deliabarry: (Default)
All but the grading, which will occupy me on 12/26 and 12/27. After that, I get to spend many hours per day in my comfy chair reading. Heaven!

In other news, I think I'm going to join ::shudder::Facebook::shudder::

Yay!

Dec. 11th, 2015 04:01 pm
deliabarry: (Boo Radley)
I found the password to my Gmail account and was able to change my password for this account. I've been keeping track of my reading in a paper journal which is (surprisingly) very tedious. I'm glad to be back on LJ. Even if I'm the only one here anymore. :)
deliabarry: (Delia Barry)
Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

Happy Chanukah to my Jewish friends!

A good Thursday to all!

I think that covers it. :) My Kindle and I are off to my Dad's house for Turkey and reading.
deliabarry: (reading dalmations)
While We Were watching Downton Abbey
by Wendy Wax

When the concierge of their luxury apartment building suggests Sunday evening group watchings of the first two seasons of Downton Abbey as a way to prepare for the third, Samantha, Brooke, and Claire reluctantly join the group as a way of passing time. Little did they know that their time together would change their lives.

Despite the promise of the book's name, this is your standard chick novel, and has essentially nothing to do with the addictive British soap. We are presented with the wealthy man's wife and her tottering marriage, the discarded first wife confronted with her ex and his much younger trophy moving into the same building, and the less affluent empty nester who has abandoned the suburbs to live in the city and pursue her writing full time. There are ups and downs in each of their lives, and one major crisis involving just about every character in the novel. Needless to say, it all works out in the end.

There’s nothing wrong with this book; it’s just sort of meh. The characters are stock, the situations are ordinary, and the outcomes are predictable. It was an enjoyable read, but ultimately forgettable.
deliabarry: (handmaid)
Well, that's certainly a relief. :)
deliabarry: (myPad)
Dear Kindle Customer,

We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours. You do not need to do anything to receive this credit. We will contact you when the credit is applied to your Amazon.com account if the Court approves the settlements in February 2013.

Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices. Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, the Attorneys General estimate that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below. You can learn more about the settlements here:
www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements

In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers' ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.

Thank you for being a Kindle customer.

The Amazon Kindle Team
deliabarry: (look at me)
I normally don't post the same thing in both of my journals, but in this case, I just had to. My apologies to anyone who follows both of them. This was stolen from [livejournal.com profile] caffyolay:

Book Meme )

Here we go

Jan. 21st, 2012 08:49 pm
deliabarry: (Default)
Sigh. Here I am at Dreamwidth. I'll be importing all my old content from LJ eventually.
deliabarry: (look at me)
I don't normally do memes on this journal, but I found this one - already completed - when I was cleaning up my hard drive last night, so I figured what the heck.

My favorite things )

Pottermore

Jun. 23rd, 2011 08:07 am
deliabarry: (deathly hallows)
I'm not the least bit interested in an on-line game, but I'm delighted at the prospect of additional material from Rowling as well as the prospect of finally being able to read the books on my Kindle. Whee!
deliabarry: (Boo Radley)
The Murder of King Tut
by James Patterson and Martin Dugard

The story of the discovery of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen is well known, and the story of the boy king who died so young nearly three thousand years ago has captured the imaginations of generations around the world. Advances in technology have allowed archaeologists to examine his remains; many of them are of the opinion that he was murdered. This book is Patterson's take on that hypothesis.

I'd never read a book by Patterson, but of course I had heard of him. Perhaps naively, I had assumed that his enormous success meant that his books contain good stories that are well-written and a pleasure to read. Unfortunately, that's not the case; at least not in this book. The book alternates between fiction and non-fiction – episodes from Tut's life in the past, and Patterson’s research and hypothesis concerning Tut’s death in the present. The structure is an interesting approach, and could make an interesting and entertaining book. Here, however, the differences between the two parts are startling. The fictional story of the young king's life and death in the distant past were excellent, and would have made a terrific novel. The "investigative" chapters were of a significantly lower quality. The final one, in which they concluded that Tut was murdered by a conspiracy of all the people closest to him, seemed to pop out of the ether in response to a page count rather than to the story being told, and left me with the suspicion that a publisher's deadline had arrived and the book was ended in order to meet that deadline; ultimately it was a very unsatisfying reading experience. However, if Patterson (or Dugard) went back and expanded the fiction chapters into a full-fledged historical novel about Tut's life and death I'd read the heck out of it.

Nightlight

Oct. 19th, 2010 07:34 am
deliabarry: (Default)
Nightlight
by The Harvard Lampoon

The Harvard Lampoon takes on Twilight, with predictable results.

I was first introduced to the Harvard Lampoon in high school, when a friend gave me a copy of Bored of the Rings. Even then, I was of two minds about the Lampoon's brand of humor. Some of the book was laugh-until-you-can't-breathe funny, and some of it was juvenile, the sort of humor enjoyed primarily by 12-year old boys. Judging by this book, nothing has changed at the Lampoon during the years separating the writing of these two books.

That's okay, though. The parody is spot on. The authors skewer Meyer's book, puncturing her pretensions at every turn, and precisely target the weakest points in the original. Of course, this is the Harvard Lampoon, and at some points they go too far, but that's only to be expected. It was a fun book, and I enjoyed reading it, but I doubt I'll want to read it again any time in the near future.

A meme

Oct. 10th, 2010 01:33 pm
deliabarry: (look at me)
Snitched from [livejournal.com profile] christina_reads:

Copy and paste this to your own journal and answer the questions. You cannot use the same book or series in more than one answer!


1. Book next to your bed right now: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
2. Favorite series: Nancy Drew
3. Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice
4. The one book you would have with you if stranded on a desert island: The Annotated Sherlock Holmes
5. Book/series you would take with you on a long flight: anything by Elizabeth George
6. Worst book you were made to read in school: The Grapes of Wrath
7. Book that everyone should be made to read in school: To Kill a Mockingbird
8. Book that everyone should read, period: The Handmaid's Tale
9. Favorite character: Elizabeth Bennet
10. Best villain: Lyra from His Dark Materials
11. Favorite concept series: Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality of Man series
12. Favorite invented world: Asimov’s Foundation universe
13. Most beautifully written book: The Thirteenth Tale
14. Funniest book: Postcards from the Edge
deliabarry: (Oscar)
Wishful Drinking
by Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher has had quite a life. Let her tell you about it.

Wow. Bitter much? I've enjoyed Carrie Fisher's other books, finding them clever and funny, so I expected the same from this one. Unlike her previous books, however, this one isn't fiction, so the anger that is usually lurking just below the surface is up and out for all to see in this volume. Given everything that has happened to her in her life, I don't blame her for being bitter - I would be too. But as reasonable as her anger is, her openness about it definitely has a negative effect on the book. It just isn't that funny.

The funniest chapter in the book is the one dealing with the making of Star Wars. It's good to have confirmation that George Lucas is indeed as big a jerk as I had always suspected. ;)

Clearly, the brightest light in Fisher's life is her daughter Billie. I suspect Billie is also the reason her mother gets out of bed in the morning and manages to make it through each day.

Having said all of this, I must admit that I enjoyed the book. My disappointment that it wasn't as funny as some of her previous books is the result of my expectations, not the book itself. As always, Fisher's writing is superb, and the pleasure of reading a wonderfully crafted book by an exceptionally talented writer is definitely a joy.
deliabarry: (Grissom)
Bogus Science: Some People Really Believe These Things
by John Grant

There is science, there is pseudoscience, and then there are the truly wackadoodle notions that leave rational people staring slack-jawed in amazement. It is this last group that is the subject of Bogus Science.

This is the third in a series of books about science by Grant. I've been vocal about my admiration for the two previous books, Discarded Science and Corrupted Science, so when I was offered the opportunity late last year to read an advance copy of this book it felt quite like an early visit from Santa. I had high hopes for this book and I wasn't disappointed.

The subtitle perfectly sums up my reaction to these topics; it is almost incomprehensible to me that there are people here in the 21st century who still cling to these insupportable ideas. I must admit, though, that as a geoscientist, my favorite of these topics was the Hollow Earth "hypothesis". There’s something very comfy about the idea that literally everything I know about my chosen field of study is completely wrong.

Although Grant clearly expects that his readers have a knowledge of basic science, the book is written in such a way that anyone could read and enjoy it. Grant discusses each of these bizarre ideas with style and wit, which go a long way toward making what could have been a depressing book into a very enjoyable one. The footnotes alone would be worth the price of the book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
deliabarry: (cereal box)
Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
by Julie Powell

During a period of extreme restlessness in her life, Julie Powell decides to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking – 524 recipes in 365 days – and blog about it. (http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/) That decision changed her life.

I'll admit that I bought this book only after seeing the movie based on it. I loved the movie, so it was a bit of a risk reading the book. Fortunately, I liked the book almost as much. The real Julie as revealed in the book is a less smoothly rounded person than the woman played by Amy Adams. She's obsessive, more than a little self-centered, one of the few Democrats in the Republican-dominated Ground Zero development bureau, really fond of swearing, and a big Buffy fan. As presented in this book, she's definitely one of my people; only a fan would include the following sentence in a book ostensibly about cooking: "Fiddling with damp tarragon left me so intensely irritated that when I was done I had to stick the ramekin/mise en place bowls back in the fridge and go watch both the episode where Xander is possessed by a demon and the one where Giles regresses to his outrageously sexy teen self and has sex with Buffy's mom, just to get over it." At another point, she compared beef marrow to magma roiling under the earth's mantle. I really liked this woman. (Of course, we've since learned other, not so savory, things about her, but I did like the way she presented herself her in this book.)

It's clear that the Julia in the book isn't the real Julia Child of history; she's the version of Julia who lived in Julie's head during the course of the project. Ultimately, that doesn't matter, because her spirit permeates the book. I'm old enough to remember her TV show and I could hear her public persona's voice in the dialogue written for her.

While it's hardly great literature, this was a most enjoyable read and was great fun.

Wordle

Mar. 30th, 2009 12:46 pm
deliabarry: (Default)
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Wordle: bookish
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