November 2017 Reading Wrap-Up

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Monthly Reading Wrap Up | 0 comments

November 2017 Reading Wrap-Up

November 2017 Reading Wrap-Up

Here’s what I read in November:

Novels

The Blackhouse by Peter May (review coming next week)

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (audio narrated by various artists) (review coming next week)

Comic Collections and Graphic Novels

The Fade Out Act Two by Ed Brubaker

The Fade Out Act Three by Ed Brubaker

Nonfiction
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (audio narrated by the author)

Hope you had a great reading month in October. What was the best book you read last month?

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December 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Fun, photos | 0 comments

December 2017 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. Every once in a while I just can’t find a prompt that works for me that say so I give myself permission to tag whatever I do want to photograph. 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 December:
(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
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 5 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my November 2017 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.

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Weekend Update – Bookish Nostalgia November 2017

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia | 3 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia November 2017

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.”

Some of these are pre-blog so the links take you to Powell’s for more information. Links for 2007 and later take you to my review.

2004:
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman – audio edition narrated by Barbara Rosenblat
This is just a fun series about a senior citizen who decides one day to leave her comfortable apartment in New Brunswick, New Jersey and join the CIA. It’s just delightful and Barbara Rosenblat’s narration is wonderful.

2006:
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
This is the first in a wonderful mystery series featuring a young woman private detective in London after World War 1.

2009:
The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi
This true crime story of a serial murder investigation in Florence Italy showed some pretty suspect tactics by the Italian polide. It made me believe that Amanda Knox was probably railroaded by the Italian police.

2011:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline audio edition narrated by Wil Wheaton
One of my favorite audiobooks of all time. I would love to listen to it again.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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The Fade Out Act Three by Ed Brubaker

Posted by on Nov 21, 2017 in 2017, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Comics, Ed Brubaker | 0 comments

The Fade Out, Act Three by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips
The Fade Out, Act Three by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips

Genre: Mystery
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Series: The Fade Out #3
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 126
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume collects issues 9-12 of the comic series.
From the back cover:

Hollywood – 1948. A noir film stuck in endless reshoots. A writer plagued by nightmares from the war. An up-and-coming startlet’s suspicious death. And a mogul and his security chief who will do anything to keep the cameras rolling before the studio system comes crashing down.

My Thoughts:
I love old detective and mystery movies and this trilogy is like reading a noir book about the making of a noir movie so it’s right up my alley. It’s set in 1948 Hollywood with WWII in recent memories, McCarthy Communist hunting in full force and the Hollywood studio system in flux after Paramount lost an antitrust suit.

As this is the final volume in a three book series I can’t really say much about the plot without giving away things that happened in the first two volumes. I will say that questions are answered and a lot of background information is filled in. I will recommend that you get your hands on all three volumes and read them back to back. It’s what I intend to do now that I’ve finished.

The setting in old Hollywood and the artwork combine for a very atmospheric look and feel. Occasional real people are inserted into the story and it doesn’t feel too contrived at all.

The art throughout the series is wonderful. Sean Phillips has created an environment that looks just like the old movies and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s color work is fabulous.

If you want an excellent story without getting involved in an extended series I highly recommend this trilogy.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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