Author Archives: nycbookgirl

About nycbookgirl

A full-time reader, and employed by an ebook publisher. All genres accepted, none refused, many judge, both fairly and unfairly.

Young-ish Dog Learning New Tricks

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Even w/ a Bachelor’s and Master’s under my belt; even with a full-time job in an industry I love and in a department I enjoy; even with all the major boxes checked off for a young person living and surviving in New York City, I feel the need to explore new things. 

Learning something new has always been an exciting experience for me. I was a nerd that loved school, that loved getting an education and reading about something completely foreign/unknown to me. I still enjoy it today (hence my obsessions w/ the How Stuff Works podcasts, Mythbusters, and the Planet Earth series). Which is why I actually listened when my friend and mentor recommended Jon Duckett‘s HTML and CSS. He knew my interest in learning more about coding and web design. He knew I was more of a by-the-book learner than a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants one. And I have one word to describe this book. 

Genius.

No, it doesn’t uncover any great mysteries, there are no Indiana Jones and the Last Crusadeworthy discoveries. However, the information is flawlessly and pleasantly presented in a colorful, but not obnoxious, manner. Its simple. Its quick. And at the end of each section, I’m not frantically googling to try and translate any “high-tech lingo” that the author has assumed I already know. It truly is the best way to begin your education in HTML and CSS. I absolutely suggest this book to anyone interested in this subject. Or even anyone trying to broaden their experience for a job. It’s a skill/practice that is much sought after and admired.

Just buy it! Amazon B&N Walmart

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Stuck In A Historical Fiction (And All Its Sub-Genres) Rut

So I was perfectly happy reading my Young Reader adventure fiction and YA dystopian melodramas. Then I was sucked into the Steampunk world, and later into the historical romance and medieval fiction realms. For 3 months, that’s where I lived. Every morning commute. Every before bed, I-should-be-sleeping-so-I’m-coherent-for-work-tomorrow hour. I was in the world of proper English, chivalrous men, dignified women, and more than a few dragons/airships/hackneys.

I am thrilled to announce, however, that I have now returned to the slightly 21st century. And while I definitely enjoyed some of the virtually unknown titles—
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Steam & Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape

Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey

I missed some of the simple things. Non-horse-drawn or steam-powered cars. The Internet. References to reality television. The use of popular slang like “fo shizzle” and “WTF”. A girl can only go so long without these basic necessities to modern-day life.

So What has brought me back? Why, Simon Pegg’s Nerd Do Well (Apple iBookstore), or course! I’ll let you know how it turns out, but to tell the truth, I think I’m already hooked. I mean really? Who doesn’t love that cover???

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Filed under Bio & Memoir, Digital & Mobile, Ebook, Fiction, Historical Romance, Humor, Non-Fiction, NYCBookGirl @ Work, Picks by nycbookgirl, Pop Culture, Recommendations, YA & Children's, Young Reader

I Really Do Post…Just Not Always Here (Amended)

Realized just now that I’ve been contributing some stuff to my work’s blog and obviously not here. It’s actually pretty cool. Once a week, out department puts up a post called “Links We Like”, and we all put in anything new we’ve come across that week, or any links/apps/products we’re excited about. So here are the few I’ve picked these past two months (you’ll notice a theme…its sports), plus a link to the post that includes my co-workers’ links. Have fun!

 

TODAY: June 10, 2011 (Bill Simmons’s, a.k.a. The SportsGuy, new website, Grantland goes live)

It’s always exciting when a someone whose work you’ve been following for years begins a new project, especially when that new project includes new talents that speak to your interests! Such is the case with the new site Grantland. Bill Simmons (columnist for ESPN, New York Times No. 1 bestselling author, and podcaster-extrodinar) has just launched his new site this week, dedicated to the same unique blend of sports and pop culture that Simmons has been excelling at for years! With a rotation that includes authors like Chuck Klosterman and Malcom Gladwell, columnists like Dan Fierman (GQ) and Chris Jones (Esquire), and some interestingly “fresh” voices, this site may prove to be a must-follow/must-read!

June 3, 2011 (The New York Public Library’s new App, Biblion)

The New York Public Library has gone the extra mile with their new app (to be an ongoing series) released on Tuesday, May 31. The first “issue” of their iPad app, NYPL Biblion, focuses on the 1939-40 World’s Fair; the fair held right before and during the start of WWII in Queens. The material they’ve resurrected from their stacks includes images, articles, audio files, and just an astounding wealth of information. For New York history buffs, its a treasure trove; for world and war history fans, its an entirely new perspective; and for anyone else, its a fascinating experience that really showcases the benefits of the iPad. Oh yeah, it’s also free!

May 27, 2011 (On the amazingly funny book, All My Friends are Dead)

It’s always an exciting moment to stumble across a book that makes you cry, makes you think, or makes you fall over with laughter. I lucked out this week and found a humor book that made me do all three! All My Friends Are Dead promotes itself as “both the saddest funny book and the funniest sad book you’ll ever read,” and I’m inclined to believe it! If you didn’t pick it up last summer, be sure to check out a couple pages from authors Jory John and Avery Monsen here.

May 20, 2011 (…I didn’t like anything this week…)

May 13, 2011 (obviously I’m as bad at posting at work as I am here)

May 6, 2011 (MLB’s new app, MLB at Bat. It’s like crack for baseball fans)

A new addition to an already awesome development this spring: the improved experience on the MLB network’s Gameday. While the revamped site is great and the MLB.tv option is amazing for any truly crazed baseball fan, I’ll focus on the app that goes along with the new feature, MLB At Bat. Some of the awesome features include live clips of games; radio coverage from both teams (a major plus for a Red Sox fan living in NYC); the Gameday feature found on the MLB site (improved considerably); and the scoreboard, which is often overlooked, but done so cleanly in this app. Overall, it’s a fantastic experience and I’m thoroughly impressed with the developers. I wouldn’t mind seeing this done for a few of my other interests: footballIron Chef, the Quidditch World Cup . . .

April 29, 2011 (Hey, this is a non-judging blog…well, not really)

April 22, 2011 (This is actually my co-worker’s link, but it’s too cool NOT to share)

Today Shelf Awareness shared an incredible, hand-lettered map of literary America (below) made byThe Literary Gift Company. I can’t stop admiring it and looking for my favorite writers. (I want to buy it and hang it next to Little Miss Muffet and her friends.)—Laura

Literary Map

April 8, 2011 (My first contribution!!! And yes, its on the Guitar Hero exhibit at the Met 🙂

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York” exhibit? There’s an app for that! Easy to upload and full of cool extras to check out after you leave the museum, it includes audio descriptions from the exhibition curator, Jayson Kerr Dobney; video and song clips of instruments on display being played; and interviews with musicians. And unlike the normal “one-room video” layout, where visitors crowd around a tiny screen, or sit awkwardly on wooden benches watching the same loop of film, this structure allows for a more interactive and personal experience. Honestly, if they keep making easy-to-follow apps like this, I’ll be visiting a few more museums this year.

And just because I think Google is Amazing this week:enjoy.

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Filed under Humor, NYCBookGirl @ Work, Pop Culture, Recommendations, Sports, Uncategorized

Divergent, A Book I’m Using As A Diversion From Everyday Stresses

First, it must be credited that my good friend (from Kristinaradke) mentioned this book to me many months back. While I put it on a “To-Be-Read” list in my head, that, like most things in my life, became cluttered with other nonsensical mismash. So, while I “discovered” the title for myself by browsing the iBookstore, it did technically come highly recommended by a person of substantial reading reliability 🙂

The first book in the Divergent series.

So, I shall refrain from going into the ENTIRE soliloquey that is my grown-up-life stress. For those of you who are young, living with roommates, paying bills in a big city, and owing a great deal of money to the Student-Loan Sharks, I’m sure you understand that life has been daunting (*pun unintended but amusing)/tiresome/frustrating/emotionally draining. Therefore, last Fall, The Hunger Games became my escape from reality, and a temporary reprieve from responsibility (ironic). When that ended, I roamed aimlessly in the land of historical romance (no judging you book snobs :P), humor audiobooks, and a little manga. Nothing, however, could fully relieve me from my everyday worries and anxiety.

Then comes Divergent. Now, I will in no way claim this to be as-good-as OR better than The Hunger Games. As it is the first book in a trilogy, and I still have 1/4 of the ebook to read, I cannot justify such a monumental statement.

However, consider these factors:

  • This is a debut novel. I generally find debut novels to be lacking, mostly because the author is trying so hard to say so much, their work often times comes across as exhaustingly complex.
  • This is a rapidly growing sub-genre. YA Dystopian novels are explosive right now. This is not in any way a NEW sub-genre, but thanks to some of the titles that have come out these last couple of years, it is gaining speed and attention for many readers, especially adults. In my experience, 80% of the titles that come out in a “new” or “popular” sub-genre are COMPLETE crap. This, in my opinion, isn’t one of them.
  • The author is 22. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have to momentarily put aside both your astonishment that anyone at that age has the skills to NOT bore you with mellow drama, as well as your not-so-subtle loathing for someone else accomplishing something so monumental as being published at such a young age. This is an impressive piece of work for someone so young and so new to the game. Color me envious.

The characters are relatable, the storyline is interesting and exciting, and the social structure created w/in this futuristic world is rather engaging. I have to say, I’m seeing a lot of promise for both the series and the young author. So if you want to escape for a bit, try Divergent by Veronica Roth.

BTW: This was the first ebook read on my new toy, the iPad. Gotta say, love the experience, but STUNK to try and read outdoors. Will still be keeping/using/loving my Kindle…they’re like my two children: I love them equally, just in varying ways.

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Filed under Digital & Mobile, Ebook, Fiction, Picks by nycbookgirl, Recommendations, Reviews, YA & Children's, Young Reader

Eating Crow, the Literary Interpretation

Fair Warning: I’m posting this via my new toy, my iPad. So if you find some mistakes and notice a lack in special/fancy styling, it’s NOT because I’m going back to the good-old-days of bare-necessity blogging; I’m just using the app and haven’t figured out all of the tricks.

This is my official apology/tweet-retraction: I was wrong.

Confused? Here’s the story: a couple months ago, I bought the ebook (Kindle edition) for The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons. I was pretty pissed to find out that I’d bought yet another edition of a book I already owned, and all of the fun endnotes (a styling thing for this particular author) were in a completely separate doc, and there were NO links to all the articles and videos the author mentioned (which he had made available on his site when the print edition first came out).

So in my anger, what did I do? I tweeted about how disappointed I was in Random House for their piss poor attempt at publishing a digital non-fiction title. I got some agreement and interaction, but overall, I was pleased for serving justice to the public.

Then I bought the iPad, and had to eat some over-cooked crow. I checked out the iBookstore, downloaded a sample of the same Simmons ebook, and prepared for disappointment.

It never came.

Much to my surprise, they’d linked the endnotes into the text, fashioning them so that you could return to your reading location, having NOT completely left the text. Also, there was the addition of a link to the webpage that the author had set up with the article links, video clip links, and additional information. Now this is not to say there aren’t still flaws (which my supervisor at work took time to point out as well): the the endnote numbers are TINY, making it probable that you’ll miss hitting the number; the endnotes are all living on one ongoing list, making it a bit confusing to locate which note you want when; it is NOT intuitive that you have to tap the number again to return to the page you’d left; and the link to the additional information takes you outside the text.

Putting all that aside, I have to set the record straight. I jumped the gun and called the major pub company out on not taking a sports book masterpiece and making it into a HIGH quality ebook. So, I apologize for my HIGH expectations for an ebook of style and elegance from one of the BIG 6. Oops, my bad.

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Filed under Ebook, Non-Fiction, Picks by nycbookgirl, Reviews, Sports

E-reading In The Park

This past Sunday I attempted to do something I haven’t done for quite some time (due ENTIRELY to weather…and the difficulty presented w/ reading in mittens): Read in the park.

Unfortunately, I failed. Like most easy-to-distract individuals, I got about 5 pages (or 2%) into my ebook, and quickly became more interested in

  • the butterfly kite in the air,
  • the father-son combo playing catch (ending in the predictable fashion of son “accidentally” bashing father in the head/stomach/groin with the ball, and said father preceding to end the game b/c the son “just wasn’t concentrating on the basics”),
  • the hula-hoopers practicing a healthy distance away from the jugglers,
  • the unbelievably cute puppy with absolutely NO training trying to take down a flock of obviously GPS-deprived pigeons,
  • and the fact that my bum was going numb from sitting on top of a freezing tree stump.
  • Regardless, I’ll be planning my next escape for the first weekend in May. I’ve done Prospect and Central Park, so thinking maybe a venture out of Governor’s Island? Who knows. Feel free to offer your favorite spots as suggested locales!

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    Filed under Ebook, Recommendations, Sports

    Spring Is In The Air (Regardless Of What The New York Weather May Say)!

    Weather Spring showers bring May flowers or knot, its definitely springtime (for Hitler and Germany) for this bookworm.

    [I guess it would have been nice to warn you that I’m feeling a bit quirky today, so there some word-play and random outbreaks of song up there. Très désolé. I’ll refrain from anymore.]

    Some clear indications that we’re in full-swing of the season of rebirth (I’m of course alluding to the second coming of the New York tourists, now that the Christmas/New Year’s batch have gone home):

    • Hockey playoffs are underway (Go Ducks!)
    • Baseball is underway again (please, no Red Sox ribbing yet…its only April people)
    • Sneezing and coughing fits have begun (indicating that my hiatus from allergy ailments is coming to an end)
    • And the biggest sign of all: I’ve just bought 6 new Non-Fiction titles

    Yes, it’s time for round two of the “New Year/New You” resolutions. Like most people in the new year, I began January with a sense of self-improvement and self-betterment. I, too, made numerous pledges to shed some weight/get more sleep/do more at work/*insert whatever other ridiculous declaration bound to die a one-month death here*. And like everyone else, they mostly died around week 2 of February, to await their awakening in January 2012.

    Enter the season of new flowers, new life, and self-motivating rejuvenation: SPRING

    Like every year, this season I am back on the ball and trying to “improve” myself. My method: read some books filled with facts. Maybe its the former-student in me, missing those late nights of cramming useless math equations, scientific theories, and historical revolutions into my head for a final/SAT exam/thesis. Doesn’t matter. Facts are facts, and apparently I’m hungering for them now.

    So here’s the line-up:

    • The Greatest Game Every Player by Mark Frost: “The story of Francis Ouimet, the first amateur to win the U.S. Open golf tournament, is just too good to be true: it’s Rocky without the sequels, it’s Jack without his beanstalk, it’s Tiger without Nike. But it’s true, and as told by veteran thriller writer Frost, it’s the most compelling sports book since Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling Seabiscuit.—Booklist
      Yes, I loved the movie. No, I know nothing about golf except that I find it a little boring and my father plays it way too much. But really, its a “little guy takes on The Man” kind of story. How does this NOT interest you?
    • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer
      This was actually recommended by a co-worker, and seeing as I’m a casual soccer fan it made sense to check it out. That, and it’s a pretty compelling title 😉
    • Onward by Howard Schultz with Joanne Gordon
      Okay, so I’m a Starbucks fanatic. So sue me, and the other millions upon millions of people who get their daily dose of caffeine from this monstrous corporation. It may pay out, it may turn out to be another New York Times “bestselling” product placement. Only one way to find out, right?
    • Now, I obviously have a few more: one about some queens (the royal kind), one about some puppets, one about some divas (the basketball playing kind), and one about the APA Stylebook (sorta). But I think we’ll have to see how these go before I start sharing more.

      Happy reading, and avoid the pollen!

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