Sunday Post #12

Posted 17th December 2017 by Wattle in Blog Hops & Memes / 17 Comments

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer. Itโ€™s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

This week has been a struggle. I went to a funeral yesterday (Saturday); it wasn’t for someone I knew personally, but the husband of a colleague. And it was rough. Fuck cancer, is all I have to say.

The one good thing that did happen (for me) was my favourite show came back. It’s the little things, and The Librarians really does take me to a happy place.

Aside from that, the weather cannot make up its mind and it’s giving me a headache. I wish it’d pick one setting and stick to it! We’re going from normal summer days to storms and rain and winter temperatures, it’s weird. I had a nap this afternoon (uh, Saturday, I wrote this in the evening oops) just to get away from my headache ๐Ÿ™

CURRENTLY READING
(All book covers in this post will take you to their respective Goodreads pages).

YES! I finished the Case Histories audiobook!!! Finally!

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOG

Sunday Post #11
The Christmas Book Bloggers Tag

NEXT WEEK ON THE BLOG

No idea at this stage, though I do need to post my COYER stuff. I’ll probably be pretty quiet, have a busy week ahead at work; and then there’s Christmas ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

NEW ON MY SHELVES

Bought:

Borrowed:

For Review:

None!

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The Christmas Book Bloggers Tag – 2017

Posted 12th December 2017 by Wattle in Whimsical Nature / 8 Comments

Created by Trish @ Between My Lines, a Christmassy tag so we can have all the Christmassy book chat! Join in the fun here! #ChristmasBookBloggersTag

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SCENE IN A BOOK?
Harry Potter’s first Christmas at Hogwarts, when he wakes up and has presents! It always gives me the warm fuzzies, that one ♥

DO YOU HAVE ANY CHRISTMAS BOOK TRADITIONS?
No. Maybe I should start one though *ponders* read a Christmassy book on Christmas Day (or Eve?) We don’t really have many Christmas traditions (one of them is food related, coming up below!) Dad always watches the cricket on Boxing Day though *sigh* I’m so sick of cricket and it’s only December ๐Ÿ™

DO YOU PREFER TO GET PRESENTS OF BOOK VOUCHERS OR BOOKS?
Vouchers. 100%. I don’t even know what’s on my shelves, if anyone buys me a book (that isn’t on my Amazon wishlist) I cringe inside – which is awful, yes. But I’ve received a number of duplicates despite everyone’s best intentions. Play it safe. Vouchers!

DO YOU GIVE BOOKS AS PRESENTS?
Only if someone wants something specific, or has given me a list as a guide. Or I know they don’t have it and they need it. This year my theme is actually colouring books haha I went for cheesy ones that I hope people will enjoy, it’s the thought that counts ๐Ÿ˜‰

WHAT BOOKISH ITEM IS ON YOUR CHRISTMAS WISHLIST?
Since Amazon AU doesn’t have vouchers yet (WHY?!) I shall settle for Dymocks or Booktopia vouchers instead! But really I’m expecting nothing bookish at all (I’m too good at acquiring things all on my own!)

WHAT 3 BOOKS WOULD YOU LOVE SANTA TO HAVE IN HIS SACK FOR YOU?

FAKE CHRISTMAS TREE OR REAL CHRISTMAS TREE?
I’ve had a real Christmas tree exactly once, when I was a kid (around 4 years old I think). I remember the smell. And the mess. When I had my first winter Christmas in Boston there was a real tree involved (not *my* tree, so it doesn’t count). They still smell great, but we just don’t have the same resources here (tree collection afterwards, being one thing). Also, I dislike the idea of cutting down trees for Christmas. We had a plastic one (still have it, somewhere) but the cats try to eat it, so now we have a metal one. I call it the glorified hat stand:

WHATโ€™S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT CHRISTMAS?
All the food. I would say family, but it’s just me and my parents. So I’m going to say not having to go to work haha it’s the little things.

WHAT CHRISTMAS BOOK WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?
It’s a kid’s book. I still have my copy somewhere, I loved all the pop ups!

WHAT DISH ON YOUR CHRISTMAS MENU ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
My mother’s ice cream. We rarely have it outside of Christmas (if we do, it’s a very special occasion…I think it’s happened once in the past 15 years!) It’s 6 layers, 2 each of strawberry, vanilla and coffee (with walnuts). All homemade, all delicious. She even does it all by hand (and won’t let me introduce her to my ice cream machine). I’m lazy, I couldn’t deal with the stirring at regular time intervals.

WHEN DO YOU OPEN YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS?
On Christmas morning. Used to be when I got up as a kid (early). Now it’s when one of my parents decides to drag me out of bed (I really enjoy sleep).

WHATโ€™S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?
This has actually been my ringtone for about a decade now haha *ahem*

But if you want traditional:

ARE YOU DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS?
Yes, but I’m not going to get it. Because summer ๐Ÿ™

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Sunday Post #11

Posted 10th December 2017 by Wattle in Blog Hops & Memes / 46 Comments

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer. Itโ€™s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I was so distracted this week, but not by anything in particular (except for Friday night, because Psych: The Movie and The Grand Tour had to be watched ๐Ÿ˜† ) My Kobo arrived on Monday, I like it, but the screen resolution isn’t the best (not a shock I suppose, since I got the cheapest one). The screen does feel more responsive than my Kindle Paperwhite; but I imagine that’s due to age. This week I also got new glasses (which brought a major headache for a couple of days, I forgot how awful new prescriptions are).

CURRENTLY READING
(All book covers in this post will take you to their respective Goodreads pages).

Still listening to the audio…except not really, because I’ve not actually put it on to listen to for a few weeks now. Since I only listen to it at work, it’s a bit of an issue (I don’t have that much to go until it’s done!)

And I borrowed my first library book, Ink and Bone (I’ve already grabbed the second one as I should finish it today) ๐Ÿ™‚

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOG

Sunday Post #10
Top 5 Wednesday #1

I’m so bad at blogging lately, I keep hoping the bug to write reviews will bite me ๐Ÿ™

NEXT WEEK ON THE BLOG

I have intentions to do The Christmas Book Bloggers Tag next week ๐Ÿ™‚

NEW ON MY SHELVES

Bought:
Some books I ordered arrived. I also grabbed a couple of advent calendar deals and one pre-order was released!

Borrowed:

For Review:

None!

I hope you all had a wonderful week ๐Ÿ™‚ I am now going to finish returning comments from last week, finally!

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Top 5 Wednesday #1

Posted 6th December 2017 by Wattle in Blog Hops & Memes / 23 Comments

I try not to do a lot of memes (with the exception of The Sunday Post, which is just a nice wrap up of the week). But I thought I’d give Top 5 Wednesday a go. Sometimes I don’t have enough for Top Ten Tuesday (and don’t always like the topics); so I’ll probably do one here and there of whichever take my fancy.

This week the topic is: Bookish Things You’re a Grinch About

1. Bad photoshop covers.
I’m not going to call anything out in particular. But just because someone has just learned to blend layers in photoshop doesn’t mean they should do this ALL THE TIME. Nor should they be ‘blending’ images that don’t match at all. HQ person with a LQ something next to them/behind them? Stop.

2. Use of too many fonts.
This doesn’t seem to happen a lot, but if you’re using more than two fonts you need to have your formatting licence taken away (I’d argue keeping it at ONE font, but I can understand why some like to have different fonts for chapter titles). Also don’t use Comic Sans. Ever. Or Papyrus.

3. Instalove.
Unless Cupid and his arrows are involved. No. (Spells and potions are an exception, I suppose).

4. Covers that don’t match the content.
We’ve all seen it. A cover with a gorgeous person on the front, who you’d just assume is meant to look like the main character. Only to discover the tan brunette with brown eyes on the outside doesn’t look anything like the blonde, pale, blue eyed MC inside.

5. Different sized books in a series.
When a series first starts and the books are those large, beautiful paperbacks that are 21cm tall or whatever it is. And when it ends they’ve lost a few centimetres. YES. I have taken a ruler and measured books before ordering sequels online. YES I will go searching for a larger cover if there’s multiple versions available (but only one available in an actual store that doesn’t match, WHY?!) I’m sometimes not fussed if covers don’t match (depends on how much I love the series) but damned if you’ll mess up my shelf space!

Not that I currently have any space. But, details.

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Sunday Post #10

Posted 3rd December 2017 by Wattle in Blog Hops & Memes / 51 Comments

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer. Itโ€™s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

It’s Saturday night as I write this, and I am super tired so sorry for any typos. I’m not having the best week health wise; the highlight was when one of my specialists called me on Friday night, to tell me I could quadruple the dose of one of my medications ๐Ÿ˜† Hopefully with the increase I’ll be feeling well again (or at least not feeling sick).

I have a Kobo e-reader arriving on Monday so I can borrow books from my local library (which I’ve re-joined). I hope I don’t hate it, Australian libraries do not (or cannot) support Kindles with Overdrive (unlike the USA) and I refuse to read on my phone *sigh*

CURRENTLY READING
(All book covers in this post will take you to their respective Goodreads pages).

It’s taking me an embarrassingly long time to get through this audiobook (and it’s really short!) And I’ve not felt up to reading anything else ๐Ÿ™

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOG

Sunday Post #9
Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok
Challenge sign up: COYER Winter Switch

NEXT WEEK ON THE BLOG

With any luck, actual book reviews! And perhaps another movie review. We shall see.

NEW ON MY SHELVES

Bought:

A freebie at the time of purchase ๐Ÿ™‚

For Review:

None!

I hope you all had a wonderful week!

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COYER Winter Switch – 2017/2018

Posted 29th November 2017 by Wattle in Challenges / 10 Comments

Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge hosted by Berls @ Fantasy Is More Fun, Michelle @ Because Reading and Stormi @ Book, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!

I’ve never done COYER before, but have seen it around the blogosphere over the years. And this time I’ve decided to take part, but not regular COYER, I am going to be doing COYER Switch!

COYER Switch has 3 components: The Strict, The List, and The One with the Twist. There will be three phases, one for each component (in the order you choose):

  • December 16 โ€“ January 12
  • January 13 โ€“ February 9
  • February 10 โ€“ March 9

 
The Strict
Regular COYER.
Every book you read must be an eBook or audiobook.
Every book must be either free or less than $5.
No library books, borrowed books, or Kindle Unlimited.

The List
Make a list of up to 30 books you want to read.
Every book on the list must be in your possession BEFORE you put them on the list.
You can add 5 new books for every 5 books you read.
Books on the list can be any format, any price, obtained any LEGAL way.

The One with the Twist
You can read ANY book. ANY price. Obtained any LEGAL way.
The Twist is, you have to stick with one format (audiobooks, e-books, etc).

You can sign up for the COYER challenge HERE!

I’ve not decided on my goals as yet, but I shall be putting them together in another post in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to it and hope you’ll all join in ๐Ÿ™‚

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Movie Review #2: Thor: Ragnarok

Posted 27th November 2017 by Wattle in Movies & TV / 20 Comments

Title: Thor: Ragnarok
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo
Format Watched: Cinema screening
Rating: ★★★★☆

“Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.”

Source: IMDb

Yes. I chose my favourite poster to represent the film since there’s a few to choose from haha (even if the date is wrong, it was released 26th October here *sigh*)

Now, I have to make it clear; Thor is my favourite Marvel character aside from Captain America/Steve Rogers (though I prefer the Thor movies). Thor: The Dark World was loved by no-one except me and one of my friends, we saw it 3 times in 3 days before I left the USA to fly back home, and then I saw it 2 more times at home (I was carrying out cinema screen quality research!)

Thor: Ragnarok had some rather massive expectations, and it mostly lived up to them for me. I couldn’t give this film 5 stars though, because there’s some things that bothered me.

But first, the good!

  • The colour. I loved how colourful this film is, literally! It fits in with Guardians of the Galaxy in terms of visuals, it’s very pleasing to the eye (or, my eyes).
  • The humour. Hemsworth has great comedic timing that has been wasted in the Marvel ‘verse for the most part. Hiddleston brought more personality to Loki (he’s so smug, I love him lol). Waititi totally stole the movie with his rather amusing cameo though!
  • Jeff Goldblum. I’m pretty sure he was just playing himself for the entire movie, and it was so fun!
  • Cate Blanchett is pretty badass as Hela. I really enjoyed her in this.
  • The plot. Finally, a Thor movie with a cohesive plot (mostly). The story itself worked pretty well, they didn’t try to make it overly dramatic and ridiculous.

 

The bad:

  • Karl Urban’s character didn’t do much, I felt like he didn’t really fit into the film properly.
  • Major spoiler alert (seriously, don’t click this if you haven’t seen it): View Spoiler »
  • Mark Ruffalo. I feel so bad for saying this, because I adore him as Bruce, but while everyone else felt genuine in this boisterous movie, he seemed to overact to keep up? Perhaps comedy doesn’t suit him, unless it’s dry humour.

 

So all in all, an enjoyable film but not my favourite. My top 5, for reference:

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier*
2. Thor: The Dark World
3. Guardians of the Galaxy
4. Ant-Man
5. Thor: Ragnarok/Thor (can’t decide!)

*I know I said I prefer the Thor movies, and I really do as a whole. But TWS is a beast of a film (in comparison, Civil War made me bitchface multiple times). My least fave is Avengers: Age of Ultron which I will be bitter about forever (they should dump it and get Waititi to do a remake! ๐Ÿ˜† )

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Sunday Post #9

Posted 26th November 2017 by Wattle in Blog Hops & Memes / 35 Comments

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer. Itโ€™s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I just saw Murder on the Orient Express with my parents, at a cinema that has just been renovated so all their cinemas have reclining seats. Being short isn’t the best with these, one’s feet don’t touch the floor and the reclining aspect was too far back to be comfortable. I might have to take a pillow next time ๐Ÿ˜†

This week has been unexpectedly busy, so my Thor review didn’t get done as planned. I am aiming for this week (I did say Monday somewhere, but it might be Tuesday. It will happen though!)

CURRENTLY READING
(All book covers in this post will take you to their respective Goodreads pages).

Still listening to this (well, I’ve not touched it for over a week, but whatever), and I’ve not had time to pick anything else up ๐Ÿ™ I’m not really sure what I want to read next.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOG

Sunday Post #8
Book Review: By The Currawong’s Call by Welton B. Marsland. I’m a bit bummed this book seems so niche (m/m and Australian) that not many are enthused by it, but while it has a handful of reviews they’re all good ones ๐Ÿ™‚

NEXT WEEK ON THE BLOG

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (for real this time!)

With any luck there’ll also be a book review, but it’ll be whatever takes my fancy when I get to writing it out.

NEW ON MY SHELVES

Bought:

All the Yasmine Galenorn ones were on sale when I bought them ($1.29 AUD, $0.99 USD).

I also ordered a bunch of historicals last night, as I’ve decided that’s my next genre to try. It’s baffling that the first of many series aren’t available on kindle, so I went for paperbacks instead (which were cheaper than the rest of the series e-books anyway. Weird).

For Review:

None! I consider this a success, now if only I could stop buying books until the end of the year (pre-orders don’t count ๐Ÿ˜› )

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Book Review #16: By The Currawong’s Call by Welton B. Marsland

Posted 22nd November 2017 by Wattle in Books, Reviews / 6 Comments

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review #16: By The Currawong’s Call by Welton B. MarslandBy The Currawong's Call by Welton B. Marsland
Published by Escape Publishing on November 20th 2017
Genres: Australian, Historical, M/M Romance
Pages: 352
Format: E-Book
Source: NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: four-stars
Heat Level: 2.5 Flames

A small town, a new arrival, and a love that is as undeniable as it is unlawful...

Victoria, Australia, 1891

Anglican priest Matthew Ottenshaw receives his first posting in tiny Dinbratten, two daysโ€™ ride from his Melbourne home. Determined to honour his calling as best he can, he throws himself into the footy mad, two-pub town, navigating the dusty streets, learning the gossip, and striking up a friendship with Jonah Parks, the resident police sergeant and local bona fide hero.

A police officer and a priest often find themselves needed at the same place, and Jonah and Matthewโ€™s friendship deepens quickly, as they set about their business of protecting the bodies and souls of Dinbrattenโ€™s residents. When a bushfire threatens the town, and Matthewโ€™s inexperience with fire endangers the church buildings, Jonah comes to the rescue, and a reckless kiss in the midst of the chaos takes their friendship to forbidden.

Neither Matthew nor Jonah can go back to the way things were before, but continuing their relationship puts everything at risk: their jobs, their friends, even their lives. In the outback town of Dinbratten where everyone knows everything about everyone else, how can they ever expect to keep a secret this explosive?

In 1891 homosexuality was illegal, and for much of this story it was a cloud hanging over Matthew and Jonah. Something that could destroy both of their careers and send them to jail. Victoria, where this is set, didn’t legalise it until December 1980 – they were the second state to do so; the last did in 1997…the treatment of men convicted of sodomy is still being dealt with today. Legislation was introduced to parliament just a few weeks ago in my state to expunge historical convictions.

I would just like to remind everyone it’s 2017, and politicians in my country are currently arguing about how discriminatory people are allowed to be to gay people if they choose to get married when it is (finally) legalised, hopefully before Christmas (not holding my breath).

Oops. Tangent. Let me get back on topic.

By The Currawong’s Call is…not something I would have picked to read myself, but I was in such a mood for m/m romance and nothing else jumped out at me. I picked it up on NetGalley a while back thinking ‘I’ll totally read this within the next few months!’ and to my surprise, I actually did!

My favourite thing is probably the setting. I spent the first part of my life in bush suburbia in Victoria, I’ve driven through many a country town in various states. Victoria will always feel like home, I could see it all in my mind. Simple buildings, unsealed roads, dust, trees, kangaroos. Perfect.

For the first half of the book though, I was a wee bit bored. Matthew was fine, Jonah was fine. But I didn’t get their chemistry at ALL. I would have liked to have seen more of what Matthew did as the new local priest, instead we were just told ‘he did X, Y and Z’. The background characters were just that, background and barely rated a mention. I didn’t really feel much life in it.

But as soon as they went to Melbourne? It became so much more interesting! I’m not sure if it was the change of scenery, or the fact they were doing more than hanging out together (though they were still sneaking around), but it’s like everything just jumped off the page and came to life. And I ended up adoring them together ♥

Because of how mixed I felt about it, I had a difficult time rating everything. The pacing was a bit shit at first, but then it just fell into place. Everyone was 2 dimensional, until they weren’t. Hmmm. I gave it 4 stars simply because it left me grinning like an idiot when I finished; and I reckon if I read it again it’d feel like a different book.

And as much as I enjoyed the second half, the epilogue was my favourite bit. I don’t think it’s a spoiler, but I’ll put it behind a spoiler cut anyway: View Spoiler » I do wish we had a bit more of them afterwards though, I would have liked to know what happened.

All in all this was a satisfying read once it got going. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for more by Welton B. Marsland.

Fact of the day: the currawong is an Australian bird that looks like a raven/crow (but a bit smaller, and doesn’t sound like them) and has yellow eyes. I’ve never seen one to my knowledge, but I live out west and they are on the east coast. When I’m over there next I shall keep my eyes peeled!

They sound like this (yes, I got that curious lol)

Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Overall: 3.8

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Sunday Post #8

Posted 19th November 2017 by Wattle in Blog Hops & Memes / 32 Comments

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer. Itโ€™s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I didn’t do one of these last week, but I’m back this week…with an awful lot of books added to my shelves, oops! Though in my defence, it took 6 weeks for half of them to arrive, and then they all came at once ๐Ÿ˜†

And I finally got back to roller derby this week, I hadn’t been for a while due to some health issues; so it was fun to start all over again. I can slow down now (still can’t stop haha) ๐Ÿ˜€

CURRENTLY READING
(All book covers in this post will take you to their respective Goodreads pages).

Yep. Still listening to the audio! I really do need to come up with a better way to listen to my books that isn’t at work, when I’m not focused on something ๐Ÿ™ I’m not reading anything else at the moment, I just finished a book and haven’t decided what to pick up next.

LAST WEEK ON THE BLOG

Well…the last two weeks:

Sunday Post #7
2017 HoHoHo Readathon
Book Review: A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes
Letting The Fangirl Out #1
2017 HoHoHo Readathon Round-Up

NEXT WEEK ON THE BLOG

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok
Book Review: By The Currawong’s Call by Welton B. Marsland

There may be a second book review, but I haven’t quite decided yet (I really should do posts in advance!)

NEW ON MY SHELVES

Bought:

E-books (Southern Spirits and Rescued were freebies):

Paperbacks (the last three are non-fiction). All the cozy mysteries! I’ve discovered a lot of the ones I want to read aren’t available on kindle (and if they are, I’m geoblocked ๐Ÿ™ ) so physical books it is!

For Review:

None!

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