Girl Detective

While googling for reviews of Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier series, I stumbled upon Girl Detective, a fairly interesting blog. It’s written by a young woman who does a lot of reading and, apparently, a fair amount of cooking. I noticed her making a number of mentions of a 50 book challenge. This is a pretty interesting concept — the idea that you should read 50 books over the course of the year, and blog on all of them. Maybe I’ll try that next year. Thinking over the books I’ve read this year, I don’t think I’ve come close to 50. If you count graphic novels, then maybe.

His Dark Materials

I just finished reading the last book in Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy. Just for yuks, I did a Google search on “cheerful instead of surly”, part of a key line at the end of the book. I found a few interesting pages, including this one, along with some odder stuff.

The line, in part, is: “…showing them how to be kind instead of cruel, and patient instead of hasty, and cheerful instead of surly, and above all how to keep their minds open and free and curious.” I particularly like the cheerful/surly part, partially because it’s just a nice turn of phrase, and in part because it’s something I seem to be having trouble with lately.

Microsoft Reader

I’m very frustrated with Microsoft Reader. I wanted to start reading The Subtle Knife, book two of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy, today. My little Pocket PC would not cooperate. First, MS Reader would just give me errors. Uninstalling, reinstalling, reactivating — nothing worked. Eventually, the device wound up getting stuck in such a way that I could not reset it, no way, no how. I’ve got it going again, after flipping the “last-ditch” switch that wipes the memory completely, restoring it to factory defaults. I’ve got it working again, but really I shouldn’t have to spend more than an hour just trying to get to the point where I can read a book. Back to paper, dang it.

The Modern Word

I just discovered an interesting book site, The Modern Word, while looking for information about Jorge Luis Borges. Some great Borges quotes there:

“There is no intellectual exercise which is not ultimately useless.”

“The history of the universe…is the handwriting produced by a minor god in order to communicate with a Demon.”

“To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.”

Just great, great, stuff.