mikekn: (Just me)
Hi there!

If you are reading this, then most likely you are looking at the main page of my LJ. Most of my posts are locked in one way or another. If you'd like to read those you'll need an LJ account of your own. Comment here and let me know who you are so I can add you to the fray.
mikekn: (Default)
In 2013 I
- Ran 24 different races (5K, 5M, 10K, and half marathons) and achieved new best times in all categories
- Started running trails
- Logged 359 miles walking, running or hiking
- Made it to the gym regularly
- Drank an average of 2 beers a day, including 487 different ones
- Lost 20lbs
- Was able to stop taking medicine for high cholesterol
- Went on my first Caribbean cruise
- Played at least 73 different board games hundreds of times
- Started and ended the year playing Cosmic Encounter
- Sold my Magic the Gathering cards
- Read over 40 books
- Back 44 Kickstarter projects
- Made 7 Kiva loans
- Made 0 posts to LJ
- Lost 2 cats to illness
- Lost 1 friend to cancer

Book Log

Dec. 30th, 2012 10:48 am
mikekn: (Books)
The final book log for the year.

34. The Prestige - Christopher Priest *
35. Redshirts - John Scalzi *
36. Cold Days - Jim Butcher *
37. Gun Machine - Warren Ellis

Book Log

Nov. 16th, 2012 03:29 pm
mikekn: (Books)
Well, if you could guess, I've given up on my 12 in 12 Book Challenge. Reading ground to a halt over the summer and has never quite recovered. I spend several months listening to podcasts on my commute and only recently started back on audio books. I've got a small stack of new books that I want to read soon, but I seem to alway be out of time or too tired to get to them.

29. Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin
30. A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge *
31. The Magicians - Lev Grossman *
32. Black Company by Glen Cook *
33. On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers *
mikekn: (Just me)
I've figured out my schedule for the Philly film fest. Lots of Asian action films this year, and more horror stuff then I'd expect (given that I'm not a big horror fan).

Sunday, October 21st
12:10 PM, Quartet, 2012 | 95 min., Ritz East - Theater A
9:40 PM, Dragon, 2010 | 116 min., RAVE Auditorium 6

Monday, October 22nd
10:00 PM, Shanghai, 2010 | 105 min., Prince Music Theater

Tuesday, October 23rd
7:15 PM, Cloud Atlas, 2012 | 163 min., Prince Music Theater

Wednesday, October 24th
9:30 PM, Dead Sushi, 2012 | 91 min., RAVE Auditorium 6

Thursday, October 25th
9:35 PM, The Thieves, 2012 | 135 min., Ritz Bourse

Friday, October 26th
7:10 PM, Holy Motors, 2012 | 115 min., Ritz East - Theater B

Sunday, October 28th
9:45 PM, Thale, 2012 | 77 min., Ritz Bourse
mikekn: (Gaming)
Hey look! I started a post after Origins and then never finished it. Well, here it is about a month later...

Read more... )

Book Log

Jun. 13th, 2012 01:49 pm
mikekn: (Books)
Just catching up again...

26. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
27. Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard
28. Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

12 in 12 Challenge
7/12 Hugo Winners
8/12 Nebula Winners

Book Log

May. 22nd, 2012 04:38 pm
mikekn: (Books)
Just catching up on my lists again.

22. Blackout by Connie Willis *
23. Emperor Norton's Ghost by Dianne Day
24. All Clear by Connie Willis *
25. Emperor of the United States of America by Catherine Caulfield

12 in 12 Challenge
6/12 Hugo Winners
7/12 Nebula Winners
2/12 Emperor Norton

Book Log

Apr. 30th, 2012 04:32 pm
mikekn: (Books)
Way behind on book logging, so I'm just going to list them here for now. I don't expect I'll get around to writing about each of them, but I can always answer questions.

17. Nemi by Lise Myhre
18. Way Station by Clifford D. Simak *
19. The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer *
20. Red Unicorn by Tanith Lee
21. Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman *

12 in 12 Challenge
4/12 Hugo Winners
5/12 Nebula Winners
9/12 Written Pre-1970
3/12 Tanith Lee
1/12 Graphic Novels

Book Log

Apr. 5th, 2012 05:00 pm
mikekn: (Books)
The reading continues while the logging falls behind...

14. Black Unicorn - Tanith Lee (finished in March)
Short YA novel set in a fantasy world. The story follows Tanaquil the daughter of a sorceress with a knack for mending things (Tanaquil has the knack, not her mom). After discovering and reassembling the skeleton of a unicorn, the unicorn comes to life and leads/chases Tanaquil on an adventure. Very much a Tanith Lee story, which for me means beautiful and enjoyable.

15. Gold Unicorn - Tanith Lee
Tanaquil explores the world and gets caught up in a war. Book two in Lee's Unicorn series. Very good :)

16. Anathem - Neal Stephenson *
Excellent (large) work from Stephenson. The audio book was well done and made the Arbre vocabulary much easier to deal with. Lots of cool philosophical and mathematical ideas get batted around all while telling an engaging story.

12 in 12 Challenge - Q1 Summary :)

16/55 Books read
2/12 Hugo Winners
3/12 Nebula Winners
8/12 Written Pre-1970
2/12 Tanith Lee
2/12 Harlen Ellison
0/12 Graphic Novels
1/12 Short story collections
0/12 Emperor Norton
7/12 Recommended by friends
6/12 Buy no more the 12 new books
0/12 Remove 12 books from the "to read" collection

Book Log

Mar. 22nd, 2012 10:30 am
mikekn: (Books)
13. A Touch of Infinity - Harlan Ellison

The first collection of Harlan Ellison's shorter works. Most of these are pulp sf stories with not much to offer. Not bad, but not great either. The first story was later expanded into a short novel - which is also on my to read list for the year.

12 in 12 Challenge
2/12 Harlen Ellison
1/12 Short story collections

Book Log

Mar. 14th, 2012 03:02 pm
mikekn: (Books)
12. Darwin's Radio - Greg Bear

Look! An actual paper book got finished! My reading time is very limited right now, but I'm still making a little progress.

This book puts forward the idea the evolution can sometimes make sudden jumps forward (via a retrovirus create/released from our own DNA). Heavy on the science (in a good way - though complete with a glossary), and set in basically modern times. Greg Bear does a good job exploring the various reactions from individuals, corporations, and governments as the virus appears and changes.

12 in 12 Challenge
3/12 Nebula Winners

Book Log

Mar. 12th, 2012 11:38 am
mikekn: (Books)
11. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom - Cory Doctorow *

Cory Doctorow's first novel creates a future world where social standing (via esteem and respect) has replaced money as the means of exchange. The action all takes place in Walt Disney World which is now under the control of various adhocracies. Neat stuff :)

I also bought a few books in the last week or so (though I don't expect to get around to reading them this year...):
The Mirage by Matt Ruff
1632 by Eric Flint
War of the Oaks by Emma Bull

12 in 12 Challenge
6/12 Recommended by friends
6/12 Buy no more the 12 new books.

Book Log

Mar. 8th, 2012 10:38 am
mikekn: (Books)
9. Beowulf *
While the language (a modern translation which kept or recreated the alliteration) made the story very enjoyable to hear, it did require a good deal of attention to follow at times. Thing I learned that before I didn't know about the story: Grendel is a descendant of the biblical Cain.

10. Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne *
Another classic, though from a different period of time. My copy was read by Tim Curry, which is a great way to hear Jules Verne's adventure story.

12 in 12 Challenge
8/12 Written Pre-1970
5/12 Recommended by friends

Book Log

Feb. 29th, 2012 11:38 am
mikekn: (Books)
Yeah, I both behind on my reading and behind on logging my reading. These were finished in February.

6. Iliad - Homer *

Another classic that I knew little about. I knew it dealt with the Trojan War, but didn't know that (spoilers!) it picks up years after the initial snub and Helen being taken to Troy and ends before the Trojan Horse and the end of the war. Too much genealogy and not enough story for my tastes.

7. Man with Nine Lives - Harlen Ellison

A short novel from the 60s with some interesting ideas, like a deep sleep for criminals, that actually transfers their consciousness to an alien on another world where they are tasked with changing things to make way for the eventual arrival of humans.

8. Odyssey - Homer *

I enjoyed this one much more then the Iliad. The whole story that I was expecting was actually here :)

12 in 12 Challenge
6/12 Written Pre-1970
3/12 Recommended by friends
1/12 Harlen Ellison

Book Log

Feb. 8th, 2012 01:54 pm
mikekn: (Books)
5. Gilgamesh *

An ancient classic that I really didn't know anything about. I was pleasantly surprised in that this is not a typical heroic quest story (Book 1 - Gilgamesh is an asshole; Gods create someone just like him to distract him). Loved the way the story was told though.

12 in 12 Challenge
3/12 Written Pre-1970
1/12 Recommended by friends

Book Log

Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:29 pm
mikekn: (Books)
3. The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany

I've really enjoyed the Delany books I've read and this one was no exception. Set on a post apocalyptic earth, it is hard to tell if the characters are mutated descendants of the humans or aliens trying to mimic humans (and I'm not sure they know either). It part this is a retelling of the Orpheus story, but a strange and entertaining one.

12 in 12 Challenge
1/12 Nebula Winners
2/12 Written Pre-1970

4. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi *

Here is an author I've never heard of until seeking out the Hugo and Nebula winners. In this case the book won both awards and several others as well. The story follows several characters through a political battle for the future of Thailand in a world of kink springs and calorie corporations. The book is set after the "contraction" - an energy crisis that all but eliminates fossil fuels as a source of power, causing the global economy to collapse as transportation costs rise. Great world building and a good story.

12 in 12 Challenge
2/12 Hugo Winners
2/12 Nebula Winners
mikekn: (Books)
For those of you who are curious, here is the full list of books I'm going to try and read this year. They are broken down into the categories I picked for my 12 in '12 challenges. I've got 10 reading challenges and 2 non-reading challenges. Since I know I can't read 120 books in a year, I'm letting some books hit more then one category. A few of the books (marked with a * in front) I still need to find and buy.

Da Lists )

Book Log

Jan. 23rd, 2012 11:22 am
mikekn: (Books)
2. Reamde by Neal Stephenson

I really enjoyed this thriller from Stephenson. Sure it is long and took a while to get through, but it always held my interest and was a fun story. His spin on the MMORPG is an interesting one - creating an in game economy that has out of game connections built in (as opposed to WoW where the connections are there, but against the rules.)

12 in 12 Challenge
- nothing beyond another book read, but it was started last year before the challenge, and was a LibraryThing free book that I needed to read and review.


Yesterday I was in the city for a walk with Naomi and some of the other PhillyFit folks. After the walk I found that Bookhaven was just a few blocks from my car, so we went to check it out. Very nice store, and cool cat :)

Books bought:
1. The Einstein Intersection by Samuel Delany
2. Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear
3. Princeps' Fury by Jim Butcher
mikekn: (Books)
I collected the book recommendations from here, G+ and FB. Most books which were recommended more then once made the list, as did those of which I have audio versions. I'm saving the full list and hope to get to the rest of them next year :) Books that were recommended but which I don't own have been wishlisted.

12 Books Recommended by Friends
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
On Basilisk Station by David Weber
Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey
The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
The Integral Trees by Larry Niven
The Madness Season by C.S. Friedman
Woundhealer's Story by Fred Saberhagen
Beowulf *
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctrow *
Gilgamesh *
Iliad and Odyssey by Homer *
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne *

* audio books

A few of the recommendation were already on a different list of 12, so they will also get read (I hope):
M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Blackout by Connie Willis
All Clear by Connie Willis
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

And one book I started last year and expect to finish soon :)
Reamde by Neal Stephenson

GoodReads tells me I am already 3 books behind where I need to be to meet my goal... (Big thank you to anyone who recommended short books ;) )
mikekn: (Books)
1. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner *

Classic SF story from the 60s. Unlike many older stories, this one seems to have aged pretty well. Brunner puts together an interesting world (set in 2010) complete with an energy crisis (cars are a thing of the past), domestic terrorists (aka Muckers), super computers, and eugenic laws. The story mostly follows two roommates but is inner mixed with snippets of stories from other characters, broadcast announcements, and all sorts of stuff. The reader for the audio version did a great job keeping it flowing and understandable.

12 in 12 Challenge
1/12 Hugo Winners
1/12 Written Pre-1970


As part of my 12 in 12 Challenge, 12 of the books I'm going to try and read this year are to come from recommendations. If you've got some time to kill and enjoy digging though someone else's book collection, follow the below link and pick a bunch of books that you think I should read this year ("You've not yet read X?! You've got to read it!") If you've got some favorites that I've never read and don't own, feel free to suggest a few of them as well.

mikekn: (Books)
One of the folks in my running group mentioned the 12 in'12 Reading Challenge from the Books on the Nightstand group on Goodreads. Last year their challenge was +11 in '11 - read 11 more books then you did the year before. This year the challenge is open to interpretation - working the 12 in however you like. For myself, I'm trying to come up with 12 different challenges. A single book could hit several of the challenges, so they should be manageable.

[edited] So far I've got the following:

Read 12 more books then 2011 (so 55 books)
Read 12 Hugh winners
Read 12 Nebula winners
Read 12 books written before 1970
Read 12 books by Tanith Lee
Read 12 books by Harlan Ellison
Read 12 graphic novels (I'm sure I own that many, but I know most aren't cataloged as "to read" on LT)
Read 12 short story collections
Read 12 Emperor Norton books (fiction and non-fiction)
Read 12 books selected by committee (anyone can vote for books from my "to read" list)

Remove 12 books from my "to read" collection (with over 800 to read, I'll never get to all of them, may as well let some go to new homes without reading them)

Buy no more then 12 books (new or used, but doesn't count gifts) and read no more then 12 books not on my "to read" list)

Any suggestions for others?
mikekn: (Books)
Since I'm not going to finish either of the two books I'm working on in the next few days I'll put this up now.

2011 was almost identical to 2010 as far as reading went. Fewer physical books got read, but a few more audio books made up the difference. The big problem is that my "to read" list went up by 50(!) books. A good chunk of that is audio books that I picked up through my Audible membership (now canceled). The rest came in via book sales and picking up the latest from my usual authors.

43 books finished
17 physical books
26 audio books
808 books left to read

I am still using LibraryThing for my book catalog, but I also signed up with Goodreads. I figured I'd check out the features there and see what it is like. There I'm only tracking the fiction I read and not worrying about the rest.

The 2011 list ) 
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