May Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Apr 30, 2016 in Fun, photos | 0 comments

May Photo a Day Challenges

I have found a way to make daily photo prompts work well for me.

No single photo a day prompt list fully works for me. I choose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. I’m happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I’ll be using for May:
(click on the images to see larger versions)

If committing to a month at a time feels like too much, there are other weekly and daily options available on Instagram

The SunnyPicChallenge posts a theme each week for the weekdays and has theme free weekends

Also, 365_today posts a weekly prompt list each week.

I have also discovered another source of inspiration for those days when nothing on the lists inspires me. There are several Instagram accounts that feature a new theme every day or every week. I follow these accounts and every once in a while they save me when I just don’t like any of the other prompts. These are all worth following on Instagram.

As you can tell, I am a huge fan of using prompts for daily photos because it helps make a personal photo journal and also makes me look for inspiration throughout my daily life. It helps me to notice and appreciate the little moments and things every day.

I’ve been doing this since March of 2012 so I now have over 4 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my April Photo a Day photos:

If you’re not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you’ll consider it because it’s a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won’t be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.

Read More

The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in 2016, 4 stars, Book Review, Nick Bantock | 0 comments

The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock

The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabine’s Lost Correspondence written and illustrated by Nick Bantock

Genre: Epistolary Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Series: #7 in the Griffin & Sabine series
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 60
Source: Copy provided by the publisher

*Note I’m posting about this series every Friday until I finish. I am not attempting to be spoiler free so if you haven’t read the previous books in the series you have been warned.

The Book:
From the publisher:

I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and meet up with the woman I’ve been corresponding with for over a year. I realize the absurdity of leaving everything behind for a woman I’ve never seen, but I love her

So writes Griffin Moss about his enigmatic lover, Sabine. Their worlds seem so far apart: he in London, she on tropical island thousands of miles away. But perhaps Griffin and Sabine are closer than they think — or are they even further apart than they can imagine.

My Thoughts:
While I had read the original Griffin & Sabine trilogy years ago, this is the first time I’ve read the follow up books that came along ten years later and now I’ve finished up the series with the newest book.

This is technically the seventh book in the series but it really fits just after the third book , The Golden Mean.

Described as Griffin & Sabine’s lost correspondence this volume contains letters and postcards between them as well as Griffin’s friend Maud and her friend Francesca who lives in Alexandria where Griffin and Sabine plan to meet. There are also postcards from the menacing Victor Frolatti who is determined to keep Griffin and Sabine apart and seems even more evil with each book.

As with the other books in the series the letters, postcards and notes are all beautiful and the distinct handwriting of each character is just lovely. The format of the books reinforces the feeling of sneaking a peek into the intimate conversations of strangers through their letters and postcards.

As with the other book the ending leaves questions unanswered but at the same time there are definitely answers and it makes a great addition to the series.

Personally I enjoyed all of the books but for me the most complete story is the original trilogy and this final book. The second trilogy was good but the four other books feel to me to be the best of the story.

4 stars Rating 4/5

Read More

Bout of Books 16 Will Soon Be Here

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun | 0 comments

Bout of Books 16

It’s that time again. I’m joining in for my ninth Bout of Books.

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 16 starts on Monday May 9th.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I’m not setting any specific goals because that’s one of the things I love about this read-a-thon. I don’t have to. It’s all about a low key week long focus on reading more than usual. I will put together some theoretical reading plans and post them on the 9th. I typically make vague goals about time spent reading or listening to audiobooks rather than specific books or numbers of books.

I hope you’ll check it out and decide to join in on the fun.

Read More

It’s Monday What Are You Reading #55

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 1 comment

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Finished in Print

Triggerfish Twist by Tim Dorsey

Triggerfish Twist by Tim Dorsey

Thanks to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks I’m having fun getting back to several series I haven’t read in a while. I always say that Tim Dorsey’s books are like Pulp Fiction takes Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride through Florida. They’re violent but hilarious.

Alexandria by Nick Bantock

Alexandria by Nick Bantock

The Morning Star by Nick Bantock
I have been enjoying rereading the original trilogy and now I’ve moved on to the second set of three books and it’s fun to continue what is one of my favorite series of books.


Chew Vol. 4: Flambé by John Layman with art by Rob Guillory
This is a very darkly comedic mystery series. It’s bizarre, violent, and odd but all in a fun way.

Started in Print
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
This is a reread for me as I try to stay ahead of TV series.

Disrupted by Dan Lyons

Disrupted by Dan Lyons

This is actually a fun read about a former Newsweek writer who loses his job and learns about the crazy world on tech startups. Dan Lyons has gone on to be a writer for the most excellent TV series Silicon Valley.

continuing on Audio

Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman

Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman narrated by Stephen Hoye

This one has been in my audible library for a long time. I kept putting it off because it’s long. I only listen to audiobooks when I’m in the car by myself so I take a long time to get through one. Enough procrastinating. I’m listening to it now.

What are you reading?

Posts since my last update:

Love, Loss and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi

Alexandria by Nick Bantock

Triggerfish Twist by Tim Dorsey

Chew Vol. 4: Flambé by John Layman

The Morning Star by Nick Bantock

What are you reading?

Read More

Weekend Update – The Bookish Nostalgia April 2016 Edition

Posted by on Apr 24, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Weekend Update | 4 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia April 2016

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Oh my this was the beginning of the end for me with my online book club. I was the sole dissenting voice on this book. Unlike almost every other woman on the planet, I hated it. The beginning of the end with my book club was when I was told by another book club member that my feelings about it were wrong.

I was in the middle of my Alphabetical by Title reading project that year. March was M-P.
The Quilter’s Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
Still Waters by Tami Hoag
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (for the eleventy third time)
Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon
The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory
Whiteout by Ken Follett

The Last Catholic in America by John R. Powers
This was a reread because it remains one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It’s about the author’s childhood growing up in a primarily Catholic neighborhood in Chicago.

2008 and 2012
The Lottery by Patricia Wood
I loved this book. It makes me feel good all over again just thinking about it. I actually listened to the audio edition four years later. The Hubster hadn’t read it so I chose it for our vacation audiobook. I ended up posting two reviews for this one. The first is mine of the print edition and the second is The Hubster’s review of the audio edition.


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Read More