Interesting websites

More random thoughts and some random websites

Posted on 23 February 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites | Tags: , |

I’m trying to read a book so I can review it, strange thought that, the book is Dracula by Bram Stoker. I will be finished it in a few days but while you’re waiting I have to give you something to ponder on and so here’s another in my random series of random thoughts. I’ll give you a few websites as well just because they’re fun.

This is The Millions and this particular post is “Long Live Fiction: A Guide to Fiction Online”. As you might possibly have guessed I really like fiction, non-fiction can be good too, but I really like the flights of imagination that you can get with fiction and the more I do the more I find that fiction can be anywhere. Some can be really short as I discussed here while others can be much longer. See the blog for links as it’s quite good.

I’m sure you all got quite bored reading the lists I’d found and checking out which books I’d read and which I hadn’t. Anyway, here’s another one except I’m not going to annotate it as some of those books go way back for me and while I know the name and author there’s no way I’m going to remember whether I’ve actually read them.

Neil Gaiman blames Michael Moorcock here. If you’re a writer, who got you started? Neil Gaiman blames credits Michael Moorcock with starting him off on the road to stardom authorship.

I’m working on some upgrades to the website. They’re in the middle of happening, by someone else, a lovely person with skills I don’t have, and I’ve had to stop listing books until it’s finished. Hopefully this should only take a couple more days as my Mum is coming to dinner on Friday and I’ll have to move everything out of the dining room. I was complaining about this to some friends the other day and they were telling me how lucky I was as they had to transform their offices into a dining room for every meal. I want to continue complaining as they only have to move sewing stuff and a sewing machine while I have boxes of books but I suspect it’s about equal for the actual moving, it’s just they have to do it a lot more often.

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Reading Personality

Posted on 20 February 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites | Tags: , , |

I was happily browsing Twitter and someone directed me to a quiz to find out which Reading Personality I am. I was very sceptical but clicked on the link anyway and I remain rather sceptical. The questions are such that I just had to choose one option despite none of them being correct. Maybe it’s me and I’m just totally different to the person this quiz is aimed at or maybe it’s the quiz, I don’t know. I’m not going to give you the questions as that would mean you’d be prepared and it’s something you should just experience.

Apparently I fit into the All Rounder as I fit equally into all four reading personalities. That’s just fun and when I read the personalities and their descriptions I had to laugh as each one fits me at various times and I might change from day to day depending on what I’ve seen and read about and also depending on recommendations. So, here are the four personalities:

Involved Reader: You don’t just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase – discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others.
Exacting Reader: You love books but you rarely have as much time to read as you’d like – so you’re very particular about the books you choose.
Serial Reader: Once you discover a favorite writer you tend to stick with him/her through thick and thin.
Eclectic Reader: You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You’re open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.

Should you choose to do the quiz it would be interesting to see your result and to see how you view your result.

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A couple of websites

Posted on 12 February 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites | Tags: , |

Just a little post today as it’s been a rather busy day and I’d like to get to bed soon. It’s almost 11pm so I think I’m justified.

Kelly is a friend I know from a forum on a popular online auction site. She has just started a new blog and one of her first posts is very interesting. She found a book at a book fair with an inscription inside and decided it was appropriate to return it to the family. She posted about it on the forum at the time she found it and only received encouragement to find and return the book. You can read her story here.

I only heard about Good Reads today and I’ve already joined up. It seems like a great way to find new books and connect with other readers. It was very interesting to read their lists of books and to tick which ones I’d read and which I wanted to read. I’d already read most of the science fiction list and only one of the chick lit. I’m sure it says everything about the types of books I read.

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Top 10 Australian books

Posted on 5 February 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites, reading | Tags: , |

Here are the top 10 Australian books as survey by the Australian Book Review and here’s the full list of nominated novels. It’s a very interesting list spanning 290 titles with authors such as Tim Winton having several books in it. Of those 290 titles I’ve only read about 15 of them and some are very important books so I’d better get cracking. I do admit to having Lennie Lower on the shelf but I’ve never read it.

Here they are:

1. Cloudstreet, by Tim Winton
2. The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, by Henry Handel Richardson
3. Voss, by Patrick White
4. Breath, by Tim Winton
5. Oscar and Lucinda, by Peter Carey
6. My Brother Jack, by George Johnston
7. The Secret River, by Kate Grenville
8. Eucalyptus, by Murray Bail
9. The Man Who Loved Children, by Christina Stead
10. The Tree of Man, by Patrick White

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Short stories

Posted on 30 January 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites | Tags: , , , |

Many, many moons ago, when I was much younger than the age I profess to be, my family were having a conversation about the shortest story in the world. Now I’m not able to comment on the validity of this but the shortest story we came up with was “And the sun sank slowly in the west.” That was the whole story. Whether it’s true or not is totally irrelevant at this point but it was fun. Someone in the family did mention it was a real story.

Technology has moved on dramatically since that time and we have so many stories of differing lengths. The latest I’ve found is Hellnotes and they’re canvassing science fiction, fantasy and horror stories. They pay roughly $1 per story but it has to fit within a tweet so a maximum of 140 characters. I have noticed novels are getting longer and longer with a lot of them being serialised so you end up with a large number of bricks which you have to wade your way through. I’m not convinced that longer books are better as some of them have an awful lot of fillers and as I read them I wonder why the author has enlarged on that particular point to quite that extent. I’ve heard many complaints about the length of the later Harry Potter novels and there is so much in the last book they’ve had to make two movies out of it. So, I can’t help but wonder how Twitter Fiction will go. Will we get back to the short stories by masters of horror, such as Edgar Allan Poe, and will we then end up with better fiction or will something else happen? I can’t imagine what could happen but if we get better fiction then the end result is good. It’s certainly going to be interesting to find out.

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Literary Larceny

Posted on 9 January 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites | Tags: , |

I would have written earlier but I’ve been having trouble with my wifi connection. It’s a bit dodgey occasionally and stops working for no apparent reason and then comes back some time later for exactly the same reason. I did have something to write about a day and a half ago but now I’ve forgotten it so you’ll have to put with a few words about something entirely different with a referral to an article and an excerpt from a book.

Book stealing is not new, it’s been going on probably about as long as books have been written. I admit I don’t have any documentary evidence but there is evidence in fiction and generally if it’s happened in fiction then it’s happened in reality. I seem to recall Ellis Peters writing about a stolen book in one of her Brother Cadfael books. Brilliant books, too. The scenery in Shrewsbury, where the books are set, is just stunning. That’s the only one I’m going to mention as it’s all that springs to mind today, although Robert Ludlum also comes to my memory but I couldn’t tell you which title mentions a book being stolen.

So, back to modern day. The article Literary Larceny: A Book Thief Meets His Match is all about Ken Sanders and how he tracked down a very modern book thief, it includes an excerpt from a book written about a man who loved books too much and felt he had to own rare volumes without the money to actually pay for them. It’s a new book and I plan to read it one day, judging by the excerpt I’m going to have trouble putting it down.

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Book Aids

Posted on 6 January 2010. Filed under: Interesting websites | Tags: , |

I was browsing Twitter earlier today, something I’m in the habit of doing, you never know when you’ll find something interesting to waste time with, and was directed to the latest in new gadgets to help you read. It’s a Thumb Thing, something to sit on your thumb and hold the book open so you can read more easily. I didn’t even know I needed it until today. Anyway, I browsed the rest of the site and found some lovely bookmarks. It got me thinking about what people use to mark their page. The ones we hate the most are page turners, those people who fold down the corner of the page and leave the book scarred for life. After that, anything is used for a bookmark, there are many people who use a bus ticket, others use business cards, some people tear a corner off the newspaper and use that. If you check out the website you’ll find some magnetic bookmarks, they’re very flashy and I quite like them as you know you’ll never lose your page again.

Every business has their freebies and I’d figured the best thing I could do would be to commission some bookmarks but I didn’t want anything too normal, I wanted something different, something to stand out and make people remember me and also something that people would want to use until it fell apart. One day I was browsing eBay and found exactly the right kind of bookmark I wanted. They were a foldover bookmark with magnets at the base so they stick together when you put them on the page. I was so taken with them I worked with the seller and bought a bulk lot. Sometime later I needed a lot more of them so I commissioned some artwork and negotiated with my local printer who loved the idea so much they gave me a really good price and printed 1,000 of them for me. I now put them free in with every order and sell them separately for $3 each.

Going back to that website for a moment only to a different link, they have these cute little things they call Book Darts which you can use instead of post its. They’re little magnetic doodads and you can point at a particular line. I think they’re great and I could have used heaps of them with my research.

So, I’m going to ask for some input from the readers. What do you use to mark your page? Is it something standard or something exciting? Whatever it is I’d like to know.

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Little Things

Posted on 14 December 2009. Filed under: Interesting websites | Tags: , , |

I would have posted this last night but our wifi was playing up and connection was very sporadic. I generally had a couple of minutes of connection followed by 20 or so minutes of nothing. I should have been doing some ironing but we only have one iron and someone else was using it, hated to interrupt the industrious one so I played games instead. This means you get all of this today.

There’s a lot of discussion and interest in the Twilight series of books and movies. Now, I haven’t said anything about it until now as I’ve neither read the books nor seen the movies. I’ve had conflicting reports about them, about whether they’re good, bad or indifferent…the only overriding thing I’ve heard about them is that there’s a lot of emotion in them and a lot of very intense looks. I have seen the film clip for the song and some of the special effects are pretty slick so maybe I will see the movies one day. I do want to point out before I give the link that I am trying to maintain an open mind, but when I read the comments about the lol catz being pretty on the money I have to wonder about it. Anyway, here’s the link.

The next thing for this blog is about a warehouse. It’s the Amazon Fulfillment Centre and it’s massive. I do not want to have that many books to choose from, the logistics of filing new stock and finding orders would be mind blowing. Anyway, here’s the link.

The third item for now is an interview with Terry Pratchett. It does have spoilers for Unseen Academicals so if you’re like me and you haven’t read it yet you might want to bookmark it for later. I read it anyway, thoroughly enjoyed it and find it’s actually whet my appetite for the book.

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Twitter

Posted on 10 December 2009. Filed under: Interesting websites |

I’m having a fabulous time with Twitter. For a long time I only used it for telling people what I’d listed and about my blog and other rather boring stuff.

A few days ago I found a friend on it and followed her, she followed me and we had a conversation on Twitter. Much hilarity followed as we found more friends and connected with each one. I also followed some of the retweets she’d made and some retweets others had made and found myself looking at a competition run by Penguin Australia.

Basically, you had to look at a page of the new Penguin reprints, tell them which one you wanted to win and why. I choose one book (the title escapes my memory) figured out a reason and when I went to enter it into Twitter found a friend had already done that one for the same reason. I decided she had a much better chance of winning that than I did and I didn’t want to compete with her so I chose a different book and won! Sadly, my friend didn’t. So, the book I chose is called Regeneration and I said something to the effect of…Regeneration, because my body has to look good some time this century. I’m now waiting rather impatiently for my winning book as I’d like to read it and find out what it’s about.

My suggestion to all you bookies out there in blogland is to join Twitter and follow all the publishing houses you can find. If you happen to be on at the same time as they post their competitions then you should enter.

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Romance or not

Posted on 9 December 2009. Filed under: Book Reviews, Interesting websites |

I still have two book reviews to go until I read some more books but on reading my regular blogs I was excited by one of them and thought I’d say a few words and then let Karen do the talking.

I will read almost any book I’m given, I make an exception for romance. I am not romantic and absolutely dislike romance to such an extent that it can actually destroy a science fiction or fantasy book for me. So, I’d like someone to tell me what is so different about the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy L. Sayers. I still very much like them and the romance doesn’t worry me in the least.

Anyway, I think I’ll let Karen talk to you about Busman’s Holiday, one of the Lord Peter Wimsey series.

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