Friday, April 8, 2011

Help! I've Been Kidnapped by Miles Vorkosigan!

A while ago, I finished up reading some books, and looked around for something else to read. I realized that I hadn't read the Vokosigan series in a while, so I started on that.

Not long after I started, Amazon sent me some of their spam that recommends books for you. Actually, it's probably not fair to call what they send spam, because they actually recommend books that I like, and want to read. One of them was a new book in the Vokosigan saga called Cryoburn.
Cryoburn (The Vorkosigan Saga)

Being short on money, as usual, I immediately went to the website for my local library and checked their listings, and it was there. I requested that they send it to the nearby branch, and picked it up on Thursday of last week.

I skipped a few books and am now up to the volume called Miles in Love, which includes two novels and a novella: Komarr, A Civil Campaign, and Winterfair Gifts.

To give you a better idea of what these books are like, I once asked a friend if he had read any of the books. He said he had, but had given up reading them. I asked him why: didn't he enjoy them? and his answer was "No, I enjoy them, but I'm tired of staying up until 5 am because I can't put them down when I have to get up at 6 am to go to work!

This is what's happened to me this past week. I haven't done a lot of things that I should be doing because I can't tear myself away from the books. And so far, I've been reading ones I already read and know what's going to happen! If you think potato chips are addictive, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

One of the things that has kept me from blogging about the books is that it's complicated!

The novels first came out as individual books, as they were written. But Lois McMaster Bujold also wrote some short stories and novellas which were published in science fiction magazines.

Then the publisher started publishing "omnibus editions" which each included at least two novels, and sometimes some short stories and novellas so that you could read them all in order. At this point, they're all available in hardback, paperback, and a batch of ebook formats.

If you want to get started on them, either get the omnibus edition, Cordelia's Honor, or the two novels that are included: Shards of Honor and Barrayar. I was astounded when I looked up the link for Barrayar. They're out of print now, I think, and the first one I found was a hardback edition for $75! You won't find most of them on Barnes & Noble, but if you look around for ebooks, you can find the B&N format (epub) in those titles, probably free. If you have Kindle, Sony, or other reader, you can get them by searching for ebooks and selecting the correct format for your reader. I was going to set up a more comprehensive listing of all the books, but it's way too big a job to list all of them in all the formats they're available in.

Oh, and the books have chronological listings in the back of the titles of the books and short stories, etc.

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Last Saturday was fun. Holly and I went shopping, partly at Michaels, and then at WalMart.

I got some neat swag at Michaels. Boye has a "Yarn On The Go Bag" which will hold a ball of yarn. It's got a long enough strap to go over your shoulder or cross-body. The strap can be snapped off if you don't want to use it, or you can tie a knot in it to shorten it, or tie it something. Inside, near the top, there's a short tab with a snap so you can snap it around the yarn where it leaves the ball. And it's got two bags in each package at a very low price! This is great if you're doing Fair Isle colorwork because you can put one bag on each side and keep them tangle-free!
It's available in red, as shown, but also in other colors, and each package has two bags, each in a different color. I got a package that had a blue one and a purple one. You might want to find a store that has these, because the colors are random, and you can pick out two you like in the same package if you do it in person.

Holly liked them so much that I gave her my purple one. These are very high quality for such a low price!

I also got their last ball of Loops & Threads Santa Fe yarn in Blue Suede Stripes. I've never seen the Santa Fe in the store before, but they were almost sold out when I was there. It's very pretty, and I'd like to buy more, but it looks like they only had it available for about a month.

When we went to WalMart, I needed to get new fluorescent bulbs for the ones that are wearing out in my kitchen, and I did that.

I had also found a vacuum cleaner I liked (judging by the reviews at WalMart and elsewhere), the Hoover Nano Light, but they said they were out of them online. I looked around the store anyway, because the report that said that was a few weeks old. I looked for it again online, and on Sunday, the website said they had it! I ordered it right away, and it arrived yesterday.

My old vacuum had been progressivly losing it's suction, so I wanted to replace it.

The new vacuum arrived yesterday, late in the afternoon, and I sat down and assembled it right away, then vacuumed a few square feet of carpet, just to check that I had assembled it correctly and that it was working. I thought it would probably pick up a lot because I knew that the old one was dying, but it still didn't leave the carpet looking like it had anything on it or was dirty.

Then I took this photo so I could post it here.


After I took the photo, I looked at it a little closer, and realized that the dust cup was FILLED! I could not believe the amount of dirt that was in that small space of carpet! I'm going to move everything heavy in the apartment over the weekend and vacuum under it all so that all floor surfaces have been cleaned.

Oh, the handle collapses down, and I photographed it with the handle folded down. That's nice, because it fits under my kitchen counter with the handle down. It's small and light, and easy to maneuver around things and does an amazingly good job!

While I was in "walking around looking mode" I happened to find a 2 quart saucepan right next to the vacuums. I've been looking for one in stainless steel for about 4 years. I have two 1-1/2 quart saucepans and a 3 quart one, but I often want to heat something that really only needs a 2 quart.

During the last 4 years, the cheapest one I've found has been $40! But WalMart had one for $15! It has a copper clad bottom, which I didn't really care for, but did I mention it was only $15? I snapped it right up!

It's so nice when you find something you've been looking for for a while! And I got three of them this week! The yarn bags, the vacuum cleaner and the saucepan!

I feel like having a party!

*********************

I'm going to watch the reruns of Supernatural and Fringe, and the season finale of Merlin.

Have a great weekend!

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