31 December 2007
So to finish off the year for sure: 69 books, 20 of which were nonfiction.
As for the book, it is one of the best in the series. I read these books, as i've posted in the past, both to expand my knowledge of specific philosophers and their theories and ideas as well as to peek at the depths of meaning in some of my favorite works. The decent books in the series will have essays that say "here's a philosopher, here's his idea, this is how it applies to the work in question". which is fine for the first reason i read these books. The really good books in the series have essays that say "here's some things that happen in the work, this is how it illustrates the theme of the work, here's how it relates to the big questions of life, here's how it defends/opposes this philosopher's work". That is precisely what all the essays in this volume do. Whether analyzing Kill Bill as a modern retelling of Oedipus by way of female empowerment, discussing the structure of Pulp Fiction as an analysis of the compartmentalization of time, or using the crooks of Reservoir Dogs to compare group morality, all of the essays truly elucidate Tarantino's movies.
I think i just used up my big word allotment for the next few days.
I have one other book i am working on but i probably will not finish today. so that brings my total to 68 for the year with 19 as nonfiction.
29 December 2007
Speaking of movies, my Netflix is back on. YAY! My first one watched was Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa. It was fantastic! of course, this is one i should have seen forever ago but didn't. I am trying to expand my horizons. I immediately hopped on and added half a dozen others by him to my queue. Which looks kinda funny now, as it's a list of old and new Japanese movies, the tv show Firefly, the series discs for Cowboy Bebop, then a long list of regular American stuff I've not seen, like Disturbia and Little Children and The Pursuit of Happyness that will probably just be moved around for a long time.
So back to books. I'm kind of taking a breath before plunging into my new challenges next year. I am working my way through a couple of non-fiction ones that are both just a series of essays so they may both be finished up before the new year begins.
currently: listening to the Vandy-UT Martin basketball game.
27 December 2007
List as many as you like … fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, science-fiction, business, travel, cookbooks … whatever the category. But, really, we’re all dying to know. What books were the highlight of your reading year in 2007?I have several. Though i didn't start blogging books until February and i don't know what i read in January, I'd say my favorites in no particular order: The Watchmen, Rebecca, Ender's Game, The Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Golden Compass. There were several more that were close but not quite to my top 6. I'd say i am a bit surprised. Three books that fall under young adult? A graphic novel from the 80's? A gothic romance from the 30's? The Kushiel series at least makes sense: a lush, complex fantasy world full of strong characters with several books to delve into is exactly what i enjoy. And I knew Harry Potter, unless it ended with everybody dying, was going to be a new favorite.
Most hated? Wuthering Heights and Wild Seed. at least picking the bad ones was easy! I actually didn't have too many i really didn't like, though i know there were a few i didn't finish and therefore didn't write about. Weirdly i didn't put any non-fiction on my favorites list. i did read quite a few but going back over i don't know that any were really spectacular; a lot of stuff that i wouldn't reread, which to me is a major sign of a good work. I read a lot of timely stuff, about environmentalism or politics, as well as some memoirs which really don't lend themselves to rereads.
Updated later, because now that i got linked to i wanted to have a bit more substance:
Totals, not counting what i finish up the next few days
All books read:67
23 December 2007
Posting my TBR alternates. I totally reserve the right to mess with these in the next few days!
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein (1K1)
- Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert (1K1)
- A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling
- I, Robot by Issac Asimov (1K1)
- Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (1K1)
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (1K1)
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (1K1)
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (1K1)
- A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage (NF)
- Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett (NF)
- Charlemagne's Tablecloth by Nichola Fletcher (NF)
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
Currently: watching the Titans game, in HD at my friends' house...if we win the next 2 weeks we are in the playoffs!
22 December 2007
WE SAW THE BEST PREVIEW!! For the new Batman movie. It was in IMAX. A 4 minute scene from the movie. it was the coolest. Some people we were sitting near apparently didn't like the movie and said that at least they got to see that preview.
The book and the movie are radically different. First, i want to say i loved the movie. It is definitely in my top 3 or 4 that i've enjoyed this year. Will Smith was wonderful and the dog was precious. The cinematography and set dressing blew me away. You believe you are seeing a 3 years gone abandoned NYC. Spectacular.
As for the novel, I read this one maybe 15 years ago. I don't remember exactly, but it was during my vampire fetish phase so i know it was in high school. It had been long enough that i really didn't remember much of what happened though. I would say that it is semi-typical of sci-fi or horror short stories (it is only 160 pages long) in that it is pessimistic and rather sad. I was trying to explain to BF, as he had been hoping that the movie would end as the book did, that novels or feature length films have to have a happy, or at least optimistic, ending. The hero can die to save others but he can't just die.
17 December 2007
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith (1K1)
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1K1)
- A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (NF)
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1K1)
- The Tender Bar by JR Moehringer (NF)
- Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1K1)
- The Lover by Marguerite Duras (1K1)
- All The President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein (NF)
- The Society of S by Susan Hubbard
- Purity of Blood by Arturo Perez-Reverte
16 December 2007
- a real cafe au lait. the crap i've gotten up here just doesn't compare
- while we are at it, beignets.
- LOST, for which i only need wait until January 31!
- a good long hug from my father
- the dark chocolate cayenne pepper cookies i can't find the recipe for
- a night out dancing and drinking where i don't have to drive home
- a jaw dropping, freak me out horror movie
- 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep
But enough with the mushiness. To the Movie.
A bit of a different experience reading the book and seeing the movie 2 days later. It made me quite concious of the differences between the 2. An experience i am going to repeat this week with I Am Legend. I liked the movie and it had wonderful special effects. The ice bears and the airship scenes were particularly good. I do understand, even if i don't particularly like, why the filmmakers shortened the book and changed the ending. It is really a setup for the next book in a planned series, like the end of Fellowship of the Ring. BF felt that the ending would really turn people off because he knew a few people who didn't watch the rest of Lord of the Rings because the first movie didn't have a clear cut end. But these are both TRILOGIES! Hence, there are 2 more installments after the first one. I would think people would be aware of that. But i guess if people didn't know that LOTR was 3 books 50 years after the first came out they may not know that His Dark Materials is a trilogy 12 years after it came out.
People is stupid.
14 December 2007
Do you use any of the online book-cataloguing sites, like Library Thing or Shelfari? Why or why not? (Or . . . do you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking to?? (grin))Yes. see the sidebar? BF pointed me to LibraryThing in April 2006 according to my profile on there. This was back when you had to pay to join to get to 100 books though i think they've upped the amount now. why? not sure what attracted me at first. I hadn't any catalog or list of books i owned before that. I do like being able to see who else has a lot of the books that i do as well as seeing which ones only i have posted. I actually have more unique books than i would have thought.
currently: watching The Return of the King and realizing the Mumakil charge owes a bit to the Battle of Hoth from Empire Strikes Back.
That being said, i had actually thought that this was going to be one of my "younger" selections for the challenge, more of a children's book than YA. After reading, I personally would not put this in the children's category at all. I would say it is a fantasy novel that happens to be about children, not a children's book. The ending, especially, is heavy and dark but there are plenty of dark moments throughout.
I've decided i am definitely going to the movie tomorrow, with or without BF if he changes his mind about our date. I've now lent the book to him while i've borrowed I Am Legend. It is a reread for me but it has probably been 15 years since i did read it so i barely remember it.
Now, back to a bit about YA. After reading this one i've kind of realized i am not totally sure as to what it is. Wikipedia hasn't been much help. The authors list they have is kind of weird. They list Cujo, Carrie and Christine as young adult books? um, no? They have teens or kids in them but they aren't FOR kids. Then again, i know i read these (and The Shining, The Stand, Salem's Lot, It, Eyes of the Dragon, etc) before i hit 14 and don't think i was traumatized. So perhaps YA is just a category for novels that have someone under 20 as the main character? Perhaps i'll have a better hold on the category by the time i finish up the challenge.
12 December 2007
So i am going to see The Golden Compass on Friday with BF. so i decided to go ahead and read the book. Yes, I KNOW that i am not supposed to start it until January for the YA challenge but i am reading it now! :P i will slide the next one in the series on my list instead.
On another note, when did December become May? No, i don't mean the weather, although that is far more spring like than winter. I mean the movies! Normally May-July are the months when my movie calendar is full. Now it is crazy. In the last few weeks we've had Beowulf, Juno, No Country for Old Men and The Golden Compass. Friday I Am Legend comes out, then the 21st we really get slammed: Sweeney Todd, National Treasure 2, Walk Hard. A couple more on Christmas day: The Water Horse and Persepolis.
So what all am i definitely going to see? Compass this weekend and I Am Legend (in IMAX no less wheee!) next weekend. Sweeney Todd hopefully by/on Christmas. Possibly Juno and Persepolis when they hit Green Hills. Walk Hard within a few weeks. Anything else up for one of the big Oscars i'll try to watch before the awards (I'm looking at you, No Country!) And I haven't even looked any further out to see about January, though that is usually a bit of a wasteland for film.
And my netflix comes back on 12/20.
On another another note, I did Something Different today. My therapist (long story, maybe I'll explain later) says that to battle my depression, anger and sadness i need to do new things and meet new people. Not to date but to get my mind on other things. I don't know how well it will work because i am kind of a one-track-mind wallower person. But i am trying. So I had been looking at doing some volunteering (less time commitment than another job or a class) maybe at the library (what a surprise) or the Humane Society. I had signed up on Barack Obama's campaign site a while back when i donated a few bucks and get emails occasionally. I got one about writing letters to caucus volunteer in Iowa yesterday. So today i did. I mean i wrote the first letter and then wrote 4 copies. It did feel nice to send notes to strangers. So now I've added that campaign to my list of possible volunteer places.
09 December 2007
I have realized i am probably NOT going to finish my Armchair Traveler Challenge, unless i pick some other books or suddenly feel like reading On the Road. I have had it from the library for about 6 weeks and just can't get into it. i am going to try the Forster this week so we'll see where it goes.
In other news, i went with BF to the Titans' game today. His first pro football game. I went a few years ago with some friends to see Pittsburgh and Jerome Bettis beat up on us. Today i got to see some great defense for 3 and a half quarters then LT break out. So i am 0 for 2 of the Titans' games i've gone too.
currently: eating chocolate pecan pie
03 December 2007
So i've already received my Christmas present from my parents: a $75 gift card to Amazon. Whoopee! I've spent 25 so far buying a coffee grinder and the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. so i've got one (or possibly three) of my YA reads for next year.
Currently: waiting for the Heroes fall finale; hoping the South American chick is one of the ones to die.
A little thing is running around the blogs about everyone's TBR stacks. So i figured I'd post mine too. I've counted mine up and i have 25 books pictured. That doesn't include a couple relationship books i have as well as a few more racy ones i couldn't bear to picture. There are a couple library books in here though.
I have a tendency to get a lot of books through the library though. I know i have a bunch on my list for challenges next year and a few of the ones on here are for those.
I just don't have a tendency to really accumulate a bunch at once. this is really the biggest stack of unreads i've probably ever had. i honestly probably have only had 5-8 books TBR before. Working on challenges as well as my 1001 list has caused me to accumulate some. I think i've had more time recently, unfortunately, to read so i've been getting books in anticipation. And Christmas is coming so i am sure i'll be getting books and/or gift cards as presents. everyone around me is pretty good like that.
01 December 2007
Anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I never had to read this one in school so i only kind of vaguely knew the story. BF did read it previously so he knew what was going on. I really expected a normal sort of fairy tale: hero fights monsters and after some trials wins, rescues a fair maid, gets treasure/land, lives happily ever after. But this one really wasn't. The story was far more melancholy than i thought. Really sad, especially the ending as we are shown this cycle we've just seen hasn't ended but simply restarted.
Of course the effects were incredible. i am actually tempted to go see it again on a regular screen just to see if it is any different. There are a lot of shots that i could see could have been added just for the 3D effect, like spurting blood. I would say it is the best whole movie i've seen in 3D but for sheer awesomeness the last 20 minutes of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which IMAX had in 3D were better.
currently: so so glad LSU pulled off the win against UT.
29 November 2007
I don’t so much mean something like reading a series from beginning to end, but, say, a string of books that all take place in Paris. Or that have anthropologists as the main character. Or were written in the same year. Something like that… Something that strings them together in your head, and yet, otherwise could be different genres, different authors…
On first impulse i want to say no. I want to say that i do read series but not necessarily books in groups like this question describes. I know i get on kicks where i read a bunch of fantasy, a bunch of popular science, a bunch of historical fiction, a bunch of horror, a bunch of philosophy. And really, looking at my blog since february seems to have shown this. I feel like when i just glance what i've read it's random except for some of my challenge books. But then when i really reread some of the posts i do realize that there is a method to my madness. I might have pulled a book out of my lists to read next but looking back i can see why i picked that one. Sometimes reading one book does point me directly to another; in science or philosophy specifically i'll decide to read another book that the first references. As i just finished up the Philippa Gregory novel so i was looking at some Tudor England history stuff but hadn't picked one to read yet. But the reason i picked up the Gregory book was because i really liked Poison Study.
So that is a long way of saying, yeah, i do have my own twisted logic sometimes in what i read.
28 November 2007
I also completed The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory today. Tore through that 750 pages in two days. I really liked it, obviously. Since i've been struggling my last few books (except for Poison Study) it was really nice to be able to power through a really good book. This one has been made into a movie with Scarlett Johansen as Mary Boleyn and Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn. So much stuff happens in this one i don't know how they're going to get it down to just 2 and a half hours or so. Now i have a craving for more historical fiction. i may pick up another by this author as she has several from the time period and they don't seem like they'd have to be read in order.
I did pick up Magic Study and The Mote in God's Eye today from the library today. I'm skipping my fantasy group read for December as it's the second in a series and i don't fee like reading the first one and the second this month. I am still waiting on the theme for november for my classic group so not a choice there. I have a few other books on deck so not sure what i'm going with next.
25 November 2007
Why do i like this series? Yeah, part of it is having them sit on the shelf, telling people that i understand deeper things than they do. So sue me. Part of it is to tell people that yes, there is something more to The Matrix than cool effects, there is something bigger in South Park than Cartman's ass. The main bit, though, is to realize why i like what i like. I read these to learn more about myself. I read to help myself think in bigger terms. I know i don't get all the allusions, deeper themes, etc, in the things i read and watch and it is nice to get them laid out for me. That reason is why i've watched the Matrix Trilogy with the Philosopher's Commentary. I want to know what i'm missing. i want to know what i don't know.
and yeah, i know this desire does show a bit about my personality. i'm working on that.
I hated it. Really. A LOT! My understanding is that this was one of the great classic romance novels. so what did i expect from a romance written in the early 1800's? Flirting that doesn't quite sound like flirting, "understandings", separations, conflicts of class, a happy ending. what did i get? An absolutely miserable character in Heathcliffe, an spoiled, whiny, adopted sister whom he is in love with (ugh) for no reason we can see. She loves him back, again for no real reason, but marries someone else. Heathcliffe disappears then shows back up rich (which is the one thing i WAS interested to find out about but we never do) and proceeds to cause his love/sister to die, marries her sister-in-law, makes her miserable. everyone has a kid, they grow up (and though the characters know Heathcliffe is scheming to try to get their estate, no one thinks to send the daughter away) and are made miserable too. Then everybody except 2 of the kids die. And then the 2 kids get married.
It was weird. And depressing. And probably didn't help my mood recently. And i put it on paperbackswap immediately.
20 November 2007
um, sorry, wrong book.
But it is a great story. I've already hopped on the library site to get the next one. It reminded me a little of the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey with less sex and much shorter. Third one comes out in the spring, so that's another that'll be up for next year.
Speaking of next year, i signed up for one more challenge. The Young Adult Challenge over on Thoughts of Joy. 12 young adult books for the year. when i go over to YA, i end up loving it. Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Lemony Snicket are all great series. I've been wanting to read some Roald Dahl as I only read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid. And through the last few months I've read several reviews for some books that will qualify for this challenge too. So the list, so far:
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
- A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
- The Witches by Roald Dahl
- The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- Marked by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
- The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
- Eldest by Christopher Paolini (I read Eragon a while back)
- Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
- Heaven's Net is Wide by Lian Hearn
- House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
19 November 2007
1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you? I was about 3 when i started learning to read. I could before i started school. my earliest memory is actually of sitting on a couch with my dad, my feet just barely over the edge of the cushion, with a book on our laps. i don't know if he was teaching me or if he was reading it to me but i like that memory a lot.
2. What do you find most challenging to read? hmm. i'm not sure. some sort of how-to? chick lit? i guess this question is what is hard to read not what i don't like to read.
3. What are your library habits? We have a great library system in Nashville. I can request things online and pick up stuff at the various branches (one is by bf's and one is on my way to my friends' house so i can choose between those). I tend to go through stages where i am going once a week or so to drop off or pick up holds, then a stretch where i am just waiting on stuff to come in and don't go.
4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger? Only because of the internet. i end up going by a lot more. i never used to put stuff on hold as a kid. don't know if i even knew you could.
5. How has blogging changed your reading life? I've found challenges as well as a challenge in the 1001 books list. i also seem to be writing down more and more that i want to read in the future from other people's reviews.
6. What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other? I would say about 40% library, 20% online from amazon and another 40% from bookstores. Don't know where any good second hand ones are. I don't have a lot on paperback swap so it is just a random one or two from there.
7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about books? If by review you mean write something down that says i read it i always do that. If you mean a real, book report review i rarely write those. maybe i should start trying to write a little more deeply.
8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dogearing pages? Reading in the bath? I am only bothered by cracked spines in paperbacks. it will make the pages fall out. a paperback shouldn't be able to open past about 110 degrees.
9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work? Almost every day. I work in a call center and can frequently read between calls. sometimes (especially early morning) we'll have as much as 20 minutes between calls.
10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them? I usually only pick up books for people when i see something on a specific thing i know they would like. A lot of the time i give non-fiction. it's pretty rare that i give any fiction to anyone
16 November 2007
how many of us write notes in our books? Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?I read a LOT of library books so notes are out on those. I would never write in a book on a first read either. In high school and college of course i wrote in books lots, for notes for classes/papers and also in my personal paperbacks. mainly i would underline/highlight parts more than writing notes specifically in my personal books at least. I do have to say my copies of Interview With the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat are well written in, underlined and highlighted. My poor copy of Lestat has the cover coming off and is actually wrapped and rubberbanded in a piece of newspaper. Guess i should spring for a new one next time i read the series (by which i mean the first 4, the rest kinda suck).
You have 3 choices: run, hide, serenade a chicken!
Later...ack..looks like is a platform game not a pc one. hmm. maybe bf will buy that wii. or i can get it to play on the PS2 they have where i am staying.
15 November 2007
we'll all be dead in 70 years anyway.
12 November 2007
I listened to these both while moving the BF to a different apartment complex. it was just a couple miles away but we didn't rent a big truck so we had lots of trips. i got lots of short little pieces at a time. strangely, i am getting used to reading like this as when i read at work i am taking calls and only get a few pages done between the calls.
08 November 2007
Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less?
I know that i read less now. I don't even really have an excuse as i don't have kids. When i was in high school i read constantly. I regularly hit over 100 books a year counting rereads and rarely went more than a day without picking up a book. I am not sure why i read less. I can blame it on the depression currently but even before these last few months i was reading less. stress? too many other distractions i know, like World of Warcraft, Sims, Tivo, Lost DVDs. the Internet woo hoo! the internet is a huge part of why i read less i am sure.
currently: watching 30 Rock
07 November 2007
But some of you guys are making me feel terrible! I feel like the 3 challenges i'm signing up for for the beginning of the year, as well as the 3 yahoo book groups i'm in will keep me plenty busy for the next several months. but i am reading all these book blogs and i feel like a total wuss! Some of you guys have already signed up for like 6 or more for next year. ack! I mean, one of these for next year is for 64 books! i just don't know if i could plan on the next 100 or more books i am going to read. 25 or so, sure.
I applaud your stamina, your ambition, and your eyesight!
after i had turned into the subdivision i'm staying in, i saw something i have never seen before. A bright green shooting star fell directly in front of me, at about 75 degree angle to the ground and intersected the horizon. I have never seen a green one, nor one that was not directly overhead. it was strange, disconcerting, to see.
Monday on the way to work i saw a fox. in the middle of the regular neighborhood i drive through in Nashville. That was in the middle of a severe crying jag as i drove (bad idea, leave me alone) and it startled me to see the fox.
I don't believe in God. I don't believe in fate. I don't believe in signs.
but these last few days have been weird.
06 November 2007
- Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Russia and the Russians by Geoffrey Hosking
I may decide to swap or throw in an additional but i feel that 7 books for a four book challenge should be a decent showing. I am NOT going to even think of tackling War and Peace. it is just too frightening. Maybe for next year's RIP? 5 of these are on my 1001 list so that gets a few more done!
I also think i may do the whole "toss all the book names in a bucket and pull them randomly" thing for these challenges next year, at least for the ones running all year long. i will need some kind of calendar or perhaps set up some kind of file on my MDA to keep up with all the books!
05 November 2007
1. A book with a color in its title: Red Queen by Margaret Drabble
2. A book with an animal in its title: The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt
3. A book with a first name in its title: Emma by Jane Austen
4. A book with a place in its title: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
5. A book with a weather event in its title: The Cloud of Unknowing by Thomas H Cook
6. A book with a plant in its title: The Serpent and the Rose by Kathleen Bryan
I'll have to reread Jane Eyre before i tackle Wide Sargasso Sea as it has been a while since i read it. Or maybe i should wait and do Jane Eyre after? Not sure
Currently: watching Heroes!
02 November 2007
What with yesterday being Halloween, and all . . . do you read horror? Stories of things that go bump in the night and keep you from sleeping?
well, yeah! no, HELL YEAH! The whole reason i signed up for RIP was to read some scary spooky stuff. I have always loved Stephen King, Clive Barker, vampires, Zombies, Poe, psychological thrillers. The problem is so much of horror can be absolute trash. I have never been able to finish a Dean Koontz or John Saul novel. I don't care how many these guys sell, they are crap. Every time i take a chance on one i give up. Give me Bradbury, Phillip K Dick, Preston and Child. These guys can write. I'd rather reread Frankenstein or Jekyll and Hyde than read something bad.
so maybe i am a snob after all. :)
That being said, this was a nice little read. However I would not recommend it at all to someone who has no interest in football. They won't get big chunks of this little book. The descriptions of food and Italy were wonderful.
I do have to admit that the travel bug has fully bitten me now. Yes, part of it is a deep desire to run away from the situation i am in. But yeah, part of me want to get a passport, brush up on my french, save up some cash, pay off my credit card, sell my car, sell all the rest of my stuff, quit my job and wander around Europe for months and months. After all, i have no kids, no house, no school loans, and if things don't work out with BF, then single too. I don't really have any reason NOT to do something like that. The little bit of things that i'd want to keep could safely be stored in various friends' houses or a small storage unit.
so maybe that is the new plan
31 October 2007
I wonder how much this record shaped my development and taste for scary.
30 October 2007
I did a post a few weeks ago about what i had set for myself to read by the end of the year. Now seemed like a good time to update that. so here it is:
- 3 Books left for Armchair Traveler Challenge
- 1 each month for Fantasy group
- 1 each month for Sci-fi group
- 1 each month for Classics group
- 2 on hold at library
- 5 from library i am wanting to read
- 2 i've started and wanting to finish up
29 October 2007
I have never seen Blade Runner straight through but it is one of those that i've basically seen, in a 20 mins here, 15 mins there and the story synopsis is every where kind of way. I liked it and do intend to search out more by the author.
Since it is a pretty well known story, i don't want to go over that bit again, i want to compare it to another robot novel i just read, The Caves of Steel by Asimov. I think Caves is a much more philisophically optimistic novel as a whole while Dream is more optimisitic about our technological progress but very pessimistic about humanity. R Daneel, the main robot character in Caves, comes off as a pretty good guy. He seems to feel a kinship with humans and does want to understand them and help them. Is this due to the 3 Rules in Asimov's universe? Rachel Rosen, the main robot we see in Dream, is from a far technically superior level (the police have to do bone marrow analysis on robots in this universe to verify that a dead body is a robot) but mentally seems very deficient, especially compared to R Daneel. The robots in this world are incapable of understanding empathy and don't care about humans, other robots, or life in general. My personal definition of empathy, vaguely Buddhist as it is, is the understanding that other things feel, and hurt, in the same way that i do. I would think that some level of this could be programmed into a robot, especially as it is mentioned they feel pain.
I was thinking of doing a rating system of some sort. haven't confirmed what i am wanting to do with that yet so i'll just say this was definitely worth the read.
21 October 2007
the literal kind. The friends i am staying with went to Asheville and i went along too. Camping along the French Broad River was pretty but freezing. Visited a brewery and i was in the position of knowing the most about beer in the group. Downtown was lovely and busy! Found a GREAT chocolate store that i can order from online! Try the "blossom" or "ancient pleasure" ones under the Ecstasy Truffle label. yummy.
Took some pictures from our campsite.
so a question that always comes up in reading groups: what books would you plan on taking on a trip? some people seem to have a set answer, like there is a certain group of books they take that they know they like. some people seem to take just whatever they are reading in paperback at the time. I know i am a little different. It depends on the trip really for me. If i am going home to Louisiana that means i have a 10 hour drive each way. even if BF came with me i still drove the whole way usually. so if i brought a book at all it would be something small and not too engrossing as i would just be reading a little here and there when my family was busy or i got up too early. now if we were flying somewhere the best thing for me to do is get the most engrossing thick paper back i could find. i am not the best flyer yet so a brand new Stephen King, Mercedes Lackey, or George RR Martin would be perfect. Alternatively, a really good popular science does wonders for me too, like Carl Sagan or Jared Diamond.
This weekend's trip i took 2 new copies of Skeptic Magazine (i had my last 2 delayed in reaching me because i moved) as well as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick. I knew i was going to be riding much of the time on the drive to and from Asheville (i ended up driving only the last 170 miles back to Nashville) but that i wouldn't be reading much when we got there. I made it through both issues of Skeptic and about 4 chapters of my book so that is not too bad.
currently: resting after this trip.
18 October 2007
currently: concerned about tornadoes.
17 October 2007
I don't know why this one has been so big. I mean it is short and fast to read but not exactly good. i mean, i checked it out once before and couldn't get into it at all and this time it has taken me 3 weeks to read. Compare that to Caves of Steel that i read in a day!
This does finish out my RIP challenge tho!! i had originally said i was going to read an HP Lovecraft for my 4th book but had decided to try The Road again as it is certainly frightening. i will admit that i did have a bad dream involving the setting last week.
currently: watching Around the Horn
16 October 2007
I am really glad i read this one. If it hadn't been on my 1001 Books list i would never have picked it up.
14 October 2007
20 Years Ago: (age 11) when i was 11 i was in 6th grade. middle school sucked ass, so i was probably deep into fantasy. i'd say i read Tolkien around this time, as well as the first 3 books in Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series. Like Stephen King at this point too.
15 Years Ago: (age 16) i can definitely say i tore through Anne Rice at this point, as well as reread a bunch of King. I did enjoy the classics and Shakespeare i read in high school at the time too.
10 Years Ago: (age 21) i was working on getting through college at this point so probably reading whatever i had to. Lots of anthropology.
5 Years Ago: (age 26) i was about this age when my mom gave me the first four Harry Potter books. so then i loved Harry.
3 Years ago: (age 28) I really got into political non-fiction around this point, as well as jumping into memoir and biography in general. Philosophy and buddhism. Jared Diamond.
Last Year: (age 30) I believe i found George R.R. Martin about a year ago. more non-fiction too.
12 October 2007
I am still trying to get through The Road by Cormac Mccarthy. i am a little over halfway. it is such a fast read but i am not getting into it at all. so now i think instead of just trying to read it i'll read 10 or so pages at a time. If i can do that twice a day i'll finish in a week, just in time to take it back to the library.
Currently: watching Lost season 2 DVD.
So a few Sundays ago i had a really bad day. I was really really upset with the BF (ex? what do you call the person you are separated from when both parties are trying to work things out?) when i got off work. crying, sniffly, not even attempting to keep it together upset. I didn't want to go see him, nor did i want to go to the house i am staying at where my friend lives as i didn't want to have to explain. So i drove down to Cool Springs and just wandered. There are so many little shopping strips down there it is too hard to keep track of what is in everything. So i pulled in one to go to Dick's Sporting Goods and saw a huge sign for Book Gallery HALF PRICE BOOKS. "hmm," i thought, "i read. and half price is better than full." so i go in to check it out.
This store stunned me! they had a HUGE classics section and though i haven't heard of some of the publishers (wordsworth?) any classics i can get unabridged i will take. So that day i just purchased Madame Bovary and Wuthering Heights just as possible reads for next year and spent maybe $6.50. So today i went back and said i would spend only 20 before taxes. well, for 20.50 i got Emma, The Moonstone, Anna Karenina, Cryptonomicon and Our Mutual Friend. It may not be the best place to pick up a specific book (their sci-fi/fantasy section is big on Tolkein and hardbacks but not a lot else) but for just wandering or beefing up your collection it is incredible. Also, brand new hardbacks are probably cheaper through amazon. But i don't want hardbacks. I want stuff i can throw on paperback swap if i don't like it. And a brand new trade paperback of Anna Karenina that doesn't have Oprah's name on it is certainly worth 3.99. To top it all off, I also found out they have a big store in the Bellevue Mall. while that mall isn't as creepy as 100 Oaks, i think i have just been in once or twice so i am not surprised i missed it.
On a semi-aside, one thing my Yahoo book groups talk about are their giant To Be Read stacks. Truly though, until this last year i hadn't ever had one. i pretty much bought books as i read them. while i might pick up one i knew i wanted to read a few weeks before i got around to it, rarely did i have more than one or two purchased and waiting to be read. Now library stacks i have always had but if i get where i am just renewing one and never get around to it i always just take it back. The last several months though have seen me sign up for amazon prime (so i can buy a book whenever i want and not pay shipping), go to the flea market, find paperbackswap.com, and now this new store. now i do really have about 14 books in a "too read" pile. eek! I do intend to sign up for the Russian Reading challenge as well as the TBR 2008 challenge so that should cover a good bit of my pile. At least i don't feel like i have the smallest Librarything list.
09 October 2007
Finished In A Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu. It is actually a short story collection, threaded together as the collected cases of a doctor, sort of a Van Helsing type. Basically liked the stories, although not all 5 are supernatural they are all quite eerie.
and some more...
The first stories, titled Green Tea, The Familiar and Mr Justice Harbottle, all involve people seeing things that may or may not exist. In Green Tea, at least, there is the suggestion that the drink of the title lead to the torments of the visions. The second doesn't seem to suggest at all what the cause is, while the third makes you suspect the evil judge really is held accountable by the men he hung unjustly in the course of his years on the bench. Of those three, I'd say Green Tea was the best, perhaps just because of being the first, perhaps because the monkey the main character describes seeing sounds very frightening.
The last two stories were my favorites. The Room in the Dragon Volant is a straight up mystery. In fact, it is so straight out of Tales from the Crypt that they may have ripped it off for the comic. An Englishman traveling in France after the defeat of Napoleon becomes wrapped up in the schemes of a gang and barely escapes with his life. Moves right along though.
The last story is Carmilla. Yeah, that Carmilla, the lesbian vampire story. I loved it! i have read a LOT of vampire things but managed to miss this one. Definitely great descriptions, wonderfully atmospheric. Stoker seems to have pulled the Lucy and Mina characters both from this tale. In this case the survivor is Laura and she is writing the story 10 years after the men vanquish the vampire. One thing about the vampire is that she has to use as her name all the letters in it again. so what would my vampire name be? maybe Elimena? Laineme? Imenale? My name need more consonants.
i have put The Vampyre by Dr. Polidori on my list for sometime next year. Maybe next years RIP!
06 October 2007
currently: getting ready for Florida-LSU.
Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin)
I would say i have no issues at ALL with naughty bits or swear words. Profanity doesn't bother me a bit so i would neither put down a book nor pick up a book because of it. It isn't a factor at all. i cuss a lot myself, mainly i think because i work on the phone as a customer's bitch and i am so proscribed on what i can say that as soon as i get off the phone the switch is flipped and i am free to express myself!! Sex is kind of a different thing. I would say i don't go looking for it because when i am in the kind of mood to read it i end up rereading something i know is good (Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven springs to mind) or i indulge in some Harry Potter fan fiction. Happy, sweet, emotional fan fiction. I don't read romance novels, mainly because the few that i have picked up over the years tend to not be the best written stuff. The few that i have enjoyed have been historical type ones involving pirates, castles, nobility, etc and i guess i like those because they become a total immersion fantasy. That being said, Henry Miller's Tropic books are near the top of my classics to read list because i have heard they are pretty graphic. I mean, who doesn't want to read about what your grandparents thought about sex back in the day.
Currently: watching Auburn torch Vandy. COME ON GUYS!
04 October 2007
Oh wait, is that NOT what happens on Banned Books Week?
Looking over the ALA website i saw a link for the most challenged authors from 1900-2004. Wondering who could be the most challenged, i clicked on it. Stephen King? J.K Rowling? Anne Rice? Darwin?
Nope. The most challenged author was Alvin Schwartz. Who the hell is that?
Let me assure you he is awesome. He wrote the SCARY STORIES series!!!! Dozens of creepy tales, urban legends, and ghost stories written at grade school level for children to spook themselves out with. I loved them when i was a kid. I can't believe those books are the most challenged out there in the US. These aren't any worse than plain old Grimm's Fairy Tales. I am so lucky my parents let me read whatever i wanted.
03 October 2007
The really weird part is, as i was going over amazon to pull the link for this post, i realized i haven't read anything by Asimov before. At least not any fiction. This is weird and kinda disturbs me. You see, way back in the 70's and early 80's, way back before cable, tivo, dvd players, home computers or video games more sophisticated than the Atari 2600, my parents were really big readers. Still are, for the most part. That is one of the gifts i am most grateful for from them: that reading is valuable, intelligence is important, and knowledge is wonderful. Anyway, my father is a huge sci-fi fan. We had stacks of sci-fi hardbacks and paperbacks. I tore through plenty of them between ages 9-14. Robots, space, aliens, colonies i really loved it. But somehow i don't think i read any Asimov. Did i just skip those? Did my dad not like his writing? Not sure, but now i've got more stuff to read.
30 September 2007
28 September 2007
Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.
What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?
This is actually a hard one. Most of my friends aren't readers exactly and have pretty different tastes than mine. So anything i really like they wouldn't. I did buy the guy i am kinda separated from a book this week about personal finance, setting up a budget, savings because he really needs help on that front. I got it from TJ Maxx so i spent all of $5. I suppose for him i could also get him one of these relationship books i am thumbing through. Or possibly a graphic novel.
27 September 2007
I have to say that i know the teensiest amount about how food grows. really, other than knowing strawberries come in late spring and corn, watermelon and tomatoes basil in summer i don't have the faintest idea about what grows when. but i am really inspired to learn.
- 2 books left for RIP
- 5 for Armchair Traveler Challenge
- 1 a month for Fantasy Favorites Group
- 1 a month for Classic Scifi Group
- 1 a month for Thematic Classics Group
- 3 in my queue at the library
- 2 i have already from the library and am trying to finish
- 5 books that i have either started recently or just bought that i want to get through
wow! that makes a total of 26 books to finish out the year. and that doesn't count any self-help/coping with relationships books that i will go through (i have 2 now). And i was wanting to reread Harry Potter! I guess HP is out for the foreseeable future. I figure i can at least squiggle in 2 of my other books to fit in the Thematic Classics Group. i'll probably miss out on one from both Classic Scifi and Fantasy Favorites as the library here doesn't have one of the upcoming reads for each. so that gets me down to 22. as there are 13 weeks left in the year starting September 30 that works out to 1.7 books per week. That doesn't sound so bad now. I did try to pick some less than 400 pagers for the Armchair Travel challenge and none of my in queue books are really fat.
But i do need to read more at work for sure if i want to get through all this! :)
26 September 2007
As this one is for 6 books and ends December 31 (i am starting 3 months in) i am going to cheat a teeny tiny bit. Rebecca fits perfectly; Manderley is a driving character and the reason our heroine meets our hero. So it will be considered my first book for the challenge. The rest are:
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
- A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
Currently: adding another couple books to the library list now.
25 September 2007
currently: at work, ugh!
22 September 2007
I'm in the middle of a few right now so not sure if fiction or nonfiction will end up next on here.
Currently: watching South Carolina at LSU.
16 September 2007
I really liked it. A very sweet and innocent story. Fluffy. i don't normally like or read chick lit but since this is classic chick lit i gave it a try. The modern stuff is filled with neurotic, OCD women who can't stop talking about themselves. I don't feel anything like that at all so i don't identify with that.
Austen's themes are universal: love, family, searching for happiness. certainly some things that speak to me right now with my messed up personal life. I really loved the sisters; my only sister is 18 years younger than i so i don't have that kind of close "sisterly" relationship like the book describes. But when i was younger i did want a sister to talk to (rather than stinky old brothers lol) and imagined if i did we'd have a relationship like this novel describes.
currently: watching San Diego perform terribly. hopefully we'll come back in the second half
14 September 2007
What are you reading right now? Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling
Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that? Yes! Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now? I don't read in the bathroom; i am not in there long enough. I only subscribe to Entertainment Weekly and Skeptic.
What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read? I hated The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzergerald.
What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? Right now i am rec'ing The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and the George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire series
Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they? I would say no, mainly because we have self-checkout in nashville and the hold shelves are also self service. They probably would if i had to talk to them everytime i checked out though.
Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all? I have more the opposite problem, there are plenty of things others pimp that i don't like. Like The DaVinci Code. The idea/general storyline was ok but it was terribly written and poorly plotted.
Do you read books while you do other things? Cooking frequently i will, specifically if i am in a "continuous stir" phase of something.
When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits? No, but i did get my best friend by reading: i was a new kid, freshman in a new high school and eating lunch by myself. My best friend and her boyfriend saw me reading, figured i must be interesting because i didn't look like i gave a shit what anyone else thought, and came sat down with me. we are still friends 17 years later.
What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down? Probably Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
08 September 2007
I didn't realize it was a short story. either a long short story or a really short novella. Either way i ripped through about 30 pages during my lunch and the rest yesterday evening. Very Enjoyable. A governess is in charge of 2 kids at a country home in England. Their parents are dead and their uncle is not around. The governess discovers there are 2 ghosts who want to off the kids so the ghosts can keep them, but the kids are not scared, they are fascinated. Very good mood building and quite creepy. It did have the sort of weird narrator structure that a lot of Victorian horror/mystery seems to use. The first narrator is listening to a story being read by a second person who knew the person the events happened to. Sort of made it a bit urban legendy. Also, apparently Victorians of all ages are terribly prone to heart attacks. I personally would have preffered the death to be a little more dramatic, like someone jumping out a window due to the ghosts, rather than just randomly fall over. I am sure it was more dramatic to those who read it when released.
I will definitely read the other short stories in the book. I enjoyed this one a lot. It actually reminded me of the last story in Stephen King's Different Seasons called The Breathing Method. Not in what the stories were about but in structure, tone, and narrator.
Picking up Rebecca from the library today so will probably start that soon, as well as work on Sense and Sensibility for another group.
currently: in need of a shower.