It’s Monday, What Are You… (1/15)

…Reading?

Bout of Books

Bout of Books wrapped up yesterday. I read around 350 pages, but I feel like I read a lot more than that. I read The Box Jumper, a novella by Lisa Mannetti, the last 50 pages of The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe, seventy pages of a novel I DNFed, the first 80 pages of Countdown City, and four short stories. Happily, the slump that dominated the last half of 2017 is gone.

This week:

Countdown City (The Last Policeman, #2)  The Huge Hunter, or, the Steam Man of the Prairies
  • Countdown City by Ben H. Winter – TBR Challenge
  • The Huge Hunter, or, the Steam Man of the Prairies by Edward S. Ellis – which I suppose qualifies for the Wild West Reading Challenge
  • “How to Sync Your Spouse” by Russell Nichols – Deal Me In
  • A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • “The Masochist’s Assistant” by Auston Habershaw

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

…Doing?

Winter frisbee leagues got started last week with a meet-and-greet game for my division. Fitness-wise, due to sickness and rain, I’ve only played three games in two weeks, additionally Eric and I ran some intervals yesterday…which were painful. Teams haven’t been picked for my division yet. I thought about captaining, but my life currently has an okay amount of neuroticism; I decided not to rock that boat.

I’ve been slowly working my way through some Codeacademy tutorials and I plan on learning a little about watercolor painting in the near future.

What Was I Doing?

Advertisements

Bout of Books 21

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Too bad Bout of Books wasn’t last week. I was sick (just an annoying cold), but I got so much reading done! This week is going to be catchup, but hopefully I’ll still manage to read and have a little BoB fun.

TBR

The Sorrows of Young Werther The Box Jumper The Secret Life of Mrs. London
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – for FrankenSlam!
  • The Box Jumper by Lisa Mannetti – an impulse add.
  • The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg – an ARC

And short stories:

  • “The Musgrave Ritual” by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • “The Wrong Foot” by Stephanie Burgis (for Deal Me In)
  • “In a Wide Sky, Hidden” by William Ledbetter

Continue reading “Bout of Books 21”

January 2018 TBR & BoB 21

Bout of Books

I’ll have an update post on the date, but for now this is not only my January TRB, but my Bout of Books 21 sign up post!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

Continue reading “January 2018 TBR & BoB 21”

Writing Update, 12/27


How’s It Going?
I’ve been working slowly and steadily on a rewrite of One Ahead #3. Some of the situations were a little plain, and I shifted the intent of one of my characters. Still haven’t quite figured out an ending.

Research Topic of the Fortnight
The History of Cigarette Productions

Obviously, doing sleight of hand with such a small, common object would seem to be a no-brainer, at least in a past era when people smoked more. But when I did a quick search, the majority of cigarette performances and tricks seemed to originate in the 1920s-30s. (My stories are set in 1915.) To some extent, these results are limited by when magic publishing became a thing, but it also led me to the question: when do cigarettes become a common enough item that you can do the equivalent of street magic with them? Wikipedia puts the technological turning point at 1850 with James Albert Bonsack’s cigarette-making machine and the cultural turning point around the end of the Crimean War 1856. Using Magicpedia, I searched for earlier and earlier performers and tricks. For example, Cardini, who comes to my mind when I think of cigarette tricks, didn’t really get into magic until WWI—past 1915.

Eventually though, I did come across mentions of Walter Baker performing a cigarette trick in a 1916 issue of the Magical Bulletin of the Magical Shop of the West which also includes ads for Louis Christianer’s “Cigarette Tricks” pamphlet in January  of the next year. Close enough to let me know that an impromptu cigarette production might not be too out of place in 1915.

(I also read about a Card in Cigarette trick that was performed as early as 1883 in London, but that’s a little different.)

About This WIP
One Ahead is a series of mystery novellas focusing on David P. Abbott, a magician who lived in Omaha, NE at the beginning of the 20th century. Aside from being an accomplished magician, David Abbott was a debunker of fraudulent mediumistic practices. I’ll be delving into the history of Omaha in 1915 as well as visiting some of the magicians, mediums, and skeptics that lived in that era.

It’s Monday, What Are You… (12/25)

…Reading?

The Linking Rings (An Eli Marks Mystery Book 4) Fangirl

I’m well on my way to finishing 40 books this year (which was my goal). The only wrinkle in my planned TBR list for December is a reread of Fangirl. The residence hall where I lived and worked for the majority of my time at UNL, which is also where Cath lives in Fangirl, was demolished on Friday.

Any sadness about the end of an era is mostly eclipsed by the coolness of the demolition. Still, it seemed a good time for a reread.

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

…Doing?

Enjoying Christmas at my parent’s house. There are way too many goodies. For me, feast-wise, Thanksgiving has nothing on Christmas.

What Was I Doing?

I didn’t think I posted much on Christmas, but I guess I’m wrong.

Down the TBR Hole #7

TBRHole

This is a meme started by Lia at Lost in a Story. The “rules” are:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m modifying this a little since my to-read shelf is a mess of books that are mostly in storage. Instead, I’m going to look at my wishlist—all those books I add on a whim during my travels around the book blogging community—and weed out the ones that don’t quite sound as good now. The “keepers” I’m going to look for at online libraries or add to my Amazon wishlist.

alt text How to Read a Graveyard by Peter Stanford

KEEP. Because Peter Standford doesn’t write enough books. And this one is about cemeteries too.

alt text The Extra Mile: A 21st century Pilgrimage by Peter Stanford

KEEP. See above. But seriously, if I had to choose one of these to go, it would probably be this one.

alt text Magic: A Beginner’s Guide by Robert Ralley

I was ready to throw this one under the bus as a sacrificial “go,” but it’s more about magic history than beginner-level magic. So, KEEP.

alt text The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

I already have too many historical crime novels. And historical crime nonfiction books. GO.

alt text A Whiff Of Death by Isaac Asimov

I think I added this before I finished the other book of Asimov mysteries I owned, which I sometimes enjoyed. You know what though? I’m good. GO.

Anyone have any experience with any of these? Any arguments for KEEP or GO?

It’s Monday, What Are You… 12/11

…Reading?

The Prestige Wuthering Heights The Ramshead Algorithm and Other Stories

I’m clawing my way to my 40 book goal. I should finish The Prestige this week, with intent to post some thoughts about it on Thursday/Friday. I’m reading a couple of chapters of Wuthering Heights each day for Roof Beam Reader’s Classic Book-a-Month, but honestly, I’m not sure that’s the best way to read it. I keep losing track of narrative threads. And lastly, I’ve been slowly savoring the stories in KJ Kabza’s The Ramshead Algorithm, both the ones that are new to me and the ones that are rereads.

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date!

…Doing?

Oh, man, it’s like two weeks until Christmas. Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling it. It’s been warm(-ish) here in Tempe and with no real rain yet this season. I have my tree up, but haven’t done my cards or any shopping yet. And, well, not that I don’t enjoy the rounds of holiday socializing, but it’s very tiring. For a hermit like me, the world is already pretty tiring. The holiday’s are making me feel like I alternately need a double espresso and a double vodka.

What Was I Doing?