Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things (Plants and Books)

   I love a house that has lots of plants. Here are a couple of the plants in my house.

 Succulents have some of the coolest common names. The one below is called 'Flapjack Succulent.' The big, round leaves are reminiscent of a pale green flapjack. Although, the name flapjack, is a colloquialism not used in Seattle. I think it is more of a Southern (United States) term. We call them pancakes! So I should really be calling this a Pancake Succulent.

    This one is called Panda Paw. There is another variety of the Panda Paw succulent that is smaller and stouter and really does look like a cute little bear paw. But this one is so soft, just the way you would imagine a panda paw would feel if a gentlemanly panda came up to you and proffered his paw to shake in greeting.

  This one is called Gollum Jade. I don't know why though. Maybe because the succulent tendrils look like the deformed and reaching fingers of Gollum as he tries to grab the ring away from Frodo.

  I finished reading a really interesting book recently called "Annihilation" by Jeff VanderMeer. It is a story about a group of four women with different specialties exploring a dangerous and mysterious uninhabited land called Area X. The main character, a biologist, tells the story of the mysterious land and the disturbing things she and her fellow explorers encounter. The land has proven to be disastrous to previous teams of explorers in various ways. Perfectly sane people have gone in to the area only to preform ghastly acts such as murder or suicide. Others have mysteriously returned to civilization with something essential missing from their being. The biologist and her three team mates must explore the land and try to figure out the strange power of Area X.

  This novel was great! It was a mystery story mixed with a sci-fi story mixed with a Gothic horror. It was an extremely eerie novel where the mysteries slowly unfolded in a delightful and unsettling way. The tone of the novel was both subdued and suspenseful. Annihilation is a novel that is full of questions that are slowly revealed only to create more questions. The abundance of questions were not frustrating, they just made me want to flip the pages quicker. This book was also creepy and frightening but in a slow-reveal way rather than a flashy way, which I like! I already have a hold at my library for the second book, 'Authority,' which I very much look forward to reading!

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