(no subject)

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 09:16 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
* reading Trese, a local comic about the supernatural. There are only thirteen stories (so far?), so I'm saving it up and trying not to rush through it. The very smell of the book is comforting

* sooo I managed to end up buying a Nook Simple Touch. As far as I can tell, there was a huge gap between the earlier versions of the Nook and the Kindle, but choosing between most ebook readers these days comes down to the purely subjective. I'm almost positive I'd have been happy reading on any ebook reader I'd decided on, but I narrowed it down to the Nook and the Kindle -- the Kindle because that's what is easily available here. The Nook because ... man okay it's because I've had my heart set on the Nook ever since I read it could do quick page flips okay? I'm not talking about the time to load each new page; what I really lusted after was the Nook's ability to flip quickly through the pages by pressing and holding. Won my heart <3

* the one thing I really wish the Nook had: progress indicators from the main screen. It's not the kind of thing that people mention in reviews, or put on those comparison charts, sadly! I wish it was though


* I knew wanted an e-ink reader, instead of an LCD-type ebook reader, because I already have my iPad for when I want to read image-intensive / format-intensive texts. I'd been doing all my reading on my iPad for some time, and I love it, but it's heavy and the backlight does get tiring after a while. I could have lived with that as I already was BUT THEN, one evening I drifted off while reading the iPad in bed. I dropped it on my lip, and spent two weeks trying to hide my cut pus-filled lip from everyone. That was when I decided I wanted something else for bedtime reading (and incidentally travel)

* after I made my previous entry on choosing an ebook reader, I read all the comments and decided I should research other ebook readers before making a final decision. And then uh... I contacted the only local merchant that carries the Nook (out of stock last time I looked), and they told me that they'd gotten a shipment just that afternoon (!)

* I kinda uhhh ignored all things related to shopping for books directly from the ebook reader? I automatically assumed that such things wouldn't apply to me / my country. But it turns out that Kindle does support buying ebooks even by people not from the US -- I don't think that would have been enough to change my decision if I'd known that beforehand, but maybe I should start checking what other things are now available online, instead of starting from the assumption that nothing is.

* for example: the last time I renewed my domain, Dreamhost wouldn't accept credit card charges straight from my country. I had to put money into my PayPal and "donate" that to my Dreamhost account. This year I just paid straight. So much easier -- whoa.

* I am tempted to root my Nook, but I only want two things: a progress indicator for all my books when viewing my list of books, and a way to load books via Wifi, instead of having to connect via USB every time, and it seems a lot of trouble to go through when I'm not even sure I'll be able to find something that will let me have both of those

* also, and this may just be sour grapes(?), but since I've accepted the limitation of only being able to load books via USB, I feel much less anxiety towards organizing my ebooks. It's a bit like: put stuff on and then forget, not constantly fiddling about trying to organize things perfectly or getting the perfect mix books onto it or whatever

* funnily, I avoided the Kindle because I didn't want be constantly using Calibre to take DRM off or convert .epub to .mobi. However, now that I have my Nook, I'm still using Calibre quite heavily in order to organize my ebooks

* I do most of my organizing via Calibre on the command line because the GUI is ugly and slow /o\ But I still find myself opening up the GUI when I'm adding books or transferring files to my Nook, because of the Reading List plugin

* I thought I'd want to have all my ebooks on my ebook reader, but it gets unwieldy really quickly, so I only have ~150 on it at a time, and I just take out all the ones I've read when I'm done

* ahhhh I meant to talk about more than books and ebooks but I guess this is not meant to be

* seriously, I'm loving this. And I'm excited over not having to stress over which books to bring along next time I travel (answer is: all of them). Though I'll probably still bring one physical book for when I'm going through immigration, where they're worried about electronics and stuff
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Have finished the second episode of Game of Thrones -- just in time for the third episode which just came out *g*

(the bad parts I'd heard about weren't as... painful as I'd feared they'd be. Though that's mostly because I came in heavily spoiled and anticipating the painful bits.)

I'm revising my opinion of the suitably of many of the actors sharply upward: those I was on the fence about before, I'm now very happy about. I guess it just took more exposure :D

--

I feel like I shouldn't say this, but Jon Snow kinda makes me want to go "...awww" and pet him. I think it's the curls and the eyes. I mean, I feel like he's all serious and whatever, but every time I see him onscreen I just feel like his eyes are so dark and brooding and liquidy and his expressions are so forlorn and I DUNNO. I laugh because I love, really! And I love because I laugh, pretty much.

--

The wall is my favorite piece of architecture.

--

OTOH, I'm in the middle of the third book right now. It's somewhat disorienting bouncing back and forth between book and series.

--

This is a reread, but the last time I read the books, I read them a couple chapters at a time stretched out across several weeks, so I'd forgotten what had happened at beginning once I reached the middle and end.

Reading them quickly over a short enough period of time that I actually still remember the details from the previous books / chapters when I reach the next relevant POV chapters is very, er, helpful. I don't know if it's because of that, or if it's because I'm rereading so I have some idea of where things are going but I'm seeing the characters in a different light now.

Among other things, I actually like Dany's story, I have a lot more sympathy for Sansa and Catelyn, and a lot less sympathy for Robert Baratheon.

And I feel a lot more sympathy for Cersei, though I'm pretty sure that's the TV series, not the books.

Arya I will always ♥ Tyrion, I love the wit, blah at the skeeviness but I guess the wit wins as does the cynicism so *handwave*
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I picked up Ghost by John Ringo today. I'd never heard about it before; it's not a book to walk into unprepared.

You know how you can sometimes run into something so completely ridiculous and over the the top that you think it can't possibly be real, and you turn to Google to find someone who shares your pain? I did that and I have now been introduced to OH JOHN RINGO NO.

Best review I've ever read, about the worst series I've ever run into :D


ETA: I think that review is the only thing that could have induced me to give John Ringo another try. Ghost is a horribly traumatic first run-in with any writer!
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Ahh will someone tell me what is up with the numbers? Because they aren't page numbers, or paragraph numbers, or all even numbers, or all odd numbers, or Fibonacci numbers, and they follow no pattern that I can discern.

Or if it would be a spoiler to know the meaning behind the numbers now, do we find out near the beginnging? Near the end? Never?

Because right now it is driving me ti distraction and i am just on the edge of scratching my skin off and it just uggggh. It makes me upset and I need to know before I get much further ._.

ETA: found it on page 11 *breathes more easily*

Packing

Friday, January 14th, 2011 09:41 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Clothes:

Packing for a hot weather country is a lot less stressful than packing for a cold weather country. Probably because the Philippines has hot weather, so I just pick clothes that I would normally wear :D

Whenever I go to a temperate or a cold country, I have to prepare my packing at least a week in advance, because I may not have enough tops / sweaters / jackets / shoes / socks / scarves / gloves / whatever. And then there's the stress of figuring out where all my old sweaters / thick tops / scarves / thermal etc have ended up (somehow about a third of them always manage to get lost, no matter how carefully I packed them last time). This time, it took me barely thirty minutes to pull stuff out of my closet, roll them up, and toss them into my suitcase.


(Ridiculous confession: half a week before packing for any overseas trip, I wear all my crappiest clothes, so that I will be sure to have all my better clothes clean and dry and ready to go *g*)


Books:

Oh man, I am loving tech right now <3

Used to be that I'd have to spend a lot of time going over my library, to decide which books to bring (definitely not the second book, but should I bring trilogies, or standalones? If I bring trilogies there's the risk that I'll hate it from the first book so I'll be bringing along three books that I don't want to read, but if I bring standalones maybe I'll finish them too quickly. Maybe I should bring one trilogy and two standalones. And maybe I should start on the first book of the trilogy right now, so I can tell whether the series agrees with me...) I mean it's a pleasant way to spend time, but sometimes I don't have time to spend! At least, not until I'm on vacation *g*

Now, I have approximately a gajillion books loaded up on my iPad and phone, and I don't need to worry about additional weight when I add an additional book. I am still bringing along two paperbacks (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and some standalone by Garth Nix), in case I run out of battery, or I'm in a situation where I won't want to bring out a gadget.


Knitting:

About a week ago, I spent some time putting together several knit kits, and tossed them onto an empty shelf by my bed. I noted down the names of the patterns on the outside of the bag, and saved the patterns on ReadItLater (yay Ravelry).

Then a couple days ago, I picked out one (Grounded by [personal profile] damned_colonial), and started it on a pair of bamboo needles. I got as far as one repeat of the pattern (for later reference), before making myself stop so I would have something left to do *g*

I like it: the pattern is easy to memorize, so I don't need to consult a chart or instructions. And since it's a scarf, the gauge isn't important. I thought about making a hat or sock, but I was worried about what I'd do if it turned out my needles were the wrong size, and I had no other needles on hand.


Work:
I meant to zoom through the review queue, but I got held up trying to finish the Atom API Publishing Protocol patch, and setting it up on my 'hack for public testing. Unfortunately, it's not working on my 'hack, though it's working on my local dev env, so I feel like I should have gone with the queue instead. Frustrating!

(Y'all will still be here when I get back, though, right?)

I love technology ♥

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 10:37 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I am sitting in bed, listening to my portable mobile tablet read an ebook to me, while I knit. I don't need to look at the screen (which is good, because my eyes are tired. I'm at the point where I'm squinting at the screen, but not at the point where my head aches from the light), and I don't need to turn the pages (which is fantastic, because my hands are full of knitting).


I'd played with VoiceOver settings before, because I knew I'd want to try it out in case of headache / tiredness, but this is the first time that I've used VoiceOver in real world use, rather than just testing snippets here and there.

So far so good :)


One thing that held me back at first is that in general, I get more tired when listening than I do when reading. However, after fiddling with the settings, I found out that lowering the volume and speeding up the speaking rate (both of which were unintuitive steps to me) has helped reduce the weariness.

Reducing the volume reduces the feeling that I'm being shouted at, and lets me listen with less stress. And increasing the speaking rate increased my comprehension (do you know the studies that say that speed readers absorb more information than slow readers, because they take in things a block at a time rather than a word at a time? I suspect it's something like that. Or it may be because I'm less bored and my mind has less time to wander).

Anyway, yes, really glad that I have the tools that I have \o/ I love tech!
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I'd love it if I find an RSS reader that filters out information based on criteria (like keywords). I hacked together something that almost worked for NetNewsWire, but it also picked up all articles that had those "share on Facebook" links at the bottom.

Since that didn't work out, I've gone ahead and dropped the worst offenders -- those RSS feeds that update often, and update often in reactionary fashion about topics that don't interest me. I have however kept those feeds that are low-volume and tend to be thoughtful.

So RWW is out the window; Daring Fireball is quite happily in.


I've also cut out one of my mailing lists, again for flooding of reactionary updates. I'm looking at you, mailing list which erupted into a language war after several months of low activity! Or... or maybe I'm not looking at you, since you're not coming into my inbox anymore. (Blessed blessed silence \o/)



A while back, I read an article which talked about happiness. I can't find it anymore (unfortunately, because it made a couple of good points), but the two things that stuck with me are: you need to let go of things you don't use, and you need to use the things you're saving up.

I'd gradually been getting rid of clutter in my room by throwing out old stuff I would never use again. After reading that article, I also started using the stuff that I've been saving just in case. So the lotion bottles in my room from birthdays/Christmases? Finally being emptied. The assorted ingredients in my refrigerator? Finally being used or in some cases thrown out because they'd gone bad (oops). The "good" yarn? Finally being knit (\o/)

Using stuff is not waste. I need to remember this (more importantly need to convince my mom): using stuff is not waste.


I've been trying to do the same thing with my information stream: I've been unsubscribing from places I only ever skim "just in case there's something interesting" (non-pro-tip: no, there won't be). I've also been actively clearing out my open tabs and emails instead of saving them up.

Maybe at some point I'll start reading fic again? :x I stopped years and years ago because I kept saving up the good stuff, and then I'd lose everything when my browser crashed under the sheer weight of tabs.


Ebooks are a boon *_* I used to be unable to put down books once I'd bought them, because I had to make them worth the price and cost of storage. Now, I consider my time more valuable than the cost of the book meaning, if I don't like it, I make myself put it down and move on to the next book, which I might even enjoy, rather than struggle through this one.

I can do this to paperbacks now (with a lot of regret), but I practiced ruthlessness first on ebooks.

The other thing great about ebooks is that it's just as easy to get the other books in a series once you have one of them. No more having holes in series because the bookstore doesn't have book 2 in stock \o/

This is assuming the publisher has deigned to publish the books in ebook format. But then, I take care to only buy from publishers that actually seem to value ebooks -- BAEN and O'Reilly leap to mind. I'll need to look for more eventually but these two are keeping me happily occupied for now.


I like that I can now afford to value the content of books more than the actual presence of them :-)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Ooh this explains a recent uptick in discussion of the Vorkosigan series that I've seen on my droll.

Okay, so it it turns out that the entire Vorkosigan series has been released in one CD of free ebooks. I love Baen's attitude towards ebooks, btw. Their free library has led me to discover one new author (also to realize that another author just isn't for me, but without any remorse since I didn't have to pay for the book before discovering that *G*).

The best part about this? I've bought three of the books in the Vorkosigan series, but I haven't been able to read them because I'm missing parts of books. Now I can add the series to my to-read list \o/

(no subject)

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 07:22 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Just finished reading the third book. I wish that the Abhorsen trilogy had a fourth.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Some pictures of loot I've hauled home from June through to August. Some are long overdue. Most involve yarn *g*

All of them were taken using a phone camera, so please excuse the quality!

yarn - Australia )

yarn - USA )

yarn - local yarn store (Dreams Yarnshoppe) )

books, tech, etc )

So all in all, I have enough to keep me busy for the next six months or more. *purrs*
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I stumbled this designer of geeky shawls, some patterns being references to books such as: Threadfall, Talia, Shipfish Circle Shawl.

And then some are just completely random but wow are sucking me in (I have great hopes for Starlight on the Waters).

Most of them are beyond my ability/time/patience right now, but I'm really enjoying looking and plotting.



About a month back, I knit my sister a fluffy red/pink/violet scarf to replace the fluffy red scarf she left on a bus back in Australia. I think maybe she liked it \o/ I wasn't sure if she would, because we both agree I have no fashion sense to speak of, so I'm always scared of giving clothes and clothes-like-stuff to her, but I'm glad that I did, this time \o/



I missed knitting in the round, so I got on a beret kick. I was too lazy to take pictures (some of them I can't take pictures of anymore because I've given them away, :D), but let me talk about some of them!

description of three berets under the cut. no pics, alas )

I'm currently knitting two scarves and a bag. The bag is a clever windmill pattern, which is boring to knit (in a soothing way). The first scarf is a lace scarf, which is my first "big" lace project. All my other lace projects have been dishcloths, or were only a very small part (which I tacked onto) a larger project. It's a simple eight-stitch repeat pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and I love it.

The other scarf I'm doing is a Noro Scarf, which [personal profile] synecdochic introduced me to, and which is simply magic to knit up. I love how mindless it is, and how you can basically stop after every two rows, if you need to. It's like magic, and eating candy, and eating magic candy.


I've bought two books! Buying books is a big step -- in my mind, it feels like a commitment to knitting, to go beyond the free patterns and into paid stuff (I'll have much the same reaction the first time I go for a paid pattern).

Both of them were recommended by [personal profile] synecdochic: The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and Socks from the Toe Up.

I've only had time to dig into the handy book of patterns, and I can tell you right now: it lives up to its name. I have only been doing the basic patterns as written in the book -- time enough to do fancy variations later, but I love the explanation behind the algorithm behind the measurements, and the way you can put things together from several sections. It makes me feel suddenly more like a grown-up knitter *G*.



I ended up in three yarn stores while in the USA, and picked out enough yarn to keep me occupied for a long time. There was so much choice! I opted for yarns of lighter-weight because these are rarer in Dreams Yarnshoppe (the yarn store in Glorietta, which is where I usually get my yarn), and (secondary consideration) should be easier to squeeze into a ball and transport home. I shall probably need a second yarn bin, and also shall want to knit faster, but I'm loving my yarn collection right now ♥ How can I not? It's glorious and makes me happy both by simply being yarn, and by being potential to be made into something else.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Three days into my vacation, and I have helped clean the downstairs guestroom, cut the dog's hair, figured out that 10am in the summer is not a good time to go running, and finished reading seven books. My to-read pile is steadily shrinking, which is a pleasant thing, though I still have two more shelves worth of books to read (which is an even more pleasant thing).

These are what I've finished reading lately: The Dreaming Place, Gold Unicorn (I'm beginning to feel like I just don't get Tanith Lee. Hmm), first two books of Redwall, Tower of Glass (which I was happy to read until the casual fridging at the end), The Dark Elf trilogy (Forgotten Realms *G* Would you believe this is the first time I've read of Drizzt? Though I get the impression that a bunch of my friends like him), and Nightflyers (mmmm GRRM).

I'm also steadily making headway on the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (thank Gutenberg), but I only read it on my phone during stolen moments, so it's going to take a while to finish.

Anyway, so I've been staring at my to-read pile, and I'm beginning to think that some of these are skippable:

1.) Atlas Shrugged

My impression of this book is that it's meant to be deep and meaningful, with people talking about philosophy, but not necessarily living it in a consistent fashion. It's one of those generic giftbooks -- you know, one of those that you get because the giver knows you like reading, and the book is on the best sellers list or Oprah or something, and it's supposed to be poignant and if you read it you'll grow as a person or something. I feel like I could at least try, but I feel also that I don't want to read a book out of a feeling of obligation, so maybe one of you might be able to give me a hint, as to whether to give this book a chance?

2.) Chronicles of the Cheysuli

Shapechangers! Which is classic enough that maybe I should give it a try. And I've read some of the short stories from random old fantasy anthologies and it seemed okay enough, but I've been feeling really anxious while reading the first book. cut for potential triggering material ) So maybe I need to skip this series for now/completely. Does it get better along the way? Is it worth struggling through the first book or two?

3.) Random novels in contemporary settings. Most of these are good for an afternoon, but they're like candy when I want steak. I sometimes feel like I'm wasting time reading things that don't captivate me completely (but I have to read them once I get started, no matter how bored I am, because I've started), so I may drop these instead of even starting.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Passed by National Bookstore in Podium on the way home from work, and managed to snag a couple of cheap books (of the bargain/sale kind): three Redwall books (which I haven't read, but I might as well give it a try at the price), and one crochet book.


First time I tried to crochet a couple of months ago, I think I was using a too-small hook for my yarn, because my wrist started aching horribly when I tried to push the hook through the loop. IT's much better now; of course I'm trying this with a cotton yarn, instead of the stiffer acrylics, so that might have also made a difference.

I'm finding crochet very hard, though. I keep missing loops or something? My chains inexplicably keep shrinking as I go on.


Got a little bit (a very little bit) of commit work done, but I was mostly distracted by setting up a local dev installation. No more lag, when trying to do dev work! No more twiddling my thumbs while waiting for my changes to be sent remotely! No more having to give up a productive coding session because my connection has suddenly decided to slow down or my router has gone wonky! At least, that is the general idea. I am excited, and I think that the couple of days I've spent on this will pay off :)

I-Pin eyes

Saturday, December 26th, 2009 09:22 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
It has taken me up to chapter 42 to break the habit of thinking that I-Pin's cheek-things are her eyes.

===

Spent the day reading by Homecoming by Cynthia Voight, novel about four kids who were abandoned by their mom at a mall one day, and their search for home. Love these kinds of stories about resourceful kids; I was worried it might get angsty or wallow-y, given the subject matter but it's not.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Too tired to continue working, but too awake to go to sleep (it's one of those moods), so I'm opting to read a set of children's stories in Chinese. Been a while since I tried reading anything in this language; pleasantly surprised that a lot of the words are still familiar. Of course, that is because it's basically a kiddy form of the texts we used to take up in elementary/highschool...

The collection is: "Twenty-four stories about xiao4". I'm trying to remember what xiao would be in English -- paterna- something? Basically something along the lines of "Honor your father and your mother". Ah! "Filial", I guess?

Ever notice how messed up most kid's tales are, by the way? Especially the ones meant to teach right conduct and good values.

For example, this very first story goes:

translation of the first story )

And this is supposed to be a good thing! I guess it's not that much more disturbing than Cinderella, and it's definitely not the worst of the lot. I'm pretty sure in one of the stories later on, someone offers to breastfeed their mother or grandmother or something... (judging by the pictures, this is what happens. I haven't bothered to figure out what the words mean).

PS. I miss li shi -- Chinese history, now. Lots of interesting, and occasionally very surreal stories. I took it for granted back when I was in highschool. Regret not paying closer attention now!

Lazy Saturday

Saturday, June 6th, 2009 04:37 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Taking a break on committing until I can figure out how to deal with Bugsy overwhelming #dw.

It's a lazy, rainy Saturday, and I've spent most of the afternoon curled up in bed, reading Wicked. I've seen the musical (a short version live in Japanese. <333 Universal Studios Japan, and the full length musical as well). It's taken me about a month to finish, I haven't been making time to read lately.

The musical and the book are very different. Not going into too much detail, though if you have the chance to watch/read, do; they're both good, in very different ways. Short version: the musical is like high school; the book like college beyond. Slightly longer version: the musical is brighter and happier, but not shallow. The book is darker and grittier, but leaves me hanging at the end.

(I think I would not like Glinda in the musical if it weren't for Kristin Chenoweth. Hmm or maybe, well I liked young!book!Glinda better than grownup!book!Glinda; I liked old!musical!Glinda better than young!musical!Glinda).

So I've closed Wicked, put it aside, and now going through the books in my drawer, I've settled (with some trepidation) on The Lost German Slave Girl. I'm not sure it's the right book for my mood, as I feel somewhat pensive, and this promises to be complicated and emotionally troubling, but none of the lighter-hearted books appeal to my mood right now, for the same reason.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I am excited. My mom is going to the US to visit my grandmother and see some of her sisters, and this means that I can order technical books and have her take them home. I thought about it a bit, and I really want these three books:

* Programming Perl
* Mastering Perl
* Perl Best Practices

I would have been happy with one, but O'Reilly has a promo where you can buy two and get one free, and my resolve cracked (THREE IS MY HAPPY NUMBER). I also briefly considered switching one out to get the Perl Cookbook but the cookbook is of the more expensive variety, and also, I could not decide which of the first three I could bear to switch out. [personal profile] denny assures me that the knowledge I have absorbed of Perl from poking around means that I can skip Learning Perl, which is good -- one less book to need to buy. I am sweating at the thought of the price, as it is. It's... urgh. It's a lot of money.

But guys, guys, I just bought books. Eeeeh. I hit the buy button and everything and they're now on their way!

(I've been tempted to buy these books before, and have them shipped to my country, but the price of world-wide shipping for three books is $39.48, almost as much as another book! "Almost", here, being a difference of 50 cents)

Anyway, anyway, I'm just so happy and excited. It's the first time that I've tried to order a book from overseas. I have a few technical books which I scavenged from a sale (also my textbooks that I bought for my university courses *grin* I should go look at the Unix Network Programming one again, for kicks), but on the whole I have too few books related to my field. This is the first time I'm buying a technical book that I actively hunted for/want/need, instead of just stumbled upon.

My face right now: ^_________^

Vacation!

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 10:23 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
So, I'm going out of town the next four days, to spend half a week at Fort Ilocandia, which apparently is very pretty and luxurious and has stuff like jet-skiing and parasailing and archery and other stuff you can't get here (wind and sand and sea and nature and stuff).

I am terrible at taking vacations, by the way. I just spent today stressing over finishing code for work, because I hadn't finished enough to justify to myself skipping Monday through Wednesday of next week relaxing ("relaxing"). Though it's better to stress before the vacation, than during or after? I'm about to resume coding for work after this, but took a quick break to pack my bag.

Packing two books: Dragonfire by Charles Ashton, and Snare by Katherine Kerr. Should I swap one of them out for Ellen Kushner's Thomas the Rhymer, or Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar, or DWJ's Unexpected Magic? Or maybe I should bring Wicked instead, since it's already tattered, from the time I lent it to my brother's friend. I'm gone four days; two books had better be enough! (Maybe I should bring three?)

I'm actually in the middle of the first book of Abarat, but I don't want to bring it because first book is glossy (and therefore heavy). Second book is hardbound (and therefore heavier).

Oh hmm what else do I need? Clothes, probably. Must not forget that. Ummm, money, too. Not bringing the laptop, but am bringing the iPhone. Also going to try to bring a bit of self-discipline so I don't end up spending the next four days hunched over my phone, trying to connect to the internet.

Place looks good enough to have assorted toiletries in the room? I'm bringing a towel anyway, for the beach.

Hm. Hm. Hm.

I hope I didn't forget anything.

ETA Oh yes, need to turn off changenotify, otherwise I'll be spammed with emails for things I can't help out with anyway.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Just finished reading DUST by Elizabeth Bear. Damn brilliant.

(And now is a good time to have picked it up, because another book should be coming within the year).

Books, books!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 09:04 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] habeo just gave me an amazing Christmas present: a 10% discount card for Fully Booked! It's even better than actually giving me a book, because I get to pick out the book(s) myself, and going through a bookstore is an experience all its own. Especially now that I have money. Mmm, money. Mmmmmm, books!

Got lost in the bookstore and ended up going through the generic fiction area first, where one book caught my eye: The Food Taster by Peter Elbing. Was intrigued by the title, the setting, and the description of it as "a sparkling tale of love, intrigue, and dodgy food". Sounds like it could potentially be delicious.

I next went through the YA section, which tends to have cheaper but very fun books, then went down to the sci-fi/fantasy section.

From the YA, I picked out a couple of books by Diana Wynne Jones (Castle in the Air, House of Many Ways, The Merlin Conspiracy) and Gaiman's M is for Magic -- both of them are authors I've read before and trust. I also picked up Charles de Lint's The Dreaming Place, because it caught my eye. I feel like I should know this author; name is vaguely familiar, but I cannot place him!

Initially had a few more books lined up from this section, but decided to go back for them another time (and there will be another time), after I got to the counter and realized I may not have enough to pay.

One of those I left behind was the Bartimaeus trilogy, because I remembered someone telling me something about it, but I forgot if it was good or bad, so I decided to go home and do my research first. Septimus Flynt series caught my eye, but they didn't have the first book, and I wasn't sure if it was good. I also almost bought Coraline. What stopped me was that there was a much cheaper edition in YA, and another edition in the non-YA fantasy section, which cost almost twice as much. I wasn't sure which one I should get. I wanted to get the cheaper one, but was worried it might have been simplified for younger readers; didn't want to risk it.

Ohh, and we found a parents' guide to Harry Potter, which (from the admittedly brief scanthrough I gave it) was full of itself explaining how to take away moral lessons from the series. The very existence of the book makes me sad.

I could have stayed in the YA section longer, but there was still the sci-fi/fantasy section and it was almost time to go home, so we headed to the first floor. I knew a few more authors in this section than I had in YA.

Got the fourth Temeraire book, by Naomi Novik (though, leafing through it now, I don't really remember what is going on. I may need to reread the first three). Two books by Ellen Kushner -- Thomas the Rhymer, The Privilege of the Sword, because I vaguely recall one of my friends recommending her. A book, Snare by Katharine Kerr, because I keep seeing her name/Deverry, but I wanted to try her first (standalone novel) before committing to buy what seems to be her three or so series set in the same world. Dragon Fire by Charlie Ashton, which I know nothing about, but it caught my eye and it's an omnibus edition (three-in-one), so I figured I'd try it.

Three books by Elizabeth Bear! Recognized her name from a friend's recs, and from Shadow Unit (which I haven't read yet but seems cool): Hell and Earth and Blood and Iron, both novels of the Promethean Age, and Dust which I think is a standalone. Windhaven by George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle (saw while trying to see if there was a new book in the ASoIaF series -- no there isn't, which I knew since I would have heard from my friends otherwise, but...). And finally Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber, which I got because the summary caught my eye (swashbuckling! Giant barbarian warrior and master thief! Most of the stories I've seen involving thieves have been good) and it had a blurb by Gaiman on it. Normally, I hate blurbs*, but this seemed to be an unusually sincere blurb from an author I respect.

* Tell me what the book is about, not who read it. How hard is that?

I'm wondering if I should have picked up some Tanya Huff. Her name sounds familiar, but I can't remember if I have ever read anything by her. Meant to get the Kushiel series, but I forgot which book (singular) I already have. May go back for it at some other time, but I had no money for another book. Literally had only forty pesos in my pocket after everything.

I bought 16 books in total, about 5.5k pesos. Bye money, mmmmmmm books!

You know, I just realized I was so busy in 2008, I did not finish a single book, at least not in dead-tree form, though I did manage to go through a few books on my computer That... is a very sad realization. This year I am definitely going to change that.

My loot )

PS. I would kill for a public library in the Philippines with a decent selection of books. Or at least, severely MAIM.