First, I must thank reveilles for the icon, based on a series of five Dork Tower comics (August 27 to September 19, 2003).
Recently, I read Robert Rankin's The Book of Ultimate Truths and Philip K. Dick's The Penultimate Truth (based on the titles, I probably should have read them in the other order.) The Book of Ultimate Truths was typical Robert Rankin, British absurdist fiction with a cavalcade of quirky characters. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't recommend it as a starting point for Robert Rankin (The Antipope is a better first novel). The Penultimate Truth was a good Philip K. Dick novel, but I thought the idea was much better explored in the Stargate SG-1 episode Beneath the Surface. The Penultimate Truth felt like it was too long for what it tried to do and Beneath the Surface made the points much more succinctly without any loss of depth.
I just finished Tom Holt's The Portable Door. I had already read his novel Falling Sideways which I didn't enjoy (it was in the Douglas Adams style, but Tom Holt just jerked his reader around a few too many times and it annoyed me). I decided to give him a second chance and try The Portable Door because it was set in the John Wellington Wells Company from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Sorcerer and my love of G&S won out. I was pleasantly surprised with the result. There were a few twists and turns that came without warning, but by the time the novel ended, they made sense within the context of the story (something that was lacking in Falling Sideways). I liked it enough that I just ordered the sequel In Your Dreams.
I also recently picked up Lisa Yockelson's cookbook Baking by Flavor. Instead of organizing the cookbook by type of baked good (cookies, cakes, muffins), she organizes the book by flavor (lemon, chocolate, ginger). This means there are some chapters that I will never touch (the one on coconut comes to mind), but it means if I feel like making a cinnamon flavored dessert, it is easy to find a recipe. On a quick thumb through, I found about a dozen recipes that sounded good to eat and easy to make. Since blueberries just came into season, I'm planning on trying her Blueberry Coffee Cake soon. reveilles and I are going over a friend's house this weekend and I will be making her Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cloud Pie to bring. I will report soon how these recipes turn out.