Angela's 2009 Reading List - Chapter Three!
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starred you again. I wouldn't want to miss learning of your great books.
Okay, I've now read all 3 of Aslett's de-junking books. I confess I did not enjoy this one quite as much as the other two, but I still believe he is the most motivating de-cluttering author I've ever read. I would read a section of this book, put the book down, and go get rid of some stuff before coming back to the book. His style is easy to read, funny, and moves the reader to action. Recommended if you like to read 'simplifying' books, or if you have a clutter problem! :)
115. The Rules by Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider
This was a re-read for me. This is a book of rules for women to follow - women who want to meet and marry Mr. Right. The basic concept is to let the man take the lead - and don't make him your whole world. Be a busy, happy person; be your OWN person apart from your guy. Many modern women roll their eyes at some of the rules listed here. They say The Rules are silly - why can't a woman pursue her man? It's the 2000's for crying out loud! However, I think the ideas in this book are beneficial to women if applied correctly. If you follow the rules in this book you will be protecting yourself from a great deal of heartbreak. There's a chapter in here about friendship as well, not just romance. Many women (myself included) give WAY too much in our relationships and end up feeling hurt and used. This book helps us to give the most effort to those in our lives who have shown they truly love us.
It's a long story - too long for this post - but I got this book in 2002 when I knew my husband but was not yet dating him. I thought he might have been interested in me so I broke "the rules" - unknowingly of course. Nothing much happened between us. After reading this book I made some changes and followed the rules - and he started asking me out. I'm not sure if this would work for everyone, but it definitely helps women with personalities like mine.
That is one of the beauty's of LT, ie we get to share opinions and thoughts. I'm in the minority regarding The Shack. It is a book that I simply could not relate to.
Jennifer, I never heard of Hoarders. The closest show I know is Clean Sweep. I think I might enjoy working on a show like that. I find it exciting to help other people declutter as well. I'll have to see if I can get Hoarders or not. We only have basic cable TV. Thanks for the rec. And yes, the things people save can be positively horrifying.
This was another re-read for me; in fact it's one of the books I need to keep re-reading throughout my life. Even though I (fortunately) had sense enough to marry a nice, stable, caring man, I've always found myself attracted to people -for friendship or romance- with serious problems who 'need my help.' This book analyzes why some women are this way and what we can do to break the cycle. The women (and a few men) who are interviewed for this book have some fascinating stories - the personal experiences are my favorite part of the book. It's sort of like being in a support group. Highly recommended if you think you might be one of these women.
This woman knew her own mind. I came away from this book with respect and admiration for Eleanor Roosevelt. This book was written to answer all the letters she received asking for advice. She focuses on 11 things she learned by living:
Learning to Learn
Fear - the Great Enemy
The Uses of Time
The Difficult Art of Maturity
Readjustment is Endless
Learning to be Useful
The Right to be an Individual
How to Get the Best Out of People
How Everyone Can Take Part in Politics
Learning to be a Public Servant
Her writing style is practical, readable, with a dry humor at times. She shares touching personal stories. The advice she gives is not anything new or profound, but the way she expresses herself is unique. I agreed with her most of the time, but even if I didn't I would still have enjoyed peeking into her thoughts.
This book has been on my wish list ever since I joined LT nearly 2 years ago. I guess I should bite the bullet and hunt up a copy. I would love to have a "peek at her thoughts!" :-)
I read some comic books on a 4 day weekend trip to Williamsburg, VA, so I'm going to count them as 3-for-One:
118. Women of Substance -A Collection of Estrogen-Rich Cartoons by Revilo
This was a hilarious hallmark gift book written about humorous situations women face.
And two by Cathy Guisewite:
I think I'm Having a Relationship with a Blueberry Pie! and
The Child Within Has Been Awakened but the Old Lady on the Outside Just Collapsed
This was light vacation reading as well (see above). And yes, it's by John O'Hurley, who hosts Family Feud, who used to host To Tell the Truth and who played J. Peterman on Seinfeld. I never knew he was such a dog person. This book is a summary of life lessons he learned from his dogs, and it gives a bit of his personal biography right along with the lessons. Any dog lover will appreciate this book. I was surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did, and Mr. O'Hurley seems like a genuinely nice guy.
Can you believe this was my first Steinbeck book? I saw it on someone else's thread here at LT and thought it would be my kind of book. And I did enjoy it very much. Steinbeck documents his journey around the contiguous 48 states, in his camper Rocinante (fortunately I read Don Quixote this year!) and with his dog Charley. Steinbeck has a nice style of writing and I look forward to trying some of his fiction. (I can't decide which book to start with though - East of Eden or Of Mice and Men??) I love travel books, and it was intriguing to see what it was like to travel in the 60's as opposed to today. I was bothered by the descriptions of racial tension he encountered on his travels. I know that it was very real and I'm glad to learn about it - but it upsets me just the same.
121. America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money by Steve & Annette Economides
I heard about this family on the news once, so when I saw this book I just had to pick it up! I enjoyed learning about this 'regular' family and their amazing accomplishments with money. (How ironic is their last name??) The best part is their positive attitude - they really enjoy economizing. They have taught their five children to enjoy frugality also, and there are comments from the children throughout the book. Their suggestions for how to give an allowance are very clever and I will probably use it if I do have children one day.
I will look for the Economides book. Thanks for the recommendation, Angela.
I love both Of Mice and Men which I read last year and Cannery Row which I've read several times and I have Tortilla Flat, another of his short novels, to read this year. I recently bought East of Eden which I am saving for when I can foresee a nice long stretch of reading time. I've heard great things about the book and so far I love Steinbeck but it is a "chunskter"! It looks like you will have quite a few Steinbeck''s to read when you get your copy of the short novels. Happy reading!.
122. The Good Eater by Ron Saxen
This book tells the story of a man struggling with an eating disorder. I've read so many women's stories, and I wanted to get a man's perspective. It was very enlightening, and I recommend it if you are interested in this subject. Otherwise I do not recommend it. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood but this book was a real downer. This man kept having one awful experience after another.
123. Me, Chi and Bruce Lee by Brian Preston
After years of running from danger, Brian Preston decides to learn to defend himself. He enrolls in a Kung Fu Academy. His plans to earn a black belt, or at least a blue belt, are derailed when he suffers rib and shoulder injuries - and his daughter Grace is born. While he heals he embarks on a series of trips to explore the history and various kinds of martial arts. His journeys take him from a quiet walk up a mountain in China to a seat at the rowdy Ultimate Fighting Championship. By the end of the book, Preston finds a form of martial arts that works for a so-called "spineless wuss" like him.
Preston writes in a readable style that alternates between a personal journal and a martial arts history lesson. I didn't know anything about martial arts when I started reading this, but neither did Preston when he began writing, so this book worked out well for me. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in martial arts, or anyone who enjoys reading adventure-type memoirs. My only wish was that it had a few photos!
I note that your favorite book for 2008 was The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman. She is one of my favorite authors. Every one of her books is magical! I was hooked from the first book I read.
Although I think right now you can find that book cheaper on half.com. :D
Linda, I've never read any Alice Hoffman. Would I start with her first book, or is there a better place to start?
Eliza, thanks for the rec. I already own East of Eden - snagged it at my library's book sale. I might end up starting with that one, because I have to wait in line for Steinbeck's short novels. I've heard it's really good.
I've also read Skylight Confessions and Blackbird House which I enjoyed - but The Ice Queen was a very difficult act to follow! I have a pile more still to read, including a first edition Green Angel which my lovely sister bought me for Christmas. I might choose one for my 'H' read on my ABC challenge, or I might wait until we take a few days off over Christmas and treat myself...
Okay, everyone, you win! Another series for me to follow...
Seriously, I really enjoyed this. It's rare for me to find a mystery series being written right now that isn't too graphic for me. This one was perfect - it has just the right amount of coziness but it's not too sweet. I've heard Louise Penny compared to Agatha Christie, but this book had way more depth in plot lines and characters than your typical Christie book. (There are a few similarities though.) I appreciated that everything was not 'perfect' and wrapped up at the end - it's more realistic this way.
I'm not going to 'review' the plot of the book because so many people here have already done that, but I will say that this book seems geared toward people who appreciate art. If the series is going to keep on developing the intriguing characters that are introduced in the village of Three Pines, I think this series will only get better.
Here's a question to those of you who have read more of this series - is Agent Nichol's character continued in future books? Frankly, she drove me nuts. I wanted to reach into the book and shake her. (When a character annoys me that much, it means the book is well written, lol!!) She just kind of dropped off at the end and I'm very curious....
Many people have heard this story - Professor Randy Pausch was scheduled to give his "Last Lecture" at his university, and before the time came he found out he was dying of pancreatic cancer. He used the lecture and this book to talk about how he lived his life, the lessons he had learned, and as a way to say goodbye and leave a legacy for his family, especially his 3 children - ages 6 and under.
This hit close to home. My husband lost his father to pancreatic cancer when he was a 7 year old boy. His father was only 40. He doesn't remember too much about his father, and there aren't many people he can ask for details about him. As I was reading this book, I kept thinking about what a treasure the book and the lecture would be to Pausch's children when they grow older. Every child who loses a parent should have something like this to help them cope.
I thought this was going to be another memoir about a woman who has a bad childhood and develops and eating disorder. But it turned out differently. I think the title of this book is misleading. Lerner does have an eating disorder, but it's only a symptom of what turns out to be a lifelong battle with manic depression/bipolar disorder. This book shows what that disorder can do if not diagnosed or treated correctly. By the end she has found the correct treatment for her. I would recommend this book to anyone whose life is touched with manic depression/bipolar disorder. Even if you don't agree with her or her doctors, the book gives an inside view of mental disorders and their treatment.
I'm excited and a little nervous, hoping that I like it as much as I think I will. I read a lot of classic books that I hope to get for free or very cheap for the Kindle.
BTW I left you a comment on the Classics thread. I'll be interested in your reactions to The Moonstone which I just finished this last week.
I'll tell you one thing I like already, though. It shipped within hours of placing my order. And even though I do not have the Kindle yet, I can go to amazon.com, pick out classic books costing $0 - hit one button and bam! I have the books on my kindle before it even arrives! Amazing. There are some classics I'll have to pay for but they are a great deal - the Complete Works of Charles Dickens will be delivered to my Kindle for only $1.00.
If I start carrying the Kindle with me, I'll never be caught without a book - that's for sure! I always carry one book with me, but I've already been caught unexpectedly somewhere I had to wait, finished my book and had nothing to read - gasp!
"I've already been caught unexpectedly somewhere I had to wait, finished my book and had nothing to read - gasp!"
Boy! Can I identify with that feeling! Especially if there aren't even any signs to read--worse than Chinese Water Torture!" :-D
I would like to say that there are NO spoilers below, so feel free to read:
127. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
I've been participating in our group read, and I was just in the mood to finish this today. What an epic! I must confess that I was more interested in the people than the politics and the battles. The character development was amazing and I 'fell in love' so to speak with the people in this book. It was fascinating to watch them grow and change (and sometimes NOT grow and change!) This book is very educational and I wish I had read it before I traveled to Russia in 2000. I know a lot more about Russian history, Napoleon, and just the general structure of Russian life at that time. I never did grow to love the battle scenes and the long political discussions, but I'm glad I read this book. I'm sure its one of those books that I would get more meaning out of with each reading.
Bring on Anna Karenina next year!!
Thank you Stasia and Ellie - I'm proud of this book reading accomplishment. I'm expecting to really enjoy Anna Karenina because it will be more of the same wonderful writing - and less battle scenes! So I have high hopes!
UPS came into the driveway this afternoon and I yelled to my husband "Quick, quick! Run outside to meet him!" - turns out the package was for someone else in the building. Sigh.
But I like how you sent your husband out just in case you were wrong!
*whispers* I do that to my husband too.
Although in this case the main reason I asked him is that he was the only one wearing shoes!
*tries to spot all the curious LT-ers lurking eagerly round the edges of this thread*
Will there someday be a time when people will be aghast at how long we put up with the "inconvenience" of having to hold heavy tomes and turn pages to read (the way we think of all the inconveniences of reading scrolls before someone got the bright idea of pages)? Will authors be able to sell their books directly without having to depend on royalties? Will it be as much fun and comforting to curl up under your quilt in front of a fire on a cold winter's evening and pull your llight weight electronic book out of your pocket.
It's so small--will I ever be able to find mine when I absent-mindedly lay it down somewhere without thinking and then lose it! :-D
The birth of the Kindle raises all kinds of speculations.
I am really anxious to hear how you like it, Angela. As I said before--if nothing else, it would such a convenience for those of us who never walk out our door without a book--just in case! :-)
128. Dracula - Bram Stoker
I heard so many discussing this book recently that I decided to re-read it through dailylit.com. I enjoyed it. This book has a little of everything - romance, adventure, mystery and suspense. Stoker is very good at creating mood and atmosphere. I've heard some people call the heroine (Mina) weak, but I thought she was brave for the time period, anyway. She was a journalist and a world traveler at a time when many women didn't leave their home. She did faint too much, though! I was glad to bring the details of this story back to my mind, but I found myself getting impatient with the story - wanting it to move along faster because I remembered what was going to happen next. Next time I need to leave more time pass between readings, I guess. Great book, though.
I really, really enjoyed Travels with Charley. The only other Steinbeck I've read is East of Eden, which I am glad I read but you have to be in the mood - one of the characters is very, very unpleasant. I hope I'm not giving anything away!!
Hope you're enjoying that Kindle...
Yes, I am enjoying the Kindle - but 'real life' has kept me from using it for the past 24 hours - grrr...
I'm making notes as I use it and figure things out - notes for my 'Kindle review'. :)
ABW - sorry, don't know your first name yet! Don't worry. The Kindle is pretty easy so far. They provide a long instruction manual (or pdf document) but for the most part things are self explanatory. You just have to get up the nerve to try all the buttons and see what they do. I'm not a technology expert, but I'm not afraid of it either. The lack of fear could get me into trouble one day, haha, but so far it's been a good thing. I usually stumble upon whatever I'm trying to do. I would say the Kindle is user friendly.
I really need to get that review written! :)
(It's Deborah. :))
See my above post about my not being afraid of technology? Well, the technology gods must have laughed at me, because on Tuesday night I got a virus on my computer. A bad one. I was up til 2 am trying to fix it until I gave up. Took it to the IT guy at work, and long story short, I might lose everything on my computer.
All the data is there and it's contained in a backup system restore file, but he can't access it because he's afraid he will get the virus if he accesses my data.
In a way, there would be freedom in losing everything on my computer - a fresh start! And sometimes it would be nice to tell people - oh, I can't do that because my computer crashed and I lost all my files!!
But what kills me is losing the last year's worth of digital camera photos. I backed up my photos but it was a year ago. Also, my husband has some documents that he would really like to save. Oh, and my collection of email addresses!
I feel like it's my fault somehow, because it happened while I was downloading some files that I thought were safe. But it really isn't my fault I suppose.
I'm taking it to a friend tonight. He tells me before we wipe all the data off the computer he wants to take a crack at retrieving some of my files. So there is a glimmer of hope. But I can't get my hopes up...
I need a hug.
On a positive note - my husband has one final, huge test to take next Thursday and he will officially be a school bus driver. He's been unemployed since May, and he's been involved in becoming a bus driver for quite some time now. It's a complicated process. If he passes the test he starts substituting right away until he gets a regular bus route. It's only part time work, but it's a start! He thinks we will be fine, but I'm nervous about getting by on two part time jobs (I work part time as well.) I'm proud of him for changing careers after so many years in the drafting field.
Yea for the husband's new career!
He says viruses don't live in pictures and documents, so those should be safe. I'm so relieved that the best stuff seems to be safe. The other things are replaceable.
Lesson learned: I need to back up my system more often from now on.
2nd Lesson: Be careful what I download!
Right now I'm working on an old, slow laptop - hopefully the computer will be back and running some time next week!
Thanks for the sympathy and the hugs! "Poor, sweet baby!" - that was from Charlie Brown and Peanuts, right?? :D
I got my kindle in the mail this afternoon and am starting to play with it. I've downloaded 3 free books from amazon so far. I'm not up to trying to download from other sites yet, though I've been browsing them.
Hope you get your computer back soon.
So I know how you feel, and I hope that everything you value most is retrieved safely!
But don't try any other sites unless you check them out first!!
Amazon.com's ebooks (and any other mobi files) are the best choice since they look the best on the Kindle, obviously.
Ellie, I hope your laptop gets fixed soon. It's probably not the same virus I got or you wouldn't be able to do ANYTHING with your laptop, including boot it up! But any virus is a bummer.
This was a re-read for me. I loved it. This book has everything I like in a book - mystery, suspense, romance, adventure, humor, etc. It's rightly considered a classic and I would not hesitate to re-read it again. Five stars. Highly recommended.
I never realized it before, but now I understand why Collins is sometimes compared to Dickens. I've been reading this book at the same time as Bleak House. Dickens and Collins both excel at creating amusing characters, although Collins is less wordy, which many will appreciate I'm sure. :)
Carolyn, this was indeed the first book I read through on my new Kindle. (As promised. :)
I'm glad to see we've got Collins' fever here in this group - hope you enjoy his books too, Ellie. I guess if I would recommend a Collins book to you it would have to be The Moonstone, since it's shorter than The Woman in White and it will help you see if you like his writing or not.
Oh, and I forgot to add - with the huge virus fiasco, I haven't written my Kindle review. Short answer is - I like it much more than I expected I would. Longer review to follow at some point.
I have one more detail to add to the virus fiasco - my computer infected the computer of the guy trying to fix it, and I almost took down his whole network. I felt so bad that I had to laugh. Fortunately this guy knows me since we were babies so he has a bit of a soft spot for me and he's not going to kill me or anything...I hope...
Found you then lost you now found you again. Hopefully I can keep this thread (it's starred). I haven't succumbed to the kindle yet but I'll be interested to read your review and I guess I didn't realize all the free books that were available. IDK I guess I'm a bit old fashioned. I'm wondering what will happen to libraries once the kindles take over the world. I really treasure the library. I buy a lot of books but I also take out a lot from the library.
And libraries are special places. I do think the Kindle may hurt libraries a bit one day, in the same way that amazon.com and other cheap mass market book stores have hurt the little private used book stores we all love. It's a shame. But it's not hurting the library where I live right now. The bad economy seems to be bringing more people than ever to our library! So the library still has a lot of life left!
Although, come to think of it, a used book store near here has not been hurt too much by the increased use of technology and the internet. In fact, the owner told me he took advantage of it and put all his books online and makes most of his money shipping his hard to find books to buyers all over the country. He might even do more business now than he used to. Excuse the rambling. I may have just contradicted the point I made in my last paragraph. :)
Let's just say that I can make a case for sticking to the old fashioned books and bookstores and libraries, and I can also see benefits to the increased technology like the internet and the Kindle! It all depends on our own unique circumstances. What is best for one will not be what is best for someone else.
My parents are total opposites, so I've often found myself being able to see both sides of matters. Maybe that explains it.
My computer just came home today. I have to get it all set up again, since it came back to me as if it was a new computer. I got to keep a lot of my data, thanks to a good friend, which is quite a relief. The stuff I lost wasn't too important (a lot of games and emails, mostly). I need to figure out how to back up my computer more regularly, and I'm going to be EXTRA careful downloading from now on!!
Good news is, while I was waiting for my computer to be finished, I got some extra reading done...
130. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
Stasia organized the group read for this book (thanks!) and I knew right away (when we started in June) that I loved it. Dickens uses lots of words when he could shorten the story, but for some reason that did not bother me. It's just his style, and he's very good at creating atmosphere. I've never 'met' a writer who could create amusing, quirky, likeable characters the way he can.
The storyline was intriguing to me - Esther has a mysterious background and I was hooked immediately because I HAD to figure it out. I don't recall a sweeter person in all of fiction than Esther Summerson. I had heard there was a lot of death in this book, and it's true, there was, but I did not find it as depressing as I feared.
There are a million plot lines and characters in this book, or so it seems! Dickens tied everything together at the end - I was amazed by that. I gave this book a 5 star rating because it's one of the rare classics I really want to read again. I had trouble keeping track of the characters at first, so I know if I re-read it one day I will grasp even more details.
I've also heard there's a Masterpiece Theater movie of this book - I'd love to see it!
I'm finally ready to write my Kindle review! Remember, this review is coming from a skeptic. I wanted to try the Kindle but wasn't sure if I would like it. I know there are a lot more people out there who feel like I did.
The bottom line: I really like my Kindle. I think I love it, actually. I would not dream of replacing my regular books with the Kindle; however I will use the Kindle as a tool to supplement my regular reading. For the first day or two when I was figuring things out, I got a little frustrated, but ever since then the Kindle has been one pleasant surprise after another.
Here's a list of the pros (in my humble opinion):
- Space. The Kindle holds up to 1500 books. My husband and I live in a 4 room apartment and my books take up a lot of room. The more books I find for my Kindle, the less shelf space I have to 'find' somewhere. My husband loves to drive. When we go on road trips, or any kind of travel, all I need is my Kindle. No more agonizing about which books to pack and which books to leave behind because there's no room. No more running out of books to read when I'm unexpectedly delayed somewhere. For me, this means less stress (and less weight in my suitcase!!)
- The screen. You have to see this screen. It's amazing. When I opened the box, the screen was on. I thought there was some kind of mistake. But the screen is always on because the screen is made up of little tiny black and white tiles that flip over. The screen uses no back light (which means no eye strain). It uses no battery life, except when you turn the page. When you are done reading and shut it off, beautiful black and white pictures of famous authors or old book covers stay on the screen until you are ready to use it again. It looks exactly like a piece of paper, and again, there's no eye strain.
-Long battery life. See above. If you have the wireless connection on, the battery lasts a few days. If you turn the wireless off, the battery lasts up to two weeks because the only thing the battery needs to do is turn the pages.
- Bookmarks. The Kindle always remembers exactly where you stopped reading in each book, even if you are reading several at the same time. I always lose my bookmarks, when we travel and when I read in bed. It's annoying. Not a problem here. If you have to put the Kindle down quickly it's one less thing to fuss with. You can use multiple bookmarks per book if you like, but I haven't tried that yet.
-If you like or need to highlight and take notes while you read, you can do that as well. Amazon will save all your notes for you, even if you delete the book from your Kindle.
- Dictionary. I don't know if this makes me lazy or not, but when I'm engrossed in a good story, I don't want to get up and get the dictionary for new words. I really should, I know. But once I start reading I don't want to be interrupted. The Kindle has a built in dictionary. All you need to do is move the cursor over a word and the definition pops up at the bottom of the screen. I'm finally using a dictionary when I read. And I'm learning more new words than before!
-If you need large print. I have some friends who only read large print, and I know how hard it is for them. When you go to used book sales, the volunteers don't always get to separate the large print books so you have to search and search to find them. Some books are not available in large print. Or if you join an online book exchange, you need to look for specific editions so it takes longer to get the books you want. Not a problem with the Kindle. Every book can become a large print book with the touch of a button. Or you can choose the 'text to speech' option. It's not as good as an audio book, but the Kindle does have speakers and will 'read' the book to you with the touch of a button. You can use headphones as well. Not as good as an audio book, but a cool feature nonetheless.
-Wireless. You can connect to amazon.com any time you turn on the wireless. You can purchase a book (or pick a free one) and have it delivered to your Kindle in less than a minute. There are also a few websites you can access. The Weather Channel online, Wikipedia, etc. It's in the experimental stages so I think in future editions of the Kindle (there's only Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 so far) there will be more web surfing capabilities.
-Music. I can't read like this personally, but apparently some people like to listen to music while reading. You can load MP3's onto the Kindle and play them while you read. You can only play them in the order you load them. Again, this is in the experimental phases so I think it will improve in the future.
-Free books. There are thousands of free books available from amazon.com for the Kindle, and they add new ones often. You can also get huge collections of books (such as the complete works of Dickens) for only a few dollars. But actually, any kind of document works for the Kindle. You can load personal documents onto the Kindle by connecting it to your computer with the enclosed USB cable. Or you can pay amazon a small fee to do that if you don't have access to a computer. I was able to find a lot of free ebooks for my Kindle on a lot of websites, such as gutenburg.org. Gutenburg even has the mobi format, so you can download books that are already formatted for the Kindle. I was excited to find some cozy mysteries for free - so I can read some lighter fare in between the longer classics. Basically, if you have a document or you can convert something to a document, you can read it on the Kindle. This was my biggest worry - I had heard that you could only put amazon's books on the Kindle so it essentially made you a slave to amazon. But that hasn't been true for me.
-New releases. I don't like buying brand new hardcover releases, because $25 just seems like too much for one book! But if I'm desperate to read a book that's coming out, I might spend that much once in a while. On the Kindle, new releases are usually $9.99. So that will save money for me once in a while.
-Subscriptions. You can subscribe to newspapers and magazines that are delivered right to your Kindle daily, weekly, monthly, whatever. I like that feature, though I probably won't be using it anytime soon (don't read a lot of magazines). It saves paper, and would save space in my house!
Okay, here are some possible cons:
-If you live where there's no/poor signal. I happen to live in an area where the signal for the Kindle is poor. I believe they use AT&T, and verizon is the only network that really comes in well here. I guess this would also be the case in many other countries. My Kindle says it works overseas, but only in limited areas. Possible solutions: You can turn off the wireless and load the Kindle yourself from your personal PC. Or you can do what I do, and turn the wireless on when I go to work. There's a strong signal there. If I need to have something delivered directly from amazon to my Kindle, it can wait until I go to work. Obviously this would not work as well if you get the daily newspaper over the Kindle, or any other subscriptions, or if you want to use it to check the weather or wikipedia. It all depends on the way you intend to use the Kindle. For me, this is not a big problem.
-Size, weight. Some people have said they were afraid the Kindle would be too small. Personally, I found it surprisingly heavy. It's the heaviest of all the ebook readers I've checked out. But I like the size and weight, since to me it feels well made, of good quality. Some of the others felt cheap and felt like they would break easily. I can hold it easily in one hand. It's heavier than a thicker paperback book, but lighter than a hardcover. So again,to me this is not a negative at all.
-Expense. The Kindle started at around $400 and is now $260. Still pricey. I saved for a long time and was given some amazon gift cards, so I was able to get mine without getting into credit card debt. The return policy was very fair, so I knew if I wanted to I could get my money back. But I don't think I'll return it.
- You can't take the Kindle in the bath tub. Had to throw in an amusing negative here. I hesitate to add that some people do in fact take their Kindles in the bath tub!! They sell waterproof covers for the Kindle, but some frugal people have claimed that you can put the Kindle in a ziploc baggie (which costs a lot less than the waterproof cover) and still take it in the tub with you. Personally, I'm not going to do that. Again, I have to say that the Kindle is a tool for me to supplement my other books. My paperbacks, not my Kindle, will accompany me if I want to take a long bath. :D
-The Kindle will negatively impact libraries, authors, and small book stores. I don't know about this argument. I'm no expert in these matters. Like I mentioned in my thread earlier, I can see both sides of the argument. I know a guy who runs a used book store who is doing more business than ever now that he put all his inventory on line. I've also heard that more people can break into the writing/publishing industry now because they can 'self-publish' to the Kindle. I've seen some free Kindle books from new authors trying to get the word out about their work. So, while it does seem on the surface that the Kindle and other technology will hurt libraries, authors, and small book stores, I'm not sure. I think it depends on how people use their technology. It's a tool that can be used or misused.
- Reading in the dark. There is no back light for the Kindle. This is a good thing, since it's easy on the eyes. However, if you want to read on the Kindle at night or in poor light, you have to buy a separate book light. It really is just like a piece of paper!!
- The Kindle can't read PDF's. Sadly true. If you have free ebooks that are pdfs, they don't look very nice on the Kindle. However, if you can find some way to convert them to a document file, you can read them on the Kindle. Mobi files look best on the Kindle, since they are designed for the Kindle, but any document looks pretty good too.
-You can't lend or trade your Kindle books. Well, there might be a way to lend a book to another Kindle owner. I'm not sure. I think I saw that amazon was working on that. But you don't get the joy of reading and then passing your book along to someone else.
Here's the final negative:
The Kindle is not a real book. It never will be. If you are like me and enjoy the tactile pleasure of books, there is no substitute. I got a nice leather-ette cover for my Kindle that opens and closes like a book. (It's important to get a cover for the Kindle or that great screen could get scratched). The cover helps my Kindle feel cozier, and more 'book like'. I do admit that I like it better than a paperback book. But my Kindle will never replace the beautiful hardcover books I've loved for so long. That's why, even though I love the Kindle, I will never give up reading my 'real' books!!
I'm very glad to hear that you can put non-Amazon books on the Kindle. That was one of my main concerns. Is it still possible to use all the Kindle features on these books--dictionary, notes, etc.? Also, is it possible to take the book off the Kindle and put it on the computer without losing the notes? 1500 books sounds like a lot, but I can easily imagine running out of space eventually.
I was a bit surprised to hear that it's heavier than a paperback book; I'm not sure what I think of that.
As for the issue of Kindles hurting libraries... I'm really not worried about that at this point. I think it will be many years before people refuse to read paper books at all, so the libraries can keep doing what they do now if the Kindle is problematic for whatever reason.
What I am more concerned about is the impact of the Kindle on the quality of books that people read. Basically, unless you're interested in classics, it seems that most of the free books on Amazon are of the trashy romance variety. And I have a feeling that there are a lot of people who value free over quality. Then if people initially are reading lower-quality free books, it may get to the point where they don't enjoy reading as much and don't think of it as something worth spending the time on....
I'm glad I don't have 'ornery siblings' to spend my money buying Kindle books, lol...
Zoe, when I said it was heavier than a paperback book, I mean the 300 page kind. Not my huge paperback of War and Peace, lol... I think the Kindle is about 11 oz, and with the cover it's a little heavier than that. I was surprised at first (I expected it to be lighter), but I've grown to like the feel of it.
As for non-Kindle books, the dictionary works on non-Kindle formats as well, no problems there. I don't know about notes and highlighting. If it's an amazon.com book, amazon will keep it for you, with your notes, forever (and in any quantity) as far as I can tell. I'm not sure how your notes would be saved if it's one of your documents and you take it off the Kindle. I don't usually take notes and highlight so I haven't experimented yet. If I do I'll let you know.
As far as the free books being of poorer quality, I can see your concerns. One of the biggest reasons I wanted a Kindle is that I enjoy reading the classics which are in the public domain. If someone never reads the classics, they might find it harder to get free Kindle books. I did find a website called truly-free.org, run by a guy who buys ebooks and then posts them on his site to 'lend' them to you. You are allowed to 'borrow' five at a time and then come back for more after you read them. He has a lot of modern books, fiction and non-fiction, available for download. I'll give you an example. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as well as the following two books in the series, are available there for free.
Also, gutenberg.org has an australian branch which offers different authors for free download. I found the complete works of Josephine Tey on that site and I was thrilled!
Bottom line: if you don't like classics, you might find it a bit harder to get free books of a good quality, but it is possible to avoid the trashy books if you try hard enough :).
I think VG was just saying that she would buy an e-reader when the price came down to $99, not that she had actually found one at that price. It's an interesting question. I think I'd currently set my price at $150, but it's really a matter of content--as I keep finding more free content that's available, I might become willing to pay more for the device itself.
My husband now has his school bus driving license (he passed with a nearly perfect score - yay!) and he's now substituting for the local school district. I'm proud of him for being willing to change careers. He couldn't find a job in his old line of work in this econonmy. But there will always be children to drive to school! :)
Hopefully soon he'll get his own daily 'run'. It will be part time work so if we can't make ends meet, maybe he will be able to drive bus for adults - trips to New York, trips to the casinos, things like that.
He's really happy. He likes driving the kids around. He says he feels valuable and appreciated. So hopefully we can make it work and he can stay there. (When he was riding around with a driver, trying to learn her route so he could sub, a little boy sat next to him. 15 minutes later the little boy looked up at him and said, "How old are you?" Lol!)
Thanks to everyone for their positive thoughts since he lost his job in May. I really appreciate it.
I put a note on the Kitchen thread about this review, and also on Stasia's thread. That's it. If you think of somewhere else I should post it, let me know.
Thanks again for stopping by!
I went back to VG's post and re-read it - I totally misunderstood the $99 deal! Now I get it! (slaps forehead!) :D Oops...
I didn't do too much worse than that. I belong to an online panel that pays me once in a while in amazon.com gift certificates (for taking surveys and things like that). I saved up my certificates for a long time and got my Kindle for $114 (and I had the cash saved for that). And instead of buying the $30 Kindle cover that amazon recommends, I went to ebay and got something similar for less than $20, so I was feeling pretty pleased with my bargain hunting. (Oh, and I didn't pay anything for the 53 books I have on the Kindle right now!) I'm sure the Kindle 2 price will keep dropping, especially if they come out with a Kindle 3, but I still feel like I got a good deal. While I was growing up, my mom and I used to go bargain hunting together all the time - I have fun trying to get the most for my money.
Thought that might be an important detail.
Oh, and I've read 3 books on it so far. I didn't feel right reviewing the Kindle until I had spent some quality 'reading time' with it first. :)
Thanks to everyone for visiting, and for the feedback.
Second part of that story: When my sister got home and received her credit card statement she called Amazon and said, somebody hacked my Kindle. While talking to them the penny dropped and she hung up with them and called me. The first words out of her mouth were not hello or how are you? but, you ordered books on my Kindle!!! Not a question but a statement. I did buy her a $100 Amazon gift certificate and she forgave me. I think. I hope.
Interestingly, I do think my sister is more likely than my brother to order things on my Kindle without my permission, only because she shows slightly more initiative than he does in acquiring books. I'm not sure how he'll survive now that he's moved away for university, but in the past he hardly ever went to a bookstore or library and relied entirely on books brought home by our librarian mother or borrowed from me (though only if I picked them out for him; he wouldn't browse my shelves independently). Fortunately, I buy enough books for everyone, and the fact that everyone uses them justifies the fact that they're almost all stored at my parents' house.
For myself, I still have some major concerns--one you already mentioned. I don't have good enough cell reception at my home, so it would be annoying to have to go somewhere else to add books--especially since I work out of my home. I'm also careless with my stuff, so worried I'd scratch the screen, but most worrisome of all would be losing it! And finally, I'm sort of addicted to books--would I go crazy adding books because it's so easy? Or could I be satisfied with an electric version? Books were my first love; I don't think I could give up real books, but...as I'm getting older and wanting to downsize, I don't think I necessarily need to be adding to my real-book collection either. Can you tell I'm indecisive? The worst result would be having to buy pretty much everything from Amazon. Final decision: 1 for my mom, none for me now (but I can always borrow my mom's when I'm visiting!)
I'd forgive you if you gave ME an amazon gift certificate, I promise! Oh, and especially if the sneaky ordering was for books that you thought I'd be interested in...it's the thought that counts, right?
I enjoyed the banter, you two! :D
I had no idea the decade we are currently in is called 'the noughties'. Am I the only one who didn't know this?? :)
An early review book. Not my normal type of reading at all, but I was surprised. Here's my posted review:
Blackbird, Farewell is the seventh and latest in the series of CJ Floyd novels. CJ is only a minor character in this story, however. Shandell “BlackBird” Bird is a talented basketball player who's recently been drafted into the NBA. When he is found murdered, his best friend Damion vows to track down his killer, even though it means digging deep into Shandell's private life. It is painful for Damion to discover that his best friend was not who he pretended to be.
This book was an easy read that has the potential to be a movie. It has a bit of everything – action, suspense, violence, romance, and a screenplay-like epilogue. This is my first CJ Floyd novel, so I was at a disadvantage because I did not know the regular characters, but I was still able to follow the plot. Normally I prefer cozy mysteries, and this is not a cozy. There is some profanity and violence, and a sex scene which were a little graphic for my tastes, but it would be mild to most readers. I was easily able to skim over any parts that bothered me and continue with the plot. So this book would appeal to a wide audience. I would recommend this book to modern day mystery fans – and also basketball fans. Greer does a good job of portraying the dark side of professional sports while weaving his mystery.
133. People, Pooches and Problems - Job Michael Evans
I found these books for free and decided to read them. I have a good dog with only one or two areas that need improvement. These books gave some very helpful advice and I'd recommend them to any dog owner. I gave 4 stars to book #132 - the author gave advice that was quite relevant to me and she made me laugh out loud more than once.
By Dara Chadwick
I don't have a daughter, but I find this subject fascinating. The author was raised by a mother who had severe body issues. Now that she is raising an adolescent daughter, she wonders how she can stop the body loathing and teach her daughter to be happy with herself. She interviews a lot of women and young girls and includes their stories. I learned a lot and would recommend this book to any woman with a young daughter.
Two small books:
135. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
I wasn't blown away by this, but I did enjoy his descriptive prose. Good atmosphere!
136. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This is a little gem of a story. I got a little teary at the end. This story shows how foolish adults can be - we would all be better off it we looked at life through the eyes of a child from time to time!
Isn't it sad when you feel like you must have missed something?
Your comments prompt me to re-read The Little Prince. It is somewhere on my book shelf...somewhere...It may take awhile to find it, but I will.
The Little Prince is an unusual story. It reminds me of someone writing down a dream they had. It made me smile a lot. I'm constantly drawn to children. I love to make them talk to me about anything at all - and I try to remember the things they say - their comments are usually blunt/funny/insightful all at the same time. So I think that's why this book clicked with me.
Wow, this was really good!
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this book was nearly as good as The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. If you liked The Moonstone you will probably like this as well.
It's a classic story line. Old widower falls for pretty young thing with mysterious background. Marries her even though she's young enough to be his daughter. After a series of events, the widower's nephew begins to be suspicious of his uncle's young wife. He starts to trace her background and his life changes in the process.
The character development is well done. This book takes place over several years so readers get to see the characters grow and change and come to life. There's great suspense as well. There were times I felt I could not put the book down. I could see some things coming from miles away, but there were a few plot twists that caught me by surprise - which is always a good thing.
Hope you like it. It got great reviews here on LT and Amazon, which was how I ended up trying it.
138. A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
This was my first Bryson book. I enjoyed it immensely. Bryson decides to walk the Appalachian Trail - as much of it as he can - and write a book about it. I happen to live near the Appalachian Trail in PA, so it was interesting to learn so much about this famous trail. My personal favorite were the walks he shared with his friend Katz. For some reason, when Katz was in the story, the account was funnier and more interesting to me.
As a personal aside, I have always enjoyed Dave Barry's writing. He often writes about educational things in a funny manner. However, I've found as I've gotten older that Barry can be a little too silly for my personal tastes. It depends on my mood perhaps. Well, I've decided that when Barry is too silly or too juvenile for my tastes, Bryson will fit the bill. Bryson is funny but in a subtler, more mature manner.
4 1/2 stars. Highly recommended.
I still think Dave Barry is great. He's especially hilarious at 2 am when I'm sleep deprived. But only in small doses- whereas when I was a teen I would have read him non-stop if I could. My favorite Barry column will always be the one he wrote about consumer packaging. At family gatherings one of us reads Barry out loud and we laugh til we cry.
I'm looking forward to reading more Bill Bryson. Does anyone have recommendations?
HOW TO CURE THE DRUG PROBLEM
(by Dave Barry)
Recently I had a simple, foolproof idea for eliminating the drug problem in this country. It came to me while I was making spaghetti sauce.
I use an ancient Italian spaghetti-sauce recipe that has been handed down through many generations of ancient Italians, as follows:
1. Buy some spaghetti sauce.
2. Heat it up.
Sometimes I add some seasoning to the sauce, to give it a dash of what the Italians call "joie de vivre" (literally, "ingredients"). I had purchased, from the supermarket spice section, a small plastic container labeled "Italian Seasoning." My plan was to open this container and sprinkle some seasoning into the sauce.
Already I can hear you veteran consumers out there chortling in good-natured amusement.
"You complete moron," you are chortling. "You actually thought you could gain access to a product protected by MODERN PACKAGING??"
Yes, I did, and I certainly learned MY lesson. Because it turns out that Italian Seasoning has joined the growing number of products that, For Your Protection, are packaged in containers that you cannot open unless you own a home laser cannon.
This trend started with aspirin. Years ago - ask your grandparents - aspirin was sold in bottles that had removable caps. That system was changed when consumer-safety authorities discovered that certain consumers were taking advantage of this loophole by opening up the bottles and - it only takes a few "bad apples" to spoil things for everybody - ingesting aspirin tablets.
So now aspirin bottles behave very much like stinging insects in nature movies, defending themselves against consumer access via a multilevel security system:
(1) There is a plastic wrapper to keep you from getting at the cap.
(2) The cap, which is patented by the Rubik's Cube company, cannot be removed unless you line an invisible arrow up with an invisible dot while rotating the cap counterclockwise and simultaneously pushing down and pulling up.
(3) In the unlikely event that you get the cap off, the top of the bottle is blocked by a taut piece of extremely feisty foil made from the same impenetrable material used to protect the Space Shuttle during atmospheric reentry.
(4) Underneath the foil is a virtually unremovable wad of cotton the size of a small sheep.
(5) As a final precaution, there is no actual aspirin underneath the cotton. There is only a piece of paper listing dangerous side effects, underneath which is...
(6)... a second piece of paper warning you that the first piece of paper could give you a paper cut.
Even this may not be enough security for the aspirin of tomorrow. At this very moment, packaging scientists are working on an even more secure system, in which the entire aspirin container would be located inside a live sea urchin.
With aspirin leading the way, more and more products are coming out in fiercely protective packaging designed to prevent consumers from consuming them. My Italian Seasoning container featured a foil seal AND a fiendish plastic thing that I could not remove with my bare hands, which meant of course that I had to use my teeth. These days you have to open almost every consumer item by gnawing on the packaging. Go to any typical consumer household and you'll note most of the products - food, medicine, compact discs, appliances, furniture - are covered with bite marks, as though the house is infested with crazed beavers. The floor will be gritty with little chips of consumer teeth. Many consumers are also getting good results by stabbing their products with knives. I would estimate that 58 percent of all serious household accidents result from consumers assaulting packaging designed to improve consumer safety.
Anyway, I finally gnawed my seasoning container open, no doubt activating a tiny transmitter that triggered an alarm in some Spice Security Command Post (WHEEP! WHEEP! WHEEP! INTRUDER GAINING ACCESS TO ITALIAN SEASONING IN SECTOR 19!). While I was stirring my spaghetti sauce, it occurred to me that if we want to eliminate the drug problem in this country, all we have to do is:
1. Make all drugs completely legal and allow them to be sold in supermarkets ("Crack? Aisle 6, next to the Sweet'n Low").
2. Require that the drugs be sold in standard consumer packaging.
My reasoning is that if physically fit, clear-headed consumers can't get into these packages, there's no way that strung-out junkies can. Eventually they'll give up trying to get at their drugs and become useful members of society, or at least attorneys.
I realize that some of you may have questions about this plan. Your most likely concern is: "If dangerous and highly addictive narcotics are sold freely in supermarkets, will the packages be required to have Nutritional Facts labels, like the ones that now helpfully inform consumers of the protein, carbohydrate, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron content of products such as Cool Whip Lite?"
Of course they will. Even though, if my plan works as expected, an addict would be unable to consume his heroin purchase, he still has a vital right to know, as an American consumer, that if he DID consume it, he'd be getting only a small percentage of his Daily Requirement of dietary fiber. This is just one of the many benefits we enjoy as residents of this Consumer Paradise. My head aches with pride.
157- Brenzi, I hope you like the Bryson book - it's educational and fun at the same time. I will have to try Sedaris sometime.
158 - dk_phoenix, I remember the potato gun but can't remember flaming Barbie! I'll have to go refresh my memory...
159- Ellie, if you liked that column you might want to check out one of Dave Barry's books. Usually his books are just a series of his newspaper columns. They are nice for quick funny reads - easy to put down and pick up again when you need a laugh.
160-Terri (right?) I did read the Book of Bad Songs! It was hysterical, especially where he made fun of Neil Diamond and everyone got mad at him and he had to make a retraction... I didn't always agree with his opinions, but most of the time I did, and it was great!
Loved the Dave Barry piece. I've got a pile of his books in a box at home somewhere, but it does not include Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs. This is one I haven't read, and I'm not sure I should either, since Neil Diamond has always been one of my favourite singers!
When someone writes a 'book of bad songs' I guess they are bound to step on a few toes along the way though...
I'm going to finish up the 2009 year first, but I HAD to start my thread over there because it seems like everyone else is and I didn't want to get left behind...call it peer pressure...
I'm not going to say too much here, except this: if the title of this book appeals to you, you will probably like it. If not, you won't. This is a huge book but it's a quick read with a lot of common sense, feel good advice, and a lot of great quotes on every other page. It seems to be geared toward people with a serious illness, but anyone who wants to feel more positive and appreciative would probably like this.
We are leaving tomorrow (the 31st) for a long weekend camping. Camping? In this weather? We won't freeze to death - we will be in a cabin with a wood stove. The only thing that makes it feel like camping is we have no running water. (We have to walk down the road to the 'bath house' for water). Oh, and no television, no cell phone signal, no internet.....it will be so quiet and peaceful...
I'm hoping to get a lot of reading done, and I will count any books I finish as part of my 2010 challenge.
Happy reading everyone - see you soon!