My IRL book club picked The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware as our next read. I've been resisting starting it, but feel obligated to at least give it a swing since I didn't even really give the last selection a try.
Bibliomaniac. Daughter of a Bookaholic. Wife of a Bibliovore. Mother of 2 Bibliophiles.
While my first love was SF and fantasy, I read widely in YA, urban fantasy, police procedurals, and non-fiction.
Also occassionally on GoodReads as J L's Bibliomania:
and Litsy @jlsbibliomania
Note: I'm writing this a little hungover. That's my disclaimer if anything sounds snarky.
A common grumble in BookLikesandia is that the database could be better (my polite translation). This is a perennial grumble that rolls across BookLikesandia regardless of search/import outages or other unfortunate and annoying bugs.
I and the other librarians scurry around the records like ... ants, trying our best to fix things and make the database a solid body of reliable, verified data. No flag waving, but Themis-Athena and I have done over 100,000 edits combined - and in reality, the number is much higher because the system only counts how many times we open a record, not the number of edits we make while its open. With other librarians, the count is almost 150,000. We've been scurrying.
We have so much more work yet to do. Tip of the iceberg stuff.
But changes on BookLikes take a lot of time. There are no bulk-edit librarian tools; every book and author record has to be edited, merged, or tied together one at a time. Today, I did 7 pages of queued up edits, 20 to a page, in 5 different languages. It took me over 2.5 hours.
I enjoy doing it - I'm a nerd and get a great sense of satisfaction out of seeing an accurate and complete record. BUT - and this is the point of my lead up: if edits and new books were added correctly by most users, 2 hours of my time this morning could have been spent fixing old problems and cleaning up old records.
If records are submitted correctly (including edits), I could have gone through the 7 pages in the queue today in 30 minutes, instead of 2.5 hours. I've done posts before - repeatedly - about do's and don't's, and, let me be clear a lot of people DO submit wonderful records. Really, and it's really appreciated. We remember your names, and smile when you submit stuff. Ok, I do anyway.
But a lot of people are still missing the details. So. I have pictures. Screenshots of the two biggest time wasters for librarians processing the queue: mis-labelling formats, and adding ASINs where they should NOT be added.
Let's start with E-books:
Both of these are wrong, and have to be fixed. The first one because it's a KINDLE, not an ebook, and the second because it's an EBOOK, not a kindle, and the ASIN should NOT be theres. It should be on a KINDLE edition, seperate from the ebook edition.
This is what a correct ebook edition should look like.
This is what a correct KINDLE edition should look like.
Now, paperbacks and hardcovers:
Both of these are wrong and have to be fixed. Paperbacks and hardcovers NEVER HAVE AN ASIN.
This is an example of what a paperback edition should look like (and hardcover - except, of course, it should say "hardcover").
This record is doubly wrong:
No format was included, so we don't know if this is supposed to be a paperback, hardcover, ebook or kindle - hell, it could be an audiobook for all we know. So we have to leave Booklikes to search the web (because most of these include a GoodReads source URL that doesn't specify the format) to find out what format it is before we can correct it.
Sometimes shit happens. Sometimes mistakes are made, or someone is in a hurry, no biggie. But most of these aren't mistakes, most of them are submitted by serial offenders. And please understand that I'm not complaining about a few - almost half of the queued lists are usually made up of records like these, that have to be opened and corrected before they're approved. Today's count would have been close to 70 records. On top of the records missing covers, ISBNs, etc. Out of 140 records today, only about 40 were submissions I could just approve as is.
As I said, I enjoy doing this, as do the other librarians, but our time is finite, so whatever we spend on new submissions that have to be corrected is time we can't spend on fixing old records, bad imports, combining scattered editions and merging duplicate author records. The records that cause all the grumbling in the first place.
Please help us make the BookLikes database better for everyone. Rant over. Send aspirin.
I typically average about 5 books a month, so unlike many of the more voracious readers here, I’m not even going to attempt to black out my Bingo card*. So I think I’m going to follow the same strategy that I used last year – pick a likely row with a handful of interesting books and then just wait for the calls to catch up. Here are some of the books I'm debating for the start.
A3 – Slasher Stories
B3 – Spellbound (an embarrassment of choices)
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead - Kim Harrison (can also fit Deadlands, Cryptozoologist, Shifters et c.) available as an audiobok
The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness (might also fit Relics & Curiosities) - available as an audiobook but at 24 hours is longer than might commit to in audiobook during Bingo
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab (one of many places this can go since I don’t have the Darkest London Square).
C3 – Raven
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater (reread - though this can also go many places)
one of the overflow from Spellbound
A short story TBD
D3 – 13
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson (even though I think this will stretch my comfort zone and could go elsewhere)
Or more Raven Boys
E3 – Ghost Stories
The Girl in the Green Silk Gown - Seanan McGuire (could also fit New Release)
*Yes, I know short stories count towards Halloween Bingo, but I can’t see reading 25 of them in a 2-month span either. (And I’m just too likely to get sucked into the anthology and not move to other squares anyway)
I've now seen A Darker Shade of Magic on half a dozen reading plans for Halloween Bingo 2018. Who'd be interested in turning it into an unofficial buddy read?
I suggest that we start either over the weekend of September 15/16 or the weekend of September 22/23, though I'm open to any time that doesn't conflict with the official Buddy Read.
So who's interested and what dates do you suggest?
Even though I haven't picked books yet, I can't wait to show off my glorious card!
I'm amazed at those of you who already have a TBR list. While I have a few things I'm thinking about, I plan to spend the next few days window-shopping the reading lists ably compiled by Murder by Death and all of your TBR posts before announcing my intentions.
And if you aren't already spooked into joining us, you have until August 30, 2018 to become enthralled. Cards requests for the newly enspelled are placed here
TITLE: The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
AUTHOR: Thomas McNamee
DATE PUBLISHED: 2017
"Our feline companions are much-loved but often mysterious. In The Inner Life of Cats, Thomas McNamee blends scientific reportage with engaging, illustrative anecdotes about his own beloved cat, Augusta, to explore and illuminate the secrets and enigmas of her kind.
As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats.
McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of this book."
This book was less about the inner lives of cats, or the science and secrets of cats than an ode and memoir about the author's cat, Augusta.
The science bits were interesting though some of the numbers quoted lack a reference and make verification difficult. There were also many interesting sections on feral cats in Rome, sensory input and raising kittens and the semi-domestic nature of cats, as well as the stupidity of humans who keep wild animals in their homes and are surprised when it eats them or shreds the house. The majority of the book involves stories about Augusta. Sometimes these stories tied in with the more informative parts of the book, sometimes they didn't.
I haven't lived with a cat for years, so I'm not as inclined as cat-owners to go all soppy over the Augusta sections (maybe if Augusta was a German Shepherd it might have been different), but I did find the book entertaining and well-written though lacking in science.
-The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker
- Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher
- Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World by Richard C. Francis
It's the first weekend in August, and Quincy (our dog) woke me before the rest of the household. Which means that it's time for an July reading roundup.
During July I read 5 novels (1 as an audio-book), 1 essay, and most of 1 non-fiction book
As I said previously,The 3rd volume in the Emberverse Universe was a disappointing read.
Deliverer - C.J. Cherryh , Book 9 in the Foreigner Universe. While reading this whole series (now up to 19 books) is a time commitment, and it takes the first trilogy to hit its stride, I recommend starting at the beginning. If you like stories that stick close to a single viewpoint, these books can be an interesting jaunt into what makes us human and how humans can/do interact with the other.
I’m still processing my feelings about All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel - Anthony Doerr, Zach Appelman . But it usually takes me a lot of time to process any stories set during WWII. Despite the hopscotching through time, All The Light We Cannot See worked well as an audiobook.
James Baldwin’s classic The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin is unfortunately still timely. I read this in part because a volume of recent essays called The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race - Jesmyn Ward is sitting on my shelf and I felt that I needed to understand what they were paying homage to.
The rhythm and swing of the prose shows Mr. Baldwin’s origins as a preacher composing for the listening experience. I recommend listening to the audiobook or reading The Fire Next Time out loud to savor the cadences.
I’m counting The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee as a July read, even though I didn’t finish it until last night. The Inner Life of Cats is more a memoir of the author’s life with cat with a side of science than a rigorous look at the science of cat ownership or cat behavior. If you’re a cat lover or a cat owner, Mr. McNamee assembled an easy to read stroll through his cat's life and you might learn some cat psychology along the way.
Well it's actually hour 20 of the Readathon, but I'm finally out from my life interruptions to be able to participate for a while.
What are you reading right now?
Currently trying to decide on my next book – Jump into Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward in print, or start something else right now and wait to “read” this as an audiobook mid-week.
How many books have you read so far?
I’ve read in 3.
Finished the last section of Deliverer - C.J. Cherryh
Listened to about 90 minutes of All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel - Anthony Doerr, Zach Appelman while driving to the Farmer’s Market and then to and from work
Read several chapters in The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee
All of these were the books I already happened to have in progress when the Readathon Hit.
What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Not sure – I hope to actually get some reading time in the last 4 hours of Readathon around putting up the veggies from my CSA share
Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
My whole day has been an interruption, but I knew that going in
What surprises you most about the Reverse Readathon so far?
I love how much more active the Facebook Group has been than in previous Readathons.
If you stick with the Foreigner series by CJ Cherryh for more than a few pages, you know that numbers are very, very important to the Atevi. And they have a strong preference for odd numbers, so tonight I can declare that I have finished the fortunate 9th book, the end of the 3rd trilogy in the saga of Bren Cameron.
Finishing my current book seemed like fortunate way to celebrate Dewey's Readathon!
I've also finished another chapter in The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee (the one about the feral cats of Rome).
In addition to mine - I've seen Readathon Posts by:
Booklikes addresses are also listed in the participant database
Though they are so far either hiding in their books, or participating via another social media outlet.
Well it's been a long, long week and tomorrow is a dizzy bay, so after cheering on the other Readathon participants, I'm heading off to bed.
What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
South Jersey (near Philadelphia)
Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
What stack? Other than the stack of possible next reads that I always have.
I first heard about the Readathon yesterday and work has been insane. I’m planning to finish Deliverer - C.J. Cherryh and make progress on The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee , two books I already have in progress. I haven’t planned past that, but have my usual collection of library books and ebooks to explore.
Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Tea and chocolate.
Tell us a little something about yourself!
I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this book-logging/book blogging thang since 2011!
If you want to know more about me, I was featured on the Booklikes Follow Friday just last week!
If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
I am squeezing my usual few weekend hours of reading around a jam-packed weekend. But I love cheering and the energy of Readathon, and there’s a big cheering challenge this weekend so I couldn’t resist.
The Dewey's Readathon folks decided that #24in48 last weekend wasn't enough summer Readathon fun and that they didn't want to wait until the fall. So they're running another readathon this weekend!
Hours are 8 pm Friday July 27 to 8 pm Saturday July 28 (Eastern Standard time).
I missed the announcement at the beginning of the month so I'm not sure whether I can participate on 1-day's notice. But I hope some of you decide to read along.
P.S. You DON'T need to be able to read all 24-hours to participate
As you saw by the pictures, we have just a few books.
We've been toying with the idea of actually cataloging them.
Do any of you keep a catalog? Have you tried any of the apps that advertise being able to scan the books?
What's your preference?
P.S. I have a LibraryThing Account, but really haven't used it much because for whatever reason their interface doesn't thrill me.
For all of you expressing envy of the bookcases in the basement. It was a VERY carefully curated shot. Here's a wide angle of the whole basement in it's true glory.
Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Today let's meet Julia. You need to keep on reading to see those shelfies! :D
Follow JL's Bibliomania on BookLikes: http://jlsbibliomania.booklikes.com/
What are you reading right now? How do you like it?
I’m reading three things as I write these responses:
Heaven's Queen by Rachel Bach, which is the concluding volume of a lighthearted romp of a Space Opera featuring a girl and her big gun.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which is the story of how Marie- Laure, a blind French Girl, and Werner, a German Orphan, converge in the French town of San-Malo near the end of the 2nd World War. Slower moving, especially as an audiobook.
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions by Thomas McNamee, which is the current selection for the Flat Book Society. OK so far, but recently I’ve been struggling with sustained attention to non-fiction.
However, I expect that by the time this is published, I will have finished Heaven’s Queen and moved on to another piece of fiction
When have you discovered you’re a book lover?
If this question is asking when did I (first) discover I was a book lover the answer is: When books were replacing my non-existent friends in Elementary and Middle School and I was devouring a book an afternoon.
Why reading is important to you?
Because I like how reading fills the spaces in my head. Because I crave the escape it offers.
Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?
I’m currently excited about The Hate U Give, which is getting a lot of buzz, and does a great job personalizing the questions behind the Black Lives Matter (Movie due to release in October)
I discovered Maggie Stiefvater relatively recently and loved The Raven Boys and the sequels as an audiobook.
I read them a long time ago and the details have faded, but I think Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay is essential reading.
I also love CJ Cherryh’s work.While a bit older, I particularly like how the Faded Sun Trilogy and Forty Thousand in Gehenna wrestle with the idea of being the “Other” and of becoming the bridge between human and alien.
In your bio you write: “Daughter of a Bookaholic. Wife of a Bibliovore. Mother of 2 Bibliophiles” Did your family had an influence on your reading passion, and how do you encourage your kids to keep on reading?
My parents really didn’t watch television much and were always reading, particularly my Dad who always has a book or 3 going, typically Space Opera or military SF. My parents definitely had an influence on my reading passion by always having books around, and nurtured my love of SF by handing me Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong when I was in Jr. High and complaining that I was bored and out of things to read.
This is going to sound trite (or like stock advice), but when my kids were little my husband and I read to our sons, always had a rotating stock of library books around that were age and reading-level appropriate geared towards their passion of the moment, and modeled reading because we often had a book of our own with us. We were lucky. My older son dove into Richard Scarry partway through kindergarten, my younger son got lost in the Warriors series in 3rd grade and we really haven’t had to do much to encouraging since.
Do you read one book or several at a time?
As you can see by the answer to question 1, I typically read several books at a time.
- 1 fiction in print or ebook,
- 1 audiobook for the car,
- and sometimes a non-fiction.
But the print book and the audiobook have to be different genres for me to keep track, which is fine because I like to mix things up.
Do you review all books you read? How does your review process look like?
I don’t review everything I read. I write when I have something to say and when time permits (and as you can see by the fewer and shorter reviews recently, time has recently been in short supply so I haven’t been as active).
I’m more of a book diarist than a book reviewer. I started tracking on Goodreads and blogging about books to help myself remember what I’ve read. I consider what I write to be book reactions rather than truly reviews, which is why many of my entries are a short paragraph or less, and I almost never include a synopsis of the plot. I try not to look at too many reviews before I read a book, but often look at the book page here and at other book-review sites after I finish. I typically dash off a draft over the weekend, ask my husband to copy edit it, then post the following day.
Your Shelf presents many audiobooks. Do you experience the book differently while listening to it instead of reading?
I do experience stories differently when I listen to them. Listening to an audiobook forces you to move at the narrator’s pace, which means that you can’t read too fast and miss details. Sometimes that’s an advantage, and sometimes that leads to tedium.
I’m also not one who easily builds a concrete picture of what the characters look like, or imagines what they sound like. The audiobook narrator often fills in that gap for me, especially the recent productions that turn books almost into audio plays by using multiple readers.
The experience of reading an audiobook is also different for me because I mostly listen to them in the car, while I’m driving. A story is different when experienced in 15-30 minute chunks, and with distractions.
A library or a bookstore?
Definitely a library!
While my husband and I spent many pleasant hours in used book stores as a teen and young adult (hence the collection in the basement), we almost entirely stopped buying books as part of the financial adjustment after buying our first house. We are lucky to live in an area with good libraries and I get more than 90% of what I read from the local county library consortium.
Your favorite genres are fantasy and sci-fi. Why are they so special?
SF and fantasy were initially appealing to me because of the escapism. If you’re not happy in mundane reality, SF and fantasy provide ample opportunities to imagine being a heroine elsewhere.
Now I find that SF and fantasy are special in the way that they pose questions about what makes us human.
What are your three favorite book covers?
I'll admit that I hate the share 3 book-covers question since doing most of my book “shopping” in the online library catalog, the cover isn't really something I pay much attention to. However, there’s a strong tradition of SF-related artwork. So instead of book covers I’d like to share 3 of the signed, numbered SF-related prints that I’ve bought at conventions over the years.
Menolly by Robin Wood, originally included in The People of Pern http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Prints/PrintPages/Menolly.html
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Virginia Poyser. Victoria is currently working under her married name of Virginia Lisi and no longer focusing on SF-related art. I couldn’t find a good copy of this picture online, but her website is https://victoria-lisi.pixels.com/
A Stitch in Time by David Cherry (brother of CJ Cherryh)
https://davidcherryart.com/prints/a-stitch-in-time/ I don’t believe this piece is connected to a specific book, but it appealed to me as someone who occasionally stitches.
A paper book or an e-book?
When I’m home, I’m a traditionalist and prefer paper. When I’m travelling, or when the library only has the ebook, I’ll happily reach for the e-reader for novels. I dislike non-fiction and graphic novels as e-books.
Three titles for a holiday break?
Did I say that I hate giving recommendations?
Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach and the sequels (though it looks like others who tried it here on BL haven’t liked it much)
When Dimple Met Rishi – light realistic fiction YA – definitely recommend the audiobook.
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. Suggested in honor of the Summer of Spies.
My absolutely favorite quote is
Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.
(Often misremembered as – Life is short, Eat dessert first)
And when I was in college I spent several years doing just that.
Despite coming late to canine ownership, my favorite bookish quote is
Outside of a book, a dog is man’s best friend
Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read
Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
The first two pictures are of the two bookcases in the living-room, which contain cookbooks, religion reference works and library books. Life has been so much easier, with many fewer desperate searches for the overdue or missing books since we cleared off shelves a shelf for me and a shelf for my sons to keep our library book in the right hand case.
The last picture is of a few of the 13 bookcases in the basement library. We’re in the middle of re-sorting/re-shelving/trimming the collection as we recently decided to store all fiction alphabetically by author and to stop trying to sort by genre. And while the basement is mostly fiction, there are 2 ceiling high cases full of my husband’s history references.
Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the interviews catch up links below:
I am done with this series.
A Meeting at Corvallis, the third book in first Emberverse trilogy, unfortunately didn't return to the magic of the 1st in this series. Too much battle info-dumping, not enough people behaving believably.
That said, I did cry
But I'm just done. If I want the minutia of military campaigns and what people ate, I'll go read some L.E. Modesitt Jr. At least his villains aren't such caricatures.