Raven's (On Time) Attempt at 75 Books for 2023! - Part 2

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Raven's (On Time) Attempt at 75 Books for 2023! - Part 2

Editado: Jun 7, 2023, 12:05 pm

For those that don't know, I'm Raven - or, Angela if you prefer. I work in a news station, live in a very broke state (Illinois), live with an adorable piece of the void masquerading as a cat (his name is Salem), and got back into reading after an accidental hiatus of three years. I love horror, fantasy, and mystery. Last year I started this challenge really late, about halfway through, and this time I intend to make that 75-book goal. Wish me luck!

P.S: Despite writing for a living, my grammar is occasionally sus. Mea maxima culpa.
My Fur Baby Photo Gallery
My cat-son, Salem, keeping me company when I'm ill.

Goals to Read This Year
- If not 75, to reach 50.
- To test my taste in horror by tackling the books on the "most disturbing" iceberg.
- Explore a new genre (romance)
- Re-read all Sailor Moon manga
- Clear off my comic book shelf

Editado: Maio 2, 2023, 12:26 pm

Howdy, Y'all.

And how did I kick off this Sunday, after a very long and stressful time at work?
Why, by being sick of course!

I'm pretty sure I have a cold, as my symptoms are concentrated to my sinuses. It sucks; it makes my head feel like a balloon, inches before popping, that then slowly releases the pressure. My mother was a saint to pick up the groceries so I can spend the day lounging. Expect a couple books to be finished in the interlude. Meh.

Book report
- Started The Dark Prince
- Also started 2666 but... sorta. Basically, as this sucker is over 30 hours long, I'm gonna make this one a repeating piece. I'll listen when I feel it, and finish it... eventually.
5 Books in one audiobook. Hoo boy.
- Started two smaller books, soon to be finished and reviewed here.
- Progress made in A Clockwork Orange
Alex is a free boy, as much as his new pavlovian training will allow him to be.

Abr 23, 2023, 7:22 pm

Sorry to hear about your head cold, Angela. No fun at all.

Love the photos of Salem. Such a handsome boy!

Abr 23, 2023, 7:29 pm

Happy new thread Angela and sorry to see you are sharing being under the weather with me. xx

Abr 23, 2023, 7:37 pm

Happy new one!

Abr 23, 2023, 7:53 pm

Happy new thread!

Abr 24, 2023, 12:37 am

Happy new thread! Salem is so handsome.

2666 is... A lot. I read it for school and I'm glad I did but I'm not sure I ever would have read it on my own.

Abr 24, 2023, 1:10 am

Happy new thread Angela.

Editado: Abr 24, 2023, 1:39 pm

>8 curioussquared: That's what I've been told, yeah. It never crossed my school's list (but they didn't exactly pick shinning examples of literature) and I found it on a Disturbing Books listicle. I'm intimidated but intrigued all the same.

And thank you; I should update; I have some new pictures of him :3

Abr 24, 2023, 1:39 pm

>9 WhiteRaven.17: Thanks Kro, happy to see you here :)

Abr 24, 2023, 1:40 pm

>6 figsfromthistle: >7 drneutron: Thank you!
>5 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul; and I'm sorry to hear that too. What a season, amirite?
>4 MickyFine: Thanks Mickey; On both counts. I'm, thankfully, feeling a bit better today.
I have some fresh pictures I should use I think.

Abr 24, 2023, 1:58 pm

Books #14, #15, and #16 of The Year: Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark, and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones - Physical Books

I shrank the image to help if the covers are hard to look at for anyone.

Behold, three books from the ALA's Frequently Challenged section. These are collections of scary folklore, collected for children's reading pleasure. These include stories that are meant to be retold (with instructions for the best scare), Halloween Games you can play, creepy urban legends, and the joke horror stories ("the viper has come to vipe the vindows," that kind of thing.) My copies have the famous artworks from Caldecott Medal winner Stephen Gammell.

My Thoughts
As an artist myself, I do adore Gammell's work; But I also found the Other Mother from Coraline much more nightmare-inducing.
That said, while sick, it's fun to revisit these ghosts from my distant childhood. I had an on/off relationship with horror when I was much younger. I read the first book, got scared by the artwork, and refused to pick up another scary book (I broke that promise with Goosebumps a bit later). So, while these guys aren't a staple of me growing up they are a fun echo that I can reface now with a gleeful smile.

Fun facts:

- I suspected my copy of the first book was an old library copy, and I am right. I found a stamp inside it from a library in Philadelphia. It even has some kid's yellowed index card still inside it. I've decided to keep it in the book jacket. Just because.
Given the history this series has, I am pleased as punch to own a library copy of it. It's the best kind of poetic justice.

- My copy of book2 has the name "Vincent" penciled inside, print, and poorly written. Don't worry, kiddo, your text is in good hands now.

Book 3 is naked; no bookjacket, with a permanent ink line on the bottom edges of the pages.

Abr 24, 2023, 4:42 pm

Happy new thread, Angela!

Abr 24, 2023, 5:10 pm

>12 Ravenwoodwitch: Today even worse. I should go back to work today after the Eid holidays but there is no way that I am going to make it. It is just after 5 am and I have awoken from a fitful sleep with symptoms heightened from Monday.

Abr 25, 2023, 2:05 am

>13 Ravenwoodwitch: I remember reading these back around 2nd grade (I was a weird horror fanatic as a kid) and it has been years since I've looked at them. You've now inspired me to try and find my copies because I actually don't know where they are or what happened to them...scavenger hunt ensuing.

Abr 25, 2023, 11:49 am

>14 FAMeulstee: Thanks!
>15 PaulCranswick: I'm real sorry to hear that, Paul. I hope today things have improved :(
>16 WhiteRaven.17: If you need new copies, I got these from Thriftbooks :)
I even specified what year I wanted to be sure I got the ones with the right illustrations.

Abr 30, 2023, 2:22 pm

Happy Sunday everyone :)
I'm feeling better; felt better for the most part as of last Tuesday, in fact. But I've been super busy wrapping up some last minute projects for work and doing catch-up on all the chores in the apartment that piled up while I was sick. My roomate did what she could but one person can't keep up a place with two people in it, you know?

As a part of my workout journey, I'm thinking of putting together a visible board with all the Strong-Girl characters from my childhood. We're talking Ayla from Chrono Trigger, Starfire from Teen Titans, maybe She-Ra since my brothers were both 80s nerds, etc.The strength training has really eased my anxiety and bumped my confidence, so, I definitely wanna keep going.

Book Report
-A Clockwork Orange is almost done. It's been a wild ride that has given me so much to think about. I'm looking forward to the review on this one.
- Progress in The Dark Prince. The power dynamic going on here is a very stark contrast from the last book I read, my-my.

Editado: Jun 7, 2023, 12:01 pm

Hey Guys,

Not so cheery intro today; I'm in one of those moods. It's always rough because I know this too shall pass, but it always feels like it's passing the way one passes a kidney stone. It's a day to treat myself and be kind. I'm in a space where things could take a turn (a new station) but I'm keeping my chin up.

There appears to be another virus passing through the office as several of my immediate coworkers are out sick. I wonder if its the same bug I had last weekend (which would make me patient zero; whoops) but it also sounds like I dodged one earlier. I had just a cold but there's a stomach flu some others are getting. Time to start bathing my keyboard in sanitizer again.
Last night we had some Green Goddess Pasta. It's elbow macaroni covered in a sauce made from spinach, chives, garlic, olive oil and avocado. This was more of something I made for my roommate than myself, as I find avocado's to be bland, but it still tastes good with a scattering of feta on top. I'll be having that for leftovers tonight for dinner, but first I'm having some meal prepped soup for lunch. This one's been real yummy; tomato and chicken broth with orzo, pork sausage, spinach and onions. Both of these dishes are quite dense and I need to eat light the rest of the day, but totally worth it.

Book Report
- Book finished; review to follow.
- Progress made on the fanfiction style Jane Austen book (North by Northanger)
- Starting something new at lunch; unsure which one just yet. It's either Ryu Murakami's Audition (horror) or Black Sheep (romance).
Edit: We're going with Murakami. Hayer's writing just isn't doing it for me.

Maio 2, 2023, 12:45 pm

Book #18 of The Year - A Clockwork Orange - Physical Copy.

CONTENT WARNINGS -Sexual Assault, Physical Violence, Psychological Horror, and Suicide.
This is where I normally attempt to summarize the book in the same style of the book; any attempt on my part of nadsat will be cringe, so let's not and say we did.
Little Alex and his droogs (friends) have spent many a night committing acts of ultra violence, until one wrong night ends in an older woman's death and Alex being put away. But, after another incident ends in someone's death, Alex gets the opportunity for an early release if he submits to a new experimental procedure that will "fix" him, and eliminate his need for violence.

The book is narrated by Alex himself entirely in Nadsat, a slang language created through the use of British slang, turned to Russian, and then slangified again.
Example- "ptitsa" (Russian "птица" for bird, aka "chick" for a woman.)

My Thoughts (as best as I can sort them out)
My sense of justice/right and wrong has never been challenged like this before and I still have a lot to think about. I've seen negative reviews accuse the book of propagandizing in both directions, but I honestly don't see any side being painted in a positive light. If I were pressed I'd say the book's main theme was just free-will and the lines between justice and tyranny.
That said, this book's classic status is well earned in my opinion. I very much enjoyed reading it, disturbing though it was, and will be adding this one to my shelf real soon.

Maio 2, 2023, 12:52 pm

>19 Ravenwoodwitch: Sorry you're feeling bummed out lately! Me too.

Maio 2, 2023, 1:01 pm

>21 norabelle414: Thanks Nora :)
Same to you; hoping we both can feel better soon.

Maio 2, 2023, 1:05 pm

Hope you're feeling less out of sorts soon!

Editado: Jun 7, 2023, 12:01 pm

Hey everybody,

We're improving on my end. I wouldn't say I'm back to my rosey, bouncy self, but I feel a bit more rested and managed to get my morning routine done with relative ease. Methinks I'm on a good track to feeling better.

So I saw a couple days ago that, in the continuing trend of turning successful movies into TV shows, Twilight is getting a TV series. I left this series in the dust ages ago (when I realized there were better written books with far less creepy people involved) but I find this development infinitely hilarious. Hide your teens everyone, The Cullens are coming back to torment households, LOL.

Since Patts is too busy being Batman these days (and I don't know what wolf/shark boy is up to), I do wonder who they'll cast as Edward and Jacob and Bella.

Managed to get my leg workout in last night and my arms in this morning. New dinner tonight is a VERY simplified version of chicken peanut mafe (on pasta instead of rice because I have leftovers to use) that should last me a couple of days. Otherwise, tonight will be slated for me to play Code Vein on steam and try not to throw my controller. It's a Dark Souls-type title so that will likely not come to pass. Heh.

Book Report
Been doing most of my reading during lunch.
- Like I mentioned in an edit I've started Audition, the book that inspired a very frightening cult movie. All is slow so far; we'll see if it goes anywhere.

Maio 3, 2023, 12:29 pm

Glad you're starting to feel better! Ugh, I saw the news about both Twilight and HP getting new TV adaptations and like... can we just not? Can we put that money towards other adaptations? THERE ARE OTHER BOOKS.

Maio 3, 2023, 1:20 pm

>25 curioussquared: Legit. The entertainment industry is painfully out of ideas is what I got from recent news.

Maio 12, 2023, 12:40 pm

Howdy folks!
I had a very exciting time this week. Look who I got to see live:

I mean... he can't mess things up worse than the previous presidents have, right?

I still can't believe he's 75 years old. But I got to go thanks to some birthday tickets gifted to me. My friend and I had a blast, and while I feel overcharged for the merch I bought after, I'm gonna treasure that stuffed bear and shirt.
The rest is all pretty bland in comparison this week. Will have a more generic update when I'm off work.

Editado: Jun 7, 2023, 12:01 pm

Hello everyone!

Been awhile, sorry. I've been very busy this week on some writing stuff, and some stuff at work. Our news station does a lot of big summer programs out in the community and - as part of the promotions department - that means a lot of planning for me. It hasn't given me much time to read and I've been so tired from it I've taken to just collapsing in bed and watching shorts on Youtube.

As my previous post shows, the highlight of the month was getting to see Alice Cooper live; I got a cool teddy bear and t-shirt from the experience (and overpaid of course, as per the live show tradition.)I am also a proud bunny; I went to the bookstore and walked away without a single new book. 'scuse me while I pat myself on the back.

Book Report
- Halfway done with Audition
This book commits one of my cardinal sins with horror writers. It wants to do "ominous foreshadowing" and instead spoils the surprise of its own story. What a tragedy.
- Worked on North by Northanger.
I love how, even in the fanfiction of Jane Austen, Lady Catherine is so very irredeemable.
- Crept forward in The Dark Prince
Finally, we have a story beyond Mikhail and Raven. These two are great, but I prefer my romances with more meat.

Editado: Maio 23, 2023, 1:57 pm

>28 Ravenwoodwitch: I hadn't recognised Alice Copper in your previous post, Angela. Wow, still performing live at 75!
I hope the reading picks up again when your work slows down a bit.

Jun 2, 2023, 11:15 pm

And I'm alive!

The work for our big summer events continues, along with a general malaise of accidentally drinking too much on Memorial Day. Whoopies.
But I'm doing good now, and have been slowly working my way back to some actual reading instead of binging on Youtube Shorts and collapsing at night in exhaustion. I'm cycling through some audiobooks to find one I like (since I decided to drop The Dark Prince; found the writing a bit too boring) and discovered something funny/unfortunate. I accidentally stole a library book.

Long story short, I noticed the book wasn't on my checkout list. But... I know I checked it out. And the machines at the door didn't go off. So, I called the library and a very confused/amused librarian just went ahead and digitally added it back in with a new due date. I'm still not sure what happened but I'm glad it at least got solved.

For now though, weekend. And back to my favorite grind.

- 3/4ths done with Audition.
- New Audiobook that seems to be sticking; will keep you posted.

P.S: I'm very behind on a lot of threads, and I apologize I likely won't be deep-reading to catch up. The processes would overwhelm me and would keep me away for longer, I think. I have skimmed to the best I can and if I have missed anything important I apologize :(

Jun 3, 2023, 5:45 pm

Happy Saturday!

My apartment's pool is open and it has been scorching here (Illinois is in a drought) so I took a dip this morning. I already feel the stress of the week off me. Then, I had to laugh when I took a shower to get the chlorine off; I accidentally used my body wash on my hair.

Whoopsie aside, I got the grocery shopping done and I think today we're gonna get out from under a couple chores that have been sitting around in between laying about.

Listening Mood
Been in a classic rock mood since the concert, but can't quite place where exactly. Last couple of playlists have been Fleetwood Mac, but I'm listening to a vinyl from The Cure right now.

Book Report
- Bout the same as yesterday.

Editado: Jun 4, 2023, 4:09 am

Stopping by to say hi! The pool looks refreshing in the heat, I hope you are enjoying it.

Alice Cooper! Lots of fun!

Jun 4, 2023, 11:22 am

Yay for the first dip in the pool of the season, and an extra Woot! for The Cure!!

Jun 5, 2023, 1:48 pm

Envious of your pool access. That sounds delightful!

Editado: Jun 5, 2023, 5:15 pm

Happy (maybe) Monday everyone!

Back to work. This is another week where we have a big summer event at the end, which means I'll be staying overtime Friday again. Yuck.

So, my weird-watch this week has been free episodes online of the show Hoarders, if anyone remembers that one, and it's giving me the urge to rip half my closet down and drive to the nearest Goodwill. I know my clutter isn't anywhere NEAR the levels that show sees (nor that disgusting, I'm very good at keeping trash off the floor) but there's no way you can see the levels that reaches and not get terrified.

And the reason I've been watching the show is because we had a major Crochet SNAFU. I was almost done with the last panel for my Happy Hippie Sweater, only to discover it was an inch too wide. I had to undo EVERYTHING and start on the foundation chain all over again.

*Head on wall* Le sigh. At least it's the right size now.

Tonight's plans after work are more reading, and an audiobook while I make dinner. I finally picked one that I'm into and I'm excited to see where it goes. Dinner is simple: Chicken and Cheese quesadillas with salad. Might throw on some of the homemade Tzatziki I made.

Listening Mood - Feeling folksy. Listened to some Gordon Lightfoot (may he rest in piece) and may throw on the Carly Simon vinyl when I get home.

Book Report
- The audiobook I picked is The Resting Place, by the same author who wrote The Lost Village I listened to last year.
Same narrator, too. That's a throw. But anyway, it's supposed to be horror and suspense.
-Over halfway through a comic book that I will reveal when done.

Jun 5, 2023, 5:47 pm

Oh that's a heartbreaking level of frogging to have to do! My profound sympathies.

Jun 5, 2023, 6:01 pm

Oh, gross to the crochet restart! I've been there before with knitting, and it STINKS.

Jun 5, 2023, 6:12 pm

>36 MickyFine: >37 scaifea: Sympathy much appreciated, ladies.
Extra sucky since it's the rainbow-ish stripy one, where each color is like two rows. I now have a lot of tiny skeins of yarn to rework back in.
It's a good thing I'm in love with the color scheme here but I'm gonna let it sit in my bag and think about what it's done for a day or two.

Jun 6, 2023, 12:47 pm

>38 Ravenwoodwitch: One of the women in my craft circle regularly puts projects in time out and it works pretty well for her. :)

Jun 7, 2023, 12:00 pm

Book #19 Of The Year - Audition - Physical Book

Widower Aoyama, with the help of a producer friend, holds auditions for a fake movie to find his future bride. It seems fate has sent him a winner - Yamasaki Asami - who has him smitten. But everyone else sees danger.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Explicit Gore, Animal Abuse, Very Unappealing Erotica, and Sexism (which seems extremely mild in comparison to the other three let me tell you.)

My Thoughts
I have never seen a story burn this slowly, only to explode and fizzle out at the end. Really, my content warnings make it sound more intense than it actually is.
This one is short but disappointing, dumping all the horror into the last chapter like it was an afterthought. It also commits the cardinal sin of horror twice, where Murakami basically spoils his own story by accident in the name of "ominous foreshadowing."

Basically there's a point in the book where someone in a wheelchair with no feet spots Asami, gets terrified, and asks their handler to get them out ASAP. Good, right? Then our author takes the time to tell us one chapter later that Aoyama "did not make the connection between her and the man in the wheel chair." Maybe he didn't, but I did. So. SHUT UP.

In short, I don't even recommend this one to horror fans. Skip it.

Jun 12, 2023, 12:15 pm

Happy Monday everyone :)

Had a MASSIVE day of overtime Friday with one of our summer work events that left me so exhausted. On the one hand, I'm happy for the extra hours. On the other, didn't get home until after 9. Save me.

The weekend, meanwhile, was spent at a state park for my mom's church group. I was helping with both food and other general things, but I managed to find some time of go off on my own to hike one of the 3 mile trails. I was on my own, which is quite risky in hindsight, but I had a full charged phone on me at all times.

Sunday became prep day; meal, desserts, other sundry. This week's work lunches are a stir-fry where I cooked lamb for my second time, along with plenty of summer veggies on couscous. I also prepped a couple smoothie bags for the week and made a strawberry pie (picture to follow.) The crusts are premade so no praise there; I just made the filling.

Listening Mood - Got a "70s mix" going on Spotify that is right up my ally. We've got Blue Oyster Cult, Kiss, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, Kansas, all the goodies.

Book Report
- On the tail end of the Jane Austen Mystery book.
If Drama Fatigue is a thing, I'm feeling it.

- The Resting Place continues to be an interesting listen. Just like last time, a story within a story unfolds.

Jun 13, 2023, 2:17 pm

You ever get mad at your look one day and adjust it mid-day... just cause?
It's that kind of Tuesday.

Good Afternoon/morning all the same! Just polishing up some projects at work due by the end of the week, while dealing with a mood drop. Nothing serious, just not my usual "bright" self.
I know its months early, but I'm pondering participation in NaNoWriMo this year. I've got an idea bounding around my noggin that would need some deep work, and that challenge ususally lights a stronger fire in me to write than I can on my own. I've managed twice before to finish the challenge, failed twice too. What's the scorecard for anyone else here?

Meantime, great news! The mini-skeins I made after my Crochet SNAFU are almost gone, so we are roughly back to where I was before I had to frog the whole panel. Hallelujah! I may actually have a torso of a sweater to show off in the near future and I'm so proud of myself for not tossing the project out in a moment of frustration.

Today, some miscellaneous writing and reading, chores when I get home, and maybe a nice hot bath with a bath bomb. No leftovers, so dinner's gonna be whatever I have in the fridge to cut up, fry up and serve in sauce.

Listening mood - I'm feeling Fleetwood Mac again, as I do so many times, with mixes of Ghost. I also realized that I forgot to pay my respects when Tina Turner died last month (shame on me) so I'll be throwing her into the mix as well. That woman's strength and determination were unmatched, may she rest in peace.

Book report
- We're progressing in North by Northanger, slowly.

Jun 14, 2023, 5:22 pm

Huzzah for catching back up to where you were with your sweater. That's awesome!

Can't chime in on NaNoWriMo. My only experience with it was setting up space in the library for writing to happen back in the days I used to do programming.

Editado: Jun 16, 2023, 12:24 pm

Happy Happy Friday!

Book review to come. It's a big day at work as we have a charity drive I'm volunteering with. I have two major projects at work to get finished up before I go, plans for my dad's Father's day dinner this Sunday, and a LOT of sleep to catch up on.
Also, all of my holds on some audiobooks came in at once.
Yikes. Whelp. Guess I have some listening to do, lol.

Listening Mood - I'm picking a youtube mix and seeing where it takes me. We're starting with Greta Van Fleet's "My Way, Soon" and I see Genesis, Ghost, and The Darkness coming up.
Book Report
- Book Finished, on it's LAST renewal from the library.
- Started listening to those incoming audiobooks. We'll see what sticks.
Edit: One stuck. We're starting Blindness, and it looks like one of those books that splits the audience down the middle due to subject matter. TBD what my thoughts are.

Jun 19, 2023, 1:43 pm

Book#20 Of The Year - North by Northanger; or, The Shades of Pemberley - Physical Book

As Elizabeth prepares Pemberley for the arrival of her first child, it seems it's more than just the "spirit" of the departed Lady Anne that lingers over. A mystical mystery unfolds as a letter is discovered, an old acquaintance is renewed, and some inner family drama unfolds.

My Thoughts
If the phrase "drama fatigue" isn't a think I would like to make it a thing. This book in true Fanfic fashion doesn't know how to pace itself when it comes to big revelations and large twists. This book was attempting to combine not only Northanger Abby with Pride and Prejudice but with splashes of Rebecca, and it made the whole thing kind of exhausting. The story is sweet, but I am likely to put this series on hiatus, if not quit it.

Jun 20, 2023, 10:18 am

>44 Ravenwoodwitch: I think Blindness divides people more on writing style than subject matter. I usually love dystopian/speculative fiction stories but I found Blindness really hard to read due to the lack of quotation marks or even line breaks between speakers. However, I've heard that it's much easier to follow in audio, so if it's stuck for you already I think you should be fine.

Jun 20, 2023, 10:40 am

>46 norabelle414: I’m glad you said this, Nora - Blindness is on my list, but I didn’t know about the writing style. Audiobook may indeed be a better approach for me - thanks!

Jul 3, 2023, 2:24 pm

Howdy everyone!

Last couple of weeks have been some very nasty overtime; seven large projects all due on the same day, eating up a massive amount of my reading time and leaving me too tired to do much more than eat and sleep. BUT the majority of the work is now behind me. I'm playing some catch-up and looking forward to my day off tomorrow.

I am ALSO looking forward to Friday and Saturday since I'm heading to a nearby Renaissance Fair, complete with less-than-impressive costume! I adore these things. Homemade Jewelry and other crafts, animal zoos, jousting tournaments, a couple visits to the mead tent (tip-tip, HUZZAH!).

But we gotta get through today first.

Book Report
-Blindness has been moved to "Hold."
My loan was about to expire with no real chance of renewal, and I wasn't as invested in the story as I hoped. It's a TBD on if I'll come back.

-So Long And Thanks For All The Fish is nearly done, and I'm having the time of my life once again.

-The Resting Place is nearly halfway done, with some of the same issues I noticed last time. Still wanna finish it, but definitely not adding it to my Horror Shelf in the future.

- Also started listening to a Clive Barker novel: Abarat. Got no idea what I'm in for besides, probably, buckets of blood and some creative descriptions of how it wound up outside the body.

- Finished a comic. Will post review soon.

Games Report
Steam has a summer sale going on and I took advantage to get some stuff off my wishlist.

- The main two I'm playing right now are Cult Of The Lamb and Slay The Spire. The first is about a sheep building a cult to combat a separate cult, and it is maddeningly addictive. It fuses rouge-lite with other types of simulation games, with these unique and colorful graphics. It's also just covered in Lovecraft imagery and what's not to love with that?

- Slay The Spire, meanwhile, is one of those deck-building strategy games. In short, you have a map to complete, randomly generated each run, and you try to survive to the end with your deck serving as your attacks. I adore these type of survival strategy games so this was a hit too.

Jul 3, 2023, 2:30 pm

Book#21 of the Year - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon vol.3 - Physical Book

The sailor scouts face the final challenge against the dark queen herself, and the start of the next arc begins.

My Thoughts
This one got me misty-eyed. It was the pinnacle of what drew me to this story in the first place, mainly Usagi dealing with her fear and lack of confidence in a moment where she needs to be strong. Words can't express how much that spoke to me through not only my childhood but my teenage years.
On the downside... *sigh.*
The Black Moon Arc starts here. Which is a cool arc...but features a character I can't stand. Her name was "Rini" in the English dub but "Chibi-Usa" here, and I'm gonna try not to be a grouchy old lady about her bratty antics for this re-read. Butr it's hard, lol.

Jul 3, 2023, 2:38 pm

>48 Ravenwoodwitch: Cult of the Lamb is really fun! I like the balance between "farming" the cult and the short-ish fighting runs

Jul 3, 2023, 2:40 pm

Cult of the Lamb is one I've been considering for a while! Tim LOVES Slay the Spire; he's big into Magic so anything of that ilk he loves.

Jul 4, 2023, 1:51 am

>48 Ravenwoodwitch: Oh, Ren Fair, I've only managed to go once but wish I was able to again. Have fun!
Also, chiming in on the love for Cult of the Lamb, I listen to the soundtrack all the time and it was quite addictive when I first downloaded it.

Jul 6, 2023, 11:55 am

Book #22 Of The Year - So Long And Thanks For All the Fish - Physical Book.

Just gonna drop THIS right here too.

After deciding to spend time on the blissfully boring planet of Krickett, Arthur Dent manages to galactically hitchhike back to a planet that has a striking resemblance to earth. To the point where his house, job, and friends happen to be there.
And, lightyears away, Ford Prefect sees all his entries about Earth mysteriously reappear in the guide.
Oh dear.

My Thoughts
This was a strange entry for second-to-last, not gonna lie. And the actual story for me didn't pick up until much later. But, pickup it did, and I had a grand time with it. Gonna be bittersweet when I pick up the last book next, but that's for another day.

Jul 6, 2023, 1:04 pm

>53 Ravenwoodwitch: I honestly can't remember if I made it through this book when I read the series as a teen. I definitely didn't read the last one.

Appreciate the nudge to add the song to my Spotify likes though. :)

Jul 6, 2023, 1:24 pm

Similarly to Micky, I KNOW I read this entry, but I remember zero things about it, lol. I actually remember a bit of the 5th book better because the beginning has lodged itself in my memory, but I couldn't tell you a single thing that happens in book 4.

The song was a banger when it came out and it still hits so hard.

Jul 6, 2023, 2:52 pm

>54 MickyFine: >55 curioussquared: My thoughts exactly on both counts. I feel this one just had very little to make it stand out. I honestly couldn't give you any recap of what Ford did in this story, lol.
Other than Arthur meeting Fenchurch, Marvin's Death, and the Dolphins.
The rest just feels very much like it should have been the start of the story as opposed to the whole story.

Jul 7, 2023, 7:01 pm

Hello Everyone :)
Just prepping for the trip.I have yet to get a frantic text/email from anyone at work so I assume it is all being held down comfortably on this, my day off. After getting things packed, restocking the fridge for when we come back, and having some coffee with my mom, I started a new book that will be my source and enrichment for a three-hour drive.
Wish us luck and see you all when I get back!

Book Report
- Started and am now 1/3rd of the way through King's Property, a book I pilched from my now roommate when she was downsizing for the move. I expected this to go a very specific direction from the title... and it went somewhere else completely. But I'm hooked.
- Also started yesterday A Head Full Of Ghosts, a book touting that it scared Stephen King. Mind you, King's a fan of Richard Matheson (The man who wrote "I am Legend" if you recall) so that alone isn't a ringing endorsement. But an unsettling event that's already happened in the book has me curious enough to keep going after the first few chapters.

Jul 9, 2023, 12:56 pm

I'm back!

Above is my photo from the act "Cirque de Sewer" that was performing at the Fair, and their senior kitty performer. I promise, all animals were rescues and treated with all the care in the world.

I had such a blast Saturday at Bristol. The colorful costumes, the delicious food, the handmade jewelry I walked away with, it was all awesome! The only real downer is that the hotel we stayed at accidentally double-charged my card. And...well, it's being settled on Monday.


Jul 9, 2023, 1:03 pm

>58 Ravenwoodwitch: Look at that talented kitty performer! I've never been to a ren faire but I think I'm finally going to go to the local one in August and I'm looking forward to it 😁 Bummer about the card -- hope it is resolved soon.

Jul 9, 2023, 1:07 pm

Book #23 Of The Year- Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol.4

I dub this one "the kidnapping section", as several scouts are kidnapped by the Black Moon Family. But, before that, we learn about the ill-fated Thirteenth Century and Crystal Tokyo.

My Thoughts

First of all, I forgot to mention that the scout in red with the long hair from last time is Sailor Mars; fire element, real name Rei Hino. In her non-scout life she is a Hiko Shrine maiden from the Shintoism practicies in Japan. She can have visions of the future and banish evil, along with using fire to fight the enemy. In the show, Rei Hino was portrayed as passionate and feisty (and just as immature as Usagi but prone to belittling Usagi and picking on her for 'being so childish', drove me nuts as a kid). In the Manga, Rei is the mature one of the group who only admonishes Usagi because of an actual difference in maturity. They more aim for 'mysterious' with her.

THIS scout in green is Sailor Jupiter, real name Makoto Kino. The tallest of the girls (which is an unfortunate thing girls are harshly judged on in Japan) she's portrayed as perky, assertive, and protective. She's a combo of lightning and earth elements, with a love of roses, plants, and cooking. In fact, Usagi meets Makoto because "mako-chan" saves her from a car and then shares a bento box with rice balls that look like tiny animals.

As for this arc of the Manga... *shrug* Not much gets done, honestly, and there were some elements that I found off-putting. But this is my least favorite arc, so, hopefully it wraps up soon.

Jul 9, 2023, 4:35 pm

We’ve really enjoyed our local renn faire over the years. Haven’t been back since Covid, definitely need to this year!

Jul 20, 2023, 7:09 pm


So, hello all. I have been ruminating because work has thrown me yet another curve-ball. The short of it is my schedule is being changed...again. From a 10 -7 to 8 - 5. And while I recognize I am whining from the prospective of "not a morning person" (and that this may be normal for many) but it still just sucks. My saving grace is that I have a couple weeks to adjust, and that my therapist (whom I used to see at 9am) is willing and able to change to a different day and time for our sessions. I'm trying to focus on the fact that it will mean I have the late afternoons/evenings to myself now.


Book Report
- Almost done with A Head Full of Ghosts
- Decent progress on King's Property and I'm in love.

Oh, And....
- Slay the Spire goes well. Great Game for podcast listening. My favorite character so far is The Silent.
- I saw Batman: Hush. You don't need me to tell you they changed just about everything here, cause they did. Not that it was bad, just weird. Lol.
If you care, in the OG Book, Riddler was indeed the mastermind behind everything...but as The Riddler. He wasn't Hush. That was Tommy Elliot who had faked his death. And in the books, Bats and Cats broke up because this revelation reignited his trust issues. Which makes a lot more sense to me than "BRUCE, WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T KILL HIM?! WE'RE OVER!"

Jul 20, 2023, 8:08 pm

>62 Ravenwoodwitch: Ugh, I would be mad too, as a non-morning person. Especially if I had to commute. 7-8 am meetings are only tolerable for me because I can get out of bed about 20 minutes before and make myself look OK for the camera and grab some coffee by the time the meeting starts. And super annoying that you had to change your therapy appointments, too. Did they give you a reason for the change?

Jul 20, 2023, 11:23 pm

>62 Ravenwoodwitch: Getting your schedule changed is always annoying! Regardless of whether you like the new schedule better or not. I hope you find something nice to do with your afternoons.

Jul 22, 2023, 3:29 pm

Sympathies on the schedule changes. I am a morning person but realize early starts are not for everyone. I hope you settle into your new routine with minimal frustrations.

Jul 24, 2023, 12:29 pm

Everyone's sympathies are much appreciated, thank you!
>63 curioussquared: I appreciate that, Natalie. They wanna give me more time working with someone who's there early. We work well together and have produced some good stuff, so they wanna give us more time in the department together. It's annoying but I see what they mean.
>64 norabelle414: Thanks Nora :) I'm trying to focus on those longer afternoons to make this tolerable.
>65 MickyFine: Thanks Micky. I'm doing my best, and at least I have a couple weeks to shift things around.

Jul 28, 2023, 3:40 pm

Book #24 Of The Year - A Head Full of Ghosts - Physical Book

At the behest of a nonfiction writer. Merry Barrett recounts the events that lead up to the television show "The Possession", the recorded exorcism of her older sister, and the events afterward.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Untreated Mental Illness Signs, One Small Sexual Section, Gore Talk, One Gore Moment, and Watching a Family Fight and Break Down.

My Thoughts
Light note before the heavy stuff: It's a new pet peeve of mine in books for characters to have written something, for other characters to praise it as "OMG SO GOOD" and for the thing they've written to be pure cringe. It physically hurts me.

The writing itself is very compelling and the story grips hard enough that you'll wanna see the end it, despite the horrors it shows. This story will not let you forget that all this is happening to a 10-year-old and her teenage older sister, who's clearly not well. The ending to me sorta felt sudden and a bit unsatisfactory, but otherwise, this one was an interesting read.

My Thoughts-The Spoiler Edition
First of all, skip the blog post chapters, you miss nothing. The writing is that ultra-cringe 2000s style of blog where EVERYTHING IS SO RANDOM! OMG LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS! Like, sir, I skipped half of Misery Chastain's story in Stephen King's book, you think I'm gonna show you any mercy?

Elsewise, if you've seen The Exorcism of Emily Rose then you are halfway there to what happens in this book. Majorie is clearly going through a mental health concern that is not being treated well, with parents equally unwell, and the dad's last mad attempt to fix it comes in religion/reality TV that does more harm than good. And while I was disappointed we didn't get the supernatural horror I love so much, I applaud the author's portrayal of someone with a clear, untreated mental illness (from Majorie and her parents) and the decision to use the 10 year sister as the POV character makes it all the harder to watch unfold. Again, I'm not a fan of sudden endings, but this is a good one-time read if you wanna test your Disturbance Tolerance.

Jul 28, 2023, 4:19 pm

Afternoon everyone!

I'm off work this Friday (and not a moment too soon). It's the big Family July Celebration as we have four people in the immediate fam with birthdays this month. And my "quirky" brain is always terrible at remembering birthdays, so, all gifts are gonna be late... but better than never, right?
Anyway, my plan is to stay home for the first half of the day in quiet solitude (aka the Introvert Charging Station) before heading to the large group of very loud people today, probably drinking, and crashing on my bed to read. So, all in all, gonna be a good day.

Some news on the crafting front when I get the pictures taken. I have an order of yarns coming in for a temperature blanket project so I need to start getting these unfinished projects done, and soon.

Book Report
- Still reading The Dark Half and King's Property. May add something light onto that pile to give my brain a break after finishing that heavy horror novel.
- Audiobook began! Back to Agatha Christie, we go.

Jul 28, 2023, 8:06 pm

Hope you're enjoying your day off and can adequately recover from your social time!

Jul 29, 2023, 7:03 pm

You got me with book 24!

Jul 31, 2023, 1:16 pm

>68 Ravenwoodwitch: Ooh temperature blanket! As someone who did one last year, I'm very interested.

Jul 31, 2023, 5:24 pm

Good Afternoon/Evening All!

The yarn for the blanket has arrived! For those curious, I'm pulling from the LoveCrafts.com's Paintbox Yarns Cotton Arans. Colors are based on the lowest and highest temperatures from the year 2021, and working with what I hope is a peacock color pallet with a tan accent. My goal is to take the two probably worst years of my life (2020 and 2021, roughly the start of the pandemic quarantine) and turn them into something beautiful instead.
Of course there will be photos :) In the meantime, the photo for the sweater has an update at the top of my thread. We're almost done!

Otherwise it's a day of massive amounts of editing at work and more prepping for my new hours next week. I'm excited for a concert I'm going to in a couple weeks (Ghost for the ReImpera Tour) but less excited for the visit to the dentist tomorrow.

Book Report
- Nearing the end of King's Property in the Orc Queen series.
- Started a manga, soon to be done.
- About halfway through the audiobook of The Murder on the Links

Ago 1, 2023, 12:43 pm

Hope the dentist is painless and uneventful!

Ago 1, 2023, 5:09 pm

>72 Ravenwoodwitch: Is this a crochet temperature blanket? I've thought about making one but never quite for around to it as yet. But I do like making blankets. At the moment I'm about halfway through a mosaic one.

Ago 1, 2023, 6:49 pm

>74 SandDune: Yes it is! I'm gonna use a pattern I found called Woodland ripple.
And oh, I would love to see that one when finished :)

>73 curioussquared: Thank you. It was quick but not painless. I always leave feeling like I paid someone to punch me in the mouth.

Ago 5, 2023, 2:39 pm

I look forward to seeing the results of your temperature blanket. :)

Ago 11, 2023, 1:55 pm

Howdy folks, Happy Friday :)

Whelp, I'm alive. Being a Morning Lark this week wasn't my favorite but wasn't as terrible as it could have been. I've got my morning routine down to a science and I'm enjoying the little extra time at home in the afternoon. Most of that has been gazing tiredly at Youtube Shorts (Mea Culpa) instead of reading (Mea Maxima Culpa) but I do have one done and another soon to be done.

Work has been very busy. There are multiple big events scheduled this month alone as summer winds down and I have a hand in almost all of them. If I never mentioned, I specifically work in promotions in my news station and a lot of what I do involves writing, filming and editing. I love to write and edit (I'm relearning to appreciate that middle one) so I'm overall happy; But summer is the month I always leave work exhausted.

I'm looking forward to tonight. Surf and turf for dinner (STEAK! :D) is slated, along with one of my flavored Adult Beverages(tm) to celebrate surviving the week. AND I have a concert to go to next week so that's exciting.

Book Report
- Almost done with the first book in the Queen of The Orcs series.
- Finished another manga.
-I was a silly goat and let my audio book's expire so TBA on those.

Craft Report
I wanna get two projects finished before I start the temperature blanket (or at least one done).
- If you look at my top posts you'll see my sweater now has a full body and one sleeve. It's gonna look nothing like the photo but that's okay; I already love it anyway.
- Seemed more squares on my crofter blanket. I enjoy the whip stitch; it's oddly soothing.

Ago 13, 2023, 3:16 pm

I hope the busy-ness winds down for you soon. Also pleased to hear that the new schedule isn't terrible for you so far.

I've got some whip stitching in my own future. Your projects are looking great!

Ago 16, 2023, 1:33 pm

From left to right: Amon Amarth performing "Heidron" live, Ghost performing "Watcher In The Sky" live
Today I am the walking dead; and you can blame these two awesome performers above because of it.

I spent my day off yesterday to take a trip to the windy city to see Ghost at northerly isle. Death metal band Amon Amarth were the openers, and both of them blew the show out of the water. My neck hurts, my throat is raw, I wound up home around 2 am and my sleep is shot. And I would only change my mediocre photography, as I struggled with the night shots last night.

I'm off today, too, to recover. I have a lot on my plate when I come back to work but today is just getting myself up and running, and reliving the memories from yesterday.

Ago 16, 2023, 1:51 pm

>79 Ravenwoodwitch: I think your pics look great! Glad you had a good time

Ago 17, 2023, 1:39 pm

Sounds like you had a great time!

Ago 19, 2023, 8:37 pm

Book #25 Of The Year - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume #5

After being kidnapped by Prince Diamond, after Small Lady is taken by Wise Man, AND after several scouts are kidnapped, a massive rescue takes place.

My Thoughts
The cover is Sailor Venus, formally Sailor V, aka Minako Aino. Formally the bubbly, girlish, idol-worshiping teenager, turned a strong positive leader by the need for the scouts to save the world. Powers are all about love, light, and stuff of that nature.

This chapter... it hurts me. There's beautiful stuff in here but also stuff that clearly comes from a cultural disconnect that I found off-putting and awkward. Hence why the Black Moon Arc is my least favorite. This is a shame since Usagi and Mamoru have some major character growth in this arc.
But at least the arc is over. And we move on to the Death Busters, which I have always adored.

Ago 19, 2023, 8:44 pm

Book #26 of The Year -Queen of The Orcs: King's Property

Dar's life, hard as it is, is turned upside down and harsh after she is sold into the slavery of the king's army. Her survival will only come from learning the language and culture of the orcs, supposed monsters of the king's army.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Implied rape, child death, threats of sexual assault, violence again just above everyone but especially women and children, fantasy racism.

My Thoughts
This is my introduction to not only this series but this author, and I loved it! I was stunned by how dark/realistic this got about the abuses that can happen in a medieval army camp. And I love the approach it took when it came to the orcs (treating them as just a separate race with value and not mindless monsters). If you can handle the above warnings I highly recommend this one. I certainly wanna see book 2.

Ago 23, 2023, 7:35 pm

Oh Lord it's almost over.

Erhm, hello everyone! :D
Work is in the final stretch of the busy summer season. Our biggest summer event is over; now we just have two smaller ones next week. And we can breathe for a little while.

As I've been adjusting to my new schedule, I find myself too tired most often to read or even crochet. But I'm doing my best to compensate (I have a long bus ride to accommodate these days after all) and once I settle into routine that should come quicker.

P.S: Anyone else ready for fall? We have an extreme heat warning right now. Dunkin already has the Pumpksin spice on the menu. I'M READY TO BE CHILLY.

Book Report
- I finished another manga, soon to be added.
- I started in earnest Fahrenheit 451. I have a physical copy now because I *struggled* with the audiobook, but the actual reading is going much smoother.
- I still have The Dark Half just sitting there, waiting... (Patience, Thad, Patience...)

Editado: Ago 28, 2023, 9:57 am

Book #27 Of The Year-Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 6

After Small Lady is sent back to the past again to be trained by her Mother's Past Self, the Sailor Scouts begin the battle with the Death Busters, 5 witches working for the mysterious Pharoh 9, looking to bring together the "3 Tailsmens" that will spell destruction. This battle brings the scouts in contact with two new warriors, who may not be allies after all.

My Thoughts
Cover this time is Sailor Mini-Moon, aka Chibi Usa (translates to "Small Lady"), aka Rini if you watched the English dub. And oh boy, she's not only annoying in the show, she's annoying here too.
So, Haruka. She's here. Love her design. Love seeing a lesbian couple in a major manga back in the day, very progressive. Just a shame Haruka cheated on poor Michiru by kissing Usagi (who expressed no interest in her at all, by the way) so...yeah. That sucks.

This is one of my favorite arcs for the powers, the antagonists, the addition of more scouts; all that business. There are some points that suck (see the spoiler above if curious) but I'm still having a good time. Things are about to somehow get more epic from the last time.

Ago 28, 2023, 9:54 am

>84 Ravenwoodwitch: I'm always ready for fall by, like, late May.

We had a pretty brutally hot July here, but August has not been so bad (highs in the mid-80s, though quite humid). I'm mostly ready for the sun to start setting earlier as I hate having to get ready for bed while it's still light out.

Editado: Ago 28, 2023, 11:55 am

Book #28 of The Year -Stranger Things: The Other Side - Physical Book.

Without spoiling the show: This book is supplement material that shows what happened to Will in season one.
The details of Will Byers' harrowing time in The Upside Down, how he helped Nancy when she crossed over, and what happened moments before he was rescued..

My Thoughts
To be honest? Meh.
It's interesting to see how Will managed during all that, but the art wasn't anything remarkable and the constant narration got annoying.

Book #29 of The Year- The Last Unicorn Graphic Novel - Physical Book.

Hunters tell an errant unicorn that her kind haven't been seen in centuries. She leaves the safety of her forest to see if these claims are true, and learns the terrible truths of the world.

My Thoughts
Ignore my terrible summery and go read this book if you haven't, graphic novel or regular novel. Or, go read it again even if you have already. Seriously.
This is my second time with this story and I love it now more than before. It's a mournful love letter to the romantically fantastical, written beautifully, that speaks to me on a deep level. I think it hit me harder now that I'm older, really.
At any rate, seriously. If I'm gonna push any book, THIS ONE.

Editado: Ago 31, 2023, 8:38 am

Hey y'all! Short update as I'm on my phone and hate typing on it. My thumbs and autocorrect are always on a mission to make me sound like I didn't earn my college degrees.

Hell Month at work is almost over. I know I said before things should be slowing down, but I forgot about the slew of stuff due by the end of August that the department is playing catch up with, on top of the big farming event that happens this time of year that we do coverage on. More stress, more wishing it was fall. Seriously, Dunkin Donuts is already selling Pumpkin Spice stuff and the local JoAnn has Halloween deco out on sale. I'm so ready for fall; anyone else over summer?

I'd mentioned the bus has lead to me reading more often, so that's a plus. I don't think I'm making 75 this year, but I do think I will beat my record from last year no problem.

Detailed reading update when I get to an actual computer.

Editado: Ago 31, 2023, 9:22 am

Listening Mood
Been browsing the liked song on Spotify mostly, so a mixed bag. But, at work, I appear to be on a lowfi kick.

Book Report
- Finished a Book; review to come.
- Over halfway done with The Resting Place
- Checked out a new audiobook, will see if it sticks
- Still reading Pride and prejudice despite it being a year, I swear, lol.
- Also reading Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke digitally, as per the "Disturbing Book" tier list.
Holy RED FLAGS, Batman! We got some early warning signs from Zoe.

Ago 31, 2023, 9:35 am

Book #30 of The Year - Fahrenheit 451 - Physical Copy

This was the cover I had cause it's all I can find. I don't like it; and will explain why later.

In a fast-paced, ultra-bright, dystopian future, freedom of thought has been all but eliminated. Firemen now burn instead of put out fires, specifically the homes and property of anyone caught with contraband (aka, books). One Fireman, Guy Montag, has been having doubts about his life, job, everything, and a chance meeting with a young girl sets a series of explosive events in motion.

My Thoughts
Firstly, let me be clear: I HATE book covers that are movie or TV posters. I know the goal is to pull people to the book who may have seen the movie or show, but it annoys me to no end when literature becomes a billboard. And, given Bradbury's hatred of TV - and the nature of this story in general - this version of the book existing at all is some tragic irony.

That said...I still held this book to my chest for several long moments after I finished it. I started and stopped this one because the audiobook was just not sinking in, but this physical copy worked so well. This story touches me, very deeply, and I suspect it will impact my daily life from this point out. If you haven't picked this one, please do.

Ago 31, 2023, 12:44 pm

Sending good vibes for finally wrapping Hell Month! Agreed on movie tie-in covers, especially for something like F451. I had to read this one freshman year of high school and I still remember it well.

Set 1, 2023, 2:05 pm

>91 curioussquared: I remember others picking it up in school but I just didn't pick it up myself. It's one of the few books that's got me thinking about it multiple times after with other aspects of my life.
Don't know why I seem to be on a kick of all the classic dystopian titles, lol.

Set 3, 2023, 11:16 am

Book #31 of The Year- - Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke And Other Misfortunes - EBook

3 disturbing short horror stories, about the following:
1. "Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke" - Found footage-style story of the emails/instant message conversations of a lesbian couple that ends in a spiral of depravity.
2. "The Enchantment" - In a world where the afterlife has been proven false, an already dysfunctional couple moves to an isolated island as hotel caretakers in an attempt to mend things, months after the suicide of their son.
3. "You'll Find It's Like That All Over" - a man confronts his neighbor about a bone left in his yard with initials carved on it, assuming it to be another hate crime against him and his husband. Turns out to be an invitation of something far worse.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Abusive Parents, Suicide, Graphic Animal Deaths, Splatter-Gore and Gross-Out Horror.

My Thoughts
This was anther entry on the disturbing books list. And I can see why, most certainly, if you look at the content warnings. There are some properly messed up moments in all three of these stories. And it's nice to see a book that features openly queer characters gaining so much popularity.
That said, I didn't like it. I had trouble with the writing styles overall in each story, and the pacing of the first two stories is absolutely insane.
The example below features a disturbing element, just as a warning.
For example Zoe's first sexy little assignment to Agnes as part of their BDSM dynamic is for her to buy a sexy red dress to wear to her job. The second, to leave her underwear in the bathroom. What's the third you may ask? To kill a salamander with a rock. In that order.
Interesting ideas overall in all three stories, though, so I am willing to set this one firmly in "not my cup of tea" territory, even with its technical faults.

Editado: Set 3, 2023, 11:49 am

Good m'arrow everyone :)

I'm enjoying my long weekend, despite my allergies deciding to kick in on this Saturday morning. I got the grocery shopping done yesterday. Today's plans are mostly to go for a nice walk, get a new plant for my office, and take care of some chores round the house so I can veg out and be as unproductive as possible tomorrow. Leftovers from both a poke bowl joint and Olive Garden for lunch and dinner today.

I'm eagerly awaiting two books from my Thirftbooks order, along with an order for a friend's birthday. I got her a cool leatherbound journal (since she likes to journal a lot).

And as a music nerd, I must also say this: Rest in peace to Jimmy Buffet. That's the man behind Margaritaville to anyone in the dark.

Book Report
- Finished the above book.
- Read more of The Dark Half yesterday while waiting for our table at Olive Garden.
- Forgot to mention I started Ring as well. Slow start, this one.
- We're back to The Exorcist to, this time in a physical copy I own so I can go at my own pace.

Hit the button before I added...

Music Report
Been browsing my likes again and re-falling in love with a band called Poets of The Fall. Highly recommend their song "Carnival of Rust".

Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:21 pm

Book #32 of The Year- - The Resting Place- Audio Book.

Elenor saw the person who murdered her grandmoher; but her prosopagnosia means she has no idea who they are, and lives in a constant state of anxiety that they will return to her one day to finish her off too. But everything takes a turn when a lawyer calls and tells her she's inheritated a mysterious mansion in the sweedish mountains. It's the chance to learn all the secrets her family hasn't told her, a chance that she was better off not taking.

My thoughts
First of all, this is where I finished last year. So, woot woot!

Second, this was the same as last time, where we have two stories going at once, and only one of them had my full attention. This time it was the present I liked better than the past. Sten remains good at writing dramatic characters but not so great at forseshadowing or suspense. So, overall middgle-ground for me and not one for my shelf.

Set 5, 2023, 5:13 am

>93 Ravenwoodwitch: I've heard such mixed thoughts on this book, from some really loving it to absolutely hating it. I picked it up a year ago because of the cover and it sounded interesting, I have definitely been hesitant to read it though since seeing so many mixed thoughts - that blurb is not helping either.

Set 6, 2023, 9:47 am

>96 WhiteRaven.17: Heya Kro,

I could easily see that, yeah. I would say that if you start the title short story of the book and don't find yourself having a good time than check out before finishing the other two.

Set 9, 2023, 8:47 pm

Oh the day after disaster is always so... bizarre, isn't it?
A post a lot less chipper tonight than my usual fair. It's not a sympathy ploy just to make it clear: just felt everyone deserved to know why I may be off.

My burnout at work reached peak Friday; I was a mess. Boss agreed to let me go home early and we're gonna have a chat about how to make things better on Monday. It should be a good thing, as it means I'll finally get some relief. But...damn if I don't feel sheepish now that all the emotions are out of my system.
Here's hoping for some positive news Monday.

In the meantime, I made a point today of treating myself without judgment. Favorite coffee, a new book from the store, some cool stuff to make a comfy bath tonight from Homegoods, etc. I'm gonna go back to my folks tomorrow and have one of my favorite homecooked meals: Ghoulash.

FYI: The new book is Carmilla, as I've decided to try and read some classic vampire literature this spooky season.

Set 9, 2023, 9:36 pm

>98 Ravenwoodwitch: I'm so sorry you're feeling burnt out, Angela! Take good care of yourself.

I hope you enjoy Carmilla! The summer heat is just breaking here so I'm in the mood for something spooky, too.

Set 10, 2023, 6:05 am

>98 Ravenwoodwitch: Burnout is one of those things that is hard to recognize as it's happening. I am glad you are taking time to treat yourself and relax a bit. Hopefully a permanent solution will come soon.

>94 Ravenwoodwitch: It is always exciting to wait on a book order! I am also waiting on one ( from book outlet).

Enjoy the rest of the weekend

Set 11, 2023, 7:45 am

>98 Ravenwoodwitch: I do suffer from that too on fairly regular instances. I am certainly not the happy go lucky character that may come across occasionally.

Take care of yourself.

Set 11, 2023, 3:44 pm

Sorry to hear you're feeling burned out and I hope the talk with your boss helps the situation. I've been there! Coffee, new books, and goodies from HomeGoods seems like the right approach to feel better :)

>100 figsfromthistle: I am also waiting on an order from BookOutlet, Anita :) I can't seem to stay away from them for long...

Set 18, 2023, 11:17 am

>102 curioussquared: >101 PaulCranswick: >100 figsfromthistle: >99 norabelle414: You are all unbelievably kind, thank you :)
Situation has improved in small doses. I got some workflow guidance and a small pep-talk from my boss, which has taken some of the weight off my shoulders. The rest I'm working on taking off on my own. It often seems like we put far more pressure on ourselves than others so, which I've struggled with often in the past. This week will royally suck just due to an abnormal heavy workload (again) but I'm working on making it manageable on my end.

I had my dad's birthday this weekend in which I gifted him a cake: a chocolate poke cake with peanut butter cream frosting. It was really great to see the family again; couldn't ask for a better recharge. I also baked, for my breakfasts this week, the Harvest Spice Bread from Sally's Baking Addiction. Still one of my favorite fall treats; it's moist, full of all the fall spices you love, and ridiculously easy to make. You just REALLY have to wait for it to cool before you cut because it gets really heavy on moisture (from pumpkin puree, to shredded apple to shredded carrots).

Had a happy accident moment this morning. Missed my usual bus, took a later one. Resulted in more walking since I couldn't make my connecting bus, but I still wound up at work on time. Maybe from now on I can catch an extra 15 minutes of sleep, lol.

Editado: Set 19, 2023, 10:17 am

Book #33 of The Year - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 7

The mission of the outer sailor senshi is revealed; the true enemy behind the Death Busters awakens, and Chibi Usa's very soul is at stake.
And some more Silver Millennium Lore, wohoo!

My Thoughts
First of all, we officially beat last year's number with this book! YES!
This cover features one of the "Outer" Senshi as mentioned before. This is Sailor Uranus, aka Haruka Teno, who is not only older than our main cast but in a relationship with another Outer Senshi, Sailor Neptune. Haruka is famous/infamous as a character for dressing most often in male clothes and being mistaken for a male by many characters. In my time on the show, she was a cisgender lesbian; in the current show (Crystal) she's nonbinary; and in the manga it's not clear, only stated that she is "both male and female" in terms of appearance and spirit. Either way, one of the earliest examples of gender play I know.

Also, the original dub was very naughty and tried to hide her sexuality by making her and her girlfriend cousins...except they still behaved like a couple, so. Whoops.

Anyway, LOTS happening this arc. Lot of talking in the beginning followed by some big, raise the stakes moves towards the end. This arc is speeding to wrap up next manga, by far.

Editado: Set 20, 2023, 1:29 pm

Book #34 of The Year - Ring - Physical Book

A Japanese journalist, by pursuing the simultaneous deaths of four teenagers from heart attacks, accidentally curses himself with a VHS tape. He must race the clock alongside a friend, to break the curse and save more than his own life.
CONTENT WARNING: Sexual Assault Both Visually And In Chats, Suicide.

My Thoughts
Another one from the "Disturbing Books" iceberg bites the dust.

That said, I was ready to hate this book so bad. the character Asakawa relies on brags about how he's sexually assaulted women, I hate him so bad. But, I can't. Because it pulled two separate twists at the end that, while not absolving it of all wrongs, makes it a satisfying read. Definitely not for everyone (the movie will probably be just fine for most people) but I'm glad I experienced it.

Set 24, 2023, 5:22 pm

Howdy, my fellow Library Thingamabobs.

Do you ever get your pumpkin coffee drink and feel that Fall should start September 1st? Or that Halloween Season officially began toward the end of August? That's the mood I'm in. Even though it's still in the 80s here. (I'm done with summer, bleck.) The leaves are starting to shift, why is it still warm?

At any rate, the last week sucked in the sense of having SO much to do; three shoots in one week and three TV commercials edited and done. I spent this weekend just relaxing as best as I can, with an everything shower, a nice walk in the local woods, and a trip to the craft store for a Halloween decoration haul. Micheals has these tabletop potion bottles that feature famous scary story writers; I love them, they will be marvelous editions to my desk at work, along with several other spooky decos.

This week's lunch for work is pumpkin chili. I'm gonna bake some peanut butter oat bars for breakfasts and try to keep away from the Dunkin' Donuts this week. I just did my budget; the money I've been spending on coffee is the stuff of shame.

Book Report
- We officially passed my end-year total from last year if you missed it :)

- Tried this supposed story about Transylvania from Jules Vernne and quit at the beginning. Just found the writing too borring.

- Still reading Carmilla, the Dark Half, and several others still on my Currently Reading Category

- Going to the library for lunch has had some drawbacks. I just totaled how many books I have checked out... well...
I'm gonna be here awhile, lol.

Set 25, 2023, 10:21 am

>106 Ravenwoodwitch: Meteorological fall does start September 1, if that helps. 😊

Believe me, your library will be delighted with all the books you're borrowing. Most libraries that I'm familiar with are all still working to get back to pre-pandemic circulation levels.

Set 25, 2023, 1:39 pm

I keep planning on getting my first PSL of the season and then something comes up or I don't have time to stop at Starbucks. Plus I have an espresso machine at home so I always have to justify buying coffee out. Your pumpkin chili sounds really good! And congrats on surpassing last year's total :)

Editado: Set 28, 2023, 10:42 am

Happy Near-End-Of-Week Greetings everyone,

Given the video shoot I have later today, I gave myself some kindness and opted for some extra sleep over doing my makeup this morning. Extremely nervous still overall but ready to give it my best shot (puns, yes).
Foggy start here in my neck of the woods. I'm so glad I'm off dinner duty when I get home from work today because I'm gonna be dead tired. Was thinking hot tea, warm blanket, good books (and leftover shrimp salad, yum).

Saw recently that the second actor who played Dumbledore passed away today. I know H.P is a sensitive topic but I'm feeling the loss as a symbol of my childhood, and the overall sadness over a loss of human life. Rest in Peace Sir Michael Gambon, you had some big shoes to fill and performed spectacularly.

On equally serious news, saw an article that George R.R is joining the gaggle of authors pushing back against OpenAI for copyright infringement. This article for the curious. I'm inclined to be on their side, given my status as an amateur writer, but I would also love to hear everyone else's thoughts.

Book Report
- About halfway through Carmilla. How strange it is when you can see the warning signs before the protagonist. But, overall, different direction that I was expecting.
- Got bored with the romance audiobook so started Dead Until Dark on Ebook.
- Checked out another new round of audiobooks. We'll see what sticks.

Set 28, 2023, 1:08 pm

Best of luck with the shoot! And yum, shrimp salad.

Out 8, 2023, 4:26 pm

Hello all! I am still alive :)

Last week was kinda slow, but still stressful. Our department switched over to a new software to manage all the commercial/promotion requests. And learning it has been a mild pain in the keister. Thankfully, by the end of the week, things had begun to feel a bit more intuitive.

And thank God, the temperature has FINALLY started to drop. That chill is in the air, at last. I'm ready to embrace fall with open, flannel-covered arms.

Got two more shoots for promos this week, and a big "BREAST CANCER AWARENESS" thing coming up, so, the grind continues. Today is meal-prep day - a creamy coconut curry chicken on rice/chia yogurt bowls - and laundry day but I will sneak some audio books in there.

And because I never get tired of how cute he is, recent picture of my "festive" black cat who just got a clean bill of health from the vet.

Out 8, 2023, 4:31 pm

Book #35 Of The Year - Carmilla - Physical Book

Within the manuscript, written by an old doctor, a young woman writes about her near-deadly encounter with a young woman named Carmilla.

My Thoughts
- Short, but tricky thanks to the language. I was told this one predates Dracula and I can very much see that; there's plenty here that I recognized from the adaptations of Dracula I've read. Nevertheless, I do think this one stands out just fine on its own and is definitely worth the read.

Out 9, 2023, 9:27 am

>111 Ravenwoodwitch: Such a good looking kitty!

Crossing my fingers work slows down a bit for you soon.

Out 9, 2023, 12:52 pm

>111 Ravenwoodwitch: Cat pictures always welcome!!

Out 10, 2023, 9:34 am

>112 Ravenwoodwitch: Glad you enjoyed Carmilla! Have you watched the YouTube series? (I'm obsessed)

Out 10, 2023, 10:31 am

>113 MickyFine: That's sweet, Micky, thanks :) Things have slowed down mildly so I'm just enjoying the even pace while it lasts, lol.
>114 curioussquared: Thanks Natalie :) He's too handsome for me to keep to myself anyway, for all his eccentricates (which just make him special)
>115 norabelle414: Didn't know that; may look into it. I'm on a bigger-than-normal vampire kick for October after all.

Out 10, 2023, 2:03 pm

Happy Tuesday!
Working is calming down a bit; less work on my plate as far as promotions, though still dealing with a shoot this week. Got some tickets to go see Spiderman with a live orchestra, so that's gonna be fun way to make up for the day's stress.
Since I've been reading Dead Until Dark I wanted to try the TruBlood again and see if it sticks better this time. I saw the first five episodes when I was too young for it ( friend snuck it on their TV in high school) and was sorta put off. But, now that I'm older (and more mature in theory), I thought it would work.

...And kinda. I wanna see more, but damn this show needs a cold shower. I promise the books aren't this hormonal the whole time.

On the same 2000s edge train, I watched the first SAW film with a glass of wine. Not my kind of horror, but I really appreciate the cinematography and the practical effects work.

Better update on progress later, back to work I go.

Out 16, 2023, 9:24 am

Good Monday everyone!
Stiill alive (and waiting for no one in particular.)

Had a relatively busy schedule last week, one that left me exhausted whenever I got home. Didn't make much time to read but I got a couple chapters in. Have a shoot this afternoon and will be scheduling another this week, hopefully. Am excited because the switch has the original Diablo II game I grew up on available to play, along with D3. I've also decided to purchase and try Trombone Champ after watching several hilarious videos of others trying.

Last weekend, my local theater put Hocus Pocus on and I went to see it again with my roomate. It's one of my Halloween staple watches, and nothing beats the big screen experience. I also decided, out of morbid curiosity, to watch the first movie in the Saw franchise since I'd never seen it. For the scary reputation this series has, I'd say that first film is actually quite restrained for what the premise was; I can actually see pretty easily why this film is in such high regard by fans. Or maybe all the extreme horror I've read has dulled me, I dunno.

Book Report
- I've graduated from comics and manga and started Dracula for reals this time. I hope the fact that I'm enjoying it so far means my reading comprehension has improved thanks to this wonderful community.
- Got The Exorcist back in rotation, and find it much more manageable in physical read format than audiobook.
- Working on a manga.

Out 16, 2023, 10:49 am

>118 Ravenwoodwitch: I read Dracula for the first time last year as part of Dracula Daily. I really liked that each portion was delivered with a teeny tiny summary of events; not enough to spoil anything, but enough to help keep the reading comprehension on track which can be difficult with those older novels.

Out 18, 2023, 8:57 am

>119 curioussquared: I remember that from your thread last year, actually :)
Thought about it but I struggle with that kind of daily task. But I always recommend it to others curious about trying the story.

Out 18, 2023, 8:58 am

Howdy, all!

It's,,, not a great day, ngl. Not for any real significant reasons - its cold, grey, my head hurts, all the superficial stuff - but not great all the same. I have to stay late for a promo shoot at work, too, so I'm treating myself to my pumpkin spice in the morning and my favorite fast-food sandwitch later tonight.

Progress update later on the books.

Out 18, 2023, 9:04 am

Enjoy your pumpkin spice stuff! I hope your day picks up a bit.

Out 18, 2023, 3:11 pm

>120 Ravenwoodwitch: Definitely understand! I was thinking more that the blurbs were helpful even if you don't read it daily :) I definitely had some days I missed and catch-up sessions. I think they released a book format with those blurbs as well that would be even easier to read at your own pace.

>121 Ravenwoodwitch: Hope the day improves! A treat sounds like the perfect way to start and end the day.

Out 23, 2023, 9:25 am

Progress, as promised twice
- Section 1 of Dracula done.
Poor Johnny decided scaling a cliff was better than dying in a decrepit castle.
- Decent progress made on Dead Until Dark.
This book also needs a cold shower, but less so than the show. At least now "sex with a vampire" isn't brought up every two minutes. Sookie annoys me on first impression but I'm slowly starting to see echoes in her of my young-adult self..

Good morning, everyone,
I had a fun weekend. Made a new work friend and got to see her apartment, have boozy ice-cream and watch the 2017 power rangers film (I liked it; what was everyone freaking out about?). Making plans now this Monday to see the upcoming FNAF film with another buddy. Attempted to make a flavored syrup for my coffee last night (failed) but made some decently tasty Spanish rice that will be my lunch this whole week.

Editado: Out 24, 2023, 1:54 pm

Howdy howdy again all :)

Doing better today, mood and work wise. Today turned out to be an anniversary for me at the job, in fact, and got some accolades from my boss. That always feels nice.
Halloween approaches and I am on the cusp of finishing a costume to wear into work. The plan is to use the costume I was building for next year's Ren faire: Ye Olde Pokemon Trainer (complete with the wooden pokeball they introduced with Arceus).
Anyone else have any fun plans for the 31st?

- Listening To: Stevie Nicks "Edge of Seventeen" has me in a dopamine loop, which is to say I will likely be listening to it for a couple repeats today.
- Playing Later Today: Diablo 2; the switch has version of it and the third game. Used to play this with my brothers all the time when I was younger and it makes me nostalgic.

Reading Progress....
- I'd say about 1/4th of the way through Dracula; def. won't finish it before the end of October, but, ah well.
- Slow progress through Dead Until Dark

Out 24, 2023, 2:51 pm

Would love to see a pic of your Halloween costume when it's done! Sounds awesome :)

Out 24, 2023, 4:03 pm

Out 25, 2023, 6:16 pm

>125 Ravenwoodwitch: I love your costume idea and third the request for photos!!

I'm the only one at my library who dresses up, but they are all supportive (they don't think I'm a weirdo or anything, or at least they hide it really well). This year I'll be going as Bee from Bee & Puppycat, mostly because Tomm and Charlie have repeatedly told me that I *am* Bee.

Oooh, Stevie Nicks! Love. Charlie's marching band have been performing Tusk this year in one of their halftime shows and it's fabulous.

Out 30, 2023, 11:43 am

I see and hear all of you, and will see what I can do. ;)

Book #36 of The Year - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 8

The penultimate show-down with the Death Busters, and the beginning of the Dead Moon Circus arc. The fated sailor senshi that marked the end of the silver millennium makes her appearance again. And, as the girls celebrate their acceptance into High School for next year, an eclipse brings forth a flying ship full of beings ready to devour the hopes and dreams of the world.

My Thoughts
Sailor senshi on the cover this time is Sailor Neptune, aka Michiru Kaiou, the second of the Outer Senshi and girlfriend to Haruka. Prodigy violinist, and the more softer-spoken of the outer group. Her powers revolve more around premonitions and deep water (hence the mirror).
Anyhow, good to wrap an arc up and get the next one up and running. That final showdown had a lot of tension and a great payoff. That also marked the last of the TV show I saw before I had to...you know, grow up and watch something else. I'm officially in new territory now so lets go!

Nov 1, 2023, 9:50 am

Happy Halloween everyone! (Late, one day. Happy November...)
Pictures will follow when I get to my home laptop.

It is FREAKING COLD here in Illinois; a record cold Halloween, in fact. One of those nights my mom would have ruined my costume by insisting I wear my coat and I would have pouted the entire night. My heart goes out to all the kiddos who had their vibe ruined by a parka (lol). But, now that it's over, I can move my mind to more important things...like Thanksgiving. Christmas can wait a little bit longer. (*sticks out tongue*).

Our department had a fantastic Halloween. Several of my coworkers decided to play a joke on my boss and dressed up as different "versions" of him (they watch Loki so they call themselves the Variants) and we all took a long lunch to watch Shaun of The Dead. Felt way too tired to do dinner last night, so we ordered in and I carved out my pumpkin (picture of that to come as well.)

Chicken sandwiches and fries tonight. I'm re-listening these days to the Magnus Achieves Podcast since they got a sequel in the works for next year and I want it all fresh in my mind.

Book Report
- Did some more reading of Dead Until Dark. I have some of my own qualms with things here, but It does occur to me that me and Charlaine Harris agree on one thing: Vampires are supposed to be less human and dangerous.

Nov 1, 2023, 10:27 am

>130 Ravenwoodwitch: I love the idea of variants of your boss :) How did your costume turn out?

Nov 1, 2023, 10:12 pm

>131 curioussquared: It's missing pieces but it turned out great!
Forgive me, all, I'm camera shy so you only get my chin *Blush*

You can bet the first thing I did was take that corset off when I got home. Now I know why women fought to be done with them. Behold, Ye Olde Pokemon Trainer.

and for funsies, my Jack-o-Lantern

Nov 1, 2023, 11:28 pm

Nov 2, 2023, 10:06 am

>132 Ravenwoodwitch: That looks so great!

>130 Ravenwoodwitch: In my neck of the woods, you always have to plan a Halloween costume around potentially including a parka, although this year it was milder.

Nov 2, 2023, 10:09 am

Nov 6, 2023, 2:07 pm

First off, much thanks to everyone :)

And GOOD MORNING, Happy Monday (for once). I cannot express how much more I like it to see some sunlight in my window now when I wake at my UnGodly time. Flipside means my commute home will be dark, but, ah well. I spent this weekend doing some self-care, because Halloween and various other life events left me kind of bedraggled. That daylight saving switch came in mighty handy to catch-up on my sleep because I feel fantastic now; shame that energy has to funnel into the office, but we'll try to get some laundry done too when I get home.

And today begins the Christmas Craft Marathon. Started work on a scarf and hat set for someone. Gonna also try to finally get done one of the many person projects I have been sitting on for months just casue. It'll make me feel better about adding new ones (lol).
Anyway, the race is one; wish me luck!

As for the books, made some more progress in the Sookie Stackhouse novel and started an audiobook. Still in the "I don't know" phase so it shall remain nameless.
Dracula continues ever so slowly. Poor Lucy has been hounded by a strange shadow in the night, after a ship sailed by a dead man had pulled into harbor.. I actually saw a physical bound version of Dracula Daily at the bookstore recently, with some well done illustrations inside. Was wondering if anyone bought it or has seen it too?

Nov 6, 2023, 5:01 pm

>136 Ravenwoodwitch: Glad to hear light in the morning is doing good things for you. Depending on how far north you are, vitamin D supplements are always a good idea and a SADD lamp can work wonders (my brother loves his).

Nov 8, 2023, 9:28 am

>137 MickyFine: I had a doctor tell me Midwesterners are usually real deprived of Vitamin D. Been meaning to ask my therapist if one of the lamps could help.

Nov 8, 2023, 10:04 am

Good Wednesday Morning, everyone!
My "To Read" list has taken some damage today, because at least two audiobooks stuck, lol. But on that later.

My roommate's birthday dinner is coming up, so I'm anxiously now hoping the gift I ordered from last week comes in soon. I found a website called BlendBee which makes custom tea blends. I've gotten her what I hope is a chocolate chai copycat mixture that she'll like (and an order for myself because they weren't that expensive. Updates to come on weather they are worth what small money they ask for).

I'm also in the process of "declutter/transferring" both my daily and costume makeup bags. I get a monthly box from Ipsy and have been having a ton of fun, but we've gotten too much stuff at this point and the more complicated shadow palettes take too much time in the mornings/are just too bold for my style daily. This is SUCH a hard process for me, because I always have a tiny voice going "You may need it later. You might use it." But, for now, we're gonna silence it and pick what get used most often.

Lastly, besides Laundry, is dinner: Cheesy Mac Skillet and maybe some banana-oatmeal-raisin muffins.

Book Report
- The first sticker on audiobook is His Majesty's Dragon
The Napoleonic War fought on dragons? Dragonriders with Naomi Novik instead of Paolini? Sign me up!
- The second sticker, though on precarious grounds, is Psyche & Eros.
I love Greek mythology. I'm less familiar with these two names, but I am familiar with the famous names before them so I'm very curious.
- Progress made in the Sookie Stackhouse novel, which grows on me the longer I read.
I'm also watching the show for anyone curious, several years too late. And I swear, Moyer has Bill Compton speak exclusively in husky growls (not that I'm complaining, lol).

Nov 8, 2023, 10:34 am

His Majesty's Dragon is so great! I hope you enjoy it.

Nov 8, 2023, 12:53 pm

Nov 10, 2023, 9:40 am

Happy Friday everyone!

Low mood yesterday (bad sleep, my fault) and not too much work at the office. Always makes me feel like I'm wasting someone's paid time. Managed those muffins I wanted to make (to an office of very happy news reporters) And even managed to get the laundry somewhat done despite having a big ole' glass of wine. My roomate's family is in town and we're celebrating for her birthday and that included an impromptu adult pizza party and a viewing of the first episode of the anime Pluto on Netflix, based on the Pluto manga. By the same gentleman who did the infamous manga "Monster," so, be prepared to cry.

Going out to a fancy place tonight as part of that celebration, so I'm only getting Salem situated as far as chores. Leftovers for lunch and some more reading. Still working on my dad's scarf, but I had to restart the d***n thing since I realized, 30 rows in, that I was off by two stitches in the row. (*Huff*).

Book Report
- Progress made in His Majesty's Dragon and still enjoyable.
- Progress made in Dead Until Dark; its growing on me and the drama is finally taking a turn I'm alright with.
- Next manga started for Sailor Moon.

Nov 10, 2023, 12:49 pm

I read the first 8 (maybe 10) Sookie Stackhouse books in my early 20s and had a good time with them. Eventually, the plot got a little much for me but they're fun pageturners. Glad it's entertaining you so far.

Nov 13, 2023, 9:46 am

>142 Ravenwoodwitch: You're absolutely not wasting someone's paid time! You're paid to be available.
Sorry you had to frog your scarf! That's always frustrating.

Nov 14, 2023, 2:14 pm

>144 norabelle414: I had not thought of it that way, Nora; and it makes me feel better. Thanks :)
and yes, yes it was. But, thankfully, I have restarted it and I'm back where I was pre-frog. And I've even managed to keep gauge, so, that's a relief.

>143 MickyFine: I confess they grew on me. I had to shift my expectations around a bit but I appreciate this one now for what it is.

Nov 15, 2023, 1:42 pm

Good Wednesday Afternoon everyone *raises tea*
Today's Music Mood- We're back with my Witch, Miss Stevie Nicks again, with some Fleetwood mixed in.

This week started slow. But will be picking up much later as I have a shoot on Friday. Should be simple and I've got some assistance this time at least. My reading has slowed down a bit as I'm quite tired as of late but I'm hoping to pick back up again today.

The first panel of my dad's scarf is almost done and looking good. Gonna try to finish the Hippie Sweater for myself while working on/after dinner tonight.

Nov 15, 2023, 2:59 pm

Seconding Nora's comments about being paid to be available. I always try to think of slow times at work as a reward for the crazy busy overtime days. Good luck finishing the sweater tonight!!

Nov 16, 2023, 1:10 pm

Good Morning, everyone.

It is an unhappy Thursday for me. Last night's attempt to finish the sweater failed. I know a lot of you are yarn-folk like myself, but in non-crafter terms: there were more crochet stitches around the arm holes of the sweater than were on the sleeves, and it was bunching up. I was mighty upset last night at this morning, but I'm cooling off enough now to see a way out. This sucker will be lumpy and not look much like the pictures at all when done...but done it shall be. Of this I swear!
(That said, any suggestions are still appreciated.)

Otherwise, yesterday got slow again and today compensated with a surprise project dropped in my lap with an accelerated timeline (finish on Monday; not fun). I'm doing my best and counting the days until my four-week break next week. I'm getting the plans in place for my contribution to the Big Family Thanksgiving Potluck (tm) in which yours truly is bringing the Green Bean Casserole (my favorite side believe it or not) and a play on Waldorf salad my family has passed down generationally. I love making the latter, especially; it's written on notebook paper from my mom, as she remembers it from Grandma. It's one of many small connections I treasure from the women in my family.

Book Report
- 23% of the way through His Majesty's Dragon
They tried to lie to Temeraire about Laurence to switch his rider. The image of the dragon curled in a ball, clutching Laurence's gift to him made me keen out loud and nearly cry..
- only 3% through on Psyche and Eros but going to remedy that now while working on the scarf.
I'm all for Psyche wanting to be a hero, and the 'You can't you're a girl!' part is accurate to period...just, I kinda hope that isn't repetitive? if that makes any sense.

Nov 27, 2023, 12:19 pm

Happy Late Holidays everyone!

Catch-up is gonna be fun because I have a great announcement: THE SWEATER IS DONE! And fits great. Will post an image when I'm not on the work computer.
Thanksgiving break was a well needed respite. I brought the Green Bean Casserole and Salad to the family meal (lovely to see the whole Raven-Clan) and spent the entirety of Black Friday at home, lazing about with intermittent breaks to clean.I actually came back to work Monday energized, for once, only held back by how freakin' cold it is (was 21 degrees this morning. No thank you). My chore today is just getting the dishes sorted and then I'm gonna try to do some writing/gaming. I started Tales of Berseria and I'm having a grand time. Love a story involving moral ambiguty and the quest to defeat a Lucifer-Type figure.

Christmas Craft Report
-Dad's Scarf is two sections done, like seven more to do I believe.
- Got two squares done for a work-buddy's "Puff Stitch" collection of potholders I'm making. Gonna work on a couple more during lunch while listening to audiobooks.

Book report
- 60% of the way through His Majesty's Dragon and still in love.
We're heading to war, chaps. Here's hoping the other dragons we've gotten know survive the frey
- Minor progress on Dracula.
Jonathan has been found and properly hitched to his wife, and Dracula appears to be giving Lucy a break.

Dez 2, 2023, 11:54 am

Congrats on finishing your sweater! That's awesome!

Wishing you much luck in finishing the Christmas crafts with time to spare.

Dez 6, 2023, 9:01 pm

Ta Da! Ignore my dirty phone case and awful manicure, TA-DA!

She's bulky, short, and you can see the stitching; but I love her so much. She's my new favorite.

Dez 6, 2023, 9:24 pm

Book #37 of The Year - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 9 - Physical Book

The Sailor Scouts struggle without the help of the Outer Quartet, each one unable to transform into their sailor soldier uniforms. Furthermore, a poison is seeping up from the planet's core, impacting it's former prince as well. Can they all overcome these threats to push back against The Dead Moon Circus?

My Thoughts
The cover is Setsuna Meiu, aka outer scout Sailor Pluto. She's a special case in that she's supposed to be the guardian of time itself, never to leave the Space-Time Door that allows Small Lady to time-travel. She has an OP ability to stop time as well that she's not supposed to use. She's depicted in the manga as having darker skin than the others in the manga pages (the cover is what the anime had her as; boo) and is the oldest of all the girls. When allowed to be a civilian (and not the guardian of time) she's a student at K.O University studying physics and works at a research lab.

So the past two books have been very episodic - each scout getting their own chapter/ episode - and that wasn't the most exciting. But I like the overall stakes building right now, I love the relationship dynamics forming between Usagi and Mamoru as well; it's surprisingly mature, a far cry from the childish Usagi I grew up with.

Book #38 of The Year - His Majesty's Dragon - Audio Book

A proud and respective naval career for Captain William Laurence comes to a crashing end the day his men capture a French ship carrying an unhatched dragon egg. However, a great career in Britian's Aerial Core began when that dragon - Temeraire - hatched, along with an indescribable adorable bond between them both. Together, along with several other rider captains, they begin their battle against the French army and its leader, Napoleon Bonaparte.

My Thoughts
Oh no. I've fallen in love with a 9-book commitment. Ah well.
I adore this novel and cannot recommend it enough. There are some truly heartbreaking moments (and more than one time where I was going "aw" out loud in a very loud voice) but the story is so gripping. I did lose track of all the military battle talk but everything else? Fantastic. Once I clear some libary books off my list, we're going in for round 2.

Dez 6, 2023, 9:43 pm

>150 MickyFine: Much thanks. I'm almost done with my coworker projects but, ack, the stress is real.

Dez 7, 2023, 9:07 am

Good morning everyone! Been awhile, yeah?

To catch up, had a fantastic thanksgiving with my immediate family and their families. I always feel energized after seeing my family; and I spent the majority of my break doing some much needed self-care routines before heading back to work. However, I still found myself melancholic and hyperaware of my working-weaknesses on that Monday and utterly flopped on being ready for a big project. Now, thankfully, the penultimate product is great/done/off onto TV, but at the time I felt so very useless and had a breakdown. So, I spent the majority of November getting myself back to a good headspace, which I feel I'm in now by the grace of my own work and my awesome therepist.

(I'd like to say all this was why I didn't read much in November but, lets not kid ourselves, its my neurodivergent brain demanding a different dopamine source. Meh.)

I'm feeling better for the moment, listening to my mental needs a bit more, and working out a daily routine that I think will work for me better. Today kinda sucks since we have our Big Christmas Charity Thing(tm) at work that I helped set-up yesterday, and now my muscles ache this morning. I'll be running around with a camera all day and editing most of the afternoon into the evening, so, you can bet I'm ending the night with leftovers and a long stint in Stardew Valley whenever I get home.

In the meantime (Reading Report...)

- Checking out my audiobook checkouts to see what sticks. Dropped Pscyhe and Eros because I found myself unhooked by the story but I'm willing to see if maybe a print book sits with me better. I did, however, start I'm Glad My Mom Died on audio and....oh. Oh God.

I'm not gonna diagnosis a real person because I'm not a professional. But, when I hear what this woman did to Jeanette as a child, I think of two words. One starts with "Nar"; the other is less polite.

-Still physically reading again. Got more on Dracula done and more from Murder On The Links.
Dead Old Man achieved in two chapters; that feels like a record, even for Agatha.

Dez 7, 2023, 2:36 pm

>151 Ravenwoodwitch: Congrats on the sweater. I do a lot of crocheting but I'm so nervous to make something that I would actually wear.

Dez 8, 2023, 1:29 pm

>151 Ravenwoodwitch: Gorgeous sweater!!

Dez 8, 2023, 2:49 pm

Congrats on the sweater. It's beautiful work!

Wishing you a chill weekend after what sounds like a very full work week.

Dez 8, 2023, 8:10 pm

>155 SandDune: Thank you! I understand completely; this whole process had me anxious. It's why I went for a design that would purposefully be kinda floppy in fit. Figured that would lessen the blow? But the size turned out great.
>156 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora!
>157 MickyFine: Thank you, Micky :) I will be looking forward to that extra sleep like it's going out of fashion.

Dez 14, 2023, 5:09 pm

Howdy everyone!

I'm sick. COVID Negative, but sick.

Nothing like a good, old-fashioned cold right before my big block of time off from work. I admit, it's gonna look like I played hooky but oh well. I'm so glad to be home and not at my desk. AND, woth being at home (and feeling a little better) I got a large chunk of my reading done. Reviews to follow.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to nurse Gatorade and barrel through the apartment's tissue supply.

Dez 14, 2023, 5:26 pm

Book #39 of The Year - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon vol. 10 - Physical Book

The climatic finish in the fight against The Dead Moon Circus and their leader. Long has Queen Nehelenia felt the urge to wipe out the denizens of the light, so her "dead moon" (aka the new moon) kingdom can rise. Will she succeed, and corrupt the earth from the inside?

My Thoughts
The cover is Sailor Saturn, aka Hotaru Tendo. Her story is spoiler-ridden so we shall just say her life has been hard after surviving a terrible fire, this body is her second attempt at life, and Sailor Saturn is supposed to be the scout that is the harbinger of destruction.

Otherwise, this was a big finish. Big revelations about the scouts themselves, their mother planets, and how their powers connect back to the silver crystal Miss Usagi uses. Loved it.

Book #40 Of The Year - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 11 - Physical Book

As the last book ended on the cryptic message of all of us being born with stars inside us, a group of evil sailor guardians from the depths of space come to earth, seeking to steal the star seeds of our group of Sailor Soldiers. Can the new and very enigmatic Sailor Starlights (who masquerades by day as an all-guy idol group) help, or are they a new enemy?

My Thoughts
Hey, we're in the season of the show that got canceled before it reached the states! English TV execs didn't like that the return of Nehelenia brought naked female monsters. Japan has different rules for what is acceptable/unacceptable as far as nudity in children's programs. I'm not justifying it; I'm just explaining.
Anyway, uh, the scout on the cover is Chibi-Chibi, whose entire existence is spoilers. We'll leave it at "mysterious little girl who came out of nowhere and is now a sailor scout" and call it done.
But, yes, this is the start of what is called the Eternal Arc or the Sailor Star Arc amongst fans. And OH BOY is it a doozy. Big loses, high-stakes all around. I love this kind of Big Bad Guy Pull at the end of a series.

Dez 14, 2023, 5:45 pm

Book #41 Of The Year - Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol.12 - Physical Copy

The penultimate showdown of the universe. Galaxia Vs. Sailor Moon, Chaos vs. The Silver Millenial Crystal, and Peace vs Perpetual Conflict.
In short, after more losses than she can bear, Sailor Moon heads to the center of the Milky Way to the Cauldron of Stars, where all "Heavenly Bodies" (aka beings like her and her friends} are made, where the destructive Sailor Galaxia is waiting to take what she has left.

My Thoughts
I told you the stakes were high.
This was an emotional finish for me. Not only because the story wraps up in this most glorious, over-the-top fashion. But because this has all actually been my goodbye to this book series. I'm gifting my copies to my oldest niece. As deeply as this character and story impacted me growing up, I do not see myself reading it again. And, so, it is time.

Arigato Gozsaimasu, Takeuchi-San. I'm hoping Netflix doesn't screw up your husband's work.

Book #42 Of The Year - I'm Glad My Mom Died - Audiobook

ICarly acting star Jennette McCurdy details the abuse of her childhood, her abuse on the set of her shows, her self-destruction afterward, and the beginnings of her recovery.

My Thoughts
The audiobook is read by the author. And while that made it SO much harder to hear what happened, I do recommend it that way.
I'm downplaying what happened in my description only because I want more people to read this. What this poor woman suffered at the hands of her mother and the industry itself is awful; I can't wrap my brain around half of it. I am glad she is in a better place now, and hope my oldest niece waits on this one (she grew up on ICarly :/).
My heart is broken but this was an exceptionally good read.

Dez 15, 2023, 1:46 pm

Catching up here, Angela! Sorry you're sick but glad you're getting some good reading it. I'm so glad you loved Temeraire -- it's so good! Not every book in the series is quite as good, but I'm still enjoying them overall and planning on reading book 7 next year. My thoughts on I'm Glad My Mom Died were similar to yours -- I also listened to it.

Dez 15, 2023, 2:03 pm

>162 curioussquared: Welcome back, Natalie!
Thank you; I'm feeling a bit better today. Easily tired and stuffy but my headache is finally gone.
And I figured about the series. It's hard to write several books that are all knockouts in one series. But good she keeps the momentum going!
And oh, man. I'm still talking about poor Jennette amongst my friends. I nearly cried when her voice broke in the recording, during her last session with Dr. Laura. . It's a hard read, but an important one.

Dez 15, 2023, 2:30 pm

Hi everybody! I'm still sick! :D
Doing better, though, thankfully. I think by Sunday I should be my normal self. Today is supposed to have been the start of my official Christmas Vacation (off from work today, the entity of next week, and won't be back until after Christmas) but this cold has kept me home two days early. Eck, but, who wants to start vacation feeling like walking death?

At any rate, this has gifted me some extra time to work on my crafty Christmas gifts, so, a roundabout blessing. Got some more of the granny squares done that I'm giving to coworkers. One batch is all puff stitch, another is more angular patterns, and the last is more intricate center patterns with the Loki colors (she's a really big fan). I have more work to do on my dad's scarf and I need to start Mom's shawl.

Plenty of time for audiobooks! I'm putting a hiatus on the checking out of anything else from the library until next year so we'll be knuckling down and listening to Gods of Jade and Shadow, which was waiting behind Miss McCurdy's Memoir. And anything with a bookmark in it? Getting finished. Period.

Dez 16, 2023, 10:51 am

Sorry to hear you're kicking off your Christmas vacation with a cold. Being sick around the holidays is a bummer. Glad to hear the silver lining has been more reading time and more crafting time. Wishing you luck on finishing all the hand-made gifts in time.

Dez 25, 2023, 7:23 am

Thinking about you during the festive season, Angela

Dez 30, 2023, 9:49 pm

Howdy again everyone!
Sorry for the long break. Got distracted by recovery stuff, Christmas, and...getting sick again. Which is, to say, my cold suddenly got worse about halfway through. I can't catch a break for nothing.

For now, catch up. Starting from the top.
I had a lovely break, sickness aside. The roommate and I spent Christmas Eve at a nice local watering hole that had this fancy, 1920s theme. EXPENSIVE prices, though; my burger and martini were $31 total. But we ate well and had a great time overall. I gifted my roommate a new mug and some purple tea leaves (it's real; from a local store that does fair-trade purchases from crafters in Third World. The tea came from Kenya) and she gifted me this cool Bookshelf insert that she put together on her own from a kit.

And, alas, I was only able to finish one craft gift on time. I made my nephew a tiny amigurumi of Cthulhu that he loved. My water bottle is in the photo to help the little guy stand up.

There's a danger here now; I can now easily manifest cute stuffed animals with yarn, a hook, and time. Be afraid.

That morning was like an episode of some Food Network challenge as I raced around the kitchen to prepare my contribution to the family potluck: A Traditional southern bread pudding and some bacon-fried green beans. Dinner was fantastic, though my favorite contribution was my oldest brother's roast beast.

My family also does a Secret Santa for the older kids/adults (hence my gift to my nephew) and my sister-in-law gifted me this mug:

I returned to work the next day (and endured some Prima-Donna BS from a coworker) and found myself growing congested again about halfway through the week. So, for right now, I'm attempting to rest so I can help my mother on News Year's Day (which I have off. Yay!)

Since the year is almost over, I'm ready to start totaling what I've read in the year and some insights I've gained from the selection. I'm overall proud I've read more than what I did last year. Sad as it is that we didn't ready 75, we did still reach an impressive number by my standards. Looking forward to seeing many of you again next year :)

Dez 31, 2023, 10:16 am

Glad to hear you've had a lovely holiday and crossing my fingers that your cold has tapered off today!

Dez 31, 2023, 11:04 am

I lovelovelove the Cthulhu amigurumi! I have a pattern for one laid aside to make someday for a friend.

Jan 1, 3:32 pm

First of all, new thread is up!

Second, thank you to all of my lovely friends here for letting me share with you another year. I only met one of my goals, but I'm still proud of how well I did. And I'm also so happy with how much all of you read this year too. Who says literature is dead?

My Insights of 2023

- Surprise Favorite: His Majesty's Dragon
This read was a random act. And yet I couldn't keep away from it for long. I very much want to explore the rest of this series.

-NonSurprise Favorite: Fahrenheit 451
No surprise here I loved this one. The topics it discusses are near and dear to my heart. But I am surprised at just how deeply it engrossed me.

- Surprise Dislike: Audition
All that build up for something that's kinda a slog. I'm happy to have read it but you couldn't get me to read it again.

- NonSurprise Dislike: none
I didn't really pursue books that didn't sound interesting this year.

- I've Learned That I have a taste for classic dystopia. I will be looking into 1984 for sure, and some modern ones too.

I've Learned I also don't like Young Adult much, and may have to part ways with the majority of its entries.