Review: Moist Von Lipwig

I can finally review this trilogy since I finished it over the weekend.  I’ve read and re-read Going Postal and Making Money for years, but somehow I never got around to Raising Steam.  Moist was my real intro to Discworld and Terry Pratchett.  Then I went back and red Guards! Guards!  I’m working my way (slowly) through the Witches books. But I hold a special place for Moist.  He’s awful in a lot of ways.  Like really a bad person who wants to be selfish and greedy.  At least in the first two books.  Now, he also has a strong internal set of morals and ethics – his own which no one else would ever agree with but… So Going Postal is probably my favorite of the three.  I thoroughly enjoy seeing Moist struggle with his desire to run away and his determination to do something interesting.  The character is “forced” into his position but never loses agency or personality.  In Making Money, he’s somewhat

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Review: Audiobook Players

This review is specifically how these players work with Android Auto (AA) in my Kia Sorento.  I can’t speak as an authority that Android Auto is the same everywhere, so this is definitely MY opinion. There are technically 5 different audiobook players I have used/do use during my commute.  I’m really only going to review 4 however since Overdrive is pushing towards Libby – either way this is the library, so 100% free (well, paid for by our taxes).  Both Audible by Amazon and Google Play Books require you purchase your books (Audible having a subscription, Google Play doesn’t).  Lastly, the mostly-free option of Librivox. Libby I love getting books from my library.  I do not love Libby.  This app is awkward. It only recently (like maybe this summer) finally updated to even work on Android Auto.  And it’s…. usable.  The controls are all-but useless (the skip is worthless in the car – it skips too much – I made this mistake once). The worst thing is the launch.  Libby

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Review: The Veil of Gold

The Veil of Gold by Kim Wilkins was good, but I can’t quite give it great.  It grabbed me pretty quickly, I didn’t hit 100 pages before I was carrying it around so I could read anywhere I found myself with a few moments. The characters were interesting.  I wouldn’t give them all kudos on being well-rounded but they were definitely interesting and I really liked that the main male in the novel was in a lot of ways very anti-trope.  He was nervous and uncertain and very kind.  And yet I never would call him “whiny” (ok, not without really good cause– ’cause he had one!) and I would never think he wasn’t a man. Ok, so let me get straight to my biggest beef.  The ending.  It was abrupt.  There was all this lead up and build and then in like 20 pages tried to tie everything into a bow that ended up being very messy instead of amazing.  The story kind of desperately

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Manners: Remove Thyself!

I read this comic this week: https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3837 (and if you don’t read QC – you should!) And I don’t want to talk about the content per say – but rather when it’s time to remove yourself from a bad spot.  I definitely had that in 2 jobs.  I knew things were turning sour and I couldn’t see how to fix it without compromising myself/my ethics.  So it was time to start job hunting. And this is true of relationships too.  Sometimes it’s a catalyst like Basilisk (the purple lady in the comic) experienced that just makes her see it.  Sometimes it builds up over time and one day you look at the mountain of evidence and say, “Oh. Wow.  Ok, that isn’t good anymore.” Knowing this is hard though.  I’ve always been afraid I’m going to “give up” on stuff too quickly, which sometimes means I “stick with” it MUCH longer than I should.  I hate giving up.  I hate admitting defeat.  I

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Review: Shopping eShakti

So this is NOT a book review – it’s a review of an online shopping site called eShakti.  I have looong avoided buying clothes online.  My luck with places like Wish or Amazon or even “traditional” stores like Macy’s or JCPenny was awful.  Mostly misses and rarely hits.  And returns…. ugh! So when my Facebook began showing me super-cute dresses from this site called eShakti I was wary.  To say the least.  But one of them was just too perfect and so I took the risk.  I used my credit card I trusted would allow me to refute the charges if I did end up in some kind of fight and ordered 2 dresses (there was a Buy One, Get one 1/2 off). So the huge boon to eShakti is for $9.95 ($10) they customize size, sleeves, length – whatever.  Even without $10 they demand your height and hem it accordingly.  I put the $10 on each dress and ended up at $82.75 –

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Review: Hugo Winner Stone Sky!

N.K. Jemisin’s series The Broken Earth won the Hugo Best Novel for ALL THREE NOVELS.  And having just finished it – damn, I’m not surprised. Jemisin throws you into the world and uses three voices to explore it so you see it from several viewpoints in the first book.  In the second book she narrows into just a pair of views and for books two and three she generally sticks with Essun and Nassun; but takes a side-line to explore how everything got here in the first place. Ok, so Jemisin is amazing at two things in this series: her world-building and her magic system. Let me start with the world.  The “complaint” I might have is she calls it “Earth” but I would find it much easier to have wrapped my mind around it if she had called it anything else.  I kept trying to put her “Earth” onto the layout of planet & continents I know – and I will go

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Review: Freedom

So I gave up 39.8% of the way through Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. One of few books I can say I’ve given up on.  It might help if I could skip ahead, but that’s really hard to do well in an audio book.  Especially since I generally listen while on my commute and I’m driving. The characters are flat.  And there is a part of me that detests them because I’m afraid someone out there is like that.  The first third of the book focuses on Patty – through her college & married life.  She struggles with anxiety, depression, and alcoholism – and at 40% of the way through you have a hit (since it’s written like her autobiography) that she is aware of it “now” – whenever now is.  But then, a chapter or two before I stopped she stopped being the narrator (I think).  It switched to her husband’s best friend Richard. Thus far both of them are looking

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Anime: Subbed or Dubbed

Ah, the ageless debate of subtitles vs dubbing over with native voice actors.  I have an opinion (shocker!). I am going to focus on anime because I haven’t seen many/if any dubbed Bollywood or the like.  And I’m ignoring bad kung fu dubs.  Some of them are better for the cheesy words-don’t-match-mouth-moving (the soccer one comes to mind) and again, my depth isn’t so great. Anime however, that I feel I have some “authority.”  I’ve seen more than 2. My short opinion is that subtitles tend to be better, but dubbed versions are damn convenient. My best example of this definitely shows in Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl. There is a single line in one episode where the dubbed version (when I first watch this is what I had available).  She said putting on the eye-patch that transforms her into an awesome warrior was like “a bad headache.”  My brother was around and had seen the subbed version and said, “Oh no, you

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Writing: damnit!

The downside, as I’ve said before, to writing “the story I want to read” is when I notice an old file, open it – have an inkling of what I intended and go “damnit. I wanna know what happens!” I totally did that with a ~1 pg document.  There is a teaser.  A tiny, itsy-bitsy teaser that is driving me crazy.  I don’t remember who the villain was going to be, I have just enough to be curious.  I guess it wasn’t my worst beginning…. You tell me. Prologue It is so small and weak. The voice was quiet, pleading. Their species is not weak. It is almost a bark, with an angry edge to it. Our younglings are just as helpless. They are not as loud. A third tone, almost a soft musical chime to the worlds. Do as you wish your highness. Keep it as a pet if you so choose, but if it ever looks the least harmful,

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