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review 2018-07-02 21:58
4.5 Out of 5 "world gone dry" STARS
Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis



Not A Drop To Drink

Mindy McGinnis



Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 


Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty or doesn't leave at all.


Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.


But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….


With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.






I've seen this book many times while looking for something else to add to TBR, and I've skipped over it.  I think that was due to the fact that it centered around a shortage of water.  Maybe, I find that premise too likely to happen in actual life.  Anyway, this fits a reading challenge I had going on, so I was like…WTH might as well try it out.  So happy that I did…because Not A Drop To Drink is a very well done dystopian.  There are 4 reasons I believe this to be true…

  • Despite being the first book in a duo, the ending of this has closure. 
  • The narration was subdued but excellent. 
  • The romance is only a splash and sweetly done. 
  • The world-building and explanation for how the world became this way, was impressively done. 


Overall, I should've read it long ago, because I really liked it.











Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4.3/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.8/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.3/5 Cliffhanger~ Not really, but there is a second book.


Book Cover~ It's stunning

Narration~ 5 by Cassandra Campbell was fantastic!  A new favorite.

Series~ Not A Drop to Drink #1

Setting~ I'm not sure, near Lake Erie…maybe

Source~ Audiobook (Library)



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text 2018-06-16 16:25
Relevant to the Baghdad Buddy Read!
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie

A reminder about the buddy read planned for next week! The drinking and reading commences on 6/24/18!


And, on another note, a new Agatha Christie television adaptation has been announced - They Came To Baghdad! Link to article.

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text 2018-06-11 11:40
How can police spot a drink driver?

Individuals may believe that they can conceal their drink driving from the police and general public. However, the police are highly skilled and experienced individuals with a level of intuition that allows them to spot drink drivers.

Manner of driving
People who have been drink driving operate their car very differently to someone who is sober. Some tell-tale signs include driving the car from side to side, driving in and out of white lines and ignoring signals such as red traffic lights. Drunk drivers may also drive over two lanes or simply drive in the centre of the road.

Committing other offences

It is only possible for police officers to breathalyse an individual if they have committed another offence. E.g. having a break light out or speeding. Regardless of if the police believe the individual was over the limit, they have full right to breathalyse the individual.

Questioning the driver
The police officer can question the driver by simply asking whether then have been drinking within the past 24 hours. And in some cases, the likelihood of the driver responding ‘yes’ can be quite high. For example, if it has happened over the weekend. If someone answers yes to this question, the officer is completely obliged to pull out the breathalyser and test the individual.


There is no doubt that intoxicated drivers have a heightened feeling of confidence. This can make them drive over the speed limit. In contrast however, drivers that are driving too slowly can indicate that they are avoiding being caught.

Poorly maintained vehicle

Chances are that if an individual has decided to drive after drinking, they are unlikely to be bothered about what condition their vehicle is in. Police say that many people who drink drive have an accompanying issue with their vehicle. E.g. body damage, lights not working or badly worn tyres. 

Misty windows

Often, individuals that have been drink driving are impatient or so intoxicated that they are unaware that their windows have misted over. And as such, in cold weather when car windows have misted, they are unlikely to fully wipe the glass. Such a phenomenon is known as ‘letterbox windows’.

Lights not working

People that have had a drink, then drive, sometimes forget to put their headlights on. This is because the daylight lamps are already running. And when someone is intoxicated, they may believe that these are the main headlamps. Believing that the may be already on. Intoxicated drivers may also be confused and as such may operate the fog lights instead of regular headlamps. Even when it isn’t foggy.

Erratic breaking and accelerating

Drunk drivers may not have full control over the accelerator or break, operating it in a jerky or erratic manner. They may also be unable to effectively judge distances between vehicles, causing them to break suddenly. As a result, tailgating, or driving too close to unknown objects is also common.

Sudden or illegal turning

As already mentioned, drink driving can cause erratic and unexplained behaviour. And when someone is under the influence, they are less likely to be aware of the rules of the road. Meaning that the actions they take are impaired and dangerous.

Turning in a wide manner
People that have been drinking then driving will have poorer control of the steering. As a result, when they attempt to turn with the steering wheel, the turning will appear wide, as opposed to a sober person who will have better control of the steering wheel.


Drink drivers believe that they can conceal themselves from the police and general public through a range of techniques. In this article, we have outlined techniques drink drivers use to try and disguise their drink driving. These can include:
Driving in an erratic manner
Committing another driving offence
Poorly maintained vehicle
Misty windows
Lights not working properly
Braking and accelerating
Sudden or illegal turning
Turning in a wide manner
It is important to note that no matter how much a drink driver attempts to conceal their impaired driving, the police are highly skilled and experienced with intuition that tells them that something is wrong.

Are you worried that you, a friend or family member are at risk of a drink driving offence in the future?

The only way that you can be sure that you are safe to drive after drinking is through the use of a breathalyser. Thankfully, on the DrinkAndDriveSafe website, we stock a range of breathalysers. From basic, budget, disposable models right through to advanced, reusable, digital breathalysers. And if you are a business, we can also stock these at larger quantities. Contact us to find out more. We are always keen to work with local businesses who can help spread the DrinkDriveSafe message. If this sounds like you, do feel free submit your email address and we will be in touch. We look forward to receiving your enquiry.

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text 2018-06-03 23:57
Fantasy Flights June Meeting - Urban Fantasy
Shadowshaper - Daniel José Older
Owl and the Japanese Circus - Kristi Charish
Zero Sum Game (Russell's Attic) (Volume 1) - SL Huang
Drink, Slay, Love - Sarah Beth Durst
Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes

The librarian usually sends out links for each months topic. This month, her links include an article titled something like "what is urban fantasy" that only says it's a marketing category and a list of "where to start" that has more male authors than female authors. I, just, I don't know, ya'll. If I were introducing someone to UF, I'd probably talk about the use of noir tropes in contemporary fantasy settings, broken vs unbroken masquerades, and Carrie Vaughn's theory, "these books are symptomatic of an anxiety about women and power." But, sure, here's a dude saying it's meaningless marketing and a list of mostly dudes to read.


The other big UF reader in the group is going to be out of town for this one, so I'm trying to psych myself up to deal with a room full of guys all talking about Harry Fucking Dresden. 


I'm also bounding myself by recommending in-progress series or stand alone books. A few months back, one of the members asked for recommendations for completed UF series that weren't PNR, and I want to avoid repeats. Okay, he didn't say PNR, he asked for books that weren't all about vampire sex. So at least one person may have some non-Dresden. . . take a deep breathe, Saturdays, you don't want to start another fight in book club.


Whatever. I love this genre. 


Shadowshaper - Daniel José Older. So far this series has 2 novels and 3 novellas and is dynamite. The protagonist is an artist who discovers her legacy includes channeling spirits into physical forms. She makes her graffiti come alive. Yeah, that's right, I talk all that shit and then start off with a book by a man.


Owl and the Japanese Circus - Kristi Charish. Action packed with an unlikable heroine, this series follows an antiquities thief and her vampire hunting cat through endless poor decisions and explosions. I adore that she isn't good with weapons and doesn't have powerful magic abilities. I just recently finished the 4th installment, and the heroine is consistently a train wreck.


Zero Sum Game (Russell's Attic) (Volume 1) - SL Huang. Fast paced, plenty of violence, and her magic power is being really good at math. Do I need to go on? 


Drink, Slay, Love - Sarah Beth Durst. A teenage vampire gets stabbed by a unicorn and finds herself able to go out in daylight. Her family decides to enroll her in high school so she can lure teens back to the rest of the bloodsuckers. This is a lighthearted, almost rom-com book that is exactly as much fun as my first sentence indicates.


Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes. The protagonists are all human in this not-quite police procedural where strange murders point toward incomprehensible motives.


 And I think I'll stop there. I really want to add about 10 more books. We'll see where the night leads.

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text 2018-05-29 05:25
Using virtual reality to warn others of the dangers of drink driving

There are many occasions where individuals could drink, then drive. These are unlimited. But in general, include:

  • Sports events
  • Hen and stag dos
  • Staff leaving parties
  • Graduations
  • Weddings 
  • Festivals

Although incredibly easy to jump into a vehicle after drinking. Many people do not consider the amount of alcohol they have consumed. Such a relaxed attitude can be very dangerous. As although someone may feel that after one pint of beer, they should be OK to drive. This is not necessarily true. Because there are several factors which affect how our body processes alcohol. Specifically, everyone is different. And factors such as height & weight affect how quickly alcohol is absorbed into our blood stream.

There is only one sure-fire way to make sure you are within the legal limit after drinking. And that is by using a breathalyser. Which is why DrinkAndDriveSafe stock a range of breathalysers. However, we believe that education regarding the dangers of drink driving, is an effective way to prevent it all together. One such way that this can be achieved is by using virtual reality videos. To simulate a crash induced by drink driving.

What can I expect from viewing a VR video of a drink driving crash?

One such experience has been crafted by alcohol maker Diageo. It displays a crash between three cars. Viewable via a 360 degree VR headset. A number of different people are featured.

It begins where the lady celebrating a career change, takes over one of the cars.

The video has been published through a number of platforms. Such as YouTube 360. In order to achieve widespread viewing, it is compatible with a number of VR headsets.

The simulation can be taken a step further. It can be combined with a D-Box chair. This ensures the viewer experiences some impact. By feeling vibration as the car becomes out of control.

The videos have been viewed by a number of critics. The development of the VR experience has prompted mixed feedback.

Cadd (The Campaign against Drinking and Driving) is an independent UK charity. Carole Whittingham works for Cadd. She agrees that the app is useful to show the risks. She feels that anything making people stop & think about the dangers of drink driving is good. However, she questions it’s effectiveness for a UK audience. And feels the VR experience ‘could have been furthered’.

Drink Driver Education Plus provides training & advice on drink driving. It believes that the video relied on ‘scare tactics’ to inform people.

Dr Lucia Valmaggia is head of the Virtual Reality Lab at Kings College London. She believes that VR is an effective way to create responses similar to those in real life. She believes that the video is immersive in 3D. This is also believed by Dr Ashley Conway. She is a psychologist who treats phobias using VR. She believes that emotions will be evoked more easily. Such as sweating, faster heart rate & more fearful feeling.

Overall, is VR an effective way to discourage people from drink driving?

As discussed, there are many opportunities where people might drive after drinking. Some people have a relaxed attitude to drinking. Not considering the impact of what they have consumed. Everyone processes alcohol at different speeds. The only way to determine if you are in the legal limit is by using a breathalyser. At DrinkAndDriveSafe, a number of breathalysers are stocked through our site. However, education about the effects of drink driving is vitally important. One particularly effective way to encourage safe driving is the use of VR videos. Such techniques have been evaluated by industry experts. And have promoted both positive & negative feedback.

Overall, experts agree that VR is an effective way to inform people about drink driving risks. And furthermore, help people experience some of the potential impacts. Which could evoke more emotion in people. Such as feeling fearful, faster heartbeat and sweating. In contrast, other critics have said that they question its effectiveness for a UK audience. And feel that not all aspects of VR have been effectively utilised. Moreover, some experts believe that the experience has heavily relied on ‘scare tactics’. In summary, it would appear that to an extent, VR can be effective for informing people of the dangers of drink driving. However, for it to be fully immersive, improvements can be made. e.g. tailoring it for a UK audience. And better utilising other facets of VR technology.

Are you a business that sells alcohol? Are you keen to encourage others to drive safely after drinking?

At DrinkAndDriveSafe, our philosophy is to encourage everyone to drink and drive safe. And we achieve this by working with organisations to help spread our message. Are you interested in becoming a provider? Click here to submit your e-mail address. We will be in touch as soon as possible. Alternatively, would you like to stock breathalysers for your customers? Click here to submit your e-mail address. We will be in touch ASAP.


Source: drinkanddrivesafe.co.uk
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