Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

How to write a blog post when you have no ideas: a memoir

Hey y’all! This post is definitely inspired by my own lack of inspiration right now. So since I can’t seem to get something solid out of my mushy brain at the moment, I came up with some ideas for what to do next time this happens! For me, for you, for anyone — if you’re feeling stuck give these a go!

You’re welcome, future me.

  • read posts by some other favorite bloggers
  • review old posts of your own and see if you have any opinions that have changed
  • read an old review for a book that you’ve since re-read and see if you felt any differently on the latest read
  • a list of books you weren’t into right away but loved by the time you finished
  • check out different bookish memes and see if one strikes you (Top 5 Saturday / Tuesday, Let’s Talk Bookish, First Lines Friday…)
  • write a review, because you KNOW there are books that you never got around to reviewing πŸ˜‚
  • look up pictures of libraries in cities you want to visit because they’ll be gorgeous and then you’ll want to visit them even more 😍
    fun fact (or maybe just a nerdy-me fact): when I was in Amsterdam I spent an entire day reading and exploring in their library because IT IS AMAZING.
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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

New house goals: little tree library

I stumbled upon this little delight recently, and it legitimately inspired me (which is not something I say lightly).

This woman turned a big old tree they had to cut down in their yard for safety reasons into a tiny free library.

And, well, I happen to be in the process of buying a house. And there happens to be a big old tree there that we’ll need to cut down for safety reasons. I’ve been pretty unhappy with that idea, as I hate cutting a tree down and this one houses squirrels and is a pretty little landmark for when I’m near home.

So if I have to cut my tree down, then at least I can do something awesome with it too, like turn it into a little neighborhood library. 😍

I just need to make sure I’m okay with inviting strangers to come linger in my front yard…

Too many perspectives

I’m a bit disappointed to say that so far reading Shadowlands has been pretty difficult. I’m no slouch when it comes to keeping track of multiple perspectives in a story, but this one seems to be a different person every chapter. There have been a few that were repeated characters, but we’ve had probably 10 or so different people in 13 chapters. It’s making it pretty hard to get really settled into the story, since we keep jumping from person to person and place to place. I really want to enjoy the plot but the delivery is making it difficult.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

September 2020 Wrap-Up (Giving up on summer πŸ˜”)

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?
I planned for ten books, and read 6 of those ten, plus 3 more I hadn’t planned on. So 9/10, ultimately! A little lower than normal, but I also had some pretty slow and lengthy books this month that I put time into.

The Plan:

The Result:

For the record, the two books that are still listed as TBR are on October’s TBR list! So they didn’t get abandoned to the back of an endless pile. They’re still front and center. πŸ™‚

To Sleep In A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini is that same book I’ve been raving about for months now. I got my copy, I savored it, and I reviewed it. And now it’s published, so you can do the same! 😁

Continue reading “September 2020 Wrap-Up (Giving up on summer πŸ˜”)”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

In progress with DOWN UNDER

Progress: page 239/394 (60%)

Take me on a trip to somewhere new and warm. ^.^

Why did I start reading it?

I quite adore Bill Bryson from some of his other travel and language books I’ve read. When I saw this at my favorite used bookstore, I had to grab it up! I can’t very well travel right now, so I’m embracing it in books even more than I usually do. Bryson is a delightful tour guide who constantly cracks me up and fascinates me with interesting history and observations. Who knew that rabbits were such a deadly scourge in Australia? NOW I DO!😊

Where have I gone?

Interesting History I’ve Learned:

–> THE UNKNOWN NUCLEAR EXPLOSION
in 1993, there was a huge unexplained explosion, that for years no one could explain or find. In 1995, it was discovered that a Japanese terrorist group had performed a test nuclear explosion in Australia’s vast desert in some land the organization owned — and no one knew about it until 2 years after.

–> THE MAN WHO NAMED AUSTRALIA
Lachlan Macquarie, a Scottish governor of the original colonies, is the one who made the name Australia take root. Before, it was just called New South Wales or Botany Bay without any real discrimination. He also has a TON of stuff named after him, either first or last name.

–> THE SECRET MENACE OF RABBITS
Early in the colonization, some fancy to-do aristocrat brought some rabbits with him to put in his garden and enjoy watching them. But then they escaped, and mated like rabbits as they swarmed to continent, absolutely devouring and destroying tons of the scrub and low brush of the land. It’s still a problem, and this is one organization trying to deal with it.

–> THE WHITE AUSTRALIAN POLICY
When people were first immigrating to Australia (by choice, not as prisoners), there were some official policies in place that allowed officials to test anyone entering on any European language and kick them out if they fail. The discrimination towards non-whites was pretty clear with this policy in place. Who’s going to pass a literacy test in Scottish Gaelic??

–> GOLD AUSTRALIA
Australia was desperately poor for a long time after being colonized, as is maybe not terribly surprising in a continent that’s mostly desert and has lots of really intense weather. What turned all that around was the discovery that Australia also had a TON of gold. People started panning, or drilling, or mining, or however you get gold out of the earth, and suddenly they were a pretty well-to-do corner of the world.

Lines that linger

Put in the crudest terms, Australia was slightly more important to Americans in 1997 than bananas, but not nearly as important as ice cream.

It is a fact little notes that the Aborigines have the oldest continuously maintained culture on earth, and their art goes back to the very roots of it. Imagine if there were some people in France who could take you to the caves at Lascaux and explain in detail the significance of the paintings — because it as fresh and sensible to them as if it were done yesterday.

In 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, and 1998 Nyngan was devastated by torrential flash floods. For five years during this same period, while Nyngan was being repeatedly inundated, the town of Cobar, just eighty miles to the west, recorded not a drop of rain. This is, if I haven’t made it clear already, one tough country.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

The book cover made me do it

Hey y’all!

About two years ago, I stumbled on a book on Hoopla called A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan. It was billed as a sort of King Midas story, but where his daughter is the one still suffering from his past curse. I was pretty intrigued, and the book had no wait, so I gave it shot!

It was solidly ok. I finished it, but it’s not one I recall very fondly. Even right after finishing it, I remember feeling pretty underwhelmed. I wish I remembered the exact reasons better now, but alas, I wasn’t so good about recording my book thoughts back then. πŸ™‚ It was probably because it was a seafaring adventure, and that just doesn’t usually do it for me.

Cue a few days ago when something shiny caught my eye: the pretty new cover for the unexpected sequel, A Curse of Gold. And I found myself checking it out, considering it, even though I distinctly remember being not that into the first one. πŸ˜‚ Why does this happen? Why am I returning to considering a sequel (that isn’t really exciting me, by the way) of a book that I was lukewarm on at best?

In a rare ocurrence for me… I blame the cover.

Look at the shine and sparkle! I can just picture a lovely embossed cover… When I finished the first book, I thought I certainly wouldn’t be reading a sequel. And yet, here comes the sequel, and here comes me checking out the sequel. πŸ˜‚ TBD on if I actually decide to go for it…

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100 books read!! How did I do with my extended reading goals?

Hey y’all!

So a while ago (April I think?) I wrote about how I had already finished my standard book-reading goal for the year: 52 books! And yes, even though I’ve totally destroyed that goal like a boss, I am still going to keep my reading goal at 52 each year.

My further goal for myself once I hit the sheer number amount was to read things I wouldn’t usually, or to read more diversely in general. I’ve now hit 100 books in the year, and I’m curious about how I did with my extended goal in the last 48 books I’ve read. I think I’ve done a good job with it, but let’s take a look and actually judge me on it, shall we? 😁

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Spine poetry: days after a breakup (but not my own!!)

This session of spine poetry stems from my last 5 completed books, but as of a few days ago because I wrote these and then finished some books before finishing this post. πŸ˜… At the time of writing my five most recently finished books were:

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Update: Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Ok, so when I first wrote about Girl, Serpent, Thorn book for a Fast Forward Friday feature, I was honestly a little lukewarm on it. I figured it would be good, not great, probably kind of predictable and nothing I hadn’t seen before. And happily, I WAS SO WRONG!!!

I’ve been flying through this book, and even before the halfway point so much had happened and the story took a huge turn and I was in territory I fully did not expect. I’m absolutely loving it, with a more interestingly dynamic MC than I expected and some really clever mirroring and callbacks throughout the novel. Probably going to finish this one up right quick. ^.^

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

The fated encounter of Marie Lu’s SKYHUNTER

the book

Hey y’all! I imagine by now if you’re a reader of young adult fiction or fantasy, you’ve probably seen this striking cover in a promo somewhere by now:

fascinating font. props to the designer!

Well, I’ve seen this cover for Skyhunter by Marie Lu often in the last several months and been quite torn over it. While it seemed like a no brainer book I would love — it’s by Marie Lu! It’s got a badass female MC! There are SECRETS, and maybe even a sinister plot to uncover! — for some reason I just… couldn’t commit to it. I felt so wary, like there’s something in the blurb making me think that this one, this one time, is just not for me.

fate intervenes

So since I was torn on this book — would I love it or hate it? — I didn’t request an ARC from any sites. However, then I did see a giveaway on Goodreads, and figured I would enter and leave my decision to chance. If I happened to win the giveaway, I would give it a shot. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t bother unless reviews and more info post-publication changed my mind.

And, well, I lost. Which really wasn’t surprising for such a popular book that had 8471 people enter. Which made my chances of winning 0.006 percent. πŸ˜‚

So I entered again. And, I think, a third time. And I went to enter a fourth time —

the error

I got an error! Filled with mild indignant outrage, I scoured the page for the reason. Why am I being blocked from entering? Are they telling me to just give up on this book already??

“Sorry, you can’t enter this giveaway —

Continue reading “The fated encounter of Marie Lu’s SKYHUNTER”