colleen the convivial curmudgeon colleen the convivial curmudgeon's Comments (member since Mar 29, 2010)



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Nov 29, 2017 07:58AM

1 1. Do you ever look at the Amazon Charts or other top book lists? Is reading what "everyone else" is reading important to you, or are you more independent in your book selections?

I never look at the Amazon Charts, and have long avoided real life book clubs because I'm afraid they'd end up reading Oprah bookclub books and other popular stuff that I'm not interested in.

That said, I am a genre reader - fantasy and sci-fi - and I'm in several groups and I will say that certain books come to my attention because of the buzz they're getting within the groups, and sometimes I'll jump into group reads and the like.

But now that said, I don't have a great history with even most of the popular genre books, and I do tend to sort of go my own way, with occasional forays into what's popular.

2. Where on Goodreads do you find new books to read-- perhaps through groups, your updates feed, or Listopia? Have your book discovery habits changed over your time on the site?

Mostly through groups. Sometimes through the "Readers Also Enjoyed" widget on a book page. I used to use the Recs that were on the home page, but that's before the horrific redesign, and I now avoid the home page almost entirely. I never use Listopia to find books.

3. Is there a book that you're particularly thankful for, perhaps for its message or impact on your life?

I'm thankful for the Grimm Fairy tales and my mom reading to us at night.
I'm thankful for the Hobbit and my dad introducing it to me.
I'm thankful for Animal Farm, 1984, To Kill a Mockingbird, and other high school classics, for what they meant during formative years of my life.
And I'm thankful for Harry Potter for being the most rereadable series ever.
Nov 27, 2017 08:26AM

1 1) Did a Thanksgiving family thing on Thursday, and I'm in a community theater production which opened Friday. I also went to see 'Justice League' and 'Murder on the Orient Express' this past weekend.

2) I read on the train to and from work, and I tend to read about an hour or so right before bed. This varies, of course, depending on my schedule, but that's the norm.

3) I've bailed on 4 books so far this year: The Power: A Berkeley Blackfriars Novel, Death Watch, which I don't remember anything about, Lion in the Valley, which also constituted the abandoning of a series, and The Drowning Girl.
1 I also appreciate the warning. As has been said, a lot of times we never get notice of items or issues outside the feedback group. It makes for a nice change of pace from goodreads.
Nov 19, 2017 01:38PM

1 +1
Nov 07, 2017 08:58AM

1 1. Do you have any interesting stories from when you first started living on your own?

One day I was sitting on the floor near my TV, going through DVDs to pick one to watch, and I felt something brush my leg. I jumped and looked over and I saw what I thought was the end of a rat tale as it went to hide in a bunch of plastic bags I had in the kitchen.

When I went over to move the bags I saw it wasn't a rat. It was a snake. Which was worse.

So I'm freaking out and thinking of what to do, so I go to the closet and pull down a bunch of tupperware and pick a piece and put it over the snake to trap it. I then put the dishwashing soap over the tupperware, 'cause I'm thinking it can sneak under it if I don't.

So, still freaking out, I call over to my parents house and my brother-in-law answers and he says something about them getting ready to go out and I'm like, "No. You need to come over here right now," and I explain the situation, and he does come over, with my sister, and he manages to gather up the snake and take it home.

He actually gave it to his sister, who was going to keep it as a pet, and took it to the vet and everything, but, unfortunately, it was a baby and didn't survive long.

BTW, I lived on the third/top floor of the apartment, and have never figured out how the bugger got into my place - but apparently I wasn't the only one who reported it to the office, so we figured there must have been a nest that got disturbed by some construction going on nearby.

Still don't know why it decided to come all the way up to the top floor. Guess it's warmer? I don't know.


2. What was your favorite and least favorite thing about living on your own?

My favorite this was just being away from my family. That probably sounds horrible, but I can't stand living with them. Especially 'cause the time I'm thinking of - which probably is weird - it was after I'd already been away to college and living at the dorms, and I'd lived in another country and been married (which I'm not counting that as the first time I "lived on my own" because I was always with people)...

And then I'm living with my parents for a short time after my relationship broke up and my mom's, like, treating me like I'm still a teenager and I had no privacy - no locks on my bedroom door - and I just couldn't tolerate the intrusion in my life. Like, yes, I get that I'm living in your house again, but I'm also a 20-something who's been married, FFS. Could you not try and impose a curfew, please, thanks.

Anyway -

Least favorite was probably being broke and being alone. I don't actually like living on my own.

I loved the dorms, because I could retreat to my room for privacy, but it was always easy to find someone to hang out with.

But I was never good at, like, going out to eat by myself, or going to the movies by myself. And I don't even like calling places to order good. (GrubHub is one of the best things ever, but that didn't exist back then.) And I didn't know how to cook, much, so I ate a lot of ramen and tuna fish.


1. Do you organize your physical books a certain way? Maybe by series, genres, alphabetically?

I have a system that uses genre, preference (i.e. how much I like a book), and size.

2. What about your Goodreads shelves? Do you use custom shelves?

Yes. I have a lot of shelves, mostly for genres and things, but also to help me keep track of preference - i.e. a "next-in-series" shelf and a "maybe" shelf - and also have a "paused" shelf and an "abandoned" shelf.
Nov 01, 2017 08:05AM

1 Emily wrote: "Love the costume! "

Thanks!
Oct 31, 2017 02:43PM

1 1) My favorite Stephen King novels are the Dark Tower series and Mr. Mercedes. I'm kind iffy on his horror stories, tbh. I did like Doctor Sleep, though, much more than I liked The Shining.


2) Nothing overt, but I've been in a few places that felt really creepy and thick with presence. Eastern State Penitentiary was probably the worst. It felt really oppressive and blighted in places.

3) I dress up and give out candy every year. Our house is also the most decorated of the street - which isn't actually saying much considering most of the people on our street suck.

This is me right now:


Oct 05, 2017 07:19AM

1 1. What's your favorite mode of transit: walking, train, plane, bus, car, boat, something else? What do you like about it?

For distances, and even my morning commute, I prefer trains over driving or taking a bus. It's just a smoother and easier ride. I also walk roughly 30 minutes from the train station into work every morning, which I enjoy - but I wouldn't want to do more than that regularly, I don't think.

Planes are an evil necessity, and boats have a tendency to make me ill.

2. Do you enjoy travelogues or other travel-based books?

Not really. I read a lot of fantasy but I tend to avoid epic fantasy precisely because there's so much effing travel.

I do like books which take places in cities I'm not familiar with where the city is given space to really be explored, though.


3. If you could travel to any destination from a book, where would you go and why?

I'm another who would definitely go to Hogwarts, if we're counting fictional locations.

One city I want to visit because of the way it was described in a book I read was Prague. I didn't really like the book that much, but it definitely made me want to visit the city.
Sep 22, 2017 08:24AM

1 1. Do you ever reread a book because a relating move or series is being released?

I've stopped doing this because it inevitably makes me more critical and disappointed with the movie.

I did finally read LotR when they announced the movies... but I struggled through them, and actually enjoy the movies more.

There are some movies - like Harry Potter - that make me want to go reread the book, though... to remind myself how it "really" happened.


2. Have you ever read a really disturbing book that you enjoyed so much you couldn’t stop?

Um, yeah... I guess probably. I've read a few horror books in my time, some Stephen King and stuff... though I imagine were disturbing now and again.

There was also this one book, The Meaning of Night, where the main character is the killer and you were in his head the whole time, and there were some disturbing aspects to that - but it was a really good book.
Sep 01, 2017 06:30AM

1 1) I rarely buy books anymore, as I mostly get them from the library. If I read a book I really like and plan on rereading, then I'll buy those to have them. And sometimes I'll buy a book my library doesn't have if I'm really keen on reading it - but I'll usually go second hand for them.

2) I used to buy more impulse books when I bought books... but now it's more of a planned thing. I very rarely even download a book on impulse anymore.

3) My current book is an e-book, so I downloaded it from somewhere. Probably B&N.
Aug 09, 2017 06:14AM

1 1) I think, in general, yes, it's something I enjoy. Though it sort of depends on how it's done, and what you mean.

For instance, I recently read If We Were Villains, which I really liked, and it was one of those books where we start in the present and a guy's in jail and the whole book is him basically telling the story of how he got there.

Or another thing that comes to mind is The Ocean at the End of the Lane which is a beautiful book about an adult remembering an event from his childhood and there's a lot in it about memory and perspective and the passing of time. (On the surface is seems like a kid book, but the subtext is so much more than that.)

I often enjoy stories that are told like that - as memories or "this is how we got to where we are now" kind of things.


2) I don't generally like time travel stories, though. That said, I watch and enjoy Doctor Who and The Flash, so, um...

I don't mind the stories, but when I sit and try to actually work out the various paradoxes and timelines and whether or not something can be said to have "happened" because it did happen but now it hasn't happened anymore... That gives me a headache. LOL


3) I joined in June 2008, but I didn't make my first group comment until February 2009, so I used it just for book cataloguing and lurking for several months before I finally jumped in and started participating in groups.
Aug 03, 2017 01:28PM

1 First let me say that I had no idea it was a genre week until a group I'm in posted the links to the top 50 sci-fi and fantasy books. That image just looks like a sun over a desert to me, and I would've had no idea it was sci-fi themed at first.

Anyway:

1. If you're a fan of sci-fi, what drew you into the genre and, if not, why not?

I was pretty much raised on sci-fi and fantasy. My dad was big into LotR, Star Trek, Star Wars, and a whole host of other things, and I was just raised into it.

That said, while I watch and enjoy sci-fi movies, I don't tend to read a lot of sci-fi. I read a lot more fantasy, and even the sci-fi I do read tends to be more space opera and sci-fantasy and Steampunkish type of stuff.

2. What's the best sci-fi book that you've ever read?

1984 was very formative for me...

But I'd say probably The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

I've also enjoyed the Larklight, Quantum Gravity, and Ketty Jay series, but these are are all more the sci-fantasy and adventure type stories.

3. What sci-fi book would you recommend to someone (like me) looking to get into the genre?

I suck at recommendations... I would say it would really depend on what you're interested in. Like... do you want more alien encounters, space opera, military sci-fi, hard science...

I'd probably recommend 'Small, Angry Planet' because it has good characters and aliens and cultures and it's also philosophically oriented and a sort of 'make you think' type of book.
Jul 27, 2017 11:28AM

1 MrsJoseph wrote: "colleen the convivial curmudgeon wrote: "I also like rough edged pages - which I've just found out are called Deckle Edge:."

Oooooooooh. YES.

I didn't know what they were called but I LOVE these."



I was googling for pictures to describe what I meant, and that's when I found out what they were called. LOL :)
Jul 27, 2017 11:24AM

1 1) I don't think I have any real plans for this weekend, aside from the usual stuff. (Zumba class, cleaning around the house, grocery shopping).

I do have tickets to go see Dark Tower for next weekend, Sunday the 6th, though.


2) I prefer DTBS, and I prefer paperback... though I think I've developed a fondness for trades over MMPB.

I don't tend to read monster books, and I do prefer ones I can easily hold in my tiny hands. ;)

I prefer average text size. I accidentally bought a large print book once and it was really hard for me to read, but I don't want to get eye strain struggling to make out what's on the page, either. I read a lot of YA books and I kind of like the larger but not ultra-large print of those books.

As for binding, I really like books that have more parchmenty type of paper instead of the really glossy types. The ones that have a texture to them?

I also like rough edged pages - which I've just found out are called Deckle Edge:



I don't know why I prefer them - probably just that it gives me a sense of an older aesthetic.

I don't mind colored fonts and other sorts of things, as long as it doesn't make it hard to read. Like, I read this one story with a brown font on slightly yellowed pages. It was meant to go with the Steampunk aesthetic of the book, but gods it hurt my eyes until I'd adjusted to it.

I read another book that had a dark purple and one with a dark red text that worked for those books, and the contrast of the font and paper were better than the brown one.

I've also red a few kids books with black pages which I thought were fun for those books.
Jul 19, 2017 11:42AM

1 1) I don't think I've ever used anything completely outre. Just the usual receipts, train passes, candy wrappers, post-it-notes, anything on hand kind of thing...

2) I don't like completely silence, especially if I'm home alone, so I'll put some music on lightly in the background.

On the train I can usually tune out the ambient noise, but if someone around me is talking too loudly for me to tune out, I'll put my headphones on it drown it out some - since I can put my music to the background easier than I can do people's conversations.

At night my husband plays computer games a lot - WoW or Diablo or Heroes of the Storm sort of stuff - and I've gotten used to that as background in the evenings when I'm reading, so it's actually kind of weird for me if those sounds aren't there.

I dislike when he plays videos on youTube, though, because I have a hard time tuning them out the same as the conversations on the train.

So I like noise... but only of certain kinds and volumes... and everything else bothers me...
Jun 14, 2017 06:39AM

1 1) I think the last book I teared up for was Doctor Sleep.

For ugly sobbing, usually one of the later Harry Potters will do me in. All those deaths...


2) I recently finished The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. It was kinda weird, and I definitely liked it.

I'm currently reading Maskerade, part of Discworld, which is a reread. The Witches are always good fun.


3) I don't think so, because I normally don't read in a position where it would happen. I have fallen asleep reading on the train and had my book fall to the nasty floor before, though.
1 So much yes.
May 19, 2017 07:21AM

1 1. Who has been the major influencer in your life when it comes to reading? This could be a parent, teacher, friend ... anyone at all! What did they do that was so encouraging?

Probably a mix of my parents and a high school teacher.

I used to see my dad reading a lot when I was younger, and my tastes are definitely influenced by him, as he's the one that got me into fantasy and sci-fi.

But it's my mom that I remember reading to us at bedtime. I mostly remember Grimm Fairy Tales. And then Berenstain Bears, which I loved as a kid.

And it was my junior year English Teacher who had us do reading reports that introduced me to a bunch of new stuff that I liked and started pursuing.

In some ways, though, it was living in Ireland with 4 TV channels which got me reading again in my adult life. ^_^


2. What's the first book you remember reading and really enjoying? The book that really inspired you to pursue a love of books.

Aside from Berenstain Bears - I really loved Harriet, The Spy when I was a kid. That always stuck with me.
Apr 21, 2017 06:49AM

1 Betsy wrote: "Not a bookclub, because I don't really like IRL book clubs. They're too restrictive. But a dinner club, maybe."


A dinner club sounds lovely. I think I'd have Neil Gaiman, JK Rowling, Gail Carriger, Edgar Allan Poe, Terry Pratchett and Stephen King.
Apr 20, 2017 04:39PM

1 Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "Great photo, Colleen! "


Thanks. :) Just a touch different from my usual look. ^_^
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