Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Vacation III

My little vacation is next weekend and I'm starting to assemble my media for the solo event. It's four days in Monterrey with books, movies on my laptop, and an ocean view room. I'm sure I'll get out and do things, but I'm mostly looking forward to the fireplace and the books.

Phoenicians. I recently ordered two books from Amazon affiliates on Phoenicia. I tried my local bookstore, but they seemed obsessed with Egypt with nothing on Phoenicians. Phoenicia is the default human culture for my D&D 4 campaign and I know little about them. In fact, academics know little as well and they beat each other senseless criticizing each others scholarship. Fun to watch, but hard to feel like you're learning anything. The first book is called: Phoenicians: Lebanon's Epic Heritage, supposedly a book with astonishingly good flavor but without a lot of academic rigor. Ignoring the fact that your subjects sacrificed children because you like them is not good academic work. In other words, perfect for D&D, but don't expect to use it in your Middle-Eastern history class. The second book is to round out the first, Phoenicians (Peoples of the Past) is by the curator of the Cincinatti Art Museum and is more a mainstream overview.

Dresdened Out. I finished all the Dresden Files novels and am now reading his fantasy books, which I don't care for really. Similar books that I'm bringing along include Something from the Nightside, and some so-called vampire porn: A Kiss of Shadows, by Laurell Hamilton. I'm not interested in the whole furry, vampire porn thing, but I figured I would read one book to check it out.

The Economist. Boring but my steady news source. One issue could last a day of reading. Read the Economist for a while and go back to regular news and you'll be appalled at what passes for journalism. No wonder people are frightened about the economy after seeing horribly speculative articles on and in Harpers.

Classics. I've been thinking of starting one of those classic book series. These are the ones where they have a hundred or so books that every educated man was supposed to have read a couple hundred years ago. In the case of this trip, the first book should be enough. I just haven't chosen the series yet. I'll be sure to bring a companion dictionary.

Business Books. I'm considering bringing retail books that I haven't read since opening, as a kind of comparison, but I want to avoid this being a retreat instead of a vacation. I've done retreats before and they're great for building ideas and getting away. This is not a retreat.

Movies. I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel with my Netflix account. Battlestar Gallactica season 3 is queued up but won't be out until the 18th. Since I'm by myself, I can go with some of the movies that I don't want to watch with a two year old around. Think Tarrantino.


  1. Self-Appointed Hamilton Fanboy says: Kiss of Shadows is actually her Faerie porn line, chock full of Sidhe sex and magic and a little tentacle porn, but includes no vampires or werewolves. For that you want her Anita Blake series, and the first few of that set is pretty tame, if you want to jump to the mattress-shredding vampire and werewolf sex, pick up Lunatic Cafe and Blue Moon

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  3. Classics Sudgestion: The Spenser Novles by Robert B. Parker.
    Hardboiled detective novel at it's finest.

  4. Prepare to talk about retail store marketing, gaming, and raising kids.

  5. I'm sure I've got plenty of controversial opinions on all three.

  6. Michael,

    I never thought I liked mysteries until Dresden Files. I don't automatically ignore the idea of mysteries now, but I'm probably looking for something different.


    Yes, just got to the first faerie sex scene. Not my thing, but I understand the appeal.

  7. I started to read all the Pulitzer prize winning novels. Got through "His Family" and "The Magnificent Ambersons", and stalled on "The Age of Innocence". While reading the first two turned out to be rewarding in the end, it still felt like school to me.

    On the other hand, when I am reading a Sue Grafton novel or whatever mystery series I am currently reading, I tend to not be able to put it down. That's why I read.

    Reading Storm Front right now. It's ok, but not great, at least so far. So many of the "detective" novel tropes are jumping out and hitting me in the face, I am too aware of them and can't just get into the story. And I am a fan of fantasy and SF, but not horror, and this novel - probably due to its subject matter - seems to skirt more on the horror side of things.

    You know, there are still things called "video stores" where you can go in and actually get a video *right now*...

    And Monterey CA is stilled spelled with only one "r".