Wednesday Book Meme

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:44 pm
wendelah1: Sally from Peanuts looking at a shelf of books (book geek)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because of all of the kids' books and quickie romances I've been reading lately, I am nine books ahead on my Goodreads challenge. I'm going to have to up the ante by ten books, at least, to compensate.

What I've finished

All the President's Men (1974), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I began reading it because of (1.) this article in Newsweek: "The Eerie Similarities Between Alleged Trump Scandals and All The President's Men, and (2.) because we'd just watched the movie based on it. (Note that the Newsweek story was published back in March. Imagine if they'd written it this week.) The book is award-winning journalism but honestly, the movie makes for a better story. Go rent the movie. Download it. Whatever. (We checked it out of the library). You will not be sorry. The movie gets five stars. The book gets four stars. These reporters, their editors, and their publisher are all American heroes.

Beany and the Beckoning Road (1959), Lenore Mattingly Weber. Beany believes that she has lost boyfriend Norbett to another girl: Cynthia. She and Johnny plan to drive from Denver to California to return their nephew to his parents and advertise for passengers to share the travel expenses. What a surprise for Beany when she discovers that one of the passengers is Cynthia. What will happen to a mismatched set of passengers with very little money and a tomato plant in the back seat?

This was better than the previous book in the series. Beany flies off the handle one time too many for my taste but whatever. Three stars for retro-charm and that tomato plant. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue on with the Malone family, but this book was funny and engaging.

Girl in the Water (2016), Dana Marton. I took a chance and purchased (I know!) this book because of how much I liked Secret Soldier. The online reviews were enthusiastic, but I was not impressed. Marton tried to weave together three stories, and multiple points of view, and couldn't quite pull it off. spoilers ) I applaud her attempt to write something more ambitious than your run of the mill romance but this didn't work for me at all. I give it one star.

I returned Sugar and Other Stories (1987) by A.S. Byatt to the library after reading just one story. Actually, I didn't make it through the first story. I can't recall the title. It was about an unpleasant little girl, attending an atrocious boarding school, with nasty classmates and an appalling, sadistic headmistress, who I've decided in retrospect might be a stand-in for the writer. Byatt enjoys torturing her characters in much the same way that her headmistress character enjoyed torturing her students. Halfway through, I found I wasn't liking anything about this story. Enough was enough. I skimmed through the next two stories and they were more of the same. No, thank you.

What's next?

I borrowed another book in the time travel porn series from the LAPL. I think this one is called "The Slayer" but it has nothing to do with vampires.

I'm still rereading the series for my kidlit fic exchange, titles withheld.

I unearthed an old novel of Margaret Drabble's which I'd never read, The Peppered Moth.

I'm carrying around Mirror Dance from the Vorkosigan saga in my purse.

There's a stack of time travel novels from the library at my bedside.

Entering Space: Creating a Space-faring Civilization by Robert Zubrin is sitting around somewhere, too. I got it out of mothballs because there is a chapter on mining asteroids, which is relevant to my interests. Speaking of space-faring civilizations, season two of The Expanse arrived yesterday!

black kitty

Books Wednesday

Jul. 12th, 2017 07:51 am
wendelah1: quote: take these broken wings and fly away (take these broken wings)
[personal profile] wendelah1
If I seemed overwhelmed and overwrought yesterday, I was. I am. I hope and pray that the democratic institutions in my country are strong enough to withstand the onslaught of avarice and deceit that has been set in motion by this corrupt, incompetent, evil administration and its supporters. Democrats are patriots, too. Believe me, this is the last thing I wanted to be told, the last thing I expected to have happened during the last presidential election.

Okay, so, books. I read more books than usual last week because of my quest to find a suitable romance blurb on which to base my Timeless story for [community profile] unconventionalcourtship.

Before I stumbled onto that treasure-trove of scifi porn, the Time Raiders series, I looked at a number of possible choices.

Secret Soldier by Dana Marten

Read more... )

Sundial by Carrie Lofty

Read more... )

I checked out three of the nine books from the Time Raiders Series.

Read more... )

Leave it to Beany by Lenora Mattingly Weber

Read more... )

This week needs more cats. Did you know that there is a Pinterest board devoted to books and cats?

Cat sitting on a bookshelf

This is Bartleby who resides at my favorite bookshop in San Diego, California.

The Proust Questionnaire

Jul. 11th, 2017 08:27 am
thesarahscope: (Default)
[personal profile] thesarahscope
 In honor of Proust's birthday yesterday (yeah yeah it's belated), my answers to the Proust Questionnaire:

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Being rootless with no home and traveling out west with my husband and pets. Basically, I want a gypsy caravan with my loved ones that never stops. I'm a nomad at heart. I never ever want to come home. Home is within. 

2. What is your greatest fear?  It's a cheery toss up between death and going to Hell. Runner ups include: being electrocuted, driving, making change, and bears. 

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  Being hot headed and proud. I go there all the time, but I hate it about myself. 

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Prudery

5. Which living person do you most admire?  My husband, Kelly. He has endless patience, and he is so kind. He makes it look like a cakewalk.  

6. What is your greatest extravagance?  Hah!  Everything about me is extravagant.  5+ dollar coffee every single day or all my time going to me?  I’m a bit of hedonist and everything is a bit over the top. I
 have a lot of extravagances which is why I don't have kids.  

7. What is your current state of mind?  I live in a constant state of 
Ouiser Boudreaux. I'm Ouiser after huffing essential oils today, though.  That state of mind is like a buoy bobbing on the ocean if you're wondering.   


8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Frugality or tact 

9. On what occasion do you lie? If you invite me anywhere, I'm most likely going to lie to get out of it at some point because of anxiety and depression. I'm the friend that flakes.  

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  Not that much, actually. I guess my thighs or super long ski like feet? Overall, I'm great with how I look.  I love my teeny baby sometimes lazy eye. I've become attached to my crowded big horse teeth.  I recently have embraced my plump arms that remind me of how much I loved squishing and kneading at my Grandma's when I was little. Yeah, I think I have babe status besides like 10 silver gray hairs that annoy me. It's liberating to love yourself.  

11. Which living person do you most despise? I'm not a fan of the current "President", but more so I despise the people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Paul Ryan who have the nerve to try to justify this as normal, and in my opinion, are putting party over country. 

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?  When I was young, I always said creativity, but I didn't know what I needed. When I fell in love with Kelly, I came to realize it was kindness. 

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?  Brashness 

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? "Awwwwwww, Hell."  My husband will tell you I say it just like Nick Nolte. 

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband, Kelly.  People say that stuff, but I'm truly mad about him. He's everything. I hover around him all the time with anxiety that something will happen to him. I wish I could lock him in the house or be in his pocket all the time. I know that sounds creepy, but I'm creepy. 

16. When and where were you happiest? Anytime with sunshine and warmth and a brief respite from my anxiety. When my mind is quiet, I am happiest.  

17. Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could paint or be a fat ballet dancer. After I watch ballet, I try to do moves in the house which I feel are beautiful, but I'm sure look hysterical. If I ever get to Heaven, I would love to be a fat ballet dancer up there. You all better come watch me. 

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wish I could get over my driving phobia. 

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement? This is the most difficult question so far. Getting a piece published that was deeply personal in a book?  Maybe just the fact that I continue to get up every day when I live in a brain that frequently hums with suffocating, unending fear. I live with a body and brain constantly elevated to red level terror alert. It sounds dramatic, but when you think about death and fear most of every day, continuing to exist is a victory. 

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I
 hope a monk or someone to be left in peace to study and focus on something more than myself. I want never ending quiet and a higher calling. 

21. Where would you most like to live? New Mexico 

22. What is your most treasured possession?  Letters and cards that Kelly has given me over the years/my book collection.  It's a tie.  

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Networking and/or icebreakers 


24. What is your favorite occupation? I wish I could do data entry all day long. Just tuck me in a closet with my own music or podcasts to listen to and no one around and endless amounts of data to enter. To most that would sound like boring hell, but for me, I would love nothing more. Unfortunately, I was born in the wrong period, and now, mostly people enter everything directly into the computer anyway so it's not needed. 

25. What is your most marked characteristic?  Being tell all. 
I have no secrets.  I'm an open book about everything.  I'm pretty passionate, too.  

26. What do you most value in your friends? Those who stick with me because it's not easy to be my friend. 

27. Who are your favorite writers? I could go on for paragraphs about this: Colette, Anais Nin, Elizabeth Bowen, Donna Tartt...I'm recently really getting into Faulkner. 

28. Who is your hero of fiction?   Léa from Chéri and Vinca from The Ripening Seed

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Marie Antoinette for her hedonism, love of leisure, and pugs 

30. Who are your heroes in real life?  People like my friend Natalie who seem to have this endless fountain of positivity  and joy and patience. No matter how stressful things are, she always seems to have time to give to people and without resentment! Women and men who choose to love themselves when society and/or the media tells them they're unworthy.  Hillary Clinton, who keeps getting knocked down and kicked in the teeth but always gets back up. My parents, of course.  

31. What are your favorite names? Cecilia and other names that sound old fashioned

32. What is it that you most dislike? the entire Hell that is Sam's with all of disgusting humanity clotted in front of the sample stands stuffing their faces, huge neck holes and thin shirts (the quality of today's clothing), and people singing happy birthday

33. What is your greatest regret? I don't know. There are many. Not applying myself in college. Being an asshole to my brother when we were young. Being unkind when I knew better.  


34. How would you like to die? Very, very old in my sleep 


35. What is your motto? I
 don't do inspirational posters, corny Hallmark cards, or mottoes.  

 

It worked!

Jul. 9th, 2017 03:32 pm
wendelah1: Scully smailing at Mulder, text "I'm happy now" (I'm happy now)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Thank you to [personal profile] amindamazed and [personal profile] monanotlisa, for suggesting that I use Dreamwidth for image hosting. Thank you to [personal profile] thatwasjustadream for oh so tactfully explaining where "manage images" was located (under Organize--who knew) and how it works. I have had trouble for years using the scrapbook at LJ. For some reason, the upload button only works if I access it from the LJ Help Page. WTFLJ.

I have 1024 GB of storage in my scrapbook at LiveJournal. I have no idea what that number means, by the way. Is that a lot of storage, a little bit of storage? Medium amount? Apparently, I can also upload videos there, although I bet that uses up the space faster. Video sure uses up...whatever it is that smart phones use faster.

Long story shorter, I managed to upload my journal banner to the scrapbook and changed the link in the custom CSS. It worked, as far as I can tell. My LJ [livejournal.com profile] wendelah1 has a "Permanent Package of Service," as the Russian ownership now calls a permanent account. I figure if Livejournal goes down for good, I won't care if my banners go down, too, and I would rather save the limited storage space at DW (500 GB) for DW.

I will still need to find a free and simple-to-use graphics program, and, you know, figure out how to use it. But, as Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan (gratuitous mention of Timeless for the win!) likes to tell his time-travelling teammates, "One problem at a time." It sounds better when he says it, I swear. Next on the list, locating the banner for [livejournal.com profile] xf_book_club. I know I have it saved...somewhere.

This Cat is Just a Test

Jul. 6th, 2017 07:15 pm
wendelah1: ginger and black cat friends (Shelter cat AU)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Testing 1-2-3

cat walking in the grass

It's a cat.

It looks like the image has posted to LiveJournal, too.

Where to put graphics?

Jul. 6th, 2017 03:51 pm
wendelah1: Scully's head dissolving into yellow goo (I'm melting)
[personal profile] wendelah1
I don't have a lot of graphics at Photobucket--in the time since I've had it, I've used less than 10% of the storage space for a free account-- but I do have some things there that are important to me. All of my custom journal styles for my communities at LiveJournal are broken, for example. Ten years of journaling there, and now every image is gone. Oddly enough, the same pictures are still visible on Dreamwidth, for the moment, but I assume they just haven't gotten around to blocking those. Just a few minutes ago, I tried to link a gif in a comment at a community and got the "Update Your Account (by Paying Us Ransom)" message.

Does anyone have a suggestion for somewhere to host the banner for [livejournal.com profile] xf_book_club, for example? It seems like a waste of money to pay Photobucket $400/year for that, and a few other banners, especially since they may well be going out of business shortly.

Photobucket accused of blackmail after quietly requiring users to pay $400 a year to hotlink.

I'm not questioning their right to charge for services rendered, but they only provided one pricing option for customers. I'm not a small business, or a professional blogger, but if I were, boy, would I be pissed off at having all of my images gone--poof!!--without notice of the change in their ToS. Not cool.
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