Monday, August 6, 2012

David Sedaris and Ann Patchett

I was intrigued by a colleagues review of "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris so I hunted it down at the library. It starts off rather dull and only when he begins to explain his life in France and attempts to learn the language as well as the French reaction to his attempts does the book actually turn out okay. I'm not a Sedaris fan.

I also picked up Ann Patchet's State of Wonder--about a biotechnology scientist hunting down a field scientist in the Amazon. It is through travel and experiences outside our comfort and norm that we learn about how to view other experiences. In some ways you realize how inward looking the main character is and how self-centered she is although she views everyone else in that manner.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The smell of books...

This is so the reason I love secondhand book stores and the library!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Writing Again...

  • "The hardest part is the first three sentences. Sitting down with pen and paper and getting those first three sentences out." ~ Madeleine L'Engle
    My friend Starla is a writer, life coach, gardener, and in general a pretty cool person overall with a company called Outwrite Living. She posts quotes like the one above every once in awhile that really make me think and resonate with a book that I'm reading or make me go back to reading more. It was Starla who hooked me up with the Emerson writing project that really had me thinking. 
    So to the quote above the hardest part is the first three sentences, well mine came out really quickly and I'm curious what the rest of the story holds. As I continue to write hopefully I can share more...
    "Hobbes had precariously balanced on the edge of the green couch all morning. He watched the construction workers in the street outside the front window moving dirt and rocks and pavement. It was 2:30pm exactly when Holliday let out a low growl and lunged for the window knocking Hobbes to the ground."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Library Fines and New Books

First it's been a long time since I wrote about our trips to the library. It is not that we haven't been to the library, rather that we have been reading so much and doing other things that I haven't taken the time to write.

Library Fines!
We had several of our favorite books out for too long and then forgot to renew them. Then we realized a few were "new" to the library which gives us even higher fines.
Total payment was...
I must admit we loved the books.

So what are the new books we are reading

1. What Makes Us Fat? Great review of several scientific studies from 1900-2010 looking at how fat is formed in our bodies, why the calorie in/calorie out theory does not work, what is it about where fat forms in our bodies is genetic but at the same time not always a food decision.
Two interesting points: 1. 20 extra calories a day adds up to 10 extra pounds very quickly. 2. As we age and grow our bodies overeat to allow for growth yet we do not gain fat but our gaining fat even when we eat little and exercise significantly has something that means there is another reason for gaining fat.

2. Wiley and Grandpa and BIGFOOT!

3. Lego Starwars Phantom Menace.

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Books

I Spy Books
Scooby I can Read
Dinosaur Cove

These are the books we love right now. Wylie can read by sounding out the words slowly but surely the I Spy books with a bit of help from Wyatt and I. He spells the word, sounds it out and then works to find the right pronounciation and then gets to find the object. In some of the bigger words we help him, but for the most part he gets the pronounciation right which is a big deal and makes him happy. Lower case u's and n's give him a bit of run for the money in that he reverses them continually. I wonder about that but not too worried.
The Scooby I can Read book has pictures for common objects instead of words and that makes Wylie very excited to be able to "read" part of the story to me and then add in the words that he knows by sight. In the back are the pictures he "read" with the words spelled out underneath. He then spells those words and puts the two together. Kind of cool.

Dinosaur Cove is a new series of chapter books we are enjoying about two boys who become friends while hunting for dinosaur fossils. Lots of adventure and lots of fun.

SPSHDS is just pure alien fun written by our favorite authors of the Time Warp Trio and Math Curse.

Great visit to the library and looking forward to a few weeks of great reading.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Full Dark No Stars

Stephen King is back to who he was before he started writing just to make money. Okay not a totally fair assessment but for awhile he lost me and it felt like he was writing a bunch of  junk that was a neat idea for the back of the book and then had maybe a 50 page story that his editor convinced him to turn into a 500 page book.

This is the macabre and dark writing that just mystifies me. It is the reality that you know can and does exist in very normal people. It is the reality turned on its side ever so gently and then wham you start looking at people a bit differently.

He explains where it came from and how it got to where it ended.

A quick read similar to his short stories from the early writings and he even writes that they remind him of his very early writings such as The Long Walk.

It was a happy read.

Death Comes to Pemberly

Thank you P.D. James!
Finally an author who captured the simplicity of Austen with the devilishness of the author's own style. It wasn't just a continuation of Austen but it was the story we wanted to know yet the story that was in P.D.James not in our heads necessarily.
I loved the twist even if there was a bit that was WAY too obvious.
I love that Darcy is still an idiot at times and that Lydia is still a flit.
I think though Elizabeth wasn't as solid as she could have been but then again maybe it is a side of her we never saw fully as a single woman?

It was a wonderful read by one of my favorite authors.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

E-Books, My Kindle, and the Library!

So our local library has the literature out to program your library card and kindle to check out e-books. I'm very excited about this as the books have internal "bombs" built in so that they just disappear when the due date comes and you have no fines! YES!  They have online resources as well that can be found here in their Overdrive system.

I also found out that if you are an Amazon Prime member (cost around $70 a year) you can borrow books for the Amazon Kindle for free at a rate of about 1 to 2 a month. You must return the book to the Amazon lending library before borrowing a new one and it is permanently erased from your Kindle but still a good idea. This resource is available for new books as well as older titles. I have "tried" the beginning of two series through this method and now will most likely buy the next book in the series. Yes I will BUY the next book in the series.

So why am I interested and excited about this and what is the concern?
Interest One: Way to get access to more books with more portability
Interest Two: Possibly way to avoid the ouch factor of my ever existing library fines. $30+ this time!!!!
Concern: The libraries keeping up with e-demand and keeping up with the stodgy and freaking publishers. The article by the Washington Post on the issue can be found here.

The publishers need to learn that if you give me something to try at the library for free or to read then the library will buy more and I will eventually buy more. The libraries can eventually charge a minor cost for the access or will actually see the shift in their costs from just hard bound to the e-book licenses. In either case more people reading is a good thing.