Jan. 31st, 2011

zeborah: Zebra against a barcode background, walking on the word READ (read)
Since I've had to restrict my computer use this month to take care of my poor wrists, I've been reading a lot instead. Specifically, I no longer take my laptop on the bus to work, just a book and a notebook, and since I have to be careful even writing by hand, bus time and break time and lunchtime add up to almost 3 hours of reading a day (more if I can't stop reading when I get home). This turns out to get me through quite a substantial number of books.

I've been posting my book reviews as I go to Goodreads, which feeds to Twitter (though I may tweak the manner whereby it does that) but thought I'd gather the month's worth all in one place too.

17 books read in January )

I think my favourite this month were Fudoki and The Speed of Dark.

And a bonus feature! Books I didn't even manage to finish

At home and abroad: or, Memoirs of Emily de Cardonnell by Charlotte Eaton
This began as conventional old-fashioned romance, with a worthy young lady admired by a dashing foreign count; add in a misunderstanding and suspicions of her honesty, then a couple of less likeable characters to stir up the plot – and here it all fell apart, because the author devoted so many chapters to having the supposedly admirable characters teasing and mocking and laughing at whatever misfortune befell the less(?) likeable characters that I fell out of sympathy entirely with anyone and everyone involved.

Vincalis the Agitator by Holly Lisle
I was browsing the library shelves, trying hard not to get book 2 of a trilogy, and ended up with a prequel instead. This would have been fine, and I was reading along happily until we got the bully, and the millennium-long government conspiracy to power the Empire with the flesh of its prisoners, and the bad guy with the harem of underage abductees. And the whole adulthood festival, where you get to do anything you like without ramification, which apparently means sex, and it emerges that yes, this does mean you can molest unwilling participants at will, and in millennia it's never occurred to anyone that this kind of sucks. I'd kind of like to know what happens next, but not enough to keep wading through this.


Random other notes:

  • I'm debating whether or not to buy an e-reader. I could just keep using my laptop of course, so it seems hard to justify spending the extra money. But if I'm not allowed to use the advanced features on my laptop, such as the keyboard, it's a nuisance having to lug the whole thing around. (Actually, the really annoying thing is having to unplug the microphone headset, because when I plug it in again I have to relaunch the whole speech recognition application and it's slow.)

  • I found some books in the bargain bin at a book store the other day, and they couldn't find one on the computer system, so gave it to me for free, so I ended up with three books for five dollars. New Zealand dollars.

  • I forget what else I was going to say. Oh! Except that, when people make hyperlinks or cut links, it's really handy if they're not called “click here" or “read more" or something, because with my software I can speak the words being linked and then tell the computer to open it, but this doesn't work so well when there are 10 links all the same and the computer doesn't know which one to choose. So the best links for me include a combination of words that isn't anywhere else on the page, which (given combinatorics) is pretty easy as long as it says something other than “read more". Anyway, however, my hands are okay to click the occasional link if I need to, and I have other workarounds too, so it's not like I'm going to unfriend anyone based on this, or even much notice, just I thought I'd say in case it's the kind of thing anyone likes to think about.

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