Nice alternative to the advice Keep Calm and Carry On. Best quote of the book: "Experience is a terrible teacher who sends horrific bills." - Anonymou...moreNice alternative to the advice Keep Calm and Carry On. Best quote of the book: "Experience is a terrible teacher who sends horrific bills." - Anonymous(less)
Just couldn't get past 100 pages or so. Not interested in pretty much any of the characters. Didn't care about the MC and his quest to make this movie...moreJust couldn't get past 100 pages or so. Not interested in pretty much any of the characters. Didn't care about the MC and his quest to make this movie. Didn't get far enough into the book to like/love his dad. Bored. Sorry Owen...(less)
OK, I'm a huge fan of Simon's Cat, the uber-cute strip drawn by Simon Tofield. It's a cute comic no matter what; it's priceles...moreSQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
OK, I'm a huge fan of Simon's Cat, the uber-cute strip drawn by Simon Tofield. It's a cute comic no matter what; it's priceless if you're slave to one of the feline persuasion.
Simon's cat is like any other cat, believe the world revolves around him. His every need should come first. Imagine his utter shock and horror when his slave (a cartoon version of the real Simon) brings home a box that someone left out in the rain, a box that has something in it - A KITTEN.
You know what this means, don't you? Yep, Simon's cat is no longer #1 in the household. He's been upstaged by a cute little kitten, one who acts much like Simon's cat. Hmm...
It's another winner by Tofield. I didn't think the cartoon could possibly get any better, and yet, he proves me wrong. It won't take you long to fall in love with the kitten, and watching Simon's cat deal with this young whippersnapper is precious.
I love finding little books like this, something simple that will hopefully give me the sort of help/advice I'm looking for. Sadly, while it looks goo...moreI love finding little books like this, something simple that will hopefully give me the sort of help/advice I'm looking for. Sadly, while it looks good on the surface, this book doesn't really fit the bill.
Oh, there's good advice here, such as choosing the credit union over the bank, using your credit card over your debit card for things like gas (anyone who has ever been burned by the "hold" they place on your account has learned that lesson the painful way) and major purchases (fraud and damage protection), buy & hold over timing the market.
But for much of the rest of the advice here, there's one thing you need first: money. Otter advises buying over renting, pretty much what every other financial advisor will tell you. And that's fine, but it's almost worthless advice if you don't have money in the first place. I dare you to tell someone that you know for a fact is living paycheck-to-paycheck that they're crazy for renting, that they should take advantage of the low, low rates and bargains on houses right now. And I find it funny that the author advises buying, then turns right around and also says you should go with the 30/20 rule, that is, a 30-yr fixed-rate mortgage with 20% as a down-payment. OK, if I had that sort of money in the first place, would I have picked up this kind of book? Yeah, probably not. And what Otter and every other financial advisor seem to forget is that it's not just the mortgage. Sure, I could probably swing paying a mortgage payment right now, especially if we were able to find a house/mortgage that would have us paying approximately the same amount we pay right now where we rent. But there's also the increased costs to think about, too: the insurance for the home, the utilities, the taxes, the incidentals you have to purchase to care for said home (like a lawn mower). Once you factor in those costs, it's a bit of a different picture, one that isn't often discussed.
The section on investing has the basic advice I expected, but again, you have to have the money to invest in the first place. If I'm barely able to put food on the table, I have no business worrying about whether I should be stocks or get into a mutual fund. It's that sort of thing that a lot of advisers miss out on, the do you or do you not already have some money? I don't think one needs to be rich to start taking some of this advice, but yes, one does need to have some discretionary income at best. And let's face it, a lot of people these days are just not in that boat. Many are still licking their wounds from the Great Recession, still trying to keep their heads above water.
Short and simple, which I'll admit is nice. But disappointing overall. (less)
I had flagged this as something my husband might like to read. I keep a running list for him, since he reads so quickly - seems like he's always runni...moreI had flagged this as something my husband might like to read. I keep a running list for him, since he reads so quickly - seems like he's always running out of books, and authors to boot. This wasn't blurbed by any of his usual writers, but it sure sounded good. And it was a debut, which meant I wouldn't have to hunt around for the first few books in a series.
Long story short, he was very impressed. Enough so that I decided to pick this up, too. Wow. There's really not much I can say except that this is a page-turner! I loved the way the author was able to weave what seemed like three or four very disparate story lines into one big, tangled, incestuous ball of yarn. I was caught off guard more than once by a twist, something that I love to see happen.
I can't say much more, as I don't want to give anything away. What did surprise me is that I ended up liking Jason; he's not really what I think of as a "great" character in the beginning of this book. In fact, I was sort of thinking that maybe he deserved everything it looked like he was going to get. Leave it to Mason to have me rooting for him by the last few pages - that's the mark of a truly good author.
And as this is a debut, I'm hoping there will be many more works by Ms. Mason in the coming years. I know I'll be keeping an eye out for her name, and you should too. Definitely going to recommend this to fans of mystery, suspense, and even Gothic horror. (less)
No need to introduce this. It's exactly what it says it is: a book of poems "written" by cats. Divided into four simple chapters (Family, Work, Play,...moreNo need to introduce this. It's exactly what it says it is: a book of poems "written" by cats. Divided into four simple chapters (Family, Work, Play, Existence), this adorable work also has gorgeous pictures of cats big and small throughout. Having officially been owned by a cat for just about a year now (and unofficially for a few more than that), I think this little book is just super-cute and captures the feline spirit of love and destruction quite well.
My favorite poem is probably "Closed Door", which I'm going to share with you, my readers, since it's so very perfect in describing my own Surr Purr (who happens to be an indoor/outdoor kitty).
LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME IN LET ME I- Oh, uh, hello I did not expect an answer I did not expect an entrance I did not expect this room to be so unbelievably dull So, uh, goodbye
The perfect gift book for the feline book lover! (less)
I'm sure you're asking why I, The Bookbabe, would pick up a book about writing reviews. After all, if you're reading this blog, then you already know...moreI'm sure you're asking why I, The Bookbabe, would pick up a book about writing reviews. After all, if you're reading this blog, then you already know that I write reviews. And that this isn't my first review. So, am I looking for a way to "make money" doing this? Am I thinking of a career change? (And would it really be a change, or sort of an obvious evolution?)
None of the above.
I believe that no matter what you do for a living, or even for a hobby, you can always do it better. And that's why I picked up this book: I want to write better reviews. The good news is that I'm already doing a lot of things right, such as being objective and never attacking the author. The bad news is that I still have much room for improvement, at least, according to the rules the authors lay out.
This book does have a lot of good advice about the basics of writing a review, although the majority of the advice is slanted toward the person wishing to do this professionally. They recommend focusing on things I usually try to do anyway: plot, pacing, character development, editing, etc. One of the things I very much appreciated was the advice to be honest yet tactful. Look, as should be obvious to pretty much anyone who reads, not all books are great. A lot of them aren't even good. But rather than post a review that simply says "This is the worst book I ever read! Don't waste your time!", you (the reviewer) need to be able to cite concrete examples of why the book isn't good. And keep in mind that "good" is a subjective term; what I love to read may not be your cup of tea and vice versa.
The authors include advice on things like how to set yourself a schedule, how to respond to emails/phone calls regarding negative reviews, how to start your own review site, how to contact established review sites to submit freelance work, and much, much more. In fact, I was surprised at just how much information they were able to pack into this very slim work (it clocks in at just 190 pages, including the appendices and the index). I will admit I skimmed some of this information, as I'm not interested in doing this professionally, nor do I have any wish to set up my own review site (I'm very happy with my little blog, thank you very much). They even include advice on how to handle the situation of "overload" - what to do if you suddenly realize that your hobby has become a full-time job and is no longer enjoyable.
There are a few problems, though. I was amazed at how often the authors contradict themselves. For example, they talk a lot about the major book review publications, such as Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers' Weekly, etc, and how those reviews are generally considered legitimate; they also talk about how most do not consider reader reviews on sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble to be on equal footing. And yet, they often talk about posting reviews on those same sites. So should or shouldn't you post reviews on such online sites? It's never very clear.
What also surprised me is that the blurb on the back of the back mentions being able to "make money" by writing and submitting reviews. And yet, in the page/chapter titled "Is There Any Money In It?", the very first sentence seems to state the exact opposite: "The sad reality is that, unless you work as a permanent staff reviewer for a major newspaper or publication, there's little chance of making any money reviewing." The authors do point out that you can make a few bucks if you get the right sites to accept your work, but pretty much, you're going to be doing this out of your love for books and your desire to share that love. Sorry, but to me, this is bordering on false advertising. If the authors want me to be honest in my reviews, then I'm gonna call them out on this money thing.
My biggest disappointment was a simple sentence in the chapter regarding the influence of reviews on readers. Obviously, most readers are going to be reading other readers' reviews, not professional publications. Or they're going to be going off what they've seen on TV (authors out promoting their works), what their friends are reading, etc. In speaking of how readers go about finding out what's out there and what's worth reading, the authors state: "In this age of computers when almost every person has a PC at home, it's easy for booklovers to access the Internet and read book reviews." WRONG. I work in a public library, as many of you know, and I can state that the authors are off base on this. "Almost every person" does not have a PC at home, and many who do often do not have that computer hooked up to the Internet. Granted, this book was written in 2008, and perhaps the authors were projecting forward, thinking that the economy would keep moving forward (although there were already signs that the crash was coming), but this is exactly the sort of thinking that has many libraries frustrated. There are hundreds of thousands of people, if not more, who must rely on public access computers at libraries for Internet access. As such, they are not usually sitting around reading book reviews; they are trying to stay in contact with friends and family, applying for work, updating unemployment information, filing taxes, and the like. When people assume that everyone has Internet access, it really hurts those that don't - in the form of budget cuts, which results in the loss of public service hours, and often, library positions, finally resulting in complete closures. I would respectfully ask the authors to do a little more research next time (perhaps consulting a librarian).
I do think this book has some good information and advice. I just wish the authors had been a little more clear on some issues and hadn't used commonly held beliefs for others. (less)
I've always considered myself a geek. A nerd. An uncool person. I wasn't popular in high school or college. I've never had what I would consider "a to...moreI've always considered myself a geek. A nerd. An uncool person. I wasn't popular in high school or college. I've never had what I would consider "a ton" of friends. When I saw this book in the library, I was instantly drawn to it, thinking I'd found my bible of sorts. Well, I was wrong.
According to Simon's definitions (because you must first define what a geek is, especially as there are concerns that a geek and a nerd are really the same thing), a geek is "a person who is wildly passionate about an activity, interest, or scientific field and strives to be an expert in said avocation." She then goes on to provide some geek girl archetypes, such as the The Fangirl Geek, The Literary Geek, The Film Geek, The Music Geek, The Funny-Girl Geek, and The Domestic Goddess Geek.
Each chapter begins with a short quiz, as you test your geek knowledge of each subject. (Hint, the answer is always "C".) Simon gives a brief overview of what the subject is, what the typical geek girl is like, some historical geek girls in said subject, what to watch for in frenemies, and finally, a list of best websites, books, music, films, etc that relate to each subject. There are cute and funny footnotes along the way, as well as quotes from famous and average geek girls in the side margins.
So why the disappointment, you ask? Well, I'm not stupid. I knew I wouldn't fit into most of the categories here, but I had expected to find soul sisters in the Literary Geek Girl chapter. Evidently, though, the author means "literary" in the strictest sense; there aren't any authors/works mentioned that are, what I would call, ordinary. Look, I love books and reading. I mean, I LOVE them. But I'm not a literary snob, and that's what I took away from this book. I have no interest in reading David Foster Wallace or Jonathan Franzen. I did read Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five but wasn't overly impressed (I probably just didn't "get it"). I enjoy reading lots of different types of books, including what I consider "fluff" - Regency romance or humor or just plain silly. I found myself thinking that I just didn't relate to the Literary Geek Girl after all.
Imagine my surprise when I got to the chapter "Miscellaneous Geek" and read the following: "Much of being a geek is feeling like you don't quite fit in, so it's only natural that this book should include a chapter for geekettes who didn't find kindred spirit in any of the above caricatures." (emphasis is mine here). AHA! Perhaps this is why I found myself skimming the last two or three chapters of this book; the descriptions just felt too over-the-top/fake/hipster-centric! (And keep in mind that this book is less than 200 pages...)
I went back to the definitions at the beginning of the book, and after re-reading them, I think it's safe to say that I am not a geek. I am, however, a nerd, "a person who excels academically and who thrives on such educationally induced pastimes as memorizing UNIX manuals and correcting your grammar. Such persons may not possess the most advanced social skills, but they are armed with a huge heart and an even bigger brain." Yeah, that sounds much more like me - well, except that I have no interest in programming, and I actually have mad social skills.
Overall, this book is OK. But keep in mind, as the author finally admits, that these are caricatures. Don't take anything in this book as gospel, and you'll be just fine. (less)
I'm throwing in the towel on this one. I just cannot understand why this is so popular. I'm not feeling the love, not for Jaime, not for Frank. And fo...moreI'm throwing in the towel on this one. I just cannot understand why this is so popular. I'm not feeling the love, not for Jaime, not for Frank. And for the life of me, I can't understand why Claire isn't freaking out about finding herself 200-300 years in the past! Sigh...(less)