Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lunchtime Reading

With the wet and rainy conditions today I spent my lunch hour reading at my desk. This is the fourth book in the series, so I felt confident I would enjoy it. It takes place three years after the first three books, with a mostly different cast of characters. It is fast-paced and engaging and difficult to put down at the end of an hour. I may have to check to see if this author has written anything else that interests me.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Love of Water

On Saturday we went for a walk in a nearby neighborhood. I anticipated my son would enjoy this "lake" and I was correct. In fact we might still be there if I had not dragged him away with promises of peanut butter for lunch.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lunchtime Reading

On Friday it snowed. On Monday it was 80 degrees outside. Hello April, nice to see you again.

I wore a dress and sandals to work and spent 55 of my 60 lunchtime minutes outside walking and reading. It was glorious. I started this book just yesterday and didn't have time (with the walking) to get very far into it, but I was chuckling and nodding along. I'm looking forward to reading more today. And I can't wait for outdoor lunches to be the norm again!

Monday, April 03, 2017

2017 To-Do List: March

  1. Rearrange/clean the family room to make it a usable space 
    1. Move books down there to make it a library/family room?
  2. Get rid of items we don't use and/or don't like 
    1. clothes
    2. furniture
    3. kitchenware
  3. Read at least 24 books 8/24 - I read 3 books in March, so I'm still on track to make my yearly goal.
  4. Develop a system to ensure bills get paid in a timely fashion
  5. Hang wall art I hung one photograph on a nail vacated by a piece of art that belonged to my ex. I am not marking this as complete as I have more things that need to be hung. But, progress.
  6. Hang some sort of window treatment (curtains? blinds?) in family room COMPLETED - 3/19/2017. I ordered a pleated fabric shade from Amazon for ~$9. Not fancy at all, but it gets the job done.
  7. Blog at least once a week 13/52 - I have blogged at least once a week for the first thirteen full weeks of the year.
  8. Purchase new bras
  9. Purchase new underwear COMPLETED - 2/5/2017
  10. Go on a date
  11. Go swimming, preferably in a natural body of water
  12. Take my son camping in a tent in the woods for at least one night
  13. Frame a picture of my son for my desk at work COMPLETED - 1/17/2017
  14. Go to the Adirondacks
  15. Take my son to the zoo COMPLETED - 1/14/2017
  16. Install anti-tip straps on the TV
  17. Open a 529 account for my son COMPLETED - 3/8/2017
  18. Visit Second Home Nature Center at least once a month 3/12 - January & February. In March we went to the Nature Center for a pancake breakfast. We didn't walk the trails so it didn't necessarily meet the spirit of the goal, but I'm counting it anyway.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Xenogeneic: First Contact by Lance Erlick (Review)

Book Description:

Xenogeneic is a science fiction thriller about first contact with an alien race that lost their civil war and wants to take over Earth.

Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father vanished in space 18 years ago while searching for extraterrestrial life. As an aerospace engineer, Elena travels into space to search for answers and continue his work. Her ship is pulled off course and crashes. She suspects extraterrestrial interference.

The alien Knoonk lost their civil war in a distant star system and fled to Earth’s neighborhood to hide and regroup. They seek a new home—Earth. Unable to live in Earth’s toxic environment, the aliens kidnap and use humans to genetically modify their species to adapt.

Surviving the crash, Elena and her shipmates are transported to a closed cave system where the Knoonk monitor and control everything. Elena tries to make a connection with her hosts and find ways to work together, but Knoonk leaders rebuff her and force the humans to submit as slaves. The aliens use illusions, distractions, and social experiments to learn from their hostages and keep them off balance. Resistance by captive humans brings swift punishment to break the human spirit.
While Elena continues to look for ways to cooperate with the Knoonk, it becomes apparent that there can be no compromise. The Knoonk want to capture Earth for their species. It is winner take all. With time running out, Elena must dig deep to uncover the alien plan and find a way to stop them before the human race faces enslavement and extinction.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Add to Goodreads

Author's Bio:

Lance Erlick writes science fiction thrillers for young adult and adult readers. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the consequences of Annabelle Scott following her conscience. He authored the Regina Shen series--Resilience, Vigilance, Defiance, and Endurance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. His latest novel is Xenogeneic: First Contactabout encounters with an alien race aiming to take over Earth.

Connect with the Author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  

My Review:

It's been a long time since I've read any science fiction, so I was really excited to get my hands on this book and it captured my attention from page one. Xenogeneic: First Contact by Lance Erlick is fast-paced and action-packed. It is a non-stop whirlwind and packed full of surprises right to the end.

That said, the characters are not well-developed. It's hard to become invested in a story when you don't feel like you really know anyone involved. There are also so many characters with fairly minor roles that it is difficult to keep everyone straight. The story is oddly jumpy at times, lacking smooth transitions. There is a lot of fighting in the book, although it is not particularly graphic. Nor is there graphic sexual content, with violence being mostly implied.

In short, while interesting, it was not compelling enough for me to seek out other books by this author. I have read better reviews of some of his previous efforts though.

To read more reviews, please visit Lance Erlick's page on iRead Book Tours.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing this review. The opinions are entirely my own.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lunchtime Reading

I finished this book on my lunch yesterday. It was the last in this series, so I'm sad to not have more to read. I read them out of order, but it didn't end up mattering too much.

I will start a new book tomorrow, as I used my lunch hour today to attend a free yoga class offered by my employer. I enjoyed it a great deal, as always. Then I came back to the office to find it filled with nasty cleaning fumes. The doorstop won't work, so I have no way to even try to circulate air. So there goes my happy, peaceful yoga mood. I hate people.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Snow Days

Earlier this week we got hit by Winter Storm Stella. She dumped about two feet of snow on us over two days, during which time the institution I work for shut down. Snow days! Yay! Unfortunately I had a doozy of a head cold, so I wasn't able to enjoy my days off as much as I might have otherwise.

On the second day I did something I haven't done in possibly years. I rented a movie and spent the entire naptime on the couch under a blanket. The first movie I tried to rent was only available to buy (no thanks) and the second one is currently showing on a channel I have, so I set the DVR to record it for free instead of paying to rent it. That left me surfing the recent releases until I happened upon Inferno with Tom Hanks. I have read all of Dan Brown's books and seen all of the previous movies. I can say with confidence something I don't know if I've ever said before: the movie was better than the book. Shocking, I know. But wow, did the book just drag on and on with all that Dante business. Bo-ring!

my view from the couch