Friday, May 13, 2011

Reading: The Wilder Life

Marcus bought me a Kindle for Christmas this year. I absolutely love it and it has brought back the passion for reading that I once had (when I was young, my nose was always in a book). I've read more books in the first part of this year than I have in the last 5 years combined. It's sad how I've let reading slip, but I totally see how it happened. Being laid off and relatively poor for a while meant cutting books out of the budget, then my recent desire to downsize my life and my clutter left me not wanting physical books around. My obsessive game-playing on Facebook squandered valuable reading time. Then there was my new obsession with knitting. I know that there is the public library, but I really have a moral opposition to them (except for reference material). Authors make their livelihood by selling books and I feel really guilty borrowing novels from living authors there.

Right now, I'm reading a book by Wendy McClure called The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement. I'm not going to go into why, as those thoughts are better kept to myself. It has rekindled my desire to know more about Laura Ingalls Wilder, though. I've visited the Little House site in Independence, Kansas and the Wilder Home in Mansfield, Missouri. I've got plans to go to some of the other sites.

I think I've always been fascinated by Laura Ingalls because she represents a simpler way of life. I'm well aware that "the old days" was not an ideal existence, yet I yearn to get out of the big city. Marcus and I have dreams of one day living on land in South Dakota. I want to raise my own chickens and grow my own food. When I was younger, I loved sewing on my mother's antique Singer because that's how it used to be done (don't get me wrong - I love my computerized sewing and embroidery machines now), but I always felt connected to the past in some small way when I used it. Weird, I know. Sometimes I wish that old machine was close by so I could run it, but it resides with my sister out in California. If Marcus and I ever do get settled someplace permanent, I'd love to find one of those old machines.

*sigh* Well, I'd better wrap this up because it's almost time to head off to work.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My First eBook

My First Kindle Purchase - Fleece NavidadI finally caved today and bought myself my first eBook. I vowed a few months back that if a digital edition of something I wanted was available, I wasn't going to bother getting the hard copy of it. I'm tired of the dust they collect and the space they take up. I felt like doing to some light, cheesy reading, so I purchased the next book I had yet to read in the knitting mystery series by Maggie Sefton, Fleece Navidad (I'd put one of those Amazon Associates links up like I used to, but I can't thanks to the feud between the state of Colorado and Amazon). The books in this series are corny and predictable, but they're basically set in Ft. Collins and I like reading them.

I downloaded the Kindle app for my iPhone and the application for my Macbook and I'm all set. Reading on the iPhone is a little rough, but will do in a pinch. I totally enjoyed reading with my Macbook in bed. I do that while surfing blogs all the time anyway. Someday, when I've got the funds to get one, I'll enjoy reading on an iPad.

I hope that more reading material becomes available digitally (magazines, etc.). I know some people just love the feel of turning pages, but I'll gladly give that up to rid myself of the clutter.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Picked Up Two More King Novels

So, I found another used book store today that I had never been to before and found a couple of more Stephen King novels. It's called Half Price Books and sits just a little bit East of Broadway on Girard. They had a lot of books there. It's really close to work, so I'll have to go back when I have more time and money to spend. One was called Black House and I was totally shocked to actually find it. It's co-authored by Peter Straub, the author with whom King teamed to write The Talisman. I also found The Dark Half.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Must Have This Software!

I've had the most interesting day today. Since Marcus was out mountain biking with Mike, I decided I was going to go browse a couple of my old shopping hangouts.

My first stop was Album Memories, an independent scrapbook store at 64th and Monoco St. in Commerce City. The woman that owns that store is one of the neatest ladies I've ever met. She and I have a lot in common and she even used to be a pizza manager. I haven't been to visit her since right after I lost my job last July and I was kind of afraid that she'd no longer be in business. Fortunately, she was still there and open, so I stopped in. She doesn't have the biggest variety of things, but she does carry things I don't see in the big chain stores. She's also the biggest Sizzix dealer in the country and she does the best demos of what those products can do. I'm in love with the new machine that's out and want to get it. Unfortunately, I don't really have the money to spend ($100 for the machine plus the dies are extra) on something crafty like that. I will one day, though. Those things are freakin' cool. I noticed that there is a die to cut out those cardstock embroidery floss bobbins that I use to wind my cross stitch floss. Anyway, I felt really good and positive after leaving her store. Talking to her about how different and better my life is now than when we last met really made me grateful for where I am now.

The next stop was Black & Read, a cool independent music/book store over at 80th and Wadsworth. My purpose there was to get some used Stephen King books and start working on my summer goal of getting and reading all of my missing King novels. I love browsing that place. I also found an Orson Scott Card novel I was missing. I was chatting with the guy at the counter while he was ringing up my purchases about Stephen King. He was quite knowledgeable about the dude. He asked if I had seen King on television recently in his band. I hadn't, although I knew that King performed in a group consisting of other writers. The woman behind me told me the group was called The Rock Bottom Remainders, so I made a mental note to look that up when I got home. I didn't realize Dave Barry was in it, though. I was watching some videos they had posted on YouTube of the band interviewing with Steve Martin. I'll have to watch more of that at a later date. Funny stuff.

Delicious Library logoWhen Marcus got home later in the afternoon, I was telling him about how I had a list of missing King books that I had made that I took with me when I was looking for books. He asked if I kept a database of my books or something and I told him that I had gotten the bibliography off of StephenKing.com and had made myself a checklist in a table in Word. He then asked if I had ever heard of a program called Delicious Library made by the company Delcious Monster. I hadn't. It's an Apple award winning cataloging program to keep track of books, music, movies and games. The company and program are the product of programmer Wil Shipley, founder of The Omni Group, makers of some really cool Apple Mac apps such as Omni Graffle and Omni Outliner.

He told me the program uses an iSight camera as a bar code scanner to input your items into the database. I was intrigued and so I downloaded the trial and I'm hooked! I can't believe how freaking awesome this program is. First off, the interface is really slick. It looks like you're looking at a bookshelf. The icons are relative in size to the actual item they portray. You have the ability to keep track of who has borrowed your stuff via your address book. You can group your stuff into collections (similar to playlists in iTunes). You can view similar items to one you select on Amazon. I'm just blown away by this thing. There is a third party program called DeliciWeb that allows you to publish your library to a web page. You can see a test file over at the Domestic Geek Library. There's also a third party program to bring your iTunes Library into it. I'll have to wait until I raise the $40 to purchase a license before I can try that one, though. I want this software so bad!!!!!

Delicious Library Screenshot


Anyway, I guess that's enough about my day today.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Booksfree

Renting movies through the mail has worked so well that I think I'm ready to try renting books that way, as well. Booksfree is an online rental service that allows you to rent paperback and audio books. For plans starting at as little as $8.49 a month, you can have unlimited book rentals with no due dates or late fees. I noticed that you can also purchase gift memberships for others.

I have really missed reading, as I used to devour at least one new book a week. I have been hesitant lately, however, to waste $8 to $10 on a paperback book that I'll probably read once or twice. I have been trying to avoid adding further clutter to my house. I've already gotten rid of a ton of books and still have a bookcase full. I've thought about borrowing from the library, but ours is so crowded and the books I want always seem to be checked out.

This program makes so much sense. The books are mailed to me and I can send them back postage paid as soon as I'm done. With over 88,000 titles (fiction and non-fiction both), I'm sure they have plenty of material to keep my entertained. I think I'll start with the Stephen King books I have fallen behind on reading. They also have Orson Scott Card books. I fell in love with his writing in college, but haven't read anything in years. I love the Alvin Maker series and didn't know there were at least two that I haven't read. Looks like I've got a lot of reading in my future!

This is a Sponsored Review.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

“The Capo’s Mistress” - Free Novel Download

For the last week, I've been listening to chapters from a book called The Capo's Mistress by Richard Harris. The story by the first-time author revolves around retired L.A. police officer and recovering alcoholic Mike Driscoll. When Driscoll's old clunker car breaks down and he becomes stranded in the ghost town community of Virginia City, Mt, he is drawn into a tale of love, lies and deceit by a woman he meets there — former Las Vegas blackjack dealer, Mary Carter.

In a desperate attempt to win Mary's love, Mike travels to Vegas to retrieve a bag of loot from a robbery dumped in the Treasure Island lagoon. Mike discovers he's being used and Mary is not being sought by police as she claimed. She is in reality Theresa Defoe, mistress of mafia boss Big Tony and it's the mob who wants to find her. Mike is in deep and it will be interesting to see where the story goes from here.

Beginning on March 11th, Harris began offering the book as a free MP3 download on his site. Each day, a chapter is being released until the entire book is available. On April 27th, the release date for the book, the chapters will be pulled from his site. So, go check it out and if you like it, consider supporting the author and pre-order The Capo’s Mistress at Amazon.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Note to Self

I am watching an infomercial with author Kevin Trudeau. He writes books about natural health cures.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CSS Mastery

I've been reading this book, CSS Mastery by Andy Budd, for the last few days. It was recommended to me by a couple of people and now I'm recommending it to you.

Most of what I know about CSS is self-taught. I learned a little bit more in school, but not much. This book explains very well concepts such as child selectors, quirks mode, ems, etc. that I "kind of" grasped but didn't really understand.