January 2019 Recap

Ahem Ahem!

One of the new things I started at the beginning of 2018 is a month-end recap, a sort of newsletter light. Now I’ve completed the cycle with the first recap for 2019. Yay! 🙂

Speaking of cycles, tax time is rolling around again. I’ve been bogged down with tax prep more than usual at this time of the year.

2018 Jan Tax Work

Unfortunately, Etsy changed the way they bill and pay their sellers at the end of last year. The new system has had some glitches which have increased my bookkeeping workload significantly. I can’t wait to be done with the 2018 number crunching and get onto the tax forms themselves because it’ll feel so much easier – something I never, ever, thought I’d say!

Just past mid-January there was a snowstorm, the first snowfall for the year. Then a front of warm weather with rain pushed through and melted almost all of the snow. It was very pretty for all of four days!

One night right after the snow, we had someone scamper across our yard.

Tracks on Snow from Above

There’s a funny gap in the tracks (in the middle of the photo), though, which makes me wonder whether it might be a sign of a fox jumping to try and catch a critter under the snow. Like in the gif below (but probably much less showy).

Giphy BBC Earth Fox Jump

BBC Earth, via Giphy.

I had a small but very satisfying reading pile this month:

Library Reading Pile Jan 2019

From left to right, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by my favorite living author Nora Jemisin, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and Michelle Obama’s autobiography Becoming. I also read Ariah by R.B. Sanders and Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang. I’m looking forward to the last two Murderbot novellas, too, which I got as Christmas present. Yay, so many great reads!

On the screen, Husband and I were introduced to the tv series Modern Family by a friend. It’s a mocumentary of three generations of a Californian family. We’re bingeing through the seasons and have gotten up to seven, and are still enjoying it.

My goodness, I never would’ve thought that I’d find a mainstream (i.e., non-genre) family drama interesting, but I do. 🙂 Shows you what production values can do – specificially in this case, attention to quality character-writing and episode structure.

Now that I’ve written a full year’s worth of recap posts, it’s time to reassess. Even though it felt difficult at times, I certainly learned a lot and found that I do like an end-of-the-month look back.

I’m inclined to continue these newsletters, but I might dink around with the topics or proportions. Would you like to read more about something or maybe less about something else? Please let me know!

Reading N.K. Jemisin in honor of Martin Luther King Day

Books & Mags, This Is Important, Thumbs Up

Today the U.S. celebrates the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of the day, in support of people of color and in protest of the appalling inequality POC continue to experience in the U.S., I’m reading my favorite (living) author, Nora Jemisin.

Current Reading How Long Til Black Future Month

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? is a collection of short fiction from 2004 onwards and her latest book-length publication. I’m not sure whether she’d describe herself as an #ownvoices author. Whatever the case, her fiction continues to entertain, fascinate, and awe on so many levels.

I’m normally not a great friend of short stories (I prefer novels), but this collection is incredible. Not just her writing is beautiful and technically superb; she continues to open my eyes about the world, give me new ideas and hold me in thrall in equal measure.

Jemisin is also the first writer ever to have won the Hugo Award three years in a row, for all the individual installments of her recent Broken Earth trilogy. (The mere thought of it still gives me chills!) No wonder S.E. Fleenor in an article at SyfyWire listed Jemisin as one the most influential women in genre for 2018.

How are you spending your MLK Day?

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Some November 2018 Reads

Books & Mags

My latest book order came in at the end of October, but I haven’t cracked any of them open yet.

New Books Oct 2018

From left to right: Thoraiya Dyer’s Echoes of Understorey, Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, Emma Newman’s Before Mars, Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers and, finally, what sounds like a very interesting take on Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell.

November is already looking like a great reading month. Anything else you’d recommend?

October 2018 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Time to get out some re-reading in addition to books that are new to me.

Reading Pile October 2018

From left to right: Mishelle Baker’s Impostor Syndrome, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanenko, A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney and, finally, Wise Craft Quilts by Blair Stocker.

What’s on top of your reading pile?

September 2018 Recap

Ahem Ahem!

Apparently I want to open each month’s recap with “I can’t believe how fast this month has flown by” but even so, September really has gone fast.

For banned books week this year, I read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Current Reading The Hate U Give

This month’s other reads were thought-provoking and absorbing, too.

I made a canvas hanger cover prototype. Choosing the fabric took a little doing – I initially wanted a tightly woven medium-weight cotton, but most that I got my hands on were a little transparent. A cotton duck to the rescue, then.

Canvas Hanger Cover HC015a

The placemat prototypes I started in February and finished earlier this summer are in use, being tested. (And I finally remembered to upload the photos!) Some of the details work, but others don’t, so at least as is they cannot be produced. (Yet.)

Quilting Both1 Purple Blues Greens Yellows Reds

The weather in the beginning of the month was very summery still, including some extremely muggy days. Approaching the end, we got fall temps with plenty of rain – very welcome both. I was worried for the water table during the dry summer months.

Husband and I carved time for a mini-getaway to visit the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As I grew up on a flood plain (VERY flat!) I found the mountains absolutely ah-mazing!

Mt Willard Crawford Notch Valley

On the gaming front, we broke in a new-to-us board game, Pandemic. It’s a collaborative game where players race against time to cure and, if possible, eradicate four diseases. It can be very unforgiving if the luck of the draw is against you, but a lot of fun!

Pandemic Breaking Out New Boardgame

We played WoW, too (although not quite as often as I would’ve liked), and got our first characters leveled to 120. Yay! 🙂 I’m leveling a human first for strategic reasons (gaining rep faster for allied races).

I also broke out some tastes of home: tar-flavored liquorice candy.

Tervaleijona

Now we’re enjoying seasonal weather and starting to plan the end of the year in detail. I can’t believe it’s almost October!

September 2018 Reading Piles

Books & Mags

After last month’s busy, it was pure joy to take the long Labor Day weekend and just read. For pleasure. For hours on end! Here are some of my latest reads:

Reading Pile September 2018

From left to right: The Shattered Vine (book 3 of the Vineart War) by Laura Anne Gilman, Mirage by Somaiya Daud, Never Stop: Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, an anthology edited by Emmi Itäranta, and Myke Cole’s Siege Line.

It’s as if after a comparative reading drought, I’m restocking my story reserves. 🙂

Library Reading Pile September 2018

And more from an inter-library loan haul: Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change by Ellen Pao, Space Unicorn Blues by T.J. Berry and Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. The last one I’m reading for the banned books week.

I’ve devoured Siege Line, Mirage and The Shattered Vine already. (I heartily recommend Mirage, by the way!!) I couldn’t resist a peek into Space Unicorn Blues even if I haven’t quite finished my current read. 😀

In addition, Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey Through the World’s Strangest Brains by Helen Thomson is also back at the library. What a fascinating read that was!

Anything especially intriguing in your TBR pile? Do share!

WoW’s Dalaran Cupola Library vs. Real Round Libraries

Games, Geek out!, Stunt Double

I was browsing my WoW screencaps for something entirely different when my eye fell on two shots from the Dalaran inscription trainer’s place. (This is in the Legion version of Dalaran.) Both are actually from inside the book-filled cupola: the first looks up towards the impossibly high ceiling, the second down towards the trainers’ room floor.

WoW Dalaran Inscription Tr Book Dome2 Sm

Screencap from the Dalaran inscription trainer’s place in World of Warcraft.

WoW Dalaran Inscription Tr Book Dome Sm

Screencap from the Dalaran inscription trainer’s place in World of Warcraft.

Neat, right? Well, I wondered whether anyone’s actually done anything similar for real and hit the Internet. And I found some!

 

Stockholm Public Library in Stockholm, Sweden

The functionalist stadsbibliotek was designed by Gunnar Asplund and opened in 1928.

Flickr Marcus Hansson Stockholm Public Library

Marcus Hansson on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

 

Round Reading Room in the Maughan Library, King’s College London in London, UK

The Round Reading Room of Maughan Library, the main university library of King’s College London, can be found on the Strand Campus.

Wikimedia Kings College London Maughan Lib Round Reading Room Sm

Colin via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

 

Picton Reading Room in Liverpool, UK

The Picton Reading Room, completed in 1879, is now part of the Liverpool Central Library.

Flickr Terry Kearney Liverpool Central Library Picton Reading Room

Terry Kearney on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

 

A home in Toronto, Ontario

Designed by Katherine Newman and Peter Cebulak, this two-level library is in a private residence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Architectural Digest Toronto Ontario Home

Tony Soluri via Architectural Digest.

 

The Octagon Room, Islamic Studies Library at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The library is situated in the neo-Gothic Morrice Hall building that previously housed the Presbyterian College of Montreal from 1871 to 1961.

McGill Islamic Studies Library Klaus Fiedler Sm

Klaus Fiedler, McGill Library.

 

None of them are exactly the same as the game library cupola, of course: apart from the the scale of the rooms, the scale and direction of the bookcases might differ. But apparently it isn’t terribly far-fetched to make a round multi-storey library and pack it chock-full. 😀

Images: Stockholm Public Library by Marcus Hansson on Flickr (CC BY 2.0). Round Reading Room of Maughan Library by Colin via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). Picton Reading Room by Terry Kearney on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0). Toronto home by Tony Soluri via Architectural Digest. Islamic Studies Library at McGill by Klaus Fiedler, McGill Library.

Cross-posted from Co-Geeking.

A New Hope for a Sanditon Adaptation

Books & Mags, Movies & TV, Thumbs Up

Over two years ago, I spotted news that a screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished last work, Sanditon, was in development by Fluidity Films. To all appearances, their project never got any further than that.

Now there is a another project commissioned by ITV and executive produced by Rebecca Eaton at Masterpiece with Belinda Campbell at Red Planet Pictures. The script is written by Andrew Davies (who also wrote the 1995 Pride & Prejudice, 2007 Northanger Abbey and 2008 Sense & Sensibility, among others), and the eight-episode series will be distributed by BBC Studios.

Re-reading Jane Austens Lady Susan

According to PBS, filming is expected to start in spring of 2019. No casting details have been announced. I also couldn’t find Sanditon on Davies’s IMDB page yet; I guess it’s too early still.

But, nevertheless, hooray! Double yay!! We’ve long been overdue another Austen adaptation.

Relevant reads:

Plus the multiple(!) articles in the Spring 2018 issue of Persuasions (Volume 38, No. 2), accessible online at the JASNA website.

What a great excuse to re-read Austen. 🙂

P.S. Belatedly I realized that my headline sounds like a Star Wars – Jane Austen crossover. If only! I’d watch that! 😀

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

August 2018 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Phew! So far I’ve been way too busy to do any gaming, and I’ve barely touched my TBR pile in August even though there’s plenty I’d really like to read.

Reading Pile August 2018

From left to right: Ann Leckie’s Provenance, Weight of Stone (sequel to Flesh and Fire which I read last month) by Laura Anne Gilman and That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together by Joanne Lipman.

I wonder whether I can get through all three; I’ve started Lipman and Weight of Stone, at least.

How’s your reading lately?

July 2018 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

I have a great selection of reading right now:

Reading Pile July 2018

From left to right: Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman, Hit by Delilah Dawson, Gilgamesh: A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell, Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie, The Winter War: Russia’s Invasion of Finland, 1939-1940 by Robert Edwards and Just One Damned Thing after Another by Jodi Taylor.

Not pictured is Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie because it’s on my nightstand. Also, I’ve already read Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson. 🙂