localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (DH-scarboard)
So I've signed up to Good Reads since the demise of the virtual bookshelf I was using previously. And Good Reads is pretty popular these days. Radio 4 have mentioned it and everything.

So I added a few old books and then set to adding my current reading and, when finished, maybe reviewing. In doing so I reviewed my first ebook fiction purchase (all others so far have been academic) The Bestseller by Stephen Leather. I bought it because I was in the mood for a thriller and I've heard a lot of good things about the author.

And I didn't really like the book. It was clever- working in cycles, referring to self, characters' comments overshadowing what you know is going to happen to them etc but it wasn't enjoyable. And so I gave it one star and left my review of why I didn't enjoy it.

And the author replied.

This is so bloody embarrasing. I am relieved at least that I reviewed articulately: there is not a word of it that I would hurriedly take back, but I'm left feeling like I should apologise to the author for not liking his book. I feel like his response makes me want to not write bad reviews, which is of course nonsense because I only review things I have an opinion on, bad or good, and I don't wish to censor that. The whole point of posting reviews online in places like good reads is so that other people can read them and make an assessment as to whether they wish to read the book or not.

The author also responded to someone rating his novel one star without reviewing in less than the polite terms with which he responded to me.

I do not like this. It offers quite the conundrum too. In the world of fanfiction, reviewing a story means you knowingly wish to tell the author directly what you think, but on somewhere like good reads I do not expect the author to read or respond to my review- good or bad- because I am not, when reviewing on somewhere like that, addressing them. I don't want to have to feel like I should apologise for not liking their story, or only post good reviews for fear the author might read them and their feelings will be hurt, and I most certainly don't want to be flamed by an author going "they're MY TOYS AND YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND".

It's a very rocky sort of cyberspace this. Any navigational aids available?
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I've just finished reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (English translation by Lucy Graves). It is a somewhat breath-taking book. Well, it's a book within a book, within a reflection. It is hard to describe the twisting and turning of the characters and their stories and how they begin seperate but intermingle in confusing, terrifying and occasionally bloodily melodramatic ways. I loved it. It scared the crap out of me. And, in an almost terrifying turn of events a book which features a mysterious madman trying to destroy all copies of a book, this particular copy may be going the slow, sad, way to the recycling pile. Before you judge me please understand that I am not a terrible book destroying heathen: this particular copy I acquired free from the library's last book sale, as it was marked too damaged to even sell off (some of the pages are falling out and the spine is badly broken), I worked in charity book shops and I know quite well that a book this grubby and with the potential for missing pages will likely be sold to the rag-n-bone man for recyclables as well. Still, it gives the book an extra level of eeriness, considering the mad, twisting, riveting tale contained with in.

On Friday night it was a work's night out for Mod, who has now left. We were all out to a meal at some fancy Italian restaurant. It wasn't horrible, but I can't say I particularly enjoyed it. The starter was good but the main (ricotta primavera) was over-salted and the drinks were overpriced (over £2 for a glass of lemonade! Seriously!)

I am currently twittering about the place flapping my hands anxiously as I haven't heard a thing about whether my Masters application has been accepted or rejected. It is a most terrifying state of limbo, more so as I know this particular university for its resident pupils has its registration the weekend whilst I will be in London (or returning from), and also because if they do not want me I would really like to know so that I can pick myself up and find something additional. Work is either killing me by there being so much of it, or else frustrating me by its ability to require very little in the way of talents- the vast majority of time consuming tasks are either down to the unreliability of other people (departments, sponsors etc) or simply soporific data inputting.

I shouldn't complain about work. It's fine, really. I don't mind it most days. I just had a particularly trying week last week and I'm feeling maudlin and anxious waiting to hear from the university.

In other triumphs four more carrier-bags of thing were taken to the charity shop today. Books, toys, games etc. I did, at one point, consider inventorying what I was getting rid off, but am quashing that idea mercilessly- remembering will only induce the usual 'OH NOES I FORGOT HOW MUCH I LOVED THAT' that has been the root cause of the current hovel-situation. Or worse 'THAT MIGHT BE WORTH SOMETHING SOMEDAY'. I spit on my own ridiculousness. Or try to, at any rate.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
The Bank Holiday draws to a close. The back to work blues hover menancingly at the gates with scowling half-panicked faces (because there is so much happening in the next two weeks that it is just insanely horrible to think of) and the long weekend is already fading into a sense of sepia-tinted nostalgic fiction which convincingly ignores the cold, the dust, the freezing rain and that the trip to the game fair today ruined all my plans for what I actually intended to do. The only food in the house for tomorrow's lunch will be speciality cheese, a handful of water biscuits and a new water bottle. There will also be no milk in work tomorrow, because I have not been near a Real Shop to buy any of the milk they in work approve of (we have cartons at home, which for some reason I have never grasped some people actively detest despite the fact they cost less and last longer).

I am currently reading The Fry Chronicles, which has been sitting on my to-read pile for a good six months now. It is proving deeply enjoyable so far. More so, in fact, than Moab Is My Washpot which is unusual for me (with biographies and autobiographies I tend towards interesting information about childhood years than adult sucesses), although perhaps Moab was ruined for me by my reading The Liar first, which I didn't enjoy as much as I enjoyed other fictional books by Stephen Fry, nor as much as I thought I would.

I have quite a few projects in the air at the moment, several of which are making me somewhat elusive to the online world. That is not to say I am not online (the obsession is too hard-wired for that), but I am not In Communicational Spheres as much at present. I have discovered that attempting to run several video editing and photo manipulation programmes alongside MSN's usual background hum is dire folly, and results in the crashing of one, if not all programmes, after about five minutes. Maybe one day I shall have TERRABYTES of harddrive (and better internet) and this will not be an issue, but for now it is.

I am also trying to do non-computery things more. Like read more. And sort out the loft. My lofty (ha) aims for the weekend have not been realised, but I take some small satisfaction in 2 binbags of rubbish (packaging etc), 2 binbags of recycling, 3 binbags of Stuff donated to Age Concern and a further 4 binbags of stuff tied up in a little row awaiting only to be loaded into a car and to be transported to a deserving charity. I would have sorted more, but I ran out of room and the plan had been to finish today. By the time we returned from the Game Fair however, the shops were closed. Disappointing, but I am trying to focus on what little has been achieved instead of the large that hasn't.


localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)

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