"Never knowingly be serious. Rule 27.” — Doctor Who
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June 22, 2023

Seven Things

strawberry lemon drink -drawing
My favorite summer drink is strawberry lemonade which is why I drew that above.

01 - New header — I think a change even something as small as a blog header is always refreshing and brings new life and energy to a blog or so I believe but it doesn't matter why. Sometimes a change is just a change. 

02 - Writing and not posting — I write a lot of drafts but they don't get posted as I didn't finish them. I don't know why but I can't finish a lot of them. Sometimes what you thought was a good idea and then you check back later and find the idea is just not as good as before. But I don't know what's good these days. I only post what interest me and maybe one or two people. Who knows what one gets interest until they happen to come across them. I'm certainly a bad judge since I pretty much dislike most things.

03 - Reading Jane Austen is a bit boring now — So maybe it's not her books that are boring but maybe one particular a book I'm currently trying to finish. Mansfield Park is the only finished novel of Austen's I haven't read (I'm not interested her early or unfinished works). I've tried reading Mansfield Park three times before this but never got far enough. The more I read, the more boring it seems to me. I'm wondering if I was influenced by the movie I saw (It was the version starring Frances O'Connor). That movie was awful and it made it seemed like Edmund settled for Fanny because she was the last viable choice and that he didn't really love her all that much. And there was a bit about slavery that was a bit unsavory and thankfully I didn't see the version with the very risque sex scene.
    Reading about rich, snobbery people and the mundane things they do is kind of boring. And Fanny, well, she's just there now and then. We get to know her feelings and her thinking but basically, she might as well be a background character that people thought about when necessary. Edmund seems to care for her but honestly even he forgets her existence from time to time when he is with a pretty lady. And there are so much dialogues, some of them are a bit inane. But I only read up to chapter 13 so perhaps I should hold judgement. Right now, I don't seem to want to continue reading it.

04 - No more (unintentional) TBR pile — I've removed all the books I haven't finished reading off my kindle. Those books have been there for years so it was time to give them up. I don't make to-be-read lists but I seem to have unintentionally made a TBR list by accumulating these ebooks. I did  want to read them at the time I brought them though most of them were free or 99 cents so I don't feel bad giving them up. But if I have brought them as paper books (which would be more expensive), I don't know if I would have given them up as easily.

05 - Library books — I'm actually not reading a lot of library books even with a kindle and their large selections. And now I'm having issues renewing my virtual card. I'm not sure I want to renew it as I have to do it every year because you can't get a permanent library card without going to an actual brick and mortar library which I did try but I'm too annoyed by the people to try again. But I'm barely reading these days.

06 - Lazy blogging?
— I haven't been doing a lot of commenting on blogs or posting because of work but that's an excuse. I can set aside a time to blog but somehow whenever I have to schedule anything, it feels like work so it's why I don't schedule anything unless I have to. I think there's joy in not doing things on schedule but I suppose that's another way of saying I'm lazy. After blogging so many years, I find I'm less active in blogging although I still would like to blog more but I lack the motivation. It's one of those vicious cycle of my life - I lack motivation when I want to do things. I can't do anything about it but try to conquer it somehow but I'll probably continue on with my lazy blogging.

07 - Lazy summer — It always seems to me summer is a more relax season, a time to do less and be lazy. It's just too bad we don't all go on vacation during the summer. Even as I worry about being unproductive, I think just being lazy sometimes can be good for you so say the lazy person (me). True or not, let's all have a relax summer (or winter if you're on the other side of the world).

Got anything you want to share today? Leave them in the comments.

June 13, 2023

Highly Specific Reasons For Not Continuing A Book Series

opern book, three book stack and cup of tea

I'm not saying these are good reasons but as a reader, I have a right to quit a series for whatever reason however good or bad or just plain unreasonable. Here are some of my reasons for not continuing a book series:

01 - Knowing the villain is going to be resurrected — I was surprised by the first resurrection, than was annoyed by the second resurrection so a third resurrection just makes me so damm annoyed so I decided I can't read the series anymore. What was the point of killing off a villain if you're just going to bring them back each and every time?

02 - Main character (and story structure) remains exactly the same — For most mysteries where we get almost nothing about the main character (usually the amateur sleuth or the detective), I wouldn't expect any type of change to them but we get told in great details about the main character's life and their aspirations so it's reasonable to expect some change, right? But seven books in and there's no change. So book series are getting longer but I honestly don't want to read 20 books for a change.

03 - Main character is extremely condescending to the other main character — So maybe this is a bit odd but I don't know. I just think if two people are equal partners and friends, then one of them shouldn't be so condescending to the other even if the other chose to accept being treated badly. I wouldn't call it bullying but these are children characters which I thought made it worst. If the second character is a sidekick, maybe it might be easier to accept but then again, I don't believe friends should treat each other like crap even if one of them is superior than the other.

04 - Disturbing themes/violence against women
— I'm too much of a prude so often I find dark themes far too disturbing than most people. What I didn't like for one particular series was there was rather a lot of disturbing ideas and most of them are against women. Somehow, it's more disturbing to me probably because I'm a female but generally, I'm sure a lot of people would be disturbed too.
05 - Not what was expected — The author made a note about making a story 'as close to reality as possible' and I guess I have a different expectation from that. Based on the first two books, the 'as close to reality as possible' meant the equipments being used, daily life stuff, location details, etc. are all realistic but apparently, not for the main character. For a character who is a normal human with no special powers, no special healing abilities, no special mental strength (this one, I might accept as some people are mentally stronger than others), just survived almost being killed several times and ended up with some body aches and a headache and returned to work the next day - is that reality? So yes, this is fiction but promising to make a story as close to reality as possible should also mean the characters and not just the settings and background details, right?
    I guess I was more annoyed by this note since it's at the beginning of the books. If they had left it out, it would be perfectly fine but by making this note, the author is making a promise. If they had said 'as close to reality as possible but not for the characters', then maybe I would accept this without any annoyance. This could possibly be a dumb reason not to continue a series but I don't care.

06 - Added romance
— So this might also be a dumb reason not to continue a series but when I read a series and there was no suggestion of a romance, I just kind of like it to stay that way. But I was more annoyed by who was chosen for the main character to have the romance with. It's kind of terrible how book blurbs give so much away that sometimes reading them makes me not want to read a book.

07 - Couldn't stand the main character
— If I'm reading a book and I keep wishing for the main character's demise, then it's a sign I shouldn't bother continuing the series. Other people can read a book and didn't have to care about the main character but for me, I have to care somehow or else it's meaningless to read it.

08 - Break up a couple just so the main character can start anew in a different location — I don't get this but maybe because I like the couple. The excuse was so the main character can grow on their own which makes sense but at the same time, I can't help but think, they dump the romantic partner for a pretty lame reason because who says a person can't grow while in a relationship? (As evident by the 5 books.) It would have been better to kill the romantic partner which would probably be a good idea for that particular series and then they can find the killer together and then end that relationship but no, they want the boring, lame breakup which I'll never accept.

09 - Fake out — What I meant is when the book blurb (and even the story itself) suggested it will give answers but then it turned out it was a fake out! Maybe they shouldn't have bother going with this particular storyline and made the readers thought they would get answers and instead got the door slammed in our faces. It's the third book so I think it's reasonable to expect answers but the heck with it. I won't even care I didn't get the answers, I'm just annoyed by the way the book misled me.

10 - Didn't like the first book — To me, the first book sets the standard for the other books in the series so I most likely will not like the other books if I didn't like the first one. When people say it gets better in the second or even the third book, I have to wonder, why didn't it get better in the first book? Usually, the first book is the best one and the second or third is the lousy one so how could that got reversed? I think finishing the first book is giving the series a chance. Any more than that, means a longer commitment and who has the patience to read two or three crappy books to get to the good one?

What stops you from continuing a book series?

June 11, 2023

Some thoughts on reading Agatha Christie

home library with a body -artwork
The body in the library (2023)
One new author that I read a lot of (mostly last year) and enjoyed was Agatha Christie so I thought I make a list about that. This list is mostly based on reading 12 Miss Marple novels, 1 Miss Marple short story collection, 33 Hercule Poirot novels, 1 Hercule Poirot short story collection, 4 Superintendent Battle novels, 5 Tommy & Tuppence Mystery and 5 standalones. (I also read a novelization of one of Christe's plays by Charles Osborne which I wish to forget.) I maybe mostly refer to Poirot and Miss Marple books since I read them the most. Here are some of my thoughts on Christie's books:

June 01, 2023

May 2023 Books & Movies

May was a crazy-busy month work-wise and I really don't have the energy for blogging. I hope to find some patience and motivation to blog this month but June is looking much the same. Anyway, I didn't read much in May. I watched a couple of movies and rewatched a lot of old shows. Here are the medias I consumed in May.

Books I read

Valentina Salazar is not a Monster Hunter by Zoraida Córdova

01 - Valentina Salazar is not a Monster Hunter by Zoraida Córdova > link
There should have been a better villain or perhaps better monsters. I guess I don't like that the villain gets defeated so easily but there are a lot of fun elements in this book and I enjoyed most of it.

Flight of the Bluebird (The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters #3) by Kara LaReau with illustrated by Jen Hill
02 - Flight of the Bluebird (The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters #3) by Kara LaReau with illustrated by Jen Hill > link
I don't think this third book is as good as the first two but at least there's a good conclusion.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Movies I have seen

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
03 - Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings > link
This was a superhero/monster/family drama meshed together and it was pretty good. The humor was kind of lacking but maybe it's just me. As for Shang-Chi, he was a bit bland to me but I suppose he's more of a subtle/understated character but mostly because he was upstaged by his friend/sidekick Katy, by his sister, and by his father. And does everyone think singing karaoke as a rebellious act as amusing? I found that mildly amusing.
    There was a bit more flashback than I like. I suppose no movie will ever just run in linear timeline but without the flashbacks, it would be hard to understand the characters. I was a bit annoyed by the bi-lingual talking - everyone except for Katy and a few speaks mandarin/english. In every instance when a person is talking, they just easily switch from mandarin to english or from english to mandarin and everyone understood even though I'm sure some of them don't but I guess in this world, everyone's bi-lingual. If I understood mandarin, maybe I would be less bothered by the language switching. I enjoyed this movie especially the bus scene in the beginning but it's not a favorite.

04 - Taken 2 > link
This was an okay sequel and it's quite similar to Taken 1. Although I do find it slightly amusing that the bad guys allowed him (Liam Neelson's character which I can't even remember his name) time to make a phone call in the middle of a ceasefire.

Turning Red
05 - Turning Red
> link
I really enjoyed this movie and I learned a new word - gyrating - some sort of dancing. It's just a fun movie though it's a bit sappy.

How was your May? I hope June is good to you.