Booking Through Thursday – Mark-Downs and Mark-Ups

This week on BTT:

Does the price of a book affect your decision about buying it? Do you wait for cheaper editions of books you want?

Yes, I rarely buy books new. The majority of my books are used books from school or charity sales. If I do buy a new book, it is often from a book overstock site. If I do buy a book completely new (say from Amazon), it is usually a treat to myself such as a birthday or Christmas gift. I almost never buy hardcover books new (unless they are cookbooks) and try to wait for the paperback edition.

Bonus BTT from last week:

Do you write in your books? Highlight? Make notes? Or do you like to keep your copies as pristine as possible?

Pristine as possible. I have never really had the habit of highlighting or writing in books, textbook or otherwise. I usually buy used books or give my books away when I am finished with them. I like books that move between people so I keep them as untarnished as possible.

It bothers me a lot when I find people write or highlight in library books though. Sometimes, it can be amusing if they are correcting grammar, but usually it’s not.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

I review this book as a fan of the show and movie. To read and appreciate this book, you must have watched some of the “Veronica Mars” show and definitely the recent movie. I was never a huge fan of the show in the sense I was not vocal about it, but I loved the first season. I grew to adore some of the characters. When the Kickstarter for the movie was announced, I became excited. In summary, I was satisfied with the movie. It was not perfect, but it made me excited like when I had first watched the first season.

This novel takes place two months after the movie and it continues Veronica Mars’s return to Neptune. Veronica spends a lot of the novel with her best friends Mac and Wallace, her father Keith and a couple of returning characters. The novel felt true to the spirit to the characters and reminded me of an episode of the show.

The book is darker though. There are more F words, scary scenes, and suspense. I liked it though. It’s not the best written book ever, but it has my favourite characters and it was entertaining and a quick read. There was not enough Logan, but I did not mind. I think the new difficulty in the relationship is much more realistic and enjoyable for me than to watch their trust issues play out ad-nauseaum like it did in the final season of the show.

The audiobook is narrated by Kristen Bell and she does a pretty good impression of her best friends too. It’s fun hearing the book read by the lead actress of the show.

Recommended to all my fellow marshmallows.

Read March 30, 2014.

Sunday Salon – Veronica Mars

Sunday Salon

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I did a Salon post or even blog. I have been very busy this month: ran my 10km, celebrated a birthday, worked a lot, socialized, and worked out.

The last week was rough as I injured myself so am resting my leg and a bunch of other silly annoying things happened. I’m glad it was done with. Yesterday, I ended it by watching the new Veronica Mars movie. I really enjoyed it and

Today, I went to hot yoga and rewatched the movie and read some fanfiction. I couldn’t resist. I remember watching the show for the first time eight years. It reminded me how addictive I found it. I also downloaded the Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line ebook and audiobook. I’m listening to it now. I’ll put up a review of the book when I’m done. I’ll probably devour the ebook at some point.

I have not been reading very much this month either. I’ve been too busy doing the aforementioned activities. I’ve lost some reading mojo as well. I really need to start my Classics Spin novel: Kim by Rudyard Kipling. Will tonight be the evening?

Hopefully I can read and blog more in April. I know I won’t be blogging in May because I will be in China. I will not be taking my laptop. I’ve loaded my Kindle though and bought a new camera lens.

Now back to some books. Have a great end of March!

Sorry! The English and their Manners by Henry Hitchings

This book was difficult to finish. I did not warm to the style and it dragged. I can not pinpoint why exactly since I love social history books. The author has a meandering style and this is usually fine for me as I myself have meandering mind. The book brushes only the tip of the matter on some subjects. Perhaps the subject matter was too broad.

I did learn a couple of neat things as I should with a nonfiction history book, but I was not engaged when reading this book. I found myself wandering off mentally. The book reminds me of Bill Bryson’s Home and Kate Fox’s Watching the English which Hitchins references several times. I found the latter too more better written and focussed. I recommend the latter too if you’re interested in social history and England.

I feel like I am in a reading funk and minor rut. Hopefully the next books are better.

Read March 2-8, 2013.

Booking Through Thursday – Young Censorship

BTT this week:

I read an interesting blog post from the YA author A.S. King the other day that touched on censorship—especially as it pertains to young adult books.

Here’s an excerpt, but really, you should go read the whole thing because it’s fascinating:

I don’t know about you, but quiet censorship freaks me out. It’s the censorship that’s spoken over tea, over lunch, at random times when we are not prepared to answer because we are caught so off-guard that we really only think about what was said on the plane home. Last year I was asked to be on a censorship panel as an “expert.” I had to reply and say I was not an expert at official challenges. So far, my books haven’t had an official challenge as far as I know. Instead, I get embarrassed looks from dedicated librarians who whisper, “My principal won’t let me have that one in the stacks.” I have quiet un-invitations. I have quiet conversations with saddened teachers who tell me that a colleague said, “But you’re not going to actually give that book to students, are you?” I get quiet letters from devoted teachers who apologize for not being able to share my book with a student who needs it because of a fear of losing their job. Ah quiet. It is usually an indication that something really important is being withheld. Like the way we whisper cancer.

I think most of us are probably against censorship on principle, but … do you think it should vary depending on the impressionable age of the readers? Or is it always wrong? How about the difference between ‘official’ censorship by a government or a school system, as opposed to a parent saying No to a specific book for their child?

This is the kind of topic you write essays and theses about. It covers not only official government censorship, but the issue of parenting. Every parent has the right to teach and raise their child the way they want as long as the child suffers no harm. Often, we can not agree with how a parent chooses to expose it, but where am I to say what someone allows their children to learn? I just hope parents do not let their children live in ignorance and intolerance.

I had no book censorship as a child. As an immigrant, I knew the English language best. I transitioned into adult books at around age 12. I would still read Young Adult novels in high school, but I was increasingly reading more adult books. My own school library had a lot of new, literary adult books. These books were not scandalous.

Books are tools and sources for learning. I think a young person can learn a lot about adults and the world through stories and controversial topics. In my humble opinion, they are better at outlining these issues than TV or movies. I think books open minds in every way so I do not think there is a hard and fast rule about when or how you can censor books for children.

I do think parents and other adults can offer advice to children on what they can read. Some children are more mature than others, but I think some stories and books are better for certain periods in people’s lives. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but more if the reader can appreciate or relate to the subject matter. I tailor my recommendations to my friends, and I would do the same for my child if I had one.

This was a long answer. What are your thoughts on it?

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

This book has been on my to read this for a couple years now. It was featured in a book club show that I enjoyed and sounded intriguing. I largely forgot about it, but managed to pick it up again the last few months.

The writing is dry. Very dry. It’s clipped and not overly descriptive. It takes a bit of getting use to or maybe that was because I hadn’t read a novel in over a month when I picked t up.

The novel is about two hit men in the old west. It is violent. It is also quite sad at times. The descriptions and writing about the horses pained me the most. On the other hand, there was some extremely dry and dark humour which made me laugh a couple of times. I have a dry and deadpan sense of humour too.

I definitely think the book had its moments verging on beauty. The ending left me a bit dissatisfied though as it is the sort of ending that just happens. It leaves you wondering about the characters afterwards. There were moments where I did not feel very engaged to the story. I would not recommend it to a lot of people I know since the style is very distinct. I did not mind it, but I did not like this book as much as I had hoped.

February 26-27 2014.

Booking Through Thursday – Fanfiction

Sponsored post: Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because you don’t want to become like Shia LaBoeuf.

From BTT this week:

What do you think of fanfiction? In general—do you think it’s a fun thing or a trespass on an author/producer’s world? And of course, obviously specific authors have very firm and very differing opinions about this, yet it’s getting more popular and more mainstream all the time. Do you ever read or write it yourself?

Yes, I’ve read a lot of fanfiction. In fact, a couple years ago, one of the habits I’ve had to cut down on is reading less fanfiction. Much like tv show marathons or Youtube videos, I can easily find hours flying away if I find a good fanfics.

In general, I think it’s fun and I’ve read some brilliant and fantastic fanfiction over the years. In the early 2000s, I was apart of the Harry Potter fandom to the point where I beta read/edited for at least 2-3 fanfic authors. I even tried writing it myself briefly. For me, the easiest way to enjoy a fandom whether it is from a movie, tv show or book is to read the fanfiction.

There are an increasing number of published authors who started out writing fanfiction. EL James of Fifty Shades is just one example. Cassandra Claire of the City of the Bones series wrote Harry Potter fanfiction. I see a lot parallels from her published series from her original works. Whether they deserve it or not, I am glad when authors can get published after having “fun” in fanfic. I believe it can be a good writing exercise.

Then again, I am not an author so I have no real opinion on what it is like to know my stories and characters are being played with. I rather not know about it, but I think a lot of art becomes more than the creator. I think fanfic is largely harmless and actually enhances a fan’s experience of the work. It’s only plagiarism if the fanfic author rips entire plotlines, dialogues or shows a flagrant disregard for intellectual property. Fandoms are also very good at spotting authors who plagiarise other fanfic authors.

What is your view on fanfiction?

Filofax Pens and More

Filofax Update

This is a continution of my Filofax Malden Setup and Updates posts just covering the pens I use and other tips I like.

As with some other Filofaxers, I bought one of these Passport Holder organisers which really do fit a lot of pens and random post-its and stickers. I am not one of those Filofaxers who decorate their planner; it’s just not for me. I do like the occasional sticker and sticky note though. I use the organiser to hold some of my favourite pens and stickers though. Unseen here is another box full of old and current refills I am not using and other stickers.

Let’s talk about pens! Continue reading →

Filofax Malden Setup and Updates

Filofax Update

From Top to Bottom: Mini Chameleon in Red, Pocket Finsbury in Yellow (more mustard than it appears here), Personal Malden in Vintage Pink, A5 Malden in Ochre

It’s been more than half a year since I got my first Filofax, and I have been very satisfied with my Personal Malden. I do not really use the A5 Malden or the Mini Chameleon. The latter has been used on a couple occasions as a wallet, and I would use it more as a wallet if Filofax made card holders for the mini size. I love the colour, but I am not sure what I will do with it in the long run. The A5 is just waiting to be my next personal journal.

Here’s a long update on how I am using the Personal Malden. Continue reading →

Sunday Salon: February Blues

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone!

I have not been reading very much lately. I’ve been too busy and tired to read most days. Some readers like to read to unwind, but I am really active and like a book to take me away for hours and hours. Time of which I do not have lately.

As for my book of today, I am still undecided. I could read my Classics Spin book (Kim by Rudyard Kipling), but I think I will err on my two pile of library books. Goodness, I am glad I have not bought any fiction for awhile. I’m trying to hold out until June as well.

One of my reading goals this year is to read more out loud. I think it’s an interesting exercise as it could help improve my public speaking and normal conversation. It seems a lot of words and stories were written to be read out loud such as poetry. I hope to do more of that this year.

Knitting: Haven’t started. The chart is the most complicated one I’ve encountered yet. I gave up colour coding it. I think I will cast on today or this week to get it started.

In terms of fitness, I signed up for a 10KM next month. I don’t have the proper time to train for it and complete it to the best I could. I am running more though. This week, I ran 6k and 5k. Perhaps by the time the race arrives, I can do that three times a week. Swimming is not going as well as I would like. I can just barely front float and glide. No actual swimming to be done yet. I’ll be glad when the snow starts melting so I can ride my bike again and run more without muddy shoes.

This weekend, I watched season 2 of “House of Cards” which I enjoyed even more than S1. You can see my review of House of Cards season 1 and a review of the British series.

What are you doing this weekend?

FO Friday: Antifreeze

IMG_2093Last summer, I started riding my bike for the first time in over 15 years. I really enjoyed it as I commuted to work. As the weather got colder, so did my face! I am not even a fast cyclist and quite slow really. I still need something to protect my face on early morning bike rides. I also thought it would could double as a running balaclava.

As with others on Ravelry, I was not that satisfied with the face opening or shaping. I tried to modify it, but it was still too big. I would have tried to make the face hole even smaller except I was running out of yarn. I quickly did a round of single rib to finish it off. I did like the addition of the strap holes and instead of two pigtail holes, I put one ponytail in the back.
Continue reading →

Orphan Black

It’s harder for me to write about a show I love because it’s hard to find fault with things you love. Objectively, I know this show is not the smoothest at times and it’s not for everyone. For me, I was engrossed with this little series. I’m excited for the premiere of season two in April.

As follows are ten reasons why I liked this show:

Continue reading →

This entry was posted in TV.