Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My husband and I are both big Lord of the Rings fans, and since we hadn't been to see The Hobbit yet (Michael doesn't like big movie crowds), I decided to take the time to reread the book first.

I first read The Hobbit four years ago.  Even though I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time shortly after high school, and even though I'd read those books several more times and loved the movies, I hadn't ever read The Hobbit until 2009.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Should e-readers track our reading habits?

I found this article, from NPR on Monday, very interesting:

E-Readers Track How We Read, But Is The Data Useful To Authors?

The story is about how e-readers track information about their readers, and not just what books they buy: also how fast they read, how far they get into a book, and so on.  This is relatively new territory, since publishers couldn't track this kind of information with paper books, but it's also rather controversial.  There is always an outcry about any attempt to gather information about our habits, and this is no different.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Total Recall by Philip K. Dick

I actually read the short story that Total Recall was based on (originally published as "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" -- I can see why they changed it!) months ago, when the ebook was offered at a discounted price to coincide with the release of the new movie.  But since my husband and I finally saw the new movie recently, I have been thinking about the short story, and decided to reread it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paperless libraries?

For several years now, libraries have offered the ability to check out ebooks as part of their services -- and for many libraries, like mine, their ebook collections are growing steadily, if not rapidly.  There is a pretty high demand for ebooks at the library, surprising considering how slow many people were to accept the digitalization of books.

But as popular as ebooks have become, I was still surprised (though very pleased), to see this article from NPR:

A New Chapter? A Launch of the Bookless Library

This library will have nothing but digital media.  Patrons who don't have e-readers of their own can use the library's e-readers and computers to read ebooks in the building, or check out pre-loaded e-readers to take home.  Of course, I am sure there will be a high demand for those devices, but at least the library is finding a way to cater to people who cannot afford the technology.

The trade-off is that the library is not only able to save money on space (books take up a lot of real estate), but they will also have more space for computer stations and reading areas -- the idea of which I love.  It would be weird not to see any books, I think, but at the same time I often find that libraries and bookstores have a shortage of good places to sit and read.

Is the paperless library the future?  I certainly think so (though I don't necessarily want it to have the cold discomfort of an Apple store, as this article suggests it will).  I would make it more cozy, personally, since I think that's what most readers want, regardless of the format in which they read!  But I really like the idea of the library's space being devoted to computer stations and comfortable reading nooks.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Keeker and the Sneaky Pony by Hadley Higginson and Maja Andersen

My last post, a review of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, combined with the Grand Prix jumping show I saw Monday night, got me in a horsey mood (not that one is ever far away for me).  This cute little children's chapter book, Keeker and the Sneaky Pony by Hadley Higginson and Maja Andersen, was offered free in ebook format not very long ago, and I picked it up then.  (This is one of those books I read a little while back and am catching up on now that I'm blogging regularly again.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I've had The Scorpio Races in my to-read list since it first came out, since I loved Maggie Stiefvater's other books so much: Shiver, Linger, and Forever, a YA trilogy that features a unique take on werewolves.  Of course a book about fantastical horses caught my interest (I love horses and have two of my own), but, sadly, it still took me a while to get around to reading this book.  My wish list is most definitely bigger than my free time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride was our sci-fi/fantasy book club's selection for January -- we are reading a few classics of the genre this year, and this is one of the ones we picked.  Most likely everyone has seen the movie, which is not just a classic, but also a childhood staple; the book isn't as widely known, but it is still a landmark classic in the fantasy genre.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman

Lyra's Oxford is not really a book, even though it's sold as one.  It's actually a short story about Lyra after she has returned to Oxford, plus some bonus materials that fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy may find interesting.  The story, however, is nice if you left the trilogy wanting more, and wishing to know what happened to Lyra after the end of The Amber Spyglass.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

I actually finished The Amber Spyglass days ago, but I've been quite busy (not to mention sick yesterday) and neglected to blog about it until now.  But I actually found this book to be better, in many ways, in rereading it -- I'm not sure I understood as well what was going on the first time, and I certainly didn't remember the events in the book as well as I thought I did.

Warning: Spoilers follow.  Read on at your own risk!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife is the second installment in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.  The first in the trilogy, The Golden Compass, I decided to reread recently when the girl I nanny for started reading it.  She hasn't yet gotten to The Subtle Knife, but I have found that this trilogy is not an easy one to read any other way than straight through, so that's what I did.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

I seem to be on a run of children's books lately, so I might as well review what I've been reading most recently: Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.  I read these books for the first time over five years ago, back in 2007 -- I didn't realize it was so long ago until I checked my blog, just now!  I have always been meaning to read them again, but it wasn't until the girl I nanny for started reading The Golden Compass recently that I finally decided to do so.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

Another book I read over the summer at the same time as the girl I nanny for was Lois Lowry's The Willoughbys.  This book is a little different than her popular award-winners, such as Number the Stars and The Giver, which are moving and thoughtful.  Instead, The Willoughbys is more of a parody of classic British children's books about children in a family, such as Mary Poppins.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I'm skipping back a bit now to a couple of books I read over the summer.  Number the Stars was actually a reread for me -- perhaps the third or fourth time I've read it.  (Once when I was in high school, at least once for my children's and YA lit classes in college, and then this summer.)  The little girl I nanny for was supposed to read it over the summer, so I decided to read it, too.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Taking by Dean Koontz

If I had to choose the worst book we've ever read for our sci-fi/fantasy book club, that book would have to be The Taking.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Shortly before Christmas, my husband and I were in the mood to watch a musical, so we chose The Phantom of the Opera, the 2004 movie version of the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical.  I've loved the story since I saw a made-for-TV version as a kid, but I especially loved the 2004 musical.  It easily ranks as one of my all-time favorite movies. So of course, after seeing it again I was inspired to reread the book.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to wish all of my readers a happy New Year!  How will you be spending the day?  I'll be spending it with my nose buried in a book -- perhaps getting started on my reading list for 2013 (in the hopes of actually reading the books this year!).