Archive for January, 2011

Question for a Dedicated Reader

Posted January 25, 2011 By Jandy

While visiting my daughter in Oregon this weekend, I also got to know her girlfriend’s parents. I was asked:

Why do you read?

Not “why do you like to read?” or “what do you read” or “do you read fiction/nonfiction” or any related more specific questions. They wanted to understand me better. Instead, ponder this:

Why do you read?


Posted January 22, 2011 By Jandy

Side Jobs by Jim ButcherThis one tickles me. It’s from Jim Butcher’s wise cracking Harry Dresden:

“To give Molly credit, she might have been nervous, but she had learned the job of wheelman – sorry, political correctioners, wheelperson – fairly well.”

Political correctioners – that’s good.

From “It’s My Birthday Too” in Side Jobs

Edgar Mystery Awards

Posted January 19, 2011 By Jandy

The Mystery Writers of America released the finalists for the 2011 Edgar Awards today. The final list isn’t at the MWA site yet, but here’s the L.A. Times article.

Nope, I haven’t read any of the finalists. But I checked over the long list of nominations and found I had read some of those. At times I also said “I missed that author’s release…”

Even if I didn’t have Mt. Bookpile, and even if I didn’t read anything else, I still couldn’t have read all those books in the past year. It’s fun to check them out, though.

Ebook Disguises

Posted January 14, 2011 By Jandy

One of the complaints about reading an ebook is the different tactile experience. You can’t feel the pages or smell the paper or appreciate the weight or even quickly glance and see how far through a book you are.

When Barnes and Noble offered The Golden Age of Science Fiction: An Anthology of 50 Short Stories for $2, I jumped on it. I love science fiction. This anthology includes stories from authors 100 years ago (Jules Verne and HG Wells) through those still writing (Ben Bova). It was not on my By the End of 2010 Challenge, but it was close after.

I started it last week in the midst of chaos, thinking it would be an easy read. It is, but it’s deceptive. It has over 800 pages. The first story is not a short story but a novella that is around 175 pages (about 75 pages too long IMO after I finished it). I’m thoroughly enjoying the stories.

I have to chuckle when I’m reading some of the older ones (50’s and 60’s especially). These men are traveling through space and have whatever difficulties that they have to fix. More than one of them have whipped out their trusty slide rules to figure the higher math. One even had computers mentioned for navigation but the engineer still used his slide rule. Do people in the higher maths learn how to use a slide rule any more (in case of power failure)? Or is that now a museum piece?

Returning to the disguise. If I had the book in hardcopy, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up yet. With Mt. Bookpile so high, I tend to choose books w under 450 pages. But who can tell the size of an ebook until after you’ve opened it? You certainly can’t just by looking at the title on your ereader. The up side there? The ereader isn’t nearly as heavy as the book would be.

Best Of for 2010

Posted January 10, 2011 By Jandy

Once again I’ve been poking around. National Public Radio (NPR) has a webpage devoted to a group of “best of” by their different columnists. I glanced through all the different lists. I haven’t read any of them (although one has been on order and should arrive any day now). Many of them I haven’t heard of. I decided not to poke too much because I just don’t have the time. Check out the list:

Also, the major children and young adult awards for 2011 like the Caldecott and Newberry Awards were announced this past weekend at the ALA midwinter conference. You can fine those here:

By the End of 2010 Challenge

Posted January 1, 2011 By Jandy

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey
The Search by Nora Roberts
The Waters Rising by Sherri Tepper
Black Out and All Clear by Connie Willis
Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb
Secrets of Harmony Grove by Mindy Starns Clark
Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
The X Factor by Andre Norton
Something from the Nightside by Simon Green
Blood Rites by Barry Nazarian
Side Jobs by Jim Butcher
Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien
Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop by Otto Penzler

Actually I did pretty good. Of the original list, I still have three and one half books left. Then I added three books and read two of those. So I’m only one and a half books from my original goal if you count numbers.

The hardest part about this challenge was talking myself out of grabbing something else. I wanted (still do) to read these. But I also wanted to read other books on my shelves (like the Charles Martin novels I borrowed from my daughter over a year ago). Plus I’ve added a couple books to my Nook. A friend lent me The Girl Who Played With Fire that I plan to read this month. Then there are the series books I’m reading that I borrow from the library.

In other words, the list goes on and on.

Should I challenge myself again this year? I haven’t decided. I can find all sorts of reading challenges through my friend Shree. Who knows?