Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Classics Challenge

Whilst travelling around the internet in search of like-minded bloggers, I came across a Classics Challenge and I was intrigued.  I signed up and started scanning our shelves to figure out just what would be read for the challenge.  I have settled on the entree option with the bonus.  I have until October to get it finished and I am looking forward to checking off some of the books on my list.  Currently I am thinking of authors with only a couple of titles in mind.  Here is the rundown:
1. Melville
2. Woolf - Mrs. Dalloway
3. Kingsolver - The Poisonwood Bible
4. Forester
5. Collins - The Moonstone
Bonus: Life of Pi

I will not be reading in this order, and I do reserve the right to change my mind at any time.  Any suggestions of other classics I must read?


Mini Review: Stephen King

Reading long series makes it a little tough to give in-depth reviews every time I read the next book. Unfortunately, I think we'll have a little bit of that on here with Jordan, King, Williams, Cook, and Abercrombie. In the next few reviews, I'm going to try to read some out of series books - Defoe, Melville, and maybe some Lovecraft.

Back to the review, The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, Book 3) takes up where we left off with Roland and the others. It was a very intense read for the series. Of the first three, this one has had the best pace and the greatest desire to read through the entire book without putting it down to do all the normal stuff in life - bathroom, eating, talking. King writes out his characters well.

I do have a couple gripes. Close to the end, the story seems to just leap forward without telling what happens. One moment, the group is split up and the next they're at their destination. And that's right at the moment where some heavy stuff is happening. It felt incomplete. Leah thinks that he'll just tell that story in one of the next books, but it could be a little out of place. My other gripe is how the book ends. I'm all for having a cliffhanger, but this one was way too abrupt. At least give us a little conclusion. I would be beside myself if I was reading these when he was writing them!

Rating: 8 - can't get enough. I'm sad that I have to put it down for a while and read some other books.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

To Nook or not to Nook

Thought I might share my thoughts on the Nook. I've read a few of the books I've reviewed on the eBook reader and, through those reads, have gotten enough time with it to get a good feel for it. It'll end up being a pretty decent review (like I've really been that harsh in any of my other reviews). The idea to pick up an eBook reader came up as an idea for Leah's Christmas present, but it ended up being something I wanted.... sorta sounds like a guy.

Leah purchased the Nook for me for our Anniversary, Christmas, Valentines Day present. We had presents planned for our Anniversary, but never followed through. On Christmas, we thought we'd try something new and pick up a present if we saw something we really liked on our Texas trip. That didn't really happen. I guess that when you pick your own gift you end up being a little too picky. We will not be trying that out again. =\ And Valentine's Day was thrown in there just for the heck of it.

Head on over to Barnes & Noble to check out the Nook - They have plenty of pictures and stats that they can throw out to you. I didn't really get a lot of face time with any of the readers, but decided on this one because I liked the looks of it, I could put other eBooks on it, and it did a couple more things than the Kindle did. It's a good size - it doesn't feel too large or too thick. The Nook comes with a rather large selection of eBooks on the Barnes & Noble site. I was surprised that the Amazon collection contains some books that B&N doesn't have and vice-versa. I figured that anything the Kindle had the Nook would have(they have a larger catalog). The prices are pretty good as well - usually it's a little less for the eBook format than the paperback and sometimes a whole lot less. The screen is also very easy to read.

Pros: Looks, Size, Library, Accessibility, Customization, Accessories

Cons: Battery Life(seems a little fast)

Con but not Nooks fault: Formatting - the last book I downloaded from B&N did not utilize the entire screen. About every three page turns equaled one page. That's not annoying, but when 50% of the screen is used it is. I would have expected that B&N would have had everything formatted the same - especially when it's from a book series.

Rating: 9 of 10 - If the battery life appeared the live up to what's specified on the website then I would give it a 10. It has exceeded expectations, and become a permanent fixture in my Library. When I was deciding in investing in the Nook, the worry was that I would not get used to having a book in my hands. That fear's been allayed. I still miss seeing the books on the shelves though.

Note: Ultimately, this was a personal preference. I have one friend with a Kindle, and another friend with a Sony eReader. They enjoy both. I would recommend reading a few reviews before going and buying one sight-unseen. B&N has the nook on display. Try to borrow a Kindle from a friend. Or go over to Borders to check out the Sony.