June 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Fun, photos | 0 comments

June 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. 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 June:
(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 May 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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The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in 2017, 4 stars, Book Review | 2 comments

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam KeanThe Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Trade Paperback and ebook
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: 10
Pages: 376
Source: Purchased (ebook) and Library (paperback)

The Book:
From the publisher:

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table.

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie’s reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?*

The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it’s also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery–from the Big Bang through the end of time.

*Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.

My Thoughts:
The Hubster is a chemist so it seemed appropriate for me to read this. I’ve actually had the ebook in my library for years. It was the What’s In a Name challenge that finally got me to start it because I needed a title with an item of cutlery in it.

This was fun. I wasn’t a big chemistry fan in school. I enjoyed my physics classes much more but as this book shows the elements of the Periodic Table are integral to both branches of science.

This was extremely readable and even the complex scientific material is easy to understand. Kean has also inserted more humor into this book than I expected. It’s really more about the scientists than it is about the actual elements. There are extensive notes which I found quite helpful.

It’s full of tidbits of scientific history and I learned a lot as I was being entertained along the way. I kept reading bits and pieces to The Hubster and I think he’s going to read it too.

If you like your scientific history with a bit of fun you should read this. I will definitely be taking a look at Kean’s other books.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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Weekend Update – The Bookish Nostalgia May 2017 Edition

Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Uncategorized | 8 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia May 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.”

Most 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.

2005:
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
This is a fun memoir of the author’s rather interesting childhood.

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
I loved her earlier book (The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees) but I hated this one.

2007:
Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
This was good but his book about Theodore Roosevelt before he became president (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt) was even better

2008:
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
This book was so good. I would like to read it again.

2009:
The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
This is the first in her wonderful Simon Serrailler series. I highly recommend it.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Fairest Vol. 1: Wide Awake by Bill Willingham

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in 2017, 3.5 stars, Bill Willingham, Book Review, Comics | 0 comments

Fairest Vol. 1: Wide Awake by Bill WillinghamFairest Vol. 1: Wide Awaye by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges with art by Phil Jiminez, Andy Lanning, et al.

Genre: Fantasy, Comics
Format: Trade Paperback Comics Collected Edition
Series: #1 in the Fairest series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 160
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 1 is a compilation of issues 1-7 of the comic series.
From the back cover:

Love’s labors lost and found

They call her Sleeping Beauty, but life’s always been ugly for Princess Briar Rose. Cursed at birth by a pissed-off fairy godmother, she wound up acting as a one-woman weapon of mass destruction against the Adversary in the last days of his war against the Free Fables. She won the day, but at the cost of sending herself into a permanent nap from which one true love’s kiss can awaken her. Few would have guessed that it would be Ali Baba, Prince of Thieves, who would rise to the challenge–or that he;d be accompanied by an obnoxious, not-quite-a-genie sidekick. But as Briar Rose’s true origin is revealed, can this no-longer-sleeping beauty and her Prince Charmless escape the cold fury of the Adversary’s former right-hand woman–the icily regal Snow Queen?

My Thoughts:
I’m glad to move on from Mr. Dark. This volume has a couple of major story lines. I really enjoyed the one that focused on Bigby Wolf and Snow White’s children. One of them will take over in their grandfather’s place as the king of the North Wind. The children are subjected to a series of tests to determine which of them is the rightful heir. It’s a bit odd and fun but also a tad bit dangerous.

The second major story involved Bufkin and his crew traveling through Oz. I usually enjoy Bufkins adventures but this time around it just didn’t click with me for some reason. It was okay but I didn’t enjoy those parts of the book as much as I did the rest.

In addition, there are a couple of other stories. I really enjoyed Rose Red’s version of A Christmas Carol.

The artwork throughout was wonderful. The majority is by Mark Buckingham. He’s done most of the Fables series and I always enjoy his work The final issue is done by several artists and the variety of styles works well with the series of short tales that are not part of the main ongoing storyline.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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