December 12th, 2004
If you liked Cloud Atlas, pick up ghostwritten. And give it until page 38.
Shades of Murakami and Borges (both of whom briefly grace the pages) and Hornby (who doesn’t), a warm up for the pyrotechnic doppleganger genre switching of CA. But mostly its David Mitchell all over again (or really for the first time if you still believe in linear time, a clear sign of having read too little Mitchell). Not as archly triumphant as CA and with one or two sour notes (I’d recommend fast forwarding through “Petersburg” skipping any pages without Jermone), but still brilliant. And something of a sequel/prequel to Cloud Atlas, though it would puncture my favorite reading of CA (that Cavendish is the only “real” person, the rest fiction) if I considered Mitchell a reliable narrator, which I don’t.
Just 50 pages left to go, but I might have to circle around again to “Okinawa” for a wrap. (especially as I feel “Night Train” might be a weak ending, however that is more then balanced by the excellent “Clear Island” which I imagine has nearly universal appeal, but felt decidedly Bujoldian to me)
Perhaps the most frustrating piece of Mitchell is the plotting is so good you don’t have time to stop and really get down the literary pearls strewn so carelessly around.
Now is there anywhere in JP to pick up a copy of number9dream or do I need to head over to the Brookline Booksmith I wonder?
March 26th, 2004
Does anyone know a good tool for indexing and searching IMAP folders? I’ve played with Zoe a bit, and I had trouble getting it (and keeping it) running, and it did more then I wanted, and was comfortable delegating.
Basic feature set would be a server resident process that indexed my IMAP folders and presented a simple search interface. Ideal features would include browsability, vfolders, and sorting by lists, etc. (yeah, yeah, sounds more and more like Zoe, I know)
I found a quick hack that implements the basic features, but I’m really worried about the foot print of Java on my server (though am willing to experiment if it turns out that all these products are built on Lucene), and am also hoping to find something that feels more mature. (and funes is another, which gets bumped up the interestingness scale by being written by Nelson Minar, and quoting Borges)
I suppose a tool for indexing and searching maildirs would also work.
August 17th, 2003
In New York Stabucks is pretty much all that is left in terms of coffee shops. A city which prides itself on good taste, and high culture drinks the flavorless swill, and super sweet milkshake like connoctions, gratefully. Gus tells me of a corner where you can stand and see 4 (or was it 5) Starbucks within a block.
Seattle is subtler and more prickly, they appreciate their coffee more, and their independence. The number of independent, and generally excellent coffee shops in the city is staggering, But there is sinister forces at work. I stood and watched people yesterday choose between Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee (owned by Starbucks), and Torrefazione Italia (owned by Starbucks). This is a city under seige.
That said I haven’t had much time to go prowling the city coffee shops, but I’m already very fond of Zeitgeist (weekends with the laptop), Espresso to Go (mornings), Chai House (afternoons), and the americano at Espresso Roma (though perhaps not “the Ave”‘s atmosphere)
Re-reading my collected Borges this evening, I was struck by the fact that mermaids (sirens) are given a category all their own.