May 20th, 2008

20111112, Marilee

A Sleepy Day

Lucila was here today and even though I slept while she cleaned, when she left, I went and told Shiva she was gone and I was going to sleep more and he followed me back to the living room. We slept another 2.5 hours with Spirit tucking in under the top of the covers for the last 40 minutes or so. It's chilly and damp outside again and it will be in the 60s the rest of the week. The local NBC weatherguy said this is the rainiest May in 55 years, so we'll have to watch more for mosquitoes.

Shiva ate the new canned food happily, and Spirit had some, too. I think we may move to that when they finish the current packets. The two of them would share half a can a day and that makes it about 21 cents a day cheaper, plus the cans are recyclable.

snippy was kind enough to receive the fax from the journalist and make it into a PDF. The fax looks like it's from the actual newpaper page and some elements didn't come through well. The numbers that look scribbled over are actually a gray highlight that showed which had the higher amount. In any case, this should bring some idea of the benefits former presidents get.
20111112, Marilee

Alcatraz versus The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

This is a middle-grade fantasy and the story is pretty cute. It's a little moralistic and I was totally put off by the idea that it was actually written by Alcatraz, but they had to use Sanderson's name in our lands. I think most kids would believe it was Alcatraz without the silliness and that silliness took up about a third of each chapter.

Alcatraz is a 13-year-old who has been in foster care his whole life. He's had many foster parents because he breaks everything he sees. Not on purpose, usually, but he just touches something and it falls apart. On his thirteenth birthday he gets a package of sand in the mail and this is when he finds out why he's been in foster care. You see, all the countries/continents we consider part of Earth are actually the Hushlands that are ruled by evil Librarians. The Free Kingdoms are continents filling up the oceans (who needs all that water?) and they know the truth. Alcatraz' family, the Smedleys, have been infiltrating the Hushlands and fighting the Librarians for many generations. The Oculators, which Alcatraz and his grandfather Leavenworth are, fight with lenses made from different special sands. Each lens has a different power -- firebringer, torture, tracking, etc. -- and Alcatraz has to learn how to use them quickly because a Librarian has stolen his birthday sands!

The book involves infiltration of a library/castle, small British dinos, a Samoan-like anthropologist/gun expert, and a thirteen-year-old girl who is their knight.

I'm afraid the part I found most interesting is probably not meant to be the most interesting in this or the next four books (which I don't expect to read). You see, the Free Kingdoms consider guns primitive because they have so many parts and can break, when you can just swing a sword around without trouble. They think the same of elevators vs. stairs and computers vs. pencils. It's an interesting idea, but not sustainable.

The idea that Librarians rule is not supported -- he does say at the end that government, organizations, etc., don't know they're ruled, but gives no information.

I read a fair amount of YA, even at middle-grade, and I like a lot of the good stuff. I really don't know if someone in middle school would like this or not. I don't recommend it for adults, and it makes me wonder just how the last volume of Wheel of Time (heh, typed World of Tiers first) will turn out.