Linkity on a Sunday

This week let’s do something different for the Sunday Summary! I haven’t written anything fiction-wise since NaNoWriMo ended, because I’ve needed to use my creative energy for making holiday cards and knitting gifts. So instead of discussing what I’ve written (which is nothing) let’s take a trip around the blogosphere and see what other people have written!


Lattes and Llamas shared this Llama Christmas Cookie link, and I think I mush make them. NOW. So cute!

Ally had this great discussion about medication in YA books, and how it’s not portrayed in a healthy fashion.

Zuky announced her December BookBum Club theme, and posted links to the November BookBum Club reviews.

In her linkity on Friday, Chris shared this tumblr post about how knitting led to the moon landing. She also had a link to a list of Mexican references in “Coco” (the Pixar movie, which I ABSOLUTELY LOVED — GO SEE IT).

I recently found out about Hunter Hammersen‘s knitting patterns (courtesy of the love given by SpaceCadet yarn). And for the first 3 weeks of December she has an advent calendar of sorts in the form of discounts on her knitting patterns! (Each day a different item is discounted through December 24th.) Love it, and I’ve already bought a few patterns as a result.

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Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

I saw this book tag on Dragons & Zombies, and while I wasn’t tagged it sounds like a fun pre-Hallowewen blog post. So I’m going to play anyway! Also, since I wasn’t officially tagged I’m not going to officially tag anyone. If you decide to play along anyway, though, let me know so I can see how your zombie-fighting team stacks up!

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ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE BOOK TAG

  • Choose 5 books!
  • Randomly set up your books in order.
  • Flip to a random page in the book and write the first two names you see.
  • Put the names in the categories listed below in the order you saw them.
  • Cry at how screwed you are…

Books I picked:

  1. Rosemary & Rue by Seanan McGuire, page #188-9, Evening Winterrose & Blind Michael
  2. Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong, page #35, Paige Winterborne & Lucas Cortez
  3. Tinker by Wen Spencer, page #304, Windwolf & Tinker
  4. Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire, page #101, James (do we ever find out his last name? I sure don’t remember it) & Dominic De Luca
  5. The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff, page #328, Dean McIsaac & Claire Hansen

The First Person to Die

Evening ~ appropriate, since she dies early on in the book…

The Person You Trip to Get Away From the Zombies

Blind Michael ~ this sounds bad, but trust me. It’s not. He’s… not a nice guy.

The Person That Trips YOU to Get Away From the Zombies

Paige ~ huh. Not really in her personality type, unless she thought she was justified.

The First Person to Turn into a Zombie

Lucas ~ aaawwww.  😦

The Idiot of the Team

Windwolf ~ um, no? Unless it’s set purely on Earth, in which case he’d be cut off from magic and potentially not able to adjust. But otherwise no.

The Brains of the Team

Tinker ~ this works. She is kinda a mad scientist. Awesome and really cool and not evil, but brainy fits really well.

The Medic

James ~ he’s a Chupacabra and a professional ballroom dancer. I don’t know if either of those fits with “medic”…

The Weapons Expert

Dominic ~ bwahahahaha, this is very accurate.

The Brawler

Dean ~ I think he’s the only normal human in this group. (The other humans are also trained in kicking ass, so…) That makes this a bit… odd.

The Leader

Claire ~ well, she is generally considered bossy. At least by her younger sister. And the books she’s in have good endings, so I guess she’s good at it?

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That’s my team. I just might have a shot. (I did stack the deck, though, picking books with paranormal elements in them. But poor Lucas. One would have thought he’d survive better with all he’s been through already.)

If you decided to play along, what do you think about your chances? Will you survive the zombie apocalypse?

Friday Reads ~ 20 October 2017

I didn’t finish any books this week. I made some good progress on my paper book, but that’s about it. I’m finishing up something career-related, but that should be finished (I hope) by the end of this weekend, so I’m hoping to have more time for reading next week. Of course, then we head in to NaNo-November, so reading time might drop again…

WHAT I’M READING

I’ve been making most of my reading progress this week on The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. I’m really enjoying this re-read, and I find I remember more of the book than I thought I would. It’s been over 20 years since I read it (I think?), and I think I only read it the once, so I guess it really stuck with me for me to remember it this well.

I’m still reading Dragon’s Egg by Robert Forward and listening to Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts. Both are still enjoyable. I’ve just been too busy to spend much time on them.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

After I finish TWW, I’m going to start A Novel Way To Die by Ali Brandon. I still have a few books left to read on my cat mystery challenge, so I’m going to get going on that one.

Next ebook… who knows. I need to make more progress on my current one before I can decide that. Same goes for my next audio book. Please Don’t Tell My Parents is a longer book than I expected it to be when I started it (yes, I glossed over the part of the book info saying how many hours it was).

Have a great weekend!

Misc Monday ~ in which we talk about apps

It’s been a while since I had a post about smartphone apps, so let’s have another, shall we? First off, I have to start off by saying that we are an Apple family here, so I don’t have any apps on my list which aren’t on Apple’s list. Hopefully there is some Android cross-over for my non-Apple friends.

AutoSleep ~ I use this pretty much every night to track my sleep. It’s great: I can tell it when I go to bed, but I don’t have to. It figures it out based on things like whether I’m moving and whether my iPhone is in use. Then it tracks things like how restless I am and what my heart-rate is while I’m sleeping. (company website; Apple only?; paid app)

Paprika ~ LOVE this app! It’s what I use to organize my recipes. (I enjoy it enough that I have it on ALL of my devices.) I’m still working on typing in all of the recipes I have on hand-written cards, but it does make finding what I’m looking for — and trying new recipes — so much easier. (company website; Apple (iPhone, iPad, Mac), Android, Kindle Fire, Windows; paid app)

Crunch Time ~ This is a relatively standard match game, but it has Simon’s Cat illustrations. When you match chains of the same type of cat food/treat, they get fed to Simon’s Cat (and friends). Basic game, cute graphics. (website; Apple, Android; I think it’s free with add-on purchases?)

Pinterest ~ I’ve been loving pinning things. (I knew I would get addicted, which is why I took so long to sign up.) I’ve been trying to make myself try things from Pinterest, too, and have (off & on) done a decent job of that. But I like the app better than the website version of the site. (website; Apple, Android, online; free app)

Hamilton App ~ This is probably going to be a short-lived thing for me (since I’m not using it for the lottery entries) but it’s amusing for the moment. I think one of the things I like best is when the app is loading something it has a screen with the show logo and “WAIT FOR IT.” I love that song, so enjoy references to it. (website; Apple, Android; free app, though you can use it to buy things)

Tsuro ~ Neat game that really captures a board game feel on an app. This is one you can play socially, but I haven’t done that yet, instead only playing with the game’s AI. It’s got fun game mechanics, but above all it’s a pretty game. And easy to learn the basics of, as well! I think getting really good at it might take a bit more time than I’ve spent playing so far. (website; Apple, Android; I think this is a paid app that I got as a “game of the week” freebie… but I’m not sure)

That’s my current list. Do you have any favorite apps that I should check out?

Misc Monday ~ in which we have eclipse linkity

Let’s do some brief linkity about the Solar Eclipse today! Yes, I know, the eclipse was a week ago, but I had other plans for last week’s post.

First of all, the USPS has Solar Eclipse stamps! And when you heat them up (say, by holding your thumb over the image) you can see the moon! (Yes, I bought a sheet. They’re cool!)

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The Oatmeal had a great comic about the eclipse. (safe for work for a change)

xkcd also had a fun comic. (be sure to hover over the image to see the alt text)

NASA had some great stuff about the eclipse. I particularly like the image with the ISS transit.

For myself, I didn’t see much through the clouds. It was still really neat, though!

Friday Reads ~ in which the accidental blog vacation is over (I think)

One good thing about a blog vacation is it means I can tell you about having finished a LOT of books without having to change my reading habits. So, we’ll start right off with the list!

WHAT I READ:

I finished Kay Finch’s Black Cat Crossing. I enjoyed this, but I enjoyed it more for the cat shenanigans than the cozy mystery. I certainly didn’t care about the main character’s aunt getting accused of murder. (full review is here)

I also finished Beware the Wrath of Bunny Hopper by Lazette Gifford. This was a silly book. But it also had some more serious points, and it touched on real issues in its lighthearted way.

I also finished the first book I picked up specifically because it was a LitRPG book and I was curious about the official genre: Videogame Plotline Tester by Michael Atamanaov. It was… NOT a fun book. It was, in many ways, tedious. I finished it partly in the hopes that it would get better (it wasn’t that long) and partly because I enjoyed the game inside the book. Reading the book was kinda like watching someone play the game, though the descriptions weren’t particularly vivid. I will not be going back to this series or author. If this is “great LitRPG” as some reviewers claimed, I may find myself avoiding the genre entirely. (For the record, a huge reason why I tried the official genre is because I enjoyed Niven’s Dream Park many years ago and Hayes’ NPCs more recently. Both of those books have been called LitRPG too, though both of those are first and foremost GOOD BOOKS. Makes a difference.) (full review is here)

I also finished Bellwether by Connie Willis. (Thank you to Chris for the recommendation.) It was a fascinating book in several ways — for one, it’s always nice for a knitter to read a book that has sheep in it, and I learned stuff about sheep I never knew. For another, this is billed as a science fiction book, but it would be better described as a fiction book about science. I don’t think I’ve run into one of those before. And for another, I enjoyed the way it was written and the way each chapter had a paragraph about a prior fad as introduction. Fun stuff. (full review is here)

And I also finished Going Rogue by Drew Hayes. (#3 in the series started by NPCs and continued in Split the Party.) I am really loving this series. I really want to see where the story goes from here. There’s so much going on in Book 3 that the next one could go in so many directions. This is definitely my favorite series that I’ve read in 2017 to date.

WHAT I’M READING:

Soul Ink (Grimm Agency #1.5) by J.C. Nelson is on my ereader at the moment. I enjoyed the first book (Free Agent) so I thought I’d try the short which followed it and see if I liked that enough to continue with the series. (I read the first book long enough ago that I no longer remember if I planned to read book 2 or not.) So far, I’m enjoying it, but still haven’t decided about book 2. That tells me that book 2 will be on my TBR list, but not terribly high up in priority.

My current audio book is The Search for Exoplanets (a Great Courses lecture series) by Joshua Winn. I haven’t gotten too far into it yet, but this aspect of astronomy is something that has fascinated me for a while, so I’m really curious to see where it goes.

And I just started The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files #1) by Charles Stross (also recommended by Chris). It’s got a great premise and good reviews, so I have hopes that I’ll enjoy this one. (Also, it’s a library book, so I can’t take too long reading it.)

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

Depending on whether or not I’ve temporarily had enough science after this audio book, I’ll either listen one of the two Great Courses lecture series by Neil deGrasse Tyson I picked up earlier this week (one of them was the Audible Daily Deal) or… something else. I’m thinking that Gigi Pandian’s The Accidental Alchemist will be my next fiction audio book. (Just not sure if I’ll be going back to fiction after this non-fiction, or not.)

My next paper book will be one of the other library books I picked up: No Cats Allowed (Cat in the Stacks #4) by Miranda James or Curiosity Thrilled the Cat (Magical Cats Mystery #1) by Sofie Kelly. I’m not sure which yet, and I might even change my mind on these and return them to the library unread. However, this is the current plan.

For ebooks, I’m not sure what will be next. I have a few more of Lazette Gifford’s works, and I’ve been enjoying those so I might go with another of her ebooks. Or I might start Dragon’s Egg by Robert L. Forward. We’ll see.

In the meantime, it’s good to be back on the blog. Have a great weekend!

in which there is an accidental blog vacation

Well, I hadn’t meant to take a blog vacation, but I’m in the middle of one. I haven’t been blogging. I haven’t been feeling like blogging. But I also didn’t want anyone to worry where I was.

So – welcome to my blog vacation! I’ll probably be back from my blog vacation next week sometime. Maybe not until the week after that. We’ll have to see.

Have a great week (or two)!