Booktalk

Sep. 20th, 2008 10:58 pm
listersgirl: (books)
Long overdue book write-ups. These, I believe, were up until the move at the end of June.

Books )

Booktalk

Jun. 22nd, 2008 06:48 pm
listersgirl: (books)
Oh, you guys, once again I didn't write down anything about the books when I finished them and I now I have only faint memories of most of them. I suck as a recordist!

Books )
listersgirl: (actual reality)
When I rule the universe, all books will come with a "Copious amounts of tears!" warning, so that I'm not sitting on the SUBWAY at 7:30 in the morning CRYING.

So say I.

Booktalk

Apr. 26th, 2008 03:22 pm
listersgirl: (books)
David Allen Ready for Anything

I read this in conjunction with starting to really work through Allen's other book, Getting Things Done. It's kind of a stupid book. The ideas aren't stupid (in fact I think they're rather smart), but they're basically repetitions of what's in GTD, only in a totally different format. Read the other book, skip this one.

Kate Atkinson Not the End of the World

A neat set of somewhat interconnected short stories, some with a slightly supernatural bent. Also, lots of Buffy references.

Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

Like I said before, although I've enjoyed the Austens that I've read, I've never really gotten into them at all. But this one I loved - it was one of those books that I was enjoying so much on the subway that I just sat down and kept reading when I got home.

Italo Calvino If on a Winter's Night a Traveller

I wanted to love this, I really did. The idea was fantastic and very clever, but it just wasn't holding my attention, sadly. (Recommended by [livejournal.com profile] the_larch)

Jennie Erdal Ghosting

The biography of a ghost writer. Quite fascinating. I did come out of it wondering why she stayed with it so long, though. (Recommended by [livejournal.com profile] vestra

Seth Rudetsky Broadway Nights

So funny, I could barely catch my breath at times. In this pseudo-autobiography disguised as a novel, Rudetsky draws on his life as a Broadway pianist, including lots of Broadway gossip that I choose to believe is true. If you have any interest in Broadway behind the scenes, or in madcap, breathless, "Dear Diary" style writing, read this book!

John Kennedy Toole A Confederacy of Dunces

This book took me forever to get into. Until somewhere in the middle, it was really a struggle to get myself to pick it up again. And then it all changed, and it was a very read. I particularly loved Ignacius's writings. Still, I certainly wouldn't say it was the funniest book I've ever read, which is what I've heard from so many people.

Booktalk

Apr. 20th, 2008 05:46 pm
listersgirl: (books)
Kate Atkinson Emotionally Weird

Weird, wacky, and terribly funny. Like a story within a story within a story.

Jane Austen Persuasion

I think I have to admit that although I enjoy Austen's novels, I don't particularly connect to them at all. I'm just never going to be an Austenite. That said, I think this was my favourite so far.

Emma Donoghue Landing

A very sweet romance about a woman from small town Ontario - a museum curator who lives a somewhat sheltered life - who meets and carries on a long distance relationship with a cosmopolitan flight attendant from Dublin. Lovely.

Dave Eggers What is the What

This was excellent - completely different from his previous book which I found alternately highly entertaining and throw-across-the-room irritating. The story of a Sudanese refugee who is resettled in Atlanta, it was compelling and highly descriptive, and, despite how depressing it was in many places, it was full of hope. My only complaint is that it was a bit too jumpy between the past and the present.

Lori Lansens The Girls

This was a great book about conjoined twins living in small town Ontario (yes, again). Very fantastic.

Charles Stross The Family Trade

I went looking for more Stross books, because I loved that one so much. This is the first of a trilogy about a reporter who finds a way to cross over into another world (Stross references Sliders, which cracked me up), one of medieval feudal families with mafia-like tendencies, one where she has a legacy through her birth mother. A slow start, but a mildly entertaining read, although it's *really* part of a trilogy - nothing was resolved at the end of the book.

Charles Stross Glasshouse

This is the sci-fi side of Stross. It didn't really grab me - sometimes the futuristic vocab really got in the way of the story.

And I re-read Christopher Buckley's Thank You For Smoking, which was as funny as ever.

Booktalk

Mar. 1st, 2008 07:43 pm
listersgirl: (books)
Colleen Gleason Rises the Night

More adventures of the Victorian era vampire slayer and her potential paramours. It's like these books were written just for me. Hee. I mean, it's not the pinnacle of good writing, but it's very entertaining.

Georgette Heyer Sylvester

I quite enjoyed this one. It's not often you get a romance novel that is mostly written from the guy's point of view.

Nalo Hopkinson Brown Girl in the Ring

What a fantastic book! A Toronto that crumbled, fell into lawlessness and disrepair, and is ignored by everyone, except for the man who rules by abusing the Caribbean spirits. And a woman who has to find her way to those same spirits in order to protect herself and her family.

Wayne Johnston The Navigator of New York

Taking place in St John's Newfoundland (before it was part of Canada), New York, and Greenland during the turn of the 20th Century, it's a story of family, love, and polar exploration. I enjoyed it very much, despite a somewhat excessive conclusion. Beautiful descriptions, both of travelling through the ice, and of historical New York.

Scott Lynch Red Seas Under Red Skies

A sequel to The Lies of Locke Lamora. Great great stuff. I hope he keeps writing. I missed the rest of the gang (or the having of a gang), though.

Neptune Noir: Unauthorized Investigations into Veronica Mars

These were fun essays - some academic, some very fannish. The only problem was that I really wanted to argue with some of the points and I couldn't! I mean, I did, but no-one heard me. :D

And I re-read American Gods (Neil Gaiman) and Sewer Gas and Electric (Matt Ruff), two of my favourite books.
listersgirl: (books for me)
You all gave me excellent book suggestions! I'd only read two of them (The Omnivore's Dilemma and Possession). I'm very excited to read them, although I have to first read all the books that were waiting for me at the library yesterday. Oh, the horror! :D

I "made" myself start Terry Pratchett's Going Postal first, since that ended up being the unread victim of my last too-large batch of books. And I'm reading one of the Canada Reads picks, Brown Girl in the Ring, although clearly I'm not reading fast enough, since they already picked a winner, and this wasn't it.

I think I might spend this weekend reading.
listersgirl: (claude)
My library system doesn't appear to have any single, borrowable, book copies of Persuasion. CDs? Videos? Complete works? Illustrated complete works? Reference copies? Large print? No problem! But just a book, of the one work, that I can carry around with me? Unless I am blind. Which I now have to go double check.

I had my last Mitzvah technique class tonight. I totally enjoyed it, but I don't really have any interest in going on. I think what I need right now is not more classes, but more days where I come home, stopping by the grocery store, and cook a proper dinner. Maybe I can consider it my making time to cook class. Complete with the glass of wine bribe.

Meanwhile, I'm down to almost nothing on the to-be-read shelf (if you ignore those books I bought last weekend, but those are totally for travelling. totally), and I ran through all my holds at the library, so I went on a book-holding spree on the weekend. But I still have more room! So recommend me a book...

[Poll #1145018]

Booktalk

Feb. 20th, 2008 08:53 pm
listersgirl: (books)
Clearly one of March's resolutions is going to have to be to post about books at least monthly, if not more often, because some of these books are from November or even earlier, and because I didn't write about them right away, I can't even remember any details.

Books! )
listersgirl: (books for me)
And lo, the people have spoken. And the people, they said "Dude, hie thee over to The Omnivore's Dilemma". And thus it was so.*

I have, however, reserved the Coupland as my next carry-around book, by virtue of it a) coming in second, and b) being light. So there you go.

*Despite the fact that apparently I can't spell "dilemma". I always thought it was "dilemna"! My illusions have been shattered.
listersgirl: (socks are talking)
To distract myself over the past week from my miserable throat and hideous coughing, I have, among other things, read three Georgette Heyer books, and the last Harry Potter (finally). And then I went searching for months-old opinions on HP, because I remembered lots of people saying they didn't like the epilogue, and I was curious about that. It was interesting.

I think I'm still to sick to go to my dance class tonight, which sucks mightily. I hate missing the first class. But it requires a little more energy than I have right now, especially since I first have to go out and buy some groceries, what with being out of food and all.

I've decided that 2008 isn't going to officially start until next Monday. Because the new year always feels like a fresh start, but there's no fresh starting while I'm sick. So I'm putting it off. So there!

All my holds except for two came in at once (my own fault, I put them all back on active when I got back from Victoria, without realizing how close they all were). So what should I read next?

[Poll #1118464]

(Note: In case you're worried that I had so few books on hold, I've been trying to empty the list out and start again. New year, new library hold list!)

Booktalk

Dec. 1st, 2007 09:40 pm
listersgirl: (books)
So, while my computer was out being repaired, I wrote down everything I read. Today I went to post about them, only to discover this list, from months ago, that I never posted. So think of this like a booktalk flashback.

Read more... )
listersgirl: (cake)
I think I have too much tea. I know, not possible, right? Except that today, as I was trying to decide what kind of tea to have, I discovered a cardboard box FULL of tea, at least 5 different kinds, none of which I recognized and none of which are in my tea spreadsheet.* So either there's a magic tea portal on top of the fridge behind the microwave, or I have more tea than I know what to do with.

Okay, audience participation time! Two books that I love to pieces are Bellwether by Connie Willis, and Pattern Recognition by William Gibson (which I'm currently re-reading as my subway book, because all my library books are too heavy to carry around. There's something about the trend tracking and "cool" as a concept and how trends get started that absolutely fascinates me. So I'm looking for more (fiction) books that have something to do with these ideas. I know many of you (chickliterati in particular) have read one or both of these books -- any others spring to mind?

On a completely different subject, I think my love for How I Met Your Mother has been well documented here, particularly my love for Barney and Neil Patrick Harris. But a funny thing happens when you mainline an entire season 3 times in a row: you start to notice things. And here's the thing I noticed, the thing I'm totally unimpressed by: the show is way too fond of fat=ugly comments. And it's not even just one character making them. It's not like there are entire episodes built around this idea, but enough throw-away remarks that it's noticeable, especially when you watch so many episodes at once. BOO WRITERS. No gold star for you.

*Yes, you heard me right, I have a tea spreadsheet. So I can keep track of which kinds I like, and which ones I don't want to buy again. See above re: too much tea.
listersgirl: (stole a car)
I am feeling old these days. Old and boring.

HOWEVER.

...damn, I was really hoping I'd come up with something exciting to put there.

***

I've been waking up at 4:30 every morning. I suppose, if one has to wake up in the middle of the night, it's not a terrible time to wake up -- after all, I can still go back to sleep for a while. Better than waking up at 5:30, that's for sure, because waking up at 5:30 means getting depressed over how soon the alarm is going on, working myself into a panic trying to get those last few minutes of sleep, finally falling asleep at 5 minutes to 6, and then being rudely woken up with the alarm 5 minutes later. That's no fun at all.

I do find it odd that I'm so regularly waking at 4:30, though. Maybe I've been programmed! Maybe I'm really a sleeper spy. I should work on my fighting skills, in that case. And my wig collection.

***

Today I came home from the library with a huge bag full of holds (I have to counteract the dwindling to-be-read shelf, after all) and sat and read the first chapter of each, something I haven't done in years. It was always my way of picking which book to read first -- the one where I didn't notice that I'd moved on to the next chapter. And now I know for sure that I have a passel of delightful books waiting for me.

***

Speaking of things to read (...sort of), where is the EW Fall TV Preview? I am anxiously awaiting it, here! Never mind that I don't have cable, I still want to read about what I'm not going to be watching. I heard that the Designer Guys have a new show this fall! I kind of love them. I miss extended cable time-waster shows -- I want to take a vacation that involves me staying in Toronto (so I don't feel guilty about not exploring wherever I am) but being somewhere with all the cable so I can lie around all day, watching home decorating shows, and makeover shows, and cooking shows.

And now we all understand why exactly I got rid of the cable.

***

I made two actual meals for myself this week, and have been living off the leftovers. One, curried chickpeas and tofu, is something I used to make all the time. I don't know why I stopped -- other than chopping onions it's pretty effortless. The other was an attempt to use the chipotle that's been opened. It was a vaguely Caribbean wrap of some sort, involving black bean chipotle hummous, and red peppers and cabbage. It was ok, I guess. The hummous was good, although I couldn't taste the chipotle and my wee food processor wasn't entirely up to the taste of chopping everything up, so it's not super blended. And now I have tortilla shells left, so I am going to think of something else to make with them. Also the rest of the red cabbage. And I'm going to think of it quickly, so that I'm not buying groceries on Sunday. Seriously, never again. That's 3 weeks in a row I've gone to the store on Sunday, only to find them out of the most ridiculous things: this week, it was garlic, cabbage, chick peas, tofu, and my soy milk. CRAZY.
listersgirl: (books for me)
While I'm on the subject of books, does anyone know of a site where I can track new releases from my favourite authors? I'm looking for something that will email me when certain authors have a new book coming out, because I'm just not in bookstores as much as I used to be, and I keep finding out about things months after they've come out.

Booktalk

Sep. 5th, 2007 08:59 pm
listersgirl: (books)
Basically, this turned into a summer's worth of reading, from Cloud Atlas on the train to Stratford with my parents, to the Philip Pullman, which I just finished. I'm my own summer reading program!

Boooooks )

I have almost finished off my entire to-be-read shelf. It's a little disconcerting - what will I do if all my library books are too heavy to carry around?
listersgirl: (claude)
Hello livejournal!

Today after work I got all the way to the subway platform before realizing that I'd left my keys on my desk (this, after getting all the way to the subway entrance yesterday morning before realizing that I'd left my August metropass on the kitchen table). So I went back to work. And my keys weren't on my desk. Because they were in my bag after all. *is very, very pretty*

Two Things Completely Unrelated to the One Above

1) It is officially too hot for cheese. I thought it was too hot for cheese last week, when the time between taking it out of the fridge and eating it was enough to make it go all weepy and *ew*. But today I took the cheese out of the fridge and could feel it melting in my hand. I don't think so.

2) I am reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics. I have been reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics for eons now. I have taken it out of the library, renewed it, renewed it again, returned it to the library, waited for it to be my turn, taken it out of the library, renewed it, re...I think you get the picture. This last time I got clever and left my bookmark in when I returned it to the library, although I immediately realized that with 99 branches there was bound to be more than one copy, reducing my chances of getting the same copy to 1 in a frog's life. However! When I picked my hold up yesterday, it fell open...to my bookmark.

A Multiple-Choice Quiz

Two people are off sick (or "sick") on the same day. The initial reaction of every person who is told this news is to make a joke about how they are having an affair. This means:

a) They are having an affair.
b) They are the two last people you could ever imagine having an affair.
d) Everyone at work is obsessed with sex and really needs to get laid.
e) Oh my god grow up.

Things What Are Wonderful

-Spooks
-Blueberries
-Not feeling like I should be doing anything other than what I'm doing right at this minute
-Getting a fantastically entertaining word in Scrabble, even if it isn't worth that many points
-The upcoming long weekend
-Really good books
-Sabra on So You Think You Can Dance
-Sabra's hair on So You Think You Can Dance

Booktalk

Jun. 29th, 2007 08:27 pm
listersgirl: (books)
Chester Brown Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography
I really should just stop trying with the graphic novels. I mean, I enjoyed the style of storytelling, I learned lots about Riel, I think this should be used in schools to get students more interested in history, but I was also annoyed that the pictures interrupted the text. Although, I did love the caricature of Sir John A.

Christopher Buckley Boomsday

Now that's more like it. Thank you, Mr. Buckley, for restoring my faith in your powers of amusement after the last book of yours I read. This one was a hilarious look down the road a few years when all the boomers start retiring. One 30-something blogger, tired of all the added "youth" taxes needed to support the boomers, proposes inheritance tax breaks and free medical for people who agree to voluntary death at age 65. So funny.

Karen Joy Fowler The Jane Austen Book Club

I was reading this as my subway book, feeling fairly mediocre about it, and then one day I got home and just kept reading. So I guess I was enjoying it. All things considered, it's a fun book, and it inspired me to pick Emma up off my to-be-read shelf next.

Jessica Gregson The Angel Makers

This was fabulous, and I'm not just saying that because she's a friend. :D It's about a girl in a small village in Eastern Europe, before WWI. It's about her relationship with the rest of the village, and I thought I knew where it was going, and then it completely turned itself around on me and it was so good.

Scott Miller Rebels with Applause: Broadway's Groundbreaking Musicals

Here's the thing: when Miller's talking about some of the early shows (Pal Joey, Oklahoma), the book is interesting and informative. But when he starts talking about shows that he's actually been involved in, he is so annoying. Jeez.

Bharati Mukherjee The Tree Bride

This was okay, but not great. It was about an Indian woman, living in California, who finds a connection in the past between her family and her OBGYN's family, which causes her to start reading old diaries and papers. Interspersed with this was the story of the Tree Bride, a young girl whose betrothed died on his way to their wedding, so she was married to a tree so that she wouldn't have to live her life as a widow. Mostly I just found that the two stories didn't mesh well in style, although there were interesting parts to both.

Terry Pratchett The Last Continent

More fun Pratchett, although perhaps going too much for the easy joke.

And now I have all sorts of books out from the library that I'm really excited to read. I hope I can read them soon!
listersgirl: (books for me)
I finished my book on the subway this morning. This is a tragedy of great and terrible proportions! What will I read on the way home? What if we get stuck for hours and I have nothing to do? Not to mention lunch. I'm tempted to go buy a book, but I feel slightly guilty, given the size of my to-be-read shelf at home. Still, appropriate measures must be taken, I'm sure you all agree.

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