5/5/17

RT Day 3

Convention exhaustion is setting in. It feels like we've been here forever, but it's also a surprise that the convention is halfway over. The entire hotel was awakened by some kind of unclear emergency announcement at 2:30 am, which didn't help with the sleep situation.

I did want to give a shout out to a reader event done right yesterday. The Hot Contemporaries and Sweet Peaches event had a raffle for the swag bags. What that meant is you didn't need to arrive super early. You didn't need to cheat to get all of your author signatures to get your bag. You didn't need to stress. And there were a LOT of bags, so probably half who came left with something. I greatly preferred that to the "first 100 attendees" method of bag distribution.

5/2/17

At RT 17 in Atlanta

I arrived in Atlanta yesterday, only getting lost once in the airport (thanks confusing tram system). The MARTA on the other hand was easy to use.

Thankfully, the hotel is easy to navigate so far. I've also sampled the PIE BAR at Sway. YUM.


The mall attached to the hotel has a ton of food options, which will be nice once the crowds get here.

We are headed to the Center for Civil and Human Rights later today.

4/26/17

Hump Day Classic Movie: All Through the Night (1942)

I thought I had seen most of the Bogart movies out there, but I had missed this one. It's surprisingly timely, considering it deals with wartime espionage and was released just a few months after the US's entry into WWII (although the war started in 1939 in Europe).

My favorite part of the whole movie is that Bogart's character, Donahue, gets involved in an investigation of sorts because his favorite cheesecake is missing from the restaurant he visits. He's a stickler about his cheesecake.
 How awesome is that? Can you think of another movie where the plot revolved around cheesecake snobbery?

What made this a little different for me was that he isn't a detective. He's not a nightclub owner. He's a gambler. He's got a crew, and you can be pretty sure he's not really right with the law, either. Kind of a reluctant do-gooder role, which I've always thought were his best ones.

This also stars Peter Lorre, who I also adore. All Through the Night is available on Netflix or you can buy it from Amazon.

4/24/17

Review: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

Format: ebook
Pub Date: January 2010
Publisher: Pocket (Simon and Schuster)
Length: 432 pages
FTC: Read for free via Amazon Prime
POV: 1st person, past

Yes, I'm extremely late to the party. The first Estep book I read was a YA one I received at the RT Booklovers Convention a few years ago. And I'm not really a YA reader. Still, I liked her voice, and when this became a free read for Prime members, I decided to try it.

In short: Kinda glad I am late, because there's a HUGE backlist of titles I can now glom. *snoopy dance*

I'm a bit of a wuss, so I admit to skimming some of the more graphic violence scenes. I have an extremely vivid imagination, and these are some gnarly descriptions. Ew.

I also discovered that the detailed descriptions of food weren't just a YA thing. They're present here, too. It's a funny quirk, and honestly (and weirdly) reminds me of the food descriptions in the Redwall series. Food is serious business.

Estep also manages to do emotion right, even when the main character is an assassin. Gin's not stereotypically dead inside. She cares about her small circle of people and has her own moral code. Which I guess is why we're not in full-on anti-hero territory. She's very pragmatic, though, so don't go expecting her to act like a good guy. She's not and neither are her friends and acquaintances. If you're the type of reader who needs the main character to be righteous 100% of the time, this is probably not the book for you.

For romance readers, there's some sexual tension and foreplay, but no real relationships here. You can see a glimmer of one maybe in the future, but that consumes very little page time. Far more action and mystery.

My only quibbles are with the pacing, which was extremely uneven, and (as with most first UF books) the amount of page time we spend on world building. That's to be expected, though, so I built that into the grade. 

My Grade: A-

The Blurb:
After Gin’s family was murdered by a Fire elemental when she was thirteen, she lived on the streets and eventually became an assassin to survive. Now, Gin is given an assignment by her handler to rub out an Ashland businessman, but it turns out to be a trap. After Gin’s handler is brutally murdered, she teams up with the sexy detective investigating the case to figure out who double-crossed her and why. Only one thing is for sure —Gin has no qualms about killing her way to the top of the conspiracy.



***
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4/23/17

Making the Time to Read

Last year's struggle was a reading slump that just devoured me. I couldn't finish anything. Nothing appealed. Even my go-to favorites, changing genres, and changing formats didn't seem to help. I finally clawed my way out by going back almost exclusively to print and by digging through the mountain of print books I've collected over the years. It helped.

This year, the theme seems to be lack of time. I'm no longer willing to stay up late to read, which has traditionally been my reading time. Or maybe it's I'm no longer ABLE to stay up late reading, as evidenced by the fact that I've been smacked in the face by book or Kindle several times since January as I dozed off while reading. *ouch*

I'd like to carve some time in the day to read, but I feel guilty doing it every single time. There's always plenty I'm supposed to be doing. And unfortunately, other than driving, I can't multi-task and listen to audiobooks while doing chores. I get distracted. My solution so far has been to drive myself to school early for pickup so I can read for 20 minutes without feeling like I need to be doing something around the house. Then I have another 45 minutes where I force my youngest to do HIS reading homework while we wait for high school dismissal. This has been working well, since we both get our reading done, and I have an excuse to make him be quiet and let me read. :)

When is YOUR favorite time to read? Any tips or tricks to set aside dedicated reading time?