Tag: minecraft

2014 Book #51: Authority

authorityAuthority is the second book in the Southern Reach Trilogy, to which I am hopelessly addicted. This one begins to fill in the mysteries surrounding Area X and the biologist’s experiences there that we read about in Annihilation. Which means that if you haven’t read Annihilation, you probably shouldn’t be reading this review.

So. Authority picks up where Annihilation left off. The biologist, the anthropologist, and the surveyor all somehow survived Area X, even though they appeared to be dead (and thought they were?) at the end of the first novel. The anthropologist and the surveyor have returned blank like their predecessors from the eleventh expedition, and the biologist seems to be in a similar state, but that’s not necessarily the case. We hear this story from Control, the new director of the Southern Reach, which oversees expeditions into Area X. Control’s real name is John, but, like the characters in the first novel, he dispenses with his name. We find out early that the psychologist in the twelfth expedition had been the director, but something happened, and no one knows where she is or even if she’s alive. Control begins the long process of unraveling the various mysteries surrounding Area X and the government’s involvement with it.

I didn’t like Authority as much as I liked Annihilation, but I’m not sure why that is. In the first novel, the lush, bizarre landscape added to the mystery and the general creepiness. For the most part, Authority is set in a governmental research building with political intrigue and such. It’s just not as appealing to the senses. Also, I listened to an audiobook version of this one, read by Bronson Pinchot. Pauses at strange places in the reading disconcerted me several times, though that could have had something to do with my listening at 1.5x speed.

That said, I have the final audiobook, Acceptance, queued up in my phone, ready to play once the puppy has recovered from her spay – which means I’ll start listening to it in a week. I’d probably enjoy the book more, except that I’ve told myself that as soon as I finish The Bone Clocks, I have to begin my Forced DeLillo Binge in preparation for my thesis defense so I have some idea of what I’m talking about. I’m not looking forward to that at all.

Speaking of Zelda, she has become quite the traveler:

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She has a car harness that attaches her to the seatbelt. On Saturday, we took her on a Field Trip to get her nails trimmed and to run various puppy-errands. Her first grooming experience was not a success.

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The groomer got one back paw’s nails trimmed, then gave up because she would be still, so when I dropped her off at the vet on Monday to be spayed, I asked them to trim them when she’s out. I assume that went more smoothly.

Without a puppy in the house, Palmer and I have had more time to adventure in Minecraft. We finally made it to the jungle!

We *finally* made it to the jungle!

It’s super-far away from the spawn point, so it took us a couple play sessions to get there. Palmer built an awesome treehouse, and I’m going exploring today after the puppy gets home and settled. Then, maybe we can find a cat!

2014 Book #44: Lotería

loteriaHere’s another book I decided to read because I like the cover. Sometimes that works out well. Lotería wasn’t one of those times. I probably would have continued to pass it over, as I’ve done for months, except that the audiobook was immediately available on Overdrive and only 3 hours long. It was mostly a waste of those three hours, though it kept me mildly curious about what was really going on.

Luz, a young girl, writes her story in a journal, each entry based on a lotería card. She mostly tells it backward, and we find out early that she’s in some sort of group home because something terrible happened to her family. Then we skip backward, hearing events leading up to this tragedy, stories about her alcoholic and abusive father, her sister, and the rest of her family.

It’s a short book and not all that interesting. I think reading it would have worked out better because of the (hopefully colorful) lotería cards spaced throughout.

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The ending was corny as happens with a lot of family dramas – which I why I rarely read them. Lotería is okay, at best. You might like it if you enjoy relatively mundane family dramas. Meh.

More interesting was the annual Centenary Book Bazaar, my favorite local event. Once a year, Centenary fills their Gold Dome with donated books and very low prices, and I brave the crowd to get some amazing deals on lightly used books.

Here’s what I found this year:

The Winner this year is that copy of The Gunslinger, which includes the original color illustrations. And I will read Infinite Jest.

In what is probably much less interesting news to you, Palmer and I continue to play Minecraft. Look what we found yesterday!

We found a DOUBLE LIBRARY! It's a combination double-stronghold/mine. SURRIOUSLY.

That is a double library, which means that two strongholds spawned together. We found it just before bedtime last night, so we’ll have to explore it tonight or tomorrow. So exciting!

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