August 29, 2008

Book purge

I took the day off work today, and decided to finally go through my bookshelves and get rid of some so that I could finally shelve the ones sitting in piles on my floor. I'm glad to say I got rid of a lot, and managed to fit everything onto the bookshelves, but there still isn't room for much more! It feels good to get rid of some old books though, the ones that have been sitting in the giant TBR pile forever. To just say, "You know what, I'm never going to read that," and pass it on to someone who will. Of course, in the process I uncovered some books I forgot I had, that now I want to read/reread. Funny how that happens.

August 12, 2008

The Unthinkable - Amanda Ripley

The subtitle is "Who Survives when Disaster Strikes and Why." I loved this - devoured it over the weekend, in fact. My minor was sociology, and my major was psychology, so I am always fascinated to figure out why people do the things they do. This researcher interviewed hundreds of disaster survivors, trying to figure out why we react the way we do in emergencies, and why some people survive when others just freeze. The style is not at all dry and academic, and she makes the people she interviewed very vivid. I am one of those who reads the emergency information card on the plane, and I often think what I might do in a particular situation. As a bailiff, we get some training in emergency response in the courtroom, but you still don't know what you would do if something really happened. Highly recommended.

Daughters of the North - Sarah Hall

The description from says it is set in a "dystopian, near-future UK." So you know why I had to buy it! I enjoyed this a lot. I liked watching the main character evolve and change over the course of the book. The book is written as if it were reconstructed from tapes, so parts of it are "missing" - forcing us to fill in the blanks. I liked that. It makes you think about what you might do in a similar situation - what does it take to become a freedom fighter?

August 8, 2008


I saw this at Everyday Reads, and thought it looked fun:

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

I've read for as long as I can remember. I can clearly recall losing myself in books in elementary school. My teacher talked the school librarian into letting me into the "big kids" section while I was still in 1st or 2nd grade.

What are some books you read as a child?

Well, I read everything I could get my hands on. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames, Five Little Peppers, fairy tales, the Boxcar Children. My sister and I would re-enact scenes from the books, and even come up with our own scenarios. I guess it was fanfiction, although we didn't know it at the time.

What is your favorite genre?

You guys know the answer to this - Science Fiction. Not fantasy (Harry Potter is the exception).

Do you have a favorite novel?

I re-read a lot of books. The Handmaid's Tale, the Chtorr series (David Gerrold), Pride and Prejudice, 1984, Jane Eyre.

Where and when do you usually read?

At work during lunch, in the evening while watching TV, and before bed. Anytime I know I'll be waiting. Lately I've been taking a book down to the courtroom to read between hearings.

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

Yes. In fact I would say almost always.

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

Only in that I might skip around with the chapters, if the book is set up in a way to make that possible.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?

I buy most of them, or get them from Paperbackswap, or at the used bookstore. I do try to get them from the library first, but our library is very slow about getting some books, and their sci-fi selection is abysmal.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?

I keep the ones I like, and either swap them on Paperbackswap or sell them at the used bookstore. Some I pass on to friends.

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?

I don't have children, but my nephew has inherited our childhood book collection, and loves them as much as we did.

What are you reading now?

The Godmother - by Carrie Adams
On Writing - Stephen King

Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?

No, but I have a pile - well, actually two piles right now - of books to read next.

What’s next?

I have one coming from Amazon - "Watching the English." And my sister has one that she'll be passing on to me, but the title escapes me right now. I have a towering pile to be read, but those are the likely next suspects.

What books would you like to reread?

I keep thinking I should pick up Dune again.

Who are your favorite authors?

Connis Willis, David Gerrold, Nancy Kress, Jane Austen.

BTT: Other Worlds

Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live?

Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?

What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life

I think I'd like to at least visit Harry Potter's world. Maybe Jane Austen's, but only if I got to be friends with Elizabeth Bennet or Emma Woodhouse. My real answer is Star Trek, but that didn't start out in books, so that's cheating a bit.

I certainly wouldn't want to live in 1984, or the Handmaid's Tale, or most any other dystopia. I like to read them, but I wouldn't want to stay there for long.

I would trust Connie Willis or Nancy Kress to write my life, though. It would be interesting, yet real.