Thursday, February 08, 2007

To Be Read Shelf/What I've Read (up to 2007)

This is a list of the books I read up to the end of 2007. Some haven't made it to the blog yet, but just because they're not marked off doesn't meant they won't.

Note: New books (added in the past 30 days) indicated with bold titles.

TitleAuthorFromDate addedDate ReadReadBlogged
Pretty WomanFern Michaelsfriend01/01/200601/05/2007xx
Rebel IceS.L. Viehlblog contest01/01/200601/07/2007xx
Plague of MemoryS.L. Viehlbookstore01/01/200701/10/2007xx
i see youHolly Lislegrocery store01/01/200601/18/2007xx
A Walk in the WoodsBill BrysonBookcrossing01/15/200702/01/2007xx
Dragon AmericaMike Resnickfriend01/19/200702/01/2007xx
Thunderbird FallsC.E. Murphybookstore01/01/200702/08/2007xx
Speed DatingNancy WarrenWe Hear You02/08/200702/15/2007xx
ThunderstruckRoxanne St. ClaireWe Hear You02/08/200702/28/2007xx
HammeredElizabeth Bearbookstore01/01/200703/05/2007xx
Order of the PhoenixJ.K. Rowlingfamily01/01/200603/15/2007xx
The Half-Blood PrinceJ.K. Rowlingfamily01/01/200603/18/2007xx
On Basilisk StationDavid Weberfamily03/10/200703/23/2007xx
Dark ReunionJustine DavisWe Hear You03/18/200703/28/2007x 
Her Lawman on CallMarie FerrarellaWe Hear You03/18/200703/28/2007x 
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and MiniverE.L. Konigsburgfamily03/24/200704/04/2007xx
Threads of MaliceTamara Siler Jonesbookstore05/01/200605/07/2007xx
Gravity DreamsL.E. Modesitt, Jr.bookshelf?01/01/199005/13/2007x 
Married By MistakeAbby Gainesgift05/10/200705/17/2007x 
Virtually HisGennita Lowgift05/10/200705/22/2007x 
Feet FirstLeanne Banksno clue01/01/200105/28/2007x 
The Honor of the QueenDavid Weberborrowed04/25/200706/09/2007xx
Beloved ExileParke Godwinno clue01/01/200106/12/2007x 
Night LostLynn Viehlgift05/27/200706/22/2007x 
The Bull from the SeaMary Renaultbookshelf01/01/200107/09/2007xx
Angel with AttitudeMichelle Rowenbookstore08/01/200607/12/2007xx
Into the WildernessSara Donatiblog contest on by Jean Schara07/05/200707/30/2007xx
Night EchoesHolly Lislebookstore06/02/200708/05/2007x 
Magic BitesIlona Andrewsbookstore06/02/200708/10/2007xx
Ill WindRachel CaineMichelle Rowen (author contest: 
Heat StrokeRachel CaineMichelle Rowen (author contest: 
The Deathly HollowsJ.K. Rowlingbookstore07/21/200708/20/2007x 
Tales from the Arabian NightsAndrew Lang (translator)bookshelf01/01/198509/18/2007xx
Dark ThirstSara Reinkebookstore08/04/200709/30/2007x 
Valley of the SoulTamara Siler Jonesblog contest on by Jean Schara07/05/200710/08/2007xx
Alanna: The First AdventureTamora Pierceborrowed01/01/200710/13/2007x 
DragonQuestDonita K. Paulborrowed05/01/200710/18/2007x 
ScardownElizabeth Bearbookstore08/04/200710/25/2007x 
Coyote DreamsC.E. Murphybookstore08/04/200711/01/2007xx
MartriarchKaren Travissbookstore08/01/200611/15/2007x 
Summon the KeeperTanya HuffLibrary11/11/200712/01/2007x 
SwordspointEllen KushnerLibrary12/03/200712/19/2007x 
The Second SummoningTanya HuffLibrary12/03/200712/20/2007x 
The Short Victorious War: We Love Our HonorDavid Weberborrowed04/25/200712/29/2007xx
American GodsNeil Gaimanbookshelf05/15/200512/31/2007xx

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Call to Arms for Dvorak Users Everywhere!

Having come clean about my activist status, I might as well encourage others in it as well :). About three years ago, my parents gave me a Palm with a Belkin wireless keyboard. I've gotten extensive use out of it for critting and writing in that time, but one tiny aspect annoys me. They don't offer a Dvorak driver.

I spoke to them about this lack when I first got it and didn't get much of a response. However, I thought maybe after so much time had passed, I would see if they'd finally done something. Umm, nope.

So I wrote tech support, pointing out once again the advantages of the Dvorak layout and that many people have turned to it to avoid or survive repetitive stress injuries.

Something got through because they redirected me to QA (quality assurance), who then told me it wasn't in the plans. I asked if it could be requested, reiterating my logic, and the gentlemen said he'd put in a feature request.

Now general rule of thumb is that for every one person who speaks up, there are 10-40 people who either don't buy the product or suffer in silence. Since PDAs are a common writer's tool, especially with folding keyboards, and more writers are discovering Dvorak every day, it would be to the advantage of many if Belkin (who puts out a very good keyboard that is compatible with many PDA types) were to wake up and smell the roses.

So, if you're a PDA user who types in Dvorak and either has a Belkin keyboard or would be interested in one that does Dvorak, could you drop them a line at their website (link below). The more people who request it, the more likely we'll be steaming along at full speed on our PDAs in the near future :).

Friday, February 02, 2007

Isolationist Activist

Wow, that's bizarre. I just had a realization. Okay, maybe it doesn't come as a surprise to those who know me or who consider the pattern of my life, but apparently, I'm an activist :). Not in any big way, but in a myriad of little ones. If a sign's unclear, if I find a bug in someone's software, if a policy is working against itself, I do something. My most recent act was to point out poor wording in the privacy policy that could come across as big brotherish. Not that they'll necessarily change anything, but so many people don't say anything, assuming it won't make a difference when sometimes it does.

A friend mentioned that the system in her university of informing graduate students of their obligations was convoluted (like this sentence ;)) and useless. My immediate reaction was that she should do something about it. If not to help herself, then for all those poor souls coming after.

Now talking to strangers, getting people to listen, creating change? These are all things that give me the shivers. I'm an isolationist, an introvert whose dream for years was of living in a cabin in the woods with my cats cut off from everything and everyone. I'm not that isolationist anymore, but my circle hasn't grown all that wider and certainly doesn't cover standing on the court house steps with strangers waving a flag.

On the other hand, my mother taught me when I was about seventeen that if you have to do it more than once, automate. Okay, that was batch files and computers, but the principle remains and has been a guiding force for me. When something's broken, I'll help fix it, when people are wasting time, I'll pop in to offer a suggestion (yeah, not always gracefully received ;)).

I guess that sounds a bit like a busybody, but that's not really an accurate portrayal. It's more that life is too short to waste on inefficiency, and even if it isn't going to help me, I know it'll help people coming afterward.

Anyway, just thought I'd share this revelation. Apparently it's possible to be an activist, to make change, to better the world (okay, that's probably overstating it ;)), even when you're an introverted isolationist who'd prefer to leave the house for a forest than a movie theater any day. On the other hand, I am a geek and computers allow me to stay isolated and reach out all at once. Maybe the answer is that the Internet has changed the definition of activist, changed the profile so it can be expanded to include isolationists like me :).

Or maybe it's just another side of the grumpy isolationist. If I make it more efficient and clear, I won't have to deal with as many frustrated people? Who knows? Now I'm laughing at myself and wondering if I should even post this vague ramble but hey, you haven't seen a vague ramble from me in a bit, so here it is :D.

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Old Book Review Sidebar

Well, I did the blog review reform thing a while back, but I kept the sidebar because...I don't know, lazy maybe :). Keeping the books changing when I read one to two a week though has become just as not happening as the reviews. In fact, the reviews happen more often than the sidebar gets updated. So, this is the first of two new "book" posts. This is just an archive of my previous comments and a quick link to the reviews. I'll put a link to this post in the sidebar so it's easy to find.

The second is something I'm stealing from a friend who stole it from a group. Basically, I'm starting to track my to read pile in a spreadsheet. I'll make one post that I'll also point to in the sidebar. This will contain a table with my TBR pile contents and their status. Who knows, maybe people will poke me as to what should bubble up to the top first.

  • The Privateer
    Jon Williams: My hubby has been recommending the series. It is by Walter Jon Williams under a penname and if you love sea tales like Hornblower and Ramage, you should give this a try.

  • Almost A Lady
    Jane Feather: Bantam Books Advanced Reader copy

  • Bitten and Smitten
    Michelle Rowen: Won in a blog contest.

  • Midnight Rain
    Holly Lisle: Because Holly has never let me down yet.