Archive for September, 2009

Book Nook

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I actually hadn’t had much chance to read a whole lot the past few months. I needed to get a new laptop and since then was spending some time updating my Linux knowledge and skills. I still haven’t finished reading the “Linux bible” aka Linux: The Complete Reference (6th edition) by Richard Petersen. It is a fairly comprehensive reference book on Linux in general covering everything from beginner to advanced topics in Linux.

Fiction-wise, here’s what I got to read:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 7
Angel: After the Fall (volume 4)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Three Against the Witch World by Andre Norton
The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Here is my current reading list:
Winter’s Heart (book nine of The Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan
Rogue Squadron (book one of Star Wars: X-wing) by Michael A. Stackpole
The Heritage of Hastur (published in the omnibus, Heritage and Exile) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Keeper’s Price by Marion Zimmer Bradley and the friends of Darkover (a Darkover anthology of short stories)
Gormenghast (the sequel to Titus Groan) by Mervyn Peake
A Clash of Kings (book two of A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (I am on part three of book two, page 443)

I am still not sure what I think of the Witch World series by Andre Norton. The world is intriguing enough and it is clear that the author has carefully thought out the story and the fantasy world. I find I like Norton’s way of story-telling and tend to feel compelled to keep reading, even if I may not like any of the characters. Perhaps though, that is indeed the mark of a good storyteller. 😉 I will be reading more Witch World novels. In fact, I acquired quite a few of them. Recently, there were plenty of Norton novels at the used bookstore (BMV!)

The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley is an amusing little story. I believe she wrote this around the same time she wrote her first Darkover novels, and I am hypothesizing that she intended to write more stories taking place in the overall universe that encompasses Darkover, but it turned out Darkover was more popular and readers wanted more about Darkover, so it was Darkover stories she ended up writing more about. The Door Through Space takes place on a planet with a red sun – not Darkover, but Wolf. Seeing that Wolf has a red sun, and it is mentioned at one point that they trade for horses from Darkover, I am assuming Wolf is in the same solar system as Darkover. The story also mentions Vainwal, a planet mentioned in the Darkover novels as well. I feel that The Door Through Space is proof that Bradley envisioned a much larger universe than just Darkover and the Terran Empire, and I find myself curious about how many more stories could be told related to Bradley’s Terran Empire. Indeed, it provides much to think about in relation to a story idea I am still mulling over. (I have more than one story idea!)

In any case, I enjoyed The Door Through Space. The main character amused me and even some of the side characters were quite amusing. Bradley tends to write a few of her characters with their own sense of “honour code”, characters who are quite independent and intelligent. I think this novel by Bradley is well worth reading. It is short, about 180 pages with medium font, so the only thing preventing you from reading this novel is failing to find it somewhere used.

I am currently reading Winter’s Heart. I’d like to finish it before winter sets in. 😉

~~~C

Calendar update – Happy Harvestide!

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The autumn equinox (aka Harvestide) occurs when the Sun enters Libra. This year it is on September 22 at 5:18 p.m. EDT. The autumn equinox is also noted as a solar segment in the Chinese calendar, occurring on September 23 (Chinese ST).

Here are upcoming calendar dates (through to Samhain):

September 29 – Ivy month in Graves’ calendar
October 1 – Boar month in Kondratiev’s calendar
October 4 – full moon at 2:10 a.m. EDT; Blood Moon (folk name for the full moon)
October 8- 9th solar month in the Chinese calendar, Cold Dew segment
October 11 – Harvest month in the Lakota calendar
October 18 – new moon at 1:33 a.m. EDT; start of the 9th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, known as the Dog month in Chinese astrology
October 23 – Frost Descends segment in the Chinese calendar (occurs when the Sun enters Scorpio which according to EDT occurs October 23 at 2:43 a.m. or at 2:43 p.m. Chinese ST)
October 27 – Reed month in Graves’ calendar
October 30 – Cliff month in Kondratiev’s calendar
November 2 – full moon at 2:10 p.m. EST; Mourning Moon (folk name for the full moon)

The next sabbat is Samhain (aka the Witches’ New Year), traditionally celebrated on October 31 through to November 2. The astrological timing of Samhain this year is November 7 at 1:49 a.m. EST. This is also noted as Start of Winter solar segment in the Chinese calendar.

The next calendar update will be around the sabbat Samhain.

Happy harvesting!
~~~C