Monday Musings

September 17, 2012 Monday Musings 7

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: What is your least favorite book? Why?

Just recently I was looking at a list of classics and remembering how much I disliked The Great Gatsby. That started me running through a mental list of all the books I’ve been required to read for school and I still can’t come up with anything else I disliked quite as much. The Last of the Mohicans was depressing, as was 1984, but they were quite good except the endings. And while Beloved by Toni Morison was pretty strange, it was also very interesting to analyze. Gatsby just didn’t have much going for it. I didn’t like the writing style or the atmosphere. I couldn’t relate to any of the main characters. There are very few books I’ve read and disliked, but I’m pretty sure Gatsby is at the bottom of the list.

Do you have a least favorite book? Is it one you were required to read?

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Bookends About Glitch

September 16, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: Glitch
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Very cool idea for a world, but the plot is a little too YA cliche for me to really love it.

In this dystopian novel, humanity has given up the ability to feel emotion or think for themselves. Instead, they are all connected to a network which regulates their activities and decides when they should be deactivated. However, many young adults are beginning to “glitch”, suddenly experiencing emotion and also displaying strange new mental powers. As Zoe struggles to hide her glitches and control her erratic telekinetic powers, she also has to deal with feeling emotion for her family and for boys for the first time. Read more »

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Upcoming Book Blog Events

September 15, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Bloggiesta – Sept 28th-30th

The first exciting event coming up is this year’s Bloggiesta, which is basically a blog improvement party. Lots of bloggers write mini-challenges and articles with tips and tricks for other bloggers. If you’re interested in meeting new people and doing some work on your blog, you can sign up here.
Read more »

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Just Add Water

September 15, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Title: Just Add Water
Author: Lauren Chattman
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: Nothing special about the book and the recipe I tried was proof that sometimes just adding water isn’t enough.

Like the slow cooker cook book, this was a book I picked up because it contains a lot of quick recipes requiring few ingredients. It also made the claim that any one who can boil water could make these recipes and let me tell you – I boil a mean pot of water.

Read more »

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Photography Friday

September 14, 2012 Photography Friday 0

Yesterday my professor said some of the scarier words a grad student can hear when he told me I was project-less because my thesis project had already been completed by a large company. Fortunately, after a two hour meeting this morning, I think I have a new plan for my research and an improved plan for getting the most out of my classes to help with that research. On a happier note, I’m currently in the process of applying to have my first ever exhibition of my photographs in the grad student center on campus. Hopefully they like the sample I sent tonight. Wish me luck!

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A Group Read – The Virtues of War

September 13, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Title: The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great
Author: Steven Pressfield
Read for: Ancient and Medieval Historical Fiction
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Immersive story which will draw you into Alexander’s era and into some very cool speculation on his personality, based on historical accounts.

The Virtues of War is the perfect mix of fact and fiction to make a good book. The author clearly did his research and uses accurate details to form a fascinating picture of life around 320BC.  However, as he states in the introduction, he’s also able to take liberties with the facts and put battles and speeches in the order which makes the best narrative. Best of all, the book is told as though Alexander is speaking to a nephew, leading to what I think are some of the major strengths of this book. Read more »

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Monday Musings

September 10, 2012 Monday Musings 0

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Do you take notes while you read?

I have to or I can’t remember everything I want to say for my reviews! Sometimes if I’m really enjoying a book, I think I’m worse about taking notes because I’m enjoying reading so much. Unfortunately, that sometimes means I finish a book and feel completely incapable of articulating how awesome it was. On the other hand, I never mind stopping to scribble angrily if something is bothering me about a book. Perhaps I should work on being more balanced in my note-taking 🙂

Do you take notes while you read? Do you find it easier to do so for books you love or books you hate?

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Photography Friday

September 9, 2012 Photography Friday 0

As promised, here is this week’s Photography Friday, complete with adorable goats and beautiful horses. The blog may not be running with German precision (which, Top Gear informs me, is the best sort of precision) while I adjust to spending hours on homework again, but everything will still get done 🙂 In the mean time, let’s remember better days, just two weeks ago, when instead of spending my weekend programming, I spent it visiting the Lively Run Goat Dairy open house.

There was a cheese tasting, including their plain chevre and a couple of blue cheeses, as well as a tour of the goat barn where the dairy goat in the picture seemed confused about the edibility of my fingers! I also got to pet the horse in the picture, although he had such a knack for running away as soon as my camera was out, that I had to use my zoom lens to get the picture above. Although we didn’t get to see cheese being made, I had a good time and can’t wait for the next time local dairies have an open house day.

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Slow Cooker Recipes Review

September 7, 2012 Uncategorized 4

Title: Sensational Slow Cooker Gourmet
Author: Judith Finlayson
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Very focused on convenience and does a good job of spelling everything out – plus it finally got me to use my crock pot.

This book of slow cooker recipes was a great fit for my busy schedule and most recipes don’t look like they’d be too pricey for my poor college student budget either 🙂 In fact, the recipe I made cost me less than $20 for ingredients and will probably make at least 6 meals. But before we get into the recipe, lets start with the book…

Read more »

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September is Cooking Month

September 5, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Hello all! This month I’ll be focusing more on non-fiction and less on group reads. In particular, I’ll be doing several reviews of cook books and maybe even some picture-illustrated articles about my experience trying to cook from them. I’m most excited about a slow cooker recipe book I’ve found at the library, which seems geared toward letting you cook when you want to cook. Hopefully it will be good 🙂

Thanks to nahhan on stock exchange for the beautiful photo.

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