Thursday, August 16, 2007

What I'm reading, watching and listening to...


A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin
This is the fourth or fifth time through this book. The entire series (A Song of Fire and Ice) should be read from the beginning. I hate using cliches, but this truly is an epic series. It feels historical, magical, and true. The characters are so well developed and so well written, that you can see them as you read, and their actions seem true to their character even when you don't anticipate what they will do next. Each of the characters are flawed, but Mr. Martin draws their flaws so clearly that you understand where they come from. You love them, you hate them, you root for them, you mourn for their loss, but what you want to know is what happens next. Totally engrossing in the way few books are, each successive volume is both fully satisfying and leaves me longing for the next one. I can hardly wait for the next and final book.

Table for Five by Susan Wiggs
Although Ms. Wiggs has written several books and has made the New York Times bestsellers list, this is one book that I won't be reading a second time. The plot seems familiar, though the characters are reasonably written is is somewhat less than satisfying. It is a good story for a little light reading, aimed at female readers. Not really my cup of tea.

The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway
I picked this up at a second-hand bookstore thinking they were having a half price sale. It was an impulse, since they didn't have books on Amy Carmichael. This is a truly compelling autobiography that left me on the edge of my seat, staying up late reading by the bedside light. Brother Yun became a Christian as a teenager in communist China and for the sake of his faith was imprisoned and tortured for years. His testimony is compelling and inspiring.

Blogs of Note

I started reading this yesterday after noting the address on a Yahoo Groups post. Sustainable living, economizing, medeival times, gardening, cooking, home schooling, etc. This is an interesting woman. Time will tell if this stays on my list.

The Simple Dollar
Constantly updated, practical, interesting writing by a man seeking to live frugally and save and invest wisely. Very personal and very wise. I read this nearly every day.

Living From My Heart
My friend Beth hasn't posted as often as I would like, but she is droll, earnest, interesting and down to earth, as well as being a closet romantic.

Doug Green's Garden Blog
I love this guy's site, his blog, his newsletter. This guy knows gardening. He loves it and this comes across. Always inspiring me to be more adventurous in my garden, his blog and newsletter encourage any gardener, from the novice to the advanced.

Zambia K8
Caitlin is serving with the U.S. Peace Corps in Zambia, and is fascinating in her description of a life so totally different for her. Her exuberant personality comes through on each page.

1000 Days Non-Stop At Sea
The idea of this journey is so foreign to me that I can't help but be fascinated. Will they make it 1000 days without stopping for provisions, repairs, or simply the need to put foot on land?

Full Blue Moon Dementia
What can I say? Incredibly well-written. Is it truth? Is it fiction? I don't know.


The Simpsons Movie. Lots of laughs, but wait for the DVD, or even wait 'til it comes to television, unless you are a die-hard Simpsons fan.

The Bourne Ultimatum Dizzying camera work, lots of action, great performances. A really fun time. Highly recommended.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Whether you have issues with Harry or not, this is a good movie. Great cinematography, well-written, good acting, thoroughly engrossing. I highly recommend this movie.

No Reservations A feel-good date movie. Catherine Zeta-Jones is beautiful and believable, Aaron Eckhart is charming and engaging, Abigail Breslin is top-notch. Story is typical romantic fare, but done well. This one goes in my must-have chick flick DVD collection.


I caught "The Kid" on the other day and the kid is frustrated that there are 120 channels and nothing on. Much of the time that is true. Still...

Side Order of Life I can't really explain what I like about this show.

State of Mind A bit more messed up and yet more understandable than Frasier's looney pair of sibling psychiatrists, Lily Taylor is terrific in this show. What happens when your life is crazy and you must deal with clients whose difficulties are entirely of their own making? Watch and find out.

Deadliest Catch Men being men. Men who do the toughest, deadliest, coldest, riskiest jobs. Working on the open deck with rogue waves crashing over you. In between you break the ice that coats everything while you wait for the opportunity to work 20, 30 or more hours straight hauling crab pots, hoping they are keepers. Hoping the weather stays in your favor, hoping you get your quota, hoping you make it back to port without much loss. Praying you come back with all your crew. Praying you find the crab. Wild. Probably my favorite show.


Amore Andrea Boccelli
I cannot get myself to take this out of my CD player. I love it!

I'll Find You There The Kry
This one is regularly cycled through my playlist. I really enjoy the music, the lyrics, the feel of this.

Faith Jason Upton
Although I think this album is uneven, there are some real gems on it. I heard the song "Freedom" being played as background music during the offering or between services at church and had to find out who it was and where to get it. Try it and skip what you don't like.

I actually have several Rod Stewart albums in my CD player:
Unplugged and Seated (Live)
It Had To Be You...The Great American Songbook
As Time Goes By...The Great American Songbook: Volume II
Stardust... The Great American Songbook, Vol. III
Thanks For The Memory...The Great American Songbook IV
Some singers have natural gifts and do nothing with them, when listening to them you think, what a beautiful voice, and wonder why it leaves you cold. Mr. Stewart doen't have a great voice, but what he does with it is compelling. When I am loving his music there is a part of me that wonders, how can this be? Still, he gets to me and that part of me tells the voice critic to shut up.

Irish to the Core~ Wolfe Tones I love this unabashedly, unashamedly nationalistic Irish music. No apologies, no political correctness here. It inspires me to want to don the green. You'll love this too.

Windham Hill Signature Series: Piano Sampler This is quite pleasant background music as I write, read or do housework.

My-Redeemer Matthew Ward Although I love Third Day and listen to them often, this album inspires me to worship more than any other I have ever heard. My copy of this CD is so battered that it skips terribly, yet I cannot throw it away until I have replaced it. It is in my heart. Order yourself a copy, and while you're at it, order another one for me too.

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