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    Castle and Dresden


    2012 - 12.09

    We currently have the most recent books by Richard Castle and Jim Butcher out from the library.  We haven’t finished reading them yet, but let us know if you would like to read them before we return them to the library.  The books are:

    • Frozen Heat – Richard Castle
    • Cold Days – Jim Butcher

    BPL Speed Reads


    2012 - 08.04

    Burnaby does things well. I was a Coquitlam girl until I moved out here about five years ago with Dave, and I love it out here (not that there’s anything wrong with Coquitlam!). One of the things that I find awesome is that the Burnaby Public Library now has a category of books they call “Speed Reads”. They’re on a shelf at the front of the library with bright neon stickers on them. They can’t be requested, put on hold or renewed, so it’s kind of like a nifty treasure hunt to see what’s there. Last time, there were two copies of Mockingjay and a new Charlene Harris book. Another time, the newest Laurell K. Hamilton book was there, and I’ve seen very popular books waiting. It’s a great way to avoid wait times!  Just make sure you’ve got the time to read them…they’re only a seven day loan, and the overdue fines are $1/day. Ouch. Flashbacks of SFU library… :/

    A Dance with Dragons


    2012 - 02.26

    Picked up A Dance with Dragons today from the library, don’t know if I’ll actually read it or not.  We did watch the TV series on HBO (A Game of Thrones), but it’s been years since I’ve read any of the books.  Karin’s currently reading them in eBook form (although we own them, she has been unable to locate the physical copies of the first two books).  So I guess I’ll try reading book 5 and see if enough of it makes sense to warrant reading the whole thing, or if I’m going to have to re-read the series (in which case I’ll probably put it off for another time).  The dangers of epic fantasy I guess.

    Running out of Books


    2012 - 02.13

    I have this habit of finding author’s I like and reading everything that they’ve ever written.  At the moment I’m close to running out of books to read, the book that I just picked up from the library was another one that I heard about through the Writing Excuses podcast… so we’ll see whether it leads to another few authors to read (it’s also the first in a series, which I didn’t know in advance).  Failing that I may have to revisit the 100 Book Challenge and pick another couple of books from that list… unless of course someone else has recommendations…

    Shared Bookshelves?


    2012 - 02.06

    We’ve already gone through the process of sharing our bookshelves, but I thought this article was amusing and worth sharing (How to Say “I Do” to Shared Bookshelves Without Ruining Your Relationship):

    It wasn’t when we moved in together, or when we got engaged, or even when we merged bank accounts (because we’re crazy like that) and bought a house that I knew my husband was in it for the long haul. All of those choices were significant, sure, but the real clincher–the moment I knew we had committed to the whole “what’s mine is yours” thing for real–was when we decided to merge our bookshelves. The actual process of merging said bookshelves? That was the first test of our soon-to-be marriage.

    excerpt from: How to Say “I Do” to Shared Bookshelves Without Ruining Your Relationship

    Perhaps this post will inspire Karin to write about the experience of merging our books… (although I thought that perhaps she had already, but I didn’t find a historical post which talked about it; could have been just a Facebook update or Tweet or something).

    The World Illuminated Through a Windshield


    2011 - 11.17

    Regrettably today consisted largely of replacing bulbs, which was way more difficult that in needed to be in my opinion.  Replacing the taillight it was really simple to get it out, more difficult to put back in than it should have been.  Simple four petal design that you turn counterclockwise to remove and turn clockwise to lock back in place.  What they neglect to mention in the manual is that there is one specific petal which needs to match up with one particular gap.  Seems needlessly complex, but is easy enough to deal with once you’re aware that you need to line things up.

    Replacing the two headlights was a much more difficult ordeal, they really leave less than the minimum required amount of space to replace the bulb.  Probably took half an hour to replace both bulbs.  Hopefully it would be faster in the future, but much of it is fiddly rather than “difficult”.  The first main problem was that the manual didn’t actually explain how to release the metal bulb holding clip.  For the record: when you’re facing the car, push on the left hand side of the clip, push towards the front of the vehicle and then down to release the clip.  I don’t know if that’s unique to my car (2003 Pontiac Vibe AWD) or to the bulb type (9003).  With the amount of space available and the lack of visibility into what you’re actually doing, it was way more difficult to do than it felt like it should be, but in the end I was able to do it, despite bouts of doubt and frustration.

    Despite all of that, it wasn’t all bad.  I bought my dual pack of GE 9003 Nighthawk Platinum bulbs at Lordco where they were on sale for $38.99 (seems that regular there is $67.97 according to the invoice; regular price at Canadian Tire is $59.99).  In addition to being on sale, there’s also a $10 mail in rebate on them (at Lordco only) until the end of January, which means I’ll have got them for less than half their regular Canadian Tire price… so pretty pleased with that.  Canadian Tire however was about $4.25 cheaper for the taillight, so that’s where I got those, and installed all the bulbs in their parkade.

    We went out to the mall later to return some clothes and have dinner.  While we were there there was some kind of incident which involved someone being handcuffed.  It happened in the main atrium area while we were eating, Karin took a look.  When we went past later I saw that it was an older guy (rather than a young punk like I assumed it would be).

    Leaving the mall we went to the library to pick up the next half dozen books Karin needs to read in the 100 Book Challenge, some of which are even short.  I picked up Brandon Sanderson’s first book: Elantris.

    Leaving the library we decided to go for a bit of a drive up SFU to test out the new headlights… it’s kind of hard to tell how good the headlights are when you’re driving on streets with headlights.  It was snowing a little bit, but not enough to concern us at all.  Got up to the main intersection and there were some cars essentially blocking the straight through route that takes you to UniverCity that I’d planned to take, so we turned left and headed towards the main campus.  After the first turn we saw a traffic jam which involved a bunch of cars and a couple of buses, none of which were moving forward.  It wasn’t clear what the actual problem (aside from snow) was, so we turned around and headed back the way we came.  Snow 1; Headlight Testing 0.  On the bright side, the all wheel drive and all seasons are still really effective in the snow.

    NPR: 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books


    2011 - 11.04

    I know that the 100 Book Challenge from last year isn’t over yet, but doesn’t mean you can’t think ahead.  Now strictly speaking this is not actually a list of “books” it’s a list of the top 100 books/series as selected by NPR listener’s (presumably).  So it’s an interesting list, and if you’re looking for recommendations on something to read, it’s probably not a bad place to start.  For those of you who have no interest in click on a link, here’s the top 10:

    1. The Lord of the Rings (series)
    2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (bk I)
    3. Ender’s Game
    4. The Dune Chronicles (by which I presume they mean the series of 6 books, now 7+ if you include the prequels written by his son and Kevin J. Anderson)
    5. A Song of Ice and Fire (series: this is the actual series name of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones epic)
    6. 1984
    7. Fahrenheit 451
    8. The Foundation Trilogy
    9. Brave New World
    10. American Gods

    So I’m only 6/10 out of the top 10, although that 6 represents: 3+1+1+6+4+3= 18 books (which is not counting the affiliated but not explicitly included in the entry books).  So I’m actually 18/23 for the top 10 (I haven’t read the 5th book in the Song of Ice and Fire series yet, which is where the extra 1 comes from).  I just think that 78.3% sounds better than 60%…

    Heat Rises


    2011 - 10.30

    The third and latest Castle tie-in novel.  I think of the three that the second one is the strongest so far.  The books are campy and a little fun, and entertaining at times.  They clearly aren’t intended to be “good”, which is perhaps a little at odds with the show itself.  The show is definitely good, and Castle is quirky, but I’ve never gotten the impression while watching the show that he wasn’t actually a good writer.  So I’d say that the books themselves are below the level of writing and quality that you would have expected from the character themselves, which tarnishes the fiction that we’re trying to maintain as the credit for the novel is ascribed to the fictional character, and not the ghost writer.

    If you enjoy the show, you’ll probably enjoy the occasional reference to things from the series, but they don’t happen frequently enough to make it worth your effort.  Also in this particular book there seemed to be a bunch of jargon for no apparent reason (I don’t recall that from the previous books).

    On the merit of the books, I can’t imagine that someone would actually read the books and decide based on the books that they needed to check out the TV show.  The books just aren’t that good (although again, it seems as though that’s on purpose, although I don’t know why they’d do that intentionally).

    Shelves in the sidebar


    2011 - 09.22

    Finally after far too much html hackery we have Shelfari shelves displaying nicely in the sidebar.  So you can check out what Karin and I are reading pretty easily, if that’s something that interests you.  This would be where some of you would point out that it’s still there even if it doesn’t interest you, but we don’t have smart ass readers, right?

    They’re near the bottom of the right column, if you’re looking for them.  You’ll need to scroll down.

    Heat Rises


    2011 - 09.14

    Just on a related note, Heat Rises comes out on Sept. 20th, 2011 (which is the day after Castle premiere’s for the season).  The Burnaby Public Library has 5 copies on order, and I am the fifth hold, so I guess I’ll be getting to read it as soon as it comes in.  Or probably more accurately, I’ll be getting to pick it up as soon as it comes in, and then I will get book-jacked by Karin as soon as she sees it, and then 2.5 seconds later* I’ll get to read it.

    * note: 2.5 seconds later represents the actual time it will take her to read the book.