Books I've read in the past two weeks, mostly in the past week: Jennifer Fallon's Medalon (high fantasy, has a dash of humor but is a basically serious story, first in trilogy and the rest are out, I like it a loooot), Trudy Canavan's Priestess of the White (high fantasy, first in trilogy and the next one comes out in May, I liked this one at least as much as Medalon, maybe a bit more), Anchee Min's Empress Orchid (historical fiction based on fact, and really, I found it to be more uneasy than pleasant reading and often skipped sections), and David Kline and Dan Burstein's blog! (which I am still reading and is interesting).
Yes, I've been burying myself in books. Self-care, right? Goodness knows I've needed that this week! Now, to catch up because I have not been reading stuff online as much...yargh. First, a spattering of memes, then I'm off to catch up with all of you! Oh, that and I'm going to try adding tags, though they'll link to technorati since Blogger doesn't support them natively. So I'll try to make them look as little like links as possible.... Not in this post, though. In a day or two.
List Friday: List the reasons you love to live where you live.
- The Japanese Garden! It's not in my backyard (alas - that would be a lovely back yard - hehe), but it's close enough that I can go after work in the summer (in the winter it closes too early) or on a weekend - on a whim. (If I'm not on call, at least....) And it's gorgeous. And soothing when not full of chattery people. (And I'm learning to stay calm and soothed even if it is full of chattery people - sometimes.)
- Our lovely library system. Every book I mentioned above except Priestess of the White came from that library system. As have a number of other, less-worthy-of-mention books. The other two main metro counties also have wonderful library systems.
- Powell's! Gotta list the book addict's dream place, after all. (I link to the info for the Burnside store because it's the biggest, neatest one. I actually usually go to Beaverton - sometimes I go to Burnside, sometimes I call and have the books I want transferred to wait for me at Beaverton....)
- So much green and nature and beauty and joy. The Columbia River Gorge, for example. Where I mostly love the waterfalls and the water.
- Two hours to the ocean.
- My family is here - not just my husband, but my parents, my husband's aunt and uncle...not all our family certainly, but enough that we are blessed with being able to see our relatives regularly.
- The social climate in the Portland area is very liberal in general - which matches well to my sensibilities on those issues. (The whole state isn't, but...can't have everything.)
- The weather. Probably 80-90% of the time, the weather here is something I like. (I like rain, yes.) I don't care for lots of weather-type heat because I can't go out as freely (I get ill from heat easily), but we don't have weather that hot that often.
- The ocean. It's two hours away, but that's still close enough for a day trip if you don't mind a lot of driving. We don't take advantage of that often, but it is nice that we can if we want to.
- The variety of places to shop that are available to me - I don't think I'd enjoy living in a small town with few shops any more (I kind of did, in college).
Ah, chocolate. Sweet, sweet chocolate. The candy bars so common on American shelves are nice - but so full of fat, and I need to avoid that. But certain cookies, certain chocolates, are much lower in fat and so very yummy. I'm not a chocolate addict, but I do love a good chocolate - the rich taste - as a child I was much fonder of chocolate candy than I am now but I still like it. Now, give me a good maple sugar candy, that's a whole other matter...that I can't resist....
I've ordered some imps ears (samples) from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. I haven't ordered Bliss or Vice (both chocolate scents) yet, but I think I probably will be trying them out. The perfumes at that site sound just wonderful - I only hope that I can actually use even a fraction of the ones I'm interested in without setting my allergies off, and that the fraction I can use overlaps with what smells good on me.... (I can always move to a scent locket if it just upsets my skin, but not if it triggers my allergies just to smell it, obviously.)