Reading

Jan. 16th, 2010 02:42 pm
jesso: (PD - Books)
So [livejournal.com profile] daisho posted this question in his LJ, from someone else who posted it in hers, and I like it enough that I'm posting it here:

When did you start reading? What were your favourite books when you were a kid?

I don't remember exactly when I learned to read, but my mom has a letter I wrote to Santa when I was 3 1/2 years old, so I was reading and writing at least by then. I remember my favorite book when I was really little was "Hop On Pop", because I loved the part with all the kids jumping on their dad. I thought it was hilarious and always told my dad we should do that. I also loved "Oh Say Can You Say", which was full of tongue twisters. I loved having my dad read this one so I could laugh at him when he messed up. Looking back, I'm pretty sure he probably could have read the book perfectly after so many readings, but he knew it entertained me so he messed up on purpose.

When I was a little older, I loved the Mandie series. They were simple mysteries, set in the 1890s, and sold pretty much exclusively in Christian book stores. I seem to remember getting the next set of 5 books every year for Christmas, which says a lot about how fast this lady was churning out these books. I loved them, though, and reread them countless times. I still have them on my bookshelf, and someday I'm going to buy the last few so I can have the full set.

I remember going to the library all the time, and getting as many books as I could carry. Eventually I got smart and started taking big brown paper grocery bags with me, and filling them up. Unfortunately, once they were full, they were really hard for little me to carry. I would usually finish one before getting home, or at least make a significant dent in one once I got into chapter books. I remember sitting in the van in the garage, not wanting to stop reading for long enough to get out and walk into the house. My mom would have to come back out later and pull me away from the book and come inside. Then I would retreat to my room and read and read and read.

When they built the new library that was closer to my house, the children's fiction section was right next to the beginning of the grown-up fiction section. I was close to 10 by then, I think, and I was bored with the kid books. I finished the whole YA section, which at that time was two spinning racks of Babysitter's Club book, Sweet Valley Twins books, and Choose Your Own Adventure books. So... I wandered into the adult fiction. Looking back, I'm kind of shocked at some of the things I read, but at the time I had no idea of the more "mature" stuff. I mean, I wasn't reading smutty romances or anything, but pretty much every novel had at least one "mature" scene. I usually skipped over them, because I didn't understand them, and I just wanted to get back to the story. I thought those bits were very weird, especially since they never really got explicit so they were vague.

But I liked the stories, and I really liked that these books were thicker so they lasted longer. I mostly read the books by "A" authors, since I felt like I shouldn't be in the adult section. I felt shy going over there, because when an adult saw me, they definitely noticed me, and I was so painfully shy then that I hated that. So I stuck to the "A" authors, where I could make a quick escape to the kid section if I needed to. Watership Down (Richard Adams), Superstition (David Ambrose), MEG (Steve Alten), and even Digital Fortress (Dan Brown). Eventually, as I got both more confident and a little older (so I looked less out of place), I ventured further and further down the row of books. The library had all of the adult fiction along the outer wall, so it wrapped around the entire non-fiction section, but I always went to the kids' section and started with A and walked to whatever letter I was exploring that day. I felt like I was hidden that way, I guess.

I really wish I'd had access to something like Goodreads when I was a kid, so I could keep track of how much I was reading. I read a LOT. You know how parents always tell stories about their kids and the wacky things they do? My parents have very few about me, because I was definitely the good one, and spent all of my time reading instead of getting into trouble like my brother.

Moral of the story: Books are delicious.

And now I need to go get things done. I've spent way too long writing this!

Reading

Jan. 16th, 2010 02:42 pm
jesso: (PD - Books)
So [livejournal.com profile] daisho posted this question in his LJ, from someone else who posted it in hers, and I like it enough that I'm posting it here:

When did you start reading? What were your favourite books when you were a kid?

I don't remember exactly when I learned to read, but my mom has a letter I wrote to Santa when I was 3 1/2 years old, so I was reading and writing at least by then. I remember my favorite book when I was really little was "Hop On Pop", because I loved the part with all the kids jumping on their dad. I thought it was hilarious and always told my dad we should do that. I also loved "Oh Say Can You Say", which was full of tongue twisters. I loved having my dad read this one so I could laugh at him when he messed up. Looking back, I'm pretty sure he probably could have read the book perfectly after so many readings, but he knew it entertained me so he messed up on purpose.

When I was a little older, I loved the Mandie series. They were simple mysteries, set in the 1890s, and sold pretty much exclusively in Christian book stores. I seem to remember getting the next set of 5 books every year for Christmas, which says a lot about how fast this lady was churning out these books. I loved them, though, and reread them countless times. I still have them on my bookshelf, and someday I'm going to buy the last few so I can have the full set.

I remember going to the library all the time, and getting as many books as I could carry. Eventually I got smart and started taking big brown paper grocery bags with me, and filling them up. Unfortunately, once they were full, they were really hard for little me to carry. I would usually finish one before getting home, or at least make a significant dent in one once I got into chapter books. I remember sitting in the van in the garage, not wanting to stop reading for long enough to get out and walk into the house. My mom would have to come back out later and pull me away from the book and come inside. Then I would retreat to my room and read and read and read.

When they built the new library that was closer to my house, the children's fiction section was right next to the beginning of the grown-up fiction section. I was close to 10 by then, I think, and I was bored with the kid books. I finished the whole YA section, which at that time was two spinning racks of Babysitter's Club book, Sweet Valley Twins books, and Choose Your Own Adventure books. So... I wandered into the adult fiction. Looking back, I'm kind of shocked at some of the things I read, but at the time I had no idea of the more "mature" stuff. I mean, I wasn't reading smutty romances or anything, but pretty much every novel had at least one "mature" scene. I usually skipped over them, because I didn't understand them, and I just wanted to get back to the story. I thought those bits were very weird, especially since they never really got explicit so they were vague.

But I liked the stories, and I really liked that these books were thicker so they lasted longer. I mostly read the books by "A" authors, since I felt like I shouldn't be in the adult section. I felt shy going over there, because when an adult saw me, they definitely noticed me, and I was so painfully shy then that I hated that. So I stuck to the "A" authors, where I could make a quick escape to the kid section if I needed to. Watership Down (Richard Adams), Superstition (David Ambrose), MEG (Steve Alten), and even Digital Fortress (Dan Brown). Eventually, as I got both more confident and a little older (so I looked less out of place), I ventured further and further down the row of books. The library had all of the adult fiction along the outer wall, so it wrapped around the entire non-fiction section, but I always went to the kids' section and started with A and walked to whatever letter I was exploring that day. I felt like I was hidden that way, I guess.

I really wish I'd had access to something like Goodreads when I was a kid, so I could keep track of how much I was reading. I read a LOT. You know how parents always tell stories about their kids and the wacky things they do? My parents have very few about me, because I was definitely the good one, and spent all of my time reading instead of getting into trouble like my brother.

Moral of the story: Books are delicious.

And now I need to go get things done. I've spent way too long writing this!
jesso: (PD - Books)
I've been listening to a LOT of books lately! I've been doing a lot more boring projects at work lately, which is perfect for book-listening.

Book 25: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman )
Book 26: Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman )
Book 27: Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman )
Book 28: The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, by Neal Stephenson )
Book 29: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams )
Book 30: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, by Douglas Adams )
Book 31: Life, the Universe and Everything, by Douglas Adams )
Book 32: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, by Douglas Adams )
Book 33: Mostly Harmless, by Douglas Adams )

Next up: audiobooks of Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Born To Run. Then who knows what else. I might actually make it to 50 books in a year! Not bad considering I only decided to make that my goal in July or August.
jesso: (PD - Books)
I've been listening to a LOT of books lately! I've been doing a lot more boring projects at work lately, which is perfect for book-listening.

Book 25: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman )
Book 26: Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman )
Book 27: Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman )
Book 28: The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, by Neal Stephenson )
Book 29: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams )
Book 30: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, by Douglas Adams )
Book 31: Life, the Universe and Everything, by Douglas Adams )
Book 32: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, by Douglas Adams )
Book 33: Mostly Harmless, by Douglas Adams )

Next up: audiobooks of Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Born To Run. Then who knows what else. I might actually make it to 50 books in a year! Not bad considering I only decided to make that my goal in July or August.

Kids books!

Aug. 2nd, 2009 11:24 pm
jesso: (PD - Books)
Books! Yay books! I don't know why I've been reading children's books lately but there you go.

Book 22: The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende )
Book 23 - Coraline, by Neil Gaiman )
Book 24 - Island of Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell )

In other news, the new Muse single "Uprising" has leaked, and I LOVE IT. It is on loop in iTunes RIGHT NOW and I've already got 13 plays on it. Goldfrapp rhythm + Doctor Who theme song synths + Muse-ey lyrics = one big ball of EPIC AWESOME. This album is going to be so good, guys.

Kids books!

Aug. 2nd, 2009 11:24 pm
jesso: (PD - Books)
Books! Yay books! I don't know why I've been reading children's books lately but there you go.

Book 22: The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende )
Book 23 - Coraline, by Neil Gaiman )
Book 24 - Island of Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell )

In other news, the new Muse single "Uprising" has leaked, and I LOVE IT. It is on loop in iTunes RIGHT NOW and I've already got 13 plays on it. Goldfrapp rhythm + Doctor Who theme song synths + Muse-ey lyrics = one big ball of EPIC AWESOME. This album is going to be so good, guys.
jesso: (PD - Books)
Hey, remember that thing I was doing where I was keeping track of all of the books I'm reading this year? And remember how I haven't posted anything about books since March 29? Yeah, uhh, oops. My bad. I've been keeping track of things on goodreads.com, I just hadn't gotten around to posting it all here. I actually started to make this post on June 8 (according to the timestamp on my notepad file), but I didn't get very far before I realized I was way behind and decided to do something else instead. But finally, I am finished! Time for LJ cuts!

Book 10: The Lost Colony, by Eoin Colfer )
Book 11: The Time Paradox, by Eoin Colfer )
Book 12: The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis )
Book 13: The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis )
Book 14: Definitely Dead, by Charlaine Harries )
Book 15: All Together Dead, by Charlaine Harris )
Book 16: Dead and Gone, by Charlaine Harris )
Book 17: Superstition, by David Ambrose )
Book 18: Hater, by David Moody )
Book 19: Personal Effects: Dark Art, by JC Hutchins )
Book 20: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, by F. Scott Fitzgerald )
Book 21: The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel )

Oh my goodness, this is such a pretty post, with all those LJ cuts all lined up.
jesso: (PD - Books)
Hey, remember that thing I was doing where I was keeping track of all of the books I'm reading this year? And remember how I haven't posted anything about books since March 29? Yeah, uhh, oops. My bad. I've been keeping track of things on goodreads.com, I just hadn't gotten around to posting it all here. I actually started to make this post on June 8 (according to the timestamp on my notepad file), but I didn't get very far before I realized I was way behind and decided to do something else instead. But finally, I am finished! Time for LJ cuts!

Book 10: The Lost Colony, by Eoin Colfer )
Book 11: The Time Paradox, by Eoin Colfer )
Book 12: The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis )
Book 13: The Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis )
Book 14: Definitely Dead, by Charlaine Harries )
Book 15: All Together Dead, by Charlaine Harris )
Book 16: Dead and Gone, by Charlaine Harris )
Book 17: Superstition, by David Ambrose )
Book 18: Hater, by David Moody )
Book 19: Personal Effects: Dark Art, by JC Hutchins )
Book 20: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, by F. Scott Fitzgerald )
Book 21: The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel )

Oh my goodness, this is such a pretty post, with all those LJ cuts all lined up.
jesso: (PD - Books)
So I finished Contact today, while waiting for Stella to get her new timing belt installed.

Um, wow. Didn't really see that ending coming. Geez. What a punch to the gut, after all that. That Kitz guy is a jerk. But then the pi thing was totally awesome. Hooray for pi!

I have to admit, I spent most of the book waiting for something to happen. I guess I went into it expecting the book to focus on the actual "meeting aliens" thing, not on the getting there.

I really liked the subtle things Sagan threw in, like the people living in orbit, as if to say "hey guys, see what we could accomplish if we actually, yanno, focused on science?" There were lots of little things that just made me smile.

I really, really want to see the movie now. I want to see if it is at all like the book. I might run over to Blockbuster tomorrow to see if they have it.
jesso: (PD - Books)
So I finished Contact today, while waiting for Stella to get her new timing belt installed.

Um, wow. Didn't really see that ending coming. Geez. What a punch to the gut, after all that. That Kitz guy is a jerk. But then the pi thing was totally awesome. Hooray for pi!

I have to admit, I spent most of the book waiting for something to happen. I guess I went into it expecting the book to focus on the actual "meeting aliens" thing, not on the getting there.

I really liked the subtle things Sagan threw in, like the people living in orbit, as if to say "hey guys, see what we could accomplish if we actually, yanno, focused on science?" There were lots of little things that just made me smile.

I really, really want to see the movie now. I want to see if it is at all like the book. I might run over to Blockbuster tomorrow to see if they have it.
jesso: (PD - Books)
So I finished book number 8 for the year, WATCHMEN. I finished it last night, actually. I read the ending, then I set it down and went "whoa, okay."

The first thing I wanted to do when I finished was to flip back to the beginning and read it all over again. The only other book that's had that effect on me was Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I think it has something to do with how the respective authors have 5000 different plot threads converge together into a neat bow, all in one move at the end. It's like magic, and it makes me want to see the trick again to see if I can see it coming.

I've decided I definitely need to see the movie this weekend. I think I'm gonna try to see it Saturday or Sunday. Or hey! I could see it at that theater in the Highlands on Monday, because I won't have class, because it will be SPRING BREAK. Woo!

Next up: Finishing Contact, then to read Dead Witch Walking so I can give it back to [livejournal.com profile] sparklyaria.

PS: I LOVE THIS WEATHER. It's like Winter is giving one last huzzah before all the misery of Spring allergies and Summer heat.
jesso: (PD - Books)
So I finished book number 8 for the year, WATCHMEN. I finished it last night, actually. I read the ending, then I set it down and went "whoa, okay."

The first thing I wanted to do when I finished was to flip back to the beginning and read it all over again. The only other book that's had that effect on me was Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I think it has something to do with how the respective authors have 5000 different plot threads converge together into a neat bow, all in one move at the end. It's like magic, and it makes me want to see the trick again to see if I can see it coming.

I've decided I definitely need to see the movie this weekend. I think I'm gonna try to see it Saturday or Sunday. Or hey! I could see it at that theater in the Highlands on Monday, because I won't have class, because it will be SPRING BREAK. Woo!

Next up: Finishing Contact, then to read Dead Witch Walking so I can give it back to [livejournal.com profile] sparklyaria.

PS: I LOVE THIS WEATHER. It's like Winter is giving one last huzzah before all the misery of Spring allergies and Summer heat.

BOOKS

Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:06 pm
jesso: (PD - Books)
Okay, so it seems like everyone on my friends list is counting how many books they are reading this year. Since I can (usually) count, I figured I'd jump in on this bandwagon.

1) Contagious. I'm counting this one because I finished it in 2009. This is the sequel to Infected, and I like it a lot more than Infected. It's more "big picture" than just one dude in his apartment. The ending totally floored me, too.

2-6) Sookie Stackhouse books 1-5. Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, and Dead as a Doornail. These books are so much FUN. They are silly and funny and the vampires don't sparkle. The book covers do, but the vampires don't. Also, Sookie throws around an awesome quote a couple of times: "A woman can do whatever she needs to do." I like that.

7) The Time Traveler's Wife. This book was awesome. I like really well done time travel stories, and this one is very very well done. It was not what I expected! Henry is not a dude who travels through time in chunks, like he spends five years here and five years there, but instead he lives his life sequentially and occasionally jumps to a different time for a few minutes or hours or days. It happens when he's stressed. And he can't take anything at all, so he arrives naked. Awkward! But yes, it's very good and full of impossibilities that make the brain bend.

And there are two books I'm currently reading: Contact and WATCHMEN. Apparently you have to put that in all caps every time or the internet explodes? I don't know. But I want to finish it before I see the movie. Also, Contact is excellent so far. I'm almost halfway through.

So that's a pretty good mix of books, huh? I've got sci-fi/horror, light-hearted vampires, romance, sci-fi, and a superhero graphic novel. Throw in some fantasy and a western, and I'm set.

BOOKS

Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:06 pm
jesso: (PD - Books)
Okay, so it seems like everyone on my friends list is counting how many books they are reading this year. Since I can (usually) count, I figured I'd jump in on this bandwagon.

1) Contagious. I'm counting this one because I finished it in 2009. This is the sequel to Infected, and I like it a lot more than Infected. It's more "big picture" than just one dude in his apartment. The ending totally floored me, too.

2-6) Sookie Stackhouse books 1-5. Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, and Dead as a Doornail. These books are so much FUN. They are silly and funny and the vampires don't sparkle. The book covers do, but the vampires don't. Also, Sookie throws around an awesome quote a couple of times: "A woman can do whatever she needs to do." I like that.

7) The Time Traveler's Wife. This book was awesome. I like really well done time travel stories, and this one is very very well done. It was not what I expected! Henry is not a dude who travels through time in chunks, like he spends five years here and five years there, but instead he lives his life sequentially and occasionally jumps to a different time for a few minutes or hours or days. It happens when he's stressed. And he can't take anything at all, so he arrives naked. Awkward! But yes, it's very good and full of impossibilities that make the brain bend.

And there are two books I'm currently reading: Contact and WATCHMEN. Apparently you have to put that in all caps every time or the internet explodes? I don't know. But I want to finish it before I see the movie. Also, Contact is excellent so far. I'm almost halfway through.

So that's a pretty good mix of books, huh? I've got sci-fi/horror, light-hearted vampires, romance, sci-fi, and a superhero graphic novel. Throw in some fantasy and a western, and I'm set.
jesso: (PD - Books)
The upside to PaperBackSwap.com is that I get lots of books.

The downside is that I want to read them ALL. Right NOW.

I now have FOURTEEN George MacDonald books, plus one lulu.com copy of his "Unspoken sermons". I rearranged my bookshelf so that they could all be together in one big happy book family, and it makes me happy to see them all lined up. Now if only someone would post a copy of The Princess and Curdie my heart would be truly happy.

In other news, Hawking is being unbearably whiny. As in, constant meowing for long stretches of time. It's like she is begging for attention but when I go to actually pet her or something, she runs away. Her favorite places to whine are in the bathroom or in my bedroom. This morning I was about ready to tape her mouth shut because she decided to start it up around 7:30am and it took two full hours before she decided that she wanted to sleep under the blankets with me. Then she curled up and zonked right out like it was nothing. She's like a toddler who is tired, but doesn't WANT to be tired, so she gets whiny and crabby instead. And it makes me want to stuff her in a box and ship her to Siberia. I don't know why she is doing this all of a sudden. She used to do it occasionally, but it's been nightly all this week. And then this morning. And then now. And she needs to cut it out.

In other other news, today's high was 40. Yesterday's high was 80. People are, of course, freaking out. I am enjoying this brief taste of winter, and tactfully NOT pointing out that it's not "FREEEEEEZING" because it is still above 32 degrees.

Okay, off to more reading. Mmmmmmmmm books.
jesso: (PD - Books)
The upside to PaperBackSwap.com is that I get lots of books.

The downside is that I want to read them ALL. Right NOW.

I now have FOURTEEN George MacDonald books, plus one lulu.com copy of his "Unspoken sermons". I rearranged my bookshelf so that they could all be together in one big happy book family, and it makes me happy to see them all lined up. Now if only someone would post a copy of The Princess and Curdie my heart would be truly happy.

In other news, Hawking is being unbearably whiny. As in, constant meowing for long stretches of time. It's like she is begging for attention but when I go to actually pet her or something, she runs away. Her favorite places to whine are in the bathroom or in my bedroom. This morning I was about ready to tape her mouth shut because she decided to start it up around 7:30am and it took two full hours before she decided that she wanted to sleep under the blankets with me. Then she curled up and zonked right out like it was nothing. She's like a toddler who is tired, but doesn't WANT to be tired, so she gets whiny and crabby instead. And it makes me want to stuff her in a box and ship her to Siberia. I don't know why she is doing this all of a sudden. She used to do it occasionally, but it's been nightly all this week. And then this morning. And then now. And she needs to cut it out.

In other other news, today's high was 40. Yesterday's high was 80. People are, of course, freaking out. I am enjoying this brief taste of winter, and tactfully NOT pointing out that it's not "FREEEEEEZING" because it is still above 32 degrees.

Okay, off to more reading. Mmmmmmmmm books.
jesso: (headdesk)
Okay, so I am reading the new Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, and it is the stupidest thing I have ever read.

Holy crap.

I... I can't even put into words how BAD this book is, guys. It is BAD. B-A-D.

Also, I'm kind of horrified that this book is being marketed towards young teens. This book is NOT appropriate for younguns. Not just death or violence or characters having to go through hard things, but some really twisted stuff. Guys, I saw some really young kids at the release party last night*, like 9-10-11 years old, and it really bothers me that they are reading this crap right now.

Especially after so many parents made such a stink about Harry Potter. So many parents wouldn't let their kids read HP because it was full of witchcraft and would turn kids into evil satanists... but there is no one making a stink over kids reading this horrible stuff. I mean, at least HP had a good underlying message of "yay friendship and love and growing and being strong!" Twilight has no such message, it's just Bella being a Mary-Sue. But somehow it's okay to let kids read this awful stuff just because it was written by a Mormon and technically contains no directly sexual scenes?

So yeah. I hate that kids are reading this. I really hope it comes to the attention of some parents, or some news channels or something, and a big stink is made. Because kids should not be reading some of the stuff in this book.

EDIT: BUT AT LEAST SHE SPELLED "DUST MOTES" CORRECTLY THIS TIME. That is really all that matters.

*Yes, we went to the release party. If was full of lols. Details later. With pictures and video.
jesso: (headdesk)
Okay, so I am reading the new Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, and it is the stupidest thing I have ever read.

Holy crap.

I... I can't even put into words how BAD this book is, guys. It is BAD. B-A-D.

Also, I'm kind of horrified that this book is being marketed towards young teens. This book is NOT appropriate for younguns. Not just death or violence or characters having to go through hard things, but some really twisted stuff. Guys, I saw some really young kids at the release party last night*, like 9-10-11 years old, and it really bothers me that they are reading this crap right now.

Especially after so many parents made such a stink about Harry Potter. So many parents wouldn't let their kids read HP because it was full of witchcraft and would turn kids into evil satanists... but there is no one making a stink over kids reading this horrible stuff. I mean, at least HP had a good underlying message of "yay friendship and love and growing and being strong!" Twilight has no such message, it's just Bella being a Mary-Sue. But somehow it's okay to let kids read this awful stuff just because it was written by a Mormon and technically contains no directly sexual scenes?

So yeah. I hate that kids are reading this. I really hope it comes to the attention of some parents, or some news channels or something, and a big stink is made. Because kids should not be reading some of the stuff in this book.

EDIT: BUT AT LEAST SHE SPELLED "DUST MOTES" CORRECTLY THIS TIME. That is really all that matters.

*Yes, we went to the release party. If was full of lols. Details later. With pictures and video.

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