29 November 2007

BTT

Finally i managed to do one on the right day!!

Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on?

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

An AudioBook and A Regular One

Finished up The Fellowship of the Ring on audio on Tuesday morning. It is quite interesting to listen to these on audio. The reader is great, doing voices and really differentiating the characters. But, since i've seen the movies so many times, it is strange to hear him do Sam as a sort of Scottish commoner. Legolas sounds all light and airy. Boromir sounds bitchy the whole time. that's my only real complaint. i am getting through a little quicker than i would have thought. I do have to say the 30-45 mins drive to and from work is a nice chunk to get through. Now, on to The Two Towers.

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

Pop Culture and Philosophy

I so love this series. At a quick glance, i have 7 of them and there are about 2 more that i'd like. I just found out Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy comes out on Tuesday! Now i have to decide if i just want to get it or wait at least until after Christmas in case someone gets it for me.

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.

Finished Wuthering Heights

For a group read. Also a 1001 Book. I am so glad i finished it.

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

Poison Study

No, i am not figuring out how to hurt BF. I finished up Poison Study by Maria Snyder. It was EXACTLY what i needed to read right now. Light, fun, quick, lovely. A bit of magic, romance, poison, intrigue, chases, escapes, true love, miracles.....

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
So that's the list. I was really trying to get a range of stuff. I am definitely going to need some breaks from the Russian stuff and the heavier classics i am trying to read. NOTHING from my 1k1 books list, not even Lewis Carroll, so i am glad of that. The 1K1 list is essentially the challenge of all challenges but i can get a little weary of them. I do realize that at least 4 of these are either the beginning of or early in their respective series', so i completely reserve the right to drop a few if i end up tearing through a whole series instead.

19 November 2007

Another Little Questionnaire

These are so wonderful! I pulled this from Melody's Reading Corner. I really like answering these things for some reason. hmm, i wonder what that says about me mentally.


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

BTT time again (which means it's Friday)

I don't know why i can't remember this on Thursdays. this week's is:
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).

The Sims meet Lost

Found the most hilarious thing today. Got an email from amazon about a Sims Societies game and it had one of those "suggestion links" for a game called Sims Castaway. Looks freaking funny! the trailers are really good. stay for the whole thing as the last couple are the best. Definitely teasing about Lost.
You have 3 choices: run, hide, serenade a chicken!

too good!

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

Space Merchants

Finished up Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. Immediately posted it on paperbackswap. It was ok, not great though. I found the world far more interesting than the story or the characters. The Presidency is a full-on inherited position (as opposed to the technically elected position it is now) and the Congresspeople and Senators directly represent corporations (as opposed to just being paid for by them). But the main characters were just kind of sad. I know i don't relate well to "ambitious" people and the lead male was the epitome of ambition. want, want, want. i just don't get it.

we'll all be dead in 70 years anyway.

12 November 2007

A Finished Audiobook

So i finished The Hobbit on audiobook Saturday and started working on Fellowship of the Ring. It is really different to listen to these in the car rather than reading. These are such familiar stories to me that i feel i shouldn't be reading (or in this case hearing) anything different. But each time i go back to them i do find little differences or things i don't remember from before. This is the first time i have revisited these since I reread the series after the movie version of Fellowship of the Ring came out.

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.

currently: blah.

08 November 2007

BTT post

Another thursday, another question:

Would you say that you read about the same amount now as when you were younger? More? Less?
Why?

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

Am I a loser?

I think i read plenty. i mean, i enjoy reading. i always have a book with me. everyone recommends books to me, even my therapist! I get to read at work when it's slow, i read while watching slow football games, i read super fast.

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!

A Strange Moment

So yesterday i spent some time at my and bf's apartment, ostensibly to pack but really we watched tv. I left about 8:15 and drove to my friends' house i am currently staying at. Had a sad but not weepy drive. Just the sort of normal mid-level depression my life is at now.

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

Another Challenge

So I'll also be doing the Russian Reading Challenge. Being of Russian descent (mixed in with a good dash of Italian and a bunch of American Mutt) I've always felt like I should know more about where my grandfather's father and his parents were born. My world history classes in high school didn't really touch on the country but for the big bad USSR of the Cold War and i didn't have to take anything about it in college either. I've never had to read any of the big Russian novelists, though i have touched on various shorter things and plays in college. also, besides some fiction i definitely am going to include some history on my list. my tentative list so far is:
  1. Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  2. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  3. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
  4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  5. House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  6. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  7. 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

First of Next Year's Challenges

So one of the challenges i have decided to sign up for is hosted by Annie called What's in a Name? I've got all year to get through this one so i am feeling pretty good. I'll post in the next few days what else i'm going to do for next year. I am definitely doing 2 others at the beginning at least but i don't think i'll sign up for any more until at least a few months in or i finish off at least 1 1/2 of the ones i will be working on starting january. So here are my reads for this one!

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

Horror question

So BTT had a Halloweeny question yesterday:
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. :)

Grisham?

Yes, i read something by John Grisham, Playing for Pizza. No, i am not a snob; i've read several of his when i was in high school. He is just not a great writer. He does a wonderful job on descriptions, of places, things, etc, but he doesn't do characters, or plots, that well at all. After about 3 chapters i knew exactly how the book would end, all but the nationality of the girl the main character ends up with.

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