Saturday, April 28, 2018

Dewey Read-A-Thon | Midway Survey

I have finished two books this Read-A-Thon. This is my most productive one in a while! Woohoo!

This Read-A-Thon I did make sure to schedule in some naps. I had the first one just now and it was a quick little catnap. Definitely helpful. How are y'all doing?

Okay, okay. Time for the mid-event survey!

1. What are you reading right now?
I just finished one book and next I'll be picking up The Feckin' Book of Everything Irish

2. How many books have you read so far?
I've read 2 books, totaling over 700 pages!

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I'm co-hosting tonight! From 11 PM to 2 AM Eastern!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
I did have a bit of a distraction when my Mom needed to chat with me, but it's all good.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
It's seems so quiet. Then noisy. Then quiet. Then noisy. We read in waves!

Dewey Read-A-Thon | Opening Survey

It's that time again! I've got my Readathon t-shirt, comfy socks, and Little Nike coffee mug. I've also got some new slippers to add to the regimen.

My loving, wonderful husband, Fluxxdog, has made up coffee (complete with a hint of cinnamon) and bisausegg! Isn't he wonderful?! He's even making up milkshakes later today! And for dinner he's cooking up chili mac n cheese dogs! I married the right man.

Okay, enough hyperactive gushing, time for the survey!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Ypsilanti, MI

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Old Man's War by Jon Scalzi! I'm in a bit of a race with a couple other readers. ^_^

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Hubby is making milkshakes using peach ice cream! :drool:

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am forever socially awkward.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? 
I'm actually scheduling naps! For the first time ever I'm planning on napping during a readathon!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Dewey Read-A-Thon | Mini-Challenge | Anthology of Interest!

Last year I read a short non-fiction about the author's adventures in the most remote parts of India searching for more information and examples of living root bridges. When I saw the photos and learned that they were bridges literally created by growing the roots of trees in certain ways, I was enchanted. My head started thinking about the mythology and folklore that must be behinds these awesome bridges! Then I found out that the people of the area looked at living root bridges the same way we look at a sidewalk. It's functional, not magical. I was disappointed.

Then my brain started thinking, how awesome would it be to read an anthology of short stories with living root bridges. I've always loved anthologies, the different takes the authors have on the topic, the different styles you get introduced to, the myriad of worlds that open up to you. I was already picturing stories based on living root bridges and how they could vary from the fantastical that I had initially thought to the pragmatic that is the reality.

So now I ask you: What topic would you love to see as the central theme of an anthology? It can be something as mundane as a rock to something as fantastical manticores. From a spool of thread to the takeover of AI. Something that gets you thinking about all the different ways it could appear in a story.

The winner will be selected at random and will receive their choice of a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble card!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Dewey Read-A-Thon Plan

EEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! It's that time again! Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon! My favorite bi-annual holiday! Can you tell I'm excited?

So, I normally pride myself on being able to stay awake the full 24 hours of the Read-A-Thon, but I fear this time I'm gonna have to schedule in some naps. I know, I'm truly getting old. But this will be good for my health and well-being. 

Recently I compiled a list of all the books that I own but have never read, my TBR page. I have over 200 ebooks alone! So, I'm gonna dedicate this Read-A-Thon to trimming that list down a bit. I'm not entirely sure what the books I will actually be reading are, except for Old Man's War by John Scalzi. I've made a promise to read this one at the next Read-A-Thon with Jolena. Other than that, if you see any books on the TBR page that I absolutely have to read, please let me know!

Aside from the naps, the schedule looks pretty much the same as it always does. Fluxx and I will wake up around 7 and I'll start prepping while he makes breakfast (or goes and gets it from Taco Bell). Around noon or 1 I'll have lunch. Dinner will probably be around 7 (we'll see how it goes). And at midnight I'm chugging an energy drink. Don't worry, I'll make sure to have plenty of other foods to snack on as well. Plus, I have a keurig so my caffeine needs are met. I live within walking distance of a 7-11, Walmart, Taco Bell and more so I should be fine.

7 AM - Wake up & prep
8 AM - Begin reading
11 AM - Cheering & Exercise break
12 PM - Reading
3 PM - Cheering & Exercise break
4 PM - Reading
7 PM - Cheering & Nap break
8 PM - Reading
11 PM - Co-hosting
12 AM - Co-hosting
1 AM - Co-hosting
2 AM  - Nap break
2:30 AM - Reading
5 AM - Cheering & Exercise break
6 AM - Reading
8 AM - DONE!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

It's A Question of Space | Clayton C. Anderson

*Image and book provided via NetGalley for an honest review.


Former astronaut Clayton C. Anderson has been answering questions about space since he Earth for a long stay on the ISS. This book is a compilation of questions he's been asked over the years with answers from his perspective.


If you have ever had questions, or have kids with questions, about some of the more routine tasks in space, Anderson has an answer. This book covers a lot of areas from how to become an astronaut to how to keep yourself clean on the ISS. A lot of the questions were things I would never think to ask, but once they were I thought "oh yeah, how does that work?" Fortunately Anderson is really good about answering them.

Admittedly, there are times when Anderson just doesn't know the answer, but he's very good about directing you to resources or people who would know. Some of the answers required a lot more technical expertise than he had, so he called in his friend Robert Frost who actually worked on those sides of the missions. Anderson also keeps a good sense of humor in a lot of his answers. There were some, to me, ridiculous questions, like what if an astronaut murdered all of his fellow astronauts on the ISS. Anderson actually went through a bit of a scenario of what would be required for the killer to do. All the while he made it clear that, given the rigorous psychological testing astronauts have to go through, he didn't think this would ever actually happen.

I think my biggest issue with this book is the editing. He says that the book is from his writings on Quora and it shows. There are a lot of repeat questions and answers spread throughout the book under different topics. Admittedly some of the questions had multiple questions in them so I can see why they were under different categories and thought to be different questions. I just think it would have been more readable had he consolidated the questions and answers instead of just repeating what was on Quora.

Other than that, though, I did like this book and it did answer a lot of questions I didn't even know I had about space and being an astronaut. 3.5 hoots!



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Vampirates | Justin Somper


The Tempest twins, Connor and Grace, have lost everything. After their father's death, all his debts were called in and cost the twins their home. Their only options are to move into the orphanage whose headmistress already has plans to work them, or be adopted by a couple more interested in pets than kids. They take the third option and steal their father's boat and run away. Unfortunately a storm separates the twins. Connor gets picked up by a pirate ship and Grace gets picked up by the Vampirate ship of legend. The book follows their attempts at to stay alive long enough to reunite. 


Yes, this is a middle-grade book. Yes, I picked it up because the title made my inner child go "woah!" No, I have no regrets.

This book was an easy and enjoyable read. The main characters are generally smart, if a bit too curious sometimes. I greatly appreciated that Connor was as empathetic as he was towards Cheng Li and her situation. Captain Wrathe was a lot of fun and really embodied a lot of what people consider a pirate to be while also being a good captain to his crew.

I also really appreciated the sword/weapons based exposition Connor received from his lessons with Cutlass Cate. The talk about the different weapons and their respective fighting styles was a delight to read. So many people think broadswords are easy to handle and effective at killing, but they're a lot better for show and can be unwieldy. The precision weapons are the ones that are effective in slaying an enemy.

This world was a little difficult to get into. So much of the book makes it sound like a historical fiction but, in fact, the book takes place about 500 years in the future. While this fact is presented up front, it was still sometimes jarring to read about Grace having a diver's watch that could survive 500 feet under water. If I really wanted to get into this world, perhaps the graphic novels would help me with these things.

In all, if I were younger I know I'd be devouring this series. As it is, I still found this to be a fun read, but probably won't be picking up any more books in the series. I do recommend this book if you have younger readers or enjoy middle-grade books in general. 3.5 hoots!



Saturday, April 7, 2018

Robots vs. Fairies | Edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe


An anthology of stories alternating between robots and fairies as the main characters. The stories run the gamut from comedy to slice-of-life to thriller. The settings vary between past, present and future.


This collection was delightful, engaging, and I wish it were longer. The stories were so wonderfully different from each other in terms of tone and use of the themes. Some of the authors I'd read before, others are new to me and I'm actively looking for more of their books to read.

My favorite stories, hands down, were the ones that mixed elements of both robots and fairies, clearly an attempt to appease whichever group ends up as our overlords. "The Blue Fairy's Manifesto" was an encouragement of the robot uprising, but it used a familiar fairy tale for it. "Build Me a Wonderland" was an excellent choice for the first story as it shows Fair Folk creating robots that work lie magic.

There were a couple stories that weren't for me. "Bread and Milk and Salt" was a bit too dark for me (as the Fair Folk can get) and "To a Cloven Pine" was too abstract for me (but I can't logic like a  Robot can). Two stories out of a collection 18, though, definitely keeps this a good book. And if you like the darker or more abstract stories, you may like the entire collection more than me.

Some of the stories are fun adventures. Some are moving pieces about how magic and robots can't always give us what we really need. One story is just plain silly, and had me struggling to hold in the laughter while I was on the bus. Each of the stories are quality writing in and of themselves. The juxtaposition of the stories is well thought out and you never find yourself in the same world twice. The closest these get to overlapping is two stories involving both Fae and music, but they still ended up being incredibly different stories. Plus, one had a murder ballad, you gotta love it.

I really do recommend this collection for Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans. The back and forth and intermingling of the genres makes for an interesting, enjoyable read. I'm very glad to have this book in my collection and I will be looking for more books by the authors. 4 hoots!



*Unrelated note: This is my 300th blog post on Purple Owl Reviews!