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.)
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!
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!