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Member: Allama

CollectionsYour library (1,049), Reviewed but unowned (1), All collections (1,050)

Reviews7 reviews

TagsFiction (941), Manga (442), Fantasy (276), Seinen (178), Josei (148), Non-fiction (119), Science Fiction (119), Historical Fiction (100), Slice of Life (67), Short Stories (67) — see all tags

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About meA love of books took hold of me early in life, jump-starting my journey through the vast universes of the mind. I was taught to read at age 2 and once I got going, I could never stop. The way human beings store and pass on information is incredible to me, from cuneiform tablets to oral traditions to the internet. This is what enables us to succeed as a society, to constantly build upon the achievements of our ancestors, and I am constantly in awe of the myriad of ways we have found to do so.

My fascination with information of all kinds has led me into the world of computers. Nowadays I work as a software tester. This has given me many opportunities to try out new technologies, especially mobile devices. The greatest professional (and let's face it: super personal) desire I have currently is to try Google Glass. Augmented reality! ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪

When my nose isn't in a book or pressed up against a screen, I like to try unusual new cuisines, peruse hole-in-the-wall galleries, and enjoy live theatre. I also routinely play tabletop RPGs (Rifts, Call of Cthulhu, D&D) and card games (Killer Bunnies, Munchkin, Fluxx). A couple of my favorite places in the world are Longwood Gardens and the Tyler Arboretum. There is a peacefulness experienced while basking in the beauty of nature that I have found nowhere else.

About my libraryThe books I have cataloged here represent my current collection and this is therefore not a full listing of books I have read in my lifetime. (Boy, would that ever be a big project!) When I give a volume away, I remove it from my catalog. Hundreds of books have passed through my hands and gone on to new readers but I cannot resist keeping most that I acquire.

GroupsLibraryThing Gatherings and Meetups, One LibraryThing, One Book

Favorite authorsOrson Scott Card, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov, Tomoko Ninomiya, Mari Okazaki, Carl Sagan, Erica Sakurazawa, Brandon Sanderson, William Shakespeare, Jason Shiga (Shared favorites)

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Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameAlana

LocationWilmington, Delaware, United States

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Allama (profile)
/catalog/Allama (library)

Member sinceApr 30, 2007

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Hi, Thanks for the note and interest. Unfortunately, I've only had the chance to play Mouse Guard once. I am the default GM in my circle of friends so I ran a 2-session adventure involving diplomatic disputes between an encroaching beaver clan and an established monastery and town of mice and chipmunks.

We're all grad students, so it's hard to get together that often. All this to preface the fact that we did not finish the adventure, so I can only present opinions formed on one play session.

Short answer: Mouse Guard is super fun! If you get a chance try it out.

Long answer: Needless to say the whole concept is really twee, but that carries into gameplay, but in charming ways. I feel like we were able to have a very balanced tone of cute, funny, and serious all supported by the system. The character creation system really encourages players to role-play. Even those who normally choose to be the silent, dour character of the party got a little more engaged in the role-play. The way that you build in ticks and traits to the character leave even hesitant players with easy ways to make forays into the RP world when key moments arrive. The rules for helping each other out also leads to some great free-association brainstorming sessions. I really liked the dice pool and success/failure mechanic. It was the first game I've played with that mechanic. Very fun.

One of the really different aspects of the game is the GM phase/player phase cycle. The first part of the session is all about the GM driving the story forward and making the characters react. That's not to say that they don't have agency, but the GM is really pushing the primary plotline of the story. That's not so different from any RPG. But in my D&D campaigns I always am trying to push the storyline with the idea that at a good breaking point we'll stop for the players to do some character upkeep and explore their own stories a bit more, pick up some skills, do some material management, and pursue other goals that they think their character might foresee. The problem is that such a "good breaking point" may not come along if the campaign has been over-plotted (a personal failing to be sure). Mouse Guard builds this character phase in. It challenges the GM to build in a breaking point and to cede the primary thrust of the session to the players, who each take turns pursuing their own lines of interest which can be intricately involved in the primary story or totally divorced from it, but more likely somewhere in between. The number of times that each player gets to play in this character phase is directly correlated to their role-playing in the GM phase. But what about the player who are not as comfortable role-playing? Once any player runs out of action dice in the player phase, other players donate their own actions, redistributing the actions equitably between all the players. This strikes a wonderful balance of encouraging people to roleplay while not unduly punishing those who don't in a given session. It also makes the party feel that much more communal and looking towards the benefit of the whole party rather than just doing the most damage individually.

And honestly, some of the things that the players did in their turn were the most enjoyable part of the game. These ranged from helping a parent, the local brewer, to get the best price on malted barley during a harvest season in which stores are being sabotaged to carefully booby-trapping all approaches to the town (A-Team style) to guard against the veteran guardmouse's vindicated paranoia about weasel spies.

And one of the more interesting and refreshing things? Noone picked up dice to roll for anything for a good 45 minutes in to the game. It can be really driven by story-telling more than rolls.

To reiterate, this game was great. I definitely plan on playing it again when I can rouse the group from their dissertation writing and get them to see their priorities a little more clearly. :) Definitely give it a go if you have the chance!
It's really cool to know I helped someone find a good manga, thanks for letting me know! Though it make me a little sad I haven't had the time for reviewing lately, heh. I'm also very glad to hear you enjoyed the rest of the series, since despite collecting all the rest I could after finishing the first volume, I haven't gotten to reading it yet! I felt like I'd heard some mixed things about later parts of the series, which did partially affect reading prioritization. It's good to know people still enjoy it!
Thank you ^_^ . The picture is of my doll Solomon reading THE RUBAIYYAT on a pile of some of my Kaballah book... I figured it is something he would indulge in whilst sipping absinthe...
Thank you very much! It's taken me quite some time to amass all of these...which is why it makes me sad to admit I'll soon be getting rid of quite a few of them. It's time to downsize and a lot of the books need to go. However, rather than looking at it as a culling of my collection, I choose to see it more as a bit of fine-tuning. ^_^
Thank you, much appreciated!!
Thank you for adding me to your interesting libraries ;)
Noticed you liked Clockwork Orange, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here as well as a few other book-related sites. Thought you might like my book since it's also about a group of violent kids (and also a bit dark). I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like (I'm out of physical copies at the moment). Let me know if you're interested. Here's a link to a summary (and a sample chapter) in case you'd like to read more about the book before you commit:

http://christophertusa.com/

Thanks,

Chris
All the books are in my house (except the 1700 I've gotten rid of). I have a room that is floor to ceiling shelves, yay! I'm still constantly running out of room though. Most of the OCDers I know are not the hoarding kind, so they don't have massive collections, but they are readers. I think its a way to escape the thoughts in our heads.
Yeah, half the battle was convincing myself that it was actually feasible to temporarily suspend the addiction :)
Totally understood about the disclaimer :)

About book crowding: Last year I vowed not to buy any books until I reached a certain ratio of read-to-unread. I did not buy a single book from January 1 until May or so. That was quite an ordeal, but I stuck with it and it feels like a big accomplishment! And it allowed me some time to catch on the ratio of books yet to be read.
It is pleasing to the eye. Then again, I haven't found too many "ugly duckling" libraries. Books are so...beautiful. Sometimes I think I'd be better off if I treated them more like copper rather than gems (utility/reading rather than displaying/collecting/buying) :>

I looked at "Books you share", and got a major kick out of finding "Something Under the Bed Is Drooling" after some seemingly more serious volumes :)
Hi,

We sent you a friend request because you received our book Cul de Sac in the Advance Readers contest and I we thought you might be interested in being friends. We appreciate your review of the book. Rest assured we won't abuse the privilege of being your friend should you choose to accept.

Thanks,

Susan Patton
Andrews McMeel Publishing
I have enough points to mooch the 12 Animorphs books!
Let me know if/when you can send them :)

I found another book (Bridget Jones' Diary English version) so I'll put that in my inventory after I've read it :)
Then I'll have enough points for the 12 Animorphs books anyway until you're able to send them.
Ah, I'm sorry for not saying in which country I am! I thought you had already checked.
You can also change your status temporarily to "ask me first".
My book I just added got mooched, which now got me 22.8 points.
Let me know when you can send them (if it's not too expensive). I'll try to gain two more points soon (though I have no idea if I can find books that people will mooch soon).
I currently have 19.8 points - I just added another English fantasy book (http://bookmooch.com/m/detail/0575070129).
I think it's 12 books(*), right (not counting 5)? Then I'd need 24 to mooch them all.

...

I think I miscalculated (._.) Even if above book is mooched I'll only have 22 points to mooch! Then I can mooch all books minus one...

*1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,12,13,14
I got a bunch of books that will probably get mooched as soon as I upload them (they're on many wishlists) so I'll put them up after the weekend - this will get me enough points to mooch the Animorphs books, I think (if I calculated well).
I'm still doubting about 5, but I'd love to mooch the other books :) I hope to add some books later today or tomorrow which have a more likely chance of being mooched than the Dutch/Chinese books I have in my inventory (English manga, for example).
In reply to
> 74 I just happened to come upon a box of my old Animorphs books in my mother's attic that I have not yet posted. Let me know which ones you still need and I'll be happy to reserve whatever I have for you.

Thank you (^-^)

I still need book 1-to-10, 12, 13 and 14.
What's the condition of your books?

I only have 4 points at the moment, though. I'll check your wishlist later today (have to leave in 5 minutes...) to see if I happen to have anything you're interested in. Otherwise I'll try to find more books to put up on BM. I hope someone mooches from me again soon!

My bookmooch page is http://bookmooch.com/m/bio/selene
Hi

Send me your BM user name and I'll reserve it for you.

Beth
Thanks, and thanks for the prarie dog metaphor too, I am going to steal that one. ;-)
Yay! I'm glad they made it.
(It was fun to see them pop up today in my Connection News, too:) )

Hope you enjoy them,

~Mona
I'm glad I could please the Llama. ^_^
Sorry, it's so late a response, but ye this is Allen and I finally remembered my password. :p
The Translator is going out in today's mail.

Beth
I'd love to send the Translator to you. Send me a private message with your address and I'll mail it. I think you'll find this book a worthwhile read.

I have a 21 year old hippie/nerd type daughter so I really enjoyed reading your profile also.

Beth
You've got loads of books that I read, but don't have anymore. I'm going to have to hit the used book store!
I'm glad that you've found my library interesting, and that it's helped you find some ideas for what to read next. If you ever want some more, er, specific recommendations, especially on manga, feel free to ask - I've read a lot I don't own, too. :)
Thank you much for adding me to your interesting libraries! You've got a great library so far, so I'll be interested when you update your collection.

Much Love, Laura
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