tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
2011 Books
27 and 28, both ebooks
The Beach - Alex Garland
A book from the early 90s, it was made into a Leonardo DiCaprio movie about a young man who is backpacking in Asia and finds out about a beach on a remote island in Thailand where a group of people have been living in a commune for several years. It's unspoiled and idyllic and the next thing to paradise. Or is it? It ends up being hard work and kind of scary at times. It's not so idyllic that there aren't rules and everyone must obey them. The island also contains a cannabis farm and the gun toting guards can be nasty if crossed, too. It almost reminds you of a grown up Lord of the Flies at times.

The Swan Thieves - Elizabeth Kostova
This is the second novel by this author. I read her first one The Historian and really liked it and this was good too. It's about an artist, Robert Oliver, who has had a breakdown and his psychiatrist who is trying to help him. Robert won't speak and the doctor, Mallory, finds out about his life from the two women he's loved, his now ex-wife and his now ex-girlfriend. Through their words, we find out Robert's life and obession with a woman in a painting, a woman who died in the early 20th century, a woman who was an exquisite Impressionist painter herself but who seemingly gave it up when she had a baby. We then trace more of the story as Mallory tries to trace down what happened to the woman in the painting. We also find out about her through her letters that she'd written to her husband's uncle who loved her and whom she came to love as well. The mix of present day and the past is well coordinated and Kostova really draws the characters well.
tvordlj: (Default)
I bought a couple of ebooks from the Kobo website this morning and thought i should try the wireless feature. I went down into the shops area where there's a few free wifi spots (Rogers, Starbucks, Second cup) and fired up the reader. It found all the wifi spots and there was no problem connecting at all. Went to the menu for the Kobo site and synced and though it took a few minutes, it popped the new ebooks in no problem. I do think it's a nuisance that it also put on one i'd already read but i think i just need to remove that from the "My Library" listing on the kobo site and it will not re-sync that next time. I think you can do that from the desktop app as well.

I don't have the desktop app installed at work because i don't like to put too many personal types of things on this pc like that and they do frown on it. I have Irfanview on here for photo viewing and i also installed my purchased copy of Paintshop Pro for when i want to do some graphic work. I use Foxit for pdf reading too as it's wayyyy better than Adobe reader. So fast, doesn't always look for updates every time you open it. I also use Firefox which is considered non-standard as well. They're saying when we go to Windows 7 that we might not be allowed to install anything non-standard. I hope that's not true as i would hate having to use IE all the time.

We are approaching our family birthday season. My mom's was last week, my nephew's is this weekend. Mine is next week along with my aunt, then two cousins and two of my best friends by the end of March. There's a 50th birthday party next weekend for one of my second cousins. I think my family will celebrate mine this weekend with my nephew. Our other birthday season is June-July when there's another flurry of birthdays. (Niece, nephew, father-in-law-to-be, sister, friend)
tvordlj: (Default)
End of the week in sight... nearly there....

My trainer rescheduled yesterday's session to tomorrow but though i didn't want to go, i did anyway. Did some treadmill time and a shortened workout with the weights, just arm stuff as i didn't do much on those on Monday's. No doubt he'll put me through it tomorrow.

At work, we're going to get a "fancy dancy" coffee maker that uses those little brew cups instead of a messy filter. It makes one cup at a time up to a 10 ounce cup. After a lot of to and fro by email, we're going to get it from a local coffee service for free and we can buy the coffee supplies from them. Sounds like a plan. We don't have to buy the cups from them and we will each purchase our own supplies since people want different things. I'm a tea drinker and it seems as if there should be no taste transfer with this machine so we'll see how it goes.  I did read of a way you could reuse the little cups by cleaning out the filter and recovering them with a tight plastic wrap so as to be a bit "greener".  Anyway the cups work out to cost about 70 cents per brewed cup so that's not bad. I figure a box of 24 cups will last me about 2 weeks and a bit and that's cheaper than i'm paying to buy my tea at Starbucks now even with a free refill using my prepaid Starbucks card.

Mom's been in Florida for a few weeks and is back today, probably on the ground waiting in customs as i type this. It's only been two and a half weeks but it was strange not hearing from her. Well, she did call me at work twice but it's still different.

Grabbed about 200 more ebooks last night off and have converted them from mobi to epub format. I have started watching True Blood season 1 and wanted to get the books that they're based on and these were in a job lot with other stuff so i nabbed the lot. The new Keith Richards' autobiography is in it too though i've heard it's only mediocre. But if i've got it for free, it's probably worth reading. When converting the books, i notice sometimes the word at the end of one line runs up against the first word from the next line but i don't really mind. There's probably a setting i'm missing somewhere but i can't work it out. It's not that difficult to read around it anyway. Am currently reading the first book that the series Dexter is based on. Quite good!
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Finished another ebook last night. Am reading a lot more than i have in recent years but that will be because the ereader is a new "toy" :) This is not a bad thing...I have been wanting to read more but procrastinated and wasted extra time on the computer. I actually do read fast so have the potential to get through quite a few books. Next up on the ereader is the first novel that inspired the Dexter series. I never saw the first season of Dexter so i'm not sure if the seasons follow the books or not. I'll have to have a look at the website but i don't want to spoil the plot so i'll wait until i get into it a bit more to see if it's the same.

Great links from [ profile] ephemera today including this one on 10 Tips for Your New eBook Reader. I haven't gone through all the related links yet but it's well worth reading!

2011 Books:
4. Bloodline - Mark Billingham (ebook)
Jumping genres over to the crime fiction, this is a book about a detective living in London trying to track down a serial killer who is offing the children of the victims that a serial killed murdered 15 years before. The detective is Tom Thorne and this seems to be another in a series of books about him though I've not read any before. I might in future though. I like the way it was written. I didn't guess the twist at the end but then i almost never do.

There's a sub plot regarding Thorne's personal life. He lives with Louise, also a cop with the kidnapping division who's just had a miscarraige at the start of the book so he's dealing with confusing feelings about that as well. We also get insight into one of the potential victims who has a son with a disability though we don't learn much about the rest of the victims, just bits and pieces.

The narrative jumps between Thorne's investigation to the killer's journal and scenes between the killer and someone else (not saying who or what to avoid spoilers) and you don't meet the characters described in the first scene in the book until a bit later. It's kind of like movies that show you something that happens nearer the end then they back up and start from the beginning.
tvordlj: (Default)
Happy 2011! Hope it brings you good luck, health and happiness!

I've got 3 books in progress on the eReader and two more lined up for after those are done. :) It's so easy to pick it up and decide what i feel like reading. Having said that, i've gone back to my paper book that was reading before Christmas. I started it so i will have to finish it. It's my bus book, and i do have a couple other hard copy books as well to read. I don't expect to give them up altogether but i do figure there will be less of them this year and more on the ereader as i make my way through my library or buy some new ebooks.

6 a.m. came early this morning and it was chilly and windy. Ah well. Will be back to the gym with the trainer tomorrow. I did get there once last week so that's better than not at all. I am determined to get to the gym a bit more often, even if it's just one more a week on top of the two a week i go now. Post holiday gyms are usually very busy but if i can get there before 4:30, or on a Saturday afternoon, i shouldn't need body armour to fight my way to a treadmill or the weight machines.

Now we're in the new year, it's time to start doing more serious list-making for our trip to Cornwall in May. We will probably do a night or two in London as well, either at the start of my vacation or just before i fly home. Haven't decided yet. We want to take in a Doctor Who exhibit at the Olympia and of course, catch up with folks! Either way it should be over a weekend so that will make it easier.
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
There seemed to be an "old lady" convention in Scotia Square for the past two days. We are connected to the Convention centre, so will often see conventioneers around the mall. There were dozens, traveling in packs of up to 6 or 8 at a time. Almost all were women that appeared to be over 60 with one or two men occasionally but mostly, older women. I couldn't get a look at their badges to see what the gathering actually was. Their names and home province/state was in large print but the rest wasn't easily readable and yes, there were people from all over North America it seemed.

But today, I saw a couple of people with extra bits and bobs tagged on and it turns out it's a TOPS convention. That is a weight loss support group, standing for Take Off Pounds Sensibly. They charge far less than Weight Watchers and you don't have to buy special food from them like some of the other companies. They basically advocate sticking to the Canada's Food Guide or equivalent which is just an emphasis on healthy eating. I actually did lose weight on it years ago but as always, once off the wagon, it finds me again. Anyway, it does tend to be groups of older women rather than the younger ones who seem to go to WW or Jenny Craig or the like. So that solves that mystery.

I've been thinking about maybe getting an EBook reader. I just discovered that you can actually borrow eBooks from the library now. I like that idea though so far you can't get all the new releases on ebook but it's coming. A book, once borrowed, will expire on your hard drive after the borrowing time so cannot be opened after that but if it's already transfered to the eReader, nothing to stop you reading it past the borrowing period. Some, like the Kindle, use a 3G wireless network but most of the others that i was looking at are loaded by usb cable to the computer. That would be just fine by me and most of the others can read PDF files without any fuss or conversion, also fine by me. I actually think the KoBo reader that Chapters/Indigo sells might be the best option. Few bells and whistles but does what you need it to do and has got quite good ratings. It's also one of the cheapest though at $159 still not cheap. Most of them are 20 to 30 more or even more for the Kindle.

It comes with software so you can also read the ebooks on your computer if you want and the software aids transfer to the reader though if it's a pdf file, you don't need it, just drag and drop. If borrowing from the library you need a different piece of free software to do the transfer. I suppose it is what is needed to keep track of the borrowing time period and licensing stuff.

I do like an actual book but i can also see the advantages of this and really, it's the way things are going. It would be good for travel, bringing books and pdf maps and info documents on places you're visiting. You could put your guidebooks on it too and it's not that big so would still fit in my purse (handbag). Most of them also play mp3s if you like but then i have my ipod for that and even my phone. Some of them show photos too but not in colour. They have a nice screen that is different from an lcd screen, and simulates paper. It's usually bright and clear enough to read outside on a sunny day too, very little if any glare.

The Kobo one comes with 100 classic books which apparently you can't delete though they say you will in a future version. There's also quite a few sites where you can get free eBooks, mainly older classics though, not new releases that are still under copyright. but if you had ever thought about reading all the Jane Austens, you could get them for free (if they didn't already come on the Kobo).

I guess i'm talking myself into it but i think i will wait until later....Might be a good Christmas pressie? (hint!)

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