THIS BLOG HAS MOVED!!

The new location is Whimpulsive.


Update your feed reader now!


The feed has moved to: Whimpulsive


Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates.

http://whimpulsive.net/feed/

Sweet Tooth Vol. 5: Unnatural Habitats by Jeff Lemire

>> Thursday, July 31, 2014


Photo Credit


Sweet Tooth Vol. 5: Unnatural Habitats by Jeff Lemire

Sweet Tooth Vol. 5: Unnatural Habitats by Jeff Lemire

Genre: Science Fiction, Grapic Novel
Series: #5 in the Sweet Tooth series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 159
Source: Library



The Book:
This volume contains issues 26-32 of the comic series
From the publisher:
As the mysterious Captain James Thacker and his crew man a deadly expedition, they will uncover secrets centuries old, but what does any of this have to do with Gus and Jepperd? Plus, while Jeppard, Singh and Gus make plans to head to Alaska, things start to deteriorate for the rest of the group back at the sanctuary!

My Thoughts:
This volume initially takes a detour to the past to an expedition to Alaska before returning to the original timeline of the story. This adds some fascinating elements and along with some potential connections it also adds many questions. Back in Gus and Jeppard's time things at what most of the group of travelers thought was a safe haven change quickly.

This one provided some answers to the mystery of the plague, the animal hybrid children and how all of this got started. At the same time however, the final volume has a lot to resolve and I cannot wait to read it.

The art in the Captain Thacker story is by Matt Kindt which helped give that story a distinct feel. The return to Gus and Jeppard's story returns to Jeff Lemire's now familiar gritty work.


3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

Read more...

Wordless Wednesday #249

>> Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hello there, little frog

Hello there little frog
click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here

Read more...

Weekend Update – The Vacation at the Coast Edition

>> Sunday, July 27, 2014

Weekend Update

Same thing every year. I pack for our week at the coast and take way more books than I can possibly read because after all what if I’m not in the right mood for ANY of the books I have with me. This irrational fear is somewhat mitigated by my eReader but only partially because I really hate reading books on my eReader or tablet back to back. I prefer to mix the paper in with the electronic.

Then we get over to the coast and I look out the window of the rental house and see this.

Yachats waves

Then I pick up a book and stare out the window, read a few pages, stare out the window some more and then end up reading way less than I plan to but I don’t even care because . . . this!
Yachats Sunset

We had a great week. The weather was pretty spectacular for the Oregon coast. We only had one day that was partially damp and even that day turned out to be pretty in the afternoon.
Valley Trail at Carl G. Washburne State Park

We went for a hike one day and while it was sunny on the trail through the woods when we got to the beach it was foggy. That was kind of weird. We were walking up the beach and couldn't see either the cliff to our right or the ocean to our left. It was rather disorienting
foggy beach

It felt like we were walking through some mystery movie scene. Then all of a sudden in cleared up ahead of us.
clearing up on the beach

It was baby seagull season with lots of young birds on the roofs of the houses in the village. There was no nest on the house next door this year but we did get to see a few a couple of houses over.,
Seagull and baby

We watched some whales spouting offshore. They were there for a couple of days but we didn't seen any for the rest of the week.


Oh what did I actually read? I finished Identity by Ingrid Thoft. It was just as good as Loyalty (the first book in the Fina Ludlow series) and the author said on Twitter that number three is with the publisher and she’s working on number four.

I read a couple of comic collections. Sweet Tooth Volume 5: Unnatural Habitats by Jeff Lemire added even more answers and questions to the ongoing story. I’m both looking forward to reading the final volume in the series and sad that I’ll be finishing it. Mostly I’m very curious about how it’ll all wind up. Then I read Fables Vol. 10: The Good Prince by Bill Willingham, I loved this one because there is a lot of stuff going on and one of my very favorite characters is featured.

I also read another of the stories in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. I like interspersing these stories in between books or as a break from a longer book.

Finally I started the third book in Timothy Hallinan's Junior Bender series, The Fame Thief. Junior is a burglar who also works as an investigator (often not necessarily by his own choice) for folks on the wrong side of the law themselves. This time the story has links to the old Hollywood in the 1950’s. So far it’s fun and interesting.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Read more...

Wordless Wednesday #248

>> Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dodging the Waves at Sunset

dodging the waves at sunset
click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here

Read more...

Weekend Update – The This App Made Me Succeed at Keeping a Journal Edition

>> Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weekend Update

I have been a serial failure at keeping a journal over and over again since I was about twelve years old. This week I hit a major milestone and reached the one full year mark of daily journaling.

What was the key? The Day One App on my phone and tablet. Seriously. I love this app.

For me the game-changer was the ability to use photos as part of my daily journal. I have been doing the Photo a Day thing on Instagram for over two years now. The thing that I learned from that is that those photos became a sort of photo journal for me.


The Day One App let me take that a step further and combine a daily text journal and photos.

I happened to get the app when it was available for free on a special offer but I can tell you it's worth the cost. If you're hesitant about spending the money then you should follow @dayoneapp on Twitter. When a special offer is available then you'll know and can grab the app.

I'm now at the point where I can look back and see what I was doing this time last year and this shocks me. I have never stuck with a journal format or process for even close to a full year. I started out with just a photo and a sentence or two but now that it's become more of a habit and a daily ritual I'm expanding my entries more often.

I sync through Dropbox so I have a backup and I can access my journal both on my phone and my tablet. There is a desktop application for Macs but I have a Windows laptop. Luckily there is a nifty little desktop viewer that is built in java. I don't use it a lot because I do use my phone and tablet most but it's handy to have and while it's not a full version you can edit and save entries if you need to be able to do that on a windows machine.

Bottom line, this app turned me into a success at maintaining a daily journal habit after a lifetime of short lived attempts. I highly recommend this app. Go check out the Day One App website for more information. Also, in case you're wondering, they didn't ask me to write this and don't even know I did.


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Read more...

Nutshell Review: Sweet Tooth Vol. 4: Endangered Species by Jeff Lemire

>> Friday, July 18, 2014


Photo Credit


Sweet Tooth Vol. 4: Endangered Species by Jeff Lemire

Sweet Tooth Vol. 4: Endangered Species by Jeff Lemire

Genre: Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Series: #4 in the Sweet Tooth series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 176
Source: Library



The Book:
This volume contains issues 18-25 of the comic series
From the publisher:
They were hunted... but they survived.

The half-animal hybrid child called Gus and the big man called Jepperd have escapes the clutches of a brutal militia, with a ragtag band of scientists, survivors, and other hybrids in tow. Though the betrayals and sins of the past are fresh in their minds, an uneasy truce binds the group together.

Now they head north to Alaska, where salvation from the sickness that slaughtered billions -- and the mysterious condition that created Gus and his hybrid friends -- may be found.

My Thoughts:
As I said after the previous volume, this series just gets more and more fascinating with every issue.

I enjoyed the way that the flashback stories of some of the characters were drawn by guest artists Nate Powell, Emi Lenox and Matt Kindt. It was an interesting and fun element.

The story continues to add interesting elements and surprises while at the same time keeping the focus on Gus and Jepperd and a handful of other characters,

More and more of both the backstories of recurring characters are revealed. There are also more clues and questions about both Gus's origin and what caused the plague.

I'm glad I have the final two volumes out from the library.


3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

Read more...

Wordless Wednesday #247

>> Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lake Tahoe Sunset

Lake Tahoe Sunset
click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here

Read more...

Currently // July 14, 2013

>> Monday, July 14, 2014

Currently

Time // 8:15ish pm Monsday evening

Place // My recliner in the family room

Eating // nothing right now but leftover pot roast and mashed potatoes will be next on my agenda.

Drinking // Chardonnay

Reading // I'm a little over halfway through Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft. It's the second book in her Fina Ludlow series and it's just as good as the first one (Loyalty).

Identity by Ingrid Thoft

Listening to // My current audiobook is The Cast Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell. It's narrated by Xe Sands. This is a cozy mystery series featuring a Vintage Clothing store owner in San Francisco who just happens to be a witch.
A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell

Watching // Season three of Longmire. It's as good even though it's different than the Walt Longmire books by Craig Johnson.

Pondering // Vacation books. I always take way more than I can possibly read but I'm working the list of what goes with me next week.

Promoting // NEXT a new web series. I've already contributed to their Kickstarter campaign and I hope you take a look and consider doing the same. The series is about a Silicon Valley tech company run by women. Yes, I know one of the producers but I would have contributed anyway.


Blogging // Still a little surprised that I hit my eighth anniversary of starting this blog over the weekend.

Making // A baby afghan. I need to get busy with this since the baby shower is scheduled for the end of this month - yikes!

Anticipating // The next Bout of Books coming up August 18-24. Come on! You know you just need an excuse to read more than normal for a week, right?
Bout of Books

What are you reading? What are you listening to? What are you doing?

Read more...

Happy Eighth Birthday to Whimpulsive

>> Saturday, July 12, 2014

Eight years ago today I started what I had planned to use as an online book journal. I expected it to be primarily for me and a handful of friends or family I could give the link to when they asked "what book have you read lately that you'd recommend?".

I had no idea that "book blogging" was a thing until people I didn't know started commenting.



Eight years later things are very very different.

Since that first comment from a stranger all those years ago I have developed many long term friendships with fellow booklovers I've met through this blog. Even though, I haven't met most of them in person.

These people are now my primary source of book related information and recommendations. Through their blogs and now also on Twitter and Facebook I chat with them daily. Conversations that used to take place in the comments section strictly about books are now all over social media and about books and life in general.

As those relationships and friendships have evolved over the years this blog has also evolved. It's still primarily a book journal for me. For that reason I do post about every book I read. The 'Nutshell Review' format I've started using is perfect for those that I still want a record here but don't need a full review. I don't just talk about books though. I enjoy sharing photos and other things (usually in Weekend Update posts) but that isn't a strict rule.

The evolution of this blog is an ongoing thing. I've got some changes planned in the next few months but that's all I'll tell you for now. Nothing earthshattering but some tweaks that I've decided are necessary. I'll still be here posting about books and sharing photos and talking about whatever I decide is worth talking about.

I plan to continue to be here and I hope you will continue to visit. I am truly appreciate every visitor and commenter who stops by. Thanks for letting me be a part of your day.

Read more...

Audiobook – Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi

>> Friday, July 11, 2014

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Cpodas by John Scalzi

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Cpodas by John Scalzi

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: 2012
Length: 7 hours, 41 minutes
Read by: Wil Wheaton
Source: purchased

The Short Version:
A group of low ranking crewmembers of a space exploration ship begin to have suspicions regarding the high number of them who die while on away missions.

Why I Read It:
I'm old enough to have watched Star Trek when it first aired and have seen every episide multiple times over the years so the high mortality of the 'redshirts' on the crew was a familiar thing to me. The premise of this book sounded fun and I've enjoyed Wil Wheaton's narration before.

The Book:
From the publisher:
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

My Thoughts:
This book both interested and irritated me. The story was fun and interesting and the three codas at the end were excellent. They gave the story added dimension that worked very well.

There was a lot of humor in this but there was also some very heart tugging moments. It had all the fun of the old Star Trek episodes while making fun of it at the same time. It was in the three codas at the end that the mood changed. They added some closure to some story elements but were a definite departure from the feel of the main story.

My irritation was with the author's choice of dialog format. There were often sections of long conversations between two or more characters that always ran like this.
....., A said.
....., B said.
....., A said.
....., B said.

I began jumping for joy when the occasional "A asked" showed up. I'm wondering if this was less noticeable and irritating in the print version. It was very annoying at the begiinning. I think I learned to not hear it so much as the book continued because I really was enjoying the story. Every once in a while a long dialog section would take me out of the story again with the repetitive use of 'said' at the end of every sentence.

Despite the fact that Wil Wheaton does a good job of the narration the audio format has issues beyond his control and are the doing of the author. For that reason my recommendation is to read the print version of this. It really is a lot of fun in the same way the original Star Trek series was.

3 stars Rating 3/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration (Wheaton was better than his material in this case)



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

Read more...

Wordless Wednesday #246

>> Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lake Tahoe Sunset

Lake Tahoe Sunset
click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here

Read more...

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

>> Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 447
Source: Copy provided by the publisher

The Short Version:
A glimpse into the behind the scenes workings of a restaurant kitchen.A history of the family of the last Tsar of Russia with a focus on the lives of the family.

Why I Read It:
Ever since I read Robert K. Massie’s Nicholas and Alexandra when I was in high school I’ve been a sucker for all things Romanov.

The Book:
From the publisher

They were the Princess Dianas of their day—perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses—Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov—were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, the clothes they wore and their privileged lifestyle.

Over the years, the story of the four Romanov sisters and their tragic end in a basement at Ekaterinburg in 1918 has clouded our view of them, leading to a mass of sentimental and idealized hagiography. With this treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away, and them along with it.

My Thoughts:
Having read many books about Nicholas II and his family there was a lot of familiar territory covered in this book. There were also some new insights that I enjoyed reading.

Although the title indicates the book is primarily about the four Grand Duchesses it’s really about the family. Many of the books out there focus on Nicholas, Alexandra and their hemophiliac son, Alexei and the strange monk Rasputin. This book almost makes Alexei a background presence but the girls parents are very much a part of this book.

Because they lived such insulated lives there is not a lot of information still available about these young women and their lives. Much of what is known is from memoirs of surviving family members and staff. Complicating the lack of information is the fact that much of the family’s personal papers were intentionally destroyed in the months leading up to their imprisonment and deaths.

Nevertheless this book does take bit of a different perspective on the history of the family. It is primarily about their non-public lives. It reinforces that despite their imperial titles and wealth, they lived simple and in many ways boring lives. Outside political realities and the need for security were a big factor but these were compounded by the secrecy about their younger brother’s medical condition and the efforts to keep it from becoming public.

Although the book does venture into some different territory it’s still limited by the limited information about some rather sheltered and isolated young women. It’s hard to feel like the girls are truly known any better but it was still an interesting book and one that people like me who are interested in the history of the Romanovs would like.

I would not necessarily recommend it as an entry into the tragic story of this family but it's an interesting perspective.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

Read more...

Weekend Update – The What’s in a Name Challenge Mid-Year Update Edition

>> Sunday, July 6, 2014

Weekend Update


Last week I did a mid-year update on the Reading Bingo Game so I figured I might as well do a mid-year update on the What’s in a Name Challenge.


What's in a Name 2014

This is hosted by Charlie at The Worm Hole this year. It's been one of my favorite challenges from its very first year. It's pretty simple. Just read books whose titles fit the categories.

Here's where I stand so far this year

A reference to time

A position of royalty – Empress of the Night

A number written in letters

A forename or names

A type or element of weather

A school subject -


Hmmm . . . 1 out of 6 so far. Guess I need to reorganize my book stack a bit. I actually have books for almost all of these categories on my shelf but I just haven't picked them up. yet.



Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Read more...

Nutshell Review: Sweet Tooth Vol. 3: Animal Armies by Jeff Lemire

>> Thursday, July 3, 2014


Photo Credit


Sweet Tooth Vol. 3: Animal Armies by Jeff Lemire

Sweet Tooth Vol. 3: Animal Armies by Jeff Lemire

Genre: Science Fiction, Grapic Novel
Series: #3 in the Sweet Tooth series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 143
Source: Library



The Book:

From the publisher:
In this new collection featuring issues #12-17, Gus and the other hybrid kids meet a new ally in the militia camp, but will he help them find a way out? And Jepperd begins to assemble an army of his own to take down the militia camp. But can he control the forces he's set in motion? It's the most explosive SWEET TOOTH epic yet!

My Thoughts:
This series just gets more and more fascinating with every issue.

This time it opens with Gus in the Militia camp where his captors and scientists want to find our where he came from. Other human/animal hybrid children were born after the plague that killed much of the worlds population but Gus is too old to have been born after the plague. Is he (and the other hybrid kids) the key to the survival of the human race?

The clues to Gus’s past are generating more questions than answers at this point and the intriguing possibilities have me hooked. There are some seriously whacked out people in the remains of civilization.

Jeppard’s story in the meantime, is getting more answers but they are heartbreaking. He’s an angry man and the things he’s discovering are making him even angrier. At the same time however, he’s determined to help Gus.

Where this series will go next is clear at the end of this volume but the possibilities of what will happen there are wide open. I need to get volume 4 out from the library soon.


3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

Read more...

Wordless Wednesday #245

>> Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lake Tahoe Evening

Lake Tahoe Evening
click on image for larger version

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here

Read more...

July Photo a Day Challenges

>> Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Photo a Day Challenges

I'm continuing with what has worked for me for the last couple of months.

In both May and June I decided that no one of the photo a day prompt lists fully worked for me. I chose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. I'm happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I'll be using for July:
(click on the images to see larger versions)




Check out my Photo a Day history on Shuttercal where I'm up to 869 daily photos

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

Here are the most liked of June Photo a Day photos:
leaf
June 1st - leaf
macro
July 16th - macro
shades
July 17th - shades
diagonal
July 21st - diagonal
pure unedited image
July 23rd - pure unedited image
motion
July 30th - motion

If you're not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you'll consider it because it's a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won't be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.

Read more...

Blog Archive

My latest Photo a Day

See a photo a day on SuziQoregon's ShutterCal

  © Blogger template Webnolia by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP