Monthly Archives: January 2011

SF Booklist – Comic Books

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I’m starting off the new year with a new project. This is more of a personal challenge than anything else. This is the first list in what I hope to be a comprehensive collection of titles and authors of the San Francisco Bay Area. Each week I will post a list of authors and their titles for a different subject/genre. I’m starting off with Fiction, which I’ve broken down into a number of categories so that it’s not so overwhelming.

List #1 – Comic Books

  1. Robert Bowman
    1. The Screaming Buddha
  2. Don Asmussen
    1. Big Ass Mocha
  3. Tom De Haven
    1. Dugan Under Ground
  4. Frazer Irving
    1. Storming Heaven
  5. Jen Wang
    1. Koko Be Good
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1:1 Challenge – Official 2011 post

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Well, looks like I forgot to make an official post announcing my 1:1 Book Challenge for 2011. Does this mean I can start the challenge now, since I may have already cheated and brought home 3 new books w/o having finished a single one off my bookshelf? I fail at challenges, this isn’t new. But maybe this post is the loophole I need to save some face. =p

So, the starting stats as of TODAY January 7th, 2011:

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Total number of books owned:                                  224

Number of books unread on my bookshelf:       140

Total number of books read that I own:                   84

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A recap on the rules:

For every 1 book borrowed from the library, borrowed from a friend, newly purchased, or sent for review, then 1 book must be read off of my bookshelf. I must follow the sequence:  1 borrowed book, 1 bookshelf book (although as many bookshelf books can be read in a row, no more than 1 borrowed book may be read consecutively.)

Exceptions to the rule:

Cookbooks, craft books, gardening & home improvement. These books will be exempt from the ratio.

Since I broke my rule and brought home 3 new books to keep on my bookshelf, I have to devise a penalty system. Something along the lines of: I have to now read 3 books off of my bookshelf before I can check out a title from the library.

I think that’s a fair compromise. =p

Yarn Diet 2011

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I found out about the Yarn Diet via Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. She and Tami from Tami’s Amis are hosting the 2011 Yarn Diet for knitters and crafters. The diet goes from January 2011 to June 2011.

The Rules

Without further ad0, the rules and exceptions of our yarn diet:

Length of time: January 1st-June 1st or until over half of your stash is gone. Obviously it’s pretty hard to use every single little piece of yarn in each skein/ball/cake/hank, so if it’s down to the point you can find much to do with it, then that is considered finished.

What may be purchased in that time: During the yarn diet, the participant is allowed to buy yarn 5 times. At each purchase, you may spend or buy however much you want. This includes LYS, box stores and even online shopping (basically any yarn purchases). You may also still buy as part of a swap and/or gift. Also, if you short less than half the skeins to finish a project (let’s say you’re making a scarf and you run short of yarn by 1 skein) you are able to purchase JUST that ONE item and it won’t count against you.

Punishment: For each time you go past the 5 given times you may purchase yarn during January 1-June 1, you will have another month added to the yarn diet, which will not include another chance to buy yarn for that month.

To participate: Just comment on this post (or the one I will be doing at the beginning of the year) to let us know you’re joining us. Then, take pictures of all of your yarn and count how many skeins you have. I know some people have way too much to count it all, so if that’s the case, keep track of how many bags/bins etc you have it in and gauge that way. Then, sometime in the first week of January, post on your blog all the pictures. That way, we can document the stash as time goes on. I will have a Mr Linky attached to my yarn diet posts where you can post new links to new pictures as the months go on.

My Stash

The Stats:

# of complete skeins     ___ 80

# of incomplete skeins ___ 15

Total amount of usable yarn ____95 skeins.


Without further ad0, the rules and exceptions of our yarn diet: 

Length of time: January 1st-June 1st or until over half of your stash is gone. Obviously it’s pretty hard to use every single little piece of yarn in each skein/ball/cake/hank, so if it’s down to the point you can find much to do with it, then that is considered finished.

What may be purchased in that time: During the yarn diet, the participant is allowed to buy yarn 5 times. At each purchase, you may spend or buy however much you want. This includes LYS, box stores and even online shopping (basically any yarn purchases). You may also still buy as part of a swap and/or gift. Also, if you short less than half the skeins to finish a project (let’s say you’re making a scarf and you run short of yarn by 1 skein) you are able to purchase JUST that ONE item and it won’t count against you.

Punishment: For each time you go past the 5 given times you may purchase yarn during January 1-June 1, you will have another month added to the yarn diet, which will not include another chance to buy yarn for that month.

To participate: Just comment on this post (or the one I will be doing at the beginning of the year) to let us know you’re joining us. Then, take pictures of all of your yarn and count how many skeins you have. I know some people have way too much to count it all, so if that’s the case, keep track of how many bags/bins etc you have it in and gauge that way. Then, sometime in the first week of January, post on your blog all the pictures. That way, we can document the stash as time goes on. I will have a Mr Linky attached to my yarn diet posts where you can post new links to new pictures as the months go on.

Feel free to use the button (thanks to Alea for making this for us!) at the top of this post for your Yarn Diet posts and/or the one in the sidebar (a smaller version).

This is supposed to be fun, so don’t get stressed over it. It will be a breath of fresh air using yarn that has been sitting waiting to be used for months or maybe even years. I know I can’t wait to get rid of some of it, and even find unique projects to make. Just think how refreshing it will be come June 1st when you can replace the yarn you used with even more yarn!

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know in the comments section! I’ll be happy to answer them.

I look forward to posting my first official yarn diet post in the first week of January, but before then, I’m heading to a LYS!

Noteworthy Links #8

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Starting off the new year with a fresh batch of links for all your clicking pleasures.

The Good

  • Download a free e-novella by Prix Medicis award winning author David Vann – author of Caribou’s Island. The award winning e-novella, SUKKWAN ISLAND, is part of a larger compilation of stories, entitled LEGEND OF A SUICIDE.

You can read it for free online, or download to an e-reader. If you don’t have a reader, then you can download the necessary software from Amazon, Sony, etc to read the novella.

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Sukkwan-Island-Novella-Material-ebook/dp/B004H1U1UW/

Sony

http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/david-vann/sukkwan-island-free-novella-with-bonus-material/_/R-400000000000000323488

Kobo

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Sukkwan-Island-Free-Novella-With/book-fB2kqTTDI0m-OwhHIu1OXA/page1.html

It is also available in the iBookstore for Apple products, and should be available for the Nook shortly.

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The Fun

  • Best of 2010 with Neil Gaiman – The Golden Age of Comics

Anthology editor Neil Gaiman describes the joy and challenge of selecting The Best American Comics 2010. “It’s like the golden age,” he says of the increasingly diverse and prolific genre. – More at http://www.npr.org/2010/12/09/131937258/neil-gaiman-selects-top-american-comics-of-2010?ft=1&f=5&sc=17

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The Ugly

This announcement has sparked a twit-war on Twitter under the trending topic of “Huckleberry Finn.”

I have a few questions and concerns on this note.

1. Who decides what the offensive words are?

2. What will be the offenders be? – According to the article, the N word will be changed to “slave.” But will it stop there? Will there be more re-writes in this book’s future changing other words, phrases and even meanings and intentions of the story?

3. There is no guarantee that this sort of move will result in the unbanning of the book and I would like to argue that this is undermining the integrity of the book.

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The Random

  • Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, defends poetry in a wonderfully written op-ed for the Poetry Foundation. As one of my favorite authors, both for children and adults, I think everyone should read this statement and go out and find a book of poetry to read right away. I think I’ll start with Pablo Neruda…

Teaser Tuesday (1/04/2011) – The Thin Man

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TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

#1 Grab your current read.

#2 Let the book fall open to a random page.

#3 Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

#4 You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given! # Please avoid spoilers!

My two teasers

So after I said good-night to you and Nora, I met him there and we went to a lot of places, winding up in this place where I got the gun. It was an awful tough place.

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – Review

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Age: Adult

Back cover synopsis:

January 1946: Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, besides having an incredibly long name which shall now be shortened to GLPPPS, is written as a series of letters between writer Juliet Ashton and the various people in her life. Somewhat similar to the style of Ella Minnow Pea, we learn about the characters based on the correspondence between the main character and those in her circle.

I always thought this writing device was a clever way to engage in witty dialogue and introduce characters without getting too bogged down in unnecessary background information. As a result of the wit and charm in the writing, the book is a light and quick read. For any bibliophile, there are a number of I-love-book quotes all throughout the book. The GLPPPS is an ode to literature and to literacy. I thought the authors did a fantastic job of incorporating the horrors and struggles of living under the German occupation through the descriptions of the characters. Although approached in a lighthearted manner, the authors did not underscore the painful memories that resulted from World War 2.

I felt that most of the characters lacked the depth that would come in a typical novel. I think this is because we only know what the characters tell us about themselves, so its not very much. The characters on the island of Guernsey were lovable and quirky, but their quirks were somewhat expected. One thing that did break the spell of the book was when Juliet went to visit her new friends on Guernsey. I thought it was quite odd that the islanders entrusted the care of a toddler that the entire town had raised from an infant, to a virtual stranger based solely on their correspondence and shared love of literature. Another fault was that other than the reflections of the war, there seemed to be no other conflicts in the book. It got a little too lovey-dovey to be believable and I found it annoying that everyone loved Juliet as soon as they met her and that she could do no wrong.

This book is a darling of book clubs around the nation right now, based on its 628 glowing reviews on LibraryThing. Its is a quick and fun read, great for a rainy day.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Dial Press, 2008
ISBN 9780385341004
288 pages

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Find this book at your local library

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

SF Booklist (Adult) – Alcatraz Island

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Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco’s most notable landmarks. What used to be the most dreaded and severe peniteniary in the United States has undergone a number of developments since it was shut down in 1963. It has been occupied by a Native American group from 1969 to 1971 and has played a central role in San Francisco’s financial and cultural development both cinematically and in print.

Adult Fiction – Alcatraz Island

1. Tara Ison

     1. A Child out of Alcatraz (1997)

2. Tina Westbrook

     1. Letters from Alcatraz: 40 years Later (2010)

3. Charles Brashear

        1. The sacred mountain: A California-Indian Anatomy (2009)

4. Eduardo Paz-Martinez

         1. Inside the Volcano (2001)

5. Dan Gordon

          1. Murder in the First (1995)

6. Clark Howard

          1. Six Against The Rock (1997)

7. Bonita Bair

         1. Butterfly Cage (2008)