Friday, December 13, 2013


This is my favorite Christmas tree ornament at work. It's filled with glitter and fake snow, and I think it's really pretty. I was very sad last year because I thought it had gotten broken when the tree was taken down, but apparently not. I remember seeing glass and fake snow, and I just assumed that was what it was. Or maybe it was broken, but spontaneously regenerated or something . . .

All you have to do is believe . . .

We put up the Christmas decorations at work today. Four trees -- one in my office (small desktop one), another small one on top of a bookcase in the lobby, a slightly larger one next to Anna's desk upstairs on a table, and the big one on the third floor in the alcove where you get off the elevator. And Anna made a couple of wreaths, one for each floor.

There has been a meme going around Facebook, and while I never do those, this one was kind of interesting. It was a challenge to list ten books that had meant something to you, that had stayed with you. Most people listed mostly classics, most of which wouldn't be on any list of mine. But I challenged myself to come up with ten, and these are mine, in no particular order:

  1. Ladder of Years - Anne Tyler
  2. Dhalgren - Samual R. Delaney
  3. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
  4. Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkein
  5. Snowcrash - Neal Stephenson
  6. Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
  7. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
  8. The Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
  9. The Talisman - Stephen King and Peter Straub

Okay, I could only come up with nine that I thought deserved to be on that list, but maybe number 10 would be the one I just finished reading last night, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. It was one of those free or $.99 books that I bought on impulse because the cover and reviews looked interesting, but never read. I think it's been on my iPad about a year. I ran across something that said she had a third book coming out next year, so I dug up the first one and read it, and it was wonderful! The story is about an art student in Prague who has a secret life. She lives in an apartment and goes to school, but her second life is with the family who raised her, a group of "monsters" -- chimera with animal heads and feet. Her putative "father," a hulking monster with leathery skin and ox horns, sends her on errands around the world to procure teeth for some unknown (to her) purpose. She only has to open the door of his workshop, and she is wherever she needs to be -- Morocco, Paris, Prague. She has never understood who or what she is, or where she really came from, but on one of these errands she meets an angel, and everything begins to reveal itself. But when she tries to go back to the workshop, she finds the door no longer works, and she is on her own. I started the second book, Days of Blood and Starlight, last night, and the third, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, comes out in April. There is also a novella, Night of Cake and Puppets.