April 30, 2008

Recovery Man - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

This took me forever to finish, because it bogs down a bit in the middle. I think it suffers the usual problem of a book that is later in a series: too little editing. Still, it was a worthwhile read, and I still look forward to more in the series. Her descriptions of the domes on the Moon and Callisto are so vivid that I can picture people actually living there. It actually makes me a little sad to think we might not ever get our act together enough to do that, or at least not in my lifetime. This one focuses less on her usual protagonist Miles Flint, and more on his ex-wife and her/their daughter, but I found all of the characters interesting enough. I wouldn't recommend starting her series with this book, however.

April 29, 2008

Only a little




You've Been a Little Ruined by American Culture



Whether you live in the US or not, deep down you're a little American.

And there's nothing wrong with loving American culture, but it may have negative effects on your life.

Slow down and enjoy what you have. Reconnect with life's simple pleasures.

You don't need to be in a consumerist rat race. Life's too short to overwork yourself!

April 28, 2008

Mystery

I've been spending (too much) time on various message forums, and I have encountered a mystery. I understand some people can't be bothered with capitalization, so they write like e.e. cummings: "i have a question about..." And of course there are the usual shouters who have never been online before "I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT..." but the ones I find most mysterious are the all initial caps: "I Have A Question About How We Add Signatures To Our Posts..." I mean, that takes effort to do (unless there's a shortcut I don't know about), and it just looks...weird.

April 27, 2008

Weekly Geeks

Dewey at Hidden Side of a Leaf is sponsoring Weekly Geeks - a chance to discover new blogs. This week the challenge is to find 5 new blogs and comment on them. I found:

Ravenous Reader - whose description of a short story collection makes me want to run out to the bookstore!

Bibliolatry - who has a terrible book joke.

Everyday reads - who seems to share my love of nonfiction, and shoe shopping, and has excellent taste in books.

She Reads Books - She stayed up all night to read a new book!

Park Avenue Princess - who is raffling off some books.

April 26, 2008

A+




Your Vocabulary Score: A+



Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!

You must be quite an erudite person.

April 25, 2008

Friday linkage

Becky at Becky's Book Reviews is hosting a book club in May for "Life As We Knew It." I read it already, but I think I'll try to participate. I loved that book and I can't wait for the follow-up.

Wil Wheaton has a custom Lego Wesley. So funny.

April 24, 2008

BTT: Springing

From Booking Through Thursday:

Do your reading habits change in the Spring? Do you read gardening books? Even if you don’t have a garden? More light fiction than during the Winter? Less? Travel books? Light paperbacks you can stick in a knapsack?

Or do you pretty much read the same kinds of things in the Spring as you do the rest of the year?


I don't think my reading habits change much. I might read more in the Summer when there are fewer new television shows on, but otherwise I think my pace is pretty steady. Maybe I read more travel books if I am planning a trip, and I do start choosing what books I will take on said trip far ahead. (Needs to be long enough to last for a plane ride, but light enough to carry in my bag.)

April 22, 2008

Movie: Juno

I was prepared to be disappointed in this, after all of the hype around this movie, but I found it enjoyable. I think they tried too hard in parts to be "real," but overall it was refreshingly unsentimental and mostly natural. Ellen Page was excellent in the title role, and I'm always glad to see Allison Janney (as the stepmother) working. She was so great on The West Wing!

April 21, 2008

How profound...

As seen at The Watcher's Counsel:




You Are Disturbingly Profound



You're contemplative, thoughtful, and very intense.

Taking time to figure out the meaning of life is a priority for you.

Because you're so introspective, you often react in ways that surprise people.

No one can really understand how you are on the inside... and that disturbs them.

April 20, 2008

TBR mountain


Here's a picture of my next-to-be-read books. I had to move it from my bedside table for fear it would topple and smother me in the night. I don't know when I think I'll get to all of these, but you might notice one of the books is "Getting Things Done." If I ever get around to reading that one, maybe then I'll find more time in my day. I'm halfway through "Recovery Man" and "Flat Broke," and about a third of the way through "Nudge", so maybe I'll get some reviews up this week. Hope you all are enjoying your day!

April 18, 2008

Retirement


Not mine!  I'm off to a retirement reception for a favorite professor.  He was one of my first year law school professors, and he was tough!  It's a shame that more first years won't be scared to death by him as I was.  He later hired me as a research assistant, which was a valuable experience.  I just hope there's good food at this thing!

April 17, 2008

BTT: Vocabulary

From Booking Through Thursday:

I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?


I can remember being in about 6th grade and first encountering the word "bourgeoisie." I had no idea how to say it, much less what it meant, so I looked it up. But then, as now I usually just tried to figure out an unfamiliar word based on the context. If I can't do that, and it seems like an important word, or I am curious, then I will look it up. Naturally, if it were a school book or something then I would just look it up right away. This issue seldom comes up in other books, though.

April 16, 2008

Why do we read?

This is a non-meme that I saw first at The Hidden Side of a Leaf:

Like Dewey, I can't remember not reading. The family story is that I taught myself to read by being read to: mostly Dr. Seuss. My grandparents subscribed me to a book of the month club for kids, and my mother thought I was just memorizing the books. Until we got the new book one month, and I proceeded to read it to my little sister without having it read to me first.

But why do I continue to read? Why do I read every chance I can get, and feel "wrong" if I haven't read something in a while? Lots of reasons, of course, but three main ones:

1. I love words. I love playing with words, and seeing what other people do with them. I love how the change of one word in a phrase can completely alter the meaning.

2. I want to escape. I want to travel to other places and times and lives and see them from the inside. I want to explore worlds that we can never see: travel through space and time and encounter other people and see our life reflected in theirs. I think this is the main reason I loved reading as a child. I grew up in a small town, and reading allowed me to experience the outer world from a safe place.

3. I want to know things. I want to know everything! Before the internet, books were the only source of information. I used to (and still do) just browse in the nonfiction section of the library or bookstore and just pick up whatever catches my fancy, then read everything I can get my hands on about the topic until I feel I know "enough" to move on to the next thing. The internet has helped to fill this need for me, but books still are vital to me for this.

So what about you? Why do you read?

April 15, 2008

Useful information?

I was looking for something else, and stumbled upon this:

How long could you survive in the vacuum of space?
Created by OnePlusYou


Also, a tax day joke I heard on the radio:

What is the difference between death and taxes?
Congress doesn't meet every year to make death worse.

April 14, 2008

Unofficial Blogger Appreciation Day

In honor of the (unofficial) Blogger Appreciation Day, I want to thank Literary Feline over at Musings of a Bookish Kitty for being one of my inspirations for book blogging. Hop over to her blog, because she's giving away books!

April 13, 2008

Reading...

...and enjoying our nice weather. Back tomorrow!

April 12, 2008

Deep Thoughts




Your Thinking is Abstract and Sequential



You like to do research and collect lots of information.

The more facts you have, the easier it is for you to learn.



You need to figure things out for yourself and consider all possibilities.

You tend to become an expert in the subjects that you study.



It's difficult for you to work with people who know less than you do.

You aren't a very patient teacher, and you don't like convincing people that you're right.

April 11, 2008

Just how my mind works I guess

When I saw the picture of Dick Cheney's glasses - the one that many people think looks like a naked woman - I thought it looked like an alien. Like an X-files alien. But that's just me, I guess.

April 10, 2008

BTT: Writing Challenge

Booking Through Thursday time again:

#
Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.)
#
Turn to page 123.
#
What is the first sentence on the page?
#
The last sentence on the page?
#
Now . . . connect them together….
(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)



Okay, my book is "Recovery Man" - by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (the latest in the Retrieval Artist series).

This part of the ship was dark and filthy. He must have turned off onto one of the side corridors, which all had shimmery barriers like the ones on the airlock doors.

See what I did there? I didn't connect them, because I think they connect pretty well by themselves. Which makes me wonder if the book isn't a bit long winded, but that's another story for another day.

April 9, 2008

As seen at...

the Watcher's Counsel (what a great name for a blog)




What Your City Walk Means



You are thoughtful and contemplative. You enjoy spending time alone with your thoughts.



You are quite introverted and maybe even a little shy. You prefer to interact one on one with people.



Money is important to you in as far as you'd like to have enough to survive.



You are curious about ideas. If you had the means, you'd like to explore the whole world.

April 8, 2008

Sense and Sensibility - Masterpiece [Theatre]

I enjoyed this version, and I think it only suffers in my opinion by coming after the Emma Thompson version (which I loved). If this had been done first, it would probably be my favorite. I thought the casting was great (even though there was no Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon in this one). It was very faithful to the book (at least as far as my memory serves me), and I'm very glad they chose to do it in two parts rather than trying to cram it all into a couple of hours. As the eldest sister myself I identify with Elinor more than Marianne, and I will admit I always cry at the part when Marianne is so sick that Elinor fears for her life. It gets me every time, even though I know it's coming.

April 7, 2008

For some reason, this made me laugh




The Movie Of Your Life Is Film Noir



So what if you're a little nihilistic at times?

Life with meaning is highly over-rated.



Your best movie matches: Sin City, L. A. Confidential, Blade Runner

April 6, 2008

Random Sunday

My nephew put on his own little train show this morning - he set up all of his train sets around the house, and took me and his grandparents around on a "tour." He even made tickets for us, and put up a sign that read "Trains Show." Too cute. I think we all had fun. He even had refreshments for us! (Juice and donuts.) Then we all went out to lunch, and now I'm back home doing laundry and planning to pop in a movie. Overall, a pretty good day!

April 5, 2008

New Additions to the TBR pile

(the pile that threatens to take over my room!)

"Ask Again Later" - Jill A. Davis
"Strangers in Death" = J.D.Robb
"A Prisoner of Birth" - Jeffrey Archer
"Stalking the Wild Dik-dik - One Woman's Solo Misadventures Across Africa" - Marie Javins
"Flat Broke with Children - Women in the Age of Welfare Reform" - Sharon Hays
"American Dream - Three Women, Ten Kids and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare" - Jason DeParle

April 4, 2008

Battlestar Galactica

The season premiere is tonight! Yay!

April 3, 2008

BTT: Lit-Ra-Chur

From Booking through Thursday:

*
When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)


The first thing I think of is the "boring" stuff they make you read in school. Of course, I never personally though all of it was boring (just some - I'm looking at you, Mr. Faulkner), but I think of literature as the "important" books - the ones you are supposed to find symbolism and deep meaning in, and not necessarily enjoy.

Of course, I read Jane Eyre after I stumbled upon it in the local library, and read it and loved it without knowing it was a "great" book. And I tore through Les Miserables when it was assigned in 11th grade English, because the assigned reading was too slow paced for me - I had to know what happened next!


*
Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?


I read. Anything. For fun.

April 2, 2008

Trekkie test

via Wil Wheaton:

A three question quiz to determine if you are a trekkie. I only answered yes to 1 and 3, so I guess I'm only a partial geek.

April 1, 2008