Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Book Cave Feedback Request!

 

I'm taking a mid year look at what is on the blog and what I can do to improve things. What I'm looking to do is find out which features you like in my regular posts and which posts you don't generally look at for whatever reasons. I'd appreciate it if you could give your opinions on the questions below, in the comments section. Thanks!

1) Book Reviews 
-How many book reviews do you prefer to see in a week on a blog?
-Would you prefer to see a different genre on each review posted in a week? 
  ie one apocalypse, one UF, one horror?
-Do you prefer full series reviews spaced out over weeks or one after the other?
-Favourite genre being reviewed on this blog?

2) Chuckles Chat
Which kind of topics do you prefer for these posts? Which would you comment on or avoid? Do you have any topic suggestions you would like to see featured? 

3) What are your favourite posts on the blog?

4) Which posts don't you usually look at? (you can say why if you want!)

5) Anything you'd like to see more of each week?

6) What do you like on other blogs that you don't see at the Book Cave? 


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!  http://www.brokeandbookish.com/   

TTT is still on hiatus so here is part 4 of my Best Urban Fantasy Series. 


1) Christina Henry-Black Wings 
Maddy is an Angel of Death who escorts souls to the afterlife who is about to face off against a demon that eats souls before she can reach them. With a father from Hell (literally), a popcorn eating gargoyle and a new tenant bodyguard, life is going to be far from dull. I loved Beezle the gargoyle! Maddy is a great character and I liked the mix of action and humour, along with the visits to Hell and demon fighting. Need to finish this series.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7832158-black-wings 

2) KA Stewart-Jesse James Dawson
Jesse is a modern day warrior who can be paid to fight for those who endangered their souls in bargains with demons but his fellow warriors seem to be dying a lot more regularly. The rules have changed and Jesse must adapt or die. I liked that the MC is married with a kid which is unusual in the genre. It is a bit slower than the usual UF but it is well written with an interesting plot.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7193686-a-devil-in-the-details 

3) Jennifer Rardin-Jaz Parks
Jaz is a human brought back to life after a traumatic event that killed her team and is paired with vampire Vayl. Now a cult are raising a demon, Vayl's psycho wife is back and a vampire terrorist is planning to release a plague. Allin a days work...I love Jaz and Vayl and root for them to be a couple and I love nerdy paranoid tech geek Miles and witch Cassandra. Great action and humour and flawed heroes.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2439634.Once_Bitten_Twice_Shy


4) David Bussell-The Ghosted 
Jake is an exorcist with a deteriorating marriage, a partner he hates and he has just been pushed under a train and has to deal with being dead. As a ghost he is determined to solve the mystery of his murder and get a bit of payback. I read this short story prequel and really liked it so I'm planning to read the entire series. Jake is a great character and there was plenty of humour which I hope continues.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34532502-deathday 

5) Alex Hughes-Mindspace Investigations
Adam is a telepathic former addict brought in to look into the mind of the five year old witness to a murder, to find the truth. This was a good short story to introduce Adam and Isabella the cop who calls on him. It has an intriguing idea for the MC and his past could be interesting to explore. I've only read the short story but I want to read the main series now.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21402185-rabbit-trick

6) Carrie Vaughn-Kitty Norville 
Kitty is a werewolf DJ who hosts a late night talk show popular with paranormal fans and who has a difficult relationship with her Pack. People are being killed in violent attacks and a werewolf hunter is after her but who hired him? I liked Kitty but I read this book so many years back that I can't remember much about it so I need to reread it before I finish the series.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14461.Kitty_and_the_Midnight_Hour 


7) Rob Thurman-Cal Leandros
Cal was once taken by evil elves and now they are chasing him and his brother Niko again. Cal is the key to them unleashing evil in the world and the brothers must find a way to stop them. I've read about half of the book and was loving it but somehow never finished it which is strange but I'm looking forward to reading it and the rest of the series.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/421007.Nightlife 

8) Thomas E Sniegoski-Remy Chandler
Remy is an angel who has turned his back on heavenly wars to live as a human with his dog Marlowe and his wife who is now dying. The last thing he needs is to learn that the sacred scrolls which can start the apocalypse are missing along with the Angel of Death himself. I like the characters and the plot. I didn't actually finish the series as I did find it a bit too slow in places for my reading tastes but I wanted to include it to tell others about it.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2915837-a-kiss-before-the-apocalypse 

9) JA Cipriano-Lillim Callina
Lillim is part of a race of guardians, meant to protect humans from supernatural threats but she has run away and doesn't want to alert her family to her location. Jean Luc knows who she is and asks for help in ridding his town of vampires. I just read this one a few weeks ago and I liked what I saw in this short story. Lots of action and supernatural monsters and an interesting MC with magical swords! I plan to read on in the series.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31208036-wardbreaker 

10) MV Stott-London Coven
Stella is the newly created familiar for the London Coven and her first mission is to track a shapeshifting monster who is killing humans. However Stella is new to her job and things don't go according to plan. This was a good story to start a series and I very much liked Stella and look forward to more about the Cove. Lots of action in this book.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34536084-underground-magic 


Monday, 24 July 2017

Game of Thrones Review: Season 7 Episode 2 (spoilers!!!)


Welcome to my Game of Thrones reviews posts which are an episode by episode guide of season 7. The entire post will be nothing but spoilers so don't read it if you intend to watch it! The format will be done as a house by house analysis, not a minute by minute report. 


On Dragonstone, a howling storm seems to match Dany's mood as she talks to her advisors. Tyrion thinks that if other great houses will join them, they could take King's Landing without mass bloodshed. Dany turns her wrath on Varys for serving her father, then the usurpers, then Viserys and then her, selling her to Khal Drogo and using his spies which led to an attempted assassination. Varys does not believe he is disloyal and says he only serves the people rather than blind loyalty to incompetant Kings, pointing out his beginnings as a slave and offering. Dany tells him not to plot but tell her if she is failing the people but warns she will kill him if he betrays her. Melisandre arrives to pledge her support and Varys gets her to admit that her help didn't end well for Stannis. Dany is willing to forgive those who served other Kings. She is intrigued when hearing about the prophecy of the Prince that was promised and Melisandre says both Dany and Jon Snow have a role to play. Tyrion vouches for Jon as a potential ally and Dany sends a summon to him. Greyworm and Missandei go to bed together.

 
Jon, Sansa and Davos discuss the letter. Sansa thinks that Tyrion is not like other Lannisters but the risk to Jon is too great. Davos points out that her dragons would be the best way to fight the wights in the north. Arya pays a surprise visit to Hot Pie who is pleased to see her. He tells Arya that the Boltons are dead and that Jon is in charge at Winterfell and is King In The North, which makes Arya turn for home. Jon receives the message from Sam about the dragon glass and knows that he must get Dany to let him mine it and hopes to get her to ally with him to fight the White Walkers. Sansa is sure that it is a trap and thinks Jon needs to stay with his people, which his bannerman and Lyanna Mormont agree with. Jon decides to take Davos and take the risk of meeting Dany, leaving Sansa in charge. Littlefinger makes the mistake of declaring his love for Sansa to Jon, who threatens to kill him if he touches his sister. Arya is surrounded by a wolf pack and reaches out to Nymeria who lets Arya go but is no longer willing to be with her.

  
Cersei calls the Tyrell bannermen to her to ask them to support her, calling the Tyrell's traitors who are bringing Unsullied and Dothraki hoardes to the city to kill everyone. She reminds the men what Dany did to the Masters in Slaver's Bay with her men and dragons. Qyburn shows Cersei the dragon skulls in the dungeons and shows her how his new weapon could kill them.


Randyll Tarly attends King's Landing at Cersei's summons and asks her how she intends to stop the dragons, which Qyburn answers by saying they are working on something. Jaime tries to persuade Randyll to be his general in the battle to which he is told that House Tarly swore an oath to House Tyrell and they are not oathbreakers. Jaime then offers him Warden of the South if he is loyal to his Queen. At the Citadel, the Archmaester tells Jorah that in six months the greyscale will destroy his mind and that he will give Jorah one last day. Sam is determined to risk his place and career to try a dangerous treatment which may cure him and Jorah decides to let him try.



Olenna Tyrell, Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand join Dany's War Council. They are in favour of attacking King's Landing even if it kills many innocent people. Tyrion says that they do not poison innocent young girls and Ellaria retorts that Myrcella was a Lannister and she wishes Oberyn had not died to fight for Tyrion. Tyrion says that a siege around King's Landing must only involve troops from Westeros as Cersei will use the fear of foreign invaders to unite the Houses against Dany. Yara will transport the Dorne fighters to King's Landing to join House Tyrell while Dany's armies will take Casterly Rock from Cersei. Yara and Ellaria are just getting cozy on the ship when Euron's troops attack. Ellaria is taken hostage with daughter Tyene and two of her Sand Snakes are slaughtered in battle. Theon flees when Euron captures Yara rather than fight his uncle.

My thoughts:
Firstly, I never much liked the dumb Sand Snakes so I didn't care about their demise this week and it was interesting to see the psycho side of Euron Greyjoy instead of the clownish aspects that we've seen so far. I liked Ellaria until Myrcella was killed but perhaps now that she is going to be handed over to Cersei, I will feel sympathetic towards her again. How is the attack by Euron going to dent plans for a siege of King's Landing? If Yara's fleet were on their way to Dorne to collect Ellaria's forces, then the plan can still go ahead but the Dornish may have to go by land rather than sea as Dany's forces need their ships for the attack on Casterly Rock. The fact that Ellaria was asking Yara if she had been to Dorne would suggest that they were on their way there. I hated Randyll Tarly when he treated Sam so badly but he showed some steel when Jaime was trying to manipulate him.

This was the first moment when I didn't much like Dany. She is very cold to Varys who has been loyally supporting her since arriving from King's Landing and helping her to rule in Meereen yet she was warmer to Melisandre who tried to put Stannis on the throne by burning people. Her attitude of Jon kneeling to her before even meeting him does not make me greatly happy. She is becoming a bit too much like her father for my liking. I loved seeing the backbone that Varys showed when Dany was questioning his loyalty and I just love his character. Tyrion shows his worth bycoming up with the ideal plan which Euron then wrecks. The other person that I really don't like at the moment is Sansa. I'm tired of her undermining Jon in front of his men and not even trying to see things from his point of view. She is becoming the whiny bitch that I really disliked in season one and to be honest I wouldn't care much if she died.

Please let us see the demise of Littlefinger this season! Hopefully Arya will take care of him when she gets to Winterfell. I'm glad she visited Hot Pie but I'm also sad that Nymeria wouldn't go with her. Maybe the wolves will stay close as protectors until she reaches Winterfell. I also want to see Jaime leave Cersei and go north to Winterfell to hook up with Brienne but that was probably wishful thinking. My favourite thing in this episode was Sam going heroic and determined to save Jorah even if it ends his career at the Citadel. Watching him go rogue has been very satisfying and I hope that he can cure Jorah. Go Sam!!!

What are your thoughts on this episode?
 


Around The Blogs With Chuckles


We all enjoy snooping and lurking on other people's blogs right? Why not share those entertaining things you found with other readers and bloggers too! Welcome to Around the Blogs with Chuckles, where I take time out to show you some of my favourite blog posts from the previous seven days and link you up so you can check them out.

This Week! 

1) Game of Thrones S7 Review
Sarah at Dragons & Zombies takes a look at the first episode of season seven.

https://dragonsandzombies.com/2017/07/19/game-of-thrones-review-season-7-episode-1/ 

2) Book Review: Magic Study by Maria V Snyder
Sam at Tsundoku Books reviews the second book in the series.

http://tsundokubooks.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/book-review-magic-study.html 

3) Big Brother Is Watching You
Ready Nutrition give their thoughts on the next generation of policing and security measures.

http://readynutrition.com/resources/theyre-watching-you-your-home-security-system-isnt-as-secure-as-you-think_19072017/

4) Game of Thrones Season 7: Dragonstone
Greg at Book Haven shares his thoughts on the first episode of the new series.

http://gregsbookhaven.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/game-of-thrones-season-7-dragonstone.html 

5) Book Review: Lost Boy by Christina Henry
Mogsy shares thoughts on a Peter Pan retelling and has a giveaway for US readers.

https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/07/16/book-review-lost-boy-by-christina-henry-giveaway/ 

6) Book Review: Fear Inducer by Ellie Douglas
Laura at fuonlyknew takes a look at a nice gory horror that is now on my Kindle!

http://fuonlyknew.com/2017/07/21/whats-your-phobia-fear-inducer-review-and-giveaway/ 

7) A-Z Survey Tag 
Barb at Booker T's Farm shares her booky A-Z with us!

http://bookertsfarm.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/a-z-survey-tag.html 

8) This Or That Book Tag 
AJ at Read All The Things shares her thoughts in this fun tag!

http://ajsterkel.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/this-or-that-book-tag.html 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Chuckles Goes Sampling #2


Seeing Kermit surrounded and almost buried in leaves kind of reminds me of my relationship with books. I'm pretty much buried in them too! I have no more space in my house for the books I buy and piles are sitting on the floor which isn't good and I can't read them quick enough because I keep buying!!! I've battled to reduce the tbr without success this year but now Kermit and I are embarking on a new plan to reduce the book buying and give me a chance to reduce the tbr at last. The Plan? Download samples instead of buying!

This is what I looked at this week:

1) Sarah Gailey-River Of Teeth 
A bayou is overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe are sent in to take care of the problem. I was intrigued by the idea of mad hippos running around and killing people, a hunter v hunted but which is which storyline, and the characters riding tamed hippos. It just sounded so great and it was set in a creepy bayou which is a setting made for a gory creature feature. I had planned to just go and buy it but a few blogging friends and Goodreads reviews had me a bit concerned and I decided on a sample instead.

What a waste of time that was! The vast majority of the sample is index, chapters, maps, an introduction to the real attempt at hippo farming proposed in the US...leaving just three and a bit pages for the actual story. So we got obnoxious sounding man goes into building and embarrasses federal agent then sits on a hippo. The End. Based on that I doubt anyone would buy it! Looking at the reviews again I saw talk of poor characters, western type setting, badly explained gender neutral character/characters, diversity thrown in for the sake of diversity and most important, not enough hippo mayhem. I decided not to buy this one.

2) Rowan Casey-Veil Knights 
When I first downloaded this sample, I wasn't paying much attention to the fact that 'Rowan Casey' is a collaboration of twelve different authors writing this series. That set me on alert straight away. When I looked at the authors I noted a few that I have tried and not greatly liked. That concerned me but the main worry is how will the story flow and be constant when each book has new authors with different ideas and writing styles? 

I read the sample and found it ok but not really gripping. The blurb suggests that the MC has to take drugs to stop the terrible visions that she gets but as soon as I start reading, it turns out our MC is a heroin addict, which I do not find appealing to read about. By the time she started getting high, I had already lost interest. No thanks!

3) JC Staudt-Gambit
Cade works for Zip Maids, a cleaning service for the rich, as well as being a wizard and a thief. In his job he is able to steal things like werewolf fur from the shower drain to use in his spells, until of course he gets caught. Now he must appease the werewolves, dodge the bounty hunter chasing him and deal with the poltergeist making a mess of his kitchen. I really liked the sound of this UF book and I was intrigued that Cade lived with his small talking dragon mentor Ersatz. This is why I grabbed a sample.

I liked what I read. Cade is interesting enough to want to read more about and I liked the basis of his relationship with the dragon. The plot sounds good and the sample introduces the annoyed werewolf and the dragon, and gives the start of Cade's first big bit of magic. I also liked his interaction with the troll on the bus! Yes I'm going to get a copy of this one at some point.

4) J Kent Messum-Bait 
Six heroin addicted strangers wake up on a deserted island. Mysterious people watching from the water introduce them to the game-swim to the heroin stash on the next island and hope you can swim faster than the sharks...I love sharks, so when I was told about this one, I had to get a sample to see what it was like. I was a bit iffy about the contestants being heroin addicts though as I'm never keen on drug addicts as my MCs, which is why I would never have risked buying the book.

The prologue puts us six months in the past in the final stages of a game, as one remaining man tries to get to the shore. There is the tension from the fact that nobody is screaming any more amongst the others, the land getting a little nearer and the sharks starting to bump him to check him out as prey. After we see his fate to switch to Nate, an addict. We see him wake up on the island in confusion, mixed with a flashback to how he came to be there, then back to him on the island. I admit that I'm not a huge fan of flashback-flashforward-flashback in novels so that does concern me a bit, but I'm intrigued enough to give the whole book a try! I've ordered a second hand paperback online and hope to read that one later this year!

Chuckles Cover Love #35


If there is one thing that makes a great book even better, it is when it has a cover that we love! The cover design is what catches the eye as we browse through a bookstore shelf or check out the Amazon or Goodreads recommendations. The right cover makes me look closer at a book, to read the blurb and maybe make a purchase. A poor cover might mean I never look at the blurb at all.

This week I look at a series I bought many years ago. I read the first one and it was  a decent enough read but I never continued with it. I do still love the dramatic covers though!






















Saturday, 22 July 2017

Chuckles Weekend Roundup


Welcome to my new feature Chuckles Weekend Roundup where I will be looking at what books I've received, anything interesting I've done or bought or watched and other random stuff. I'll be taking a look back at what happened in my blogging world too, sort of like The Sunday Post that some of you do! 

Please note that I'll be visiting your STS/SP as normal, but I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow DISQUS to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I am the only one who does that on my social media! Sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me because I deleted my account with them but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!
****************
Another week has ended here at The Book Cave and it was not very productive! I have got very little reading done-a few samples for my post tomorrow, DNFed two books and started a third one. Not great! I spent the mornings blogging, the afternoons watching Game of Thrones season three with my dad (he's in shock about the Red Wedding right now!!!) and being too tired after dinner each night to do anything but watch S8 of Masterchef Australia from last year! It hasn't really been a booky week! I need to come up with some sort of plan or I'll be falling behind in my reading soon. Not sure what to do yet. 

Blogging has been a bit mixed-still three weeks ahead in things like TTT, CWW, GoT Gossip, Chuckles Chat, Chuckles Cover Love which is good but not getting time to do reviews in advance (which I need to tackle today) and I'm not getting to as many blogs as I'd like as often as I'd like. It's a bit frustrating to feel like I'm chasing my tail a bit these last few weeks! I need a plan for this too! I showed restraint again and bought no paperbacks, just downloaded some samples, so this week I'm showing you a few downloads I found in previous weeks but hadn't added to my shelves yet.

DOWNLOADS:



EARLY BIRTHDAY PRESENTS:
I had some gift vouchers from trading books online so I bought myself a few Game of Thrones Banners! Once I get my books sorted and find somewhere to hang these things I'll maybe get some photos on the blog. I have others on order, a few paid for by my dad as early presents, some others as a treat for myself! Hopefully they will arrive next week. Exciting! My house is going to look like the Hand of the King tourney from season one!!!


Chuckles Blogging World:
 As I mentioned earlier I feel a bit like I'm chasing my tail and always trying to catch up on things before each weekend. I need to cut off a few blogs that never interact with me and use my time better. But I have found some good posts to enjoy this week and I'll always give priority to my best blogging pals! As always, a link is provided for each blog post from last week to take you straight to anything you missed. Comments are moderated so it might take a day or two to see it on the blog! Don't forget to check out my Next Week section to see what excitement is coming...

Book Reviews:
This week was not great again for getting book reviews posted and I really need to get my review notes and get them into reviews ready to post when I need them instead of scrambling to get one written and posted on the same day. It's frustrating that I can't seem to get myself organised with this! Today I need to get motivated and do a few as I'm still looking at notes on books I read back in May! What I think I'll do to mix it up a bit is stop concentrating on getting all the reviews written for May read books and just write any from May, June and July that I feel like writing. Maybe that will help me get things done quicker!

Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Extinction Horizon (EH #1)

Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Extinction Edge (EH #2)

Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Extinction Age (EH #3)

Regular Features:
I'm three weeks ahead in most of my Regular Features which I'm happy with. It's going to be a big help in allowing me time to go lurking on your blogs and watching some Masterchef Australia which I LOVE! This week on Cover Love I featured Sarah J Maas, I brought you the best of the bloggyverse in Around The Blogs With Chuckles, Top Ten Tuesday continued my look at the Best Urban Fantasy Series, Can't Wait Wednesday was all about the apocalypse which looks great, Feed my TBR looked at sea monsters! I also have a new feature where I share a few thoughts on book samples I've downloaded, called Chuckles Goes Sampling.

Chuckles Cover Love-Sarah J Maas

Around The Blogs With Chuckles

Top Ten Tuesday-Best Urban Fantasy Series pt 3

Can't Wait Wednesday-Brothers

Feed My TBR-Sea Monsters

Chuckles Goes Sampling

Discussion Posts: 
Chuckles Chat this week looks at what I don't get about Selfies, while  my Game of Thrones Gossip looks at Dany in Qarth!

Chuckles Chat-Selfies

Game of Thrones Gossip-Qarth

Special Features: 
none this week

Book Tags: 

A-Z Bookish Survey Book Tag

Book Challenge Updates:

New-To-Me July Challenge Update

My Goodreads Challenge total currently stands at 150/250.I didn't finish a single book, DNFing two, starting a third and reading a few samples.

TBR total of books I own but haven't read yet stands at 809. *grimaces* I hope the sampling for the second half of the year instead of impulse buying helps.

Currently Reading/Next Up:  
Out of the three books I highlighed as my next reads on last Saturday's post, I DNFed The Immortals and Six of Crows but I have started The Shadowkiller and it has been good so far so fingers crossed. I really need to get that finished tonight and get back on track. With time running out on this month's reading time, I'm switching to a few shorter books by new-to-me authors. Next up, I hope to get these books read.


Next Week On The Blog? 
Chuckles Cover Love features Kasey MacKenzie, Top Ten Tuesday features part 4 of my Urban Fantasy list, Can't Wait Wednesday features a very long awaited book, Game of Thrones Gossip features Joffrey Baratheon, Chuckles Chat looks at ARCs. There will also be a Game of Thrones special post on S7 Ep 2 to enjoy and reviews of samples from my ereader! There will also be a chance to give your feedback on the features on this blog and a newly created book tag if I get it done in time!

That's all for this week! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit my blog and leave comments. You guys are great! 

 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Feed My TBR #5 Sea Monsters!


Welcome to Feed My TBR, my new feature. Each week I'll select a specific subject or theme and recommend books that I've read or share books I've heard of or have on my tbr and wishlist. I invite all of you to also share your recommendations on the subject chosen...and if you could, please say what kind of book it is ie PNR, horror etc. In the comments section you can also ask for specific types of books on the subject and see if someone can help. Hopefully we can share lots of book ideas and flood each other's tbrs with new book grabs! NO EROTICA please! I don't have that at all on my blog!

This week we look at other monsters in the water! These are the books I've either read or are on my tbr. 

 
 
 
There are a LOT of books out there about giant squids, killer fish and other nasties but which are the good ones? What do you recommend and which water monsters are on your tbr and wishlist? Please share!

Chuckles Chat #26 Selfies

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

Chuckles is about to show her technophobe side again on the subject of Selfies! 

I love photography and I like nothing better on holiday or a day out than to take a few scenic photos. Some make it onto my blog, but most are just for my personal enjoyment. It's great to look back at these memories and remember a great day or trip. I have a digital camera-a Panasonic Lumix which I love...but I've never taken a selfie or ever plan to!

It's really twofold for me. I'm very fat and I hate getting my photo taken. In fact I hated getting my photo taken even when I was thin! There is no urge to shove my fat face into every shot I take! I like scenic photography so I really don't want to put myself at the front with a scenic landscape shoved behind me like an afterthough. For me, the important thing is the scenery, not showing that I'm there y'know?

That's not to say that I don't understand why people take selfies on a holiday. I get why you want to be seen at various landmarks and enjoying your holiday. Sure I get that. It's no different from someone taking a photo of a friend or family member at the gates of Buckingham Palace or something, all about capturing memories. I even understand using that selfie stick thing to get a better photo of you at whatever place you go to. Nothing weird about any of that.

What I don't get is the urge to take multiple selfies every day of your own face in exciting locations like your bathroom! My neighbour's friend takes 200-250 selfies a DAY of her own face and nothing else and in every one she has that same twisted pout, reminding me of a trout at the fish counter in Morrison's supermarket! This I don't greatly understand. Why do you feel the need to take all these photos of yourself every day, then pour over them for hours to decide which are the perfect ones to put online for others to look at? Is it a desire for attention? Is it pure vanity? What is the point of it? All I know is this girl goes into a mood if she doesn't get enough likes or if there are critical remarks from trolls. I don't see why people care so much about compliments from strangers, I really don't! Sure it's nice if someone likes my book posts but I don't go and cry if it gets no comments!!! 

And why that same pout??? Why not just do a nice smile? Every time we see something on TV about a dead teenager, the photo used in the story is always one of those weird pouts that makes the poor girl look a bit odd. Is there an actual reason for the face pulling thing? I don't personally think it makes anyone look attractive! Do people actually enjoy looking at these kinds of photos of other people pouting? If so, what do they like about them? If I'm looking at a blog or social media site, the last thing I want to see is a pile of this kind of photo. I'd rather see you smiling with a book in your hand, photos of the books and nice shots of your holidays and stuff. I'm not greatly interested in trout pouts in the dimly lit bathroom!

There is also this desire to take inappropriate selfies at disaster sites. In my terrorism post about the Westminster Bridge attack, I showed a photo of a man taking a selfie in front of the ambulances attending to the dying and injured and that made me so mad! Recently arseheads have been travelling to the Grenfell Tower in London after that horrific disaster to taking selfies of them SMILING in front of the burned shell of the building. How sick are these morons? And don't get me started on idiots taking selfies on train tracks and on cliff edges and getting themselves killed! Gah, the stupidity of some people...

I guess my thoughts on selfies is that they are fine in the right time and place but I don't get the obsessed side of it at all. What are your thoughts on selfies? Do you take many and what kind? Do you rage when people don't *like* them? Do you think people are too obsessed with their looks and getting attention online? Is the selfie causing body image issues for kids and teenagers?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Book Review: Extinction Age by Nicholas Sansbury Smith (EH #3)


On the eve of extinction all seems to be lost, but there is still one final hope...
Operation Liberty has failed. Humans are losing the war. With no other option, General Kennor decides to pull back the troops and give science a second chance. 

Trapped in the extensive sewer system beneath New York, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and the survivors of 1st Platoon must battle through the tunnels--where they make a grisly discovery in their attempt to escape. At Plum Island, Dr. Kate Lovato is working on a new bioweapon to destroy the Variants. But when a derelict Navy Destroyer crashes into the Connecticut shoreline, she is forced to deal with a nightmare she thought had ended. 
As the doomsday clock ticks down and military bases fall across the country, the human race enters the age of extinction. Will science prevail--or will mankind vanish off the face of the planet?

My Review: 
Beckham's team are racing through the sewers pursued by variants, and hurtle into the den where Meg is attached to one of the webs. Knowing that he cannot free everyone and that many have already been fed on, Beckham is left with a hard decision-leave them or kill them out of mercy. However one lax moment is all it takes to bring disaster to the team as they try to reach an abandoned Humvee to get towards the extraction point.

Plum Island is in panic mode as a naval ship appears to be on collision course but the seemingly abandoned ship avoids them and runs aground further up the coast. Knowing that supplies are beginning to run out, Jensen decides to take a team to the beached vessel in the hope that there will be supplies to salvage. But what else could be lurking in the depths of the ship? Despite the danger, Fitz is delighted to be given the chance to do active service again. When things go badly wrong, Kate thinks that bombing the ship with her weapon might be a last option to prevent catastrophe.

Kate and Ellis start work on finding another bioweapon to destroy the variants, starting with using a captured variant. The General decides that Plum Island will now be under the overall command of Wood, Gibson's best friend and colleague, who Jensen doesn't trust. Wood stamps his authority over all operations which in particular angers Fitz, demoted to guard duty with Apollo. Kate and Ellis become aware that everything they say and do are being monitored and they find out just how deep in the initial program Wood was. With Ghost on a recon mission it is Fitz who notices that there are swarms of variants swimming towards Plum Island...

Command bunkers have already been infiltrated and now it is the General at Central Command who is under threat and trying to find a way to stop the variants from getting inside. Beckham's team are on a mission to get to one of the bunkers that they have lost contact with to find an important government member and get the supplies that Kate needs for her newest weapon.

This book was another high octane rollercoaster of action and tension. There are several great action scenes to enjoy like the escape from New York, the raid on the ship, the attack on Plum Island, the two different bunker stories and the tension of developing another weapon to take care of the variants. Add to that the simmering tension of Wood taking over command and there is plenty going on to keep the reader happy. I enjoyed the addition of the German Shepherd Apollo though it gives me something new to worry about! There is also a very shocking finale which I wasn't expecting...

This series continues to greatly entertain with constant plot twists to keep you guessing.
Read May 2017.
5 stars.

Game of Thrones Gossip #25 Qarth

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I did a few spoiler free posts about the series last year but I found that there were other bloggers out there who were also itching to talk more freely about favourite characters and events without spoiling things for those visiting the blog. So I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you nor do I take responsibility for any mistakes on the pages I link you to.

For those of you who stuck with me through my season one posts, thank you loads! Now I'm going to look at the main characters introduced in season two, what our season one characters were doing in season two and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season two posts! 

 
Dany and the Dothraki have struggled through the Red Waste and finally come to the city of Qarth. The Thirteen who have joint rule in the city are prepared to let them enter the city if they can see the dragons. Dany does not wish to do so until they are secure inside the walls and being looked after so it looks as if they are initially going to be turned away to die but Xaro Xhoan Daxos offers to ensure Dany's people behave as his guests.


Xaro is an ambitious man, said to be the richest in the city and he offers his home to Dany and her people, allowing them to recover from the journey. He offers to marry her, splitting his huge wealth with her and helping her to win back the Iron Throne. Jorah is suspicious of him and urges her not to do it, offering to find her a boat sailing out of the city instead and she decides to follow his advice. Xaro is able to tell her that Robert Baratheon is dead and the Starks and Lannisters are fighting each other while the Baratheons have split and each plans to fight the Lannisters. With open war in Westeros, Dany seeks help from The Thirteen to get home but nobody else will help her.


The mysterious Quaithe warns Jorah that men seek power and may be interested in Dany's dragons and warns him about betraying her again. Jorah is already on edge and wants to find a way to leave the city but as he searches for a ship, Dany's dragons are stolen, Doreah is missing and Irri is murdered.


Dany returns from her meeting with The Spice King to discover her guards dead outside and Irri dead on the floor of her room. Dany panics and begs Jorah to find out what happened to her dragons. Xaro takes her to a meeting of The Thirteen to find out what is happening and the warlock Pyat Pree tells her that he took the dragons and locked them in his House of the Undying where she can go to them.


Dany is shocked to discover that Xaro and Pyat Pree have been working together and watches them murder the rest of The Thirteen to seize control of Qarth. Jorah, having been warned by Quaithe that Dany is with the dragon thief meeting The Thirteen, rushes off to find her, getting her safely away. She now has no option but to go to The House of the Undying to find her dragons. It is of course a trap and she is chained up beside her dragons as the warlock explains that she gives power to the dragons and they give power to him. The warlock is unaware that the dragons can already breath fire until Dany unleashes them on him.


A furious Dany leads her guards in search of Xaro and finds him in bed with her missing maid Doreah. The betrayal brings out the cold side of Dany and she locks both of them inside Xaro's empty vault, discovering that he even lied about his wealth. The Dothraki loot the house and head for Jorah's ship and sail for Slaver's Bay.

Gone is the young and shy Dany from the start of series one. Her rebirth from the flames with her dragons has given her confidence and grit, making difficult decisions and being a ruler. She shows that she has the Targaryen ruthlessness in dealing with her enemies so for the first time you can actually see her as the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. I love the way she has been shaped by events and developed into a leader. Her journey continues in season three.