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May 26, 2020

Random lines from page 77

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is 'Opening Lines (Best, favorite, funny, unique, shocking, gripping, lines that grabbed you immediately, etc.)' but I decided to change that a bit. I went through my books  and one by one, I turned to page 77 and pulled out whatever lines I like. I didn't do this with ebooks, sadly, because almost all of them uses locations instead pages which is just weird to me. I picked 77 because I like things in 7. Here are some memorable and wonderful lines I found.

01 |
I heard about a disease people get from vacationing in places so beautiful they are psychologically incapable of handling it. Their intimate contact with pure unadulterated beauty makes them come apart at the seams. This may be such a place. I understand why Zoe wrote 'wish you were here.'
— Postcards From a Dead Girl by Kirk Farber

02 |
You can be betrayed in your sleep. The whole world can tilt while you're dreaming of butterflies.
— The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

03 |
She had never felt sorry for herself; she had only felt tired and cross, because she disliked people and things so much. But now the world seemed to be changing and getting nicer. If no one found out about the secret garden, she should enjoy herself always.
— The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

04 |
A chill ran through us like a gusting breeze, as if we had all realized for the first time why we were here, in the gathering darkness, about to cross into a part of Joya that had been forgotten for a generation. It was unknown, unmapped and home to a murderer.
— The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

05 |
So today when the girl in the lunch canteen had reached out to snatch away Elsa's scarf, Elsa decided to continue the discussion on the girl's own intellectual level. She simply threw her glass of milk at her and ran for it.
— My grandmother sends her regards & apologies by Fredrik Backman, translated from Swedish by Henning Koch

06 |
He climbed over the stone wall. Water hit the hulls of the small boats lined up along the shore. He could hear himself breathing, hear the beats of his heart starting to speed and then slow as he moved away from the beach and entered the settlement. It was as though someone, somewhere, were dreaming this and he had crossed into it without permission. Everything both familiar and foreign.
— Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon

07 |
It was night in the city. We watched the people come and go while we waited at the light: businessmen and office girls, young people and old, all beautifully aglow in the headlights. Enveloped in the silent cold, bundled in sweaters and coats — it was the hour when everyone was headed for someplace warm.
— Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Got any favorite lines or quotes from books?

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, visit That Artsy Reader Girl here.

May 22, 2020

Some Fictional Fun

Cordy at Any Merry Little Thought came up with this 'Would You Rather' questionnaire involving fictional characters that I actually know, most of them anyway. I love answering questions so I thought I join in.

01 | Would you rather be a tenant of Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley?
Mr. Knightley – I think he will be kinder but Mr. Darcy can also be kind but probably a little difficult to negotiate if you catch him in a bad mood.

02 | Would you rather spend a day in the 100 Acre Wood or Neverland?
Neverland but only if I get to be a real kid and not a pretend kid.

03 | Would you rather attend a tea party with the Mad Hatter and company or meet the Wizard of Oz?
The wizard – perhaps he can send me to somewhere more fun.

04 | Would you rather spend a summer at Netherfield with Jane and Mr. Bingley, or at Hamley Hall with Squire Hamley?
The Squire – I think he would let me spend the whole summer in his library and will probably let me wander around his land.

05 | Would you rather be "rescued" by Gilbert Blythe or Colonel Brandon?
It really depends on what type of rescue. Both of them are very capable but I probably would choose Gilbert Blythe but only because I think he and I would have a good laugh afterward.

06 | Would you rather marry Laurie or John Brooke?
I don't like either one of them so no to both.

07 | Would you rather have to participate in a skirmish as a member of Robin Hood's Merry Men, or as a member of the Musketeers?
Robin Hood's Merry Men because I really prefer not to deal with royalties, well, I just think think Merry Men have more fun.

08 | Would you rather have a jolly holiday in a chalk painting or enjoy a tea party on the ceiling with Uncle Albert?
No idea what chalk painting is or who Uncle Albert is (too lazy to look them up) but I've always like tea parties if there is cake involve.

09 | Would you rather have to chaperone, through their entire courting experience, Lydia Bennet or Anne De Bourgh?
I'm pretty sure there would be a lot of work involve with Lydia and yet, it might be a bit boring with Anne but at least, she is probably easier to persuade, so probably Anne.

10 | Would you rather marry Mr. Wickham or Mr. Elton?

Neither, they're both terrible! I think I rather run away and become a maid.

11 | Would you rather spend the rest of your life in Middle Earth (starting from the time of the journey of the ring), or Narnia (starting from the time of the Pevensie's first visit)?
Narnia but mostly I find Middle Earth to be a bit too dark and depressing.

Feel free to answer any of these questions. Visit Cordy for other participants.

May 20, 2020

Why I love books

'the beast's library' - version 2
This week's Top Ten Tuesday is 'Reasons Why I Love [insert your favorite book title, genre, author, etc. here].' I decided to go with 'Reasons why I love books' but perhaps it should be 'How I love books'?

01 | Shop for books — I have always borrowed from the library so to own even just a few books is pure joy.

02 | Write, review, talk, complain about books on my blog — no need to explain this one

03 | Organize books on my (tiny) shelf and a half — I like the idea of having my own library even if it's a tiny one. I don't know about other people but I enjoy re-arranging my books. But I don't alphabetize and don't organize in any way except by height, hardcover/paperback and sometimes by the color of the spines.

04 | Maybe, kind of lend my books out — I'm reluctant to lend my books to people because I just think they would not take care of them as I would. I know books are meant to be read until it falls apart but I really prefer to keep them as clean and in as good condition as possible. I don't read books in bathrooms or kitchens or any overheated rooms or read with wet or dirty hands. I just think if people don't treat books well, I don't see any reason to allow them to borrow my books.

05 | Read books any time and anywhere — well, I really would not recommend reading in the bathroom (see #4 above).

06 | Take my time reading — sometimes I think if you read a book too fast, you don't enjoy it as much  but that's probably my excuse for taking a long time to finish one book.

07 | Learn from books — so maybe sometimes there are things I don't want to know about but that's the risk you take when you open a book.

08 | Travel/go on vacation in books — I don't like to travel so books for me is a form of travel. And there's plenty of lovely places to go besides earth.

09 | Read and re-read favorite books until I get sick of them
— I used to not re-read books but now I do it more often because news books doesn't interest me as much as they used to or maybe my taste have changed and I just don't know it. But I enjoy re-reading books.

10 | Enjoy a break from reality — books are my constant source of calm or at least, distractions from my worries.

May 11, 2020

Seven Things: Back to regular & totally aimless blogging

the quiet heart

01 | I like to say I'll be posting more but that would be lying. When I first started blogging, I posted every day or if not every day, every other day but now it's whenever I have something which means not often at all. I have a few posts that I'm certain will happen but I don't think there will be a lot of them.

02 | If you're using Blogger, have you seen the changes to the dashboard? Do you like them? The new post template is okay but the color choices for text is changed to brighter hues which forces me to change colors using the HTML view; there is no space, well, not a lot of space on the left side, I don't like things so close to the edge; and I also hate that you have to use the stupid arrow at the above left to close a post. Why can't we have a close button? But I do like that they have changed the labels to a list view which is easier to select. I guess I'm too used to the old version that I hate the changes but I'll probably get used to them or at least, accept them after a time. 

03 | Sounds of summer? Someone singing love songs badly outside (or perhaps just regular songs since it was in another language); someone mowing their lawn; fireworks at night now and then for reasons I don't know; constructions sounds; and ice cream music, I don't know the name of the song but it's definitely coming from a moving truck which I'm guessing someone is driving around the neighborhood but I didn't check to see if anyone actually went out and brought an ice cream cone. I guess summer is coming judging by the warmer weather and the sometimes sunny days in between the rainy ones. But the sirens passing by now and then, more frequent these days, somehow makes the coming of summer seems a little less joyful. But then again, I never do enjoy hot weather. I'm actually less productive during the warm seasons.

04 | I've completed the April 2020 A-Z challenge. It ran quicker than usual. I have done this challenge since 2016 (or 2017 I forget which), and I liked it most times. This year, it wasn't as enjoyable but at least, I can say I had finished something last month. I can't say much for the rest of the year and it will probably be days full of numbing desires to do things but I probably won't. My motivation to do anything is very low right now. I'm pretty sure I'll never be as productive as I used to be. Hence, I didn't get much done. But I did edited a few of my stories and started on some artworks but I still have a lot of them that I'm not eager to finish. I'm thinking I'll be working on them for a long time.

05 | I have removed the quote below my blog header. Maybe you have noticed or maybe you didn't. I usually change the quote to suit my mood but right now, there's no quote that can say how panicky or anxiety-filled I am these days so no more quotes. I may bring it back later.

06 | Admit it, some of you don't read everything I posted and I admit my posts are rather long and that's why I bold and color text so people can skip reading the whole thing. I admit that I also sometimes skimmed through blog posts because they are too long. I think bolding and coloring text to highlight your points so readers can enjoy your posts without having to slug through long text is a good idea. I know I sometimes have the attention span of a five-year-old but that's not to say I don't read long posts, it's just that, it depends on the time and my mood.

07 | Books I Read in March & April
I'm more into hoarding books and book samples (mostly ebooks now) then reading them but I had managed to read a few books. If I actually counted, I took 50+ days to read 4 books which is very slow even for me and they were short books.

Phoenix and Ashes (The Elemental Masters Book 3) by Mercedes Lackey
Phoenix and Ashes (The Elemental Masters Book 3) by Mercedes Lackey > link
I don't get why there are so many em dashes instead of periods but perhaps it's because I read the ebook version so perhaps the em dashes makes more sense in print? This is a Cinderella retelling in which the prince is about the same - useless and pretty dull, okay, maybe he's not completely useless and dull though I think he was a bit dumb for someone who is supposed to be smart, especially toward the end.

The ending is happy but it was quick and short and kind of maybe should be a tiny bit more something? I guess that's how it is - when a book is short, I wanted it to be long but when a book is long, I wanted it to be short. This book was short but I wanted a little bit more, especially the ending. Why the author had bothered to make the relationship romantic, I don't know. There just aren't any romance in that relationship. I guess I had some expectation because it's a retelling but at the same, the beginning was so good that the ending doesn't quite suit it. But it's a good read.

Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie > link
My first Agatha Christie book and probably the last. I hated the narrator. Every time the narrator (I don't remember his name) refers to Poirot as a little man, I just feel like he should get hit in the head hard because he sounds so condescending and yet, Poirot just accepts his behavior. He's supposed to be Poirot's friend and yet, he doesn't understand him when he does odd things nor does he have patience for Poirot when Poirot doesn't give him answers. It wasn't a terrible book but it wasn't anything special but at least, I wasn't able to guess who murdered the lady. I honestly just forgot everyone's names as soon as I finished the book. My forgetful brain might be telling me I don't like this book but I thought it was okay, I just didn't like the narrator.

The Boy From Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis
The Boy From Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis > link
This was a wonderful read and I read it quicker than usual which usually means the book had been so good that I kept on reading which doesn't happen a lot these days. But I really like this time travel story, well, it's not time travel because no one goes anywhere, but it does takes place in two time period and the children from the past talks to the children in the future. It was great but still, the ending is a bit short. You kind of expect the ending but I still want a little more to the ending. I almost love this except for the constant switching of Cassie's name to Cass and back again, drives me a little nuts but other than that, it was a compelling story and I wished it was longer.

The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods with illustrations by Anuska Allepuz
The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods with illustrations by Anuska Allepuz > link
This was good but the ending is a bit abrupt. I suppose there really is no solution other than the one chosen. There's a bit of fairytale-like to this book which I dearly like. I love the writing style here. The plot may sound a bit sad but I think that's how it should be. It starts out sad but ends with hope.

What have you been doing in March and April? Or maybe I should ask what are you doing now, in May (which is already quickly passing by)?

May 2, 2020

A-Z 2020 Challenge Reflections

Some thoughts on the A-Z 2020 Challenge.

01 | I think there should a category for people who post random stuff mostly because I'm one of the very few without a theme. I seen to have selected the wrong category when signed up though I swear the author/writing (flash fiction, stories, literature) category was not there when I selected a category. But it probably didn't matter since most of my posts were random with a few fiction thrown in.

And what's with the weird quiz about blog links? I thought it was an error because I keep getting the answer wrong. Why? Because I don't have a website with an address like www.mywebsite.com/blog to my blog. I have a blogspot blog address. If you want people to link directly to their blog, just say so. Quizzes like these drives me mad, even though I should know the answer, somehow, it took a while to get its meaning. Now if you ask for a direct link to my a-z post category link, it would have made more sense.

02 | I guess I was looking forward to fun posts and not much into serious ones because there really aren't many themes that interested me. Such serious subjects which I guess it's right for these days but I really preferred if people try to have fun instead of trying to be serious. I like the ones that ask readers to do some participating like guessing at things but there aren't that many of those.

On a whim, I visit some posts by randomly clicking on links on the Master list during the day of the D post and I happened on several posts about 'Death' which I wouldn't mind any other time but at the moment, it just seems like something I don't really want to read. I guess I wasn't in the mood for serious stuff even if they are meaningful.

03 | Apparently signing up (which means getting on the Master list) is basically unnecessary. Last year, I didn't sign up and my readers are still the same but strangely, I had visited more blogs and left more comments compare to this year. I did visited every link (except for the adult content ones) and checked them all out. But most people quitted before they even start, a few posted the A letter post and then nothing and some, I had to do some searching to find their A-Z posts.

04 | I still think the Master list is a bit pointless. I'm sure it has its use but for me, it's simply one long list of chaos. Who have the time to sort it out? I guess I did because I spent way too much time trying to make the Master list easy to use. I had to save the file and then removed all but the blog name and blog link. I don't even know why we need all those other categories, other than the category/theme. Also I really preferred not to visit any adult content blogs but I still ended up visiting one because that person didn't marked their blog as adult content. I guess I'm a prude but I just think the world is harsh enough that I don't need to add those kind of content into my brain.
a screenshot of the Master list

05 | I actually prefer to visit people using the Theme Reveal list
instead of the Master list because the chances of them posting is higher than those on the Master list. My guess is because those on the Theme list had settled their mind on doing it while those on the Master list have no certainty maybe because they signed up without being certain. I believe that but it have nothing to do with having a theme, more to do with settling on a decision to do something. I didn't have a theme and I wasn't prepared but I was determined to do it. I might have been a bit list-crazy this time but I thought I didn't do so bad. And by the way, there were only 200 participants on the Theme list compare to the Master list of over 500.

06 | I didn't leave that many comments because I find most of what is posted kind of boring. I visited but I didn't have anything to say. I guess I just was not interested. And also, some people's comment systems still bugs me like 'disqus' which I don't have an account for and I've always hated that system because it's not user-friendly to me. And yes, I have tried it a few times before completely quitting on that. Also, the Blogspot/Blogger popup comment system does not make conversations easy because the reply comments are not below the said comment. I don't like that system at all.

07 | I still do not like the colors for the A-Z logo. I guess I'm a color snob or something. The colors are always so bright and too much contrast. This year is not so bad - it's all black, purple, pink and it's a space theme. But I'm more into lighter hues and so I made my own, well, I changed the colors anyway. I don't know about other people but when you have to look at something a lot, I think light hues is better.

08 | It just didn't seem like anyone's having any fun. I tried for posts to involve readers but I guess readers aren't as interested. I think the most fun thing about blogging is when readers choose to play along/participate even if it seems a bit absurd. I probably would list silly, absurd questions/quizzes for all 26 posts if I didn't think that is too much.

09 | I seem to have spent more time creating and writing posts more than usual. I suppose writing up posts the day before or on the same day, is a bit harder. Even when I have an idea, I somehow ended up using a different one. So I think I actually did more work this time around than last year. I think even if I have a whole year to prepare, which I probably did, I still would end up changing whatever idea I had. I'm fickle, I know, but I don't care. If I'm not interested in what I posted, then why would I post it at all?

10 | Toward the end, I sort of gave up writing fiction. I just didn't have the motivation even when I have word suggestions. I guess I just couldn't think clearly this year.

11 | I don't think I'll join in next year. It just didn't seem all that fun anymore. But of course, I might change my mind about participating at the very last minute. But I'll probably not sign up. Frankly, it just didn't seem to make much difference.

My List of A-Z 2020 Posts Links
• Automat (Fiction)
• Bunny Art
• Children of the winds (Fiction)
• Guess the movie title starting with D
• Excuse me while I forget to blog
• Favorite Foreign Films
• Good Book Quotes
• Hot Day (Fiction)
• Ink Blots
• Jolly Wisdoms From the Web
• Kiss A Cloud (Fiction)
• Lazy People Day
• The Magician (Fiction)

• Naked Pictures of Animals
• Oprah Wisdom
• Piggy
• Quick Quiz
• Restaurant (Fiction)
• Sea Watchers (Fiction)
• Tell A Truth or Tell A Lie
• Umbrella
• Very lazy post where I just list things I found
• Watch-A-Lot-of-TV Marathon
• X = Ten
• Yellow
• Zero Times
Check out the A-Z challenge over here.