July 01, 2012

The Secret Sisters

The Secret Sisters/Ann Maxwell

I don't know how this book slipped into my collection of science fiction texts....As far as I'm concerned, it might be categorized as romance suspense.

But still a pleasant read, fascinating and intriguing. A reader doesn't have to know a lot about Anasazi culture or fashion to enjoy it. And both Christy McKenna and Aaron Cain are honest good people, who have their strengths and weakness, thus attracting each other and the reader. As for Jo-Jo, in my younger days, I would feel weary about such a character, but now I somehow wonder what she might be if she survives and meets Christy after all these years, perhaps a modern (as well as wretched, pathetic, sad) Helen herself, maybe?

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June 14, 2012











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November 24, 2011

The House of Asterion

The House of Asterion

I found that Borges wrote this short story when investigating the new movie Immortals.

Actually I read this story before but it feels like reading it the first time (or, quoting Asterion's words, the fourteenth time) as I couldn't recall the content when seeing the title. But still, this is a good story. The style is a little bit like that of Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, philosophical as well as poetical. What's the difference between one and infinity and the difference between a home and a maze? Perhaps what imprisons us is never a concrete architecture, but ourselves. As Minotaur can leave the labyrinth freely but he can never escape from the loneliness and the alienation that separate him from others. No wonder he would be convinced that Theseus is his redeemer and death his redemption.

By the way, the movie sucks. Anyone who considers to see the movie could save the money and the time. Read the story instead, that surely is a better use of one's time.

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October 01, 2011

Paddy Casey

Paddy Casey

It takes a quiet, lonely night to listen to Paddy Casey.

It is not that all his songs are sad, it's just that the emotion in his songs could be best digested in nocturnal hours. The music is neither sad nor nostalgic (perhaps a little), but honest, perhaps sometimes too honest to face even in Addicted to Company.

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September 29, 2011

The Trees of Pride

The Trees of Pride by G. K. Chesterton

This is not my first G. K. Chesterton, but this is my first mystery story by him. Like Chesterton's works, this story is embellished with his humor and the theme, rather than about the mystery, I think is about the conflict between science and religion, which is also a recurring topic in Chesterton's works.

I didn't find Dr. Brown suspicious until the end. Nevertheless, I did suspect that Squire Vane was not dead at all as, in my opinion, a dead body would hardly turn into dry bones (and no other remains except the hat) just in that short period of time.

After reading the story, I could not help but wonder who is the real proud person, the Squire, the lady, the poet, the doctor, the lawyer, or the art critic? Perhaps they are all arrogant in their particular ways, even the seemingly aloof Treherne and Barbara, although their marriage might signify the union, and thus the compromise, between the major British culture and the local Celtic one.

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September 28, 2011

Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett

With the orchestra, Owen Pallett's music is like a festival, carnival-like, jolly, but sometimes the passion turns violent......

I particularly like Lewis Takes Action and
This is The Dream of Win+Regine (This is The Dream of Emma and Cam).

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September 27, 2011


OneRepublic Official Site

I am not a person that could appreciate much classic music. However, when music instruments like piano, violin, or cello appear in pop rock or alternative rock music, most of the time I cannot resist, either. Perhaps it's because these instruments adds fresh sensation.

My first OneRepublic song is "Secrets" from The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Then I heard "Stop and Stare" from the first season #1 of Castle. The cello grabs my attention instantly. So I found the two albums and listen from the first track to the last one. Most of OneRepublic's songs are nostalgic, (maybe) a little sentimental, but would linger long in the memory like those dreams passing in the early morning......And the live sessions (especially the unplugged ones) on YouTube are really awesome!

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September 26, 2011

Books on presentation

In the last few years, I have completed translation of three books on presentation with Jedi: 高橋メソッド, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and Slide:ology. The first two books are published, while the last one will be published soon.

Although all three books discuss the same subject, the authors do so in different ways. If Confessions of a Public Speaker talks about what to write in your slide, then the other two books demonstrate how to write the content, again in different styles. 高橋メソッド is applicable to the Chinese character-based presentations while Slide:ology will help those who would like to stylize their slides with a sense of design. Confessions of a Public Speaker is interesting, a little philosophical, and pleasant to read; the other two books are practical and with a lot of examples. Nevertheless, as the authors emphasize again and again, you won't produce great presentation by reading the books alone; what great presentations rely on is practice and rehearse. The books just tell you the knack of it.

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September 25, 2011

Sonnets from the Portuguese

Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

An entry after one year! It's not that I forgot this place or stopped reading. It's just that I am experiencing another phase of life--moving to a country little town that in the first twenty years of my life I didn't even know it exists and trying to settle down.

Oh, I have to say sorry to those who left a comment in this blog that I couldn't manage to reply in time (and probably don't need to as most of the commentators seek urgent help and it's too late now? :-P).

Anyway, I read Sonnets form the Portuguese some time ago and read it again several days ago as my seventh anniversary with my husband arrived. In my reading second time, I was very moved (and might be over moved) by the poetess's passion and imagination, though the wording might be a little archaic. But this poetry, in my opinion, suits every person that is in love, be the love passionate or serene.

Continue reading "Sonnets from the Portuguese"
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April 12, 2010

Songs of Action

Songs of Actions by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It never occurred to me that apart from Holmes, Conan Doyle has other works, especially poetry. What surprised me more is that this collection of poetry, or more like a collection of folksongs, comprises works that appeal kinds of human emotions, especially those describing battle field. It is quite difficult to imagine that the one who wrote such ardent poetry should create a over-calm, minute, exact figure like Holmes! But well, this collection is a delight for reading, easy, passionate, and fluent.

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