Rainey’s Tidbits

Random pieces of nonsense

Archive for Books and Reading

Currently Reading …

Bedlams Edge cover art

Bedlams Edge cover art

My current book is Bedlam’s Edge, edited by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill.

It is a collection of short stories by a variety of different authors, set in Lackey’s Bedlam’s Bard universe (which I’ve loved since I encountered it while devouring the Science Fiction collection at the university where I did my undergrad).

Somehow, I’d missed this collection when it was published in 2005 and stumbled on it while testing a new feature in our libraries’ online catalogue. Yay for random discoveries 🙂


Nearest Book Meme

She imagined the girls spooked up on the ridge, the Miller School boys proud of their accomplishment.

Rita Mae Brown, The Hunt Ball

* Get the book nearest to you. Right now.
* Go to page 56.
* Find the 5th sentence.
* Write this sentence – either here or on your blog.
* Copy these instructions as commentary of your sentence.
* Don’t look for your favorite book or your coolest but really the nearest.

Via Stephen’s Lighthouse.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat

Cover art

Cover art

I’m currently reading Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron. I hope to finish it tonight. This is an adorable biography of Dewey Readmore Books, the cat-in-resident at the Spencer Public Library in Iowa. (The poor little thing had been dropped in a bookdrop on a cold January night.) His official portrait, as shown on the cover art, simply makes me melt.

It’s a touching story, focusing not on only on Dewey but also on Vicki Myron herself and the community of Spencer. Myron demonstrates a deep love for Dewey and passionate attachment to her town. It’s a wonderful biography and recommended to librarians and cat-people everywhere.

Halting State

Halting State cover art

Halting State cover art

I’m currently reading a science fiction novel for a book club and although I haven’t finished it, I would like to recommend it. Charles Stross’s Halting State is a near-future story centered around a bank robbery in a virtual shared-world (à la World of Warcraft or SecondLife). I’m enjoying the story (which reminds me favorably of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash but without the linguistic theory or Sumerian mythology), but it’s Stross’s turn of phrase that really grabs me. He writes of one character,

“he turns the charm on you with a nod and a great white smile that reveals about two hundred dollars’ worth of American dental prostheses that he probably wears because it’s the only way to stop the bairns from screaming and running away before he can eat them.”

(It also says a lot about how immersive Stross’s style is that my best friend got half way through the book without noticing that it was voiced entirely in the second-person.)

Anyway, go read it: you’ll enjoy it!

I ♥ LibraryThing

Is it a sign that I have too many books … or not enough? I realized all over again why I love and need social cataloguing site LibraryThing.

I read a fanfic set in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga last week and consequentially have been re-reading the original books. I was shuffling through my bookcases the last couple of days trying to find my copy of Diplomatic Immunity. After having no luck, it finally occurred to me to wonder: do I even have a copy of Diplomatic Immunity? After checking LibraryThing, it turns out that, in fact, I don’t. At least LibraryThing has saved me from digging through the rest of my bookshelves 🙂

[Edit: I’m not crazy after all: I do have Diplomatic Immunity, but as a WebScription, not in print. Maybe I should add those to my LibraryThing account …]

Anne at Project Gutenberg

Since reading Before Green Gables last weekend, I’ve been wanting to re-read the original Anne books, but didn’t have any copies at hand. It only occurred to me today that, of course, the books are in the public domain and would be available online in Project Gutenberg. (It should have sprung into my head sooner, since I have one of our cataloguers working on a project to add PG links in our library catalogue when the book is available electronically online.)

Should you be in a similar boat, why not go have a read, or download the books in audio format?

  1. Anne of Green Gables (audio)
  2. Anne of Avonlea (audio)
  3. Anne of the Island (audio)
  4. Anne of Windy Poplars*
  5. Anne’s House of Dreams
  6. Anne of Ingleside*
  7. Rainbow Valley
  8. Rilla of Ingleside

(*These two are still under copyright in the U.S., but in the public domain in Canada and Australia.)

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

Cover art

Cover art

Last night (later than I should have, given that it was a week night), I finished reading Before Green Gables, Budge Wilson‘s authorized prequel to L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. This is not a book I ever intended to read. I’m not a fan of authorized sequels or prequels to the works of dead authors. However, I read an article highlighting the book in the Dalhousie alumni magazine and was intrigued.

I enjoyed the book. It did seem more suited to a slightly older audience than the original works, so I would definitely recommend that this book be read after the original eight books, rather than before them.