So my poor little MacBook retired the other day; all of a sudden it wouldn’t charge, even though everything else was working. One frantic visit to the Apple Store later (me: ‘Please fix it quickly, I’m job hunting & I really need it!), they said it was either the little connector where the power cord joins (a $10 fix) or it was the drive (a $400+ fix). For a four year old computer that wouldn’t really have been worth it, and as neither part was in stock, I will only find out on Monday at the absolute earliest. After talking it over with my family, they said it wasn’t worth putting serious money into an elderly little computer like mine, so I ended up getting a shiny new MacBook Pro. If mine is fixable on the cheap it’ll be a backup computer, it’s certainly served me well over the years!

Other than the traumatic timing of my computer failure (job hunting has probably made me the most reliant on my computer I’ve ever been, with the possible exception of writing my dissertation!), a couple of things have actually worked out ok… I was still running the Leopard OS on my MacBook as I’d been planning to go straight to Lion, until I discovered that Apple made you buy Snow Leopard, then buy Lion. I was putting off spending the $70 on the upgrade, but was facing up to the fact I’d have to now other applications were becoming incompatible with my ancient OS. Also I’d had to upgrade my Office this year to access cases etc. for my Masters; fortunately that disc allowed me to install it on my new computer, saving me about $120. So some slight upsides to compensate…

Whilst I was very fond of my trusty old MacBook, there are a couple of things I’m loving about the MacBook Pro… The huge trackpad is awesome (mine was the old version with a button on it), Lion is pretty sweet and the new battery is pretty great. I like being able to use programmes full screen, something that took me a while to get used to when I switched to Mac in the first place all those years ago. It also seems smaller and lighter than my old computer 🙂

So anyway, now that explanation is done with, I thought I’d share some of my recent reads…

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

In my tradition of getting really into books set in whatever place I’m living in/visiting, I decided to pick up Cannery Row before our trip to Santa Barbara. I’ve read a few of Steinbeck’s books before and enjoy his writing style and characters; sometimes I find them a touch depressing due to the nature of the period he focuses on but they’re always a good read! I enjoyed Cannery Row (set in nearby Monterey) but it still hasn’t ousted East of Eden as my favourite book of his.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

This book seems to have been doing the rounds in lots of the US-based blogs, which gave me a surprise when I started reading it and realized that it was by a British author and set in England. It’s also a pretty sad tale but an unusual plot. If you’re not feeling too depressive give it a go!