Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

I just finished reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. The book was published in 2004. It’s an amazing tale. It is set in an alternative 19th century Britain, where magic is making a comeback after hundreds of years of absence. Mr. Norrell is the only real magician of his age, until Jonathan Strange becomes his pupil.

The novel introduces an ensemble cast. I find that the novel is but only an introduction to a greater story. The book is set in a world where John Uskglass, the Raven King, was a king of an English kindgom hundreds of years ago. It is said that he ruled the North of England, a realm in Faerie and another realm on the far side of Hell.

Towards the end of the book, the Raven King returns. I have read that Susanna Clarke is writing another book in the same world, after what happened in this one. I wish she’d write about the Raven King and tell his story.

The book is being turned into a movie. I recommend it. It was a tantalizing read.

The System Of The World Update

I just finished reading The System of the World by Neal Stephenson. Great book, great ending. After 3000 pages of stories, I’m a bit sad that it’s over. Oh well, I’ve got Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds to read and by the time I finish that, I’ll be back in Taipei to fill up on books.

I’m too exhausted to write a review or my initial impressions. I’ll save that for later in the week.

Blogging Habits

What are your blogging habits?

What do you use to read your blogs?

Do you spend hours each day reading content?

I’ve been using Google Reader and even though if I was initially put off by the interface, it’s grown on me, just like the Gmail interface. I wish that more people would just publish their whole posts through their feeds instead of excerpts.

I read blogs posts everyday, but contrary to compulsive blog readers, it’s something I really enjoy. I take my time. I rarely comment on blogs. I used to comment a lot. I comment from time to time on blogs of people that I’ve known for a while, and on my own blog, but most of the time, I just read posts diagonally. There are some exceptions of course. Like Dooce. I find Heather’s posts really nifty and I savor them. Some of the bigger blogs don’t even allow comments, so the only way to comment would be to reblog them and send a trackback.

I’ve structured my blog reading as well. The first thing I do is go through the link blogs that I read, like Kottke, Clusterflock and a few others. If there are any interesting links, I blog them. Otherwise I move on. Then I read the blogs that post content. Some blogs like Dosh Dosh, Steve Pavlina and Copyblogger require that I focus completely on them. So I leave these for later.

I’ve got more than a few math blogs that I read. Most of them are from professors. Naturally, I don’t understand everything in their posts, but what I do understand is really interesting. There are art blogs, design blogs, photography blogs and a selection of others. At the last count, I think I’m reading under 200 blogs.

Then there are the people I’ve actually met and know. Followed by the people that I’ve been reading for years like K, Jessica Doyle, Angry Aussie and Lenina.

Rapture Ready

Adventures in the parallel universe of Christian pop culture.

Kind of makes me want to read this book by Daniel Radosch.

Dumping People Because Of Their Taste In Books

An interesting yet superfluous article on how people dump others because of the books that they read. I’m currently reading Neal Stephenson’s System of the World. What does that make me? I do read Umberto Eco.

Using Google Maps To Read Magazines

A surprising yet effective idea; using Google Maps to read magazines. (via kottke)