Weekend Update – The April 16, 2017 Edition

Posted by on Apr 16, 2017 in Currently, Weekend Update | 2 comments

Weekend Update

Currently //

Time // 9pm

Place // A hotel room in Reno.

Eating // There’s some M&M’s over there staring at me so that could be next.

Drinking // Pinot Grigio in the glass i got at the Reno Wine Walk this afternoon

Reading // I’m finally reading 1776 by David McCullough. It’s good so far.

Watching // Lots of great people watching today and this evening. I’m not a gambler but casinos make great people watching

Pondering // What we’re going to do tomorrow. Probably a Reno Aces baseball game. Possibly miniature golf. Looking for a Thai restaurant for dinner

What are you reading? What are you listening to? What are you doing?

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Descender Book Three: Singularities by Jeff Lemire

Posted by on Apr 14, 2017 in 2017, 5 stars, Book Review, Comics, Jeff Lemire | 2 comments

Descender Book Three: Singularities by Jeff Lemire
Descender Book Three: Singularities by Jeff Lemire

Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Descender #3
Format: Comics Collected Edition
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 128
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 3 is a compilation of issues 12-16 of the comic series.
From the publisher:

One young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. A rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera from the creators of Trillium, Sweet Tooth, and Little Gotham.

My Thoughts:
I pretty much love everything I’ve ever read by Jeff Lemire and this series is no exception. This volume is a bit of a break in the action of the story but it’s a good respite. Each issue in this volume focuses on one of the characters introduced since the beginning.

In each case it’s the background and history up to the point where the story left off in book two. I enjoyed the background stories but I ended up feeling sad for almost all of them. These are some damaged characters and this applies even (and almost more so) to the robots.

The artwork by Dustin Nguyen is wonderful. It’s done in watercolors but it’s vivid and varied in all of the different settings.

The lettering in this series by Steve Wands continues to be as much artwork as Dustin Nguyen’s artwork

While the break in the story to explore some of the characters more deeply was nice, I’m counting the days until the next volume comes out in July.

I highly recommend this series.

a9741-rating_5stars Rating 5/5

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A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in 2017, 3 stars, Book Review, Jodi Taylor | 0 comments

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Ebook, Trade Paperback
Series: The Chronicles of St Mary’s #2
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Publication Date: 2015
Pages. 307
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, a different kind of academic work is taking place. Just don’t call it “time travel”—these historians “investigate major historical events in contemporary time.” And they aren’t your harmless eccentrics either; a more accurate description, as they ricochet around history, might be unintentional disaster-magnets.

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s tells the chaotic adventures of Madeleine Maxwell and her compatriots—Director Bairstow, Leon “Chief” Farrell, Mr. Markham, and many more—as they travel through time, saving St. Mary’s (too often by the very seat of their pants) and thwarting time-travelling terrorists, all the while leaving plenty of time for tea.

In the sequel to Just One Damned Thing After Another, Max and company visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches. But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St. Mary’s—an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy history itself to do it.

My Thoughts:
I don’t get too worried about the ‘correct science’ of time travel stories and I was pleased to read this comment from the author at the beginning of the first book in this series:

I made all this up. Historians and physicists – please do not spit on me in the street.

It’s been almost four years since I read the first book in this series. I enjoyed the heck out of it and kept intending to pick up the second book but then suddenly it had been four years. Oops. I wish I hadn’t waited that long because there are a lot of references to things that happened in the first book that I didn’t remember that well. In fact I’m thinking of rereading it in the audio format. The important thing to know is do not read this book if you haven’t read the first (Just One Damned Thing After Another).

It’s a fun mix of science fiction, time travel, romance, workplace comedy, and a little adventure. The story is told by Madeline (Max) Maxwell with a good bit of sarcasm and humor in between the brushes with death.

The mission to the time when dodos were not extinct to bring some back to the future was hilarious. The observation of the murder of Thomas Becket was not funny at all. If you don’t mind books that can’t be pinned down to a genre or two, you should give this series a try.

It’s not great literature but it’s good light escapist fun.

3 stars Rating 3/5

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #78

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 6 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #65

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

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Book two in Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. It’s time travel adventure and just fun.

 

Descender Book Three: Singularities by Jeff Lemire

Descender Book Three: Singularities by Jeff Lemire

This is the third in Lemire’s series about an empathetic robot child and this one fills in some back stories of some of the characters.

 

Started in Print

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

Historical fiction with each chapter set in one of the 40 times that the river Thames has frozen solid.

 

Finished on Audio

This Time Together by Carol Burnett

This Time Together by Carol Burnett

This is a fairly short audiobook. I grew up watching the Carol Burnett show. This is sort of a memoir in a series of anecdotes from her life and career. She is delightful to listen to and a great storyteller.

 

Started on Audio

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith narrated by Lisette Lecat

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith narrated by Lisette Lecat

 

Reviews since my last update:

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

This Time Together by Carol Burnett (Audio)

The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor (Short Story)

 

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update – The Ten Things I Liked This Week April 2017

Posted by on Apr 9, 2017 in photos, Ten Things, Weekend Update | 7 comments

Ten Things I Liked This Week March 2017

Ten Things I Liked This Week March 2017

I started doing Ten Things I Liked This Week in June of 2015 and it’s definitely become my favorite monthly post. I love adding to my list throughout the week.

Here are ten things I liked this week:

1. Wine Club Parties
Remy Wines in Mc Minnville is one of our favorites wineries. If you enjoy old world reds you should check them out. We joined the wine club a couple of years ago. Not only are the wines great but Remy turns the club pickup into a party twice a year.
Remy Wines

 

2. Trees in Bloom
The trees around here bloomed late (stupid winter) but this week they were spectacular. That is they were spectacular until Friday’s windstorm blew most of the blooms off the trees.
cherry blossoms

 

3. This Cockatoo
He definitely enjoyes Elvis tunes. The one on the left is all “Back off, Dude”.

 

4. The Financial Times 404 Page not Found Page
I saw a tweet about this earlier this week and just had to check it out to verify it is true and it is. I’ve copied a couple of sections to post here but please go to this link to read the whole thing. It’s brilliant.
Financial Times Page Not Found

Financial Times Economist Explanations

 

5. This
Branch Manager

 

6. Potential Job Offers
We’ve known for a while that the company that bought out The Hubster’s company was going to close the Portland plant and that he’d be out of a job. We now know that April 21st will be his last day. He’s had some meetings this week that could turn into job offers and that would be a very nice thing.

 

7. Asparagus Pizza
I know it sounds weird but it’s delicous. Our local pizza place has this as their monthly special this month. We’ll be eating more pizza than usual this month.

Fresh asparagus is here and we’re celebrating by serving it on both our Asparagi pizza and roasted asparagus appetizer. The Asparagi is topped with lightly blanched spears of crisp asparagus, fresh mozzarella, creamy gorgonzola and local bacon from family-owned Hill Meats farm in Pendleton.

Asparagi Pizza

 

8. Fiona Running
You already know I’ve been following the progress of the Cincinnati Zoo’s premature hippo. This 5 second clip of her running made my day.

 

8. The Lego Batman Movie
We finally saw it yesterday. I loved it.
Lego Batman Movie

 

10. This Guide
It’s baby bird season and this guide from Bird and Moon is extremely useful. Then it’s extremely hilarious. Click on the image for the full sized version.
If you find a baby bird

 

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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