Friday, November 29, 2013

Panic and More Audiobooks in the Studio

Sometime this week it occurred to me that my sabbatical is almost over. It came as something of a surprise how little time is left. Somehow I hadn't been entirely aware of all the holidays and days off from school that happen in November and December. Since my moment of awareness, I have been spending my nights panicking about how I am going to get all my work done this year. I start my evening panic after an hour or two of glazing in the studio after my daughter's bedtime. Then I wake up in the morning to glaze before I wake her up.

Realistically I have been working as many hours a day as I would teaching. I have made a lot of work and done tests and built pieces and planned and written about my process. Unfortunately I am still worried about getting all the work done in time to be ready for my show in January. Ironically, I originally wrote my sabbatical proposal for two quarters and I would certainly be ahead of schedule if I had another three months to work.

As my brother points out, I always panic near the end of a project or work time, so it may all work out. On this Thanksgiving weekend, I am thankful for my mother-in-law cooking the turkey and her and the rest of the family playing with my daughter so that I can glaze during the day.

And, because I started this with my last post, I bring you some more short audiobook reviews:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
The fourth book is not my favorite of the set, but the screwts are pretty cute.

Rabid by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy
Yes, I listened to a book about rabies. What of it? It was actually an interesting book about the history of rabies in science and its cultural influences. After reading it, though, I was abnormally afraid that bats would fly into the house. I wanted to make sure my family would tell the doctors about the Milwaukee Protocol for treating rabies.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I chose this because its a classic, but I wasn't overawed by it. Classics seem to be like that, sometimes I'm amazed everyone isn't reading it (Middlemarch was great) and sometimes I don't see the appeal. Of course I'm not a big fan of monster movies and stories in general.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
A fellow artist recommended this and he was right. The book is dense and long and very well done. It actually made me feel better about modern politics. These old guys were jerks.

The Long War by Terry Pratchett
I read everything I can of Terry Pratchett's. The Discworld books are my favorites, but his other stuff has been quite good. The Long War is actually the second book in a series, but I preferred it to the first, The Long Earth. The Long War seemed to have more action. Or maybe I listened in a better mood.

Visiting Tom by Michael Perry
I also read everything I can by Michael Perry. He's from small-town Wisconsin and his writing is detailed, funny, sad and always interesting. I was roaring out loud at his description of trying to not get a change made in the end of his street. He perfectly captures stupid bureaucracy.

The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer
Heyer books aren't exactly memorable. Probably something silly happened and some people got married at the end. It was nice to listen to, but hardly sticky.

Machine Man by Max Barry
I think I read this because I enjoyed the first Max Barry I read, Lexicon. This one started out kinda funny and would have made a good short story, but by the end I was annoyed because the main character wasn't appealing. The plot revolved around a man designing and incorporating more and more prosthetic parts into his own body. I picked it because of the connection with the mechanical parts in my sculptures.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
I just didn't enjoy this. There was nothing wrong with the story, I guess, but I found the main character whiny and weak. Terrible things happened to her but she just kinda let them. I guess it was important to the story or something. I didn't care by the end.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
This was amazing. Wow. The book examines the migration of African Americans from the south, plantations, and Jim Crow laws to the north and west. (One of the locations mentioned a few times is Beloit, Wisconsin where my family lived when I was little.) The book is so well written. The history is compelling on its own, but the writing is particularly good. The author focuses on three people's stories. She interweaves the three main stories and fills them in with quotes, anecdotes and statistics from a whole range of other interviews, published works and studies. This was perhaps the best book I read all summer.

The Murder of the Century by Paul Collins
This was supposed to be about this murder and how it was covered by and influenced journalism at the turn of the last century. It did this in the most boring and gruesome way possible. Don't read it.

Redshirts by John Scalzi
I stumbled upon this book with no expectations. I just loved the idea of the story. It's not too hard to anticipate what is going on in their spaceship, but I enjoyed listening to the characters figure it out and then deal with it. Unfortunately, Scalzi can't write dialogue. Every quote is followed by "said _______". It gets very repetitive.

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
The story was kinda interesting and the setting was completely new to me. Overall it was ok.

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
See The Convenient Marriage above.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I didn't want to read this because it sounded sad, but reviews all seem to love it. And once you read it you will also understand why this book is so good and why it is not a "cancer book." Also, you should really read it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me what you think about my work or this post