30 September 2011

5. Fortunes of War by Patrick O'Brian

Dear Meezly,

You are going to absolutely LOVE this one!

I loved it mostly because everything that happened so far has consequences in this novel. Up until now I felt like the books have been telling stories, but the events and actions have been independent of each other. Sure, they are sequential, and certainly there are links between the causes and effects, but in Fortunes of War, which begins on the eve of the War of 1812, O'Brian locks everything up tight. And in some really nice ways: some characters return, some characters are new, but are associated with old ones, and we have some new locations, too. And a lot of surprise turns that frustrate Jack and add a lot to Stephen's story. In the some of the earlier books I found myself merely enduring Stephen's story, but on FoW, man oh man, it gets good! Spy stuff!

I also especially liked the way O'Brian highlighted some of the conflicts I hadn't thought of: the new Navy and the old both in technology (the guns, for example), the clothes, and the character/attitude of the officers. Jack's old school and at the start we meet another old school captain and then, near the end of the book, we met a new school captain. There are a few others, but I don't want to tip into spoiler territory.

There are some good sea battles, but most of the novel takes place on shore. That might sound boring, but Stephen's troubles kept me so stressed out I had to keep reading.

And I see that the next book, The Surgeon's Mate, takes place directly after this one. In truth, I've started it, but I'm still in the first dozen or so pages, fighting through the annoying, but necessary review that begins sequels. But I expect the dovetailing to continue, at least until we get to those books that don't exactly fit into real life's timeline

24 September 2011

Kindle @ the library

This week Amazon announced that Kindle owners could finally DL books from their local libraries. I tried the night of the announcement, but somehow I let my card lapse. I just used it ten days ago, but since then it had run out. After a quick stop to renew I was back in business.

I tried from school, but the student wifi account doesn't allow access to Amazon, and you have to DL your books via wifi.

But I tried again this morning and had success!

If you have a Kindle and a library card for a LI library here's how you do it:

Go to: http://live-brary.com/

Click "free downloads" on the list on the left
Click "My Account" from the toolbar across the top
Select your local library from the list
Put in your barcode

Then search for books and follow the directions...

I was happy to see four Patrick O'Brian novels - Books 1, 2, 11, and 12.  That's an odd place to start, but I'm looking forward to seeing the rest go online.

But why can I borrow a digital edition from my library, but can't buy one from Amazon. It's a mystery. Anyone know the answer?

I checked out The Atlantic by Simon Winchester and Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff.

11 September 2011


We completely survived Hurricane Irene. We were sweating it out pretty good at Allison's parents house, getting text updates from neighbors, and then from the TV news once they showed up on our corner/block. That was a little stressful: "hey! you're house is on TV showing the flooding in your town." But after everything was over, we fared very well. The water came close to the house but never came inside. This is the street in front of the house; that's our white fence.


And this is our driveway. You can see how high the water got, there at the rubble line on the front lawn.

We didn't lose our magnolia tree, either!

Here's a link to our friends' house - two videos showing the storm's fury, one inside and one outside the house: Miss Gracie's page.