Sunday Post: A look back at February

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Note: I haven’t done a Sunday Post since last February. I found this Post which should have posted on March 1, but I think we were traveling or I didn’t have internet available. Anyway, I thought I would post the “Personal Life” section which talked about what I had done in February. I was struck by how different life is now.

Next week I hope to post a regular Sunday Post for what I’m doing and reading.

Personal life

What I did in February

My Ragdoll kitten turned six months old and will be a year old in September. Elf is a senior girl at over 10 years old.

I made cards for birthdays, thank you’s and Valentine’s Day. (I’ve made lots of cards to send during the pandemic.)

My daughters made a surprise visit to us over Valentine’s Day and it was wonderful to see them. (Now we wouldn’t surprise each other like that!)

Toward the end of February we went to Seattle to visit our son. Before we left for Seattle we knew there was a Covid 19 case in Seattle, but had no idea what would happen in the months to come. As you can see from the photos we did quite a few activities with lots of people around us. By the time we left Seattle, Covid 19 was in nursing homes there and I felt we should quarantine for two weeks when we returned to Iowa. Before the end of our two weeks the whole of Iowa and the rest of the U.S. were quarantining.

February photos

I’ll see you all next week and look forward to seeing what you’ve been doing.

Sunday Post: July 20

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpgThe Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

chihulyglass-sculpture01
Chihuly Glasshouse Sculpture 27 x 100 x23′

Last Week

 

Home & blog

Seattle has been so much fun. We went to a movie, ate lots of seafood, had wonderful whole wheat cinnamon rolls for breakfast several days and saw Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Seattle has a Gilbert and Sullivan Society which is 60 years old this year! They produce a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta every July. My husband and I really enjoy G&S so we try to come to Seattle to visit in July when we can!

Chihuly ball reflecting Seattle Space Needle
Chihuly glass ball reflecting Seattle Space Needle

We also went to the Space Needle in Seattle (built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair). We hadn’t visited for several years and planned to go up to its revolving restaurant. A lot of other people had that plan and there were no seats available so instead we ate at a restaurant at the base. Very good food and we had fun. Next door to the restaurant is the Chihuly Garden and Glass which we went to after lunch. It features the glasswork of Dale Chihuly. There are glass sculptures both inside and outside (mixed in with a garden). It is all fantastic!

Mille Fiori by Dale Chihuly  (reminds me of glass garden in Stolen Songbird) 10 x 58 x12'
Mille Fiori by Dale Chihuly (reminds me of glass garden in Stolen Songbird) 10 x 58 x 12′

Some of the glass pieces even reminded me of the glass garden in the book Stolen Songbird!

I managed quite a few posts this week which was great. I’m whittling away on my review backlog. Also I got another Saturday Shorts posted!

 Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Break In by Dick Francis (audiobook)

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

Unhinged by A. G. Howard (audiobook)

What I read this week

Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

E-books & Audiobooks bought (or free)

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis

And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake by Elizabeth Boyle

Audiobooks

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Around the internet

  • Sync downloads

Sync is a site for young adult audiobooks. In the summer (beginning May 15 to August 20) they offer two free audiobooks each week.

July 17 – July 23

THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Recorded Books)
THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES II by Arthur Conan Doyle, Narrated by David Timson (Naxos AudioBooks)

July 24 – July 30
HEADSTRONG by Patrick Link, Performed by Deidrie Henry, Ernie Hudson, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine and Scott Wolf (L.A. Theatre Works)
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson, Narrated by Scott Brick (Tantor Audio)

Check out the entire Sync schedule.

  • Amazon’s new Kindle program–Kindleunlimited

Jane @Dear Author wrote about this new program this week and gives a good synopsis. I’m very tempted! What do you think?

I wish it was going to be part of Amazon Prime since that has increased in price. It will cost $9.99 a month. It doesn’t have any of the big publishers’ books so I’m going to have to get an idea how many books I would be interested in.

Next Week

Home & blog

We’re on our way home on Monday. We had a great time in Seattle. I have another trip coming up at the end of the month so lots to do when I get home. I don’t usually travel this much. Some of the trips were last minute and some planned several months ago.

Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Review: The Golden City by Danielle L. Jensen
  • Review: Splintered by A. G. Howard
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

Saturday Shorts: Seattle & Snowpiercer

saturday-shorts

My husband and I are in Seattle visiting his sister and her family. The weather is beautiful. We’ve seen Mt. Rainier everyday and we explore Seattle while everyone else has to work! We had lunch in a little neighborhood with about three blocks of shops, cafes and an old movie theater.

My husband noticed a movie was showing he’d read about–Snowpiercer. I hadn’t read or heard anything about it, but it sounded interesting when he talked about it…a train which has traveled around the world for 18 years with what is left of humanity. The poor people are at the back of the train trying to survive and the rich are at the front of the train living in luxury.

Snowpiercer02

 

Synopsis from IMDb:

Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges.

Director: Joon-ho Bong

Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Kang-ho Song

Chris Evans (The Avengers, Captain America) plays Curtis who leads the rebellion; Tilda Swinton is very good as a “minister” in charge of keeping order on the train, i.e., “everyone in their place.”

We don’t see movies in the theater very often so this was a treat. It was a weekday afternoon and we were two of the five people in the theater!

The movie is a post-apocalyptic class war on board a train! It has a bit of violence, but that didn’t bother me too much. I guess I didn’t feel too invested in the characters. I felt removed from them…as the first class passengers at the front of the train obviously felt. I enjoyed the movie. It ends rather ambiguously as a lot of science fiction does, but thought-provoking and entertaining.

In the movie we see the inside of only about 20 train cars, but the graphic novel has many more.

Adapted from a French graphic novel that took 30 years to translate into English.

Snow2

 

snowpiercer-vol-1

 

The first volume Snowpiercer, Vol 1: The Escape was published in January 2014 by Titan Comics.

I love the retro look of these images.

 

Sunday Post: July 13

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpg

 

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

 

Home & blog

We arrived home from Iowa late Monday night. I’ve had lots to do this week since we’re going out-of-town again next week. Summer is in full swing. The frogs sing to us every night and we had a couple afternoons and evenings of thunderstorms. The rain is very welcome since the lawn and other plants were drying out. Something–maybe a rabbit? since I saw one in the flowerbed the day before– chewed off all the blooms on my coneflowers. 😦

As I explained last week I have a badly cracked cell phone screen. My daughter thought it could be repaired, but it doesn’t sound as easy or cheap as she thought. For now I have a screen protector on the phone to protect my fingers and everything works. I also have my old cell phone which I can put the sim card into if necessary.saturday-shorts

I continued to post a number of reviews this week to try to clear my backlog of reviews. I have most of them posted and actually posted a COYER review! Soon all my reviews will be COYER reviews (at least until Summer Vacation COYER ends). I’m trying to participate in a COYER Read-a-Thon I started a new blog topic called Saturday Shorts. I plan to post on Saturdays when I have something “short” to talk about!

 Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Break In by Dick Francis (audiobook)

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James

Unhinged by A. G. Howard (audiobook)

What I read this week

Firebird by Keri Arthur

E-books & Audiobooks bought (or free)

The Singing of the Dead by Dana Stabenow (and several other Kate Shugak mysteries!)

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Raven Ring by Patricia C. Wrede

Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig

Hammered by Kevin Hearne (ebook from library)

Audiobooks

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Around the internet

  • Sync downloads

Sync is a site for young adult audiobooks. In the summer (beginning May 15 to August 20) they offer two free audiobooks each week.

July 10 – July 16

CLAUDETTE COLVIN: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose, Narrated by Channie Waites (Brilliance Audio)
WHILE THE WORLD WATCHED by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George, Narrated by Felicia Bullock (Oasis Audio)

July 17 – July 23
THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Recorded Books)
THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES II by Arthur Conan Doyle, Narrated by David Timson (Naxos AudioBooks)

Check out the entire Sync schedule.

Next Week

Home & blog

We’re off to The Emerald City (Seattle) on Monday. My husband’s sister and family live there and she always plans the best activities for us. We will be there for a week. I’m planning to schedule some posts for the week.

Posts

  • Review: Earth Star by Janet Edwards
  • TBR Review: Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James
  • Review: Splintered by A. G. Howard
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

Review: Poltergeist by Kat Richardson

poltergeistPoltergeist
by Kat Richardson
Series: Greywalker, Book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc Trade, 2007
E-book, Purchased
338 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died – for two minutes. Now she’s a Greywalker – walking the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she’s discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of “strange” cases.

In the days leading up to Halloween, Harper’s been hired by a university research group that is attempting to create an artificial poltergeist. The head researcher suspects someone is faking the phenomena, but Harper’s investigation reveals something else entirely – they’ve succeeded. And when one of the group’s members is killed in a brutal and inexplicable fashion, Harper must determine whether the killer is the ghost itself, or someone all too human.

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Voluntarily and adamantly childless, I’d always assumed that most parents were blissfully unaware of the horrors their little darlings could be. I would have to apologize to a few parents, though not my own–we’d burdened each other with enough mutual horror to call the deal even…

and

“Thirteen paralytic virgins and a partridge in a rutting pear tree! Who drank all the coffee already!”

What worked for me:

  • I enjoyed the mystery. I like that Harper is a private detective and was before she became a Greywalker.
  • The humor and irreverence.
  • The setting–Seattle. I love Seattle and this book does a good job of recreating it for me. (Note: I don’t live in Seattle so I’m not as knowledgeable as a native…I just visit once or twice a year!)
  • The first book was more about Harper trying to figure out what had happened to her and who she was. This book focuses more on the mystery, though Harper still doesn’t understand exactly what and who she is.
  • Harper is standing apart from most of the other otherworldly characters.

What didn’t work:

  • Professor Tuckman is such an unlikeable character and the people he has chosen to study and to try to create a poltergeist are mostly unlikeable, too. I don’t really care what happens to most of them.
  • The main characters are still somewhat underdeveloped. I still don’t have a feel for exactly who the Danzigers are (they don’t seem to know as much as they think they do) or even exactly who Harper is. This may be deliberate since Harper is still trying to figure that out herself and she’s the narrator.

» » » » » »

My thoughts:

I like this series a lot and am looking forward to reading more books in the series. Kat Richardson has created a unique character and unique world. There are scary characters and this isn’t a safe world Harper finds herself in. I like that…there’s a certain amount of uncertainty.

» » » » » »

Are you reading this series? How do you like it?

Review: Greywalker by Kat Richardson

Kat Richardson is an author I haven’t read before and so it’s part of my New Authors Challenge which is hosted by the Literary Escapism blog. Check out their blog and also the challenge. I’m really enjoying all the new authors I’m reading this year!

» » » » » »

Greywalker
by Kat Richardson
Series: Greywalker, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Roc Trade, 2006
E-book, Purchased
341 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit …strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.But Harper’s not crazy. Her “death” has made her a Greywalker-able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and ghosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts. Whether she likes it or not.

» » » » » »

“You must be careful, Harper. You’re a stubborn, hardheaded, scientific practicalist, and all of this seems like a nightmare to you that you hope will simply evaporate when you wake up. But you don’t wake up from this.”

What worked for me:

  • There’s a lot we’re not told about. Ms. Richardson lets us gradually find out things about the world Harper finds herself a part of.
  • Harper is a good character. As the quote above states she’s stubborn and hardheaded and has a hard time believing the things happening to her.
  • I like many of the secondary characters–Mara, Bob, Quinton. They all have interesting personalities and contribute to the story.
  • Chaos–Harper’s pet ferret–is a very funny character. She definitely causes chaos in Harper’s life, but Harper is sometimes able to use the ferret’s characteristics–curiosity and friendliness, for example–in her investigations.
  • The Seattle setting was great. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Seattle and I recognized certain places the book mentions and that’s always fun.

What didn’t work:

  • I thought it was strange that the book was published in 2006 and yet Harper didn’t have a cell phone.

» » » » » »

My thoughts:

This is a solid first entry into a new urban fantasy. I look forward to reading more books in this series. Since it’s an older series there are several books which have already been published. I believe Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer blog mentioned I might like this series and she was right!

» » » » » »

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Sunday Post–July 21

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

A look back at my last week and forward to the next week:

 

Last Week

While on vacation

We’ve spent this week in Seattle and the weather has been beautiful…in the 80’s during the day and 50’s at night. We’ve wandered around the city, sampling food, shops, theaters and other delights. Our daughter went rock climbing with her cousin and aunt. They had a great time. We strolled through the Japanese Gardens while they did that!

Lots of theater while we were in Seattle…two Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and an outdoor performance of The Tempest!

Blog

Sunday Post–July 14

Quote-Tastic…from Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Review: Fair Game and Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Book read

Death Masks by Jim Butcher

What I’m reading

The Proposal by Mary Balogh

E-books bought

None! Wow…I didn’t buy any books this week!

Downloaded from Sync

Grave Mercy

Hamlet

Around the web

The Sync free downloads for this week (July 18 – July 24)

July 18 – July 24, 2013
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, read by Erin Moon (Recorded Books)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

Next Week

On vacation

I don’t have any posts set up for next week. Maybe I will get one or two done. We are heading down the Washington coast toward Oregon and will spend the next week in Oregon…mostly at the beach. A  day in the Cascade mountains.

Posts on the blog

Review: A Matter of Propriety and Parasites by Claire Robyns