Weekend Update September 30, 2012

>> Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend Update
I didn’t do an update last weekend because we were out of town so there’s lots to talk about today.

First and most important is that I’ve changed RSS Feed services so to be sure that you’re subscribed to the right feed click on the appropriate button over there on the right to subscribe in a reader or by email.

Since my last update:
I actually finished another book. Yes I actually read two whole books in September. That should tell you how busy I’ve been with other things this month. Things are returning to normal though and I’m really looking forward to getting back to my normal reading routine.

I finished The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber. It was the perfect light read for a very busy time for me. It’s set in Cedar Cove home to her recently completed series and while familiar characters make an appearance occasionally, it’s very much a new series. It’s the same predictable yet pleasant type of book I expect from her and just what I needed this month.

Today I’ll be starting Black Fridays by Michael Sears.

On audio I’m nearly done with The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. It’s the first in the Walt Longimire series and I will most definitely be continuing with this series. I have enjoyed it a lot. My next audio will be The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny. I’ve been on the waiting list at the library for this newest in the Three Pines series. I finally got to the top of the list and picked it up on Friday. It goes straight to next in my audiobook queue.

Other than books and reading:
The re-carpeting and new entryway floor project is done! It’s been a ridiculous amount of work but I’m so happy with the results. (click on photos to see larger versions)

entry before
Before
entry after
After
We pretty much had to partially move out and move back in and as a result we cleaned out and reorganized closets, shelves, and pretty much everything. After 14 years in this house (which as The Hubster pointed out is the longest either of us has ever lived in one place) it was good to purge out a lot of accumulated stuff. It feels like we’re living in a new but familiar house.

When we moved stuff back in we took the opportunity to edit and re-think and rearrange some rooms.
living room reading spot 1
I now have a couple of new cozy reading spots in the living room that I’m looking forward to putting to steady use.
living room reading spot 2


It’s been an adventure for the cats as well as for us. Yesterday they ‘helped’ The Hubster put together a new shelving unit for one of the closets.
Abby and Howie "help"
Abby: OK Howie, the instructions say we should have 3 of “Part C”
Howie: 3 “Part C”s – check. What’s next?

Inspector Howie
Howie: OK – someone hand me one of my “Inspected by Howie” stickers – this section looks good.
Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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Update Your Subscription Feed

>> Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm changing my RSS feed to a new service so if you read Whimpulsive in a feed reader you'll need to subscribe to the new version in order to continue to get new posts in Google Reader or whatever feed reader you use.

Just click on the button below to re-subscribe in a reader.


If you already subscribe via email you don't need to do anything. If you didn't know you could subscribe via email and wish to do so just click on the button with the envelope to be taken to the email subscription form. This will allow you to have new posts delivered to your email


I will eventually shut down the old feed so please resubscribe.

Thank you!

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Wordless Wednesday #154

>> Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reflection
 Portland, Oregon

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Touring my TBR Spreadsheet and Shelves - September 2012

>> Tuesday, September 25, 2012

For the past year or so I've done a monthly feature called Confessions of a Serial Reader. This has been all about the differeent series I read. It's time to admit that I've run out of topics for this feature and it's has officially been retired.

I still plan to continue doing a monthly book related feature but take it beyond the series books so naturally the name has to change. In keeping with my commitment to Whimpulsiveness I wanted to leave it open to whatever sritkes my fancy as a monthly topic. From now on Confessions of a Serial Reader will be replaced with Touring my TBR Spreadsheet and Shelves.


I don't have any specific list of topics but I've enjoyed the monthly break from routine posts that Confessions of a Serial Reader gave me and it's time to expand the subject matter.

So lets begin with the basics. The first topic for Touring my TBR Spreadsheet and Shelves is my bookshelves.

My EMPTY bookshelves.


This hasn't happened since the day we brought them home from Costco and put them together.

We had to empty out the shelves so we coud put new carpet down. In the process we donated about 400 books that used to be on the shelves to make room. Now the books we kept are boxed up and ready to return the the shelves along with all the piles of books that were on various dressers, tables and shelves throughout the house.

So I now have the opportunity for a compelely fresh start at arranging the books as I put them back. Honestly this is something I've been looking forward to from the moment that the cleaning and purging for new carpet began.

I know I want to set up a To Be Read section for my unread books and a TBR shelf for The Hubster too but other than that I'm not sure how I want to organize the rest of the books.

I'm looking for ideas and inspiration. I know that I do not want to organize them by color. That's cool as artwork but I need to be able to find the book I'm looking for whether or not I can remember what color the spine might be.

So tell me - how do you have your bookshelves organized?

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The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen

>> Friday, September 21, 2012

The Absent One by Jussi Adler-OlsenDisgrace by Jussi Adler-Olsen

The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Genre: Crime Fiction / Mystery
Series: #2 in the Department Q series
Publisher: G.P Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: 2012 (Originally published 2008)
Pages: 500
Source: e-galley provided by publisher. I also received a copy of the UK Edition titled Disgrace which is why I posted both covers.


The Short Version:
When a case lands on the desk at Department Q it’s supposed to be a cold case and although their latest has a man in prison who confessed to the crime it appears that he may not have acted alone.

Why I Read It:
I read the first book in this series and liked it a lot so I’d been on the lookout for the US release of the second in the series.



The Book:
Department Q is the recently established cold case unit of the Copenhagen Police. Carl Morck is the grouchy yet wily head and only real detective. His one employee Assad is both useful and a thorn in his side. When Morck is informed that he has a new is assigned another assistant and learns that Rose has a history of being difficult the basement office may not be big enough to hold all the tension.

A file shows up on Carl's desk that initially doesn't seem right for Department Q. It's a 20 year old double murder that has supposedly been solved and the man who confessed to the crime is securely in jail.

It turns out that this old murder may not be so solved after all. Carl and his team find themselves investigating a group of powerful and well known businessmen who have a connection going back to their boarding school days. They and a long missing woman named Kimmie were all friends with the man who confessed to the murders but clues indicate the he might not have acted alone.

Kimmie isn't missing. She's very much a part of the story and she's messed up. She's also out for revenge.

My Thoughts:
Although I thought this was very good my reading of it was a bit scattered. I picked a time to read it when I had a lot going on and only small amounts of scattered reading time. So while it took me a while to read this book, that was my fault and not fault of the story. That said, I'm kind of glad that I consumed this book in small increments because these are some seriously twisted characters.

As with the first book in this series (Keeper of Lost Causes) the story shifts between the investigation, Morck's personal life and the goings on in the basement headquarters of Department Q. I was hoping that the second book might fill in a bit more of the history of Assad (because he's still got secrets). What I got was a few more hints of a mysterious past but no real answers. That's OK though because his malapropisms and general approach to things that bug the stew out of Morck provide an occasional light touch in an otherwise dark and disturbing story.

As the new addition to Department Q, Rose was a fun character. I'm enjoying the way that she works with, around, and despite Morck. I hope she's in this series for the long haul.

The cold case investigation that becomes the primary story in this installment of the series features some disturbingly twisted stuff that had me remembering exactly how much the movie A Clockwork Orange bothered me for days and weeks after I saw it.

This one is perhaps not as smoothly done as the first book in the series but it was still good. I will be looking forward to the next book in the series to be translated and released in the US.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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Wordless Wednesday #153

>> Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fire Escape
Mohawk Building
Portland, Oregon

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Where in the World Are You Reading? - Waiting

>> Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Where in the World Are You Reading is a monthly themed Meme jointly hosted by Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity, Lisa at Books. Lists. Life. and Kailana at The Written World.

Where in the World Are You Reading

Click on any of the links for the posta that explain the details of the Meme. It's never too late to join in so please consider doing so.

Lisa is this month's host so here is her explanation of this month's theme and a link to her post:
This month's theme is a fun one, almost a free form one. This month we want to see where you read while you are waiting. Waiting rooms, oil changes, waiting for the water to boil? Everyone waits for something and I know you all keep books around for any chance to pick it up. So, take a quick picture of where you're waiting and link up!

I do most of my waiting reading on the way to and from work on the three days a week that I work downtown.
Sunset Transit Center

I leave my car at the park and ride lot and take a 20 minute light rail ride into town. Sitting or standing and reading is much better than fighting traffic in ny car.
Waiting for the train

I usually don't have to wait that long for a train but it's defnitely reading time.
Blue Line

Then of course the ride itself qualifies as waiting because it's waiting to arrive at my stop.
train readingtrain reading
train readingtrain reading

Reading is definitely a popular activity among my fellow rail commuters.

Oak Street MAX stop

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Weekend Update September 16, 2012

>> Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Update

Since my last update:
I finally finished The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen. The time it took me to read had absolutely nothing to do with the book. I liked the book a lot. I was just busy and using all my free time to work on house stuff.

I started The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber because something lighter is better for me while I continue to have limited reading time. This is a new series for Macomber and while it’s set in the familiar town of Cedar Cove where she just finished up a successful series it’s a new series. I’m looking forward to it because I liked her Cedar Cove series.

On audio I’m listening to The Cold Dish which is the first in the Walt Longimire series. I am thoroughly enjoying this one so far. The friends who recommended this series were right. I’m planning on requesting the next books in the series from the library so I can load up my ipod.

Other than books and reading:
We’ve been busy getting ready for re-carpeting the house. It’s been lots of work but by this time next week it’ll feel like we’ve moved back into a new (same) house.

One of our spare rooms has gone from this a few weeks ago

bookshelves before

To this as of yesterday morning (we donated right around 400 books)
bookshelves during

To this as of yesterday afternoon.
bookshelves after

Starting next weekend I'll be having fun putting books back on those shelves and reorganizing them as I do so.

Abby has been busy observing all the work. It wears her out to watch us work. She was feeling exceptionally bendy the other night.
Bendy Abby

I can’t figure out how many different directions she’s pointing.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week was great this year. I had a good time and will be visiting participants blogs for a while before I catch up. Check out my wrap up post for my personal highlights.

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week – Highlights from this week

>> Friday, September 14, 2012


Today’s topic for Book Blogger Appreciation week is to Share a highlight of this year’s BBAW. Whether it’s a blog you discovered or a book you’re going to read or a way you felt refreshed, this is the day to celebrate the week!


It’s simply not possible for me to name one highlight.

I think my primary highlight was that there were no awards associated with it this year. I loved the focus on inclusion rather than comparison. I thought it was a very positive change.

This was the first year I'd participated in the interview swap and I had a blast. Jess was a delight to get to know and it was fun to answer the questions she asked me.

I absolutely adored both Trish's and Andi's posts about what Book Blogging means to them. If you haven’t read either of those posts go read them now.

I had some new commenters here this week and I've bookmarked their blogs. If you’re not familiar with these bloggers you should get to know them
All in all it was a great week and it will continue for me for a while because I still want to go back to the pages of links on the main BBAW site and read more interviews and posts that folks did this year. A week is not enough time to read all the good stuff and get to know all the great book bloggers who participated.


Check out posts from other Book Blogger Appreciation Week participants at the main BBAW site.

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week – What Book Needs More Recognition

>> Thursday, September 13, 2012


Today's topic is to talk about a book I think needs more recognition.


I looked at the books I've rated the highest this year and one of them stands out for being far less represented in both my Google Reader and Fyrefly's Book Blogs Search Engine*.

So let's talk about Peter Robinson's Before the Poison.

I've been a fan of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series for many years. I like Alan Banks despite his flaws. The stories are and characters are always interesting without a lot of fast paced action or sidekick witty banter. They are slower paced and quite intelligent mysteries.

I hadn't read any of his standalone novels before but when I saw the cover of his latest standalone I was intrigued right away.


Look at that. I love that cover. It gives a clue about the time period and mood and had me interested even before I read the description.
Chris Lowndes built a comfortable career composing scores for films in Hollywood. But after twenty-five years abroad, and still quietly reeling from the death of his beloved wife, he decides to return to the Yorkshire dales of his youth. To ease the move, he buys Kilnsgate House, a rambling old mansion deep in the country.

Although Chris finds Kilnsgate charming, something about the house disturbs him, a vague sensation that the long-empty rooms have been waiting for him—feelings made ever stronger when he learns that the house was the scene of a murder more than fifty years before. The former owner, a prominent doctor named Ernest Arthur Fox, was supposedly poisoned by his beautiful and much younger wife, Grace. Arrested and brought to trial, Grace was found guilty and hanged for the crime.

His curiosity piqued, Chris talks to the locals and searches through archives for information about the case. But the more he discovers, the more convinced he becomes that Grace may have been innocent. Ignoring warnings to leave it alone, he sets out to discover what really happened over half a century ago—a quest that takes him deep into the past and into a web of secrets that lie all too close to the present.

My thoughts on the book (from the review I posted back in February).

The format of telling the story of the present day investigation while telling the historical part of the story through excerpts from books and from Grace Fox’s own diary works well. It’s a mystery but it’s also about relationships, guilt, and a bit of a history lesson added to the mix.

Kilnsgate House is almost a character in this book. It’s a big old drafty and dark character. Although plenty of the story takes place elsewhere, it is Kilnsgate House that holds the key and is where Chris feels his connection with Grace. I could see much of this story playing out in my head as an old black and white film from the glamour days of Hollywood. Naturally the character of Chris and his connection to the film industry plays into that imagery, but it’s helped along by the films and music he watches and listens to throughout the book. The musical references are tossed in throughout and I need to go back through the book and make notes of them.

Robinson takes a break from procedurals and scores a win with this one. The story kept me guessing and the musical references made me wish there was a playlist available.

I read this early in the year and it remains one of my favorite reads of 2012


*For any booklover out there Fyrefly's Book Blogs Search Engine is one of the most useful tools out there. Do yourself a favor and bookmark it if you haven't already.


Check out posts from other Book Blogger Appreciation Week participants at the main BBAW site.

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Wordless Wednesday #152

>> Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shadows
Portland, Oregon

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week – What Book Blogging Means to Me


Today’s topic for Book Blogger Appreciation week is “What does Book Blogging Mean to You?”



It would be very easy to get all sentimental and sappy about this topic because blogging and the book blogging community are such a big part of my life. In light of the general nature of my blog, I’ll try to stick with a light approach using the name of my blog.

W is for World as in the whole new one that what I thought was going to be an online book journal led me to 6 and a half years ago.

H is for Horizons as in mine that have been broadened by book bloggers encouraging me to read things I might not have picked up before,

I is for Internet as in made this whole crazy thing possible.

M is for Massive as in the To Be Read pile thanks to certain bloggers whose recommendations I cannot resist.

P is for Photos as in it gives me a way to share a bit of my life through the photos I take.

U is for Unique as in how we each experience the same book and why it’s perfectly fine if someone doesn’t like a book I love and vice versa.

L is for Laughter as in what is bound to happen when you get book bloggers together whether it’s in person or online.

S is for Spreadsheet as in that’s the only way I can keep track of all the excellent book recommendations from my blogger friends

I is for Inspiring as in how I view so many of the bloggers I’ve come to know.

V is for Value as in I truly value each and every reader and commenter who stops by here.

E is for Enjoyable as in that's what blogging should be because if it feels like work then I’m doing it wrong.



Check out posts from other Book Blogger Appreciation Week participants at the main BBAW site.

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week – Interview with Jess of "From Me to You Video, Photography and Book Reviews"

>> Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This is my first year participating in the interview swap for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I’ve always enjoyed reading them but I’ve never signed up. I took the plunge this year and today I’ll be sharing my interview with Jess of From Me to You Video, Photography and Book Reviews.




It was fun to be matched up for an interview with the writer of a new to me blog. I hadn’t seen Jess’s blog before but I had fun exploring it and getting go to know her a bit from both her blog and our interviews. So let’s get on with the interview.

From Me to You Video, Photography and Book Reviews

1. Your blog includes video, photography and book reviews. Tell me about how you got started in blogging and how you ended up with this mix.

Well, when I originally started my blog in 2008 it was supposed to be a part of a Video & Photography side-business that I was opening. However, since I didn’t put much time or energy into it the video, photography, & the blogging, they went back to being a hobbies of mine. During this time, around 2009, I was also getting into reading books, more so then I ever read them before, and I felt that I wanted an outlet to share my views of the books I was reading. Therefore, I changed the title of my blog to what it is now ... ‘From Me to You ... Video, Photography, & Book Reviews’ ... and have used it for all three of my hobbies ever since. Lately it’s mostly for promoting books or my book reviews more then anything else, yet I like still listing it the way I do since I feel it gives me more options. *shrug*

Technically, I’ve been a blogger ever since I was in high school, then even more so when I was in college using my LiveJournal acct that I haven’t now used in years. But I like to think those years as a nice starting point for my current blog.

Photography is something that I have done throughout my life. My grandfather was a professional photographer; my mother took after him so I taught myself by their examples. However, I will never call myself a professional since I don’t have the patience to really fine-tune my skills.

Videoing I have dabbled with since 2003 -- when I put together a video high school graduation gift for my best friends and I. From there I have created videos on and off since then. What I most enjoy about creating videos is it feels like documenting a moment in time or a part of someone's life, and I feel honored to do it for people.

Becoming a book reviewer came on gradually over the years. And if you told my high school self (or younger) that I would enjoy reading books and then reviewing them I would have laughed so very hard, since I was definitely not a read growing up. However, ever since I started reviewing books on my blog I love how the reviews have progressed. I love my rating system (5 stars = Idolizing In to 1 star = What was I thinking?). My biggest goal is that even it I may not like the novel or give it the best review then I try to still promote the novel as much as possible. This way it gives those looking for info on the novel an idea of what they’ll see. As well as, give them a chance to make their own decision if they would want to read the book or not.



Jess

2. One book you have read this year that made you want to hand copies to strangers and say "Read this. Trust me!"

Oh my goodness this is such a hard decision ... well there are quite a few books that I have loved already this year, already up to 10 books that have received 5 stars which is surprising for me, so it’s very hard for me to choose. Yet if I’m forced to choose then it would be a toss up between “Almost a Scandal” [The Reckless Brides Series, Book 1] by Elizabeth Essex & “Feral Sins” [The Phoenix Pack Series, Book 1] by Suzanne Wright.

3. Two favorite genres that you read and review and what do you like about them.

• Romance -- Okay. Who doesn’t love romance? I know that it’s probably typical for a woman to be a fan of this genre but I cannot get enough of it! Basically, what it comes down to is even though I love my life, living vicariously through someone else’s more romantic life is fun for me. =0)

• Paranormal -- I love this genre because of all of the freedom it has as well as a fun way to think of the world, since I like the idea that there are romantic werewolves and/or shape-shifters out there. As long as they are looking for their one true mate and not trying to kill me then I’m all for it.


4. Three favorite places to read.

- My couch ... since all the other furniture in our living room is usually taken by either family or animals.
- My Jeep ... because between work and home it’s usually the only place I can get away for a little while.
- My rocking chair ... when I’m reading my daughter her books before bed.


5. Four books on your TBR that have remained unread for far too long.

“Red Heart Tattoo” by Lurlene McDaniel
“Where You Are” [Between the Lines Series, Book 2] by Tammara Webber
“Hunt the Moon” [Cassandra Palmer Series, Book 5] by Karen Chance
“Amplified” [Amplified Series, Book 1] by Tara Kelly


6. Five literary characters (or authors) that you'd want to have at a dinner party and why.

- Kit – from “Twilight Guardian” [Children of the Goddess Series, Book 3] by R. G. Alexander – He just seems so sweet! Plus, I want to see how tall he actually is in his “true” form.

- Cordelia (Posey) – from “Until There Was You” by Kristan Higgins – She seems so nice and I think we would get along great! Plus, I’d love to hear about her latest find and see if she has any suggestions on how to improve my house.

- Puck – from the The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa – He seems like a rascal that would be fun to have around for a while. =0)

- Clay – from “All Summer Long” [Fool’s Gold Series, Book 9] by Susan Mallery – I know this would be rude to do to any guest but I really want to see what the fuss is all about when it comes to his butt. Since Clay use to be a male model and was a butt double in movies, I just would love to check it out ... and get to know him of course. *hehee*

- Okay I know this isn’t what you asked but I’d love to have Merit & Ethan from the Chicagoland Vampires Series by Chloe Neill give me a tour of the Cadogan House so I could meet them, see the house, and be a part of their world if only for a little while.


My thanks to Jess for letting me get to know her. This is her first year participating in Book Blogger Appreciation Week so please take some time to check out her blog and get to know her a bit better yourself.

Jess had some good questions for me and I had fun answering them. Pop on over to Jess's blog to read her interview with me.

Check out posts from other Book Blogger Appreciation Week participants at the main BBAW site.

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week – It’s all about appreciation today

>> Monday, September 10, 2012

Today’s topic for Book Blogger Appreciation week is to talk about some of the blogs you enjoy reading daily and why


This is a difficult assignment because it’s not possible to list every blogger I appreciate. No matter who or how many I talk about there will be major omissions.

Booklogged at A Reader’s Journal
She will always hold a special place in my blogging heart because she was the first person I didn’t already know who commented on my blog in the first few days. It was through her that I learned that book blogging was a ‘thing’. I’d had no idea. It was exploring her commenters and blogroll that led me to my first exploration of other book blogs. She really opened the door of the world of book blogging to me and I will always be grateful for that.

Joy at Thoughts of Joy
Joy and I had already known each other for a few years from a booklovers message board in an online community. She and I started our blogs within a few days of each other so that pre-existing connection continued into our blogging lives. Joy and I don’t always agree regarding books but we have plenty of common ground. The thing I most appreciate about Joy is her concise straightforward way of reviewing books. If you want quick, to the point opinions about books you can’t find a better blog that hers.

Jen at Jen’s Book Thoughts
Jen is my go to person for everything crime fiction. Her blog is fun and interesting. There are many things I appreciate about Jen but first and foremost is her ability to feed my TBR with fabulous crime fiction titles. She has never steered me wrong and a recommendation from Jen is one I’ll take seriously. Secondly Jen has actually been able to get me to read interview posts. Here’s where I confess that I will almost always skip any author interview post as I’m reading through blogs. Jen’s interviews are the exception. Her Five on Fridays are always a treat.

Bookfool at Bookfoolery and Babble
Bookfool is another blogger I first encountered in my very early days of blogging. I wish I could be half the photographer she is. Her blog is one I never miss. Her cats Fiona and Isabel are a hoot and make me laugh as much as our cats do. Bookfool posts about a wide variety of books and has led me to many interesting reads over the years.

Les at Prairie Horizons
Les is another of those first bloggers I got to know in my early blogging days. We’ve had some close calls with actually meeting face to face but is hasn’t worked out yet. One of these days we’ll actually pull it off. In the meantime I always enjoy reading her thoughtful book reviews, admiring her beautiful photos and dreaming of being able to cook like she does.

As I mentioned above it’s impossible to make an exhaustive list of all the book bloggers I read regularly and appreciate. I’ll leave you with this list of bloggers I both read and chat with on Twitter. It’s an impressive group of booklovers and fun people to know. You can’t go wrong with reading or following any of these wonderful people.
And probably most important to today’s topic – the founder of Book Blogger Appreciation Week
Amy at My Friend Amy

Just a reminder – this list isn’t everyone but it is the people I chat with most on Twitter about books, life and everything.

Check out posts from other Book Blogger Appreciation Week participants at the main BBAW site.

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Weekend Update September 9, 2012

>> Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Update


Since my last update:
I have a feeling my reading will continue to be severely impacted for the rest of this month. Redoing carpet and flooring in a house while you are living in it is a logistical undertaking that’s both time consuming and exhausting. Most of my reading time lately has been replaced with closet and storage sorting and reorganizing.

I’m still reading The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen. I’m liking it quite a bit but just not getting more than small spurts of reading time.

As for audiobooks – I finished and thoroughly enjoyed Guardian of the Horizon by Elizabeth Peters read by Barbara Rosenblat.

I finally started the Walt Longimire series. Following the recommendation of Jen at Jen’s Book Thoughts, I started the first of this series, The Cold Dish as my new audiobook. It’s read by one of my longtime favorite narrators, George Guidall. I’m only partway through the first CD but I can tell I’m going to enjoy this. First of all because Jen has never steered me wrong and secondly because within the first few minutes Walt bought a six-pack of Rainier Beer and after his first drink said “Mountain Fresh”! For anyone who spent much time in the Pacific Northwest in the 80’s the Rainier Beer commercials are something they’ll remember. They were just fun. This one is a classic:



Other than books and reading:
As I said above, there’s lots of sorting, cleaning and organizing going on in my house these days. I keep finding fun memories such as photos and mementos. I found the purse calendar that had my first dates with The Hubster in it the other day. I had to keep that.

Football season is in full swing and home games for the Oregon Ducks have taken over my Saturdays. That makes for one day weekends to do all the normal weekend stuff but with weather like we had yesterday it’s a great way to spend a Saturday.


Coming up this week: Book Blogger Appreciation Week




I’m really looking forward to the Book Blogger Appreciation Week kicking off tomorrow. This will be the fifth year for this celebration of the book blogging community and while I’ve participated some years and skipped others I’m excited about this year because it’s all about the Appreciation and there’s none of the awards that have in my opinion overshadowed and distracted from the community building intent of this week.

It’s not too late to join in. Head on over to the Book Blogger Appreciation Week site to sign up and check out the daily posting topics.

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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Audiobook – Guardian of the Horizon by Elizabeth Peters

>> Friday, September 7, 2012

Guardian of the Horizon by Elizabeth Peters

Guardian of the Horizon by Elizabeth Peters

Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: #16 in the Amelia Peabody series publication order, #11 in story chronology order
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2004 Recorded Books (Book originally published 2004)
Length: 14 hours, 39 minutes
Read by: Barbara Rosenblat
Source: Library

The Short Version:
The Peabody-Emerson family is summoned back the Lost Oasis ten years after their first visit to find both old friends and themselves in danger.

Why I Read It:
I have enjoyed the audio versions of this series as read by Barbara Rosenblat for a while now and it’s been a few months since I listened to The Ape Who Guards the Balance.

The Book:
From the Amelia Peabody website:
Ousted from their most recent archaeological dig and banned forever from the Valley of the Kings, the Emersons are spending a quiet summer at home in Kent, England, when a mysterious messenger arrives. Claiming to be the teenage brother of their dear friend Tarek, prince of the mysterious Lost Oasis, the charismatic herald brings troubling news of a strange malady that has struck down Tarek's heir and conveys his brother's urgent need for help only the Emersons can provide.

Driven by loyalty -- and a fear that the evil forces opposing Tarek's rule will now exploit the royal heir's grave illness -- the family sets off in secret for the land time forgot -- a mountain fortress from which they narrowly escaped ten years before. Braving the treacherous desert climate on a trek fraught with danger at every turning, guided only by a crumbling map, the Emersons are unaware that deception is leading them onward into a nest of vipers -- where a dreadful fate may await. For young Ramses, forced to keep his growing love for the beautiful Nefret secret, temptation along the way may prove his ultimate undoing. And a dark past and grim obligation have ensnared Nefret once again, as she is helpless to save those she loves most from the prison of the Lost Oasis.

My Thoughts:
Note: I read this one out of publication order because I’m reading the series in order of the story. You can find the chronology at this link.

Elizabeth Peters had always intended that the timeline of this series would end with the 1922-1923 excavation season in which King Tut’s tomb was discovered. She has written additional books that fill in some of the gaps where the series originally skipped over several years. I have chosen to listen to the books in the chronological order of the storylines as best as I can.

I have to admit that the previous book in this series that I listened to The Ape Who Guards the Balance. was not one of my favorites. I had issues with both the story and the audio production and thought it was just OK. Because of that I was extremely happy to find that this book was more of all the things I love about this series and Barbara Rosenblat’s reading of it.

Amelia is one of my favorite characters; I love her style and sarcastic wit. Her complete lack of self awareness at times is pretty amusing. As the children have become older and the books now include excerpts from a perspective other than Amelia’s it’s becoming more and more interesting to me.

In the early books of the series I didn’t like the character of Amelia’s son at all but as he’s become an adult and matured he’s becoming more and more of a favorite to me. While the future of some ongoing storylines is clearly inevitable and predictable, the journey is still fun and Peters manages to keep the suspense going. While each book is it’s own adventure, the stories that continue throughout the series are entertaining and fun. The Emerson-Peabody clan and their various friends and employees and yes even their returning enemies have become old friends that I’m enjoying and getting to know better with each book.

Barbara Rosenblat is one of my favorite narrators but she really excels with this series. She has handled the multitude of character voices and maintained a good level of consistency over time as the series has continued.

It’s a fun and entertaining series but you really need to start at the beginning with Crocodile on the Sandbank.

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration



SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.

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Wordless Wednesday #151

>> Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Stairwell
Multnomah County Library Central Branch
Portland, Oregon

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For more Wordless Wednesday, click here

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Weekend Update September 2, 2012

>> Sunday, September 2, 2012

Weekend Update


Since my last update:
Well I’m not sure what happened to my reading time this week but clearly there was not enough of it I’m still reading and listening to the same books I was last weekend.

In print, I’m reading The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen. I’m really reading the UK Edition entitled “Disgrace” but still the same story. I’m enjoying it but would really like to get some major reading time over the next few days so I can really immerse myself in it.

On audio I’m on the second to the last CD of Guardian of the Horizon by Elizabeth Peters. I may finish this one up sometime this week. As usual I’m loving Amelia Peabody and the that are told from the perspectives of the younger family members. This has been a fun installment of the series that revisits characters and locations from an earlier book,

Other than books and reading:
I know part of my reading time has been replaced with cleaning, sorting and reorganizing closets and storage. We’re having the carpeting and flooring in our house redone later this month and have to be able to pretty much empty out everything over a three day period. It’s a lot of prep work but in all honesty after 14 years in this house sorting out some of the ‘stuff’ we’ve collected over the years is a good thing. I need to remember to get my ipod and plug in my audiobook while I’m working on this stuff.

Autzen Stadium
Another big impact on my reading time this year is College Football season. We spend many of our fall Saturdays on the road and at Autzen Stadium. The Hubster is the 4th generation of his family to attend the University of Oregon so cheering for the Ducks is in his blood.
DGo Ducks!
I thoroughly enjoy college football and have missed it since January. Yesterday was a perfect early season football weather kind of day and it was great to be back with our tailgating and football fan friends.

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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