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Category: Books

Andy Weir

May 30th, 2021 — 10:43pm

Went to a park and had a very nice chat with a friend this morning. Beautiful breezy sunny day! Saw a hummingbird sitting in her nest right above my head. In the afternoon I started Andy Weir‘s new novel, “Project: Hail Mary”. So good!

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May 4th, 2021 — 7:13pm

Today I felt, I don’t know, better? I didn’t cry at all. I feel lighter. Not in a Pit of Despair. Maybe not exactly cheerful, but heading in that direction. It helps that Spring is finally here, after weeks and weeks of nonstop gray gloom. It was sunny today and yesterday, and warm enough that I can have my window open without needing wool socks and a shawl.

This morning I took Em (niece, age 7) to the craft store for hot glue sticks and air-dry clay. She’s modding a knock-off My Little Pony, clever girl.

Did I mention that we went to the library last week? I got five books, of which three were great and one was readable. Only threw one down in a huff. Lol. Pretty good ratio! The good ones were _The Downstairs Neighbor_ by Helen Cooper, _The Children’s Blizzard_ by Melanie Benjamin, and _A World Beneath the Sands: The Golden Age of Egyptology_ by Toby Wilkinson (not finished with that one yet. It’s dense). I recommend all three!

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Beverly Cleary

April 5th, 2021 — 8:52am

Look at me, writing another post so soon! Thank you, Trevor, for leaving me such a nice comment on yesterday’s post. Glad you enjoyed Gatsby!

Beverly Cleary died a few days ago. She was 104! One of those cases of “wow, she was still alive??” I wish I had written her a thank-you note 40 years ago. I never cared much for Ramona, though I know she is loved by nearly everyone. The Ramona books stressed me out. I was happier reading about Beezus and Henry. And I LOVED the teenage books. I must have read “Sister of the Bride” and “The Luckiest Girl” a hundred times. Our library didn’t have “Jean and Johnny” or “Fifteen” when I was a kid, but I read them in my twenties and loved them too. When I head about Beverly’s death I downloaded allll the Henry Huggins books and all four teenage books so I can do a big re-read. I started with The Luckiest Girl, which is just as great as I remembered, and then Fifteen which is also very enjoyable. I love how the heroine’s thoughts spin out of control with every turn of events. So real, so relatable.

6 comments » | Blog, Books


January 13th, 2020 — 10:01am

I’m still sick but on the mend. I think maybe I don’t have a headache right now, for the first time in days. It’s just the stupid cough that lingers and lingers and lingers. My lungs are so messed up that with every coughing fit I feel like I might pass out. Ah well. I never had a sore throat with this one so it’s all good.

My reading-tracker app (iReadItNowHD) broke in iOS 13 and I’m tired of waiting for the guy to fix it, so over the last few days, when not napping or coughing, I’ve been manually entering alllllllll my reading data into I do not like goodreads — I’ve been avoiding it for years. So many ads; ugly, cluttered, clunky interface. ALL I WANT in a reading tracker is to be able to keep track of what I read and when I read it, a wishlist, and the ability to bookmark my current book in either page numbers or a percentage. But one small independent iPhone app after another keeps going belly-up (first Readmore, then iReadItNowHD) so I guess I’ll just switch over to goodreads and be done with it.

If you want to find me there and be all social that’s cool. I’m Kara Shallenberg:

Not sure why goodreads has decided that I’m an author. Someone must have put me in as a librivox narrator and it got confused? Anyway if you scroll down past the books I didn’t write (dracula, etc.) you’ll get to my actual data, like what I’m currently reading. Two of them (Standard Deviation and Because Internet) are instant re-reads because I loved them so much the first time!

6 comments » | Blog, Books

The Libby App!

August 2nd, 2019 — 10:24am

Time for a post that isn’t about quilts and my health :) I need to tell you something amazing I discovered a few weeks ago!

There’s an app called Libby.

Install, help it find your library, and enter your library card info.

And then BOOM you can check out ebooks and audiobooks right there, instantly. You can listen to the audiobooks right in the app, with a well-designed little player whose features include offline play, bookmarks, easy scrubbing forward and back through the book, and a sleep timer.

If you want to read with your eyeballs, you can read in the app or — get this — you can have your book DELIVERED TO YOUR KINDLE INSTANTLY. I don’t like reading on my phone, which is what has stopped me from checking out library ebooks in the past, so this is thrilling to me!

The Libby app lets you filter your search in sensible ways. You can search by genre. You can search for audiobooks, ebooks, or both. You can search for titles that are available to check out instantly, or ones which are already checked out to someone else, in which case you can put a hold on the item and it will be checked out for you automatically (with an email notification) when the item becomes available.

I tell you, it is such luxury to think, hmm, I’d like to listen to a new crime thriller, let’s see what there is… and then 3 minutes later I’m listening while I sew. Or thinking, hmm, I’ve never read “The Devil Wears Prada”, I wonder if it’s on Libby? And then three minutes later I’m reading it on my kindle.

I installed the app on 6yo Em’s iPad and helped her to find picture books to read and kids’ audiobooks to listen to.

Of course, the selection is limited. It’s not EVERYTHING you can get physically at your library. But I don’t check out physical audiobooks at all, because I don’t own any kind of cd player, so this is the only way I’ve found to get free modern audiobooks. Librivox is awesome but sometimes you want to hear something that was published later than 1923 :)

Through Libby I discovered a fantastic police procedural series by Elizabeth George, starring Inspector Lynley and his pals. I’ve been listening to them non-stop for weeks :) They’re well-written, and very long (like, around 25 hours of audio each). They are perfect for bedtime listening too — not gory or scary, interesting without being too exciting. Just right to help my tired brain fall asleep, and of course I drop a bookmark when I go to bed, so in the morning I can back up to that point and not miss anything. There are 20 novels in the series so far, so if you like ’em as much as I do you’re set for a long time. I prefer the ones narrated by Donada Peters, which is most of them.

Oh! Also I recently listened to “Heartburn” by Nora Ephron. I think I found it on the “humor” shelf. It was read by Meryl Streep!!! She is an absolutely amazing narrator, and the book was great too. While I was listening, I thought, huh, this dialogue really reminds me of When Harry Met Sally. And then I found out that Nora Ephron wrote When Harry Met Sally :)

3 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog, Books

November 23, 2011

November 23rd, 2011 — 10:23am

Anne McCaffrey has gone between.

Dragonsong and Dragonsinger were my favorites. They made a huge impression on me when I first read them as a 10-year-old (I still re-read them every few years). Menolly was a wonderfully real girl — brave enough to run away and live Holdless for the sake of her music, but as shy and insecure as I was.

Thanks, Anne.

4 comments » | Blog, Books

Reading in German

November 13th, 2010 — 2:14pm

I’m quite proud of myself because I have just read an entire novel in German: “Klassensprecherin Dolly” by Enid Blyton. I’ve read a lot of other stuff in German over the years — chapters of this and that, short stories, and even half of Alice in Wonderland for LibriVox (Elli read the other half), but never a whole novel from beginning to end. And Enid Blyton is unknown here, so I wasn’t even familiar with the story or characters. Our library has NONE of her books in English, though she is a British author! They only have a few German translations in storage. Hilarious.


Yes, it’s “just” a kids’ book… but still it was quite an accomplishment for me! And very fun, as well. I’ve always loved boarding-school stories. And I was just delighted when Dolly gave horrible Irmgard a good shaking!

Now I’m in the middle of “Balletschuhe” by Noel Streatfeild, which I’ve read before in English, of course, so that helps quite a lot. But I think Streatfeild’s writing style is a bit more complex than Blyton’s.

3 comments » | Blog, Books

The Cazalets

June 27th, 2010 — 10:49am

Grandma knows I love BBC costume dramas, and she recommended The Cazalets, so I got the first disk from netflix and watched last week. Really liked it! As usual, there were lots of actors whom I recognized from other BBC things :) I did a little internet searching and discovered that the BBC series was based on the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard: The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, and Casting Off. I sent for The Light Years from my library and read it in three days — could not put it down. (Because I use the lovely “Readmore” app on my iPhone, I happen to know that it took me 7.3 hours of reading in 13 sessions over 3 days, heheh.)

It was just the sort of book I love: a big complicated family, lots of aunts and uncles and cousins, their servants, all the little details of relationships and family life, etc., set against a historical background (pre-WWII England, in this case). Every character seemed real to me, but I thought the author was particularly good at writing the children and teenagers. I can’t wait to find out what happens next. I don’t know which will get here first — the next book or the next disk of the miniseries, but either one will make me drop everything else.

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Sprichst Du Deutsch?

April 21st, 2010 — 3:29pm

Would you like to help create a public domain German translation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “A LIttle Princess”? Elli and I are finishing up with Chapter 1, and we’re ready to start Chapter 2:

Vielen Dank!

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German speakers needed!

April 16th, 2010 — 12:12pm

Dear German speakers, would you like to help me with a translation project? I want to create a public domain German translation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “A Little Princess” , so I’ve set up the first chapter on Bite-Size Edits: Translation into German of A Little Princess, Chapter 1, “Sara” (link edited out; chapter 1 is done!)
It will feed you one sentence at a time, with the previous and next sentences for context. There are a few very simple sentences that I can translate myself, which is fun, and my friend Elli, who is a native German speaker and also speaks flawless English, will help smooth everything out.

To prevent random strangers from bumping into the project and editing rather than translating it, I’ve made it visible only to my contacts. So if you’d like to help, please make an account at Bite-Size Edits and then ask it to make me (username: kayray) your contact, and I’ll OK you right away.

Vielen Dank!

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Betsy-Tacy has been reprinted!

October 10th, 2009 — 12:46pm

Harper Collins has recently re-published the High School books from the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace, hooray! I have adored these books since I was a little girl, and I still re-read them every year or so.


Maud based all the books on her own childhood and high school experiences in the early 20th century. Nearly every character in her books has a real-life counterpart (Betsy is real-life Maud, Betsy’s best friend, Tacy, is real-life Bick, etc.) Maud had a very happy childhood and a loving, supportive family so the books are very warm and cozy, though never sticky-sweet, and Betsy certainly does have problems of her own. Hair that won’t curl on its own and teeth parted in the middle. Being asked to the school dance by the wrong boy. Oh, that herbarium! And wretched Gaston and the rosy apple blossoms! And why won’t Joe Willard join their Crowd??

In an attempt to recruit some new readers and help these lovely new editions sell well, the publisher sent free copies of the first book, the combined “Heaven to Betsy” and “Betsy in Spite of Herself”, to members of a Betsy-Tacy fan email list of which I am a member. We’re divided into two societies, just as the kids in Betsy’s high school are — the Philomathians and the Zetamathians. (I was randomly assigned to be a Philo – go Philos! We have all the cutest boys and sweetest girls!) We’re competing to see which team can recruit the most new readers. The winning team gets an inscribed paving stone outside Betsy’s (Maud’s) childhood home!

I sent my copy to a young friend in England. She’s 11, just the right age for the High School books, though I hope she’ll read the earlier books someday, too. I thought it would be fun for her to see a bit of our cultural history through Betsy’s eyes and get to be friends with Betsy, Tacy, Tib, Tony, Cab, Julia, Margaret, Mr. and Mrs. Ray, Anna, and everyone in Deep Valley. Her book arrived and she’s already reading it, and likes it! Hooray!

Here she is with her new book:

my friend with her new Betsy book

Hope you’re still enjoying it, my Scrabble-friend :) I’d love to discuss it with you!

These new editions are very fine. There is even extra material in the back taken from Sharla Whalen’s wonderful Betsy-Tacy Companion — biographical info and photos of Betsy/Maud’s family and friends, houses, schools, etc. Lots of fun! All three new books are on my Christmas list for sure.

Philo, Philo, Philomathains for the win!!

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I love this “Banned Books” display!

October 3rd, 2008 — 8:18am

banned books

The Twin Hickory Public Library, Glen Allen, VA, celebrates Banned Books Week! Shocking Literacy! Marvelous. (found this at

According to the American Library Association, more than 400 books were challenged in 2007. The 10 most challenged titles were:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
9. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Read a banned book! How about Huckleberry Finn?

3 comments » | Blog, Books

Dover Sampler

August 2nd, 2008 — 10:35am

I’ve been in love with Dover Publications since I was a little kid. The coloring books! The cheap reprints of classics! The antique needlework guides! The cut-and-makes! The paper dolls, oh, the paper dolls! I just found out that Dover has an online sampler service. Just give them your email address, and every week you get a link to a webpage full of sample book pages to download and print out. Today I got two coloring pages, one from a stained glass coloring book and another from “Art Masterpieces to Color”. If I had a color printer, I could have printed out a page of post-impressionist postcards and a page of fruit-crate labels. And if I liked Tom Tierney I could have printed a page of one of his paper doll books. There are also pages from a book of poetry, a book of mazes, a book of butterfly crafts, etc., etc.

Go here to sign up!

4 comments » | Blog, Books, Homeschooling

What I read in 2007

January 15th, 2008 — 1:57pm

We had a “Read One Book a Week in 2007” thread at LibriVox, so I actually kept track of nearly everything that I read last year. I didn’t literally read one book a week — some weeks I read several and some weeks I read none at all, but whatever, it added up to 52. A few things slipped through the cracks, but here are the 52 that I remembered to write down:

1. Holidays on Ice, by David Sedaris
2. The Christmas Store, by Ray Sipherd (not recommended)
3. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (Excellent!!!)(Jan. 9)
4. Castle, by David Macaulay (Jan. 5)
5. Cathedral, by David Macaulay (Jan. 9)
6 The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, by Eva Rice (Jan 11)
7. London is the Best City in America, by Laura Dave (Jan 18)
8. The Grey King, by Susan Cooper (Jan 29)
9. The Shepherd, The Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog, by Dave Barry (hilarious and touching) (Jan 31)
10. When Madeline Was Young, by Jane Hamilton (Amazing!) (Feb 3)
11. The Book of Ruth, by Jane Hamilton (feb)
12. Disobedience, by Jane Hamilton (excellent!!) (Feb)
13. Whose Body?, by Dorothy Sayers (librivox – excellent)(Feb)
14. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin (LibriVox) (March)
15: Gaudy Night, by Dorothy Sayers
16: Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy Sayers
17: The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy (LV, read by Gypsygirl) A rip-roaring adventure!
18: Something from the Oven
19: Summer People (meh)
20: Under Orders (Dick Francis, yay!)
21 Making History (Stephen Fry, yay!)
22: Revenge (Stephen Fry. This one interfered with my sleep)
23: Strawberry Girl (Lois Lenski)
24: Aran Knitting (Alice Starmore)
25: A Room with a View (E.M. Forster, recorded for LV)
26: San Francisco Boy (Lois Lenski)
27: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
28: Texas Tomboy (Lois Lenski)
29: Betsy and the Great World
30: Fever 1793 (Laurie Anderson, excellent YA historical fiction)
31: Murder at the Racetrack (short story collection)
32: little women next door (Sheila Klass)
33: Lady Susan (Austen, LV recording)
34: Brat Farrar (Josephine Tey)
35: No Need to Knead (Suzanne Dunaway)
36: Shopaholic and Baby (sophie kinsella)
37: One Third Off (Cobb, LV recording)
38: The Daughter of Time
39: Literacy and Longing in LA
40: Bagthorpes Abroad
41: Born on a Blue Day, by Daniel Tammet (excellent)
42: Make Him Look Good
43: The Four-Story Mistake, by Elizabeth Enright
44: Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes (loved it!!)
45: The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes (loveloveloved it!)
46: Sushi for Beginners, by Marian Keyes (awesome!)
47: Mad Dash, by Patricia Gaffney (very good!)
48: Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress
49: And Then There Were Five, by Elizabeth Enright
50: The Return of Sherlock Holmes (LV recording, HOT!!!)
51: A Little Princess (LV recording, Karen Savage, HOT!!!)
52: Being Committed, by Anna Maxted

And we’re all set to read a book a week in 2008!

6 comments » | Blog, Books

LibriVox has created 1000 free audiobooks!!!

October 30th, 2007 — 11:07pm

As of today, October 30, 2007, LibriVox has 1000 free, legal, volunteer-read, downloadable audiobooks.


We’ve been counting down to the thousandth book, having no idea at all what it would be. It turned out to be a recording of Edgar Allan Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue, read by a relatively new volunteer, Reynard (who is a fine reader with a delicious accent), and cataloged by a brand new admin, kmerline. It was her first cataloging job! Yay Reynard and kmerline!

Download LibriVox’s 1000th book here:

Way to go, LibriVox volunteers!!! Without each one of you, we wouldn’t have gotten where we are today.

Check our catalog. You’ll find lots more great books to listen to.

6 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog, Books

The Other Side of the Story

October 28th, 2007 — 4:27pm

I just finished The Other Side of the Story, by Marian Keyes. Great story! I loved it. I got all teary-eyed at the end. I hope I can find more Marian Keyes novels soon!

1 comment » | Blog, Books

Happy Banned Book Week!

October 3rd, 2007 — 10:16pm

Read a banned book!

Here’s a thingy I picked up from Amythyst’s Shiny Pebbles (she a fellow librivoxer and admin). It’s a list of the 100 most frequently challenged books in the US, 1990-2000, according to the American Library Association – that is, books that people have wanted to ban. Bold the ones you’ve read.

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine (at least, some of them)
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel(I think… Was that Clan of the Cave Bear? Ghastly thing…)
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood(didn’t finish, hated it, but still :)
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

That’s 26 for me. Which ones have you read?

7 comments » | Blog, Books


September 29th, 2007 — 3:21pm

I got the “your books are about to be due” email this morning, so I gathered them up and took myself to our wonderful library. I went to Trader Joe’s for salad things first so I didn’t want to stay too long at the library for fear of warm lettuce. But I grabbed five tempting books off the New Books shelf:

Make Him Look Good, by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
Born on a Blue Day, by Daniel Tammet
The Medici Giraffe, by Marina Belozerskaya
Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes
Ancestor Stones, by Aminatta Forna

Make Him Look Good looks like the worst of the bunch, so I started with that one while I ate my fruit and yogurt and granola. I figured it would either be a fluffy, soapy, fun little book, or completely unreadable. So far it’s leaning toward the former. I’m not sure which one I’ll read next. They all look really good so it’ll be hard to choose, but I think Born on a Blue Day might win. I find autism quite fascinating.

Edited to say: Right after I posted, I did start Born on a Blue Day and it’s great!

1 comment » | Blog, Books

random stuff

August 15th, 2007 — 8:45pm

Tired and headachy today. Here’s a post full of random thoughts and a small amount of griping.

I like BoingBoing a lot, and a few days ago I realized one reason why (besides the general wonderfulness of the items they post): no reader comments! Therefore, no posturing know-it-alls and flame wars to irritate me. Just links that the boingboing team finds interesting, take them or leave them. Nice.

Finished Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey, this afternoon. Marvelous book. I first read it years and years ago, when I was about Henry’s age. My sister Kathy recommended Tey to me, so every time I read a Tey novel I think of her!

Lying in bed listening to my “Benny and Fred” pandora station. Some of the songs I’ve heard this afternoon:

Artie Shaw, “These Foolish Things”
Glenn Miller, “Fools Rush In”
Benny Goodman, “I Know That You Know”
Count Basie, “Moten Swing”
Fred Astaire, “Cheek to Cheek”

I had to thumbs-down just a few drippy things. How I do love

Henry had a great time at Margaret’s park day today! He wanted to start up archery again so we got there early for the archery session. He, um, arched, for a solid hour and never once complained about the heat, AND said he loved it. Yay! Margaret is so awesome. She provides all the necessary equipment, careful supervision, and a bit of instruction for only $5/hour. And then Henry asked the big boys if he could join in on their RPG session, which always takes place on a big table in the shade while the younger kids play, and he had a fantastic time playing with them for two and a half hours while I read and rested and listened to Loveline on my iPod in the car. The rest of the moms sit in the shade and chat but I’d rather sit by myself in the quiet.

Travian is fun: Work on your resources first, before building or improving other things. You’ll need more wood, clay, and grain than iron at first, so focus on improving those resources.

I have a lot of photos to upload — Henry at the beach, Henry and Dan playing Starcraft, Henry shooting arrows, the beginning of a new pair of socks, but I don’t feel like dealing with them right now so you’ll have to wait.

I gave mom a computer help session today. Virtuous daughter, me. Now she knows how to download, find (!), and open a pdf. Yay mom!

I’m minding the LibriVox email while Hugh is out of town. I don’t know how he does it full-time and keeps his sanity. People sure do feel entitled to complain about any little thing that doesn’t suit them. Keep in mind that our audiobooks are entirely, 100% free, created by volunteers who pour their hearts into making recordings for anyone who wants to listen. We get complain after complaint — “I don’t like Reader X, why on earth do you let her read?” “I don’t like readers with foreign accents.” “Books written by English authors should only be read by English readers” “Books written by men should only be read by male readers” “Recording X has background noise, don’t you have any kind of quality control?” “I don’t like your catalog search page, it doesn’t work at all!” (The user was typing the author’s name into the title box. Oops!)

However — we also get some wonderfully kind and thoughtful email from listeners. A fellow thanking us for giving his 80-year-old visually-impaired dad books to listen to. Lots of people saying they can’t believe they’ve found such a great resource. Thank you, kind people, your email really helps counteract the complainers :) And of course we do want to know when files are chopped short in the middle or have permissions problems that make their tags uneditable!

What do the ants want? WHAT DO THEY WANT?????? They seem to just wander aimlessly around looking for the Ants’ Holy Grail, whatever that might be. I’m so used to picking them off of myself while I’m sleeping that it doesn’t even bother me anymore.

I like WebbAlert. It took me a little while to get used to her, um, enthusiasm, but now I like her just fine and enjoy the content!

9 comments » | Blog, Books, Tech

HP7 – finished

July 25th, 2007 — 8:06pm

Ahhhh. That was good. But I can’t talk about it because SOME PEOPLE who read my blog haven’t finished it yet and there’s no way I’m giving anything away.

Also found a good sorting quiz:

Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

(Ravenclaw was a close second: Hufflepuff – 15, Ravenclaw – 13, Gryffindor – 8, Slytherin – 8)

I enjoyed taking this quiz because the questions and answers weren’t all totally obvious. Usually you can tell which answer will lead to which house and it’s just annoying, but this one felt more real.

4 comments » | Blog, Books

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