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June Photo a Day Challenge

>> Friday, May 31, 2013

Tomorrow is June 1st. It's time for another new month of Photo-A-Day prompts. If you haven't joined in yet, or haven't been keeping up with the daily photo posting it's a great chance to start new or fresh. You know you want to.

Click on the image to see larger and save to your computer

It's time for my monthly reminder and review post about Photo a Day. There are two parts to this monthly post. One is to recruit more of my friends to participate and the other is to share my favorites of my photos from the previous month. The Photo a Day Challenge is hosted by Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim. I've been doing this daily photo thing since the middle of March of 2012. It's fun having more of my online and in person friends join in. I love seeing everyone's photos and how creative folks can be with the daily prompts.

It's not hard and you can participate in so many ways. The flexibility is what makes this easy and fun. Now that I've done this for over a year it's turned out to be a bit of photo journal and scrolling through my photos is a fun reminder of something that happened or caught my eye at some point each day.

Every month Chantelle posts a list of subjects or prompts for each day of the month. Chantelle's post about the June list includes some extra explanation and ideas just in case any of the prompts have you stumped.

This is the list for June and Chantelle's instructions:

How to play!

Playing along with photo a day is super easy:
♥ heck out the June photo a day list.
♥ Each day look at the daily prompt and take a photo according to whatever the prompt is. For example for day 1 the prompt is ‘B is for..’ so share anything you see that starts with the letter B. It’s a great opportunity to get creative. Be inspired by a little creativity and see what you come up with.
♥ Once you've taken the photo it’s time to share it. There are loads of places you can share it. See below for more details.
♥ Check out other people’s photos. You can browse through them on my Facebook page, in the FMS Photo A Day Facebook group. Or on Instagram or Twitter just search for the #FMSphotoaday hashtag to see them all.

Where to play?

There are loads of places to be social and share your photos with the #FMSphotoaday community:

♥ Instagram: Just upload your photo, use a fancy filter, add a caption and the hashtag #FMSphotoaday and then share.
♥ Facebook: There are a few options here. You can simply share on your own personal page, among your own friends. Or you can upload to my page’s wall, or I’ve created a Facebook group for 2013. You can join it here:
♥ Blog: If you have a blog, you could share each day or do a wrap up of all the photos at the end of the month.
♥ Tumblr: Add your daily photos to your Tumblr feed.
♥ Flickr: You can get their app {for free if I remember correctly} and share your photos there, or upload on their web version. We also have a photo a day group here.
♥ Twitter: You can share on Twitter by uploading the photo and sharing the hashtag #FMSphotoaday. Easy.

I try to keep this easy and just use my phone for taking the photos. Between Instagram and a few other photo applications I have plenty of options for editing photos on my phone. It's been a lot of fun for me to see what I can do using just my phone and apps.

If you’d like to check out my previous photos they’re on my Tumblr blog at at Whimpulsiveness

I love using ShutterCal too. It gives me several ways to review my daily photos. Montly collages or scrolling through them all. It's a bit of a visual journal. You can see all of my Photo A Day photos in a calendar format. I think this is my favorite way to scan through my past photos. If you decide to use Shuttercal, be sure to let me know or link up with me there.

The most important thing to remember about this is don't work to hard and make this diffucult by overthinking it. For me, using only photos from my phone makes it low pressure so I don't feel like I have to have a perfect shot. That helps me to just relax and have fun with it. Even with the photo prompts that are repeated it's fun to try to come up with something different. Sometimes a prompt that was used a couple of months ago can spark a totally different meaning depending on my mood or circumstances that day.

If you've been participating I hope you'll continue or give it another try if you've gotten out of the habit. Please let me know where you are sharing your photos so that I can find them.

May had some fun prompts. I ended up with an interesting variety of photos but I managed to pick just six to feature today. If you want to see the whole month check the month view on Shuttercal.

May 5th - paper
something beginning with F
May 7th - something beginning with F
May 16th - mailbox
fave thing to do on Sunday
May 26th - fave thing to do on Sunday
can't live without
May 27th - can't live without
May 29th - kiss

Just a reminder - click on any of the photos to see a larger version


Wordless Wednesday #189

>> Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Toccoa River
Near Blue Ridge, Georgia

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Weekend Update May 26, 2013

>> Sunday, May 26, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:

I’m still reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. It’s been a week of very little reading time but I’m hoping to remedy that tomorrow so I can finish. I admit to being a bit wary of this one because I wasn’t much of a fan of a couple of Atkinson’s early books. I’m happy to say that I’ve really enjoyed the first two-thirds that I’ve read so far. I’m happy to have found my way past my Kate Atkinson block.

I haven’t started the next book in for the Little House Readalong but I’ll be reading By the Shores of Silver Lake soon.

On audio I finished listening to He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters. This has been my favorite book in the Amelia Peabody series so far. Beth Fish Reads and I tried to coordinate our listening of this one but with travel for each of us interfering it didn’t work out for us to put together a joint review. Maybe we’ll do that for the next one in the series

I started a new audiobook yesterday. I’m returning to the Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson. I started the third book in the series Kindness Goes Unpunished narrated by George Guidall.

Once I finish Life after Life I want to get back to the fourth book in the Fables series by Bill Willingham, The March of the Wooden Soldiers. I started it before I went away last weekend and I’m looking forward to getting back to it.

Other than books and reading:
I was in the mountains of North Georgia last weekend for a getaway with some girlfriends. We had a great time and despite the rainy weather we had fun.

Yesterday we took advantage of the Memorial Day Winery events. We visited a few wineries that have been favorites of ours for years.

Matello Winery

Matello Winery

Remy Wines

Today we’re off to Seattle for the day. We’re headed to Safeco Field for a baseball game with some friends

And this?  . . . this is just pathetic.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!


The Under the Dome Summer Read-Along

>> Saturday, May 25, 2013

Natalie at Coffee and a Book Chick, Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity (the unofficial readalong queen of my Twitter timeline) and Les at Prairie Horizons didn’t exactly gang up on me but it’s all their fault.

Well actually it’s not. I’m just vulnerable to what I call ‘tweerpressure’. That’s what happens when a bunch of people in my Twitter timeline get all enthusiastic about a new project or readalong and the next thing I know I’m thinking about joining in.

This one wasn’t hard to influence me about though. Under the Dome by Stephen King has been on my TBR list since before it was actually published. Now that there’s a television adaptation coming along I really want to read it before watching the mini-series anyway. Add to that the fun of reading it at the same time as folks I know but with a schedule that doesn’t look like it will stress me out too much and the next thing I know I bought the ebook. I prefer to read the big fat chunky ones in ebook format simply because it’s so much easier to hold and to haul back and forth to work in my backpack.

Here’s the quick details from Natalie’s Sign Up post over at Coffee and a Book Chick but please go on over to her blog and read the full sign up post. I hope you’ll consider joining in.

You Want Structure? You Got it.
  • Do you need a blog to participate? No way. If you don't have a blog, you can either sign up in the comments below, or you can create a free account with either Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing and enter that information into the linky below. Any of those sites will make it easier for you to track your thoughts, or you can use a Twitter account to sign up. If you don't want to do any of those, but still want to participate, then you can post your thoughts in the comments for each of the mile-marker posts throughout the readalong.
  • Timeline: May 25 through July 27
  • How many posts? Who cares! It's informal. However, if you want a little structure, you can do a kick-off post now, then a middle-of-the-road post (halfway through the book) on June 24 (to celebrate the mini-series premiere even though we all probably won't watch it until we're done reading), and then a final sayonara post on July 27. Sound good?
  • Twitter-chat? Use the hashtag #DomeAlong
  • Mini-series Twitter chat? After the readalong as we watch our DVR'd recordings of the show? Maybe?
  • And do anything you want in-between! Throw a "Stephen King, you are freakishly awesome" party, or do a screamfest movie marathon, or write a gushing post on the fall release of Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. Or, you can just post your glee on the fact that you've been a horrible blogger and reader in 2013 and this readalong is going to bring. you. back. Back, baby! Oh, maybe that's just me...

And now to answer a few questions from the organizers . . .

Show us your copy! Audio or print?
ebook - it's my preferred format for the big fat books

Have you read Uncle Stevie before?
Oh yes - I first read Carrie when I was in High School and devoured everything King wrote for many years. The Stand is still one of my all time favorite books. I fell out of the Uncle Stevie habit after college but I bought 11/23/63 when it was published (but haven't read it yet) and was intrigued enough about Under the Dome to add it to my TBR list before it was released.

What are you familiar with about Under the Dome or Stephen King?
I only know the bare minimum about Under the Dome as I haven't even read the full blurb on the book cover yet. As I said above I'm a longtime fan of Stephen King so I know that things can get twisty and weird.

What are you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to reading the book, talking about the book and watching the TV adaptation when I'm done.


Touring my TBR Spreadsheet and Shelves – Random Treasures

>> Friday, May 24, 2013

Touring my TBR Spreadsheet and Shelves

Again this month I'm sharing some of the random treasures on my bookshelves.

The Hubster's grandmother graduated from the University of Oregon in 1925 and we have the yearbooks from the five years she was there (1920-1925).

(as always click on the photos to see a larger version and then return to this post with your browser's back button)

University of Oregon Yearbooks 1920-1925

University of Oregon Yearbooks for 1920 through 1925
University of Oregon Yearbooks 1920-1925

I't's just fun to leaf through these and see the photos of life on campus in those years.

Around campus 1925

This is The Hubster's Grandmother in her Senior Portrait in 1925.
The Hubster's Grandmother

In 1920 the Oregon Football team made it to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and played Harvard. They lost but were still proud of the way they played.
1920 Rose Bowl

I think it's interesting that it's referred to as "The Harvard Game" instead of "The Rose Bowl" in the yearbook.

1920 Rose Bowl

I love looking through these and it's interesting to see how many women were attending the University of Oregon in the early 19820's.

Unversity of Oregon 1920 Yearbook

What lost random treasures are on your bookshelves?


The Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge

>> Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge

I'm breaking my only one challenge rule for this one but I have a very good reason. I planned to read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes sometime soon anyway and this challenge gives me a reason to not put that off.

Mari over at Mari Reads is hosting a Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge and I am so in. This is partially related to the TV series which I have not watched (but I want to at some point) but also about reading the Sherlock Holmes books.

Mari has set this up with varying levels of participation so that it works for folks who have read some of the Sherlock Holmes books and stories and also for those who haven't read any.

The Hubster and I have both read the first two books in the series and I have The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes but have just not read it yet.

Here's the info about this challenge: 
For those of you going through Sherlock withdrawal like me, I have a reading challenge for you. I thought it would be fun, while we wait for Season 3, to go back to the originals and read Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock. Here is the list of all the Holmes books, minus a few short stories that I thought might be hard to get a hold of. You can find most of these as free eBooks.

A Study in Scarlet (1887)
The Sign of Four (1890)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905)
The Valley of Fear (1915)
His Last Bow (1917)
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927)

To make this easy and give lots of options for participation you can choose your level of expertise in deduction from the options below.

Read all 9 listed above.

Read 6 of your choosing.

Read 3 of your choosing.

Read 1 of your choosing.

The Challenge will run from June 1-Dec 31st.

All who participate will be entered for a giveaway, one entry for each book read and reviewed. The more you read, the more chances you get to win a copy of Sherlock, Season 1 or 2 on DVD.

I'm not going to go overboard on this one and I'm only committing to reading one book but I'm looking forward to reading more Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed the first two and I'm glad to have this challenge as a reason to stop putting off reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Have you read any of the books? If not, this is a good time to give one or more a try. If you have, it's a good reason to read the next one.

Oh come on – click on over to the announcement post at Mari Reads and join the fun.


Wordless Wednesday #188

>> Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trillium in the woods near my house


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Weekend Update May 19, 2013

>> Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekend Update

I’m away from home this weekend so I actually wrote this on Thursday. A real update will have to wait until next week.

Since my last update:

I did finish Fever by Mary Beth Keane. It was good and had a lot of potential but parts of it particularly in the second half fell a little flat for me.

I started Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I’m a little wary of this one because I wasn’t much of a fan of a couple of Atkinson’s early books. I’ve heard such good things about this one though, that I decided to give it a try.

I also finished reading On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This means that By the Shores of Silver Lake will be my new treadmill book and I hope to catch up with the Little House Readalong schedule soon.

On audio I have been thoroughly enjoying He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters. This has a chance of being my favorite book in the Amelia Peabody series so far. After finding Ramses a bit annoying in the earlier books when he was a little child, I’m developing a bit of a literary crush on him now that he’s an adult. I’m not going to finish this until sometime next week but when I do I’m looking forward to chatting with Beth Fish Reads about it since she just finished listening to it recently.

I also started a new graphic novel. I’m reading the fourth book in the Fables series by Bill Willingham. The March of the Wooden Soldiers starts out with a good background piece about some ot the history of the characters in the series and then moves on into an interesting storyline that has me quite curious. Could Red Riding Hood be a spy for the Adversary?

Seriously – If you haven’t started reading the Fables series you really should.

Other than books and reading:
I’m out of town this weekend and have been busy getting ready for that so I’ll just share this video of Abby’s latest obsession. We have a tiny eyelet screw in the top of the door frame that we string a shoelace through. She’ll do this until she can’t jump anymore. She’s developing some excellent jumping skills though.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!


On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

>> Friday, May 17, 2013

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #4 in the Little House series
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: originally 1937, this edition 1971
Pages: 339
Source: library

The Short Version:
The Ingalls family moves to western Minnesota where their troubles include grasshoppers, cows through the roof and prairie fire (again).

Why I Read It:
I’m having both fun and a bit of modern perspective cringing as I revisit this series thanks to Lisa at Books. Lists. Life who organized the Little House Readalong.

The Book:
When we last left the Ingalls family they had packed up and left the Indian territory after Pa’s expectations that it would be retroactively opened up for homesteading fell through.

This book opens with them arriving in Western Minnesota where they make a trade for a dugout style home in a creek bank and some promising land.

Of course, this is the Ingalls family so things don’t quite go as expected. A cow through the roof, grasshoppers, leeches, fires, etc. Plus there’s Nellie Oleson.

My Thoughts:
I am not going to worry about spoilers with this series.

As I started with the last book in the series I’m just going to post a few random thoughts that ran through my head as I read this

This one had fewer cringe inducing references to Indians as in Little House on the Prairie or bullying and violence as in Farmer Boy so that was a good thing.

On the other hand Nellie Oleson arrived on the scene so the Mean Girls thing is on.

There was another prairie fire. Also lots of spinning whirling fire stuff going on. Was Laura a closet pyromaniac?

It’s a good thing for the Ingalls family that easily obtained credit cards were not available at the time.

Yeah – leave for town with a storm on the way and let your parting comment to your kids be a story about children who froze to death in a blizzard. Tell me again why Pa is viewed as a paragon of parenting? Sheesh.

Sarcasm aside, it is enjoyable to experience this series again. Even though I’m reading them from a completely different time, place in my life and general perspective I’m remembering how much I loved these books. The things I loved are still there. Laura was basically a good and happy kid and her family loved each other through thick and thin. They had a hard life and my childhood was so amazingly different. I still love these books but it’s definitely different reading them as an adult.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

Click on the photo for a link to the details


Wordless Wednesday #187

>> Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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Fever by May Beth Keane

>> Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fever by May Beth Keane

Fever by May Beth Keane

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 306
Source: e-galley provided by publisher through NetGalley

The Short Version:
Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary is the subject of this fictional biography.

Why I Read It:
The setting of early 1900’s New York City is one of my favorites and I was curious after hearing some positive reviews of this one.

The Book:
Mary Mallon was an Irish immigrant who used her skills as a cook to earn her living. What she didn’t know was that she was also a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever. She was the first person to be identified as an asymptomatic carrier of a disease like this. When she was arrested and detained by the New York Department of Health she fought and refused to believe that she could have been the cause of the deaths that occurred in the households where she had worked.

She was put under quarantine and held for years against her will. When she was released she agreed that she would not work as a cook. She later broke that promise and despite her refusal to believe that she could be the cause of the spread of disease, her carrier status continued to cause trouble.

My Thoughts:
The story of Mary Mallon is an interesting one. The idea of an asymptomatic carrier of disease was unheard of at the time of her quarantine. She was a smart woman but she simply could not believe that the deaths that happened in the households where she worked could be anything more than chance.

Even though this is fiction, the author thoroughly researched her topic. Mary’s quarantine on Brother Island in a small cottage on the grounds of a Tuberculosis hospital is told in a way that gives the reader a good sense of the fear, anger and isolation that Mary endured while there.

Her personal live and relationships before, during and after her first quarantine add balance to Mary’s story. What didn’t work so well for me was the extensive exploration of the story of Mary’s lover their relationship over the years. I understand why it was done this way in the book but for me it slowed the story down and I had to push myself a bit to continue with the second half of the book.

It’s an interesting fictional biography but it was a bit unevenly paced and while I’m glad I read it I don’t think it’s one I can heartily recommend.

3 stars Rating 3/5


Weekend Update May 12, 2013

>> Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:

So last week I finished everything. This week I finished nothing. It was one of those weeks.

I’m nearly done with Fever by Mary Beth Keane. It’s about Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary. It’s been an interesting read and I hope to finish it up today.

The weather was nice this week so I haven’t been on the treadmill much. That means I haven’t read any more of
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am now officially behind schedule with the Little House Readalong. Not only do I need to finish Plum Creek, I also need to read By the Shores of Silver Lake.

walking path

One thing about the nice weather is that I've been getting a lot of walks outside which means plenty of audiobook time. I’m a little over halfway through He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters. I’m having a great time being back with Amelia Peabody and her family. Amelia and her family are archaeologists in Egypt and the series begins in the late 1800’s. This book takes place during World War I. There are a lot of ongoing storylines that are reaching important points in this one and I’m enjoying it a lot.

I haven’t started a new graphic novel yet but I've got the fourth book in the Fables series waiting for me as soon as I finish Fever.

Other than books and reading:

As I mentioned, we've been having a dose of summer weather this week. I stopped by the library after work earlier this week and the fountain in the nearby park was a very busy place..

Beaverton City Park Fountain
The sun was at just the right angle for rainbows in the fountain from the west side.

Fountain rainbow
The farmer just on right next to our neighborhood has planted crimson clover this year. His field is just gorgeous right now with all the red.
Crimson clover field

We took my brother out for a belated birthday dinner this week at La Bistro Montage on the east side of the river in Portland. The food was amazing and the beer was cheap.
Snail wrapped leftovers

They’re known for their creative wrapping of leftovers to take home. We saw a cat, a giraffe, a cobra and I got a snail.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!


Y: The Last Man Vol 3: One Small Step by Brian K. Vaughan

>> Friday, May 10, 2013

Y: The Last Man Vol 3: One Small Step by Brian K. Vaughan

Y: The Last Man Vol 3: One Small Step by Brian K. Vaughan

Genre: Science Fiction (Graphic Novel)
Series: #3 in the Y: The Last Man series
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 168
Source: Library

The Short Version:
The only surviving male after a sudden plague is on the run with a bodyguard and a scientist who is trying to find out what happened and why he is still alive before some crazies kill him.

Why I Read It:
I enjoyed the first two volumes and at this point I need to keep going to find out what happens next.

The Book:
This volume 3 is a compilation of issues 11-17 of the comic series.

From the Publisher:

Yorick Brown, the only human male to survive a global sex-specific plague, may not be unique for much longer. As he makes his way across the remains of America (together with a secret government agent, a cloning specialist, and the only other male mammal to survive, Ampersand the monkey), the last man on Earth is about to have an unexpected visitation from above. Three astronauts are descending from the exhausted International Space Station, and two of them are men.

My Thoughts:
With Yorick still under the protection of the mysterious Agent 355 and on the way to California to get to Dr. Mann's lab and data, the story continues to become more complex.

Will the space station astronauts survive? In an amazing coincidence our intrepid travelers just happen to be near a secret government decontamination facility close to where the capsule will land. Converging on that same location are the Israeli soldiers who have been tracking Yorick.

When several of the storylines converge there is the expected clash of both weapons and wit. Some this works well and some of seems pretty forced.

This one was a bit more choppy than the previous two volumes but perhaps that was necessary to expand the cast and scope of the story. Some new characters are introduced and at least one simply shows up with no background explanation (ninja?).

Yorick continues to be a bit of an annoying doofus but at this point I'm still enjoying the story.

The artwork is fairly average but I admit that I’ve been spoiled recently with some fabulous artwork in another Vaughan work (Saga). The final section with a tangential story about a traveling theater troupe is done by a different artist and somehow manages to satirize the main story which itself is a satire. The Shakespeare references that I expected with a main character named Yorick are finally showing up.

This is still a fun series and I have the next volume out from the library because I have to know what happens next.

3 stars Rating 3/5


Wordless Wednesday #186

>> Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Napping in the sun
at the Oregon Zoo

Hippo at the Oregon Zoo

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Weekend Update May 5, 2013

>> Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:

I finished reading Little Elvises. I enjoyed this second book in the Junior Bender series just as much as the first. The Hubster read the first one (Crashed) and liked it so I’m looking forward to hearing what he thinks of this one when he reads it.

I started Fever by Mary Beth Keane. It’s a fictionalized biography of the woman known as Typhoid Mary. It takes place I the early 1900’s in New York. I’ve enjoyed many of the historical fiction and mystery books I’ve read set in that time period in New York.

I started On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I This was actually the April book for the Little House Readalong so I’m behind schedule on that. I need to finish Plum Creek and get started with By the Shores of Silver Lake..

On audio I finished Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen (narrated by George Wilson). We had started this on a road trip. It was exactly the kind of craziness I expected from a Carl Hiaasen book and a fun road trip book to listen to with The Hubster. It was longer than our trip so we've both been finishing it on our own.

My new audiobook is He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters. It’s the next one up for me in the Amelia Peabody series. Amelia and her family are archaeologists in Egypt and the series begins in the late 1800’s. This book takes place during World War I. I've finally caught up to the same point in the series as Beth Fish Reads and she and I are listening to this one at the same time so we can chat about it,

As for graphic novels I read the third book in the Y: The Last Man series by Brian K. Vaughan. It’s about the world after a sudden plague has killed off all the male mammals. One young man and his pet monkey appear to be the only surviving males on the planet. It’s been a bit of a hit or miss series but I’m curious to find out how it plays out so I already have the next one out from the library.

Other than books and reading:

We have been enjoying some wonderful weather lately. That’s part of the reason I haven’t been reading my treadmill books (The Little House books) that much. I've been outside on our neighborhood walking trails.

Walking path

Spring has definitely sprung around here. Everything seems to be in bloom.

Tulips in the morning sun

We also stopped in at the zoo last Sunday for a little while (taking advantage of our year long membership).

These birds in one of the aviaries are the only ones I couldn't find identified on the zoo website. Does anyone know what kind of birds these are?
Birds at the Oregon Zoo

We made it to the river otter exhibit right at feeding time and got to see the whole family including little baby Mo

River Otters at the Oregon Zoo

In the black bear exhibit one of the bears was doing some serious people watching from the top of a broken tree.

Black Bear at the Oregon Zoo

Hope you’re having a great weekend!


Audiobook – Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen

>> Friday, May 3, 2013

Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen

Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen

Genre: Mystery/ Humor
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2003 Recorded Books (Book originally published 1988)
Length: 13 hours, 13 minutes
Read by: George Wilson
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
Bass fishing tournaments, television evangelists and evil land developers are only part of what gets humorously and thoroughly skewered in this madcap comic mystery.

Why I Read It:
It was road trip time and The Hubster and I had listened to Hiaasen’s first book several years ago so I loaded this one up on the iPod.

The Book:
This one is far too wacky and complicated for me to attempt so summarize so I’ll stick with the print publishers description.
R.J. Decker, star tenant of the local trailer park and neophyte private eye is fishing for a killer. Thanks to a sportsman's scam that's anything but sportsmanlike, there's a body floating in Coon Bog, Florida -- and a lot that's rotten in the murky waters of big-stakes, large-mouth bass tournaments. Here Decker will team up with a half-blind, half-mad hermit with an appetite for road kill; dare to kiss his ex-wife while she's in bed with her new husband; and face deadly TV evangelists, dangerously seductive women, and a pistol-toting redneck with a pit bull on his arm. And here his own life becomes part of the stakes. For while the "double whammy" is the lure, first prize is for the most ingenious murder.

My Thoughts:
Trust me, that description isn’t nearly as crazy as half the things that happen in this book. Quirky doesn’t begin to describe the some of the characters. Most of them are over the top bananas or caricatures. The story is loony and at times a bit gruesome. But it made me laugh. It made me laugh a lot.

R.J. Decker is perhaps the sanest character and he’s got issues. Skink (who is a recurring character in Hiaasen’s books) is off the charts odd but I can’t help but like the guy. The bad guys are plenty evil and I now know way more about competitive bass fishing than I ever cared to.

This is just fun and it’s great in audio format. I think that some of the things that happened felt even funnier because I was hearing them rather than reading them. George Wilson has a perfect wry and sardonic tone that is exactly what Hiaasen’s books need.

I’ll definitely be getting more of these and in audio format. It’s not a type of book I like a steady diet of but they’re great fun to listen to on road trips with The Hubster and as a change of pace from what I normally read or listen to.

3 stars Rating 3/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.


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