2014 Reading List

A couple of friends were curious to see my reading list for 2014. I could probably just have linked to my profile on Goodreads, but for want of a better place to put this, I’m chucking it on here. I’m not sure that any titles will be cause for inspiration, partly because the most interesting ones I already pulled from other people’s lists on Goodreads.

So it turns out that I’ve actually read 76 books this year (contrary to earlier claims of 74), and that’s assuming that I haven’t missed any others. I made a conscious effort to read more in 2014, and spend less time faffing about online. I was always the type of person who would stay awake all night to finish a book, but in recent years I’ve spent less and less time reading.

At the start of the year I spent a lot of time on 1-3 hour train/bus trips so that helped me get through a fair bit, but I also re-read a heap of Ngaio Marsh books that really weren’t very long. This list is very fiction-centric, so my goal for 2015 is to get back into reading more non-fiction.

The Boy Who Loved Apples Amanda Webster 2012
All That I Am Anna Funder 2012
The Gingerbread House (Hammarbyserien, #1) Carin Gerhardsen 2008
Legend (Drenai Saga, #1) David Gemmell 1984
The King Beyond the Gate (Drenai Saga, #2) David Gemmell 1985
Waylander (Drenai Saga, #3) David Gemmell 1986
Ghost King (Stones of Power, #1) David Gemmell 1988
Last Sword of Power (Stones of Power, #2) David Gemmell 1988
Quest for Lost Heroes (Drenai Saga, #4) David Gemmell 1990
In the Realm of the Wolf (Drenai Saga, #5) David Gemmell 1992
The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (Drenai Saga, #6) David Gemmell 1993
The Legend of Deathwalker (Drenai Saga, #7) David Gemmell 1996
Winter Warriors (Drenai Saga, #8) David Gemmell 1997
Sword in the Storm (The Rigante, #1) David Gemmell 1998
Midnight Falcon (The Rigante, #2) David Gemmell 1999
Hero in the Shadows (Drenai Saga, #9) David Gemmell 2000
Ravenheart (The Rigante, #3) David Gemmell 2001
Stormrider (The Rigante, #4) David Gemmell 2002
White Wolf (Drenai Saga, #10) (The Damned, #1) David Gemmell 2003
The Swords of Night and Day (Drenai Saga, #11) (The Damned, #2) David Gemmell 2004
Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley, #18) Elizabeth George 2013
Crime Scene Esther Mckay 2006
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn 2012
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) Hilary Mantel 2009
Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2) Hilary Mantel 2012
Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus, #19) Ian Rankin 2013
Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army Jeremy Scahill 2007
Shadow Creek Joy Fielding 2012
Missing Karin Alvtegen 2000
Shadow Karin Alvtegen 2007
Linda, As in the Linda Murder Leif G.W. Persson 2005
The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) Lev Grossman 2009
The Magician King (The Magicians, #2) Lev Grossman 2011
The Storyteller and his Three Daughters Lian Hearn 2013
The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan Michael Hastings 2011
A Man Lay Dead (Roderick Alleyn, #1) Ngaio Marsh 1934
The Nursing Home Murder (Roderick Alleyn, #3) Ngaio Marsh 1935
Enter a Murderer (Roderick Alleyn, #2) Ngaio Marsh 1935
Death in Ecstasy (Roderick Alleyn, #4) Ngaio Marsh 1936
Vintage Murder (Roderick Alleyn, #5) Ngaio Marsh 1937
Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, #6) Ngaio Marsh 1938
Death in a White Tie (Roderick Alleyn, #7) Ngaio Marsh 1938
Overture to Death (Roderick Alleyn, #8) Ngaio Marsh 1939
Death at the Bar (Roderick Alleyn, #9) Ngaio Marsh 1940
Death of a Peer (Roderick Alleyn, #10) Ngaio Marsh 1940
Death and the Dancing Footman (Roderick Alleyn, #11) Ngaio Marsh 1941
Colour Scheme (Roderick Alleyn, #12) Ngaio Marsh 1943
Died in the Wool (Roderick Alleyn, #13) Ngaio Marsh 1945
Final Curtain (Roderick Alleyn, #14) Ngaio Marsh 1947
A Wreath for Rivera (Roderick Alleyn, #15) Ngaio Marsh 1949
Night at the Vulcan (Roderick Alleyn, #16) Ngaio Marsh 1951
Spinsters in Jeopardy (Roderick Alleyn, #17) Ngaio Marsh 1953
Scales of Justice (Roderick Alleyn, #18) Ngaio Marsh 1953
Death of a Fool (Roderick Alleyn, #19) Ngaio Marsh 1956
Singing in the Shrouds (Roderick Alleyn, #20) Ngaio Marsh 1958
False Scent (Roderick Alleyn, #21) Ngaio Marsh 1959
Hand in Glove (Roderick Alleyn, #22) Ngaio Marsh 1962
Dead Water (Roderick Alleyn, #23) Ngaio Marsh 1963
Killer Dolphin (Roderick Alleyn, #24) Ngaio Marsh 1966
Clutch of Constables (Roderick Alleyn, #25) Ngaio Marsh 1968
Tied Up In Tinsel (Roderick Alleyn, #27) Ngaio Marsh 1970
When in Rome (Roderick Alleyn, #26) Ngaio Marsh 1970
Black As He’s Painted (Roderick Alleyn, #28) Ngaio Marsh 1973
Dust (Kay Scarpetta #21) Patricia Cornwell 2013
Dead Man’s Time (Roy Grace, #9) Peter James 2013
Magician’s End (The Chaoswar Saga #3) Raymond E. Feist 2013
The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1) Robert Galbraith 2013
The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2) Robert Galbraith 2014
18 days: Al Jazeera English and the Egyptian Revolution Scott Bridges 2013
Kevern write a book: The best of @Rudd2000 Scott Bridges & Stephen Owen 2014
Forbidden (The Books of Mortals, #1) Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee 2011
The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1) Terry Brooks 1977
A Place of Execution Val McDermid 1999
Killing The Shadows Val McDermid 2000
The Distant Echo Val McDermid 2003
The Skeleton Road Val McDermid 2014
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Why do I blog?

I’ve been getting stuck on things to write about recently. It’s not that there aren’t a LOT of things that I want to write about, it’s just that I am stuck in that feeling that they deserve more than me just sitting here for 30 mins slapping something together without doing any research or referencing.

So I leapt at the opportunity to jump on a meme from Flexnib. It comes via Strawberry Singh, via @madradish.

Meme instructions: Copy and paste the following questions and answers to your post, delete my answers and input your own. Try not to swear at Berry in your head for having so many questions [14] this week and don’t forget to leave a comment in this meme’s post so others can come by and read your answers as well!

How long have you been blogging? In this format? I started in 2011 and then had a break. But I used to have a LJ and blogs on other platforms. I guess, probably for as long as blogging has been around. I just don’t stick with it for very long.

Why did you start blogging? I like to have an outlet for things and I like writing. I definitely think more clearly when I’m writing – more clearly again if it’s with pen and paper. I like interacting with people and getting feedback on things. I like sharing. There are a lot of things that I keep to myself, but I start to go a bit crazy if I don’t have a release.

I suppose one of the reasons I’ve become less regular at blogging is that I share so much via Twitter in particular that it can be a bit exhausting. I want to use my blog to write about things that matter to me in more detail, but I have a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment so building up to that is proving difficult.

How many times a week do you post an entry? I am aiming for every day in the hope that it will be every 2-3 days, and at least once a week.

How many different blogs do you read on a regular basis? It’s quite hard to tell. I follow a lot via Twitter and RSS readers and other services. A lot.

Do you comment on other people’s blogs? Probably less than I should? It depends on the format that I’m reading them in sometimes.

Do you keep track of how many visitors you have? Not in any detail. I do see the stats and I’m always intrigued by spikes and how people find my blog.

Did you ever regret a post that you wrote? I don’t think so.

Do you think your readers have a true sense of who you are based on your blog? Probably not. Partly because I don’t update it enough (ha) and partly because I often feel limited in what I can say. I’d be interested to know whether there is any difference in what people see between here and my ‘personality’ on Twitter.

Do you blog under your real name? Yes.

Are there topics that you would never blog about?  Not whole topics. I can’t rule out any particular topic. I can’t blog about work, but apart from that I would write on most things if they took my fancy. I would only blog about them if I felt I could do them justice though.

What is the theme/topic of your blog? Library type stuff, in theory. I haven’t done much blogging about that recently though.

Do you have more than one blog? If so, why? Not at the moment.

What have you found to be the benefits of blogging? It starts a lot of conversations. Not just from my blog, but from reading what other people are writing about. Sometimes I have changed my opinion on things from reading something from another perspective. Most of the conversations from my blog happen offline, which is fine with me. I just like to communicate.

So, why do you continue to blog? Like I said, I enjoy sharing, and I enjoy having a forum to write and get things out of my head. If things ever settle down I hope to start writing in more depth. I just want to keep in the habit, and make sure that I remember how to write in more than 140 characters.

Maps and checking in

Jumping back into ANZ 23 Mobile Things for awhile, this week ‘Thing 4’ covers maps and checking in. So this is things like using google maps on your phone, foursquare, Readar, Facebook checkin, etc.

Once upon a time Kate and I were actually going to present at the last VALA on location-based services, and it’s still an area that libraries and cultural institutions could be exploring in more detail. For some reason I love maps, and I love apps that interact with maps, and websites that interact with maps. Pretty much if there is a map and something fun to do with it, I want in.

For someone who loves maps so much I am terrible at navigating and reading maps. I hate Apple maps (does anyone like them?) but I love having Google Maps on my iPhone (but not the current version) because my phone is small enough to spin around and always be pointing in the right direction and have the additional text directions in case I just completely fail. Look, I’m just more of a picture memory type person OK? Once I’ve been somewhere once I will be fine, and I’m alright with NO map, but give me a map and I am thrown.

I have really cut down my app use recently, but I still am quite the fan of Foursquare. I held out on joining for a long time because I was worried about people knowing where I was all the time …until I realised that I was tweeting those details anyway. So I signed up and was addicted and became the mayor of lots of places and I hardly ever cheated. Maybe just once or twice when I was engaged in some prolonged mayorship battles. Then one day I just had enough and I deleted my account completely. In hindsight I wish that I hadn’t, but at the time I just wanted to step away from having such constant online interaction.

So I rejoined. Now I use it far less and I only added people who I know quite well (and a couple who are overseas anyway). In terms of posting my checkins to Twitter or Facebook I hardly ever do it. Twitter mostly if I am out somewhere fun and might want to have a discussion around it, Facebook would be really rare. I hardly ever use the Facebook location tool and I am pretty sure I currently have it disabled for other people to check me in. I don’t really see the point of cross-posting everything all the time (that goes for all apps).

In terms of libraries and cultural institutions, for next week I will be writing a blog about tools such as Historypin so that’s a slightly different topic, but in this context I like the idea of creating tours around the library using Foursquare – or taking users OUTSIDE the library and into the surrounding area, or exploring the history of the suburb, etc. Thing 11 looks at Augmented Reality and apps such as Layar, and again you can have a crossover here. I think people should be able to engage with libraries from anywhere, and it doesn’t have to be “their” library that they’re engaging with. If the library has information about the spaces outside of their physical building I think it’s great if they can engage beyond their walls.

Ice Skating

Last night was our first ice skating lesson. I tried to write this post last night when I got home, still excited but totally exhausted, but the internet just wouldn’t connect on my computer.

It was pretty awesomely exciting. Our instructor’s name is Slav, and he has been a skating champion from Russia, as well as training a host of champions. Now he is training us and what a challenge we are.

Sadly this is the only photo that I took – I think next week I will try to get a picture of all the signs at the rink that essentially say NO FUN (but including ‘no photos’):

Iceskating

The class itself only goes for half an hour but it moves at a really fast pace. There is no waiting for anyone to keep up, we all just keep moving. So we started off with little steps and just moving forward, and by the end of the class we could turn, and skate out and in, and we could fall over and get up again. Kinda. Once one person had fallen he made us ALL fall onto the ice so he could show us how to get up again. For some reason I really struggled to get back up so I need to work on that or just never fallen again.

After the class we did some free skating and for awhile I felt my old skating rhythm coming back, but the more tired I got the worse my style was getting and then I just couldn’t face any more. I think I have some pretty bad habits and I noticed that I really only properly push off with my left leg, but maybe with the classes making us take little steps I will be able to learn to use my right one finally.

After a stuff up with the trains once I got to the city, I didn’t get home till really late so I was completely exhausted by the time I collapsed into bed. So I love ice skating but these are going to be some very long Mondays. Still, I can’t wait for next week!

Favourites

I’m not sure why I’ve been thinking about this lately, but it keeps popping up in my head. Perhaps because at work they have a ‘Friday Five’ where they pick someone each week and ask them 5 questions and stick them up on the intranet. Usually at least one of these questions is about a favourite something.

I don’t have favourite things. Well, not really. I have some almost favourites, and some old favourites, and some things that I prefer over others, but I don’t have favourites.

This bothers me.

I always give a different answer when people ask what my favourite movie is, or favourite song, or book, or author, hobby, activity, thing to do on the weekend, restaurant, saying, philosopher, mentor, colour, food, drink, animal, city, suit designer, website, social media app, brand of mascara, name for a cat.

Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Does it matter?

The problem (?) is that the things I like (or dislike) vary so much depending on my moods. And my moods vary so much. And my moods can be influenced so much by some of these things. Movies, books, music in particular.

I wish, though, that I had favourite things. I wish that I had certain things that I was passionate about. A grand hobby. A quest for the perfect gelato or wine or first edition novel or kitsch homewares. And I think that this translates into my quest for the perfect job as well because I like so many different things and I am quite good at a lot of things, but I can’t pinpoint the JUST ONE THING that I am REALLY good at or REALLY interested in.

Are people supposed to have favourites? Does everyone else have a grand passion for something in their lives? Do you all have dreams about what you would be doing if you could be anything, ANYTHING at all?

How do I find that one thing?

On Twitter

Okay I’ve been meaning to write on this for a few days but I’ve been out and I’ve been tired and I’ve been out and I’ve been sick.

I’m not doing the 23 Mobile Things per se, but ‘Thing One’ was Twitter so I thought I’d write a bit about my thoughts around Twitter.

I’ve been using Twitter since February 2009. In the scheme of things that’s quite a while, but I know when I first joined for ages I felt like a newbie compared with those who had joined in 2006/2007. When I signed up it was after some pestering from a few fronts. Up until recently I still followed and was followed by all those people. I liked it almost straight away, although I had no idea what I was doing. It was like a little community and I would talk about all sorts of crap (I still do, yes yes I know) and I got to know a whole heap of people.

Oddly, a lot of the people I got to know were based in Melbourne. Over time I got to meet most of them in person, and I’d still consider most of them friends even if we don’t talk much. I met a lot of Sydney people too. I remember the first tweetup I went to here – at the Australia Hotel in the Rocks. I was absolutely terrified but decided to go on my own and I had a great time. Later I started going to events like #SHTBOX that was every Friday at the Clock Hotel in Surry Hills, until my liver couldn’t take it anymore.

My Twitter relationships with people have changed over time. I don’t always follow the people I know “IRL”, and the people I talk with online I don’t always want to meet. I have some long-term online chats going with people I have never met and possibly never will. Friendship circles have changed, some because of circumstance, some because of me, some because of others. As my Twitter followers have grown I’ve used Twitter in different ways.

I’ve always shared a lot of personal stuff on Twitter. I’ve always had lines in my head that I won’t cross. I probably share things that a lot of other people wouldn’t, but I have found a support network in Twitter. A lot of the people I am in contact with now I have met through either side going through bad times. I have tweeted, and seen people tweet, through bad withdrawals from antidepressants, through bad depressions, through breakups, through anxiety. Sometimes when you think you’re completely alone support can come from the most unexpected people online. 

My tweets have been silly and drunk and personal, but there are things I won’t talk about and I don’t. But since I have more followers I feel less comfortable about talking about things, which is kind of a shame. It can be an excellent way to communicate with people and I have an excellent network of people but I miss feeling like I can share anything. While anything you say online is out there anyway, when you KNOW 2000 people are watching it’s a little disconcerting.

At times I’ve walked away from Twitter for a break, and I’ve certainly considered deleting my account. Apart from wondering if I’d be quite left out sometimes, the thing that has kept me coming back is the professional development opportunities and my personal learning network. As a librarian I know so many libraries and librarians who are on Twitter. I love being able to reach out to them for help, but also to follow what they’re doing, keep up with their work and social lives, and bounce ideas off them. But my interests extend beyond libraries into the wider GLAM community, and research, science, politics … where else can I easily track and monitor all these industries and communicate with the people involved?

Twitter drives me crazy at times. I think it can be used any way you want it to be these days. There are so many different tools and guides for etiquette, you just have to find what works for you. I use public and private lists to try to keep track of everything, but I really need to update those really soon as well. 

I was enjoying being over at app.net because it was so quiet, you could talk to everyone, see the whole timeline, but I also missed the constant stream of communication. Now when I go there I feel a bit left out. I think part of the not being able to post stuff during the work day thing makes me wonder if I need yet another place to be sharing content and talking with people. But I should come back to there as well.

Really this was just a giant, unedited brain dump. So yes. Twitter. There you go. My thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise

I’ve just come back in from what I would like to call a run, but was closer to a jog, and probably more like a walk. I am fairly certain that for the past 2 years my goal has been to be able to run 10kms, and neither of those times did I do it. Partly due to injury – injuries that then turned to lack of motivation to start all over again.

Last year I was doing really well with the couch-to-5-km app and then stuffed my ankle. So THIS year I’m on this mission again. Third time lucky and all that. I’ve started up with the app again, although I’m only up to week 3 and I’m sure I’ve been at this for 2 months. The problem seems to be that early in the week I am all EXERCISE YEAH and then by Thursday I start going out after work and on the weekends I collapse.

I much prefer “running” outside, but now that it’s dark the gym usually has to suffice. I wish I could be one of those people who goes for runs or to the gym at lunchtime. It would take away my guilt for never getting up early no matter how often I set my alarm, and would mean that after work I can just collapse into bed or a tequila cocktail. The problem is that I am one of those unfortunate souls whose face turns bright red at the mere suggestion of exercise and then stays that way for the next 3 hours or so. I’ve experimented with lunch time swimming (too wet), netball (too hot and violent), and walks (better).

I am terrible at team sports because I hate the feeling of obligation. I want to do sport because I want to do sport, not because I’m letting the whole team down if I don’t turn up one week. Or every week. Or just drop out. That doesn’t mean I hate group sports, just not activities where you need x number of players to beat the other x number of players.

At the end of the month I’m starting ice skating classes and I am super excited. I always wanted to have classes but it was too expensive and too far from home. I was always super jealous of the kids who got to do ice skating for school sport. The funny thing is that I have a pair of pristine white figure skates. My relatives bought them for me for Christmas last time I was in Sweden and they’ve hardly been used. I very nearly sold them but now I’m glad I didn’t. Now I can look completely ridiculous with my beautiful skates as I struggle to stay upright.

My next plan is to go back to swing dancing. I only did a few classes of partnered dancing, and I think only one (or two?) of solo dancing. I believe from June the solo dancing is moving to a better time for me so I’m planning on going back. It’s super fun and I’m not too ridiculous at it. I like that there are the steps but then you just really put yourself into the moves so for the most part it doesn’t matter if you’re a bit unco.

So hopefully this year I’ll be a bit happier and healthier again, providing I stay injury-free. No slicing body parts open with ice skates, and I’m watching my sore knee carefully as I walk/jog. I definitely feel happier the more I do it and I’m trying to regulate my moods naturally for now so I just have to keep going. So please don’t be offended if I say no to coming out because I need to go for a run – sometimes I just HAVE to.