Saturday, February 28, 2009

My compliments to Robert Silverberg

No updates in a while, been busy. More quicky throwing some food together than actual recipes, but thrown together stuff is tasty too. i cringe to call thrown together stuff a "recipe", as there really isn't a list of stuff I used, a specific order in which it was used, or specific quantities. but this creation was mighty tasty, and i'm as my chickpea addiction knows no bounds, I'm craving some of this stuff right now.

Not a recipe for quick chickpeas
One can chickpeas, drained.
one green onion, sliced thin
good splash of olive oil
small splash balsamic vinegar
little squirt dijon mustard

mix all in bowl, let sit a few minutes, eat. is great in a pita.

doesn't get much simpler, quicker, or pantry-easy than that.

bookswise, i have discovered the university library. If Serious Eats is food pr0n, then the university library is info pr0n. and get this: they have "designated food and drink area", and they don't kick you out till 2am! how awesome is that? yes, I'm lame I know, but being surrounded by so much knowledge is just very comforting for me. and parking is free after 8pm. I been lurking around the Law and Political Theory areas, yes, yes, very boring, but surprisingy readable. if they would just have comfier chairs, or maybe some bean bag chairs, that woudl totally rock.

In non boring book news, I've finally discovered Robert Silverberg, Sure, I see his books all over the place, but i never picked one up. My husband thrust Lord Valentine's Castle, along with all it's aweful 70's style high fantasy cover art into my hands, and told me "If you like Michael Moorcock, you'll probably like this", and he was right. Story is pretty simple, Valentine wakes up knowing his name and where he his, other than that, his memory is gone. Needing work, he ends up with a travelling troupe of jugglers while he tries to figure out who he is and what is going on. Revealed through dreams, he learns that he is the Lord Valentine, who rules on high from the Castle Mount. Through trickery and magic, Valentine has been ousted from his body, and the son of the King of Dreams rules in his stead. Silverberg could have easily gone with high fantasy, high drama, high stakes, and more melodrama than you can shake a hobbit at. But he didn't. This book asks for nothing from the reader. That can sound like an insult, so let me explain. High fantasy requires the reader to remember lineages, worldly histories, lots of drama etc, things that for me can get in the way of enjoying myself. Hard scifi requires the reader to put up with and generally enjoy infodumps, interstellar empires of who knows what, and technobabble and the like. I am not knocking any of these things, but they are requirements that an author makes with a reader. I often enjoy the requirements. Sometimes however, I want nothing more than to sit back, relax, and enjoy myself. Lord Valentine's Castle gives me enjoyment. it gives me relaxation. Reading it is like sitting on the beach on a perfect day, listening to the waves lap on the shore, feeling the warm sun on my face. I have not finished the book yet, but so far it has been pure enjoyment. Maybe i'm misjudging it. Maybe there is plenty of melodrama that i'm missing or skipping over. Maybe Silverberg and his fans will be offended by my saying that the book requires nothing of me. Silverbergs prose is elegant, natural, and witty. If I were to have a son one day, i'd bet good money that the name "Valentine" would be on the boy's birth certificate. Mr Silverberg and fans, if that isn't the highest compliment an author could be paid, I don't know what is.

side note: also started reading S.M. Stirlings The Protector's War, the sequel to Dies the Fire. Either I'm just not in the mood for this right now, or this second book is no where near as good as the first.

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