Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Books on the iPad

I got an iPad a little over a year ago and it's changed my life. I doodle around on it all day until it needs to be recharged, and then I go do other things until it's charged and ready to repeat the cycle. I still need to get a separate keyboard; typing onscreen is not ideal for a speed typist.

Before getting the iPad, I was wondering whether to get a Kindle or Nook. Now I essentially have both, using their iPad apps. An actual Kindle would allow more benefits on Amazon Prime (which I don't subscribe to), but other than that, this is the best of both worlds. I also have iBooks, Overdrive, Bluefire Reader, and BAM Reader to accommodate various books I acquired.

I've always loved the public library, and the NYPL allows you to borrow electronically. I took a free course on how to do this, which maybe I didn't need, but it didn't hurt and the price was right. I also took a free course on basic iPad at the Upper West Side Apple store, which also wasn't mind-blowing, but I might go back for more when I figure out what I need help in.

The library allows you to take out books for 3 weeks, and you can't renew. Somehow I usually manage to be too busy, and don't finish in 3 weeks. If the book doesn't have a waiting list, though, I just take it out again the next day.

I'll review some nonfiction I read through the library (and one from NetGalley):

Waking Sleep Beauty Freak by Nina Lora - I don't know if there was something wrong with my copy from NetGalley, but the narrative did not seem to go in cohesive order and most of the time I had no idea what was going on. The author has a very freewheeling, stream of consciousness style, reflecting on her relationships (including marriage to the wrong guy), family, and travel experiences. Maybe I just couldn't relate.

I Feel Bad about my Neck by Nora Ephron - This was the first iPad library book I finished. Like most New York women of a certain age, I feel like Nora and I would have gotten along, had we ever met. That's no longer possible now that she's gone, and may not have been possible in real life. In any case, her writings remain. These essays on urban life, including aging, food, and apartments, were witty and engaging. I could not bring myself to read the last one about dying, as it was too close to her actual demise.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - While Mindy Kaling is of a younger generation, I think we'd get along as well. When I read this, I had only seen a few episodes of The Office. Now, thanks to Netflix on the iPad, I've watched 8 seasons. I still haven't watched her new show. The book is smart and funny, and I root for her continued success.

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler - Chelsea and I would never be best buds. She's way too much of a party girl for this nerd. It was amusing to read about her exploits, but oy. Kinda wild.

Life As I Blow It: Tales of Love, Life & Sex . . . Not Necessarily in That Order by Sarah Colonna - Sarah and Chelsea are good friends (she writes for the show) and have a similar lifestyle. Lots of drinking and wild times that I couldn't relate to.

The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts by Tom Farley Jr. - Another wild one, gone too soon. Chris's brother compiled this oral history of reminiscences by the comedian's friends and family. Chris comes across as talented, sweet, family-oriented and earnest. He was able to sober up at times, but in the end his addictions won.

Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams by Jennifer Sey - I was not familiar with the author, a former national gymnastics champ. Gymnastics sounds like anything but fun, if these stories of supercritical coaches, constant starving, and working despite injuries are to be believed.

Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey From Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray - I saw the 2003 TV movie where Thora Birch played the author, and this is her own story. Murray's Bronx childhood with druggy parents was harrowing, but she survived and thrived.

My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches from Just the Other Side of Young by Stephanie Dolgoff - Liz Murray's book was deep and affecting. This was the opposite. Boo hoo, the author is now over 40 and guys are no longer falling at her feet (she's married with kids, and judging from pictures, still looks pretty good). Having never been hot, I couldn't relate. She had an annoying way of generalizing about her fellow "Formerly" women.

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