Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Anne Lamott

Taking advantage of sick days, I finally finished this (very good) book on writing and the writing life. Now, I guess, I have to do some writing....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Prince Caspian
C. S. Lewis

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensey, the heroes and heroines from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, return in this fourth installment of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series. The four children are transported from an English train station to an island in the world of Narnia. Though Narnia has been at peace since the children left, it is now under the control of Wicked King Mirax. The youngsters, along with Aslan the great lion, must help young Prince Caspian restore Narnia's glorious past. This full-cast dramatization adheres closely to the book's text. Actor Paul Scofield is the "storyteller," and other British actors read the character parts. The production features sound effects and background music, and is a more complete version of the story than the BBC audio production (Bantam Doubleday, 1998). Children familiar with the series will enjoy this impressive

NOT just children - I thought it was terrific. What a charming production; what a great story! I'm a big audio book fan and I'm always intrigued by how "listening" to a book - being a slower process - makes you notice things. I've read the Narnian books many times, but never noticed the interesting fact that in the first and second books (the Lion and Princess Caspian) the first meal offered to the humans is.. *fish*. A powerful image, both from the "ICHTHUS" acronym/symbol and the meal the resurrected Jesus offers in John 21.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

Publisher's Summary

This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

This was a great survey of the history of my native language, and linguistics in general. I was happy to hear the discussion of pidgin and creole languages especially, as the content gibed well with my own ideas vis-a-vis the KLV relexification of the Bible. *Hearing* this book was also great, since the pronounciations of the words is so important.

Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars #3: To Reign in Hell
by Greg Cox


"What truly transpired during Khan's long years of exile on the forbidding world of Ceti Alpha V, before the tyrant escaped to embark on a murderous campaign of vengeance against Admiral James T. Kirk? What horrific trials spawned Khan's insane lust for revenge?" "Haunted by the memory of Khan's bitter accusations, Kirk now revisits Ceti Alpha V to discover for himself what ultimately drove Khan to madness. There, buried beneath the desolate surface of a dying planet, Kirk and his allies find the untold story of their greatest foe - and of the woman who loved him: Lieutenant Marla Melvers of Starfleet." "Along with Khan's genetically engineered followers from the twentieth century, Khan and Marla are left on Ceti Alpha V with the hopes of building a new life together. Although the planet is savage and untamed, full of deadly predators and unexpected hazards, Khan dreams of carving out an empire even greater than the one he once ruled on Earth." But when catastrophe strikes, laying waste to the entire world, Khan and the others find themselves trapped in a desperate struggle for survival. Now Khan must use every ounce of his superhuman strength and intellect to wage a fearsome battle against the planet, his people...and the growing darkness in his own soul.

Cox is a master of what I think of as the "historical novel" of Star Trek. With this, and his prior work, he weaves a plausible web of "known history" (both our own and the 'history' of Star Trek) with his own tale. Along the way he explains the settings of the Wrath of Khan - down to the mysterious Star Fleet medallion Khan is seen wearing. And he puts together a well paced story to boot! Great fun!