auntbijou: (Devilish)
We went for our usual weekend trip to the San Marcos library last Saturday, and I picked up a book that looked intriguing when I skimmed through it. Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir.

I thought, Okay, cool, I like historical novels from time to time. Call it a guilty pleasure, but if it's well written, fine... and I checked it out.

And it was... so-so, for the first seventeen pages. And then... the first sex scene came up and I thought, OMG, I can't read het anymore!!


But, I made myself keep going, then frowned and went back and read the sex scene again, because what followed kinda didn't make sense, and I had to be sure, and then I realized... it wasn't that I can't read het anymore. It's that I can't read badly written het anymore!

Y'all have turned me into a >gasp!< porn snob.

... Eleanor could not stop herself. With a muted cry she went to him, herself pulling his braies down to reveal his engorged penis. She was cherishing it in both hands when Henry's strong arms folded around her, crushing her against him as he pressed urgent lips to her forehead, and then sought her mouth. His fingers, rough with calluses from riding, were tugging at the embroidered neckline of her robe, pulling it down around her hips, then grasping her upper arms to hold her away from him as he stared at her full breasts. Then he bent and released the robe, which fluttered to the floor around her ankles, leaving her standing there naked before him...

]\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ *there, Muta decided to write some slash for you, just to make up for the stuff you just read. Isn't he a sweet cat?*

Anyhow, I decided not to torture subject you to the awfulness of the rest of it. The Impertinent One wants me to pick out bits and pieces to tear apart, but... I don't think I want to work that hard for this book, know what I mean?

What it really makes me want to do is go back to the library and pick up some biographies on Eleanor of Aquitaine and... bleach my brain of the drivel that was in this book. I mean, y'all, I was skipping ahead, trying to get past the awfulness, because the part of me that loves books was utterly convinced that there was something better ahead, and... it just wasn't happening!!

After I'm done with this, I'm either going to pick The Red Pyramid back up, or Down to the Sea: A Epic Story of Naval Disaster and Heroism in World War II by Bruce Henderson. That should work as a brain cleanser, don't you think?

Or I'll go back to working on earrings and such, finishing up for Christmas with the family.

Or I'll watch more Stargate Atlantis on Netflix, if I can get away with it.

I'm also getting used to having both of the kids and the Husbandly One in my back pocket again. His company closes down for two weeks at Christmas, and it's a paid two weeks, so that's all good. This means I'm not alone with the little monsters we get to spend some quality family time together, and do things, like going to see Christmas lights, or shopping, or seeing movies, etc. Or a massive shoveling out extreme house cleaning, since he's available to move things that I can't.

Then there's my plan for World Domination Through Cookies. Definitely have to work on that one.

Okay, well, the natives are getting restless, so... I need to find a better place to hide get up and get busy! Good Solstice to you all!
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
When I sat down at the computer this morning with a bowl of cereal in hand, ready to do my morning reading, I went to today's Dear Abby. It opened with an oddly familiar letter that I frowned at, and it wasn't until I had read the following letters that I realized why.

It was because "Very, Very Happy Wife in Texas" is... me.

*laughs and blushes*

Hey, it was a letter written in early September by a woman in Hawaii that made me do it!!

Of course, I immediately emailed the Husbandly One a link and waited to see what he would say, and of course, he was all, "That's about me??? I LOVE YOU!!!" and a very goofy and yet entirely affectionate series of texts followed!

I very much appreciate the fact that the Husbandly One is "fun-sized." So am I, if it comes to that. I like the fact that I don't have to get a crick in my neck to look up at him, or cramps in my legs from standing up on tippy toes just to kiss him. Been there, done that.

*is full of mischief*

The kids are back in school after having missed a few days earlier in the week, thanks to a sinus infection (the Impertinent One) and an upper respiratory infection with a high fever (the Impossible One). I'm glad they're better, because having two limp noodle people around the house is no fun. Not to mention the amount of ice tea and soup we go through!

*still has her mind on her fun-sized husband*

Oh, and hey, [personal profile] luvscharlie, guess what? I just finished The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. It's awesome!! You're going to love it!!


And I also want to thank [profile] kathrynthegr8 for the toy car!! VROOM VROOM!!! Just what I needed!! It's AWESOME!! How'd you know??

Oh, I'm too scattered tonight to make a substantial post, so, I'll close now. Goodnight, all!!


Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 12:48 am
auntbijou: (Devilish)
So, I'm in the middle of Jasper Fforde's Lost in a Good Book, and I come across this:

I bought a ticket, hurried to the check-in and spent ten minutes listening to a litany of pointless antiterrorist questions.

"I don't have a bag," I explained. She looked at me oddly, so I added, "Well, I
did, but you lost it the last time I traveled. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a bag returned to me after tubing."

She thought about this for a moment and then said, "
If you had a bag, and if you had packed it yourself, and if you had not left it unattended, might it contain any of the following?"

She showed me a list of prohibited items and I shook my head.

"Would you like an in-drop meal?"

"What are my choices?"

"Yes or no."


She looked at the next question on her sheet.

"Who would you prefer to sit next to?"

"Nun or a knitting granny, if that's possible."

"Hmmmm," mused the check-in girl, studying the passenger manifest carefully. "All the nuns, grannies, and intelligent non-amorous males are taken. It's technobore, lawyer, self-pitying drunk, or copiously vomiting baby, I'm afraid."

"Technobore and lawyer, then."

--------- Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Char is probably laughing herself silly at me right now, but I am getting seriously hooked. I mean... I actually had to stop reading this book for a short time, because... I got so stressed out when the main character's husband disappeared, and I couldn't help but take it personally!

And I am seriously in love with Pickwick the Dodo, and her "Plock, plock, plock." I want a dodo. I want a herd of dodo's wandering around in the backyard, nibbling on the vegetation and making "plock, plock" noises. Doesn't matter that they're extinct. I want one.

*brief discussion follows with the Husbandly One about the short story, "The Ugly Chickens"*

This is a relief, actually, because I've been in a bit of a reading bind, lately. I had picked up a newish Anne McCaffrey at the library, Catalyst, but... I just couldn't get into it. And the Husbandly One, who is a Vine Voice for Amazon and somewhere in their top 5000 for his reviews, sometimes gets freebies from Amazon if he's willing to review them. So, he gets books, and if he isn't interested, he gets Miss Priss or myself to read them and tell him what we think. Mind, the books we get are galley proofs that still need a lot of editing, and I try to keep that in mind, too, but... this last book THO got me... I couldn't read. It was a Mercedes Lackey book, Much Fall of Blood and I have to say, I had to give up halfway in because, seriously, the last time I was that confused, I was reading a somewhat incoherent fan-fiction. I'm hoping the copy I got was seriously preliminary because the story would leap perspective literally mid-paragraph. One second, I would be reading it from Character A's perspective, and the next, it would skip Characters B, C, D, and J, and leap all the way to Character Q. In the same sentence.


It seriously screwed with Auntie's poor brain. And... I was never sure if we were Viking Werewolves, or Mongol vampires, or Viking Mongol Undead, or WHAT... because... well... like I said, let's hope this was just the extremely un-edited version, because O.O if it wasn't!!!

So, it was a very nice relief to get back in to a Thursday Next book.

And by the way, I recently finished My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme, and it was awesome I absolutely loved that book. It makes me wish very much that the movie "Julie & Julia" had been "Julia Child: My Life in France," instead. It would have been a much better movie, seriously.

And in case you're wondering at my sudden volubility, I have lost my voice (probably thanks to the stress of the last few days), and the Husbandly One has made me a very, very strong hot toddy, so Auntie is pleasantly squiffed. Plus, I am very, very tired after a rough day of shopping for school supplies... on the tax-free weekend.

Prolly should have had the hot toddy before going school supply shopping, because seriously... ugh.

Next year, I'll start buying in July, when the supply lists come out, and save myself the hassle. I don't get the grabby, pushy, shove someone out of the way so you can snatch the one out of the 250 other boxesof the same thing that someone else already has their hand on. I don't do touchy-feely; I do ouchy-bleedy.

Oh, yeah, one man in particular learned a very harsh lesson. Do not grab Auntie's bodacious booty and try to explain that it happened because you were making a grab for the glue-sticks, especially if the glue-sticks in question are at eye-level (and Auntie's bodacious booty isn't). Most especially, don't do this in front of your wife.

I am sure he'll regain hearing in that ear... someday.

And now, my dear ones, I am going to pour myself into bed. Goodnight!
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
Okay, Char, you were right.

You were right, you were right, you were right.

It's totally your fault that I got hooked on the Harry Potter series in the first place, you know that, right?

Now it's totally your fault that I'm apparently getting hooked on Thursday Next.

I'm three fourths of the way through The Eyre Affair, and I'm ... hooked. You're right, it's a slightly rough read, but still good, and since you've assured me that the following books are better, I'm depending on that, and I apologize for taking such a long time to start reading them. Blame it on the fact that I thought they were still in a box in my closet, and instead, the Husbandly One had put them on the bookshelf in the living room where he thought I would be sure to see them.

He really should know me better than that!

Anyhow, I thought you would like to know, and that every time I see you for the next year or so, I'll be bowing my head and muttering, "You were right, you were right, you were right," until you are satisfied that I have suitably humbled myself to your far superior knowledge of my reading habits.

I should have learned my lesson by now, right?


You were right, you were right, you were right...


Friday, July 17th, 2009 11:42 am
auntbijou: (icon by <lj user="odyssey">)
Okay, one of the things I like to do is browse crafting sites, because I'm always looking for good ideas. Currently, the Impertinent Daughter has outgrown her bed, and while the Husbandly One and I debate whether to get her a single bed or a double, we also debate what kind.

So, I saw a creative idea for a headboard and clicked it, thought, "Wow, that looks cool, but somewhat labor intensive... and how did they get the books to look so real?"

Then I read the directions, and... was horrified. Because the first thing it said you need was "a large assortment of book covers, carefully cut from the pages using an Xacto knife or something similar..." though it did go on to say they could be found at thrift or used book stores.

She's... defacing books... to make a headboard... because... she loves books????


Okay, call me crazy, but the thought of pretty much destroying a perfectly good book (even one I hated) just to get at the cover... sorry, I can't do it. I just... can't do it. Maybe my mom was too insistent on my keeping my books "nice" but ... jays, that just squicks me something awful!!

Now, maybe making book covers that look real... I could do that, or maybe (and that's a just barely maybe) I could do it if the rest of the book was pretty much moldy, moth-eaten, and unreadable, but then... the cover would be crap, too, right?

I dunno, but it seems to me that, well, doing something like that rates right up there with people buying "books by the yard" to decorate shelves in their homes to make it look like they're big readers... and they never touch the books, except to dust them, maybe. When this particular crafter says she "loves books," maybe she means it in the "they're so pretty to look at" way.

I love books, too, in the "I love to curl up somewhere cozy and read for hours" way. I'm happy as a cricket in bookstores and libraries. In fact, if you're ever with me, and expect me to be sociable, don't ever let me near a bookstore, because you will lose me for hours and hours, and I might not come up for air until closing time. The books I have on my shelves aren't for decoration. They are there because they are friends. Books that I've read over and over, and over again. I grew up living in Oz, and on Pern, and in the Alps with Heidi, on Treasure Island, and under the ocean with Captain Nemo, and on Mars, and in Middle-earth, with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and the Three Investigators, as well as the March sisters. I rode on the Back of the North Wind, and I've been East of the Sun and West of the Moon, I've hung out with both the Little Prince and the Little Lame Prince, gone on adventures with Robin Hood and the Black Arrow... well... you get the picture.

I can't even look at those "turn a book into a treasure box" tutorials. That's just... wrong. Totally wrong!

Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I'm overly sensitive. I look at books, and I see a potential doorway to something wonderful. Apparently, some people look at books and see... decor.

Excuse me, I'm going to go curl up with some Tolkien and visit Middle-earth for a while. And not use the cover as a ... decoration!!
auntbijou: (Default)
I read to the Impossible Son at night. We go through books much more slowly than I did with the Impertinent Daughter. He goes to sleep, lulled by the sound of my voice, whereas she wanted very much to know how the chapter ended, and often would beg for more.

I was like the Impossible Son, lulled to sleep by the sound of my mother's or my Uncle James' voices, no matter how interested I was in the story.

This is why we are on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and taking our time through it. I feel like I'm letting him down, though. I've been reading to him since he was a baby, just like I did with Miss Priss, and by this time, Miss Priss and I had gotten through The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass, all the Harry Potter books that had been written up to 2004, all of the Narnia books, The Back of the North Wind, many, many fairy tales, The Black Arrow, The Secret Garden, The Light Princess, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach...

Whereas the Impossible Son and I have gotten through from Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone to The Half-Blood Prince.

I think we shall take a break from Harry Potter after we finish this one and maybe start on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a change of pace!

Tonight, however, I did something different. I told him a story, a story my mother used to read to me when I was very small, and the cadence of it entranced me so much... that I memorized it. It was the story of The Old Woman and the Pig, and I have told him this story before, as I have told it to his sister many, many times, and I always tell it a little different, though the cadence part remains the same. And as he listened to me go from, "Cat, cat, kill rat, rat won't gnaw rope, rope won't hang butcher, butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, pig won't jump over the sty, and I shan't get home tonight," to "The cat began to kill the rat, the rat began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang the butcher, the butcher began to kill the ox, the ox began to drink the water, the water began to quench the fire, the fire began to burn the stick, the stick began to beat the dog, the dog began to bite the pig, the pig began to jump the sty and she FINALLY got home..." he blinked and said, "It's like a song, isn't it?"

And I said, "Yes, yes, it is, it's very like a song!"

He said, "That's what helps you remember it all, right? Because it's like a song, it has a rhythm and a flow, and you tell it like a song, just... not singing it?"

"Yes, that's it exactly!" I said, very pleased. "A lot of the old fairy tales are like that. Like the Three Little Pigs tale, you know, little pig, little pig, let me in, not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin, then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in?"

"Yeah!" he said sleepily. "Just like that! Are there any more like that?"

"Oh, lots and lots," I said with a smile. "Want me to tell them to you?"

"Sure, but not now. For now, I just want to know what happens to Harry on his first day back at Hogwarts."

It's not like he hasn't seen the movies. But, he knows the books are different, and has learned to appreciate that.

Meanwhile, my head is filled with the stories and rhymes my mother and sisters and uncles and aunts read to me. And I can hear my mother softly saying...

Wind, wind, gently sway
Blow Curdken's hat away
Let him chase o'er field and wold
Till my locks of ruddy gold
Now astray and hanging down
Be combed and plaited in a crown...

*goes off to bed with visions of goose-girls, talking horses, ravens and swans flying, and glass mountains in her head*


Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 10:46 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
Dear Ms. Rowling,

Please to be reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, in particular, the last book. THAT is how you wrap up a series. Not by throwing random people and situations in, because you're exhausted, and just want to finish the damn book, then adding an epilogue that wraps everything up neatly and tidily because, dammit, you're done and you just don't want to mess with it any more!

Don't get me wrong, Deathly Hallows had some truly inspired moments, but there was so much in it that just felt... out of context, or seemed to be thrown in to move the plot along without any real thought for if it actually did move the plot along.

And I'm sorry, but killing Fred Weasley because you couldn't make yourself kill Arthur Weasley in the fifth book doesn't count as "moving the plot along." That's just called "chickening out and trying to make up for it... badly."

Still rather grumpy with you,


Lost in Olympus..

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 03:51 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
This morning...

*curled up on bed, nose buried in book, cat at feet, cup of tea on table slowly growing cold*

Later this morning...

*curled up on chair, nose buried in book, cat trying to get in lap, glass of ice tea with melting ice slowly dripping on desk*


*sitting at table, nose buried in book, forkful of salad suspended in air and dripping salad dressing on jeans and bare foot, unnoticed until cat starts licking foot*

After lunch...

*nose buried in book, curled on couch on porch, until sense of vague disquiet and the thought that something is being forgotten stirs in occupied brain*

Yes, I remembered to pick up my kids before it was time to pick them up. And in a few minutes, I'm going straight back to Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian. And I'm reading slowly because I want to savour it!! And y'all might actually get some fanart out of this one... maybe...

*curls up on bed again and is lost in book once again*


Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 10:45 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian is in my hands, at last....

....... and I'm too damned tired and sleepy to read it!!!! Lack of sleep has caught up with me, and the Wall of Fatigue is looming ever closer, ready to slam into me and knock me completely...

auntbijou: (Default)
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian came out.

The Impertinent Daughter bought it last night with some of her birthday money.

She took it with her to school today to read during her breaks, which means I have to wait until she finishes it to read it myself.



And... does everyone have a Dreamwidth but me??? *looks around* How'd that happen??
auntbijou: (Default)
So, I'm tucking the Impertinent Daughter into bed, and Calcifer is lying on her arm and side, purring to her as he tries to get comfortable. This makes the tucking-in part more difficult, and I'm tugging at quilts, comforters, sheets that are under at least fifteen or so pounds of cats, plus or minus a few pounds, and Miss Priss says, "Hey, my foot is cold!" and lifts her right foot to waggle at me.

"Great," I said, and started tugging at her covers again, which have become a sort of Gordian Knot of covers, thanks to how she tosses around at night, and then how she retangles them at night when she's reading or drawing before bed, no matter how I straighten them during the day. I fuss at the cat, sending him to the foot of the bed and tug again at the quilt.

My daughter suddenly turns over and says, "My shoe is off, my foot is cold, I have a bird I like to hold!"

I blink a few times as I stare at her and then I said, "Um... ooookaaaay..." and then the memory hits me and I start laughing.

She's almost hysterical as she rolls in the bed laughing, and I said, "That was totally random! What was that, One Fish, Two Fish..."

"Yeah, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," she said, still laughing heartily. "I don't know why, but that just popped into my head!! My tooth is gold, my hat is old, I have a bird I like to hold, my shoe is off, my foot is cold."

I shook my head. "Dr. Seuss warped your tiny little brain," I said, and then wondered why it didn't warp mine. I mean, I read those books to her, and oh, geez, I had to do the voices, too! Green Eggs and Ham, The Foot Book, Mr. Brown Can Moo...

I must have had The Foot Book memorized, because we used to read that over, and over, and over again. I never complained, though, because I remembered the stupid books that were around when I was small. I never had to deal with them, because I learned to read at a very early age, but everyone in my first grade class had to suffer through, "See Jane run. Run, Jane, run!! See Dick walk. Walk, Dick, walk!" Dr. Seuss was a relief!! So, I didn't mind doing all the funny noises for Mr. Brown Can Moo, or for Horton Hears a Who, and It was fun to listen to Miss Priss chirp in to correct me when I would deliberately read parts wrong.

Mr. Manzie doesn't let me do funny voices so much, but that's because he's got my hearing glitch, and it dawned on me that the funny voices make it worse. That reminds me, I need to introduce him to Horton Hears a Who. The book, I mean, not the movie.

I'm glad my kids like to read. It's nice to know I've raised the next generation of bookworms!

*snickering to herself* "My tooth is gold, my hat is old, I have a bird I like to hold..."


*sniffles and dabs at laugh tears* Oh, GEEZ!! that's funny!!

The Super-what??

Sunday, February 1st, 2009 07:56 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
I am not watching the Superbowl. This is because I am that rare anomaly in Texas... I don't like football.


Yeah, yeah, I know, unbelievable. And I was even in marching band and all, right? *laughs* Well, I have to say, our high school football team was... lousy. Once, to raise money for charity, the different organizations at my high school had a football tournament. Did the football team win? You'd think so. You'd think they'd be sure things, right? Wrong. The marching band won. We stomped the football team into the ground, 30-something to 3, and the 3 points were pity points. Our football team was so bad that everyone left games after half-time, because they came to see the band, not the football team. We actually made up a... well, anti-cheer would be the word, I guess. "L-O-S-E-R, yes that's what we are, losers, losers, YAAAYY!!!"

It was rather disheartening.

Anyhow, no, I am not a huge football fan. The Husbandly One is, though, and while sometimes, I have been in the same room with him while he watches a game (because he wants me to hang out with him for some togetherness time), I don't generally watch. Mostly, I'm either curled up next to him with my nose buried in a book, or my eyes are closed and I have my iPod on, or I'm crocheting. Or sewing. Or working on a project. Or writing. Anything but watching the game.

Tonight, though... nah, just... didn't want to do it. And I'm annoyed, because I'm trying to read Inkheart, and Miss Priss was holding the book for me yesterday, and took my things away from me when we were going into the house, and she put them away and thus has no idea where they are. Damn, and it was just getting interesting, too!

So, I cleaned off the computer desk, which was beyond cluttered, and I chatted with my mom on the phone, and tried to work on a few of my writing projects...

All while being regularly interrupted by the people I love.

I do love them. Really. I really do. Just because I want to strangle them at odd intervals does not decrease my love for them. Really.

Did I mention that I love them?

And I am SOOOOO looking forward to this week, because Miss Priss is trying out for track, and she is already nervous, and I know she's going to have a monster fit of the heebie-jeebies each night before the events she's going to try out for. *rolls eyes* She had been upset because she didn't think she could try out for sprinter because she just isn't fast enough, and after listening to all the reasons she didn't think she would make the track team period, I finally said, "Er... but... hon? It's not all sprinting. Remember? There's a lot of long distance running in there too, and..."

"But, whenever we're working on the long distance stuff, everyone passes me up!"

"For how long?"

She blinked. "Er... well, at first!"

"I see. And at the end? Are they all still ahead of you?"

"Well, no. A lot of them sort of... well... they have to stop because... they're all tired. I usually finish second or third..."

"Hmmm, imagine that." And then I nodded as I listened to her explain to me why those fast girls weren't able to maintain their leads, and why she finished so close to the lead... I know, I know, I'm evil, but I do so LOVE to watch my kids' faces when they get exasperated with my questions, and have to explain a situation to stupid old Mama, and then lo, and behold, answer their own questions. And then get mad at me for "tricking" them. Hey, it worked for Socrates, I figure it should work for me at least half as well, right?

So anyway, I then suggested again that she try out for the long distance running, and she again said, "Oh, no, I can't do that..."

I got rather exasperated and said, "My very dear idiot, for the last three years, you have been playing on soccer teams that have barely had enough players to have maybe one or two substitutes a game. And sometimes not even that. You have played the entire game with no breaks. That's a thirty minute half each, some of which you were running almost non-stop. Right?"

She blinked. "Er... right."

"Honey," I said in a softer tone. "I think you can handle the long-distance and possibly the cross-country running. Just... think about it."

So, she did, and now she's more enthusiastic about it, but that doesn't prevent her from getting the willies at the thought of try-outs. She said, "At least if I'm trying out for soccer, I know what to expect, and what I'm doing!"

Well, I have every confidence in her. She's gonna rock their socks off, totally!

Now, if I could just find Inkheart... or Gregor the Overlander... or maybe even What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!...

Bookworm Alert

Friday, January 9th, 2009 08:38 am
auntbijou: (Default)
Nicked from [personal profile] brumeux77...

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

*laughs* Well, this was interesting! If I haven't mentioned it before, I am a total bookworm. I am always reading, and it's not always fiction. I will read whatever I can get my hands on. When I was a kid, it was as likely to be an encyclopedia or dictionary as much as fiction. And I learned to speed read as a kid, because I never knew how long I was going to be allowed to read. My mother was as much of a bookworm as I was, and my dad, too, but... my dad could never stand to see someone curled comfortably in a chair reading. He figured if you had time to read, then you had time for chores, so... I would read as fast as I could to get as much of the story in my head to savor when he'd catch me and send me to weed the garden or scrub out the bathtub or wash dishes, etc.

I also learned to climb trees to support my reading habit. Well, I climbed trees anyway, being such a tomboy, but you see, there was this tallow tree that grew up right next to the house, and I soon realized that during the summer, when that tree was full of leaves, if I climbed up there and sat in a particular spot, it was very hard for anyone on the ground to spot me. So whenever I felt the need to read, I would grab whichever book I was reading at the time and an apple, climb up to the roof, curl up in my spot and read for several blissful hours until my mother's or my sister's voices got frantic, and then I'd climb down and come reluctantly back into the house.

It would take a while for me to hear them though, because I'm the type of reader who gets so completely involved in the book that the entire house could fall down around me, and I would never notice... unless maybe a bit of the roof knocked the book out of my hands, and even then, I'm likely to pick the book back up with a grumble of irritation and go right back to reading without ever noticing the destruction around me. Had to work really, really hard not to sink that deep into a book after I had kids, because... well... that's BAD. Especially when they're little!

If you want to make Auntie really happy? Take her to a bookstore or a library and just let her go. You might find her later, sitting on the floor between bookshelves with about fourteen books piled around her, several of them open, as she skims through them trying to decide which ones she has to have right now, and which ones she can put aside and add to her mental list of "Books to Get Later."

Hmmmm... one of these days, I'll get a bookworm icon. Or maybe one that's predominantly an open book with a pair of hands visible on each side, and a tuft of hair showing at the top, with a murmured, "Mmmm-hmmmm... do it later... reading now..." across the bottom.

*hears the siren call of Fellowship of the Ring even now*


Friday, September 7th, 2007 10:31 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
Wow.  Madeleine L'Engle died today.  She was 88.  Talk about another piece of my childhood gone!  I think  A Wrinkle In Time  was the first science fiction book I'd ever read.  Well, actually, it was either that or Stowaway to the Moon.  Still, that's rather stunning to me.

Of course, I didn't find out Marion Zimmer Bradley had died until two years AFTER she died!  I was sitting there wondering, "So, is her next book going to be another Avalon book?  Or a Darkover book?  And will I want to read either one?"  And being curious, I decided to Google her, and... whoa, no more Darkover, no more Avalon.  Well, not by HER anyway.  


Guess I'll go rifle through my bookshelves and see if I can find "Wrinkle" and read it.  And sniffle a little.

Yeah, I know, I'm a sap.  But y'all knew that already.
auntbijou: (Default)
Okay, so the Impertinent Daughter's class is reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Miss Priss is doing very well on the chapter tests, because she's only read the entire series maybe ten or eleven times or so!  So anyway, one night, she was practically in tears, and appealed to me for help.  I was washing dishes while she was working at the kitchen table, and so I dried my hands, walked up, and said, "What's wrong?"

"It's this question here," she said, clearly frustrated.  It said, "What is the name of the White Witch's chief of police?"

Well, you know guys, I am an incurable bookworm.  I'm one of those readers who gets so absorbed in a book that the entire house could fall down around me and I'd never notice, unless part of the roof knocked the book out of my hands, and then I'd probably frown, pick the book back up, and get right back to it.  Yes, I'm that bad.  And I also remember everything I read.  And I've read the Narnia series over and over again, whenever the whim takes me.  So, I did a search in my memory, and said, "Oh, Fenris Ulf.  What's the problem?  I know you know this."

This is when she started getting teary.  "Well, yeah, in this book," which was our own personal copy of the book, a much older edition printed in  1950, "it's Fenris Ulf.  But in the edition we're using in the class, it's Maughrim."

I blinked.  And I blinked again.  "Maughrim?  You're kidding, right?"

"NO!" she wailed.

This confused me, because it seems to me Maughrim was the name of a siege engine in The Simarillion, or one of the Lost Tales books by Tolkien.  Or a Wolf in Tolkien, I can't quite bring it to mind.  But I really don't associate that name with C. S. Lewis.  So I gave her the best answer I could.  "Okay, then write down what the teacher will count as correct, but bring this copy to school and show it to her and ask her what she thinks."

Turns out the teacher wasn't aware of the name change.  She thought it was Fenris Ulf, too, and if the Impertinent Daughter hadn't brought it to her attention, a lot of the kids who had never read the book before that class would have had their papers marked as incorrect.  The version they are using was published in 2001, I think, and it made me wonder... was this edition approved by whoever is protecting C. S. Lewis' interests?  And just who the heck is changing names and such in these books?  Did the same people who decided that Americans are too stupid to pick up a dictionary or do a web search to figure out what a Philosopher's Stone is think Fenris Ulf wasn't... I dunno... a wolfish enough name, and threw in Maughrim to make the wolf more...menacing??  WTF??

Just so you know, I knew what a philosopher's stone was back when I was in third grade.  Hello.  Bookworm.  

Think I have a slight beef with the publishing industry's dumbing down of books from across the sea?

I've been reading the British versions of the Harry Potter books, and you know, it's like reading a whole new book.   I'm stunned.  I think the one thing that leaped out the biggest to me, was a conversation in the third book, regarding the Grim, between Hermione and Ron.  He mentions that his Uncle Bilius saw the Grim and died, and she said in the American version, "... Harry's still with us because he's not stupid enough to see one and think, right, well, I'd better kick the bucket then!"

But... in the British version, she says, "... Harry's still with us because he's not stupid enough to see one and think, right, well, I'd better pop my clogs then!"

I never laughed so hard in my life!

There are a great many examples I could give, many of which change entire scenes, completely altering their meaning, and it drives me nuts.  I guess what I'm saying is, if someone's done this with the Narnia books, it's doing a great disservice to people who haven't read it yet.  Now I understand why my daughter keeps saying the book she's reading in class is different.  It makes me wonder about children's book publishers in this country right now.  I think next time I go to the book store, I'm going to pick up one of the "new" editions of children's book classics and skim through it to see if I can spot anything obviously different.  


I'm obsessing again, aren't I?

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