I went to a nearby bookstore (which unfortunately is not an independent) to pick up two books that came out last week. I’ve been anticipating them since before Christmas—The Dead in our Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley and Hollow City by Ransom Riggs.
I was incredibly disappointed that they had none in stock. This was at a large Chapters/Indigo store and the computers said they were listed as “Bestsellers” but didn’t have them available. A clerk looked up the Bradley title and said that there were 56 on order and to try calling back next week. Then he checked another location and the downtown location only had 4 copies, but the Burnaby-Metrotown location had 24.
Posted in Books
Tagged alan bradley, buckshaw chronicles, canlit, diana gabaldon, emma donoghue, heather oneill, new book releases, outlander series, ransom riggs, Spring 2014, steven galloway
Recently I’ve knit a couple hats and an object that looks like a hat but isn’t. So here is a triple FO report!
First, the Toque of Secrecy for Andrew.
The pattern is the Bus Hat, a free pattern by Kylie McDonnell-Wade that I found on Ravelry. I chose it because it was gender-neutral and wasn’t just a plain ribbed hat. It’s knit with Cascade 220 in a dark red, as per Andrew’s request.
I had initially planned it for Christmas, but Andrew kept whingeing about the weather in Toronto during the Fall that I sent it early. He said it fit perfectly and he loved it—as you can tell from this bathroom mirror Selfie he took.
I devoured this book in less than 24 hours during exams and really loved entering the realm of the Seven Kingdoms that author Kristin Cashore has created.
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.
She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.
I knit this in record speed—at least for me. I watched four seasons of Castle and just knitknitknit. I guess the mojo returned in earnest because I have been chugging away at projects. Here is one of my more impressive finished objects (FO): Lingonberry Shawlette
The pattern is Lingonberry Shawlette, a free pattern by Andrea Arbour. The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, a superwash merino wool in a fingering weight. I bought it in 2010 from The Loopy Ewe online and it’s the first time I’ve used Madelinetosh. The colourway is called Turquoise but it slightly varigated with blue and green tones. My Ravelry project page has more in-progress photos.
Grammarly is an automated online proofreader that calls itself a “grammar coach”. With an account—which does cost a monthly fee—you upload your text and then run a quick scan. There are free 7-day trial memberships, but I was provided with temporary access (longer than 7 days) in order to provide a review.
I was impressed with the scope of Grammarly’s service and general ease of use. There were a few things that bothered me, but they were minor. Overall, if I needed a service like this, it is quite well-rounded.
The Process: Pros & Cons
I liked being able to select the type of text before the review. I assume Grammarly’s scan is modified based on the type of text you select: General, Business, Academic, Technical, Creative, or Casual. I didn’t really see the difference between General and Casual (I scanned blog posts to test the service), but I did try to use Academic with one of my papers.
My friend Marina is a movie aficionado and podcaster and invited me to a special press screening for The Book Thief last week. After seeing the movie, we recorded a special podcast for Row Three: After the Credits (Episode 140: The Book Thief Spoiler Special).
I read the novel by Markus Zusak a number of years ago (March 2008) so the story was not really fresh in my mind, but I had loved the book and when I saw the trailer a few months ago I was very excited.
You can listen to Marina and I chat about the movie (and book) but be warned: There Are Spoilers! I’m also going to summarize my feelings here (some of which are repeated in the podcast), and there will also be spoilers below.
We went to go see Ender’s Game on opening weekend and were really pleased that it wasn’t in 3D. We saw it in UltraAVX, which was quite sufficient. Having just finished reading the book, I was really interested in the movie.
Some people believe that because of the characters are so young and the necessary special effects that Ender’s Game would be unadaptable. But movie technology has come a long way since the book was written in 1978 and the recent slew of young adult adapted films shows that young actors have a lot more potential than sometimes given credit for.
In terms of the adaptation, I was left desiring something more. I thought the adaptation was scattered and lacked focus. We were rushed through Battle School without realizing the importance of some of the events—what really defined Ender as The One. And then the pacing of other things was oddly drawn out. While I realize that a lot of the subplots about the politics of Earth had to be cut out, the story of Ender’s growth was a mixture of random unexplained events. (As a slightly pedantic aside, I like how they used the word “Formics” for the Buggers, which is a word that author Orson Scott Card introduced later in the book series.)