Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wishlist Blast from the Past

So I have this wishlist on, right? And even though hardly anyone ever uses it to buy me something, it's a great list to remind myself of things I want (I can look at it when I'm browsing in a used bookstore, for example). I try to keep it updated, so every once in a while I'll look through it and remove a few books that I have acquired since adding them to the list or, more rarely but still sometimes, I'll remove something I no longer want.

Just now, I removed a VHS tape I had on there. I mean, I still wouldn't mind owning a copy of Casablanca, but on VHS??!! Ha!! I apparently added that to the list in 1999. Maybe I should have left it on there for posterity.

Ah, the good ole days. And ten years - see what a dedicated Amazon user I am?!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Irresistible Henry House

I sometimes get advance copies of books to review, through the Early Reviewers program over at LibraryThing.

The books I've received this way were all pretty good and pretty much my style, but the one I read most recently was way beyond that - it was terrific. The Irresistible Henry House, by Lisa Grunwald and scheduled to be published in March, is a fantastic story that would appear to be totally whimsical and yet is based on a true practice: Henry is a "practice baby" supplied to a college home economics class by a local orphanage and raised by seven or so different "mothers" who are students in the course. As it turns out, the story is indeed irresistible - Henry is compelling, his life story is fascinating, and the historical background of the 1940s-1970s in which the book takes place is brightly illuminated. Many small differences between daily life then and now added a fascinating sepia-tint to the landscape of the story, and the novelty of now-common icons of popular culture (some new thing Disney is working on down in Florida? some movie that new band the Beatles are making?) brought the era to life in a wonderful way, especially to someone who didn't live through it. (And I'm pretty sure anyone who did live through it will love the nostalgia of this recent history also.)

I recommend it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Well, I ran 12 miles a couple of weeks ago, and it was brutal. I mean, it felt fantastic to have done TWELVE MILES, but it was on a very hilly course (by design) and it was haaaaard. Took us 2 hours and 15 minutes.

And then I didn't do squat, running-wise, for nearly two weeks.
On Thursday I did four miles on my own, around my neighborhood. Here's the playlist:
NPR: 10-17-2009 Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!

And then this morning, I ran...
wait for it...

FOURTEEN MILES!!! Yeah, baby, 14. For cancer research. 2 hours 25 minutes!!! Oh, that's more than a half-marathon? No sweat!

(Ok, lots of sweat. It was HOT today! I love L.A. I definitely needed that dose of Vitamin D or whatever Vitamin Sunlight is.)

Aaaaaaaand I forgot my knee brace at home, so I ran without it, and it didn't hurt at all! Until I stopped running. Then I was in screaming pain. Literally. Ouch.

But it's ok now. Oh, I have a show tomorrow? I'm sure I'll be able to walk by then :)