WordPress phishing scam warning / book reviews

Just a PSA for anyone else with a wordpress blog.  I got an email today from someone claiming I was using one of their photos with a link to the offending post.  Now, I try not to use anyone else’s photos, but I did click on the link so that I could refute whatever the claim was.  The link took me to a log-in page that looks just like wordpress, which stated that my log-in had expired.   Luckily, I always check the web address before entering my password anywhere, so I caught it in time – the address was certainly not wordpress!  I then changed my password because I was feeling paranoid, and I reported the email to gmail (it was a gmail return address.)

I have this blog, and I’m also the administrator for a self-hosted wordpress blog for my choir.  You get a fair amount of spam or scam emails, but most are easy to spot, as they appear to have been written (poorly) in another language and then sent straight through google translate.  This one was pretty convincing, so I thought I would put out the warning – never give out your password after clicking on a link!

With that out of the way – I’m back from my trip!  We spent a week traveling from Louisville to Minneapolis/St Paul.  I got in some great fabric shopping, and I will have a report for you later – it seems I managed to leave my fabric in Minnesota and my in-laws are bringing it down when they come this weekend!  In the meantime I only have one thing to say – you must go to SR Harris in Minneapolis.  I may have uttered the phrase “this is the best fabric store I’ve ever been to” somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty times.

I got a lot of reading done on my trip – Marc and I listened to books on tape in the car, and I also put my kindle to good use (yes, I have strange sleep habits, so I’m always up reading long after everyone goes to bed on a visit!)  I’m a very fast reader when I put my mind to it – I have been known to actually hit the limit of how many library books you can get.  I don’t buy many books, although the kindle is changing that.  I have the Kindle touch and I just adore it – the e-ink is very easy on my eyes.  I kind of feel like if I wanted a tablet I would buy an i-pad, but I want something without backlighting to read.  I keep meaning to do monthly book reviews, as reading is one of my other major hobbies, so here goes!

(Are you on Goodreads?  Would you like to be my friend?  I review all my books there.)

Soulless by Gail Carriger

This is the first book in a series of steampunk novels.  I will confess that I haven’t read much (read: any) steampunk.  I love steampunk costumes and art, but this is the first book I have tried.  I was joking to my husband that I was curious to see how many pages in the first mentions of goggles or a dirigible would be (page 4 for the goggles, and about 1/3 of the way in for the dirigibles, in case you were wondering.)  Alexia Tarabotti is a spinster in a victorian London (though not our London).  She was unfortunately born without a soul, an idea which seems interesting.  Unfortunately, what it boils down to is that she can make vampires and werewolves lose their powers by touching them.  Yes, I said vampires.  I didn’t know that was coming, but the vampires turned out to be rather delightful (the werewolves were less so, unfortunately).

This book is witty from the very first scene (in which our heroine stabs a vampire with her parasol during a fancy party).  I loved Alexia. Unfortunately, as the book went on it seemed to take a bit of a turn down romance novel way.  Don’t get me wrong – I love romance novels (I have one further down the page) but I don’t love paranormal romance novels, and I didn’t really want one here.  I was a bit disappointed, but not enough that I haven’t requested the second book in the series at the library!

Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) by Jerome K. Jerome

I mentioned that I was reading this book before.  My husband was interested in it, so I got the audiobook.  The version I bought is abridged.  Ordinarily I hate abridged books, but I had to get it after seeing it was read by Hugh Laurie (you may know him as Dr. House, but I will always think of him as Bertie Wooster.)  The version I have is here (I got it from audible.)  It is missing some of the funny bits from the book, but Laurie’s narration made it perfect for the car ride – especially as I had been imagining his voice when I read the whole thing!  The book itself is available as a free download in ebook format here.  The book is strange – it’s part travelogue and part comedy of errors.  It’s absolutely readable by modern readers (my favorite bits involve the dog, with the unlikely name of Montmorency).

Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising #1) Susan Cooper

One of my Goodreads friends recommended this book to me when I requested books for someone who loved Harry Potter but hated the Narnia books.  I’ve heard of the series, but never read it.  It’s a young adult series.  There are a fair number of similarities to Narnia (bored children in an old house go exploring and find a secret… behind a wardrobe.)  I wouldn’t say it’s similar beyond that though.  The books deal with the Arthurian legends, a subject I have always loved.  The children were delightful, and the book was a very quick read.  I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

I refuse to be ashamed about my love of historical romance novels (have you been to the “Smart Bitches, Trashy Books” site?  Because I love it!)  Admittedly, there is a fair amount of dreck, but there are also so many wonderful authors out there!  (I cannot read modern romance though, nor chick-lit.  Strange, that.)  Julia Quinn is my favorite author, and of course there are always the classics by Georgette Heyer.  I’m always looking for new authors, and Tessa Dare came up in my search.  This is her first novel (she has several others that have been published since.)

I loved the first half of the book.  Lucy, our heroine, is feisty without being anachronistic (a problem sometimes.)  She plans to marry one of her brothers friends, but through a series of circumstances manages to fall in love with another!  I didn’t like the book at all after they got married, as all involved got personality transplants (Lucy becomes frustratingly reticient, and her husband turns into a brooding Mr. Rochester type.)  The first half was really great though, and I recommend it – just end with the proposal!  I will read other novels by this author.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I listened to the audio version.  I don’t know how the experience would be otherwise, but I loved listening to her read the stories.  I love Tina Fey in general – I think she’s smart, and she she says a lot of things that had me (as an assertive-type lady in her thirties) nodding in agreement.  In particular her experiences at a teen theater camp felt just like my experiences.  My husband loved the book too, but well – it’s possible he might have a type.  Highly recommended!

Night of the Living Trekkies

This certainly seems like a book I would like.  I’m a huge Trek fan, the kind who goes to cons and gets into arguments about the canon treatment of Klingon foreheads.  But I didn’t.  It was, unfortunately, rather poorly written.  One conversation (the one concerning the term Trekkie vs Trekker) is almost verbatim taken from the movie “Trekkies,” and yes I have seen that enough times to quote it.  Quirk books also published the popular “Pride and Prejudice with Zombies,” which I haven’t read.  I have read The Meowmorphosis, in which Gregor Samsa (in Kafka’s Metomorphosis) turns into an adorable kitten rather than a bug.  I loved that one – recommended if you were also forced through that particular extended allegory in school.

That’s it for my trip!  I’m currently working my way through these books:

 

It’s my second try for Jonanthan Strange and Mr Norrell, a modern novel written in the style of Dickens.  It’s super long, and I couldn’t get into it at first.  I got the audiobook and it’s much better – the text is very conversational, and I think I might listen to all 900 billion hours of it (did I mention it’s a very long book?)  A Game of Thrones is much better than expected.  I always want to like fantasy, but mostly I get bogged down in remember all the names and complicated faerie politics and such.  This is about politics of course, but it’s enjoyable.  And no, I haven’t seen the show, and I don’t intend to until I read all the books!

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14 thoughts on “WordPress phishing scam warning / book reviews

  1. Thanks for the head’s up on the phishing scam. I always check URLs too, but good to be reminded of things.

    I read Jonathan Strange years ago, and yes, it can be a bit long, but it really is worth reading. :) Good luck!

  2. Kelly says:

    We seem to share similar taste in some books (I’m not on GoodReads yet, sorry!) and a few Regency fantasy titles come to mind, in case you’re looking for more (all stylistically different from Soulless and Jonathan Strange):
    Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
    Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgiss (MG/YA)
    Sorcery & Cecelia by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede (YA, epistolary)
    Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (fantasy of manners)
    Or, perhaps, the Agency books by Y.S. Lee (Victorian YA mystery) or Madeleine Robins’ Regency mysteries? Or Chime by Franny Billingsley, (YA & hard to categorize?)

    I’m also looking forward to the Wilful Impropriety collection edited by Ekaterina Sedia and The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent…

    Does your library system have ebooks to loan yet? And thank you for the Hugh Laurie audiobook mention – I must find that!

  3. Jonathan Strange is frikkin’ awesome. I loved it from the first scene where the statuary comes alive.. GoT I read the first one but found it too verbose and not-flowing very well for my liking so I decided not to read the rest and just watch the HBO version instead XD
    Thanks for the scam warning, I’m using the free version of WP and haven’t had any problems but good to know all the same.

  4. Ah! I have been reading your blog quietly from the shadows for, gosh, almost three years now. But I don’t really knit that much and I’m abominable at sewing – apparently I’m better with planning than execution. Perhaps that’s why I like reading? A friend and I are trying to get through Jonathan Strange too, it seems like just the kind of book I would like and yet I never reach towards it when I feel like reading. I’ve been really curious about Three Men in a Boat since last summer when I read Too Say Nothing of the Dog – a gorgeous excuse for literary allusions all wrapped up in a romance wrapped up in sci-fi. It’s hilarious, and if you like (the idea of) steam punk and Heyer then I’d suggest you check it out. At any rate, thanks for being a source of inspiration all these years.

    With passion,
    Sixer

  5. I love Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, though I think somewhat after the fact. The only way I got through the first 3/4 of the book is because my husband told me it gets better! I think it is a worthwhile read, though.

  6. I love reading about your other interests, as I am a fellow fitness fanatic, have a cat, and love reading. The biggest thing we have in common is sewing, of course, but I love getting to know my fellow sewing bloggers. You were one of the bloggers who influenced me to share more of my life than just sewing, which is helpful right now because I hardly have any time to sew. My next series is The Game of Thrones. My mom bought the first season on DVD and the books. I also intend to read the books first, although I’d like to watch the pilot so I get an idea of who all the characters are. I like to have faces and voices in my head when I read.

  7. littleteapot says:

    I just asked to be your friend too! These books sound really awesome. Also, I have been secretly reading several romance novels and it’s nice to know there are other intelligent women who just enjoy a good trashy read once in a while!

    I read the entire Game of Thrones series, it’s great! The audiobooks are also really good, but I found they are a little harder to follow sometimes because you find yourself giggling when I guy tries to sound like a woman. hehe.

  8. Maybe I should join “Goodreads”, I hadn’t heard of it yet. I have similar taste in books, (and I’m always looking for new authors), so I’ll definitely be checking in to some of these. I’ve even put in my request for the first book in the Game of Thrones series, because I can’t force myself to inadvertently start in the middle of a series…

    You might check out the Widdershins series by Ari Marmell. It’s YA, but it’s a pretty fun story. :-)

    • ja says:

      I noticed that you are on Goodreads. I am on that site also and do get many “do you really want to go there” when I type in the URL. I was wondering if it comes from that

  9. Thanks for the recommends. I strongly empathized with the reasons you don’t normally get into fantasy writing. Perhaps I will give Game of Thrones a try. I love the series!

  10. I read romance novels, Tessa Dare and SBTB too!!! Do you read DA? and listen to the podcasts? I think TD’s writing only improves with each book so the promise of this one is fullfiled. I don’t know if you read contemporaries but I love Julie James (mostly lawyers and cops) and Kristan Higgins (goofy, small-town heroines and taciturn heroes). My great friend Rosario just reviewed the Garriger: http://rosario.blogspot.com/2012/06/soulless-by-gail-carriger.html She’s originally from Montevideo, UY but we “met” on the All About Romance forum 10 yrs ago. I love her like a sister so I’m biased.

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