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September Photo a Day Challenge

>> Saturday, August 31, 2013


Tomorrow is September 1st. That means it's time for another new month of Photo-A-Day prompts. September alway has that back to school feel to it so it's a great time to join in or give this another try. This is really a lot of fun and quite addictive.

September Photo a Day
Click on the image to see larger and save to your computer

Every month I do a 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. I like that more of my online and in person friends seem to join in every month. I enjoy seeing everyone's photos and how creative folks can be with the daily prompts.

It's really not that hard and you can participate in so many ways. The flexibility is what makes this so great. Now that I've done this for over a year it's become 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 September list includes some extra explanation and ideas just in case any of the prompts have you stumped.

Here is the short version of Chantelle's instructions:
How to play!

Playing along with photo a day is super easy:
♥ Check out the September 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 ‘Together’ so share anything that shows what together is for you. It could be people together, or otherwise. It’s Father’s Day in Australia so perhaps even share a photo of you and your Pa.
♥ 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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FMSphotoaday/ Now that Facebook has hashtags, simply add the hashtag #FMSphotoaday when you share your photos and you’ll be able to see which of your friends are playing along too. It’s cool!
♥ 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 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.

I had fun with the July prompts and was pretty happy with the ideas I came up with for a couple of them. I picked six favorites to feature today. If you want to see the whole month check the month view on Shuttercal.

skyline
August 3rd - skyline
peek-a-boo
August 8th - peek-a-boo
macro
August 12th - macro
yellow
August 23rd - yellow
entrance
August 26th - entrance
corridor
August 28th - corridor


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

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Audiobook – Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross

>> Friday, August 30, 2013

Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross

Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross

Genre: Fiction
Series: #11 in the Miss Julia series
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2010 Recorded Books (Book originally published 2010)
Length: 9 hours, 29 minutes
Read by: Cynthia Darlow
Source: Library


The Short Version:
Miss Julia has a lot to worry about with her husband wanting to attend marriage enrichment classes and a friend under suspicion for assault and theft but as usual her antics and overreactions are lighthearted and fun.

Why I Read It:
It has been a while since I listened to a Miss Julia book and I was in the mood for something light and humorous.

The Book:
Abbotsville, North Carolina’s very proper Miss Julia is happy that Hazel Marie and Mr. Pickens have finally gotten married (and just in time with twins on the way), but now she’s got other things to worry about. She and her second husband have been recruited by the minister to participate in a marriage enrichment class but it turns out that the class will be taught by Dr. Fred Fowler. He’s among the last people Miss Julia wants to see after he caused her some serious embarrassment several years ago. Can she get out of the entire series of classes by pretending to be sick? And why is Sam so interested in a marriage enrichment class anyway?

The bigger gossip around town is the return of Francie Pitts. She’s moved back after burying her fifth husband and there are rumors that the police in Florida want to talk to her about that. But when Francie lands in the hospital after being whacked on the head she accuses Miss Julia’s friend and sometime employee Etta Mae Wiggins of attacking her and stealing her jewelry. Miss Julia knows Etta Mae is innocent but can she prove it?

My Thoughts:
It was fun to be back with Miss Julia and her friends and family. It’s been a while since I last listened to a book in this series. Miss Julia always leaves me with a smile on my face. She’s so concerned with what is proper but she’s taken her first husband’s mistress and child into her home and her heart. Now that she’s managed to get Hazel Marie properly married before the twins are born she thinks life might just settle down.

Of course not. Her embarrassment at what took place with the evil Dr. Fred Fowler is like most of Miss Julia’s reactions over the top. The minute the character of Francie Pitts is introduced I knew she’d be trouble. The slight mystery in this one is fun and by the time the resolution comes along predictable.

Nevertheless it’s a fun light romp in a comedy of manners style. There is a lot of continuation of ongoing storylines so it’s not a book to be read as your first exposure to the characters.

Cynthia Darlow does an adequate job of narrating this series but I still dislike the way she voices Miss Julia’s maid Lillian.

This is not a style or series I’d read a lot of but by now I’ve followed Miss Julia and her family and friends through 11 books now and it’s like being hooked on a soap opera. I have to know what happens next.

3 stars Rating 3/5 for the book

3 stars Rating 3/5 for the narration



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

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The Drops of God 2 by Tadahsi Agi and Shu Okimoto

>> Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Drops of God 2 by Tadahsi Agi and Shu Okimoto

The Drops of God 2 by Tadahsi Agi and Shu Okimoto

Genre: Fiction (Graphic Novel)
Publisher: Vertical
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 410
Source: Library



The Short Version:
Two rivals continue their competition to determine who will inherit their father’s estate by searching out twelve outstanding wines.

Why I Read It:
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the first volume in this series. I’d never read Japanese style Manga before and I enjoyed it and also learned a lot about wine so I wanted to continue with the series.

The Book:
From the publisher:

In the second volume of the Drops of God, Shizuku has lost his family home, and now he must go search for the first of the Twelve Apostles of Wine. Not knowing where to start, he turns to his new friends and collabrators for guidance. However, this poses a new problem. The world of wine is vast and is full of history. Where does a complete novice start? And with a co-worker who is madly obsessed with Italian wines, how will he ever find the proper perspective and direction needed to take on someone like the prince of wine criticism, Issei Tohmine?

To prepare himself Shizuku volunteers to participate in a unique wine tasting by one of Japan's up-and-coming wine traders and producers Saoin Wines. The same group that is funding Shizuku's rival Tohmine have established an event that showcases 100 unique wines together in a formal setting. This is a high-stakes wine event, where the most enjoyed wines will certainly be bought up at top dollar by the finest food and wine establishments of Asia. As a member of Taiyo Beers new Wine Sales Division, Shizuku must select the best wine at this event. And even if the labels are not the best known, he will have to trust his senses and his own judgement of taste to pick the one true wine worth sales on the market today.

My Thoughts:
The first book in this series was my introduction to Japanese Manga. Surprisingly I learned a lot about wine and wine tasting from it. The competition and rivalry is set up in the first volume and this second focuses on Shizuku and his attempts to learn as much as he can about wine.

Shizuku begins the story helping out a restaurant owner who has a second chance to impress a food and wine critic who gave his restaurant a scathing review. He must find the best wine pairing for each course of the meal. This was a fascinating process and well done section of the book.

The second major story arc is a competition with a co-worker matching up affordable French and Italian wines. Again I learned a lot about wine while simply enjoying the way the story is told.

Once again it took me a few pages to get used to reading right to left but once I was used to it I was able to read it easily. I have found that when I’m reading these it’s best if I stick with it until I finish because I find it difficult to switch back and forth between the right to left flow to what I normally read.

The artwork is well done and carries a large part of the story telling load. There are some great secondary characters and a lot of humor tossed in throughout.

I highly recommend this series if you have any interest in wine at all.


4 stars Rating 4/5

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Wordless Wednesday #202

>> Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Heceta Head Lighthouse in the fog
Oregon

Heceta Head Lighthouse in the fog
click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here

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Monster Review-a-Thon Sign Up

>> Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I currently have six reviews to write to catch up with the the book I finished right before and all the books I finished during last week's Bout of Books 8.0

This Review-a-Thon hosted by The Book Monsters could not be happening at a better time.



After participating in the Bout of Books 8.0 readathon, I'm sure I'm not the only one with reviews piling up. So, it's been a while since we hosted a review-a-thon, so I'm excited to be hosting this one again. Here's the info:

Date: August 26-September 1
Goal: To review as many books as you can.

Obviously, still read, but it's a chance to get caught up on backlogs of reviews and keep up with current ones.You have a whole week, so set your goals and get to work!

I am so in! My goal is to be all caught up with reviews by Sunday. This includes any books I finish between now and then. It's unlikely I'll finish more than one so I'm expecting that 7 reviews total is what I'll need to write. Wish me luck!

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Bout of Books 8.0 Wrap-Up

>> Monday, August 26, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 ended last night. It was my first time to participate.


Let's start off this wrap up by saying that I've put the next Bout of Books (January 6-12, 2014) on my calendar and warned The Hubster that I'll be busy reading again that week.

This was such a fun week. It was a low-stress readathon and that's what I liked about it. I never felt like I needed to stop doing everything else to just read but I felt encouraged to maximize and make more time for reading than I normally do. Obviously I worked full time all week so that limited my reading time but I managed to get a lot of reading hours in over the weekend.

These Were My Goals:
  • Reading time: 2 hours a day total reading/listening time Monday - Thursday, 3 hours Friday and as much as I want on Saturday and Sunday
  • Read 4 books after I finish my current book (typically 2 books a week is a good week for me)
  • Participate in at least one Bout of Books Tweet Chat
  • Participate in one Bout of Books challenge
  • Comment on 5 new to me blogs every day from the participants lists
  • Weather permitting take a long walk on Saturday morning for some extended Audiobook time

I met or exceeded my reading goals every day.

I finished 5 books during the week and got started with two more.

I participated in two of the Tweet Chats.

I participated in two of the daily challenges.

I didn't hit my daily commenting goal but I managed to visit a lot of new to me blogs and get to know some new bloggers during the week. I plan to use the link pages from the Bout of Books blog to continue to visit participants blogs in the coming week.

The books I finished this week are:
  • She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
  • Fables 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham
  • The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins
  • The Unremarkable Heart & Other Stories by Karin Slaughter
  • Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I also started these two books:
  • Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark
  • Lord of the Silent by Elizabeth Peters
All in all it was a great week of reading and talking about books with a great bunch of bloggers. I will definitely be looking forward to Bout of Books 9.0 in January. I hope you'll join me!

Now the follow up work begins. I had been caught up with review writing but I now have to write reviews for the books I read this week (plus one more). Lucky for me there's a new and quite appropriate challenge starting tomorrow. I will most definitely be participating in The Monster Review-a-thon hosted by The Book Monsters. (more about that tomorrow).


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Weekend Update August 25, 2013

>> Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:
This week has been a great reading week. I've been participating in my first Bout of Books Readathon. It’s been a great excuse to choose to read instead of (insert anything I really didn't want to do).

I finished She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel. I really enjoyed this follow up to A Girl Named Zippy.

I read The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins. It’s the second in the Quinn Colson series and I've already got the most recent one n my shelf to read soon.

Both of those are titles I can use for the What’s in a Name Challenge. I needed a book with Up or Down in the title and also one with Lost or Found. I only have one more book to read for that challenge: something with a celebration or party in the title.

I started Little Town on the Prairie yesterday and I’ll probably finish it today. Today is the last day of Bout of Books so I’m still in the maximizing my reading time mode.

I finished the 5th book in the Fables series, The Mean Seasons. I liked getting some of the background story of Bigby Wolf in this one but it’s clearly a transitional book in the series and setting up for the next story arc. I’ve got the next one out from the library and want to get to it soon.

On audio I finished listening to The Unremarkable Heart and Other stories by Karin Slaughter. It’s a collection of short stories narrated by Shannon Cochran. I hadn't listened to her before but I liked her narration. The stories were interesting and varied. As to be expected from Karin Slaughter some of them were quite disturbing.

My new audiobook is Lord of the Silent by Elizabeth Peters and narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. I’m already enjoying being back with Amelia Peabody and her family. Amelia already made me laugh out loud in the first CD.

I am a firm believer in psychology when it agrees with my own opinions.

Other than books and reading:

As I said it’s been Bout of Books week so I’ve been maximizing my reading time.

Taking a look at my phone photos from this week:
Early morning sky

The sunrises have been just the perfect time for me to see some great early morning skies on my way to work this week.

Moon in the morning
I liked seeing the moon in the morning sky as I headed down our street this week


August sunrise
This was worth pulling over to get out of the car and take a photo.

What’s better than using a catnip banana for a pillow? Using a catnip chili pepper AND a catnip banana for a pillow.
Howie prefers to sleep with a pillow

One of my Photo a Day prompts this week was stairs and I didn’t want a boring old photo of stairs. Abby was a pretty cooperative model.
Abby



Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Bout of Books 8.0 Bookish Mad Libs Mini Challenge

>> Friday, August 23, 2013

Today's Daily Challenge for Bout of Books is hosted by Shaunie at The Space Between


Here's how it works

The Challenge

If you have never played Mad Libs before I think you are in for a treat! Mad Libs is a word game where one player prompts another player for a list of words that they will then fit into a prepared story. The player supplying the words doesn't get to know what the story is beforehand, only what type of word is needed, so you can imagine how silly it can get!

I have made up a list of what words you need to supply, but they must all come from an actual book title, or be a character whose title or series you must list. You do not have to have these books in your possession, so go out and search the interwebs for the most fantastic books you can find, as long as I can verify they are real! You may even use a full or partial title instead of one word, if that title or phrase fits the category asked for, as I will show below. Please either post your answers below (Book list, and finished Mad Lib), or a link to your blog posts with the answers in the comments. You MUST include the list of book titles or you will be disqualified!

The first step was to choose words based on this list:
A. Place name or type (from a book title) can be a proper name or noun like Italy or mountains
B. Fave Villain (from a book - list title/series)
C. Adjective (from a book title) (hot, cold, dark, etc.)
D. Number (from a book title)
E. Noun (from a book title)
F. Fave Hero/Heroine you wouldn't mind spending a LOT of time with (from a book - list title/series)
G. Dessert (from a book title)


Without knowing what the final story would be these are the words I chose:
A. Under the Dome by Stephen King
B. The Adversary - Fables Series by Bill Willingham
C. Orange Crush by Tim Dorsey
D. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini
E. The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
F. Jack Reacher - Jack Reacher series by Lee Child
G. Blackberry Winter by Sara Jio


This is the story I ended up with. I thought it turned out great.

Help! I'm being held captive Under the Dome, by The Adversary!
It is very Orange here!
He is demanding a thousand terra-cotta dogs to set me free!
I have just discovered that Jack Reacher was captured too!
On second thought, please send blackberries, and don't worry if you don't hear from us for awhile!

Much Love,

SuziQ

(Of course since I picked Jack Reacher we'll be rescuing ourselves just fine thank you very much)

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Bout of Books 8.0 I Spy Mini Challenge

>> Thursday, August 22, 2013

Part of my goals for my first Bout of Books was to participate in one of the daily challenges.

Today's Challenge hosted by Paperback Daydreamer was just too much fun to pass up.


I’m sure many of you remember the fun “I Spy” books when we were younger, it would tell you to find a particular object in the picture of clutter and you would have to find it, well I thought it would be fun to do that with our book covers. The object of this game is to find the specific items listed below using the books you own! 

So here is the list of things we had to find on our book covers and the books I found. I was shocked to find them all.


I SPY…

…snowflakes - Snow Blind by P.J. Tracy

…flames - Firestarter by Stephen King
…a city skyline - Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
…the moon - Fever Moon by Carolyne Haines
…a sword - The Princess Bride by William Goldman
…a wedding dress - The Wedding Dress by Virginia Ellis
…high heels - Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark
…fog - The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins
…a Christmas tree - Christmas in Cedar Cove by Debbie Macomber
…sunglasses - The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais
…lightning - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
…a tattoo - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
…combat boots - The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
…hand-cuffs - Gerald's Game by Stephen King
…a road - Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

Thanks to the Bout of Books organizers and also to Paperback Daydreamer for a fun week so far and a great challenge for today.

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Wordless Wednesday #201

>> Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Heceta Head Lighthouse at sunset
Oregon

click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here

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The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

>> Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #6 in the Little House series
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: originally 1940, this edition 1968
Pages: 335
Source: library


The Short Version:
As the Ingalls family settles in for the first winter on their homestead in the Dakota Territory the historic winter of 1880-81 is about to hit.

Why I Read It:
I started my re-read of this series due to a Read-along that seems to have fizzled out but I can’t leave it unfinished so I’m finishing up the series.

The Book:
Now that the Ingalls family has started to settle in on their homestead claim in the Dakota territory near the new town of DeSmet things appear to be settling down.

Unfortunately the upcoming winter of 1880-1881 will be a record setting one, When the first blizzard hits early October it’s only the beginning. The family moves from their unfinished claim shanty into town to the storefront building that Pa built. Even within the relative safety of the town however, the winter proves to be a harrowing one. With few breaks between them the blizzards just keep coming. The trains can’t get through, supplies run low and Spring seems to be later than ever before.

Haysticks, grinding wheat in a coffee grinder for coarse bread, listening to the wind howl and trying to keep despair at bay are what makes up the days for the family.

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

As I’ve done with previous books in the series I’m just going to post a few random thoughts that ran through my head as I read this.

Haysticks, coarse brown bread and wind have got to be the most used words in this book.

I remembered that this was the book where Almanzo and his brother Royal really became part of the story.

What I didn’t remember is that Almanzo is kind of a jerk in this book. He hides his own seed wheat but then risks his life and the life of another young man to convince another farmer to sell his seed wheat so the town can eat until the trains get through. The whole scene where he was convincing this man to sell his seed wheat while his was safely hidden away seemed so ironic to me even with the prior conversation that Almanzo’s wheat wouldn’t be enough to save the town. It just really bugged me this time around that he basically bullied Mr. Anderson into doing what he refused to do,

More haysticks. More coarse brown bread.

I’m so glad Mr. and Mrs. Boast are OK – I only vaguely remembered them from reading these as a kid.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Bout of Books 8.0 Goals and Updates

>> Monday, August 19, 2013

I am participating in my first Bout of Books this week.


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
My goals for the week and all my updates will be on this post. I’ll also be updating via twitter.
___________________________________________________________________

Time Devoted to Reading
I am working full time this week so I can’t possibly spend a gazillion hours reading. I do plan to limit some of what is normally my time spent on social media or wandering aimlessly online and replace those activities with more reading time.

I also plan to see if there are ways that I can increase my routine audiobook listening time. I typically only listen when I’m in the car by myself or when I’m out walking but I plan to keep my ipod with me this week to add some additional audiobook time.

Usually weekends are not a big reading time for me. That’s when The Hubster and I tend to do things together whether it’s chores and errands or out doing fun stuff. This upcoming weekend however is my annual ‘weekend to myself’. He’s participating in the Hood to Coast relay race and will be gone from mid-day Friday until late Sunday morning. That means I can spend a lot more time than usual reading next weekend. Taking all of that into consideration these are my goals for time devoted to reading this week:
  • 2 hours a day total reading/listening time Monday - Thursday
  • 3 hours Friday
  • Saturday and Sunday as much as I feel like
___________________________________________________________________

My Goals:
  • Read 4 books after I finish my current book (typically 2 books a week is a good week for me)
  • Participate in at least one Bout of Books Tweet Chat
  • Participate in one Bout of Books challenge
  • Comment on 5 new to me blogs every day from the participants lists
  • Weather permitting take a long walk on Saturday morning for some extended Audiobook time
___________________________________________________________________

Reading List (which is really rather mythical):
I can’t possibly read all of these and it’s highly likely that I’ll pick up something that’s not even on the list. There’s a reason this blog is named Whimpulsive.

Anyway - here’s what’s on my radar for reading soon and that includes this week.
  • Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark (have been meaning to get to this one for weeks)
  • Let Me Go by Chelsea Cain (Local author - new release in a series I caught up with last year)
  • The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins (a title for the What’s in a Name Challenge)
  • Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler Olsen (another one I've been meaning to get to for weeks)
  • Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (I need to start re-reading this because I've promised to write something about it by the end of September)
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl (too many people I trust are raving about this one to let it languish on the shelf)
  • Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Frye (sequel is coming out in September)
And these for a change of pace from my usual mystery/ suspense genres:
  • Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (next up in my re-read of the series)
  • Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (it's been on my shelf since I finished the first in the series)
  • William Shakespeare's Star Wars : verily, a new hope by Ian Doescher (just picked this up at the library and can't wait to read it)
  • Y: The Last Man Vol. 5: Ring of Truth by Brian K. Vaughan (need some graphic novels for a change of pace)
  • Fables vol. 6: Homelands by Bill Willingham (another excellent graphic novel series)
Audio: As soon as I finish my current book I’ll be starting Lord of the Silent by Elizabeth Peters. It’s 14 cds long so I won’t finish it this week.

All of these are in the house and available and I’ve got a good mix of audio, print, ebooks, genres and types of book so I can change up the pace or mood when it strikes.
___________________________________________________________________

Updates:

Monday:
How much I read or listened to today:  I managed 30 minutes of reading on the treadmill on my lunch break and a walk to the library helped me get an hour of audiobook time after work. Then another 2 hours of reading in the evening gave me a lot more reading time than I'd expected to get today.  I read about 120 pages and listened to an hour of audio.
Total number of books completed this week:  I finished one that I was not quite halfway through as of this morning
Thoughts on today’s reading:  I finished She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel and finishd the second CD of The Unremarkable Heart and Other Stories by Karin Slaughter. I also participated in today's TweetChat which was insanely fast but I had fun. Commented on at least 5 new to me blogs. I'm enjoying finding new to me bloggers. So I've met at least one of my goals for this week.


Tuesday:
How much I read or listened to today:  I didn't listen to my audiobook at all but I did get a total of about 2.5 hours of reading time in today.
Total number of books completed this week:  2. I finished the graphic novel I was in the middle of today.
Thoughts on today’s reading:  I finished Fables 5: The Mean Seasons. I love this graphic novel series. I started reading The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins. Quinn Colson is swoonworthy. This is a great series. This is the first time I've really had a chance to use my new Kobo Aura e-reader and I'm liking it a lot. I spent some time in the evening visiting and commenting on participant blogs so I'm keeping up with my goals so far.


Wednesday:
How much I read or listened to today:  I listened to about 30 minutes of my audiobook and spent a total of right around 2 hours reading. I'm meeting my goals so far.
Total number of books completed this week:  2
Thoughts on today’s reading:  I'm liking The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins a lot. I wish I'd had more time to read it but life and work prevented that. I was glad to get back to my audiobook after a day off. The Unremarkable Heart & Other Stories is a collection of short stories by Karin Slaughter. They all feature women at a crossroads in their lives and of course since it's Karin Slaughter there's some pretty twisted stuff going on in some of the stories.

I failed at my commenting goal so will have to make up for that tomorrow.


Thursday:
How much I read or listened to today: I didn't get as much reading time as planned yesterday but I did OK. I got about 35 minutes of audiobook time and about an hour total of reading time.
Total number of books completed this week: 2 - still the same
Thoughts on today’s reading: Although I didn't read as much as I'd planned to today I had a good day in regards to Bout of Books. I did the I Spy Challenge hosted by Paperback Daydreamer. It was fun and actually a little harder than I'd expected but I enjoyed it. I sacrificed some of my reading time to put together my post for the challenge.

That means I've achieved another of my goals for this week. I wanted to participate in at least one of the daily challenges. I also made up for my lack of visiting participant blogs and commenting so I feel like I'm meeting my goals in that area too.


Friday:
How much I read or listened to today: I got about 45 minutes of audiobook time in while out taking care of errands after work. I was busy at lunchtime so I didn't get any reading time till the evening but since I was home by myself I managed about 2.5 hours of reading so I met my Friday goal.
Total number of books completed this week: Still at 2
Thoughts on today’s reading: I'm liking both of my books. The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins is wonderful. I have such a crush on the main character. I'm in the middle of the last of the short stories in The Unremarkable Heart and Other Stories by Karin Slaughter. It's the title story and it won some awards this past year. I can see why. It's a good one. I'll finish both of these on Saturday.

I also participated in the Bookish Mad Libs challenge hosted by Shaunie at The Space Between. My Mad Libs story turned out pretty good,


Saturday:
How much I read or listened to today: I had a good reading day. Got almost 2 hours of audiobook time between my morning walk and afternoon errands. I spent a total of about 5 hours reading.
Total number of books completed this week: 4 - finished 2 today
Thoughts on today’s reading: I finished listening to The Unremarkable Heart & Other Stories by Karin Slaughter. I started a new audiobook The Lord of the Silent by Elizabeth Peters. It's fun to be back with Amelia Peabody and her family.

I finished reading The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins. I liked it a lot and am looking forward to reading the latest in the Quinn Colson series soon. I decided I needed a change of pace and picked up Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It's next on my re-read of the series. I read about half of it and will likely finish it on Sunday.

I totally failed and my daily commenting goal so I'll have to make up for that on Sunday.


Sunday:
How much I read or listened to today: I got in about 3 hours of reading today.
Total number of books completed this week: 5 - finished one more today
Thoughts on today’s reading: I finished reading Little Town on the Prairie and started reading Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark. I didn't get any audiobook time in today.


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Weekend Update August 18, 2013

>> Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:
It wasn’t a week with a lot of reading time for me but I enjoyed what I did find time to read.

I ended up starting She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel. I’d read her earlier memoir A Girl Named Zippy years ago and really enjoyed it and this sequel had been on my TBR list for a long time. It was the What’s in a Name Challenge that finally got me to check it out from the library. One of the categories for that challenge this year is a book with Up or Down in the title.

I also started a new graphic novel. I’m reading Fables Vol. 6: The Mean Seasons. It’s good to get a bit of background history of Bigby Wolf and the other ongoing storylines are reaching some interesting turning points.

On audio I finished listening to Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross which is narrated by Cynthia Darlow. It’s been a while since I listened to a Miss Julia book and it was a fun return to the antics of some familiar and enjoyable characters.

My new audiobook is a change of pace. It’s The Unremarkable Heart and Other stories by Karin Slaughter. It’s a collection of short stories by one of my favorite mystery/suspense writers. The narrator is Shannon Cochran and is a new to me narrator. I’ve only finished the first of the short stories so far but it was good.


Links I Like:
I’m repeating last week’s link to The Bout of Books because it kicks off tomorrow. Well technically it kicks of at 12:01am tonight but I hope to be sleeping at that time. I’ve been gearing up for this and making sure I have a variety of books in a variety of formats. I’ll have a more official post up tomorrow about my goals and possible reading list.

  • Bout of Books – This is a low key no stress weeklong readathon. It’s my first time to participate in this event and I’m looking forward to it. There are lots of challenges, chats and giveaways planned for the week. I won’t be participating in all of them but I’m leaving it flexible and mostly looking forward to a week of choosing to read instead of doing other things. Check it out – it’s not too late to join in.

Other than books and reading:

Yesterday was the annual Portland Adult Soapbox Derby. We attended this event for the first time last year and had such a great time that we knew we’d be going back again this year.




Some of the entries are built for speed.



Others are built just to be fun.



This person is simply insane.



The Bluth Stair Car was one of my favorites.



The Whac-a-Mole team had a lot of fun and a great car.


The back end of their car is the perfect way to end this.




Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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