July 28, 2014

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe ...

Sometimes it's beyond hard to decide which book to read next. Not as though I wouldn't have any good choices available for the next weekend read-a-thon. The whole process of picking up a book to read reminds me of going grocery shopping where you have miles of shelves with stuff and you keep on running back and forth, because you just can't make up your mind. Not saying that I have miles of shelves filled with unread tomes, but close enough. Needless to say, I've been known to spend the better half of an afternoon going through my book piles with no decision-making whatsoever. It's frustrating, that's what it is. If this were a relationship I'd have to wonder: Is it them? Is it me? In all honesty, it's probably them. I have this theory that the one book that 's meant to be read right there and then, is lurking in some dusty corner and running for cover (pun fully intended) when I start digging through my book piles. Anyway. Randomness to the rescue. I devised a plan on how to pick the next book to read and depending on what day of the week it is I will settle for ...

Monday aka Bump-day
Seeing how I've got book stacks strewn all over the place, I'm going to pick the first book that goes on a collision course with my foot after getting up in the morning. 

Tuesday aka Science-day
Time to implement some math into the process and utilize random.org to pick a book from my alphabetically sorted TBR list on LibraryThing.

Wednesday aka Match-day
Playing match-maker I will search for the one book with a cover design that best matches the color of the shirt I'm wearing.

Thursday aka Burrow-day
This day shall be dedicated to archaeological excavations which basically means, I will choose the book that has been in its holding pattern the longest.

Friday aka Friend-day
Today someone else will do the deciding for me, so I'll ask a friend to browse through my list of unread books and pick one out for me.

Saturday aka Scale-day
I will take a random stack of books with me to the bathroom and weigh myself with each of them. The result I like best will translate into some "light" reading choices.

Sunday aka Guilt-day
Feeling a wee bit guilty in light of the fact that I've got enough unread books to last me a year or two, I will "destroy the evidence" and stick my nose into the book which I bought on a whim the previous day.

What are your preferred methods to choose which book to read next? Ever tried doing it as randomly as I suggest in this post? Please share.

July 25, 2014

Non-Fiction Journey Of The Canine Persuasion

Travels With Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog Crazy Country (Benoit Denizet-Lewis)
July 22nd 2014, Simon & Schuster

A moody Labrador and his insecure human take a funny, touching cross-country RV trip into the heart of America’s relationship with dogs.
“I don’t think my dog likes me very much,” New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis confesses at the beginning of his journey with his nine-year-old Labrador-mix, Casey. Over the next four months, thirty-two states, and 13,000 miles in a rented motor home, Denizet-Lewis and his canine companion attempt to pay tribute to the most powerful interspecies bond there is, in the country with the highest rate of dog ownership in the world.
On the way, Denizet-Lewis—known for his deeply reported dispatches from far corners of American life—meets an irresistible cast of dogs and dog-obsessed humans. Denizet-Lewis and Casey hang out with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, search with a dedicated rescuer of stray dogs in Missouri, spend a full day at a kooky dog park in Manhattan, get pulled over by a K9 cop in Missouri, and visit “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan in California. And then there are the pet psychics, dog-wielding hitchhikers, and two nosy women who took their neighbor to court for allegedly failing to pick up her dog’s poop.
Travels With Casey is a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with an exploration of a dog-loving America. What does our relationship to our dogs tell us about ourselves and our values? Denizet-Lewis explores those questions—and his own canine-related curiosities and insecurities—during his unforgettable road trip through our dog-loving nation.

July 23, 2014

A list for the writing mind!

I like lists. What am I saying? I love 'em. And if I'm not the one who actually has to write it, all the better. After all that leaves me more time to read. Or in this case, browse.

The Write Life compiled a list with a recommendation of websites that are mostly aimed at writers, but honestly, I believe that everyone who likes books will discover some interesting sites here. Categories are blogging, business and career, copywriting, creativity and craft, freelancing, literary agents, marketing, publishing, travel writing, writing advice, and writing communities. Something for everyone, so to say write.

Lacking time to browse through them all? You might want to skip your afternoon nap then. I promise it's worth it.

Did you discover any interesting/useful/fun websites you weren't already familiar with? If so, which ones?

July 22, 2014

Christmas in July Giveaway Hop (Open WW)

Welcome to the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop (July 22nd - July 31st)

What's the best way to cool down during the hot summer months? Thinking about snow, hot cocoa and Christmas, of course. To help you out with the right reading material for this occasion I'm giving away one of the following books to a lucky winner.

Christmas: The Original Story (Margaret Barker)
Letters From Father Christmas (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Christmas Customs and Traditions (Clement A. Miles)

Please note: This giveaway is open worldwide, but only for countries TBD offers free shipping to - please check here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 21, 2014

You really shouldn't buy that book!

Now who doesn't like to indulge in some book buying splurges? Show of hands ... none. Thought so. Still, sometimes you might want to consider peeling your greedy fingers from that brand-new collector's edition with the awesomely beautiful new cover design and not make a purchase. *gasp*

Let me present you my TOP FIVE reasons why you should refrain from buying a book. Not to be taken all that seriously, and totally random ...

You: My dog ate my copy of [insert title of one of your favorite books]!
Me: You should be rushing the poor pup to the vet, not hit a bookstore. Especially if the pooch chewed up the eBook version and now needs to digest your Kindle.

You: My cherished copy of [insert title of your all-time favorite book ever] fell apart after the 137th read.
Me: That only lends charm to the old tome, so don't fret. Besides, a roll of Scotch tape might just do the trick and is so much cheaper than actually buying a new book.

You: I just can't decide which books to take with me on vacation, so I need to purchase eBook versions of the whole lot of them to take with me.
Me: I hate to break it to you, but doing that is totally redundant as this mass book buying means you won't be able to afford a vacation for the next decade.

You: My sanity depends on reading [insert title of random book that came to mind while you were absentmindedly chewing your breakfast cereal] but I just can't find it among the mountain ranges of unread books.
Me: A new copy of a book you already own? I think not. Now that you've had a hearty breakfast, why don't you start digging through your unread book piles to find that book.

You: I inherited this huge mansion with its very own library and need to fill those empty shelves.
Me: All right, the last thing you should do now is rush to a bookstore. Instead, hire me as your personal librarian. I'll do the book shopping for you then. *wink*

Tell me, have you ever resorted to one of these "excuses" for book buying? Maybe you'd like to add another scenario to this list? Please share.

July 18, 2014

Non-Fiction For Friends Of Bewitched Technology

Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things (David Rose)
July 15th 2014, Scribner

In the tradition of Who Owns the Future? and The Second Machine Age, an MIT Media Lab scientist imagines how everyday objects can intuit our needs and improve our lives.
We are now standing at the precipice of the next transformative development: the Internet of Things. Soon, connected technology will be embedded in hundreds of everyday objects we already use: our cars, wallets, watches, umbrellas, even our trash cans. These objects will respond to our needs, come to know us, and learn to think on our behalf. David Rose calls these devices—which are just beginning to creep into the marketplace—Enchanted Objects.
Some believe the future will look like more of the same—more smartphones, tablets, screens embedded in every conceivable surface. Rose has a different vision: technology that atomizes, combining itself with the objects that make up the very fabric of daily living. Such technology will be woven into the background of our environment, enhancing human relationships and channeling desires for omniscience, long life, and creative expression. The enchanted objects of fairy tales and science fiction will enter real life.
Groundbreaking, timely, and provocative, Enchanted Objects is a blueprint for a better future, where efficient solutions come hand in hand with technology that delights our senses. It is essential reading for designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone who wishes to understand the future and stay relevant in the Internet of Things.