Monday, November 29, 2010


Holy neglected blog, Batman! I am just a-coming by to let you all know I defended my dissertation and will be officially graduating in December. The whole fam is coming to help me celebrate and it will be awesome!

This transition of leaving grad school (finally) has made me think a lot about my blog and what I want to get from it. A lot of this blog's beginnings were to keep in touch with friends and to find a community in the dark, isolating days of grad school. I feel like I interact with friends more in other venues, and I don't feel as isolated any more. What I want now is a place where I can write more about my work and science related issues. To that end, I am going to stop this here blog. I have some other plans for internet adventures, so if you are someone I have interacted with over the years, please send me an email to mnkgrlblog at gmail dot com and I may let you in on my plans. MWA HA HA! If you know me in real life, keep an eye out for my future endeavors.

Seriously, I really benefited from having this space to write and from the academic blogging community. But I do think that what I need now is a more professional space, so I am moving on.

And, if you were here for the book reviews, be my friend on GoodReads!

Monday, September 06, 2010


81. The Hero and the Crown
82. The Blue Sword both by Robin McKinley
I loved Robin McKinley when I was like 13, and read both of these books then. They were just as good on a re-read, 20 years later. Both of these are set in the kingdom of Damar, although they are separated by hundreds (if not thousands) of years. The Blue Sword was published first and The Hero and the Crown is a prequel. I kind of like reading The Hero and the Crown first, though, to get the deep back story. Anyway, both these books have strong female characters who have amazing destinies to fulfill, although they feel out of place in the society they are raised in. Both books are just magical with lots of action and some animal friends for the main character. I think I slightly prefer The Blue Sword, but everyone should read them both.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


78. Earthlight by Arthur C. Clarke
Awesome straight up, old school sci fi. Set on the moon, Earth and its colonies (Mars and Venus) are on the brink of war over access to natural resources. I love to see what people in the '50s imagined the future might be like.

79. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Yay! Awesome, sprawling, epic straight up fantasy with tons of characters and lots of drama, civil war and honor. Can't wait to read the next one.

80. An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks
Sacks is a famous neurologist, probably best known due to the movie "Awakenings" which is based on one of his books. This is a collection of essays, each describing a different clinical case that tells us something crazy about the brain. I, unfortunately, cannot get into Sacks' wordy and very descriptive writing style. I know tons of people love his books, so anyone reading this review should try it for themselves. I do love hearing Sacks on the radio though, so if you don't like his writing search out his appearances on Radiolab!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Busy like a bee

I was doing great posting regularly for awhile, but then it all stopped. So sad for you, my 2 blog readers. Here is the sitch: I am trying to graduate in December, I teach full time and I am applying for jobs. So much work! I am really busy. I'm trying to take time when I have it to line up some posts for the upcoming week, so we'll see how that goes. And wish me luck on my graduating and job getting!

Thursday, September 02, 2010


73. Tell No One by Harlan Coben
It might have been the mood I was in when I read it, but I really enjoyed this mystery/thriller/thingy. A pediatrician is living day by day after his wife's murder when he realizes she may be alive. What's up with that? All kinds of other mysteries are revealed. This writer is good, and maintained my interest in the mysteries and the characters throughout.

74. Betsy and Joe by Maud Hart Lovelace
I never read these as a kid, but I was recently talking to some people who said they were a mainstay of their growing up, like Little House or Anne of Green Gables.

I started here on the 8th book as it was in a give away pile in my laundry room. These books are really good, and I think I would have really liked them when younger, as much as I liked it now. The world of a teenager in 1910 is so interesting to see and Betsy's character is so full of life and determination to enjoy life to the fullest. I will definitely be getting the rest of these books.

75. Carney's House Party and
76. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
Continuing my obsession with these books. Carney's House Party takes place after Betsy and Joe and centers on a more peripheral character in that book. Carney comes home from Vassar for a summer and invites several people to stay in her house for a month. The days are filled with teas and parties and picnics and some misunderstandings and romantic entanglements. I really liked seeing how many things are the same between the early 1900s and now.

Betsy-Tacy is the first book in the series. It is written at a much younger level, but I still really enjoyed it. In this book, Betsy and Tacy first meet, and their adventures begin.

77. Fool by Christopher Moore
Funny book for anyone who likes British humor, lots of swearing and sex and Shakespeare being all twisted around. A re-telling of King Lear from the court jester's point of view.

Musical interlude

Sorry it is not a real video!

Friday, August 20, 2010


70. The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
This book lost stars as it went on and on and on. I liked the book a lot at the beginning, but the detailed descriptions and zillions of characters barely kept my interest as I slogged through like the last 1/3rd of the book. I have had this experience with Byatt before. If all her books were like 25% less long, I would like them a lot better.

71. Naked Once More by Elizabeth Peters
This is a different series than the one based around Amelia Peabody, which I love, but it was still quite good. I didn't realize it was actually in a series until I finished it, but I will be getting the rest eventually. It was a fun, light hearted mystery with an awesome female romance-writer protagonist.

72. The Light Ages by Ian R. McLeod
This book just never came together for me. I couldn't get a good sense of the world it was set in, and there was a big huge mystery that did not compel me and did not interest me when it was revealed. I don't know, it seems like I should have liked this book more, but it just didn't work out between us.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beatles 3000

This is a hilarious look at what will be known of the Beatles in the year 3000. Also makes a good parallel to a lot of assumptions made in anthropology when reconstructing the past.