Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sunrise was at 5:27, sunset will be at 8:45.

It's sunny for now, heading toward rain by the evening.

D and I went out on a morning walk, not as early as I wanted (too comfy after the alarm went off) but early enough to walk, make breakfast and lunch, and get him off to work on time by bus. We're going to try and do this every day. Living on the hills we do, we should have some muscular butts by the end of the summer!

It was noisy with birds. The smell of an early spring morning made us happy that we actually did get up and out.

Last Friday Dennis and I went to hear Cory Doctorow at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard.

Such a great event: a little music by Pillow Army (I really liked this band), then Cory read from his new YA novel, For the Win (he read from his YA novel! In a bar! To adults! Who will then read a YA novel! Be still my heart!), and then Paul Constant, from The Stranger, conducted a short interview. Books were signed while the band finished their set.

I hope more of these events are in the hopper. It was just so cool to have a beer, reading while the band played, while waiting for the literary event to begin in the bar. University Bookstore was the bookseller of choice for this venue and even I bought two books. At full price. Dennis said he wanted to read For the Win and I hadn't read Makers, yet, so...a perfect confluence: author, books, beer. Books were bought and signed, beer was consumed.

And I just finished Makers minutes ago. What a book. Any book that can engage your every emotion by the end is a good one.

In this story, we have two best friends living in a hovel making things using trash and components and computer bits and selling them on E-Bay for massive amounts of money. They don't particularly care about the money, they just like to make stuff and then share how it was made - for free.

At this time a man named Landon Kettlewell forms a new company that will give money to little start-ups, like Perry and Lester, to be creative and to make things. A noble idea that changes the face of the new work force. Many people, especially younger people, are out of work, are tech savvy, and have a lot of time on their hands, and being paid to make things that could change the world is something most people can only dream of.

Throw in a smart and charismatic journalist following and blogging about Lester and Perry's work and how they are paving the way for changes in tech and tech use, and how this work can connect many disparate people and places, toss in a few truly evil people looking to harsh the buzz, and you have a book that pits little folk up against the biggest and most litigious company on earth.

Cory Doctorow is very able to use ideas like law, unions, history, technology, somewhat complex ideas, in a novel and make them understandable. And INTERESTING to boot! I don't know if the little robots and the computer-run doohickeys and the replicators in his book can really happen or are even in production but it is so cool that he thought them up! Funny, inspiring, I loved the friendship between the characters and the utter goodness of the people in their community. And the shanty town. I have this idea about empty hotels and buildings... If I ever hit the numbers and win the Megabucks lottery...I'm calling Cory to talk it through! Absolutely one of the most fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable reads I've had in a while.

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