Category Archives: Non-Fiction

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 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

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