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Ape's 2012 Challenge (14)

This is a continuation of the topic Ape's 2012 Challenge (13).

This topic was continued by Ape's 2012 Challenge (15).

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Sep 13, 2012, 8:43pm Top

Thread #1
Thread #2 (Books 1-2)
Thread #3 (Books 3-4)
Thread #4 (Books 5-7)
Thread #5 (Books 8-9)
Thread #6 (Books 10-14)
Thread #7 (Books 15-17)
Thread #8 (Books 18-22)
Thread #9 (Books 22-28)
Thread #10 (Books 29-32)
Thread #11 (Books 33-39)
Thread #12 (Books 40-45)
Thread #13 (Books 46-53)

Books Read: 56
Pages Read: 14,641

1. Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC by Joseph McCormick
2. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
3. Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile by J. L. Bourne
4. Steeldriver by Don Debrandt
5. The Snake Charmer by Jamie James

6. The Passionate Observer by Jean-Henri Fabre
7. Vanished Smile by R. A. Scotti
8. Valfierno by Martin Caparros
9. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

10. Apocalypse of the Dead by Joe McKinney
11. Flesh Eaters by Joe McKinney
12. The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo
13. White Bread by Aaron Bobrow-Strain
14. World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
15. The Burning by Bentley Little

16. Absolution by Patrick Flanery
17. The Yard by Alex Grecian
18. For One More Day by Mitch Albom
19. Haze by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

20. New York by Knight by Esther Friesner
21. The Calypso Directive by Brian Andrews
22. Through These Veins by Anne Marie Ruff
23. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
24. Watchmen by Alan Moore
25. A Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer
26. The Pull of the Ocean by Jean-Claude Mourlevat

27. The Fever by Sonia Shah
28. Urban Animals by Mireille Silcoff
29. The Porcupine by Julian Barnes
30. Fluke by Christopher Moore
31. Evolutionary Wars by Charles Kingsley Levy
32. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

33. The Disheveled Dictionary by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
34. The Postcard Killers by James Patterson
35. Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole
36. Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor
37. A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez
38. Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore
39. The Book of Dragons and Other Mythical Beasts by Joe Niggs
40. Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
41. The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
42. The Sandman: The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman
43. The Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman
44. The Sandman: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman
45. The Sandman: A Game of You by Neil Gaiman
46. The Sandman: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman
47. The Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman

48. The Sandman: Worlds' End by Neil Gaiman
49. The Sandman: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman
50. The Sandman: The Wake by Neil Gaiman
51. The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman
52. Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore
53. The Red Hourglass by Gordon Grice
54. Dracula by Bram Stoker

55. The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George Johnson
56. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Aug 24, 2012, 8:10am Top

*slinks through* Bwhahaha.

Aug 24, 2012, 10:06am Top


Aug 24, 2012, 10:59am Top

Hi Morphy and Katie! :)

Aug 24, 2012, 11:26am Top

Everyone sleeps with their mouth open.

Aug 24, 2012, 11:39am Top

I'll take your word for it.

Aug 24, 2012, 12:34pm Top

I think I ate an ant in my sleep one time. It could have been a dream induced memory though because we were having a serious case an infestation at the time so I was a bit paranoid. I guess I will never know.... :)

Edited: Aug 24, 2012, 1:53pm Top

I - O

Aug 24, 2012, 12:50pm Top

There was this one time I woke up just at the right moment to see an ant falling from the ceiling onto my face. Fastest I've woken up yet.

Aug 24, 2012, 12:57pm Top

I don't want to know.

Aug 24, 2012, 1:07pm Top

Hi, I'm here, doing my best to ignore the bugs-in-bed talk...

Aug 24, 2012, 1:13pm Top

Actually, not everyone sleeps with their mouth open. I have a CPAP and have to keep my mouth closed.

Aug 24, 2012, 2:37pm Top

Did you really have to bring the bug talk over to your new thread, Stephen?

Despite that, I'm still here admiring the shiny new digs.

Aug 24, 2012, 3:16pm Top

bah, bugs and beds are not good companions.
Cockroach......walking across face.....chasing roach around room with Doc Marten boot in hand.....crunch.....sleeping with scarf across face for rest of my 5 months in Taiwan. Euuuurgh.

Edited: Aug 24, 2012, 4:25pm Top

Valerie: That's another thing. Isn't if tunny that the myth is that you eat X spiders every month/year? It just so happens to be the most commonly feared creepy crawly on earth. What a conincidence.

Lynda: O-H! Wait, that was backwards...

Katie: That does sound horrifying. I don't react much to spiders and the like but when you are sitting somewhere and one comes down on a string of silk and dangles right in front of your face...well, there are few things as unpleasant as that. *Shudders*

Aug 24, 2012, 4:22pm Top

Kim: "I don't want to know" is not allowed on this thread. There is nothing we shouldn't try to know! :)

Amber: Don't ignore me! I don't handle it well...

Morphy: An acronym! Is it...Clammy Palms Amsterdam Popcorn?

Micky: The insect conversation is like a spider in your hair, isn't it?

Megan: There worse things to share a bed with!

Aug 24, 2012, 4:26pm Top

CPAP = continuous positive airway pressure, a lifesaver for those of us with sleep apnea.

Aug 24, 2012, 8:04pm Top

Ohhhhh. I was THIS close...

Aug 24, 2012, 11:31pm Top

Stopping by the shiny new thread with the continuing bug conversation, and all things 'interesting' Stephen. CPAP is a new one for me - so many acronyms, so little time - I am now happily informed, enlightened and amused! ;-)

Aug 25, 2012, 5:59am Top

I'm glad you are informed, enlightened, and amused, but I'm surprised that you aren't repulsed. Obviously I'm not trying hard enough. :P

Aug 25, 2012, 6:55am Top

CPAP aka Darth Vader mask for the whooshing sound it makes.

Aug 25, 2012, 2:28pm Top

I call mine "Senator Snort."

Aug 25, 2012, 4:19pm Top

I bet you could pretend to be a first responder during a zombie epidemic with those things. 8)

Aug 25, 2012, 10:42pm Top

Or an astronaut. Or Dustin Hoffman in the movie with the monkeys. But I'd probably just stick with Darth Vader.

Aug 26, 2012, 6:25am Top

If you get drunk before going to bed the astronaut thing could possibly be even more realistic...

Aug 26, 2012, 9:37am Top

"bed the astronaut"


Aug 26, 2012, 11:51am Top

Hey, it's harder than you think in zero-G! :P

Aug 26, 2012, 5:48pm Top

Yummy, spider's in the mouth. :) I totally killed my break time @ work googling spider pics. I hope you're happy, Stephen. Or better yet, totally creepy out!

Aug 26, 2012, 5:52pm Top

How it happens....

Aug 26, 2012, 10:32pm Top

>29 richardderus:.... EEEEEEEEeeeeek! Okay that better be photoshopped....I hope.

Aug 26, 2012, 11:05pm Top

#29: Is that the spider going in? Or one of many spiders coming out?

Aug 26, 2012, 11:08pm Top

Ugh, Sara. Not helping.

Stephen, can we talk about zombies? Or cholera? Or anything other than eating spiders in your sleep?

Aug 26, 2012, 11:58pm Top

>29 richardderus: GROSS (yes, that's right, Im shouting) Euuurgh. I feel a conniption coming on.

Aug 27, 2012, 1:25am Top

Great. We are still on spiders and now I have that silly nursery rhyme stuck in my head. So I might as well share..."The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain and ....

Smiles innocently and heads off to bed. : )

Aug 27, 2012, 2:50am Top

Oh poop oh dear now I have that idiot rhyme in my head auuugggghhhhhh

Aug 27, 2012, 7:01am Top

Sara: Haha! Oh dear, that is absolutely horrifying.

Richard: SO IS THAT! It does make sense, as spiders like dark corners to build their webs and whatnot. Now everyone has to imagine waking up with a tangle of spiderwebs and egg sacs hanging in their mouths. :)

Valerie: I don't think its photoshopped, simply because of the quality of the pic. Someone who wanted to photoshop a spider near someone's mouth would have done a better job, that is definitely a hurried 'lets take this picture before she wakes/the spider walks away, quick!'

Aug 27, 2012, 7:01am Top

Sara: Spiders never come out, they just delve deeper.

Micky: We can totally talk about diseases. Like what about the ones you get from spider bites! As if it isn't terrifying enough that a spider will bite you, it has to give you a bacterial infection to boot...

Megan: Aw, c'mon, they are perfectly innocent creatures of nature that are completely misjudged by prejudice primates. Besides, a conniption will just make you more attractive to tarrantulas. ;)

Kim: Hmmm, y'know, I'm surprised with such a 'cute' song about spiders we are still terrified of them.

Richard: That's scary even if it is fake. :o

Aug 27, 2012, 4:08pm Top

Le sigh. I guess I'll just be resigned to gross creepy stuff for a while.

Aug 27, 2012, 4:09pm Top

Ummmm, you resign yourself to that everytime you visit my thread, don't you? :P

Aug 27, 2012, 4:16pm Top

Fair point. Truly ooky stuff then?

Aug 27, 2012, 4:20pm Top

Yes. I would say altogether spooky, but I'm a little less spooky and a little more icky.

Aug 27, 2012, 6:30pm Top

Ever since I saw an angry tarantula baring its teeth (in my memory it definitely had fangs) racing up a stick at warp speed towards my dads hands, I feel a certain animosity towards the hairy things. *SHUDDER SHUDDER*

Aug 28, 2012, 6:27am Top

I used to have pet tarantulas when I was a kid. They're harmless. At least the ones that can be found in Oklahoma are. They CAN bite, but they usually don't. And when they do, nothing bad except a little itchy pain will happen...none of that flesh rotting or instant death that you'd expect.

Aug 28, 2012, 6:41am Top

They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're all together ooky...

Aug 28, 2012, 7:01am Top

Megan: Haha, yeah, I can understand, that would indeed be traumatizing.

Rachel: Eeek! I find spiders fascinating...at a distance. It's true though, tarantulas have a more brutish hunting style, no necrotizing poisons to worry about.

Morphy: Yep, that's what I was going for! :)

Aug 28, 2012, 11:01am Top

The Addams Family
da da du dun *snap snap*

Aug 28, 2012, 2:03pm Top

Aug 28, 2012, 3:02pm Top

Hmmm, I now have an image of Stephen as Lurch... so appropriate. :D

Aug 28, 2012, 3:07pm Top

Is it me, or does Morticia look like the current Cher?

Aug 28, 2012, 4:07pm Top


Aug 28, 2012, 4:12pm Top

Micky: What!? Lurch? Not Uncle Fester? I'm disappointed. :(

Joe: Yes, she does, VERY much.

Richard: Oh dear! :o

Aug 28, 2012, 4:43pm Top


Cheap hi-speed internet is in my area now! Woohoo! Should have that soon! :D

Aug 28, 2012, 5:03pm Top

I'm throwing confetti for you, Stephen. Glad you can get off the hamster wheel, and I commend you for your patience! :)

Aug 28, 2012, 5:13pm Top

>52 Ape: Yay!!

Aug 28, 2012, 5:41pm Top


Aug 28, 2012, 6:21pm Top

They will come to my house (*shudders*) to set everything up September 12, so just a couple weeks to go...

I'm mostly excited to get my Playstation 3 online. I need to look into whether or not I need to buy anything extra. Hmmm. Oh, and it'll be nice to actually load up job applications now. Speaking of which, my car will HOPEFULLY be fixed within the next couple weeks as well.

Aug 28, 2012, 6:36pm Top

your car is still not fixed? :(

Aug 28, 2012, 6:39pm Top

Nope. -.-

I've been using my mom's husband's car. *Shrug* The engine isn't sounding any better, the longer it sits. Before it was turning over but just not starting, and now it's struggling just to turn over. I wish I were knowledgeable about these things, I'm sure it's incredibly easy to diagnose, and I doubt it's a difficult fix, but I just have very little idea about what I'm doing. =/

Aug 28, 2012, 6:42pm Top

Ugh if you get normal speed internet, I'm going to have to find something else to tease you about. You make my life so difficult.

Aug 28, 2012, 9:53pm Top

#32: I am so helpful. What're you talking about? :P

#37: They just delve deeper. Blergh. That is just so not reassuring.

#50: Love it!

#52: (turns green with envy)

#59: Oh, there's plenty to tease Stephen about.... ;)

Btw, Stephen, I saw the perfect job for you here on Craigslist. You'd just have to hoof it all the way out to WA, probably sleep under a bridge in between shifts... (shrugs) Sounds perfect, right? ;)

Aug 29, 2012, 5:53am Top

Nora: Trust me, it is not hard to find things to tease me about. :P

Sara: Haha! That job is either awesome or terrible, I can't decide. Being paid to be shot at with paintballs...hmmmm, well, it would be less demeaning than working at Walmart, that's for sure! What's with the compensation? $9.04/hour? That's oddly specific...

Aug 29, 2012, 7:13am Top

I'm so excited for you and the high-speed! And the car!! WOOHOO!!

Aug 29, 2012, 9:31am Top

Me too! :D

Aug 29, 2012, 10:05am Top

$9.04 is minimum wage in Washington State

Aug 29, 2012, 11:00am Top

Although I bet you're in great shape with all the workouts on the hamster wheel.

Aug 29, 2012, 11:36am Top

#64: Wow, really? MN is $6.15. I'm sure there are 'basic cost of living' reasons for that, but it's still a bit depressing to see the difference.

Stephen gets faster internet? Just think of all the links and pics you'll finally be able to see.

Aug 29, 2012, 11:37am Top

And the threads you will be able to load! ;)

Aug 29, 2012, 12:25pm Top

Aug 29, 2012, 12:36pm Top

Nora: Ohhhh, I see. Well, it's still oddly specific.

Joe: Haha! No, no, not in good shape at all. Unless you think 'round' is a good shape. :D

Katie: Yeah, I believe its in the $7 range here.

Valerie: Crap, I won't have excuses now, will I? :P

Nora: Ha, ironically, it's taking forever to load.


*Jaw drop* Do you think they'll care if I don't feed the cats? :P

Aug 29, 2012, 6:06pm Top

Yes, they will care if you don't feed the cats. But why would you not? Feeding them is the easiest part of having cats.

Aug 29, 2012, 6:56pm Top

Haha, nope, you wont! :P
Better milk it now while you still have the chance.

Aug 29, 2012, 7:37pm Top

*waving* at Stephen

Aug 29, 2012, 8:29pm Top

Nora: Yes, but it helps prevent the most unpleasant part of having cats.

Valerie: It's okay, I'm sure I can think of new excuses. I'm really good at that, y'know...

Hi Stasia! Lovely to see you about the threads. :)

Aug 29, 2012, 8:45pm Top

Trying to catch up just a bit between travels to Longview and school beginning again in 2 weeks :/

Aug 29, 2012, 9:08pm Top

School? Pffft! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin'. No wait, that was war...

Aug 29, 2012, 11:27pm Top

>50 richardderus: bwa ha ha!

>75 Ape: war and school maybe?

Edited: Aug 30, 2012, 6:08am Top

I don't know, school has its uses. When the kids leave for school it gives their parents 'alone' time. And by 'alone' time I mean 'do housework' time.

Aug 30, 2012, 8:46am Top

The most unpleasant part about having cats is when you have not fed them, and so they attack you. You must feed the cats.

Edited: Aug 30, 2012, 10:28am Top

That's why you lock them in a heavy box.

Aug 30, 2012, 10:39am Top

Putting cats in boxes is the second-most unpleasant thing about having cats. You're not very good at this game.

Aug 30, 2012, 10:56am Top

But having them in a box is so fun! Then you get to ponder whether they're alive or dead or both!

Aug 30, 2012, 11:26am Top

>81 The_Hibernator: Only if the box is soundproof. And having a cat in a box might be fun, but putting it there is not.

Aug 30, 2012, 12:15pm Top

Well, yes, that is true. :)

Aug 30, 2012, 3:04pm Top

Huzzah for the disappearance of the internet hamster!!! *throws handfuls of glitter and confetti*

Aug 30, 2012, 3:45pm Top

The most fun part of having a cat is __________.


Aug 30, 2012, 6:46pm Top

My cat puts herself in boxes. Then I pick up the box and watch her squirm or scratch at the corners/edges. I'm waiting for the day she scratches the bottom of a box open and falls to the floor.

#85: We have a hideous stairwell with a carpeted wall. The most fun part of having my cat is watching her climb up it either cracked out (on what? I don't know. We don't give her catnip) or when attacking bugs. Hilarious. Makes me hate the carpet wall less too.

Aug 30, 2012, 7:01pm Top

>77 Ape: dont get me wrong, my kids going to school will be great for me, not necessarily for them, but for me? Hell yea.

>81 The_Hibernator: lol,
sometimes at 3am when I have already been up to to put a child back to bed at midnight, and will be again at 4am, I'd like to put my cat in a concrete box (with holes in it, I'm not that cruel) and drop it off the jetty, and let it decide for itself.

Aug 30, 2012, 8:50pm Top

80: I'm sorry, I guess I need to spend more time gauging the fun factor of various aspects of cat ownership. :(

81: I imagine the fastest way to answer that conundrum would be to kick the box...

82/83: That's why you feel it with things that a cats enjoy, liiiike...candy?

84: *Dodges glitter and confetti while is still moves in slow motion on his dial-up connection.*

85: Ummmmmmmmmmm... ... ...

86: Carpets are softer to walk on, so carpeted walls make perfect sense.

87: Yes, once the kids start going to school we'll have to up your LT post quota, what with all the extra time on your hands and all. :)

Edited: Aug 31, 2012, 8:40am Top

54. Dracula by Bram Stoker

(Larger image)

Pages: 430
Rating: 4/5

Fiction: Classic Horror

Dracula is one of those books that has become so ingrained in our culture that the original work almost feels alien. The antagonist has inspired characters featured on cereal boxes and in children's television shows, where he either represents chocolaty goodness or counts a lot. I find it interesting that a character originally intended to symbolize malevolent evil has become such an icon of sorts. Even if the imagery mostly comes from the 1930's movie adaptation.

Equally fascinating is how the book itself, originally criticized as low brow fiction, rode upon alleged wings of shock value and managed to survive the test of time. It's no wonder so many generations of readers have been enthralled by this piece of work. Though it is not lacking in depth, at its core Stoker has really fleshed out a cast of memorable characters, and that so often seems to be a determining factor in the timelessness of a novel. They unquestionably make up for the thinly-veiled plot devices and Van Helsing's obnoxiously long-winded speeches.

Stoker does come off as a bit of a misogynist at times, but if you pay attention to how Mina is treated and the resulting consequences he seems to be hinting at exactly the opposite. I liken him to a man today who argues for equal rights for both genders, but insists on paying for meals when he dates a woman. In the future that will most likely appear misogynistic with negative connotations, but I doubt many women are too fussy about that now, and I myself probably fit that description. Well, that is to say, if I weren't a poor broke bastard and could talk to ladyfolk without panicking, blabbing incoherently, or running away screaming in a fit terror-stricken dismay.

Nevertheless, there is a lot going on beneath the surface here, and to bluntly disregard the dynamics of the characters and their relationship is doing the novel a great disservice. I now wonder, considering how poorly this book was received by critics during its original release, how many authors today suffer the same prejudice at the hands of those who prefer their books to be strictly of the literary variety. Really, what does a book that forces its 'literary greatness' on the reader do other than display its author's utter lack of creativity? To say something important and to do it in a way that is still exciting to read takes considerable talent, and it shames me that so many 'literary snobs' continue to make the same mistakes their predecessors have done for centuries. While I love me a good tromp into the worlds of literature, if there is a lesson to be learned it is that the pace or popularity should not be an immediate reason for condemnation. And that you can tell if someone is unspeakably evil by throwing wafers at them.

Aug 30, 2012, 11:01pm Top

For others who might be a widge bumfuzzled by Ape's bad touchstone above, as I was, here is the boy's review on the BOOK's page, not the DVD's page that silly billy linked to to confuse us all.

Aug 31, 2012, 5:58am Top

Ah, it automatically links to the DVD and, though I fixed it, I editted the post really quick and hit the Edit button before the touchstone thingy could load, so it reverted back to the DVD link. Anyway, thanks for pointing that out, it should be fixed now. :)

Aug 31, 2012, 6:32am Top

Nice review of Dracula. I have noticed that books that have popular movies based on them always seem to go to the movie, which is annoying. I found out about a "literary zombie book" Zone One which I'm going to try reading just for the refreshing look at how one CAN write a literary zombie book.

PS The moon is red this morning. Blood will be shed.

Aug 31, 2012, 8:37am Top

Thanks! I've seen Zone One mentioned around here in the past. It looks interesting, but I don't think my local library has a copy, unfortunately.

Aug 31, 2012, 9:20am Top

Nice review of Dracula, Stephen. Another thing I liked about it was the creepy atmosphere he created. Yeesh, that scene with the wall-crawling still gets me.

Aug 31, 2012, 12:23pm Top

I read Dracula so long ago that I can't remember many details, although I do remember enjoying it. Now, when I think of Dracula, all my brain can come up with is a picture of Gary Oldman (but there are worse fates than this, I think...).

Edited: Aug 31, 2012, 12:42pm Top

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Aug 31, 2012, 2:39pm Top

Lovely review of Dracula, Stephen. Although I'm afraid we've nudged the world closer to a paradox that will destroy the universe as I liked that one when I read it last year....

Aug 31, 2012, 3:42pm Top

>96 epayment12: Hi E Payment! What books have you been reading lately? Oh, thats right, nothing. Youre just trying to sell us crap.

Aug 31, 2012, 6:16pm Top

Thanks Joe! He did manage to maintain a creepy atmosphere throughout the novel, I thought it was creepy and I was already familiar with the story, having read a spin-off of sorts years ago.

Amber: Ha! Well that's better than Lugosi, I suppose. I surprised myself by actually using the image on the cover of the edition I read. I didn't expect to because it's now how I always pictured him, but by the time he had made it to London that was the image I had in my head.

Speaking of the cover, I LOVED this edition! Not a lot of frills, no obnoxiously long introduction, the cover is purty and modern-looking, and the spine has that blocky, classic look so it scream "I'm a classic novel" if it is sitting on your shelf. I would totally buy that edition if I were to ever buy the book.

Micky: Thanks! That is concerning though. Quick! Go read a book I won't like before something bad happens!

Megan: You tell 'em!

Edited: Aug 31, 2012, 9:57pm Top

#89: I tried to read that one in middle school, but never made it half way. Bad horror reader I am. Oh well. And I hate to admit it, but I'd rather watch the movie version(s) {which I think there are about a bazillion of}.

#95: Ditto on the Gary Oldman image. And Keanu Reeves. And Winona Ryder. And probably some other people I'm forgetting about....

#97: Way to go, Micky. :P We'll know who to blame now when the world explodes. Or implodes. Or whatever.

#99: Agreed--the cover's not too shabby. Now you're making me want to stare @ book covers on LT (biggest waste of time ever).

ETA: 905 covers?? Wth! I think my computer'll crash before I can load them all. And I hate to point this out, Stephen, but there's a person on the cover of Dracula. Well, an undead person, but still a person. :P

Aug 31, 2012, 9:59pm Top

>99 Ape: I'll do my best but no promises. You're far more likely to read something I won't like. Better hop to it. ;)

Sep 1, 2012, 10:39am Top

Sara: But it's a drawn person, it's human models that I find unappealing. :P

There are a lot of covers, indeed, which is always the issue with reading classics for me. I'm meticulous about my covers and having to load up several hundred images is nightmarish. I rather enjoyed looking through them this time though. The 1980's covers are hilariously bad (like everything from that particular decade) and there are lots of cool covers for the book.

Micky: I think we're equally likely to read something the other wouldn't like. We're both obviously far too close-minded. I'm reading The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments now. Is the world safe??

Sep 1, 2012, 10:44am Top

August Summary

Books: 7
Pages: 1,805

Fiction: 6
Nonfiction: 1

Male authors: 7
Female authors: 0

Library: 6
Owned: 1

Sep 1, 2012, 2:05pm Top

Not a bad August there Stephen! Enjoy the weekend. And BTWs...SOOOOO excited for speedy internet!!

Sep 1, 2012, 2:27pm Top

Eleven more days until Stephen joins the Aughties.

Sep 1, 2012, 3:33pm Top

Thanks Kim! You'll notice I read exclusively male authors. Again. It's not my fault female authors always put flowers and naked men on their covers! :(

Richard: Ha! Yeah, I'm counting down the days too. Is it just me or is time moving agonizingly slow now? I'm convinced the very fabric of reality has slowed to the crawling pace set by my internet connection.

Sep 1, 2012, 4:08pm Top

Flowers and Naked Men...Yup that sums up the covers of all female authors. (Sexist male reader...) Good thing you have an open mind!

Edited: Sep 1, 2012, 4:37pm Top

*Shrug* I pick a lot of my books by browsing the local public library and saying "Ooooh, that looks interesting." Literally. Soooooo...I see no other explanation. :P

And sadly I'm only joking a little. It's fairly true. Try it at your own local library if you want. If it's written by a female, it'll have flowers, naked men, or alarmingly thin female models on the cover AT LEAST 75 percent of the time.

Sep 1, 2012, 5:28pm Top

Back when I chose books by browsing at a library I generally chose based on the cover, too. You can tell a lot about a book by the cover. ;)

Sep 1, 2012, 6:06pm Top

#102: Human models = bad. Gotcha. ;)

I was only able to load about half of the Dracula covers, but I definitely got to the 80's era ones. (shudders) Yes, those were indeed very bad. And the 60's ones as well. And pretty much all the international ones (though the Europeans sure love their naked chicks, so I'm kind of on the fence about those).

#106: Bah. Don't blame the writer for what the publisher puts on the cover. :P

Edited: Sep 1, 2012, 6:45pm Top

Rachel: That may have been a joke, but you really can! You can't judge a book by its cover, but I can usually decide whether or not it would appeal to me by looking at them. "Oh look, a busty woman weidling a ray gun on a strage planet. Back on the shelf! What's this? A shirtless man riding a white horse with a lust-stricken lady splayed out on the grass below? Yeah, not interested. OH LOOK! It's a biohazard symbol! Yes please!" :)

Sara: The publisher wants the cover to catch the eye of the book's audience. If it's got flowers and naked men, I'm NOT the target audience. :)

Sep 1, 2012, 6:45pm Top

>110 saraslibrary: Bah. Don't blame the writer for what the publisher puts on the cover. :P
AMEN! A good cover is a good reason to read a book. A bad cover is NOT a good reason to not read a book.

Sep 1, 2012, 6:53pm Top

I don't not pick books because the cover is BAD, I don't pick them because the cover illustrates a genre or subject I'm not interested in. Like bare-chested men riding horses. It doesn't mean the book is poorly written, but regardless I'm not interested in reading it. See, there's a difference. :)

Sep 1, 2012, 7:56pm Top

>102 Ape: It sounds interesting but it's not one I'm likely to read for fun. So I'd go with safe-ish?

Stephen just has a lot of prejudice where book covers are concerned. I say we do a blind test and see if he really hates all those books he's not trying because there's a half-naked man on the cover. :P

Sep 1, 2012, 11:35pm Top

So, nothing like this:

I can sort of see that...but not even THIS?

You have no soul.

Sep 1, 2012, 11:38pm Top

ROFL!! Exactly.

Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 8:24am Top

Micky: I do, and for good reason. See that book in Richard's post? Yeah, NOT reading it. Ever. :)

Richard: You are on the right track, but you don't quite have it. I would not read the book you posted because it indicates that the book is...well, what it is. I don't pick a book entirely based on cover, but covers that attract me get my attention, and books that get my attention have a higher chance of being checked out. If I pulled out Deliciously Wicked and saw the cover, I would not choose to read it because I can tell simply by looking at it that it is a GENRE that I don't enjoy. I do, however, have this book on my wishlist:

Now, as you can see, the male torso is on full display. However, if those books were side-by-side on my library's bookshelves and I was going to read one, there is nothing you could ever say to ever convince me to read Deliciously Wicked over The Last King.

And oh, look at that. Deliciously Wicked is written by a female and The Last King is written by a man. Shocking. :)


Sep 2, 2012, 8:27am Top

"The Logan-Hocking County District Library now offers books for sale. The
library will also offer movies from time to time. Prices range from $.10 for
paperbacks to $.25 for hardbacks. Magazines and VHS movies will be
offered for free."

Oh...no... *Kisses contents of wallet goodbye*

Sep 2, 2012, 9:34am Top

>117 Ape: Now, did you actually look up Robyn DeHart or simply assume that he was female? Perhaps he happens to like the name Robyn.

Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 9:42am Top

Joking aside, I tend to read more male authors than female authors too. Not because I actually think about it when I choose my books...but because males tend to write the type of books I enjoy. On the other hand, some of my favorite authors are female, so it's not a strong bias.

ETA: Ha! I lied! I just checked, and about half of my reading this year was by female authors.

Sep 2, 2012, 9:45am Top

I have an uncle named Robbin, and I'm sure it's just a conincidence that he is incredibly feminine (Straight, but feminine.) The Y kind of gave it away though...

That's what I've said every time this topic has come up. I don't choose male authors on purpose, but they seem to write the kinds of things that I like to read. Not my fault, it's not intentional, I don't think I've ever chosen a book based on gender, and I don't even look at the name of the author when I'm choosing books. When I posted in the What Are You Reading group I always had to click on my own touchstone to see if it was the right book because, if I didn't have the book in front of me, I had no idea who wrote it. Despite that, I have something like a 75-25 split between male and female authors.

Sep 2, 2012, 3:05pm Top

Just because most books that have half-naked men, skinny women, or flowers on them are written by women does not mean that most books written by women have the above on the covers. Romance fiction tends to have those kinds of covers. Romance fiction also tends to be written by women, or men with female pseudonyms, as Romance fiction tends to be purchased by women. That is correlation, not causation.

Also, when using the "Male or female?" meme, don't forget that it is not weighted by how many books you have for each author, nor does it take into account whether or not you liked the book(s) by each author. If you really like a particular author you will probably read more books by them, but they will still only claim the same tiny sliver of the pie chart.

Sep 2, 2012, 4:00pm Top

Romance fiction tends to have those kinds of covers. Romance fiction also tends to be written by women, or men with female pseudonyms, as Romance fiction tends to be purchased by women. That is correlation, not causation.

So doesn't that work in reverse. That the kinds of books I like are often written by men, or women with male pseudonyms, as the books I like to read tend to be purchased by men, and that's why I'm more attracted by them while browsing the library shelves?

Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 4:40pm Top

OH LADIES! I've been doing a bit of research here on LT, and I'm finding some very intriguing results. Men have a tendency to read books by men! Using "this page and quickly replacing the username in the URL, I have found these statastics by going to the TALK page and picking out the first 7 male users I saw on the pages.

Male 75ers:
Me: 76/24 in favor of male authors.
Richard: 70/30 in favor of male authors.
Paul: 75/25 in favor of male authors.
Joe: 70/30 in favor of male authors.
Tom: 76/24 in favor of male authors.
Mark: 77/23 in favor of male authors.
Gilroy: 70/30 in favor of male authors.

To insure fairnes, the following female 75ers have been taken from this very thread, starting from the above post and going up the page until I reached the same number of people as the pervious list:

Female 75ers:
Nora: 60/40 in favor of male authors.
Rachel: 66/34 in favor of male authors.
Kim: 58/42 in favor of male authors.
Micky: 56/44 in favor of male authors.
Sara: 60/40 in favor of male authors.
Megan: 62/38 in favor of male authors.
Amber: 70/30 in favor of male authors.

While male authors are universally read more, all the male readers here seem read/buy, at minimum, male authors 70 percent of the time, whereas the women vary from 50-60 percent, besides our lovely classicist, who would naturally have more male authors in her library.

Is this because women are more open-minded in their reading habbits, or do men read female authors less often because books written by female authors have a tendency to be designed to appeal ONLY to women, as the one depicted above?

Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 9:26pm Top

It does not work in reverse, because there is no causation. Books in a particular genre (and thus with a tendency towards particular cover art) might be more likely to be written by females than males, but that does not mean that females are more likely to write that particular genre (with that particular cover art) than they are to write other genres with different cover art.

You could change 'female' to 'male' and apply it to a different genre, most likely. But "books Stephen likes" is not a genre.

Sep 2, 2012, 5:00pm Top

>124 Ape: All of that data needs to come with the disclaimer from message #122: Also, when using the "Male or female?" meme, don't forget that it is not weighted by how many books you have for each author, nor does it take into account whether or not you liked the book(s) by each author. If you really like a particular author you will probably read more books by them, but they will still only claim the same tiny sliver of the pie chart.

The "Male or female?" meme does not take into account how much you like male vs. female authors, or how many books you read by each one. it ONLY takes into account how many different male vs. female authors you read. To get relevant data, you would need to, at the very least, weight each author by how many books each person has read by them.

Sep 2, 2012, 5:47pm Top

*continues to munch popcorn while Stephen and Nora go at it* Go Nora! *shakes pompoms*

Sep 2, 2012, 5:54pm Top

Is there any butter on this popcorn? Yum! Sits down next to Micky.

Sep 2, 2012, 5:56pm Top

Oh, something fun on Stephen's thread to investigate!

Using the statistical analysis from my own stats/meme page (and the lack of decimal placements), I am 53/47 in favour of female authors, which doesn't surprise me in the least as I already know my reading is a pretty even balance of male/female authors.

I agree with Nora, all the statistics take into account is what is listed in your overall library including wishlists and to read lists, not just what you have read or factored in what you liked/disliked... Now if it did that and took in to account ratings as well, that would be VERY interesting statistical information!

Sep 2, 2012, 7:10pm Top

#115: I think I'm more bothered by what's NOT showing in the bottom picture. o_0

#118: Aww, poor Stephen. You could just go for the free magazines and VHS tapes, but I have a feeling all it'll be are old National Geographics/Good Housekeeping and Jane Fonda workout videos. Besides, who really goes to a book sale to browse? (offers Stephen a penny)

#124: Oh look, there I am. :) And I'm sure it's just a typo, but I like that I'm in the pervious list. ;) Which makes me wonder if 60/40 in favor of male authors means I'm only 60% hetero and 40% lesbiano. Hmm. Btw, Stephen, I think you've had this men-readers-are-sexist discussion before, and if I remember right, it ended with you in the fetal position with all the LT women hitting you with books. Correct me if I'm wrong. ;)

Sep 2, 2012, 8:11pm Top

Hey, I'm not hitting him with books, I'm hitting him with statistics!

Sep 2, 2012, 8:26pm Top

125: I think you misunderstand. You were implying that there were certain types of books that are written by women, for women, with covers that would appeal to women. I'm saying if that's the case, why can't there be certain types of books that are written by men, for men, with covers that would appeal to men? There is something to it, because I don't pick my books based on gender but SOMEHOW I pick male authors 75+ percent of the time. There are 2 explanations: Female authors have a tendency to have 'marketed for women' covers and male authors have 'marketed for men' covers, or it's just an utterly random fluke.

126: It's true, but the stat is equally inaccurate for both genders and it still indicates that men own/read books by male authors than female, and that female readers are slightly closer to an even divide.

Although if you are arguing that the data is inaccurate then this is all a moot point anyway, for I may own a whole lot more female-written books than is indicated. :)

Sep 2, 2012, 8:32pm Top

Micky: *Cries rejectedly* =(

Kim: They make popcorn WITHOUT butter? *Shocked silence*

Lori: Even if it factors in wishlists and whatnot, it STILL indicates that they are favoring one gender or another.

Sara: I'm good at getting things thrown at me, I think.

Edited: Sep 2, 2012, 9:40pm Top

>132 Ape: You, sir, implied stated that books written by women are more likely to have shirtless men, skinny women, and flowers on them than other non-offensive-to-you cover art. I am stating that that is not true. There are a couple of genres that have those types of covers and those couple of genres happen to be most often written by women. That does not mean that women are more likely to write those genres than other genres, and does not mean that women are more likely to have offensive-to-you cover art than non-offensive-to-you cover art.

Also, the "male or female" meme does NOT indicate that anyone is favoring one gender or another. Let's say I read an Ursula K. LeGuin book, and love it. So I read 5 more of her books, and love them. Then I read one crappy book each by Nicholas Sparks, Mitch Albom, and Tucker Max. The meme would say that I read 75% male and 25% female. That is just blatantly untrue, because I actually read 66.66% female and 33.33% male. And that's not even taking into account the fact that I liked the LeGuins and hated the other 3.

Sep 2, 2012, 9:48pm Top

*waits for Stephen to curl up in fetal position due to Nora's excellent argument and holds book to throw at ready when she gets tired*

Sep 2, 2012, 9:53pm Top

Way to go Nora!! Stephen? Micky you got any more salt for the popcorn?

Sep 2, 2012, 10:03pm Top

#131: True. (hides books behind her back)

#133: I got that bit of shocked silence once at a movie theater when I asked for popcorn without butter/oil or salt. Yes, it actually comes without butter. ;) But apparently, not at movie theaters.

I'm good at getting things thrown at me, I think. -- I don't know how that could work on a resume, but I'm sure that's a marketable quality...somehow.

#134: Hm, that actually makes sense. What she said, Stephen!

#135: Also what she said. (offers Stephen either eye or groin protection) You can't have both.

Sep 2, 2012, 10:06pm Top

#137: I don't know how that could work on a resume, but I'm sure that's a marketable quality...somehow. --There's a job at the renaissance festival where people throw tomatoes you.

Sep 2, 2012, 10:16pm Top

Enjoying this delicious argument!! :)

Btw, loved your review of Dracula and gave it a thumb!

Sep 3, 2012, 12:05am Top

#138: I was thinking the same thing! Well, more along the lines of Stephen in a clown outfit, hovering over a swimming pool... kind of the same thing. :) I do like the idea of tomatoes, though. Makes for great hives if you're allergic to the stuff.

Edited: Sep 3, 2012, 7:26am Top

You, sir, stated that books written by women are more likely to have shirtless men, skinny women, and flowers on them than other non-offensive-to-you cover art. I am stating that that is not true.

Nora, dear, that might be one of the more ridiculous things I've read on this site. If you honestly don't believe that books written by female authors have a higher liklihood of having floral, designed-for-to-attract-female-readers art, then I honestly don't know what to tell you.

Let me pitch this scenario to you. Lets say you and I have 2 copies of identical, unpublished books. Lets forget genres, this is NOT romance or science fiction or anything like that. It is a generic contemporary fiction story. You and I go to 2 different publishers and both get the book published. What do you think the liklihood is that the publishers will want to put a skinny model or a table of flowers on you book? What is the liklihood they will do the same to mine?

My point is that, although we would have IDENTICAL books, the simple fact that you are female would increase the chances that your book would be marketed towards women. I'm not saying I agree with it, but it seems to be the case.

Oh, and your Male Vs. Female example is a little unfair. While it is true that if you read an Ursula K. LeGuin book and love it, and then read 5 more of her books and love them. Then I read one crappy book each by Nicholas Sparks, Mitch Albom, and Tucker Max, it would be true. But the fact remains that you chose books by 3 male authors instead of 3 female authors. After reading your 5 LeGuin books you are just as likely to try a new male or female author (unless you pay more attention to gender than I do), so the fact that you chose to read 3 new male authors over 3 new female authors shows that you favored them in your choice.

In fact, I think these statistics are more accurate than weighted percentages. If you read a book by a person and like it, then the topic we are discussing (choose books based on cover) is no longer relevant. If you never read LeGuin, then you might choose the first one because the cover attracted you, but after you say "I like her, I want to read more" the covers become irrelevant. It is only the first book you read by an author, that you choose while browsing a book shelf, that would contribute to the statistic we are looking for.

Sep 3, 2012, 7:44am Top

I agree with both Nora and Stephen about the algorithm. Both ways are meaningful. You just need to keep in mind what the output is actually telling you.

The way it's set up now, the algorithm IS meaningful. By the time you've read all books by Ursula Le Guin (which is apparently the correct way to spell her name...I've always spelled it LeGuin) you have spent a lot of time reading a female author. But her books are of a specific style. You're not independently choosing female authors...you're specifically choosing a book because you like the author. The way the algorithm is set up right now tells you how likely you are to choose a female author that you haven't read yet. And that's an interesting tidbit of info.

Sep 3, 2012, 11:37am Top

Yes, that's what I was intending to say in that last paragraph I posted, if only I were so good with words. *Grumble* Well, anyway, book review coming soon...

Sep 3, 2012, 11:43am Top

55. The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George Johnson

(Larger image)

Pages: 163
Rating: 3/5

Nonfiction: Science/History

If there is anything I love as much as science, its...ummmm, science history! There is something charming about science of yesteryear that is simply missing in the commercialized version of it today. It's endearing the way many things we consider common sense were discovered, the way Newton dissected the concept of 'color,' or Galileo's work on calculating gravity and acceleration. I like to picture them in dusty, sun-lit rooms, their clothes ruffled and their surroundings in disarray as they bend over some absurd and strangely beautiful device that is completely alien to everyone except the scientist themselves, finessing out some quandary that few people would bother would bother even wondering about. Maybe they electrocute themselves, or funnel toxic gases into their nostrils. Maybe their experiment works perfectly and everything they wanted to prove is exemplified before their eyes, or maybe it all falls apart and they accidentally discover something even more magnificent. Or maybe it's all crap and we are left with an artifact rich people will pay thousands of dollars to display in their ugly house. Regardless, it is all rather more compelling than the soulless, corporate-sponsored science that makes up the majority of scientific study today.

These Victorian-age scientists make up the vast majority of George Johnson's book. As the title suggests, it collects what he considers the 10 most beautiful experiments of the past. The definition of beautiful is vague in this instance, but essentially every entry in the list is just plain interesting, one way or another, be it an elegant machine, a remarkable idea, or ground shaking implications. I wish the book had been a bit longer, at only 160 pages only about 15 pages (with illustrations) are dedicated to each entry. It feels like a very brief overview, and this is compounded by Johnson's tendency to meander from the topic a bit. I even found myself forgetting which scientist I was reading about a couple times when he deviated from the topic long enough.

I don't know. The book is in no way bad, but having finished it I find myself wishing it were better. It's a serviceable overview of 10 fantastic experiments, the science is great and the author has some interesting commentary from time to time. BUT! But, well, unlike the experiments themselves, it didn't blow my mind or anything. Good but not great, only read it if you really like science, or want a quick overview with minimal commitment required.

Sep 3, 2012, 12:01pm Top

>144 Ape: I have something very male to say: That jacket image gave me the biggest geekgasm of September. I adore it.

Sep 3, 2012, 12:12pm Top

Ha! Me too. It's what attracted me too it. That and the spine is rainbow colored, which screams 'look at me dammit!' when its sitting on shelf of white-and-black-spined science books. :P

Sep 3, 2012, 2:40pm Top

Great review of Beautiful Experiments Stephen..... sounds like an okay read for someone - like me - that likes to just dip into science history from time to time. Flaws, like the author's tendency to meander, duly noted.

Sep 3, 2012, 3:34pm Top

Yes, I think it's a good choice for the right person. I enjoyed it. =)

Sep 3, 2012, 3:55pm Top

Interesting discussion on male/female authors split, Stephen. I'd already noticed that on mine and was somewhat dismayed by it, as I assumed it would be closer to 50-50. I like the idea that multiples from an author could change the ratio, but I suspect in my case it would cancel out. I read long series from authors of both genders for example. Lee Child and Lois McMaster Bujold come to mind, but there are a bunch.

I wonder whether "when" has anything to do with it. As you go back in time, there are going to be a lot more male authors, because that's the way it was. Today, completely different.

Sep 3, 2012, 4:36pm Top

>141 Ape: books written by female authors have a higher liklihood of having floral, designed-for-to-attract-female-readers art
You're not specifying what you are comparing. Books written by females do have a higher likelihood of having offensive-to-you cover art than books written by males. However, that is not the same thing that you said before, and not the same thing that I denied in message 134. Books written by females do not have a higher likelihood of having offensive-to-you cover art than having non-offensive-to-you cover art.

(I'm going to change the metaphor you used a bit, because I think having us try to publish the exact same book brings up much more complicated issues. But I can change it back if you want)

Let's say you took a random book written by a man to a publisher, and I took a random book written by a woman to a publisher. The chances that your book will be published with an offensive-to-you cover are extremely slim. For simplicity's sake, let's round up and say there is a 0.1% chance. My book has a significantly higher chance of having an offensive-to-you cover. Let's say perhaps 350 times as likely, so 35%.

If one of us must have an offensive-to-you cover, it will almost definitely be me. However, there is still a 65% chance that my book will be published with a cover that is not offensive-to-you. 65% is more than 50%, which means my book is not more likely to have an offensive-to-you cover than a non-offensive-to-you cover.

I'm not comparing books written by men at all. I'm talking about books written by women vs. other books written by women.

Sep 3, 2012, 4:39pm Top

>149 jnwelch: I wonder whether "when" has anything to do with it. As you go back in time, there are going to be a lot more male authors, because that's the way it was. Today, completely different.
SO true.

Sep 3, 2012, 5:16pm Top

Thumbed your review.

Sep 3, 2012, 5:49pm Top

Joe: Agreed. As I mentioned in my "meme" post, Amber has an abnormally high male author tendency, but she is a noted classicist, so her library is liable to have a lot more males simply because it was nearly impossible for women to be published before, well, sadly, not-very-long-ago. :(

Nora: Right. Exactly. Agreed. That's why I have a 75-25 split in my library, and why I read tons of more books by men, because male covers are more unisex and female books are all for-women-ish. ;)

Micky: Thanks! :D

Sep 4, 2012, 6:51am Top

Stephen: Yes. Plus, I tend to enjoy male writers more than female writers. :)

Sep 4, 2012, 7:51am Top

I thought I would tend more toward female writers, but I was almost a perfect 50/50.

Sep 4, 2012, 9:42am Top

>153 Ape: But what I said in message 150:
Books written by females do not have a higher likelihood of having offensive-to-you cover art than having non-offensive-to-you cover art.
is the opposite of what you said in message 108:
If it's written by a female, it'll have flowers, naked men, or alarmingly thin female models on the cover AT LEAST 75 percent of the time.

>155 Morphidae: From what I've seen of your reading habits, Morphy, I expect you would have a tendency toward female writers if the statistics were weighted to account for multiple books per author.

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 10:20am Top

If books were weighted to account for multiple books per author I'm certain I'd be 75% male 25% female. (Considering all my books, of course, not the books I've read this year.)

Sep 4, 2012, 10:39am Top

>157 The_Hibernator: It's a toss-up for me. I'm much more likely to read multiple books by a female author than a male author. But then again, I have 25 Terry Pratchetts and 19 L. Frank Baums . . . I'm fighting the urge to investigate further.

Sep 4, 2012, 2:49pm Top

Amber: SEXIST!!!! ;)

Morphy: Yeah, I would have to read all female authors for, like, a year or 2 to get to a balance male/female statistic, and Mary Roach books aren't going to count. :(

Nora: If you take into account that a LOT of female-written books have ugly-to-me covers, and then factor in the genre-specific ugly covers, you'll realize that the percentage of ugly-covered female-written books is large enough that we can safely round up and say "all female-written books have flowers, naked men, and skeletal women on their covers" and it would be, for the most part, perfectly true. :)

Rachel: Mine probably wouldn't change much, because I don't find myself reading books by the same author a lot of times. Steinbeck, Richard Preston, Christopher Moore, and Mary Roach are the only authors I can think of that I have done that with. Ironically, another 75-25 split...

Nora: Investigations is over rated, just make assumptions like I do. :)

Sep 4, 2012, 2:53pm Top

Investigations is over rated, just make assumptions like I do.

Says the guy who's obsessed with science? Le sigh.

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 6:34pm Top

I'm obsessed with reading about science, and being grumpy about everyone else's assumptions, yes... :)

Sep 4, 2012, 5:24pm Top

Hmm, maybe it's time to go back to zombies and spiders then...

Sep 4, 2012, 6:25pm Top

>162 MickyFine: Argh, yes. I feel like I'm stating the same facts over and over again, and just being told "no" as a counter-argument.

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 6:35pm Top

Micky: Actually, I'm reading Jurassic Park right now, so it'll have to be dinosaurs.

Nora: Weird, I feel the same way. You can change that by simply agreeing with me. :P

Sep 4, 2012, 8:13pm Top

Nora, Stephen-- watch this video and just TRY being upset with each other. Impossible.


Sep 4, 2012, 8:18pm Top

#144: I also enjoy reading science history books, so I am adding The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments to the BlackHole, despite your reservations about it.

Sep 4, 2012, 9:16pm Top

Kathy: ...I can't...I have dial-up for 8 more days. :(

Stasia: Hurray! :D

Sep 4, 2012, 9:51pm Top

Sep 4, 2012, 9:54pm Top

You know, I've never understood the visceral fear some people feel about spiders (or snakes, or other creepy crawlies). I think spiders are pretty bad ass.

Sep 4, 2012, 9:57pm Top

*Cackles* Must...resist urge...to send that to arachnophobic sister...

Sep 4, 2012, 10:02pm Top

I used to have a realistic rubber snake, complete with floppy forked red tongue. I'd hide it in my mother's drawers, under her pillow, at the foot of her bed...she'd throw it away after her screaming meemees but every time I rescued it and returned it to torture uses.

The day I floated it in the toilet tank I think she had a nervous breakdown. I think I started my hernia laughing at her hysterical dance.

I do not have an Oedipus complex.

Sep 4, 2012, 10:24pm Top

Well in 8 days you can celebrate by watching the video. :p

Sep 4, 2012, 11:34pm Top

>168 richardderus: the only thing I have to say to that is *BUTT CLENCH*

PS I hate girly flowery book covers

This: practically makes me want to vomit.

This: I would read.

Sep 4, 2012, 11:49pm Top

> 173 - Makes sense to me. Here is the cover for the Jones' book that enticed me to read it:

Not girly at all, IMO.

Sep 4, 2012, 11:56pm Top

#164: What about zombie dinosaurs? I think I've googled that one before, not sure.

#172: Oh, he'll be watching videos alright (*ahem* porn).

Sep 4, 2012, 11:58pm Top

>164 Ape: I like dinosaurs!

Sep 5, 2012, 1:12am Top

Yes, he is awfully thoughtful for being extinct, but he's got nothing on the lolcats. (wonders if there are any lolcat pics with shirtless guys, flowers, and stick-thin girls to offend Stephen with ;)

Sep 5, 2012, 6:07am Top

Richard: Haha! I had lots of toy rubber snakes and fake insects, but the only convincing one was a black rubber python-looking snake, which I had in the yard on days my mom was mowing the grass a couple times. In retrospect, I'm surprised it was never run over...

Kathy: 7 days! *Stares at calander and waits for the date to change again*

Megan: Yeah, that first one is hideous. I'd still read the first one simply because Mister Pip is on my wishlist, but if I was browsing the book shelves and wasn't familiar with the book, I'd most likely pass right on by the first one.

Lori: Ooohh, I like the colors. :)

Sara: Hmmmm, do you think Jurassic Park counts as zombie dinosaurs??

As for porn, nonsense, I won't have any time for the stuff what with all the cooler stuff I'll be able to do. :D

Micky: Ha! Yeah, I like dinosaurs too. Well, the extinct variety, anyway...

Sep 5, 2012, 7:40am Top

Richard and Stephen: That's horrible. Just horrible. I'm so terrified of snakes that those antics would send me to the Great Beyond. I'm just saying that Charlie had better not turn out like either of you hooligans...

Sep 5, 2012, 11:05am Top

I don't know, I've seen a hint of mischievousness on Charlie's face in some of those pictures you have posted. I can totally see him as a rubber-snake-in-the-underwear-drawer kind of kid. :P

Sep 5, 2012, 11:12am Top

*starts shopping for Charlie's seventh birthday gift*

Sep 5, 2012, 12:06pm Top


Sep 5, 2012, 12:13pm Top

This user has been removed as spam.

Sep 5, 2012, 12:40pm Top

Horrible, you two. Just horrible.

Sep 5, 2012, 2:17pm Top

lol, rubber snake in the underwear drawer.
My little angel has a rubber spider that he loves. Without fail I flinch when I see it. Even though there are no spiders of that size in NZ, at all! Im trying to teach him to sneak up on people (not me) with it, but hasnt grasped the concept too well yet and just runs up to them laughing. Its so funny.

I have Mister Pip on my WL too, and own the girly cover. (it was cheap......what can I say?)

Sep 5, 2012, 3:20pm Top

>178 Ape: I went and saw extinct dinosaurs last summer. :P

Sep 5, 2012, 3:37pm Top

Amber: You can always repay me by filling my house with the things I'm scard of. That would be...chocolate, baked goods, and ice cream.

Megan: Haha! Sounds adorable. Oh, and I'm a sucker for anything cheap as well, and have plenty of questionable books in my library simply because they were cheap at a library book sale...

Micky: Cool! Did you get to feed them?

Edited: Sep 5, 2012, 4:44pm Top

I'm so depressed right now.

I am NOT getting wireless internet. Frontier/Dish Network sent out letters saying it was now in our area. Then they set up APPOINTMENTS to set up wireless internet in people's homes. Then they said "Oops, nevermind, you don't have access after all."

And it will 'not likely be here in the foreseeable future.' So...it's dial-up for me still.


I'm going to go wallow now.

Sep 5, 2012, 5:46pm Top

Awwwww :(

Sep 5, 2012, 5:52pm Top

boooooooo on the internet company!

Sep 5, 2012, 6:02pm Top

Crap. That really is a shame, Stephen.

Sep 5, 2012, 7:22pm Top

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! What a crock!!

I would suggest you call and yell at them but... well... you know.

Sorry. :(

Sep 5, 2012, 7:32pm Top

Oh, what the hell?!?! That's not cool.

Sep 5, 2012, 7:41pm Top

#188: Bleeeeep! :( I am so sorry, Stephen. That's seriously wrong that they'd offer something then go back on thier word. Bright side: you at least have internet and don't have to go to the library. Trying to be positive, but damn. :(

Sep 6, 2012, 12:30am Top

Sorry doesn't seem adequate. *Hugs* That is super disappointing!

Sep 6, 2012, 3:00pm Top

Aw man, that sucks. *big hugs*

Sep 6, 2012, 5:10pm Top


OMFG Those rotters!!! A plague of zombies on their wives and daughters!

Sep 6, 2012, 10:01pm Top

Okay, seriously, that is really bad corporate management to send out notices and book appointments like that. They better have a discount plan when they do have the service in your area for you and everyone else that received the good news/bad news emotional rollercoaster ride.

Sep 6, 2012, 11:01pm Top

So is there a reason that you cant have it? Are you in a blackspot, or are the wires not long enough to reach your house? Cant they get an extension?

Sep 7, 2012, 12:57am Top

At that point you b**ch and complain. It's one thing to accidentally send the letters to the wrong place (which, really, shouldn't happen either), but to set up appointments is too much.

Sep 7, 2012, 6:09am Top

It's, indeed, disappointing. I think I'm in a bit of an e-funk. The whole (slow) internet is just completely unappealing right now. I've signed on a couple times over the past couple days but wind up just saying 'screw it' after staring at a blank screen for 30 seconds straight. I used to have more patience, but now I'm just irratated with it.

Megan: I live in a giant hole in the ground. Some people would call it a 'pleasant valley,' but from a technological perspective it's a giant hole in the ground. I live in a dead zone, with no internet options, spotty satellite signal, and no cellphone signal. I don't know what their excuse is, my NEIGHBOR, whose house is all but 100 yards away, has had a wireless connection for years, but repeated call by my mom has universally resulted in the following response: "Sorry, you're on a different line, but it looks like we can get your area online in the next week/month." They've been telling my mom they'll have it up within the next month for over a year now. In fact, I may have posted excitedly in the past about the prospect of having wireless, but it's just been bullshit, unfortunately.

Sep 7, 2012, 6:17am Top

Oh, forgot to mention (I don't have my hopes up, you see.) My mom is looking into a local internet provider. Unfortunately the man she talked to was skeptical about us having access where we are, but they do can put up antennas, so it MIGHT be possible.

It being a local business, however, I have no idea about the quality of service, there is a lack of professionalism and they are ridiculously expensive. They told my mom "our engineer sets his own schedule, so I can't say when, but he'll be out there to check your signal soon..." Yeah, fantastic, so she doesn't know if he'll be there today or next month.

Well, whatever, I'm resigned to this. If this local place works here it'll be a pleasant surprise, but I'm being pessimistic.

Sep 7, 2012, 2:11pm Top

I'm so sorry to read about your internet problems, Stephen. I can imagine how disappointed you must be, you would think that in this day and age something could be done. Boo on that Frontier/Dish Network Company - they outta be ashamed of themselves!

Sep 7, 2012, 8:10pm Top

booo that sucks! Hopefully you can get a fast hamster sometime soon!

Sep 7, 2012, 8:14pm Top

Man, I would be so mad at my internet company after that fiasco! I would seriously be looking for other options if any were available!

Sep 7, 2012, 8:19pm Top

Sep 9, 2012, 6:26pm Top

There's a lot of silence coming from this thread....

I started a new thread and the first post is rather image-heavy. Let me know if your pokey little computer won't open it. :p

Sep 10, 2012, 10:52am Top


Stephen's still in an Internet funk, I suppose. Not that I blame you, snookums.

Sep 10, 2012, 12:08pm Top

Certainly looks that way. Hopefully everything's ok Stephen!!!!?

Sep 10, 2012, 8:48pm Top

That rots. Period. #*(@*$&)^*(**#!!!

Sep 10, 2012, 10:12pm Top

Saw this and thought of your thread. . .

Sep 10, 2012, 11:03pm Top

Stephen, where are you????

Don't tell me the, and I quote "giant hole in the ground. Some people would call it a 'pleasant valley,' but from a technological perspective it's a giant hole in the ground" has well and truly sucked you in beyond LT's reach.

Missing you here...... just sayin'

Sep 11, 2012, 7:19am Top

Yep. I'm missing you, too, Stephen. Hope you're okay.

Sep 11, 2012, 12:13pm Top

I'm fine. Grumpy, but fine. We've seen no sign of the Local Internet guy yet, my sister's boyfriend's mom (a mouthful, that one), who is also trying to to get wireless in her area, spoke to an actual technician, AT HER HOUSE, and said we should indeed have it in my area, but the people we talk to on the phone say their computers are telling them we don't have it, and they won't send anyone out to actually check in person. (Sersiously, is that really too much to ask?)

My car isn't fixed, and won't be any time soon, especially if my mom has to shell out $250-400 for installation of a wireless antenna thingy. Did I mention how absurdly high that is?

I've mostly been playing Katamari Forever until my eyes bleed (almost literally) because the internet is still unpleasant to browse right now. -.-

Sep 11, 2012, 12:43pm Top

*there there, pat pat*

It sucks to be in technology hell. I'm pullin' for you.

Sep 11, 2012, 11:36pm Top

*big virtual hugs for Stephen* And with the speed of your hamster, that hug should last a really long time. *hopeful grin at bad silver lining*

Sep 12, 2012, 7:56pm Top

Since scary mean awful scary mean liberrians hang out here, it seemed logical to post it here.

Sep 12, 2012, 8:39pm Top

Hi Stephen. Your valley is technologically challenged and you need a hug!! Don't be a stranger. We love you here. : )

Sep 13, 2012, 5:09pm Top

Aww, I heart Neil Gaiman. And also Richard.

*waves at Stephen*

Sep 13, 2012, 5:33pm Top

Stephen, sorry to hear that you still have hamster internet and that the buttfaces backed out on you. Wieners. Hope you're hangin' in there, kid!

Sep 13, 2012, 6:01pm Top

I finished a book! I actually finished one! Yeah really. Now if only this stupid blank word document would stop taunting me and actually write my review I could post it already.

Sep 13, 2012, 6:05pm Top

I know it must suck waiting all the time, but Stephen you are displaying a lot of patience despite it all! Hoping something good comes your way soon!

Sep 13, 2012, 8:35pm Top

56. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

(Larger image)

Pages: 404
Rating: 4/5

Fiction: Thriller/Science Fiction

It's difficult for me to write about this book without comparing it to the movie. I remember watching it as a young child and, only naturally, absolutely loving it. I didn't know it was based on a book, nor would it have mattered anyway as I was far too young to read it. I do remember the first time I saw someone reading the book, in 5th grade, and with childlike enthusiasm I loudly proclaimed how much I loved the movie. I am quite tickled by the idea that my 9-year-old self reacted so similarly to the way non-reading adults do.

The movie is one that I still thoroughly enjoy watching, not for nostalgic reasons but out of genuine appreciation for it. I never really considered reading the book, partially because I assumed I knew the plot, and partially because I'm a snobby prejudice bastard when it comes to books that have been adapted to movies. Plus, dinosaurs are for CHILDREN obviously. However, for whatever reason I finally purchased the book (Okay okay I paid like 25 cents for it, I'm a cheap bastard as well) and thought I would never read it, because buying books I won't read is something I do all the time. Call it a character flaw if you wish, I like to think of it as a charming obsession.

Alas, it was but 5 months after purchasing the book I began to feel the alluring call of the 'cool dinosaur book' among the stacks of books piled about my house. It had such a pretty cover, I always loved that black-and-red T-rex logo don't you know, and it was about DINOSAURS! So I caved, and I read it, expecting to be bored with a story I already knew yet still hoping that perhaps the dinosaurs would be all, y'know, ferocious and exhilarating. Now I regret being such a snobby prejudice bastard, because I rather liked the novel. Well, sort of...

The book has so much more depth than I ever would have expected. Though there is no shortage of silly tropes commonly found in the thriller genre, like the fact that the characters behave in completely ridiculous manners as a way to move the plot where Crichton wants it, there was a surprising amount of science and philosophy intertwined with the neanderthallic (oh I mean 'exciting') plot. Ian Malcolm, a character I believe I was supposed to dislike, was incredibly awesome and I found myself regularly entranced by his ramblings, even if I rarely agreed with them.

I'm sure the dinosaurs were nice. I really could have done with less running around, which is unpleasant even to read about, but I understand a book of this sort is a whole let less thrilling if the characters aren't being chased by something. It is, after all, the reason it was made into a movie in the first place. Crichton had a lot of interesting things to say, and I didn't hate having to read through extensive eye-roll-inducing 'action' sequences to get to them. Mostly.

Sep 13, 2012, 9:02pm Top

Woo-hooo I LOVED Jurassic Park when I was 14! Not sure what I'd think now...but, well, I LOVED it when I was 14!

Sep 13, 2012, 9:09pm Top

I had to watch it 4 times with my eyes closed at various points when I was younger before I was able to sit through the entire thing... I liked it, but it scared me to no end!

Sep 13, 2012, 9:16pm Top


The ***MOVIE*** was released almost 20 years ago!!! I was the dad of a teenager almost 20 years ago!!!

*dashes off to drink Drano to end his suffering*

Sep 14, 2012, 1:35am Top

I loved the movie! ..... okay, not really, as it creeped the flippin' H**L out of me when I saw it!... but your review, for some inexplicable reason, is making it sound interesting again.

Great to see you back posting Stephen. ;-)

Sep 14, 2012, 6:24am Top

Rachel: A 14-year-old girl that read Jurassic Park, where were you when I was a teenager? :P

Valerie: Ha! Yeah, the T-rex/Jeep chase scene was terrifying, and so was the raptors-in-the-kitchen, ummmm, thing.

Richard: Haha, sorry Richard. I was 5 when the movie was released...

Lori: Reading the book has given me a strong urge to watch the movie again, even though it is absolutely completely different in almost every way imaginable. Seriously, they took a hammer and hacksaw to the plot, the movie is basically the idea of Jurassic Park as a place with an almost entirely new story. That didn't stop me from picturing Ian Malcolm as Jeff Goldblum, of course...

Sep 14, 2012, 8:06am Top

I *still* love the JP movie(s). But I'm a sucker for all kinds of disaster movies. Haven't read the book, though.

Sep 14, 2012, 8:17am Top

>228 Ape: I'm afraid I was already in graduate school when you were 14. :p

Edited: Sep 14, 2012, 8:39am Top

I have never watched the movie Jurassic Park let alone read the book. I am going to have to get to it one of these days!

Sep 14, 2012, 9:31am Top

Ha! I totally did the same. . . bought it for a quarter and have it sitting around here somewhere. I haven't gotten to it yet. My family saw the movie in theaters when it came out. . . who cares if we were 5 and younger? My brother was 3, I believe, and fell asleep. The T-Rex roar ended that, lol.

Sep 14, 2012, 10:28am Top

Mmm Jeff Goldblum *drool*

Mmmm dinosaurs *drool*

Sep 14, 2012, 10:57am Top

Amber: Disaster movies hinge on the special effects. Nothing worse than a disaster movie with a lame-looking tornado.

Rachel: I see. I wasn't good enough to be cradle-robbed. That's okay, I'm not hurt or anything. *Sniffles*

Stasia: The movie doesn't suck as much as most movies based on books, and the book is still good even if it was movie-able in the early 90's. Pffft. :P

Katie: Yes, I have The Lost World too, for the same reason. I can't decide if I'm going to start that today or read something else. Hmmmmm. I don't know if I want to get sucked into a 400 pager that's going to take me 2 weeks to read and breeze through a quicky before starting it... Making decisions is no fun.

Nora: *Nods*

Edited: Sep 14, 2012, 11:49am Top

You don't think your parents would have objected to the 14-year-old you dating a 24-year old?

ETA: Really Stephen? You think Jeff Goldblum is hot too?

Sep 14, 2012, 1:59pm Top

>234 Ape:: Unless said movie with lame-looking tornado also stars one Bruce Campbell; then it's awesomesauce.

Sep 14, 2012, 2:49pm Top

Rachel: Well considering she LOOKS 10 years younger than she claims to be, I assume we could have passed you off easily enough. Besides, my parents thought (and probably still think) that I'm gay, so they'd have been too shocked to care either way.

As for Jeff Goldblum, it just seemed easier to simply agree. :P

Amber: I've never seen it, so I can't say, but the descriptions I'm saying say things like 'made-for-tv movie' so I'm assuming it's horrible. :P

Sep 14, 2012, 2:53pm Top

Yay for book finishing! And dinosaurs!

Sep 14, 2012, 3:26pm Top

God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.


Sep 14, 2012, 3:28pm Top

>239 Morphidae: Morphy, that is seriously too funny! I only wish I didn't snort the tea I'm drinking out of my nose. :)

Sep 14, 2012, 3:31pm Top

Unfortunately I can't claim credit. It's my favorite quote from the Jurassic Park movie.

Sep 14, 2012, 3:41pm Top

Ahhhh..I probably missed it with all the eye closing and ear plugging I did while watching the movie.

Sep 14, 2012, 3:49pm Top

Now I really want to watch Jurassic Park when I get home . . .

Sep 14, 2012, 3:59pm Top

>237 Ape:: Oh, yes, certainly, it's horrible. But is an awesome kind of way.

Sep 14, 2012, 5:21pm Top

Micky: Yeah! :D

Morphy: Ha! I'm not sure which part of that is the scariest. :P

Valerie: This is exactly why we need to bio-engineer nose taste buds.

Nora: I've been wanting to watch it for a week, but it's not being aired on any of the channels I get.

Amber: Oh, you mean like watching animal mating footage?

Sep 14, 2012, 7:29pm Top

>241 Morphidae: you could have got away with it I reckon :) Its a goodie!

Hi Stephen, how's it hangin?

Sep 14, 2012, 8:09pm Top

Hi Megan! Ummmmm, it's hanging, errrrr, slowly. *Grumbles* 3kbps internet speed should not be legal.

Sep 14, 2012, 8:23pm Top

Hi slowpoke! Nice to see you and your dinosaurs. Like all the rest of you, I loved JP. We still have lots of plastic dinos up in my sons bedroom. They are kinda timelessly cool.

Sep 14, 2012, 8:58pm Top

#236: I love Bruce Campbell! I don't think I've seen him in a tornado movie though. . . time to search Hulu/Netflix!

Sep 15, 2012, 8:25am Top

Kim: Indeed! Of course, I hate reading nonfiction books about dinosaurs because it's all fill-in-the-blank pseudo-science. *Grumble grumble*

Katie: Made-for-TV-movie Katie! Made for TV! Always remember that means "unpleasant to watch," most of the time anyway.

Sep 15, 2012, 8:26am Top

Katie: Don't listen to him - he doesn't understand the power of the Bruce. And it shouldn't be difficult to find - it's called "Tornado!" Ha! And yes, Netflix has it.

Sep 15, 2012, 8:28am Top

New thread is up.

This topic was continued by Ape's 2012 Challenge (15).

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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