Sunday, January 6, 2013


I'm back from enjoying a Christmas hiatus, and I have plenty to say (Don't I always). By the way, since I'm still here, I suppose the Mayans were wrong.

Back to books, I've just listened to another book called The Poison King by Adrienne Mayor, and it's about the Mithradatic Wars with the Roman Republic in its final years. I highly recommend this book, both because it isn't too long, and it's a fascinating subject. Of course as always I must mention that in this area I'm bias.

I'm also listening to the biography of Winston Churchill by Roy Jenkins, and I highly recommend reading or listening to it. However, the book is 1024 pages, but I think you'll enjoy it.

I listened to the three books of the Fionavar Tapestry some months ago, but listened to the sort of sequel recently. The three main books are The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road, and the sort of sequel is Ysabel. I also listened to another book by Guy Gavriel Kay called A Song for Arbonne, and they're all excellent. The Fionavar books tell the story of five university students taken to the world of Fionavar, and their adventures. The world is filled with, men, dwarves, gods, an evil dark God and the like, but this story is meant for young adult readers on up.

Ysabel is a sort of sequel because it's linked to Fionavar. However, none of the story takes place on that world, but some characters from those books do make an appearance. A simple journey to take photographs wanders into an ancient story, and it has to be finished to save a life. Arbonne tells the story of a male-dominated kingdom, endlessly opposed to a female one. You see the intrigues among the courtiers of the respective kingdoms, and various characters’ interactions with the wider world. My description doesn't do the book justice, but as I said on many occasions brevity and I have never been introduced. Therefore summaries aren't my strong suit.

I took some time off from genealogical to help my mother with her cookie baking because as everyone knows homemade cookies for Christmas are the best kind. I helped with rolling dough, pulling stems from cherries, etc., and of course I was the chief quality-control officer. The quality of the chocolate chips, cut outs, and peanut butter cookies that I sampled was excellent. I authorized her to make the rest. The cut out cookies are actually sugar cookies she makes with cookie-cutters, but I've been calling them cut outs for too many years to change now.

Soon enough, December 22 rolled around, and Mark came in from Washington DC, bringing a power outage with him. The outage lasted some seven hours, so we went to Maroni's for pizza.

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