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Norabelle414's module epsilon: In which Nora settles in

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Aug 11, 2012, 1:24pm Top

insert picture here

My goals for 2012 are thus:

  • Help plan (and attend) the big giant Washington DC spring LT meet-up (planning thread here) DONE!
  • Read 75 books
  • Read War and Peace
  • Learn and use more HTML in my thread
  • Catch up on my LTER reading / reviewing
  • Read more books than I acquire (acquire fewer books than I read?)



Previous Threads:
2012, part 4
2012, part 3
2012, part 2
2012, part 1
2011, part 5
2011, part 4
2011, part 3
2011, part 2
2011, part 1

Edited: Aug 11, 2012, 1:32pm Top

Books read in 2012:


21) The Magicians by Lev Grossman
22) A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (A) (library)
23) Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery (A) (reread) (library)
24) The Trial by Franz Kafka
25) Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon
26) A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
27) Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

28) People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (A) (library)
29) Pretty Boy: The Story of Bonzo Madrid by Orson Scott Card (A)
30) The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
31) Gnomes by Wil Huygen
32) I Love Charts: The Book by Jason Oberholtzer and Cody Westphal
33) Anne of Windy Poplars by Lucy Maud Montgomery
34) Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
35) Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

36) Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart (A) (library)
37) Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore
38) Dandelion Wine: Radio Dramatization by Ray Bradbury (A) (library)
39) Among Others by Jo Walton
40) Changeless by Gail Carriger (library)
41) Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery (A) (library)
42) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (A)

Edited: Sep 7, 2012, 9:40am Top

Books read in 2012:


43) Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett
44) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
45) My Week with Marilyn / The Prince, The Showgirl, and Me by Colin Clark (A) (library)
46) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (library)

47) Blameless by Gail Carriger (library)
48) Feed by Mira Grant
49) How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier (library)
50) Heartless by Gail Carriger (library)
51) The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (A) (library)
52) Maskerade by Terry Pratchett (library)
53) His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (library)

54) On the Road: The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac (A) (library)
55) Timeless by Gail Carriger (library)
56) Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (library)

Edited: Aug 11, 2012, 1:44pm Top

Currently reading:
Heartless by Gail Carriger
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Currently listening to:
The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (86.5%)

Coming soon:
Maskerade by Terry Pratchett
The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi



Aug 11, 2012, 1:22pm Top

Heh, I'm glad you had a notice for when we can commence posting!

Aug 11, 2012, 1:43pm Top

>6 _Zoe_: No ambiguity here!

Aug 11, 2012, 2:09pm Top

Lots of progress here! Looking forward to your reviews of your "coming soon" books, of which The War for the Oaks is my favorite, with the Pratchett close behind. Remember that TWFTO is the one that started that whole genre.

Edited: Aug 11, 2012, 2:40pm Top

You know, I had NEVER heard of TWFTO before. I picked it up at a library book sale because I recognized the author from one of my favorite kids' books, The Princess and the Lord of Night. Then I saw that the cover has a blurb from Neil Gaiman and Jim said it was good. So that was that.

The Witches are my favorite Pratchett characters; I'm excited to see what they're up to.

Aug 11, 2012, 5:25pm Top

Just poking my head in on the new thread, Nora. :)

Aug 11, 2012, 7:52pm Top

Hi Nora! :)

Aug 12, 2012, 12:16am Top

Happy new thread!

Aug 12, 2012, 12:17am Top

*waving* at Nora on her new thread

Aug 12, 2012, 4:51am Top

Hi Nora - Nice new thread:)

Aug 12, 2012, 6:40am Top

Whoo hoo! You picked my subject title. I feel all warm and fuzzy.

Aug 12, 2012, 7:31am Top

Will there still be brownies...?

Aug 12, 2012, 5:20pm Top

Welcome everyone!

If anyone likes WWII period piece movies, I just watched a great one called Glorious 39. It's got some of my favorites: Romola Garai, Eddie Redmayne, Juno Temple, Christopher Lee, David Tennant, and Bill Nighy. It's a lot like Atonement (and shares about 1/4 of its cast) only darker.

Aug 12, 2012, 10:55pm Top

I saw something today that pissed me off SO MUCH. I went to the bookstore to pick up a copy of my favorite magazine, Geek. I couldn't find it anywhere. The clerk finally helped me find it . . . it was in the "men's interests" section, along with Scientific American, Wired, Popular Science, Discover, and Psychology Today. What. The. Heck.

That was like, 9 hours ago, but I'm still really upset about it.

Aug 12, 2012, 11:44pm Top

lurking around. Happy reading!

Aug 13, 2012, 8:46am Top

Sheesh. Well that's just stupid marketing, there.

Aug 13, 2012, 9:34am Top

I don't really get the whole concept of section dedicated to men's and women's interest, I'd be pissed that they even had sections like that to begin with. -.-

Aug 13, 2012, 11:25am Top

It kind of makes sense for the purpose of separating things like women's/men's health magazines and fashion magazines, where even if men & women have the same interests there are still different magazines for it. But there were whole separate sections for cars, and sports, and music. So why not a science & tech section??

Aug 13, 2012, 11:33am Top


Aug 13, 2012, 12:47pm Top

That's ridiculous - idiots.

And "Glorious 39" was an excellent movie, I wasn't sure where it was going. Awesome cast, and Romola Garai is becoming one of my favorite actors!

Aug 13, 2012, 5:12pm Top

Oh man. Maybe I should leave a little rant box in here for you to stand on? And then I'll use it afterwards because that organization is just plain idiotic.

Aug 14, 2012, 12:09am Top

I hope you didn't buy from that store! Or at least gave them a piece of your mind about it. What a stupid archaic method of magazine display.

Aug 14, 2012, 11:28am Top

>24 LauraBrook: She is so lovely, isn't she?

>26 UnrulySun: I did buy my magazine. I mentioned the placement to the salesperson who helped me and she said it bothers her too, but it's a Barnes & Noble so there's not much she can do about it at her level. They do at least try to keep the "science" magazines as far away from the "gratuitous boobs" magazines as they can with them in the same section.


I'm trying to wean myself off of the library in my old neighborhood. I want to get used to my new neighborhood, and my new library is a lovely 1/2 mile walk through a park from my apartment. But it's so hard when they don't have the books I want, or the hold list is a million miles long! I want to start reading Naomi Novik but my new library only has the most recent 3 Temeraire books. Not anything before that. What the heck?? My new library system is WAY bigger than my old one. I don't understand at all.

Aug 14, 2012, 12:27pm Top

Book #50: Heartless by Gail Carriger - As usual, there's a conspiracy going on and the only person who has a mind logical enough to figure it out is Alexia. Also, someone is trying to kill her. This is my favorite Parasol Protectorate book besides the first one. The last book was weak but in this one Alexia is at her best. Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) goes to hell in a handbasket but Alexia is there to calmly pick up the pieces. I love Alexia, and Lord Maccon. I love Lord Akeldama. I love Ivy. I love hating Felicity. All sorts of history comes to light during the course of this book. It would be an excellent ending to the series, if it wasn't for The Thing That Happens At The End. Which means the next book has the potential to be even better.

Currently reading:
Maskerade by Terry Pratchett
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Currently listening to:
The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (96.6%)

Coming soon:
The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

BOOKS READ: 50 (2/3 done already!!)


(Days since last hermit day: 10)

Aug 14, 2012, 3:30pm Top

They do at least try to keep the "science" magazines as far away from the "gratuitous boobs" magazines

It's funny, in my library they shelve the romance novels in the same aisle as science fiction/fantasy. It's incredibly embarassing (for me) to be 'the overweight awkward nerdy guy' browsing books about goblins and aliens while the (always attractive) lady beside me is perusing bodice rippers and other books displaying half-dressed people seconds away from fornicating. *Blushes*


Aug 14, 2012, 4:24pm Top

At least you know where to find sexy ladies who like to read!

Aug 14, 2012, 5:01pm Top

Oh yes, I know where to find them, I haven't worked out that whole 'how to talk to them' thing yet.

Aug 14, 2012, 5:39pm Top

>31 Ape: Umm, how about, "Excuse me, can you tell me what would be a good romance novel to try, I want to get into the genre?" :P

>27 norabelle414: Hmm, that is a bit odd. You could always make requests for purchase. When it comes to series, most libraries do try to keep all of them in the collection so a request is never out of place. Of course, if they say no, there's always interlibrary loan. :)

Aug 14, 2012, 6:18pm Top

Is your old library too far away? I'd probably continue to patronize them as well as the new one, since they meet your needs. Good libraries and good systems deserve the support. And the new one deserves your suggestions and a chance to improve. :)

Aug 14, 2012, 6:20pm Top

And Stephen-- try picking a book from your genre and asking the girl next to you, "Have you read this one yet? It looks interesting." or... "This is one of my favorites, have you read it?" If she snubs your conversation, she's not worth pursuing. ;)

Aug 14, 2012, 7:24pm Top

Micky: Men aren't allowed to read romance novels, people just think we're perverts when we do it. :(

Kathy: No way, that couldn't possibly work. Obviously you are setting me up for some kind of public embarrasment, I'm on to you! *Develops shifty paranoid look on his face*

Aug 14, 2012, 7:33pm Top

Okaaaayyyyy... better hone those alone-time skillz then.

Aug 14, 2012, 7:48pm Top

>32 MickyFine:, 33 I will probably keep using the old library, too, since I'm over there every Monday to have dinner with my mom anyway. Plus that's probably where they would get the ILL from, since it's the closest system.

>35 Ape: No woman who reads romance novels herself would ever think men who read them are automatically perverts. I think you should meet her halfway and ask if she likes Paranormal Romance.

>36 UnrulySun: Don't encourage him, he's probably already going blind.

Edited: Aug 14, 2012, 8:31pm Top

I am going blind, but that's completely unrelated...I think...

Aug 14, 2012, 8:44pm Top

>38 Ape: Can you prove that?


Today was a hermit day, but I don't feel too bad about it, because I feel like crap and my last hermit day was the 3rd.

Aug 14, 2012, 9:36pm Top

18: it was in the "men's interests" section, along with Scientific American, Wired, Popular Science, Discover, and Psychology Today. What. The. Heck.

Aug 14, 2012, 9:48pm Top

tee hee I was waiting for you to chime in, Katherine. I had a hunch you would feel strongly about it.

Aug 15, 2012, 5:45am Top

39: Ummmm, well, no, not exactly. . . . .

Aug 15, 2012, 11:31am Top

I forgot to mention that my Bento cookbook came yesterday. I have another package waiting for me this morning, but I don't think I ordered any more books so I think it's just housewares.

Aug 15, 2012, 11:47am Top

Can't wait to see what you think of Just Bento. On the other hand, I bet you get around to making things out of it before I do, which will make me realize that I need to hop to!

Aug 15, 2012, 12:05pm Top

>44 leahbird: I don't know how many of the actual recipes I will use, but I did skim through and read the ideas and tip boxes. After work I think I'm going to go try to find little containers for salad dressings, etc. For my lunch today I had no choice but to dress my salad this morning. Hopefully it won't be soggy.

Aug 15, 2012, 12:58pm Top

Lunch update: my salad was not soggy. Good to know. I'm sure it helps that I am fortunate enough to be able to put my lunch in a refrigerator when I get to work. So it was really only unrefrigerated for about 30 minutes.

I'm currently using a Sistema Klip It To Go container, which has a large compartment and two small compartments. In the large compartment I had a romaine and carrot salad, in the small compartments I had cherries and perogis with sour cream (and 3 flowers made out of carrots :-). It worked great and I'm very proud of myself.

Aug 16, 2012, 7:20am Top

Oooh, I love the look of those containers! I may have to get some for Tomm's lunches...

Aug 16, 2012, 10:37am Top

>47 scaifea: I'm liking the one I got very much. My only issue right now is that I *love* yogurt, I eat it for lunch almost every day, and there are very few brands that will fit into that container. Which means I have to pack it separately. Which pretty much defeats the purpose of bento.

Aug 16, 2012, 11:44am Top

Book #51: The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King - audiobook from the library - A classic fairy tale-style story. Drunken kings, kind queens, ferocious dragons, noble and not-so-noble princes, evil magicians, loyal butlers, etc. etc. It's usual Stephen King style, which means the whole thing could have been told in half as many words. But it was still good.

Be warned if listening to this as an audiobook - the narrator is great but there is a lot of yelling and screaming.

Currently reading:
Maskerade by Terry Pratchett
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Currently listening to:
?? (see below)

Coming soon:
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
The War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi



(Days since last hermit day: 1)


I've linked my new library card up with my OverDrive app so now I have two choices of places to check out audiobooks from. The new library has more books, but there are a lot more people using it so the waiting lists can get LONG. However, you can check out up to TEN books at a time (the old library is 5 at a time) and you can keep the books for up to 21 days (old library - 14 days). It works out perfectly because 3 weeks seems to be the amount of time it usually takes me to listen to an audiobook. So I've downloaded three different books to see if I like them: On the Road by Jack Kerouac (read by some guy who was on The Supranos), The Russian Debutante's Handbook by Gary Shteyngart (I want so badly to like him that I'm going to give him a second chance after the disaster that was Absurdistan. Plus it's narrated by Rider Strong! *90s swoon*), and I am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson as a backup because I know I will like it.

Edited: Aug 16, 2012, 12:41pm Top

Does your preferred yogurt brand/flavor come in a large size? You could buy one of the nifty little bento cups with a lid and just scoop some yogurt into it so it will still fit in your box. You'd also be creating less waste since you'd only be buying one large container and reusing the cup. This was my plan but, so far, my Lemon Chobani isn't available in the bigger containers and I've not perfected the yogurt making process yet...

ETA: OR OR OR you could buy a jar of baby food, dump said baby food, and reuse the cute little glass jar for your yogurt!

ETA2: I'm on a roll! You could find one of these adorable Weck canning jars (the 5.6 oz on this page) and use it, which might be better since it has a wider mouth than a baby food jar.

All that is, of course, dependent on which one will fit in your box...

Aug 16, 2012, 3:13pm Top

>50 leahbird: I usually get the cheapest fruit-on-the-bottom kind or yoplait light, neither of which come in big tubs (well the yoplait does but only in 2 or 3 boring flavors and the reason I like them is for the wide variety of flavors.)

I got another, smaller lunchbox today so I will probably sometimes bring two items in that and the yogurt on the side.

Aug 16, 2012, 3:23pm Top

Why do they always put the boring flavors in the big tubs? I mean, who is eating gallons of plain yogurt?

Aug 16, 2012, 3:24pm Top

You could get the flavors in the large tubs then add your own flavor with frozen or fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, lemon curd, honey...

I never had great luck with fitting anything packaged into a bento. When I used one, I had to unpackage things, or buy bulk items and portion beforehand. A deep box with one large compartment and one small one worked the best.

Aug 16, 2012, 3:27pm Top

I discovered today that the fruit cups that I normally get anyway fit into my bigger bento box great. Now that I know that I'll probably keep a few of the cups when I am done to use for other bento things.

Aug 17, 2012, 11:32am Top

I'm always irritated when I need only 1 cup or so of plain yogurt for cooking, but can only find the large tub. Sigh.

Aug 19, 2012, 3:21pm Top

Ha! That's funny about the yelling and screaming. I haven't read the book yet, but I have it in hardback. Was the yelling and screaming too loud, or was it just obnoxious?

Aug 19, 2012, 3:45pm Top

>49 norabelle414: I am always fascinated by insights into other library policies. #librarynerd

Aug 19, 2012, 3:46pm Top

>56 The_Hibernator: Too loud! I almost always listen to audiobooks with headphones and it was soooo loud. It might have been fine if I wasn't listening with headphones.

Aug 19, 2012, 3:47pm Top

>57 MickyFine: LOL I throw them in just for you.

Aug 19, 2012, 3:51pm Top

>59 norabelle414: It's a hazard of my profession really. But I'm glad there are some big pros in the column for the new library. :)

Aug 21, 2012, 6:56pm Top

I had a stressful day at work today. Because I am one of the few people in my office who is computer-literate (i.e. knows how to Google things and isn't afraid to click buttons just to see what they do), people who are computer-illiterate expect me to constantly do things for them that I am in no way capable of doing. Like changing our massive, super complex MS Access database. "Hey Nora, you know about computers and stuff. I need you to make a button so that I can search for X. Thanks." Like I know how to write a search function code, or add a button to a table, or make the button go somewhere, or do anything behind the scenes of the database without breaking it. I was going to do laundry and go to the grocery store after work but I had to work late trying to learn how to do stupid database stuff (i.e. Googling how to do it) and now the laundry room is full and I don't have the heart for a full-on grocery trip. I made a quick trip on my way home from the metro to get freezer waffles (breakfast), bread & ham & cheese & strawberries (lunch) and a pre-made quiche (dinner) so that should tide me over for a few days. Now my plan for the rest of the evening is to only make easy decisions. Red or white wine? Red! Pants or no pants? No pants! ABC Family or WETA UK (a PBS station that only airs British shows)? The jury is still out on that one.

Aug 21, 2012, 7:14pm Top

Aug 21, 2012, 7:53pm Top

Yup. That's posted outside my cubicle. Along with a sign that says "do not ask me questions you can Google yourself" But everyone thinks that none of that applies to them.

Aug 21, 2012, 9:31pm Top

*Grumble* For some reason it is incredibly frustrating to constantly have to explain how to do computer things to people over and over again. Growing up, EVERY SINGLE TIME my mom took a picture on her digital camera I had to put it in her folder on her computer, because I could not get it through her head that all she had to do was click My Computer and then the camera icon. I don't mind helping people, I'm profecient with computers and I like it when I can teach someone something new, but it was just tedious... felt like I was leading a horse to water and trying to teach it how to fish, y'know? O.O

You have my sympathies, Nora. An entire office full of them sounds very unpleasant.

Aug 21, 2012, 9:36pm Top

Bummer about the long day. Hopefully tomorrow is better. And I vote for WETA UK. You can never go wrong with Brit tv. :D

Aug 21, 2012, 9:41pm Top

>64 Ape: That's what my life is like EVERY DAY. Except I get paid to do it. But, the other people in my office are getting paid to do what I have to do for them because they won't just TRY to do things themselves. Or follow the extremely dumbed-down directions that I write out for them. And I know it's not actually an age thing because I know people of all ages who are fine with computers.

>65 MickyFine: You can if the only thing on from 8-10 is Antiques Roadshow. Really? That's like the only thing on there that doesn't interest me, and it has to be on when I want to watch TV.

Aug 21, 2012, 9:45pm Top

Aww, sad face. Antiques Roadshow isn't really my thing. But in most cases, British tv is awesome sauce. I even like watching Top Gear and I don't even drive.

Aug 21, 2012, 11:13pm Top

Dude, Top Gear is friggin awesome! And, I have to say that I love me some Antiques Roadshow too, if for no other reason than no one ever really reacts! Something they brought in that they think is worth 20 quid is valued at 2,000 pounds, and they say with a straight face "lovely, thank you". ???? And dude, that would be so frustrating to work with people who don't try all the time. BTW, I tend to say "dude" a lot when I've been drinking, and somehow what was once a full wine bottle is now empty - it's MAGIC! :)

Aug 22, 2012, 3:39am Top

Just delurking to say I want one of Qebo's cartoons. And it's not an age thing necessarily (I'm in my fifties) but it's just so frustrating that people won't even try to do simple things that you've showed them 10 times previously.

Aug 22, 2012, 11:32am Top

>67 MickyFine: I don't think they show Top Gear on WETA UK. (the channel only started up a couple months ago.) But they do show lots of scripted shows like Red Dwarf and Primeval and Doctor Who. Which is on every single day. While I am at work. Having a job sucks.

>68 LauraBrook: You should design a drinking game for Antiques Roadshow.

>69 SandDune: I am in no way a computer expert. No Way. but 90% of the answers to the questions my coworkers/parents ask me are "you can't open that file because you are not connected to the network" or "have you restarted your phone in the past week?" or "not remembering where you saved a file or what you named it is not 'network problems'"

Aug 22, 2012, 12:35pm Top

After one lunch out and two "lazy lunches" (pita chips, hummus, yogurt, and carrots, all of which I keep in the office fridge at all times), I am back on the bento wagon!

I'm still using my three-compartment box. The big compartment has a ham and cheese sandwich on wheat bread with lettuce and horseradish mustard. The small compartments have a) carrots and peanut butter (my favorite snack) and b) strawberries and a kiwi.

I'm a little concerned with how much I'm eating. The Just Bento Cookbook says that you can usually approximate the number of calories in your bento box as 1 mL = 1 calorie. (most Bento boxes are measured in mL). My box is a whopping 1200 mL! Even if I don't stuff my bento box as full as Makiko does, and even if lunch is my biggest meal of the day, that's still a lot of calories for a fairly sedentary person. I am reluctant to actually count calories as that got me into some anorexia-type troubles in high school, but I think I will try to pack a litle less for lunch tomorrow and see how that goes.

Aug 22, 2012, 2:49pm Top

>68 LauraBrook: I don't drink, but I do say dude pretty often when I'm really excited and with a certain set of people. :) But you're right, Laura, Top Gear is pretty awesome.

>70 norabelle414: I get Top Gear on BBC Canada (man I loves me some BBC Canada). And luckily we have a PVR so I can record stuff when I'm at work. Now if I can just figure out when the new series of Doctor Who airs on this side of the pond (and on what channel), I can record them and watch them after I've finished watching series 4-6.

>71 norabelle414: Hmmm, I prefer celery and peanut butter. Or apples and peanut butter. Man, now I want peanut butter.

Aug 22, 2012, 3:30pm Top

>73 MickyFine: Wikipedia says Doctor Who airs on Space in Canada. Space's website (updated this morning) says "We can finally confirm that the air date of the premiere of Doctor Who Season 7, Asylum of the Daleks will be September 1st 2012 at 9E/6P! "

Aug 22, 2012, 5:36pm Top

Must schedule PVR when I get home. *evil grin*

Aug 22, 2012, 7:00pm Top

I've been doing computer help for my parents since I was probably 13. It's SOOOO tedious. I keep asking my mom "How do you think I learned all this stuff? I HAD to FIGURE IT OUT MYSELF." They just can't seem to believe that. It's like they think the knowledge was dropped into my head by the computer gods. Sheesh.

Edited: Aug 23, 2012, 11:11am Top

Book #52: Maskerade by Terry Pratchett - library book - Ever since that Magrat Garlick ran off and married the King of Lancre, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax have been one witch short of a coven. They have a mother and a crone, so they just need a maiden. And they have their eye on Agnes Nitt . Agnes KNOWS it, too, so she runs of to Ankh-Morpork to avoid them, change her name to Perdita, and follow her dream of becoming an opera star.

Granny and Nanny Ogg are not dissuaded so easily. They follow Agnes to Ankh-Morpork and the three of them end up getting involved in a mystery at the opera house. Why has the formerly docile "Ghost" (in a long cape and white mask, of course) suddenly begun murdering members of the crew?

Hilarious. The witches and Greebo never disappoint. I would have liked an appearance by Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, though. I feel like he totally has a place at the concession stand of this opera house.

Currently reading:
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Currently listening to:
On the Road: The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac (32%)

Coming soon:
See below



(Days since last hermit day: 0) (but in my defense, the last was 8 days before that)


I don't usually follow the Monthly Themes thread, but I have a lot of series to read anyway, and I'm pretty much failing on a few other goals I've set for mysef, so I think I'm going to try to read ONLY series books in September. I still haven't decided what they are, but I'm working on a list. The only snag in this plan is that I'm #3 on the library waiting list for Cloud Atlas and I will have to jump on that when my number comes up.

Aug 23, 2012, 2:24pm Top

I try to have hermit days at least once a week and man do I miss them when I don't get one. Of course, I count going to work as a non-hermit day so that makes it more difficult. ;)

Aug 23, 2012, 2:50pm Top

>76 leahbird:: I think they believe it's something generational. "Your generation grew up with this stuff. Therefore you know how it works."

Oh how tempting to reply: "Your generation invented this stuff. Therefore ... why don't *you* know how it works?"

Aug 23, 2012, 3:14pm Top

>78 MickyFine: Heh, I try not to have a hermit day more than once a week. It's bad for my brain and social skills. And diet. And fitness.

>79 swynn: It can't be. I know several older people who can manage computers, and several younger people who can't. I unofficially volunteered at the computer helpdesk in the library at my university. The other guy who was there with me was almost 50. Boy, did we get some dumbass kids wanting help. I eventually put up two large signs on the desk: 1) If you can't get on the internet, check to make sure your wi-fi switch is ON, then ask for help. and 2) If you haven't restarted your computer in the past 24 hours, restart your computer, then ask for help.

I got in trouble and had to take the signs down, but for that one blissful day almost no one asked for my help.

Aug 23, 2012, 6:37pm Top

*sigh* I was bad today. To prevent a hermit day, I walked to the library to return Maskerade. And there were two carts of books for sale in the lobby: 25 cents for hardcover, 10 cents for paperbacks. Soooo I bought 4 books.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters (the first 1/4 of the pages are falling out)
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok (cover is ripped, pages are bent)
The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart (first edition! with slipcover)
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams (okay I already own this in the form of The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, but it's a first edition! with slipcover)

Aug 23, 2012, 6:38pm Top

Oooh, a first edition Adams! That's not being bad - that's being lucky!

Edited: Aug 23, 2012, 6:51pm Top

#77 by norabelle414> Why can't series month be October (other than the obvious fact that October doesn't start with an S)? All those million books I'm getting Oct 1 & 2 are series books, except maybe the new JK Rowling, which is a stand-alone as far as I can tell. I have NO series books left to read next month! Unless I stretch The Dark Monk out forever, which is wholly possible I guess. Or reread something... oh yes, that could work!

#79 by swynn> I'm sure that's partially it, although they got access to a computer and internet at the EXACT same time as me, seeing as we didn't have fancy computers in my rural county elementary school (except for the one day a week I got to play the original text-only Oregon Trail as part of my Academically Talented and Gifted program).

As to your temptation: My best friend's dad worked for IBM forever and, at 80, is more computer literate than I am. Sometimes it's embarrassing. I mean, he wears old man socks with sandals and mows his yard with a safety helmet on, but he can school me on computery things any day of the week!

Aug 23, 2012, 7:08pm Top

My dad (66) is a PRO with all computers & technology up to about 1999. He can write MS-DOS based games from scratch, and 1990s style computers from scratch. But he cannot take a picture with his cell phone, and he refuses to replace his cassette-tape answering machine with voicemail.

Aug 23, 2012, 7:09pm Top

Hilarious! Got to love dedication!

Aug 23, 2012, 7:12pm Top

80: I got in trouble and had to take the signs down, but for that one blissful day almost no one asked for my help.
Seems you were doing everyone a favor with the signs. Surely people whose switch was off would be a teensy bit embarrassed at having asked for help? It’s like realizing the lamp isn’t plugged in.

I get annoyed when I call tech support and before I can talk to a person I have to say yes yes yes to the automated checklist, but I guess there’s a reason it’s there.

Aug 23, 2012, 7:20pm Top

>86 qebo: would be a teensy bit embarrassed
Have you met many undergrad college students lately? 99% of them are horribly entitled and have ZERO shame. I had to take the signs down because students were complaining that they were rude.

Aug 23, 2012, 8:20pm Top

^^^^ SO TRUE

Aug 23, 2012, 9:03pm Top

25 cent hardcovers and 10 cent paperbacks? I'm not disappointed in you, I'm jealous! :)

Aug 23, 2012, 11:54pm Top

Yeah, the generational assumption comment is an overgeneralization. But it's an easy one to fall into... I find myself doing it, for example with assumptions about the college students my library serves. It sometimes feels as though the kids all have mobile devices and know use them like tech wizards and we librarians are lagging.

Almost all do in fact have mobile devices, and some are in fact wizards. Almost all know how to use them to (1) make telephone calls, (2) take pictures, and (3) update their Facebook status. Anything beyond that, and they are just as likely to need tech support as we lagging librarians.

And for that matter, I suspect we're a lot savvier than we feel.

Aug 24, 2012, 7:00am Top

I'm in fact shocked that the majority of the students even bothered to read the signs in the first place - most of them (and people in general, to be fair) seem to think that rules don't apply to them and so don't bother...

Edited: Aug 24, 2012, 11:35am Top

Try putting the signs up with some cheery clip art (retch) and the title "Tech Tips!" That's not bitching, that's customer service.

(edited for punctuation placement)

Aug 26, 2012, 4:12pm Top

Does anyone know anything about Zooba? I just found it today through a Facebook advertisement (I know, ew) and it looks interesting. I am definitely looking for a way to better incorporate Facebook into my reading, but I don't want to sign up if it's just a marketing tool.

Aug 26, 2012, 4:25pm Top

Just looked it up. Interesting, but I always hate signing in for things with facebook because it gets my info and then spams my friends also. But, I'd love to hear from anyone who has actually been using it, to see what the user experience is like.

However, the last thing I need is another time suck on the interwebs. :p

Aug 26, 2012, 4:40pm Top

I looked into it a little further. It seems like it would be nice because it's kind of like the Lists feature here (or at GR). HOWEVER:

a) It does not work well on either Firefox or Chrome (the frames don't line up and the text colors are weird). That alone means I almost definitely won't use it.
b) Every page takes a long time to load
c) The website claims they have "over 10,000 books" listed. Um, that's not very many, actually. In LT terms, a book has to have over 750 members before it is in the top 10,000.
d) They are foremost a bookseller. If a book you like is not in stock, they automatically take it off of your 'shelves'
e) You are required to buy one book within 30 days of signing up. True, that's really easy. One book in 30 days is nothing to us. And you aren't required to buy any more ever. But it's the principle of the thing.

So that's a no for me.

Thus ends this installment of Nora Investigates Things on the Internet So You Don't Have To.

Aug 26, 2012, 4:51pm Top

Thanks for investigating for us!

I admit I'm intrigued by the fact that we get 10% of the price of each book that someone buys from our bookshelves--this seems like something that would be easy to abuse--but I suspect that their prices will compare so unfavourably to Amazon that no one will buy from them anyway.

Also, this reminds me that I should use LT to post on FB about books that I've read. But I never seem to do it consistently.

I also wish that LT had a way to post list participation to FB (e.g., "Zoë listed her top five reads of 2012!"), but there's no point in even suggesting it in RSI.

What kind of FB/reading integration are you looking for?

Aug 26, 2012, 6:46pm Top

I clicked on a book to see what it would be like to try to buy it but the site looked so bad in Firefox and Chrome that I couldn't even figure out where to click to buy the book. Another downside is that you must join the site in order to buy a book (says the FAQ. I couldn't get that far myself).

Currently all I do with Facebook is send my reviews there when I add them to the book page. I'm not entirely sure what I'd like, but probably most of what I do want revolves around having a "Read" status. And we know how well that is going.

I think I'd like a post whenever I start or finish a book. With less confusing wording than 'Nora added Maskerade to "Read", "Read but unowned"'. That wording doesn't mean anything to anyone who doesn't use LT, and it's a pain in the ass to have to change the wording of the post every single time. If we had a "Read" collection or status then the default could say "Nora just finished reading Maskerade". And a similar thing could be done when you add a book to "currently reading". If the wording was better I wouldn't feel bad at all about making posting to Facebook automatic (especially now that Facebook automatically aggregates posts from the same app), which is what I would really like. As it stands now, on the occasional times I have posted to Facebook from my in-LT news feed, it went something like this:

Me: Nora just added Book X by John Smith to My Library, Currently reading, To read

Facebook Friend: OMG I love that book. Wasn't it awesome when the main character died?!

Me: Um actually I haven't read it yet. But I'll let you know what I think when I do.

Facebook Friend: Oh, okay!

The main problem, as I see it, is that almost all of Facebook/Social media in general does not care about OWNING books, they care about READING books. They might think it's cool if I found a copy of The Wizard of Oz from 1930, but they really do not give a shit if I just bought a random Mary Stewart book but I might not get around to reading it for a decade or so. There's nothing to talk about there, with the average social media user.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that LT is more catalog-based and less reading-based. I don't want that to change at all. But I think with a few key new features it could be a whole lot easier for them to integrate with social media, thus becoming more attractive to potential users who are on social media AND more useful to the current users.

Aug 26, 2012, 9:21pm Top

The few times I posted about my reading to FB, I was more or less okay with the "Zoë just added Book X by John Smith to Recently Read", or whatever the default wording was (though I may have made minor modifications). The more discouraging thing was that there was hardly any response; people just didn't seem that interested. And my goal was ultimately for them to be so interested that they would then post about their own books, which I guess just isn't going to happen. Except I do see an occasional post done via GR, so I don't know.


Aug 27, 2012, 12:03am Top

Thankfully, (or not, but at least this is an issue I don't have to deal with) I have......exactly zero RL friends that would at all be interested in what I was reading. It's just worked out that way.

I can see that it would be good for things to link better, such as LT and FB, but it seems LT is very backward in wanting to take steps forward in the 'social media' world. There are pros and cons to any advance, but whenever I venture onto GR, it seems so much more user-friendly and accessible. However, I prefer the people here.

Aug 27, 2012, 9:43am Top

Almost all of my RL friends who are into books have morphed into Internet Friends because none of us live close to each other any more. In that way, FB has been great for sharing what we're reading (just like we share everything else). When FB integration started, I was posting pretty regularly about what I HAD read and finished. And rated. That was the best workaround that I found- if you post through LT about ratings, rather than collections or "reading", the language is clearer (a bit) and then you can have a conversation about that book. A fair number of book discussion with my far-flung friends got started that way and were quite enjoyable.

Aug 27, 2012, 11:08am Top

Looks like we aren't the only ones talking about Just Bento! There's a whole lookbook about it here.

Aug 27, 2012, 10:35pm Top

Um. So. I um. I went to Goodwill today. The one with the Book Nook . . . . . *sigh* There goes my goal of reading more than I buy . . .

The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - nice hardback illustrated edition, part leather with a ribbon bookmark
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow - I had no idea who Cory Doctorow was until I read Ready Player One but now I feel like I need to read him.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley - breaking my unofficial rule of not owning more than one book by an author I've never actually read before
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd - a great find, since Goodwill prices it as a paperback
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith - gross movie-tie-in edition, but still
Ever by Gail Carson Levine - thus completing the "Enchanted" series
Solar by Ian McEwan - probably should've put this back as my reasoning for buying it was weaker than the others. But I didn't.

HOWEVER I did have a whole armload of books that I PUT BACK ON THE SHELF so I'm going to go ahead and consider this a victory. There were a bunch of books in Russian that I wanted to get to try to keep up my very slight grasp on the language, and several books which I had never heard of before but were first editions from 1901-1907, and a Jonathan Maberry book (sorry Stephen!)

Aug 27, 2012, 10:44pm Top

>98 _Zoe_: A lot of my friends use GR to post to Facebook, but they use it once, to add/rate Harry Potter and Twilight and Of Mice and Men and maybe 20 other books, and then never use it again. Like most social-media tie-in sites. I am extremely lucky to have some Facebook friends who like to read, and I think several of them would like LT if they used it more.

>99 lunacat: Amen. The people here are amazing.

>100 leahbird: I'm going to try doing that from now on (posting to FB when I rate something). I really wish there wasn't so much NOISE in the in-LT News Feed, though. I'm always terrified to click on that little icon (no, not because I just read Feed....) because I know it's going to be full of random Common Knowledge stuff I worked on a year ago.

Speaking of which . . .
Zoe: I posted some LT stuff to my Facebook yesterday. Did you notice if it showed up on your newsfeed? I had to dig around to find it at all on my profile . . . With all the new FB settings I never know if things are visible to everyone or not.

Aug 28, 2012, 7:08am Top

Ha, don't apologize to me, I didn't like the 1 Jonathan Maberry book I (we) read. I am, however, disappointed that you have such a strong will when it comes to book purchasing. I thought you were better than that! :P

Aug 28, 2012, 7:57am Top

So, I woke up at my usual 6:40 this morning, fussed around on my phone for a few minutes, and got up. Then, as I was sitting in the bathroom, all the power in my building went out. Super.....

Aug 28, 2012, 11:05am Top

I didn't see it on the newsfeed (and I just looked again), though I can see it when I look directly at your profile.

Aug 28, 2012, 11:25am Top

I had to adjust some settings to get them to show up on my profile at all. Apparently the two options are "pretty much hidden" and "obnoxious". I went with the latter :-)

Aug 28, 2012, 5:21pm Top

The power was back on when I got home. I think most of my perishables survived. And then, I went to the GYM. And used the elliptical for a whole 13 minutes. I think this calls for pasta for dinner, and spending the rest of the evening watching Doctor Who.

Aug 28, 2012, 8:10pm Top

I find some of Jonathan Maberry's books are a lot better than others. I was wowed by Patient Zero simply because I thought he did an amazing job on the science given his background in literature. Plus, he compared the zombifying disease to hibernation, which really thrilled me. And he compared it to Fatal Familial Insomnia, which I found fascinating because I had just finished reading The Family that Couldn't Sleep. I imagine it's Max's book that Maberry got the idea from. Other than that, the book is mostly just zombie-killing action, which doesn't excite everyone. :) The rest of that series had the action without the impressive science.

Aug 28, 2012, 10:20pm Top

The Maberry that I declined was Rot and Ruin, which I see that you have. It also has rave reviews and a rating of 4.16. Dammit.

Aug 29, 2012, 5:57am Top

I've only read Dead of Night but it was just...not great... *Shrug* It shockingly has a 4.2 average rating though, so I guess that's not a common consensus. But c'mon, a woman shoots a zombie in the face and screams "BOO-YA!" I mean, really... *groans*

I completely forgot he wrote Patient Zero though, and that one does seem quite popular...

I admit, however, had I seen Rot and Ruin in a store for that cheap I would have bought it anyway. For shame, Nora, for shame! :P

Edited: Aug 29, 2012, 6:03am Top

As for Dead of Night I don't really trust ratings on books when there are so few people rating it. The "BOO-YA" sounds much like the actions scenes in most of Joe Ledger series (starting with Patient Zero). Rot and Ruin and the rest of that series is YA and actually more philosophic than Maberry's other books. He gets into the whole "zombies were people too" idea. :)

Aug 29, 2012, 11:15am Top

I don't think Dead of Night is a book that people would ever pick up if they were not already interested in zombies. Whereas Patient Zero is more popular and the first in a series so I think people would be more likely to read that one if they didn't know what they were getting. I had forgotten that I do have Patient Zero on my TBR stack. So now I don't feel so sad about declining the other one. The books at Goodwill aren't that cheap anymore. It's $2 for paperbacks and $3.50 for hardcovers. And I almost always get hardcovers because those are the ones people get rid of. I don't feel too bad spending the money, though, since Goodwill is such an amazing organization.

I liked the "zombie" aspects of Dead of Night. The science was decent, and the action/killing/horror was good. I didn't like the "novel" aspects though. The characters were cliched and I hated them. The dialog was terrible, and I really did not appreciate the anti-government undertones. Unfortunately, the "novel" aspects are more indicative of whether or not I like an author in general. Especially since Dead of Night is one of his more recent books. But I will save final judgement until I read at least one more of his books.

Aug 29, 2012, 12:01pm Top

So, I just saw a friend's story from GR in my newsfeed:

(Name) finished reading 2 books on Goodreads.

The Satanic Verses
No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which earned it...
Like · Comment

Against Nature
Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans is a novel in which very little happens; its narrative concentrates almo...
Like · Comment

With cover pictures, of course.

My first instinct was to say that LT was better. Until I realized that LT stories don't even seem to show up in the newsfeed at all. Sigh.

Aug 29, 2012, 12:22pm Top

I eventually found my LT-to-FB posts on my own profile hidden under "recent activity". I don't see them on yours at all, though. How recently have you posted stuff?

Aug 29, 2012, 12:32pm Top

Oh, it's been a long time since I posted anything. I did manage to find the posts on your profile, but they didn't show up in my newsfeed, which is really the key place.

Aug 29, 2012, 1:09pm Top

Even though Patient Zero and its series is about a government organization, there are undertones of anti-government in it, too. I've been trying to interpret them and figure out EXACTLY what his point of view is--but I'm having difficulty. I'll get another chance when I listen to Assassin's Code in the next couple of months.

Aug 30, 2012, 2:47pm Top

Book #53: His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik - library book – British Royal Navy Captain William Laurence is astounded that the little French ship he and his crew have just apprehended is carrying some extremely valuable cargo – a dragon egg. He is even more shocked when, upon hatching, the baby dragon chooses him to be its captain, thus terminating Captain Laurence’s distinguished and relatively long navy career. Laurence names the dragon Temeraire, and together they join the ranks of the elite but unconventional and misunderstood Air Corps. They develop a deep, familial love for each other and learn more about the Air Corps, all while protecting England from the wiles of Napoleon Bonaparte and his more numerous dragons.

It’s one part Jane Austen (Regency-era, with lots of fussing about manners, etiquette, social class, rank, and gossip), one part Anne McCaffrey (dragons paired with humans have a deep bond and get shit done), and one part Patrick O’Brian (I assume, as I haven’t ever been able to read more than a few pages of Master and Commander without getting bored). There’s a little something for most everyone. I look forward to reading the sequels.

Currently reading:
Timeless by Gail Carriger
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Currently listening to:
On the Road: The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac (82%)

Coming soon:
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness



(Days since last hermit day: 6)

Aug 30, 2012, 3:02pm Top

Glad you liked your most recent read, Nora.

How goes the Doctor Who? I just recently discovered there are a set of specials that come between series 4 and 5 and now I have to wait 2-4 WEEKS for Amazon to send them to me. Of course, I'm consoling myself by rewatching series 1-4 and watching commentaries and special features. And you know, watching stuff on youtube. I shudder to think what withdrawal will be like when I stop binging on this.

Aug 30, 2012, 3:02pm Top

Yay, I'm glad you read His Majesty's Dragon!

Aug 30, 2012, 3:14pm Top

>119 MickyFine: I've stalled out due to watching shows that are currently on the air, movies that are about to expire on Netflix, and being social. And yesterday my internet wasn't working right. *sigh*
Are the specials called "The Waters of Mars" and "The End of Time"? I have both of those in my Netflix queue already.

Aug 30, 2012, 4:08pm Top

The specials following series 4 are:

The Next Doctor
Planet of the Dead
The Waters of Mars
The End of Time

The Waters of Mars is fantastic, as is the second part of The End of Time. You're in for a wonderful time watching them. I envy you their first watch.

Aug 30, 2012, 5:02pm Top

>121 norabelle414: Fair enough. :)

>122 lunacat: If they ever get to my house. *uses psychic powers to will Amazon to work faster*

Edited: Aug 30, 2012, 10:03pm Top

Hmm, Netflix doesnt have The Next Doctor or Planet of the Dead. I think I'll have to skip those

ETA: Netflix includes "The Next Doctor" at the end of season 4. So I'll only miss Planet of the Dead.

Aug 30, 2012, 10:33pm Top

You don't happen to have amz prime do you? All of Dr Who is free there. If not, maybe you could borrow someone's acct to watch it.

Aug 30, 2012, 10:33pm Top

Or sign up for the trial of prime. ;)

Aug 30, 2012, 10:39pm Top

I used up my free trial of Amazon Prime several years ago, unfortunately. I will probably just skip that episode. Maybe it will rerun on TV one day, or something. It is available on iTunes for a couple dollars so if I really feel left out I can buy it there.

Aug 30, 2012, 11:29pm Top

Prime is dangerous my friend. Things are so much easier to talk yourself into buying when you can say "But they will be here in 2 days! FOR FREE!" ::purchase purchase purchase::

Edited: Aug 31, 2012, 8:15am Top

I'm not an Amazon fan so I manage to avoid the temptation :-)

I did buy a book from Barnes & Noble yesterday, though, just because I had a coupon that was expiring. I'll plead ignorance when it gets here next week.

Aug 31, 2012, 2:40pm Top

My psychic powers were victorious! The DVDs shipped today and I'll have them by next Thursday. *fist pump of victory*

Edited: Aug 31, 2012, 6:51pm Top

See I don't like B&N, lol! There are pros and cons to every mass retailer. I like my prime. It comes in super handy living here where I have no B&M outlets.

Not a fan of Apple either.

Aug 31, 2012, 7:11pm Top

#129 by norabelle414> Oh, I really don't like Amazon because of their mass "take over and kill all small enterprise" thing, but I live in podunkville and rarely have access to the books I want for prices that don't kill me unless I do Amazon. When I lived in civilization I rarely bought from them. Now, well... someone has to stock my shelves. ;)

Aug 31, 2012, 8:00pm Top

18, 27: When I was at Barnes and Noble last week, I swung by the magazine section to see whether it is organized the same way. No. Still the annoying women (e.g. crafts) and men (e.g. guns), but science is in the business section. Which is not exactly ideal, but seems a reasonable compromise considering the options.

Aug 31, 2012, 9:47pm Top

132: People said the same thing about B&N when their stores were everywhere. Apple does it. It's the way business goes, good or bad.

Aug 31, 2012, 10:53pm Top

Nora - really enjoyed catching up with your thread with the benefit of a long weekend before me. Love the library snippets and the acquisitions of first editions for the price of a miniature chocolate bar. Must go right back to post #18 and the shelve placement of your magazine. This was clearly put there by a lady as "Geek" immediately conjures connotations of maledom, the content of a fine magazine notwithstanding!
Have a lovely weekend.

Sep 2, 2012, 2:18pm Top

>130 MickyFine: I've watched The Next Doctor, The Waters of Mars, and The End of Time. And the first 3 episodes of season 5. I keep having to take breaks and watch something less intense, though, so currently I'm alternating episodes of DW with That 70s Show :-)

>131 UnrulySun:, 132 I don't like going to brick-and-mortar Barnes & Nobles, due to the fact that they've become noisy, intrusive Nook stores. But I get all my online stuff from them because their prices are fine, I get discounts and free shipping due to being a member, and they don't have any business practices that I don't agree with (that I know of). Plus I have fond memories of spending hours in their stores, pre-Nook.

I question some of Apple's business practices, too, but I do concede that they are the best in the biz at secondary, arts-related software (music, graphic design, photoshop, movies, etc). I just wish people would stop pretending that their crappy, overpriced hardware, operating system, and gadgets are worth anything. Why don't people realize that they are being screwed by a vertical monopoly with a good marketing department?

>133 qebo: That is a decent compromise, if you can't have a full science section. Maybe in the "current events" section would be better, though. (but I guess most of those magazines are weekly.)

>135 PaulCranswick: Lovely to see you here, Paul! I do have to disagree with you, though. I think that any woman who works in a bookstore is well aware that female "geeks" are plentiful. What I found so disturbing about the placement was not so much that Geek itself was in the Men's Interests section, but that all the science magazines were in the Men's Interests section. But I'm afraid we will never know who is truly to blame. I expect it is someone higher-up than just that one store.


*Phew* I just got finished adding all the books I bought last week, the 2 books I have out from the library, and an additional bag of 6 books that my friend loaned me. Since I manually add all of my books, I'm exhausted!

Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 7:36pm Top

I am going to blame you Ms Nora (and the other enablers on your thread) for making me watch Dr. Who. I've held out all this time and then, last night, I watched 2 episodes. I will say that the concept has always intrigued me but I'm not much for "creature" shows in general, so I didn't think I'd like it. We shall see. But if I get hopelessly sucked in, I'm going to come back and shake my finger at you with a vengeance! ;)

ETA: I also put a lot of blame on the geeks at Pinterest. Seems like 75% of the geek section over there is DW stuff and it was starting to make me feel like an outcast that I didn't get it... Geek peer pressure.

Sep 2, 2012, 8:09pm Top

I will accept all blame for that :-)

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 9:26am Top

Book #54: On The Road: The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac - audiobook from the library – Did not enjoy this. I'm sure that's because my generation is terrible, or I don't know how to have fun, or something. But the whole time I was listening to this I kept thinking things like "Really, he's going to leave his second wife for his first wife AGAIN??" and "Why are you friends with this guy, he's an asshole" and "Well maybe you would have enough money for food if you hadn't just spent ALL of your money on beer the night before."

Plus, it's some sexist shit. Jack left his first wife to roam around the country with his bat-shit-crazy friend and try to sleep with anything that moved. Then, many years later, he goes back to see his ex(?)-wife. She won't sleep with him, and he finds out that she has a boyfriend. Thus, she must be a whore. uuuuuugghhhhhhhhh.

The "Original Scroll" version is basically the manuscript. For some weird reason Kerouac taped all the pages together, end to end, and rolled it into a scroll. Then he left it at someone's house and their dog ate part of it. The names of the real people are not changed and there is more cursing and sex and drugs than the published version. I probably appreciated this more than if I had read the published version with the fake names, but that's not saying much.

Another one for the "Glad I read this so that I don't ever have to read it again" pile.

Currently reading:
Timeless by Gail Carriger
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Currently listening to:
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (11%)

Coming soon:
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge



(Days since last hermit day: 1)

Sep 4, 2012, 2:48pm Top

Oh lord, that's about what I thought about On the Road; there's a Great Work I'll never have to read again.

Sep 4, 2012, 2:51pm Top

I think On the Road is probably sitting on the TBR list somewhere but so is Ulysses. I seriously doubt I'll ever be racing out to read either. Kudos on making it through, I probably would have Pearl ruled that one.

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 2:57pm Top

>139 norabelle414:: "Me too" for On the Road. I'm also completely oblivious to the appeal of Catcher in the Rye. In both cases, I suspect I was already too old at my first reading.

Sep 4, 2012, 4:07pm Top

On the Road is on my TBR pile, too, but I won't get to it for years probably. :)

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 4:09pm Top

>140 Cynara: Amen.

>141 MickyFine: I can't Pearl rule things because I'm such a perfectionist. If I don't finish it I'll spend the rest of my life thinking "what if I had kept going . . . ". It's less stress for me to just read it.

>142 swynn: I don't think I can plead "too old" on either of those. I read Catcher when I was 15 and HATED it. I vowed from then on to be wary of anyone who claimed Catcher in the Rye to be one of their favorite books, and that rule has served me well. (As has a similar rule for Lolita . . .) Also, I'm about the age now that Kerouac was when he travelled. So I'll have to find some other excuse for disliking those.

>143 The_Hibernator: I would have said the same thing, but the movie is coming out. One of my favorite pasttimes is reading a book because the movie is coming out, and then never watching the move.

Sep 4, 2012, 4:26pm Top

Gosh, I couldn't agree with you guys more about both books. Nora, your rule is my rule! :D

Sep 4, 2012, 4:45pm Top

I'm getting good about not caring about putting down books. In fact, I disregard the Pearl Rule and put a book down 10 pages in if it isn't grabbing me. I can always tell myself I'll try it again some other time, and I sometimes do, with great success. (See: A 5-star rating of The Dark Lord of Derkholm, after putting down the first time I tried it.) I've tried to read The Isle of Stone twice now, put it down twice and I'll still consider reading it from time to time.

It doesn't work as well with library books, but sometimes you are just in the wrong frame of mind to enjoy a certain type of book, and I'd rather give it time and see if it's "for me" later in life than forcing myself to read something I'm not enjoying.

Not that I don't still force myself to read things, but it's slightly less often than before. :)

Sep 4, 2012, 7:24pm Top

Book #55: Timeless by Gail Carriger - Holy crap. After very weak 2nd and 3rd installments in this series, Carriger has knocked it out of the park twice in a row. The woman knows how to surprise a reader. Alexia is betrayed by everyone she trusts, and is shocked by everyone she's taken for granted. I'm extremely sad this series is ending, but I think her next series' will still involve Alexia/Prudence, so I feel okay.

Currently reading:
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Currently listening to:
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (11%)

Coming soon:
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge



(Days since last hermit day: 1)

Sep 4, 2012, 8:14pm Top

Carriger is ending the series?! I did not know that! Wow. I am so behind the book times.

Sep 4, 2012, 8:17pm Top

from AMZ:

"She is currently writing young adult books set in the same universe ~ the Finishing School series (Feb. 5, 2013). Soon she will begin a new adult series, The Parasol Protectorate Abroad (for Fall 2013)."

I have yet to read Timeless, but I'm looking forward to the new series. :)

Sep 5, 2012, 1:45pm Top

This morning my horribly insensitive coworker told me I look pregnant. *sigh*

How is this day not over yet??

Sep 5, 2012, 2:34pm Top

Wow. I don't see how that could be meant as anything but an intentional insult.

Sep 5, 2012, 2:37pm Top

Pretty much, yeah. She's not a nice person.

Sep 5, 2012, 3:19pm Top

*virtual hugs and chocolate* Hope your day gets better, Nora!

Sep 5, 2012, 8:53pm Top

Don't you HATE working with people who have no people skills? My office manager came to point out that I'd made a TINY mistake in a calendar update I made and said, not jokingly, "I didn't realize the calendar could be so challenging." OHHH, I wanted to slap her. I made 7 other calendar updates today without a single other error and yet she feels the need to say this.

Man, people you can't avoid without becoming poor are the WORST. Sorry you have one in your office too.

Sep 5, 2012, 10:19pm Top

I actually don't mind when she says bitchy stuff that's not about work. She has no control over non-work stuff. I can just ignore her. It's when she spends hours complaining that my job is easy and I should be able to do it faster when she can't even sign on to our system without help that bothers me.

Sep 6, 2012, 2:43pm Top

That is what I like to call a "howorker".

Sep 6, 2012, 2:58pm Top

155: Sounds like a "difficult people" type. Aren't there books with strategies for dealing with such people?

Sep 6, 2012, 4:05pm Top

I just ignore her. It seems to work okay.

Sep 6, 2012, 5:04pm Top

>156 UnrulySun: I love that term!

Sep 7, 2012, 10:04am Top

Book #55: Goliath by Scott Westerfeld - library book - ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod. Such an amazing ending to an amazing trilogy. I stayed up WAY too late finishing it last night because I could not wait to get to the end. There's not a whole lot I can say without spoiling the previous two books, but if you enjoyed either of those, this will not disappoint. And as usual, the artwork is spectacular. So spectacular, in fact, that I bought The Manual of Aeronautics, and it's waiting for me at my apartment. It came a few days ago but I didn't want to even look at it until I finished the trilogy, so it's still in its box.

The mix of history and fantasy in this series is perfection. At the end of each book there is a short afterward in which Westerfeld clarifies which parts of the story are true, and which parts he changed, and why he did so, and what the effects of his changes might be down the line. (I can't get too detailed without spoiling.) WWI history is admittedly one of my weaker areas, but after reading this series I will never forget what happened, and who was on which side, because I've seen it all through Deryn/Dylan and Alek's eyes. Nor will I ever stop dreaming about Keith Thompson's amazing drawings or the incredible creatures and contraptions that Westerfeld created. I need my own Perspicacious Loris. Like really bad.

(For anyone who has read the Pretties series and is thus avoiding the Leviathan series: They're nowhere near the same thing. This is WAY better.)

Currently reading:
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (borrowed)
The Manual of Aeronautics by Scott Westerfeld
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Currently listening to:
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (58%)

Coming soon:
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (borrowed)
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby (borrowed)
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni (borrowed)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia (borrowed)
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge (borrowed)



(Days since last hermit day: 0)

Sep 8, 2012, 3:48pm Top

Hip hip hooray. Glad you enjoyed the trilogy all the way through. I totally agree that Leviathan should never ever be judged by Pretties. Two entirely different things.

Hope you're having a lovely and relaxing weekend, Nora. :)

Sep 8, 2012, 9:27pm Top

Nora - I love your "days remaining" addition to your stats and how many days per book are left to make your target. Nice to see that the days per book is getting bigger and bigger!

Sep 9, 2012, 8:33am Top

>161 MickyFine: I really think that it was the amount of research that had to be done for Leviathan that accounts for the vast differences. Leviathan is just a much better written, better thought-out, better researched story.

>162 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! I originally started doing that at the end of last year, when I was getting really close to reading 75 books for the first time ever. So at the start of this year, I figured why not continue??

I'm off on a business trip this afternoon and will be gone through Wednesday evening. I'm not taking my computer (to encourage both reading and socialization) so I won't be around much (I do still have my smartphone, so I might be around some).

I got an email at 6am today telling me that Divergent is ready for me to pick up from the library. So I spent several minutes calculating how long it would take me to get to the library and if I had the time in my pre-trip schedule today. Then I remembered: the library is closed on Sunday! Why would you send an email at 6am to pick up a book if the library is closed that day?? *sigh* I have until Friday to pick it up though so I should be okay.

Books I'm taking with me on my trip:
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (determined to finish this eventually)
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (I'm going to see her speak on the 27th)
The Human Genome: Book of Essential Knowledge by John Quackenbush (an LTER book from *gulp* over a year ago. Plus, It's purse-sized and will look impressive to the other people at my conference)

Sep 9, 2012, 8:40am Top

Doctor Who update: I'm done with Season 5 and the first 3 episodes of Season 6. (Except, Netflix doesn't have the end-of-season-5 Christmas special, The Christmas Carol. So I'm skipping that.)

The next episode in the queue is The Doctor's Wife, which I am eagerly looking forward to, so that'll be something fun for when I get back home.

I must say, I've watched a whole season of Matt Smith, and I still don't like him very much. I do love Amy and Rory, though.

Sep 9, 2012, 9:22am Top

Have a good trip, Nora! Going anywhere interesting?

Sep 9, 2012, 9:42am Top

Minneapolis. Not the most exciting, but it definitely could be worse! (Could be Florida. Ick.) And I've never been there before. I'm going to meet up with Morphidae for coffee on Monday.

I've also managed to get a layover in Milwaukee both ways. First of all because I know that airport well, and secondly because there's a used bookstore in the airport ;-)

Sep 9, 2012, 10:07am Top

I've been to Minneapolis! When I was three... My dad grew up there. Supposed to be a very cool city. Have a good time.

Sep 9, 2012, 10:09am Top

I rather like Minneapolis. But then, I grew up there. :) Have fun! Too bad you couldn't get Divergent. It's nice to have light reading for plane trips.

Sep 9, 2012, 10:15am Top

I'm sure I'm in the minority here (especially amongst more seasoned travelers like myself) but I *love* airports and airplanes. I can't really say why, I think they just have so much potential (maybe because I don't drive?). It helps that I always fly out of Reagan National Airport, which is a beautiful, open, sunny, clean airport.

I also love looking out the window while flying. If I have a window seat, and the ground is visible at all, I will have my nose stuck to the window. I've been flying at least once, usually twice, a year for my whole life, and I never ever get tired of it.

Sep 9, 2012, 10:17am Top

>168 The_Hibernator: I actually prefer heavier reading for plane trips. There's no Netflix or computer games to distract me, just hours of mandatory reading time on the planes and in the airports.

Sep 9, 2012, 12:07pm Top

Hehe, a meeting of the Noras! I hope you have fun and take pictures.

I also still have to read The Human Genome from more than a year ago. There's a perfect TIOLI challenge that we could fit it in, if only you did TIOLI....

Sep 9, 2012, 12:09pm Top

Oh, how jealous am I of both you and Morphy - getting to have coffee with each other! Hope you have a lovely time.

Sep 9, 2012, 1:10pm Top

I travel for work - not a ton but about once every 6-8 weeks for a week or so at a time. I love airports for the people watching; and I like flying itself for the idea of the mandatory reading time but more often than not, I end up falling asleep for the first part of the flight. I find planes very soporific. Luckily, I am usually going overseas so there is still time to read once I wake up :)

Sep 9, 2012, 1:21pm Top

It was really funny. I called her to change the date of our meeting, "Hi, Nora? This is Nora..."

Too bad we can't drive you around. All we have is a pickup. First stop? Uncle Hugo's - our science fiction/fantasy book store! Maybe you can catch a bus there. Our transit system is good especially from where you'll be.

Sep 9, 2012, 4:19pm Top


You're not alone. I love airports and airplanes as well. So much enforced time to watch people. The same reason I like any form of station - train/bus etc. I love people watching, but only when it's forced on me, as I get annoyed if I try and do it in my 'own' time.

Plus I love the travel aspect of travelling. So much potential. It's like Christmas Eve - the excitement of unopened presents. You never know what is going to be.

Sep 9, 2012, 11:07pm Top

Zoe: I'm SO not a picture-taker...
It seems we are not alone, as there were 15 copies of The Human Genome given away, but the book only has 7 total reviews...
I would make a guest apprearance in TIOLI, just for you, but between Wolf Hall and Shadow of Night there's no way I'm going to finish The Human Genome this month.

Amber: thanks! You're next on my hit-list the next time I visit my family in Wisconsin.

Katie: I cannot EVER sleep on an airplane. Ever. Which is great for reading, but not great for my sanity on long, eastbound flights.

Morphy/other Nora: that bookstore sounds great! Maybe I will check it out when I have free time on Tuesday.

Jenny: ditto to all of that. I like the mandatory reading time better than people-watching, though.


Made it to my hotel safely. Had a beer and a sandwich at a sports bar for dinner. Yum. Big day of conference stuff tomorrow!

Sep 9, 2012, 11:17pm Top

That's okay, I'll make a new TIOLI challenge for it next month ;). My September reading schedule is probably also too full.

Sep 10, 2012, 7:20am Top

Yay!! I'm excited!

Edited: Sep 10, 2012, 7:40am Top

I just checked the route to Uncle Hugo's and it involves three bus changes. :(

I'll bring a print off of the route but maybe the hotel has a shuttle?

ETA: Whoo hooo! The hotel has complimentary transportation within 5 miles of the hotel and Uncle Hugo's is four miles away!

Uncle Hugo's is fun. It's small. It's cramped. It's filled wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with speculative fiction both new and used. Mostly used. Lots of signed copies. Knowledgeable staff who can give you thoughtful recommendations.

And for those who like mystery, go into the back to Uncle Edgar's which is the same.


"Customers from all over the world tell us that we have the best selection of new and used science fiction, fantasy, and mystery books anywhere on the planet."

Sep 10, 2012, 8:00am Top

#160: I very much enjoyed that Westerfeld trilogy too, Nora, and I thought the artwork throughout was just terrific.

Sep 11, 2012, 2:58pm Top

Hey Nora! If you're interested (and depending on what time you'll be stopping in Milwaukee), I'd be happy to swing over to the airport for a little book shopping and some coffee! I've just got a client at 4:00 tomorrow, so I'm free until 3:00, and then after 6:00. Hope you're having fun in Minneapolis!

Sep 11, 2012, 10:37pm Top

That would be so nice, Laura, but I don't think I'll have enough time this go-round. My layover is only an hour and 15 minutes. I wish I had thought to ask you on my way here! I'll definitely wave to you from the airport.

Sep 11, 2012, 11:34pm Top

I watched all of series 5 in 2 days. And I'm telling you now (because I literally just finished watching it), "The Doctor's Wife" is brilliant. I have a feeling you'll really like it.

Hope your work trip is going smoothly and you have good flight(s) home. :)

Sep 12, 2012, 8:35am Top

Micky: is it just me or did the Doctor never actually give Amy a TARDIS key? (It's very possible that he did and I just missed it) That's always my favorite moment of getting a new companion. It's so symbolic.

Sep 12, 2012, 2:24pm Top

No sweat! I've been waving at the airport (and any planes coming over my house) since 9:00, hoping I'll catch you on one of them. :) I don't remember the Doctor giving Amy a key either, but I think I miss lots of things on that show.

Micky, I'm so envious of your marathon Who experience! I'm having a similar one with season 6 of Gilmore Girls right now, hoping to finish the last 5 episodes today to make it the whole shebang in 24 hours. And yes, thank you for asking, my life is slightly pathetic. ;) I agree, "The Doctor's Wife" is quite outstanding.

Nora, hope you had an uneventful flight(s) home, and enjoyed your layover here in Milwaukee!

Edited: Sep 12, 2012, 9:19pm Top

Interesting that NPR is touting this as a "first look" when the book has been out in the UK for AGES, but if you want to read the first 2 chapters of The Last Dragonslayer before it's out stateside in Oct, then here's your chance. (I didn't read it. I don't want it to spoil the excitement when the book arrives.)

NPR Exclusive First Read: The Last Dragonslayer

And not that anyone's asking, but you people have made me start referencing Who in common conversation and I'm then disappointed that no one gets the joke. ;( Just what I needed, ANOTHER thing none of my friends get. Sheesh.

Sep 12, 2012, 5:32pm Top

>184 norabelle414: You know, I don't think there's a moment where there's the formal key giving, you're right. Although at this point, I think she does have one. As does Rory.

>185 LauraBrook: It was super delightful, Laura. I have the house to myself this evening so I should get in 3-4 episodes tonight. :D Crossing my fingers you get a good Gilmore binge in tonight. :)

>186 leahbird: You're welcome.

Sep 12, 2012, 7:56pm Top

I'm home now, my conference was fine, meeting up with Morphidae and husband was great. Flight home was fine, except that AirTran lost my luggage. Nothing immediately necessary was in it except my make-up, which I guess I can live without for a few days *grumble grumble*

I bought some books at Uncle Hugo's, but they are in my suitcase so I will post about them when I get it.

Drinking wine and catching up on the tv I missed while I was away: Warehouse 13 and Alphas and the season premiere of Parenthood.

Sep 12, 2012, 9:04pm Top

Did you make it to Mall of America?

Sep 12, 2012, 9:54pm Top

I did. I even bought myself a Lego set at the Lego store. Which is in my luggage.

Sep 13, 2012, 7:54am Top

Aw, you gotta tell me more than that! Did you go to the aquarium? Where did you end up eating?

Hope you get your luggage soon. :(

Sep 13, 2012, 7:56am Top

I've been to the aquarium at the Mall of America. I think?! Is it the one with the funfair type thing in the middle? In Minneapolis?

Sep 13, 2012, 8:34am Top

There's an aquarium at the MoA? I'm assuming it's not a cheesy pet store display, right. :)

Sep 13, 2012, 9:16am Top

I had planned on going to the Italian restaurant you told me about, Morphy, but I got lost and stopped to eat at the first place I could find :-) I think it was called "Pardon My French" or something equally cheesy. Food wasn't bad though. I did not go to the aquarium, because I decided that I wanted to go to Minnehaha Falls on my way back to the hotel, and I didn't want to be out too late.

Minnehaha Park was beautiful, but due to the drought there was NO water going over the falls. A bit disappointing.

I took a few pictures (like, three), will post later.

Sep 13, 2012, 9:30am Top

An internet friend posted this on Facebook this morning (since my RL friends are not nerdy enough):

Sep 13, 2012, 10:09am Top

When I was a teenager I worked at the aquarium at MOA. :)

Sep 13, 2012, 5:08pm Top

>195 leahbird: Not looking yet. Haven't gotten to series 7.

Boo about lost luggage, Nora. Hope it finds its way back to you soon. :)

Sep 13, 2012, 5:23pm Top

Luggage arrived early this morning, but after I had gone to work, so I just got it now. Currently putting on makeup and playing with Legos before I go to the library and out to dinner with my mom.

Sep 13, 2012, 5:53pm Top

#197 by MickyFine> Oh I'm totally on Series 2 so I probably don't even know if there are spoilers in that cartoon, but it made me giggle.

Sep 13, 2012, 6:59pm Top

195: That's one of the best things I've seen! I stalked and adored practically everything at Hijinks Ensue - thanks for introducing me to them, leahbird!

Sep 14, 2012, 5:08pm Top

*Waves* Hi Nora! :)

Sep 14, 2012, 11:09pm Top

>198 norabelle414: Yay for the return of the wandering luggage!

>199 leahbird: I have one episode left in series 6 and then I can watch the episodes I've PVRed so I'll be able to tell you if it's spoilerific probably by Sunday afternoon. ;)

Umm, bookity book book. There, that was sufficiently bookish. :)

Sep 15, 2012, 11:11am Top

ENjoyed the photo of you and Morphy over on her thread and glad you managed to get together over in Minneapolis. Saw that you were buying Lego and it reminded me that Legoland amusement park has just opened after some delay in SWMBO's hometown of Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Comically when asked why it was running late the operator informed that they were still putting it together!
Have a lovely weekend.

Sep 16, 2012, 11:23am Top

>201 Ape: *waves back*

>202 MickyFine: Thanks Micky!

>203 PaulCranswick: LOL Paul that is too funny!

I'm about 100 pages into Divergent, which I picked up from the library on Friday. Boy, is it TERRIBLE. Someone please tell me it gets better. So far it doesn't make any sense, and I've found at least 4 instances of the author directly contradicting herself. Ugh.

Sep 16, 2012, 1:13pm Top

Hmm. I liked Divergent. But I may have just been in a good mood, too. :) I HATED Hunger Games. It made me feel sick.

Sep 16, 2012, 2:18pm Top

You can't not like Divergent, it has such a pretty cover! I demand you start liking it right this instant. :)

Sep 16, 2012, 3:51pm Top

>206 Ape: Don't worry. They're making it into a movie so there will be teenagers on the covers soon enough.

Sep 16, 2012, 4:25pm Top

Ugh. Okay, nevermind, you can hate it if you want to. I know I will. :P

Sep 16, 2012, 4:29pm Top


I recently read Divergent and just went back to read my review. I described it as simplistic, not original, but highly enjoyable.

However, after a week or so, I'd say that I am less impressed. I went to read the next, Insurgent and the first had made such little impact on me that I couldn't remember any of the characters, much less what they were doing, or the details of what had happened. A good book should not vanish from the mind that quickly!

Sep 16, 2012, 4:36pm Top

I agree with you lunacat. I actually really liked Divergent when I read it...was a little less impressed with Insurgent, but was eager for the third. But that eagerness faded pretty quickly. :) Perhaps it's just one of those books that's fun to read but not great enough to have a lasting impact.

Sep 16, 2012, 9:15pm Top

>204 norabelle414: Yeah, it's bad. It's like the author wanted to write an action book but had to pretend it was a dystopia because that's what all the cool kids are doing now. So we have random dystopic elements that don't really come together into a coherent backstory. I feel like this story would have been better if it had just been set in a completely different world instead of pretending that our future somehow turns into that.

I'll look forward to seeing your thoughts when you're done.

Sep 16, 2012, 11:04pm Top

So far it's reading like "Hey, I bet you $20 I can teach kids what 'abnegation', 'amity', 'dauntless', 'candor', and 'erudite' mean, and then overuse the words to the point where no one can really be sure of their meaning anymore!"

Plus, those words aren't even the same parts of speech. Three nouns and two adjectives. What's up with that?

Sep 17, 2012, 6:58am Top

hahahaha picky picky.

Sep 17, 2012, 11:57am Top

****SPOILERS for the first quarter or so of Divergent****

That's one of the least of the things that bother me TO NO END about this book. Why is there an aptitude exam for something that is a choice? The whole book claims to be about choice choice choice but the title is about how the main character is "special" because she shows aptitude for multiple factions. But she chose one of those factions, pretty much without hesitation (ok, the book SAID she was hesitant, but she didn't act like it). If the book is about choice, then the aptitude exam doesn't matter. If it's about Tris being "special", which was determined by the test, then her choice doesn't matter.

I'm 175 pages in now, and the good news is that it hasn't gotten much worse. But it definitely hasn't gotten any better.

Sep 17, 2012, 11:58am Top

Why don't you just stop reading it?

Sep 17, 2012, 12:04pm Top

In life, we can have aptitude for some things, and not go for them. Perhaps that is the point the author is trying to make. That it isn't about what we are born to do, but what we choose to do. At least I assume that is it.


Still, it does seem very odd. The children are brought up completely brainwashed, are expected to choose the faction they were born into, and yet there is this whole ceremony. And if they don't choose, they get shunned. Why even bother if that is going to happen afterwards?

And if you were as brainwashed as portrayed, and knew so little about the other options as she seems to, why would you consider going somewhere else?

And the 'aptitude test' seems a load of bull to me. Just because you make one choice or another? Why does choosing cheese automatically mean you're a happy go lucky person? I might well choose cheese, but that's because I happen to like cheese.

Sep 17, 2012, 12:50pm Top

>215 The_Hibernator: It's the same deal as On the Road. If I don't read it now, in a few years I will think "it couldn't've been that bad!" and try to read it again. If it's not solidly in the "I have read this" column, I'll never stop thinking about it. Plus, I keep hoping it will get better.

>216 lunacat: The aptitude test bothered me too. She refused to pick either the knife or the cheese, and the fact that she didn't pick the cheese that means that she isn't peaceful? What if she doesn't like cheese? She didn't even know what it was for yet! By that reasoning, doesn't the fact that she didn't pick the knife mean that she doesn't belong in Dauntless?
And another thing: Why is she so pissed at her brother for transfering factions? It's the same thing she did!
Also, I don't understand why Erudite and Abnegation are "mortal enemies" or whatever.

Sep 17, 2012, 1:42pm Top

Haven't you ever been pissed at someone for doing something that you did? Sometimes it's easiest to be pissed at our own faults seen in other people.

If you don't like this book, then don't go on to read Insurgent the questionable dytopic system only gets sillier in that book, as far as I'm concerned.

Sep 17, 2012, 2:55pm Top

>218 The_Hibernator: Of course I do, but I have enough sense to realize that I am being a dumb hypocrite, and adjust my behavior accordingly :-)

I am pretty good at declining to read a sequel if I didn't like the first book, so I doubt I'll be continuing after I finish this one.

Sep 18, 2012, 6:16pm Top

Bummer! I really liked Divergent, but I didn't think when reading it - I just hopped on the inner tube and floated along the lazy river of the story. Haven't read Insurgent yet, was saving it for a read-a-thon since it's pretty easy to knock out (and I've got 2 RAT's in the next month!!!), but hey, different strokes for different folks. :) Hope it gets better for you, and that you don't ultimately hate it.

BTW, I'm just about 1/3 of the way through the audio of Ready Player One, and it's SO GOOD! Will Wheaton = excellent narrator!

Sep 19, 2012, 5:28pm Top

New thread (link below), with a summary of my trip to Minneapolis and 2 book reviews.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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