September 14, 2005

Emily Post Has Nothing on Me

Okay, back and refreshed from the one-day pity party, starring me! Woo!

A few doo-dads I've been meaning to mention:

This is for those of you planning weddings. Two words: Reply card. Failing that, email address or phone number. See, sending out just the invitation with the words "reception to follow," but no indication of when or where or how you're supposed to convey your intentions concerning attendance to your hosts is, well, stupid. Because then your guests will scramble around to email you that they're coming, and will show up expecting the reception to be at the church because no alternate place was announced, and then they'll panic when they realize that the reception is being held elsewhere and they have no idea how they're supposed to get there because no one bothered to tell them ANYTHING beyond the fact that there was, indeed, going to be a wedding, but fortunately one of their other out-of-town buddies had been to that place once before and so they'll form a caravan and make it there and THEN have to wait 45 minutes to eat a meatball because no one knows what the bride wanted, then they still have to drive an hour home. Then they'll write mean things about your wedding on their blogs and really, you probably have enough on your plate without having to worry about stuff like that.

So two words: reply card. Or Emily Post. You pick.

Watched Supernatural last night, and think it has potential. Although on a related TV-viewing note: The Hell, WB? Putting Veronica Mars up against Lost? Are you TRYING to make my head explode? Arg.

And finally, I have some certificates burning holes in my pockets. Read any good books lately? I'll read anything from Terry Pratchett to straight history.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at September 14, 2005 11:00 AM

"And finally, I have some certificates burning holes in my pockets. Read any good books lately? I'll read anything from Terry Pratchett to straight history."

You do know that Pterry's new book came out yesterday? I haven't read it yet, myself (am going to B&N in an hour), but there you go. It's called Thud! and it's a Watch book. The corresponding kid's book is supposed to come out in November, I think. (If you don't want to "pay" hardcover prices, I think this means that the last book should be in softcover by now.)

Posted by: tabstop at September 14, 2005 11:24 AM

If you haven't read it yet, Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time is wonderful.

Posted by: Joshua at September 14, 2005 12:49 PM

Just finished Frederick Forsyth's Avenger. My husband and I enjoyed it.

And I'm sure you've visited and the stories about the bridezillas.

Posted by: Laura at September 14, 2005 01:55 PM

Battle Angel Alita 1-8.
Battle Angel Alita, Last Order: 1-5

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at September 14, 2005 02:15 PM

Funny you should ask this question just now. Last week I took a "day off" and blogged on my current list of 5 desert isle books:

Of course none of these are new, but ...

Posted by: St. Caffeine at September 14, 2005 02:24 PM

Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys will be out soon, and it's very good. I've also read and enjoyed Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books -- they're actually funny, as opposed to just mildly amusing, IMHO.

Posted by: Nikki at September 14, 2005 03:18 PM

The Oxford Latin Dictionary and _A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language_ Quirk Greenbaum Leech and Svartvik would by my suggestions, the one for surprise etymologies and the other for disabuse of the notion that you can spell out the actual grammar of English.

Those sentences you diagrammed were set-ups.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at September 14, 2005 03:58 PM

Last Chance to See - Douglas Adams

Posted by: Jenno at September 14, 2005 04:16 PM

BAW, if you don't already have it, The Florence King Reader. Trust me on this one.

And if you like mysteries at all, and haven't read any Elizabeth George, do.

(Hmmm . . . italics tags disappering here. Was it ever thus?)

Posted by: Michelle Dulak Thomson at September 14, 2005 05:55 PM

1776 by David McCullough (sp) is on my hublet's reading table.

I'm trudging through Middlemarch, at long last.

Posted by: Belle at September 14, 2005 09:56 PM

Ooh, Middlemarch. I always feel like I've returned from a long trip when I finish that. (I feel that way after I've read Ethan Frome, too, although it's very short.)

Posted by: Laura at September 15, 2005 08:19 AM

Books! I love books!

I capture the castle, by Dodie Smith
Possession, by A. S. Byatt
Love Letters, by Madeleine L'engle

I already own the last two, but I love 'em so much I'd like to buy them again.

Now I want to go read Middlemarch again.

Posted by: Jordana at September 15, 2005 09:20 AM

Oh, and The other Boleyn girl, by Phillipa Gregory, is fun and a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Posted by: Jordana at September 15, 2005 09:21 AM

I'm so glad everyone is on the "Middlemarch" bandwagon! It is really great fun so far ( 370 odd pages in, that is ).

BAW is a Phillipa Gregory fan as am I. I have yet to read (say with sultry voice) "THE VIRGIN'S LOVAHHHH", but I want to get to it soon. "The Queen's Fool" was wicked fun, too.

Posted by: Belle at September 15, 2005 02:30 PM

Oops, except it is "Philippa" with two p's. Well, we Americans must be forgiven that slip.

Posted by: Belle at September 15, 2005 02:31 PM

lots of good book advice (Middlemarch! Yes!) but I'm going to comment on the wedding thing:

I make it a practice not to attend weddings where I'm not given "full disclosure" in the invitation. I send a gift (I'm not that much of a curmudgeon), but I don't go. I don't like not knowing what's going on with receptions or locations or even style-of-dress (some weddings are more formal than others, and sometimes no clues are given). I don't want to go to a strange town just to find that I need to drive to some place after the wedding, because invariably I get a local giving me directions and they say things like "It's three miles past the place where the Hotchkiss family used to live" or "It's by the Big Old Treehouse Tree."

Instead, I find some excuse (these days, "work" seems to be a good all-purpose one) and say I can't attend but send some kind of gift. Besides, most of the receptions I've been to have food not unlike academic-meeting banquets (rubber chicken, those odd little hard baby carrots, undercooked broccoli, Minute Rice, and a stale roll).

Posted by: ricki at September 15, 2005 04:14 PM

I'll throw in my recommendations:
Lawrence Sterne's Tristram Shandy
John Rutherford's new translation of Cervantes' Don Quixote
(the above two could still be called postmodern novels even though they were written centuries ago)
Michael W. Kauffmann's American Brutus (the story of John Wilkes Booth)

There, that's a pretty good range.

Posted by: Mark Rose at September 16, 2005 02:51 AM

I really enjoyed The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It was one of those books that I only read because my book club told me to, and by the time I finished it, I was telling every woman I saw that they needed to read it too.

Posted by: Gretchen at September 19, 2005 03:55 PM

Ooh! Also Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides was fascinating! That was one that I picked for book club and almost no one read because it was so long, so I waould love to hear from someone else that has read it.

Posted by: Gretchen at September 19, 2005 03:59 PM