Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 13: A fictional book

When I was looking at that 30-day blogging list, I wondered if this meant a book in the genre of fiction, or a book that was not actually real. I'll go with the first, and make this post a review of the most recent book I read.

Review: Kushiel's Dart
By Jacqueline Carey

Kushiel's Dart is quite the epic tale, at 700 pages, and still just the first in a series. A young girl, Phedre, is sold into the Night Court because she has an unfortunate blemish: a red dot in one pupil. It is revealed that this is in fact a mark of the divine, Kushiel's dart to be precise, and shows her to be one of Kushiel's chosen. Without going into too many details (the back story is an involved mythology), this means she likes pain, in a sexual way. She finds herself in the household of one Delaunay, who trains her to garner political knowledge while going about her ways as a famed courtesan.

A lot of things happen and I'd rather not spoil them. The story takes place in mythical France (not called France, but it is anyway), and the way this version of Europe is depicted is intriguing. It's quite a good read, though due to her particular pleasures I wouldn't call the sex scenes all that stimulating. Also, the religiosity and the nationalism get at times a bit heavy-handed. Finally, I thought the book could have ended sooner; in fact, I'm not sure if I want to continue reading the series because I'm so tired of the character of Melisande. I just looked at Wikipedia and it looks like she continues to play a large role in most of the rest of the series, so I may just have to give it up. My final criticism is that there's very little magic. Which doesn't actually detract from the book; it's just sort of annoying since the cover seems to suggest magic is important.

Rating: B+

(And yes, I'm picking up the 30 day blogging thing again despite months having gone by. I think the prompts are nice.)

Some Catching Up

So, let's see... the last thing I really posted about was in late July. Yeah, so I guess moving and then my computer ceasing to function has had a big effect on my blogging (or not that much, I haven't been keeping up very well anyway). Also, I know I haven't even posted about Costa Rica, but now I have the excuse of lack of access to my pictures.

I guess the only way to do this is to give you a nice synopsis, and go into detail when I have pictures available.

August: I started working full time at the History Museum and looked constantly for a new place to live. Late in the month we moved from Fairmont to 11th and Irving, which is where we are currently. It's a basement apartment and is much nicer than our previous digs! I also now have my car parked in an alley spot.

September: Settled into the new apartment. The weekend of September 11 Jeff and I went to the river with Stan and Carla, who nearly didn't make it due to illness. We ate at Southwind Pizza, went to Mathews Market Days, and kayaked. Suz came over Saturday night for Stan's birthday dinner. It was a great time. The following weekend, Jeff and I went to St. Louis for his family friend Anne's wedding. We went to the zoo, the Gateway Arch, and the City Museum, as well as to the wedding (I'd like to do that one more in depth later).

October: This month involved some fun foodie activities! We went to Taste of Dupont, where we got to try 5 different Dupont Circle restaurants in a brief two-hour period. More on this later. We also went to the Curbside Cook-off, which was all the food trucks in a big parking lot, though the lines were incredibly long. We tried poutine from Eat Wonky and empanadas from DC Empanada. Pics and things later for that too. We also played lots of board games and went to Kostume Karaoke.

The first week of November: This past weekend has been full of activities - Saturday night we went to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center with Steph and Greg, and last night we went to see the play My First Time in Adams Morgan. We are in the process of applying for Korea teaching jobs.

So, yeah, there's been a lot of goings-on, and I have been watching a whole lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I'm on the 3rd season currently). I've also done a lot of reading. I hope to increase the amount of posts on this blog, especially as the Korea thing develops.