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17th-Apr-2014 06:29 pm - Goodbye, Stanza... hello, Marvin!
reading
So while in one post I was talking about how to save my books from Stanza, I went and downloaded over 20+ readers in an effort to search for the best ipad fanfic epub reader.

So a little background on that.

Stanza had everything going for me: it tolerated really really large fonts (or just variable text size really), flipping a page doesn't mean the hassle of animation (which is brilliant if the book is boring me to death and I want to flip a few pages ahead and check if it's still worth reading), I could adjust brightness, and in landscape view, it didn't have columns that a lot of the readers seem to favor. Unfortunately, I found out when I changed ipads (and subsequently OS into 7) that Stanza is no longer available for download in the appstore because, well, Amazon bought it let it die a slow painful death in late 2010. (Yes, I know, this is such a late realization)

This prompted me on a massive search for a new epub reader out there to replace my beloved Stanza. And it was really difficult especially since it was mildly depressing (I went on book starvation for a week. Of course it was depressing.) And while downloading and trying all those apps is another story all together (yes, I might post comparisons of all epub readers I tried someday in excel format, but while that hasn't been set up yet, here's that comparison table from Wikipedia that I would have actually like to have read before I mounted on my massive downloading spree), I finally found the best replacement possible: Marvin.
 photo Marvin_-_eBook_reader_for_epub_on_the_App_Store_on_iTunes.png

I really find this ebook reader amazing. If I could download the entire Archive of Our Own in it automatically, I would. And we could actually do that because unlike most readers, Marvin can handle literally hundreds of books. I am already in 613 and I have yet to have issues with it.

Now, I know that Marvin has had other reviews good ones by Tidbit and by Cult of Mac and while those are really really good articles, this will mainly focus on how I found it wonderful. (Namely, fangirling over Marvin app because I use it to read fanfiction in bulk... go figure). Now while I actually do read Marvin for books I've bought and converted to epub, fanfiction is completely another thing because you can literally download hundreds of fanfiction in the span of one day.

So bulk downloading that amount of fiction does get a fic lost in your library somewhere. But not so much with Marvin.

Now if you're like me and bulk download once a week from your favorite fanfiction site, another issue is downloading a story that you already have and having two copies of the same story in your ipad. Something that in Stanza, I found out by seeing the -1, -2 after my recent download. However, Marvin solves that for me by telling me that I already HAVE that book in my library.

So on to what this app can doCollapse )

And okay those are the things that I've found really really wonderful in Marvin, what were the things that you loved about Marvin?

OOOR what's your favorite ebook reader?
desolate
My sister gave me an iPad air for christmas to replace my long since outdated iPad 1. It was heartwarming because I recently just got the grey screen of death from my macbook pro and it was given to cheer me up.

So here comes the daunting task of lifting all of my ebooks from stanza to the new reader (and that is another woe for another day... I mean I literally downloaded tons of ebook readers to find the perfect fit for me and the new ipad). I take it all from itunes stanza and transfer it to the new reader. But my new reader tells me I have 97 books. What? I was sure in the 3++ years that I've had my iPad 1 that I was bound to accumulate more books than a measly 97. So I compare and realise that yes stanza is indeed holding 273 books for me, and where did all of that go?

Apparently, Stanza keeps a handful of books in its "normal" titles, like say Anne Bishop -- Twilight's Dawn but the older books are renamed and backed up with your standard gibberish. Therefore, transferring the older books is actually more difficult than plug and transfer.

While searching for a way to do this, I found two very helpful sites :

1. How to Liberate your ebooks from stanza - which will explain how to get the books from stanza (which you should read first)
2. How to transfer your stanza library to ibooks - which will explain steps in no 1 (to a lesser degree) but also advise you on how to get those lovely covers that you enjoyed in stanza.

However, there's a roadblock. Both of these articles are at least 2 years old. And the main program which they need, Stanza Book Restore, cannot be downloaded from the lexcycle page anymore. (Curses kindle. Curses).

So anyway... I finally got it... (through downloading it through waybackmachine) but  some people may not get that to work. So for those who can't download it from wayback machine here's the mediafire download.

I hope I saved you loads and loads of work and frustration by giving those two links and that mediafire download.

OH and for those running Mac and can't open the file because "it's from an unidentified developer" (OS X Mountain Lion and up) right click on the jar file and then click open anyway.
3rd-Dec-2013 11:34 pm - Reminding myself of the Sidebar
desolate
Okay, sometimes, because I've been too long away from LJ I keep forgetting where the sidebar is.

The sidebar is located here: Sidebar

Just so I have a location to go back to when I'm utterly confused. Gah.
29th-Nov-2011 06:59 pm - [fanfic] AtLA: To Shoot the Sun
maiko
Title: To Shoot the Sun
Author: ice_of_dreams
Rating: PG13
Pairing: Mai/Zuko
Warnings: Angsty
Summary: Four years into marriage and the Fire Lord and his Lady are having troubles.

You walk in the room and I want you. You smile and I want you. You breathe and I want you so much.Collapse )
18th-Nov-2011 09:32 am - [books] White Tiger by Kylie Chan
desolate
I was excited about reading this book, it's a Chinese mythology based urban fantasy set in Hong Kong about the Dark Lord and his child. The premise is Emma Donahue is an Australian who came to Hong Kong and became a kindergarten teacher who ends up being the nanny to the dark, mysterious and ultra-rich Mr. Chen's daughter. When she comes on full time as his daughter's nanny, she finds a difficult to fight attraction with a love that was not meant to be.

First off, let me say that I'm Filipino so maybe I might show a little bias through. That said, on to the review.

I really liked this premise, I've wanted to see an Urban Fantasy with Asian gods for so long, so I was interested in the book right off. I thought the introduction to the characters interesting, and usually, introducing an entire new world could feel like spoon-feeding when it comes to fantasy authors, so Ms. Chan was able to pull it off nicely. The way that she incorporated the Shen into the book was also very seamless, the way their characters and their habits and their nature came out. Mr. Chen's daughter, Simone was the glue that held the book together, the book is supposedly not romance, but mostly the first book comes out as one with a lot of doomed love mixed in the lot. I love that the book is set in Hong Kong rather than a Chinese migrant to the US living in the US, which is sometimes what people do. Ms. Chan also knows her setting very well.

What I disliked about the book was it's repetitiveness, the ability of Emma to stay really dense for someone of her supposed intelligence (all urban fantasy females must be intelligent you know), we all knew who Mr. Chen was by just a few pages, it took her more than one hundred to get it through her thick head. Although I read this book, I thought the language was very dry and repetitive too. Ms. Chan manages to 'say' the feelings and not express it, therefore I don't feel a connection with the book. I am not angry when Emma is angry nor am I sad, lonely nor in love when she is. I am a complete third person even though the book is told in the first person. That being said, after Emma figures out her love for Mr. Chen, I cannot believe how much she goes after him even after she is repeatedly told no. She throws herself at him every single time. While I do believe she was trying to be persistent, and show her love, I also believe that there are other ways of showing it than opting for a physical relationship always, and love is all the more powerful despite it's lack. (Come on, some of the best told romance stories I have ever read never involve a physical relationship off the bat, especially if both characters decide that it's not for them case in point: A Discovery of Witches)

Next and this is a completely Asian thing, I thought that the gods would first, lambast him: first for being with a human then next being with someone non-Chinese. It's a usual prejudice when dealing when the Chinese marry outside their culture. And while I believe Mr. Chen would have fought for her, it was one of those things that I found unusual, that wasn't shown... but then I guess, it's not a romance. (BUT it has romantic elements, and the first book is rife with it, so it READS almost as a paranormal romance)

The book is too long (I was really skipping pages 81% through the book), the mythology is engaging, Hong Kong comes alive, but Emma is not a character I could completely set my heart to. I loved Simone, and I think Ms. Chan got four year olds down pat.

And finally on a totally off tangent thought on the book, which I really wanted to say: Ms. Chan captures some of the prejudices well in the book especially one on Filipinos. She says that it's only an insult if you think that Filipinas can only be a domestic helper. *Sigh* and she does have a Filipino kindergarten teacher there mentioned briefly (and yes, Monica's family was extremely Filipino)..... but really, when they had to conjure up a helper for New Year to cook, they still conjured up a FILIPINO woman. Seriously? It can't just be some person from mainland who probably cooks better Chinese food than a Filipino woman? Seriously? I understood the hired help already set in place, but for someone who was chosen out of a hundred servants it really had to be Filipino.

I may try for the next book, but the thought that kept passing through my head was: this is an Australian woman in Hong Kong with Chinese gods, it's just really completely weird for me that it distracts me from the book itself. I keep imagining Jackie Chan with Jennifer Love Hewitt and not Jet Li with Bridget Fonda!

White Tiger in Amazon
reading
book 3 of Ephemera is going to be out March 2012. At the risk of being excited so soon after the disappointment that was the LAST part of Twilight's Dawn, I am waiting for what would happen to Lee in book 3. beladonna was predictable in its entirety and was a liiiitle too much Beladonna and Michael for my tastes. hopefully Anne Bishop has better plans for Lee, after all he's practically a blank slate with just some scribbles in book 2.
desolate
This will end up mostly like a rant rather than... well a review.

I was prepared to like this book, in fact, I'm mostly a cannon person. I usually LIKE whatever happens in the cannon verse.

So while I was reading Twilight's Dawn, I was happy with Winsol Gifts, even though I felt it was too short, but there is a point in the Brevity.

I was disappointed with Falonar in Shades of Honor, because I thought he was better than that, but I liked it.

I ended up with Saetan's story Family, as my favorite. His stories always end up in my favorite. There was an all right mystery and you saw the possibilities of Saetan.

Highlord's Daughter? Okay, I was fine with 1/2 of high lord's daughter. I always knew that Jeanelle was going to die way before Daemon died. I was fine with that. I was happy with the child. I was disappointed in the choice of mothers. I understood WHY she was the choice of mother (in fact a good deal of time the story was told just tried to justify WHY she was the mother.) It's just that.... I've NEVER liked her in the series. And I guess it's always difficult for the second wife to stand up to the first. BESIDES, I would never understand how she, who has always been somewhat afraid of Daemon, who has been afraid of the Sadist before because she has tangled with him repeatedly, could end up in THAT relationship.

I'm happy for Daemon. Really. Honestly. But there were so many other ways to have gone about giving him his life back, especially with a Daughter than this. (Of course, as it was said in the book, it wouldn't be THIS particular child), but still. SO many other ways to get a daughter than THIS.

So grr. grr. And in fact high lord's daughter spoiled me for reading the entire series again. because I'll just remember that this is how it ENDS.

I now need to scrub my BRAIN. Because I just keep remembering the two of them and get into fits of hysterics. Honestly.

Grrr. I'm stilly buying the book though. Thanks for lending.
reading
And I now take a break from moding banked_flame and my piece for it to read Shadowfever!

It seems like I've been waiting for this book for ages. Thank you dear author!

The book is the longest of the fever series, it has its ups, downs and some surprising turns.

The book is divided into five parts, the first part, a complete and utter devastation stemming from the last book, which is kind of expected, and what has been built up. After all, the entire wait for the book the only thing running in your mind was: Who was IT??

After that it's pretty much standard book four flavor with a lot of answers revealed, and then hidden...

And possibilities for the OTHER mysterious men in this book to get a story too.

There's nothing I can say that wouldn't be a spoiler, but I highly enjoyed shadow fever and am probably going to read the entire series again tomorrow, just so I could read shadowfever again in all of its glory tomorrow night.
2nd-Nov-2010 01:48 pm - AtLA Maiko Challenge.
reading


banked-flame:a maiko big bang


Yes, it's a Mai x Zuko Challenge. Come and join the fun :) *grins*
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