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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday Thirteen (3 of ∞)


Thirteen Of My Favorite Fictional Characters

This week I present 13 of my favorite fictional characters:

  1. Ender Wiggin (Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead)
  2. Hercule Poirot (Murder on the Orient Express)
  3. Billy Pilgrim (Slaughterhouse-Five)
  4. Shalmanezer (Stand on Zanzibar)
  5. Capt. John Yossarian (Catch-22)
  6. Sherlock Holmes (A Study in Scarlet, The Hound of the Baskervilles)
  7. Christopher Boone (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime)
  8. Lazarus Long (Time Enough for Love)
  9. Jubal Harshaw (Stranger in a Strange Land)
  10. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  11. Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)
  12. Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings)
  13. Myron Bolitar (Deal Breaker, Drop Shot, Promise Me)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Something Interesting This Way Comes

I was browsing at kottke.org and ran across something interesting to share with my readers.

This "something interesting" is a link to Nina Katchadourian's Sorted Books project.

It is definitely worth a look.



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Friday, May 25, 2007

Comment Friday: 5/∞ (Read About My Contest)

It is Comment Friday here at Love All Books and at BAYB (where I grabbed the idea from initially).

So, on that note, as long as you're here . . .

Please post a comment while you're visiting and tell me what you're up to. Tell me what you're reading and what you think about it!

Before I forget: I decided to make this week's Thursday Thirteen into A CONTEST.


I'm still reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster and I'm still reading A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon—which I've almost finished—and will have a review up soon.

Have a great Friday.

Oh, and head over to BAYB and leave a comment there!




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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday Thirteen (2 of ∞)

OK! I hope I'm not violating anybody's TOS, but I've decided to make this into A CONTEST:

I will transfer fifty BlogExplosion credits to the first BlogExplosion member (follow the link to BlogExplosion to sign up now) that:
  1. leaves a comment to this post
  2. that correctly names all the movies where I got these quotes

To keep it fair, I will not publish comments that contain the names of the movies until I have a winner or until next Wednesday afternoon (U.S. central time); I'll still link to you though.

As soon as I have a winner, I'll post that information. I'll post the full list of the movies next Wednesday.



Thirteen Things Of My Favorite Movie Lines

I love movies, and I love quoting the best lines from them. Here are my favorites (can you name the movies that these lines are from?):

  1. As you wish.
  2. Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
  3. When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, looks you crooked in the eye and asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."
  4. So you're my Uncle Joey. Better get used to these bars, kid.
  5. Five is right out.
  6. What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we'll just be bogus too! Get it?
  7. A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn't deserve such a fine automobile.
  8. Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?
  9. See if you can guess what I am now.
  10. We're on a mission from God.
  11. Oh, Abigail, Abigail, I have such a desire to knock heads together!
  12. Alligators in the sewers.
  13. That's the bedroom, but nothing ever happened in there.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
  1. Amy’s Blah, Blah, Blogging
  2. West of Mars
  3. Going Crazy Slowly
  4. Jen's Horde
  5. You are next!


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It Isn't Just Spam!!!

Am I The Only One Annoyed By This?

Do spammers really think they're making any friends doing things this way?

Here is what I'm ranting about:

I have one email account that I keep for when I give out my email address on a website that I think might bring in a ton of spam (the email account is on Yahoo! Mail, because I think they filter spam better than most other places I've seen for free, though maybe not so much lately).

I also like that I can use my web interface to Yahoo! Mail check my mail online to eliminate the crap before I download mail to my PC.

Well, lately, when I check my Bulk folder (Yahoo! Mail's charitable name for spam), the name of the sender of the message often takes up five or more lines, which means more scrolling to uncheck the messages that have wound up in the Bulk folder incorrectly.

Am I the only one who thinks "What are these spammers thinking? Don't they know that we can already pretty much tell their messages are spam from the subject line offering me a larger bust size (helloooooo . . . I'm a guy!)"

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Comments Welcome!!!

Thanks to Lee at BAYB, I now know that for some reason Blogger had changed some of settings in regards to commenting which have been preventing people from leaving them here.

Now, given that I explicitly state that I love comments, I see that I've probably given the opposite impression lately (a phrase which here means: "since Blogger hosed me over!")

So, if I haven't been explicit enough now:

Please comment!
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Friday, May 18, 2007

Comment Friday (Number 4 of ∞)

It is Comment Friday here at Love All Books and at BAYB (where I grabbed the idea from initially).

So, on that note, as long as you're here . . .

Please post a comment while you're visiting and tell me what you're up to. Tell me what you're reading and what you think about it!

I'm still reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster and I'm now reading A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, and will have a review up soon.

Have a great Friday.

Oh, and head over to BAYB and leave a comment there!

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Diane Duane & Fred Saberhagen

Today, Love All Books wishes the happiest of birthdays to science fiction authors Diane Duane and Fred Saberhagen.

Diane Duane is not only the author of the Young Wizards and The Middle Kingdoms series, but she has written a number of Star Trek books and co-wrote the "Where No One Has Gone Before" episode of ST:TNG.

Fred Saberhagen is the author of the Book of Swords and the Book of Lost Swords series (I have both of these series, still unread for some reason I don't understand, collecting dust on my shelf), and the Beserker series (which I quite possibly own—it is so hard to tell since I never did get my bookshelves organized after unpacking when we moved to Minnesota).

My personal favorite book by him that I've actually read (and the reason I own the other books I have by hime) is Veils of Azlaroc (VoA).

VoA has quite an interesting premise: the world of Azlaroc has a nearby star that drops "veils" of energy on it annually, veils that trap all, resident and visitor alike, on the planet for all time.

Furthermore, time is affected with each successive "veil-fall" so that all who were trapped by last year's veil-fall experience things a little slower—or is it faster—than those who haven't been trapped.

And those who were trapped generations ago are still alive and well, though the outside world—a phrase which here means the "unveiled world"—seems to be moving very slowly to them, and they—conversely—seem to be moving with extraordinary quickness to the outside world. If they've been on Azlaroc long enough, they are, perhaps, moving too quickly to be seen except as a blur and too quickly to be heard except as a buzzing noise.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen blogroll

Here is a very long post (it's the Thursday Thirteen blogroll):



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Thursday Thirteen (1 of ∞)


Thirteen Things Books Read By The Neighborhood Wives Book Club

For a while now I've been thinking I should get involved in some memes—I started doing a Comment Friday a few weeks back—and I think Thursday Thirteen is another one that I can handle weekly, so I'm gonna give it a try.

Since I'd like this to be, first and foremost, a book talk blog, here are thirteen books—in somewhat chronological order—read by the "neighborhood wives book club" that Julie has time to make it to some months (the books I've read, as a direct result of her participation there, are in bold):

  1. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs.

    I'm amazed that this book, a memoir, was ever written (a phrase which here means: "I'm sorta amazed Burroughs was still alive to write it!")

    A very strange book about a very strange childhood in a very strange family.

    I liked it, if only because it made my family seem somewhat normal by comparison.

  2. The Color of Water by James C. McBride.

    I enjoyed this book (subtitled A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother) even though I'm not black, not jewish, and not so many other things McBride is.

    In fact, it might be for that very reason that I did enjoy the book.

    To be honest, it has been a while and I don't recall it as well as I wish.

    What I do remember is that—as a wannabe writer—I found the following snippet of description worth keeping in my writer's notebook:

    You could see him coming from a distance, appearing out of nowhere like an angel, his silhouette seeming to rise from the ground in the simmering heat . . .

  3. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

    Now here's a book I highly recommend.

    It reminded me a bit of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (so it goes!) Only different.

    Read them both and decide for yourself.

  4. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg.

    I don't read all the books they choose for the book club. But there must have been something on the book jacket of this one, or something said at the bus stop when I saw Riley off to school one morning.

    Or perhaps I had Riley with me at the Library when I picked it up for Julie and (Riley being Riley) he was playing one of the games on the kid's computers there, so I just started reading it while I waited for him.

    But I did read this one when it really isn't something I would normally have picked for myself.

    I don't recall it completely, but I do recall enjoying it.

  5. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.

    Another book I probably would have avoided for myself (or not—I do have a fascination with history, after all).

    A book about the plague?

    Yeah, that sounds like fun.

    But it was a surprising great book.

  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

    I have reviewed this book a while back (I rated it a 9), so I'll let that stand for itself.

  7. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.

    I also reviewed this book a while back also (and, again, rated it a 9).

  8. Frangipani by CĂ©lestine Hitiura Vaite.

  9. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.

  10. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.

  11. A Widow for One Year by John Irving.

  12. Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

  13. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

  1. West of Mars
  2. Going Crazy Slowly


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stephen R. Donaldson, Roger Zelazny, & L. Frank Baum

Today, Love All Books has a lengthy post for you.

For starters, we have belated birthday wishes to authors Stephen R. Donaldson (Wikipedia) and Roger Zelazny (who share May 13th birthdays) and some guy named L. Frank Baum (born May 15th).

So, where've I been the last few days?

Downtime.

My JavaScript class (AKA: Internet Programming - Client Side) at Saint Paul College is finished. Stick a fork in me—I'm done!

Now I pass the time waiting for the results of my final exam and the final projects by getting caught up with all the things I've ignored around the house for the last week or so.

So, on to our birthday celebrants . . . .

Stephen R. Donaldson is the author of a magnificent series of books known as The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. How anyone could make such a disagreeable excuse for a human being into a hero is quite truly amazing.

He also wrote The Gap Cycle and Mordant's Need series.

Roger Zelazny was the Hugo Award winning (six times) and Nebula Award winning (only three times) author of too many excellent books to name, but my favorites must be the Chronicles of Amber series.

L. Frank Baum is, of course, the well-known author of fourteen Oz books and a ton of other non-Oz books.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Comment Friday (Number 3 of ∞)

It is Comment Friday here at Love All Books and at BAYB (where I grabbed the idea from initially).

So, on that note, as long as you're here . . .

Please post a comment while you're visiting and tell me what you're up to. Tell me what you're reading and what you think about it!

Have a great Friday.

Oh, and head over to BAYB and leave a comment there!

As odd as this is for me to say, I'm reading much more than I should be right now, and what I'm reading is not really what I should be devoting the most energy to.

Anyone reading this blog for awhile probably has figured out that the Final Exam for my JavaScript class (AKA: Internet Programming - Client Side) at Saint Paul College is right around the corner—Monday, in fact—and I should be studying for that. And finishing up my final projects.

So what am I reading?

For fiction I'm reading A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon (author of the truly excellent and highly recommended The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).

For non-fiction I'm reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster, so don't be surprised if my reviews of books become better. (And—though I hope not—snooty!)

You've been warned!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Richard Adams & Mary Anne

Today, Love All Books wishes the happiest of birthdays to my sister, Mary Anne, and to Guardian Award winning author Richard Adams.

Richard Adams is the author of Watership Down.

Now a book about sentient rabbits might sound a bit too out there for some folks, but I'd highly recommend this book to everyone. I have fond memories of reading this book, and look forward to the day I share it with Riley (my six year old).

I also have fond memories of going to the DMV very shortly after the state I lived in went to seven character personalized license plates and trying to get HRUDUDU—the Lapine word for a car or tractor—for my car.

When I said "I hope it is available", the woman behind the counter looked at me as if I was from Mars and said "Of course it is going to be available! We've only been doing seven characters for a few days, and who else would want that?"

As displeased I was that she was wrong, I did love the look on her face when she saw that that combination was taken!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Want Me To Link To Your Blog?

I'm trying—as a matter of pride, if nothing else—to see if I can acquire ten more blogmarks at BlogExplosion, and I'm certainly not above begging to get them.

Therefore, I'd like to invite all BlogExplosion members to blogmark this blog if they find anything of value here.

In return, I will visit your blog and will probably link to it as well.

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Jerry West

Today, Love All Books wishes the happiest of birthdays to author Jerry West (AKA Andrew Svenson).

Jerry West is, as I've mentioned here before, the author of the Happy Hollisters series of children's mysteries.

If you have read this post this far, you must read this one as well, especially if you never have before.

Consider it an essential bit of Techsplorer history (Techsplorer is a word here meaning me, your host).

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Monday, May 7, 2007

Gene Wolfe

Today, Love All Books wishes the happiest of birthdays to science fiction and fantasy author Gene Wolfe.

Gene Wolfe is the Nebula, World Fantasy, John W. Campbell Memorial, and Locus award winning author of many great books.

His Soldier of the Mist has long been one of my favorite books. It is the story of Latro, a Roman mercenary that—as the result of a head injury in battle in ancient Greece—forgets everything while he's sleeping, and how he copes with awakening with amnesia each day.

(Think 50 First Dates, just set in ancient times—oh, and not so funny!)

Wolfe is also the author of the extremely popular The Book of the New Sun series.

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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Nicole Krauss: The History of Love (Rating: 9)

I just finished reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.

This is another of the books chosen for the "neighborhood wives book club". I got it for Julie to read but she never got around to the book (nor to book club) last month. And yet. It looked quite good to me, so I read it.

What I liked about the book:

The characters. In a sense, this was quite an unusual book character-wise, in that it seems to me that even the most minor characters were extremely well developed, or at the very least quite believable and well rounded.

The two major characters, Leo Gursky and Alma Singer each had, right from the start, very vivid and distinctive voices; true, these characters told their stories in the first person, but it was much more than that. Leo's voice, in particular, I loved.

The surprises. I thought I was enjoying the book, how you say, just fine.

Yes, "Just fine."

But—as Leo would say—"And yet."

Wham!!! Something truly out of the blue would happen that would amaze me.

Amazing us is something that not nearly enough books do.

Or, perhaps—just perhaps—"being amazing" is such an integral part of a book's job description that we take it for granted.

And yet.

When a book comes along that does that job of not only amazing you, but amazing the socks off of you, you gotta sit up and take notice.

Somebody sends Leo a copy of a manuscript. When you find out who sent it, it's "Wham! Didn't see that coming!"

Alma is trying to find somebody and when she does, it's "Wham! Didn't see that coming!"

There are other surprises as well, but I'm probably already giving too much away.

What I didn't like about this book: I found a bit of it a little confusing. When it was over I wanted to go back and reread some parts to see if I could figure out for sure if Leo and Alma had met at the beginning of the book. And there was something Leo said about his friend Bruno at the end of the book that confused me as well.

What this book made me think: This book made me think quite a bit about life, about what a journey it is, and about what we accumulate along the way—possessions, acquantences, memories, and so on—and what we discard along the way—possessions, acquantences, memories, and so on.

One of the most basic, tried and true literary techniques used by writers is to send a hero on a quest. Alma, a teenage girl, is on a quest in this book. And as she undergoes this quest, there are—as in any good quest story—things that happen along the way that make you wonder if she would have set out on this path had she known what she would encounter.

It is in this sense that Leo, an old man nearing the end of life, can look back at all he went through in his life and ask himself, "What could I have done different? And would I have changed anything if I could have?"

In all though, at the end it made me feel full, emotionally, like my heart was going to burst.

And amazed.

Ultimately, there was such a niceness to the way all the parts of the book came together.

This is a book that is so easy to recommend it is a wonder not everyone is talking about it.

Books such as this make reading fiction a rare delight.

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Guess What Day It Is . . .

It is Comment Friday here at Love All Books and at BAYB (I'm sure they'll notice soon).

So, on that note, as long as you're here . . .

Please post a comment while you're visiting and tell me what you're up to. Tell me what you're reading and what you think about it!

Have a great Friday.

Oh, and head over to BAYB and leave a comment there!

As for moi, I'm finishing up The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, and will have a review up in a day or so.Post to Del.icio.us


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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

E. E. "Doc" Smith

Today, Love All Books wishes the happiest of birthdays to ground-breaking science fiction author E. E. "Doc" Smith.

E. E. "Doc" Smith is the author of Lensman and the Skylark series.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Larry Niven

Today, Love All Books is, once again, a day late and a dollar short celebrating a birthday, this time the birth of science fiction and fantasy golaith Larry Niven.

Larry Niven is the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula award winning author of countless excellent books.

He is perhaps best known for Ringworld—the book that is quite possibly the jewel in the crown of his Known Space series.

In addition, he has written a number of fine books with Jerry Pournelle (I can personally—and quite strongly—recommend Inferno, Lucifer's Hammer, and Oath of Fealty) and with Steven Barnes (I greatly enjoyed Dream Park). He's also written with a number of other authors (books that I haven't gotten to yet, but I'm willing to bet they are fantastic.)

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