moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (glasses)
[personal profile] moem
This community seems pretty dead! Nevertheless, a new post won't do it any harm. I found this message posted in News today and figured I might as well post it here.

Best Wishes from Ballycumber

Our very own Ballycumber posted a short but heartfelt New Year's message in the Announcements forum. Here's the text:

"Since most of you probably consider today to be the first day of the New Year, we want to take this opportunity to wish you all a year of good health, happiness and good books.

Today's world is a troubled one in many ways; still, we feel that books and sharing are both important and positive things, and also that all things that help us spread the joy of reading can lead to happier, more informed people, who understand each other a little bit better. So for that reason, we consider BookCrossing to be a small, but real force for good in the world.
And that is why we will keep on keeping on. And that is why we're happy that you are a part of what we are doing here.

So, thank you all for being here, and helping us make the world a library. Let's keep on sharing and reading in 2017. And may this year be a good one, for you, for BookCrossing and for all of us."

Well said, Bally! If you want to respond to this message, or leave some good wishes of your own, go ahead and post here.

moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (Default)
[personal profile] moem
It's about time we let you know how things are going regarding the project of translating the BookCrossing website. As you may know, our goal is to translate the site into a whole lot of different languages, and make them available through the drop-down menu at the top right, and the setting inside your profile.

First, some good news to start with. We have some new translators for Russian, and we're pleased as punch about that. Russian is a very big language, meaning that a lot of people speak it; also, it's close to several other languages, close enough for many people to understand it even if they themselves don't speak Russian. So this is a language we've been eager to add for a long time. Hurray for Lenuxa and Dimapilot!
And if other speakers of Russian want to lend a hand, they're most welcome!

There are other languages that could use a volunteer or two. Polish and Swedish currently seem to be stuck; also, Norwegian Bokmal is completely translated, but no one is available to do the final bit of proofreading.
Ukrainian and Czech are halfway done, but not moving forward at this time. And Arabic, Armenian and Filipino have only one volunteer each, which doesn't really help either.

The most recent addition is Turkish. Welcome to the project, Lemniskat! Let's hope we can find you some help soon, too.

In other words, some new volunteers would be great right now, and would really help us move forward. Here is a list of the languages that have one or more translator, and can use a hand:

Chinese (either traditional or simplified Han)

It's a long list, we know. Ambitious much? Yes, we are!
We really want to make available to as many people as we possibly can. This worldwide library we're building is meant for everyone who can read.

Are you:
- a native speaker of one of these languages (or a different one)
- who also speaks decent English,
- are you familiar with the site,
- and are you willing and able to join the BC Translation Project as a translation volunteer?
Then we'd be honoured as well as excited to have you join us.

In that case, please drop me a PM and I'll be in touch.

Overview of the languages involved in the project, and their current status. Swedish looks like it's mostly done, but that's because it uses Norwegian as a template.
moem: Animated pic of Little Mole reading a book (molletje leest)
[personal profile] moem
Here it is.
Instructables is a fun website full of tutorials on how to do almost everything; from cooking to pet care to electronics to gardening. It's mostly focused on creative recycling and modifying things to match your needs. In other words, hacking.
moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (Default)
[personal profile] moem
It was made by students as a part of a research project they did. I think they deserve a good grade. Do you agree?


moem: Animated pic of Little Mole reading a book (molletje leest)
[personal profile] moem
Well, hello there BookCrossing comm!

This one really tugged at my heartstrings, for several reasons.
It's a catch from Christchurch, where I had the extreme good fortune to go for the BookCrossing Convention of 2009. So many memories... the long, long flight with Gummihuhn, the stopover in Hong Kong where we searched for good noodle soup (and found it!), the trip around the South Island on a pair of hired motorbikes. Futurecat welcoming us into her home, [personal profile] lytteltonwitch  showing us around. And of course the Convention itself.

So this catch brings back a lot of good memories and happy thoughts. But they're tainted with the knowledge of what happened to the lovely city of Christchurch since. The place where the book was found, the Arts Centre, is closed now because of earthquake damage and may never reopen.

So, yeah. And then there is the entry itself. Go on, read it and you'll see what I mean.
This is really the kind of thing that keeps me going, as a BookCrosser. To me, this is what it's all about. Using a book as a means to reach out to another person we don't even know.
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World TradeThe Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade by Pietra Rivoli

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There is a prologue and a lengthy prologue to the prologue, before we get into the details of Texas cotton farming and being thoroughly educated on the history of cotton farming in the US. That is followed by a very brief chapter about China that focuses on sweatshops, giving the impression that there is nothing else there. Then follows an over-detailed and way too long chapter on trade policies, quotas and politics. At that point I nearly tossed the book, because it was not only painfully boring, but also extremely out-dated. The only part of the book that had some life to it and kept my interest, was the last chapter about the African trade in second hand clothing.

Too long, too much about cotton farming and politics in the US, very little on world trade, too many details and statistics, too many anecdotes about people that I didn't connect with. Very, very out-dated. The book could have done with an update, a revision or even a lengthy additional chapter showing the developments after the actual end of the quota system. A lot has happened since 2005.

my read booklist with links behind cut for safekeeping )
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Hit ListHit List by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another Anita. They are hit-and-miss. I liked this one, although Hamilton had a sever attack of Talking Heads towards the end. The suspense was mounting, the tension climbing, the bad guys were getting closer and all of a sudden the main characters stand around and talk and talk and talk...
I was getting frustrating and close to skipping forward. I stuck with it out of pure stubbornness. Sometimes I do not need several pages of explanations to get what is going on, action is good!
But, still, I enjoyed myself and I will get the next one as well.

Oh, one missed plot bunny: The psychic showed up, was discussed and then totally disappeared. Or did I miss her amidst all the additional talking?

View all my reviews
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Kitty's Greatest HitsKitty's Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short stories set in the Kitty Norville universe. You could still read them, if you never heard of Kitty Norville before, but this is definitely a great addition if you are a fan.

I did not do a proper count, but I think of the 14 stories maybe only two do not contain a character from the series. Kitty is nicely snarky and sarcastic, as always.

My favourites were the stories centered around Cormac though. You get a look at his early life, when he meets Ben for the first time and the last story of the book chronicles his life in prison. That one is the longest story at about 60 pages and fleshes out his character in a really nice way.

Good fun. It reminded me why I like Kitty Norville so much!

my read booklist with links behind cut for safekeeping )
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer, #3)Embrace the Night by Karen Chance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In another review I read, the main complaint was that this is chicklit. It made me laugh, because I consider a large amount of Urban Fantasy books to be chicklit with fangs. I am often conflicted if I should class them as fantasy or as romance. Just the fact that the main characters are mostly female and have issues with dark, mysterious strangers that they first hate, but then fall madly in love with should be a major tip-off!

Coming across Urban Fantasy with a good, solid plot and a heroine with brains can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Very often the plot takes a backseat to romance and steamy sex. Not that I mind the steamy sex, it's a nice bonus. But I prefer my books plot driven with some suspense, lots of action and well fleshed out characters.

*** Spoiler Alert! *** )
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Here is my Books Read List for safekeeping, so I have it somewhere else besides my PC. Lost it before, when my computer died on me. I used to have it on BC, but lost it there for a while as well, when the website was redone.

I'm behind with my reading challenge for this year, but I have now read one book more than in the total of 2010, so it's not bad. I would be a lot further along, if I didn't read so much fanfic in between. But it's too much fun not to.

my read booklist with links behind cut for safekeeping )
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Stray (Shifters, #1)Stray by Rachel Vincent

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can't say that I REALLY liked it, as I found the main character, Faythe, much too irritating. Think very pampered college student with issues of teenage rebellion.

Take Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1) and replace the strong, female heroine with a whiney girl and you get a pretty good idea what this book is about.

The storyline is pretty entertaining and I will probably get the next book in the series, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that Faythe will mature a little in the sequels.

Several other reviews mentioned that the book is too long and I have to agree. The book is over 600 pages and the action starts about halfway through. I wasn't exactly bored during the first 300 pages, but half that many probably would have done the job.

The other characters stayed a little one-dimensional and the shapeshifting aspects of the story were pretty brief.

So, a tighter storyline, less whining, stronger characterizations and more emphasis on the world-building and this could have been outstanding. As it is, I merely liked it and it has potential...
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
The Summer Without MenThe Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"Out of the blue, your husband of thirty years asks you for a pause in your marriage to indulge his infatuation with a young Frenchwoman.
Do you:
a) assume it's a passing affair and play along
b) angrily declare the marriage over
c) crack up
d) retreat to a safe haven and regroup?

Mia Fredricksen cracks up first, then decamps for the summer to the prairie town of her childhood, where she rages, fumes, and bemoans her sorry fate as abandoned spouse. But little by little, she is drawn into the lives of those around her; her mother and her circle of feisty widows, her young neighbour, with two small children and a loud, angry husband; and the diabolical pubescent girls in her poetry class. By the end of the summer without men, wiser though definitely not sadder, Mia knows what she wants to fight for and on whose terms."

Mia's interactions with her neighbour, her mother and her group of octogenarians and with the teenage girls in her poetry class drew me in right from the start, but halfway through the book everybody just seem to be ambling around the pages without any purpose or direction.

Thrown into that mix are Mia's inner monologues and diary entries of her earlier life before and with her husband Boris and the odd discourse on philosophy and poetry. It makes for a very disjointed book and I never managed to get into a nice reading flow.

Halfway through the book I am still struggling to tell the various characters apart, because I do not feel any connection with them. I caught myself skimming paragraphs in search of a plot and so, halfway through the book, decided to give up and move on to something else.

Reading next:
Stray (Shifters, #1)Stray by Rachel Vincent
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
I got this book through a swap on swap-bot and I'm not really interested. Let me know if you want it, I'll happily pass it along, no need to reciprocate:

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

Synopsis taken from its BC-page:

The only white man on the island of Bougainville becomes teacher to the local children while a civil war impacts on the lives around them. Mr. Watts introduces the children to Mister Dickens through the adventures of Pip in Great Expectations, but as the narrator, 13 year old Matilda, comes to consider Pip a personal friend, she inadvertently draws unwanted and dangerous attention to their little village.
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
The Summer Without MenThe Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

35% into my Kindle edition. Underwhelmed. After reading the sample chapter, I had expected a more plot-driven book with an actual narrative. I did expect some introspective soul-searching as well, but not quite as much.

Don't get me wrong, it is very well written and occasionally I enjoy myself thoroughly, but all in all it's just not grabbing me. Honestly, can't wait to finish this book to get to something more entertaining.


The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World TradeThe Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade by Pietra Rivoli

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

65 pages in. Small print, lots of info crammed onto one page. This is going to take me forever.

There is a prologue and a lengthy prologue to the prologue, before we get into the details of Texas cotton farming and being thoroughly educated on the history of cotton farming in the US in general. Being told that the US is the biggest cotton producing country in the world and that its cotton gets exported everywhere, even to China, I just went "Huh?" The graphs and statistics look nice and might even be accurate and the statement might be true, but after working for 17 years in the clothing industry and spending a not smallish amount of that time working in Asia and Egypt, I have to tell you -- never, ever have I come across any factory predominately working with cotton fabrics, that imports the cotton from the US. Just saying.

The book is still interesting though.

cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Half Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales)Half Share by Nathan Lowell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked it, but not as much as the first one. There was a little non-graphic sex thrown in, but other than that the book was remarkably similar to the first one. That made it not exactly boring, but a little uneventful.

The only new major character, Sarah, could have been explored more. Her story was hinted at, but around mid-book she just drifted into the background and all but disappeared.

I still enjoyed the book and chances are high that in a few books along my TBR pile I will get the next book in the series. The characters are all very likeable and I would like to find out what becomes of them.

Reading next:

The Summer Without MenThe Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
A few months ago I found this very useful website for tracking book series. It's called FictFact. I always had this hassle of keeping track of all the series I read, when the next book will be out and what it'll be called. This website does it for you. You search for your series, follow them and then within each series mark off which books you have read, which ones are to be read, what you want to skip and so on. The website will then tell you which book in the series you should read next (if you are so inclined to do it by order) or will inform you when the next book comes out. Makes my life very easy. Currently I have 18 series listed and it's sweet, no more trawling through Amazon or the Internet, trying to figure out on my own, when and what.... On each page listing a series the site will also recommend similar books at the bottom of the page, which so far I have ignore, I really don't need to find more stuff to get hooked on.

In an effort to diversify my reading a bit and get away from all those vampires, werewolves, witches and whatnot, I have followed a recommendation from my mum and got a copy of A Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt. At first I was not interested. The woman is married to Paul Auster, sounded way too artistic and heavy to me. But, praise be Kindle, I got a free sample of the first chapter and actually enjoyed it. And Amazon in Germany is having a summer promotion and reduced ebook prices on a lot of books. So this is now at the top of my summer reading pile.

Then I got sucked in. Part of the promo on the German Amazon site were three pages of book below or around 1 Euro. I trawled through those three pages and ended up buying all this:
(prices are all back up now, must have been my lucky day)

Mr Vertigo by Paul Auster -- I figured I might as well have a go at him and see what he's all about. The synopsis sounded interesting.

Open Season by C.J. Box -- mystery set in the woods of Wyoming, sounds nicely wacky.

Mercenaries by Jack Ludlow -- historic adventure, set in Normandy before the conquest of Britain. Not really sure about this one, we will see.

Blood Ninja by Nick Lake -- ok, ok, I said I wanted to get away from my usual stuff, but who could say no to blood sucking ninjas in feudal Japan? Amazon lists this under children's books, hadn't noticed when I bought it. Hopefully it's YA, the subject doesn't really sound appropriate for little kids.

The Harlot's Press by Helen Pike -- This is more the kind of book my mum would read. Historic novel set in Britain in the early 19th century, royalty, intrigue, drama, I would be very surprised if the heroine didn't meet a mysterious, darkly handsome stranger at some point...

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine -- first book of a series that has been on my wishlist for a long time, so I had to get it. Qualifies as Urban Fantasy I guess.

Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Questions (New Scientist) -- "New Scientist"'s 'Last Word' celebrates all questions - the trivial, the idiosyncratic, the baffling and the strange. This selection of the best is popular science at its most entertaining and enlightening. -- sounded nicely silly and who doesn't want to know how long you can live on beer alone?

End of shopping spree!
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Quarter Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales)Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and I already bought and downloaded Half Share, the second book in the series.

Short, fast paced, light reading. Call the hero Ishmael, really! And his middle name is Horatio. The author had me at the hero's names. I read all the Horation Hornblower novels as a teenager and loved them to pieces. I have re-read them many times over the years and still think they are among the best adventure novels I have ever read.

This books sticks to the feel of those books (minus the Napoleonic wars) and transplants the seafaring folk into space. But space is only a background setting for the actual plot here -- the life and coming of age of a young man on a ship, how he settles into his new life of duty and faces the challenges he's being confronted with.

The various main characters are charming and vivid, the humour is light hearted and all in all it's a feel-good book that I found hard to put down.
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Mio, My SonMio, My Son by Astrid Lindgren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of my all-time favourite books. I liked the Pippi Longstocking stories, but this is by far my best loved Astrid Lindgren novel.

If you like books for young adults and fairytales and/or fantasy, I can recommend this highly. I think the world she builds in this is beautiful and I still remember parts of this book vividly, although it has been a very long time since I read it.

Book Nook

May. 27th, 2011 08:30 pm
cathepsut: (book hand)
[personal profile] cathepsut
The Kinshield LegacyThe Kinshield Legacy by K.C. May

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Light fantasy. Our unwilling hero goes on an epic quest and in the process collects a merry band of diverse fellows following him along. The bad guy is a nicely evil wizard and a few ghastly monsters from another dimension are thrown in for chills as well.

Very likeable characters, simple and straight forward storyline. Good choice if you are looking for an entertianing and unchallenging read.

My only bone of contention -- the ending is wide open and the next book in the series / trilogy (?) is not available yet. I really want to know what happens to Gavin and his motley crew now, please!

If you are interested, it's downloadable on goodreads for free. I think I actually spent (very little) money on it over on Amazon... *head desk*
Anyway... Next time I know better.
cathepsut: (vampire cape)
[personal profile] cathepsut
Midnight Sun Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

25% into the book, tossing it. Edward's inner monologue is excruciatingly boring. I hope when I am 80 my inner landscape is going to be more evolved than that!


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January 2017



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