Like I said on the last Lunch Break Interlude barely two weeks ago. It never fails that if I post a regular update something else awesome comes along that I want to share. So lucky for you dear blogging world I don’t have a set schedule!
After all the hullabaloo (aka my What about Anne Brontë? series here, here and here) I realized I didn’t have any clue where my copies of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are and I tried to find three editions of those two and any Anne novel but couldn’t find separate editions Instead I splurged and spent most of my remaining Amazon gift cards from Christmas/Birthday on a nicer collection and a gift for Tom to the right. The book contains Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey.
On a completely different note, and the REAL reason for this post, last week Claire over at Word by Word (direct link to the post) posted about Tagxedo. Tagxedo is an awesome program you can enter a blog address or any amount of text and it will create a designed tag cloud for you. Mine is below.
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The (not very exciting) Back Story
A little over a month ago someone filled out my Recommend a Book form. I didn’t think anything of it as mostly the recommendations I get are from Tom and Alie telling me to read the Twilight series, or my own entries reminding me of titles I want to look into.
However, this time I was wrong. I’d received a REAL book recommendation and not just any book recommendation, but an offer of an Advance Reader’s Copy. Not knowing 100% what this meant I scoured my brain because I’d read mention of them on a blog before and I was correct. Thanks to Bev and her review policy over at My Reader’s Block, I was able to figure out a few things (with her kind help answering some random questions by email), I decided to go for it. So I contacted Christine at Henry Holt and Company and within two weeks my very first Advance Reader’s Copy of a novel arrived in my mailbox.
I believe Christine recommended the book, The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen*, because of my multiple Emma Donoghue reviews; and since the book received a cover quote from Emma Donoghue and had a child narrator and reminded me of a cross between Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and Zaddie Smith’s White Teeth, I thought why not give it a go (there were also mentions of similarities to Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges are not the Only Fruit). I will post my review of the novel tomorrow afternoon and get to these comparisons and my thoughts.
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We interrupt your regularly scheduled…— ”Regularly scheduled,” what’s that?
I’ve done this once before, “way back” in August, and thought it was time for another quick one as I had so much new info to share that I didn’t want to wait until the next monthly update. Aside from my lack of humor, I’ve been busy with Thanksgiving and work, but I wanted to give a quick update with a few notables. (This may end up being my December update, if I’m too busy/lazy to actually post one).
- The blog has gone through yet another re-design (as in I clicked the change theme button – and it was hard work), partially because I wanted to create a banner at the top – so check out the main page: www.geoffwhaley.com.
- I started a photoblog: The Journal of the Movement of the World. It was inspired by all the 365 Photo a Day challenges, plus the title comes from another book! I’m probably most excited about the archives page because of the collective look at all the photos over time. [Update 01.27.12 - temporarily suspended until I can actually put some time into it. More than one blog was overwhelming.]
- Last week I attended the Somerville Public Library book group Books into Movies and it was interesting. We read Friday Night Lights and I’ll have a review posted by Wednesday at the latest. (I haven’t quite finished reading it yet.) Next month is Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I’m excited about re-reading especially before the Hollywood version of the film comes out.
- I splurged on books again this past Saturday, but don’t feel too guilty as I was supporting a local business on Small Business Saturday. I’ll have that list in the December monthly update.
And to close this brief interlude of your day, my friend Alie (not a blogger yet) went on a trip to Italy over Thanksgiving and brought back this awesome photo to the left. It is of the Italian promotional sign for Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance. I particularly like the other book signs in the back which show it’s definitely not in an English-speaking country, in case you missed the yellow strip across the top.
I love seeing international covers and foreign language editions of novels I’ve read. I actually have versions of Harry Potter in French and Spanish as well as complete British and American collections of the seven novels and the Tales of Beedle the Bard. At one point I had a British copy of one of the Dan Brown novels because I was stuck in the airport long enough to need a new book, but no idea where that went.
Today has not been the most productive of days. I’ve gotten a decent amount of work done in the office, but I’m just not motivated. In hopes of motivating myself I thought I’d take a few minutes to share a neat photo found online and my two newest book additions and neat finds on my random Tuesday off this week.
I randomly stumbled across this rather ingenious photo on a 404 missing page at Scribd. It really does sum up what I feel like when I’m trying to find my next book to read unless something serendipitously comes along and suggests what I should read next. For example, I am currently reading Madame Bovary as I missed a trivia question about the story and then realized French literature is woefully lacking in my life (I believe I’ve only ever read Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo and that was in High School)!
The second photo I took of the random things I bought while driving my sister up to Keene, NH for grad school (so it wasn’t that random, but of all days to take off in a week Tuesday really turned me around). There was a Borders still open so I went in to see if the sales were any better than those Boston had when they closed all our stores. The sales were minutely better (but the staff if-possible even more rude) and I splurged and bought a copy of The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen, which I’ve read before and heard him speak and loved it (and him), and a combined A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for $11.00 total (saving like $36.00 or so. I also went to Target and bought some deodorant (I wouldn’t share this generally, but it was a double pack for $3.99 and a regular stick is $4.56 on its own!) and two neat Moleskine notebooks for $3 and a Green whiteboard/corkboard for my cubicle for $5.00.
And a final picture of my lovely corkboard hanging up in the office:
Also, last week I got my copies of The English Patient, Waiting for Snow in Havana, and Fun Home in preparation for the Boston Book Festival! I’m very excited to re-read Fun Home and even more excited to finally read the first two which have been on my book list for over three years!
As you may have guessed from my fairly obvious title, I got a Kindle. I’m sure it had something to do with my blog post (July Update) including Tom’s cameo (among other things) or Tom’s rekindled, notice I didn’t say new, appreciation for books. He gave me a gift certificate to Amazon for 2/3 of the kindle because I didn’t want him to pay for all of it. It was a bit of a decision because I could have gotten 20-25 used books easily, but I really did want a Kindle so I bought it.
It arrived last Saturday and I immediately uploaded 25 books, three I paid for including The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson, and the rest were pre-1923. I realized pretty quickly that the books are pretty expensive (compared to used) and I will purchase books, but I can’t wait until the public library starts loaning Kindle e-books.
Everything was going great until Monday morning on the way to work. Less than 48 hours of owning it I gave myself a mini-heart attack by dropping it in a parking lot. If you know me, this isn’t too surprising, but I was petrified and swore at myself for not just shelling out the money to purchase a cover when I got it. The back casing partially popped open and there is now a lovely scrape (smaller than a dime) on the back left corner, but thankfully it still worked/s. This scare necessitated my lovely blue case to the left. It doesn’t photograph very well and Amazon doesn’t show the color very well, but it’s a nice blue, maybe a bit lavender-ish depending on the light. I splurged and got the one with the light because after the mini-heart attack I needed something special.
I’ve had it for nearly a week and so far the pros definitely outweigh the cons. It responds significantly faster than my Sony Pocket e-Reader which isn’t that shocking considering this is the third generation Kindle and I have a first generation Sony. The formatting of the novels is great, but I wish rather than it automatically starting you on the first page with text, it would start you on the cover page. I absolutely LOVE the notes feature, although you can (and I did) go overboard as you’ll see in the quotes section of my next post.
The two biggest negatives are the side navigation buttons (personal preference) and the lack of page numbers. The navigation bothers me because for some reason I’m convinced the left should be backward and the right forward, but both sides have a large forward and a small backwards button. The lack of page numbers really bothers me, especially as I like to see how many pages to the next chapter. You can check the page numbers, but you have to pull up the menu screen and hope that the publisher included them. I’m sure I will get used to both the navigation and the page numbers as everything else works seamlessly.