nlbarber: (Fish-Fred)
Super tech-support kudos to Readerware, whose book database I've been using for years to maintain a (mostly complete) catalog of my books. (Several metric Bryants, though still short of an Old English Bryant, for the Bujold listees out there....)

I had been holding at a late 2.x version until my recent update to OSX-beyond-Snow-Leopard, and finally installed 3.41 yesterday. It looked horrible. I use the "table view" 99.9% of the time, and the fonts had gone from a smooth, well-sized (but not adjustable), readable, font to something thin and smaller and pixelated. I found the new font prefs, but everything I tried still gave me pixelated fonts that were a pain to read.

So, I searched their online help. FAQs, and KnowledgeBase to no avail, then wrote to their support email at 6:30 yesterday evening (Saturday. The weekend between Christmas and New Years.) asking what the fonts were in v 2.x so I could replicate that setting. I thought I’d get a response sometime Monday. Nope, around 10 PM I got my answer, and also explaining that the Java version is different and that affects the font rendering, and offering other suggestions as well. Long story short: the back-and-forth about the font rendering uncovered a bug in all platforms in the table view. About 26 hours after I wrote that first email, there's a new version of Readerware available to correct the bug.

I've downloaded and installed it, and things are back to a clean font.
nlbarber: (Default)
Via PaperBackSwap, I'm slowly shipping off books from my childhood home (mostly paperbacks, but some hardbacks) that were still in good shape, but for various reasons I thought shouldn't be included in the huge donation we made to the local library. Mostly these were very old paperbacks, which I was sure the library could not use in their collection and which would probably not find a home in a south Georgia book sale.

My bookshelf at PaperBackSwap thus has a very odd mix of stuff from me (mostly SF and romance, some mysteries and other miscellany), stuff from my older brother's undergrad days with comparative religions and philosophy and his grad school days when he got an urban and regional planning degree, and stuff from my parents' eclectic reading. Oh, and a good sprinkling of children's' books that I and my siblings left there and which never got passed along to other kids. If you're interested, email me and I'll tell you how to find my PBS bookshelf my PBS nickname is NancyB--I'm willing to ship any of these upon request, via PBS or not. There's still one more box (at least) to list, which I think is mostly the spicier stuff that lived in a locked cabinet when we kids were young. Some of that I will probably keep for the entertainment value, intended or not.

All that was just to preface a note on the book requested today, Alan Moorehead's The White Nile, in paperback, printed in 1962. The marketing blurb across the top says "The brilliant $5.95 bestseller complete -- 75¢".

iPad stuff

May. 16th, 2010 10:55 pm
nlbarber: (Default)
First repair, of sorts: after returning from Ohio, my 3G connection didn't work. I first attributed this to poor AT&T connections, but I was consistently showing 4 or 5 bars of signal...but no 3G. I checked the Apple support boards and found a handful of similar reports--people activated an account in one city, and then couldn't connect somewhere else.

repair tale... )

The repair jaunt was Thursday, during what ended up being a very extended lunch hour. On my off-day Friday I did my usual Weight Watchers meeting at 12:30, then decided to eat lunch at Lucky Key chinese in the same strip mall to avoid the taking off and putting back on of the boot. I settled into a booth, placed my order, and pulled out the iPad to read a book. My waiter paused after delivering soup-and-eggroll and asked "Computer?" I said yes, sort of, it was an iPad. Next thing I knew there was a cluster of 4 waiters and waitresses saying "Internet?" "Read books? In Chinese?" (I didn't know the answer to that one.) The conversation then lapsed into Chinese as they stood and discussed it. Later in the meal, one more waitress paused and peered across the table to see it, but didn't make a comment. The English skills at Lucky Key are mixed.

And last iPad tidbit: I listened to a library audiobook today. Overdrive audiobooks and Briggs' Silver Borne )
nlbarber: (Default)
For quite a while I've had this vague project of improving on my little knowledge of German left from 2 semesters of 'reading German' in grad school. My idea was to buy translations of a few books that I know very well, and try to read through them without (hopefully) needing a dictionary for every other word. This project had only progressed to the purchase of Bujold's Mirror Dance a few years ago (did I buy that on the family trip to Germany back in 2001?) and a handful of children's books. Then when I got involved in PaperBackSwap, I decided to add Der Kadett (The Warrior's Apprentice) to my wishlist. You never know what might turn up on PBS.

Sometime later, I got [ profile] filkferengi into PBS when she expressed the need to reduce her book inventory. She spotted Der Kadett on my list and got the tale of my project. Now in retaliation appreciation for telling her about PBS, she has just sent me a box of books in German. 12 Georgette Heyers, 3 Mary Stewarts, 3 Marion Zimmer Bradleys (one's an edited anthology). Oh joy, 3 Dorothy Sayers. (Gaudy Night! The Nine Tailors!) And 8 Bujolds--including Der Kadett, with what I consider the worst Bujold cover. So deliciously bad....

If anyone out there has a similar wish for reading in German, I'd be willing to share some of the Heyers, or the Mary Stewarts. A few of those are not favorite reads, and I've now got plenty of material for my self-education project.

Vielen Dank, [ profile] filkferengi!
nlbarber: (Default)
Readerware's auto-catalog search for The Curious Sofa: a pornographic work by Ogdred Weary (really Edward Gorey) has placed it in the category "Home furnishing & decoration".

Um, riiiight.
nlbarber: (Default)
I had set up an account at Goodreads a while back, put in an odd mix of 6 books, and forgotten about it, having invested a good bit more time and energy over on LibraryThing. But [ profile] tammy212 mentioned putting reviews on Goodreads, and I went to look. And decided to give it a try at importing a CSV file from my Readerware database.

Not so good. I gave it, I thought, the columns of data it could use for lookups (title, author, and ISBN), but I'm wondering if it's a lot pickier than I thought about format or something. The current status says "Books added : 288, Books unable to add: 2184, Unprocessed entries: 453". Not a very good success rate, and while I do have a lot of books without ISBNs, some of those should match by title and author. The percent with ISBNs ought to be higher than that in any case. Maybe I'll tweak the file and try again, or maybe I'll just stick with LibraryThing--I'm not planning to use either site for 'social networking' anyway, just for reference.

And another thing--it seems to be entering only one book per author. One Balogh (Readerware shows 58, all with ISBNs). One of the Baum Oz books out of 17. Oh, wait, there are multiple Bujolds, but nothing like the full collection. Definitely some glitches in this process, in either my end, their end, or both.
nlbarber: (Default)
First time I've posted one of these, I think. I used to keep a reading log by scribbling the author, title, and (usually) a grade on a calendar the day I finished the book, then last year got most of these entered into a spreadsheet and moved the continuing log to a spiral notebook. Looks like I made a first attempt at a book log in 1996 and abandoned it, then hit on this system in 1999 and have used it since.

Generally these are books read for the first time--I don't record re-reads, unless I forgot that I'd read it before until somewhere in the re-read. Mostly. The other reason for not recording re-reads is that often those are not a full read-through--I go for favorite bits, or a certain scene, or whatever the mood needs. Grades are wholly subjective and, I'm sure, inconsistent. Sometimes a book that is really a "not for me" book will get an A and a note to not read that author again, other times it will be a D and the same note. I'm not enough of a self-analyst to know why. All comments about how I do this are not absolutes, and are subject to change at my whim...

I'm always reading, so the gaps in dates represent re-reads. Fill 'em in by guessing at titles by Bujold, Lee & Miller, Sayers, Nora Roberts, Balogh, and many others--and often the gap means I'm stressed and needing comfort reads, not new stuff.

Now let's see how bad the formatting looks if I just paste 3 columns from the Excel file in here. 119 entries, but note that I put novellas and short stories from anthologies as separate entries.

list behind the cut )

Book meme

Nov. 14th, 2008 06:09 pm
nlbarber: (TSK-horizon)
Haven't done a meme in a loooong time....this one is via [ profile] joyeuse13:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

She glanced to Nola for help.
"Nothing. It's a present"
"For me?" said Fawn, surprised.

From The Sharing Knife: Horizon, by Lois McMaster Bujold.

(It really was the closest, I promise! No rigging the meme for a snerk!)
nlbarber: (Default)
Duainfey in the wild Spotted and captured in the wild: one copy of Duainfey, by Lee & Miller. Next to it on the shelf were the new Ace editions of Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon, also first sightings for this observer. Those were left undisturbed for future hunters.

Field location: Borders in Buckhead (Atlanta).
nlbarber: (Default)
Paperbackswap's Atlanta group had agreed to a pre-book-festival meeting at the Decatur Ruby Tuesday's, at 11 AM. I swung by and picked up Cheryl, who has no car and would otherwise have had to depend on MARTA's limited Sunday bus service. She lives right on my path, so it was no problem at all. Only 5 people ultimately showed up--Cheryl and me, Richard the PBS founder with his son, and Mike. The other 6 or 7 who'd said they'd come weren't there. Or maybe someone showed after I left at noon...

Beagle and Rothfuss, and a cooking demo )

That was my last event--the only other thing I was interested in was another cooking demo, but it didn't start for another hour and a half and I'd exhausted the delights of the booth exhibits. And had enough heat and humidity. That's one major drawback to a festival held partly outdoors over Labor Day weekend in Georgia--it's going to be hot.
nlbarber: (Default)
I spent most of today at the Decatur Book Festival, and will be back tomorrow for at least part of the afternoon. I was really pleased to see that the DBF folks and Dragon*Con have gotten together at least a little, so that several people who I assume are primarily in town for D*C ran over to Decatur to participate in a DBF event. It makes so much sense to both groups (or so it seems to me), and I hope it will continue and expand. I must drop the DBF group an email next week and say thanks, and ask them next year to see if Tamora Pierce will come. I almost fought the D*C hassles this year because she is there...almost.

Sabuda/Reinhart do pop-ups )

4 D*C authors at one blow )
Mystery authors, then _Garden Spell_'s Allen )

YA events )

I noticed one major difference in DBF and D*C, or SF cons in general (I don't know about other book festivals). The "Young Ones" group operated as a panel just as at a con, and sort of drafted the guy who was there to introduce them (a writer for Creative Loafing) to act as a moderator. All the other events got to had one or two writers who got an introduction but then filling the time was up to them. Trocheck just stood up and talked about herself and her writing (and she's an excellent speaker), Kelby tried a little of the "just talking" less successfully then read a little, Allen did about the same but wasn't trying for so much humor and came across better for it. I think either approach will work, but the panel/moderator gives some insurance against the author who hasn't learned to hold an audience solo.
nlbarber: (Default)
For those who haven't heard...

The Meisha Merlin warehouse contents, rumored to be 'about to be pulped' last year about this time, apparently really are about to go. Sean Wallace of Wildside Press is making a run to salvage what he can, basically one truck-full (semi, I assume). See the original announcement.

He can use all possible help for loading, even an hour or two. The warehouse is at 1440 Kelton Drive, Stone Mountain, which is in the general vicinity of Stone Mtn. Freeway and Hairston Road. All the truck company will tell him is that the truck will be there sometime between 12 and 4 PM Wednesday, the 23rd. Show up if you can--if I can spring loose from my office a little early, I'm planning to go.
nlbarber: (Default)
I checked Dragon Harper, by Todd McCaffrey (and supposedly Anne McCaffrey, too) out of the library, in some sort of nostalgic search for a visit to the world of Dragonsong and Dragonsinger, which I loved many years ago and still pull off the shelf occasionally for a re-read. I don't think I'll be able to finish it, though. It suffers from the problems I had with Dragon's Kin, only more so. Or maybe they're just bothering me more.

the ugly details... )
I could go on, but given that I'm only on p. 65 of about 300, I think I'm better off abandoning this one. And the series as well...which I did once before back when Dolphins of Pern appeared. It's dead. I shall read no more.
nlbarber: (Default)
Long day at the Decatur Book Festival, but not attending author lectures or book-signings.

books, promoting PaperBackSwap, and cooking demos )
Best story of the day: Graubart got married in Rome, Italy (at Pat Conroy's villa) and Dupree cooked the wedding breakfast. But the write-up in the Atlanta paper reported that the wedding took place in Rome, Georgia, thanks to an editor who made an incorrect assumption. Not quite the same thing, y'know?
nlbarber: (Default)
Well, finished this weekend.

Bloodring by Faith Hunter was good-but-not-great: a post-apocalypse (think the Biblical version) novel with an odd mix of mages and seraphs and mystic rituals and relic computers and the Internet and horses. You get the idea. It took some slogging to get through it, but overall it was positive. I'll read the sequel, if I can get it from the library or PaperBack Swap--I don't think I'm going to buy a trade paper edition of it.

After slogging through Bloodring, I somewhat reluctantly picked up the other library book I had out: Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It's a Big Fat Fantasy (close to 700 pages), something I rarely manage to plow through these days. But I saw several mentions of it on SFF.Net, the library had it, so I requested it. Wow! Got sucked right in--was up too late Friday night, slowed down a little on Saturday, and finished it off this afternoon. Now the real problem: it's a BFF trilogy, and part 2 isn't due out until next spring. By the author's blog, he's still working on revisions. And then (assuming the quality holds up) I'll have to wait on part 3.

The slowdown yesterday is my only negative for the book, and it's more a personal preference. I started to get that 'watching a train wreck' feeling that the opening of Bujold's Memory has as well--a protagonist doing things that made you want to reach in the book and shake him to say "Bad idea! Stop that!" In this case it was the running feud, plus the pursuit of the girl of mystery. Both of which are still going on at the end of part 1, though the feud dropped back in intensity. Both actions are supported by the character as written (he's 15 through most of the book, first off), but I have a problem watching slow-motion train wrecks.
nlbarber: (Fred)
Progress report on the Wild Atlantean Adventure

Stage 1 complete: [ profile] kinzel has arrived in Atlanta (the Amtrak Crescent got in a a little early, in fact), had had a good night's rest on the train, and has been delivered to the rental truck place. Truck has been inspected, paperwork is done, and I
think I saw him pulling out behind me as I left to head to my office shortly after 11.

We stopped off at my place to kill an hour or so before the truck rental opened, and Steve met the cats. Agatha allowed a head scritch or two before retreating to safer areas of the house. Fish was friendly, but you know, it really was time for the morning nap so he didn't stick around long. Fred hovered. Here was a new human who did interesting things like purr at her. He wielded cat brushes with ease and could be found at carpet level trying to be non-threatening. Nonetheless, she kept mostly at arm's length + 6 inches for quite a while before she broke down and made a few rubs at his ankles. As we were trying to leave, she was doing the brush flop--she picks a location close to your feet and flops on her side, which is your clue to grab a brush, kneel, and brush away. She learned this from Agatha-cat....
nlbarber: (Default)
I've been hearing about for a while now, mostly on romance book mailing lists, but I think it's been mentioned on piffle and elsewhere. I finally got around to joining and posting my first batch of books back in September, and have been moderately pleased by getting rid of some books, and more pleased by being able to get a few things that would otherwise have ended up on the "look for in used bookstores" list or ordered from a UBS online for some degree of expense for the shipping, at least.

how PBS works )

planning the meeting )

Great gathering, the founders show up and share some inside information )

Anyway, nice afternoon, and lots of interesting conversation. We're going to try to meet up quarterly--don't know if that will actually happen, but I'll certainly try to come again.
nlbarber: (Default)
I tried a search on my library's Web site for the book The Crusades through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf, subsequent to a discussion on Susan Shwartz's SFF newsgroup. And got back: "We were unable to find any titles that matched your search. Did you mean: cars through area eyes?"

I was shocked to find that cars through area eyes also failed to find titles that matched...
nlbarber: (bujold-skb)
A while back I conceived the idea of trying to get copies of all of Bujold's available books (hardback editions, at least) into my local library system, DeKalb County. A catalog search shows a rather spotty collection--they have 1 copy of Paladin, but none of CoC or Hallowed Hunt. Four copies of TSK and ACC, 6 of Mirror Dance, 3 of The Spirit Ring, but only one of Memory. They have none of the early books that were published only in paperback until the NESFA editions, or at least none in the catalog--they don't catalog their mass-market paperbacks in general.

Found a contact, made the proposal, and we'll see what comes of it. )
nlbarber: (Default)
I dragged my sister-in-law out this evening to the Nix Mann Endowed Lecture at Emory, sponsored by the Carlos Museum. The speaker was Margaret Atwood, and the lecture was on myths and stories as sources for fiction, primarily focused on Atwood's work (naturally) and most especially her most recent, The Penelopiad. Here I must confess that I haven't read anything of Atwood's except the children's book Princess Prunella and the purple peanut, as her work for adults appears to be dense and literary and provoking of deep thought, and my reading tends to be, well, fluffier.

But the lecture looked intriguing, and was indeed both intriguing and very entertaining--Atwood has a dry wit that shone through even though she read her lecture from a script. She talked about three great sources for stories: the Bible, fairy tales/Norse and other mythologies/and so forth (I can't recall what broad term she used for this grouping), and Greek and Roman mythology. As she went discussed these in terms of her life and career and work, heavily punctuated with anecdotes. I'm intrigued enough by her style and the discussion of the view of The Odyssey through Penelope's eyes that I have put my name on the DeKalb Library's list for The Penelopiad and will give it a try. Unfortunately others beat me to it and there are 29 people ahead of me for the system's 4 copies. Maybe the library will order more...

I just realized that I probably missed seeing a friend by skipping out on the reception and book signing. The reception was sponsored by the Canadian Consulate, and Judith C. ("Dean, darling, you're being a cat" from piffle and LordPeter, though she's been gone from the list for a long time now) was almost certainly there as she works for the Consulate. However, sister-in-law needed to get back before the kids went to bed, and as I wasn't planning to buy a book (and didn't know about the reception sponsor) we just left from the lecture.


nlbarber: (Default)

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