thurs 13 Dec 2007
Do you use any of the online book-cataloguing sites,
like Library Thing or Shelfari? Why or why not?
Yes and Yes; I keep a commonplace book, a database and a GoodReads.
My favorite "catalog" is my commonplace book. All the books and magazines I've read get listed in the book. And any interesting quotes. It's a delight to page through.
I use hard backed, lined journals for my commonplace books. Currently I'm about half way through my second one. The first one is years 2001 through 2004, and the current starts at 2005.
The database that I use is most convenient, and I use it when I need an author's name or random book info. It's called BookBag, it's software for my handheld and it also keeps the list on my computer as well.
I've got 367 books listed right now. But that's only the books I've read since year 2000. I've not entered the books I bought before then, and there are hundreds, so unless I re-read them, they probably won't make it into the database!
As for online catalogs, I did join LibraryThing last year. I added a few of my Animal Fiction books and then lost interest. Here's my, um, 18 books there: rift's LibraryThing.
And more recently, I joined GoodReads. I've entered 18 books there, too, and written reviews for some of them. They have a "Vegan" group there... of which I was the second member and now they've got all of four! haha. Here's my profile: riftVegan at GoodReads.
I use the online catalog mostly to read reviews. Or maybe I just obsess over reading...
tues 4 Dec 2007
50-50. I needed a tie breaker. Because even tho I am happily happy to have read those two awesome books... I'm not sure if I want to continue if I have to keep buying crappy books I hate.
I was looking though the Award website, and a book on the 2006 "short list" caught my eye. Matriarch by Karen Traviss. Yeah, it might have been the cover (Fishies!), because I am certainly not going to read a book that is part of a "War" series.
It's book number four in a series of six, I think. I got it as an ebook, and figured if I liked it, I could get 1, 2 and 3 later.
I'm about 50 pages into it. And I can't believe how perfect this book is for me! Of course, most of this is just catching up from the first three books, but here's the basic premise:
Humans are out in space, doing their stupid human tricks. aka, making war and blowing up random aliens. Humans've bombed one species to extinction and now some other aliens are going to make earth pay. The aliens are on their way, but it'll take 30 years to get there. Of course, the humans on earth know they are coming but they don't care because it's 30 years away! haha! Plus, we're not sure what the aliens are going to do to earth once they get there. Some kind of environmental clean up? Just kill all the humans in an attempt to restore the ecosystem?
and the clincher?!?! The aliens are strict vegans! Vegans!
I am in love with the aliens. I suppose they won't be arriving at earth until the last book in the series. But I am definitely there! Or I will be once I get a lot of reading done!
Challenged: And Tango...
sat 6 Oct 2007
Continuing on with Banned Books Week, of which this is the last official day! The number one challenged book of 2006 was And Tango Makes Three, a childrens book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, and illustrated by Henry Cole.
The story is about two male penguins, who live with the flock(?) in the zoo in Central Park (NYC). Roy and Silo are nesting together, and after trying with an egg-shaped rock, are given a fertilized egg. They care for the egg and Tango (a girl) is hatched.
The book was challenged "for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group".
I try to add a few challenged books to my list every year, and this one just looked too cute to pass up. The illustrations are wonderful. I love animals and art, so I'm glad to have this book.
I disagree with all of the reasons the books was challenged. The "unsuited to age group", especially. The reading level is ages 4 to 8. At that point the kids are going to school, and being exposed to other kids and their families. I don't know why people would try to "shelter" their child from loving families.
The book is not "anti-family". It is obviously "pro-family"!
And "homosexuality". You know what? They are penguins. and "sin" is a made up, human word which only applies to humans. Silly religious humans. ;)
In sidenote, the penguin thing is amusing... Unless you are someone who spends time with penguins, you can't tell the girls from the boys anyway. ha. The penguins know, but they didn't peck Roy and Silo out of their flock.
All that said, I do have a problem with the book. Zoos. It is an outrage that we send innocents to prison.
But I would still recommend reading the book to a child. And then talking about all the different issues the book raises: love knows no bounds and zoos are evil.
I read the book to the only six year old that I know. Granted, in guinea pig years, she's actually about 90. And she would have liked to have a nibble of the book in order to enhance her reading experience.
Banned Books Week
sat 29 Sept 2007
Yay Books! And Yay Celebrating our Freedoms!
The books I've read on the Top 100 Challenged Books List...
Since last year, I've only added one book to my list of banned books, #17 A Day No Pigs Would Die. It was harsh, but I'm glad I read it...
And, I am very proud to say that my Significant Other has also read a banned book this year. #69 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. SO is not a reader, so it's a happy day when he actually finishes a book!!
And again, my favorite part from the Freedom to Read Statement...
We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them.
at Flickr, Banned Books Week 2007
Banned Books Online
Sat 15 Sept 2007
I've finished the first two books of the Dark Materials trilogy. and I got a random Witch World book at FictionWise (Andre Norton coauthored with Lyn McConchie)... it was about horses so I couldn't pass it up!
And now I've run into The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente. I had marked it for some unknown reason, but when I came back I had just read a rave review about it and so put it in my shopping cart.
I looked up the Amazon reviews, and whoa, out of 18, 17 gave the book 5/5 stars. And then I noticed the price... I could get an ebook at Fictionwise for 2.70$ less than the dead tree version. And, since I have a bunch of credit coming to me at FictionWise, I didn't even have to pull out my credit card. Yay!
Yeah, okay, I get excited about buying books. laughs.
And after I finally downloaded my new book, I figured out why I had marked it in the first place... It won the Tiptree award in 2006!
I read the 2002 Tiptree Award winner, Light, a couple months ago, but did not like it in the least. Too gritty and incomprehensible. And I just finished the Tiptree biography, Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, which won recognition in 2006.
So now I'm interested in all the Tiptree Award winners. The award started in 1991, with a few retrospective winners. It looks like there are one to three winners every year, so that's a nice pile of books. *grins*
The James Tiptree, Jr. Award, is an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender... The aim of the award is not to look for work that falls into some narrow definition of political correctness, but rather to seek out work that is thought-provoking, imaginative, and perhaps even infuriating. The Tiptree Award is intended to reward those women and men who are bold enough to contemplate shifts and changes in gender roles, a fundamental aspect of any society.
Thumbs Up. And now I am thinking about making a list of the winners and typing up reviews as I read all of them. :)
Booking: 4 books at a time
Fri 17 Aug 2007
I keep a weekly tally of the books I'm reading and the page count, because I obsess over numbers. ha. I read three to five books, mostly four that I'm actively reading and at least one magazine of short stories (Mag of Fant & SciFi).
Usually there is one novel and several different kinds of non-fiction. It's not difficult to keep things straight, but it does take longer to read a specific book. Sometimes that's a good thing.
The Golden Compass
Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol 2
James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon
The Creative Habit
I've also got a bookmark in a World Treasury of Science Fiction, but haven't read it in weeks. It's a huge book, just over 1,000 pages and I'd really like to finish it this year. So I should probably get back to reading it as well!
Booking: School Books
Thurs 21 June 2007
Yeah, I think most of my college notes are boxed up, sitting in my parent's basement! I'm sure I saved my artwork from high school, but hopefully, nothing else from that era.
I wouldn't mind having that stuff back so that I can go through it. My art is probably not worth having, but I did take some interesting classes in college. And I'm forgetting the information I learned... The animal nutrition classes were among my favorites; I remember "PVT TIM HALL" stands for the essential amino acids, but I've forgotten what they all are!
I also took several creative writing classes, and I think I kept hardcopies of the stories. maybe? I wrote them on a jazzed up typewriter, saved to disk, but then got rid of the typewriter so the disks are useless. I totally regret ditching that typewriter. It had a little tetris game on it, even. sighs.
The books from my college classes, I mostly sold back. I did keep a couple. I was intent on reading my Astronomy book, straight up. But have yet to. It does have some great photos in it.
I think I kept the book of Chaucer. But I don't remember seeing it around, so I'm not sure what happened to that. We had to memorize the first paragraph of The Canterbury Tales and recite it in the original Middle English. "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote..." bleh.
I also kept the Collegiate Dictionary of Zoology. I actually use this book on a fairly regular basis! I have an interest in animal classification.
... So ... from the random classes I've mentioned, do you think you could guess what my major was??
Haha, nope, you're not even close!
I majored in Equine Science, Industry Concentration. And minored in Computer Science.
And yeah, I'm a wage slave making screens to print decals. I think one time I got to make a screen with a horse on it, but that's as close as I get to my college major these days.
Booking: Paper or Plastic
Thurs 31 May 2007
Quite possibly, I love ebooks more than paper books. Yep. The only exception would be art books, art instruction or craft books where the photos are important. Other than that, it's only the text that matters.
I have typed before about how much I love my handheld. It's a Palm Tungsten T2, I bought it from Amazon in 2003. It cost $372, and it has more than paid for itself in free ebooks... I've read over 90 free Gutenberg ebooks (and counting). If I bought those books, they would have to be 4$ each to equal the cost of my handheld. And, unless you're buying the weeded books from the library, books aren't that cheap anymore! So, the Palm is paid for, and then some. :)
(Granted, I could have read all the books from the library. But I would rather be playing on my computer and downloading rather than driving places and wasting my time doing socially accepted things.)
I found it interesting to surf through this week's Booking responses. Honestly, I am a bit disturbed by the stereotypical answers of why paper books are so much better than ebooks: "curling up" with a book, the smell, turning pages, "holding" a book. And the oft repeated "reading on a computer screen gives me a headache." uh huh... if it gives you a headache, maybe you should quit reading and typing blogs, which, if you hadn't noticed, you are Reading on a computer screen. *rolls eyes*
heh. I curl up with my handheld every day. I push a button instead of turning pages (I prefer not to scroll). I can read my handheld in the dark since my screen is back lit. I can switch books with a flick of my stylus. I bookmark passages I want to come back to.
Well, whatever. I love reading ebooks on my handheld and that's all there is to it!
Now, if you are a collector, that is a different matter. The physical book matters because it's got inscriptions or notes in the margins which add to the personal or historical value. Collecting is less about "reading" and more about "having" or "ownership", and so, obviously there is no reason to even consider ebooks.
I am not a book collector, altho I do hoard the books I buy. I am a reader, through and through. I guess I'm just weird that way. :)
Write, Wrote, Written: Long Live the Printed Word types about why "holding" a book is important. I don't like to touch used books, and, for me, reading is not tactile.
Caution Blind Driver: Alternate Texts Wow! What a great post about ebooks as audio books! Big Thumbs Up.
Chaucerian Girl: Booking Through Thursday :) I didn't read every single response at this week's Booking, but this is the only other blogger who reads ebooks regularly. She seems pretty cool. Oh, wait, she's an ebook author, too!
Thurs 22 Mar 2007
This year, I want to get through some of the big books that have been laying in my to-be-read pile. So, a while ago, I picked up the World Treasury of SF (out of print).
The book is huge, heavy, and has over 1,000 pages, so it's a bit tedious to haul it out and prop it up to read. The stories started out pretty good. But after about 100 pages, a small annoying fact became blaringly obvious...
All the stories were written by men, for men, about men. Occasionally a female character would show up, and she would be a cardboard cutout, just getting in the way of the men.
It is making me cringe.
So, in response, I started reading some James Tiptree Jr., who is a feminist. I had gotten interested in Tiptree from reading reviews of the biography of Alice Sheldon that recently came out. It sounds fascinating, and I'm waiting for the paperback edition to come out.
From the very first Tiptree story in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, I was hooked. And on the second story, I was addicted! Tiptree is the coolest! The stories are very intelligent, mostly end-of-civilization type, very hard to put down once you've started. Wow, I can't believe it's taken me this long to discover Tiptree!
And since the first story in Her Smoke was kind of about bird flu, I decided it was a sign to start reading the book, Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching. It's available online for free reading, at that link.
I am 100 pages in, and I gotta say, this book is terrifying. It's totally nonfiction, very researched with over 3,000 footnotes, but it reads like a horror story. We're all gonna die!
Yeah, so the book really messed up my mindset. In response to That, I've taken up reading Thoreau's Journals again. *relieved sigh* His writing is like a breath of fresh air. Not ordinary air, but spring time air, with maple sap starting to flow to be turned into sugar and snow melting and good things.
And, of course, I am still reading Darwin's Descent of Man. I am not sure when I started reading this book, but it's been more than just months... it may be approaching a year! ha.
I'm not concerned about the slow reading of Darwin. I am concerned about the magazines that keep piling up. Even tho I read my mags at work, and now on the treadmill, the next magazine shows up and the last one isn't even read yet. humph.
Thurs 1 Mar 2007
Ha. I totally obsess over numbers, so today's Booking is right up my alley!
I read approximately a book a week... tho this year I want to tackle a bunch of very large books, and the "book a week" thing probably isn't going to work out!
I've been keeping track of my books since 2001...
2001... 35 books read
And so far this year, I've finished 8 books.
The five year total (year 2002 to 2006) is 254.
SciFi Book Meme
Tue 20 Feb 2007
Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?
Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
Heinlein or Asimov?
Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Hitchhiker or Discworld?
Bookmark or Dogear?
Magazine: Asimov's Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?
Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?
Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Year's Best Science Fiction series
(edited by Gardner Dozois) or Years Best SF series
(edited by David G. Hartwell)?
Keep dustjacket or toss it?
Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Short story or novel?
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Buy or Borrow?
Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
Lewis or Tolkien?
Hard SF or Space Opera?
Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Hugo or Nebula?
Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?
Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
Standalone or Series?
Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
New or used?
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Top X favorite genre books read last year? (Where X is 5 or less)
Top X favorite genre books of all time? (Where X is 5 or less)
X favorite genre series? (Where X is 5 or less)
Top X favorite genre short stories? (Where X is 5 or less)
Thurs 25 Jan 2007
There are exactly 43 unread books of the dead tree variety that I have bought but not read yet.
And there are approximately 350 unread ebooks.
I do a pretty good job of rotating through my unread books. I think I've acquired all of these books during this century (ie, since year 2000), except one.
It's a science fiction World Treasury. I think I got it new and the copyright is 1989, so that's the book that's been with me the longest. It's huge and unwieldy and physically dangerous to read. ;) But I'm hoping to get it out this year and finish it off!
I don't feel guilty about my piles. I am reading all the time, and I will get to all the books eventually! It makes me happy to own them. And I get excited to have so many choices.
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