Sunday, January 31, 2016

another nf that doesn't count.

Improbable Libraries: A visual journey to the world's most unusual libraries by Alex Johnson.  (027)  Ugh, I already had this Dewey decimal.  That was the whole point of reading this book!  I must have grabbed it accidentally while trying to get a 01*, which is turning out to be pretty difficult: bibliographies?  That will be challenging-- it isn't a cover-to-cover sort of read.  If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Improbable Libraries may be rather interesting for people interested in or new to libraries; I had seen most of that info before, although not so conveniently grouped in one handy volume.  And I definitely think self-serve library branches in town pubs are an idea all of us Yankees should embrace.

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear.  I'm puzzled and nearly... distressed... and perhaps more so than makes sense, by the title: the character gives her last name throughout as "Memery."  I can't discover why the title has it with the o.  Maybe because it's her story, which she later publishes?  That seems tenuous.

Despite my discombobulation over the name(s), this book is fantastic.  So fantastic I had to restrain myself from using italics in that last sentence.  On a side note, it makes me want to initiate a discussion about how "steampunk" is used both to describe stories that takes place in Victorian settings, a la Soulless, and stories that take place in the same time period (and fantastical-based world) in the American West.  These are different and they deserve different names.

Star Trek Voyager, season 3, with Kate Mulgrew.

New dress a day: The ultimate DIY guide to creating fashion dos from thrift-store don'ts by Marisa Lynch.  (646.408).  I read the whole thing (ok, speed-read some of the entries, but my eyes touched them, so I'm counting it).  How useless.  There is very little actually-helpful information here.
1) She talks about finding items at thrift stores and such, but there is no discussion of what to look for or how to look-- how to see the potential in an item, what to look for in different types of material or different cuts of clothes.
2) She says vague things "take it in" as needed but doesn't give instructions for how to do so (except on instance where there are semi-helpful instructions for how to take something in under the arms).
3) The styles she models really only work because of her body type.  It is social acceptable fora very thin person to wear something that is flowy and has little definition, because it accentuates how thin she is ("see, it falls from my shoulders and touches no part of me on the way down!").  That type of style is generally unflattering on people of other body types.
4)  Many of her DIY methods won't stand up to a full day of wear, much less actual wear-and-tear of repeated use.  She suggests using packaging tape to "hem" a dress.  Yeah, so long as you never intend to wash it or wear it again.  She advises you add "straps" by safety-pinning (!) ribbon, lace, rick-rack, etc., to the front and back for your top.  Anyone with anything to cover knows that's a recipe for disaster.  Extra danger if you're likely to have small people barrel into you at waist height.  One safety pin and a bit of ribbon won't even hide a bra strap, much less withstand the loving attacks of young ones.  Maybe it works if you're just going to stand around and look waif-ish all day; I wouldn't know.

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen.  I don't know about this.  But talk about ending on a literal cliff-hanger.  Odd, interesting. 

Undue Risk: Secret state experiments on humans by Jonathan D. Moreno.  I was hoping to fill my 170s, but no.  The writing is a little too taxing for something I'm most likely to be reading when I'm falling asleep, cooking, or keeping an eye out for-- or an eye on-- the boy.  I'm interested, but I don't want to, you know, work that much.

Also, and I don't know that I've ever noticed this before, the paper was really distracting.  In certain light, like under a reading lamp, it had an overly textured appearance, although it didn't feel like anything out of the ordinary.  It was actively distracting.

Strong female protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag.  I really enjoyed this, and I'm looking forward to catching up to current online.  Reading it as a graphic novel (I didn't know it started online first, at first), the quantity and rate at which information was given, particularly for world rules and character backstory, weren't great.  I thought a lot more could have been achieved by adding just a few more panels-- not pages and pages, but an extra one just here or there with additional content could have made the first part much easier to follow.  Having no color in the illustrations also made the world starker-- and more difficult to follow: there are a few pages where the main character is with some friends from school, and they are all thin-ish white-ish blonde-ish female college students.  They look too similar and it adds confusion.  Knowing that it's a web comic, I don't know how--or if-- it would change my original opinions at all.

They're not like us, volume one, by Eric Stephenson, Simon Gane, Jordie Bellaire, and Fonografiks.  Also a blonde female super-powered teen, but an entirely different story.  Both good and worth following.

Chaos on the Bridge with William Shatner.  I was fiddling around with some knitting, trying to come up with something from scratch that can act as something of a handle for my tablet-- I got a 7-inch Fire for a steal before the holidays, but it's a smidge too big for  me to actually hold (I guess my hands are tiny; my gardening gloves *are* children's size)-- and Netflix suggested this.  It was marginally interesting, but I don't usually care about behind-the-scenes stuff.  I would think, for fans who go crazy abut that kind of thing, it would be too short.  For me, it was something to sort of listen to while I tried to math on the fly.

And what was up with that crappy Western music for interludes.  How did that fit at all?

1491: New revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann. I also gave this one a solid try.  Pretty interesting, but I couldn't get into it.  The author spent more time (during the early part that I was reading anyway) talking about why he got interested and various researcher disagreements than talking about the actual research. 

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