More backlog

And I’d read some books I’d already forgotten about…

Het Meisje in het Blauw, P.G. Wodehouse. My father has a small number of Wodehouse novels, all translated into Dutch, and I had never seen this one, not even heard of it. I read it while sitting with my mother, and it was a better read than The Diamond Age, being classic Wodehouse, with an enormous amount of complications and wheels-within-wheels. I’m going to have to have the English original real soon.

Project JXTA v2.0: Java Programmer’s Guide. An anonymous work, once available for download from Project JXTA which no longer seems to exist. It purports to deal with Version 2 of JXTA, but reads like an update version of a book written for some beta release, and in general is big on concepts and shallow on practical value.

Hardcore Java, Robert Simmons Jr.. Not as good a book as I had hoped. The author does a good job in the sense that I feel that I’ve learned some things about Java that I didn’t know, he isn’t too excruciatingly funny, as O’Reilly books are liable to be, but whenever he shows off his ‘real-world’ experience as a consultant, or when he tells his readers that a particular feature is only useful to impress your juniors with, he makes me cringe. If the level of this book matches the intended audience, then the average advanced Java developer is much less competent than I thought.

Whose Body, Dorothy L. Sayers.. A perennial favorite: it’s clear that it’s Dorothy L. Sayers first novel, but that particular scene where the young  medical student is invited to Lord Peter’s library has everything going for it.

Tam Lin, Pamela Dean. The college version of Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary — and a lot scarier. Deserves a real and complete book notice which I will give it when I have a moment.

Tschechische Küche. An anonymous little cookbook friends brought from Prague for me. Nice recipes — can’t wait until Autumn, when they would be more suitable than in May.

Ons Soort Mensen – Levensstijlen in Nederland. A typical SUN book (not the computer and software firm, but the publisher in Nijmegen). Filled with ill-written, content-poor articles jotted down by scholars bent on beating the publish-or-perish system not with competence, but with make-do work. Worthless.

Aan Tafel — Antieke culinaire gebruiksvoorwerpen Tien eeuwen eetgewoontes, koken en tafelen., Jan Pieter Glerum. Nice pictures, shame about the text.

Oh, and I’ve seen some movies too, this year: Charlie Chaplin’s The Great
Dictator
, Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood (the dvd contains a complete ‘Warner night at the movies’ with cartoon, 1930’s newsreel and everything: a great idea) and The Prince and the Pauper, The Princess Bride, and Douglas Fairbank’s The Mark of Zorro. If you detect a strong fencing strain in this selection, you would be right. We were all annoyed with the granddad-reading interruptions in the Princess Bride, and we really liked all the other movies. And we got the Douglas Fairbanks DVD Collection, so there are still a few other great fencing movies to be watched on Friday nights, those being the nights we generally watch a movie with the family.

We’ve also seen the DVD of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion show, which was astonishing, but we skipped all the clown scenes. I was kind of insulted by the fact that all clowns were white westerners; and that they were the only white westerners in the show (apart from the singers; but they were made-up as eastern figures).

Nice, by the way, that the current laptop doesn’t complain about regions — when using Xine on Linux.