Random (but not really)

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hiking WV: Otter Creek Wilderness

This was our first decent hike since I broke my foot, and although it wasn’t steep, and I was extremely cautious on rocky terrain, it was a good hike.

Also: I can’t believe we hadn’t hiked here before. We did an out-and-back on part of the Otter Creek Trail, and it was my favorite kind of trail–along the creek almost the entire way (we were never out of the sound of rushing water).

Otter Creek Wilderness
Otter Creek Trail (partial out-and-back)
Distance: 8.0 miles
Elevation: 1809-2093 feet (446 ft gain)

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Written by Michelle at 9:08 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Books of July

This year.

Jeesh.

The Weight of it AllSo what did I read this month? It was mostly re-reads, and the new books I read were, sadly, really not my thing.

So one new-to-me book that I really enjoyed was The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker, which is a M/M romance set in Australia about Harry, who gets dumped by his long term boyfriend for being too old and too fat. Harry sets out initially to try to change himself to get his ex back, but quickly decides the weight he needs to lose was that of his ex and trying to be what other people want him to be other than who he really is.

It’s lovely.

Other than that, the re-reads were excellent.

Fantasy

The Story of the Stone (1988) Barry Hughart (The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox) 8.5/10
Discworld, City Watch
Guards! Guards! (1989) Terry Pratchett 9.5/10
Men at Arms (1993) Terry Pratchett 9/10
Feet of Clay (1996) Terry Pratchett 9/10
Jingo (1997) Terry Pratchett (Discworld) 7.5/10

Guards! Guards!Romance

Teach Me (2019) Olivia Dade (There’s Something About Marysburg) 7.5/10
Take a Hint, Dani Brown (2020) Talia Hibbert (The Brown Sisters)

Romance, LGBT
A Lancaster Story
Kneading You (2019) C.S. Poe  8/10
Joy (2017) C.S. Poe  8/10,
Color of You (2017) C.S. Poe  7.5/10
The Weight of It All (2016) N.R. Walker 8/10
Knit Tight (2016) Annabeth Albert (Portland Heat) 7/10

Romance, Historical

Haverston Family
Nearly a Lady (2011) Alissa Johnson 8.5/10
An Unexpected Gentleman (2011) Alissa Johnson 8/10
Providence
Tempting Fate (2009) Alissa Johnson 8/10
McAlistair’s Fortune (2009) Alissa Johnson  8/10
Destined To Last (2010) Alissa Johnson  8.5/10
Daring and the Duke (2020) Sarah MacLean (The Bareknuckle Bastards)

nearly a ladyAnd the stats!

All ebooks and mostly re-reads, as previously noted.

eBook: 18
Total: 18
Multiple Formats: 5
Re-read: 13

Oddly, I didn’t read a single mystery this month. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Fantasy: 5
Romance: 13
Boinking: 10
Historical: 7

Mostly female authors, but rereading Discworld is giving male authors a showing.

Male: 4
Female: 10
Initials: 1

Only one female centered book this month, and not a lot of racial diversity; I classified the Discworld books as white, because in some of the books he pretty blatantly parallels white western society and our reactions to “the other”.

Male: 7
Female: 1
Ensemble: 9
White: 12
Minority: 4
Minority 2ndary: 1
Straight: 9
LGBTQ: 6
LGBTQ 2ndary: 2

And that’s July. Did you read anything particularly good recently?

Written by Michelle at 5:01 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  

Monday, July 27, 2020

BINGO!

I decided to play the Ripped Bodice’s Summer BINGO.

Here’s my card as of today:

Ripped Bodice BINGO

And here’s the list of books:
The Color of You, CS Poe
Daring and the Duke, Sarah MacLean
It Takes Two to Tumble, Cat Sebastian
The House in the Cerulean Sea, TJ Klune
Behind These Doors, Jude Lucens
A Seditious Affair, KJ Charles
Kneading You, C.S. Poe
Destined to Last, Alissa Johnson
An Unnatural Vice, KJ Charles
Knit Tight, Annabeth Albert
McAlistair’s Fortune, Alissa Johnson
The Color of You, C.S. Poe
Blank Spaces, Cass Lenox
Joy, C.S. Poe
Upside Down, N.R. Walker
The Ruin of a Rake, Cat Sebastian
Death in D Minor / The Color of You, Alexia Gordon / C.S Poe
As Luck Would Have It, Alissa Johnson

Written by Michelle at 7:43 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Blackwater / Canaan

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Written by Michelle at 7:36 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Hiking WV: Seneca Creek Backcountry

It’s possible this hike was a little too much for my foot, but today it’s not too bad, so I don’t think I harmed anything, just did a little more than my body was used to.

So where did we go? It was hot, and COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in WV, so we wanted somewhere cool, and where there wouldn’t be a ton of people.

Seneca Creek Backcountry fit the spot.

Location: Seneca Creek Backcountry
Trail: Spring Ridge Trail (partial)
Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation: 3124-4047 feet (932 ft ascent)

Guess who didn’t step on a rattlesnake!!!

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Ooh! A snake! Is that a black snake?
(rattle)
Nope! Not a black snake!

Normally I know I have almost stepped on a rattlesnake by by Michael freaking out at the rattling noise behind me. This was definitely an improvement!

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Up hill!

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More uphill!

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Still uphill.

We didn’t go all the way to the top. We reached the rattlesnake and turned around. Which is just as well becuase my foot was starting to ache by that time.

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Back at the bottom: Gandy Creek.

Written by Michelle at 9:54 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Books of June

This year is insane. But you already knew that.

I read some good books this month–even a newish release!–but I re-read a lot, so only a few new reads I want to mention.

Turning Darkness Into LightOddly enough, it was all fantasy that floated to the top this month.

NPCs by Drew Hayes is the first book in his Spells, Swords, & Stealth series, and it is (unsurprisingly) wonderful. It’s sword and sorcery, except that the actions of D&D gamers are able to affect the people who live in this world. Like everything Drew Hayes, it’s a delight.

Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan is a sequel of sorts to her Lady Trent series, where we follow Lady Trent’s granddaughter, as she and a friend attempt to translate some ancient tablets that were discovered.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is a fantasy that seems like it wants to be YA (since many of the characters are teenagers) but with all the bureaucracy, really isn’t quite one. It is, however, fun and well-worth reading.

Fantasy

NPCs (2014) Drew Hayes (Spells, Swords, & Stealth) 8/10
Turning Darkness Into Light (2019) Marie Brennan 9/10

Fantasy, Supernatural

The Grimrose Path (2010) Rob Thurman (Trickster) 9/10
The House in the Cerulean Sea (2020) TJ Klune 8/10

The House in the Cerulean SeaMystery

Death in D Minor (2017) Alexia Gordon (Gethsemane Brown Mysteries) 7.5/10

Mystery, Historical

Miss Marple
4.50 from Paddington (1957) Agatha Christie 9.5/10
A Caribbean Mystery (1964) Agatha Christie 9/10
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (1962) Agatha Christie 8.5/10,

Romance, Historical

As Luck Would Have It (2016) Alissa Johnson (Providence) 8.5/10

Romance, LGBT

Upside Down (2019) N.R. Walker 8.5/10
Blank Spaces (2016) Cass Lennox (Toronto Connections) 8.5/10
Sins of the Cities
An Unseen Attraction (2017) 8/10
An Unnatural Vice (2017) K.J. Charles 8/10
An Unsuitable Heir (2017) K.J. Charles 7.5/10
Society of Gentlemen
A Fashionable Indulgence  (2015) K.J. Charles 8/10
A Seditious Affair (2015) K.J. Charles 8/10
Upside DownSeducing the Sedgwicks
It Takes Two to Tumble (2017) Cat Sebastian 8/10
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score (2018) Cat Sebastian 8/10
The Turner Series
The Lawrence Browne Affair (2017) Cat Sebastian 8/10
The Ruin of a Rake (2017) Cat Sebastian 7.5/10
Behind These Doors (2018) Jude Lucens (Radical Proposals) 7/10
The Boy in the Red Dress (2020) Kristin Lambert 6.5/10

Audio Book

The Night Watch, Audiobook (1998/2006/2010) Sergei Lukyanenko translated by Andrew Bromfield, narrated by Paul Michael (Night Watch) 9.5/10

Non-Fiction

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History (2004/2009/2018) John M. Barry  7/10

And now, the stats!

eBook: 23
Audio: 1
Multiple Formats: 6
Re-read: 17

NPCsLots and lots of re-reading this month. In fact, 37% of the books I’ve read this year are re-reads.

Fantasy: 6
Mystery: 8
Romance: 14
Boinking: 11
Historical: 15
YA: 3

The majority of what I read was historical in some form, mostly romance, but a lot of mystery as well.

Male: 3
Female: 14
Initials: 5
Male Pseudonym: 1

Male authors are unlike to catch up with female authors this year, since only 11% of the books I’ve read this year have been by male authors.

Male: 14
Female: 7
Ensemble: 2
White: 13
Minority: 5
Minority 2ndary: 5
Straight: 8
LGBTQ: 14
LGBTQ 2ndary: 1

As far as characters go, guys are edging out gals. Mostly because I’ve been reading a lot of MlM romance.

And that’s June.

What have you read recently that was particularly enjoyable?

Written by Michelle at 3:38 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday Flower Pr0n: WV Botanic Garden

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Written by Michelle at 8:24 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  
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