Posts Tagged ‘lists’

13th May
2011
written by Steph
Yesterday, I stumbled across this hilarious post over at Vol 1. Brooklyn, which analyzes what your book bag says about you. For those interested, my preferred book bag is a Strand book tote... In my defense, it's not the same model as the standard beige bag/red logo version as showcased on Vol 1. Brooklyn, but I doubt that matters. *Gulp* Also, it doesn't mean I didn't get a good chuckle from the list! Have a happy Friday and enjoy!
20th January
2011
written by Steph
Apologies for the double post, but I couldn't contain myself! 'Tis the most wonderful time of the year, everyone! The time of year when The Morning News truly starts revving up for their annual Tournament of Books! The (incredibly) long list was released a while back, but today they finally announced what the 16 contenders vying for the top spot will be... Anxious to see this list? So was I! Here are your sweet sixteen: The first year I was aware of the ToB, I had read a grand total of ZERO books when the list was released. Last year, I had read two. This year? THREE! I've already read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Room, and Freedom. Of the remaining contenders, I have copies of : A Visit From the Goon Squad, Bloodroot, So Much for That, and Super Sad True Love Story. I would also like to read Skippy Dies at some point, and would maybe read The Finkler Question. I have not heard of (or if I have, I've since forgotten) Nox, Bad Marie, Lord of Misrule, Next, Model Home, Kapitoil, or Savages. I think this year promises some GREAT competition and I'll be anxious to see how things go when the tournament kicks off on March 7, 2011. Not sure how this will affect my TBR reading plans, as I've been trying to avoid the library as a well in a bid to read my own books. Then again, maybe it doesn't really matter that I haven't read all the entrants because what are the odds that Freedom isn't going to take this? Anyone placing bets? Who are you rooting for? [For the record, I'm not saying that I want Freedom to win, just that I think it will.]
13th January
2010
written by Steph
Yesterday I read over at the Girl Detective's blog that The Morning News has released the shortlist of this year's combatants in the 2010 Tournament of Books.  For those not in the know, as the title suggests, the ToB is a March Madness style competition where books go head-to-head rather than college basketball teams, and is therefore way more interesting (in my opinion!).  The books are seeded and a tournament bracket will go up so that starting in March, two books will go head to head in a daily competition (M-F), until eventually we get down to two books, one of which will be declared the champion.  Cue the Queen tracks. Each round will have a new judge, though of course the outcome of each match is completely arbitrary, up to the judge's whims.  Even when I don't agree with the outcome of a given bout, it's always amusing to read the judge's line of reasoning, as well as the commentary on how the match went, provided last year by Kevin Guilfoile & John Warner.  It's silly, yes, and true it does emulate a sporting event, but it's essentially a wonderful celebration of books, and that's something I can always get behind. Last year I had read a dismal ZERO books of the 16 shortlisted (though I made my way through about 8 of them by the end, I think), but this year I'm already off to a better start having read two of the contenders last year!  This year the books up for the title are: (more…)
25th August
2009
written by Steph
P1030168_v2

What a surprise... more books!

Ok, it’s been over a month since our last book buying expedition (our last trip was on the 4th of July weekend), which I think is some kind of progress!  I aim to visit the bookstore no more than once a month, because any more frequently than that would feel pretty decadent.  Also, there’s no way I can read fast enough to keep up with bi- or tri-weekly trips (not that that would stop me).  This time I managed to accrue 10 books in our stack to sell back before venturing to McKay’s.  I figured if I can commit to ensuring that I trade in at least 10 every time we visit then that will be a good way to curtail frivolous and unnecessary spending.  We didn’t get very much money for our trade-ins (just under $1 per book…), but as they say, every little bit helps, since we were able to walk away with 9 books for just $14.  And maybe the math might seem a little strange to you, but it was actually nice to see we were coming away with fewer books than we entered with as it means one less book to store at our apartment! Now, onto the loot! (more…)
23rd July
2009
written by Steph

[N.B. The somewhat patriotic motif in the title would have made more sense if I had been able to post this on the July 4th weekend, when I originally drafted this up.  But as you know, life and the wedding got in the way so now the title is more puzzling than it is cute.  I've not changed the text below, so any prospective references to wedding planning and the like can be ignored.  Just transport yourself back three weeks in time, and you'll be in the right mindset! 😉 ] One of the great things about keeping a blog is that I get to keep track of the frequency of our book buying binges.  On average it would appear that I am able to stay away from the bookstore for about 3 weeks before I finally cave and have to stalk its aisles once more.  As I mentioned in my last post in which I solicited recommendations for my summer/honeymoon reading (be sure to suggest a southern and/or summery classic if you haven’t already!), I’ve sort of been jonesing for particular reads that I feel our home library is lacking, so I suppose I just wanted to get out there and see what I could find.  The book I’m currently reading (hopefully I can finish it and get a review up before things really swing into wedding mode next week) makes frequent reference to Herman Melville and Moby Dick in particular, so my interest was piqued and I thought I might like to try to read that massive epic.  It was off to McKay’s to see if I could find a copy… I didn’t (not entirely true: they had several, but the minimum price was $8, and I just didn’t feel like shelling out that kind of cash for a book I wasn’t certain I would love), but we did wind up with a few other books. (more…)
7th June
2009
written by Steph

Or rather, a funny thing happened while we were at the used bookstore, in that I exercised a ton of restraint and put a bunch of books back on the shelves.  I know some of you are looking at the picture of our bounty thinking, “That’s restraint?!?!” but I promise it’s true.  This was the first time where I just felt pretty uninspired by a lot of the books I inspected, and while I put a bunch of books in my cart, I didn’t feel like I HAD to have a lot of them, so I placed them back on the shelves before we cashed out. So, total damage this time was 15 books – ostensibly one of our lightest hauls ever from McKay’s, but I will say the books that I got were ones that I really did want.  I did trade in a bunch of books and Tony culled his cd pile, so all of these books were purchased on store credit and did not cost any cold hard cash monies. (more…)
2nd May
2009
written by Steph

Book-based stalagmites are now developing at an alarming rate around our apartment...

Book-based stalagmites are now developing at an alarming rate around our apartment...

I’ve noticed that a lot of book bloggers out there do weekly accounts of the inventory they have coming into their libraries.  Normally the book influx is on the order of 3 to 7 books, which seems reasonable.  Of course, I don’t really participate in Library Loot or the like, because I really don’t have book entering the apartment on a regular basis.  Instead, I seem to operate under the “When It Rains, It Pours” principle, when it comes to acquiring books.  Total damage this time?  27 books (3 of them are graphic designy, so I’m not including them in this run down… I think 24 books are plenty to keep us busy.)… and this time, we paid with our own pocket money.  No vouchers or anything! Sigh.  I guess we’d better cut the preamble, as this is going to be long enough.  Let us go and revel in my total lack of self-control. (more…)
24th April
2009
written by Steph

Guys, I’m so sorry about the dearth of updates, but things have been so crazy here and time has been short for writing.  Turns out that even when you have a low-key wedding in mind, it still requires a good deal of planning – just when you check one thing off your list, a new one pops up in its place.  I think weddings might be the Hydra of social events…  I suppose I really shouldn’t complain as our planning has actually been going quite smoothly – dress shopping, suit buying, venue picking, all of that has actually been quite painless and efficiently completed.  That’s right, I have my dress purchased!  I won’t post a picture of it here, but I will show you the shoes I have decided to wear on the Big Day.  They are super fun AND comfy, and I look forward to wearing them at the wedding as well as many years to come.  I wanted a pair of shoes that were funky and expressed who I was, and I love the little snippets of blue (now I just need something borrowed and something old!):

That's right - I'm going to walk down the aisle in zebra-striped shoes with blue buckles!

That's right - I'm going to walk down the aisle in zebra-striped shoes with blue buckles!

And of course, we also had our lovely anniversary celebration last weekend, which was fantastic.  We drove Pip down to Chattanooga, and stayed in a cozy little B&B called the Chantacleer Inn (True story, though: I could never remember the name of this place while we were staying there, and wound up settling on a rather crude version that I COULD remember, which is really no reflection of the inn itself but rather my juvenile humor… I won’t post the name here, but let’s just say it involved a perfectly correct term for “rooster” (the inn’s logo featured one), thought it’s probably not the term you’d use in polite company… Tony tells me that Chantacleer is the name of a rooster from a fairytale, but if this is true, I never read that fairytale, so that mnemonic was not helpful to me).  We visited the Tennessee Aquarium, which we enjoyed immensely (though ultimately decided we’d rather hold our wedding locally rather than 2 hours away from where we live), and also had a great time dining out at some of our favorite restaurants in Chattanooga (this one place has the best stuffed poblano pepper appetizer on the planet, AND their margaritas are to die for!  I had two!).  I won’t lie, however… as we don’t have cable tv at our place, one of our highlights of the weekend involved simply lolling about in bed watching Animal Planet and HGTV in our room!  Hey, it just shows that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to show us a good time! 😉 So, looking at my reading log, I realize that I haven’t finished a book in about 3 weeks, which is why I haven’t been able to review anything lately!  I think this is largely due to me feeling mentally burnt out (I don’t have exams to contend with as many other people do, but things at work have recently come to a head, and hopefully will improve from here on out) and just being too tired to read most evenings.  I started reading The Master & Margarita, which Tony highly praised on the site, but I soon realized that while it normally would be the kind of book I would love, it just wasn’t the right time for me to read it.  It has a pretty discursive narrative, and my poor tired brain just couldn’t keep up.  I was struggling too hard to turn the pages and remember what the heck had been happening, that I decided to put it aside until my brain feels less sluggish so that I can fully appreciate Bulgakov’s swift wit.  I’m currently reading something for a top secret project that I can’t divulge at this point, which I realize is horridly unfair, but all this is to say that you’ll still have to wait a bit before I’m ready to post any new reviews!  Tony has one book on the roster that he needs to review, but he’s been utterly bogged down at work, so the time just hasn’t been available to write about it, but eventually you can expect a review on Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory sometime this year! 😉  And I apologize for not having recipes either… we took a bunch of pictures a while back when I was cooking up a frenzy, but at this point I’m not sure that I can trust my memory to write down reliable instructions (or ingredients) for the dishes!  It might be time to call it a wash and start from scratch… inevitably I’ll wind up making many of those things again, and hopefully I can keep up with them on the site! Some of you may consider memes a punishment, but I thought that it might be nice to post some actual content here on Steph & Tony Investigate, rather than simply another excuse for our shortcomings of late.  So, I’ve ganked an old meme off of Claire’s site, which she borrowed from Tuesday, and I thought I’d give it a whirl.  It’s supposedly the über meme, so hopefully all of the important bases will be covered!

(more…)

28th March
2009
written by Steph

Behold as Mount TBR increases once again...

Behold as Mount TBR increases once again...

There actually has been quite the downpour ongoing today (complete with intermittent tornado warnings, which Tony deemed scaremongering, citing insufficient cloud density or something to that effect), but who cares about the weather when Tony and I finally made our way back to McKay’s after what seems like months of abstaining from book buying (in truth, it’s only been about 8 weeks, if that, but it has felt like FOREVER)?  I’ve been trying to curb my book-buying bug of late with trips to the library (it’s just a block away from the Y, which we visit 3 – 4 times a week), but public and private libraries hardly compare!  Sure, my rampant book buying just contributes to my never-ending, never-lessening TBR stack, but what I like about owning books I’d like to read is the fact that I feel no pressure to actually read said books.  Counterintuitive, I know, but when I visit the library, I inevitably take out more books at a time than I had originally intended (I have impulsive tendencies, have you noticed?), and then I feel pressured to read all of those books one after the other, even if I’m not necessarily in the right mood for them.  [Tony thinks that’s crazy talk by the way – he’s one of those people who can make a list of the next 10 books he’ll read and stick to it and feel perfectly happy.  I, on the other hand, have to wait until I’ve finished one book before I can even contemplate the next one, and then it’s a deep soul-searching process… Thankfully, today I was somewhat vindicated when we were at the store and ran into a friend of Tony’s who says she is the same way as I am when it comes to picking her next read!  Huzzah!]  Anyway, I realize I could return books to the library unread, and I often need to do so, but it feels like such a defeat to do that!

Ok, so today’s total damage?  25 books.  Eeps!  BUT.  In all fairness to me, today Tony actually picked out a large number of books today (not the majority by any means, but he still contributed to the haul!), and also, most of these were bought using store vouchers we had accrued through various trade-ins, so we really got 25 books for only $9 (real money), and that hardly counts as a splurge, right?  RIGHT?!?!

After the jump, an in-depth analysis of our loot! (more…)
4th February
2009
written by Steph
To read makes our speaking English good!

Click for an up close & personal view of these beauties!

Just imagine this post's title sung to you by dancing hot dogs and bags of popcorn... At this point, I don’t think I really need to admit to all of you that I have a ridiculous book-buying habit.  I mean, that’s kind of old news.  Plus, it’s not like any of my fellow book lovers out there are going to judge me (harshly) for this kind of addictive behavior… right?  It’s not like it’s hurting anyone! For what it’s worth, I have instituted a policy that I am no longer allowed to go to McKay’s unless I’m bringing books/dvds/games to trade in for store credit.  So while I continue to accumulate books, I’m also forcing myself to get rid of books that I didn’t like all that much rather than just being a clutterbug.  And this new policy has also lightened the impact on my wallet, since on our last two trips I haven’t had to pay using “real” money for any of our purchases. Anyway, let’s get onto the loot!  This time we came away with 16 books, which came to a grand total of $33 (store credit).  Our most expensive book was, I think, $5, and our cheapest book came in at $1 (several books fell into this category). After the jump, in-depth analyses of the various columns and the books constituting them! (more…)
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