July 28, 2014

How You Lost Me: The Queen of the Tearling

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There was some stuff about The Queen of the Tearling that was weird but I was enjoying it until got to here and decided that it was enough.

Wise words from our 19 year old heroine Queen Kelsea.

"She was much older than she'd seemed in the dim light of the throne room, perhaps as old as forty..."

homer finger

"How could a woman so old still place so much importance on being attractive?" SO OLD! SO OLD! UNCLEAN!

Sorry I'll see myself out.


The "old lady" here is a jerk, but call her out on her jerkiness not her age. We all age, Kelsea, and there is nothing wrong wanting to look nice no matter how old you are. I dye my hair now. Should I just give up and wear a paper bag over my head?

The men around her though, 40-50, apparently they can all still get it. This is not even a YA novel, people. It’s supposed to have wide appeal, so cut it out with that nonsense. I really wanted to root for her too but…

cameron diaz
That's what I'm saying, Cameron, my 40+ sister.

I want a feminist hero but don’t be an ageist asshole.

July 27, 2014

Posting Camera Photos to Instagram Using Evernote

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instagram tutorial 3

I love posting my phone’s photos to Instagram but I also have a very nice camera and have always wanted to post those photos to Instagram too. I’ve checked out a few posts about how to do this but they all sounded too complicated or involve The Cloud*. Today I discovered an easy way to do this by using Evernote, a program I’ve been using for some time now. Evernote has been great for making notes and collecting links for my blog posts.

If you’d like to find out more about using Evernote, especially how useful it is for blogging, see my friend Tif’s tutorial. Please note I use a PC and all examples will be for Windows.

Step One: Download Evernote to your computer and Evernote App for your Phone

If you haven’t done so already, download both the free Evernote software to your computer and download the iphone app (or Google Play version here). You will need both. Make sure to sign up to each with the same username. The beauty of Evernote is that you can sync all your devices with one account. This is a great feature. If you make a list at home on your computer, you’ll also find it on your phone when you go out (as long as you sync it). This is an important feature for this tutorial.

Step Two: Import your photos to your computer

Depending on your camera, upload your photos to your computer whatever way you usually do. I have an Olympus and just plug in my camera with the USB cable. You might want edit your photos using whatever editing software you own (all the images in this post were created in Pic Monkey). Making the photo smaller and square will make for less editing later on in Instagram. Save the photo in a folder you can easily find later.

Step Three: Save Photo to Evernote

Open Evernote on your computer.

  1. Open New Note.
  2. In the toolbar, click File.
  3. Open Attach Files.
  4. A new window will appear. Find your photo in the folder you saved it in. Open it.

instagram tutorial

Voila! The photo appears in the New Note. You may wish to add your photos to a separate notebook; I titled mine Instagram photos.

Step Four: Sync Evernote

Now to sync your Evernote account. Open the Evernote app on your phone. Make sure you are signed in to the same account as the one you used on your computer. Hit sync (the little wheel at the top). Sometimes it takes me a few tries to get it to sync correctly. The new Note you created with your computer should appear on your app page under Notes. (Please note: the larger the image size, the slower the file will download. It’s a good idea to resize the photo when editing in Step 2.)

Step Five: Save photo to your phone’s camera roll

Still using the app, open your note containing the photo. Click on the photo. At the bottom of the Image is the share icon, click this. It gives you several options, including Save Image. Choose this. Your photo is now saved to your camera roll.

instagram tutorial2

Step Six: Upload to Instagram

Since your photo is now saved to your camera roll, simply sign in to Instagram and post your photo! You can delete the note you created from Evernote now if you like.

I hope you found this post helpful!

*Some people love The Cloud. I do not.

July 21, 2014

Media Madness Monday: The Alien’s Secret Swedish Baby*

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media madness monday 1

I'm a media junkie, not just books, but TV, movies, music, podcasts, and internet nonsense. Every Monday I discuss something that's caught my interest this past week.

On the TV

Extant. I’ve been watching this new summer series on CBS starring Halle Berry. My husband complains that it’s too slow, but I like it. The premise is that in the future Molly (Halle Berry) goes on a solo mission to space and comes back pregnant. How did that happen?


There are other things happening on Extant. Molly has an android son her husband built when they couldn’t get pregnant. Molly’s boss is up to no good and an old co-worker faked his suicide. I’d like to see where this is going.

Welcome to Sweden. This is a cute show. Bruce (Greg Poehler) quits his job and moves to Sweden to be with his Swedish girlfriend. There are many cultural misunderstandings. I hope this one sticks around but since I like it, it doesn’t have a hope in hell.

Drunk History. Drunk History is back baby! I don’t think this season is as funny though…so far. I think the drunks are studying too hard beforehand.

Luther. Netflix! What a tool for watching all the shows you do not get on TV. I’m loving Luther. Idris Elba! Rowr! He plays the titular Luther, a London detective with issues. He let a bad dude almost die, and was suspended for it. He’s back on the job but his wife has left him for another guy. He’s got troubles. Then he meets Alice (Ruth Wilson) who is a psychopath obsessed with him. More Trouble in River City! Ruth Wilson is terrifying. She ain’t no Jane Eyre. This show has short seasons so shit gets real, real fast.


I can’t stop listening to Brooklyn Baby by Lana Del Ray. Can’t help it.


Podcasting YouTube

I’ve been hearing everyone (well, certain people on Twitter) talking about Booktube. Booktube is the bookish niche of Youtube. I subscribed to 2 channels right away: Ron Lit and Audham EnTha. I liked ease with which they discuss books and they play a little background music with their videos. I have a short attention span when it comes to Youtube so I need to be kept focused. They get points for keeping me from getting distracted by shiny things.


On the Web

This is a thought provoking piece by actress Leighton Meester on the character she plays from Of Mice and Men.

I loved this blog post by Grease and Glamour about travel. It makes me want to be braver.

So, hey, I hope you check out some of these links!

*Wouldn’t that be a great title for a Harlequin romance?

July 19, 2014

Doing It: Mini-Bloggiesta

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Since I’m on a mini blogging break, I’ll be doing a mini Mini-Bloggiesta this time around. It’s such a nice weekend that I can’t see me hanging around on the computer all day. I’d still like to do a couple of things though.

  • Back up my blog.
  • Update reviews page.
  • Write a couple of posts.
  • Check out a couple of the mini-challenges. I’d like to check out Storify and Thinklink (that last one looks pretty intense).
  • Make sure I’ve added all recent reviews to Pinterest, Google+, and Netgalley.

That’s all I have planned. I’ll see how things go over the weekend. Good luck to everyone participating!

July 15, 2014

The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

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hundred year house

It’s 1999, the new millennium is about to begin and the Devohr’s house is almost one hundred years old. At this time, it is home to Gracie and her husband Bruce. Gracie invited her Marxist scholar daughter, Zee, and her husband, Doug to live in the carriage house until they get on their feet. Zee teaches a class at the local university on haunted houses in literature while Doug works on his book about the poet Edwin Parfitt. Parfitt once stayed on the estate when it was an arts colony in the 20s.

Much to Zee and Doug’s dismay, Bruce asks his son, Case and his artist wife, Miriam to share lodgings with them in the carriage house. The two married couples try to cohabitate but secret jealousies threaten to destroy the already frayed relationships. Zee hatches an elaborate plan to find Doug a job at the university, which doesn’t end in the desired results. Meanwhile, Doug has been sneaking around the estate desperately trying to find out more about Parfitt’s stay at the house. As Y2K edges nearer, Doug unwittingly uncovers more of the house’s secrets than he bargained for, secrets that could ruin lives.

This is a complicated book to try to describe. It’s about a house, a haunted house, but the ghosts are the least interesting thing about the Devohr’s house. The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai begins in 1999, but leaps back in time to the 1950s, 1920s, and finally 1900 before the house was even built. It was interesting to learn the history of the house and its inhabitants this way. The people living in the house are influenced by the former residents in ways they don’t even know. Doug is obsessed by Parfitt, Zee by her great-grandmother’s supposed madness. Miriam feels the energy of the artists’ colony, and Case can’t get away from his bad luck which he sees as an omen. As the story progresses, ordinary objects reveal their importance, the answers to questions are hidden in plan sight. Only the reader can see it.

Part one is told from Zee and Doug’s point of view. Half their issues are a lack of communication. Part Two is Grace’s story of her terrible marriage to George. Part three was the most confusing, though the most revealing section, told from the point of view of the many artists in the colony. It was hard to keep everyone straight since there were so many voices. (And since this was an audiobook, I couldn’t flip back and forth.) And finally poor Violet’s story from the point of view of her husband. There were so many personal tragedies, yet I thought the first part of the story was often funny.

The Hundred-Year House is not a spooky story. It’s more about a haunted home’s memories than its ghosts. The ghosts are just stories, random unexplained happenings to are attributed to them. One of Zee’s students ask if it’s possible for a spirit from the future to haunt a place and this is proven to be true later in the book. I loved that idea and of course only the reader can recognize the ghost, the characters have no idea.

I completely fell for The Hundred-Year House. I loved the way it was told. It’s such an interesting way to write a story. You’re either going to love it or hate it. I say just roll with it. It will be fun. Now I have a dream of starting an artists’ colony. Do they even exist anymore? It sounds like good time.

About the Audio: Jen Tullock is the narrator. She really shines in part three where there are so many different characters. She tries to make them all sound distinctive. I particularly like the White Rabbits, who sound like a female Beavis and Butthead.

Thanks to Penguin Audio for the review copy. All opinions are my own.