Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Anansi Boys

Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2005

From published reports and reviews, I expected no less than perfection. Expectations were met.

As I predicted, Gaiman is the kind of author who makes me want to give up writing because there is just no point, is there? My efforts will fall short and besides he's here on earth, writing these things which means that people need not seek out more entertaining, witty, hilarious works because such works don't exist.

On the other hand, as one can tell from the Wikipedia entry, Mr. Gaiman is a renaissance-dude multimedia rock star. It's like trying to compare one's 21st century made for late-night television infomercial handy gadget with the efforts of Da Vinci.

Best not to think about it and just continue on one's way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Housing The Airship

Author: Architectural Association
Published: 1989

Very nice oversized book with beautiful photos and diagrams. The features of sheds, the term used for constructing and housing airships, are described in detail.

The styles varied widely within and between countries as engineers explored different functional ways to contain the mammoth dirigibles. The photos, many full and two-page, all in black and white, show the scale of these enormous vehicles.

Very cool.

Friday, October 5, 2007

How We Talk

Author: Allan Metcalf
Published: 2000

Covering accents and curious local terms, Metcalf conducts a tour of the U.S., region by region. Also has a section on ethnic accents and slang, and also how well, or poorly, accents are portrayed in the movies.

Among the interesting facts, I learned why nearby Woods Hole is called a hole (term for a bay or channel), what Southerners mean by butter bean, and how the milk shake got the name 'kabinet' in Rhode Island (just be sure to ask for a frappe in Massachusetts if you want ice cream in it).