bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Miss B. was just finishing a book, and I knew she'd be casting about for something new, so I handed her Mister Monday by Garth Nix. (Ok, I'd suggested it before, but she had taken it to Florida and then left it in a knapsack with a decaying lunch; it was now aired out enough and I'd re-read it.) She said she'd read it next. A little while later, I saw her reading (something) and asked her how she liked Mister Monday. "Oh, I haven't started it yet." So, was she planning to read it? "Not until you've suggested it to me three or four more times... like I always do." Yes, I know she was kidding, but after having to routinely steal back books I was *IN THE MIDDLE OF READING* from her, having her say she'd try something and then not... I realized I had been bashing my head against the way in frustration.

Bleah. I give up. I told her that a) I wasn't going to recommend any more books and b) she was no longer allowed to borrow my library books. If she wanted to read books, she'd have to pick them out and check them out herself. She could go back to "reading that drivel like "Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dear Dumb Diary" for all I cared.

Of course, the first thing that happened was that she snagged-- and had removed from her-- one of my requested library books (Cabinet of Wonders); and then her father pointed out that she'd LOVE another one that I got out. Since I'd finished it, we went back to the library and returned it while I got my other requests-- and she asked the circ staff to pull Dussie from the to-be-reshelved truck so she could check it out.

How long will I hold out? I said, Until I forget. So, until I slip up and recommend something to her, she's just stuck. *smile*

Onward and upward to the reviews.

Dussie. Nancy Springer
I happen to love Nancy Springer's work to begin with, but this slight novel is still well-handled, while playing on the Greek Myth trend popular these days. It's only when 13-year-old Dussie wakes up with a head full of snakes the day after getting her first period that she learns that her mother is in fact one of the Gorgon sisters, and Dussie herself is half-immortal. Dussie reacts in a perfectly reasonable adolescent fashion, mad at her mother and unwilling to talk to her. That the turban her mother always wears conceals a coif of vipers is bad enough, but unlike Dussie, her mother doesn't hear her own snakes talking-- and doesn't believe Dussie does. Once Dussie tries to leave the house with facial-mudded snakes disguised as dredlocks, things get worse. A visit to "The Sisterhood" suggests there may be a way out, and a kindly acquaintance might also help... but Dussie herself makes the final choices.

Cabinet of Wonders, Marie Rutkoski
Oooh! Steampunk with some humor for tweens, set in Bohemia, with complications, magic, and the usual appurtenances. Petra Kronos and her magical metal spider Astrophil are appalled when her father is returned from the capital minus his eyes-- the prince's 'thanks' for creating the most beautiful, magical clock ever. Eventually, Petra sets out to do something about it. (Compare to the tween fantasy The Blue Shoe: A Tale of Thievery, Villainy, Sorcery, and Shoes by Roderick Townley for a completely different treatment of some similar plot elements, and a male protagonist.) Well written, with sympathetic characters, a magical-steampunk storyline that is internally consistent, and a minimal and light touch on pubescent 'learning experiences'. The author's love for Bohemia shines through-- fans of Eva Ibbotson's Star of Kazan will find a similar worldsetting touch here. In a lot of ways, this is a classic hero's journey (with family rescue) fairy tale, with classic Eastern European elements. But who can resist Astrophil, or fail to like plucky (i.e., brave but not thinking things through, followed by dogged persistence) Petra? It remains to be seen whether sequels will be as good.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Wade Rouse. At least in the city someone would hear me scream: Misadventures in search of the simple life.

Rouse convinced his partner, Gary, that they should move out of the big city (Chicago) to their summer house in an area he calls "Gayberry", so that he (Rouse) could live a modern day Thoreau-like transformation.

For someone who admits to having run away from his rural area childhood and sculpted himself into the perfect socialite writer stylish gay guy, this is a big step, fraught with pitfalls, or should we say pratfalls, and Rouse milks it for all the humor he can get. He also talks about what he learned. This is The Egg and I in reverse, in some ways. And yes, it is funny.

Now, true to a certain gay guy self-parodying over-the-top subculture (he mentions that his partner's mother gets him the best presents, apparently because she seems to envision him as a 13-year-old girl, and that says it all, doesn't it), he's gotta be bigger than life and more pansy-than-thou, so I kept losing suspension of disbelief at the funniest parts: how could you grow up in the Ozarks and not expect a septic tank? Can anyone really be that obsessive about shoes and still be able to write? Do people really spend this much money? For that matter, if you're still so wierded out by the average human being, why do you live outside the rarified urban lifestyle? Yes, it set off all my "My god, people aren't really *like* this, are they?" buzzers.

On the other hand, well, yes, people sometimes really ARE like this, no matter how much it wierds me out, and if they are willing to develop Third Thoughts about their lives anyway, I'm all for it. There's an a lot more diversity of thought process here than in, say, Alison Bechtel. But then I never tried to read this guy's actual memoir, either. Also, it's refreshing to run into someone who writes something like this who actually has a spiritual life of a more mainstream sort, a feeling of connection with God-as-they-understand him. That's one of the best parts in the book.

At first, I thought, ok, this guy is a loser. Then I thought, Hey, he's kinda funny. Then I thought, omigod, he's SO milking the stereotypes. Then I thought, hey, wow, he's not a bad writer. Moving back to "is anybody really that shallow, and if so, is it moral to admit it in public?" And then, 'hey, that was spot-on, and this is pretty deep. Well, he's not a complete loser after all.. wait, was that a Bette Midler impersonation... what?'

There's a certain gay Gladys Taber effect going on here, as well. Yes, his heroine is Erma Bombeck and it shows, but Erma just didn't have the same material to work with for the serious parts.

Yeah, I'd probably re-read it and recommend it to you all. I'd even pick up a copy if if I saw it cheap or remaindered.

His explanation of small town friendliess and how it complicates life (spot on), followed by the sentence "The first thing that gay men must do when they move to the country is rearrange the woods" makes p. 162 the best in the book, but since I'm too lazy to transcribe it, go read a different excerpt here: http://waderouse.com/content/books_city_scream.asp?id=Excerpt
bunnyjadwiga: (bath bunny duckie)
Library journal does a rundown on: Long Ships and Broadswords: Viking Fiction
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Does anyone have a copy of this:

The distaff gospels
By Fouquart (de Cambray, maistre.), Antoine Duval, Jean (d'Arras), Madeleine Jeay, Kathleen E. Garay

Edition of Evangiles des Quenouilles a 1475 collection of either women's or spinning superstitions.

According to Natalie Zemon Davis,, "Women in the Crafts in Sixteenth-Century Lyon," it includes information like this:
A good day's work could be helped by spinning thread first thing in the morning, before praying and with unwashed hands (still part of the magic of the night), and throwing it over one's shoulder. Washing one's thread, one must not say to one's gossip, "Ha, commere, the water's boiling," but rather "the water's laughing," or else the thread would turn to straw.

(Curiously enough, other sources suggest that doing work or anything else in the morning before washing one's hands exposed one to the vagaries of witchcraft and demon-mischief.)


Apr. 16th, 2009 12:13 pm
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Does anyone else reading this enjoy the Sister Frevisse 15th century mystery series (starting with The Novice's Tale) by Margaret Frazer? Do you also find that you are reminded of people you know (especially if you're in the SCA) by certain of her characters?


Apr. 8th, 2009 05:57 pm
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
I have had a cold for about a week. Beekman apparently had severe ickage (growth spurt? developmental frustration? poor sleep patterns? Mommy ate the wrong things?) for the last two days, so I'm at home today recovering; tomorrow I hope to head north to show him to his great-grandmother, 6 hours away.

Sandra Boyton is a genius; we got Hippos Go Beserk from the library when I checked out the album Blue Moo Internet radio needs more Boyton. Just for the usual people:
We're on Parade, We're on Parade!
We are marching through your closet unfraid!
We're the Uninvited Loud Precision Band,
The best intruding band in all the land!

(Also John Ondrosavic from 5 for fighting singing "I want a big band sound", and of course Neil Sedaka singing "Your Nose" and Davy Jones singing "I want to be your personal penguin". (I bought a second copy of Dog Train too because I couldn't find the first one and it was on clearance at Buy Buy Baby for $1.99).

Beekman and I also loved the "Stand By Me" recording from Playing for Change (worth seeing on Utube): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM

Benjamin has already outgrown nearly a bag of stuff; two or three more outfits and I'll freecycle it. I did a calculation on how much we've spent on him so far (not counting day care pre-payment) and it's about $640. Thanks to everyone who bought him stuff and handed down stuff to make that number so small.

Dr. Seuss still rocks, though most people have probably forgotten McElligot's Pool and I had trouble getting to Solla Sollew. Apparently the public library does not have The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins. On the other hand, they have an excellent selection of audio, including Beethoven's Wig by Sing along Symphonies (yes, silly words to classic symphonic pieces, totally worth it), and a bunch of Schoolhouse Rock. We also borrowed the Election Schoolhouse Rock collection on DVD and when Miss B. comes back from Pesach we will borrow the other collections (they have to be intrasystem loaned). Some my friends would enjoy "Tyrannasaurus Debt" and others "Max the Tax Man". :) Of course "Just a Bill" was still the best.

We also discovered Amy Schwartz, whose Some Babies and A Teeny Tiny Baby are hilarious. I *Know* the mother in Some Babies-- I think I read her livejournal. "I'm a Teeny Tiny Baby... and I know how to get anything I want..."

I'm struggling with child-rearing philosophies again, not least because I know exactly where my background is, and what it means to me; it's a process, especially because I've been a co-parent now for 3 years, and am still struggling with my role here. Fortunately, there's no discipline necessary for Beekman for quite a while yet. I'm not an attachment parent, because with my issues a 'good enough mother' seems a better approach, though sometimes babywearing seems the simplest way to survive. (Though how do you crunchy babywearers get laundry done? Especially emptying the washer and hanging laundry to dry?)

It's striking how much a division childrearing can be. I find I'm worrying about how people will see my willingness to spank in moderation, or, in Miss B's case, our willingness to let her be a free-range kid at some events. (Not the ones where the locals are uptight.) Whether Beekman will ever be the sort of child that I can free-range with comfort will depend on his development and his personal obsessions as he grows.

On the other hand, I find that people are perfectly willing, nowadays, to accept odd or unusual personal arrangements like ours, when a baby is involved. At a certain age, child-friendly adults seem to find that the baby-contact-high wipes away judgementalism... Yes, serious parts of our culture are birth-positive.

For people in the SCA, isn't it amazing how much the attitude towards babies & children has changed? Instead of having to struggle to keep Beekman unobtrusive (as we did with Rose, 15 years ago), I'm touring him around to his Fan Club. Admittedly, I try avoid offending by loud baby in court, babychanging in public, or breastfeeding obtrusively (admittedly there are *some* people I'd rather not breastfeed in front of anyway).
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
I have these out because they have illustrations that predate 1922, but I'm returning them during my leave:

Die Malerei in den Niederlanden, 1400-1550 (copyright 1919)

Symbols and emblems of early and mediaeval Christian art. 1852.

National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution (1978, but still under the "government docs aren't copyrighted" provision)

The arts in the Middle ages and at the period of the Renaissance. 1868.

A guide to the mediaeval room and to the specimens of mediaeval and later times in the gold ornament room; with fourteen plates and a hundred and ninety-four illustrations. 1907.

Die deutsche Malerei vom ausgehenden Mittelater bis zum Fnde der Renaissance. (copyright 1913-1919)

Styles of ornament, exhibited in designs, and arranged in historical order, with descriptive text. A handbook for architects, designers, painters, sculptors, wood-carvers, chasers, modellers, cabinet-makers and artistic locksmiths as well as also for technical schools, libraries and private study
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Before I go on leave....

Elisabeth Brooke. Woman Healers through History. Erhm... feminista medical history.

Jews, medicine, and medieval society by Joseph Shatzmiller -- of particular interest for the 4 page section on Women in the medical profession

Growing up in Medieval London. Barbara Hanawalt.

Ron Barkai. A History Jewish Gynaecological Texts in the Middle Ages.

Terry Comito. The Idea of the Garden in the Renaissance.

Dumberton Oakes: Garden into Art -- one of those glorious picture books with the history of the garden.

The Italian garden : art, design, and culture. by John Dixon Hunt. Lifted from Worldcat.org: Contents: Gardens in Italian literature during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries / Lucia Battaglia Ricci -- Some Medici gardens of the Florentine Renaissance: an essay in post-aesthetic interpretation / D.R. Edward Wright -- Christ the gardener and the chain of symbols: the gardens around the walls of sixteenth-century Ferrara / G. Leoni -- The gardens of villas in the Veneto from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries / Margherita Azzi Visentini -- The gardens of the Milanese villeggiatura in the mid-sixteenth century / Iris Lauterbach -- Hard times in baroque Florence: the Boboli garden and the grand ducal public works administration / Malcolm Campbell -- Fruit and flower gardens from the neoclassical and romantic periods in Tuscany / Alessandro Tosi -- Gardens and parks in Liguria in the second half of the nineteenth century / Annalisa Maniglio Calcagno -- Sicilian gardens / Gianni Pirrone -- Jappelli's gardens: "in dreams begin responsibilities" / Raymond W. Gastil.

Princely gardens : the origins and development of the French formal style by Kenneth Woodbridge -- of particular interest for descriptions of French gardens in the 1500s.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
What does this mean:
"S quis furetur, per collum pendetur, in hoc modo!"

From George F. Black's Bookplate:
Read more... )
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
George Fraser Black Collection on Witchcraft
Read more... )
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)

Wicked Words: Books from the George Fraser Black Witchcraft Collection
Read more... )
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Found this running about in our collection, thought I'd note it:

Sterling Dow and Rober F. Healey. A Sacred Calendar of Eleusis. (Harvard Theological Studies XXI). Cambridge, Harvard University Press: 1965.
Commentary, explication and description on a series of fragments describing the calendar of festivals and sacrifices at the temple(s) at Eleusis.
bunnyjadwiga: (diescute)
So, this morning, I finished reading Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew by Ursula Vernon, the creator of Digger: http://www.graphicsmash.com/comics/digger.php
a serial graphic novel in which the main character is a wombat.

It's a classic children's story of The Hobbit: or There and Back Again format, with illustrations by the author. Nurk, who is a homebody with a vague yearning for adventure-- much like Bilbo, and very like Mole in the The Wind in the Willows, thinks wistfully of the adventures of his grandmother, the fierce, adventurous Surka. When he accidentally opens a letter that is probably addressed to the vanished grandmother, he ends up setting out to find the sender and apologize. There are, of course, adventures after that, which he survives by doggedness and practicality and a clean pair of socks.

I love it. I love the illustrations. I think it's very cute, and much better than, say, Redwall. But then, I'm a Mole/Baggins at heart, what can I say. :)
bunnyjadwiga: (wunnerful)
No, really.
I found an image in Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts of Queen Elizabeth's cutlery set, and was enthusing about sucket forks... and of course my geek tried to pretend that sucket-forks aren't cool-- this is a man who lusts after the titanium spork in the ThinkGeek catalog (ok, let's get real, geeks really want one of everything on the ThinkGeek website, please)...
Anyway, so I was looking at Google Images of sporks, and found this book:

The Authentic Tudor & Stuart Dolls' House by Brian Long

which includes images/documentation of convertible sucket-forks, not to mention all kinds of other documentation including LATRINES...


Go look. Drool. I shall call B&N tomorrow and order it. Buying books I can't afford again.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Haven't read it, just saw it reviewed in Booklist:
The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman. Nancy Marie Brown (Harcourt, 2007)

Describing the life of "Gudrid the Far Traveler" (a woman attested in the Icelandic documentation) by combining archeological information and information from the sagas.

May be promising for my Norse friends.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
I've promised that we would discuss books that young ladies who are ardent Harry Potter fans would like. So, Miss B. will be reviewing: Juniper and Wise Child both by Monica Furlong.

Miss B. says:

I liked them both a lot, because they were each told by the person who was experiencing them. I like stories like that. And they both had very fun adventures.

Juniper is about a girl who has a godmother who is a doran, in other words a witch-- a good one. Juniper learns to be a doran too.
In Wise Child the story continues with another character who gets adopted by Juniper. The messenger of Juniper's father (Juniper was a princess) happens to be Wise Child's father. He is away on a trip and in the end they meet each other again.

That's all folks, and have a good night.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Stopped by the Public library today and picked up some more mythology books. (I'll post more on the Norse/Viking ones later). I thought I'd share my thoughts on the other picture books that cover Demeter/Persephone here.
Read more... )
I've got a few more versions to discuss in a later post, and then I'll touch on the Norse picture books as well.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
sez Juergen. Juergen has some older-brother-I-never-had-and-would-have-killed moments, such as his tendency to tease me mercilessly for my enthusiasm about whatever project I'm currently engrossed in.

Right now, that's entering books into LibraryThing. Cataloging-- or at least recording-- all the books in my library is something I've been gathering my strength to do for years. Now, I'm just doing it. Right now, I'm part-way through the most accessible of my 'study' works, though I haven't touched the fiction, the pagan stuff, or much else.

Being sick allowed me to push my numbers over 300, but the updated profile page raises new anxieties. Can it be possible that I only have 85 books on herbs? That can't be true. Perhaps I should buy some more. (Fortunately, that disastrous impulse is countered by a ban on non-essential expenditures for the moment.) Where are all my books? (Answer: on the floor in the bedroom, or up in the attic.) The idea that I have more books classified medieval than I do herbs is unnerving too. How will I classify the YA fantasy fiction? Should it be in the same database? I guess so.

And sneaking into other people's LibraryThing catalogs to copy entries for non-traditional publications (the Madrone Culinary Guild series; or ancient CAs) leads me into the temptation of book lust (as Nancy Pearl would put it). The fact that I don't have space to house the books I've got (any more than we have space to house all of Sarah's yarn or Juergen's little parts off computers) doesn't stop me from yearning for more, more, more! Fortunately, being sick also offered the opportunity to read some of my collection that I hadn't gotten to.

And that brings me to weeding. Much as I resent the piddling 85 number, I've pulled out some books to remove from my collection, though I may keep one as a Counter Example of the Highest Order. It suggests, for instance, tea of lily-of-the-valley for heart patients, discourages surgery for appendicitis, and has many recipes recommending teas containing comfrey to be drunk daily for weeks on end. Since the comfrey-tea practice is what landed an old lady in the hospital with liver failure and started the research that leads to our current suspicion of comfrey-- no, no no! I'm also thinking about weeding books that I've never read. I may just go back into the catalog and mark them as 'free to a good home' if I decide to give them up... I don't know.

Yes... I've got a bibliographic issue. Is that a surprise?


Jul. 31st, 2007 11:21 am
bunnyjadwiga: (no)
There was recently a stillbirth among the people I work with-- I just found out about it. I thought I would pass on the link for this book by someone I worked with at Lehigh, which is very good-- though goddess forbid my readers would need it:

When Pregnancy Fails; Families Coping with Miscarriage, Ectopic Pregnancy, Stillbirth, and Infant Death.
by Susan Borg and Judith Lasker. Rev. ed., Bantam Books, 1989

Text Online at: http://www.lehigh.edu/~jnl0/book.html


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