Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Ten Books On Daisy's Winter TBR

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

You can go with this however you like, books that you're planning on reading or like me, what's coming out that's in winter that's on your TBR. I like focusing on those shiny new releases that will be coming my way soonish :) And as I also did last week's TTT, I'm not adding the sequels that were on that list. But those are on the TBR as well, obviously.

1. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows: I NEED THIS BOOK!!! It sounds amazing and the cover is beyond gorgeous!

2. The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace: this sounds like an epic addition to the fantasy genre and I think it'll be just my kind of book.

3. Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder: I LOVE Maria V. Snyder's books. She never disappoints with her writing and OMG how long have we all been waiting on another story that centers around Yelena?? And Valek! And just all those wonderful characters that hold a special place in my heart.

4. Unleashed by Sophie Jordan: so much love for Sophie Jordan's writing! And I totally had feelings all over Uninvited, so GIVE IT TO ME NOW AND NOONE GETS HURT.
Thank you.

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: I loved The Near Witch and am embarassed to say that I own every one of Victoria Schwab's other books, but haven't read them yet... But I really want to and A Darker Shade of Magic sounds so intriguing!

6. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas: a Sleeping Beauty retelling!! How could I not want this?

7. Promposal by Rhonda Helms: this just sounds like a whole lot of cuteness and fun and prom is always a good thing in books!

8. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: I love the concept of this book and I'm dying to see if it's just as good as I imagine it could be.

9. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall: two words: secret society. I'm so in.

10. When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill: I'm expecting lots of swoons and a little lighter read that's just what I want.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 11/9 - 11/22

Daisy's Book Haul

-Feed by Mira Grant: Huge thank you to Ciska from Ciska's Book Chest, who is a fellow Dutchie and generously donated a prize to Dewey's Read-a-Thon that I just happened to win :) I'll be reading this one soon for book club, I'm slightly unsure about reading another zombie book, but I've heard really good things about it, so we'll see.
-Ashes To Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian: I really need to read this after the ending of Fire With Fire!!
-The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron: this one come recommended by you guys when I asked for what my next fantasy read should be, so I'm adding it to the collection :)
-Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers: I REALLY need to start this series, cause my friend Mel keeps raving about it and it sounds amazing.
-Atlantia by Ally Condie: it sounds interesting and it's a standalone, so should be fun.

Egalleys for review:
If you're on Edelweiss, you have probably seen the epic load that Harper has put up the other day, so I went a teeny bit crazy. Here are my highlights of the past few weeks:
-Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge: EEEEE!!! SO much love for Cruel Beauty!! I'm beyond excited to read this one!
-Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby: How could I not click the request button for this one?? Jessi Kirby's Golden blew me away and I still cannot stop raving about it. Also, this sounds heartbreaking, so I'm in.
-Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley: this just sounds like my kind of book in all its epicness.
-Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholdt: I usually love Lauren Barnholdt's books, and this series sounds really good!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Julia Rants about Barbie and Technology

I don’t bring you a review. I had a book in mind but to do a View from Page Thirty from, but another crisis has been brought to my attention: Barbie. “Barbie? What does a child’s toy have to do with book site?” Well Barbie, in its ever growing empire, has spread to books. I am sure that there were Barbie books when I was a kid, but I never remember them being as bad as this.

I still really like this doll. Fun fact!
Her shirt is in binary and spells out
Barbie over and over.

The internet has been a flutter today and yesterday about I Can Be a Computer Engineer by Susan Marenco where Barbie is supposed to go through a fun story about Computer Engineering. In summary, Barbie is designing a game but doesn’t actually code it instead offloading that to the boys to do. She also breaks her and her sisters computer by infecting them with a virus that wipes design and Skipper's homework and music library. The boys fix that, too. Then in the end, in probably the cherry on top of this frosted cake wreck is Barbie taking all the credit in the end for fixing her sisters computer and for the coded game. The Amazon reviews are worth reading for this one.

It’s just so frustrating. So frustrating. I graduated college with a computer science degree. Do you know how many women were in my program and the computer engineering program put together? On average, three to five. At any point it was usually around three. This was in a computer department of about 100 I'd say. 

This is a new phenomenon. Computing was women’swork in the 1950s. The first computer language was written by a woman, Ada Lovelace. But something happen in the mid-eighties that just killed women going into computing. 

The NPR piece where this graphic comes from, When Women Stopped Codingis a great listen on that phenomena, but in general it’s because of schlock like this book getting into the hands of little girls.

It’s subconscious the way society turns girls away from technology. I don’t think people are honestly thinking, “We really don’t want more women in computing.” That’s silly. But the online harassment from women who show their faces in a coding forum, or the fact that we have to prove that we know what we are doing… it’s so sad. The original blog post from Pamie.com had this quote that I thought summed up the thoughts around this well. For context, Steven and Brian are the two guys who Barbie turns to helping fix her computers:

Steven and Brian are nice guys, I’m sure. But Steven and Brian are also everything frustrating about the tech industry. Steven and Brian represent the tech industry assumption that only men make meaningful contributions. Men fix this, men drive this and men take control to finish this. Steven and Brian don’t value design as much as code. Steven and Brian represent every time I was talked over and interrupted — every time I didn’t post a code solution in a forum because I didn’t want to spend the next 72 years defending it. Steven and Brian make more money than I do for doing the same thing. And at the same time, Steven and Brian are nice guys. 
The issue is not on a micro level, it’s on a macro level. It’s the fact that Barbie can’t just be a software developer, she designs but doesn’t code. It’s the fact that after six years of marvel movies, we have yet to have a female lead. It’s the fact that LEGO released its special “girl colored” line with “girl approved” activities. It’s the male dominated society. I am sure it is better in some aspects than it was in previous generations, but when it comes to women persuing careers and passions in technology, we are going backwards.

I want to conclude with a plea. If a little girl is interested in technology, foster it. Get her some Goldieblox to help with engineering skills. Check out books that feature women doing things for themselves. A great resource for this for books and other media is A Mighty Girl. Lists and lists of female empowerment focused lit and other products!

I stumbled into computer science because I enjoyed creating and maintaining a Geocities webpage when I was younger. I didn't know it was something that not many girls did until I got to my first programming class. I am not a coder today but still work in technology, and it is an uphill battle sometimes. So I guess I’ll end this with a cool resource that I know of that we used for our GEMS (Girls in Engineering Math and Science) summer camp for beginning programming. It’s a language called Alice and it’s free. It teaches basic programming skills while using cool graphics and not just boring code. You actually get to see the code in action.

Link me up with your own ideas for great literature or other media for young girls looking to foster their love for technology! It is close to Christmas… :)

Update: So the internet has been taking this book and fixing it to make it more something real computer engineer Barbie would say. Also apparently the writers of the original blog post are going to be on Good Morning America tomorrow so clearly this ruffled some feathers. The rewriting of the book is making me laugh at this sad situation. The twitter hashtag is #feministhackerbarbie

Make your own corrections to this book with this awesome website!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Sequels Daisy Can't Wait To Get

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

1. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon: so this is cheating a bit since I've already read and loved it, due to Debby generously loaning me her ARC, but I can't wait to get my own finished copy! Also, you should all read it, cause it's REALLY good.

2. Untitled Throne of Glass #4 by Sarah J. Maas: I NEED THIS!!! Heir of Fire left me with ALL THE FEELS and I need MORE. The wait is KILLING ME! If you want to see me rave and go crazy fangirl over Heir of Fire, here's my review.

3. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson: I absolutely loved The Kiss of Deception, so I need the sequel in my life to find out what happens next!

4. Half the World by Joe Abercrombie: Half a King was beyond amazing and I love Yarvi so much! He reminds me of Tyrion and that's not a comparison I make lightly. Go forth and read this.

5. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn: so technically this might not count as a sequel, but it's the 4th instalment in the Smythe-Smith Quartet and I just love Julia Quinn's writing!

6. Emeralds & Ashes by Leila Rasheed: young adult historical fiction done absolutely right! I LOVE this series! Sad that this will be the last book...

7. Ensnared by A.G. Howard: THIS SERIES YOU GUYS!! There is no end to my love for it and the characters and MORPHEUS and just GIVE IT TO ME NOOOOOOWWWWWW!!! Also: how will I recover once this series is finished???

8. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: These Broken Stars tugged on all my feelings, even if I was hesitant to read it cause I'm not really all that into books set in space and weird planets and all that, but it was SO GOOD. So This Shattered World is gonna get lots of hugs when it arrives in my mailbox!

9. Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss: Patrick Rothfuss is just a genius, he has a way of storytelling that is brilliant and captivating and just perfect. So please can this no doubt amazing book get released so I can love the crap out of it?

10. The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin: you didn't seriously think I'd leave this off the list, did you? Full disclosure: I haven't read A Dance With Dragons yet, but that's partly because I know the wait for Winds of Winter will be EXCRUCIATING. I respect brilliance takes time, but I can't help but want to series to be completed because I am so invested in all these characters!

So that's it for me, what's on your list?

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly link-up in the community where we provide a prompt and other lovers of listmaking join in on it with their own top ten list. Feel free to have less than 10 or more if you need to at times and put a spin on the topic if you need to! Just please link back to us if you are participating :)

To join, link up below with the URL to your blog POST (not your blog), your name and your email (which will remain hidden). Then bounce around the Linky!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Do you write in books?

I don't just mean textbooks, or books you have to read (and/or write in) for class. (When I was a senior in high school, we were required to purchase our outside reading books and hand them in with the notes we had made in the margins. It was a bad time.) Do you write in your own personal read-for-pleasure books?

I can't decide how I feel about this. On the one hand, I think it would be nice to have an easier way to go back to passages that I liked or that moved me; I always find myself thinking, "Well, I know it was somewhere in the 200s, and it was in the middle of the page on the left-hand side..." and if I had just underlined the darn thing I wouldn't be having that problem. There's also a lot to be said for leaving your mark on a book; do we really own something if we don't make it 100% ours? 

On the other hand, what if your book is a first-edition hardcover, and might one day be valuable? Do you get a paperback copy to write in, or do you write in your hardcover? What if you're really terrible at underlining and always end up going through the words instead of under them? (No, I'm totally not talking about myself, what do you mean...) What if the margins of the book are small and you can't write all the notes you want to, and it ends up looking all sloppy and terrible?? What then??

Why would you do this? Why?!

In case you couldn't infer from above, I am not a book-writer-inner. For the most part, I like my books to stay pristine and unmarkedmostly because I don't trust myself to mark them well or neatly. I remember finding my old copies of Wuthering Heights and The Picture of Dorian Gray from high school and thinking, "Why would she make us ruin a book like this?"

I can see where it's helpful for some people, especially if something really touches you and you want to remember it. I know one of my friends from high school would write in her books, but in very light pencil so that, upon rereading, she might not even notice what she had underlined before. And unlike some other things related to books, I totally won't judge if you're a book-writer-inner. It's just not my style—I don't want to reread my notes every time I read a book. If there was a way I could scan stuff from my books, sort of how you can highlight and make notes on a kindle, that would be ideal for me, I think. Having a single document with all my notes (and page numbers!) would be awesome, and the pages of my book could remain clean. But alas, such technology doesn't exist. (Yet, anyway—who wants to get on developing that for me?)

How about you? Do you write in books? 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tahleen reviews: "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow on Audio

9809033Title: Little Brother
Author: Cory Doctorow
Publisher: Listening Library, 2008
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne

Rating: 4 stars

Marcus Yallow, aka W1N5TON, is pretty much a normal teen, albeit one who enjoys mass multiplayer online role playing games, LARPing, hacking, and all kinds of computer technology stuff. He also has no qualms about cutting school to further along the gaming competition he and a few of his friends are in the middle of. That is, until the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 happens in their hometown of San Francisco. After being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting picked up by Homeland Security, held for days in a prison while being questioned and humiliated, and finally getting released with the warning that if he talks they will come for him, he is forever changed. He and his friends, one of whom is still missing, must go on with their lives pretending like nothing happened. But Marcus has other ideas. Eventually, he wants to fight back and get some payback on Homeland Security for what they are still doing in his city, stripping what they once considered basic freedoms that they had taken for granted.

I would almost hesitate to call this book dystopian, since it's not really that; it's more like science fiction or speculative fiction, as this is something that possibly could happen in the future. And it is terrifying. I can very easily see this happening in our country, and it's very scary to think about.

What follows the attack mentioned above in the summary is a look at America sans freedom, America where all Internet use is closely monitored, where every move you make is put under a microscope. People are arrested for simply talking about things. It's very 1984. We are already part of the way there; I truly hope we never make it this far. It's a sobering thought, and this is a very important book for showing how we could get there.

I will say there is a lot of technical description, as well as other explanations of what things are and how they work, which might put off some people. As I listened to the audiobook while running, it didn't really bother me since I could zone out a bit while having the book go on. I was able to pay attention for most of it without getting bored though. And speaking of narration, Kirby Heyborne is great. As many of you already know.

Disclaimer: I got this audiobook out from the public library through OverDrive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Due to a scheduling mishap WE don't have a Top Ten Tuesday list today so unintentional vacation from TTT this week for us? But we can't wait to see YOUR lists!!

Also, reminder: our 5th annual Secret Santa signups end this week! You have BEFORE Friday to get it in! We hope you will join us!! :)

And while we are at it: if you have any TTT list ideas (maybe that you used for a freebie or a twist you did on a topic) please share! I can't guarantee that we will use it (sometimes things are a good idea but don't have a general appeal) or that we haven't already done it (seriously, 4.5 years of TTT we have done a LOT of things). But holler if you have a new idea or REALLY want to revisit a topic..which we usually DO after a couple years.

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