Saturday, March 21, 2009

"boring books", good books, and good food

how's that for a vague post title? well, I've been reading what i like to call my "boring books, and been reading "good books", and been eating lots of of good food, so it's perfectly descriptive.

Book review is up for Sergei Lukyanenko's Nightwatch. I'm quite sure there are more books in this series, and now I've got to track them down!

I finished reading Robert Silverberg's Majipoor Chronicles, which is the second book in the Lord Valentine series. Chronicles follows Labyrinth urchin Hissune as he gains access to the Record of Souls. Hissune lives a few hours as early colonists of the planet, dreamspeakers, coronals, soldiers, and others. This shapes his education in a way no other experience could, and sets him up to be Valentine's heir apparents, much to the dismay of the princes on the Castle Mount. Lord Valentine's Castle gives the foundation of getting to know the multitude of cultures on Majipoor, and Chronicles gives the history and the details. So now I'm on to Valentine Pontifex, and i'm find that I'm avoiding it for the same reason I was avoiding finished LVC - I don't want it to end!

In the land of boring books (anything non-fiction), I'm still slogging through Fienman's Law 101. I'm picking up a lot of needed terminology, and learning that Contract Law is really, really boring. I couldn't resist a book entitled The Government vs Erotica, by Philip Harvey, the owner of Adam and Eve, a mail order "adult products" company. The government went after him with all it's might for distributing obscene materials, and Harvey and his company fought back. This book is funny, scary, and passionate. I can't put it down. Distorting the Law is going back to the library unfinished, it is too over my head. Never in a million years did I ever believe I'd be reading a book about tort law (other than John Grisham), and at least now I can say that I've never finished one.

Foodwise, i'm already starting to test drive recipes for Passover, which is only a few weeks away! Okay, so this isn't quite kosher, and it isn't quite kosher for passover, but it's only a few easy to substitute ingrediets away from both.

Mushroom & Potato casserole
2 lbs potatoes
olive oil
1 lb mushrooms
2 tbsp lemon juice
a few ounces thinly sliced salami
2/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
few tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350. slice mushrooms into 1/4" slices. clean and slice mushrooms, and sprinkle them with the lemon juice. in a small bowl, blend parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and parsley. generously oil a large baking dish, and put a layer of potatoes to cover the bottom. follow this with a layer of mushrooms, a layer of salami, and a layer of the cheese breadcrumbs mixture. season with salt & pepper (go easy on the salt if your salami is salty). keep layering in this manner until you run out of ingredients. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil over the caserole, and bake until potatoes are cooked through, about 60-75 mintues.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lord Valentine & Stranger Tides Reviews up

must write reviews! books are due at the library! and my "books to be read" pile is getting out of control, as usual.

New reviews up:
Lord Valentine's Castle, by Robert Silverberg (he's my new obsession.)
On Stranger Tides, by Tim Powers

In boring book news, i picked up something called Distorting the Law, by William Halton and Michael McCann. It's basically about the media sensationalization of tort law, and the need for tort reform. for example, remember the woman who sued because getting a CAT scan took away her psychic powers? yeah, big joke. before the Cat scan, she said she was allergic to the dye they were going to inject her with. They injected it anyway and did the scan. Her allergic reaction causes pain and debilitating headaches. Regardless of her claim of psychic powers before or after the Cat Scan, they injected her with something she was allergic to, and part of her lawsuit was medical malpractice and pain and suffering. the jury awarded her a boatload of money, the judge lowered the amount, and on appeal the whole thing was reversed. medical malpractive or no, "psychic" or no, she never saw a penny and it became a perfect example of how the media has allowed tort cases to be spun out of control. Would people have thought different of the case if she had never mentioned her profession was psychic medium? A dry but interesting book, i'm only understanding about half of it, because of my lack of education in law/tort/media/etc. back to the library for Law 101: Everything you need to know about the American Legal System, by Jay Fienman. Okay, so it's certainly not everything, but it's many steps up from some Law for Dummies type thing. Fienman keeps everything in words I can understand, with real world examples, and a few made up ones. Now everyone at work thinks I'm a law student, which i'm not.

Monday, March 9, 2009

two new reviews up

Yay, new book reviews have been posted on SFRevu! and even better, these were actually good books! if you'll forgive the lack of grammar check. . .

Duke Elric volume 4, by Michael Moorcock. This is the new printing, with spiffy new artwork, a handful of essay/short stories at the end, and as usual in the universe of Michael Moorcock, highly satisfying. i can't say enough good things about his Elric.

Prophets, book 1, by S. Andrew Swann. I thought it had a rough start, but the book gets much better as it goes along. it would have helped if i'd read the handful of Swann books that take place before this one. but still, it was a good time.

hmmm. . . more updates later, i promise.