Category Archives: bookblog


I wonder if there is a syndrome or disorder or general affliction that is like ADHD, but with books. Did you ever drop some water on a hot griddle and watch it skitter around? This is my brain on books lately. I actually have a Word Doc called TBR (To Be Read) and it just keeps getting longer and longer while I read other stuff. My nightstand has like six books on it, all of which I am halfway through. There are more in the Room of Requirement, which we set up with loads of books and our old couch and now never use. I think it needs better lighting. Comfier chairs. Fewer dead houseflies. Seriously, why do they ALL go there to die?

But I digress. I was talking about books.

My Goodreads widget, there on the right, is hopelessly outdated. Every few months I get all virtuous and try to update it for my legions of fans and followers, but I can’t keep up with my butterfly reading habits and it takes me about five minutes of clicking around before I think “You know, I could be reading…”

So then I read. And then something else catches my eye and I have to DROP EVERYTHING and read that. Last week I scoured my shelves for a Barbara Hambly book because I recalled it having a particularly good description of depression. I didn’t find the book, but I did find its sequel, so I read that instead, just because. I also ordered the missing book from Amazon, because the collection must be complete. Then I went back to my regularly scheduled reading (Hugh Howey’s Wool, not liking it as much as I wanted to), but on Saturday I had 2 hours to kill between Zumba and Stitch n’ Bitch, so I went to the library. And I just happened to spot Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London, which Brenda Dayne had recommended in an episode of Cast-On, and by the time I had to leave for Stitch n’ Bitch I’d made it to chapter 5. One of the other knitters saw it in my bag and said “Oh hey I have the sequels, wanna borrow them?” I made the flappy squee-hands. So that’s pending. Fortunately I won’t see her for two weeks and maybe I can get back to Wool – oh look what came in the mail today, it’s that book I ordered! I’ve read it maybe 10 times since I was a teenager, let’s make it a nice round 11. Then maybe I can get to that book I picked up in Switzerland, except it’s part 3 in a series so I need to reread part 1 (I’m halfway through – I started it the day we got back from holiday) and acquire part 2. I have a birthday coming up, and I’ve been hinting madly at my sons.

So yeah. I mean to write more, but I also mean to read more. And guess which is easier. Speaking of which, I can’t wait to find out what happens next in that book I’ve already read ten times. Later, y’all.

Song du jour of the day: Angel from Montgomery, by Bonnie Raitt. I should really get some new music, but the old stuff is so good.


NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction & Fantasy Books

…That Were Not Written For Kids, which you can tell because those would have kids in them, well except for Ender’s Game which is about a kid but made the list anyway but hey we’ll have a YA list too but that’ll be YA fiction in general, not just F/SF which actually? For me is a more valid division – I’d rather read F/SF for kids than, say, tragiporn for any age group (House of Sand and Fog you need to DIE DIE DIE). Continue reading

Het Kerkhof(boek?)

15 April 2010 –
The Graveyard Book (except I’m reading it in Dutch), by Neil Gaiman

So I thought that reading kids’ books might help with my Dutch, and I read two… or three… or two and a half or maybe two and two halves, I can’t remember, but the thing was, I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of them. There are good children’s books, I know there are, but too many authors (and publishers) (in any language) write for kids without really respecting them, which is too bad. So the good books are few and far between.

And books for grown-ups, well, there are just too many of those, and you never know what you’re going to get; you can certainly find simple writing or limited vocabulary, but you can’t really expect them.

But I found the YA section at the library. And a book I haven’t read yet by an author I already know I like. Things are looking up.

Song du jour of the day: Allez Ola Olé, by Jessy Matador.

all I need

Today I went to a knitting group. That met in a library. With a café.

Knitting, books, and coffee. I really cannot imagine how this morning could have been better. Swooooon!

Song du jour of the day: It Must Be Love, by Madness.

the other thing we did yesterday…

was go to the library! There were a lot of things I didn’t like about living in the boonies. Okay, not the boonies, it wasn’t even a village, claims DrBob, despite the fact that the German word for village is “dorf” and we lived in DORFen, so frankly I think my point is made. No, apparently it was a TOWN. A town of 13,000, with no movie theater, no place to take a dance class, no place to buy not-already-used children’s clothes, and okay they did have a library, but it had, like, 100 books. Bustling metropolis, there.

ANYWAY, Utrecht has a whole library SYSTEM! And some of you may not recall what a complete library junkie I used to be, but I was so excited to be moving to a city with a real library. And then we got here, and I went there once and got a card, and that was it. The Sniglet was with me that day, and was too crabby to let me look at books, so I didn’t check anything out, and I never could get around to going back. I have no idea why, except, I guess, that I’d fallen out of the habit after eight years in Germany.

However. The Sniglet doesn’t like to read, so he doesn’t get a lot of practice, so he isn’t as good at it as a 9-year-old really should be, and besides: how can ANYONE who shares DNA with me AND DrBob AND Ignatz not like to read!? I mean, I just… can’t make sense out of it. You read to your kids, you let them see you reading and enjoying it, you talk about books = you raise kids who read. There is no other possible conclusion. So in a pathetic attempt to grasp at some shred of faith in a logical universe, I’ve decided that we just haven’t found him the right books yet. And I put my foot down and said we. Are going. To the library. Every week. Yes, we are. I don’t care. Yes, now. Put on your shoes.

And there was much resistance. And he threatened to burn down the library and to not like anything at all, EVER, and to shout a lot once we got inside and why did we have to do this and he hates the libr- oo, magazines! Do they have soccer magazines? Cool, can we get this one? Oh hey, here’s a book about Germany, do you think they have one about Mexico?

So we got those, and a book about Egypt, and I explained the library labeling system so he could find what he wanted, and he spotted a novel about a kid soccer team and we left with four books for the Sniglet! And one for me.

Song du jour of the day: Just For Now, by Imogen Heap.

oops, completely forgot about this.

Elemmaciltur tagged me LAST YEAR, and had it checked in Bloglines so I wouldn’t forget, but lo, I did anyway. Never underestimate my abilities in that area. Okay, a bookmeme: Continue reading

Guest Poster: Melanie Blogless!

Small preliminary note by alala: I’m not sure putting someone else’s words up here is in keeping with the spirit of NaBloPoMo, but I had a very long and full day. Nevertheless, I would blog for you, my beloveds, except that I want people to read what Melanie has to say, and I don’t want some blah-de-blah what-I-did-today to push her post below the fold.

Well, it’s blogless Melanie here. I know, I am so last decade. Get this, I take pictures with FILM. Amazing, I know. Okay, I read a lot, but in the last couple of years things have gone down intellectually, there have been a few of those bright coloured novels. You know the kind I mean. I actually asked the librarian if I would have my card taken away if I kept taking out such crap. She was puzzled. Continue reading