Category Archives: reading now

Friday Ramble Nov. 6th

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Happy Friday, everybody. Welcome to the Friday Ramble, where I recap the week and include some of my favorite posts and inspiration from other bloggers.

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slippery_when_wet_signs[1]I hope everyone had a good Halloween. I’ve had better. Although this Halloween was not as bad as last year, when my Mom had recently passed and then I ended up breaking my arm on November 1st. No, this year just had some yucky, rainy weather that made me spin out on a wet road driving to my friend’s house. Nothing like extreme panic to get the blood pumping! I thought for sure I was going to roll the car. I spun in a complete circle and ended up in the grass. But, I guess I was lucky. I didn’t hit anything, nobody hit me, and I was able to drive away after the cop checked my car over and sent me on my way. Thank you to the Maryland Heights police department for helping this idiot Saturday night. I know you probably had a million calls just like mine on that night. I was actually on the phone with 911 when another guy in a truck did the same thing I did coming the other way. It was that type of crappy night.

I took my car up to the shop to have it checked out on Monday morning. They didn’t find anything. So, I’m really lucky that I didn’t damage the car. I had clumps of grass and mud stuck up in the underside. It looked like my car had a green beard. So, lesson learned but no harm done. I still fully expect to wake up to a flat tire but fingers crossed I don’t.

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Simply Grove starts talking Thanksgiving with her post on table décor. I find tablescapes and dressing absolutely fascinating. My family never did anything so fancy for holidays. We just put out the food in whatever dishes we had and used everyday cups and plates. I always fantasize around dressing up a table for Christmas dinner but it’s lost on my family. The one year I tried to put pretty glasses on the table for Thanksgiving dinner, they all gave them back and asked for plastic cups. Plebeians.

I have horribly sensitive skin along with blemishes and redness. Bane of my existence at 32 years old. I thought pimples were a teen thing? Why am I still dealing with this as an adult? What Olivia Did… posts about her Top 5 Cleansers. I think I might try her suggestion of Ren Evercalm Cleansing Milk.

Jacquelyn over at lark & linen posts 12 of her best blog tips.

The A Beautiful Mess girls just put out my favorite Design Style series post by showcasing Scandinavian design that isn’t just white on white. I’m also mad jealous of Elsie’s rainbow glass collection seen here and here and the sister’s trip to Iceland, even if it does look cold.

Tracy at Shutterbean posts a recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Rolls. I’d probably add some chicken in there. This would have to be done on the weekend when I have more time. Normal people could just pop a tube of crescent dough or something from the grocery store for a shortcut. I’d have to make gluten free dough for this. (sigh) Why is there not a pop tube of gluten free dough on store shelves? It could make my life so much easier!

American woman Cory Amaro in France, with a camera. Need I say more? Visit her blog Tongue in Cheek.

Go to Dana Fox’s blog Wonder Forest for all your blogging needs.

Are you looking for great photos to use on your blog but worried about legal issues. Then visit unsplash and pixabay. All their photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero. Which means you can do whatever you want with them without asking permission from the photographer or website. Unsplash has a lot of artsy, high visual photos. While pixabay is more a of mixed bag that includes all sorts of things.

Love The Here and Now posts their Favorite Blogging Resources.

24 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Write More

Angela over at The Sunday Chapter has posted The 60 Most Useful Websites on the Internet. I like roadtrippers.com. It lets you plan your roadtrips. It’s also useful for finding interesting sights around your home town.

THE BOOKS

Finished: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Started: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
I was at my favorite book store, Main Street Books, Saturday before last and decided to complete my collection of SAA books. I also bought Lost Lake.

Waiting: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
The Poe Estate by Polly Shulman >> I didn’t know Shulman had written a 3rd book in her Grimm Legacy series, which I adore. I was wandering the shelves and stumbled over it. I’m so excited to read it!

I got my OwlCrate box! I got my OwlCrate box! I got my OwlCrate box!

I got my OwlCrate box! I got my OwlCrate box! I got my OwlCrate box!

I have an unhealthy obsession with subscription boxes. This is also why I’m always broke. I’ll post a review of my OwlCrate box next week. I’m not 100% sure I’ll keep this subscription. I signed up for 3 months, which will get me the October, November, and December boxes, and paid just over $100. That is a lot of money for such a short time. I’ll have to think about it. Maybe the next two boxes will blow me away or something.

I also get Ipsy, Try the World, and KitNip boxes. I won’t renew the Try the World box next year. It’s a food subscription box where each box focuses on a different country. It was also expensive and, while interesting, I wasn’t really using anything they send out and now that I’ve gone gluten free, it’s useless. The KitNip box is a cat toy subscription box and both my cat, Fiona, and I really enjoy it. And of course Ipsy is makeup.

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Everyone have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!

Thank you for reading!

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Memorial Day Weekend Reading Challenge

After writing about being in a slump earlier this week I was able to motivate myself into finishing Orleans by Sherri L. Smith and, after some reservations, it turned out to be a good book. (Somewhere in the middle it soaked through my hard head that Orleans was the first book I could remember reading that had a main character of color and I had to boggle at the book world for a moment. Why do we not have more African American main characters? Or at least some other ethnicity besides Caucasian?) Anyway, with the long weekend coming up and little old me without any firm plans on how to spend Memorial Day weekend besides sleeping, I thought it would be a good idea to do a mini personal reading challenge. So, I hopped on the ‘net and requested some middle grade books that had been on my to be read list for some time now to be delivered to my local library. (Because I’m lazy and didn’t want to drive up to the big new library on Spencer Road to get them all.)

So, this evening I will stop by my library and pick up four reserves. (There was a fifth but it’s on order and not here yet.) Over this weekend I’ll see how far I can get with my little pile of books and hopefully beat this slump into a bloody pulp. My reading pile will include:

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Summerkin by Sarah Prineas

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis

Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey

Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux

I wanted to also get The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett but my library has it on order and it’s not available yet. But I think the pile I have will be enough to keep me busy over the weekend and hopefully out of my slump. Happy reading everybody!

Thank you for reading!

A LGBT Reading List

Since I got a Kindle for the sole reason of being able to read less available books, I thought it would be nice if I posted a reading list. I actually just finished my first book on the Kindle and while I still prefer paper books, it wasn’t so bad. As long as I watch how much I spend on ebooks, I think this should work out just fine. Plus, I’m self-aware enough to get a vicious little thrill knowing that me buying one of these ebooks is supporting the less popular genres and subjects rather than buying some explosive best seller. I love the underdog.

Coming soon from my Kindle, a list of LGBT books.

scarletwhite wolfScarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow
Status: Finished; review coming soon.

Scarlet of Lysia is an honest peddler, a young merchant traveling the wild, undefended roads to support his aging parents. Liall, called the Wolf of Omara, is the handsome, world-weary chieftain of a tribe of bandits blocking a mountain road that Scarlet needs to cross. When Liall jokingly demands a carnal toll for the privilege, Scarlet refuses and an inventive battle of wills ensues, with disastrous results. Scarlet is convinced that Liall is a worthless, immoral rogue, but when the hostile countryside explodes into violence and Liall unexpectedly fights to save the lives of Scarlet’s family, Scarlet is forced to admit that the Wolf is not the worst ally he could have, but what price will proud Scarlet ultimately have to pay for Liall’s friendship? (Gay Little Red Riding Hood! Ouch! I think my childhood just flinched.)

vintageVintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman
Status: On Kindle; not started.

A lonely boy walking along a highway one autumn evening meets the boy of his dreams, a boy who happens to have died decades ago and haunts the road. Awkward crushes, both bitter and sweet, lead him to face youthful dreams and childish fears. With its cast of offbeat friends, antiques, and Ouija boards, Vintage is not your typical romance but does offers readers a memorable blend of dark humor, chills and love.

unnaturalUnnatural by Michael Griffo
Status: Not Bought.

Michael Howard and Ronan Glynn-Rowley meet at Archangel Academy, an all-boys school in Eden, a rural town in north western England. Both are outcasts and decried as unnatural, Michael because he’s gay, and Ronan because he’s a hybrid vampire. But when Ronan, afraid to reveal his true self to Michael, turns him into a vampire against his will, both become drawn into a dangerous new world, where traditional vampires plot to destroy hybrids, and where fellow students, teachers, even their own families have unexpected secrets… (Gay vampires! How can I resist?)

riseofheroesRise of Heroes by Hayden Thorne
Status: Not Bought. I’m annoyed because this ebook isn’t available but book 2 and book 3 of the series is. Why would the first book of series not be available as an ebook but later books are? Fail Amazon!

Strange things are happening in Vintage City, and high school goth boy Eric seems to be right in the middle of them. There’s a new villain in town, one with super powers, and he’s wreaking havoc on the town, and on Eric’s life. The new super hero who springs up to defend Vintage City is almost as bad, making Eric all hot and bothered, enough so that he almost misses the love that’s right between his nose. Peter is Eric’s best friend, and even if he does seem to be hiding something most of the time, he finds a way to show Eric how he feels in between attacks on trains and banks and malls. The two boys decide to start dating, much to the chagrin of their other best buddy, Althea, who has a terrible crush on Peter, and a secret or two of her own to keep. As the fight between the villain, known as the Devil’s Trill, and superhero Magnifiman picks up, Eric’s relationship with Peter almost ends before it begins when Eric finds out about Peter’s special talents, which might just rank Peter as a superhero in his own right. When the Trill takes an interest in Eric, too, Peter and Althea, along with Magnifiman and Eric’s normal, middle-class family all have to work together to keep Eric, and their city, safe. Can they figure out the super villain’s plan in time?

heartsenseHeart Sense by K.L. Richardsson
Status: Not Bought.

The only son of a traveling merchant, Katjin spends his summer in the clan lands with his grandparents. He wishes his father, his apa, would take him along, but despite the promises that someday he’ll get to go, Katjin is left behind while his apa heads away on business that seems more and more suspicious the older Kat becomes. During one such summer, Katjin finds Mikael, a lost young man, who draws Kat to him by answering his song. In a world where the Empire brands all people as either ‘paths, people with psychic talent, or as non-‘paths, Mikael is remarkable in that he has no brand. Fearing that the Calvary, who are arriving to recruit new members, will find Mikael in their clan and bring the Empire’s fury down upon them, the clan sends Kat and Mikael to hide away until it is safe – along with his cousin Soren to keep them both safe. Knowing the best way to keep Mikael from being taken is to make him a member of the clan, Soren and Katjin plan a blood bonding ceremony, but they have no idea what kind of trouble they’ve started with their actions. Katjin learns soon enough that he won’t be able to escape his bond with Mikael, and that danger lurks around every corner. Danger that he never knew existed. Can he keep Mikael safe long enough to figure out exactly what their future holds?

I’ve decided to do reviews of these books, mostly because the idea of excluding a book because of subject matter makes me twitch. So, expect reviews for LGBT books to start showing up here. I’ll probably only get one or two ebooks a month to stay in budget, so they will only appear every once and a while. These should get me thought spring. I’ve challenged myself to see how many LGBT books I can read this year and how they stack up against main stream books. It will be interesting to see how male/male relationships contrast to female/male relationships in young adult and fantasy books.

Happy reading, everybody!

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FrightFall Read-a-thon starting post.

It is October! Let the fun begin! Today is the first day of my month long October Fest and today you get to enjoy my Just A Picture posts. Today is also the start of the FrightFall Read-a-thon.

My reading list for this read-a-thon is as follows:
1) Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
2) Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe
3) Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
4) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (I’ve been trying to read The Night Circus for months but stalled at about the 150 page mark. I’ve since decided to start the book over and give it another chance.)

I will have plenty of time to read during the week and I hope to get several books knocked off my list. Fingers crossed everybody!

Happy October!

Video Blog – post one

 

Books mentioned in this post:

Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure

Silence by Michelle Sagara

The Thirteen Hallows by Michael Scott and Colette Freedman

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Thanks for stopping by!

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-thon – Challenge 1

Alright, day number one and challenge number one.

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon

I would like to say that I am starting this readathon on page 163 of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. At the very least, I would like to finish this book for the readathon. Figures crossed. I’m a horrible procrastinator and the internet is a fascinating place.

For this first challenge from Kindle Fever, we are posed a question: “A wildfire is quickly coming your way! What thing/s do you grab when you only have a few minutes to make it out?” (I’ve saved any people or pets in there already!)

Umm, let’s see. (Provided that the pets are safe already, as stated in the question.) I’d grab the big pink case I keep all my important documents in, my purse (which should already have my cell phone and wallet in there), and my laptop. On top of that, I’d grab my scrapbooks and photo albums. They have all my family pictures and all of my Grandmother’s letters and little scribbles. Then I’d grab the pottery she also made, the two white turtle doves from the shelf and the mushroom shaped pot. Those would be the things I’d worry about if I had to leave them behind.

(I’ve never been in a fire but we were once almost hit by a tornado. We had to flee to the basement and the most frightening thing was that I was only able to find one of my cats. I took Little Bit to the basement but couldn’t find Boots. She had tucked herself up in my parents’ closest and I couldn’t find her before I was dragged off to the basement myself. We were fine and I tore the house apart looking for her afterward. I’ve never been so happy to find two wide yellow eyes staring back at me from my Mother’s pants.)

Good luck with the readathon everybody!

Wicked Wildfire Readathon! (Sign up post)

The Wicked Wildfire Readathon starts tomorrow and I really need a readathon to get caught up on some books. After my trip to Main Street Books a few weekends ago I have a pile of to be read books that are giving me the hairy eyeball. I don’t usually have books sitting around waiting, since I really prefer getting books from the library, and I need to get these books read. (I won’t allow myself to buy new books unless I’ve read the books I’ve already bought. Bookshops are dangerous places. There must be rules or all else is chaos.)

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon

The readathon starts Wednesday, June 20th and runs through Sunday, June 24th. It’s a long readathon. My last readathon during winter was only three days. I hope I can keep up for five days!

My plans are to finish reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern first. I’m on page 150 at this moment but the book is so slow that I’ve been reading it in fits and starts for the past couple of weeks. I’m hoping that a concentrated read will haul me over the imaginary hump and get that book read.

(Exactly what are my problems with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern? Here are my first thoughts on the book. One, it is much too slow. I’m already 150 pages in and we’ve only dipped our toes into the night circus. By this point things should be happening and they just aren’t. Two, so far the book has been driven by imagery more than plot. Very pretty but without any substance. Three, there are too many characters. We are being yanked through too many views and too many side plots. The main characters should be Marco and Celia and they just aren’t presented that way.)

When I finish The Night Circus, I’ll read The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. If I finish that, I’ll read The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer.

I think three books is a good goal. I can’t see myself reading much more, since I’ll be working during the week. I’m hoping to knock out these three books but I’ll be happy if I get done with The Night Circus. All I have to do is stay off the internet and I should be golden. (I’m doomed.) Happy reading everybody!

In search of a good book…

I’m attempting to read Mordred, Bastard Son by Douglas Clegg because my Arthurian legend obsession is still going strong but I’m having a hard time getting into it. I’m about 30 pages in and I’m already annoyed with the dialogue and writing style. I can understand when an author wants to immerse the reader into an era, like the dark ages, but then there is using dialogue that is really just irritating. It’s rather like reading a Shakespearian play and I just want to shake people until they stop talking like that. Then the writing is really choppy, with breaks all over the place, and it really ruins the flow. I’m just not able to sink into it. I’ll keep up with it for a little bit more but I might have to abandon it if it doesn’t catch me soon.

I just cracked open Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherin Gilbert Murdock. I’m literally like 5 pages in. It’s letters and bits of journals and such and you all know how I feel about books written in letter form. I can already feel my eye twitching. I’m apparently not doing too well with my first choices of books after my mini-hiatus. I was hoping to have a review ready for the beginning of next week but I’m beating my head against a wall here. Ugh. My kingdom for a good book?

I’m so sorry!

My deepest apologies for falling off the face of the planet for the last two weeks. I have no excuses. I lost the will to read, for some reason. I needed a break. But leaving without word was not fair to my readers and I’m sorry.

I ended up returning the last batch of books unread to the library on Saturday but I did get some new ones. I got a fairly short book called Diary of a Fairy Godmother by Esmé Raji Codell to ease my way back into the reading mode. It’s light and funny and hopefully a good way to begin reading again.

Anyway, I’m terribly sorry for disappearing. I hope to get back to my regular posting schedule within the next few days. [bows a thousand times] Sorry.

Coming up for February!

I think I might be the only one to never have read A Wrinkle in Time! I tried in high school but wasn’t able to force myself to finish it. I can’t even remember why now. It was probably because a teacher wanted me to read it and I had a kneejerk reaction to be forced to read anything against my will as a teen. That and anything that can be called a “classic” usual bores me to tears. I should hunt down a copy and see if I can’t read it as an adult this time. Seeing all these 50th anniversary posts is making me feel bad.

Coming up! Hello February! Hopefully I will have finished Savvy by Ingrid Law and be able to post the review for tomorrow, Thursday the 2nd. I’m really trying for a two books a week goal. If I go at my usual pace I won’t make my 100 books for the year goal either. I have to keep going!

For next week I’ll have the review for Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy up on Monday the 6th. Then I’ll shoot for Winterling by Sarah Prineas for next week Thursday the 9th. For the week after next, I hope to have the second book in the Heist Society series Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter ready for you on Monday the13th.

I ordered a few books from Amazon but I’ll let you all see those when I get them. I’m cheap, so I choose the slowest mailing method. Sorry. I’ll post those when they arrive. Until then, happy reading everybody!

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