Friday, August 29, 2014

Slow Month at Work = New Books!

It's been a long time since I've posted as work has kept me pretty busy. Fortunately, I recently had a chance to buy a few more internationally flavored books.* I even finished one!

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

South Korea
A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee

Google tells me that there are approximately** 196 countries in the world. I have read 5 novels from 5 different countries so that means I am around 5% through. Progress.

*From a used bookstore. Yay real bookstores! Yay browsing!
** Apparently what constitutes a country is more complicated than one might think.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Project Update

Up next in my global reading adventures are the following:

In Praise of the Stepmother by Mario Vargas Llosa

Mexico (though admittedly written by a Brit who spent relatively little time there)
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

There appears to be a Latin American tilt to my choices, probably because I took Spanish last year and realized that I knew very little about the America to the south.

Also, in honor of Alice Munro winning the Nobel Prize for Literature I plan to read some of her short stories (Canada!).

Friday, September 20, 2013

A New Project

For the first time in a very long time, I have time to read whatever I want. In about five weeks I start my new job and once I start I'm not sure if I will have the time or energy to read for fun. So I've decided to take the opportunity to read as much as possible, mostly fiction, from now until then.

About a month ago, I saw this article in the BBC, which describes how a woman read a book from every country in the world in one year. Inspired and extremely jealous, I decided to attempt a modified version. That is, I'd like to read as many books as I can written about or from different countries before I start work. I'm including books that span countries/cultures and I'm trying to emphasize countries that I haven't read much about.

Here's what I've read so far:

North Korea
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

Dominican Republic (and US)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

I'm definitely accepting recommendations for books about these or any other cultures (preferably fiction), so let me know if you have any suggestions.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

What I Want Out of My Laptop

What I Want Out of My Laptop:
  • Water resistance
  • An aggressive reminder to back up my files every week
  • Files that give themselves relevant names like "important work file" or "unimportant blurry picture"
  • Autosave that just saves the document instead of creating a new, identical autosave version that I don't realize is separate from the other document until days later after making significant changes to the old document
  • Non-judgmental tech support
  • Add-on warranty that covers liquid damage
  • Cup holder

What I Get Out of My Laptop
  • Biennial nervous breakdowns
  • Cachet 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Word Geek

I've started taking a Spanish language class. It's a nice way to avoid a law school class and get back into languages again. In just a few weeks it's already reignited the geek in me. I was Google Translating the Spanish word "trabajo," and as I typed in the word, the translator automatically detected the language and English translation. It produced the following super exciting results if you're a linguistics/language/regular geek.

I typed in:
t-r-a .......... it said "Italian-detected" meaning "between"
t-r-a-b ....... it said "German-detected" meaning "trot"
t-r-a-b-a .... it said "Spanish-detected" meaning "tether"
t-r-a-b-a-j... it said "Spanish-detected" meaning "worked"
t-r-a-b-a-j-o.. it said "Spanish-detected" meaning "work"

Anywho I just thought it was cool that there could be so many different words in three languages contained in one word.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Here's a picture I took when I was in Pennsylvania over spring break. We went out into the countryside to pet (and feed) horses. These two were particularly sly and pushed all the other horses out of the way to get to our carrots. I think they might have been sisters, and in my mind I dubbed them Goneril and Regan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I saw this as I was returning from a walk by the lake. It made me wonder when it was put up and exactly what kind of disaster had been contemplated when it was created.* It's kind of nice to know it's close by if I ever need it.

*My best three guesses are: (1) Attack by the giant monster that lives in Lake Michigan, (2) Invasion by aliens secretly living on the moon and angry about the whole flag thing, (3) Sudden resurgence of the popularity of Fallout Boy.