Microblog Monday- reading and audiobooks

I have been listening to a few audiobooks recently. Partly because my old phone is now basically an mp3 player on our alarm clock and i also now have audible on my phone. So far it has been mostly re reads. I have been listening to various discworld books at night. They are quite good because the story is only part of the appeal, it is the insights and the characters that i enjoy, so i can listen until i fall asleep without worrying that i have missed something.

On my audible account i have started a couple of new books, but also listened to ones i read years ago. Listening is a very different experience from reading. I think i prefer rereading books in audio because of my other reading quirk.  I often (usually) will read the end of the book before the rest.  I need to have an idea of what is coming up to fully enjoy the book.  I don’t like overly suspenseful stories.

I find it really interesting that there has been such a boom in audiobooks recently.  Is it because we all now carry around portable players (phones) so we are used to listening? Or was there always this pent up demand that no one was catering for? My mum preferred to listen to books when we drove long distances, so consequently i “read”quite a few interesting books.  I can remember sneaking out to the car for the final tape of “far from the madding crowd” because we arrived home with about 20 minutes left. For a long time i preferred just to listen to music, but podcasts have lured me back.

A good narrator is important.  I am ambivalent about one author, i like her books, but the narrators she has don’t work for me and it is putting me off her books.

Reading challenge fail

I signed up for a reading challenge on Goodreads last year- 100 books.  That should have been easy- i read so much, or so i thought. I ended the year at 75 books or so.  Some of this is the fact that i don’t instinctively track on good reads, but maybe i am not reading as much.

So this year, i will try again, but i will also try to track my reading here.  Maybe that will help? I have already read a number of books- vacation plus train travel does that. Maybe a post for tomorrow.


Getting rid of stuff and a book review

Trying to sort through stuff, and get rid of it. Apparently taking pictures of things helps people get rid of things- the picture stands in for the object. And marie kondo says that you need to hold objects.

So, i re-read these three books.  They are a series, i bought the first one in 2006 or so. A childrens series, i do remember enjoying them when i bought them. This time, not as much.

Set in the 1920’s the series follows a pair of siblings, whose parents have disappeared, as they search for their parents and discover the secret society they both worked for. They help defeat chinese pirates, miners for rare minerals and an ancient technology for creating weather.

The physical books are quite good in quality, lots of fold out maps and diagrams and nice solid covers.

And now i have reread them, i can let them go


I signed up to pottermore when it first started, but did not progress far. This was in large part due to the fact that t didn’t work properly on iPads, so I had to be on my computer, which was not in the main room. It looked interesting, progressing through the books, learning spells etc.

But it was not to be. At some point there was a total revamp. I went back today, because of the new stuff about magic in North America.  I went through the sorting process for the American magic school, Ilvermorny.

Interesting. In Hogwarts I was sorted into Ravenclaw, there may have been some careful selection of answers to produce that result. With Ilvermorny, I had no preconceptions of the houses, so did not seek a particular house. I got Pukwudgie.  Still not sure of the implications (there is not a lot of description), but pretty sure it doesn’t align with Ravenclaw. 

I miss the old pottermore. I always liked jk Rowling’s website, with its little widgets and surprise events, and pottermore had many of the same elements. The new one is a bit more promotiony about the new movie and the books and just has things to read.

Important criterial

I haven’t written much about it, but we are looking to do another IVF cycle this year, with donor sperm.  This is a new angle for us, and one I haven’t talked about much, especially compared to how much I talked about the donor egg cycle.

This is a very different process than that cycle. For starters, our egg donor was known, and my sister.  This will be an anonymous donor. So we have been reviewing profiles.

Our criteria are a little different – it’s important that they resemble G, I would like them to be a negative blood type and we both have issues with their reading material. Yes- the criteria we are judging donors by is their choice of favourite book!  Or at least the element that generates the most commentary. We both like to read, and choice of author is important.

Most of the potential donors have had very disappointing selections as their favourites.  I suppose I cannot hold it against a 20 year old that their favourite was Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, but I have issues.


Microblog Monday- book discovery

I recommended an author to someone at work last week, and today I got an email following up, plus with a commentary about struggling to find new authors.  It got me thinking about authors I recommend.  So some of the authors I reread, in no particular order

1. Connie Willis- she writes time travel and near future sci fi and science books.  Her books are either going to make you giggle( Bellwether or to say nothing of the dog) or sob (Passage or Doomday book). She is also a very slow writer. I went in once to place a preorder with my local sci fi and fantasy bookshop, they asked me where I heard of the new book (the Internet) and said a new book was predicted often, but appeared rarely.  It would be another two years!

2. Lois McMaster bujold.  I think I write about her books often.  Just go read them


3. Terry pratchett. I love the Discworld series. I have been reading them since high school, the early books are a bit tough, but the later ones are amazing.


4. Kate Baker – another author I recommend often. Time traveling cyborgs, a mysterious company manipulating human history and chocolates as the most intoxicating substance available.  The last couple of books do get weird.


What all of these authors do is make me reflect on what it means to be a human, to be in our world and what people are really like.  They are also about what brings out the best in people, what motivates us.  There are also people behaving badly.

In high school I had a friend who would reread Narnia every year.  A lot of the books by these authors are like that- series I return to periodically to remind myself to the power of books.

Any recommendations?

Microblog Monday- rereading

I have been slowly rereading the Harry Potter series over the past couple of months.  I started before Christmas and only finished this weekend.  This is in part because I read other books in between and around.

But it’s also because I slowed down on the last three.  They were harder to read, knowing what is to come.  Sadder too.

But it was nice to be able to read them in quick sequence, rather than over the years as they were released.  

I enjoy rereading books- sometimes experience has given me new insights, sometimes my reading pace has shifted and I pick up new things, sometimes knowledge of what is to come makes the story different.  But I know there are those who do not like to reread- my mum is one of those.  There are very few books she will reread!