Thursday, July 31, 2008

The light side and the dark side

How the Washington Post headlined today's economic news: US Economy Grows at Solid Pace in 2nd Quarter

How the New York Times covered it: GDP Grows at Tepid 1.9% Despite Stimulus

On my Google page, the headlines are right on top of each other. Gotta love it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Smart and strong? Bring it.

I can't fault Ramin Setoodeh too much - it seems like half the pages in the latest issue of Newsweek have his work on them. But perhaps he wasn't the best person to try to put the longevity of Anne of Green Gables into context:
It's rare to find a best seller with a strong heroine anymore... "The literary smart girl is still showing up in literature, but she's often the sidekick," says Trinna Frever, an "Anne of Green Gables" scholar.
I don't have any BookScan sales numbers in front of me, but here are a few mainstream YA titles featuring "strong heroines" and "smart girls" the author and his expert have overlooked:

Best Foot Forward
Boy Proof
A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
Carpe Diem
Climbing the Stairs
I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Dairy Queen and The Off Season
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature
Fact of Life #31
Gamma Glamma
Hattie Big Sky
Jason & Kyra
The Kayla Chronicles
Monsoon Summer
Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies)
Princess Academy
Princess Ben
She's So Money
Vegan Virgin Valentine
Who's Your Daddy?
Zoe's Tale

And not one of those covers features a "cell-phone-carrying, bikini-clad princess," I assure you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What I've read lately

Top 8, by Katie Finn: Decent story, but I'm not so sure about the geography. I picked this one up because it's set in Putnam, Connecticut, which I've gone through many times visiting relatives near there. But Finn's Putnam is close enough to Long Island Sound that the characters can make a quick trip to the waterfront - not quite.

Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary, by Deanna Raybourn: Love 'em both. Great voice, fabulous characters, want to know what's next in the series. (In the meantime, I'll make my way through Tasha Alexander.)

What I Saw and How I Lied
, by Judy Blundell: I was looking forward to this one (okay, entirely because of the cover) but I couldn't convince myself to like any of the characters - disappointment. Liked the 1940s fashion, details, though.

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, by R.L. LaFevers: For those who are still too young for Peabody and Emerson. Fun read.

Lottery, by Patricia Wood: Why did I take so long to get to this one? It was amazing!

Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson: A different take on the "kid on the fringes of the Revolutionary War" narrative, and one that's hard to put down.

Climbing the Stairs, by Padma Venkatraman: Loved the story; try combining this one with What the Body Remembers (but brace yourself - I read it years ago and some of the scenes are still vivid).

Gamma Glamma, by Kim Flores: Fabulous voice. Would have gotten to this one a lot sooner if the ARC had come with any sort of synopsis (sorry, pet peeve).

Zoe's Tale, by John Scalzi: Definitely going to read his other books now. Love the voice, love the story, love the twist.

The Case of the Fiendish Flapjack Flop, by Nate Evans: Lots of cute puns. I'll be recommending it to all the kids who need something to tide them over until the next Wimpy Kid book comes out. (January - be patient!)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ridgefield Again

Grrr. I got caught up in setting up my new phone yesterday, and forgot to post more pictures. Again, I'm making up for it by posting a bunch today.

Ridgefield is a quintessential New England town, complete with Main Street
and Town Hall

and eighteenth-century buildings.Lots of churches, too. Naturally, there's a Congregational churchbut it looks like it was plucked from an English village, while the Methodist church
has the classic spire and location (which was the original Congregational church location, but at some point they moved down the street).

Oh, and fall is absolutely gorgeous here.Next up: blizzards, the highlight of any kid's winter. (Snow days!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This is Ridgefield

I'm late to the party, but I like Cynthia Lord's photo challenge. To make up for my late start, you get lots of Ridgefield pics today.

Winter, naturally. Just in case we ever need to prove that there are wetlands in back.

The second one is old, I'll admit - this space is now occupied by an Asian-fusion restaurant called Koo. At the time of the picture, it was a sports bar-ish place called Bully's, but that part of the sign was frequently missing. (It doesn't really show up in the thumbnail, but click the picture to see a full-size image.)

For the last one we go back to winter - specifically, the part of winter that overlapped with my cat-sitting duties. This is a neighbor's very cool drainpipe on a rather cold day.