Archive for May, 2015

“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question: What is your favorite book?” – The Storied life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin.

A book review will come soon, but in the meantime here’s food for thought. Do you agree?

I’m not sure I do, because I don’t think I have a favorite book. I like so many and it really depends on my mood. If I was against the wall, I think I would say “Watership Down” by Richard Adams, but there are so many more: “Monstrous Regiment” by Terry Pratchett; Mistborn Series of Brandon Sanderson; “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee; “A Solitary Blue” by Cynthia Voigt; “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster;…

What do you think?

Have a great week!

Picture by Abhi Sharma. Thanks for publishing under creative commons license!

Picture by Abhi Sharma. Thanks for publishing under creative commons license!

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“I’m not an orange, right?” – my 3-y-o daughter

Now there’s a question I didn’t expect I would ever hear 😉

I can see where she gets confused...

I can see where she gets confused…

Have a great week!

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To get good gluten free cakes and muffins, it’s usually necessary to whip the whites and yolks separately and then fold together. This gives it the fluffiness that the gluten would give it otherwise. That usually works, but it gets tedious. However, here is a recipe where you just throw everything together and bake. And it’s dee-licious!




1 cup Tami gluten-free flour
1 packet instant vanilla pudding (80 gr)
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
180 ml vegetable oil
chocolate chips (optional)

Just a little closer...

Just a little closer…

Preheat oven to 160°C. Mix everything together. Place into muffin cups. Bake for 10-15 minutes until brown and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and eat!

Got it!

Got it!

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I found “I Am Number Four” in my local library after I saw the movie, so I took it. It tells the story of nine alien teenagers, the Loric, who grow up on Earth because another alien race, the Mogadorians, destroyed their home planet. Their job is to stay alive and save Earth which is next on the Mogadorian’s list. To protect them, the Loric children have numbers instead of names, and they can only be killed in order. Three have already been killed. This is the story of Number Four.

The story is interesting and the characters good, but I found the style grating. It’s written in first person in the present tense, and I found it too wooden – like the characters are reading a script out loud rather than describing their experience. It was nice, but no more. 3 stars.

Then I found “The Rise of Six” and “The Power of Nine”. The style is still grating, but much better. The story unfolds and becomes more interesting and more convoluted. Definitely bumped up to 4 stars.

I assumed it was a trilogy for some reason, so I was really surprised when “The Rise of Nine” didn’t finish the story. So I went to Wikipedia and found that it’s a series of seven books (a septology? Good enough for me 😉 ). Now I have had very bad experiences with septologies – at some point the author gets to the point where you can actually hear him go “Wait, how did I plan to finish this?” and the rest goes down the drain 😦 (Yes, I’m looking at you, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series). So I was very disappointed.

In the meantime I found in my Library the fourth and fifth books, “The Fall of Five” and “The Revenge of Seven”, so I read them. Still on the 4 star mark.

And then I found (again on Wikipedia, and its references) that the books are written by Full Fathom Five, a company meant to churn out young adult science fiction novels, established by James Frey. That in itself is not a problem, Nancy Drew was built the same way. But Full Fathom Five takes students (probably explains the grating style…), pays them $250 per book (seriously? that doesn’t even cover a month’s rent!) and makes them sign a contract stating that they will never mention their names in connection to the books they write.


You want ghostwriters who will never mention their name? Get professional ghostwriters and pay them properly. You want cheap labor? Get students and allow them to get experience and fame, and pay them enough to cover their rent. But this?

So, I haven’t linked these books to the book depository as I usually do, and I have no intention of buying them. Ever. I realize it’s a drop in the ocean, they’re already on the bestseller list… but they will never be on my shelves.

TL;DR: Good 4 star YA science fiction novels. Read them at your library.

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“That’s the trouble about the good guys and the bad guys! They’re all guys!” – Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment

Sometimes I get that feeling. How did we come to the state where in most cases regarding or deciding women’s issues, the deciders are all…men?

And as an aside, Monstrous Regiment is one of the best books ever written on this subject (and a lot of others, Monstrous regiment multi-tasks 🙂 ). Though it is screamingly funny most of the time, it hits the nail on the head all the time.

What do you think? What’s your favorite feminist book?

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The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.” – Terry Pratchett, Men at arms.

What more is there to add?

Have a nice week 🙂

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