Space Stuff Comping Up! (Reading List and Poetry)

I spent autumn getting back into my beloved science fiction and space in general.

Books I started reading:

  • The Tower and the Hive (series, sequel to the Talents trilogy) – finished two of five volumes. The Talents-universe Anne McCaffrey created just speaks to me with its unique atmosphere, slow and steady but still energetic pace, nostalgic feel, and threads of hard fiction (e.g. thorough description of life in domes on a Jupiter moon) among the crazy.
  • Spacefaring: The Human Dimension by Colin Phillinger; read the first few pages. Lovely blend of space exploration and psychology, as far as I can see. Not an easy read for tired evenings, but maybe for the upcoming holidays.
  • Cosmos, paperback version of Carl Sagan’s classic. Currently in my backpack, but as with the book above it needs some time and quiet to be truly appreciated. Hard to read on the train, but his wonderful command of metaphors and the like makes it worth the slow read an contemplation. When I find a seat in the mornings I try to read a few paragraphs to set the mood for the day.

I haven’t started Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophsics for People in a Hurry yet, but I’m looking forward to it as I thoroughly enjoy his (and his colleagues’) insights on Star Talk Radio.

My wishlist for Christmas contains mainly books, from Earth in Human Hands to Broca’s Brain.

Reading inspires me to write. I finished creating a series of haiku-styled factoids about our solar system which I’ll post as soon as I’ve decided whether to post them separately or in one big post. Apart from this I started collecting bits and pieces of thoughts on my reading material. I’ve been toying with some bigger ideas for a few months but they are not solid enough yet, though I might post fragments on their own.



Kickstarter for Publishing Poetry?

I’ve been thinking about realising my dream of publishing some of my poetry (especially the haikus/rengas) in some form. What do you think about using kickstarter or some similar way of funding for this purpose?
Anybody interested in an illustrated book with my poems? (Or poems combined with photographs?)

Edit: Somehow I got the feeling that this post is attracting commercial bloggers because of certain keywords. If you are interested in MY stuff and supporting it (and not in getting views/likes on your business), please leave a short comment or send me a note via the contact form.

October book haul


I’ve been buying too many books again lately. This month’s haul included:

– the Divergent trilogy

Count Zero

Capoeira 100

The Student Phrase Book

So many books – how did I end up buying six books in one month?! Let’s see …

After watching the Divergent movie I wanted to know more about the dystopian future and the characters, so I got myself a box set (the box itself is sort of broken already and I don’t know why, maybe I kicked it against some piece of furniture by accident). So far I’ve made it through Insurgent (I had listened to Divergent as an audiobook before) and the first quarter or so of Allegiant. Nice read, but at the moment I’m pausing because I have trouble concentrating again and it’s hard enough to get things done for university and youth group. I just can’t get myself to sit down and read something for one hour straight right now. It was a good bargain, but still a little on the expensive side considering my budget right now; so no new books for me next month.

Count Zero is the sequel to Neuromancer (the beginning of true cyberpunk), which I read a while back and which left me with some questions. Like, who is Molly really? (Apart from being an awesome street samurai, of course.) Used copy I got for cheap, just like the first volume. I have no idea when I’m going to read this, but I finished the first volume mostly on train rides; and as the book is pretty small as well I’ll just throw it into my backpack when I’m done with Allegiant.

Capoeira 100 … uh, I saw this on the internet by chance, read a few pages on Google Books, and decided it was a cool guide to all kinds of moves and their applications. And it has lots of helpful pictures (the artist in me says “hello drawing references”). Originally I intended to put it on my Christmas wishlist, but then I saw that a slightly used copy was available in my country on Ebay. So instead of making my parents struggle with international sellers I jumped in and bought that copy. Buying used is always good.

The Student Phrase Book was introduced to me by a friend at university. She lent it to me for a week and I really liked how it explained the correct use of typical academic vocabulary and phrasing. This will come in handy both for university (I’m working on a presentation right now) and blogging. In my opinion it’s slightly overpriced for the small amount of content, but I guess it’s an investment for many years.


What’s new in your bookshelf?

Keep calm and play capoeira. And buy books.

( … you can even go and vote for their poster! I’d love to get this one to decorate one of our doors.)

I just wanted to tell you I ordered a new book yesterday; and as you might guess it’s capoeira related. The book is called “Capoeira 100” and is a pretty detailed guide to 100 movements, including good photographs, pointers, and ideas for including them in the game/sequences. When it has arrived I’ll tell you more!



Musings on Divergent

*May contain spoilers and random fangirling*

So I guess everyone and their dog have watched and/or read “Divergent” by now. Well, okay, most people where I live haven’t, shame on them and blame on the movie guys who decided on really weird “translations” for the movie title and the faction names and the word divergent itself. No, guys, just no – divergent doesn’t mean anything like ‘undetermined’. Go check your dictionary. Arrgh.

I missed the movie when it played so I waited for the DVD release. And what can I say, it was well worth the wait, I really enjoyed watching it a) in the original English version, and b) at home at night with Darling instead of a crowd of random people. We watched the movie. And then the movie with the audio comment. And then at least part of it with the other audio comment. Last week I started listening to the first book online, while browsing jewellery and clothing and stuff. Today I finished it and ordered a box set of all three novels as paperbacks. And I’ll start listening to “Insurgent” right now.

It’s a quite rare thing for me to get weird dreams from movies or TV shows – so far the Stargate: SG1 universe has been the one with the most frequent cameos in my dreamscape. After watching Divergent my brain needed several nights to sort all the images and ideas and awesomeness, resulting in dreams full of hazy pictures and blurry colours. Maybe it was because there are few characters and situations on screen I can relate to in a really intense way or which make me emotional. I have cried on maybe five to ten occasions because of something in a movie, and twice it was Twilight related; which had been totally unexpected and still confuses me. Come on, me crying while/after watching the Twilight movies, really? WTF?

Whatever. So, Divergent didn’t make me cry, but it stirred something inside me. Like Tris I come from a rather conservative background where I was expected to be helpful and friendly towards everyone. I still partly live in this subculture, not really fitting in as I struggle with the idea of helping people who disgust me, of forgiving easily, of being friendly when I want to slap my opponent hard across the face because they seem to be dumber than I can take. A subculture that would be shocked if they knew all the aggression I work hard to channel into more constructive paths. Paths like martial arts and writing and drawing fake tattoos on my hands with eye liner. I’m torn between safety and escaping boredom, between ethics and the fine line to false sweetness easily crossed. I’m intelligent and love learning, but it can’t be my one and all. I want to be so much more. I want to run down stairs in wildness, I want to be noticed in a positive way, I want camaraderie like the Dauntless have and like I see it among capoeiristas sometimes. Just like Tris I’m not exceptionally pretty nor strong, just like her I want to be stronger and able to take care of myself.

Watch me joining the Dauntless bandwagon, wohooo ^^

wishlist: books

Some books I’d like to own and either plan to buy for myself or have put on my birthday/Christmas wishlist already.

  • Seven Days That Divide The World” by John C. Lennox. I’ve already read one of his other books, “God’s Undertaker”, and was pretty impressed by the depth of his arguments. Not always the best exegesis but a lot of science.
  • Basic Linguistic Theory” by R.M.V. Dixon. I’m pursuing an academic career, enough said.
  • ESV Study Bible” (or something very similar) – I like their layout and the really well researched notes. More notes than original text on most pages? Check. So much better than all the odds and ends collecting dust in our small private theological library.
  • The Firefly Liberation” by Megan Madgwick (now M. Ramirez). Her collection of poems and short prose is not available as a book on demand anymore, but I won’t give up hope to find someone who knows someone willing to sell their used copy. If anyone out there is able to help me with that, you’d make me really happy.
  • Update: I’d like to add “Salt & Storm” by Kendall Kulper to my wishlist. YA literature. I’ve read a few sample pages by chance because they had a free booklet at the book store, and I really want to read the rest of the story. The book will appear in the last week of September.

One book I finally ordered yesterday is a used copy of “Dead Poets Society”, as I think the book might see a rise in interest in the near future and I preferred to get myself a copy while still cheap. I had watched the movie many years ago at school, and when I read Thoreau’s “Walden” last year I recognised the famous lines that had been quoted in the movie, recognised them after all these years, so I planned to read the book someday. Oh captain, my captain.