October 21st, 2007

Reading List 2007 (30/196)

This is just embarrassing. I have about six weeks’ worth of reading to blog, and there’s no way I can even begin to summarize everything I read. How about this: if you’re curious about something, post in the comments, and I’ll give it a mini-review!

I also gave up on logging my reading for school, which is sad - I was pretty sure I was going to break the book-a-day barrier if I’d included all the things I’m reading academically. But hey, it’s just a number, right?

In any case, on to the (first round of) books:

The Third Victim, Lisa Gardner
The Perfect Husband, Lisa Gardner
The Other Daughter, Lisa Gardner
The Killing Hour, Lisa Gardner
The Survivor’s Club, Lisa Gardner
The Next Accident, Lisa Gardner
Hide, Lisa Gardner
Alone, Lisa Gardner
Gone, Lisa Gardner
Blindsighted, Karin Slaughter
Kisscut, Karin Slaughter
A Faint Cold Fear, Karin Slaughter
Indelible, Karin Slaughter
Faithless, Karin Slaugher
Triptych, Karin Slaughter

(Er, you can tell that this was semester-starting stress. I pretty much lost my ability to read anything but ridiculous mysteries and thrillers. But then things got better!)

Art By Committee, Charna Halpern
Plague Year, Jeff Carlson
The Keep, Jennifer Egan
End of an Era, Robert J. Sawyer
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, C. S. Forester
Lieutenant Hornblower, C. S. Forester
Hornblower and the Hotspur, C. S. Forester
Hornblower During the Crisis, C. S. Forester
Hornblower and the Atropos, C. S. Forester
Beat To Quarters, C. S. Forester
Ship of the Line, C. S. Forester
Flying Colours, C. S. Forester
Commodore Hornblower, C. S. Forester
Lord Hornblower, C. S. Forester
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies, C. S. Forester

Next post for the next round of reading!

Reading List 2007 (22/218)

Round two, here we go:

Echo Park, Michael Connelly
The Legacy of Heorot, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes
Days of Atonement, Walter Jon Williams
In the Teeth of the Evidence, Dorothy Sayers
The Complete Stories of Truman Capote, Truman Capote
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl
The Black Tulip, Alexandre Dumas
Normal, Amy Bloom
Year’s Best SF 12, ed. David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer
Dark Delicacies, ed. Del Howison and Jeff Gelb
The Stars, Like Dust, Isaac Asimov
Sci-Fi Private Eye, ed. Charles Waugh and Martin H. Greenberg
Fantastic Voyage, Isaac Asimov
Monster Island, David Wellington
Monster Nation, David Wellington
Monster Planet, David Wellington
The Man Who Smiled, Henning Mankell
Against Infinity, Gregory Benford
Galactic North, Alastair Reynolds
Black Milk, Robert Reed
F5, Mark Levine
Work, ed. Ferdinand Protzman

Round three coming up in five - and then I’m all caught up, for once!

Reading List 2007 (13/231)

Finally, we’re getting somewhere near this week’s reading!

Planets of Adventure, Murray Leinster
The Best of Murray Leinster, Murray Leinster
White and Other Tales of Ruin, Tim Lebbon
Queenpin, Megan Abbott
Heidi, Johanna Spyri
The Afghan, Frederick Forsyth
The Cuckoo’s Boys, Robert Reed
The Dragons of Springplace, Robert Reed
The Ladies of Grace Adieu, Susannah Clarke
Reave the Just and Other Tales, Stephen Donaldson
The Crocodile Bird, Ruth Rendell
True Evil, Greg Iles
World War Z, Max Brooks

… and that’s my reading list so far this year! Now all I have to do is keep this updated for another 2.5 months, and I’ll have a good picture of what I read all year long.

Now, of course, I have to find an equally good (or, preferably, better) system for tracking my academic reading. EndNote just doesn’t do it for me. Suggestions, anyone?

Poverty’s Demise?

So I came across this site, Poverty’s Demise, through one of those friend-of-a-friend things. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all day, because I can’t decide whether it’s an insanely brilliant idea or a completely patronizing, obnoxious one.

Here’s the argument for brilliant: I would totally do a “virtual adoption” and mentoring for one or more kids online. Hell, I already do, and it’s not nearly this easy! The notion of directly linking the donations to retail stores is also pretty smart, as it reduces a lot of the overhead that aid organizations have to deal with. Assuming all the logistics can be dealt with semi-invisibly, it could be a good deal for both the recipients and the participating stores.

On the other hand … well, I can’t put my finger nearly as well on what’s bothering me about this idea. There’s definitely something weird about how complex the interface for recipients is; it presumes not just that they have Internet access, which they can probably get at the library, but that they’re willing to spend time managing their presence in this virtual social system. There’s also something weird about the notion of spinning your profile to make yourself more attractive as a charity recipient. If you’re in need of help, you should get it, no matter how clever you are at writing yourself up to look good. But even that isn’t quite what’s bugging me. Maybe it’s that something about this feels very 1998, in the “technology will solve all our social problems” way? Or the weirdly starry-eyed Spike Lee example of how the site should work?

If you, loyal readers (’cause you’ve got to be pretty loyal if you’re still reading me), would take a look at the site, I’d be curious what you think. Maybe you can put your finger on what’s weirding me out here.