that Claire changes, his and Trudy's, stories are much more interesting. Trudy is such a complete opposite to Claire, that I couldn't help wonder why Will was even slightly interested in Claire. There is also the issue of the Herrend rabbit mentioned in the first sentence of the story. That and the other items seem to have a great importance to Claire that never quite plays out. Lee doesn't forget about them, but the way she handles it seems a let down.

All of that is minor for enjoyment of the book, however. Although I've never been to Hong Kong, I got some sense of the city with this reading. The best parts of the book were Will's story set just prior to and during WWII. It is in telling this story that Lee's writing comes to life. This may be simply that Will and Trudy have more color than Claire. The book also provides a limited history lesson of Hong Kong during WWII as it tells Will's and Trudy's stories.

Over all, this was a pleasant and enjoyable book.

The Piano TeacherThe Piano Teacher

  03:24:00 am, by Airycat   , 84 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, History

Stupid History by Leland Gregory

Stupid History is lots of fun tidbits of mislearned history, hoaxes and some odd, unknown facts. Evidently I had better teachers than Gregory assumes, because I knew quite a bit already and some of the misinformation was news to me. (I learned it right the first time.) It was fun to read, although, much as I like puns, having a pun at the end of every entry became a little much. It's probably better read in bits and pieces, rather than all at once.

Stupid HistoryStupid History

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