nyagosstar: (my doctor is made of awesome)
Everyone wave hello to Diah!

He's my new laptop--an incredibly lavish Christmas present--that was very much needed as I'd been cobbling together computer/internet time on my own slowly dying desktop and E's laptop. It was problematic as she uses it a lot for school work and I couldn't always get the time I wanted. Grades > Fic What can you do?

Anyway, everything is now happily transferred over and running smoothly. Hopefully this means I will be able to update more regularly. Or at least more regularly than I have been.

In other news, I ordered in The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter for myself because we don't normally carry it and I have a thing about ordering books online. I work in a bookstore, I should be able to get anything I want without having to resort to the internet. Anyway, it's all about RTD writing the Specials season of Doctor Who. It was endlessly fascinating and made me want to watch Who so much.

I watched The End of Time parts 1 and 2 and wish that I cared as much about Eleven as I did about Nine and Ten. Nine is my favorite and I think, always will be, but I ended up loving Ten after just a couple of episodes. I still like the show, I do. I think the story lines are interesting and the show is still cool, but I don't have this gut reaction to Eleven that I had with the last two. Part of it is definitely that it feels like everything I spent the last five years LOVING never even happened.

I'm happy a new season will be starting in the spring, but it makes me sad the only thing I'm going to get from RTD is America!Torchwood.

This is not exactly where I expected this post to go, but there you are. I have some fic to post, little baby things that I'd like to have here in my journal, and I'm a crazy person about that kind of thing, but that is going to have to wait for another day.

Also!! If anyone is reading anything AWESOME in the book world drop me a line. I'm dying for something good. I'd prefer something grown up, but I'll take any rec as long as it's good.
nyagosstar: (saluting keith)
It’s like a joke, but without the lead up or the punchline.

1) I came home from work on Tuesday E and I had both worked early and were pretty tired so we laid down in bed, facing each other to talk about what we wanted to do for dinner. In the middle of this conversation, she looks at me all serious like and busts out with, “You’re waiting for a train.” Two days later it still makes me giggle.

2) We were watching Top Chef last night which love, but doesn’t require all of my attention and so also simultaneously dicking around on the internets. E pulls up some old 80’s cartoons and programs on youtube—Pinwheel, anyone?—and there is the Simon the Chalk Boy cartoon. I loved it when I was little and it still has a fond place in my heart. So we watch the opening credits and who, who, Who should turn out to be the narrator? Bernard Cribbins. Seriously, Donna’s grandfather from Dr. Who narrated a children’s program something like 30 years ago. I love it.

Also, in my desperation after finishing The Knife of Never Letting Go and waiting for The Ask and the Answer—which is finally in my possession and I can’t wait to start reading—I picked up I Am Number 4. I’d heard some good things about it and some people are trying to make it into a big deal and we had it, so I borrowed it. It was good, it wasn’t amazing, but it was solid and cool, if a little bit contrived in the narrative flow. I liked the characters a lot and thought the pacing was actually pretty brilliant.

The one qualm I have with it is that the ‘author’ is a character from the story. I don’t know what is up with this trend, but I find it super irritating. When I see something like this, it makes me think that either the author is well known for another work and is trying to branch out, or the book is a amalgam corporate construct that makes me feel kind of dirty for liking. It’s an unnecessary gimmick for me to like the book. I think it’s an unnecessary marketing ploy for kids to like the book. Just stop.
nyagosstar: (on the job)
I’ve been away from lj for a while this time. I’d blame work, or rl, or various other things, but I think the real reason is that I can only handle so many forms of social networking at one time and if my rl is really overbooked with people, and I’ve been checking in with omgtheshame facebook, something has to fall by the wayside. Bad me, no biscuit.

I have tons of stuff to talk about, but I’m going to restrain myself and spread it out so I’m not writing a novel of a post. I’ll start with the big stuff and the oldest stuff.

Last week was BEA, which is BookExpo America and is generally the feel good book industry event of the year. That’s not to say there aren’t other industry type events, but this is really the big one. Even though Scholastic couldn’t be bothered to show this year. I bet they were really regretting that decision after the disaster at London.

Anyway, I went up on Thursday on the early train and came back after the show was over and all in all it was a really good day. I know a lot of people sort of gauge how good the show is by how much free stuff there is and compared to when I was there three years ago I definitely came home with less it was still a really great show. There was a lot of positive energy and i learned about some really cool things that are coming out and some things that are available now that I didn't know about and it was a good day. Not the least of which was that I got to have Jamba Juice. I know we have one in Philly, but i want to be able to roll out of bed and walk to the corner and get it. Anyway.

I learned about some great new books that I’m totally excited to read, and picked up the three that I was on the hunt for. I am currently reading Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas because I love her books like burning. She’s so amazing and I’ve been waiting for ages for a new book. I also got the new Mary Roach book—this one is about various space training programs, how cool is that? And the best part?

Okay, so there is this picture book author that I love—David Melling. He wrote, among other things, this great picture book called The Kiss that Missed, that I love, love, love. I own half a dozen copies because I was afraid it would go out of print and I wanted to be able to give it to friends who have babies. He’s British and is never over here and he was at BEA on Wednesday signing his new book Hugless Dougless(it’s adorable btw). He was the only author I was really sad I was missing on Wednesday, though my boss went up that day and got a signed copy for me so I wasn’t too sad. I just wanted to be able to tell him how much I loved his book and how excited I was by the new one.

Anyway, on Thursday at the very end of the day everyone was packing up their stuff and we were wandering the floor seeing if there was anything we missed and we walked by David Melling’s booth. They still had their stuff up, so we thought we might be able to see a copy of Hugless Douglass, if nothing else, and who should be sitting there? David Melling! So I got to meet him, tell him how much I loved The Kiss That Missed and he signed a copy for my nephew that I’ll finally be seeing this month for the first time and it was awesome!
nyagosstar: (books)
This morning I’m going to talk about random things and books that I’ve read while I sort of suss out some other stuff that I’m working on in my brain.

I finally have the (new) version of word on my computer, now that there is a newer version coming out this year. Future, check out how hip I am to you. It’s hard for me not to hate it because it’s new and not my familiar word. Like right now, how I can’t figure out how to keep it from putting a double space between each paragraph. What’s up with that, yo?

It is actually warm enough here that I can walk around the apt complex in the mornings without worrying about dying of hypothermia or sliding on ice, or falling into piles of snow in a Hoth-like manner. I've missed listening to the Savage Love podcas--it is never not funny.

This week, I managed to finish a couple books. I read the first memoir that Josh Kilmer-Purcell wrote and I’m so glad that I read The Bucolic Plague before I read I’m Not Myself These Days. It’s not that it’s a bad book, it’s not. It’s charmingly written and funny, but the life he was living left me feeling distressed and I don’t know. Worried, maybe? Anyway, I like knowing that things turned out better, that the excessive alcohol and crack stopped and he ended up farming with goats instead.

No less worrying was This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer which is the third book to follow Life as We Knew It and the dead and the gone all of which are about what happens when an asteroid hits the moon harder than anyone expected, moving it closer to the earth and the ensuing chaos. If I were less lazy, I would link back to previous posts about these books, assuming I have them here and I didn't read them in the random and intermittent times when I didn't talk about books I'd read.

The first book was hard to read but ultimately very good. The second book was so soul destroying to read I honestly couldn’t think of a single person I could recommend it to without an offer of therapy after. The third is a good blending of the two, slightly less harrowing, and more about how groups of people cling together to survive instead of the horrible way we all fall apart. Terrible things still happen, and I still cried like a little girl at the end, but it was kind of nice to see everyone again, even though the circumstances seemed a little far fetched and it had been so long since I’d read the books, it took me a while to remember who everyone was.

All in all, not a bad run, but I’m hoping the books I have in my reading queue will knock me over. I love being surprised by books.

Oh, and I'm still loving the new Who. I find the new Doctor charming and surprisingly not!young even though he's like, twelve in RL. The stories continue to be cool and interesting and i love Amy, though I've loved all the companions, so that was never much of a worry. It's been suitably creepy and the Doctor is still sad, which makes me love him. I'm hoping for an awesome rest of the season.

I'm still totally over the Daleks, though.
nyagosstar: (books)
because When You Reach Me won the Newbery this morning. Not that i've read it, but i've been told by a very good source that there would be no justice in the world if it didn't win. so there you go.

i wasn't really invested in anything for this year's winner, so i don't feel one way or another about it, except to be happy that someone won who should win for a change. it was kind of a lackluster year as far as books were concerned. To be fair, i didn't read a ton, not the way i usually do, but what i did read was, for the most part, utterly forgettable. with the exception of Lost City of Z which was the best thing i read and was such an amazing book and i'm so pleased it's coming out in paper at the end of the month because it was brilliant.

here's hoping it's a better year in books this time around.
nyagosstar: (wes in thought)
I discovered a mysterious scratch on my face this morning and i have to assume it's from simon, though i don't remember him scratching my face any time recently. it's not really visible, but i can feel it, and if i lean in really close to a mirror, it's there.

very odd.

in other news i've been splitting my time between reading the Ghost Hunters book at home because it's that time of year for it and i've developed a sudden obsession for the show and Lies Across America which is fascinating and makes me furious by turns. did you know that Woodrow Wilson, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize for working to set up the League of Nations, SEGREGATED the federal government and was a raging racist? i'm reading the christopher colombus chapter now and while i knew most of his story was bullshit, i didn't realize just how much was left out. all around, good reading right now.
nyagosstar: (simon in blue)
but first--watchmen was awesome. i went to the midnight premier and saw it on the imax screen and it was pretty much everything that i wanted. i had a great time, was really happy, with they exception of the dude who got his hands cut off--i didn't watch that part--and think i'll probably be going to see it again sometime soon. the only thing that wasn't awesome was that with imax you don't get as many previews, but if you're only going to get one, at least it was harry potter.

tagged by [livejournal.com profile] mustanginblue


Comment on this post and I'll tell you five subjects/things I associate with you. Then you post them in your lj and elaborate.

Bookstore god i love bookstores. and not just my bookstore, any bookstore. the shiny new big box ones, older used bookstores, even the independents with their snooty attitudes. i love books and i love that i get to work surrounded by books. it's not all sunshine and puppies, as it is still retail, but it's book retail and that's not a bad thing.

Octavian Nothing i wish more people would listen to me about Octavian Nothing. those books leave me almost at a loss for words. they moved me profoundly and i feel like they should be required reading for all living people. M.T. Anderson has been a fav of mine for a couple years and it just fills me with such glee that he did something so spectacular, that he's really come into his own as a writer and that these books particularly are so amazing. so, yeah, go read Octavian Nothing.

My beta (when I am not lazy and actually write) there is something almost sinfully delicious about getting to read something before it's out there for public consumption. it's doubly wonderful when it's written by someone who has a wonderful grasp on characters and the flow of language that [livejournal.com profile] mustanginblue has. i love being able to suggest thigns that make a story not better, necessarily, but that help focus down what the author is trying to say so that it translates better from her brain to her audience. total love.

Simon he's walking in front of my monitor as i type this, actually and i've had to put him on the floor two times since i've started writing this. he's the best cat in the world, the cutest, smartest and most engaged cat ever. i am not biased. he's funny and a total pretty boy and i love him to death. i do however, think about Demetri Martin's hot/cat graph about how there is a point at which no matter how hot a girl is he doesn't want to hear about her cat anymore.

GAG or GA *grins* things are going really well. i'm having a good time, we're getting to know each other and i'm actually writing this as i kill time waiting for her to come over. nerds are awesome!
nyagosstar: (Default)
it had been hot and dry all day and then the last hour i was at work i spent in the back in my office, only to walk out and find it POURING. seriously, from no where.

books are such a funny thing. we spend so much time thinking about the newest thing, the most popular thing that it's easy, at least for me, to forget about all the wonderful thigns i've read over the years. it's easy to assume that because a book has been around for a while, everyone has already read it. it still knocks me flat when i sell copies of hp and the sorcerer's stone.

anyway, i was thinking today about raymond feist's riftwar saga books. they are literary gold by no means, but when i read them, all impressionable and not jaded by fantasy cliches at thirteen they were brilliant. how i loved pug and the moody arutha and jimmy the hand. jimmy the hand. there's a great scene at the end of the second book when he falls against a cliffside trying to escape from, um, something and stabs himself with his own knife. it was the most dire and thrilling thing i'd ever read.

i generally don't recommend these books to adults, but i'll hand them off to kids in a heartbeat. kind of like david eddings because i have such fond memories for them. part of it was because i didn't really read kids books as a kid, i hit nine years old and skipped right to adult books. fantasy--at that time--tended to be a safe place for kids like me and so those are the books of my youth instead of the phantom tollbooth or matilda(both of which i've never read) but also, i think, even at that age, i was so desperate to get out of my own town, to be older to be more interesting that those books opened up a whole new way of thinking.

they were magic just as much as the kind the characters used.
nyagosstar: (on the job)
i had to fire someone this week. i've never had to do that before and it was pretty unsettling. our gm is on vacation and usually it's her purview to do that kind of thing, but it was the kind of situation that couldn't wait for her to come back and, yeah.

there were tears and apologies and then the person told me it had been good to work with me and shook my hand. because i didn't feel like enough of an asshole.

i'm awash in books again, so maybe i'll, you know, finish one for a change. the new percy jackson is calling my name, but then i lucked into a galley of the follow up to Green Glass Sea, which i loved so hard core. i have to give it back, so i need to read it fast like whoa and then i can read percy.

did i mention i also have a collection of essays by michael chabon that's been sitting on my nightstand for like, a month? you know i'm having a hard time when i can't commit to michael. sigh.
nyagosstar: (books)
okay, here's the thing about book awards. stop me if you've heard this from me before, or you know, just move on.

it's very, very, very rare that anyone gives a shit about the books that end up winning awards until after they've won said awards. the fact that 90 percent of readers didn't care about a book yesterday and now are beyond coherent speech in their fury at my not having it because six other pretentious douche bags came in and bought my six copies earlier in the day makes me a little insane.

i believe in the idea of literary canon, that there is a collection of books that we as a society should have some knowledge of. god knows i have not read them all, and i've certainly not liked some of them, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have this canon to start from.

what i have a problem with is the people who never stray from the canon. who never wander to see where their taste will take them. who let newspapers and literary award committees tell them what they should be reading instead of thinking for themselves.

this is all brought to you by the Pulitzer winner for fiction: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which i talked about here. i think the win isn't that surprising, it's exactly the kind of book to get this kind of prize. well written, heartbreaking, and can't we all feel really good about ourselves for reading something ethnic before going to pick up the kids at soccer. none of which is to say anything about the quality of book only the people who are filled with self righteous indignation that i'm out of the book. when i had it up as my staff pick for the entire month of december.

in other, non-ranty, news, i gave simon a bath this afternoon and he smells so sweet. or at least like cat shampoo, which i find very soothing.
nyagosstar: (abhorsen)
last week, we found out that garth nix and scott westerfeld were signing at the same time in new york. some last minute dealing for my schedule, a couple miserable hours worth of travel--mmmm, rain--and there we were.

same store as the kenneth oppel event, but with, you know, more people, which was cool. i mean, garth hasn't been in the states for five years, so you'd hope there'd be a good turn out. and it was completely worth the frustration of travel just to hear him talk. he didn't say too much as he was part of a panel, so he had to split his time, but it was such a cool experience.

someone asked the panel as a whole how they go about writing--if they prefer to have really exacting outlines or if they just sort of wing it, and the answers were very interesting. they were all across the board from following a detailed outline, to writing an outline and then deviating from it to only having a vague idea of where things are going.

also, there was a girl in the audience, probably mid-teens, who was cos-playing as an extra which was the cutest thing in the world. i love book people. dressing up like your favorite characters isn't just for harry potter and sometimes it's easy to forget that because hp sort of dominates the market.

and garth is working with some people to develop miniature replica bells from the abhorsen trilogy for retail and i so want them. he brought a little one to show and it's totally the kind of thing i'd love to have kicking around on my bookshelf.
nyagosstar: (books)
There's something very satisfying in a naval-gazing sense of the word in sorting through all of your books.

we needed a new lamp in the apt. the living room area has no overhead light and the current lamp was given to us when we moved in six years ago. it was a two part lamp an in the intervenign years, we have lost the knob to turn on the top part of the lamp and had the bulb melt through the plastic of the bottom shade.

we went to ikea with the intention of buying a lamp. ikea is like target, you can't get out of there without buying a hell of a lot more than you were expecting. we got a cool lamp but i also bought a bookcase--which to be honest i desperately needed, i've had books in stacks sitting on my floor for ages.--two desk lamps a cute little tent for simon and light bulbs enough to last for years.

so, with a little rearranging and a little cleaning, the new bookcase fit and i got to sort through all of my books. i'm not sure if it's because i work with books, or because i like them in general or what but even though it was hours worth of work to get everything set the way i wanted, it wasn't like work at all. i got to touch all the books i have with me here, some i haven't read in years, but just holding them made me remember what it was about them that was special.

the number i have now is far, far less than i had at one point. when i moved to pa, everything i needed to bring with me had to fit in my car, so i sorted through my books then and was brutal in what i kept. things i hadn't read in years or knew i wouldn't read again got donated and i only brought maybe half of what i had owned. all of my college books stayed at my parents house because i couldn't fit them but i couldn't bear to get rid of them. i have some of them now and have been collecting them slowly over the past couple years. they now have their own shelf and if i get too many more, they're going to spill onto another.

it was also good because it made me realize that i didn't have some books i thought i did. i don't own a copy of abhorsen, which is criminal. i read an advanced reader for it, but then never bought myself a copy. i never bought titan's curse, again the advanced reader made me think i had it and i don't have a copy of amber spyglass. i think i may have borrowed it from someone else, but i could have sworn i had it. privlege of the sword? apparently i never bought that, either. the saddest thing is that i can't find my advanced reader of Megiddo's Shadow. i know i can still get a first edition, but the advance reader is special and i'm pretty upset that it's i can't find it, plus i thought i did buy a copy when it came out. this is why i shouldn't borrow books from other people because i think in my head that i've bought them. also, i can point to the two books out of the many, many i have that i borrowed from someone and never gave back. one was from an ex and the other was from a friend at work. both make me feel a little ill when i look at them, because they aren't mine

the only weeding out this time around is going to be robert jordan. i was holding on to them out of some sense of nostalgia, i think because there was a time that i really loved them. that was many, many years ago and they just aren't that good. i won't read them again, i stopped reading the series when i was in college and they're just taking up space that at this point i can't afford. the paperbacks are falling apart--dear tor, your binding sucks--and the hardcovers are freaking huge. i have five hardcovers, all first editions, and i've got one of them signed. still doesn't make me want to keep it, though. it's time to let them go. i'm not twenty anymore and i think it's going to be okay to set them free.
nyagosstar: (Default)
well, here it is, the last day of july. overall, it was better than june, but i'm looking for improvement in august.

i posted every day this month, with the exception of the blackout day, which still kind of bums me out. i'm not sure how i feel about it, in some respects it was good for me to get some thoughts out on paper, as it were. at other times, i really felt like i was reaching for anything to say. and in a testament to my laziness, i still have pics of my knitting i wanted to post and never did. there is now a hat that's been completed, yay!

things i've learned: i think about work too much, harry potter ate my brain, despite the fact that i don't spend that much time watching television, it takes up an inordinate amount of my posting time, i should be reading more, july was a great month for movies but from the previews i got, this fall will not be, WILL STANTON IS NOT AN AMERICAN, ahem. oh, and botporn is still an awesome if disturbing word.

so, instead of sitting here, talking about the things i did, or didn't do, i'm going to finish my mountain of wash, get the rest of my room in order, give simon a bath(shhh, don't tell), go to the knitting shop and find out what i need to make a small afghan and buy hot fuzz, cause it's out today and buddy cops = love. oh, yeah and write about thirty pages because the birthday the story should be done for? yeah it's in two days. way to procrastinate, asshole.

and that will have been july.
nyagosstar: (books)
that is pretty much the only impression i have left of Ali Liebegott's main character from her book, The IHOP Papers. i wanted something lighter, something less epic when i finished YPU so instead of jumping right back into tad, i opted for this book because it was short and it was next to my bed. i'm not sure at this point if i want the time i spent reading it back, if i'm going to regret those hours when i'm dying or if i just don't care. it's not that it's poorly written, because the writing is solid, but the main character, for the love of god. she's so dumb. and i guess that might be the point, but i have nothing for her. i have no sympathy, no interest, no anything. she's a cutter and an alcoholic, both serious issues that i don't think were handled seriously, they were trendy things to give to a young character to show how fucked up she is. frankly i'm just glad i'm done with the book so i can move on to something else.

in other book news, there is a special edition of YPU that's going to be released, and even though it's 150 dollars and i have no idea what makes it special, i kind of want it. because i'm a crazy person.

also, sarah must be fucking with me about the dice. she must be, because this morning they were on 4 and 4. i've reset them and am seriously thinking about dusting for prints.
nyagosstar: (Default)
i just came home from the best thing ever.

so, about 3 or 4 months ago, we got a call from one of the local synagogues asking if we had someone in the store who could come talk to them about new books. i did something similar for a group of teachers last year to help prep them for summer reading, so i said, sure, why not. i don't read a lot of adult fiction because i think a lot of it is boring, but i can fake a good game.

the interesting thing is that they contacted our corporate rep and he had all the contact info which he then threw away when we hit the new year. i had it in my head that this thing was going to be in march some time. and then i got a letter in the mail on friday saying 'thanks so much for coming to speak with us, here are directions for our meeting on wed.'

so, in the midst of a busy weekend, prepping for our regional director's visit and dealing with all of the regular day to day shit, i threw some things together and steeled myself to go hang out with a group of people i don't know.

by the way, hi i have mild social anxiety, in case we haven't met. i don't like new people. i have a hard time with people i've known for six months. throw me in a room with a bunch of people i don't know and i'll find the closest corner and keep my mouth shut as much as possible. i suck at small talk.

but, put me in front of a crowd, let me have a talk or a presentation and i am golden. i actually kind of enjoy public speaking, i think it's because i'm the one in control. i like having a room full of people listening to what i'm saying, laughing at something i've said. it's cool. it's like performance writing.

so anyway, i went and had the best time. they fed me lunch, which ruled, i got to listen to them talk about the mah jong groups they play in, their different cleaning people--cleaning people for the love of god. i was at the bad kid table, with all the funny, slightly less ancient women and it was really cool. then i got up, gave my talk and had a couple good conversations about books when it was over.

i have to say i'm feeling pretty good right at the moment. i went into this kind of dreading it, but it ended up being really good.

also, i got this huge box in the mail from my parents. my mom started to send me my books from college and i'm so ridiculously pleased. it's a bit nerdish, but i've missed them. i kept all the ones from my major and a handful of others. what i'd really like her to send next are my class notes, because, yes, i kept those as well.

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December 2012

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