“I think I’m constantly in a state of adjustment." ― Patti Smith

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December 10, 2019

Books I used to love & Books I used to dislike but now I love

This week's Top Ten Tuesday's prompt is a freebie so I thought I do two short lists: 'Books I used to love but now I only slightly like' and 'Books I used to dislike but now I love.' I like to say I have matured as a reader and that my judgement is better but I can't. I somehow just dislike books for silly reasons but hey, I could do that if I want to because I'm an adult, sort of. My reading taste have changed for reasons I do not  know but I suppose I might have grown out of certain books or authors or simply I just no longer have a desire to love certain books, that could happen right? Anyway, on with the lists:

Books I used to love but now I only slightly like

01 | The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I read this one real fast and it was quite enjoyable but reading it again now, it just seems kind of plain. I actually do not like books set during war time but I did like that death is the narrator so that's really the only reason I was interested in reading this. I still do like this book but I don't love it like I used to.

02 | The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
It was quite a wonderful story when I read it but now it's rather boring. I mean, it's meaningful but at the same, a little forgettable for me.

03 | Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell with illustrations by Terry Fan
I was interested in this book because I am a fan of the illustrator, Terry Fan. When I read this years ago, I really loved it and it was rather cute and I like the characters but now not so much. I suppose the target audience is for a much, much younger audience than me.

04 | The Polar Bear Explorers' Club by Alex Bell and Illustrated by Tomislav Tomic
So I didn't love the whole book, just the first half because it's so much fun but the second half is like they make a sudden detour for no reason and it reminded me too much of the Disney movie (Frozen) but the illustrations are quite lovely. If they had stuck to the main idea of explorers instead of this ice princess story, it could really have been a great book. And this is the first of a series so do expect more of this ice princess story in the next book.

05 | The River King/Second Nature/Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
I used to be, I would not say a big fan but I loved and read almost all of Alice Hoffman's books back then, but now her newer books doesn't appeal to me as much. 'The River King', 'Second Nature', 'Practical Magic' used to be my favorite Hoffman books but now I find I do not like to read them as much. It's rather strange but I don't remember there is this much sex in her books but there are. It was as if my brain had ignored those parts of the books when I was reading them for some odd reason. I still think Hoffman is a great writer but I guess I just don't like her books that much these days.

06 | Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I totally loved this book when I first it read years ago but now it's no longer a favorite. I now find Mr. Rochester a bit unromantic. I think all those tv movies made him sounded so great but he's not. He may be Jane's equal but I think Jane could have done better. It's still an enjoyable book to read but I just don't like it all that much now.

07 | Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
This book is written in letter form and with each letter, the writing gets a bit ridiculous because certain alphabet letters can't be used. I though it was fun when I read it but now it just seems rather silly and not as enjoyable.

Books I used to dislike but now I love

08 | Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
I used to think this was rather ordinary and not much worth reading but now I just love it and it's now my favorite Bronte book. In fact, Anne is my favorite Bronte now instead of Charlotte. I even enjoyed 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall' which I never did before.

09 | The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
So I don't love this book completely but it has become a sort of favorite. I still adore Hoffman's writing and she is such a wonderful writer that her books are always worth reading even if you don't like the story.

10 | Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I didn't like Anne of Green Gables the first time I read it but I loved it upon re-reading a few years later. So much that I read the rest of the seven books and I like those but I have to admit when the focus moved away from Anne, I didn't like it that much but now I do. I almost love all of Montgomery's novels and I read them all except 'Kilmeny of the Orchard' - there is no good edition of that book. The ones I look at has such terrible covers and strange formatting. So that story isn't that great but I still think it deserves a good edition, well, mostly so I can finish my collection
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More Top Ten Tuesday at 'That Artsy Reader Girl' here. 

So what books have you love but don't love as much now? Or what books have you read that you dislike or even hate but now really love?

December 9, 2019

April Gale 25

~ ~  Read previous April Gale here ~ ~

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April Gale 25

April opens her eyes and a strange anticipation runs through her. But she isn't sure why. She looks around her. The little sliver of moonlight between the curtains allows her to view her room just enough to see everything. All is quiet and still. What is it?

A meow rings out. There's no cat in Windy Shadows aside from Howl but she doesn't sound like a cat at all. April gets out of bed and turns on the lantern. The wallpaper at her right looks the same with the tree gone. Everything in her room is the same.

Another meow rings out. It sounds like it's coming from beneath her bed. She lowers to the floor and lifts the sheet. There in the corner is a bundle but she could tell what it is as there is no light reaching beneath the bed. "Come out, little one," April says. She hopes it's something that doesn't bite. "Come on, I'm not going to hurt you."

The little bundle shifts in the semi-darkness but then it stops.

"What have you got there? Spiders?" Winifred sounds almost cheerful.

April looks up at Winifred. "Don't you ever rest?"

"Rest? I am a ghost."

"You're not a ghost! I told you, you're not dead." April wants to shake Winifred to her senses but she would not be able to even touch Winifred at all. Another meow. April turns back to the creature under her bed. "Come out, there's no need to be afraid of the rude lady. She is quite friendly deep, deep, way deep down inside."

"Are you talking about me? Of course, I am friendly. It is other people that are rude."

April doesn't bother to look up. How Winifred's parents can tolerate her, April will never know. She drops the edge of the sheet and sits down on the floor. Winifred lowers down to face April.

"Winifred," April begins and then sighs. She wishes for more patience for Winifred.

"Yes, April dear?" Winifred smiles and it is the first time that April have seen Winifred's teeth. The two in front are larger than the rest, like a rabbit's only Winifred looks more like a snake.

"Winifred, why do you want to die so much?'

December 7, 2019

Seven Things: Buying less books & other things

'the beast's library'
01| I have decided to read ebooks only and maybe a few paper books now and then. I find I like my space to be a little more spare these days. So I got a Kindle Paperwhite. I brought it without the special offers which I thought is a total joke. Shouldn't a buyer be able to purchase something without advertisement without having to pay an extra 45 dollars? But I did brought it on sale so I sort of didn't have to pay for the advertisement but it's still stupid. If it wasn't on sale, I would still pay extra to have the advertisement remove because I know it would drive me mad to see it every time I turn it on. So far my new Kindle turns on so that's good but it seems so much smaller than I thought.

Apparently Kindle Paperwhite does not come in white which is weird. They come in black and a twilight blue which is kind of nice but I couldn't get that one as it wasn't available in the model without advertisement. I could have gotten a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite but you can't get one without the special offers. And it seems refurbished Kindles are one of those hit or miss thing. You either get a really good one or you will spend a lot of time trying to get a replacement. You really do not save much money and also, it's stupid that people are forced to buy something with advertisement. I cannot repeat this stupid issue enough.

02 | The other day, I went to the Manhattan New York Public Library and tried to renew my library card but I didn't succeed. You are supposed to renew your card every 3 years. They want you to renew your card so that they can make fun of how old you're getting. I'm just kidding. They should just make it every 10 years because I don't find myself going to the library often.

So I ask at the information desk where to go and she gave me a direction and a room number. That place is so huge and confusing that I don't even know where the actual books are located. And the security is almost a joke. When you enter, they don't search your bags but when you exit, they search you but when I was there, they just waved a hand, like they don't even want to bother. What they should have done is search bags when people enter because you don't know what people will bring into the library – I'm more worry about that than people stealing and it's a library and it's full of boring stuff, expensive, boring stuff I should say. But I guess they probably thought no one will bring harmful things into the library because everyone's calm and nice when they go to the library. Yeah, everyone becomes angels when they enter libraries.

Anyway, I went through hallways, stairways, more hallways, more stairways, more hallways and then to this certain room with the certain number. So I went up to the desk and make a request to renew my card. He the librarian sitting behind the desk said something about card and ID. I took out my library card and my ID card and this man holds up my library card looking like a emotionless robot and then in a drone voice (well, it sounded like it to me), "This is a Brooklyn card." And I said, "So I can't renew it?" He just stared at me like I should know better. He wasn't rude exactly but he certainly gave me the feeling that I was stupid (Yeah, I pay my taxes for this kind of treatment) and that I didn't know the obvious reason why that is a Brooklyn library card. Like everyone knows you have to renew your library card at the borough branch that you got your card in the first place. I had always renewed in a Brooklyn library so I didn't know. The NYPL website certainly said nothing about it and neither did the Brooklyn website. I really thought all the NYC libraries are on a connected system but nope. They're not that advance. All those expensive remodeling and rebuilding and they didn't make that possible. It's sad because I really don't wan to deal with people like him just to get a library card. I only went there because I was nearby as I had other things to do. I could have apply for a new card but I didn't want to deal with the robot librarian. And I was tired, hot (as they heated the place like a furnace) and I just didn't care anymore. So I left. Lesson learned but I was disappointed and maybe a little angry. I'll probably won't try to renew my card until later on or maybe until I can't afford to buy books anymore.

03 | I almost stepped on dog stuff several times walking the other day (you know what I mean, I refuse to dirty my blog using the p word or the s word). I don't know why the government bother with fines for people who does not pick up after their dogs because no one pay attention to it and I doubt there was anyone that had to pay a fine. Cleaning/picking up after your pet is not about kindness or about common curtesy or even saving shoes, it's about cleanliness. I mean, even if you don't live in that neighborhood, don't you know it will effect you some day? Like perhaps the water that touches that stuff gets into your pipes? Or that someone might step on that stuff and move it around from neighborhood to neighborhood? I now imagine that all dog owners who does not clean after their pets should have people walk into their house with dogs and have them do their business there. And I'm only complaining because this is a constant problem in my neighborhood. I'm not asking people to follow rules but can we be a little cleaner?

04 | I am going to finish writing April Gale but I don't think I'll be able to finish this year as I thought. But even when I'm finish with it, it still needs editing. I have posted the parts on this blog without much editing. For some odd reason, when it comes to editing anything I write, I become restless and unable to do more than a few paragraphs at a time. I don't know what it is but I suppose it is one of the challenges of writing that I have to get through.

05| I'll be closing up my society6 shop probably at the end of December. Technically, I would just unpublish/delete posts and that's that. (I won't delete my account yet.) I really see no reason to keep it up. I think when you have a shop, even a virtual one, you should have some new product now and then and since I have not been creating new art, I haven't been able to update. And I haven't been doing promoting or even promoting those sales event which seems a bit of joke because they have sales every other week. Honestly, I just can't deal with the promotion part.

06 | On a happier note, I don't owe anyone money, okay, maybe the credit card company but I'll probably keep owing them because I do have expenses. I don't use cash much these days. I think there was some study that says you spend more using credit cards than when you use cash and I totally agreed because you don't count how much money have you have left on a credit card verses when you have cash that you can physically count so you keep spending and you assume can afford to spend more. But as not every place takes credit cards so I still keep cash around.

07 | I don't want to be a minimalist but I really hate clutter. I now find myself choosing not to purchase unnecessary things. Some of the things I no longer purchase are: CDs (I purchase digital versions if I really like them); DVDs (I can rent most movies or subscribe to services for tv shows); clothes (only when I need a replacement); accessories like scarves, hats, shoes, handbags; jewelry (I was never into wearing them anyway so it's not a problem giving them up altogether); box tissue (I use handkerchieves and occasionally toilet paper if I'm desperate), blank notebooks, pens, pencils; gadgets like mp3 players, cameras (I don't trade them in for new ones anyway); those movies/tv shows/books tie-in products/merchandises; paper books (well, not as much as before, this is why I brought the Kindle); wigs (just kidding but if I didn't need hair to keep my head warm, I would probably shave my hair off and stop buying shampoo); seriously, I'm just trying to buy less of everything.

How is your December going?