Category Archives: Books

State of the eReader

When the nook first came out, I fell in love. It was the first e-reader I’d found that I could actually use and enjoy. I still have it, and though it’s suffered a hairline crack in the page turn button from sheer overuse, in many ways it’s better today than the day I bought it, thanks to excellent software updates along the way.

That’s not to say that it’s still the best reader out there.

(insert collective gasps here)

In fact, I’d say that there really isn’t a “best” reader to buy right now, but a whole lot of options for different reading habits. There’s too many for me to look at all of them here, but I did take a look at the most recent and most common readers available for people in the US. Here’s my short, quick and easy shopping guide: Continue reading

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Hunger Games: Why in the world did I love this book?

I’m confused.

Not that this isn’t a normal state for me, but this time I have a reason. I loved a book that I wasn’t supposed to.

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nook: not a gadget

Disclaimer: No, I don’t get any money from Barnes and Noble or anyone else for touting the nook. I spend most of my time giving money to them in exchange for still more books.

I wasn’t planning on writing a post about my nook for two reasons: first, I kinda already did with my rant about the iPad, and second, I think I’ve established my love for it such that anyone who reads this blog will not need reminded.

But then I saw the need.

I was explaining the nook (The people at B&N, for reasons entirely their own, do not capitalize “nook”…hence the title of this post, as capitalizing just the other words gave me nightmares.) to a friend over the phone who knew that I recommended it, when she stopped me with this statement:

“Yes, but you know, you’ve always been more of a gadget person than I am.”

I blinked. I very nearly dropped my phone. Of course the above statement is a correct one – I am a gadget person – however there was one glaring error.

The nook is not a gadget. Continue reading


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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The new Harry Potter movie is out, and by the timing of this post you may infer that I saw it fairly early on. As a matter of fact, yes, I did go see a midnight showing on opening night/morning. And yes, I did wear a costume. If you feel the need to mock me, go ahead, I’ll wait.

All done? So, given the above information, you probably already know what I’m going to say below. Here, I’ll sum up for you: some good parts especially a few scenes done well and Slughorn/Snape/Draco were awesome, they changed things I didn’t want changed, the kids still can’t act, but I’ll probably buy the Blu-Ray and wait anxiously for the next movie. There we go. Everything below can now be considered a nit-picky rant from a serious fan of the book.

Ok then. Let’s talk about the Half-Blood Prince. (no spoilers, but I am going to talk about it in general terms, so if you don’t want to know *anything*, you’ve been warned) Continue reading

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Darwin’s Black Box

Evolution has always interested me, both as a theory and as a philosophy (some might even say faith). Science is basically just figuring out how the world and things in the world work, and I love that kind of stuff. It makes perfect sense to try and figure out where we came from using the tools of science if at all possible. I am, however, a believer in Yeshua (Jesus), and so the concept of intelligent design has a great appeal to me and is generally more the direction I tend to lean. So, given that I’ve read plenty of books on evolution in my lifetime (much of it required reading for school, I admit), I thought it would be beneficial for me to read one of the main books that started the ID movement – Darwin’s Black Box – the Biochemical Challenge to Evolution.

That, and I thought it’d be nice to demonstrate here that I do read non-fiction. Occasionally. Continue reading

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The Diamond Age

I finally gave in to everyone who told me I just had to read Stephenson by picking up The Diamond Age (also known as A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer) this week. I got through it pretty quickly, but either the book isn’t as good as his others or I am not destined to be a Stephenson fan.

The style was a bit jarring to me at first – no chapters per se, just sections and one book break. Before each section several sentences describe what you are about to read, a technique that broke up the story but left me feeling tired for some reason. I was able to get into the flow of the book eventually though, and got to the point where I didn’t notice it so much.

The book had an interesting premise and I felt myself wanting it to be better than it actually was. For one thing, while I’m not going to hate a book just because of “mature” content, the frequency with which it was used in here kept breaking me out of the story in order to roll my eyes. The language and violence weren’t too overdone I guess, but the weird sex didn’t seem to be needed in the story — it felt artificial as if the author thought it was expected of him so he stuck it in there.

I was very connected with the main character in the story, and some of the supporting characters, but that only made it worse when the book failed totally to resolve any of their stories. Well, the main character has at least some plot points that can let you imagine an ending, but one of my favorite supporting characters was completely dropped for the second “book”, with no clues as to his story resolution.

I’m giving the book two stars, as I liked it alright but thought it failed to live up to the book it could have been. Stephenson spends a lot of time (maybe too much?) talking about the way things work in his imagined future world, but forgets that it’s the characters and what happens to them that most people care about. Obviously, he’s a successful author and lots of people love his work, so either I’m totally missing something, his other books are better and this one did well because of his name, or a lot of (other) people enjoy the “hard sci-fi” feel of books like this and could care less about actual plot and character development. I’m sounding harsher than I mean to – I did enjoy the book for what it was. But I’m unlikely to pick up anything else of his.

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