selenay: (Default)
A day late again, but at least I'm doing it this week...

What are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading Maplecroft by Cherie Priest. It's fantasy-ish about Lizzie Borden after she killed her parents, about why she killed them and why she always has an axe with her. I'm only a couple of chapters in, but I'm already hooked.

What did you recently finish?

Revelation by C J Sansom, at last! Despite the length of time it took to read, I did really enjoy it. Sansom wrote a Tudor mystery about a serial killer, which added some interesting elements about Tudor attitudes to that type of killer, madness, and the Church, which ended up being fascinating to read.

What do you think you'll read next?

Probably The Sweetness at the End of the Pie, because it's a library book and therefore takes priority. I'm trying to catch up on my fic reading on the Kindle, so that's probably going to be it for now.
selenay: (Default)
Yet again, a day late, but it's still Wednesday somewhere. Right?

What are you currently reading?

On the Kindle, it's Revelation by C J Sansom, which got put aside for a couple of days while I read fic, but I'm back on it now and finally getting properly engrossed.

My physical book is Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. I've read the other two in the series, so I put this one on hold as soon as the library had it available. I'm not completely sold on it yet, but I'm getting pulled in, and hopefully it'll hit the interesting twist soon.

What did you recently finish?

The Medical Detective by Sandra Hempel, which was a surprisingly fascinating book about the history of cholera and Dr. John Snow's life.

What do you think you'll read next?

I accidentally ended up with a couple of extra books when I was picking up Isla, because the librarians are terrible and keep putting a display of awesome stuff between the doors and the hold shelves. Argh! So it will be one of those. In all likelihood, I'll go for Maplecroft first, because I've been hearing a lot of buzz about it and I'm intrigued.
selenay: (Default)
The weekend was largely spent veging out, for once. I spent Saturday morning taking down the last of the Christmas decs and stashing them under the stairs, did a bit of writing...and then huddled up with a book for the rest of the day. It was lovely, even if my reading material was about the history of cholera.

I needed something slightly brainless on Sunday morning, due to recovering from a migraine, so I dragged out a puzzle and put on some podcasts. It's been ages since I last faffed around with a puzzle, and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it. This might be my project for a while, but I'm already trying to work out when I'll next have a couple of hours free to continue working on.

*sigh* I have a feeling that I'm going to be buying more puzzles. I do have a bit of a softness for the Thomas Kincaid designs.

My brain returned enough yesterday to finish the cholera book, so that's all good. And even though I only actually wrote new words on Saturday, I did make a ton of notes on a potential new novel idea. I've got a broad outline of what I want it to do, some characters, and a list of stuff I'd need to research in order to write it, anyway. I've made all the notes and firmly put it into the idea queue so it can ferment a bit.

There's a blog in my head post on DS9 season 3 and why it's an important turning point for the show, but that's best written on another day. When I have enough brain for it.

Instead, I'll leave you with a new essay by Foz Meadows on fanfiction, which I thought was fascinating and thought provoking and worthy of much discussion.
selenay: (Default)
What are you currently reading?

The Maze Runner, because the film looks interesting and I prefer to read the book first.

What did you recently finish?

Indexing by Seanan McGuire, which I loved. Twisted fairy tales are wonderful. And The Yard by Alex Grecian, which was a fun Victorian mystery.

What do you think you'll read next?

I should probably read The Library Diaries before it has to go back to the library. I've also got some comics to catch up on, so I might try to mainline some Saga over the weekend.
selenay: (Default)
What are you currently reading?

The Library: An Unquiet History. It's research for my NaNo project. I'm also reading The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan, as a bit of light relief.

What did you recently finish?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor. It's gorgeous.

What do you think you'll read next?

I'm not sure, but I've got The Yard by Alex Grecian on my stack from the library, so that's looking like a solid contender.
selenay: (Default)
What are you currently reading?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. It's a YA book that's been on my radar for ages, so when it appeared on my local library shelves, I snapped it up. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, particularly all the lovely atmospheric Prague chapters.

What did you recently finish?

Beautiful Chaos, another YA book. I read it in two sittings because it was *that* compelling. And the ending blew me away.

What do you think you'll read next?

I picked up a batch of holds from the library on Monday, so it'll be something from that. I've got a couple of books that I requested for research for my NaNo novel and those are my priorities. Probably Library: An Unquiet History will shuffle to the top of the stack.

Kindle!

Sep. 18th, 2010 09:02 pm
selenay: (reader)
My Kindle arrived a few days ago. So excited! I love it already :-)

Cut for length )

In short, I adore my Kindle to itty bitty pieces and can absolutely see why people are raving about them so much!
selenay: (wizpod)
Guilty confession time: I've ordered a Kindle. In fact, I ordered it last week. Went for the basic wi-fi only model, because there is rarely a time when I am without wi-fi access of some kind and I cannot justify paying an extra $50 for the 3G connection when I will rarely need it.
Cut for much self-justification )

Hopefully I'll have my Kindle here and ready to go before my mini-break in October, so I don't end up packing half a dozen books with me. Mum and I booked our accommodation yesterday (http://www.lunenburginn.com/): twin room with a private walk out onto a deck overlooking picturesque parts of a lovely old harbour town. I'll admit, the Bradt guide's (insert link) discussion of gourmet breakfasts might have won us over. We also get an LCD TV with DVD in our room, so we can go out exploring during the day and spend the evenings with silly movies. What space we save on books will probably be used for DVDs. It's going to be a brilliant break and I'm really going to need it!
selenay: (reader)
Aah, the dilemmas that the modern geek can face.

I have plans to buy an iPod Touch, but I am holding out for information on the 4th generation. The official announcement about it is expected within the next couple of weeks, which is when I will know whether the new features are sufficient to keep me waiting for it (rather than buying the 3rd gen now) and when it is likely to ship to Canada. The BBC now has a couple of apps to deliver news and some radio content, so I'm even more excited about the possibilities of the iPod Touch, as if apps for Skype, Twitter, LJ, newspapers, and calendar stuff in my pocket when I'm travelling weren't enough. The daily BBC headlines email has been out of action ever since the BBC News website was upgraded and I find myself rather bereft it. Who knew how much I rely on the ease of skimming through the headlines to stay in touch with the world?

In the meantime, I've been thinking about ebook readers. I intend to install all the various ebook apps on my Touch when I finally get it, but I'm also thinking about a dedicated reader. Mostly this is because the new Kindle has a version that is within what I think is reasonable for a reader ($139 for the WiFi only version) and I've had a few demonstrations over the last few days of how useful an ereader can be. Kindle is winning at the moment not just on price, but on range of books. Mum's Sony reader allows her to borrow from the library and gives her a reasonable range in the bookstore, definitely everything she's likely to want, but not as much as the Amazon store.

I haven't really spotted anything from my local library's ebook collection that I'd want to borrow and I know that Amazon still beats everyone else for range. So it's hard to justify sticking with Sony (or even trying the Kobo that works with Chapters) when the new Kindle seems to fit my needs better. I could even buy the Independent on the Kindle for that lovely Saturday afternoon with tea and a good newspaper experience. Do not get me started on how hard it is to find outside-Canada news in the main paper here.

Am I crazy to be jumping on the Kindle bandwagon? Am I crazy to be even looking at a dedicated reader? After all, I'll have an iPod Touch one day and the Indie has an app and...

I feel almost like a traitor to be so seriously considering the Kindle. It's not like I can't afford it. The money is there in my gadget fund, far surplus to what I'll need for the Touch, and it would be perfect for always having a book in my bag no matter how stupidly long the book is. Not to mention never again being in the situation of picking totally the wrong book for a long flight, because I'd have dozens on the reader to choose from. It could even make defeating the Reading Prevention Team (Kate knows exactly when I pick up a book and demands cuddles and scritchings instead every time) a bit easier. I'm not abandoning my love of the printed word in printed books with that lovely musty dusty smell, I'm just adding to my reading possibilities. And what I'd buy and put onto the Kindle is likely to be different to what I'd buy in printed copy (free classics, bad romances for when I need that fix but can't face the embarrassment of people seeing that I have them, pop fiction that I don't want cluttering my bookshelves).

I'm talking myself into this, aren't I?
selenay: (bookworm)
The other adventure yesterday was trying out a new hair salon. The ladies on my f-list will understand about the pain and trauma this can inspire. Will they do a good job? Am I going to spend weeks growing out a cut I hate? Will the colour turn out well or am I going to look like something from a bad eighties movie until I can get to the drug store and cover it up?

The good news is that the trip went well. I like the colour a lot, although I might go for a slightly brighter red next time. I didn't want to go straight for the bright, bright colours just in case they were too bright. Still, I like it.

The cut was also good. A little different to what I've had done before, but currently I like it. She's cut it a little shorter and tighter around the back and let the front sections stay a little longer. Then she styled it as she dried, an entirely new experience for me. There was product! And possibly serum! It looks really nice - lies right, doesn't flick out in unexpected directions (always an issue for me) and the stuff she smoothed over it at the end (er, serum? Maybe?) has tamed all the fly-away frizzy bits.

So I need some advice. She rubbed something into my hair before she started to dry it. What kind of thing might that have been? It seems to have made it style nicely and hold its shape without being all funny and sticky. And the stuff at the end, does that sound like some kind of serum?

Colour me clueless on girly hair styling products. Um, this may also be why I've always had problems with flicking out and fly-away bits and the other stuff that drives me crazy!

As I walked out of my job interview yesterday, I realised that I didn't have a book with me for the salon. I know that there's usually a decent length of time while I wait for dye to do its thing, so I usually have a book with me to read. Eeep! Obviously the only solution was to stop at Chapters on the way to the salon (Chapters being conveniently located just opposite the mall) and buy Blood and Iron by [livejournal.com profile] matociquala. Er, and a little handbag can of yummy Godiva's choccies as a treat for flunking the interview ;-) I'm only 30 pages in, but I can already safely say that I'm enjoying the book muchly. However, I must wait until I've finished my re-read (this time in hardback!) of Three Go to the Chalet School before I can carry on. I'm determined not to have more than three books on the go at once!
selenay: (reader)
I was cataloguing books at the weekend in preperation for my move and got to
the Mercedes Lackey shelf. Um, it turns out that I have 40 ML books *is
embrassed*

Anyway, leaving aside my slight obsession, I picked up Magic's
Promise
and decided that I was about due for a Vanyel re-read and that
particular one appealed. I'm not sure why - usually I go for the first or
last book in the series because I'm a sucker for the romance. This time,
though, I'm enjoying Promise more than I ever remember enjoying it
before. It seems to be a book that gets better each time I re-read it. The
other two are old familiar friends, but right now I seem to see new things
in Promise far more than I do in the other two.

Does anyone else have books like that? Ones that you were a bit meh-ish
about on the first read, but seem to get better every time you go back to
them?

The only slight problem with the re-read is that I get so absorbed I forget
to do important things, like going to sleep or leaving for work. D'oh!
selenay: (Tara - lovely)
Today I had another hospital appointment, the follow-up to my fitting for orthotics at the end of April. I took the casts they've made for my feet (very heavy!) and toted them down to the hospital.

Cut for boring medically stuff )

After the appointment, I decided to pop into the restaurant in the new House of Fraser for tea and cake. It's the closest thing we have to a nice tea/cake shop now that Patisserie Valerie is definitely not coming to town and I'm starting like tea shops much more than coffee shops. Ironic when you consider that I'll be moving to a country that hasn't even heard of tea shops! Maybe that should be my new career?

On the way, I popped into HMV for a bit of a browse and found that they were selling a box-set of Jane Austen films for a silly price and I couldn't resist. Three JA films for a third of their original price? Six hours of romantic classics? Including Mansfield Park, which I have never yet got past page 100 of but have been assured is much better on screen? I couldn't resist!

And then there was lemon meringue pie and a nice pot of tea while I read Summer Term at Trebizon which (almost) entirely made up for the trauma of the clinic so all is now right with the world.
selenay: (books 2)
Last night I ploughed on with the new mittens through Holby City (now a BAFTA award winning continuing drama, dontcha know - sounds much more dignified than "cracktastic soap") and I got the cuff done and part way up the hand. I added an extra repeat of the cable pattern because I know that my hands are very long and so far it looks beautiful.

I'm knitting in the round on double pointed needles for the first time and I seem to be doing it OK because there is no sign of a seam between needles. Yay me! It's very exciting and there is actually a good chance that I'll have one mitten done by the end of the weekend. So they're quick as well as beautiful. Yay!

Then it's back to my sister's blanket for a few weeks. So far, we have 14 out of the 63 patches done and the first row has been crocheted together. Getting that first bit put together always makes a project feel like it's going somewhere.

In other things, I had a thought earlier this evening about characterisation in Girl's Own fiction. I'm currently reading Upper Fourth at Malory Towers (Enid Blyton) and I'm noticing the characters are a bit less rounded than the Chalet School characters. I know that many GO books don't have the deepest, most well-rounded characters. But it strikes me that some are much better in this department than others. Perhaps this is why I love Chalet School so much? Although EDB does things that modern writers would never get away with, she does give her characters more personality and layers than many of her contemporaries and her characters are allowed to grow with time. So far, in the fourth MT book, there isn't actually very much character progression for some of the characters and all of them are still rather 2D sketches.

A thought to ponder.
selenay: (bookshop)
I received my Ravelry invite last night and couldn't resist staying up an hour later than planned to set things up. I am apparently turning into a knitting geek :-) But I can be found here and I've already joined a scary number of groups and input a couple of the projects that I've worked on. I really need to take some photos of my blankets, though...

This afternoon I plan to watch rugby and knit so I anticipate having the back of the baby jacket completed. I may even start a front panel, depending on how absorbing the matches are.

This morning has been a really good Saturday morning. Despite grey, heavy, lurky skies, Mum and I went out for a walk to the local second hand bookshop. It felt good to be out walking after several weeks of either not being able to get out due to weather or being too busy to get out. It's a four mile round trip but I still feel really good. Obviously my stamina is starting to improve! I've just got to double that distance and get some hill walking practise and I'll be ready to tackle Snowdon :-)

I hadn't actually planned on buying any books because I never do. I was going to be good and virtuous. I wasn't even going to stop for snacks or anything.

Um.

Six books (one Mallory Towers and five St Clare's) plus one second breakfast/brunch later...

I have absolutely no willpower *sigh*
selenay: (bookshop)
Usually I would write a long, in-depth assessment of this week’s rheumatology appointment. The thing is, for the first time I was a good appointment. Dr S. was very pleased that my pain levels are back down to normal, my Arcoxia dose is back to 60mg a day and I’ve even stopped the amitriptyline. All the tests were normal, my blood pressure is back to normal now that I’m in less pain and overall it’s very encouraging. I’m back to see him in May, but he was very happy. I even had a chat to him about getting my medical records for the eventual move to Canada and he said that it wouldn’t be a problem. Woo-hoo!

The thing that I have discovered is that the amitriptyline was stopped my usual headaches and migraines. This was discovered by having a migraine last week and realising that I’d hardly had any headaches since I started taking the stuff. Having stopped it at Christmas, my headaches are back to normal. Ho-hum. At least I know that it’s a possibility if I start having sleep problems again or my headaches get overwhelming.

Life with EDS/hypermobility: surprises around every corner!

Onto the books and bruising. The bruising is due to the bench that I walked into today. I now possess a bruise and big bump on my knee because I somehow entirely failed to see the bench until I collided with it. Ouch! I was in London at Covent Garden station so there wasn’t anywhere convenient to stop and take stock of things because it was so darned busy there. It’s been reminding me of it’s presence wherever I walked and whenever I needed to bend my leg, which was quite a lot today.

The purpose of today’s little London expedition was to visit Foyles and spend the book tokens that my parents, sister and I all received for Christmas. It seemed a shame to give our loot to a big chain store, so we went for the best independent bookshop around and spent several happy hours exploring it followed by cake (vegan chocolate cake for my father - heaven!) in their coffee shop. We were all attempting to buy things that we couldn’t get elsewhere so Mum ended up with a couple of favourite authors and a Charles Dickens that she’d never heard of, Da has some poetry and a travel book, Sis has plays and Oscar Wilde and my purchases can be viewed on LibraryThing.

I love bookshops. Just being surrounded by so much knowledge and imagination is wonderful. There is this feeling that anything is possible between the pages and the books are just waiting for you to pick them up and explore then. Bringing new books home is like bringing home new friends and my fingers are itching to open them and start getting to know them. I deliberately went for books that I haven’t read before and, in fact, only one is by an author that I’ve read before. Tamora Peirce is an excellent children’s author and I haven’t read anything of hers that I’ve disliked. I know Mark Gatiss through his writing for Doctor Who and his reputation so I’m looking forward to finding out what his original fiction is like. It will certainly be different and well-written, so hopefully it will also be something I thoroughly enjoy. I couldn’t resist the sequel to Peter Pan and I’ve got the debut novel from an author I haven’t heard of before but the premise sounded very interesting and the first couple of pages already have me hooked.

Sometimes I wonder whether I wouldn’t be better working in a bookshop or public library than as a programmer. Not just because I love books, but because I love sharing books with people and researching. Maybe one day my dream of opening my own bookshop will because a reality :-)
selenay: (bookshop)
I am enjoying the first of two days off work on holiday. The best bit? No bloody hospitals! This is the first real day off that I've had since April that hasn't involved the medical profession poking, prodding and attempting to diagnose me. Yay!

I celebrated by trundling into London and buying books. Yummy. My new friends can be seen on my recent entries in LT. They're the first, er, six.

I shouldn't be let near a bookshop.

I can confirm that the first chapter and a half of The Court of Air is great so I'm looking forward to reading it properly. And The Little White Horse is as charming as I remember. However, first I need to finish the Ian Rankin book that I'm reading and Neil Gaiman's Stardust. Then I can be let loose on the new ones :-)

Tonight I shall be enjoying a quiet evening in with snacks and DVDs. I ate sushi for lunch so feel no need for a big meal, but snacks are always good. Tomorrow I'm going to do some college work, attempt some writing (Sensible Man is calling to me) and possibly spend some gift vouchers on Battlestar Galactica season 3.

Days off are wonderful things :-)
selenay: (Default)
I had a day off yesterday, just in case the hospital appointment wiped me out, and it was a good thing that I did. It felt like I was flattened by a wall on the train home on Thursday and I'm only just starting to crawl out from under. I'm thankfully at the tired, listless stage rather than the exhausted dazed confused stage now, because I'm supposed to be out with [livejournal.com profile] historyterry tonight! We're going to see a band at a local pub, although he has assured me that we can call it a night early if I'm totally knackered. I shall see how it goes.

Tomorrow I shall hopefully be going out for Thai food with some friends to celebrate a birthday. The birthday girl shall be receiving some fabulous bath products that I fell in love with - they're very fifties-looking and quite deliberately silly, but smell really lovely. They've got the kind of humour my friend will appreciate as well as being rather self-indulgent, which will also appeal to her :-)

Today I had a hairdresser's appointment and various other chores, but I treated myself by popping into the second hand bookshop and purchasing the rest of the Chalet School books that the lovely ladies in the bookshop have had laid away for me since April. So I now have six more CS books to hide away with. Yay!

I've got to go back to work on Monday (boo) but it's only two weeks until a bank holiday, so it's not all bad. And I have two days off in September that, shock horror, will not involve hospitals! Unless my MRI gets booked for then...

But for now, I have the prospect of a long weekend from work without needing to go within five miles of a hospital. Very exciting.
selenay: (bookshop)
Possible minor spoilers for Deathly Hallows under here. Be prepared for others providing spoilers in comments )

Today is monumentally boring. I really want to be at home finishing a French assignment so that I don't have to do it at the weekend or even just reading fic. Instead I am bored :-(

And coming down with a serious case of meeting-itis.

Is it time to go home yet?

I don't have the words to talk about the Tour de France and Vino. Yet. I shall probably recover my ranting abilities later.
selenay: (bookworm)
The below is some thoughts on reading, inspired by the weekend's marathon Harry Potter read, but containing no spoilers. I promise.

This weekend, like half my f-list probably, I sat down and read the last HP. In fact, I only got 137 pages read on Saturday so most of it was read in a huge, marathon session yesterday.

It's been a while since I had a big read like that. Probably not since I sat down with Lois McMaster Bujold's first Sharing Knife book at the beginning of the year. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to immerse myself in a book like that. I get so caught up in it that nothing exists outside the book. After a few pages, I'm not aware than I'm reading anymore because I can see and feel it happening around me. It's better than watching a film because I'm not just an observer, I'm right in there with the characters, you're in their head and it feels real for a while. Even when I'm not reading - getting a drink or a snack - my head is still in the book world and it takes a huge effort to free myself.

I think that's the key to why I enjoy the kind of fantasy, escapist books that are the core of my reading habits. It's much harder to get that kind of connection and absorption from contemporary, clever sorts of literature. When I'm writing, I'm remembering what it feels like to get caught up in a book like that and it's what I want to do for my readers. Reading, for me, at its best is something that can catch me up and take me away to live another life for a while and a really good book refuses to let go of me until the last page.

The down side is the post-book hangover where I haven't quite managed to extract myself even though I've read the last page. That might take a day or two to wear off :-)

As a courtesy to other HP fans, can people avoid putting spoilers for The Deathly Hallows into comments on this post? I'll be posting a spoiler-filled, HP thoughts post later.

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