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text 2020-01-22 10:23
When it rains it ... hails + Bookshelf-fairy update

So far, I'm giving the side-eye to 2020.


The good news is, I've been reading; re-reads, so the TBR isn't dwindling, but progress!


As y'all know, we've had record breaking drought and jaw dropping bushfires down under, but Mother Nature has relented, in her own twisted way, and for the last week or so, we've had rain.  So much rain.  This time last year, our YTD rain was 5mm / .2 inches of rain.  This YTD: 92mm / 3.6in.  For a Florida girl, it doesn't amount to more than an afternoon thunderstorm, but for Melbourne it's a godsend.  Except that the majority of that rain all came in one day - last Sunday - and not before the hail. OMG the hail:


One of the hail stones MT grabbed out of the garden, compared with a quarter.


All of its friends, stoning my garden.


MT and I might be a little odd, but we were at the back door, videoing the icy golf balls falling from the sky, running outside (this was MT - I have my limits) to put boards over the fish ponds and generally oohing and 'holy crap'ing.  When it was over though, MT discovered that our skylight in the bathroom was no more.  Smashed to smithereens by a hail stone or stones unknown.  Less fun, but really, in the grand scheme of things, no more than a drippy, albeit expensive, nuisance.


So, we caledl the insurance company Monday, and they sent someone out to temporarily patch the roof/skylight until the assessor comes out tomorrow.  And, here's the punch line:  he patches the skylight with the orangest tarp you've ever seen resulting in a whole new look for our sea blue bathroom:


Rave? Bordello? Old-school photo developing room?


The glow on a sunny day is so intense it *pulses* out the door into the hall.  It's hilarious.


In Bookshelf news, the hail storm ended up putting paid on our planned progress to cover the next corner of the library, though we did make some headway.  This bookcase, which is really two bookcases stacked:

came out, revealing something we should have remembered - that the bookcases were installed before the room was painted.




Luckily, we still had the paint, and we always have painting supplies, so this was not as big a show-stopper as it could have been, or the hail storm proved to be.  And we did get some temporary shelves up above the fireplace:



Our neighbor is back home tomorrow, and MT has everything setup to get the new rails installed, so maybe we'll be back on track this weekend, though I'm not holding my breath: we have family in town, and my SIL, my niece and I are going to see Cursed Child on Saturday, an all day affair, and Monday MT and I are going hiking for my birthday, which is on Tuesday which is also the first day of the school year and therefore my first day back to work.  Fate can be such a fiend sometimes.

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text 2020-01-15 08:46
*glingleglingle* The bookshelf fairy finally arrived!

So I'm still in the midst of slumpaggedon, but in between constantly hitting refresh over the weekend, checking to see if BookLikes was back up, my attention was consumed by our latest home project, which I've alluded to in my previous 2020 post.


The start of this DIY saga goes back to last May, when MT took possession of what was to become the company's new premises.  It was formally a sushi bar, and the owners left the space abruptly, leaving everything in situ.  The landlord refused to do anything to fit out the space, so MT negotiated with him to do it himself.  This meant we (I) had first pick of salvage, before the contractors came in, and part of the sushi bar was the bar itself.  A huge, solid, hardwood thing of beauty.  The contractors dismantled it for us, and we've been storing it.  Because I had plans ::rubbing hands together::.



It took some time to sort out exactly the way I wanted to do it, and the recent influx of furniture from MT's parents caused a complete re-think, but over the holidays we finally fixed on a plan of action and started ordering the necessary bits. 



Last weekend, MT and our incredibly kind neighbor with the cool woodworking tools started ripping the planks and cutting them down to size.  As you see above, we started on the wall behind the door - that way, if we screwed up it would be easier to hide it.




As you can see, we have high ceilings (14ft), and we're going all the way up.  I've done shallow shelves up top, as I'm planning to put paperbacks up there, and I didn't want the room to feel too top heavy.  We're also going to go all the way around the room, with plans to do the opposite corner this weekend.  We've already started, in fact:


Those planks above the fireplace are temporary so I can get more books off the floor; they'll be replaced with long shelves that span the width of the fireplace.  We just have to wait until the neighbor returns from holiday so we can cut the planks for the next section.


Stay tuned for updates.

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review 2018-09-24 03:32
Book Review for Rough Stuff Untouchables MC, Book 3 by Joanna Blake
Rough Stuff (Untouchables MC #3) - Joanna Blake

Rough Stuff

Untouchables MC, Book 3 
by Joanna Blake
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Reviewed by: Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Arc copy for honest review

Read for Free in KindleUnlimited: Amazon

I’m meant to be alone. I haven’t so much as looked at a woman in years. But one minute alone with her and I’m a wild man. I’m a former marine who rules The Untouchables’ MC with an iron fist. I never lose control. But when I see Kelly at the wedding of one of our own, I can’t get my mind off her. I’m no good for a nice girl like her, but that’s not going to stop me from hunting her down. When her brother gets in the way, I don’t ease up. Not until a killer starts targeting my crew. Our women too. That’s when I make the hardest call I’ve ever made in my life. I leave Kelly alone to protect her. It kills me to do it. She’s so close, but just out of reach. So I watch and I wait. I keep her safe and chase off any men who dare to get close. Only now, the killer is growing more brazen. There’s no keeping her safe unless she’s in my bed, for good.

What an awesome read!The story was hotter the he**!I have to say that I loved the characters from the very beginning Cain and Alpha and Kelly was sweet and charming with a dash of sass just loved them.

The story was infused with suspense, humor and a cast of great characters that kept us clued to the pages from beginning to end.

I always pick a favorite character and although it was hard I am picking Cain.Cain from the beginning had me half in love with him wright from that searing kiss he gave Kelly without even knowing her yet.The spark and the sizzle between these two was amazing and their chemistry off the charts.Cain was a character that screamed "Danger Beware" but, underneath it all he had a romantic side to him that I loved.This was a man who took what he wanted and OMG! when he did things heated up mighty quickly but, Kelly wasn't going down without a fight and she was super cute and funny with her antic's until she did.

I love a story like this when its a instant attraction been both parties but, with a killer on the loose one needs to do what they need to do to protect what is their's and Kelly was Cain's from the moment they met even if she didn't know it!

Kelly was a character that surprised me the most as she was so sweet and kind and had a sense of humor but underneath it all she was a she-cat with claws and had a naughty kinky side to her as well that lurked between all that sweetness. Laughing out loud....

The sex scene's just kept getting hotter as the story unfolded but,from the very beginning these opposites were destined to be together even if the journey was delayed a bit.The love between them clearly visible to all and just what Cain needed to soften that intense and dangerous part of his personality.

I loved the story from beginning to end.I will say that although the story doesn't leave on a cliff hanger the story within the story is a continuing one.

This is only my second book by this author but, I am looking forward to catching up on this series and reading her other works as I enjoyed this current story immensely.

Recommended read to all! 

From us....

About Joanna Blake

Joanna Blake loves good old fashioned romance, men who open doors and work with their hands. Hot Blooded Heroes is a series of sizzling stories about True Blue American men and the women who love them.
 Follow us here !

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text 2018-06-25 05:27
Owning books vs ebooks: New study

I've been participating in Portable Magic's discussion, which is tangentially related to reading ebooks vs. physical books, and at the same time tidying up some author records (which I found needed attention while reading URL Phantomhive's review).  One of the authors has a blog about bookshelves, which of course, I need in my life, and I stumbled on his post here, which seemed worth sharing with all of you, out of general interest. The original study is here.  But the TL;DR takeaways were:


  • Participants across all age groups reported feeling a constricted sense of ownership of digital books versus physical books, based on the fact that they don't have full control over the products. For example, they expressed frustration that they often could not copy a digital file to multiple devices. Along similar lines, many study participants lamented restrictions on sharing e-books with friends, or gifting or selling the books, saying this made e-books feel less valuable as possessions than physical books.


  • Participants described being more emotionally attached to physical books, and said they use physical books to establish a sense of self and belonging. Participants across age groups frequently spoke about their nostalgia for certain childhood books. They also talked about experiencing physical books through multiple senses — describing, for example, the sound, smell and tactile experience of opening a new book, and the ability to highlight or write notes on paper pages. Participants also said they use their physical book collections to express their identity to others who might be perusing their shelves. E-books did not have these associations.


  • Minimalists expressed a preference for digital books because they take up less physical space.


  • Many participants said the e-book experience feels more like renting than buying.


  • While almost everyone expressed strong attachment to physical books, and no one embraced a fully digital reading experience, older consumers, contrary to what one might expect, saw more advantages than younger consumers to reading with an e-reader. They referenced physical benefits that might not be as relevant to younger consumers, such as the lightweight nature of e-readers and the ability to zoom in on text.


  • "Helm emphasized that both physical and digital books have their place. "There are just really different values or benefits that we get out of them," she said."

(Emphasis belongs to the article - not mine.)  


My skepticism always goes on high alert whenever a study is done via focus groups; to my mind a study should rigidly adhere to the scientific method, even when I know it's impossible.  Still, the takeaways verbalised a lot of why I prefer physical books over ebooks.

Source: uanews.arizona.edu/story/why-your-ebook-might-not-feel-yours
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review 2018-03-18 22:45
The Stuff of Legend, Book 2: The Jungle - Mike Raicht,Brian Smith,Charles Paul Wilson III


  For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is a great continuation of the series. I liked this one a little bit more than the first book because I feel like it covers more ground and you learn more about the characters. I enjoyed the first book, but it kind of dragged at points with the whole Hopscotch pit stop. This one felt more continuous. There were still stops along the way, but they felt more relevant to the overall story. 

Great story. Can't wait to keep reading.
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