Friday, July 31, 2020

Sunday Post #361


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Date  

Hey there! How is everyone this week? I'm writing this up on Friday night (I really should rename this post since it always goes up before Sunday) and the main thing for me is- what to do about the blog? As those of you on Blogger know there is a new Blogger template taking effect, and while they say the existing interface will still be optionally available, there is understandably some skepticism about that. So- do I switch to Wordpress? Stick with Blogger and try to adapt? Questions...

Does anyone have suggestions for a good hosting service or someone who switches blogs over? I'm not much for coding, I just want to write stuff, so the nuts and bolts of it is not my strength. 

I decided to share a few more pics from vacation. Hope everyone is well and enjoy! 


This next one is how the bay looked when we arrived- very rough. 

This is near a lighthouse out on the Old Mission Peninsula.

This was neat- Brys Estate & Winery built a Secret Garden of lavender. Neat place. 


Songs from the Deep

Song of the week

PULP COVER OF THE WEEK: Cats Prowl at Night Vintage Pulp Novel Cover Retro Art ...


Good Girls Lie


Here's a peek at the Secret Garden.   

Here's another Tokyo walking tour and this one has shrines located all throughout the walk- I thought this was really interesting! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

To Be Taught, If Fortunate

 To Be Taught, If Fortunate

To Be Taught, If Fortunate is the latest by Becky Chambers, and most of my readers probably know I'm a big fan. The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet is one of my favorite books and I was looking forward to this one. I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. This is a little different from her previous books, though, or at least I thought so, as it involves a somewhat more realistic, near future exploration of the nearby cosmos, rather than the more developed civilization of her earlier books. Ariadne is an astronaut on a mission with three others to explore nearby exoplanets, and the novella starts right off with a dilemma. We're not told what the dilemma is, though- that's something we find out as the story progresses. 

I really enjoyed this, it was a lot of fun to explore the four different worlds they go to. As usual, her planetary descriptions are evocative and fascinating- for example, on Mirabilis we're treated to nearby planets hanging heavy in the sky, and numerous moons as well. I love that kind of imagery. And each world has its own unique challenges and pitfalls, but also opportunities. I also enjoyed seeing the four astronauts grow and change with the mission- it was especially poignant to realize how they have given up so much to be there, including growing old with their families. 

That's the thing, see. Their trip fourteen light years away means that Earth will be vastly different when they return. They've sacrificed their future on Earth for science and the mission. They still get to return, of course, but it'll be a different place. What decision would you make? Could you walk away from family for an opportunity like this?  And what responsibility do you have to Earth if things change there, and at some point your mission is called into question? 

This story felt a lot more intimate to me than her previous books, maybe because of the issues involved and the narration by Ariadne. She is reporting back to Earth as the mission unfolds, and they spend a few years at each planet before going back into sleep while they traverse the distances between worlds. Their aging is slowed but still happens, and it's almost like following them through their lifespans. This was a book to savor and read slowly, to take in the questions and the issues that come out, but at the same time there was a lot of scientific explanation, and while Chambers is to be commended for presenting it in an engaging way, I can see some readers maybe not enjoying this as much. 

It's almost more of a plea from the heart for humanity to not give up on the stars, and a query- are we going to explore the cosmos? What kind of future is there for humanity in space? The author is clearly passionate about this and about presenting the science as well, and at the same time she never loses sight of that sense of wonder that comes from the best science fiction. This is a book to think about and a chance to tap into that sense of wonder that makes us always want to know what's over the horizon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Jonny Quest 01x07 The Calcutta Adventure

Jonny Quest: The Complete Original Series [Blu-ray] 

This episode is a flashback to how Jonny met Hadji. Dr. Quest was lecturing in Calcutta and survived an assassination attempt, thanks to Hadji. The beginning of a beautiful friendship! But why was Quest targeted? Well, turns out some sheep herders in the mountains have been getting sick, and Quest suspects a nerve gas of some kind. Naturally, the bad guys don't want him investigating. They even go so far as to attack by plane but an old friend of Hadji's named Pasha Peddler arrives to help out. Pasha is a merchant and is Indian, apparently, although he speaks with an American accent? 

Pasha helpfully has a helicopter, so they manage to get into the snowy mountains where they find a strange door in the side of a mountain. Yeah, that's unusual. Dr. Quest and Race go to check  it out, but unfortunately Dr. Quest falls down the mountainside in an avalanche and gets captured. He seems to get captured a lot, I've noticed. So now Race has to sneak into the secret facility to get him out. With some help from Hadji's friend he gets in and we have the usual hijinks, including a fairly intense gunfight. I love how in this cartoon they're not shy about the bad guys buying the farm in interesting ways! 

The secret facility is kinda neat, with the bubbling vats of nerve gas and all that. And we have a race on skis to close this one out, with Dr. Quest's ingenuity and scientific gadgets providing a solution, as always. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted. Everyone is welcome to join. Link back so everyone can check out other bloggers' lists. It's a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers.

This week is a free topic and I decided to go with Nancy Drew book covers.

The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew #2)