Friday, December 25, 2009

Come on Over to My Nook

Merry merry! Hope all your holidays were safe and warm and happy. I got the one thing I requested multiple times, yes, a NOOK! So I thought I would document my struggles, um I mean joy, here for ya'll. It all started well, my physics PHD wielding husband pried the thing open (I had read enough reviews to just hand it to him without even trying myself) and I was off, looking at NYT bestseller lists and magazines I could subscribe to (we pay about $100 for the physical Wall St Journal, can I really get it for $14.99? What's up with that?)

After playing for awhile I decided to let it rest and charge all the way up. I don't want to overtax my nook. And I am not going to even comment on the double entendres, so there. After the kids got to bed I was ready to get more serious but so was my husband (really people, stay focused) so he grabbed the nook to get it configured for our wifi. After registering the nook and downloading the update to the firmware I figured I was ready to go. I am still waiting for a download of the free sample of Evermore by Alyson Noel. It's been queued for 15 minutes now, saying "Will complete shortly" the whole time. Not impressive. Yup, still waiting.

The other interesting thing, I managed to justify this purchase (only to me) on the basis that I have a lot of PDF documents to read for school. Printing them is expensive, not to mention the trees, and my laptop is rather dimly lit making it hard on my old eyes. Voila, I need a Nook. Of course if you have followed any reviews, the formatting of a PDF on the Nook is a total nightmare. It seems this is a publishing issue, not a Nook specific issue. Spouse found a program called Caliber that will convert the PDF (not scanned) to an epub document and it looks spectacular. Score one for the man. There are some bugs with the font conversion but its much better than the alternative. But again, it's limited to digital PDF (one created as a PDF or converted from Powerpoint or Word for instance) not scanned ones. And as my husband says, my Social Studies professors scan this stuff at such low resolution even he can't fix it. (Did I mention my husband is a scientist born and bred?)

So to close, I still don't have a download of my free sample of Evermore, I'm guessing that was 4o minutes at this point. I've got 30 days, right? Maybe I need to get Kindle 2 and put them head to head for the trial period. Wow, that's so not me, I have a hard time even typing it. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Technical Difficulties Please Stand By

Here are a couple of images to tide you (me) over until Dec 17th. Yes semester will officially end Dec 17th at noon. Come hell or high water.

I got the cartoon from Brown Sharpie comics. Math comics inspired by sharpie fumes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Julie Anne Long "Since the Surrender"

If you've been following along you'll know that I am a Julie Anne Long fangirl. I have to admit it's probably revealing that I almost sent this latest book away on Paper Back Swap without remembering to review it. Ouch.

Chase Eversea and Rosalind March met during the Napoleonic War when she was the wife of his Colonel. They shared a kiss practically by accident and almost couldn't live with themselves because it was such a betrayal of their friend. Rosalind wasn't in love with her husband but she loved him as friend and father figure. The Colonel died in Waterloo, Chase did not. Now, years later, her younger sister has disappeared so she appeals to Chase for help in tracking her down. So far so good.

But two things (in my opinion) go wrong. The plot surrounding the sister seems to go nowhere for a long time, then when it does finally get revealed, it's, well, completely preposterous. Maybe if the pacing had been better I wouldn't have cared as much.

Then the other problem; the sex. Again, I think it's a pacing problem. Longing, longing, longing and they never give in. Finally in what seems the most inappropriate time and place, they get it on. Why now? If they didn't need an emotional breakthrough, or a 'safe' place and time, then why have they been waiting! It felt as if this could be made into two books, one with the sex and one without, to be sold in two different genres without any real impact on the character arch or storyline. Don't get me wrong, the scenes are fun but to have them feel so extraneous to the arch of the relationship in the end undermines their effectiveness within the book.

Is it horrible? No. The characters have the intent, intelligent, humorously self effacing internal voices that I so love about Ms. Long's characters. This story continues to flesh out the world of the Everseas so if you're committed to the series, you should read it, but overall with my high expectations it was a disappointment.

Historical Romance 2009: 2.5 of 5 bawdy angel paintings.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sherry Thomas "Private Arrangements"

Lady and Lord Tremaine have the perfect English aristocratic marriage, he lives in New York and she lives in London. But for some reason after ten years of perfect harmony, she wishes to divorce and marry another. He returns to London to respond to her divorce petition and to extract an heir before he lets her go. Yes, well.

Ms. Thomas has a wonderfully ironic writing voice which is amusing and appropriate to our intelligent, ironic heroine and to a hero that appreciates this aspect of her personality. I especially appreciated how her writing voice shifted when we moved to our heroine's mother's story. There were things I could quibble with; our heroine's mother's shift from scheming to strangely honest is abrupt and feels disjointed; but overall the characters are witty and interesting and believably tortured. The plot turns are not typical historical romance fodder which is refreshing and the sex is engaging and believable. Even the historical context of the novel, although not entirely central to the story, works.

I will be looking for more Sherry Thomas books soon.

Historical Romance 2008: 4.5 of 5 contraceptive caps.