Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The SHÄDY ÄCRES Literary Supplement for the Review of Books

When I gave away my secret recipe last week, I promised you that sound career advice and useful tips on home improvement were to come. Well, since the last couple of entries fully explain your position in the class system, that one’s sorted. The home improvement thing is harder to get around. I’ve given it a lot of thought. Bookshelves count as furniture, right? There you go.

The top ten worst books in my bookshelf:
Ursula Johansson: Wheat and Vegetables – A Collection of Vegetarian Recipes from Here and There
This, as you might have guessed, is an anthroposophist cookbook. How do you turn colorful, succulent vegetables into gray, tasteless paste? You boil them, dummy!

Bjørn Mjaaland: Investigating II
This is an actual detective manual from the Finnmärscker Police Academy. Don’t ask me how I got hold of it, but it’s scary stuff. To read it is to lose all faith in institutionalized justice once and for all, it’s that stupid. Apparently, marihuana smells like mosquito spirals and homosexuals are usually murdered to conceal a theft. If they can get away with teaching this crap in criminology class, we’re all fucked.

Vidkun Quisling: Russia and We
First published in 1930, this is the only major work from the hand of the man who gave treason a bad name. It’s all about how revolution is a horrible idea when it’s done in the name of equality, but somehow a really healthy one if it’s done in the name of race. This would have been all well and good if it didn’t make for such mind-numbingly dull reading. If you want to be a fascist usurper, that’s fine. At least have the common decency to be charismatic.

John Gribbon: In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat – Quantum Physics and Reality
Niels Bohr once said that anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. This is the book that will help you avoid that shock altogether. From the prologue (provocatively titled Nothing is Real) right through to the anticlimactic culmination, it is utterly incomprehensible. Complete with impossible-to-understand graphs and illustrations.

James Joyce: The Dead
This is a short story in paperback. On the cover it has an eerie picture of Joyce staring into space. Five or six years ago I found this little book sitting in an envelope in my mailbox, out of the blue, no return address. To this day I don’t know who sent it, and I probably never will. Was it meant as a threat? An offering from a secret admiress? A prank? A curse? Whatever it was, it didn’t work. The title may be spooky, but the story is, well, kinda lame.

Siri Hustvedt: The Enchantment of Lily Dahl
As boring as Paul Auster’s poetry, which says a lot.

Jay Gluck: Zen Combat – The Ancient Samurai Warriors’ Key to Body and Mind Control
Make every finger a dagger, every fist a mace! What secret power hidden within the Japanese martial arts gives a frail, 85-year-old man the strength to butcher a full-grown bull - barehanded? You need this book to find out. It’s not just another how-to book, but a practical guide that builds your mental and physical state to a point of optimum… Wait a minute. Gluck – isn’t that a Jewish name?

Pauline Réage: The Story of O
So a woman wrote this. Who would have guessed? Well, maybe the endless, painstakingly detailed descriptions of the characters’ elaborate outfits are a tip-off. This sizzling tale of forbidden desire also contains meticulous depictions of architecture and gardening on the outskirts of Paris. Gardening, as it turns out, is crucial to achieve complete sexual submission in a woman. Classic erotica, my ass.

Robert Anton Wilson: The Illuminati Papers
I can’t begin to explain just how bored I am with that merry old trickster and his jumbled pseudo-philosophy. I don’t even know where this book came from, or why I keep moving it with me from place to place. I get an instant headache just leafing through it. What’s this synchronicity thing he goes on and on about? The article about quantum physics is just plain crazy. Oh, look, there’s that same picture of James Joyce. Odd.

Ernest Hemingway: Fiesta (Il sole sorgerà ancora)
My main grievance with this one is that it’s in Italian, a language I don’t understand. It just sits there on the shelf, mocking me as I walk by. You can’t read me, it seems to whisper. Of course I can’t be sure since it’s whispering in Italian.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a deep breeth and look at the bright side all your books can´t be crap?!

2:41 pm  
Anonymous the evil eye said...

A solution to the Hemingway problem: How about returning it to its rightful owner -- in casu me?

2:54 pm  
Blogger Gaute said...

Actually, the first time I felt the smell of marijuana, I remember likening it to the smell of mosquito spirals.

I'm not sure how the comparison holds up, though - whoever uses mosquito spirals anymore?

4:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pest control in the perennial garden
If you have any good tips please post trhem on my blog

One of the many advantages of growing perennials is the ability of these beautiful flowers to return to full bloom season after season. While this ability to bloom repeatedly is one of the things that makes perennials so special, it also introduces a number of important factors into your gardening plan. One of the most important of these is a proper pest control regimen.

While a garden full of annuals starts each season as a blank slate, the perennial garden is essentially a work in progress. The fact that the plants stay in the ground through winter makes things like proper pruning, disease management and pest control very important. If the garden bed is not prepared properly after the current growing season, chances are the quality of the blooms will suffer when the next season rolls around.

One of the most important factors to a successful perennial pest control regimen is the attention and vigilance of the gardener. As the gardener, you are in the best position to notice any changes in the garden, such as spots on the leaves, holes in the leaves, or damage to the stems. Any one of these could indicate a problem such as pest infestation or a disease outbreak.

It is important to nip any such problem in the bud, since a disease outbreak or pest infestation can easily spread to take over an entire garden. Fortunately for the gardener, there are a number of effective methods for controlling both common pests and frequently seen plant diseases.

Some of these methods are chemical in nature, such as insecticides and fungicides, while others are more natural, like using beneficial insects to control harmful ones. While both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, many gardeners prefer to try the natural approach first, both for the health of the garden and the environment.

There is an additional benefit of the natural approach that many gardeners are unaware of. These days, it is very popular to combine a koi pond with a garden, for a soothing, relaxing environment. If you do plan to incorporate some type of fish pond into your garden landscape, it is critical to avoid using any type of insecticide or fungicide near the pond, since it could seep into the water and poison the fish. Fish are extremely sensitive to chemicals in the environment, especially with a closed environment like a pond.

As with any health issue, for people or plants, prevention is the best strategy to disease control and pest control alike. The best defense for the gardener is to grow a garden full of the healthiest, most vigorous plants possible. Whenever possible, varieties of plants bred to be disease or pest resistant should be used. There are a number of perennials that, through selective breeding, are quite resistant to the most common plant diseases, so it is a good idea to seek them out.

Happy gardening,

9:52 pm  
Blogger surly fag said...

i read fiesta for an english paper years ago... the whole story hinges on the fact that the main character has been castrated.. but this is revealed through hints so subtle i completely missed that whole major plot line and made a fool of myself in tutorial. anyway, i don't think i'm a fan of hemingway and his obsession with male potency.

i read the story of o recently. i thought it was a big hoax and written by a man. i enjoyed reading it all the same.. just for the filth of it.

p.s. hi and i hope baby does well.

12:32 am  

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