Bookloving writer

Bookloving writer

I love books (fantasy, mysteries, YA, historic, science fiction and non-fiction) and writing. Check out my Gravatar profile for more info, if you're interested.

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Review
4 Stars
Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1)
Lady of Devices - Shelley Adina

From Amazon's book page:

 

Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices, Book 1):

London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.

At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices.

When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . but sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .

I just finished reading this free e-book, and I must say I was positively surprised. Since I bought my Kindle Touch I have downloaded and started reading so many free books and most of them weren't good enough to finish. This turned out to be among the few that was well worth reading to the end. My main complaint is that the story is a little too short and seems to end sort of in the middle - not quite - there is a resolution of sorts - but it comes rather quickly and feels a bit sudden. Normally, I wouldn't buy the next book when the author leaves the reader hanging, but in this case, I might make an exception. As I mentioned above, there is a sort of ending, even if it's too sudden for my taste.

Claire is a likeable character. As the book progresses we get to know more likable characters, mainly young women. There are of course a few men - one sympathetic and another less so. Time will tell how they will develop. When the story begins Claire belongs to the upper class and is miserable that her mother won't consider letting her go to university. She is passionate about engineering and loves to drive a steam driven car, even though it's not considered 'ladylike'. Soon her circumstances change dramatically. Being a resourceful young woman, she handles her situation well and manages to save herself.

 

If this sounds like your kind of thing, visit Amazon as soon as you can. The book is still available for free if you hurry.

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Devices-steampunk-adventure-Magnificent-ebook/dp/B0053CYXS0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501145280&sr=1-1&keywords=lady+of+devices
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Magi, Mystik och det Okända
Magi, Mystik och det Okända

Magi, Mystik och det Okända.

Source: http://missmagicgirl.wordpress.com
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Birthday books
Birthday books

These are my birthday books. Only two, because Amazon will send the rest about a month from my birthday, which is today, and about two months since they were ordered. :/

Review
4 Stars
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Lexicon of Life Hacks for the Modern Lady Geek - Sam Maggs

My sister recently got this book for her birthday, and since she hasn't felt up to reading for a while (she's burned out, among other things) she let me borrow it.

 

Now that I've read it, I must say that I really liked it. It made me really keen on going to a fancon (but things are really different here in Sweden and even though there are fancons here, lack of communications out here where I live, makes it more or less impossible for me to go anywhere fun). Cosplay is out of the question after having my twins.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/180743.html
OT: Some photos from our yard

 

I also have a photo blog on Tumblr if you'd like to check it out.

OT: Intruders in the yard

Today, we caught some intruders snooping around our yard, and our neighbors', taking photos with a long lens. They'd parked their car in our yard and had picked some flowers but didn't treat them like they cared.

My sister went outside and confronted them. The woman claimed that it was 'so beautiful' here. (Which it isn't, not particularly). She also said that they'd been here yesterday and since didn't see any car, they assumed no one was at home. Like that's an excuse to trespass. We don't have a car, so there's never a car. What's a bit unnerving is that we never noticed them yesterday. I just happened to be looking out the window and caught sight of the woman on the dirt path outside.

I really don't like living here. Hopefully, we'll be able to move soon. It's not a good place to live for more than one reason.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/180632.html
Book meme

I found this on Litsy and I can't get the photo that goes with the meme, even if Booklikes had let me post it, but I decided to do the meme anyway.

 

You've been kidnappted.

 

You can call on one fictional character to make a rescue attempt.

 

Who do you choose?

 

I choose Chrestomanci from Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series. Fortunately, I know how to call him. :)

 

In the comments on the Litsy post I found other great suggestions: The Doctor (I'd like to add Jack Harkness), Ranger from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, Murtagh from the Outlander series (but I'd prefer Jamie, he would be great to look at too.)

 

 

Quote
“I don’t really understand the world anymore. But maybe there’s some faint hope that the good people on both sides can come together.”

 
~ Mississippi Blood, written by Greg Iles

Source: http://ryanlanz.com/2017/05/31/book-quote-corner-69
Library meeting for children

I was going to post a cute photo of my son at the local library, but Booklikes decided to refuse my photo, so I posted on my Dreamwidth journal instead. You can visit it here, if you like.

Literary dinner guests

After reading about a book blog question on a Swedish book blog, I began to consider what, if any, literary characters I would like to invite to dinner. I've been blogging about similar topics earlier, but not, I think, about inviting characters to dinner.

Dinner itself might be a little problematic, since I'm vegan and I wouldn't like to offer any guest of mine anything not vegan. However, there are plenty of common and popular dishes that are, or can easily be made, vegan. For instance pancakes, lasagna, potatoes au gratin etc. At least one of my guests is vegetarian and at least another might be positive to eating vegan food anyway, see further below.

As for the others, I'd simply have to cook something really delicious so their potential prejudices won't be realized.

When it comes to the actual guests I had to do a bit of thinking. Meeting characters face to face is different from merely reading about them. Many characters are fascinating to read about but would most likely not be very pleasant to meet in real life, if it were possible.

Still, after a bit of consideration, here is my list:

Cat and Janet (Charmed Life), Conrad (Conrad's Fate) and Nan (Witch Week) from Diana Wynne Jones Chrestomanci series.

Bix from Dinotopia by James Gurney.

Bix, who is a protoceratops, must be vegetarian, so a fresh salad would probably work for her. I would just hope that the human guests would accept sitting down to dinner with a talking animal. If not, I'd love to meet her one on one. Bix is so cute and I'd really love to get to know here better.

Lucy from C S Lewis' Narnia books.

In a passage in one of the books, Lucy reacts strongly when she finds out that a meat dish she's offered contains the remains of a talking animals, so I can imagine she'd be open to eating vegan food, to make sure that she's not consuming parts from a talking animal.

The Midwife Serafina Flores, from Susan Russo Anderson's historic mysteries set in 1860's Sicily (and later France). Serafina seems like such a nice person, but since she's from the 1860's the food might be a problem. Or maybe not. Maybe a simple pasta dish with tomato sauce, herbs and some pine nuts might do.

I would have loved to mention some Swedish characters but I couldn't think of any. I read some Swedish crime series and some children's and YA books, but the characters aren't the type of people I'd like to meet. In the books for younger people the main characters aren't that interesting, it's more the plot and the setting I appreciate.

OT: Mother's Day

Today it's Mother's Day in Sweden, and since I have a mother and I am a mother, I thought I'd write a post about that. I'd also like to mention my dad, who is no longer with us, and my grandfather who left us even earlier, but I think I'll save that for Father's Day even if it makes me sad thinking about all those who are no longer with us.

So, today I'd like to remember and thank all the wonderful women in my family who are mostly no longer with us. Some were mothers, some wanted to be but weren't.

Thank you aunt G, who was such a wonderful aunt and who had a fascinating and varied life, despite claims to the contrary. Thank you great-aunts S, M, M, A and the two E:s, for being such kind and thoughtful aunts. I'd also like to mention 'aunt' E (another E) who I never got to meet, but who according to my mom was a really funny, cheerful and inspiring woman, despite a very difficult life.

 

Then there's my maternal grandmother S, who I resemble a lot. I can still hear your voice in my head and I know what you would have thought or said about all kinds of things in every day life.

Also, my mom who is still alive and well and living with us. You were a wonderful mom when my sister and I were children. We've all had a difficult life and you may be a touch grumpy and harsh these days, but I can understand why.

I'd also like to thank my sister G who is not a mother yet, but hopefully will be soon. You're my best friend and my role model. I admire you so much. This family would be nothing without you.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/179881.html
OT: My shadow and my new handbag

Yesterday, my sister and went shopping for groceries. It was relatively hot, things worked out fine and I was more or less content with the little outing. However, lately I've begun to whine a lot about having put on so much weight - rather unexplainedly, I think. It's occurred to me that it might be a side effect of my medication against high blood pressure, that I got from being pregnant. I'm not sure about that, but it might be an explanation. In any case, I'm pretty unhappy about looking the way I look. For instance, I've had to put away most of my clothes and had to try and get new ones (not quite successfully, at least yet). Anyway, to cut to the chase, I decided to take a photo of my shadow, or at least part of it because it seems to be better looking than I am.

 

 

I've also started using my new handbag. It's pretty big and not my usual style (I'm not really a handbag person, to be honest). I've just been thinking I should develop my Moomin Mama traits. :) I'm going to be carrying around more stuff, that maybe my children will need (other than the contents of of the changing bag).

 

 

 

What do you think? Is it too big for me? I thought it would be difficult to carry it,

without a shoulder strap, but it wasn't. 

 

Silly trivial stuff, I know. Just ignore this post if you think it's boring.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/179651.html
Warning: grumpy post

Apparently, The Eurovision Song Contest is over. I say apparently, since I don't keep up with these things. Usually, my mom does, for some weird reason, but this time she only watched some of it and mercifully spared my sister and me the whole house shaking ear drum breaking noise attack. Do I sound negative? Sorry. I'm having a bad day.

When my sister and I got curious, after the fact, as it were, about why many people were unhappy about the song that won, we decided to listen to a minute or so of each of the top ten songs. So we did, and I quickly realized that while the winning song definitely wasn't my thing, I could tell that it actually was a good quality song. The others were meh at best. To me, that is. I'm not judging the people who liked the others.

All this is just a prelude to what I really wanted to say.

I feel out of touch with the world. And considering the way the world is going, that's fine with me. But it does make me feel like some weird freak. I hate the music most people like. I hate most tv series and movies released these days. I hate the aggressive marketing strategies that most people seem to take in their stride. It makes me sound like some grumpy old 100-year-old and I hate that too. LOL.

So - what did I want to say? I'm not sure. Maybe that I want to take my family and find some out of the way place and at least be safe, if not happy. And dive into books and (probably old) movies and tv series and forget about the rest of the world.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org
OT: My ancestry - again

Reading the results of the DNA test has made me consider my identity. Before we had the results, we assumed we were more or less 100 % Scandinavian, but it turns out we actually have about 10 % less Scandinavian ancestry than the average Swede. It's certainly given me food for thought.

We've always been different and considered different by others, but is this the explanation? That we're partly Irish (and Iberian)? Because being partly Karelian and Wallonian is no different than most people here.

All this has made me wonder what actually makes us who we are and if this new knowledge in some way influences what I consider 'home' or where I'm going in life. Has our family been shaped by our 'exotic' DNA?

My conclusion, that is by no means final, is that while it's fascinating to find out more about our past, it's not where we come from that matters, it's where we belong - and that's a whole different question. In short, this hasn't helped me decide what to do with my life, but it's been a lot of fun.

If you're the least bit interested in your family history or indeed any kind of history, I can really recommend taking this sort of test.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/179131.html
OT: Our Ancestry!

The genealogical DNA test results have come! I had no idea they sent these things on a Sunday, but apparently they do.

Unfortunately, most of our relatives don't seem to be doing any research so today we've only found a few people that we're related to.

What we did learn was our genetic origin.

Just like we already knew, we're mostly Scandinavian (Swedish and Norwegian - 82 %). Surprisingly, we are also 9 % Irish, 3 % Finnish/Karelian, 3 % Western Europe (most likely France or Wallonia), 2 % Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese - I'm keeping my fingers crossed it's the latter, since I have a really good friend who's Brazilian, with mainly Portuguese ancestry) and 1 % Britain (England, Scotland, Wales). This is so fascinating. We'll probably never find any relatives from Ireland etc, living today, but just knowing about this part of our ancestry is so thought provoking. Apart from our Scandinavian ancestry, the Irish ancestry has the highest probability, but clearly there's something else as well.

I really hope we'll be able to find out more. When more people join the genealogy site (and possibly some others that use the same DNA tests), we might actually get to know people who are related to us. Maybe we'll even solve the great mystery of our family tree - 'who is my dad's real mother'?

 

Origin

Quiz: Which Brontë Sister Are You?

You got Emily!

 

You′re just like Emily! Quiet and courageous, you don′t really want to stand in the spotlight, you rather just have your work speak for you. Even though other people may not be your thing, you love your family -- and animals! Maybe you′re a little mysterious, but isn′t it fun to keep people guessing?

 

Emily Brontë

 

Wow. This sounds exactly like me. Amazing. I haven't read anything by the Brontës but I do have several books by them downloaded to my Kindle and I'm looking forward to reading them.

Source: http://www.bookstr.com/article/quiz-which-bront-sister-are-you