• Daily Life

    What I’ve Been Up to Lately

    Looking forward to and trying to save for Christmas, Ladies’ Shopping Day, possibly two art/Christmas Festivals, and Black Friday. I’ve set up a fun money account, but I keep emptying it because I over spend. We’ve already drawn names among the siblings with the Draw Names site and most people have their gift list. I need a second job.

    Not reading scary books. For one thing, I’ve really fallen into a reading slump. I’m really looking forward to my Narnia plan for December. For another, I don’t want to read scary books. Also, making a too strict and long list is a sure fire way for me not to read anything on said list. However, I’m keeping my Fall/Autumn list for future seasons, maybe I’ll read one book each season. I’m still aiming for a reread of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall because I want to watch the miniseries.

    Watching tons of Youtube. That has been a theme of this year. I’ll post some of the my recent favs in another post.

    Waiting for Disney+, it’s a little over a week peoples!

    Working on routines. My morning routine is timed down to five minute intervals in some sections with even such things as brushing my teeth and warming up my car included because I’m that much of a late person, but also because I want to get a lot done (this is a relative term, my a lot is very small apparently) in the morning since I’m usually brain-dead when I get back from work.

    Trying to work on preparing my own food. I tried HelloFresh because of their first time offers. It was lovely, and I have some new recipes to try and new recipe/meal structures to build on. However, it’s too expensive to use regularly, and I’m not high-energy, so I want to get into a two day a week cooking/meal prep schedule. We’ll see. I’d would like to make my way through the meal-planning services, using their first-time codes.

    Working on my Spanish on Duolingo. I was working on this for the first half of the year pretty consistently. I fell off of that for a few months, but I’ve been doing it almost every day for the last two months, I think. The concept of streaks and setting high XP points don’t really work well with my rebelliousness, but the concept of leagues works with my competitiveness, so my average daily XP has risen exponentially, and I’ve maintained a 30+ day streak (I missed at one day, that’s way it’s not 60+). And it’s been so fun to see my much faster progress through my tree. I’m going to try to add extra Spanish grammar and vocab on the weekends. I’m getting to the point where I need that.

    Speaking of Duolingo, I was super-excited to see their Latin course. I will say though, I think learning the grammar first is the best way to learn Latin, at least for non-Romance Language first language speakers, and especially for us really-without-a-grammar-structure English speakers, because it sets you up to understand the grammar structure, of for example, Spanish. However, because I took Latin in college, I’d like to go back and learn more vocab (helpful for English speakers as most of our vocab is Latin-based and for anyone learning a Romance language and for anyone interested in Classical education).

    Becoming more interested in Audible this year. It’s paused now, but I’ve taken advantage of the buy-three at a discount to stock up on books. I’m going to listen to Narnia as I follow along in the colored-illustration version in December. I also have a ton of BBC radio dramas on my list. However, I’ve been low on the attention-span and high on the irritability lately, so I haven’t been even listening to music much at work. So basically, I’m just burned out overall. Or tired. Or both.

    Obsessing over my sleep habits. Being a princess and the pea seems to be hereditary. My purchases these last couple of years for sleeping have included a weighted blanked, tons of earplugs, a sleep mask, a sound machine, outside door weatherproofing stripping, and a sound curtain for the door (which I haven’t hung and not sure how I can use, might have to get a different one and just put that behind the book shelf?). This sleep issue is a work in progress.

    Working on my style. I’d fallen into a rut with my weight gain. But my renewed interest in hair and make-up and more strategic fall purchases as well as my new morning routine have significantly helped me in this area. Also, tons of inspiration from Youtube.

    A lot on this list hinges on habits and routines. I’ve been learning and thinking a lot about that this year.

     

     

  • Culture and Entertainment,  Reading

    What I Read and Watched: October 2019

    I’m rather burned out and unmotivated. I barely read, watched a few Hallmarks (not really in the mood for many of these this year thankfully, but really read for old favorites for Christmas).

    Books

    The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman. Uninspiring kids’ book.

    The Queen’s Secret by Jessica Day George. A middle-grade book that as I was reading caused me to feel like I picked up a middle book . . . I had. I’m interested to a least skim the next whenever it comes out, but not really super inspired to read the first one though.

    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Middle-grade, okay, reminded me of the much more interesting How to Steal a Million.

    Movies

    Clueless. So, way raunchier than I was expecting (I guess I didn’t realize it was 90’s or think much further about that). I could have done without that. All the 90’s Valley Girl talk was hilarious though, at least I assume that is what some of it was anyway. Everyone’s accent sounded Northeastern though. The driving part is funny. Cher is funny. Cher’s friend’s boyfriend who is trying to be all ganster but has braces, that was a hilarious. The “Mr. Martin” and “Harriet” are adorbs. I generally find the modern version cuter, apparently since I loved Martin and Harriet in Emma Approved, better even than Knightley and Emma.

    I wanted to like it, but between skipping because of the scratches on the dvd and my boredom, my trying to do a million things at the same time and finish the movie before family and guests got home from church (Sunday, what a great day to watch a movie like this . . .) and the changes in the plot and far too fast plot, I was disappointed. I will try it again, but yeah. Not near as much “Mr. Knightley” as there was in the book, plus making “Frank” gay completely changed the plot. In Emma, Mr. Knightley is jealous of Frank before anyone meet him, Emma is building him up as the perfect man, there is tons of flirtation, and he generally is the cause of Mr. Knightley realizing he loves Emma, going away to try to get over it, the ultimate avowal of love etc. Yeah, that falls terrible flat in the movie. The “Mr. Elton” guy has more of a point than the “Frank” while I think that Frank holds a slightly bigger role in the book. All that contributed to the flat, rushed ending.

     

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Extraordinary Book Titles

    I’m linking up for Top Ten Tuesday (well, a day late) here. I’d fallen out of interest with TTT for a bit. I also feel that when I post I just find some other posts to read, but I don’t always see common interests and/or feel like going through 100+ posts. So I think I’ll try each of the multiples of tens or something.

     

      1. Imaginarium by Amanda Kastner
      2. A Pocket Full of Murder by R.J. Anderson
      3. The Eagle of the Ninth and The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff, for a start, I love all the titles of all the books I love of hers and think those titles are special, but I thought these could represent the more unique to the average person.
      4. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye. Seeming oxymoron anyone?
      5. A Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary (how apt) by Natalie Lloyd
      6. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury and
      7. Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson. Something about dandelions, I don’t know, just seems mysterious and whimsical.
      8. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
      9. Three Times Lucky, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, The Odds of Getting Even, The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage
      10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Book Spooktacular Autumn Favorites Tag

    I’m doing the tag that Ashley from the Mad Dragon Hatter created which I found on Ink Castles blog (my lucidity right now is STELLAR as you can see). Well, I do like fall/autumn because I love pumpkin, ginger and spice, molasses-y goodies, but um, all the sad, scary, and sinister is usually what I avoid, except curiously, in murder mystery novels (but those can freak me out don’t get me wrong). I also HATE skulls (like I don’t even like reading/typing that word) and bones born of my life-long phobia (I wouldn’t call it a phobia now, I feared them so when I was younger, that my mood was affected if I saw animal bones y’all). I do sparkles, princesses, and glamor for dressing up for Halloween; it’s clearly not really my holiday. So, bear that in mind.
    1) movie with all the autumn vibes
    Any vintage murder mystery, actually many vintage movies seem to fit autumn period. Let’s go with Laura though.
    2) song that you associate with autumn
    Oh, and I’m also not the biggest music person. I do think any minor-key or sentimental or folk-songs type music fits fall.
    3) book with ghosts
    The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing. Not really a fall book, and the ghosts were NOT my favorite thing, not the kind of magical realism I like, I’d prefer them more in actual fantasy.
    4) scariest movie you’ve seen
    I’m going to go with the 2015 BBC And Then There Were None. It has to be the most disturbing thing I’ve every finished, I’m usually long gone before then.
    5) the best autumn quote

    “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

    ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

    6) book cover with all the autumn vibes
    7) your favorite candy of the season
    Um, all of them with chocolate in them? I like Milky Way, I also love the Midnight Milky Way (is that special for Halloween maybe, don’t know).
    8) movie or book with themes on death and rebirth
    Ah, this is too philosophical for me. And probably also scary, unless you want to count Fawkes the Phoenix in Harry Potter.
    9) Youtube channel you associate with autumn
    Well, I’ll just put Shipwrecked because they produced the Poe webseries, I’m planning on watching.
    10) your favorite fall beverage
    Another of my made for Spring-ness, but I don’t really like hot beverages except for hot chocolate which is obviously Christmas and winter. So whole milk for my gingersnaps.
  • Daily Life

    Fall Fun List

    I was sorta trying to train myself to say “autumn,” I don’t think that is going to work, especially when you can say “Fall Fun.” Just too easy.

    First things first: Girls during fall be like.. 2019 Edition

    Since summer flew by me without me doing anything (my fastest speed is “turtle” my slowest speed is “snail” which must be what I’m doing currently), I thought I’d plan out my fall, putting movies, books, food, and activities into my calendar.

    My list for books was originally:

    • Dracula
    • Poe
    • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (reread)
    • Something Wicked This Way Comes
    • Call of the Wild

    But I’ve since happened upon this list of spooky short stories from Modern Mrs. Darcy, and I’d like to add list add the Montgomery book, but I’d like try all those not on my list except Du Maurier, I just don’t get her appeal, and Christie (I’ve probably read a lot of those, plus don’t tend to love her short stories).

    For all of these we shall see, it’s odd that I can read murder mysteries, I’m not drawn to dark books, I certainly can be freaked out by them, but I think that a lot of these are psychological which I REALLY don’t do or wilderness/animal. Yeah. We’ll see. If I think they are too dark, twisted, and/or sadistic, I won’t be reading them.

    For movies/visual media I have:

    • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (It’s amazing how little impression that book made on my mind for its size and it’s subject/genre, was it overhyped or is it just me? I feel like it was my kind of thing, but I forgot it very quickly after reading it, usually forget it’s existence, perhaps because there needed to be a sequel? Anyhow, some where I saw the miniseries again, I’m sure I knew of it before, and it seemed to fit this season).
    • A Tenant of Wildfell Hall (I love Toby Stephens, and when I saw that he featured in the adaption available on Amazon Prime, I knew I needed to re-read the story to refresh my mind before I watched it).
    • After/if I manage to read some Poe, I want to try the webseries, A Tell Tale Vlog, I’ve had on my mind for years (but never managed to read anymore Poe, wonder why). It’s weird how popular (or just to nerds?) and transient the webseries phase was. The way media is developing, it seems like more could have been made of it?
    • Spellbound

    For audio media I have (the music in this list is from this previous Fall/Autumn mood post):

    For food I have:

    • Oatmeal Pancakes
    • Cardamon Buns
    • Gingerbread
    • Gingersnaps
    • Pumpkin Bread
    • Pumpkin Muffins
    • Pumpkin Truffles
    • Pumpkin Pancakes (maybe)
    • Maple Rolls
    • Maple Cookies
    • This Ghost Cake (the design, I’ll probably stick with Hershey’s tried and true chocolate cake with dark chocolate cocoa)
    • Spice doughnuts
    • Sweet Potato Casserole
    • Chicken Potpie
    • Mac n Cheese
    • Soups
    • Breads

    Activities (most of those that involve leaving the house are possibilities rather than probabilities):

    • Maple festival
    • Zoo
    • Bonfire and s’mores
    • Broadway (the traveling shows that come to various cities)
    • Ladies’ Shopping Day
    • Thanksgiving
    • Sew velvet pumpkins and squash, make some foxes, plan Xmas dress
    • Miniatures/models
    • Fall puzzle
    • Concert?
  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: September 2019

    Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. I was over-stimulated by all the comic sound effects and colors although I greatly appreciated the artistry of it, quite fun. I also found it quite hilarious in the beginning, but then I got bored half-way through, just wasn’t impressed by the plot.

    Suspicion. Eh, rather boring.

    And Then There were None. SPOILERS! Short version: sensitive people, beware. This is the BBC/Acorn Media 2015 miniseries version. Ok. Um, so many actors I recognized. And oh, my stars Aiden Turner! Let’s be real, this is the real reason I was watching, and he was SO much more handsome than I’ve ever seen him in the Hobbit films or photos (I haven’t watched Poldark nor will I). Plus his attitude, plus his Irish accent. But he was a serial killer! So, clearly, this contains spoilers people.

    I didn’t remember the book beyond the killing everyone off part. This might have been the first Christie I ever read, although looking at Goodreads it isn’t on my shelf. Maybe this is the one I tried to read in play form, maybe I really didn’t read it?! Anyway, yeah, I was shocked by the fact that everyone (well, almost everyone) killed people, usually murdered. From what I looked up later on Goodreads, it looks like a couple characters were made worse (particularly the policeman) or technically worse (Turner’s character, apparently it was negligence not the mass murder the film implies, but I can’t say that the death meted out in the book sounds like a better way to go, so I don’t know that he really is worse or not). Anyway. I was more and more disturbed as I went on.

    First, any murder mystery even if followed word for word with nothing added for effect, exaggerated, etc. is going to be harder to watch than read. Second, this was SO atmospheric with the music, setting, and the constant switching to the kitchen and the cutting, storing, etc. of seafish, meat, and entrails REALLY freaked and grossed me out. Third, then of course the worsening (?) of the crimes and the flashbacks to the crimes and just the overall portrayal of the people. Most of them didn’t seem only like murderers, but crazy people or psychopaths, including of course, the orchestrator. Fourth, the absolute goriness of the the deaths are shown, not in broad daylight, mostly of the film is gloomy, but you really get a view. Also, after the beginning of the film, you see NO ONE else. Not, apparently like the book, in which these crimes are discovered.

    All this to say, watch with caution or not at all depending on your temperament. I had (combined with other factors) two nightmares from it. I had been recommending it to my sisters, and then I had to go back and give a warning. I don’t think they are as easily spooked as me. And this what this is. I don’t like violent films, but you can look away in fight scenes and all that. This eeriness, this mesmerizing suspense, plus gore, that really gets me. Okay. I think everyone has been warned sufficiently.

  • Reading

    What I Read: September 2019

    I surpassed my 2019 goal in August, I believe. But I’d still like to work on my new-to-me reading until December. I haven’t had to resort to much re-reading (I add all my re-reading to my goal, so that I know how much I re-read and so it doesn’t count towards my 100+ new reads), but I might have to increase that since I feel like I’m losing motivation, we shall see. And then I’m going to make sure I have the colored-illustrated version of Narnia to read along with the audio versions on Audible.

    All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot. I finished the third James Herriot collection on Audible. I love these, although this one featured a jarring suicide story and then followed with another one about depression. I could have done without those, I just wanted animal stories with pleasant or funny people stories. I like living in a safe bubble that only I puncture if and when I chose.

    The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay. Ultimately shallow.

    Barchester Towers and Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope. Oh, I’m VERY happy with this series of Trollope. It’s very readable and quite funny. His characters are all complex and developed, though not in the traditional sense, more that you very much know they are human, even the women, something Dickens couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I’m not sure when I want to watch Dr. Thorne on Amazon, I think I want to make it through the series, just so my perception of later books isn’t affected even though though each of these books focuses on new sets of characters with mentions of old ones, I just don’t want anything affected. I also discovered that BBC has a radio drama of The Barsetshire Chronicles available on Audible (!!!).

    The Unknown Ajax and Venetia by Georgette Heyer. I enjoyed the first well-enough even though the (rare) not-rake hero was a bit self-righteous towards the end. The first part was quite funny. Venetia, well, the worst type of Heyer rake AND the “older” heroine was more like the obnoxious younger ones in her defense of him. And oh, this one DRAGGED. I seriously thought of putting it down multiple times.

    The Man in the Brown Suit, The Sittaford Mystery, They Came to Baghdad and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie. Apparently I enjoyed these well-enough since I gave them all three-stars. I think I have one Christie mystery left that I haven’t read.

    A Fashionable History of Hats and Hairstyles by Helen Reynolds. Interesting book aimed at children for historical hats mostly. I wish I could find better adult resources, but the ones I got didn’t have illustrations, which is RATHER important for this subject!

    Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze by Elizabeth Enright. It took me a month to finish this. I’m obviously not the intended audience, but I still feel like at a young age, I wouldn’t have liked this as well either. It focuses on the younger two of the family following clues around, I feel like it reaches a younger, narrow age range than the first three books even though its the last of the series.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: July 2019 (Mainly That 70’s Show Ramblings)

    Because of Endgame, I was inspired to watch Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. I preferred the first. I was annoyed by Ant-Man when I was first introduced to him in Civil War, and so I wasn’t inspired to watch his movies, but like almost everyone, he was amazing in Endgame, so I was intrigued and went back and watched his movies. They were quite fun, especially the first.

    Now, if you don’t care about fan-girling, you can skip this (I usually find it annoying too, but, well here we are), but really, watch That 70’s Show.

    I was still watching That 70’s Show well into August. I pretty much ended watching at the 6th season but skimmed for Jackie and Hyde parts in the 7th. I’d been skipping more and more starting with season 5. Then I turned around and started over skipping in all the seasons but increasing to end somewhere in 6. Man, I love all the good stuff in the show and am so disappointed that it could have been so much better. TV people have got to stop being so greedy and trying to add ridiculous plot-lines and heart-wrenching and/or petty drama that ruins characters simply to extend seasons.

    This doesn’t matter nears as much for a mainly episode based show like Psych (although it’s still annoying), but this show need more continuity. And everyone was SO old. Extending the show 5 seasons was quite enough of a stretch between age and plot-line.

    Jackie and Hyde should’ve gotten together in season 3, Eric and Donna should’ve gotten back together in season 4, Kelso should’ve kept goofing around and maybe gotten a job (he clearly wasn’t meant to pair off or grow up as fast as the others), and they should’ve let Fez keep his sweetness and sass instead stripping it from him and ramping up his pervy-ness and also, not made Caroline crazy, they were so cute originally. They should’ve rounded out everyone’s growth and set them on their first year out of high-school with happy hints for the future in season 5.

    I have so many words I wrote on Jackie and Hyde (and the whole show), but I’m going to keep it short since I will have to gather and collect them (and maybe next re-watch I’ll have a post including why I just love Hyde and their relationship), and because other people have already written some awesome posts such as this one on their relationship and all the depth (a must read). This one is good too.

    Here’s a light one from Playbuzz.

    Here is why we love Hyde.

    For any other heart-broken Jackie and Hyde shippers (Zenmasters), here are some playlists

    This one is on all their background sweet moments, like I mean, this was one of my favorite things, so natural and sweet, I’ve never seen anything like this in film or tv. I mean that sets the tone for everything.

    Here and here are compilations of them with music. I didn’t save this one, but there is also a video someone did using show clips to portray their ending as it should have been.

    Here and here are video lists of why they are an awesome couple.

     

  • Reading

    The 7 Question Book Tag (Or Rather, 28 Question)

    So many bloggers I follow did this tag and had such interesting questions, I answered in the comments and then as I found more questions, I decided I’d might as well put all my answers here.

    Olivia’s Questions:

    What is your favorite genre to read?
    I feel like my favorites don’t necessarily have a “genre” always. I’m more drawn to authors, meaning, if I like an author, I will try all their works, but that doesn’t mean I will like any other author in the same genre. I do like many mystery authors though, but I wouldn’t say, I’d read any mystery book simply because it’s mysteries.

    What was the best book you read for the first time last year?
    I listened to the audiobook All Creatures Great and Small narrated by Christopher Timothy, best decision ever. I’m still not sold on audiobooks overall, but this is the type of book and narrator that brings out the work far better than merely reading it would. I’m currently on the 3rd of the series.

    Do you remember when you first began to read? What drew you to it?
    I apparently struggled to read, but my parents read aloud to us. I remember my dad reading the American girls books. Also, Mom used the 5 in A Row homeschooling curriculum which focuses on the Charlotte Mason method, using books to learn, so we had lots of lovely illustrated books.

    How do you arrange your books? By color? By title? By author? By series? By something else altogether?
    I keep my Barnes and Noble leather and Penguin clothbound editions separate and try to group them by color. Everything else has been divided between nonfiction and fiction, then fiction by author. But I’m going to be redoing my room plus have some newer paper backs and hardbacks that I might keep separate because they are pretty.

    New books or used books?
    New or like new, yet then I’m afraid to touch them, and might just end up reading a library version instead.

    What tends to send you into a reading slump?
    A lack of interest to try anything in my current library horde because I don’t know if I’ll like it or not. A determination to plow through a book I’m not enjoying but have disinclination to read. It’s better for me to put such a book down for a time and pick up another. Occasionally, an addiction to another form of entertainment. Usually that seems to come during the reading slump, but sometimes it’s before.

    What tends to pull you out of a reading slump?
    A easy read or an old favorite, this year thus far it’s been majorly Georgette Heyer, M.M. Kaye, and Mary Stewart

    Eva’s Questions:

    What’s the first book you can remember reading?
    I, apparently, struggled to read. I can’t remember a first. I do remember getting the American girl books, and for some reason, I thought Kirsten was read to me, but I managed Felicity on my own? Or maybe I’m dreaming, those were advanced for someone who couldn’t really read.

    First person or third person POV?
    3rd all the way. First person only rarely.

    What’s the longest series you’ve ever read? (It can be in terms of page numbers, amount of books in the series, or any other method of calculating.)
    I’m pretty sure it’s Harry Potter, I feel I looked up word counts of books and that came up on top.

    What book world would you least like to enter?
    Well, the Hunger Games seems kind of cliche, but yeah, any dystopia (I loathe that genre overall).

    Do you own any autographed-by-the-author books?
    A book about regency times, it’s packed away and I can’t find it easily on Goodreads, so I don’t have the title.

    What is your favorite place at which to buy books?
    Currently, Barnes and Noble, ordering I mean, I usually buy giftcards at a huge discount (discount #1) and then wait for a discount from my membership card (discount #1).

    Who is your favorite sibling duo/trio/etc in literature?
    The Penderwicks are all I can think of from a quite scan of my Goodreads favorite books, I’m sure I have others though.

    Katie’s Questions:

    What’s one genre you used to avoid, but now love?
    I’m not sure I really have this, classics is too broad, I didn’t read many classics as a teen, well, I didn’t read much as a teen as I struggled with it, but I don’t uniformly love all classics. And I can’t really think of any genre that I love that I hated. I’m more likely to be surprised by liking one book out of the genre. For example, I don’t tend to enjoy biographies because of the tone and the not so great historical accuracy (of perspectives, of comparison, of relative importance etc.), but I seriously enjoyed Tolkien’s bio, but that one book doesn’t convert me to the genre, but to the author.

    Have you ever liked a movie adaptation better than the book? Which book? Why?
    Eva mentioned this in one of her posts, I pretty sure everyone who has ever read the book and watched the movie prefer the movie for Alcott’s The Inheritance. I think sometimes I enjoy versions of Emma (movie or webseries) to book, because I can’t stand Emma herself, and the while not written in first person (I’m opposite to you on that, I can struggle with first person a lot) it is effectively written in her point of view, which is an obnoxious one.

    Name one thing about your favorite genre that you absolutely can’t stand. Something you wish you could change.
    That there aren’t enough well-written books in it? I always feel that I’m running out of authors I can respect whose books I can also enjoy.

    When was the last time you shipped a non-canon book couple?
    I don’t think I usually do, because 1) I generally read books where the author fits the characters together well 2) Most of the books I read don’t have true love triangles. Most rivals are either a bad guy or a boring guy, etc. 3) If I don’t like the way the book is going, I won’t finish it, and 4) I don’t really care to put couples who wouldn’t work in the actual story world together. I’m more likely to not like a couple or not like how one character ends up being bad, than actually having another couple in mind.

    Jo and Laurie are the main couple I can think of, because it SHOULD be canon. I feel like there may be some smaller side characters couples I’d like together (like Luna and Dean), but nobody I’m really crying about.

    How often do you write ‘rant reviews’? Or do you prefer to keep quiet if you didn’t like a book?
    I’m better at criticism than elucidating why I like something, so yes to the ranting.

    Thoughts on Charles Dickens? Love him, hate him, in-between him?
    In-between. I loved much about his writing and conception, but the VERBOSITY, my stars, it’s hard to get through the books. Also, I do prefer a bit more character development, and his females are usually the worst in that department, they often lean toward only one characteristic. I haven’t read him in awhile though (because of all. the. words.).

    Paperback covers: glossy or matte?
    Matte, more elegant.

    From Charity:

    What was your favorite series as a child?
    I had lots, but I’m going to go with Little House. I was definitely in a “Pioneer” phase, loved the books, sewed many sunbonnets from the sewing book, played “Pioneer,” played the Oregon Trail over and over.

    What classic book do you feel most obligated to read?
    Well, I have started War and Peace on Serial Reader ages ago, so I really want to finish it.

    If you could run away with any fictional character, who would it be?
    The first that popped into my mind was Martin from Faery Rebels trilogy and the Swift duology. I don’t know though, I think a Rosemary Sutcliff hero would be lovely, escaping would be the accurate term for that escapade though.

    What is your true opinion of Agatha Christie?
    She’s WAY overrated from an artistic standpoint. But I do like her books (not all) for an escapist read. I think I’m often disappointed though, or at least lately.

    What’s the last book you read that made you see red?
    I’ll TBR any book that makes me see red. The last I can think of was Prairie Fires an alleged biography about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’d already read Pioneer Girl so found the information about Laura redundant. But that wasn’t the main issue, the tone was absolutely condescending and demeaning to everyone, Laura, the reader, etc. And I can’t stand when non-historians touch history, this is usually the result.

    What book would you most like to see turned into an ACCURATE movie?
    I’m always afraid of my favorites being touched, also, I don’t think movies can accurately bring out what I love if I love the good-writing. I think a good series of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries would be awesome. Plenty of the wit is verbal in those, so not too much would be lost.

    If you could recommend any book, what would it be?
    Well the Faery Rebels (middle-grade blends the ancient celtic faeries, the origin of Tolkien’s elves, not Disney fairies in modern Britain) trilogy and the connected Swift Nomad duology by RJ Anderson, they do not get enough love. I was lent them by and acquaintance (only the first two are available in the US) and the bought them on Amazon.uk.

  • Reading

    Georgette Heyer’s Character Types

    So Georgette Heyer has a few varieties of leading men:

    • Her favorite who comes in two styles, the middle-age rake who may be flagrantly and/or offensively still a rake (I can’t STAND these) or have that more in the background or past history (the above two feature the latter). Not always (maybe not even usually handsome, but almost always “distinguished,” often Corinthian, always the sportsman, always careless of everyone’s opinion. Always wealthy and titled, I think.
    • The young-rake (I think I’ve come across him once, Sherry in Friday’s Child).
    • The not-rake (a couple times), vary in type (may be a decent gentlemen, may be a bit of a dandy, may be a soldier everyone thinks is low-class but isn’t).
    • The good boy (I’ve come across him once, Charles in The Grand Sophy). Usually the good boys are sententious prigs who stay sententious prigs. Charles doesn’t and between him and Sophy (one of the best heroines) this book is one of the best.

    Here heroines:

    • The (always) beautiful (usually) bland teenage (almost always) idiot heroine. Sometimes Heyer starts out misleading you to think “strong-willed” and with a brain only to disappoint later, usually this is a bland “innocent” or just a fool (think These Old Shades). This type is always paired with a rake. Often with the worst one. Usually these pairings make my least favorite stories, with the exception of Friday’s Child because the plot is good and the young rake and his friends are hilarious.
    • The young one (usually early twenties?) with a brain and personality. Usually these get the not-rake or good boy. Almost always or always have one of the more unique plots.
    • The slightly older young ones are are “on the shelf,” they could be mid-to late twenties. They are always possessing of a brain, and usually of a personality, but not always. May have one of the more unique plots, or more likely they may have the chaperone of a silly girl meets some rake connected to silly girl or girl’s lover plot-line variation or some version of responsible older sibling narrative.
  • Reading

    What I Read: August 2019

    Rose Cottage and Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart. Not my favorites, the first is better, the last was rushed, undeveloped, and yet another of her stories were I preferred the bad guy (he had more personality and development).

    Lady of Quality and The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer. These feature the less-offensive rake and demure “on-the-shelf” lady pairings. I’m going to do a quickie post on her character types.

    Three Times Lucky (Mo & Dale Mysteries, #1), The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (#2), The Odds of Getting Even (#3), and The Law of Finders Keepers (#4) by Sheila Turnage. This are lovely, just right what I needed when I needed it. They have the same Southern sparkle and charm as A Snicker of Magic and The Key to Extraordinary. So much personality, such fun, such closeness. Mo reminds me of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. There is that same charm and pull there, but without the bad things, the hard things (and these are not classic level), I’m just talking about the overall small-town, charm.

    70s Fashion Fiascos: Studio 54 to Saturday Night Fever by Maureen Valdes Marsh, Fabulous Fashions of the 1970s by Felicia Lowenstein, and The 1970s Decade in Photos: Protest and Change (reread) by Jim Corrigan. So That 70’s Show sent me on a 70’s, particularly, 70’s fashion, binge. The first books was a fiasco in terms of organization, I’m not sure you’d get much from it as a stand-alone. I watched THE ULTIMATE FASHION HISTORY: The 1970s series on YouTube for a more coherent understanding of 70’s fashion (be aware that the punk rock section, which appears twice, in the main and in a high light, contain x-rated material!). From what I gather the strict standard of fashion that had been in vogue for centuries began to be broken in the 60’s and by the 70’s we had modern fashion. I had previously though there was a 70’s “look”, but it was made up of many different trends (jeans for example), all of which continue to this day with more specific details (flared jeans, boho look) coming in and out of modern trends. As well as making permanent the break away from formality.

    A Circlet Of Oak Leaves by Rosemary Sutcliff. Another of her smaller “children’s” works from that Antelope Books series.

    Passenger to Frankfurt and Endless Night by Agatha Christie. Didn’t care for either of these, the first had potential, some interesting characters and romance but that was mostly shoved aside for a weird dystopia/mystery (don’t like) that felt like WWII, the Cold War, and paranoia all cut and pasted together. Well, we had WWII, just write about that?!

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Personality Links: Personality Types as Students, Retail Workers, Etc.

    Frank James has this hilarious series in which he portrays each Myers-Briggs type in a particular situation. The most recent one is students and I think that is my favorite (works for college too), but retail workers is close too.

    Another YouTuber Bogdan Yakubets (he doesn’t have a playlist) also does these type of videos. He has different ones from Frank James, I think the 16 personalities in a Fight is the funniest, but then I tend to be combative type.

    I have this folder full of links for link posts, and I feel like I’ve used these before, but I didn’t see the posts, so oh, well.

    Personality Geography of the United States. This is so interesting. Kentucky is one of the most introverted and turbulent. Um, yeah.

    World Personality test. This categorizes some major countries by personality (each country has one), and then matches you to your country personality match. You then can see which country you got, which countries would also work for you, which countries wouldn’t work for you, and then the stereotype map (how others view the countries) and the introspection map (how countries view themselves). I guess the most accurate place would be when the view of others matches the view of themselves (biases cancel out).

    I got Germany, I think the first time a few years back, which is VERY rules based, so NO. This time I got Argentina, but I thought they were supposed to be the snobbier country of South America(?), so I don’t think that would work either. I’m not a chill person, but I only want to be around chill people (those are the only people who could handle me, lol). What is the most laid-back country?