Sunday, June 8, 2014

Reading With Scissors Goes Shopping

You know the best thing about weekends? Estate sales! I am addicted.
This week Captain America and I checked out the sprawling metropolis of Conroe to see what good things they had in store. Look what I got!

A couple of sacks of RDCBs with their shiny gold pages.

Some books that would be great for customizing.

Know a psychologist or psychiatrist who needs their name in this one?

Or how about this one for someone born in 1961?
Speaking of customization, here's a big book I did recently using a Texas A&M Directory of Former Students. I think it was a graduation gift. As I'm writing this, there's one still available on Etsy if you'd like to order a graduation gift yourself. It's not too late.


I found this old Spanish-English dictionary in Conroe, too. The pages are too fragile to fold, but I think it might make a nice vase for some book flowers. It's small, about the size of my palm and I like that it looks well-used.
I also got this sweet desk that is going to become the shipping department at Reading With Scissors. 

Wanna know why Captain America is my hero? Because he spends his Saturdays "driving Miss Daisy" as he calls it...

...and he repairs her new shipping department when it needs it.

<happy sigh>

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review: The Ghost Map

Title: The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
Author: Steven Johnson
Format: Audible
Reading Dates: 6 Apr 2014 - 28 Apr 2014
Rating: ***1/2

I wanted this book to be a history book and it started out that way. The Ghost Map tells the tale of the Cholera Epidemic of 1854 and is a fascinating story of science and sleuth. But then author Steven Johnson kept going down these paths--paths of excruciating detail about Victorian London and how crowded it was and how much it stunk and how filthy it was. I wondered all the synonyms that Johnson used for excrement. (You'd be amazed!) It all seemed too much. I kept wanting it to get back to the story's mystery and how it was solved.

And then, when I reached the end, I realized that that WAS the story--the birth of the modern city and all the perils that it entailed and how we are still learning how to live in large, metropolitan areas together as we continue to move from rural areas. I guess next time I need to pay more attention to the sub-title.

The last chapter was really an informative one as Johnson explains the factors that affect modern urbanization and whether, in his opinion, we can survive them. I listened to this book on Audible, and now I wish I had that last chapter in print, so I could take notes. He's got some really good stuff in there. And I'd like to go back and review some of those very detailed sections that I thought were dragging the story and turned out to be the data points to Johnson's main thesis.

All in all an interesting book--I learned something both about cholera and about cities. Recommended.

Book Review: Tender is the Night

Title: Tender is the Night
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Format: Audible, Kindle
Reading Dates: 1 Feb 2014 - 4 Apr 2014
Rating: **1/2

I hate it when I don't "get" classics. I read them. I understand the words, but I don't "get" them.

That's the way I felt with Tender is the Night.

The story starts in post-war France with Dick and Nicole Diver playing the Don and Betty roles from Mad Men. Terribly sophisticated, the toast of the town, but with a past. At a certain point there is "an episode" and the story then flashes back for awhile to explain how Dick and Nicole had arrived at that point in time. Without giving away too much of the story, it appears that Dick had rescued Nicole from a traumatic situation.

The present day story then continues as the Diver's marriage crumbles and Dick himself needs rescuing, but it's not to be. Nicole abandons him. (Well, so much for not giving away too much of the story.)

As I read this story I kept going back to the episode at the end of the first of the three parts. I don't understand how this incident caused Nicole to relapse. It seemed so random. The same thing is true of Dick's self-destruction in the last third of the book. What was that all about? You were so perfect, you two! Get over yourselves.

My verdict: I think I need more sympathy for people, but I really didn't like this book much at all.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Love is in the Air - Texas Style

I've been iris folding again. This time for a Texas wedding.
A few pages from an atlas. More from a dictionary. All centered around Houston.

I can't remember making anything that involved glass before. I need new techniques for taking pictures.

But you can see how it stacks up against my earlier efforts.