Archive for February, 2012

Current Reading February 2012

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Books

My wife had a bit of surgery this month, so I’ve had plenty of time sitting around to read.  I’ve been a bit of a machine on plowing through books.

Currently I am Reading:

Portrait of Dorain Gray by Oscar Wilde

Another classic I’ve never tackled, but always wanted to.  On the Kindle of course.

1809 Thunder on the Danube: Napoleon’s Defeat of the Habsburgs  Volume III: Wagram and Znaim by John H. Gill

I finally got around to getting the 3rd and final volume of this excellent history of the 1809 Danube Campaign.  It’s getting my interest in Napoleonics stirred back up, which is good since I have a couple hundred AB’s to paint up.

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits  by Philip Fisher

It finally turned up stuck under the seat of my car.  Now back to reading it.

What I’ve finished Reading:

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

The first of the Dresden novels.  Not literature but a great read.  I’d put in almost a pulp category even though it’s officially sci-fi.  Of course like all good pulp, I’ll have to read the rest of the series.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Next up on my Kindle.  Another classic that I’ve always wanted to read but never took the time for.  Glad I finally did.

Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

I picked this and it’s two sequels up during the Border’s purges. The 1st book got off to a bit of a slow start, but they turned into real page-turners.  What’s not to like?  Dragons, sailing ships, and Napoleonic warfare wrapped in a set of tales well told.

The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling

A rousing alt-history tale.  I can see why so many list it on their must read lists.  I will be handing this around to friends who haven’t read it.  To bad it’s a one-off tale, I like the characters.

The Complete Hammer’s Slammer’s Book I by David Drake

Collected shorts and longer tales.  Great, great stuff!

Books read 2012:  8

Review: Kindle Touch

Posted: February 11, 2012 in Books, Reviews

My wife surprised me with a Kindle Touch for Christmas.  Now that I’ve had a while to use it, I thought I would give a quick review.

I enjoy it so far.  The screen is easy to read in any light I’ve tried it in.  Of course, it is not backlit so you must have a light source to read by. The touchscreen responds well to touch, in fact it seems to be a tad better than my Iphone screen in that respect. “Page-turning” is easy either by a single touch or by the gesture of pulling a finger across the screen.

Disappointingly, the books available don’t seem to render illustrations or maps, so this won’t soon replace my print editions of my rather large history collections.

Linking up and using the Kindle store online is easy, as is using the storefront via the wireless connection in the device itself.  Finding the point to enter a gift card wasn’t obvious at first, but that was just me looking for it in the pay options, when it had its own link not connected with the regular pay transactions.  I plan on just using gift cards to pay.  I do not like to have my credit card resident in on-line storefronts if I don’t need to.  One downside to the in-device storefront is not seeing the daily deals that I can find.  This is disappointing since there are often good e-book values to be had.

While we are on the subject of e-book values, I’ve found anything recent is not a value unless on a sale.  Most of the recent books I’m interested in are much the same price in print or as an e-book.  Making up for this is the huge volume of books available for free.  Many classics (mostly pre-1920s) are available for just the download time.  I do believe I could read the rest of my life on the Kindle and never have to buy a book (I’m sure that’s not what Amazon wants to hear), as long as I stick to volumes from the pre-copyright eras.

Holding the Kindle Touch for a long period can get a tad uncomfortable, to me it seems just a bit unwieldy for long reading sessions.  This however is more of a quibble versus a serious drawback.  Sizewise I can fit it in most of my jacket pockets and in the front pants pocket of my khakis, making it easily portable.

Battery life seems to be excellent so far.  The literature claims 2 months reading at 1/2 hour per day.  I’ve been getting 2-3 weeks between charges, but I do read more than 1/2 hour per day most days.

Overall, I really like the Kindle Touch.  It is a great entry for me into the e-book realm.  The drawbacks are minor compared to a big upside of positives.  I won’t be surrendering my print books anytime soon, but the Kindle will serve well beside them.  There is still something intangibly nice about having a physical book and actually turning pages, that will keep me buying print books for volumes of particular interest for some time to come, however I see the Kindle getting a huge use for me in reading the piles of classics that I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

January 2012 Wrap-up

Posted: February 6, 2012 in Monthly Wrap-ups

Miniatures Stats January 2012:

Bought for Month:     4                                                 For 2012:     4

Painted for Month:    0                                                 For 2012:     0

Bought:  3x Battlefront Puma, 1x Battlefront Wespe
Wow, Did we actually have January?  Only 3 or 4 days that it snowed, so it really didn’t seem like winter.  At any rate, I’ve already ended up off the track on my pledge.  I realized that I didn’t have a really playable Flames of War force yet, so I made myself an allowance to fill out a couple of units.  I still need to get a couple of more models so I can actually have an artillery platoon so I’ll probably have a couple of more figs added to the pile before I rein myself in.  I did get some painting time in this month, but spent it willy-nilly. A bit of paint on a couple of ships, a dab on a few tanks, and a couple of streaks on a trio of Blood Bowls figs, but nothing to show off as close to done.