Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Snapshot for the Last Weekend In February

Car window sunset shot.

Currently reading:

Just finished Chase Me by Laura Florand. Super fun! Definitely recommend it if you're a fan of Florand's.

Oh! And The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James.


A review and GIVEAWAY of the graphic novel Tales of the Talented Tenth: Bass Reeves.

Movies watched:

ant-man movie
Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly

Better than the average Marvel movie. That's really all I have to say about it.

meet the patels
Meet the Patels, directed by Geeta Patel and Ravi Patel

Not what I was expecting. For some reason I thought it'd be a movie-movie rather than a documentary, and perhaps I wasn't in the right mood for it. I did enjoy parts of it, but it also seemed a bit off. Like if someone suggested I make a documentary about my brother trying to find a wife, I'd make this face:

eyeroll gif

I also thought Master of None did a better and more entertaining job of explaining the whole I'm-in-a-serious-relationship-with-a-white-girl-and-don't-want-to-tell-my-Indian-parents psychology. And now that I think about it, Dev and Ravi have bizarrely similar lives (I know this probably makes no sense to you if you haven't seen Master of None). Anyway, I *would* recommend Master of None, but wasn't super into Meet the Patels. The conclusion was sweet, though.

This week in heidenkindom:

Remember last week when I was talking about getting a moped? Well, on Monday my Mac went completely dead on me. It's a long story, but there was a good chance the hard drive was completely fucked up, which meant I'd have to spend all the money I was planning to use to purchase a moped on a new Mac. Not to mention my dreams of owning the same computer for a decade were dying a cruel death only 3 years short of my goal.

The good news: I took it to the Apple Genius Bar on the off chance it was salvageable, and they were able to fix it! Which means now I can buy a moped! W00t w00t!

downtown mackelmore gif
Me after I get a moped.


So you want to move to Canada if Trump is elected POTUS. Apply here!

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Review and Giveaway: BASS REEVES (Tales of the Talented Tenth #1) by Joel Christian Gill

bass reeves tales of the talented tenth

Obligatory disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of Tales of the Talented Tenth: Bass Reeves for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.

In this graphic novel, Joel Christian Gill tells the story of Bass Reeves, the first black US Marshal west of the Mississippi and, some believe, the inspiration for the Lone Ranger.

bass reeves

I'd heard of Bass Reeves before, on Drunk History, and probably elsewhere. I'm all for books about awesome historical peeps, and for the most part I enjoyed reading Gill's graphic biography of Reeves. The story was fast-paced, with a lot of tension, and I thought the artwork served the story well. I particularly liked how Gill represented the language of the Seminole Indians before Reeves learned how to speak it, and I thought the use of Jim Crow as a character was effective, if a little confusing at first.

That said, I did have a few niggling areas of concern:

  • First of all, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of humor. Reeves was known to be sharp-witted and funny. You'd never get that from this book, where he came across as either bummed out or angry, because racism. The character really had no personality, and it constantly seemed like things were happening to him rather than vice versa. Granted, I don't know much about Reeves, but from what I do know I'd think he'd be more of a force of nature than that.
  • Secondly, the "language," if one might call it that, deserves a mild trigger warning. The characters use the n-word (a lot), but instead of using the n-word Gill represents it with a picture of a black man's face. I can just imagine being a parent and having to explain what that's supposed to mean.
  • Somewhat related: Gill also uses a face with a feathered warbonnet to represent the word Indian. With the n-word, I can get why he'd want to represent the word pictographically; but Indian is NOT a racial slur, and it bothered me that Gill drew that parallel. Most American Indians prefer the term Indian.

I think for a younger audience, this will be a good intro to the story of Bass Reeves, and I'm definitely looking forward to more stories in this series. But this book is certainly not without a few issues.

To find out more about Tales of the Talented Tenth: Bass Reeves, visit its Indiebound and publisher pages, and check out Gill's website and Twitter account.

Thanks to Fulcrum Publishing, I have one copy of Tales of the Talented Tenth: Bass Reeves to give away. To enter, simply provide your name and an email address where you can be reached in this form. I will select one winner using on March 5th, 2016. If applicable, international entries will be shipped at my own expense.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Snapshot

Calypso peeking at the neighbors.

Currently reading:

After the Kiss by Lauren Layne: Basically exactly like How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.

Confess by Colleen Hoover: I like the inclusion of the art.

I don't normally read two romances at once, or even two novels at once, but for some reason this is working for me for right now.

I'm also listening to The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James.



BBAW-related posts included an introduction through book covers, an interview with Amanda from Fig and Thistle, the most memorable book recommendations I've gotten from other bloggers, and how to avoid blogger burnout.

Non-BBAW posts were my 1000th post on this here blog, and mini reviews of My Fair Gentleman, The Haunting of Maddy Clare, and A Shade of Vampire over at Book Riot.

Movies watched:

trainwreck movie poster
Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader

It was okay. I expected it to be funnier because the trailer is hilarious, but the movie's real problem is that it's way too long. They needed chop about half an hour from this film to keep it moving along. And if the majority of that half hour consisted of the scenes with Colin Quinn, that would have been okay by me.

That said, Lebron James is SUPER funny. I could have watched a whole movie just about "My Best Friend Lebron."

in your eyes movie poster
In Your Eyes, starring Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David

I'm thinking only Joss Whedon could get a movie like this made and have it turn out well. The plot is absolutely bonkers: two people separated by thousands of miles fall in love after forming an explicable telepathic connection where they can see, hear, and feel the same things as the other person. Oh, and did I mention the woman's married and the guy's an ex-con? There are a few head shaking moments, but somehow it works.

History of the Eagles, directed by Alison Ellwood

Fun fact: The Eagles are my favorite band of all time. I enjoyed learning about the origins of the band and all of their famous friends (Glenn Frey and Bob Seger were buddies when they were kids in Detroit!). Even though it's an "authorized documentary" produced by Frey himself, the guys are pretty honest about their past and when they acted like assholes. It was in the second half that I felt like there was some sugar coating of their comeback tours and new album, but whatever.

Don Henley had the best line of the whole film: "There's a fine line between the American Dream and the American Nightmare."

This week in heidenkindom:

Aside from Book Bloggers Appreciation Week, I spent the week looking at mopeds. We went to a Vespa dealer and I tried one out and it was sooo cool. A little too pricey for me, though.

Do I need a moped? Can I afford a moped? Probably no to both questions, but sometimes I get this bug in my brain that I want something and then I feel the need to see it through.


#BBIMarch Instagram challenge

Starting in March, I'm hosting an Instagram challenge for Book Bloggers International. You can participate by posting something related to topic using the hashtag #BBIMarch. Photos will be featured on BBI's blog.

Have a great week!

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Friday, February 19, 2016

#BBAW – How to Avoid Burning Out on Blogging

book blogger appreciation week blogger burnout

Today is the last day of all the previous days of our lives. And also of Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Brought to you by the lovely ladies of The Estella Society.

bill murray says you're awesome

Anyway, today's topic is how to avoid blogger burnout. I don't often get blogger burnout, I think because I'm so casual about this blog. I take on minimal commitments and only do things I'm excited about and interested in. Blogging is a hobby, and there's a thin line between being super passionate about a hobby–which is the best–and not having fun with it anymore but feeling like you HAVE to do it, which is the worst.

That said, there was a period about four years ago where I wasn't getting burned out exactly, but I was bored and frustrated with my blogging. I wasn't enjoying it anymore or getting everything out of it that I wanted. So... and this sounds crazy...

I started two new blogs!

Starting a new blog to combat blogger burnout may seem counterintuitive, but for me it worked. It provided me with new challenges, new stuff to read and learn about, and injected some much-needed excitement into my blogging.

While I don't think starting a new blog is the answer for everyone, there are some general lessons to extrapolate from my experience:

  • Dig deep and look at what are the causes of your burnout. Are you bored or overcommitted? Why isn't it fun anymore?
  • What do you want out of blogging in general? Why did you start blogging and, if the reasons you're blogging have changed, in what specific ways?
  • Finally, look for ways to get more of what you want out of blogging while decreasing stressors. Maybe you just need to take a break, maybe you need to stop accepting ARCs or reformat how you write posts. Maybe you need to move on to something bigger and better. It's up to you.

So, that's my advice, for what it's worth. I hope you all enjoyed BBAW 2016 and don't get burned out any time soon!

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

1000th Blog Post!


We interrupt Book Bloggers Appreciation Week for a special announcement. THIS IS MY 1000TH BLOG POST!!!

celebrate gif

I normally don't pay attention to numbers, but I feel like this is a milestone worth celebrating.

Me at my desk right now.

Here are some of the more memorable (to me) posts I've written in the past 1000:

The most popular posts of all time at TBFB:

(I suspect the latter two are popular because of school papers. Remember not to copy and paste, kids!)

snoopy celebration

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog for keeping it fun and interesting! I'd give you all presents, but that's impractical, so here's a gif of David Tennant with a kitten:

david tennant kitten


Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#BBAW–Bestest and Most Memorable Book Recommendations of All Blogging Time

donald trump minions

Day three of Book Bloggers Appreciation Week, brought to you by the Estella Society, brings us back to books and the ones we've read because of other bloggers. This is a pretty long list of books for me, personally, so I've decided to narrow it down to the most memorable recommendations I've received. Let the backlinking begin!

the princess and the penis
Book 1: The Princess and the Penis by RJ Silver
Recommended by: Penny from Penny Romance
Penny's given me a lot of good recommendations over the years, but this is by far my favorite. I mean, why else would you buy a book with this title unless someone insisted you should? It's a lot better and more charming than you think it will be.

the chocolate touch
Book 2: The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand
Recommended by: Kelly from Reading with Analysis
I loooooooooooooooooooooove this book. Love! Like, if I could imagine the perfect book for me, it would have everything that's in this book.

wicked lovely
Book 3: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Recommended by: Candace from Beth Fish Reads
Continues to be my favorite audiobook of all time. The narrator, Alyssa Bresnahan, is ahmaaaaaaaayyyzing.

mind fuck
Book 4: Mind Fuck by Manna Francis
Recommended by: Kris from Kris 'n' Good Books (blog is no longer with us)
This is a perfect example of a book that would have never, ever, crossed my radar if it hadn't been for blogger recommendations.

the man in lower ten
Book 5: The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart
Recommended by: Melody from Redeeming Qualities (great name for a book blog, by the way)
This was the second book I read for The Project Gutenberg Project, and I LOVED it. It was the ideal way to kick off a new blog.

the magpie lord
Book 6: The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles
Recommended by: Anachronist from Portable Pieces of Thought
I think you'd have to have a heart of stone not to find Charles' books charming and fun. I love her characters and her settings, even when the plot drags a bit.

That's just a small selection of the fabulous recommendations I've received, of course. Thank you to everyone who recommended a book to me that I enjoyed!

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Monday, February 15, 2016

BBAW Day 2–Interview with Amanda from Fig and Thistle

BBAW interview

This week is Book Bloggers' Appreciation Week, and today we get to interview a fellow participating blogger. My interviewee is Amanda from Fig and Thistle. Amanda is a librarian who not only loves to blog about books, but crafts, baking, and thrifting. Read our interview to find out more!

Tasha: I can tell from your favorite books that you’re an Anglophile. What do you find most appealing about British culture and who is your FBP (favorite British person)?

Amanda: It is hard to say what I find most appealing about British culture. I think I was first hooked when I was a child and obsessed with Sir Francis Drake. I read every children's non-fiction book I could find about Drake and that led me to reading about Queen Elizabeth. When I exhausted the non-fiction books at the library I turned to fiction and my love grew from there.

T: You collect NYRB Classics and Virago Modern Classics. What are some of your favorite books in your collection? Any that you really really want and have never been able to find?

A: I don't think there is a particular NYRB or Virago that I haven't been able to find. I think I started collecting those as more of a challenge for myself. I work in a library, so books are always easily accessible, but I adore going to thrift stores and used book stores and hunting for Viragos and NYRB. Their titles are not as plentiful on library shelves and in large bookstores. I'm currently working on a project to read the first 100 Viragos on the LibraryThing Virago group list.

T: I never got into journaling, but I’m impressed by the journaling I saw on your blog! What’s your favorite type of journal and do you have any tips for someone trying to get organized with journaling? Do you keep track of your reading with a journal, or with a website like Goodreads?

A: My favorite type of journaling is Bullet Journaling. prior to that I had a planner, a notepad for random lists, a reading notebook, a three-ring binder with blog plans and a diary-type journal. Way too much stuff to keep up with. Now everything is condensed down to on Leuchtturm1917 book. I do have a Jane Austen-themed five year diary. I write down what I read that day in the dairy and then I get a five year snapshot on what my reading looks like on a particular day. I don't do this for any practical purpose, really it is just because I like to be dorky about my reading. I also keep up with my reading on GoodReads.

T: Do have any favorite bookish items, like a t-shirt or mug?

A: My favorite book accessory has to be my collection of owl and literary coffee mugs. I drink gobs of coffee (and sometimes tea) and I usually always have a mug of something when I read. I really like owls, but I'm also gaining a decent literary mug collection. Other than that I would say that my cat is a great reading accessory!

T: What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year so far?

A: My favorite book so far this year is the one I'm currently reading, Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. I love magical realism and this book is set during one of my most favorite time periods (WWI - the end of WW2).

Thanks for joining me today, Amanda! Be sure to check out my turn at being interviewed over at Amanda's blog.

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BBAW banner

Today kicks off Book Bloggers' Appreciation Week over at The Estella Society, a celebration of all things book blogger. For today's activity funtime extravaganza, we're being asked to select five books to represent ourselves, interests, or lifestyle.

I was going to pick five books that meant something to me personally, but then I changed my mind and decided to select books based purely on their covers. Behold, the glamorous lifestyle of a book blogger!

I wake up like this.

Fashion choices and mid-day exercise.

At work.

With my faithful and completely unobedient sidekicks.

Time to chillax!

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Snapshot Super Bowley

downton abbey super bowl

Currently reading:

Mystery Man by Colin Bateman–The only reason I bought this book was because it's set in a bookstore I visited in Belfast. It's hilarious! Every time I pick it up I start giggling.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple–Bernadette's life is bumming me out.

Frommer's Easy Guide to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Western Honshu by Beth Reiber–I definitely think Reiber knows her stuff, but I really wish there were more maps, and the layout is confusing.


My favorite bookish places in Ireland outside of Dublin and why I think reading series backwards is a good idea.

Movies watched:

13 hours movie
13 Hours, starring John Krasinski, other men with beards.

Much better than I was expecting! I'm not a big fan of Zero Dark Thirty or American Sniper, so I wasn't super looking forward to watching this; but it had a lot of humor to balance out the darker aspects of the story. Definitely told from the soldiers' point of view in a way that's entertaining and isn't *too* political (which makes me wonder if that's the real reason the film critics panned it–were they expecting Hollywood to rise up in defense of Hillary?). I also liked all the characters and thought the performances were really good. Some of the scenes pulled maybe a little too deliberately at our heartstrings, but overall worth watching.

burnt movie
Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller

Adam Jones is a former chef de haute cuisine whose dazzling Paris career was ruined by drug abuse. He decides to return to cooking, so he goes to... London? Because it's cheaper to film there, I'm guessing. Mysteriously, all his Parisian frenemies are also in London running high-end restaurants, including the one who's a M.O.F.! That's like Michael Phelps announcing he's permanently moving to Africa to devote his life to swimming the Sahara. MAKES NO SENSE.

Anyway, aside from that, the utterly pointless romance, and the fact that I expected some deeper emotional closure at the end (or any closure), this movie wasn't too bad. I loved all the food scenes, and there were a ton of them. Foodies will enjoy it, but probably skippable if the idea of someone going into a rant over lemon juice makes you want to roll your eyes.

This week month in heidenkindom:

Sorry for the radio silence with Sunday Snapshot posts the last few weeks; I've been writing a book and just didn't have the energy to devote to blogging.

Not to mention, not a lot has been going on in the reading/movie front. I did start the Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest and it wasn't terrible? I actually really enjoyed it, but I'm taking a break for now.


My upcoming book, in case you're curious, will be called The Introvert's Guide to Drinking Alone, and will have my favorite cocktail recipes along with short (hopefully funny) essays. Give me a heads up if you'd like an advanced copy!

the introvert's guide to drinking alone cover

Have a great week! Go football teams!

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