Bloglines’ last round-up?

Encouraged by Debra of the deblog, I am moving my rss reader from Bloglines to Google Reader — Google Reader was poor when it first started (too many reasons to enumerate), but now seems to be much improved.

I’m therefore ruthlessly culling my "keep as new" Bloglines entries, and will just mention a very few of them here, before archiving Bloglines (keeping it as backup in case Google disappoints).

Debra, again, this time at book-blog, reviews Jesse Kellerman’s Trouble. I’m not reading the review until I’ve read the book, as from all accounts it is a good one.  Jesse Kellerman is the son of Jonathan (Alex Delaware) and Faye (Pete Decker), and this is his first published novel. The Kellerman parents have just produced their second inanimate joint offspring, in the form of the book Captial Crimes.

Still on crime, but of a different subgenre, Susan Balée reviewed Kate Atkinson’s "One Good Turn" in last Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. Thankfully, Susan likes the book. (I am grateful because it is on my Christmas list, long since burnt and sent up the chimney, so no chance of a recall.) In the same issue of the newspaper, Sarah Weinman reviewed "Seeking Whom he may Devour" by Fred Vargas, despite the name, a female author. As with the Kellerman book, I’m not reading this review yet as I plan to read some Vargas in the near future. 

Another new Harry Potter book has just come out, this one, by David Langford, called "The End of Harry Potter". Michele of Scholar’s Blog highly recommends it.  Michele writes that the book is a prize in the Guardian/Waterstone’s competition to guess the name of the last Harry Potter book (competition now closed; everyone is going to have to wait about 6 months to see who was right, I think). The competition page at the link doesn’t mention Langford’s book, though, it states that the prize is a signed J K Rowling bookplate. Incidentally, in another Potter-related post, Michele discusses a Guardian article about why Harry is going to die in the last book. She thinks the article is unconvincing and so do I (I also think it is plain daft), so I am not going to link to it.

Amy of Books, Words, and Writing, always an interesting blog, has some recommendations of gifts for readers. Very nice.

LabLit, the site for science in fiction/fiction in science, introduces a new weekly blogger, Frank Ryan. Frank is a "science thriller" author who is publishing and promoting his books "unconventionally" — he refuses to believe that science thrillers don’t sell. (Think Michael Crichton.)

If you’re a widgety type of person, check out this highly pictorial post by Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion: 30 things you can do with widgets. There are now tens of thousands of these little bits of code around and about the web, so check out Steve’s post if you want to add a bit of seasonal cheer to your blog.

I’ll leave you, and possibly Bloglines, with a part of the 1828 definition of an animal from Webster’s Daily: "An organized body, endowed with life and the power of voluntary motion; a living, sensitive, locomotive body; as, man is an intelligent animal. Animals are essentially distinguished from plants by the property of sensation."  I can’t resist sneaking in a sea-dragon: "A marine monster caught in England in 1749, resembling in some degree an alligator, but having two large fins which served for swimming or flying. It had two legs terminating in hoofs, like those of an ass. Its body was covered with impenetrable scales, and it had five rows of teeth."

A poetic mystery

This is strange. Someone called Billy the Blogging Poet has just written a post (a perfectly above-board and rather sweet post about a poet he has discovered) in which he writes at the end:

"This post was made possible with support from Maxine [link to Petrona] and readers like you."

This is most odd, as I’ve never "supported" Billy the Blogging Poet, or even heard of him, unless my memory is even worse than I already know it is.

Anyone have any idea as to what is going on here? Naturally, I have put a correction into B the BP’s comments.

Full score for Lord of the Rings

I’m delighted to read that Howard Shore, who composed what must be the most magnificent film score ever — the Lord of the Rings trilogy — is still working on it, according to an article in the Seattle Times. I listen over and over again to the three CDs of these films. One or two tracks in the total are "filler" for Sauron’s various dastardly plans, but the vast majority are creative, musically ambitious and filled with emotion.

Shore has produced a Lord of the Rings symphony from the music in the three soundtracks, which has been performed publicly (sadly, I’ve not been able to get a ticket for the times it has come to London, but as the piece is so short at just over 2 hours in total, I doubt I’d really get into it, given how well I know the music).

Our copy of the extended edition of the "Return of the King" came with a free DVD called something like "The Making of the LOTR Symphony", but watching that was a frustrating experience, as Shore did not or could not illuminate the creative processes in the brief featured interviews, and only excerpts from the symphony were played, not the whole thing.

Since the films were released, Shore has been gradually making more complete recordings of each — the first two are already available and the final part, "The Return of the King", is nearly complete.  The result will be a ten-hour assembled score. What an experience that will be, to listen to that from start to finish.

Inevitably, there will be a book to coincide with completion of the project, due for publication next year. But this isn’t likely to be the usual superficial celebrity production. Shore is as involved with Tolkien as were any of the artists who worked on these films,  such as Alan Lee and John Howe, and it has taken Shore six years from his first recording sessions to reach this point.  Hardly a "get rich quick" attitude. The sleeve notes to the version of the music I have (the set of one CD per movie) are a tantalising glimpse of what Shore could say on the topic, should he feel inclined to do so.

Details of the "complete recordings" are available at this link. Each film has 3 CDs of music and 1 audio-CD of the score, also available as a PDF download from the same link.

Owl (sans pussycat) in a pea-green cornet

My recent post "Ten tasty things" (courtesy Brian Sibley) generated a lot of mouthwatering suggestions in the comments. Part of that conversation involved peas. I am now delighted to report that a recipe for green pea ice cream is available on Librarian’s Place. You can even see a picture of it by clicking through from there to the original recipe.

If you visit Librarian’s Place, please do scroll around a bit. It is indeed a cornucopia, courtesy of an OWL (an omnipresent Wisconsin librarian).