Archive for the 'Books' Category

A book link missing from the last post

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

File under “What a good idea!”, Daily Lit has a service that lets you choose a book and then receive bite size chunks of it by email:

Because if you are like us, you spend hours each day reading email but don’t find the time to read books. DailyLit brings books right into your inbox in convenient small messages that take less than 5 minutes to read. This works incredibly well not just on your computer but also on a Treo, Blackberry, Sidekick or whatever the PDA of your choice. In the words of Dr. Seuss: Try it, you might like it!

You can choose to receive book chunks Daily, Weekly or Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can even select the time it hits your inbox (good for all you GTDers out there). It’s currently limited to US Eastern but it looks as if you’ll be able to select your time zone soon and not have to rely on the Time Zone Convertor. More information on the FAQ page.

I’m going to give it a try but I tend to devour books once started and I suspect that I’ll be seeking out the whole book by day two.

Via Gordon.

The one with the book links

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

First up a couple of links for Tolkien fans, especially wedding-day-impending Kirsi. Maybe you guys would like to set up the marital home in The Shire of Bend, Oregon, a housing development inspired by the Hobbit Shire…

You’re right, why would you want to leave a wonderful country like Finland! Then how about a trip to Record Brother who has recordings of JRR Tolkien reading (and singing!) Lord of the Rings. Side 1 is a 2.4mb download, side 2 is 8.6mb.

New blog alert! Vanessa’s The Fidra Blog sounds intriguing – “the ramblings of a book-lover who created her dream job…”. You can read more on the About page but someone who’s keen on books and The Archers is sure to be of interest to at least 50% of us :-)

I like my books either brand spanking new or used, tatty and torn but if you’re interested in learning how to repair books, Fiziwig has collected a wide range of tips from the Amazon.com seller’s forum.

Many years ago my grandmother had a metal, lockable tin fashioned to look like a book that she kept nestled amongst real books in a lovely old walnut bookcase. I’ve been trying to remember the title of the book, all I can remember is that it was dark colours, maybe a pre-Raphaelite painting, and gold script (must remember to ask my father) but since that tin is long gone I might have a go at this tutorial, How to make a hollow book.

One Sentence is:

an experiment in brevity. Most of the best stories that we tell from our lives have one really, really good part that make the rest of the boring story worth it.

I’ve already spotted some favourites, like this one by Johnny Luddite:

As the porter wheeling my gurney down to the operating room took a corner too tightly, crashing my arm into the wall, I reflected that my last utterance on this earth might well be a profanity.

And finally… Mindy’s book is out! Mommy Confidential: Adventures from the Wonderbelly of Motherhood:

Take a woman fresh out of college, plop her down in Silicon Valley, saddle her with a mortgage, let her ride the tech boom, give her three babies in four years, slap her with the tech bust, watch vicariously as her marriage disintegrates, end her career, and hand her a computer. What do you get? Mommy Confidential: Adventures from the Wonder-belly of Motherhood, a memoir in real time adapted from the wildly popular weblog, The Mommy Blog.

Mommy Confidential is a naked, brutally funny, endearingly honest chronicle of family life beset by disaster on many fronts. Mindy keeps her family together through catastrophic illness, four bouts of postpartum depression, financial peril, relationship Chernobyl, familial Waterloo, and job instability. All through it her sense of humor and her sharp, edgy, witty writing keep her together and upright.

If that’s not enough to convince you, you can read excerpts here, here and here. Congratulations Mindy!

Quote of the day, #39

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

I made the mistake* of reading George Orwell‘s A Clergyman’s Daughter this week (having come across an online pdf version at Bookyards).

So, just ten days after her arrest for begging, Dorothy set out for Ringwood House Academy, Brough Road, Southbridge, with a small trunk decently full of clothes and four pounds ten in her purse— for Sir Thomas had made her a present of ten pounds. When she thought of the ease with which this job had been found for her, and then of the miserable struggles of three weeks ago, the contrast amazed her. It brought home to her, as never before, the mysterious power of money. In fact, it reminded her of a favourite saying of Mr Warburton’s, that if you took 1 Corinthians, chapter thirteen, and in every verse wrote ‘money’ instead of ‘charity’, the chapter had ten times as much meaning as before.


Two new books

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Two fellow Wise Women list members have books hitting the shelves at the moment:

Although I don’t have the budget for books at the minute and can’t vouch for them personally (yet), both books come highly recommended via other list members and are definitely high up there on my list of books to be coveted.

And finally…

How will your obituary read when you pop your clogs? Find out at Quiz Galaxy (thanks to Croila).

Fake obituary notice which reads, Awaiting trial for lewd behaviour, Daisy died before telling anyone where they buried their treasure. Daisy will be terribly missed by Chuck Norris.

The one with the update to the rant

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

If you read this post, here’s an update.

Trawling through the multitudinous spammer comments for willy wotsits and all sorts of pharmaceuticals that would sound dodgy even if the “author” didn’t go by the name of Righteous P. Turbitude III, I nearly fell of my chair at seeing Andy Budd’s name nestled amongst them.

Many thanks to comments from Andy Budd and Chris Mills (author and publisher respectively) for pointing out that:

Thank you both for providing the new information (and apologies for the uncharacteristic rant). It was uncharacteristic, no? Please tell me I’m not a whingebag?

I’ve been dipping into CSS Mastery in preparation for the Wise Women css study group kicking off this Friday and it is excellent. Really, really excellent.

Starting off with a review of basic css that *cough* we all know and need to frantically revise love, the rest of the book takes you through ever more advanced techniques to produce sites such as this and this.

I’ll write more when I’ve read more but I suspect it will be sitting alongside Rachel Andrew’s CSS Anthology as a book that is always to hand and frequently referred to.

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

Actress Alex Kingston as ER Doctor Corday

Well I didn’t really dream that but remember I was wishing we could hear again the Woman’s Hour dramatisation of Du Maurier‘s Rebecca?

Well I just spotted a listing for a new reading of Rebecca by Alex Kingston (Moll Flanders, ER’s Elizabeth Corday) on Friday nights on BBC Radio 2. The first part is available until Friday on the Radio 2 website (scroll down, it’s toward the bottom of the right hand sidebar) while the second (and subsequent) parts are on Friday nights at 21:15 BST.

Interesting trivia (via the Wikipedia entry):

In Ken Follett‘s thriller The Key to Rebecca, du Maurier’s novel Rebecca is used as the key for a code used by a German spy in World War II Cairo.

Mary, I think you will love this!

Diolch yn fawr

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

to Em³ for helping me fix the archive page which has been broken since the upgrade to WordPress 2. Would you believe that all it took was the addition of Sören Weber’s Exec-PHP plugin? No, me neither. But there you go.

The deadline for signing up to the BrowserCam annual subscription to the Premium service is fast approaching, just a few places left so leave a comment if you’re interested.

Also, if you’re keen to learn php (from beginner level) or css (from intermediate level) and would like to join a study group, let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction. The text for the css group will either be CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions (Andy Budd, Simon Collison, Cameron Moll) or More Eric Meyer on CSS.

And now for the rant

The price for CSS Mastery is $22.04 on Amazon.com (that’s £11.86) but to buy it from Amazon.co.uk it costs £22.79, a whopping $42.36, almost double the price! Why?

I’ve foregone the pleasure of tucking myself up on the sofa with a pot of tea and a book by buying the CSS Mastery book direct from the publisher, Friends of Ed, as an e-book but…

Rant #2

There are quite a few errata. Fine, I can understand the need to get books out quickly in today’s market but why can’t they be corrected in the downloadable e-book? They’re password protected to prevent text editing (okay, I can highlight and notate text) but surely someone could have spent an hour amending the source files and creating a new pdf for download? Send me the files and I’ll do it!

/end rant.

Read the update!

The Dying of Delight, part 1 : The horse before the cart

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

The normal course of a meme is for blogger A to write a post, tag bloggers B, C, D, etc. and then sit back and enjoy the results.

So I was delighted to see the lovely Gordon’s take on Clare’s meme, The Dying of Delight.

The title is taken from her book of the same name (haven’t read it yet, intend to very soon) but the questions really make you sit down and think.

Hah! You’ve all heard stories about crowded Japanese metro trains? People flying in and out, getting jammed, no room to breathe? That’s what my brain is like at the minute.

So I’m going to take the unusual step of tagging people first while I make time and space to sit down and answer it properly.

Right then, here are the questions that make up The Book Title Meme:

  1. Briefly describe an aspect of your life for which ‘The Dying Of Delight’ would be an apt title.
  2. Pick another book whose title has some resonance in your life, and write a little about it.
  3. Write one more short personal piece – one which matches the book title chosen (in part 2) by the person who tagged you.
  4. Take your favourite little-known book and plug it to your readers. Authors need incomes, and word of mouth is one of the best ways to sell books.
  5. Sit back and marvel at the magnificence of this meme. It was brought to you by an out-of-breath author, reduced (on account of her publisher having expired) to trundling copies of her book across the internet on a rusty old trolley with one wheel missing, sweating and shouting “Buy me book, Gov?” Now visit Clare’s book site and see if you’d like a copy for yourself.
  6. Tag five people with this meme.

Ah. For question 3 you’ll need that from me won’t you? Okay, it’ll be A Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell. It’s a wonderful book, go borrow it from the library when you’ve finished reading Clare’s book.

So I’ve broken one rule by doing it arse backwards. The next is the suggestion of five tags. Five? Are you forgetting how many great writers there are on them thar blogrolls? Do you realise how nosey we all are?

And besides, some in this list will be too busy to partipate and/or taking a writing break. So it’s over to you folks.

Ali, Allan, Andre, Birdy, Briggy, Croila, Daisy-W, Ed, Biggles’ owner, Gia, Leah, Mary, Meesh, Nancy, Richard and Toni.

Oops, The Dubious One got deleted in all that alphasorting and cut and paste linkage.

Addition: It has been suggested that the title of this post might have an error in it. It was intentional. No, really.

Update 2: It just occurred to me that in that long list of names might be folk that you’d like to tag if you take up the meme – feel free to do so.

Wimmin wot I admires, Part 2 – Wordsmiths

Friday, March 10th, 2006

I know, it’s well past the 8th of March, International Women’s Day but in my defence I (a) thought yesterday was the 8th and (b) had an unexpected encounter with a lost dog (more later). And besides, there is no time limit on appreciating and celebrating talented bloggers.

On then with part 2 – wordsmiths.

  1. Toni at Electric Mist – not only do I love reading her journal, I’m saving up to buy Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? and I can’t wait for the publication of the first (of three!) Bobbie Faye novels next year.
  2. There’s wonderful poetry and photography from Sharon at Watermark.
  3. I realised with horror that I’d not visited Estella for far too long. One the plus side, that means I’ve oodles of archives to enjoy. On the minus side, that makes me a bad blogger. But she’s still making me laugh out loud. Go enjoy.
  4. Oh and if we’re talking about laughing out loud, I don’t need to remind you that Pam will frequently tickle your funny bone?
  5. One of these days I’m going to get home to Wales for the weekend and take Daisy-Winifred up on her offer of a cup of tea and a natter in the gloriousness that is the Brecon Beacons. Until then I’ll continue to enjoy her writing and shared soppiness over all things canine.
  6. Then there’s Ellie at This is my body, this is my blood and
  7. Susan at Spinning.
  8. While any woman who has any knowledge of infertility everyone will laugh/cry/wish they could write with just 1% of the talent of Julie at A Little Pregnant.

And now for the bit I seem to have inadvertently deleted before I went swanning off to lunch…

  1. I love reading Harriet’s snippets of London life. It doesn’t make me want to live there again though.
  2. Mindy at The Mommy Blog. Nuff said.

I’m sure there were a couple more, or maybe I put them into another category. Well look, if you’re on the hunt for great writing from women bloggers, check the list there on the right and over here in a list of great blogs.

[tags]International, Women’s Day, writers[/tags]

The tripartite children’s book meme

Saturday, February 18th, 2006

Picked up from Leah, originally from Reading Matters.

Name your three favourite children’s series

I loved reading and re-reading Louisa M Alcott‘s books as a child and was a little bit in love with the whole of the March family, yes even Aunt March. I whizzed through Little Women, Good Wives, Jo’s Boys and so on at least twice a year for many a year. Thinking about them again makes me want to climb up to the attic and dig them out again for a re-read.

L M Montgomery’s Anne (Anne with an e!) of Green Gables series is also a favourite.

Enid Blyton played a huge part in my early childhood so I think the third one has to be The Famous Five series.

Name your three favourite non-series children’s books

Just looking through Amazon’s Enid Blyton pages reminded me of her book The Enchanted Wood. I loved this book as a child and have just jotted down a note to get a hold of it for the granddaughters.

Not exactly a suitable book but Dahl is a famous children’s author and I loved getting frightened again and again by Roald Dahl’s Kiss Kiss.

Another non children’s book but I’ve loved Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice ever since I can remember.

Name 3 favourite children’s book characters

Number 1, no hesitation, would be Donald Zinkoff from Jerry Spinelli’s Loser.

Professor Baer from the Little Women series.


Recommend us a book not covered in the above

Not a favourite yet but I’m halfway through a first reading of Sea Otters Gambolling in the Wild, Wild Surf by John Bennett. Very funny and the dialogue between 16 year olds rings very true (the main character Felix is a little spookily like my nephew) and I’ll be sending him the book as soon as I’m finished. But I want it back, okay Matt?

No tagging, just have a go if you’ve the time and inclination. Although I must admit that I’d love to hear Nancy, Doobus, Stroppy and Katherine‘s choices.

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