Thursday, June 26, 2008

Little Brother

Little Brother Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Man, I like Cory Doctorow's stuff. He mixes that "very near future" genre with just enough technology to be interesting, and brings in all sorts of other influences as well. In this case, you can really tell that he writes what he believes, which gives it an air of truth and immediacy. I'd recommend this to anyone I know with a passing familiarity with technology...

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

God's Middle Finger

God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre by Richard Grant

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
An incredible description of a journalist's trip into the lawless land of the Sierra Madre, home to crazed drug dealers, distance running Indians, and a few people that he befriended. Amazing that this place exists, and hard to imagine a future for it...

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Lamentations of the Father

Lamentations of the Father: Essays Lamentations of the Father: Essays by Ian Frazier

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
One of my high school English teachers gave my class an essay of Ian Frazier's to read, and I don't think I've read any of his work since. Recognized the name when I saw this, though, and enjoyed most of the essays. He comes at subjects from an angle that you just don't quite expect...

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Devil May Care

Testing's "past to blog" function. Would anyone be interested in seeing these here, instead of having to go to goodreads?

Devil May Care Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the way the cover is worded, "Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming", I assume that Faulks was trying to write a real, Fleming-style Bond book. I think he succeeded - he definitely did his homework. The whole book is peppered with references to Fleming's books, from Bond's wardrobe preference to workout routines to cars to scrambled eggs. The overall plot structure felt pretty authentic, too - he even ends the book similarly to Fleming's. I thought it was thouroughly enjoyable - I'm glad someone is back writing Bond books, and Faulks seems like a great choice.

I can't compare this to any of Faulks other writing; I haven't read any of it. I did notice, though, that one of his previous books was a "collection of literary parodies," which might be interesting - and probably served him well when trying to write like Fleming...

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Sunday, June 8, 2008


One of the few things that I keep any kind of baking pre-mix around the house for is pancakes. I use low-fat Bisquick, throw in an egg, milk and whatever else I feel like, and have a pretty good little breakfast for the kids. Glancing around online, though, I see a whole bunch of recipes to make your own Bisquick-like mix - might try one of those and see how it works. Anyway, this morning, I was inspired and made some Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal-Banana Pancakes. Yum...

Couple of pancake hacks that I use:
1. If using banana, mash it up first. Then break egg into it and beat all together.
2. If I put chocolate chips in, the pancakes are usually sweet enough that the kids will eat them without the sticky HFCS mess that is syrup.
3. I use mini chocolate chips; otherwise Sofia just digs the chips out and leaves cratered pancakes on her plate...
4. Another popular pancake option is (if the pancakes don't have peanut butter in them) to make little peanut butter pancake sandwiches, and eat them with our hands.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pear Bread

Man, I wish blogs had smell-o-vision. My kitchen smells soooo good right now. Saw this recipe on a baking blog that I read about a week ago, and have been itching to make it ever since. I made two loaves, one with pecans and one without. Also substituted half a cup of whole wheat for the same amount of regular flour and cut the sugar fro two cups to a cup and a half. Pretty nice, although I think I'd go with a smaller pan size next time. The kids and I munched on the nutless loaf after dinner; I think I'll surprise some old friends with the other loaf tomorrow...

(No idea why this is rotated; it never was, even when I edited it, but that's how blogger insists on uploading it. Sorry - tilt your head to the right...)