June 26th, 2009

20111112, Marilee

A Secret History: The Book of Ash #1 by Mary Gentle

LJ was stopped when I planned to report on this yesterday and I forgot to do it when LJ started up again. I actually have had these books since Mary and I were both on rasfc, but am just getting to them.

Mary always said that most people didn't read the interleaved material and thought it was fantasy. If you read the entire book, you find out it's SF. There's really four layers of material:

1. The translations of the old documents.

2. The interleaved material which is email between the author/translator and his editor.

3. The person who found the translations with the interleaved material.

4. Us, actually reading.

The translations are from the 15th century, where an unknown land is fought over by people that are not in our history. The translator is sure this is new history, something that will bring him fame, particularly because the stories are about Ash, a female mercenary commander, and her exploits. But if you read the interleaved material, you find things are not quite what they seem.

I usually have trouble reading battle text and just skim or skip, but Mary made me sit partly up in bed, pulled by the words. Not just the short phrases and rhythm, but the way the words moved with each other. This has never happened before. The entire book pulled me along and I happily started Book 2 last night.
20111112, Marilee

The Heart: Good, Bad, and Ugly

I was awakened by a call from the nurse-practitioner that supervised the stress test and she said my heart "has no blockages and is good and strong." However, the test I got results for yesterday, the BNP, was 177, which is apparently indicative of heart failure. I'm not making much sense of this myself, so I made an appointment with my primary doctor for Thursday. There is a note in that wikipedia article that it can also indicate renal failure, so I suppose it could be that.

And the Ugly: I mentioned a while back that black pastors from outside DC were trying to put up a referendum in DC to keep DC from recognizing same sex marriages from the states. Well, the guy in charge is now sharing an apartment in DC, has registered to vote there, and has a DC drivers license. Surely that can't count.
20111112, Marilee

Beauty Shop

This was a great movie. Queen Latifah's character, Gina, works for Jorge (Kevin Bacon) in his hair salon. He doesn't treat her well and she finds a way to get her own salon. He becomes very unhappy when she starts being successful and takes steps to stop that. It's not just a good plot, but it covers race relations, family problems, romance, and other areas without being sappy or in your face.