Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#WordlessWednesday: She Wears Many Hats

#WordlessWednesday Woman With Many Hats on The 3 Rs Blog
Specifically, a fedora, a bowler, and whatever style the one on top is...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Instead of 1000 Words...Happy Anniversary!

A few photos from eight years ago today...some of my happiest memories, colored with love and anticipation of memories we have yet to make, together.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What's What in the Sunday Salon: "Almost" Monday Edition

The Sunday Salon on The 3 Rs Blog

What I’m reading
  • in print / on screen
I finished reading On Immunity this morning. Well, I mostly finished–in full disclosure, I didn’t read through all the endnotes. However, I have a feeling this is another book that will inspire more than one post--this fall has been pretty good for those!--so I may get to them yet.

I'm hoping to finish my galley of Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking this week, and am seriously considering taking nothing but ebooks with me on our upcoming long weekend up on the Central Coast.
  • on audio
I’m past the halfway point of The Magicians. I’m liking it more than I expected to and not minding at all that I’m finding it quite derivative (I wonder if that’s at least somewhat intentional). Friends who’ve read the entire series have given me the impression that it’s improved with each book–so far, I’m glad I decided to start it.

What I’m watching

It’s all about comic-book TV around here lately–ArrowThe FlashAgents of SHIELD. I’m not sure I’m totally sold on Gotham just yet, but we’re hanging in with it. And even though it didn’t originate in comics, I’ll count Doctor Who here–it has the right sensibility, plus it has comic-book spinoffs.

What I’m writing

I’m finding that my “100 Days of Day One” journaling project is taking a little bite out of my desire to write for the blog. It’s like there are some days when I’ve only got so many words, if that makes sense. Along with that, the time factor is always an issue, and it may be even more of one during the next couple of weeks. I’ll be making my best effort to write something every day, but I won’t guarantee how much of it will show up here for the next little while.

BTW and FTR, I’ve only missed one day of journaling since I started the project a month ago this week. I have a variety of entries, including transcribed quotes and little notes recorded while I’m reading a book. I have never kept that kind of “reading journal” before and I’m not sure it’ll stick, but I’m open to seeing how it works out for me.

What caught my eye this week
”No one book, after all, can completely capture the spirit of something so unwieldy as a state. Few—if any—books can even completely capture the spirit of an individual. And yet there are those stories that so beautifully evoke a time and a place and a way of life that it becomes close to impossible to separate the literary perception of a place from its reality—one winds up informing the other. 
”So while some of these stories do indeed paint in rather broad strokes, others speak to singular experiences that still manage to be expansive in their reach. This is the writing we want to celebrate. Several of these books number among the usual suspects of lists of this kind, but many remain anything but widely known. Almost all are fiction and most are novels; some were written for children, but just about every genre is represented. All are literary in voice and spirit; every last one will let you understand a time and place in a more profound way than you maybe thought possible.”
“The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State”’ on Brooklyn Magazine’s website. Which book did they choose to speak for your state? What do you think of their pick?
7. Ending a sentence with a preposition: Writing at the Oxford Dictionaries blog, Catherine Soanes refers to the notion that one may not end a sentence with a preposition as “fetish” rather than a rule. And if you’ve ever tried to contort a sentence to avoid ending on a preposition, you might suspect that fetish is linguistic masochism. Like so many rules-that-aren’t-rules, this one gets blamed on Latin-loving English grammarians who thought they could squeeze an English-language peg into a Latin-language hole. Latin infinitives are contained in a single verb; therefore, we must not split infinitives. Latin prepositions must always precede prepositional phrases; therefore, English prepositions must always precede prepositional phrases. Even if you never learned it in school, Latin is still messing with your life.”
—One of “10 Grammar Mistakes People Love To Correct (That Aren’t Actually Wrong)”, via Lifehacker

Gratuitous Photo of the Week

I didn't sign up for this weekend's 24-Hour Readathon, but to my pleasant surprise, I was able to participate unofficially for a few hours of productive reading...and a little snacking.

Fall Readathon photo collage The 3 Rs Blog

Friday, October 17, 2014

#31bookpics, Week 3

I'm cheating a little in this week's collage by including one of next week's photos. Some prompts just aren't a good fit for me, but it's fun to join in when I can. #31bookpics links up each Friday at Quirky Bookworm. The originals of each photo are posted on Instagram.

#31bookpics Week 3 collage The 3 Rs Blog

Thursday, October 16, 2014

(Audio)Book Talk: LANDLINE, by Rainbow Rowell, read by Rebecca Lowman

Rainbow Rowell (Twitter) (Facebook) (Tumblr)
Audiobook read by Rebecca Lowman
St. Martin’s Press (July 2014), Hardcover (ISBN 1250049377 / 9781250049377)
Fiction, 320 pages
Source: Purchased audiobook (Macmillan Audio (July 2014), ISBN 9781427239334; Audible ASIN B00KAG8OZM)

audiobook discussion LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell The 3 Rs Blog

I haven’t been able to pull my thoughts about Rainbow Rowell’s return to adult-audience fiction, Landline, into a thematically coherent whole, so I’m recording my impressions in bullet-point format. Some of these points may be spoilers if you have not yet read the novel, so proceed at your own risk!
  • The characters in Landline have adult lives and and adult concerns, but on the whole, this novel didn’t feel all that different from Rowell’s YA fiction to me. There were some parts, particularly the flashbacks to Georgie and Neal’s relationship during college, that feltvery much like Rowell’s YA fiction. I’m a fan of her work in that category, and I’m still not sure whether I think this should have felt different. That said, the parts that felt more like Rowell’s YA work felt more convincing and authentic to me.
  • One element of the novel that did feel authentic to me, if not entirely convincing, was Georgie and Seth’s friendship. I found it very interesting that Rowell gave her protagonist a “best friend” that she couldn’t really talk to about anything too personal—I don’t think I see that in fiction very often. But I don’t see best-friend relationships between straight, married women and straight, unmarried men in fiction very often either, and I thought the boundaries in this particular friendship—largely defined by work, and a source of friction in Georgie’s marriage—were realistic.
  • Any consideration of what’s “realistic” in Landline has to come back around to the novel’s central device: the “time-traveling telephone.” I realize that it’s essentially the basis for the story, but I’m not sure the story needed to be structured around it. As Rowell reveals Georgie and Neal’s relationship, the conflict between them becomes clear enough, and it absolutely makes sense that Georgie would be reflecting on their history and its impact on their future during a week of separation even if she weren’t having telephone conversations with the Neal of fifteen years earlier.
  • I had the opportunity to read Landline in print, but I chose the audiobook version instead, and I’m very glad I did. The pairing of author Rainbow Rowell and narrator Rebecca Lowman has become one of my favorites, and I think Lowman’s work here is some of the very best I’ve heard from her. As you may have gathered by now, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the novel, but the quality of the audio performance helped me set aside some of my issues with the material.
Rating: Book, 3.5 of 5; Audio, 4 of 5

Book description, from the publisher’s website:
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply—but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point.
Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her—Neal is always a little upset with Georgie—but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go without her.
When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.
That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts… .
Is that what she’s supposed to do?
Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Opening Lines:

"Georgie pulled into the driveway, swerving to miss a bike.

"Neal never made Alice put it away.

"Apparently bicycles never got stolen back in Nebraska—and people never tried to break in to your house. Neal didn’t even lock the front door most nights until after Georgie came home, though she’d told him that was like putting a sign in the yard that said PLEASE ROB US AT GUNPOINT. ‘No,’ he’d said. ‘That would be different, I think.’

"She hauled the bike up onto the porch and opened the (unlocked) door.

"The lights were off in the living room, but the TV was still on. Alice had fallen asleep on the couch watching Pink Panther cartoons. Georgie went to turn it off and stumbled over a bowl of milk sitting on the floor. There was a stack of laundry folded on the coffee table—she grabbed whatever was on the top to wipe it up.

“When Neal stepped into the archway between the living room and the dining room, Georgie was crouched on the floor, sopping up milk with a pair of her own underwear.”

  Shop Indie Bookstores Affiliate Marketing Links

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#WordlessWednesday: Here Comes #Readathon

I have to skip the Fall edition of Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon this Saturday, so I thought I'd collage some Mini-Challenge photos from last Spring.

#WordlessWednesday #Readathon photo collage The 3 Rs Blog

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Little Techy Talk: Which Device for What?

A discussion in the Book Bloggers Google+ group about how we read blogs now—more than a year after the demise of Google Reader—got me thinking about tech. Specifically, I started thinking about what activities I prefer doing on laptop/desktop computer, tablet, and/or smartphone.

Techy Talk on The 3 Rs Blog

  • Laptop/desktop computer: 

The stationary platform with the big screen is still my preferred place for composing blog posts and writing other lengthy pieces, although I do I draft and take notes on a mobile device. However, since I still find formatting a blog post for publishing is easiest on a conventional computer, sometimes it seems more efficient to work on the whole thing there. Many blog-related tasks are still easiest on a laptop or desktop, to be honest, and that includes both commenting on other blogs and responding to comments here. (Don't many of us blame reading blogs on mobile devices for the decline of comments?)

I use my mobile devices to read emails, but to send any email other than a quick reply, I'd rather be on a computer. And because Facebook's mobile app is just not good, I prefer using that site on a computer too.

  • Tablet (iPad mini)

I read blogs on my laptop or desktop when that's where I'm working; I was using Feedly long before Google Reader went away, and I have few complaints about it. However, I'd rather read blog posts on my tablet (even if it is harder to comment there), where my Feedly account is synced with the Mr. Reader app. It's only for iPad and it's not a freebie, but I love its features and versatility and have never regretted buying it.

I do nearly all my photo editing on my iPad, and I confess to a mild addiction to apps in this category. I'd like to say that's because I've yet to find the one app that does everything exactly the way I want it to, but I don't think that's entirely true. I've tried and liked too many to list them all here, but please ask me about them if you're interested!

I gave up using a dedicated e-reader a few years ago, and one reason I downscaled to the iPad mini is that it's a more comfortable size for reading ebooks. That said, I'd consider going back to an e-reader if I read more e-galleys; I think I'd keep up with them better if I kept them on a device all their own.

  • Phone (iPhone 5, for now--we're eligible to upgrade before year-end): 

I edit photos on the iPad, but unless there's a special reason to bring my camera somewhere, I take pictures with my iPhone. Sometimes I'll do simple edits to them right there too, if I intend to post them to social media right away. When that's not my plan, the cloud (iCloud Photo Stream, with automated backup to Dropbox) lets me work on them on the iPad later on.

On a related note, Instagram and Twitter are primarily phone-use apps for me. My bad eyes prefer them on the iPad mini's bigger screen (despite the fact Instagram's not optimized for it), but since my iPad is wi-fi only, that's not always an option.

Let's talk tech--where do you prefer to do the things you do?